Vancouver Real Estate and Community News

May 3, 2019

Penthouse Buyers Club

PH1 at The Fairmount Pacific Rim is the highest value condo sold in MLS Canadian history.  Sold for a whopping $25M back in May of 2013.  It took 643 days to sell and sold to a Prince who was also nice enough to buy the sub penthouse for his staff.  I believe he visits for 2 weeks out of a year.

It boasts: 6.4k square feet / 3 beds / 4 baths / 4 parking / roof top patio / + all the amenities that this world class hotel has to offer.

Click the image below to see the inside of this gem.

There are currently 77 Penthouses for sale in Vancouver that are over $1M, email clientconcierge@vancitylistings.com for the full list.

In Vancouver, so far this year 20 Penthouses have sold that are over $1M and they can all be viewed here: click here

The most expensive to sell this year is 888 Beach Penthouse which sold for $3.8M. 

The average price sold of a Penthouse was $1.833M with an average list price of $1.97M (average selling 7% below list price)

The longer the time on the market usually equates to the more motivated seller and the Penthouse at The Vita (565 Smithe) has cumulatively been for sale for 653 days but today it shows 1 day on the market, the latest price reduction was by some $200,000.  An offer 20% below list may garner a sale price of 10% below which is a possible sale price of $2.5M

Need any info on any luxury listing, please do not hesitate to reach out to us: clientconcierge@vancitylistings.com

Do not forget to check out our Penthouse Buyers Club by clicking here

 

 

Feb. 11, 2019

How to Chose the Best Home Builder In Vancouver

How to choose the best home builder in Vancouver

Building a house is an exciting and nerve-inducing endeavor.

Choosing the best home builder is a crucial part of the process. 

There are many factors to consider when choosing a home builder: value and quality are paramount when building a home. 

Check out the builder's past work & reviews 

Before signing a contract with a home builder it is a good idea to contact previous and current clients for references.  It is also a good idea to check out reviews online.  Walking through the home builder’s model homes will give you a sense of the builders’ style.   Pay close attention to the quality of work and the building products used in the home. Inquire about upgrades that have been made in the model home that may be not be included in a standard build. 

Get In touch with the local home builder associations

Get in touch with the Local Home builders association.  There are over 50 active home builders associations in Canada.  Members of a local home builders association adhere to a code of ethics.  There are options for continuing education, which demonstrates that builders are dedicating to working safely and effectively on the job site.  If the builder states or shows awards that they have received, double check with the company. 

How well do they communicate?

When working with a home builder, you want to feel that your home is a priority and that you are respected in the process. Positive communication is crucial in a good partnership.  Does the home builder take time to listen to and answer your questions?  Are the answers to your questions knowledgeable and transparent?  They should express interests in your needs.  Issues should be addressed promptly and professionally.  Customer satisfaction should be a key factor in their building practices.  Feeling heard and understood will make the process of building your home less stressful.  

Do they complete jobs on time?

When considering a home builder, ensure that past projects have been completed on time.  The home builder should be upfront and honest regarding the length of time it will take for the home to be completed.  Speaking to previous customers will give you a good indication if the builder completes the projects on time.  A good and experienced home builder will be realistic regarding your budget and timelines.  The home builder should be able to give you a general timeline of when things are being completed and move in date.   

Make sure there is a warranty

Ensure that the home builder offers a warranty.  Generally, when building a new home, the home and most of the products and appliances are under warranty.  Inquire about the length of the warranty and all that it encompasses.  A home builder should be responsive to your needs both during the build and after you move in. Enquire about the kind of service to expect after the sale.  A warranty provider will ensure appropriate action if a problem arises after you settle in your home.  

Building a home and choosing a home builder can be overwhelming.  Hopefully, these tips in choosing the best home builders simplify the process and gives you a better understanding of what to look for.

This article was provided to you by Philip Pasma of Hamilton Area Real Estate.

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 11, 2019

Considering Moving To Ontario? Here is Why You Should Consider London!

Consider London Ontario

Ontario is a beautiful province. Situated in central Canada, you have access to hundreds of spectacular national and provincial parks. You have the opportunity to experience rural or urban living. And the friendly atmosphere and people make it all that much more. 

View London Ontario Real Estate >>>

Not sure where to live in Ontario? Consider moving to London! The city of London is ever-growing and ever-expanding. Located in the southwestern corridor, the city is next-to-none. You get all the big city vibes, but with small city feels. Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why you should consider moving to London, Ontario:

You Have Access To The Great Lakes

Never-ending beaches, summer activities, and relaxation galore - the Great Lakes offer an abundance of entertainment -, especially during those hot summer days. And there only a hop, skip, and a jump away from London. In under an hour, you can find yourself sunbathing on the beaches of Lake Erie - and the same goes for Lake Huron to the north. 

It’s Affordable

The cost of living is more affordable than bigger cities like Toronto. And the average home price is $353,180. You won’t find yourself strapped for cash in this city. Plus, you’ll then be able to spend more on the variety of restaurants and entertainment venues that London has to offer.

There are Employment Opportunities Available

Unlike other places, London has opportunities for job seekers. In fact, 10 business in London made the Profit 500 list for the fastest growing businesses. There’s financial, educational, healthcare, manufacturing, and tech businesses located in London - all with varying degrees of success. Any economic expert would agree that London is home to a thriving and growing economy. 

Art & Culture? London’s Got It

London has a remarkable art scene. The city has more museums per capita than both Toronto and Ottawa. In addition, the area has a rich history with a variety of historical and heritage sites. These buildings add character and mystery to the community and to the people who first settled in the area. Take a stroll around town and check out the various museums and galleries. Or sign up for a local art class - they’re easy to find!

And There’s More!

London has Boler Mountain - which provides skiing throughout the winter months and a great spot for mountain biking and zip lining in the warmer seasons. And if you like the great outdoors, there’s a variety of parks and trail systems that run in and around the city. See all the best things to do in London!

There are also a ton of annual events that take place. From musical festivals to fairs and outdoor movie viewings, you’ll be anything but bored. 

Furthermore, their educational system is top notch. They have top-rated high schools and elementary schools. The Thames Valley School Board has over 150 elementary and secondary schools spanning across the region. The London Catholic School Board has over 50 elementary and secondary schools, and there are also French and private school options available. The city is also home to Western University, as well as various colleges. It’s safe to say that education is a high priority in the minds of local residents in the city of London.

Find Out All That London Has to Offer!

London is the ideal spot to call home. It has everything you need and then some. So, if you’re looking for a place to live in Ontario, take this great city and all it has to offer into consideration. It’s worth it.

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 20, 2018

To Buy or to Rent a Premier Accommodation in Vancouver

Not sure if your ready to buy a loft or rent a luxury penthouse? When it comes to the latter decision, it shouldn't be taken lightly.  Make a wrong purchase and it will surely leave a bad taste in your mouth. Home ownership is a dream for many and done correctly, can increase your wealth substantially. 

A good realtor can aide you significantly, while bad one can really do some lasting damage. It would also behoove to understand what makes certain property valuable and others not desirable. So before you go out and buy a loft or condo of your dreams, read on for some great info that can save you from making a poor decision. 

Reasons to rent a Vancouver Penthouse or Apartment:

Renting sure is easy. The down payments are very small (usually one month's rent or smaller) compared to making a purchase. There is not much to lose here. If you end up renting a place your not happy with, you can just move after the lease is over. 

Many people say that renting is a waste of money. But if you bought a place, you would be responsible for interest on your loan, property taxes, and insurance.  At least when you rent, you won't have to worry about making those extra payments. Renting is also great when you want to buy, but you want more time to scout out the area. 

If you need to leave in the middle of your lease, then you can pay an amount that will allow you to exit on good terms. 

There is not much downside to renting. If there are any, here they are:

  1. Apartments and loft rentals might have small square footage.
  2. Also, there usually is a lack of a yard and no garage parking.
  3. If you value privacy, renting can be a bummer. If your neighbor throws parties and makes a lot of noise, then you could have a bad experience. 

Reasons to buy a Vancouver Penthouse or Condo:

Buying is a much more complicated and also more rewarding. Ownership carries more risk, but the upside is also much higher. When you make a home purchase you are assuming a mortgage and all the liability that comes with it. Before you buy, here is what you must consider:

  1. Do you have full-time employment with a stable work history
  2. Do you have enough money for a down payment on the home
  3. Are you aware of the property taxes and insurance amounts you will be responsible to pay for on an annual basis
  4. You don't plan on moving in the next 2 or 3 years

Assuming you are familiar with the top 3 details above, you ready to move onto the next phase

What type of Vancouver House should I purchase?

Potential homeowners should aim for a home or loft that has the potential to increase in value. Nobody can time the market perfectly, but ensuring you purchase in a great area, your home values will increase over time. Healthy home equity is not a given. 

Check the Property Values

Homes zoned to great schools attract those that tend to have higher incomes and educations. These are the types of residents you want living in your neighborhoods. So be sure to make your realtor aware that you want to consider the latter detail. 

But you might not have any kids and don't care about schools. Well, one technique is to look at the values of homes over the last 10 years in the neighborhoods your scouting. You should be able to see a trend here. By checking the property tax value history, you should be able to see trends.

Looking for your next apartment home or rental? Rentkidz.com can help you secure your next crash pad. 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 1, 2018

The Best Places To Ski in North America

The best places to ski in North America

Whether you’re a veteran skier or a beginner nothing beats hitting the slopes. There is something peaceful and freeing when it comes to getting out on the mountains, being literally and figuratively lifted. 

North America offers some of the best skiing locations around the world. Scenic towns and breathtaking views are just some of the reasons they draw thousands from around the globe. 

Park City Utah

Park City, Utah, tops our list of some of the best ski towns. Located along Interstate 80, approximately 32 miles from Salt Lake City, this ski hub has two major ski resorts; Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. Home of the Sundance Film Festival, this city also hosted events for the 2002 winter Olympics. As of 2005, when Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort merged, the city is home to the largest ski area in the United States, with 17 slopes, 14 bowls, 300 trails and 22 miles of lifts in total. Anyone who is looking for an experience of a lifetime on the slopes will want to make sure they visit Park City, Utah. 

Whistler BC Skiing

You don’t have to be an avid skier to know that Whistler, B.C. makes most ski lists. Located in the Southern Pacific Ranges of the Coastal Mountain, Whistler offers a skiing atmosphere like no other on earth. Not only are the slopes and trails like nothing you’ve ever encountered, the town itself offers an indescribable experience. People from across the world are drawn to Whistler, BC for work and play, as many take up seasonal jobs due to the sheer volume for visitors during peak season. Whatever calls you to Whistler, you won’t regret answering. 

truckee california skiing

Truckee, California has some of the best ski resorts on the west coast. More than half a dozen resorts with more than 33 lifts and over 2,000 acres to choose from. Truckee averages 204.3 inches of snow annually, making it the fifth snowiest city in the United States. For this reason, among many others, such as its beautiful views of Lake Tahoe, Truckee has become a skiers paradise. 

Aspen Colorado Skiing

Aspen, Colorado has become synonymous with ski town. Nestled in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen has some of the most stunning views and skiing around. Home to the Winter X games since 2002,  Aspen mountain offers double black diamond slopes for seasoned skiers. To quote Dumb and Dumber, “A place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. A little place called Aspen”. 

These ski towns are just a taste of the amazing escapades to be had on numerous mountains throughout North America. HOweHowever you are looking for an adventure, unparalleled views on top of the world's most scenic mountains, than you’ll find what you are looking for on any one of these slopes. 

Posted in Real Estate News
March 14, 2017

February 2017 Video Market Update

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Feb. 11, 2017

January 2017 Real Estate Reports

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 10, 2017

10 Most Commonly Asked Mortgage Questions

10 Most Commonly Asked Mortgage Questions

1. What’s the best rate I can get?

Your credit score plays a big part in the interest rate for which you will qualify, as the riskier you appear as a borrower, the higher your rate will be. Rate is definitely not the most important aspect of a mortgage, however, as many rock-bottom rates often come from no frills mortgage products. In other words, even if you qualify for the lowest rate, you often have to give up other things such as prepayments and porting privileges when opting for the lowest-rate product.

2. What’s the maximum mortgage amount for which I can qualify?
To determine the amount for which you will qualify, there are two

calculations you’ll need to complete. The first is your Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio. GDS looks at your proposed new housing costs (mortgage payments, taxes, heating costs and 50% of strata/condo fees, if
applicable
). Generally speaking, this amount should be no more than 32% of your gross monthly income. For example, if your gross monthly income is $4,000, you should not be spending more than $1,280 in monthly housing expenses. Second, you will need to calculate your Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio. The TDS ratio measures your total debt obligations (including housing costs, loans, car payments and credit card bills). Generally speaking, your TDS ratio should be no more than 40% of your gross monthly income. Keep in mind that these numbers are prescribed maximums and that you should strive for lower ratios for a more a ordable lifestyle. Before falling in love with a potential new home, you may want to obtain a pre-approved mortgage. This will help you stay within your price range and spend your time looking at homes you can reasonably a ord.

3. How much money do I need for a down payment?
The minimum down payment required is 5% of the purchase price of the home. And in order to avoid paying mortgage default insurance, you need to have at least a 20% down payment.

4. What happens if I don’t have the full down payment amount?
There are programs available that enable you to use other forms of down

payment, such as from your RRSPs, a cash-back product, or a gift.

5. What will a lender look at when qualifying me for a mortgage?
Most lenders look at five factors when determining whether you qualify for a mortgage: 1. Income; 2. Debts; 3. Employment History; 4. Credit history; and 5. Value of the Property you wish to purchase. One of the first things a lender will consider is how much of your total income you’ll be spending on housing. This helps the lender decide whether you can comfortably a ord a house. A lender will then look at your debts, which generally include monthly house payments as well as payments on all loans, credit cards, child support, etc. A history of steady employment, usually within the same job for several years, helps you qualify. But a short history in your current job shouldn’t prevent you from getting a mortgage, as long as there have been no gaps in income over the past two years. Good credit is also very important in qualifying for a mortgage. The lender will also want to know that the house is worth the price you plan to pay.

6. Should I go with a fixed - or variable-rate mortgage?
The answer to this question depends on your personal risk tolerance. If,

for instance, you’re a first-time homebuyer and/or you have a set budget that you can comfortably spend on your mortgage, it’s smart to lock into a fixed mortgage with predictable payments over a specific period of time. If, however, your financial situation can handle the fluctuations of a variable-rate mortgage, this may save you some money over the long run. Another option is to opt for a variable rate, but make payments based on what you would have paid if you selected a fixed rate. Finally, there are also 50/50 mortgage options that enable you to split your mortgage into both fixed and variable portions.

7. What credit score do I need to qualify?
Generally speaking, you’re a prime candidate for a mortgage if your credit

score is 680 and above. The higher you can get above 700 the better, as you

will qualify for the lowest rates. These days almost anyone can obtain a mortgage, but the key for those with lower credit scores is the size of the down payment. If you have a su cient down payment, you can reduce the risk to the lender providing you with the mortgage. Statistics show that default rates on mortgages decline as the down payment increases.

8. What happens if my credit score isn’t great?

There are several things you can do to boost your credit fairly quickly. Following are five steps you can use to help attain a speedy credit score boost: 1) Pay down credit cards. The number one way to increase your credit score is to pay down your credit cards so they’re below 70% of your limits. Revolving credit like credit cards seems to have a more significant impact on credit scores than car loans, lines of credit, and so on. 2) Limit the use of credit cards. Racking up a large amount and then paying it o in monthly instalments can hurt your credit score. If there is a balance at the end of the month, this a ects your score – credit formulas don’t take into account the fact that you may have paid the balance o the next month. 3) Check credit limits. If your lender is slower at reporting monthly transactions, this can have a significant impact on how other lenders view your file. Ensure everything’s up to date as old bills that have been paid can come back to haunt you. Some financial institutions don’t even report your maximum limits. As such, the credit bureau is left to only use the balance that’s on hand. The problem is, if you consistently charge the same amount each month – say $1,000 to $1,500 – it may appear to the credit-scoring agencies that you’re regularly maxing out your cards. The best bet is to pay your balances down or o before your statement periods close. 4) Keep old cards. Older credit is better credit. If you stop using older credit cards, the issuers may stop updating your accounts. As such, the cards can lose their weight in the credit formula and, therefore, may not be as valuable – even though you have had the cards for a long time. Use these cards periodically andthenpaythemo .5)Don’tletmistakesbuildup.Alwaysdispute any mistakes or situations that may harm your score. If, for instance, a cell phone bill is incorrect and the company will not amend it, you can dispute this by making the credit bureau aware of the situation.

 

9. How much will I have to pay for closing costs?

As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you put aside at least 1.5% of the purchase price (in addition to the down payment) strictly to cover closing costs. There are several items you should budget for when it comes to closing costs. Property Transfer Tax is charged whenever a property is purchased. The tax will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but I can help with the calculation. GST/HST is only charged on new homes, and does not a ect homes priced at less than $400,000. Even homes that exceed the price threshold are only taxed on the portion that exceed $400,000. Certain conditions may apply. Please contact you lawyer/notary for more detailed information. Your lawyer/notary will charge you a fee for drawing up the mortgage and conveyance of title. The amount of the fee will depend on the individual that you use. The typical cost is $900. If you’re purchasing a single-family home, you’ll need to give your lender a survey certificate showing where the property sits within the property lines. Some exceptions are made, however, on low loan-to-value deals and acreage properties. A survey will cost approximately $300-$350, but the lender will often accept a copy of an existing survey. Other costs include such things as an appraisal fee (approximately $200), title insurance and a home inspection (approximately $350).

10. How much will my mortgage payments be?
Monthly mortgage payments vary based on several factors, including: the

size of your mortgage; whether you’re paying mortgage default insurance; your mortgage amortization; your interest rate; and your frequency of making mortgage payments.

For more information please feel free to contact:
Igor Mironyuk - Lending Expert at 604-671-7474 or email me at igor@igormironyuk.com 

Jan. 23, 2017

2016 End Of Year Market Update

Nov. 16, 2016

October Market Video Update