W E S T C O A S T
January 29, 2016
THE ARC IS BOTH BOLD & INTELLIGENT Concord Paciﬁc’s Latest Development to Change the Face of Vancouver P8-9
HOT INVESTMENT ’HOODS
EASY STRATA DOCUMENTS
Three local communities set for a strong 2016 P10
Why documents don’t have to be daunting P24
Making the most of overheight loft spaces P29
A power couple show us their glamorous home P31
901-133 E Esplanade Avenue, North Vancouver
$1,699,000 2 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | 1,140 Sq ft.
THINK WORLD CLASS WATERFRONT AND PRIVATE MARINA. RETHINK LOCATION. ARAGON.CA/THEPENINSULA
Introducing The Peninsula by Aragon. A luxury resort-style living experience in a remarkable waterfront setting. The Peninsula is located in New Westminster placed uniquely where the Fraser River parts. Surrounded by water on three sides, this is one of the most rare waterfront settings on the west coast.
coming spring 2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; register today Aragon.ca/ThePeninsula
*Artist *Art ist rend renderin ering g only. only. The deve develope loperr reserv reserves es the the right right to make cha changes nges and mod modific ificatio ations ns to tthe infform ormatio a n ccombin ati m ed herei mb herei ere n withoutt prior prior noti notice. ce. This is not no an offer offer f ing ng g for sale sale.. E&OE. E&OE. O
2 January 29, 2016
SHAPED BY WATER
THE NORTH SHORE’S MOST ANTICIPATED URBAN NEIGHBOURHOOD
THE HEART OF LYNN VALLEY, ERYTHING AT YOUR DOOR WITH EVERYTHING DOORSTEP
REGISTER NOW FOR EXCLUSIVE DETAILS ETAILS
SPACIOUS 1, 2 AND 3 BEDROOM HOMES INCLUDING TOWNHOMES
OUTDOOR SPACE CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION • OVER HEIGHT CEILINGS • IMPORTED ITALIAN CABINETRY
CONDITIONING PLANNED REDEVELOPMENT WITH LYNN VALLEY CENTRE
LYNNVALLEYRESIDENCES.COM EYRESIDENCES.COM 66 604.924.0166
BOSADEV.COM Artist’s representation only. Developer reserves the right to make changes and modiﬁcations to the information contained herein without prior notice. This is not an offering for sale. No such offer can be made without a disclosure statement E.&O.E.
January 29, 2016 3
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!
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
D JUST SOL
Outstanding 400 s.f. Terrace! • 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...
Terrific Kitsilano townhouse 3 bedrooms & 2.5 bathrooms steps to West 4th Ave.
Rare, sought-after half duplex in Kitsilano 2 bedroom & den great walkability.
+ITT ][ \WLIa \W JM \PM Å Z[\ \W ZMKMQ^M \PM[M TQ[\QVO¼[ LM\IQT[
Vancouver Tri-Cities Burnaby Richmond/South Delta
The Metro Vancouver condo market is hot, but these three neighbourhoods are hotter
If you’re moving from a house to a condo, these tips from Lindsie Tomlinson will really help
What’s in a name? How developers come up with a residential building’s moniker
• Garden level • Open Concept • Gas Fireplace • 1 Pkg & 1 Stg • Walk-in Closet • Main Fee: $259
Your home is worth more NOW!
Celebrity condos: The Beckers
Jacques Becker and Marie-Jeanne Becker Godard invite us inside their glamorous downtown home
by going to:
Of course, this home evaluation has no obligation
Buying or Selling, you’ve got to have Faith *see FaithWilsonGroup.com for details
What happens when an owner doesn’t pay? There are rules you need to follow to recover a debt, says CHOA’s Tony Gioventu
Depreciation reports, strata minutes are not as scary as they look, says Barry Magee
Why strata documents don’t have to be daunting
Get your 24 hour FREE Home Price Evaluation
4 January 29, 2016
Top tips for downsizing
Steps to the Fraser River!
105 – 3038 East Kent Avenue
North Shore Surrey New West
Investing in emerging condo markets
• 688 s.f. Suite • 1 Bdrm + Den • 1 Bathroom
26 28 30
Buyers are ﬂocking to the iconic new downtown condo building by Concord Properties
COMING SOON! 1
6 14 18 22
• 902 s.f. Suite • 2 Bedrooms • 2 Bathrooms
Condo market snapshots
The ARC is changing the face of Northeast False Creek
January 29, 2016
How to… Maximize tall spaces for lofty living Wondering what to do with a loft space? GVHBA’s Bob de Wit offers great tips
Ottawa victimizing Canada’s most stable consumers
that we assist in realizing their real estate dreams
The federal government is changing the minimum down payment rules for insured mortgages – a move that’s unwarranted
ver the past few years, under both the Conservatives and Liberals, the federal government has punished the most stable consumers in the country: homebuyers and homeowners. Effective next month, for example, the minimum down payment will increase for many buyers requiring Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation-insured mortgages. Down payments on homes valued at more than $500,000 will jump from ve per cent to 10 per cent on the portion of the purchase price over $500K. This means that on a $700,000 home (close to the average in Metro Vancouver) a buyer requiring CMHC mortgage insurance will have to put down $10,000 more as of February 15 than they would today. In earlier moves, the government reduced the mortgage amortization for insured mortgages from 30 years to 25 years, required that buyers had to qualify for a mortgage based on the posted rate for ve-year mortgages
(though other rates were much lower), and instituted much tougher scrutiny as to income levels and the source of the down payment. The reason for the tough action, according to Ottawa, is fear that some buyers are getting in over their heads with mortgage debt. But that is not borne out by CMHC’s own ndings. Currently, the default rate – where a mortgage is in arrears for three months – on CMHC-insured mortgages is 0.34 per cent, even in high-priced British Columbia. The resilience of buyers is amazing: a 10 per cent down payment on an average priced house in Canada is now equal to 47 weeks at the average wage. In 2006, it was 34 weeks; two decades ago it was 26. Last year, despite soaring home prices and stagnant wages, homeowners reduced their mortgage debt by nearly 10 per cent. Instead of throwing up barriers, Ottawa should be concentrating on ways to lower taxes and raise incomes so more people can afford a home.
Frank O’Brien Contributing Editor Frank O’ Brien is editor of Western Investor, the largest commercial real estate investment newspaper in Western Canada.
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 SALES MANAGER: 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
January 29, 2016 5
Vancouver It’s like sunshine on a cloudy day: more than a third of the active listings are new this year By Jill Lunde
othing says good news to a seasoned condo hunter than an in ux of new properties to view. And that means there is plenty to celebrate with 271 of Vancouver’s 770 active listings having come on the market in 2016. These new listings range in price from $278,800 for a onebedroom in Zoey in the Hasting East neighbourhood to $6.75M for a threebedroom luxury home in The Charleson in Downtown. With a median price of $656,000 for these most recent listings, there’s something for every budget. Taking a quick look at 35 recent sales in Vancouver, more than half were for properties that spent less than 10 days on the market. Their owners accepted offers anywhere from two per cent under asking to 10, 11, 12 and 14 per cent over list. The biggest margin of difference was for a one-bedroom unit in Yaletown Park 2 that sold for over $65,000 more than its $449,900 list price.
Mount Pleasant It’s one of Vancouver’s hottest neighbourhoods, and, according to this issue’s investment column, perhaps the best Lower Mainland
market for condo investors. Almost half the area’s 30 active listings started sporting their for sale signs in 2016. They include a one-bedroom home in Prince Edward Place for $339,000 up to $1,085,000 for a two-bedroom unit in Creekside. The owners of a one-bedroom condo in The District had a chaotic holiday period. They listed their home December 28 for $420,000 and accepted an offer of $456,000 a week later – nine per cent over their asking price.
Active condo listings*
University Endowment Lands Far from the (downtown) madding crowds, the Endowment Lands community is a world unto itself. There are 86 active condo listings here and, with several price tags over a million dollars, they’re not all looking for student owners. A review of the 33 properties that have come to the market in 2016 shows that these new listing prices start at $388,000 for a one-bedroom in Pemberley to a lucky $1,777,700 for a two-bedroom Folio penthouse. The Laureates, a new development under construction in the neighbourhood, enjoyed two recent sales. Both units sold for their list prices on January 5: $1,088,000 and $1,148,000.
The biggest margin of difference was for a one-bedroom unit in Yaletown Park 2 that sold for over $65,000 more than its $449,900 list price 6 January 29, 2016
Vancouver East median listing price
Vancouver West median listing price
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 3% 1 BR: 29% 2 BR:56% 3 BR: 12%
*Active listings up to January 15, 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
January 29, 2016 7
The ARC will forever change Central False Creek’s skyline Buyers are ﬂocking to Concord Paciﬁc’s iconic new downtown condo development
he ARC will mark the Central False Creek Skyline become the next big urban neighbourhood to live, work and play. In the epicenter of this new to become one of the most iconic condominium projects ever seen – Concord Paci c’s The ARC. “This is the most central gateway to Downtown Vancouver. The ARC’s strikingly unique architectural façade will be the landmark of the neighbourhood at the northern foot of the Cambie Bridge,” says Grant Murray, Vice-President, Sales of Concord Paci c. “Concord Paci c has a reputation for placing special emphasis on creating an environment where residents have a sense of community.” Designed by Francl Architecture, The ARC feature two unique tower forms, 29 storeys high-bridged by a massive span beginning at the 19 oor. Concord Paci c’s bold design on the exterior is matched by intelligently planned extended view suites. The ARC homes, r anging from 496 to 1,350 square feet, will embrace classic beauty and elegance with modern amenities. The ARC will feature 560 one-, two- and three-bedroom homes with quality nishes that rival pricier residences – extra thick windows to block out downtown noise, a Miele stainless steel appliance package, marble ooring in the bathrooms and a ex wall for expansive entertainment space. Homes will also feature unique elements, such as an Al Fresco deck doors, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors, (in the
8 January 29, 2016
majority of suites), a ex wall that transforms the bedroom and opens up more space for a living room, a queen size bed that converts into a couch complete with built-in cabinetry, and an outdoor patio deck that will take in spectacular city, mountain and ocean views. Then there are the private country club resort-style amenities elevated to the 20th oor with glass bottom indoor swimming pool and a Sky lounge complete with catering kitchen, outdoor patio deck and a
state-of-the-art tness facility. The pool is an engineering to wow residents and visitors to the City alike he says. Besides the pool and Sky lounge, The ARC will be the rst tower in North America to feature 100 percent electric charge parking stalls with Touchless Auto Carwash facilities. On the second level we will have a Cappuccino Lounge and rooftop garden with a child’s play area,” he says. “In addition, the lobbies are inspired by hotels, with full time concierge. The list of incredible amenities just goes on and on,” adds Murray. With prices starting in the low $400,000 range, these functional condos are attracting everyone from the urban yuppies to young professional families right up to seniors. The ARC is in the middle of a community near Yaletown Marinaside with expansive views of the downtown skyline, North Shore Mountains and the ocean. The Concord’s Arc is set to help
de ne the next era of Vancouverism. “We are accepting registrations online now and the public preview begins in early February,” adds Murray. “This is a wonderful opportunity for prospective buyers to see how gorgeous these suites are.” THE ARC Sales Centre 88 Paci c Boulevard, Vancouver Open daily from 10 am - 5 pm 604-899-8800 Call to book an appointment.
January 29, 2016 9
Investing in emerging condo markets The Metro Vancouver condo market is strong, but these three neighbourhoods could outperform in 2016
The Metro Vancouver condo market is strong, but these three neighbourhoods could outperform in 2016
By Frank O’Brien
he entire Metro Vancouver condominium market has been very good to investors over the past few years. Benchmark condo prices are up 14 per cent from a year ago and nine per cent from last summer. The typical resale condo on Vancouver’s East Side, for example, increased in value by more than $54,000 in the past 12 months. The vacancy rate for rented condos is 0.8 per cent and rents and demand are rising. Last year, with two exceptions, every market served by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver saw condominium apartment prices increase from a year earlier. Yet, there are some speciﬁc Metro communities that may provide
10 January 29, 2016
superior investment opportunities in 2016 through a combination of demographics, gentriﬁcation, development and transit. These markets are not only for those buying resale condominiums, but for investors looking to purchase a new unit, either already complete or in the pre-sale process.
Three markets to consider as a condo investor in 2016 Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver: With great city and ocean views and one of the trendiest retail cores in the region, this neighbourhood is also linked to downtown Vancouver by SeaBus. It has many older condominium buildings that could be prime for redevelopment sites and a selection of new condo towers backed by major developers. The benchmark price of a Lower Lonsdale resale condo is $378,000. This is 9.7 per
cent higher than a year ago, but is still below the benchmark price across North Vancouver and far below prices in downtown Vancouver. Brighouse South, Richmond: Just on the fringe of downtown Richmond, Brighouse South has a combination of transit (a new Brighouse bus loop is planned), schools, parks and intense interest from condominium buyers. Say what you want about Asian investors, but if you have as much faith in them as I do, this is a prime neighbourhood. The benchmark resale condo apartment price is now $334,000, compared to
$442,000 in central Richmond and $384,000 for all of Richmond. Prices in Brighouse South are up nearly seven per cent from a year ago. This could be the year to buy. Mount Pleasant, Vancouver East Side: Mount Pleasant is perhaps the best condo investment market in the Metro region. Close to downtown, it has attracted major tech employers (Hootsuite, for example) while transit (both SkyTrain and Canada Line) and a city zoning change have spurred new ofﬁces and a rush of rental tenants. The price of a typical Mount Pleasant condo shot up nearly 23 per cent in the past year and has accelerated nine per cent in the last three months. Still, at a benchmark of $385,000, prices are far below the neighbouring West Side. Happy investing for a prosperous New Year.
Frank O’Brien is editor of Western Investor, the largest commercial real estate investment newspaper in Western Canada.
PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH TONY GIOVENTU “The Civil Resolution Tribunal: Strata Owner’s Access to Justice”
Tony Gioventu Executive Director of Condo Homeowners Association
Shannon Salter Chair - Civil Resolution Tribunal
Understanding how the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) will model accuracy and disclosure of information for buyers and sellers of strata properties in British Columbia. Join Shannon Salter, chair of the CRT and Tony Gioventu executive director of CHOA as they discuss the application and beneﬁts of the tribunal for strata owners, council’s, buyers and sellers. Along with updates on Depreciation Reports and general Q and A.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 7:00 pm - 9:00pm (Doors: 6:30 pm - Discussion: 7:00 pm followed by Q & A)
Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver Light refreshments will be served compliments of Dexter & Pillar To Post Home Inspections Event is Compliments of Dexter Associates Realty & CHOA Limited Seating - Please call & conﬁrm with a Dexter Ofﬁce By February 2, 2016
2094 West 43rd Avenue Vancouver, B.C. Phone 604-263-1144
W E S T
C O A S T
THE LARGEST REAL ESTATE EXPOSURE IN BC. Put yourself front and centre and connect with thousands of active home buyers in the Lower Mainland. With 40,000 copies distributed across Greater Vancouver to apartment buildings and retail locations, West Coast Condominium oﬀers the largest and most comprehensive distribution method targeting condo purchasers in the marketplace. Expand your audience further by including the Real Estate Weekly in print and Rew.ca online. With more than 312,000 home deliveries and over 1 million online visits a month, REW.ca has the largest circulation of any real estate publication and is BC’s fastest growing real estate website.
Contact Lynn Fry at: 604.379.4576 or email: email@example.com for more information.
January 29, 2016 11
Top tips for downsizing without compromising Moving to a smaller place can feel like a major sacriﬁce – but it doesn’t have to be
new space to help with planning.
By Lindsie Tomlinson
ownsizing can be stressful. Moving to a new home is a big change in itself, but moving to a smaller space can be an even bigger adjustment. Here are a few tips to help you navigate through the downsizing landmine.
Plan ahead Give yourself lots of time to prepare. You should start at least three months before your actual move, so you don’t feel anxious about running out of time. If possible, get a oorplan of your
12 January 29, 2016
We all have lots of stuff. It just magically accumulates over the years. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is often the biggest challenge. Ask yourself: If everything you owned was lost in a re, what would you replace? Take stock of the things that are actually important to you, and the things that you could live without. A great rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it or worn it in over a year, it’s time to get rid of it! Keep only the things that bring you joy. Here’s how one of my clients put it: “Don’t double up on stuff. If you have a ‘good’ set of dishes and an everyday set, keep the set you like the
best and use it every day. Live like you are rich with less stuff. Think quality not quantity.” If there are things you need to keep for sentimental reasons, keep something small, not a huge armoire or china cabinet. Think about what you could downsize that would make sense in your smaller living space – things like furniture, shelving, and dining tables. Get rid of that huge dining room table that seats ten, or that overstuffed armchair that looks like it was made for three people. Replace it with smart multipurpose furniture. A coffee table that opens to reveal storage. A pullout couch that will double as a place for guests to sleep. You get the idea! If you come across a few things
that you feel torn about keeping versus throwing out, enlist the help of someone trustworthy to help you decide. But if they say it’s got to go, it’s got to go!
Make lists To help you purge, it’s helpful to make three lists: • Must-haves • Things I can live without • Things I could replace If you need to gure out what it is you really use, try the “cardboard box test.”
The cardboard box test A couple of months before you move, empty your kitchen drawers and put everything into a cardboard
box. Over the course of a month, every time you need something, take it from the box and then return it to the drawer. At the end of the month, everything left in the box gets thrown out! One wise client of mine who recently downsized from a house to a one-bedroom condo, told me she took only four pots with her. “I used to have so many pots, all different sizes, but I realized that I really only needed four. There are only four elements on the stove so I can’t use more than that!” Another asked herself, “How many mixing bowls do I really need?!” She asked the same thing about towels, sheets and clothes and recommends being ruthless. Get rid of all those multiple items.
You can enlist the help of a professional service that can purge with you and take away all of the items you don’t want must-haves for a happy life, and then work with a real estate agent experienced in downsizing to help you nd a home you will be happy in.
New home sweet home What to do with the stuff you purge You can have a yard sale, sell things on Craigslist, donate them to charity, or give them to family. That grandkid who nally moved out probably doesn’t have much in the way of house stuff. You can also enlist the help of a professional service that can purge with you and take away all of the items you don’t want. They then donate them to charity or recycle them for you.
Finding the right place Moving from a house to a condo can be a strange thing for people, especially those who like to garden or pursue other hobbies in their yard or garage. When choosing your new smaller space, think about what it is that really makes you happy. It might mean having some outdoor space in the shape of a balcony, patio, or common area yard, or being able to walk to the grocery store or a community garden. Figure out your own personal
604-263-1144 Main Street
If you are looking to buy or sell a condo or townhouse, your DEXTER REALTOR (backed by the entire ®
Dexter Team) has the knowledge and the experience to support and guide you through the entire process.
Once you make the transition to your new home, be sure to take advantage of all the available storage space you can get your hands on. Ottomans and coffee tables that open up and have space inside, wall-mounted shelving, under-bed storage boxes – they’re your best friends if you’re moving to a smaller space. When it comes to small spaces, try to store up, not out. If you can make use of your walls for storage and shelving, do it – it’ll keep things off of the oor and out of your immediate living space. Or be really ruthless and think, “If I have to store it, I don’t need it!” Buy new items, such as smaller condo-sized furniture. Wall-mount your TV. And downsize items like bookshelves to ones designed for smaller spaces. Downsizing can be an emotional process, so start early and enlist the help of your loved ones or a company that provides this service – and a professional real estate agent who listens to your needs – to help make the transition as painless as possible.
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 REW.ca and also managed to write a book about how to travel with a baby.
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
January 29, 2016 13
Tri-Cities These three cities are seeing a rush of new listings for the new year By Jill Lunde
he quantity of Tri-Cities listings is at one of its lowest points of the year, but the quality of those listings is arguably as good if not better than ever with more than 35 per cent of the properties having come on the market since January 1. These 64 properties range from a two-bedroom in Port Moody Centre’s Sonrisa for $279,800 (listed January 4) to $629,000 for a two-bedroom in the same neighbourhood’s The Residences at Suter Brook complex that was listed January 13. A high-level review of ve January sales in the Tri-Cities indicates buyers accepting offers anywhere from three per cent below asking to six per cent above.
Port Moody Centre While Moody Centre is home to many character heritage buildings, the average age of the area’s 21 active condo listings is seven years with none older than 13. More than half of the listings are new this year and many of their eventual owners will soon be taking advantage of the neighbourhood’s Evergreen Line SkyTrain station. The most affordable listing is $275,000 for a
two-bedroom in Sonrisa that came on the market in November. The most expensive? The aforementioned Suter Brook home for $629,000. One of the community’s most recent sales took place January 11 in The Residences. This two-bedroom home lasted only a week and was snapped up for six per cent more than its $588,900 list price. That extra $33,100 must feel awfully good in the seller’s pocket.
Central Port Coquitlam More than half of this neighbourhood’s 19 active listings came on the market in 2016, including three homes in phase 1 and 2 of the Orchid Riverside Homes complex. Developed by Quantum Properties, Orchid consists of 185 homes in two buildings. Prices for the development range from $279,900 to $299,900. The area’s most expensive listing is another two-bedroom, this time in the seven-year-old Villagio 2 building. Its owner is asking $469,000 and has been waiting for an irresistible offer since October. The sellers of a three-bedroom home in Central Port Coquitlam’s The Maples building were celebrating on January 11. That was the day their home sold for one per cent over its $389,900 asking price.
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: 27% 2 BR:68% 3 BR: 5%
More than half of the listings are new this year and many of their eventual owners will soon be taking advantage of the neighbourhood’s Evergreen SkyTrain station 14 January 29, 2016
*Active listings up to January 15, 2016
What’s in a Name? How Developers Choose a Building’s Moniker Ever been swayed into buying real estate – or not – by a residential building’s name? Here’s how the marketers work their magic
3 Civic Plaza, Surrey
ust as people inevitably judge a book by its cover, consumers can be signi cantly in uenced by the name of what they are buying. This is equally true in real estate developments, where sometimes the pendulum of public favour can swing at light speed in a new direction, based solely on changing perceptions of a name or brand. And yes, we’re talking about last year’s storm surrounding Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver. Just two and a half years ago, the Trump name carried an enviable cache of luxury that even questionable hairstyling couldn’t tarnish. Then came the US presidential campaign,
16 January 29, 2016
and suddenly half of Vancouver, including even Vancouver’s mayor, was calling for project developer the Holborn Group to dump Trump – or at least, dump his name from the 63-storey twisting downtown tower. In a press release issued shortly after, Joo Kim Tiah, Holborn Group’s CEO, said that since the company is not involved in US politics it “would not comment further on Mr Trump’s personal or political agenda, nor any political issues, local or foreign.” He also stressed there were contractual obligations to the Trump Organization and other business partners that speci ed exactly how the hotel-condo tower was to be named and branded.
Attempts to break these legal contracts would likely result in years of litigation with only limited chances of success. The name stayed and, as many predicted, the PR nightmare is already fading into the background.
Finding inspiration Fortunately for marketing companies, most residential development names aren’t this contentious, although nding the perfect one can still be challenging. Often a site’s topography, history, even street address can provide an answer. RDG Management found a winning name by combining one site’s location adjacent to a forested
ridge with its much-loved heritage as one of the city’s original pioneering farms – and The Ridge at Bose Farms was born. Now nearing completion in Vancouver, MC2’s name came about when someone laughingly suggested its location at the corner of Marine and Cambie was like part of Einstein’s famous equation. And in Coquitlam’s Maillardville neighbourhood, translating the street name, Blue Mountain Highway, into Mont Bleu not only created a standout memory point but gave a nod to the community’s French Canadian heritage. Sometimes inspiration comes from considering lifestyle. In Chinatown,
The Ridge at Bose Farms
The developer, sales and marketing gurus, sometimes even family and friends get together and toss their wildest, most creative ideas into the proverbial hat
Porte Communities realized their primary demographic would be young, creative, and take a playful attitude to life – “active and de nitely a bit outside the box” as Jeanette Chaput, director of marketing and sales, puts it. Ginger’s reputation as a spicy component of Asian cuisine re ected this zesty outlook perfectly.
The creative process Typically, though, naming a building or community begins with the timehonoured tradition of brainstorming. Here’s when the developer, sales and marketing gurus, sometimes even family and friends get together and toss their wildest, most creative ideas into the proverbial hat. Scott Brown, president of Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing, notes it’s common for 20 or more suggestions to be on this preliminary, unedited list of possibilities.
First-round cuts usually involves eliminating names that are overused, overly obscure, or trying too hard to be clever. Some will fail what Brown describes as the “snicker test” – words that if mispronounced become a joke, often one that’s in bad taste. Then there are names with a pre-existing negative connotation. “Three or four years ago, using Whalley in a name would have been a mistake. Now the area’s been rebranded, though, that could be a good thing.”
Keeping it simple After being involved in naming hundreds of projects over his more than 25 years in real estate, Brown says 3 Civic Plaza in the emerging Surrey City Centre neighbourhood was one of the most dif cult to brand. “We had almost 50 names on the table at one point,” he says. “Having the lobby of a residential tower open directly onto a public
plaza like this is rare, so we knew we wanted ‘plaza’ in the name. Then we looked at the fact that since its two neighbouring towers would both be civic buildings – a public library and Surrey’s new City Hall – this would be the third place-maker in a civic, community-oriented space.” Finally, the name selection had become obvious. Brown laughs as he says sometime it seems as if developers spend more time naming their buildings and communities than they do naming their children, but tells how one developer turned that to an advantage. Although at rst glance, Teo and Reef by Alpha Beta Developments might seem etymologically unrelated, a family picnic would reveal both are names of the developer’s grandchildren. With a current total of seven grandchildren, it seems unlikely he’ll run out of inspiration in the foreseeable future.
January 29, 2016 17
Burnaby Always a solid choice, Burnaby offers buyers a central location and easy SkyTrain access Brentwood Park
By Jill Lunde
istings are starting to pick up after the Christmas slump, but still have a ways to go before Burnaby buyers probably feel they have a good amount of choice. If your search has been going on for a while now, your primary interest is the latest listings. At the time of writing, there were just over 50 Burnaby condos that had been on the market for under a week. They ranged in price from $289,000 for a two-bedroom in the Cariboo neighbourhood that was listed January 12 to a three-bedroom, $1.38M home in Metrotown that came on the market January 8. While some properties seem to languish forever (the oldest Burnaby condo listing has been on the books for a little over a year), others are snapped. Take the two-bedroom home in Metropolitan in Metrotown, for instance, that was sold two days after listing for four per cent less than its $435,000 sticker price. What a great way for both the buyers and sellers to begin the new year.
The 39 active listings in this neighbourhood start at $288,000 for a two-bedroom home in a 37-yearold building. At the high end of the price range is a $1,199,900 listing in Milano, a new development currently in preconstruction. Brentwood is undergoing a renaissance with its mall redevelopment and its easy access to rapid transit. Analysis of six recent area sales shows half of the properties selling at list price, while the other condos went for one, three and four per cent under asking.
Active condo listings*
Simon Fraser University Is the air clearer on Burnaby Mountain? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not sure, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly a busy place for condo seekers with 36 active listings. The most recent properties to come on the market include a three-bedroom on University Crescent that was listed January 11 for $1.26M and a two-bedroom on the same street that went on the market January 6 for $418,000. One recent sale on University Crescent demonstrates at least some sellers are willing to play ball. The two-bedroom unit sold the same day it was listed for seven per cent below its asking price of $406,666.
Brentwood is undergoing a renaissance with its mall redevelopment and its easy access to rapid transit 18 January 29, 2016
Burnaby median listing price
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 24% 2 BR:67% 3 BR: 7%
*Active listings up to January 15, 2016
THE ART OF ELEGANT LIVING
NEW YEAR PROMOTION CONTACT SALES TE AM FOR DETAILS
B E A U T I F U L LY A P P O I N T E D 1, 2 , 3 B E D RO O M & E STAT E L E V E L H O M E S
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
January 29, 2016 19
S TRATA ADVICE
Strata fees and special levies: What happens when an owner doesn’t pay? It’s important to know the rules and how to follow them in order to collect money owed for the sale of the strata lot. It is critical in the collection process to separate secured debts and unsecured debts on the accounts. If your strata attempts to collect unsecured debts on an order for sale application, don’t be surprised when the application is dismissed. Councils should apply a five-step rule for collections: 1. Review all receivables monthly. 2. Vote on the collection actions and record decisions in meeting minutes. 3. Issue notices of the debts/demand. 4. File liens for secured debts if owners are not responsive or do not pay the amounts. 5. Commence court action before the two-year limitation runs out.
By Tony Gioventu
ondo owners and strata councils can find themselves bogged down in disputes when an owner has not paid their strata fees, special levies, and/or interest on these fees and levies, and when the strata corporation has not applied a consistent business decision to the collections. Combine unfair business applications with poor monthly reporting and inaction by council and you have a recipe for unnecessary costs imposed on both the strata and owners in arrears. There are essentially two types of debts that are owed to a strata corporation: 1. Secured debts, like strata fees, special levies and interest where permitted that may form part of a lien against a strata lot to secure the debt. 2. Unsecured debts, such as bylaw nes, insurance deductibles, damages, user fees and alteration agreement costs, may not be included in a lien amount and the strata will have to collect these by means of a small claims court action or an action in the Civil Resolution Tribunal once it is enacted in 2016. To make the collection process even more complex, strata corporations are also limited to a two-year collection period under the amendments that were adopted in the Limitation Act in 2013.
Strata corporation collection powers Strata corporations in B.C. have a significant privilege for collections. The Strata Property Act grants strata corporations a super priority for secured debts over other types of registered debts. If properly filed, they will take priority over mortgages, second mortgages and other debts or judgements that do not precede government debts such
20 January 29, 2016
as taxes or family maintenance enforcement payments. It is essential for a strata council and strata manager to work actively on the collection of any debts that are owed, otherwise the strata corporation will lose its ability to collect within the limitation periods. For this reason, strata councils must routinely review debts and makes decisions on how they are going to proceed with the collection to ensure the strata manager and council have the authority to begin a collection process. Strata fees and special levies are a simple collection process. Strata fees are generally due monthly as set out in the bylaws and special levies are due on the dates set out in the resolution. Once an owner fails to make the payments as scheduled, the strata sends a demand notice giving the owner 14 days to pay the amount or the strata will be entitled to file a lien. This does not require the strata to file the lien immediately; however, once the 14-day period has passed, and if the owner has not paid the amount or made satisfactory arrangements with council, the strata may proceed with filing the
lien to secure the debt.
How to avoid ballooning costs This is where the collection process becomes very costly for owners. A $500 strata fee can easily double with the additional costs of ling, legal service and administrative costs. As the debt increases, a strata will take this to the next level which will result in an application to the Supreme Court of British Columbia for an order
This is where the collection process becomes very costly for owners
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 Listings are down but not out… roughly 10 per cent of active ones are new to the market West Cambie
By Jill Lunde
anuary is not known as a great month in real estate terms; there is less product on the market and much of it you have likely already seen if you’ve been on the hunt for long. But Richmond and South Delta condo seekers can celebrate that the new year is also showing a healthy percentage of new homes coming available with 53 listings a week or less old at the time of writing. Richmond’s Brighouse neighbourhood is home to both the highest and the lowest priced new listings: $3.69M for a three-year-old, three-bedroom River Green condo that came on the market January 11 and $285K for a 35-yearold, two-bedroom in Lansdowne Greene also listed January 11. Recent quick sales in the Brighouse community include a two-bedroom condo in Centre Point that spent ve days on the market before selling January 4 for ve per cent under its $538,000 list price. Further south in Ladner, a two-bedroom unit in Seafarer Marine Estates lasted nine days before its sellers accepted an offer two per cent over their $519,900 asking price.
Located just north of Richmond’s city centre and across the river from the airport, West Cambie is a neighbourhood with many new condo buildings. There are 43 active listings here, with ve of these put on the market within the last week. These include a two-bedroom in Mayfair Place listed January 14 for $525,000, three two-bedrooms in the now underconstruction Alexandra Court ranging from $359,900 to $434,900, and another two-bedroom in Aberdeen Residence for $415,000. A January 4 sale at Alexandra Court indicates Polygon is closing sales for list price. This two-bedroom unit spent two days on the market before selling for its $389,900 asking price. Meanwhile, a one-bedroom at Aberdeen Residence also sold January 4 for six per cent below its $379,900 sticker price.
Hawthorne This historic Ladner neighbourhood is close to shops and amenities; there are currently two active listings here. Both are two-level condos with mountain views in the Ladner Pointe complex. A three-bedroom home went on the market January 11 for $469,900 while a two-bedroom was listed January 3 for $384,900.
Condo seekers can celebrate that the new year is also showing a healthy percentage of new homes coming available 22 January 29, 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: 0.5% 1 BR: 24.5% 2 BR: 65% 3 BR: 10%
*Active listings up to January 15, 2016
NO 2 RD
NO 1 RD
DYK E R
PRIN C E
S TRATA ADVICE
Why strata documents
don’t have to be daunting The big stack of documents you have to comb through when buying a condo can be intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be By Barry Magee
he prospect of buying into a strata unit is all too familiar for Vancouverites, and with good reason. The price of land continues to skyrocket due to a demand level that has a voracious, unquenchable appetite, and for many who wish to live in urban areas, condos are the only option. Fortunately most residents of our fair city are more than comfortable with the restrictions involved with shared living. Buying into a condo doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and when it comes to strata documents it really is about consumers being protected and making sure the building isn’t facing any major issues.
Depreciation reports Condo buyers are very well protected in Vancouver and the rest of BC, largely due to strict government regulations. Depreciation reports need to be done every three years in our province. This expense ensures that there are no big surprises for new owners, and current owners can address any serious issues facing their building. Buildings with four or fewer units aren’t required to have a depreciation report, and a strata council can decide not to conform if 75 per cent of owners don’t want to incur this expense. Navigating a depreciation report can be quite challenging, so it’s important to get as many eyes on it as possible. The key component you’ll want to address is any future work that needs to be done to the building. If there are three or four major projects recommended to be completed in the next 10 years, it might be best to reconsider the purchase or to negotiate a further discount from the purchase price.
24 January 29, 2016
Building ﬁnancials Going over the year-end nancials of a building will reveal what type of expenses your building incurs year after year. Are there any items that stick out like a sore thumb? Buildings require consensus between owners to add any new expenses to the docket, so if you notice a number of questionable items you could be dealing with a condo board that likes to spend. Contingency is important when buying into strata buildings, and many people don’t realize that strata corporations have rst dibs on your money – even before property taxes and your mortgage! When you buy into a building, try and buy into a building with a high nancial reserve. As a rule of thumb, $5,000 per unit for a wood-framed structure and $10,000 per unit for a concrete building is a good rule of thumb.
Learn from the minutes Reading through the strata council minutes can be a little tedious, but it’s
an important component of making an informed purchase decision. Do your fellow owners take action when something needs to be done or do they defer to another time? There is no worse course of action than trying to avoid issues in a building, in my opinion. Deciding if the council is proactive or reactive is one of the primary reasons to go over the minutes. Strata minutes shouldn’t be overwhelming or daunting, but it is important to have several people go over the documents on your behalf, including a real estate professional or two. Consumers in BC are very well protected, but leaving anything to chance when it comes to a real estate purchase is extremely foolish.
Many people don’t realize that strata corporations have ﬁrst dibs on your money – even before property taxes and your mortgage
Barry Magee is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® 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.
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
pro that ons . e ovati Ren ost valu the m
ith ing w P.12 Work or lt a rea
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
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
January 29, 2016 25
North Shore There’s a healthy base of snow on the North Shore… but how healthy is the current condo market? By Jill Lunde
t’s still early in the year and pickings are relatively slim when it comes to condo hunting on the North Shore. If this is your location of choice and your hunt has been ongoing, you can take heart learning that over 20 per cent of the active listings are new, with 33 owners posting for sale signs within one week of the time of writing. Three homes hit the market January 14: a one-bedroom in Lower Lonsdale for $499,900; a two-bedroom in Central Lonsdale for $614,900; and a twobedroom in Ambleside for $788,000. The fastest selling properties were priced well. A three-bedroom in Lower Lonsdale’s Mira building spent two days on the market before being snapped up January 10 for a smidge over its asking price of $1,799,000. The successful buyer offered $1,000 more to secure their dream home. Up the hill in Central Lonsdale, a two-bedroom in Ashton Place was available for three days before its owners had an offer they couldn’t refuse: $395,000 (one per cent below the $399,900 list price).
Dollarton It’s going to cost you plenty of
dollars to move into this small waterfront community adjacent to Deep Cove. The area’s four active listings are all in Cates Landing, a Polygon complex in preconstruction. The current listings range from $618,000 to $988,000 – all for two-bedroom homes. Scheduled for completion in 2017, this boutique community offers panoramic views of Burrard Inlet. New owners started their year off well purchasing a two-bedroom home in the complex January 3 for its list price of $1,028,000.
Active condo listings*
Lynn Valley Another tight-knit North Shore community, Lynn Valley is enjoying rejuvenation with its new town centre. There are eight active condo listings in the neighbourhood with half of these being newcomers hitting the market within a week of the time of writing. They include two condos in Treelynn for $289,000 and $389,900, a home in Lynn Terrace 2 for $414,900, and another in Beacon at Seylynn Village for $782,900. There was a January 3 sale in this neighbourhood too. A one-bedroom in the Highgate complex took 82 days to sell at one per cent under its original $369,900 asking price.
N. Vancouver median listing price
W. Vancouver median listing price
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 0.5% 1 BR: 32% 2 BR:57% 3 BR: 10.5%
It’s going to cost you plenty of dollars to move into this small waterfront community adjacent to Deep Cove 26 January 29, 2016
*Active listings up to January 15, 2016
F I NA L HOM E S
Discover West Quay by Polygon – contemporary one, two, and three bedroom apartment residences. In Lower Lonsdale, nature meets culture meets easy access to everything.
1ST STREET WEST
Two bedrooms from $ 619,900 ROGERS AVE.
CARRIE CATES COURT
You belong here.
LONSDALE QUAY MARKET
21 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver Open Noon to 5pm Daily (except Friday) 604.988.8856 firstname.lastname@example.org
January 29, 2016 27
Surrey Looking for the silver lining behind the low number of listings MARKET SNAPSHOT
By Jill Lunde
ith only a touch over 200 active listings, there is not a lot of product to check out currently in Surrey. That’s typical for this time of year when the real estate market starts waking up from its holiday hangover to a new year’s possibilities. Where condo hunters will want to concentrate their search is on the most recent listings, of which there were 35 that had been on the market for 10 days or less at the time of writing. These range from a one-bedroom in King George Corridor’s Ocean Bay Villas complex that was listed January 4 for $274,900 to a two-bedroom in Whalley’s Ultra tower that came on the market January 11 for $800K. Among Surrey’s recent quick sales, a two-bedroom in the brand-new Manarola building in Fleetwood Tynehead was snapped up as soon as it was listed for five per cent below its $282,000 asking price. Over in Whalley, another two-bedroom was only two days on the market before its sellers accepted an offer of $182,000 – two per cent below their list price.
This popular Surrey neighbourhood offers an abundance of convenience. The most recent of the area’s 14 active listings (and its cheapest) is a two-bedroom unit in College Park for $274,900. At the top of the range is a three-bedroom home in Salus. That seven-year-old condo was listed back in November and can be yours for $349,000. One of the area’s most recent sales was the January 3 transaction for a twobedroom in The Villas at Strawberry Hill. This six-year-old home spent 20 days on the market before going for three per cent under its $259,900 list price.
Clayton The centre of this community lies on high ground overlooking the ats on the Serpentine River. There are just three active condo listings here ranging in price from $289,800 for a two-bedroom in Willow Grand that was put on the market earlier this month to $349,800 for a twobedroom in Waterstone that was listed in November. A two-bedroom home in Calera changed hands recently. After 26 days on the market, its owners are walking away with $215,000 – two per cent less than they’d hoped for.
A two-bedroom in the brand-new Manarola building in Fleetwood Tynehead was snapped up as soon as it was listed, for ﬁve per cent below its $282,000 asking price. 28 January 29, 2016
Active condo listings* 133
Condos reported sold in December
Surrey median listing price*
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 0.5% 1 BR: 12% 2 BR: 81% 3 BR: 6.5%
*Active listings up to January 15, 2016
Make the most of tall spaces for lofty living Overheight loft condos can be stunning but often create interior design challenges. The GVHBA’s Bob de Wit has some tips By Bob de Wit , CEO, GVHBA
oft spaces are often semi nished with over-height ceilings, large open spaces and huge glass walls. Taking advantage of these unique features – typically not found in standard condos – creates some design challenges to make the environment livable. I reached out to award-winning design-build Intermind Design Inc. owner Mila Duras for loft design tips. According to Duras, living in a loft is all about loving the feeling created by the character of the space. He suggests we draw inspiration from the architecture and the culture of the neighbourhood. More often than not, lofts are built in historic, industrial or urban neighbourhoods. Lofts located in historic areas, such as New Westminster or Yaletown, will most likely feature brick and wood. If your loft is located in a more urban area like the former Olympic Village, concrete and glass walls may make up the foundation. Wire mesh is another material used for a more industrial modern look, perfect for the Railtown District.
Design tricks of the trade No matter the neighbourhood, size or formation of the loft, there are common design-build tricks to create livable spaces, without compromising
on character. Here are Duras’s top design tips: • Strategically placed platforms and columns can be added to de ne space. If located in a historic area, brick and wood posts can bring the “streetscape” into the décor, while visually separating spaces within. • Adding built-in cabinetry is a great way to solve the lack of storage typical in lofts. Choosing pony walls and opened back shelving will de ne space, while adding storage, without compromising the overall look and function of the room. • Use ceiling height to your advantage. Dropped beam ceiling dividers create a natural sense of room separation, without obstructing the ow in the room. • If you’re in a completely open space with very high ceilings but no mezzanine level, create a loft space. If you have the means, adding a loft space will take advantage the available height and create a sense of privacy, while increasing your square footage. • Oversized pendant lighting celebrates the sense of space and light. Hang lighting at lower levels
over eating, reading or sitting areas to create more intimate spaces. Area rugs are a quick x to de ne use of space. Scale is the trick here. Make sure the rugs are large enough to hold the furniture used in the area. If too small, the furniture placement will appear random, outside the carpet versus “in the room.” The size of the carpet de nes the area. Still with scale, just because the space is open and large, does not require all art and furniture pieces to be grand in size. Collections and groupings can be used to ll a wall or create a nook, adding interest to the room. Rolling barn walls, islands on casters, and adaptable furniture are examples of movable options and character pieces perfect for openconcept design.
your colour schemes, art work, and furniture. With an open-room concept, the eye scans the entire loft, as if one pallet. Harmonious colour schemes will connect the spaces within, creating a well-designed space.
Reach out to GVHBA at www.gvhba. org for a design-build team in your neighbourhood.
Draw inspiration from the architecture and the culture of the neighbourhood
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 email@example.com for renovation tips and industry trends.
January 29, 2016 29
New Westminster 101 reasons to make New Westminster your city of choice By Jill Lunde
he Royal City has lots to offer condo hunters: a sense of history and community; great parks and amenities; homes old and new; and 101 active listings. That’s a relatively small number compared with the coming spring and its traditional silly season; what matters most to those who’ve been searching for a while are the newest listings. At the time of writing, 20 per cent of those active listings were newcomers that had joined the ranks within the past 10 days. The Quay gets the nod for both the most affordable and the priciest of these new listings. A one-bedroom in Interurban was listed January 6 for $279,900 and a three-bedroom in The Riviera became available January 8 for $648,000.
Uptown This New West neighbourhood is considered the heart of the city, extending from the crossroads of Sixth Avenue and Sixth Street. Choose a condo here and you’ll be within a short
walk of the area’s shops and services. Uptown has 22 active listings, six of which meet our “recent” criteria. They include a one-bedroom home at 258 Sixth Street where the for sale sign went up January 12 for $299,000 and a two-bedroom at 580 Twelfth Street listed January 5 for $305,000. A recent sale of a two-bedroom condo in the area’s Amara Terrace shows vendors willing to entertain offers. Listed at $269,500, it sold for two per cent under asking after 46 days on the market.
Queensborough This tight-knit, park- lled island community has 12 active listings, all but one of which are on Salter Street. The outlier is on Hampton – a twobedroom that was listed January 4 for $445,000. A massive 75 per cent of the homes being sold in Queensborough are in the new Portage complex which was completed last year. Prices here range from $309,900 to $622,900. The overall development consists of 111 condos and loft homes split between two character buildings located along the water’s edge. We hear buyers are loving the exposed brick feature wall that comes standard in every home.
The Quay gets the nod for both the most affordable and the priciest of these new listings 30 January 29, 2016
Active condo listings*
New Westminster median listing price
Median price per square foot*
Median days on market* Type of inventory* 1 BR: 27% 2 BR:60% 3 BR: 13%
*Active listings up to January 15, 2016
Celebrity condos: Jacques Becker and Marie-Jeanne Becker Godard Our series inside the homes of local personalities continues with this diplomatic–retail power couple By Michelle Hopkins
n downtown Vancouver, French natives Jacques Becker and his wife Marie-Jeanne Becker Godard look out their expansive oor-toceiling windows on the 43rd oor of The Private Residences at Georgia Hotel with smiles. The sweeping city, ocean and mountain views seem to extend forever. Initially family and friends were surprised they would sell their stunning 4,500-square-foot West Vancouver waterfront townhome for a 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroomand-den condominium (albeit an uber-luxurious one) in a hotel. “We are still very much active and we don’t have to conduct daily business anymore so we decided living in the downtown core, in the middle of everything, would suit our lifestyle,” says Jacques Becker, Honorary Consul, Consulate of Monaco in Vancouver, adding they still maintain a home in France. Marie-Jeanne Becker Godard agrees and adds, “As a little girl I dreamt of living at the Hotel Ritz in Paris like Coco Chanel did.” It’s an appealing prospect to anyone who has the money to afford this lavish lifestyle. The Beckers admit the perks like 24-hour concierge, in-home room service (including calling Hawksworth’s Restaurant when entertaining an intimate group of friends for a fully catered dinner brought up to their condo), and the use of the facilities, such as a pool or spa, without the hassle of maintaining them, really attracted them as well. In 1999, the power couple moved to Vancouver after Marie-Jeanne Becker Godard sold her perfume chain of 75 stores to Sephora for millions of dollars. Today she is co-owner and CEO of Vancouver-based Marie Khouri Design. Enlisting the help of friend and
Parisienne interior designer Corinne Sananes, the couple was looking to embrace the bright, open-concept design with a more modern, contemporary interior than their previous home, which they describe as traditional. “We sold all of our furniture except our paintings and sent photos of our new home to Corinne to work from,” says the mother of four grown children. “All of the furniture came from Europe.” First off, this dynamic worldtravelling couple wanted their art collection to take centre stage. As serious art enthusiasts, the white walls were nonnegotiable in order to highlight the art in the best possible
January 29, 2016 31
This dynamic world-travelling couple wanted their art collection to take centre
way. Most notably, they wanted to showcase two vibrant portrayals of street markets in France by French artist Claude Fauchere. “We bought them when living in Paris 20 years ago and the paintings moved with us to Vancouver, almost 18 years ago,” says Becker, adding they met the artist a few times. “The Brazilian painting is from Alain Attar, a Canadian acquaintance of ours who used to live in South Surrey/White Rock.” They also decided the furnishings should be simple. Sananes chose a neutral-hued sofa and a glass table in the dining room so none of the furniture would compete with the bold, graphic art. The only other pops of colour come from the retro seventies red and yellow
32 January 29, 2016
MDF Italia chairs. “It had been decided to place the chairs in front of the opening window – in front of the terrace – as a speci c and private corner, and not in another area which could ‘disturb’ the light ambiance area,” adds the veteran designer. Sananes describes the décor as French timeless elegance with minimalist ambiance.
“My job was to maintain that clean, modern feel, but add warmth and texture,” adds Sananes. She chose a calming palette to create a suitably soothing space, introducing colour in small, subtle bursts of tone and pattern. Her goal for the overall appearance of their condo was to create a casual, yet stylish look that also re ects the stunning West Coast topography.
“Of course, the idea was to keep the view very open with nothing in front of the windows to interrupt the vistas,” she adds. In this open layout, the custom off-white sofa and four chairs (the two felt ones swivel to soak in the views) separate the living room from the dining area; a luxurious wool and natural silk rug supplies a punch
Her goal for the overall appearance of their condo was to create a casual, yet stylish look that also reﬂects the stunning West Coast topography of personality. The bold trio of built-in columns (which appear to oat) next to the television and the stacking tables – picked by the Becker’s – speak to an appreciation for eye-grabbing, whimsical pieces. In keeping with the couple’s wish to have the panorama the focal point, the master bedroom was also kept simple: white walls and white bedding with the only colour coming from the art work and the soft grey bedframe. The crowning touch? A roomy marble ensuite that evokes a boutique hotel; the perfect place to
relax at the day’s end. “We had this Hermes orange beach towel that we never used, so I decided it would make a great rug in the master bathroom,” says Becker Godard. When asked if they miss their West Vancouver waterfront home, both shakes their heads. “Not at all; I am living my dream,” she says. “On the 43rd oor, with north, east and mainly southwest exposure, we can enjoy a fantastic 270 degree view over the city, the bay, the port, Mount Seymour, and Mount Baker,” Becker adds.
January 29, 2016 33
MARKET WEST VANCOUVER DISTRICT OF NORTH VANCOUVER
CITY OF NORTH VANCOUVER
ANMORE BELCARRA BURRARD INLET
LANGLEY CITY DELTA
A selection of open show homes and sales centres across the Lower Mainland
Milano 4247 Lougheed Hwy, Brentwood Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.294.8989 ...................Pg 21
West Quay 21 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.988.8856 ...................Pg 27
The Residences at Lynn Valley 1175 Lynn Valley Rd Coming this Fall 604.924.0166 ...................Pg 3
NEW WESTMINSTER 7
Aragon 260 Salter Street Coming this Fall 778.398.1344 ...................Pg 2
Modello #118 - 5021 Kingsway Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.456.0688 ...................Pg 19
Harbour Walk 12235 No 1 Road Open Mon to Fri 9 -4 pm, Sat & Sun 12 - 4 pm 604.274.7326 ...................Pg 23
Lougheed Heights North Rd, West Coquitlam Coming this Fall 604.412.0313 ...................Pg 15
34 January 29, 2016
Seylynn Village 600 Mountain Hwy Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.980.5000 ...................Pg 35
TSAWWASSEN SPRINGS 5133 Springs Boulevard Coming this Spring 604.948.1533 ...................Pg 36
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.
January 29, 2016 35
A VIBRANT NEW COMMUNITY TO CALL HOME.
Now Selling - The Heron Collection Starting at $519,900 The Heron Collection offers timeless, Arts & Crafts design with expansive views of the golf course, North Shore mountains and water, surrounded by family-run neighbourhood stores with personal and charming service and terriﬁc beaches. You’ll ﬁnd everything right outside your door from yoga & Pilates, and physiotherapy, to Pat Quinn’s Restaurant & Bar, as well as a neighbourhood store & cafe.
GET YOUR SPRINGS GOLF CARD TODAY! AND RECEIVE PREFERRED PRICING ON GREEN FEES ALL YEAR. BUY ONLINE O OR IN THE PRO SHOP.
FOR WEDDINGS, CORPORATE EVENTS, GATHERINGS AND MORE.
LIVE AT TSAWWASSEN SPRINGS Only 30 minutes to Vancouver, 15 minutes to YVR and minutes from the BC Ferry Terminal. Tsawwassen is the sunniest community in the Lower Mainland that offers the small town charm of a seaside community with big city proximity. Where home becomes a holiday, come visit us and learn why.
5133 Springs Boulevard, Tsawwassen
OPENING SPRING 2016 Marketed By:
604.948.1533 TSAWWASSENSPRINGS.CA 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.