W E S T C O A S T
February 12, 2016
GRAND OPENING: STUNNING WEST COQUITLAM HOMES Launch of ﬁrst Lougheed Heights tower causing a buzz among buyers P8-9
BEST OF BC
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
EMBRACE THE DARK SIDE
Two areas outside the Lower Mainland to invest in
Demystifying the rules over smoking in a strata
Don’t paint yourself into a corner over colours
2 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms 3,005 sqft. + 2539 sqft. deck
OPEN HOUSE P31
Twenty current condo show suites around the region P34
SELLERS, WE DELIVER! With 178 successful transactions negotiated in 2015, we have the marketing skills, the presentation skills and the negotiation experience to assist you in realizing your real estate dreams. Get us working for you!
February 12, 2016
Condo market snapshots 6 12 18 22
Tri-Cities Vancouver Burnaby Richmond/South Delta
26 28 30
North Shore Surrey New West
How to... Assess the beneﬁts of a presale condo GVHBA’s Bob de Wit explains the pros of buying your home off-plan
O D L O S T S JU
Breathtaking 360 Views • 1,970 s.f. • 2 Bdrm & Den • 3 Bathroom
A cool development with club amenities is proving a hot draw in West Coquitlam
Outstanding 400 s.f. Terrace!
• Penthse Suite • Pet/Rent w/ Rest • Soaring Ceilings • 2 parking • Wrap Terrace • Main Fee: $978
1600 –120 West 16th Avenue
Lifestyle and location
• 902 s.f. Suite • 2 Bedrooms • 2 Bathrooms
• Granite Counters • 2 Parking • Spacious Living • 2 Storage • Terrific Amenities • Main Fee: $364
702 – 1425 West 6th Avenue
For the complete schedule of our open houses & our listings complete with enhanced detail go to...
Investing further aﬁeld
Two BC cities that show the Lower Mainland isn’t the investment centre of the world
Tips for sellers The speciﬁcs you’ll need to know when listing a strata property
Ask the expert
Do I pay GST on a never-occupied resale unit? Barry Magee answers
Luxurious Parkside Homes - 2017 • 1,035 s.f. • 2 Bedroom • 2 Bathroom
• Stainless Kitch • Huge Balcony • Hardwood Flrs • Concrete • A/C • Assignment
605 - 4412-4488 Cambie Street
2964 West 8th Avenue
OO S G
IN M O C
Fabulous Suite in Popular South Main
O D L O S T S O JU • 905 s.f. home • Fantastic Suite • Insuite Laundry • 2 Bdrms & Den • Delight Kitch • 1 pkg/1 stg • 2 Bathroom • Covered Balcony • Main fee: $422
Great Views • 760 s.f. home • 1 Bdrm & Den • 1 Bathroom
• Fantastic Suite • Insuite Laundry • Delight Kitch • 1 pkg/1 stg • Covered Balcony • Main fee: $422
*see FaithWilsonGroup.com for details
Conﬂict and consequences
No smoking, please
Strata bylaw violations can be tricky – CHOA’s Tony Gioventu has advice
Strata issues over smoking rules are set to heat up, says FirstService Residential
Don’t be afraid of the dark
Buying or Selling, you’ve got to have Faith 4 February 12, 2016
Gorgeous 1/2 Duplex in Heart of Kits • 1,538 s.f. • Lge Principal Rms • Sunny Yard • 2 Bdrms + Den • 2 level home • Private Patio • 3 Bathrooms • Light & Bright • Single Car
MOUNT PLEASANT EAST
256–250 East 6th Avenue
Everyone says not to use dark paint colours in small spaces. Is everyone wrong?
Beware ﬂawed reports on housing affordability
that we assist in realizing their real estate dreams
Vancouver is an expensive city for real estate, no doubt. But Demographia’s annual affordability survey should not be heeded
h, the annual housing affordability survey from Demographia. Guaranteed to make Vancouverites weep into their lattes. Demographia recently announced that Vancouver is the world’s third most unaffordable city for real estate. It assesses “affordability” by comparing the median price of a home with the median income. This year, it found that Vancouver’s US$756,200 house price and median household income of US$69,700 create a “median multiple” of 10.8, which is beaten out only by Hong Kong (19.0) and Sydney (12.2). However, its methodology is awed. Here’s why you should take the results with a healthy dose of salt. 1. Cities from only nine countries across the globe are surveyed. This is because, or so it claims, real estate pricing is not reliable in the world’s 180 other countries. 2. Demographia asserts Vancouver’s median price (all property types) is
$756,200 US. That’s $1.08 million CAD in today’s prices. Why so much higher than the board’s benchmark price of $760,900 Canadian? 3. Median house price versus income is an irrelevant measure of affordability. Income is only part of what enables a person to afford a property. Their own equity, whether from private wealth, the sale of a previous house, inheritance, savings or the Bank of Mom and Dad, is a huge part of this. 4. There are also interest rates to consider, which in Canada are at historic lows, making mortgages much cheaper to service. Mortgage payments can stay the same or even reduce, even if house prices go up. 5. Demographia only considers housing costs, but affordability should be based on combined housing and transportation costs, as there are trade-offs between these. So if you’re reading about any of the affordability surveys that are frequently pumped out, please think twice.
Joannah Connolly Editor-in-Chief West Coast Condominium 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 REW.ca. She appears regularly on radio, TV and conference panels discussing the Vancouver real estate market.
W E S T C O A S T
CONDOMINIUM PUBLISHER: Janai York EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Joannah Connolly EDITOR: Jill Lunde CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Frank O’Brien DIRECTOR, SALES: Lynn Fry SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Tracey Aussem, Rebecca Bookham, Audrey White, Audrie Gilson, Jackie Mollenhauer PRODUCTION MANAGER: Holly Burge PRODUCTION: Darko Isic, Peter Gallagher DESIGNERS: Carol Rui, Arslan Sultan, Joanne Yen
Your essential guide to condo life in the Lower Mainland
VANCOUVER HEAD OFFICE: 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y-1J6 COPYRIGHT: WEST COAST CONDOMINIUM is published bi-weekly by Real Estate Weekly Partnership. Copyright 2015. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of articles and advertising that appear in each edition of West Coast Condominium, 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.
the peace of mind of
FWG’s 18 MONTH
Satisfaction Guarantee* Whether buying your first condo or that palatial penthouse, it is a huge decision... one you literally have to live with. Sometimes, regardless of how rigorous and detailed your home search and your buying process was, lifestyle and family evolution hastens a change in your needs beyond your original requirements.
So, if your decision doesn’t meet your needs or wants, with the Faith Wilson Group your satisfaction is still guaranteed. FWG THE *
Here’s how it works •
If you find that within 18 months of the completion date the home you purchased with Faith Wilson Realty Group does not meet your evolving needs, we guarantee to sell and not charge you the listing portion of the commission.
To qualify for this guarantee, you must purchase another property of equal or greater value using our services.
The listing portion of the commission on your will be credited to you upon the final reconciliation of your new purchase.
A C E O F MI N
With over 548 successful contracts negotiated in the last four years, the Faith Wilson Group TEAM is ready to assist and guide you through every step of the process.
To get us working for you, just call Faith today at
604-224-5277 or visit FWG
Rea l Estate W eekly
February 12, 2016 5
Tri-Cities As more condos come on the market, median prices are dropping Canyon Springs
By Jill Lunde
t’s a familiar story no matter where you condo shop in Metro Vancouver. Listings are picking up and the new properties coming on the market are by far and wide more affordable ones. The result: more options with more reasonable prices. One of the most affordable condos in Coquitlam came on the market January 23. This one-bedroom home in Centennial House is listed at $145,000. In Port Coquitlam, two one-bedroom units in Coquitlam Place were listed in late January – one for $109,900 and the other for $135,900. And in Port Moody, a one-bedroom in Forest Hill entered the market January 21 for $275,000. If you’re searching at the higher end of the scale, a two bedroom in Port Moody Centre’s Nahanni building was listed January 19 for $757,000. PoCo’s priciest option came on the market January 27. It’s $398,888 for a two-bedroom in The Shaughnessy. Coquitlam’s Westwood Plateau had the city’s most expensive listing at the time of writing. A one-bedroom in Cascade was put on the market for $1.1 million on January 25.
This is a great neighbourhood for Douglas College students and workers and both the area’s current listings are within easy walking distance of both this and the Aquatic Centre. You can pick up a home here for $219,000 in The Madison or for $239,800 in The Kennedy. There were two sales recently in The Madison, with the owners walking away with varying degrees of satisfaction. A one-bedroom home in the building went for three per cent under its list price of $229,800 after 35 days on the market, while a two-bedroom there sold foe eight per cent over its $328,800 price after just six days of action.
Glenwood This popular Port Coquitlam neighbourhood is a vibrant community with lots of shopping, recreational, and entertainment amenities. The 15 active condo listings here include several that are new to the market including a two-bedroom in Key West that was listed in mid-January for $229,000. Its owners are probably hoping for the same kind of offer one of their neighbours accepted January 16. That two-bedroom home sold for five per cent over its asking price of $219,000 after four days.
There were two sales recently in The Madison, with the owners walking away with varying degrees of satisfaction 6 February 12, 2016
Active condo listings*
Coquitlam median listing price*
Port Coquitlam median listing price*
Port Moody median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* 1 BR: 42% 2 BR: 55% 3+ BR: 5%
*Active listings up to January 29, 2016
Assess beneﬁts of a pre-construction condo It might seem daunting, but there are lots of perks in buying a pre-sale unit. The GVHBA’s Bob de Wit demystiﬁes the process
onsidering the purchase of a condo? Metro Vancouver is currently in a major development phase with new condo developments throughout the region. Buying new, off showroom plans, might seem a little daunting. However, there are some major perks getting in on the pre-construction phase.
Customize your unit A big advantage is ﬂexibility in customizing your condo. Remember, you are in the pre-construction phase, so there are a lot of options to negotiate. The obvious upgrades include appliances, ﬁxtures, ﬂooring choices and paint colour. Builders will have a margin to work with, so the rule of thumb when considering upgrades is: the more you upgrade, the larger the discount to negotiate. The conﬁguration within a condo, in the pre-construction phase, will have ﬂexibility, so be sure to review the layout and compare it with your lifestyle. Maybe a small one-bedroom could be reconﬁgured into a larger, open-plan studio. There may be opportunities to add or omit a ﬂex wall to customize the size of the living space. An extra storage room or ﬂex room can make all the difference when dealing with functionality and small spaces. Be sure to review external features including parking stalls, personal bike racks, extra storage lockers and
The conﬁguration within a condo, in the preconstruction phase, will have ﬂexibility, so be sure to review the layout and compare it with your lifestyle
amenities. There may be options to purchase extra or omit from your customized package, affecting the livability and future resale value.
a Branch of BC Housing. Plus, all appliances, being brand new, will be under warranty, lowering maintenance and unforeseen costs.
Want free buying advice?
Another advantage of pre-purchase is the potential ﬁnancial beneﬁts. Owner-occupiers buying a pre-sale in a rising market can beneﬁt with time on their side. Pre-qualifying with just ﬁve per cent down, coupled with a move-in date of two years down the road, for example, provides time to save for a larger deposit, potentially omitting the need for CMHC mortgage insurance. This may allow a buyer who previously was a high-ratio borrower, to become a low-ratio buyer, saving thousands of dollars in mortgage insurance premiums. And with the state of the current marketplace, the value of the condo will potentially have gone up over time, increasing your investment gain. As with all new homes in BC, buying a pre-construction condo will come under the 2-5-10 year warranty program, mandated by the Homeowner Protection Ofﬁce,
It is a good idea to research your options and be prepared for when pre-sale opportunities come on the market. The Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, a notfor-proﬁt society, is hosting the 22nd annual Home Buyers Seminar on Wednesday, March 2, at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver from 5 pm to 8 pm. Featured speakers include industry experts from: the Homeowner Protection Ofﬁce, a Branch of BC Housing; Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver; Royal
Bank of Canada; Kuhn LLP, FortisBC and the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC. Topics include all types of home buying, including the purchase of pre-sale condominiums. A great opportunity to gather free advice from experts offering their personal, industry perspective, the information presented, is not readily found on the Internet. Considering the current state of the market, with higher demand for real estate placing added pressures on the buyer, this seminar is offered at a time when buyers can use all the leverage possible. For more information, and to register for this free consumer seminar, go to www.gvhba.org/events. The seminar will also be streamed live. Pre-registration is required for both options.
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 email@example.com.
February 12, 2016 7
Lougheed Heights celebrates ofďŹ cial launch with Grand Opening Thousands of prospective buyers been drawn to the resort-style West Coquitlam development â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with many more expected on February 13
ince mid-January, more than 5,000 prospective buyers have come through the doors of the new Lougheed Heights sales centre and show home in West Coquitlam. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Based on the interest that we have received throughout the last few ZHHNV RI SUHYLHZV ZH DUH FRQÂżGHQW that sales of Tower 1 at Lougheed Heights will be extremely strong,â&#x20AC;? says Daryl Simpson, senior vicepresident at Bosa Properties. :LWK WKH *UDQG 2SHQLQJ RI WKH ÂżUVW condominium tower on Saturday, February 13, Bosa Properties expects quite a crowd. According to the sales team, one of the biggest draws has been the 24,000 square feet of resortinspired Club BlueSky at Lougheed Heights. The members-only club is showcased by a heated outdoor pool RQ WKLUG Ă&#x20AC;RRU URRIWRS FRPSOHWH ZLWK cabanas and lounge chairs, a barbecue WHUUDFH ZLWK ÂżUH SLWV DQG KDUYHVW WDEOH
8 February 12, 2016
and childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s playground. For those ÂżWQHVV HQWKXVLDVWV WKHUH ZLOO EH D IXOO\ HTXLSSHG ÂżWQHVV FHQWUH ZLWK LWV own basketball court and steam and sauna rooms. 7KH ÂżUVW RI WKUHH WRZHUV LV D 37-storey concrete building featuring a sophisticated collection of 334 homes. Inside these West Coast contemporary dwellings, the design is understated yet sophisticated, cozy yet clean. They consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom residences varying in size from 504 to 1,664 square feet. In addition, there will be two larger sub-penthouses and three penthouses on the 36th and 37th Ă&#x20AC;RRUV Designed by award-winning architect Chris Dikeakos, the tower will feature generous decks and balconies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; great for entertaining or taking in the sweeping views of the FLW\ DQG QDWXUH :KLOH ÂżUVW WLPH
of the two-bedroom, two-bathroom homes (959 square feet) that feature expansive entertaining space and incredible south-west views. (The suite illustrated is the fully furnished display suite inside the sales centre). Once completed, the masterplanned community of Lougheed Heights will feature three towers in this up-and-coming West Coquitlam neighbourhood, steps away from the Millennium Line and the future Evergreen Line. There is a real resurgence happening in West Coquitlam, fueled in part by its growing reputation as that of Metro Vancouverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next rapid transit community. In addition, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of excitement behind the major redevelopment of the Lougheed Mall. Lougheed Heights is in the epicentre of the emerging postal code, close to Lougheed Town Centre, excellent schools (including SFU), shops and restaurants. Lougheed Heights is a partnership between the Bosa familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s BlueSky Properties and Bosa Properties, award-winning builders behind some of the Lower Mainlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most iconic developments. With prices starting from $319,900, Lougheed Heights is affordable luxury in the heart of a re-energized community. The Grand Opening is on Saturday, February 13 from noon to 5pm at the sales centre, located at 581 Clarke Road (at Como Lake Ave), Coquitlam. There will be refreshments and appetizers available during the launch.
home-buyers and move-up buyers have been showing interest in one RI WKH PRUH HIÂżFLHQW WZR EHGURRP suites (727 square feet), which offer excellent value, downsizers have been particularly interested in one
For more information, visit www.lougheedheights.com, contact the sales team at 604-939-2677 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tentative occupancy is slated for early 2019.
Two hot investment markets outside of Metro Vancouver Where condominiums priced lower than Metro Vancouver make for positive cash ﬂows By Frank O’Brien
ondominium investors buying units to be used as rentals could take a look outside of the Metro Vancouver market as they search for positive cash ﬂow. In Greater Vancouver, for example, the typical condominium sells for $436,000, while condominiums in smaller BC centres can be half that price, though rents can be similar. In general, investors buying rental properties must put down a minimum of 20 per cent. There are some issues to watch for when investing in smaller cities or towns in BC. The ﬁrst rule is to buy in markets that are showing an increase in population and, ideally, have a pool of potential tenants, such as university students or construction workers for long-term projects. Recent appreciation in condominium prices is also a signal of an investment opportunity. This narrows the search somewhat. According to BC Stats, only two regions outside of the Lower Mainland showed population growth from 2014 to 2015. Those were Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.
Nanaimo On Vancouver Island, perhaps the best small market to consider is Nanaimo, which posted a 1.7 per cent population increase last year, among the highest in the province. With 89,000 residents, Nanaimo is BC’s second-biggest city outside of the Lower Mainland. This year, a passenger-ferry link between Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver is planned; this could improve access to the “harbour city” and add to its appeal to Vancouver investors. The apartment rental vacancy rate in Nanaimo is 2.9 per cent and the
10 February 12, 2016
average two-bedroom apartment rents for $820 per month (condominiums normally rent for higher prices), according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. As of mid-January there were 55 condominiums listed for sale in Nanaimo at less than $225,000 and a good selection priced at $155,000 or less. Condominium prices have increased modestly over the past year, rising about four per cent.
Kelowna Another option for condo investors is Kelowna, the largest city in the Okanagan and the biggest BC city outside the Lower Mainland. Its population growth of 3.2 per cent last year, from 2014, led the entire province. The city’s 1.7 per cent rental vacancy rate is among the lowest in BC while its average rent, at $1,020
a month for a two-bedroom, is among the highest outside of Greater Vancouver. It is possible to ﬁnd twobedroom condominiums in Kelowna priced under $200,000. With a 20 per cent down payment and today’s historic low interest rates, condominium investors may find they can achieve a positive cash flow (where rental income surpasses mortgage costs, taxes and strata fees) much easier in smaller BC centres than in most of the Lower Mainland.
The ﬁrst rule is to buy in markets that are showing an increase in population
Frank O’Brien is editor of Western Investor, the largest commercial real estate investment newspaper in Western Canada.
604-263-1144 Main Street
If you are looking to buy or sell a condo or townhouse, your DEXTER REALTOR 速 (backed by the entire Dexter Team) has the knowledge and the experience to support and guide you through the entire process.
Your one-stop source of lower mainland home listings and real estate news. RESALE HOME LISTINGS | NEW HOMES FOR SALE AGENT PROFILES | REAL ESTATE MARKET NEWS HOME BUYING & SELLING ADVICE
Email: email@example.com or Call 604.379.4576
Wherever you are, we can help. Contact us with confidence. Enjoy the security and confidence which comes from dealing with professionals who care. Call or visit us at www.dexterrealty.com
February 12, 2016 11
Vancouver Looks like spring is set to come early in our region’s largest city By Jill Lunde
t’s the spring thaw, come early. Listings are up across Metro Vancouver and Vancouver itself is no exception. It’s good news for condo hunters who always appreciate more choice. Something else for buyers to be grateful for… the new properties are pulling the median listing prices down on both the East and West sides. One of the West Side’s most affordable recent listings is in Coal Harbour – a neighbourhood normally not mentioned in the same breath as the word affordable. Mind you, there’s a hitch. The $200,000 sticker price is for a one-bedroom in the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel where the owner is entitled to 30 days of use per year. Looking for a well-priced option on the East Side? The cheapest living here is for a one-bedroom in Mount Pleasant’s Rosemount Manor. This unit entered the market January 25 for $145,000.
Renfrew This primarily residential neighbourhood enjoys good access to nature including Renfrew Ravine Park as well as both the Renfrew and Rupert SkyTrain stations. There are 15
active listings in the area; two-thirds of these are in Thind’s Renfrew & 1st and Renfrew & 2nd preconstruction developments. One of these brandnew homes will set you back anywhere from $303,900 to $543,900. Recent sales in the area include a one-bedroom in 8th Avenue Garden Apartments selling for one per cent under its $275,000 list price after 197 days on the market and a onebedroom in L’Atelier going for three per cent over its $475,000 price after only 11 days.
Active condo listings*
Kerrisdale This neighbourhood with its quaint shopping village is one of our city’s most desirable locations. When it comes to recent listings, a one-bedroom penthouse came on the market January 26 in Kerrisdale Place. It’s listed for $499,000. Sterling, currently in preconstruction, has the community’s priciest option: $2.85 million for a three-bedroom you can call home in 2017. Two recent area sales indicate properties priced right on the money. A two-bedroom in Balsam Court sold for its list price of $468,000 after ﬁve days while a two-bedroom in The Wedgewood took four days to sell for one per cent under its $1,498,000 asking price.
New properties are pulling the median listing prices down on both East and West Sides 12 February 12, 2016
Vancouver West median listing price*
Vancouver East median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 4% 1 BR: 36% 2 BR:49% 3 BR: 11%
*Active listings up to January 29, 2016
14 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS SELLERS need answered before hiring a real estate agent to market & sell your home! Literally tens of thousands of dollars are riding on the agent you hire to market, present and negotiate the sale of your Vancouver home. And let’s face it - in real estate, as in life - not all things are created equal. Honest answers to these questions from the agents you are interviewing will help you to decide whom to entrust to market and sell your home for top dollar with the least amount of hassle.
What makes you different? Why should I list with you? What unique strategies do you use? Today, it is a much tougher and more dynamic real estate market than it was even 5 years ago. A successful agent stays up-to-speed on the complex, multi-dimensional marketing needed to reach all buyers, including mobile and internet-savvy consumers and international prospects.
How many properties have you marketed and sold in the last 12 months?
Did you know that only 10% of Vancouver agents sold more than 10 homes in the last 12 months? Working with top producers ensures \RX DUH UHFHLYLQJ WKH EHQH¿ W RI WKHLU experience, resources and their proven plan to deliver a successful sale.
How many contracts have you negotiated in the last 10 years?
The more contracts negotiated and the more exposure to cross cultural scenarios translate into better advice which delivers better results for you.
Do you work solo or with a team?
There are simply too many steps in the full process for a solo agent to do a great job of everything. A team approach is the only way to ensure you receive the attention to detail and the full service and consistent coverage that you deserve.
How do you manage all showings across all of your listings?
&RQVLGHU WKDW WDNLQJ R̆ WKH EDVLF WZR weeks of holidays, stats and 1 day per
week means your solo agent misses 74 days (20%) of the year to meet face to face with prospective buyers and highlight the best of your home. Does the agent have licensed property showing specialists as part of their team or do they miss opportunities to show and sell?
What is your pricing strategy for my home?
A realistic, market-based price point will attract the full scope of buyers and not just those looking to “steal the deal”. Setting the right price requires skill, experience, plus local market trends knowledge.
How long, on average, does it take your listings to sell?
Ask if the agent tends to sell a home faster or slower than average and compare that answer to your goals; this is an indicator of their expertise.
Beyond posting my home on MLS and its related pickup sites, where will my home be marketed online? Today, 92% of home buyers use the internet during their home buying process and nearly half of buyers look RQOLQH DV WKHLU ¿ UVW VWHS 'RHV KH VKH have a website dedicated exclusively to showcasing their clients’ homes? Does the agent’s internet marketing plan assure accessibility in Chinese and optimization for mobile devices?
Do you provide references from past clients?
What homes have you sold in my area?
An informed agent will provide you with their performance in your neighbourhood and area.
Do you provide a written schedule of the services you deliver?
A set of performance promises will clearly detail what you can expect from the agent, including recourse if they don’t deliver.
In closing, the sale of your home is likely one of the largest ﬁnancial decisions you will make. The right agent with the skills, the plans and the commitment will deliver distinctly better results. We present these questions for your consideration in order that you make the right decision for you and your family. Please use these questions as a foundation for making the right choice for your needs.
Do you provide regular, updated market evaluations on my home?
Once your home is listed, how often do you update me on relevant market activity and overview?
What is your marketing budget for my home so as to stand out versus comparable listings? What percent of the agent’s commission will be dedicated to the marketing budget and how does this compare?
What marketing media mix will you use to display my home to the widest array of potential buyers?
Successful agents use a mix of search advertising, social media plus web sites for Vancouver, China, the U.S. and other international markets, and print media.
A trustworthy agent will be delighted WR SURYLGH UHIHUHQFHV IURP VDWLV¿ HG clients for you to review.
Buying or Selling, you’ve got to have Faith CONDOMINIUM
February 12, 2016 13
Tips for sellers:
What’s involved in selling a strata property If you’re listing your strata property, there are some things you should know, agent Caitlin Radzanowski tells Jo Boxwell of Team Powerhouse Realty
A dysfunctional strata corporation or one in ﬁnancial difﬁculty could discourage potential buyers
By Jo Boxwell
he process of selling a strata property is not the same as selling a house, and it tends to be much more involved when it comes to drawing up the paperwork. Here, real estate agent Caitlin Radzanowski explains some of the unique issues involved.
What are you actually selling? One of the major differences between selling a house and a strata property boils down to what exactly
14 February 12, 2016
you are selling, Caitlin says. “When you sell a house, you are selling the home and the land it is on. With a strata property, you could be selling a unit with or without land depending on the development type. Typically, a strata property sale will also include areas that are under shared ownership by all unit owners in that complex.” It is important to understand exactly what type of strata property you are selling when you start this process. That isn’t quite as simple as establishing whether your property is a condo, duplex, townhouse, fractional vacation property or strata
subdivision. Some residential properties are part of mixed-use strata developments that feature commercial spaces such as restaurants and retail outlets, for example, and these developments can have their own set of legal implications. “You should also be aware of whether your property is freehold or leasehold because this may affect the fair market value of your property,” Caitlin adds. “You can expect a leasehold strata lot to have a lower market value than a similar freehold strata lot.” These additional considerations
will become part of a buyer’s decision-making process and they also come into play when the sale documents are drawn up.
Strata-speciﬁc paperwork Along with the standard title and property disclosure statements that house sellers will be familiar with, strata property owners are typically required to provide signi cantly more information prior to the completion of a sale. This shouldn’t deter sellers, but it is especially important to hire an experienced CONTINUED - PG 17
HOME BUYER’S RESOURCE GUIDE COMIN G SOON
RE N F
S ’ R E Y U B E M O H OURCE RES E 6 201
D I U G
Putting resource information in the hands of home buyers all across the lower mainland e Hom ction e Insp
with ociati ss rship rtne ilders A rd u a in pa ded Home B state Bo r provi E tent ancouve r Real Con ve V u co ter Grea ater Van & Gre
IS E TH
ith ing w P.12 Work or lt a rea
S PAC E A N D T I M E A R E L I M I T E D ! Contact us at 604.435.7977 to reserve your space
16 February 12, 2016
pro that ons . e ovati Ren ost valu the m
S P RI NG 2016
I S S U E D A T E : March 25, 2016 DEADLINES: Space Reservation: March 14, 2016 Creative Deadline: March 14, 2016
CONTINUED FROM PG 14
and quali ed REALTOR® who can help make this process as smooth as possible. Caitlin gives some examples of the additional documents that strata property owners in British Columbia are expected to provide: “The strata plan, a current Form B Information Certi cate with the strata corporation’s rules and current budget, monthly and AGM meeting minutes for the past two years, current bylaws and nancial statements of the strata corporation, the strata’s insurance coverage, a depreciation report and information on any special levies.” Your agent will be able to provide you with a more detailed list of required documents and will be able to walk you through the process of obtaining these documents.
discourage potential buyers. It may also have an impact on price, depending on the severity of the issues involved.” In addition, you can expect strata fees and rules to play a part in shaping buyers’ perspectives of your unit, for instance, if the fees seem disproportionate compared with similar properties in the same area. Strata rules that may influence prospective buyers’ interest in the property include the availability of parking spaces, and if rentals are allowed or prohibited. Caitlin adds that rules regarding pets tend to be among the most contentious for buyers. “A lot of people consider their pets to be members of the family and a ‘no pets’ or ‘pets allowed with restrictions’ bylaw can definitely be a dealbreaker in some cases.”
When to sell The strata corporation Some strata corporations may have specific rules that apply to unit sales – for instance, around the placement of “For Sale” signs on the premises – but typically they won’t want to impinge on your ability to sell your property and therefore are unlikely to have any rules that your agent can’t work around. That being said, a strata corporation can still have an impact on how quickly your property sells, and for how much. If the strata corporation managing your complex is nancially responsible and seems to be effective in dealing with issues as they occur, prospective buyers are likely to feel more con dent and it may help you sell your property more quickly. On the other hand, Caitlin warns that strata corporations facing serious challenges can have the opposite effect on prospective buyers. “A dysfunctional strata corporation or one in nancial dif culty could
Before you list your property, nd a REALTOR® with experience selling properties in your local area and ask them about current market conditions. Caitlin says it isn’t necessary to hold off on listing a property just because of the season as different times of year have their vancouver winter advantages. “Summer may be nice to show off any gardens or well-kept outdoor common areas, but the winter months often attract more serious buyers.” One of the great things about selling a strata property is the wide range of potential buyers who are looking for those types of homes. As Caitlin points out, “Strata properties are an excellent option for anyone wanting to live a maintenance-free lifestyle. Busy young professionals, snowbirds and the elderly are all potential strata property buyers.” There is a lot to feel con dent about when it is time to sell your strata home.
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.
Solterra (Milano) Limited Partnership
February 12, 2016 17
Burnaby Inventory is up and the median price is down… let’s go shopping! By Jill Lunde
ondo shoppers looking for action: take note. The number of active listings in Burnaby is on the increase and the overall median price is down some 20K from two weeks ago. Getting your foot in the door could be as easy as the onebedroom home on Laurel Street near Burnaby Hospital that’s available for $175,000. That’s in an older building (Valhalla Court) and it’s been on the market since September, so perhaps the seller would welcome a nibble. At the high end, the most expensive listing currently in Burnaby is a penthouse in The Savoy in the South Slope neighbourhood. On the books since last April, it’s listed at $1,695,000. A quick look at 35 recent sales in Burnaby shows condos going anywhere from six per cent under asking (a two-bedroom in SOLO Stratus in Brentwood that was only on the market for ﬁve days) to eight per cent over list (a two-bedroom in Metrotown’s Place Meridian after six days).
Sullivan Heights Located just north of Lougheed
Town Centre, this neighbourhood has lots of amenities, is near SFU, and has 21 active listings ranging in price from $185,000 to $514,500. Almost half of the area’s available condos are in Cameron, a new complex currently in its preconstruction phase. No Cameron transactions were appearing on our list of recent sales where properties were going anywhere from three per cent over asking to, in the majority of cases, one per cent under.
Government Road This community is also north of the highway and residents love its fast access to Vancouver’s downtown. Of the area’s seven active listings, two are in Sandlewood. Here you can choose between a two-bedroom for $408,888 that came on the market January 25 or another two-bed that’s been waiting since November for someone to take the owners up on their $419,900 asking price. Two properties in the Concorde Place development recently changed hands. One of these one-bedrooms spent a week on the market before selling for $235,000 (two per cent less than list) while the other was snapped up the same day it was listed for $200,000 (ﬁve per cent under asking).
Getting your foot in the door could be as easy as the one-bedroom home near Burnaby Hospital that’s available for $175,000 18 February 12, 2016
Active condo listings*
Burnaby median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 31% 2 BR:62% 3+ BR: 6%
*Active listings up to January 29, 2016
BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED 1, 2, 3 BEDROOM & ESTATE LEVEL HOMES
MODELLO PRESENTATION CENTRE #118 - 5021 Kingsway, Burnaby | Open daily 12-5pm (closed Fridays) Located on Marlborough, one block west of Royal Oak - across from London Drugs on Kingsway
ModelloByBoffo.ca | 604.456.0688
THIS IS NOT AN OFFERING FOR SALE. SUCH AN OFFERING CAN ONLY BE MADE BY A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. E&OE.
February 12, 2016 19
S TRATA ADVICE
Who decides the consequences when
someone violates the bylaws? For the time being you need to turn to your strata council when conﬂict arises By Tony Gioventu
trata living provides us with many advantages that enable property owners to share in the beneﬁts of recreation facilities and the shared used and maintenance of property. These often provide us with a higher level of security and services. A common beneﬁt of strata living is that the buildings (except for a bare land strata) are common property. That means things like the gutter and window cleaning, roof inspections, tree pruning, landscaping and snow removal are all a part of our common services. The collective services are affordable and reduce our obligations; they’re attractive features of strata living. But what about when conﬂicts happen? How do we resolve disputes when an owner, tenant or occupant behaves in such a way that affects the use and enjoyment of our strata lot or the common facilities? A strata corporation is a simple form of government that is governed by the Strata Property Act, the Regulations and the bylaws of the strata corporation. The Act contains a Schedule of Standard Bylaws that automatically applies to all strata corporations, until a strata corporation adopts amendments. The bylaws regulate the use and enjoyment of strata lots, common and limited common property, common
20 February 12, 2016
Even a bylaw that creates “automatic ﬁnes” cannot be imposed without following the enforcement procedures assets and recreational facilities, and the administration and governance of the strata corporation. So what does this mean to a strata lot owner when the neighbour decides to do renovations at 3 am, or their dog barks all day while they are at work, or someone has parked in the wrong place?
Enforcement options Under the Act, the strata corporation, represented by the strata council, must enforce bylaws. They may impose ﬁnes or penalties or deny the use of recreation facilities and even in some cases take court action, but the council has no choice; they must deal with bylaw enforcement. The Act sets out a mandatory stepby-step process which requires a complaint to be received or ﬁled by the council. A notice of the complaint
including the details must be issued to the owner or the tenant, and they are entitled to respond in writing to the complaint or request a hearing which must occur within four weeks after the request. Once the strata council has issued the complaint and reviewed a written response or held the hearing, the council meets to determine if a bylaw or rule was violated. Council members determine the action of the strata and the decision whether a person has violated a bylaw or a rule cannot be delegated to any other party. The Standard Bylaws permit
ﬁnes of up to $50 per week or complaint, and $10 per rule; however, these can be amended in the bylaws up to $200 per week or event and $50 per rule, and $500 per week for violation of rental bylaws. A common error of strata corporations is to automatically apply bylaw ﬁnes for items such as late payment of strata fees. Even a bylaw that creates “automatic ﬁnes” cannot be imposed without following the enforcement procedures. Whether strata council members agree or not, they are required to act as the enforcement, the judge and the jury to determine if someone is at fault for violating bylaws or rules, and the consequences.
Change is coming Once the Civil Resolution Tribunal comes into effect later this year, the dynamics of enforcement will change dramatically. Owners and tenants will be able to make an application to the tribunal regarding bylaws and rules to challenge the decision of their council. The tribunal can determine whether bylaws and rules are being properly and fairly enforced, if they are enforceable, and can order the strata to comply with the bylaws and rules to order enforcement. The strata council will be able to make an application to order an owner or tenant to comply with bylaws and rules and to collect ﬁnes and penalties associated with bylaw enforcement. For more information, go to www. civilresolutionbc.ca.
Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association, which promotes the interests of strata property owners by providing advice, resources and support for its members. Tony has more than 20 years of experience within the local real estate and development industry.
Richmond South Delta More choice and better prices – now’s the time to make your move By Jill Lunde
ollowing a pattern seen across the Lower Mainland, the number of listings in Richmond and South Delta are on the rise, while the median price in Richmond has gone down (it remained the same in South Delta). The lowest Richmond prices are two condos selling in the Vancouver Airport Hilton Hotel. Listed at $68,000 and $68,800, these units have been on the market a long time: over 250 days for the cheaper of the two and well over a thousand days for the other. The most expensive Richmond listing has been sitting on the books for a long time too. It’s a three-bedroom in River Green and its owners have been waiting since last June for an offer close enough to the $6.88 million mark to accept. The highs and lows in South Delta tell a similar story. The least costly listing is $198,000 for a one-bedroom in Tsawwassen’s Sundial Village that’s been on the market since last May. And the most expensive, a $4,590,000 twobedroom in Tsawwassen Springs, has been for sale since last March.
McLennan North It wasn’t that long ago that this
central Richmond community was semi-rural. You won’t see farms here anymore; McLennan North has been planned as a “complete” neighbourhood with all amenities within a 10-minute walk. There are 63 active listings here including a number in newly completed buildings. Prices start at $295,000 for a one-bedroom in Red 2 and go as high as $1,390,000 for a brandnew home in Monet. Recent area sales include a threebedroom in Trellaine that was snapped up for $440,000 (two per cent less than asking) after two days on the market. The sellers of a twobedroom in Hampton Park held out for 12 days before letting their home go for three per cent over their $388,888 list price.
Ironwood A neighbourhood growing in popularity, Ironwood has nine active listings. Most of them are in relatively new buildings in The Gardens, a complex built on the old Fantasy Gardens site, with prices there starting at $279,000 and going as high as $399,000. A recent sale in this master-planned community went for five per cent under asking: $311,000 after only three days on the market.
McLennan North has been planned as a “complete”neighbourhood with all amenities within a 10-minute walk 22 February 12, 2016
Active condo listings*
Richmond median listing price*
South Delta median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 30% 2 BR: 60% 3+ BR: 9%
*Active listings up to January 29, 2016
NO 2 RD
NO 1 RD
DYK E R
PRIN C E
Do I pay GST on a
never-occupied unit? A little-known tax loophole means that if you buy a resale unit that has never been lived in, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the hook for the GST By Barry Magee
Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking for a newer condo, and I know that if I buy a new presale unit, I would have to pay GST on the purchase price. So if I were to purchase a resale property that is a couple of years old and has never been occupied, am I excluded from having to pay GST on it?
With the amount of development happening in Vancouver and the political talk around affordability that is RQJRLQJ WKLV LV GHÂżQLWHO\ DQ LQWULJXLQJ question. The perhaps-surprising answer to your question is no, you are not excluded from paying GST in this scenario. There are a number of situations where paying GST will still be applicable. Most people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know this, but if the unit has been left unoccupied, it is still considered new upon resale of the unit. The federal government considers this transaction a transfer of unoccupied inventory from one developer to another, so GST would be payable upon the resale transaction. So this brings a whole new issue into play. With vacancy being a target of the recent taxation scheme proposed by UBC professors to address housing affordability, this could be a loophole that can be exploited by an astute real estate investor. An example I heard recently was one where an investor purchased a property for $500,000 and paid $25,000 GST on the unit. They decided not to occupy or rent the unit, and were able to sell it a year and a half later for $600,000, because of Vancouverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s increasing prices. The new buyer wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t aware of this,
24 February 12, 2016
but because the unit had been left unoccupied, the purchase was subject WR SD\LQJ ÂżYH SHU FHQW WD[ HYHQ WKRXJK the building had been completed a year and a half ago. In addition to this, the seller was able to get their original $25,000 GST refunded to them from the province. So the investor made D FOHDU SURÂżW $ SHUIHFW example of real estate speculation at its best. Another exemption is when someone uses a property for a business purpose for more than 50 per cent of their ownership. So if you are buying from someone who used the residence to generate income, you need to check whether or not GST is payable on the unit. Yet another situation where you may be forced to pay GST on a resale unit is when it has claimed input tax credits or has undergone a substantial renovation. <RX FDQ ÂżQG RXW PRUH DERXW WKH KRZ the government views these situations on the CMHC website here. While itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unlikely an investor would
Most people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know this, but if a building has been left unoccupied, it is still considered new upon resale EX\ D XQLW VSHFLÂżFDOO\ WR H[SORLW WKLV loophole, as a buyer it is something you should very much be aware of. Getting a bill for $30,000 when you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expecting it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t on anyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s priority list. And with the amount of new developments we see being constructed around the city, I think more people will come across this as they purchase units that are a few years old. If we see any new tax system implemented like the one being
discussed at the Sauder School of Business these days, I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very likely we will see an increase in the amount of inventory available, especially in the newer developments we see everywhere around the city, as LQYHVWRUV RIĂ&#x20AC;RDG WKHLU XQLWV WR DYRLG the vacancy tax. As a buyer of one of these resale/new XQLWV \RX VKRXOG GHÂżQLWHO\ PDNH VXUH you are fully informed what the status surrounding GST on the unit is before becoming invested in the property.
Barry Magee is a Vancouver-based REALTORÂŽ with Macdonald Realty on Main Street, Vancouver. He has an extensive background in real estate marketing, and brings a consultative approach to the table for his real estate clients.
February 12, 2016 25
North Shore Listings are rising; median prices are falling. Could this be the time to get on the bandwagon? By Jill Lunde
n address on the North Shore is much coveted amongst Metro Vancouver residents. Who can blame us? Have you ever met someone who lives there who doesn’t love it? Condo hunters can take heart that the area’s number of listings is on the rise after the December doldrums and, even better news, median prices are coming down. North Vancouver’s 133 listings start at $189,000 for a one-bedroom in Tudor Court in Central Lonsdale and go as high as $1,928,800 for a threebedroom in Lower Lonsdale’s Mira on the Park. Looking at recent sales, the buyers of a one-bedroom unit in Central Lonsdale’s Tramore House got a great deal spending $237,500 – six per cent under the price listed when the condo went on the market ﬁve days earlier. Meanwhile the sellers of a two-bedroom home in Sky had plenty to celebrate. Their unit sold after a week for 10 per cent more than their $579,900 list price.
Upper Lonsdale Long considered one of North Van’s
most prestigious and sought-after neighbourhoods, Upper Lonsdale has four active condo listings. At $299,900, a one-bedroom in Lexington is the most recent to join the market and is the most affordable current option. A two-bedroom in Cedar Brooke Village is the most expensive. It was listed January 20 for $410,000. There was a recent sale in the Lexington complex. A one-bedroom condo was listed January 12 for $289,000 and sold three days later for $284,000 (two per cent under asking).
Active condo listings*
Park Royal If great views of Burrard Inlet and Stanley Park are what motivate you, check out the nine listings in this upscale neighbourhood. List prices range from $799,000 to $$4,388,000 and ﬁve of the homes are in brandnew or preconstruction buildings. Two of the most recent listings are in West Royal on Taylor Way; both are listed for $799,000 and came on the market on January 17 and 21. There was a recent sale in Waters Edge Estates. After 115 days on the market, the two-bedroom condo sold January 25 for three per cent less than its $948,000 sticker price.
N. Vancouver median listing price*
W. Vancouver median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 38% 2 BR:51% 3 BR: 9%
If great views of Burrard Inlet and Stanley Park are what motivate you, check out the nine listings in this upscale neighbourhood 26 February 12, 2016
*Active listings up to January 29, 2016
A NEW PERSPECTIVE FOR NORTH VANCOUVER
OVER 40% SOLD!
150 BEAUTIFUL HOMES TO CHOOSE FROM
THE DENNA CLUB A RESIDENTS ONLY 14,000 SQ FT PRIVATE FITNESS CLUB
Exclusive to residents, the Denna Club is an impressive 14,000 sq. ft. facility offering a fully-equipped fitness centre, 25-metre infinity lap pool, lounge, spa, and dedicated yoga and dance room. Take a dip in the pool, raise your heart rate at the 3,700 sq. ft. fitness room, or grab a mat and stretch your limbs to their limits. The hot tub, steam room, and sauna await. With licensed childcare on site, the whole family can enjoy this state-of-the-art clubhouse. NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION
. * / ' * / * 5 : 1 0 0 - p ) 0 5 5 6 # %3: 4"6/" p 45&". 300. CARDIO EQUIPMENT FREE WEIGHTS YOGA & DANCE STUDIO PRIVATE LOUNGE
· AT THE HEART OF LYNN CREEK – NORTH VANCOUVER’S MOST EXCITING NEW MASTERPLANNED COMMUNITY · SWEEPING VIEWS OF DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER AND THE NORTH SHORE MOUNTAINS
· AIR CONDITIONING & TRIPLE GLAZED WINDOWS · IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO UNRIVALED NATURAL BEAUTY AND RECREATION · ALL JUST 12 MINUTES FROM DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER
600 MOUNTAIN HIGHWAY, NORTH VANCOUVER. OPEN 12 – 5PM DAILY.
THIS IS NOT AN OFFERING FOR SALE. ANY SUCH OFFERING MAY ONLY BE MADE WITH A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT E.&O.E. PRICES AND PROMOTIONS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. SOME CONDITIONS APPLY.
February 12, 2016 27
Surrey Triple the choice and better value to boot
By Jill Lunde
hat a difference two weeks makes. In the last edition of West Coast Condominium, we reported 208 active listings in Surrey with a median price of $309,850. Check out the numbers today: more than triple the choice and a median price well down from our January 29 issue. You can get into a Surrey condo for as little as $59,900 for a studio in Sunnyside Park. That one’s been sitting on the market since October. You’ll have to go higher for the more recent listings which include a twobedroom in Guildford’s Creekside for $134,500 and $139,900 for a onebedroom in Southmere Villa. If you want to zero in on that $235,000 median price, the most recent choice is a two-bedroom in The Birches in Queen Mary Park. It was listed January 22.
Cedar Hills There are seven active listings in this neighbourhood where the buildings are all on the older side (the average age of the listed condos
is 29 years). Three of these are in Chandlers Hill, which is within walking distance of transit routes. The least expensive of these homes came on the market January 19 and is a one-bedroom listed for $127,900. The building’s other two listed properties are two-bedroom units with prices of $182,800 and $193,000. A recent sale in Chandlers Hill left the sellers with smiles. They listed their one-bedroom in October for $97,900 and closed a deal January 18 for $105,100 – seven per cent more than asking.
Active condo listings*
Whalley If you want to understand the tremendous change that SkyTrain has made to our region’s neighbourhoods, look no farther than Whalley. The landscape here is completely different than before rapid transit arrived. The building boom means lots of listings; there are 233 here currently ranging from $104,900 to $849,900 in complexes as old as 34 to ones that won’t be ready until 2018. One of the quickest recent sales here was in Melrose Gardens. This two-bedroom suite spent nine days on the market before going for two per cent under its $199,900 list price.
If you want to understand the tremendous change that SkyTrain has made to our region’s neighbourhoods, look no farther than Whalley 28 February 12, 2016
Surrey median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 34% 2 BR: 61% 3+ BR: 3%
*Active listings up to January 29, 2016
S TRATA ADVICE
How to handle smoking conﬂicts in strata buildings Often the cause of conﬂict, rules around smoking in a condo building are set to become an even hotter issue. Here’s what strata councils can do By Clark Wilson LLP on behalf of FirstService Residential
Even without a speciﬁc bylaw, a strata corporation may have other bylaws to limit smoking
ith people more aware of the health dangers of second-hand smoke, there are more con icts between smokers and non-smokers in strata corporations. Marijuana is also causing con ict. In fact, with the growing acceptance of medicinal marijuana, it may soon be smoked more openly.
Provincial and federal legislation BC’s Tobacco Control Act (TCA) bans smoking in common areas of condominiums and within three metres of a doorway, window or air intake of common areas. The TCA requires strata corporations and their property managers to enforce the smoking ban. Failure to do so is a contravention of the Act. Some municipalities in BC have bylaws that are either similar to, or more stringent than, the TCA. Strata corporations should check their municipal bylaws to determine whether the bans are limited to the areas speci ed under the TCA or are broader. Because the TCA only deals with tobacco products, it cannot be used to prevent smoking of other substances such as marijuana. Although it is illegal to smoke marijuana under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the extent to which it is enforced varies from municipality to municipality. As a result, a strata corporation or condo residents cannot rely on the government statutes to ban marijuana smoking in a strata corporation. While the BC Strata Property Act (SPA) does not address smoking directly, condo owners may ban
smoking by bylaw or rule. Because smoking bans under the TCA or a municipality’s bylaws must be enforced, a strata corporation should consider creating a no-smoking bylaw that mirrors or goes beyond the legislation. Without its own bylaw, a strata corporation may be limited in its ability to enforce governmentimposed smoking bans.
Building-speciﬁc bylaws Even without a speci c bylaw, a strata corporation may have other bylaws to limit smoking. For example, the standard bylaws to the SPA provide that an owner, tenant, occupant or visitor must not use a strata lot or common property in a way that is a nuisance. Nuisance is de ned as an unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of land. If a complaint about smoke is made, the strata council must investigate the complaint to determine whether it is a nuisance. The investigation may involve hiring an expert or going to the scene. If smoking is found to be a nuisance, it is unlikely the smoker will comply with a complete ban. As a result, a negotiated solution that minimizes transfer of smoke (such as renovations
to the strata lot and its ventilation system) may be required. However, according to the Clean Air Coalition of BC, air lters, puri ers and ventilation systems do not eliminate second-hand smoke. Consequently, the repairs may not be effective and other solutions may need to be found.
Enforcing the rules Ultimately, if the problem continues, the strata corporation will have to enforce its bylaws by levying fines or denying access to a recreational facility in accordance with the SPA. If these measures do not work, the strata corporation may have to apply for a court injunction to ban smoking or, if the smoker is a tenant, an order to evict the tenant. An owner who fails to abide by a court injunction may be found in contempt of court proceedings and be forced to pay a fine or go to jail. Alternatively, the strata corporation
could apply for a court order to force the owner to vacate the strata lot. If the strata corporation fails to enforce the bylaw, an owner has two remedies. An owner may apply to court for an order to force the strata corporation to enforce its bylaws. Or, an owner may bring a claim under the Human Rights Code that the strata corporation has discriminated by failing to provide a smoke-free environment which the owner requires because of a disability. While there are examples of human rights complaints by non-smokers, there are very few cases brought by smokers. Where marijuana is involved, the alleged discrimination is often on the basis that smoking is required for medicinal purposes to treat a disability. The negative effects of secondhand smoke are now well documented. The demands of nonsmoking residents conflict with a smoker’s desire to smoke in the comforts of their home. The strata corporation is obliged to resolve these conflicts. A proactive strata council will take the necessary steps to avoid costly legal action.
FirstService Residential FirstService Residential in British Columbia is a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation, a global leader in the rapidly growing real estate services sector, one of the largest markets in the world. As the leading property management company in North America, FirstService Residential oversees more than 6,500 residential and commercial associations including 1.5 million residential units.
February 12, 2016 29
New Westminster Stats indicate this is a great time to condo hunt in the Royal City By Jill Lunde
As we creep closer to spring, every market is seeing an upswing in the number of listings. In New West, there are 57 per cent more condos sporting for sale signs at the time of writing than there were two weeks previously. Perhaps more importantly, the properties that are available are signiﬁcantly more affordable with the median price $85,500 less. The city’s cheapest listing hit the boards January 26 at $98,000. It’s a one-bedroom unit on Ninth Street in Uptown. If your pockets are deeper (much deeper!), the priciest condo in town is currently a two-bed in Fraserview’s Palace Quay building. It came on the market January 19 for $1,150,000.
Downtown This is a great neighbourhood for walking, with locals enjoying strolls along historic Columbia Street or the beautiful boardwalk by the Quay. There are 24 active listings; the most recent came on the market the same day this article was written and onequarter of the properties were listed within a week of that time. Of those recent listings, the youngest condo is a one-bedroom in three-year-old
Brickstone Walk 2 where the owner is asking $289,000. The oldest, on the market since January 25, is in the 41-year-old tower The Peppertree. It’s a two-bedroom home listed for $229,000. A quick look at recent area sales ﬁnds very happy sellers in Royal Albert Towers. They listed their twobedroom unit for $249,900 and two weeks later closed a deal for $278,000 – 11 per cent over asking.
Sapperton Once considered a New Westminster suburb, Sapperton was named for the Royal Engineers or Sappers. Today, residents have easy access to two SkyTrain stations: Sapperton and Braid. None of the neighbourhood’s 12 active listings are particularly new but half of them are in The Sapperton at The Brewery District which is now under construction. This condo and townhouse combo complex will have 114 units and be part of a new 750-home community. Prices on current listings range from $380,900 to $1.1 million. The nearby Anvil building recorded a sale January 21. A one-bedroom home listed for $241,500 spent 72 days on the market before changing hands for $234,000 – three per cent less than listing.
A quick look at recent area sales ﬁnds very happy sellers in Royal Albert Towers 30 February 12, 2016
Active condo listings*
New Westminster median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* 1 BR: 47% 2 BR:45% 3+ BR: 8%
*Active listings up to January 29, 2016
Don’t be afraid of the dark No need to let your desire to use dark colours paint you into a corner - even in small spaces
By Michelle Hopkins
ontrary to popular belief, dark hues are a great way to add a sense of elegance, drama and depth to a small space. The opposite thought is a common misconception of small-space design, along with the idea that less furniture makes an apartment feel larger. Instead, before you begin a painting project, it’s important to consider your overall
oor plan, says Erika Woelfel, vice president of Color Marketing for BEHR. “If you’re looking to create a seamless ow between connecting spaces, we recommend using either the same colour or varying shades within the same colour family,” says Woelfel. “To make one room or space stand out on its own, try infusing a pop of colour with an accent wall.” One of the best ways to expand a space is to keep these rich shades from being too overpowering or jarring –
February 12, 2016 31
When contrasting a dark hue with brilliant pops of colour, you can create an illusion of depth, making the edges of a room disappear
work with more neutral darks like black, charcoal, slate, navy, chocolate or plum. “These tones will make a statement without overpowering the eye and actually making the room feel less cramped and conﬁning than it is,” she adds. “When contrasting a dark hue with brilliant pops of colour, you can create an illusion of depth, making the edges of a room disappear.” Over the last few years, darker tones have been making a comeback. However, consider how much light the room receives – whether natural or artiﬁcial. Woelfel cautions that if your room doesn’t get a lot of natural light or if it is a windowless room, dark colours can create the illusion that the space is smaller than it is. Lastly, consider the major furniture pieces and décor items you already have, or intend to use, in the space. Odds are you don’t want to pick colours that will clash with those items. Woelfel, who deals with colour and interior design all the time, answers West Coast Condominium’s questions and offers up her best tips and tricks for making your condo come alive with bursts of colour.
What should you avoid when choosing dark or bright colours? When making a bolder colour choice, achieving balance in your space becomes a lot more important, but can it actually be easier to do. If your walls are black or navy, be sure to decorate and furnish the room with a larger amount of lightcoloured or white pieces. For hues
32 February 12, 2016
that are a few shades lighter, but still rich in tone, you will still need to use lighter accents, but it’s also possible to achieve the same effect with reﬂective or metallic accents like mirrors or frames.
Are there paint colours condo dwellers should avoid? At Behr, we don’t think any colour is off-limits if it speaks to you. However, there are some general guidelines to make sure the ﬁre engine red or chartreuse you love won’t become a paint decision you regret. First off, consider how you want the space to feel. If you want a calming effect in your bedroom or bathroom, bright and bold hues are probably
After picking the perfect colour, make sure you sample it in large swatches throughout your space to see how light affects its appearance
not the way to go; look to sage green, lavender or airy blue. On the other hand, if you want to create an energetic and welcoming space, warm-toned hues would be a great choice and you should take a look at brick red, cozy beige and sunny yellow. After picking the perfect colour, make sure you sample it in large swatches throughout your space to see how light affects its appearance (keeping in mind that natural light will change throughout the day). Depending on your light source,
your crisp white could look more like cream or your slate could skew towards navy. Once you pick your desired shade, make careful decisions about where it is to be used and the other colours you would like to incorporate into your palette. As fun as colours can be, you don’t want to be overstimulated every time you step in your door, or have your paint clash with key furniture pieces and décor. This is where balance and choosing your palette comes into play.
Next, and often overlooked, is the decision on what sheen to use. Part of this can be decided by the light in the space, but you should also consider how much the space is used. Matte or ﬂat sheens will absorb more light and make imperfections less noticeable, but can be difﬁcult to clean. Eggshell and satin ﬁnishes will help reﬂect light and brighten a space, while also being easy to scrub off marks and stains. Semi-gloss or hi-gloss enamel will appear almost glass-like and make cleaning a breeze, but in light-ﬁlled spaces, it could create a glare.
How can you connect spaces with different shades? To create a sense of cohesion between different coloured rooms, pick complementary paint shades and add accessories that pick up on key hues in the other space. These accessories could either be the same
hue as prominent colours in the other room or a consistent accent colour throughout your space. For example, you could pick a beige rug for your living room to match the beige paint in the hallway, or use bold red as a decorative accent in each space.
How do you choose colours that create balance? It’s important to have a mix of warm and cool tones. Spaces that use only cool tones can look cold and uninviting, whereas warm-only rooms can be overwhelming. If you prefer one family over the other, remember that small touches, such as glassware and artwork or metallic and wood accents can help bring about the balance you need without a cool or warm paint colour you hate. It’s also an option to use the opposite colour family as your accent hue, if you’re worried about getting too many colours in the mix.
February 12, 2016 33
A selection of open show homes and sales centres across the Lower Mainland
DISTRICT OF NORTH VANCOUVER
CITY OF NORTH VANCOUVER
ANMORE BELCARRA BURRARD INLET
COQUITLAM BURNABY VANCOUVER
Modello #118 - 5021 Kingsway Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.456.0688 ...................Pg 19
Milano 4247 Lougheed Hwy, Brentwood Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.294.8989 ...................Pg 21
Hazel #202 - 827 Roderick Ave Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.937.2599
Loughed Heights 581 Clarke Road, Coquitlam Coming this Fall 604.412.0313 ...................Pg 9
Novella 711 Breslay Street Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.563.5777
Evergreen 3007 Glen Drive Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.942.2672
NORTH VANCOUVER 9
Residences at Lynn Valley 10 The 1175 Lynn Valley Rd Coming this Fall 604.924.0166 ...................Pg 3
Harbour Walk 12235 No 1 Road Open Mon to Fri 9 -4 pm, Sat & Sun 12 - 4 pm 604.274.7326 ...................Pg 23
NEW WESTMINSTER 8
Aragon 260 Salter Street Coming this Fall 778.398.1344 ...................Pg 2
34 February 12, 2016
Seylynn Village 600 Mountain Hwy Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.980.5000 ...................Pg 27
VANCOUVER 13 Sterling 3130 Arbutus St Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.428.8858
West 7th 2239 West 7th Avenue Open Mon - Fri: 9 – 5 pm 604.428.0588
Quay 11 West 21 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.988.8856
Call for more Information! 778.558.6377
Open Saturday 12 – 5 pm 604.880.8312 Wall Centre Kerrisdale 18 Shannon 1538 W. 54th Avenue Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.267.8882 10th & Maple 19 West 2001 West 10th Avenue Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604-739-2080
Arc 15 The 89 Nelson Street Open Daily 10 – 5 pm 604.899.8800 ...................Pg 17
PORT MOODY 12 Clarke 909 Clarke Rd
Leveson 17 The 8188 Granville St
Park & Metro 688 SW Marine Drive Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.325.8111
TSAWWASSEN Springs 20 Tsawwassen 5099 Springs Boulevard Open Tues – Sun 12 – 5 pm & Open by app. 604.948.4663 ...................Pg 36
PART-TIME HOME. FULL-TIME INVESTMENT. One Bedroom, One Bathroom at 553 Square Feet High quality concrete construction for long term living & return on investment
DECK 12'-6" X 11'-6"
North facing Golf Course + Northshore Mountains views, up to the Penthouse level
Over 150 square feet, pop-out covered deck for luxurious year-round entertaining
Floor to ceiling windows for optimal light, up to 12 foot ceilings
Large open concept living area for sleeping, dining & entertaining
LIVING/DINING 13'-7" X 13'-0"
High end stainless steel appliances & natural gas cook range
7'-6" BEDROOM WALL (OPEN AT TOP)
BEDROOM 7'-4" X 10'-4"
In suite laundry
Full & spacious washroom LAUNDRY
HRV, Geoexchange heating, air conditioning and hot water
BATH 5'-0" X 7'-4"
*Solar panels on roof to STORAGE 7'-4" X 8'-0" (59 SQ. FT.)
ENTRY 5'-10" X 4'-6"
Large in-suite storage THIS IS NOT AN OFFERING FOR SALE. ANY SUCH OFFERING CAN ONLY BE MADE WITH A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. E. & O.E. SALES BY REGENCY REALTY LTD. PER-CONSTRUCTION OFFERING.
THE BEST FREEHOLD INVESTMENT IN THE REGION. Starting at just $314,900
HWY 17- A 52 ST
5099 Springs Boulevard, Tsawwassen T. 604.948.4663 (HOME) firstname.lastname@example.org Open Tuesday to Sunday 12 -5pm
SFPR - HWY 17
TO PEACE ARCH (US) BORDER
Great Homes: All On Freehold Land. A Resort Community, 30 Minutes Or Less To Everything.
Y 9 9