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Live the Lumen lifestyle in Vancouver ›› p.8

Regent International’s Paloma 2 tower offers new homes in the vibrant community of Richmond. “(Paloma 2 creates) a green environment in the heart of the urban scene,” says architect Duane Siegrist. Find out more about why you might want a Paloma 2 home inside > P.5

March 18, 2010

Home sales strong in February Housing market activity steady, even during Olympic Games The world was focused on us throughout the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, but in Metro Vancouver, many were focused on other activities – like buying or selling a home. In Metro Vancouver, the housing market continued to experience strong demand from homebuyers and an increase in total property listings, reports the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Residential property sales rose by 67.1 per cent to 2,473 last month, compared to the 1,480 sales recorded in February 2009. It was also a 28.6 per Scott Russell cent increase compared to an extremely busy January, when 1,923 homes were sold. February’s Greater Vancouver sales still marked a 7.6 per cent decline compared to February 2008 and were 13.5 per cent behind February 2007. Yet the price of homes continues to rise, and the average residential price increased by 19.7 per cent over the past 12 months to $581,911 from $486,054 in February 2009. This price is 2.4 per cent above the previous high point in the market in May 2008, when the residential benchmark price sat at $568,411. “We don’t know at this point what longterm impact the Olympics will have on our housing market, but we do know that activity in our market remained steady through all of the excitement and distraction of the past few weeks,” says REBGV president Scott Russell. CONTINUED ON P.2

Avalon Gardens general manager Patricia Chase in the entry foyer of the brand-new retirement community. “We welcome seniors wishing to live independently, knowing that they have support at hand, should they need it at any time,” she says. Rob Newell photo

Golden years: are you ready? TRICIA LESLIE “Youth is a circumstance you can’t do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old.” – Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect Age can be relative to how many years a person has lived. A man in his 30s may be just a child to someone in his 70s – yet to a teenager, anyone anywhere near 30 is definitely, like, old.

But no matter how you view age, one certainty remains: Everyone gets older. Everyone ages. Everyone is moving inexorably toward those golden years that sound so good when David Bowie sings about them. The questions facing many people as they move into their retirement and the years beyond are often: to move or not to move? Stay in the family home or downsize? Renovate for aging-in-place? Renovate to sell? Throughout Metro Vancouver, retirement communities are becoming more and more

common, offering those who are entering their senior years an attractive selection of choices in where they might want to live. In Langley’s peaceful Murrayville neighbourhood, for example, a brand-new retirement community, Avalon Gardens, offers new homes to seniors in the region. The community offers flexible and optional support services with condominium ownership, and there’s a rental option as well, CONTINUED ON P.2

2 • New Local Home | March 18, 2010

Housing starts to strengthen in 2010: CMHC CONTINUED FROM P.1

“In February, for example, 110 sales were recorded on the MLS (listing service) in downtown Vancouver. That’s higher than 2009 and slightly lower than the mid-2000s, which is consistent with data from the overall market. It’s too soon to say whether that’s an Olympic effect.” New listings for residential properties in Vancouver increased by 1.6 per cent to 4,606 in February compared to the same period last year, but decreased by 10.5 per cent from January 2010. Total property listings rose by 11 per cent compared to last month, but declined 21 per cent from February last year. “Two months into 2010, we see the total number of homes listed for sale on the rise and demand in the market strong, but less frenzied than we saw in the latter part of 2009,” says Russell. Residential sales were on the rise throughout the province as well, and climbed by 63 per cent to 5,955 units in February compared to the same month last year, reports the B.C. Real Estate Association. That number is still a decline of 13 per cent compared to an exceptionally busy January. “Home sales continued to moderate in February after the record pace of the fourth quarter,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “However, February’s performance was better than expected, considering many households were preoccupied with Olympic gold.” The B.C. residential sales dollar volume increased 91 per cent to $2.96 billion in February compared to the same period last year. The average residential price climbed 17 per cent to $497,807 over the same period. “Low mortgage interest rates are continuing to underpin consumer demand and fuel first-time homebuyer activity,” Muir notes. “Improving economic conditions are expected to bolster consumer confidence over the coming months.” Indeed, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s First Quarter Outlook forecasts that housing starts – which started rebounding in late 2009 – will strengthen in 2010. CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan also notes that improving economic conditions and low mortgage rates will be beneficial for all Canadian housing markets. “As well, measures recently announced by the federal government to support the long-term stability of Canada’s housing market will help moderate housing activity, as some potential buyers will have to save a larger down payment or consider a less expensive home,” Dugan says.

GVHBA seminar: sign up Buying your first home? A panel of experts will answer all questions at the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association’s 16th annual free seminar for first-time homebuyers on March 23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel (15269 104 Ave., Surrey). Attendees are asked to bring a food item for the Surrey Food Bank. Doors open at 6 p.m. Pre-registration is required; register online at www.gvhba. org or call the GVHBA at 778-565-4288.

Living your golden years Avalon Gardens residents enjoy the billiards room and fitness centre. Rob Newell photos

Off the front: “It’s

better to start thinking about it sooner rather than later”– ParkLane’s Anna Warshawski CONTINUED FROM P.1

making it easy to move with plenty of choice and independence. “We welcome seniors wishing to live independently, knowing that they have support at hand, should they need it at any time,” says Avalon Gardens general manager Patricia Chase. “This provides an aging-in-place scenario at this stage of their lives, with the intention that the support offered will progress in the level of care, as the need arises.” The retirement community is surrounded by a diverse range of amenities; all are within walking distance of the building – from the IGA and Shoppers Drug Mart to financial institutions, from the community recreation centre to several doctor’s offices, dentists, a European deli and more – residents can leave their cars in the secure, underground lot and walk to where they need to go. Each home at Avalon Gardens has a full kitchen with dishwasher, a washer and dryer, individual thermostat control and a first response call system connected to 24-hour onsite staff. All forms of recreational activities are offered, and there are several amenities that residents can use, including a TV lounge, fitness centre and billiards room. Chase says the idea is to provide dignified, convenient and independent living for seniors with support staff helping every step of the way. Avalon Gardens is run based on the Eden Alternative Principles, which are established on the core belief that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline, Chase notes. “We are not a facility, but ‘living spaces’ where seniors exercise as much of their independence as they can manage,” Chase says. “Avalon Gardens supports their living by making sure they have a safe, secure environ-

ment in which to live and enjoy.” The average age of residents in the brandnew homes is about 82, Chase says, with people coming from all walks of life, whether blue-collar worker or working professionals. Many seniors who think about moving to Avalon Gardens are planning ahead for their full retirement, but wish to leave the lawn mowing and large-home maintenance behind, says Chase. Another privately owned Vancouver-based company also offers retirement living for seniors in several locations, from Vancouver to Maple Ridge to Chilliwack: Retirement Concepts. Retirement Concepts’ communities include Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in South Surrey and the Langley Seniors Village; both facilities offer independent and assisted living, while Rosemary Heights also has a 90-suite complex care building. Both facilities are nearly new (Rosemary Heights is just over one year old; Langley Seniors Village is just two years old) and offer a range of suites and levels of support and care, from independent to assisted to complex care. There is also a dementia care floor at the Rosemary Heights facility. Such facilities have changed a lot over the years, notes marketing co-ordinator Tracey Daniel, and have evolved to take the residents’ needs and wants into consideration, like creat-

Love the Lifestyle

ing home-like environments that are friendly and welcoming, “There are private suites, not all shared, larger bathrooms with walk-in showers, and lots of windows and brightness. This provides our residents every opportunity to keep their independence as long as possible,” Daniel says. “Our buildings are designed so residents can enjoy total independence in their own suites, yet have the opportunity to receive help with daily living.” The age range is low- to mid-80s and low 90s for assisted living, and high 80s to high 90s for complex care, Daniel says, and notes that many reasons spur the decision to make the move into a Retirement Concepts facility: when families notice dangers at home (like forgetting to turn off appliances); falling and not able to get up; loneliness; not eating properly or mixing and forgetting medications. Facilities feature up-to-date amenities and popular activities, as well as landscaped outdoor areas that are regularly improved, Daniel says. Even if those golden years are a decade or two away, there are some new home options for people looking to live a more mature lifestyle and perhaps, downsize from the overly large family home. Take ParkLane’s Waterfront at Bedford Landing in Fort Langley: a stunning riverfront sanctuary designed exclusively for active adults aged 45 and over. Extremely popular so far, the new Waterfront residences are nearly sold out – only two townhomes and two apartment residences remain. “It’s better to start thinking about it sooner rather than later,” says ParkLane marketing co-ordinator Anna Warshawski. Waterfront homes come with well-thoughtout extras like having storage lockers on the same floor the residents live on, and extra backing has been put into the showers so that – should homeowners choose to – they can install a railing or bench for aging-in-place needs, Warshawski notes. Plus, only owners can live in Waterfront residences, so there’s no renters, she adds. “Fort Langley is such a wonderful niche community,” she says. “A lot of people have a desire to live there, so they’re close to friends and family and then, they can age in place there, too.”

Publisher: Fiona Harris • 604-575-5822 • Editor: Tricia Leslie • 604-575-5346 • Reporter: Maggie Calloway • Advertising Sales: Black Press National Sales • Adrian Saunders • 604-575-5812 • Online Advertising: 604-575-5822 Designer: Brad Smith • New Local Home is published once a week by Black Press Group Ltd. (Suite 309 - 5460 152 Street, Surrey, B.C. V3S 5J9) 350,000 copies are distributed free across Metro Vancouver. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.

New Local Home | March 18, 2010 • 3





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4 • New Local Home | March 18, 2010


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New Local Home | March 18, 2010 • 5

Everything’s within reach at Paloma 2 Regent International has emerged as a leading developer of innovative residential and commercial projects in Metro Vancouver. The company’s Paloma 2 project in Richmond certainly optimizes this approach to combining leading-edge design with top-quality development. Integra Architecture Inc. architect Duane Siegrist, architect of the Paloma 2 project, notes the development is “destined to be a landmark building,” with the two towers establishing “bookends” for No. 3 Road and Saba Road. This design solidifies the corner and correlates the two towers, Siegrist says, while allowing light into the upper landscaped deck. “(Paloma 2 creates) a green environment in the heart of the urban scene,” he notes. “The striking main façade is designed with a semblance of Asian influence, with its subtle reference to an oriental fan.” Built across from Richmond Centre, shopping is right on the homeowner’s doorstep, with The Bay, Zellers and a fantastic mix of international shops within walking distance, while the Canada Line is just seconds from the front door. CONTINUED ON P.6

Paloma 2 is located right in the heart of Richmond, across from Richmond Centre. It offers brand-new homes in a dynamic community.

6 • New Local Home | March 18, 2010

Pick a Paloma lifestyle

Stylish, sleek interiors feature floor-to-ceiling windows CONTINUED FROM P.5

A vibrant community of movie theatres, farmer’s markets, parks, businesses, entertainment and recreation amenities are all nearby, ready for enjoyment. Comfort is paramount at Paloma 2, which has been built with a centralized, energy-efficient air conditioning and heating system. Each home is individually metered for electricity and, to continue the commitment to the environment, the frontloading washer and dryer by Frigidaire also contribute to energy savings. The interiors of each suite have distinctive design palettes: Urban and Sophisticates. With floor-to-ceiling windows in most suites, natural light floods the home and it’s easy to imagine living in style and comfort. Whether a homeowner is a gourmet chef or a budding foodie, the kitchens are designed for entertaining. They feature double-edge quartz countertops and oversized, stainless steel, under-mounted sinks and in-sink waste disposals, plus polished chrome lever faucets with pull-out vegetable sprayers. Cabinets are flat-panel with halogen under-cabinet lighting and a subwaystyle porcelain tile backsplash complements the sink. Most homes also feature a kitchen pantry and wine rack. The kitchens come with a premium stainless steel appliance package that includes a Frigidaire gas cooktop with slide-in range, a Maytag bottom-mount refrigerator, a Frigidaire 6 level precision dishwasher and a Panasonic over-the-range microwave/ hood fan. The bathrooms are lavish and intended to pamper, with double-thick marble vanity countertops, designer-style drop-in sinks, custom-framed mirrors and European-style plumbing fixtures. The spa-inspired soaker tub and glassenclosed shower round out the luxurious bathrooms. Residents’ personal security has been addressed with hotel-style concierge service, video-monitored security for both the building and parkade, video enterphone for pre-screening visitors, keyless entry and keyfob proximity readers for convenient access to parking, lobby and elevator. At Paloma 2, you can exercise your passion for physical fitness as well. Club Paloma 2 is a fully equipped fitness centre with cardio and strength training equipment, relaxing steam rooms, a social lounge with wet bar and contemporary fireplace for private gatherings. The club also has a screening facility, which includes a large-screen TV and DVD player and, for those who enjoy the outdoors, the professionally landscaped sky garden – with an extensive strolling path looping a half-acre rooftop garden, plus a children’s play area – is just an elevator ride away. Like all new homes in B.C., each unit must be backed with a warranty, and Willis Canada provides the 2-10-10 warranty in this case. Homes are priced from $445,900. Visit for details.

Plenty of windows allow lots of natural light into Regent International’s Paloma 2 homes. The Richmond residences are located in the heart of the vibrant city, across from Richmond Centre shopping mall. Amenities, shops, parks and businesses are all within steps of the homeowner’s front door, as well as SkyTrain and other major transportation routes. Paloma 2 homes start from $445,900.












New Local Home | March 18, 2010 • 7




Two, three, and four bedroom East-Coast cedar shingle rowhomes overlooking Carnoustie Golf Course in Port Coquitlam.

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8 • New Local Home | March 18, 2010

Your life. Illuminated.

Find a new Kitsilano home at Lumen You start your mornings with a steaming cup of coffee from Kits Coffee Co. – unless you're meeting friends for brunch at the popular Sophie's Cosmic Café. Shopping along West 4th is always fun, or at the Granville Island Public Market. Some days, you prefer to go gallery-hopping in the South Granville neighburhood before enjoying a stroll along the Stanley Park Seawall, a Bard on the Beach play at Vanier Park, or a run at Kits Beach. When night arrives, you have your choice of popular Granville Island patios, pubs and lounges, or – just a stone's throw away – the vibrant pulse of Yaletown's night life. Many may think that living in a new home in Vancouver – in a Kitsilano location that is directly adjacent to Granville Island, Yaletown and UBC – is impossible. Not at Bucci's Lumen, a boutique five-storey concrete lowrise that offers brand-new residences to homebuyers in a wide range of floorplans, from studios to two-bedroom homes (466 to 926 square feet). "It's a great location," says development manager Mike Bucci. "You've got more residential amenities than downtown, without the sirens and the crime." A building devoted to lifestyle and livability, Lumen has been constructed to Built Green B.C.'s certified silver standard and features geothermal heating and cooling. Residents have use of a 3,000-sq.-ft.-plus communal rooftop garden and barbecue area, with plots where they can grow their own vegetables. Designed to complement a modern-urban CONTINUED ON P.10

It is rare to find new, affordable homes in Vancouver – yet at Bucci’s Lumen, that’s exactly what you’ll find. Priced from $339,000 for a studio, the new lowrise condo homes offer a fantastic location – in Kitsilano, close to Granville Island, Yaletown and downtown Vancouver. Lumen residents can take advantage of all Vancouver has to offer, or stay at home to enjoy the communal rooftop garden and barbecue area.

New Local Home | March 18, 2010 • 9

10 • New Local Home | March 18, 2010

‘It’s a great location’

Lumen homes are selling fast CONTINUED FROM P.8

lifestyle, a Life Fitness gym on the ground floor allows homeowners to exercise regularly. Suites have floor-to-ceiling glass windows, for example, as well as Italian-inspired kitchens for entertaining, spa bathrooms with soaker tubs and heated floors, and private balconies that are up to 311 sq. ft. With sleek, modern materials creating a minimalist elegance, Lumen's interiors are as livable as they are stylish. Striking white quartz countertops are a contrast to the rich, wood veneer cabinetry; hardwood and large-set tile floors complete the look. Parking is always at a premium in Vancouver, and Lumen offers both underground and street parking. Bucci Developments has a "build where I would live" policy when undertaking any project, Bucci notes. "This is doubly true with Lumen, since I have just moved my family into a unit and my brother lives down the hall," he says. Lumen homes are move-in ready; the final 35 homes were released at the end of January. A second-floor studio with a balcony looking south is $339,000; the most expensive unit in the building is a north-facing two-bedroom (with balcony) for $615,999. Visit

Interiors at Lumen are designed to maximize living space, with open plans and large windows.

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New Local Home | March 18, 2010 • 11

There’s no time like the present to move. Ready for Occupancy Spring 2010.

Now’s the time to make your move. Spacious suites priced to sell from $398,800. The suites at Motif are larger than average – up to 2,200 square feet – with stunning views. The best part, they’ll be ready for occupancy soon. By Spring you could be living in the heart of Burnaby’s vibrant Brentwood community, an elevator ride away from shops, restaurants and services. Just 15 minutes from downtown by Skytrain.

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12 • New Local Home | March 18, 2010

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