Increases to your Property Assessment - a rousing topic every January, and this year, not really a surprise that 2017 Assessments are considerably higher than they were in 2016.   If you haven't yet received your 2017 Property Assessment, you will shortly.  Whether buying, selling, or just home-owning, here are 5 important things to know:

(1) Property Assessments do NOT necessarily equal market value

(2) Just because your Assessment went up, doesn’t mean your TAXES will increase.  And, if your taxes increase, it’s not just because your property assessment increased!

(3) BC Assessment uses a mass appraisal system, which calculates property value by evaluating prices for homes sold in each neighborhood and then applies the information to arrive at an assessed value.  This information is typically obtained from MLS sales, NOT by visiting the properties in question.  BC Assessment has approximately 650 full-time staff positions in 17 offices throughout the province.  They can’t possibly visit every residence.

(4) The most important factor is the TIME at which a property is assessed.  A 2017 assessment notice is BCA’s estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2016, which is 6 month’s prior to you receiving your assessment.  (and the reason why a REALTOR®’s market value can be different – as it reflects the current state of the market).

(5) BCA’s Market value assessment is for tax purposes only.  It is widely considered to be the fairest system for distributing the property tax burden.  As the real estate market can change very quickly, depending on an historical assessment (July assessment for next year’s tax purposes) to be an accurate indicator of market value can be erroneous.


Bonus #1-

Here are the median price increases in North Vancouver :

                   July 2015 - July 2016                         Dec 2015 – Dec 2016

                   (Assessment period)                          (Year over year data)

Detached              22% ↑                                                  7% ↑

Attached              25% ↑                                                   6% ↑

Apartments         19% ↑                                                 26%  ↑


Bonus #2 –

Here is a service that you may find helpful – available each New Year until March, where you can view details on a single property, compare neighbouring properties, and compare sales information.

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After almost three decades, a program to remove thousands of toxic oil tanks from North Shore properties has had marginal success, leaving homeowners -- and the environment -- at serious risk.

Residential underground storage tanks, large metal containers that were once used to hold heating oil, are buried next to thousands of houses in North and West Vancouver. The tanks, many of which were designed to last only 25 years, are inclined to leak toxic oil products into the surrounding soil.

Municipalities have been encouraging their removal since 1989, when the province included their disposal in the fire code. But after nearly 30 years, only a small number of the containers have been taken out. That means the ground around many North Vancouver properties is growing more toxic every year, and the costs are now being felt by the environment and by homeowners. The oil, a carcinogen, sits on top of water, eventually coming to the surface. It can contaminate households by being tracked in on shoes; and it can migrate into neighboring properties and into watercourses. 

A corroded tank, usually buried eight feet deep, can also become a dangerous sinkhole. Most tanks were installed between the 1920s and 1960s. When people switched to natural gas, most doing so by the 1970s, many simply abandoned the old tanks. In the absence of proper installation records some property owners do not even know they are there. 

Prospective Buyers will no longer take on the responsibility of a potential buried tank - yet everyone continues to feel the sting of the public's inaction.  Removal of the tanks is now required at the time homes are sold and when insurance is renewed.  Straight forward removal of a tank that has not leaked costs around $3,000 to $5,000, including an environmental assessment, typically required in most Municipalities. But for a leaking tank, the cost can be much higher. Cleanup jobs range from $15,000 to $30,000 - to, well, "the sky's the limit".  

For more information on the consequences of unremdiated oil tanks, click here.

If you think you have an oil tank on your property, please contact a qualified

environmental consultant.

Suggested Companies.

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Effective on transactions entered into on October 1, 2016, or later, this tax is modeled closely on the provincial “Property Transfer Tax Act”.  The PTT Law adopts the provincial rate of 1% on the first $200,000 of fair market value (purchase price), 2% of the fair market value that exceeds $200,000, but does not exceed $2Million, and 3% of the remaining fair market value.

The PTT Law adopts the same exemptions as are offered off-reserve, including exemptions for first time home buyers, and the recently added exemption on new construction (purchases under $750,000 are exempt).

It is important to note that there are transitional rules in place.  For example, for those of you who purchased in the Spring at “Seymour Village” above Ravenwoods – which completes in 2017:  There is no PTT on new residential property (a “pre-sale”) where the pre-sale agreement was entered into within one year of the PTT Law coming into force and where the home is finished and the sale completes within two years of the PTT Law coming into force.  There is also no PTT on the sale of a residential property where the agreement of sale was executed before the PTT Law came into force and the sale completes within six months of the PTT Law coming into force.

Read the full overview HERE.

Questions ?  Call us - we are here to help!

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With September almost to a close, there may be some rainy days ahead - and here is a project for "one of those rainy days" !


Warranties, Manuals and Receipts

These documents provide you with a proof of purchase date and determine service and parts guaranteed. In addition, the manuals usually provide care information so you can help ensure your household appliances are being properly maintained. You should keep your warranties, manuals and receipts for these items for as long as you own the appliances.


Home Inventory

If you were ever to lose any of your possessions due to fire, burglary, or vandalism, having a home inventory can help you avoid a lot of heartache and make it easier when filing an insurance claim.


Start with a sheet a paper for each room in the house. Go around the room and list every item. Don’t forget the attic, basement or other storage places. For each item, write the original cost, purchase date, replacement cost, model number, brand name, where purchased, and a general description.  Pop these into an Excel spreadsheet  or use Google Spreadsheets (it's free!) so that you have an electronic copy.


Besides a written inventory, take photos or video of each room for visual documentation. It is also a good idea to arrange valuable collections, silver, jewelry, etc. and take close up photos.


Keep a copy in your home & electronic files (and perhaps one at the office, too!) and the originals in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. Make sure you update your home inventory photos and list at least once a year.


Organizing your home files may take a considerable amount of time initially, but it will definitely be time well spent in the event you need the documents later on.


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Home buyer competition is intense in today’s housing market, and multiple-offer situations have become commonplace.

These trends have everyone wondering who is buying homes in Metro Vancouver today?1 Are millenials being priced out? Are retirees downsizing? Are investors driving the market?

To shed some light on these questions, the Real Estate Board sends a home buyer demographic survey each month to members who represented a buyer in a sale over the previous 30-day period.

Between 150 and 200 REALTORS® regularly complete the survey. Analysis is based on an average of the last 12 months of responses.

“This feedback, while not scientific, gives us a deeper understanding of the trends in the marketplace,” says Dan Morrison, Board president. “We’ve conducted this poll over several years and some consistent themes have emerged.”

Home buyer trends (2015 - 2016 averages)


Since 2015, first-time home buyers have, on average, accounted for 32 per cent of Metro Vancouver home sales, according to the survey, and 21 per cent of home buyers are people moving from one property to another similar property in the region.

Speculation of real estate investor activity is much discussed in social and traditional media today. Our survey finds that nearly one in five homes sold to real estate investors last year, with domestic investors (15 per cent) making up the largest portion of these purchases. Foreign investors make up less than five per cent of all property sales in the region.

Home buyer demographic


Young families with children are active in today’s market. This group accounts for 34 per cent of all activity, and young couples with no children make up 18.5 per cent of all activity.

Retirees (eight per cent) and empty nesters (seven per cent) both represented less than 10 per cent of Metro Vancouver home sales according to the survey.

Home buyer residency


The clear majority of buyers, around 82 per cent, are already living in Metro Vancouver when they make their purchase. The next largest group of buyers migrate from other areas in BC and Canada. Roughly eight per cent of home buyers come from outside Canada, according to the survey.

Financing trends


On average, just over 60 per cent of buyers pay for their homes using traditional mortgages with at least a 25 per cent down payment. Cash purchases and high ratio mortgages make up the remaining 40 per cent in nearly equal proportions.

“While the volume of home sales has increased in recent months, the characteristics of people buying in our market remains relatively constant according to this monthly research,” Morrison says.


  1. Areas covered by the REBGV include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta. 
  2. Data collected from REBGV Market Survey, March 2015 - February 2016
  3. Article courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
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We have listed a new property at 231 19TH ST W in North Vancouver.
Attention investors and developers! Prime, sunny, south facing Central Lonsdale zoned duplex property (OCP designation R2; 0.5 FSR). This 50’ x 143’ mid-block property has lane access, southern exposure and great potential! Existing home is mostly original inside. Excellent revenue potential while you apply for permits, as there's a 2 bedrm suite down with its own laundry and separate entrance; just needs a little TLC. Huge double garage/workshop at rear with power. Steps to Mahon Park & Carson Graham Secondary. Value mainly in the land, however house is in good shape, and is occupied so PLEASE ask permission before walking the property.
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We have listed a new property at 313 333 1ST ST E in North Vancouver.
Super South facing one bedroom suite at classic “Vista West” across from Hamersley Park, cozy & attractively finished with warm maple cabinetry & gas fireplace. Built in attractive Craftsman Tudor style, with stone facing, cedar trim & extensive wood detailing – AND with rain screen exterior by reputable Ledingham McAllister, Vista West is a classic, well maintained building. Start here with a terrific little layout of 642 sq ft, lots of storage, in-suite laundry & lovely south - east views from your covered balcony! Enjoy the vibrant Lower Lonsdale lifestyle and bring your four legged friends, too! You’ll rarely need a car here - just minutes from the SeaBus, Lonsdale Quay, Shopping, Entertainment, Restaurants and more.
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Please visit our Open House at 313 333 1ST ST E in North Vancouver.
Open House on Sunday, April 10, 2016 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Super South facing one bedroom suite at classic “Vista West” across from Hamersley Park, cozy & attractively finished with warm maple cabinetry & gas fireplace. Built in attractive Craftsman Tudor style, with stone facing, cedar trim & extensive wood detailing – AND with rain screen exterior by reputable Ledingham McAllister, Vista West is a classic, well maintained building. Start here with a terrific little layout of 642 sq ft, lots of storage, in-suite laundry & lovely south - east views from your covered balcony! Enjoy the vibrant Lower Lonsdale lifestyle and bring your four legged friends, too! You’ll rarely need a car here - just minutes from the SeaBus, Lonsdale Quay, Shopping, Entertainment, Restaurants and more.
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We have listed a new property at 262 18TH ST E in North Vancouver.
Yes, it’s really a ½ duplex. Stunning, Craftsman style home offers nearly 2700 square feet of sophisticated living on 3 levels. Enjoy bright & airy open space. Corner location adds to the spacious feeling here; the yard and patio wrap around to the Southeast. You are welcomed by an enormous entertaining-size covered front porch & entry. A kitchen built for the gourmet entertainer with stone counters & stainless Kitchen Aide appliances (& a window over the sink!). Easy care, dark espresso engineered hardwood floors are a foil for a neutral palette which includes custom drapery, blinds, screens on all windows & remote control drapes on the main. Nine foot ceilings on the main add tons of natural light to the space. Three bedrooms up, Master with vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet & lush 5 piece ensuite will make you want to get up in the morning! Lower level has its own entrance, huge foyer, 2 bedrooms, full bath & is roughed in for a suite – or keep the bar sink & add a big TV & enjoy Netflix in a great rec room. Detached, double garage at the rear, lane access, and balance of 5-10 Warranty. Spectacular !
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Spring is a season of renewal. Birds are singing and the flowers are beginning to burst into bloom. The days are getting longer and people are getting outdoors again. So not surprisingly, real estate activity begins to swing into high gear. The weather is more cooperative and families are looking to move during the summer break.

If you are considering putting your home on the market, now's a good time to do some spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape.  Even if you aren't planning to sell your home, you should still add these tasks to your list to help preserve your home's value and help avoid major repairs later on.

Walk Around the Outside

Check for any damage caused by winter's cold weather. Look for those sagging or loose gutters, window frames or siding. Is your roof missing any shingles, or is there any water damage under the eaves? Promptly schedule repairs for those items you can't do yourself.

Over the fall and winter, leaves, mud and debris may have accumulated in your gutters. Check your gutters for clogging and damage and schedule an appointment for cleaning.

Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your home make? Be sure to clear away fallen branches and leaves. Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals or a vegetable garden. Prune shrubs and trees.

If your water supply has been off for the winter, turn it back on. Test your automatic sprinkler system or connect your water hose and check for cracks and leaks. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.

Don't forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails, or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter.

Repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. Clean the pool if it has been covered all winter. Wash windows, screens and windowsills; repair any winter damage.          

Take A Tour Inside

Start making a list of things to do in each room. Then dive in. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors.

Clean fan blades using mild soapy water. Check the A/C or Heat Pump  unit for debris and obstructions; vacuum the main condenser coil on top of the unit. Check the operating condition of the furnace; remove and change filters.

Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don't forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent.

One often-overlooked area is the fireplace. Be sure to sweep ashes carefully into your fireplace's ash pit or into a dustpan.


Look around for clutter.  Are there items you don't use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.

And lastly, don't forget to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Did you change them when you changed your clock for daylight savings time ? If not, change them now !

Although performing these spring chores may not be something you really want to do, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness, quality and VALUE of your home.  Happy Spring!

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We, like most North Vancouverites, consider our pets “family”.  And fortunately in our fair city – many buildings permit pets.  Frankly, we are such a pet-friendly city that it can be detrimental to your Apartment or Townhome’s market value should pets not be allowed!  That no-pets-no-rentals-no-BBQ’s rule really reads, “No fun here” !  While most of the time ‘pets’ means dogs or cats, most buildings allow fish & birds, but not snakes or reptiles …

Here are 5 buildings that welcome your four legged friends, and have other benefits, too:

One Park Lane (170 West 1st Street)

One of the most elegant and best-selling concrete buildings in Lower Lonsdale – in fact won a 2005 Georgie Award for “Best Residential Building in BC”.  Lucky 13 floors, and 117 apartments & townhomes.   Has a swanky foyer, Conceirge, Gym, Lounge, Theatre, Video Security, secure resident & guest parking, bike lockers.  Adjacent to Jack Loucks Park (where, funny enough, dogs are prohibited??!)

Small dogs and/or cats to a maximum of two (2) with a weight restriction.



Vista East & Vista West at Hamersley Park (333-365 East 1st Street)

A collection of 140 apartments, built in 2 phases; in Craftsman Tudor style, AND with rain screen exterior by reputable and still-in-business, Ledingham McAllister.  This is a super quiet location, and indeed across from Hamersley Park, and just steps to the waterfront & cool places like historic Hamersley House, Finch & Barley, and the Juicery.  Two pets permitted here, too – dogs, cats or one of each.  No weight restriction.

The “Q” – 124 West 1st Street

Popular & very well kept concrete building, built in 2001 when a one bedroom, 610 sq ft home here cost between $129,900 & $155,900 – and a 2B 2B suite of almost 900 sq ft set you back $200 - $250K.   73 really great suites here, no rentals permitted, but up to three pets.  Many of these homes have spectacular views, large patios / terraces and spacious floor plans.  Steps to Buddha-full Juice Bar & eatery, Waves coffee, Obsession Bikes, and some really great Pizza.


“Burham Court” – 222 East 5th Street

One of Noort Developments’ very first projects in North Vancouver (1998).  19 beautiful townhomes, measuring about 1500 sq ft each.  This complex is a shining example of good maintenance, and has always sold well.   Most recent sale was $891,000 in Dec ‘15.  Lovely generous floor plans, good outdoor space, well landscaped, well built, and this part of 5th Street is really pretty.  “Standard” Bylaws apply here in regard to pets, so that is 1 cat or 1 dog.  A great favorite of ours; ticks all the boxes, but people move in & stay – so very few come up for sale.


15 West – 150 West 15th Street

OK, so technically “Central” Lonsdale, but WOW – so good we couldn’t resist.  A Citimark / Grosvenor project.  Gorgeous views from many suites in this all concrete building.  18 stories, lots of glass, party room, gym, meeting room, tons of visitor parking (thank goodness – have you tried to park middle of Lonsdale these days ?), a beautiful lobby with soaring ceilings (so nice to come home to), some MASSIVE patios and HUGE storage lockers and private garages for the PH suites.  Delicious.  2 pets permitted in this very urban – super high quality building.  Take your pet one block North to Fur-Doos grooming!

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The BC government introduced its 2016 budget February 16th, and there is some really good news here. The budget included a number of items intended to affect affordability and availability in the Lower Mainland’s housing market.  Here’s a summary:

Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

• a New Housing exemption will apply to newly built homes or newly subdivided units priced up to $750,000, saving buyers up to $13,000; and

• a partial exemption will apply on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.

• a new 3% PTT rate will apply to the portion of a home sale that exceeds $2 million. For homes that sell for below $2 million, the PTT will continue to apply at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance. 

These changes will take effect on February 17, 2016. 

Data collection

Starting this summer, individuals and corporations buying property must disclose if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and if neither, their home country. These changes will provide information on the volume of foreign investment in BC. 

Home Owner Grant

The Home Owner Grant threshold will increase to $1.2 million from $1.1 million for the 2016 tax year.

Affordable housing

The province will invest $355 million to help the BC Housing Management Commission support more than 2,000 affordable housing units for residents with low-to-moderate incomes.  

Additional Government resources:

Read the Housing Affordability Backgrounder. Read the Budget Speech. (Opens 24-page pdf)

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The public is invited to attend a drop-in open house on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, to learn more about the $36-million Mountain Highway Interchange project designed to improve traffic flow and safety on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) north of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. 

The new Mountain Highway Interchange project is the first phase of the $150-million Lower Lynn Improvements project, which is slated for completion in spring 2021.

This open house session is an opportunity for people to learn about the upcoming Mountain Highway project and provide feedback. Staff from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and other members of the project team will be at the open house to go over the information, answer questions and provide details on this important three-phased project.  

If you’re unable to attend, the information presented will be posted online after the start of the open house and an online feedback form may be filled out at:

You may also send comments or questions to the project team by phoning 604 527-3105 or sending an e-mail to senior project manager Jay Porter at:

Public Information Session:

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
Time: 4 to 8 p.m.

Media invited at 3:30 p.m.
Public invited from 4 to 8 p.m.

Holiday Inn & Suites
700 Old Lillooet Rd.
North Vancouver

Learn More:

Highway 1 – Lower Lynn Improvements Project website:

Follow the work of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure online:

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So it was a slow news week last week.  Combine that with the media’s ravenous appetite for real estate gossip, and the increase on your 2016 Property Assessment is once again an exciting topic.

Yes, there have been continued increases in prices in the Lower Mainland, and particularly the North Shore month over month for many years running, but this is all readily available public information, so not really a surprise that 2016 Assessments are considerably higher than they were in 2015.

The thing is, Property Assessments do NOT necessarily equal market value (that’s actually good news, because if 2016 Taxes were actually based on end of year 2015 values, they’d be considerably higher – see below).

And, just because your Assessment went up, doesn’t mean your taxes will increase by the same amount (or even at all).  And, if your taxes increase, besides a change in assessed value, there could be changes in the City’s Tax rate, or in other tax authorities’ tax rate, so it’s not all about the real estate.

The municipal portion of the property tax bill (property tax + utilities) represents roughly 65% of your entire tax bill in the City if North Vancouver.  Additional property tax charges are levied by Metro Vancouver regional district, TransLink, the Province of BC (school taxes), the BC Assessment Authority and others. Year-over-year changes in these charges may vary significantly from the change in the municipal property tax.

As a brilliant example, The City of Richmond (different municipality, but the concept is the same) was fed up with the confusion, and has a terrific YouTube video on how Property Taxes are calculated, and you can view it here:


Here are the price increases of a Benchmark North Vancouver home in the Assessment Period (you may find similar increases over last year on your Assessment Notice):

                   July 2014 - July 2015                         Dec 2014 – Dec 2015

                   (assessment period)                                      (Year over year data)

Detached       16.5% ↑                                            + 26.6% ↑

Attached            3% ↑                                            + 16.6% ↑

Apartments       2% ↑                                            +  9.9%  ↑



Off the cuff, we can’t recall a year when an individual tax bill has decreased, regardless of what happens to property values.  However, at some point economies of scale must come into play.  Increased tax base, more people, higher property values … We look forward to the year when the Municipalities do a better job with what they’ve got and are able to deliver some good news in the mail the first week in January.



Here is a service that you may find helpful – available each New Year until March, where you can view details on a single property, compare neighbouring properties, and compare sales information.

HERE is a link to the BC Assessment News Release for 2016.



We are happy to help you with more stats – we have LOADS of them, for every neighborhood.  You can take a peek here.



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Everyone is talking about  the now imminent development in the Lynn Valley Town Centre. The great news is that Floor-plans & Pricing are now available!

We have included links to the floor plans here:


Please click here for Furnished Floor-plans

For your convenience, we have included  a link to the starting prices below:


Please click here for Starting Prices

The Vancouver Sun recently ran an article on The Residences this past weekend.  You can click here for the story!

Want your own VIP Tour ?   Construction of The Residences Sales centre, located across from CIBC at Lynn Valley Centre, is well underway and we would love to take you through your very own tour of these homes, so CALL US TODAY and we'll set up an appointment!

CALL US AT (604) 984-7253



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Let’s face it – Real Estate is an incredibly hot topic, and has been for the last 10 years at least – as it has morphed from owning “somewhere to live” into an enormous industry unto itself – prompting a plethora of TV shows, trade shows, workshops, seminars, shops & services, plus daily chatter at your local coffee shop, and on every possible social media site.

Supply, Demand, Interest Rates and Income.   Over history, these have not changed as the main influences in a real estate marketplace.

How do you know which report to rely on for information? – for example, on November 9th Global News reports on a “Risk of Severe Housing Slump Rising”… but if you get to the end of the article, you will read that All told, there will be “modest unwinding” in housing activity in Ontario and B.C.”.

Today, CTV News has an article on their site quoting “no bubble burst”, with Central 1 credit union predicting that low mortgage rates through 2017 will keep sales sizzling, and prices rising.  Sigh.

There is no doubt prices are the highest they have ever been in our fair city, and especially the North Shore & the West Side of Vancouver.  Folks that already live here are, by all accounts, still loving it here and want to stay – making supply so slim, it’s crazy. And certainly, household income has not kept pace with the increase in median price in the Lower Mainland, and BC specifically stands out as the province that is the most costly to live in – taking the ratio of income to house prices.

Interest Rates today are still incredibly great – 2.54% for a five year term – fuelling the fire of an already what some would call, “overheated” market.  But how do you define ‘overheated’ ??  People have always thought that Vancouver has been expensive.  The North shore has particularly been an expensive place to live – and the reason is the same – MANY people still love it here, and want more than anything, to live here.  Demand.

When we first began buying real estate, an average house in North Vancouver was just over $100,000 – and when that number became $200,000, everyone was up in arms.  Breaking major price points over the last 25 years has always invoked the same response from consumers - except – gulp today, we’re talking “millions of dollars”!   The price increase we have seen in the past year is approximately 20 – 25%.  We have also seen similar increases in the period mid 2005 to mid 2006, when median prices jumped approximately 30%, and then again in early 2009 to early 2010, when they jumped again approximately 20%.  YIKES!

There is no doubt it is tough out there, no kidding!  Buyers are finding it a real challenge – and we as facilitators for buyers & sellers are also finding it a real challenge to locate a good home for our valued clients, and to provide comforting counsel to folks who are considering selling, but worried about where they will go should they sell.

So here are our thoughts & maybe a little advice on how to manage investing in and staying in one of the most desirable places to live ! 


(1)    Start somewhere & just get into the market – the important thing is to stop paying rent.  Consider purchasing an older apartment with a friend, or get a room mate.  There are 235  apartments for sale in North Vancouver today (that’s 50.6% of our market) , and 109 of those are under $400,000.  A $200,000 mortgage costs about $1000 per month today.  Typical strata fees are about $300 per month – & add $100 - $175 a month for property taxes.   It’s possible that’s less than you will pay for rent here.  You’ve got to start somewhere.

(2)  Not ready to buy just yet?  Chat with a financial planner & a local mortgage broker and start your plan.  With guided advice and your goal setting program, you’ll be further ahead when the time comes.

(3)  Sit down with and ask questions of a seasoned, honest Real Estate Advisor – who should be part of your financial team, for now & into the future.  Learn about today’s real market conditions from someone who is working 24/7 in the market – DON’T rely on traditional or social media to form your opinions & make your decisions – trust the experts!

(4)  Set goals to save money & tuck it away for your real estate portfolio … over history, it has been one of the best investments you will ever make.

(5)  Living in Vancouver is the reality of living within the Pacific Rim, but check out average composite (all property types) home prices in:

San Francisco      $1,109,900      up 14.7% over year     up 4.8% 2016 expected

Singapore              $1,155,020.       up  18% last 3 months

Hong Kong            $2,047,850       for on average, 753 square feet

(Vancouver $636,000)

And, it’s not always about real estate.  Here’s some advice from Warren Buffett  - he has said the best investment he ever made was not a stock or a bond or even in real estate, but buying a copy of  The Intelligent Investor, a book written by Benjamin Graham. Buffett read the book when it came out in 1949 and later enrolled at Columbia Business School in order to take classes with Graham. Buffett says the book still guides his investment decisions today, and he has recommended it to Bill Gates, among others. Here's what Buffett had to say about the book in his most recent letter to Berkshire shareholders:   I can’t remember what I paid for that first copy of The Intelligent Investor. Whatever the cost, it would underscore the truth of Ben’s adage: Price is what you pay; value is what you get. Of all the investments I ever made, buying Ben’s book was the best (except for my purchase of two marriage licenses).






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In today's highly competitive market, developers have had to (finally!) build quality homes at (relatively) attractive prices.  

We are not easily impressed - we've been doing this a really long time, and sometimes we feel we've 'seen it all'.   However, many of the newer projects in North Vancouver, and especially Lower Lonsdale are making waves for their good prices, good floor plans, good amenities, and overall good value.

It’s apparent that the buying public is impressed – there are just five homes left at the Anchor, a boutique community of 56 homes, in @LowerLonsdale.  7 stories, built to LEED Silver standards by Kamcon Construction – a local, family-owned company, and designed with lots of natural light, impressive decks, and favourite retailers conveniently located at ground level.

Owners will experience water views, city lights & sea air – and enjoy peace of mind with concrete construction and a ‘leave your car at home” walkable neighbourhood of shops and cafes.  Waterfront Park, The Pier and Spirit Pacific Trail right in your backyard – plus, it’s just a 12 minute Seabus commute to downtown Vancouver.

Environmentally progressive features include a green roof and efficient hot water and heating supplied Lonsdale Energy Corporation. Design includes Caesar stone counters, stainless appliances, gas range & French Door fridges,  Italian tile & 100% wool carpet. Some suites even offer oversioze terraces and 11' ceilings. 


Building amenities include a Gym with commercial grade equipment, a Party Room with full kitchen & bath, but Tony Govic, Sales Rep at the Anchor says his "favorite building amenity is the 3,000 square foot Roof Top Deck, complete with BBQ, washroom & 360 degree views!"


Remaining homes available are well priced at about $650 per square foot, plus 5% GST.  There are 2 x 1 bedrooms priced from $399,000 to $465,000, and 3 x 2 bedrooms, priced from $555,000 to $649,000 [parking & storage included].

Lower Lonsdale just becomes more vibrant by the minute!  Move in early 2016 . 131 East 3rd Street, North Vancouver

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There’s a fair amount of mis-information out there about what is considered ‘safe’ wiring in the home.  Aluminum wiring, knob & tube, 60 amp service panels, upgrades without proper permits …

We have found a service that can tell you what needs to be done to make your home safe.  They have advised that after over 5,000 inspections, knob & tube is generally never a problem, and neither is aluminum wiring, if properly connected.  Most of the problems they encounter are from poor ‘handy man’ jobs, deteriorated wiring, improper connectors & unlawful upgrades.

POWERCHECK Electrical Safety Services is an impartial, third party inspection service.  They only do inspections, and do not preform repair work.   They will examine the electrical system in your home and provide you with an accurate Electrical Safety Assessment which will come in very handy when it comes time to insure your home.

Through a comprehensive analysis of the electrical system by an expert, the safety of the electrical system is determined. The home is then described as Low, Medium, High, or Extreme Risk. This provides an opportunity to easily understand the electrical safety of the home. If hazards are identified, they are clearly laid out in the report, so that an independent electrical contractor will know exactly what actions to take to make the house safe.  All PowerCheck agents are Master Electricians (or equivalent) and/or retired Electrical Inspectors; all with decades of experience in home electrical systems.

The assessment itself takes about 90 minutes in the home. It consists of an 80-point examination and is non-invasive, and comes with an easy to understand safety report, sent to the home owner within one business day.   This comes at a very reasonable cost: the standard rate for a single family home is $380, plus tax.

Want to have some peace of mind and make your home electrically safe?  Visit their website at

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Buying or selling a home in today’s real estate market can be an emotional experience, but it needn't be a trying one.  

In the video presented hereREBGV President Darcy McLeod takes a look at the housing statistics for September 2015.  In particular, you will see how changes in the supply of homes for sale can impact the market.

The two factors that impact our market most are inventory, and interest rates.  With  inventory at less than HALF of what we normally see at this time of year, and today's best 5 year rate at 2.54% fuelling the fire of already amazing demand, it makes sellers nervous (if we sell, where will we go ?), and buyers frustrated (we're in Competition, AGAIN ?)

The good news is, we have solutions for you -  with over 50 years' experience under our collective belts,  we have helped our clients reach their goals in all types of market conditions. 

Some basic strategies:  

Be ready - we'll walk you through the best way to be organized and ready

for your purchase or sale, so that nothing is a surprise.

Start "Window Shopping" Now - get a comfort level with current inventory & prices, before you post the "For Sale" sign in your yard.  You'll feel better having this information.

Leverage our Client Base - we don't just wait for MLS - we have over 700 families that we are in contact with that may have a home that matches your needs.

Consider Personal vs. Market Timing - there are lots of ways to 'massage' dates that are important to you, or the family you are buying from.

Have a "Plan B" - maybe there's an interim rental possibility if the next right home for you is just not out there yet.

When you've made the decision to sell your home or buy a new one, call us and we'll outline an effective plan that takes into consideration all of your needs and goals.


Take advantage of our experience and quality of service through each step of the transaction.  Whether you are moving across town or across the country, you can expect the best from us.

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Interesting News today regarding proposed changes to the Strata Property Act, courtesy of News Talk 980 CKNW.

As we see buildings continue to age, there have been occasions where there is a desire to sell to a Developer. There's one case in North Vancouver that we know of that has been ongoing for many years, because at this time, under the current Act, 100% of the owners must agree to the sale in order for it to move forward.  Ultimately, court action has been taken, as not everyone was in agreement.  This case is still ongoing.

The Province is proposing moving the percentage of owners in agreement from 100% to 80% agreement.   This is a lengthy process and will not have immediate effect.  We'll see where this goes!


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