REW Home Buyer's Resource Guide 2016

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GUIDE Essential advice and checklists for every step of home buying

In partnership with Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association


GET A JUMP START ON YOUR BUYING SUCCESS FOR 2016 If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.


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Home buying with confidence Your Home Buyer’s Resource Guide will take you through the whole property purchase process from start to finish

Joannah Connolly Editor-in-Chief Home Buyer’s Resource Guide Joannah Connolly is the editor-in-chief of Home Buyer’s Resource Guide, West Coast Condominium and Western Investor newspaper, and is the editor and content manager of Real Estate Weekly and She appears regularly on radio, TV and conference panels discussing the Vancouver real estate market.

A warm welcome to the inaugural edition of the annual Home Buyer’s Resource Guide, brought to you by the expert team at Real Estate Weekly, and West Coast Condominium. This essential publication covers all aspects of the home buying process, relevant to all Canadians but particularly targeted to Lower Mainland buyers. Our unparalleled team of industry experts offer insightful advice from the very start of the process, such as finding a good real estate agent and choosing a neighbourhood, right through to closing the purchase and moving into your new home. Along the way, you’ll find invaluable articles suggesting ways to save money, helping you prepare for unexpected costs, demystifying mortgages and down payments, explaining the home inspection process, taking you through the steps of closing – and much more besides. Worried that you’ll forget something important? We’ve got you covered. Dotted throughout the publication, you’ll find incredibly helpful checklists for you to use in your own home-buying process. These range from lists to help you choose the right home, to affordability calculations, to thorough pre-contract and subject removal checklists, right through to packing and moving countdown. And when it comes to finding professionals to help you, there’s a directory full of them at the back of the guide. We think you’ll love this guide and find it amazingly useful. Feel free to email your comments and feedback to Happy house hunting!

Don’t go it alone – work with professionals

Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), a not-for-profit society representing the residential construction industry in the Greater Vancouver Area. Celebrating 40 years in 2014, GVHBA has more than 870 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations. Follow Bob @rdewit or email bob@ for renovation tips and industry trends..


Demand for real estate in Metro Vancouver is at a record high, placing added pressure on homebuyers. Whether a first-time buyer, down-sizing or right-sizing, or investing in a second property, it’s essential to turn to the professionals to reach your home buying goals. Focused on helping consumers buy, build and renovate homes, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) members include custom home builders, renovators, manufacturers and suppliers of building products, new home warranty programs and government agencies, and industry professionals such as lawyers, real estate agents, insurance companies and financial institutions. Strong advocates of education, the association offers an annual Home Buyer Seminar and several Home Reno Shows to help consumers make informed and confident home buying decisions. Free to attend, GVHBA consumer events feature industry experts sharing advice on all stages of the home buying process including mortgage options, energy choices, insurance and New Home Warranty, market statistics, and understanding legal documents. Most likely one of the largest financial and emotional investments you will make in your lifetime, protect yourself. Attend industry seminars, visit the website, work with industry professionals, and remember to always get it in writing. The Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association (GVHBA), a not-for-profit society celebrating 40 years in 2014, represents the residential construction industry in the Greater Vancouver area with 890+ members, and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations.


Contents BUYING 6 8 10 12 16 20 22 24 30

Why you need to use a qualified REALTOR® How to… Understand strata documentation Checklist #1: House hunting wants vs. needs Fourteen ways home buyers can save money How to… Assess a neighbourhood for relocation What it takes to win a bidding war How to… Buy a presale condominium Where in Metro Vancouver should you buy? Why it’s important to understand square footage




32 36 38

Twelve unexpected buying costs to prepare for Checklist #2: Home affordability calculator Ask the expert: Difference between deposit and down payment?


CLOSING 40 42 44 46

Checklist #3: Pre-contract considerations When should I hire a home inspector? Checklist #4: Subject removal Eight steps to closing your purchase

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MOVING 48 50

Checklist #5: Countdown to moving day Checklist #6: Packing room by room

PLUS… 52

COPYRIGHT: Home Buyer’s Resource Guide is published by Real Estate Weekly Partnership. Copyright 2016. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of articles and advertising that appear in each edition of Home Buyer’s Resource Guide , the publisher may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may from time to time occur. No part of this publication may be quoted or reprinted in any medium without the express written permission of Real Estate Weekly Partnership.

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Why it’s essential to use a qualified REALTOR®

It may seem like buying a home is something you can go alone – just show up at an open house and put in an offer, right? Here are just a few of the many reasons why that’s not a good idea

by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver In real estate, like many other fields, professional representation is available for every step of the process. How much or little representation you need or want will depend on your knowledge and background in real estate, as well as the amount of time you have to dedicate to the process. The purchase or sale of real estate has significant financial implications for those involved, although the way in which the transaction unfolds can have more significant consequences for those involved than the price tag. “It’s critical to understand your comfort level going in. Buying or selling a home is the largest financial transaction that most people will ever be a part of and you want to ensure that all aspects of the transaction are handled in an efficient manner that helps protect you,” said Jake Moldowan, Real Estate Board of

Greater Vancouver president 2010/2011. ®

“REALTORS provide clients with professional representation in a real estate transaction. As your agent, they are duty-bound to work and advocate in your best interest.” REALTORS® provide a broad range of services, depending on their individual business models and the agreement between you and your REALTOR® as to which services you want, such as helping you establish a reasonable purchase offer and seeking advice on conditions and appropriate subjects. What’s equally valuable is the level of protection you gain from hiring a REALTOR®. Buying a home is the most significant purchase most people make in a lifetime. A REALTOR® brings assurances and safeguards to the process. Each stage of the transaction occurs in front of a well-regulated backdrop created over many years to protect the public. This includes REALTOR® insurance, an

assurance fund, and multiple avenues of recourse if someone feels their agent did not act in accordance with their professional and contractual obligations. Those avenues include the Real Estate Council of BC and the appropriate real estate board. Here’s a more comprehensive list of the protections that come from working with a REALTOR®:

Standards, legislation and r e q uir e me n t s The real estate profession is one of the most highly regulated in the country. The Real Estate Council of BC is a regulatory agency established by the provincial government to protect consumers through the licensing of all individuals who practice real estate in the province. The conduct requirements for all real estate licensees and brokerages include: 1. Undivided loyalty. The brokerage must protect the client’s negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts, which may affect or influence their decision. 2. Obey all lawful instructions of the seller. 3. Keep the confidences of clients. 4. Exercise reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties. 5. Account for all money and property placed in a brokerage’s hands while acting for the client. The above speaks to the minimum required under the Real Estate Services Act. But registered REALTORS® are subject to a higher standard. As members of their local real estate board, REALTORS® are also



required to adhere to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s REALTOR® Code and Standards of Business Practice. Both the Real Estate Council of BC and the 12 provincial real estate boards use an investigatory and disciplinary process to deal with complaints. REALTORS® who are found to have breached either the legislation or the REALTOR® Code are subject to sanctions by their board and/or the Real Estate Council.

S p e c ial c o m p e n s a t i o n c ove r ag e The Real Estate Special Compensation Fund was introduced in 2005 under the Real Estate Services Act. It provides protection for property buyers and sellers who have lost deposit monies entrusted to a real estate licensee or an unlicensed individual related to the brokerage, for example, a receptionist, director or officer) that is misappropriated, wrongfully converted, intentionally not paid or accounted for or obtained by fraud. As a

condition of licensing, it is mandatory for all licensees to participate in the fund.

Re c o ur se f o r t h e p u b li c

Transaction deposits held by real estate brokerages are protected by the Special Compensation Corporation and are held by the REALTORS® brokerage as the stakeholder until the transaction completes or the parties give instructions as to the disposition of the deposit. Deposit monies can only be removed from a brokerage trust account under specific circumstances. Check with your REALTOR® for more information.

Both the Real Estate Council of BC and the 12 BC real estate boards have an investigatory and disciplinary process to deal with complaints. REALTORS® who are found to have breached either the legislation or REALTOR® Code are subject to sanctions by their board and/or the Council.

Errors and omission insuranc e REALTORS® in BC are required to have Errors and Omission Insurance, which protects property buyers and sellers and indemnifies licensees against liability arising out of negligently failing to perform duties in relations to the provision of real estate services.

The Professional Standards Department at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) educates members about professional conduct, and resolves and mediates complaints and concerns of both members and consumers. Where a resolution isn’t possible, files can be forwarded to the Board’s Professional Conduct Committee for further review. The Real Estate Council enforces entry qualifications, investigates complaints and imposes discipline under the Real Estate Services Act. The Real Estate Council of BC website is

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How to…


How to... Understand strata minutes when buying a condo

If you’re buying a condo, it’s essential that you understand the strata minutes of your new building, explains Bob de Wit of the GVHBA #3. Request a copy of all current bylaws and rules

by Bob de Wit, GVHBA Are you considering the purchase of a strata condo? One of the key steps to ensure you are making a sound purchase will be in reviewing the strata minutes. Not the most exciting of reading choices – however, the minutes will provide you with an in-depth look, not only to the building and operations, but also a peek into the condo culture. How to approach minutes, in four easy steps:

#1. Read the minutes from oldest to most recent A minimum of two years is a standard request. As you read, keep a running tally of any questions you have, removing from the list questions answered as you read forward through subsequent months. From this summary, prepare a list of any unanswered questions for the property manager or seller.

#2. Be sure to read correspondence closely

Always request copies of reports referenced in minutes,and if work is done based on these reports, ask for a scope of work to make sure all suggested work was completed. Reports may include:

(Effective December 13, 2013, all strata corporations of five units or more in British Columbia, must complete a depreciation report as required by the Strata Property Act, unless they have passed a threequarters vote each year if they wish to be exempt from the requirements.) • A copy of the strata plan that shows what property you will be responsible for and what is common property (e.g. decks and balconies), the provision of parking and storage space or any changes that have been made to the development. Note: your home inspector may not have access to inspect common property areas, emphasizing the importance of reviewing a depreciation report.

• Current budget and a statement of the contingency reserve fund. This will help determine if there is a sufficient budget to meet the current operations of the building, and enough contingency to cover an emergency repair or replacement. Note: The contingency and required upkeep of the building and property will directly affect monthly strata fees. • Insurance policy and the history of insurance claims on the strata common areas can signal potential problems. • A depreciation report, if available, will include a Form B, providing information on current and future costs to the strata.

In today’s sellers’ market, there is pressure to put in quick offers with limited subjects. Real estate agents can request minutes in advance before the offer is placed, thus removing the subject to review. This can place added pressure on the buyer to “scan” vs thoroughly read the minutes. Be sure to step back and take the time to read. As a prospective purchaser, you want to obtain as much information as possible regarding the strata corporation, the condition of common property and your new neighbours. It is a story you’ll be glad you gave more than a minute to read.

Look for tenant requests and said outcomes. If a previous request has been voted down, ie access to electrical outlets for electric car charges (often not readily available in older buildings), or acceptance of a pet slightly larger than a 40 lb maximum (not easy sneaking in your Newfie), you can be sure this will not be an easy change.

#4. Request copies of reports

Pay attention to any records of complaints regarding a specific owner. Be sure to enquire about corresponding unit number and determine proximity to the unit you are looking to purchase. Noise/ harassment disputes are very hard to resolve and wherever possible should be avoided.



Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), the voice of the residential construction industry in Metro Vancouver. GVHBA has more than 850 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations. You can reach Bob at

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Home Hunting Wants and Needs Hunting for a home? Use this checklist as a master list to establish what you really need in your new home, and what would be nice to have. Circle and check the must-haves, check nice-to-haves, and cross off things you don’t want or need. Then compare your wants and needs with the features of each property you view. You can even go online and print out additional copies of this checklist to fill in every time you view a property, making your decision that much easier! Go to and search for “Checklist Home Hunting”

B as i c requir em ents Budget range $ ________________ to $ ________________ Minimum bedrooms Q 1 Q 2 Q 3 Minimum bathrooms Q 1 Q 2 Q 3 Minimum size ______________ sq. ft.

In t eri o r f ea t u res

Q 4 Q 5+ Q 4 Q 5+

St ru c t ur a l fea tur es

Q Garage (Min. doors: _____________ ) Q Single-storey/level Q Multiple storeys Q Basement

Q Open-concept living space Q Hardwood floors Q Granite counters/stainless-steel appliances Q Laundry room/in-suite laundry Q Finished basement Q Accessible features Q Energy efficiency Q Central A/C Q Fireplace E x t eri o r f ea t u res

M i s c e l la neous fea t ure s

Q Quiet street Q Cul-de-sac Q Good schools Q Walking neighbourhood Q Safe neighbourhood Q Nearby parks/green space Q Nearby bars/restaurants Q Convenient local shopping/stores Q Good transit links/highway access Q Waterfront Q Views



Q Deck/patio/balcony Q Porch/sunroom/solarium Q Gardens/landscaping Q Pool and/or hot tub Q Fenced-in yard Q Shed/workspace O t h er n i ce- t o - h a ves/ mu st - h a ves

Q ________________________________________________________________________ Q ________________________________________________________________________ Q ________________________________________________________________________ Q ________________________________________________________________________

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Fourteen ways for buyers to save money on their home Are you aware of all the schemes that could save you money as a buyer or new homeowner? The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver lists them here… 1. Home Buyers’ Plan: Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (couples can withdraw up to $50,000) from their RRSPs for a down payment. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time. Canada Revenue Agency, or call 1-800-959-8287 for details. 2. GST rebate on new homes: New home buyers can apply for a rebate for the 5% GST if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal to 36% of the GST to a maximum rebate of $6,300. There is a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing $350,000 - $450,000. There is no rebate for homes priced at $450,000 and above. Canada Revenue Agency, www. or call 1-800-959-8287 for details. 3. BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program: Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price of a home priced up to $475,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 and above the rebate is nil. Learn more, or call 250-387-0604. 4. First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC): A federal nonrefundable income tax credit for qualifying buyers of detached and attached homes, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or

shares in a cooperative housing corporation. The calculation: multiply the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2014) x $5,000. For the 2015 tax year, the maximum credit is $750. Learn more, www.cra-arc. or call 1-800-959-8281. 5. BC Home Owner Grant: Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,200,000. The basic grant gives home owners: • a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts; • an additional grant of $200 to rural home owners elsewhere in the province; and • an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and veterans of certain wars.

Learn more at or contact your municipal tax office. 6. BC property tax deferment programs: • Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes. • Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program. Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes. • Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children. Qualifying home owners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes. Learn more at or call 1-888-355-2700. CONTINUED P 14









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7. Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI): A program jointly sponsored by the provincial and federal governments provides up to $20,000 to help eligible low income seniors and disabled home owners and landlords to finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer. Learn more,, call 604-433-2218 or toll-free 1-800-257-7756. 8. BC Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit: Assists eligible seniors 65+ with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to a principal residence to improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home. The maximum amount of the refundable credit is $1,000 per tax year and is calculated as 10% of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000 in expenses). Learn more, call Canada Revenue Agency toll-free 1-800-959-8281.

9. CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund: Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10 per cent premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient home or make energy saving renovations. Learn more, call 604-731-5733. 10. Energy saving mortgages: Financial institutions offer a variety of mortgages to home buyers and owners making their homes energy efficient. For example, home owners who have a home energy audit within 90 days of receiving an RBC Energy Saver™ Mortgage may qualify for a rebate of $300 to their RBC account. Learn more, call 1-800-769-2511. 11. Low interest renovation loans: Financial institutions offer ‘green’ loans for home owners making energy efficient upgrades. Vancity Home Energy Loan personal loan offers home owners up to $50,000 at prime + 1 per cent for up to 15 years for energy-efficient renovations. RBC’s Energy Saver loan offers 1 per cent off the interest rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000. For information visit your financial institution. 12. Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant (Pilot Program): Grants of up to $3,000 per household to assist with energy retrofits for Vancouver homes built before 1940 and homes listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register. This pilot runs to August 31, 2016. It is sponsored by Vancouver Heritage Foundation and the City of Vancouver Sustainability Group with assistance from City Green Solutions. Qualifying retrofits include insulation, air sealing, window repairs and storm windows, and high efficiency forms of heating and hot water. 13. Various energy conservation programs: • Fortis and BC Hydro customers receive rebates when installing high-efficiency natural gas fireplaces. • City of Vancouver and Vancity are offering a $125 rebate for a home

owner purchasing one of three smart thermostats. • BC Hydro and FortisBC offer rebates for energy-efficiency upgrades, up to $5,300 per household. • BC Hydro and FortisBC offer income-qualifying customers a free energy-saving kit. • BC Hydro Power Smart with some municipalities offering $100 rebates to home owners buying ENERGY STAR® clothes dryers and refrigerators. • FortisBC rebates for home owners installing certain energy-efficient items, up to $5,300 per household. Check the companies’ websites and enter “energy saving rebate” to find out about programs. 14. Various water savings incentives: • Many Metro Vancouver municipalities offer rain barrels for sale, often at a discount, Water Wise kits and other water-saving tools. • Some municipalities offer a rebate when residents install a low-flush toilet. • Richmond offers up to $200 rebate to replace your old clothes washer with a new, high efficiency ENERGY STAR clothes washer. • our municipality may provide a program for voluntary water metering, so that you pay only for the amount of water that you use. Visit your municipality’s website and enter “water saving” to find out about programs.

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“ We would like to recommend Barbie and Shay for helping guide us through a very detailed and complicated listing and sale of our home in Gibsons. At the outset, they laid out their plans for selling our home and through their dedication and determination, our house was sold well within the timeframe that we had hoped for. Their marketing strategies, including the flyer and open houses were key to our success. They were always there to hold our hand when needed and to be excellent negotiators when required. We were so confident in their abilities that when the time came, we purchased our next home with Barbie and Shay.

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“Shay and Barbie were our Realtors in 2015 for the purchase of our first home. This was a daunting, new adventure but their confidence and professionalism eased our minds right from day one. They blew us away with their attitudes, passion for finding us the perfect home and exceeded all expectations. Shay and Barbie are approachable, thoughtful, responsive and deliver on all promises they make. I would highly recommend the two of them to any friends, family or colleagues who need a Realtor.

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How to…

How to... Assess a new neighbourhood for relocation If you don’t know a neighbourhood and are considering a move, make sure you do your research, real estate agent Keven Braet tells Jo Boxwell by Jo Boxwell Those relocating from other communities often ask real estate agents for help when it comes to finding out about new neighbourhoods, but agent Keven Braet says even buyers who are planning a move across town may not know as much about other neighbourhoods in their area as they think. It is always a good idea to spend some time assessing a new neighbourhood before buying into it.

D i s c ove r i ng “ p r o b l e m” n e ig h b o u r h o o d s To some extent, what qualifies as a “problem” neighbourhood depends on a buyer’s individual preferences and comfort level, but Keven outlines a few neighbourhood characteristics buyers should be wary of. “A lack of home maintenance in the neighbourhood is the number one warning sign that the area could be a problem area. If you’re driving down the street, and you see very little pride of ownership, that’s a bad sign,” he says. If that same lack of care extends to businesses and public spaces in the

neighbourhood, Keven says there could be cause for concern. “Areas with a lot of graffiti and boarded up windows likely don’t have active community associations.” There may also not be as many shops and services available to local residents, compared with other areas. Public spaces can offer clues about local crime rates and residents’ perception of safety. Does the park nearby have kids playing in it? Disused public spaces often become spaces in which people feel unsafe. If crime is a concern, the RCMP in your area may have statistics available that illustrate the density of crime in different neighbourhoods. CONTINUED P 18






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A s s e s sing “ u p - an d - c oming” n e ig h b o u r h o o d s Keven says it can be very difficult to predict that tipping point when an area starts to become “up and coming” but is still affordable. Local real estate agents are often the best source of information in these situations because they are on the ground watching the area change. Keven notes that “it often comes down to more of a sense of a change happening rather than being able to point to solid numbers.” However, he says there are a few clear indicators that buyers can look for. “An increase in building permits for infill properties is a good sign if multiple developers are seeing an opportunity and investing in the area. If those developers are feeling confident and willing to invest, chances are, the average buyer can feel confident about change in the neighbourhood.”

Finding “g ood” n e ig h b o u r h o o d s Again, individual buyers will have their own perceptions of what constitutes a great neighbourhood, but Keven provides a few general tips. Aside from seeing wellmaintained homes and pride of ownership in the area, Keven says high-quality schools are often an indicator of a great neighbourhood. “The Fraser Institute ranks schools in BC, and although their ranking system isn’t

perfect, it does give an indication of the quality of education in the area.” Easy access to facilities such as shopping, entertainment, sports facilities and transit routes are also indicators of a great area.

D o yo u r o w n r e s e a r c h While a local agent can provide a lot of advice on different neighbourhoods, Keven says it is important for buyers to do their own research as well, because ultimately they are the ones making the investment and they need to be sure the neighbourhood meets their unique needs. The City can be a useful source of information. “They will be able to outline which services are available in the area, and also if any future developments are planned for that neighbourhood.” Developments can have a big impact on homeowners and the value of their property, so it is definitely something buyers should take the time to research. “If the property backs on to greenbelt, are there plans to develop it? Are parks or new transit routes planned for the area, or is there a proposed dangerous goods route in the works?”

it to his clients. “Neighbours can be a great source of information, so it’s definitely worth knocking on two or three doors to find out what people think of the area they live in.” Keven also recommends talking to family, friends or colleagues who live in the area. “Their opinions can be very valuable because they know more about your personal preferences.”

Value yo ur individual preferences Whatever you may read or hear about a particular neighbourhood, Keven says the lines between a good area and a problem area are blurred by individual preferences. “Neighbourhoods are very personality specific. Some like gentrified, cookie cutter neighbourhoods; others prefer areas they perceive to have fewer rules and more diversity. Every buyer needs to decide for themselves which neighbourhoods they will be comfortable living in because nobody else can tell you what you like.”

Keven says there is nothing wrong with doing some door knocking to find out what the neighbours think of where they live; in fact, he recommends

While a local agent can provide a lot of advice on different neighbourhoods, it is important for buyers to do their own research as well

Jo Boxwell creates content for Team Powerhouse Realty, an independent brokerage based in Prince George, BC. Team Powerhouse Realty is a company of friends that loves helping people buy and sell commercial and residential properties in northern BC.



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Bidding What it really takes to win a bidding war

In Vancouver’s highly competitive market, there are a few key way buyers can give themselves the edge. Local agent Lindsie Tomlinson shares her success by Lindsie Tomlinson Recently, my clients spotted a listing for a house in their dream neighbourhood in North Burnaby, listed at only $799,000. The first thing they asked me was, “Is this for real?” Yes and no. Yes, the house really was for sale. It wasn’t a former grow-op and it wasn’t a teardown. It was a nicely renovated bungalow on a standard-sized lot that would make a great family home. Were they going to get it for $799,000? Of course not. The listing real estate agent used a notuncommon tactic: price the house below market value to attract as many potential buyers – and bids – as possible. At the first open house, 300 people showed up. When buying a home, people normally expect a little give-and-take between the buyer and the seller. But in a multiple-offer situation, you are not negotiating with the seller – you are courting them. Your offer needs to be the most attractive to beat out all the others. So how do you put together that winning offer? There’s more to it than just going in with the highest price. Your offer needs the fewest possible number of subjects – or to be more accurate, no subjects. If that sounds risky, well, it certainly can be. A no-subject offer means doing your homework before you offer, rather than after. Home inspection: Get the home inspected. You need to know exactly what condition your potential future home is in, and to factor in expected costs associated with the findings. This helps you determine how much you will offer, but more importantly, it lets you remove one major common subject from your offer. A pre-offer


In a multiple-offer situation, you are not negotiating with the seller – you are courting them

and engineer’s report (if either or both are available); a copy of the registered strata plan and any amendments to it; and a copy of the title search. If you have any questions or concerns, these need to be addressed and answered before you offer. Property Disclosure Statement: Obtain and approve a copy of this document.

inspection will cost you, and if your offer isn’t accepted you won’t get that money back – but it gives you a much more competitive offer as well as peace of mind if yours is the winning bid. Documentation: If it’s a strata property, receive and read all documentation. This includes, but is not limited to, the past two years of all meeting minutes; current bylaws and financial statements; Form B (information certificate from the property management company); depreciation report


Oil scan: If it’s a house, have a reputable company scan the property for oil tanks. Financing: In a bidding war, you must go in without any subjects, including subject to financing. This means you absolutely must have your finances in order. If there’s any chance you won’t be able to pay what you’re offering or get a mortgage, it’s time to reconsider whether this is the right offer for you to be making. Don’t risk being in breach of contract.

Recent sales: Now that you’ve done your homework, your real estate agent should have done their homework as well, finding recent sales in the neighbourhood for similar properties to help you determine market value. Remember that market value is the price people are actually willing to pay, which does not always coincide with the listed (or asking) price. Your best price: How much is this property worth to you? What’s the price you’ll be happy to pay for it? And at what price are you okay with letting someone else win it? Think about how you’ll feel if someone else gets it for less than what you’re willing to pay.

In a bidding war, you need to put your best foot forward and offer your highest price. You may not get a second chance. Sometimes a few offers are close and you get a chance to submit another one, but you should assume this won’t happen. Dates: Give the completion and possession dates that are best for the sellers. This is another way to woo them and make your offer more attractive than the others. Deposit: Your real estate agent should include a copy of your deposit cheque with the offer. This demonstrates to the sellers that you’re serious enough to go to your

financial institution and get a bank draft for a handsome deposit. Now that you have done everything you can to put your best foot forward, it’s up to your real estate agent to present your offer. If it turns out that someone else was willing to pay much more than you for this property, take comfort in the fact that you tried your best. But more likely, you will be celebrating your win and the purchase of your new home. And my clients? I’m happy to report that their offer beat the other 34 – yes, 34 – offers. They move into their new home soon.

Lindsie Tomlinson is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® who specializes in helping growing families find the right home in the right neighbourhood. She’s also passionate about helping first-time home buyers find their first place. Lindsie entered the real estate market 20 years ago, and it was love at first buy. She is a proud supporter of Backpack Buddies and the Children’s Miracle Network, has two children and loves to travel. She is a regular contributor to and also managed to write a book about how to travel with a baby.

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What to consider when buying a presale home Buying an as-yet-unbuilt unit can offer enormous benefits, but can also be intimidating and carry some potential risks. Here’s what you need to know by Bob de Wit, GVHBA Considering the purchase of a presale property? There are lots of benefits but also potential risk involved. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is important, as a presale purchase is different to a conventional real estate exchange. A big advantage of presale is flexibility in customizing your property, including appliances, fixtures, flooring choices, paint colour – even the layout. As with all new homes in BC, buying presale your property will come under the 2-5-10-year warranty program, mandated by the Homeowner Protection Office, BC Housing. Plus all appliances, being brand new, will be under warranty, lowering maintenance and unforeseen costs. And with only a small deposit required on commitment, you will have time to save money for the full down payment while your home is being built. Another big advantage is that now, under the 2016 BC Budget, the purchase of a new home costing less than $750,000 is exempt from Property Transfer Tax for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who will be


living in the home as their primary residence. So even though you will still have to pay GST on the purchase, the provincial tax has been removed, which could save buyers at the higher end of the scale up to $13,000. On the other hand, buying an unbuilt house or condo that you have never seen – except in a rendering and on a floorplan – can be intimidating, and can carry potential risks. Therefore, mitigating those potential risks, and understanding your rights and responsibilities as a buyer under the British Columbia Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA), are very important when purchasing a presale property.

W ha t a r e t h e key c o n s i d e r a t i o n s? Disclosure: The developer is required to disclose the anticipated start and completion of the project. These are more for convenience to the buyer than actuality. With unknown variables that could delay a project, the sales agreement typically allows the developer three 30-day extensions. If a


project is delayed, the buyer will receive a letter well in advance making them aware of the delay and the new anticipated completion date. Amendments: The developer is obligated to keep you up-to-date on amendments to estimated dates and material facts. This is important because building a new development is a long and complex process, often with many changes. Rescission: Buyers have a seven-day right of rescission – that is, to change your mind and rescind your offer to buy the home – from the day the disclosure statement is received from the developer. This gives you time to read over the documentation and provides a “cooling off period.” It is always best to get legal advice during this stage. You can choose to rescind your contract and receive your initial deposit back. Down payment: Typically, buyers are required to place a 10 per cent deposit to secure the unit, which becomes part of your mortgage down payment. Some developers may take more or less of a

deposit, depending on the situation of the project. Construction financiers will require a minimum, and the duration of the completion date will be determining factors. Initial deposit can be low as $1,000 to $5,000 when writing the contract.

H o w c an I mi t igate s ome o f t h e p o t e n t i al r i s k s? Buy from a reputable builder: It’s important to buy from a reputable builder when purchasing a presale unit. You need to be confident in the quality of the home you will be buying, and also be confident that it will be built to quality standards and in a timely manner. It is a good idea to check out previously built developments and talk to owners, too.

Find out how much of a mortgage you can afford. Be realistic. You will need to ensure you have the full down payment and be in a position to take on the financial obligations of a mortgage when the project reaches completion. Work with a knowledgeable REALTOR®: There is no cost difference between buying from a developer or through a real estate agent. No fees are being saved. Working with a qualified real estate agent, one who is well connected to the industry, may help in securing your desired unit. This is especially tru in what is a very competitive market with developers selling record number of units in record days.

Get pre-approved by a mortgage broker: It is important for the buyer to understand that a presale is not the purchase but a contractual agreement to purchase when the product is ready for sale.

Consult your lawyer: Buyers should closely review what they intend to purchase. Consult a lawyer familiar with REDMA on the presale agreement and review the following items: size of a unit, finishing details and appliances, parking and storage lockers, date of delivery, any penalties or additional costs for changes in the property and delay or delivery clauses. Also, make sure you are clear on what is included, and what items are optional or shown only for display purposes. A presale purchase is an ideal way to secure a new home or investment in the location, with the services you want. When looking to buy a presale condo in Vancouver, buy only from reputable builders, and always consult with your agent, mortgage broker and lawyer.

Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), representing the residential construction industry in the Greater Vancouver Area. Celebrating 40 years in 2014, GVHBA has more than 880 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations. You can reach Bob at

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Vancouver Where in Metro Vancouver should I buy? Looking for a ‘hood to call home? Here’s the lowdown on all the different local areas and their unique characteristics

by Joannah Connolly Metro Vancouver is wonderful and diverse, with its different areas offering a dizzying array of culture, demographics and amenities. Use the following guide in conjunction with our article “Assessing the right neighbourhood for you” to find out which spot is best suited to your needs.

VA N C O U V E R’S D OW N T O W N PE N IN S U L A If you’re looking for a home with an urban heartbeat, and are not too worried about having a massive floorplan, look no further than Vancouver’s downtown peninsula. The downtown area and its adjacent neighbourhoods of the West End, Coal Harbour, Yaletown and Gastown offer world-class living in the very core of this fabulous city. You’re talking beaches, marinas, shopping, nightlife, culture, excitement – and WalkScores in the late 90s or even 100. Sure, the price-per-square foot of a home here is above average – but then again, so is the lifestyle. But spacious family homes are hard to come by, so it’s best suited to those who are less about space and more about… life!

VA N C O U V E R’S W E S T S I D E One of the region’s most desirable neighbourhoods, the West Side of Vancouver is largely comprised of lovely single-family homes in quiet, pretty enclaves while still being in easy reach of Vancouver’s downtown core. No wonder, then, that prices for houses here are among the region’s highest. With gorgeous, tree-lined streets of characterful, often heritage, homes as well as great schools, beaches, parks and amenities, this is a family’s dream neighbourhood. If you’ve got the funds, you couldn’t do better!

VA N C O U V E R’S E A S T S I D E Once considered a lot less salubrious than its West Side neighbour, East Van has great transport connections and has been hip for a long time, but is now becoming extremely desirable. Young families, especially those unable to hit a West Side budget, have been snapping up homes in droves and prices are rising rapidly. But still there are a number of areas where the ripple effect still hasn’t fully taken hold. Sure, single-family homes near Commercial Drive and Main Street cost a lot these days. But there are still some great deals to be had in the Mount Pleasant, Fraser, Knight, Renfrew and Hastings East areas, among others. Get in while you still can!



BURNABY Burnaby is a city with so much to offer, and a huge amount of rebirth happening. Whether you’re looking in South Burnaby and the Metrotown area, or North Burnaby and the Brentwood/Lougheed area, both spots have great SkyTrain links, amazing shopping centres and are undergoing massive development. This means there is a whole lot of housing inventory, especially condos, to be snapped up. And if you’re worried this means an urban concrete jungle, don’t be. Burnaby’s parks are famous and its green-space-to-residents ratio is among North America’s highest. So if you’re into the idea of a new home in a rising city with great links to downtown, give Burnaby a try.

NE W WESTMINSTER New Westminster is an attractive city sloping down to the lovely Fraser River waterfront and boasting great SkyTrain links to downtown Vancouver. New West is justly proud of its historic and vibrant downtown district, dating to the 1800s, which remains one of the city’s main shopping districts. As well as downtown and the Quay district, there are many other neighbourhoods ranging from the affordable to the desirable. Also in the mix here is Queensborough, which is over the bridge on the eastern tip of Lulu Island. Its Port Royal community offers a great array of new home options with much development going on, selling at far cheaper prices than you’ll see in downtown Vancouver (and most with great river views!).

RICHMOND Richmond is happily located mere moments south of the Vancouver International Airport, and is entirely on Lulu Island, between the two arms of the Fraser River. The urbanized western part of the island is an extremely desirable location for families looking for close proximity to downtown Vancouver. Since the 1990s it has also been a magnet for new Canadians from China, and in some areas, particularly Golden Village between Number 3 and Number 4 roads, it’s easy to imagine you’re in Asia with its abundance of Chinese restaurants and stores. TranksLink’s SkyTrain has a terminus station, Richmond-Brighouse, in the heart of the area, which puts commuters in downtown Vancouver within minutes. The area’s condominiums are priced lower than those in nearby Vancouver, making it a prime place for first-time home buyers who want to stay close to the city. In addition to Richmond’s urban setting, outlying areas of the city offer a number of historic sites and destinations, including the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Steveston Village, a working fishing village that is a mecca for tourists in the summer.

DELTA Delta is a sprawling, largely agricultural, municipality south of the southern arm of the Fraser River, connected to Richmond to the north by the George Massey tunnel. It incorporates a number of charming neighbourhoods on its western side, including Ladner and Tsawwassen. Ladner is a historic fishing village 27 kilometres south of Vancouver, the centre of which is the heritage community of Ladner Village, which enjoys wide boulevard sidewalks, cafés and charming local shops. Tsawwassen is a small community in the southwest corner of Delta, home to the Tsawwassen First Nation, which has a 700-acre reserve close to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. This area is seeing lots of new development and will soon be home to the enormous Tsawwassen Mills mall, providing fantastic shopping close to the great ferry links. Real estate in these areas is cheaper than in Vancouver or even Richmond, and for those who work locally or don’t mind a longer commute, it can offer great starter home options.



SURRE Y: NORTH AND CENTR AL Surrey is the second largest city in BC, after Vancouver, and the 12th largest city in Canada, with a rapidly growing population of nearly half a million people. Surrey is set to become the most populated city in Metro Vancouver by 2020, as people from around the world continue to move to one of the youngest and most culturally diverse cities in Canada. More than 27 per cent of Surrey’s population is under 19 years old, and over 43 per cent of our residents speak a language that is not English at home, with an especially strong South Asian community. The city has more than 6,000 acres of parkland and green spaces, and the city centre is being revitalized with new landmark buildings, lots of new residential development and a technology and healthcare business hub called Innovation Boulevard. Elsewhere in the city are neighbourhoods ranging from the up-and-coming to established family-friendly enclaves. Surrey offers great real estate prices, making it a great option for first-time and lower-income buyers to get into an exciting, expanding city.

WHITE ROCK , CRESCENT BE ACH, OCE AN PARK The area just south and west of Surrey is quite distinct from that city in terms of culture and feel. It includes such charming seaside towns as White Rock, which is an independent municipality, and Crescent Beach and Ocean Park, which are part of South Surrey and belong to the City of Surrey municipality. These are all lovely oceanside neighbourhoods offering a wide array of housing options, from smaller, less-expensive inland properties to sprawling waterfront mansions and luxury condo developments overlooking Boundary Bay. Both White Rock and Crescent Beach have gorgeous seaside promenades and can get extremely busy with tourists in the summer. They also benefit from very close proximity to the US border. It’s a long commute if you work in Vancouver, but for those who are flexible with their location, these towns offer a fabulous lifestyle.

NORTH VANCOUVER Lying on the lower levels of two North Shore mountains, a ferry ride across the Burrard Inlet from downtown Vancouver, is North Vancouver, which is divided into two municipalities – city and district. North Van is extremely popular with young families and outdoor activity enthusiasts, as it offers less-expensive homes than Vancouver, in a setting that enjoys amazing natural beauty. The neighbourhoods are very varied, however, with Lower and Central Lonsdale offering a more urban lifestyle and lots of high-rises and condos, compared with single-family-home neighbourhoods such as Lynn Valley and Seymour, which offer a family-friendly lifestyle and easy access to the local ski hills and world-class trails. In addition, the area includes the delightful historic town of Deep Cove, boasting gorgeous waterfront access to the Indian Arm inlet, as well as charming shops and restaurants.

WEST VANCOUVER To the west of Lion’s Gate Bridge as you head north out of Vancouver’s Stanley Park is the City of West Vancouver, one of the region’s priciest and most exclusive districts. The city covers the lower section of Cypress Mountain and stretches around as far as Lion’s Bay, up the Sea-toSky Highway along the Howe Sound. The neighbourhoods of Ambleside and Dundarave, which are down at sea level overlooking English Bay, offer more housing options and price points, with a mix of high- and low-rise residential buildings. But get higher up the mountain into the British Properties, or round the coastline towards Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, and you’re looking at mega-mansions worth many millions of dollars, almost all with incredible south- and west-facing ocean and city views. West Vancouver is popular with a gentrified, moneyed, generally slightly older demographic – so if that suits you, enjoy!



TRI-CITIES Offering a great option for affordability are Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, otherwise known as the Tri-Cities. Port Moody and Coquitlam are located at the eastern point of the Burrard Inlet, with Port Coquitlam stretching further south to meet the Pitt River. Not only do each of these cities offer historic town centres, small-town charm, a great sense of community, fantastic natural beauty and stunning out-door amenities, but they are also set for great new transport links when the new Evergreen SkyTrain line is completed. All this, at some of the region’s most affordable real estate prices.

MAPLE RIDGE /PIT T ME ADOWS On the other side of the Pitt River from Port Coquitlam, you will find Pitt Meadows, which borders onto the Pitt River to the west and the Fraser River to the south. Still further along the Fraser River is the neighbouring municipality of Maple Ridge. Both of these spots remain among the best value for real estate in the Lower Mainland, and offer a fabulous lifestyle to those who, perhaps, don’t need to commute into Vancouver every day. There is a vast network of trails in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge for cyclists, campers, hikers and walkers, including parts of the Trans Canada Trail. And it’s not all outdoor activity. Maple Ridge’s attractive town centre, formerly called Haney, has been transformed with new office spaces, civic and provincial government offices, a recreation centre and a performing arts centre with gallery.

L ANGLE Y Further east and to the south of the Fraser River, the large municipality of Langley occupies a middle ground between urban and pastoral. Bucolic farm properties and acreages to the south and industrial areas along the Fraser River create a unique range of properties, with an urban centre in the City of Langley offering a mix of housing options. Langley includes the enclave of Fort Langley, a historic site with a delightful town centre, and a favoured venue for film shoots. Langley offers great-value real estate compared with other local cities, making it an attractive option for those looking for some space in their home, and the area’s population is catching up to the larger centres of Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford. Several post-secondary schools, including Trinity Western University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, have campuses in Langley, ensuring a diverse mix of residents and ongoing demand for housing.

ABBOTSFORD Abbotsford is proud to be a “city in the country.” Billing itself the raspberry capital of Canada, Abbotsford is surrounded by raspberry and blueberry fields and dairy farms, not to mention rustic side roads. Informally it is also known as part of BC’s Bible belt. Despite the area’s pastoral nature, the core of Abbotsford is a rapidly growing urban centre. It is a city in transition, offering exciting opportunities for people to settle, make a living and enjoy life. Warehousing and manufacturing jobs, food processing and agriculture, academia and aerospace all beckon people to the area, which is an hour’s drive east of Vancouver. The Abbotsford airport (the region’s second passenger gateway after Vancouver International Airport), the nearby US border crossing, the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre and the University of the Fraser Valley add to the city’s heft. Recreation in the form of hiking, cycling, farm tours and arts festivals rounds out the value of Abbotsford real estate.



BC home


Understanding the square footage in a BC home If you’re buying a home, you need to know how much space you’re getting for your money – but calculations can vary. Here’s how it works

by Draft On Site When you are buying real estate, you need an accurate calculation of the square footage. The best way to ensure the actual size of a property is to have a floor plan measured by a certified professional. Floor plans do more than just help people visualize a property; they help a buyer determine if the layout is conducive to their needs or something as simple as what size furniture will fit into a room. Floor plans also allow you to review the property in an easyto-digest format after you have left it. There’s more to measuring a property than running a tape measure or a laser beam across a room, and calculations vary, with the main standard being ANSI and BOMA Standard A. However, there isn’t a universal standard for calculating square footage. Not every company uses ANSI and BOMA Standard A, and different companies have different ways of placing the measure line for a property. But they must state what part of the wall that line goes to or which standard was used to place that line. Here’s why a property may have a different size depending on who measured it: an architect may include the building envelope (which includes upper floor voids and restricted headroom); while a survey engineer or appraiser may use the ANSI or BOMA standard, which separates these areas out of the living space. In addition to this, on strata surveys, two identical buildings could be calculated differently depending on how the strata by-laws are written. One building could have its units calculated to include the entire exterior and common walls while the


other could be calculated to the center of exterior walls and the interior of common walls. The important thing to understand is that the “measurement” of these units does not differ; it’s the line used to calculate the square footage that changes. The information on what part of which walls is included in the living space is written on the strata plan.

How much are those stairs worth? A 2,000-square-foot bungalow has more living space than a 2,000-square-foot multilevel home. Each set of stairs accounts for roughly 50-60 square feet of space, depending on the width of the stairs and the


height of the floors. On a three-storey home this could mean that 150-180 square feet has been used up reaching those floors.

How much space do walls take up? Wall thickness also counts towards the overall square footage of the house, so the more walls there are, the less living space you get. This also applies to newer homes where the exterior walls are 50 -100 per cent thicker than older homes. On the typical 2,500 -square-foot home built before 2000 the exterior walls take up approximately five of the square footage of each floor. On homes built using the newer, thicker, exterior walls they could take up 7-9 per cent of the square footage of each floor.

What does this mean? Comparing 2,500-square-foot homes, after removing walls and stairs (assuming the same thickness of walls), • One-storey rancher will have 2,376 square feet of living space • Two-storey Vancouver Special will have 2,252 square feet of living space • Three-storey Craftsman will have 2,167 square feet of living space This can change if the walls have differing thicknesses. Even though current design trends tend to lead to having taller multi-storey homes that allow for maximum living and yard space, especially on narrow lots, the rancher or

bungalow with a possible basement may net you more bang for your buck. In the end, you should always look for the disclaimer on the floor plan that lets you

know how it was calculated. If there isn’t one, you should really find out as you are missing important information that you need to compare properties effectively.

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Twelve unexpected home-buying costs to prepare for

Most first-time buyers are often ill-prepared for the additional, hidden costs of purchasing a home. Here is a comprehensive list of what you can expect to shell out by Joannah Connolly Every home buyer knows they need to find the money for a down payment and get a mortgage to finance the remainder of the purchase price. But many buyers – especially first-time buyers – fail to properly budget for all the other costs associated with buying a home. “We often enter into the single biggest purchase of our lives without a clear plan, research or budget,” says Gordon Bennett, a partner and lawyer at Bennett & Parkes. “I recommend that people inform themselves about everything that buying a home entails.”

Strata law expert Neil Mangan of Velocity Legal agrees. “While owning property can be a great investment, you must budget for the unexpected. From transfer tax, insurance and transaction costs when you purchase your property to municipal taxes, regular maintenance and unexpected repairs, owning a property costs money.” It’s crucial to set yourself up for success with a mortgage that will suit your budget. And some lenders offer great deals for first-time buyers, such as cash back to help with those extra fees.

Here are the 12 unexpected costs – aside from your down payment and mortgage – to plan for.

#1. Mortgage default insurance You may have your mortgage sums all stacked up but if you’re putting less than 20 per cent down, you’re required to buy CMHC mortgage default insurance. It will be 0.65-2.75 per cent of your mortgage, which will cost thousands of extra dollars over the term. So if you can manage to put 20 per cent down, it will be worth it. CONTINUED P 34


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#2. Appraisal fee Some mortgage lenders will require an appraisal on the property you wish to purchase – which could be at your expense, depending on the lender and your down payment. Barry Magee of Macdonald Realty says, “This goes hand in hand with CMHC insurance. If you don’t have 20 per cent to put down, the government will require that the property is appraised. This makes sure you aren’t overpaying for the home, and the government isn’t insuring a property that has been overvalued.”

#3. Land survey fee Similar to the appraisal fee, some lenders might require you to have an up-to-date survey of the property. Again, this will be at your expense.

#4. Mortgage life insurance This insurance will pay off the balance of your mortgage in the event of your death or inability to pay, and it’s highly advisable that you take it out (although not mandatory). Your lender will likely offer you this form of insurance, but you’ll probably get a better deal going to an independent insurance or mortgage broker.

#5. Title insurance and search Title insurance is another optional insurance, which some lenders may require. It covers problems that may arise due to boundary encroachment issues, title fraud, undischarged mortgages and other issues relating to the property’s previous owners. If you choose to protect yourself against these risks, it will cost about $250. You may also need to do a title search. Magee points out: “It’s also the buyer’s responsibility to make sure the seller is the actual owner and the property is unencumbered. This can be achieved by searching the title, at the buyer’s expense.”

you’re buying. The inspection usually costs $500 to $700. A home inspector may also recommend specialists if complicated problems are suspected.

#10. Strata move-in costs

#7. Legal representation You will need to hire a lawyer or notary public to represent your interests as a buyer and make sure the documentation is processed properly and efficiently. For straightforward transactions, you’ll be charged between $600 and $1200.

Neil Mangan says, “Often, when providing transaction documents to lawyers and notaries, the strata corporation will request that the lawyer or notary collect from the purchaser the move-in fee, and even the next month’s strata fees.” Move-in fees usually range from $100 to $400.

#8. Property transfer tax

#11. Adjustment costs

Buyers also have to pay a property transfer tax on their new home – also known as a land transfer tax in many places. It varies by province but here in BC, it is one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the balance.

Adjustment costs can include any prepaid monthly living costs already paid by the vendor that are to be reimbursed when the buyer takes possession of the home. These can include property taxes, prepaid water, hydro or gas charges, strata fees, service contracts and so on – so you should set aside several hundred dollars for this.

BC offers an exemption for first-time buyers paying $475,000 or less for their home, and a proportionate exemption for properties purchased for less than $500,000 but more than $475,000. There is no exemption on properties purchased for more than $500,000. First-timers can also claim $5,000 on income tax for a $750 first-time homebuyer’s rebate.

#9. GST on new homes If you’re buying a new home, it will be subject to goods and services tax, which here in BC is five per cent. Homes that have been lived in before are exempt from GST. For new developments that were at least one-tenth constructed before April 1, 2013, there will also be a two per cent PST transitional tax. Income tax rebates are available for up to 36 per cent of GST if the buyer is going to use the property as a principal residence.

#6. Home inspection It’s important to pay for a home inspection to check for major issues in the property



If you’re buying a condo, you should know that many strata corporations charge movein fees through their bylaws.

You may also need to pay anywhere between $100 and $1,000 on interest adjustment costs to cover the interest on any gap between the closing date of the purchase and the first payment date of the mortgage. You may be able to avoid this by ensuring you make your first mortgage payment exactly one payment period after your closing date.

#12. Moving costs Don’t forget that you’ll have to hire a moving company or rent a truck for your furniture. If you’re using your friends as volunteers, they’ll reasonably expect to have their beer and pizza paid for afterwards too! Being prepared for both the expected and unexpected costs of home ownership gives you the confidence to buy your first home, with no scary surprises.

Joannah Connolly is the editor-in-chief of West Coast Condominium and Western Investor newspaper, and is the editor and content manager of Real Estate Weekly and She appears regularly on radio, TV and conference panels discussing the Vancouver real estate market.

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Home Affordability Calculator You may have grand ideas about your new home, but how much can you afford to spend on it? Use our affordability calculator below to get a very approximate estimate* for your maximum allowable purchase budget – and make sure you speak to a mortgage expert for more detailed advice.

4 : In t erest ra t e What interest rate do you anticipate paying, based on current market rates? (Ask your mortgage expert or check bank websites for current rates on variable- or fixed-rate mortgages). 4A:



1 : Fi x e d income a n d e xpe ndi ture

5 : Do w n p a ymen t

1A: What is your monthly household income after taxes? $___________________ 1B: What are your monthly debt payments? (car and other loan repayments, credit cards, etc.) $___________________

How much money do you have for a down payment on your home? Don’t forget to factor in all the closing costs you’ll pay – see the article on page 32.

1C: Total monthly net income (1A minus 1B) = $___________________

2 : H o m e o wner ship c os ts What are the estimated monthly homeownership costs on your new home?

5A: Personal savings


5B: Monetary gifts/inheritance


5C: Down payment loan (bank or family)


$___________________ 5D: RRSP (Check online to see if you qualify for the Home Buyer’s Plan before adding in your RRSP) 5E: Total down payment (5A+5B+5C+5D) = $___________________

2A: Property tax


2B: Heating costs


6 : Wh a t yo u ca n a f f o rd t o sp en d o n yo u r h o m e

2C: Hydro/other energy costs


2D: Condo fees or maintenance costs


2E: Repayment of down payment loan/ RRSP from section 5C or 5D


To get a rough estimate of the maximum you can afford to spend on your new home, you need to take your monthly available income and calculate it against your chosen amortization period and interest rate. 6A: Take your available monthly net income 2G and multiply it by the number of months you will be paying off the mortgage 3B: (2G x 3B) = $___________________

2F: Total monthly home ownership costs (2A+2B+2C+2D+2E)

= $___________________

2G: Total monthly available income after costs (1C minus 2F)

= $___________________

3 : A m o r tiz a tion peri od How much time would you like to take to pay off your mortgage? A 25-year amortization period is the most common. Increase your amortization to lower your monthly payments and allow for payment flexibility. Decrease it to pay off your mortgage faster and save on interest payments. 3A: 3B: Total number of months to pay off mortgage (3A x 12)








6B: Divide figure 6A by the selected interest rate 4A – so if you chose 3.49%, it would be figure 6A divided by 3.49: (6A divided by 4A) = $___________________ 6C: Add your down payment amount 5E to figure 6B to get your estimated total home budget: (5E+6B)

= $___________________

*These figures are to be used as an approximate guideline for illustrative purposes only. Speak to your mortgage expert to find out what you can afford to spend on your home. To find a qualified mortgage expert, go to the directory at the back of this publication for contact details for the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals.

REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL adventure enthusiast As your Professional Real Estate Advisor, you can expect a unique experience tailored to your individual needs. Whether buying your first condo or selling your 20th investment property, my job is to be attentive to the smallest details to make your experience seamless. I believe in long term client relationships that serve your best interests.

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What’s the difference between a deposit and a down payment? Mortgage terminology can be confusing, especially for first-time buyers. Mortgage expert Alisa Aragon explains two similar and related terms by Alisa Aragon What is the difference between deposit and down payment and at what point in the process is each paid?


The deposit is the money that you put down to secure the property that you are purchasing, in other words you are proving that you are serious about buying the property. There is no set amount on how much the deposit amount is. When you are writing an offer to purchase with your real estate agent, they will require a deposit amount. That amount it all depends on the purchase price and how quickly you will be closing on the sale. The deposit is applied against the purchase price of the property when the sale closes. The deposit will become part of the down payment. However, if the sale does not close, the deposit is lost.


The down payment is the money that you put up front when you purchase a property. Down payments typically range from five per cent to 20 per cent of the total value of the property. As of February 2016, the minimum down payment required to purchase a property is five per cent on properties below $500,000, and 10 per cent on any remainder of purchase price above that. There are different down payment requirements when you are purchasing. If you

are an employee, you can put as little ass five per cent down payment. yment. For self-employedd individuals it can be as low ass 10 per cent and if you are purchasing i a rental/ t l/ iinvestment t t property, or a property above $1 million, you will need to put a minimum of 20 per cent down payment. The full amount of the down payment is payable when the sale closes. Here are a couple of examples: Example 1: The buyers are buying a property with a purchase price of $500,000. They will be putting a 10 per cent down payment ($50,000). They remove subjects and the offer becomes a firm offer on January 27 and they will be closing on March 4. They immediately pay a deposit of $25,000 to secure the property. The buyers will need to pay the balance of the down payment on the closing date, another $25,000, for a total down payment of $50,000.

Example 2: The buyers are buying a property that is under construction and the developer is asking for a 10 per cent deposit. The property that they are purchasing is $619,900 plus GST. They have given a deposit of $61,990. The final purchase price with GST is $650,895. However, the buyers are only putting down a down payment of 5 per cent ($32,544.75). Therefore, the buyers will get back the difference on closing.

As of February 2016, the minimum down payment required to purchase a property is five per cent on properties below $500,000

Alisa Aragon provides her mortgage expertise through Dominion Lending Centres Mountain View Ltd and is an active member of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association. She is an expert in developing short- and long-term strategies that are customized for each individual client. Her strategies include the best mortgage with the most favourable terms and rates to suit your needs. Contact Alisa to get expert advice on your mortgage needs.






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Pre-Contract Considerations Congratulations! You and your real estate agent have found the property you are looking for and you are interested in making an offer. The following checklist will help remind you of the details to consider before you sign the contract:

Q Did your real estate agent provide you with the comparative market analysis (CMA) so you can determine the fair market value of the property?

Q What offer would you like to place? Q What down payment and/or deposit would you like to make? Q What completion date do you want? Q What pre-closing inspection date do you want? Q What possession date do you want? Q Are there other dates you would like to negotiate? Specify: ___________________________________________ Q Do you know what the price includes and doesn’t include? Q Are there items that you would like to negotiate that were not included in the purchase price (e.g., light fixtures, alarm system)? Specify:________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ __________________

Q Does the contract your real estate agent created contain all the subjects needed to protect you? (For example, subject to a building inspection, financing, review of the property disclosure statement, by-laws, minutes, etc.)

Q If attachments or schedules form part of the contract, are these referenced in the main contract? Q Is the contract drafted to your specifications and particular situation? Q Did you get a receipt for the deposit and was it attached to the contract? Q Did you receive a counter-offer? If so, are you going to accept, reject, or make another counter-offer? (This process of counter-offers may continue until an agreement is reached.)

Q Is your real estate agent keeping the lines of communication open between you and the seller during the negotiations? Now that an agreement has been reached, your agent will make sure the contract has been initialed, signed, and duly witnessed to ensure it is a legally binding contract. Self-Counsel Press | This article is an edited excerpt from Home Buyers Guide for Canadians, published by and reprinted here courtesy of Self-Counsel Press. Self-Counsel Press is Canada’s leading publisher of do-it-yourself reference titles, authored by experts but written in clear, easily understood language. SelfCounsel Press books and e-books help others help themselves by providing timely, reliable information and guidance at an affordable price. Go to



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When is the best time to hire a home inspector?

If you’re buying a home, you’ll need to hire a home inspector at some point. But don’t leave it too late or you’ll be scrambling, advises home inspector Sean Moss by Sean Moss Finding a good home inspector when you need them can be tricky business. It is best to find one early, rather than scrambling at the last minute because you have to close on a deal. Considering all of the details, things to do and plan for, I suggest setting aside enough time to research the best inspector for your needs. The top inspectors will be busy and often booked up to a week or more in advance… especially during the busy season (spring and summer). In short, choose the inspector as soon as you can, long before you submit the offer. This will reduce a lot of stress. In my opinion, only you should be the one to make the final decision on picking the home inspector. Take suggestions for friends and family, check online, etc. Real estate agents will typically offer a few to choose from as well. These days, mortgage brokers are referring home inspectors as well.

W ha t t o c o n sid e r Aside from the usual technical questions about their training, areas of expertise experience, fees, etc… consider the following questions as well: • What is their policy on shadowing them? • Do they communicate clearly and effectively? • Are they open to taking calls and sharing advice with you after the inspection?

• What kind of report do they provide? Is it given to you immediately after the inspection or later on? Do they include photos with their reports? • Are they licensed and insured and do they belong to a professional association like CAHPI? • Will they provide their standards of practice and contract before the inspection? • Do they have a good reputation? • Do they have a cancellation policy? Most importantly, find someone who truly cares about protecting you, while providing the best value for their service. You can usually gauge this by how they react to your

interview questions. Hopefully the inspector will spend enough time with you over the phone to answer all of your questions. With home inspectors, as any other service provider, you normally get what you pay for. Anyone with the proper training will learn the skills to be a competent inspector. However, character, ethics and common sense (which cannot be taught in any classroom) are the key personality traits that will put any inspector to the test when you really need them. There are a number of good inspectors out there to choose from. For more information, feel free to contact me about this or anything home inspection related. Good luck on your next home purchase or sale.

Sean Moss is a registered home inspector (RHI) with The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors, focusing primarily on residential properties with specialized knowledge in mold and building envelope science. He has been featured in Vancouver Magazine, Richmond News and The Jewish Independent and he also shares his knowledge through articles and workshops. Call Sean at 604-729-4261, visit his website and see his rating on review website HomeStars.




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Subject removal Great news! Your offer has been accepted. Now your job is to remove the subject clauses within a specified period of time The following checklist will help you through the subject removal process:


Have both you and the seller set out a time limit for the removal of subjects? Specify: What are the subjects you have listed? Have you secured a building inspector? Have you read the building inspector’s report? Have you read the documents that were provided to you by the realtor?


Check documents that are applicable to your situation:

Strata unit

Detached dwelling




Form “B” or estoppel certificate Registered strata plan, amendments, and resolutions dealing with changes to the common property Current by-laws and last two years’ minutes Financial statements Engineer’s report or building envelope report Title search Property disclosure statement (Strata Title Properties Act)


Property disclosure statement Title search Survey certificate Building inspection report Have you secured your mortgage? Have you verified the size of the dwelling, and are the room measurements approximate? Have you signed the Addendum stating that you will remove the subjects? Have you provided a bank draft or certified cheque made out to your real estate agency “in trust”?

Self-Counsel Press | This article is an edited excerpt from Home Buyers Guide for Canadians, published by and reprinted here courtesy of Self-Counsel Press. Self-Counsel Press is Canada’s leading publisher of do-it-yourself reference titles, authored by experts but written in clear, easily understood language. SelfCounsel Press books and e-books help others help themselves by providing timely, reliable information and guidance at an affordable price. Go to



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Eight steps to closing the purchase of your new home Once you’ve found your new home, then comes the seemingly tricky bit of lawyers, notaries, searches and contracts. Richard Bell of Bell Alliance explains that it’s really quite simple

by Richard Bell So, working with your real estate agent, you have found your new home and, with assistance of your mortgage professional, you have arranged for a mortgage. What’s next? It’s time to hire a lawyer or notary public to help with the legal process to finalize the purchase of the home. Here are the eight steps you will need to go through. Step 1: Retain the services of a lawyer or notary. Ask your other professional advisors for a referral or family and friends that have gone through the process. Make sure you are hiring someone with experience in real estate closings. Most closings go smoothly but if something unexpected happens you want to make sure your lawyer or notary public has the necessary expertise. You should contact your lawyer or notary as early as possible in the process. Step 2: Your lawyer or notary will need to gather information from you, including how you wish to hold title to the property. If you are buying with your spouse or partner, most couples hold title as “joint tenants,” which means that the couple jointly owns 100 per cent. Upon the death of one owner the property automatically passes to the survivor outside of their will. The other way to hold title to property is as “tenants-incommon” which means each owner owns a fixed percentage, which could be 50-50, 70-30 or any combination. Upon the death of one owner, the owner’s interest passes under their will.

and any additional information necessary to prepare the statement of adjustments. This is a balance sheet of the transaction showing the total funds required to complete after accounting for the deposit and mortgage proceeds. And there may be adjustments for taxes, strata fees or rental income. Step 4: Your lawyer or notary prepares closing documents including title transfer, mortgage, property transfer tax forms and statement of adjustments. Your lawyer or notary will forward the seller’s closing documents to the seller’s lawyer or notary for execution. Step 5: One to three days before closing is when you usually meet with your lawyer or notary to sign documents and deliver the balance of the down payment or equity. Step 6: Your lawyer or notary registers the transfer and mortgage documents, arranges for the seller’s lawyer or notary to pick up funds and notifies you that the purchase has completed.

Step 8: Move in and enjoy your new home – congratulations!

Your lawyer or notary will need to gather information from you, including how you wish to hold title to the property

Step 3: Your lawyer or notary conducts a title search and obtains tax information


Step 7: You receive the keys for your new home. Normally you receive the house keys directly from your real estate agent on the possession date as set out in the contract of purchase and sale.


Richard Bell is a Vancouver lawyer who specializes in real estate, wills and estate planning, probate, and immigration law. He is the co-founder of Bell Alliance Lawyers & Notaries Public and has been named Best Real Estate Lawyer in Canada by Canadian Real Estate Magazine.


Find your next home on the most comprehensive source for homes for sale in BC.


Countdown to moving day Don’t know where to begin with your move? Don’t worry – our countdown to moving day checklist has got you covered from start to finish

3 ■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■



Create a file to hold every detail of your move, from estimates and receipts to maps of your new town and lists of hot spots your kids might like. Review moving budget; check with the CRA about which moving expenses might be deductible. Interview movers, get face-to-face estimates, and book your move. If your car or boat has to be moved, find a special company that ships automobiles and boats.

2 ■

6 ■ ■ ■


If you’re packing yourself, order moving boxes or crates to arrive a month before the move. Make a list of paperwork that needs to be done before you move. Take inventory of which items can’t be moved (propane, perishables) and figure out how to use them up or give them away. Draw a floor plan of your new home and take a hard look at your current furnishings and how they might fit into the new space. If some things won’t fit, plan a garage sale for a few weeks before you move.


Alert your doctor that you’re moving and will need copies of medical files for every family member. Ask for doctor recommendations in your new hometown.

Make a last appointment with your veterinarian if you have a pet. Talk to your insurance agent about transferring coverage to your new home, and ask if your insurance covers household items in transit. Figure out which items need to move with you, including jewelry and safe deposit contents, and how you’ll safely transport them.

5 ■ ■ ■ ■



Update your address book and make a list to send moving announcements to. Make a relocation plan for your plants. Most movers won’t take them, so it’s up to you to transport them. Start thinking about what you could pack early – items that aren’t used a lot or only seasonally. If you’ve been renting your home, give your landlord notice.

4 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Distrib Distribute crates and boxes around your home, and give them m to your children if you have them. Start packing your less-used items into boxes, making sure you keep out what you’ll need for the final month – see Checklist #6 for more on packing. Telephone company Cable/internet provider Electricity/hydro Natural gas Post office ■ School(s)

3 ■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■ ■

Inform all the necessary companies and services about the date you will be ending service from your old address and beginning services at your new home. Check all the boxes that are applicable to your situation:

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Doctor Dentist Bank(s) Credit card(s) Accountant Employer(s)



Hold a garage sale to get rid of all that stuff you haven’t used in years (or never liked). Pick up medical paperwork and fill prescriptions to get you through the first few weeks in new place. Book a cleaner to do a final cleaning job once the house is empty. Create a folder of helpful information for the next resident.

1 ■

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Reconfirm any travel arrangements for your family, including airplane tickets, rental cars, lodging, etc. Reconfirm with your mover that they are not overbooked and will be able to load you on the agreed day. If you’re moving out of a condo building, or into one, tell strata council and book the elevator, if necessary.

2 ■



Send out change-of-address announcements to family and friends. Close your safe deposit box if you have one, and pack your valuables with you for safe traveling. Plan how you’re going to handle meals once dishes packed and your refrigerator and cupboards are empty. Back up your computer and make a hard copy or replacement disk of important information. Pick up dry cleaning and anything being repaired. Return anything borrowed from neighbours or library.

2 ■

■ ■ ■

Family Allowance CPP/QPP Old age security Insurance company: Vehicle, home Subscriptions: Newspaper, magazine Memberships: Gym, club


Finish the final stages of packing. Make a “survival kit” list so you’re sure you have all of the things you need to carry with you (and they don’t get packed at the bottom of a box). Empty your fridge and all wastebaskets. Clean all appliances and drain any hoses or outdoor pieces that are going with you, such as birdbaths. Make sure you have enough cash to tip movers and for unexpected expenses. Make arrangements for your children and pets to be occupied and taken care of on moving day.

Moving day! ■ ■

■ ■

Eat a good breakfast! You’re going to need fuel. Pack everything that the movers aren’t taking – such as your purse, wallet, overnight bag, box of essentials – into your car or someplace where it won’t be accidentally loaded. Be vigilant about checking off inventory items as they’re loaded onto the truck. Give a smile and a treat – drinks and cookies – to your moving team, both while they’re packing up your old place, and unpacking at the new place. You want them to like you and take extra-good care of your stuff.

Now you’re in your new home! Let the unpacking begin…




Packing room by room If packing up for the big move seems too daunting, break it down room by room with our handy checklist… K i t c h en a nd la undr y

L i v i ng/ di ni n g / g rea t ro o m

Extra-care items for wrapping with bubble wrap: ■ China, vases, decorative items, etc ■ Glassware ■ Tableware and centrepieces ■ Cups, mugs and bowls

Note: Excluding large furniture items as these will be wrapped and moved directly by your mover

Other items: ■ Pots and pans ■ Dishes and trays

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Silver and flatware Dry and non-perishable food items Tablecloths, napkins etc Utensils, equipment, tools, supplies Cookbooks and similar reading materials Laundry hamper Cleaning supplies and equipment Sewing kit and equipment Iron and ironing board General/miscellaneous

Extra-care items:

TV, DVD, computing and audio equipment

■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Ornaments and framed photos Musical instruments Framed wall art Other precious items Books, DVDs, CDs, photo albums Throw pillows and blankets Floor rugs and removable coverings Curtains and other soft furnishings

B e drooms a n d b a t h ro o ms Note: Excluding large furniture items as these will be wrapped and moved directly by your mover Extra-care items:

■ ■ ■ ■ 50

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

All clothing and footwear

■ ■

Toiletries and supplies

Jewellery and accessories Bedding, pillows, curtains, floor rugs Linens, towels, bath mats Electronic alarm clock radio Electric razors, hairdryers, flat irons etc Miscellaneous items

Lamps, bulbs and lampshades

Other items for boxing up:

■ ■ ■ ■

Other items for boxing up:

G a ra g e, g a rd en , p a t i o a n d st o ra g e Note: Excluding large furniture items as these will be wrapped and moved directly by your mover Extra-care items:

■ ■

Ornaments, framed photos, clocks with glass Glass bottles such as perfumes


Fragile sports or hobby equipment

Other items for boxing up:

■ ■ ■

Patio furniture cushions and covers

■ ■

Tools, gadgets and tool boxes

Miscellaneous items

Framed wall art, mirrors Lamps, bulbs, lampshades

Ceramic or fragile planters

Sports and leisure equipment Seasonal items in storage such as decorations Garden equipment such as trowels, rakes etc

Home Buyer’s Guide


Buying Advice Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors BC Directory to find a home inspector ✆ 1-855-224-7422 ¤ Pg..............42

BC Government Government resource all about property taxes ✆ 604-660-2421 ¤

Insurance Broker Association of BC

British Columbia Land Surveyors

Insurance Broker Association of BC - Broker Directory for insurance ✆ 1-866-462-4779 ¤

Find a land surveyor ✆ 250-655-7222 ¤


Appraisal Institute of Canada Find an appraiser ✆ 613-234-6533 ¤

Duxbury & Associates Building inspection and consulting ✆ 604-524-2502 ¤ Pg..............35

Construction Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association Tips on buying, building and renovating your home ✆ 778-565-4288 ¤

Navco Construction Roofing experts ✆ 778-588-7477 ¤ Pg..............35

Draft on Site On-site floor plan and building plan drafting services ✆ 604-876-3738 ¤ Pg..............31

Fire Busters Residential fire sprinkler contractor ✆ 604-599-4499 ¤ Pg..............54

Mr. Build Home renovatorsr ✆ 604-732-8453 ¤ Pg..............54

Finances RateHub Resource of financial info with lots of rate comparisons ✆ 1-800-679-9622 ¤

RateSupermarket Resource of financial info with lots of rate comparisons ✆ 1-866-462-4779 ¤

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Offers information and support for Canadian homebuyers ✆ 604-731-5733 ¤

Service Canada Point of access to various services and benefits offered to Canadians ✆ n/a (varies by department) ¤

BC Government Government resource all about housing ✆ 604-660-2421 ¤

Vancouver Heritage Foundation Organization aimed at protecting heritage homes there are grants available to owners/buyers of heritage homes ✆ 604-264-9642 ¤

Legal Law Society of BC Lawyer lookup to ensure your lawyer is in good standing with the law society and to see how many years they have been practising ✆ 604.669.2533 ¤

BC Notaries Can find a notary by language, name, city or postal code ✆ 604-681-4516 ¤

Mortgage Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals Search CAAMP’s list of members to find a qualified mortgage broker to help you find the right mortgage for you ✆ 1-888-442-4625 ¤

Mortgage Broker Association of BC Resource of mortgage information as well as full directory of registered brokers ✆ 604-408-9989 ¤

Canadian Government Canada Revenue Agency Government agency manages taxes and benefits ✆ 604-689-7536 ¤

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s consumer resource to Mortgages ✆ 1-866-461-3222 ¤ mortgages

Directory for the Home Buyer’s Guide The Mortgage Group

Whitestone Select Properties Group, Macdonald Realty

Les Twarog, RE/MAX Crest Westside

Realtors serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-612-7511 ¤ Pg..............17

Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-771-8265 ¤ Pg..............31

Alyssa Dotson, Sutton Group West Coast Realty.

Evelyn Lopez, Royal Pacific Realty

The Mortgage Group

Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-418-2588 ¤ Pg..............9

Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-724-7579 ¤ Pg..............41

Paul Sobieski - Accredited Mortgage Professional ✆ 604-512-2222 ¤ Pg..............55

Sam Bagry, RE/MAX City Realty

Robert Herr, My Single Property Postings

Paul Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-761-1664 ¤ Pg..............54

Specializes in Victoria area ✆ 250-382-2885 ¤ Pg..............33

Samson Danniels, Rennie & Associates Realty

Stan Van Woerkens, RE/MAX Crest Realty

Debbie Twitchell - Accredited Mortgage Professional ✆ 604-644-0511 ¤ Pg..............23

RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate Specializes in Squamish, Whistler or Pemberton ✆ Squamish 604-892-3571 ✆ Whistler 604-932-2300 ✆ Pemberton 604-894-6616 ¤ Pg..............56

Dominion Lending Centres Sheryl Elsom - Mortgage Professional ✆ 778-689-6843 ¤ Pg..............33

Coast Capital Savings Specializes in all kinds of Mortgage ✆ 1-888-517-7000 ¤ Pg..............21

Dominion Lending Centers Karen Hall - Mortgage Professional ✆ 604-936-7740 ¤ Pg..............43

Moving Canadian Association of Movers Can find movers by address and type of move ✆ 905.848.6579 ¤

City of Vancouver Landfill info for disposal of unwanted items ✆ 311 ¤ landfill-fees-and-charges.aspx

Kary Movers Ltd. Movers serving the lower mainland ✆ 604-687-1746 ¤ Pg..............51

Real Estate Boards Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board Find the latest real estate statistics of the Greater Vancouver Area ✆ 604-730-3000 ¤

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Find the latest real estate statistics of the Fraser Valley Area ✆ 604-930-7600 ¤

Specializes in the Tri-cities area ✆ 604-941-3838 ¤ Pg..............54

Specializes in Maple Ridge/ PittMeadows/Mission area ✆ 604-476-1111 ¤ Pg..............41

Rental BC Laws Residential Tenancy Act - laws that govern rentals ¤ statreg/02078_01

Realtors serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 778-989-2454 ¤ Pg..............37

Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-306-2550 ¤ Pg..............19

Tenants BC

Angie Vazquez, Thornhill Real Estate Group

Wendi Gustavson, Angell Hasman & Associates Realty Ltd.


Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 778-318-5900 ¤ Pg..............33

Neeraj Sood, RE/MAX Little Oak Realty Specializes in the Surrey area ✆ 604-771-8265 ¤ Pg..............3

Michelle Yu, RE/MAX Real Estate Services Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-263-2823 ¤ Pg..............28

Sunny Bansal, Amex Fraseridge Realty Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-322-3272 ¤ Pg..............11

Cindy Gering , Royal LePage West Real Estate Services Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-779-1292 ¤ Pg..............13

Realtor Rod Hayes, Park Georgia Realty

Anil Bharwani, RE/MAX Lifestyle Realty

Barbie Whitworth, Holywell Properties Specializes in the Sunshine Coast area ✆ 604-741-1239 ¤ Pg..............15

Joe Vallee, RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside

Candice Dyer, Sutton Group West Coast Realty

Specializes in the Vancouver area ✆ 604-880-6117 ¤ Pg..............39

Specializes in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor ✆ 604-306-8911 ¤ Pg..............2

A resource for landlords (and tenants) in BC ✆ 1-800-665-8779 ¤

Specializes in the North Shore area ✆ 604-649-8624 ¤ Pg..............7

Better Business Bureau Better Business Bureau to find reputable cleaning, painting, contracting etc. services ¤

Debbie Anderson, Royal LePage Black Tusk Realty Specializes in the Squamish area ✆ 604-815-8043 ¤ Pg..............19

BC Hydro Crown corporation that manages electricity - rebates are often available ✆ 604-224-9376 ¤

FortisBC Carolyn Hill, Macdonald Realty Whistler Specializes in the Whistler area ✆ 604-907-0770 ¤ Pg..............54

Tina Kaizer, RE/MAX Oceanview Realty Specializes in Sunshine Coast area ✆ 604-741-5066 ¤ Pg..............54

Lola Oduwole, Coldwell Banker

Energy supplier of BC - rebates are often available ✆ 1-866-436-7847 ¤

Yaletown Interiors Richmond Local Interior Company ✆ 604-271-8852 Pg..............37

Absolutely Floored Local Flooring Company ✆ 604-941-6677 ¤ Pg.............19

Homestead Furniture Inc.

Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-809-6317 ¤ Pg..............43

Quality Home Furnishings ✆ 604-544-4040 ¤ Pg..............35

Ned & Tanya Grubic, Team 3000 Realty


Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ Ned: 78.683.5857 ✆ Tanya: 604.240.0020 ¤ Pg..............43

Condominium Home Owners Association

Dexter Associates Realty Realtor serving the Lower Mainland ✆ 604-263-1144 ✆ 604-263-1144 ✆ 604-689-8226 ¤ Pg..............45

Nonprofit association serving BC’s strata owners since 1976 ✆ 604-584-2462 ¤

Strata Law Free local resource all about strata law ¤




Your Sunshine Coast Realtor

20 Years experience combined

SAM BAGRY 604-761-1664

C: 604.741.5066 O: 604.885.4313

JIN BAGRY 604-644-0495

Top 1% of all Greater Vancouver Area Realtors Top 1% – 2014 and 2015 Presidentʼs Club

Oceanview Realty 5686 Cowrie St. P.O. 675 Sechelt, BC V0N 3A0

I love referrals; please call me if you need to sell or buy a house with fast results


Carolyn Hill Residential Fire Sprinkler Installation ASSOCIATE BROKER Delivering the Dream – Whistler Voted “BEST REALTOR” 2015 Pique Newspaper

> Full Installation & Design Services > Attractive Designs > Variety of Colours & Styles > 5 Year Limited Warranty

It’s like having a fi refighter in every room of your home



7887 114A Street, Delta, BC V4C 5L8







YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD REALTOR SINCE 1987 RECOMMENDED & REFERRED WORKING FOR YOU • Trusted, active, involved Tri-City residents • Utilizing the best of new & traditional advertising for our clients

9129 Shaughnessy Street | Vancouver, BC V6P 6R9




604 •240 •1927

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