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June 2016

CONDOMINIUM www.westcoastcondominium.ca

AN URBAN OASIS 8X ON THE PARK offers luxury living in the heart of downtown Vancouver P8-9

SUMMERTIME FUN Our pick of condo buildings with great outdoor amenities


DROWNING IN PROBLEMS Part 1 of our insurance risks series: preventing water damage P17

LIVING THE HIGH LIFE Going up? The high points of making a life in a tall tower


WHAT LIES BENEATH Making the perfect flooring choice for your condo


Team Behroyan

1453 Bellevue Ave. West Vancouver, BC V7T 1C3

June 2016

11 8


Urban oasis in downtown Vancouver 8X ON THE PARK offers luxury living in an elegant tower by Emery Barnes Park


Flipping a pre-sale condo For investors with nerves of steel, pre-sale assignments are still an option, says Frank O’Brien

… And the living is easy Our selection of Metro Vancouver condo amenities that make summertime a breeze

The height of interior style A local designer’s décor tips to make the most of overheight loft ceilings

Putting a plug in water damage Part one of our must-read insurance risks management series by FS Insurance Brokers

When your building goes liquid Winding up a strata corporation? Essential advice by Tony Gioventu of the CHOA

How to… Live in a high-rise building

11 14 17


The GVHBA’s Bob de Wit rounds up the benefits of living the high life

31 4 June, 2016


Fairest for your feet There are many flooring choices out there – which is right for your condo?




Condo market snapshots 6 18 16 20 27 27 30

Vancouver North Shore Tri-Cities Burnaby Surrey Richmond/South Delta New West


Vancouver condo buyers beware the FOMO factor The fear of missing out – “FOMO” – has been cited as a key driver in Vancouver’s hot housing market. Should buyers be afraid?


here’s a global phenomenon that has always existed but is now taking a more coherent form and making itself known – the fear of missing out, or “FOMO”. These days it is such a pervasive cultural norm, it even has a hashtag: #FOMO It seems that this is also the case in the current Vancouver real estate market. With home prices going up an up at an unstoppable rate, many would-be homebuyers are jumping feet-first into the market, thinking, “If I don’t do it now, I might be left behind forever.” Who knows? They might be right. An April-released survey by TD Bank found that a surprisingly high 19 per cent of homeowners in Vancouver and Toronto listed FOMO as a top factor before making their first home purchase. And then Urban Analytics wrote in its quarterly State of the Market report for the Urban Development Institute, “Anecdotal analysis would suggest that the robust sales activity in the [Metro Vancouver] real estate sector can also be attributed to a ‘fear of missing out’ sentiment among prospective buyers.” It’s certainly true that home sales

in Metro Vancouver are through the roof this year in pretty much all neighbourhoods, and across all housing types and price points. While it is certainly feasible that some of this activity can be attributed to increased overseas immigration and investment, it seems to me that this cannot completely account for the vast numbers of properties changing hands throughout the region. So then, if FOMO is at least partially contributing to the rise in sales (and therefore prices), it becomes a selffulfilling prophecy. The real problem, though, is when it is fear that dictates your move, rather than logic. When it becomes just about getting into the market at any cost, and no longer about buying a home that is right for you. My recommendation? Know that fear cannot be what drives you to buy a home. Work out your price point (the one that leaves you with some wriggle room), adjust expectations if necessary, and find a home that works for you. And above all, don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. This is your life, and your home, not theirs.

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.


CONDOMINIUM PUBLISHER: Janai York EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Joannah Connolly EDITOR: Jill Lunde CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Frank O’Brien SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Tracey Aussem, Lynn Fry, Jackie Mollenhauer, Sue Prasad PRODUCTION MANAGER: Holly Burge PRODUCTION: Darko Isic, Peter Gallagher

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.

DESIGNERS: Carol Rui, Annette Spreeuw, Arslan Sultan, Joanne Yen

Rea l Estate W eekly


June, 2016 5


Vancouver Housing-market anxiety? Home-buying blues?

East versus West: West comes out on top for sales By Jill Lunde


ay condo sales were healthy on both Vancouver’s East and West Sides, but neither could match the pace of some of the neighbouring municipalities where growth continued to defy the odds. West Side sales were up 2.7 per cent over April, and May 2016 outdid May 2015 by 12 per cent. Things were definitely cooling down on the East Side though. Sales there were off by 6.7 per cent compared with April and by 6.6 per cent compared with May 2015.




Change is afoot in this southwest Vancouver neighbourhood where the Canada Line’s impact is being felt. While many of the condos are in older walk-ups, there are a number of luxury homes also on the market. The area’s active listings start at $236,800 for a one-bedroom in Cartier House (41 years old) that came on the market May 31 and reach $2,098,000 for a twobedroom in Marine Gateway (one year old). May neighbourhood sales indicate most properties going for close to list price but a healthy number going for over asking. This includes three twobedroom homes in the brand new MC2 where original owners walked away with offers three, five and nine per cent over their list prices.




Th real estate therapist show The Live on roundhouse radio 98.3 FM Li Saturdays 9AM to 10AM Sa www.roundhouseradio.com (or listen on demand) w

6 June, 2016


This neighbourhood is a favourite with those commuting to both downtown and Burnaby. With over 30 active listings, it’s also a great place to search for a new condo. Prices start at $219,000 for a recently listed studio in The Centro. The priciest area option is $585,000 for a two-bedroom in Kingsway Manor that’s been on the market for close to a year. There were wide variations in list versus selling prices here in May. These ranged from eight per cent under (a one-bedroom in The Millenio asking $358,000) to nine per cent over (a twobedroom in the same complex with a list price of $350,000).


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* Studio: 3% 1 BR: 40% 2 BR: 46% 3+ BR: 11%

$675,000 May West Side median selling price*

up $50,000 from last issue


May East Side median selling price* up $5,450 from last issue


Median price per square foot*


Condos sold in May


Median days on market*


New listings in May

*Active listings up to June 1, 2016

604-263-1144 Kerrisdale

604-689-8226 Yaletown

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.

107 2910 E. Pender Street

229 2033 Triumph Street

110 2390 McGill Street

Renfrew - $299,900 Completely renovated 1 bed/1 bath Marcus Maia 604-764-5634

Hastings - $319,900 Beautifully renovated suite 1 bed/1 bath Lisa MacIntosh 604-263-1144

Hastings - $320,000 Affordable & close to downtown 1 bed/1 bath Cathie Cline 604-263-1144

203 3264 Oak Street

204 528 Beatty Street

Cambie - $420,000 Affordable & Adorable 1 bed/1 bath Cathie Cline 604-263-1144

Downtown - $520,000 Bright spacious loft 1 bed/1 bath Melany Sue-Johnson 604-780-0724

Fraser - $539,000 PENTHOUSE suite at the Mondella 2 bed/1 bath Kevin Banno 604-300-3165

3207 Columbia Street

304 3333 W. 4th Avenue

1511 833 Seymour Street

Cambie - $558,000 Finely Crafted & Individually Curated 1 bed/1 bath Paige Kraft 604-603-3475

Kitsilano - $585,000 In popular Blenheim Terrace 2 bed/2 bath Marty Pospischil 604-263-1144

Downtown - $589,000 In the heart of downtown 1 bed/1 bath Brad Pacaud 604-562-6337

807 2799 Yew Street

305 2528 Maple Street

105 5989 Iona Drive

Kitsilano - $649,000 Rare opportunity to own 1 bed/1 bath Joanne LaRocque 604-831-9780

Kitsilano - $699,900 Solid corner unit 2 bed/2 bath Marilou Appleby 604-318-9566

University - $848,000 In the heart of UBC 2 bed/2 bath Karen Chang 604-700-8092

JUST SOLD PH15 688 E. 17th Avenue

2609 1480 Howe Street

405 2288 Pine Street

315 1783 Manitoba Street

1656 E. 13th Avenue

13 5605 Hampton Place

55 Gore Avenue

Downtown - $899,000 South/east facing view suite 2 bed/1 bath Kris Pope 604-318-5226

Fairview - $988,000 City and mountain view property 2 bed/2 bath Tom Jones 604-722-1316

False Creek - $1,078,000 Immaculate 2 bedroom + a flex room 2 bed/2 bath Naseem Shivji 604-808-9347

Grandview - $1,149,900 Fabulous front 1/2 duplex 3 bed/3 bath Lisa MacIntosh 604-263-1144

University - $1,238,000 Living the extraordinary life 2 bed/3 bath Victoria Bell 604-209-1382

Hastings - $1,299,900 The Edge Harbourfront Lofts 1 bed/2 bath Ed Gramauskas 604-618-9727

17 1620 Balsam Street

2227 Oak Street

1402 1501 Howe Street

1202 1788 Ontario Street

3791 Alexandra Street

601 6951 Elmbridge Way

Kitsilano - $1,399,000 Kits beach penthouse 1 bed/2 bath Catherine Cunningham 604-263-1144

Fairview - $1,479,000 3 bedroom citi-home 3 bed/3 bath Kris Pope 604-318-5226

Yaletown - $1,788,000 It doesn’t get much better than this 2 bed/3 bath Marilou Appleby 604-318-9566

Mount Pleasant - $2,588,000 Enjoy the view from 1 of your 3 patios 2 bed/2 bath Martin Ramond 778-859-6237

Shaughnessy - $5,188,000 at Matthews Court 3 bed/3 bath Tyler Peerless 604-833-3039

Richmond - $368,000 Richmond Oval Village 1 bed/1 bath John Zhou 604-537-5253

901 7235 Salisbury Avenue

708 188 E. Esplanade

140 2228 162 Street

218 4770 52A Street

215 15875 Marine Drive

104 210 Carnarvon Street

Burnaby - $369,000 Highgate living - Yaletown lifestyle 2 bed/1 bath Nick Moroso 604-689-8226

North Vancouver - $668,000 A spectacular corner unit 2 bed/2 bath Naseem Shivji 604-808-9347

Surrey - $425,000 Welcome home to the Breeze 3 bed/2 bath Mike Dente 604-354-1084

Delta - $419,000 Desirable Ladner building 2 bed/2 bath Kelsey Lynch 604-831-7536

White Rock - $289,500 Spacious open kitchen 2 bed/2 bath Philip Rodgers 604-808-4623

New Westminster - $228,800 Fantastic downtown Condo 1 bed/1 bath David L Young 604-329-3288

Enjoy the security and confidence that comes from dealing with professionals who care! Call us or visit www.dexterrealty.com to view all of our listings. CONDOMINIUM

June, 2016 7


8X ON THE PARK Offers Luxury Urban Living


alling it “a fusion of modern and historic architecture unmatched in the city,” Tracie McTavish, executive director at Rennie Marketing Systems, says that 8X ON THE PARK’s unique design is a fi rst in Vancouver. “It is also the only building that sits beside Emery Barnes Park,” adds McTavish. “There are many cool architecturally designed buildings in Vancouver but very few make such a bold statement as 8X ON THE PARK.” The mixed-use, 35-storey LEED gold certified “three-building” tower was designed by the forward-thinking gBL Architects to reflect the vibe of this exciting district – modern, sophisticated, artistic-inspired living. 8X ON THE PARK features 321 homes, ranging from a small selection of pieds-a-terre, one-, two- and three bedroom homes, which will include 121 luxury rental units. “What also makes 8X ON THE 8 June, 2016

PARK quite distinctive is that we offer a large number of three-bedroom homes,” says McTavish, adding that this is rare in most condominium buildings. Thoughtfully designed, Ada Bonini of BYU Design was tasked with decorating the two show homes. “I took my inspiration from the form and shape of the building,” says the principal of BYU. “With such a bold contemporary design, it required a bold statement inside. There is also such a strong feeling of luxury here so we wanted to paint that sense of luxury using a palette of greys, white and charcoal tones … think a fi ne cashmere sweater or stunning blackand-white photography.” Each home embraces opulence, complete with marble and Quartz stone in both kitchens and bathrooms, pull-out pantries with integrated LED lighting, high end Miele and SubZero stainless steel appliances, air


conditioning, wide plank engineered oak hardwood flooring, in-floor NuHeat in master bathrooms and Italianmade Binova cabinetry. “The kitchens also have steam ovens, a great feature for West Coast living,” adds Bonini. “There is lots of great lighting in these homes, not just to accentuate functionality but to highlight beautiful ambient lighting as well.” All residents will have private access to the 35th-floor wrap-around Sky Lounge and Fitness Centre, offering state-of-the-art equipment, amenity room and lounge with kitchenette, as well as a landscaped outdoor terrace with a covered deck, a common dining area, a storage shed and potting bench for a rooftop garden. McTavish went on to say that family-owned Brenhill Development Ltd, a local developer with more than four decades of experience, wanted to ensure the tower was as green as

possible. 8X ON THE PARK will be outfitted with an extensive use of both thermal glazing and sun shading, geo-exchange heat pumps and highefficiency fan coil units in each home. 8X ON THE PARK is walking distance to the False Creek seawall, transit and several great restaurants. It is close to everything an urbanite wants, including Vancouver’s central library, BC Place, Rogers Arena, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, theatres, parks and the Roundhouse Community Centre. The 8X ON THE PARK sales centre and two show homes, located at 1149 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, is open daily from noon to 6pm. Prices for a three-bedroom residence start at $1.579 million. For more information, call 604-801-6861, email info@8xonthepark.com or visit www.8xonthepark.com. Tentative occupancy is slated for 2019.




GET COMFORTABLE. The spacious homes at 8X are designed for daily luxury. Expansive windows bring sun- and starlight inside, while private balconies extend your living space into the open air. Each residence includes state-of-art integrated electronics, offering simple digital control over the interior environment. Nest Learning Thermostats, Nuheat radiant in-floor heating, dimmable lights, and motion-sensor under-cabinet LED lighting. These homes are smart.
















Wait until the development is close to completion and, preferably, sold out and then advertise your assignment, with a healthy uplift

Flipping pre-sale condo assignments For the brave investor, this avenue is still open New rule doesn’t apply to pre-sale units

By Frank O’Brien


midst the ballyhoo over the BC government’s “crackdown” on assignment sales, perhaps the most vibrant potential fl ipping sector escaped the new regulations: the assignment of pre-sale condominium contracts. Th is may represent an opening for savvy investors to take advantage of the current white-hot apartment market. Assigning one’s right to a contract is a legitimate practice. But, due to fears that some realtors were fl ipping assignments secretly, the provincial government now requires contracts to include clauses stating that the contract cannot be assigned without the written consent of the seller, and that any profit from an assignment goes to the initial seller. The new rule came into effect May 16. 10 June, 2016

But the legislation exempts new developments, including pre-sale condos, even if a licensed realtor sells the assignment, according to the BC Real Estate Council and the Ministry of Finance. Under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act, a 2008 document that was brought in during the last real estate boom, the onus is on developers to police assignments. Some have done this by charging a fee, usually one to two per cent of the sale price, and outlawing the advertising and sale of assignments until the building is sold out. But a lot of developers either allow assignments of pre-sales or add minor restrictions such as no assignments until the project is sold out (which can still be months away from completion), charging a one to two per cent fee for assignments, or restricting advertising of assignments. (If you check out


Craigslist, though, you will find many pre-sale assignments this week, including those from well-known developers.)

How to profit from selling a pre-sale assignment First, buy a pre-sale in the best building by the best developer you can find. Attend pre-launch events and get on the pre-seller’s list. It is often better to buy early because developers will want to show sales traction to their lender. Check on any pre-sale assignment regulations the developer has in the sales contract. Wait until the development is close

to completion and, preferably, sold out and then advertise your assignment, with a healthy uplift. In this market there is an opportunity to walk away with a profit, even after paying your deposit and, if required, a commission to the developer. Consider this: according to the Urban Development Institute’s State of the Market report for the first quarter of 2016, there are only 88 concrete (high-rise) condominium units in all of Metro Vancouver that are complete and unsold – a six-year low – despite a near record construction pace over the past two years. As well, there are only 164 new and unsold wood-frame (low-rise) condominiums on the Metro market, a five-year low. And consider this: the benchmark price for Metro Vancouver condo apartment has increased about 20 per cent from last year. A gentle warning, though: the last time condo pre-sale assignments were a hot investor market was in 2007, the year before the Metro Vancouver condo market crashed.

Frank O’Brien is editor of Western Investor, the largest commercial real estate investment newspaper in Western Canada.


Ten Metro Vancouver condo buildings with amazing summer amenities West Coast Condominium’s editor-in-chief shares her pick of the region’s residential developments with the hottest extras By Joannah Connolly


ummer is upon us, and many of you will be thinking about how great it would be to buy into a building that has wonderful outdoor amenities to enhance those sunny, lazy days. Well, if that’s what you’re looking for, there’s plenty of choice, as the following shows. And this is just a small pick of what’s on offer around the Lower Mainland. So whether you’re considering a presale, new or resale unit, and whichever area you’re looking in, we’ve got a great selection to inspire your home-buying decisions. Enjoy!

Milano, Brentwood, Burnaby One of our favourites for outdoor amenities is this stunning new development in the heart of Burnaby’s burgeoning Brentwood district. Outdoor movies, anyone? Perhaps polish up your putting? This luxury condo building by the Solterra Group has a podium-level landscaped roof terrace with a barbecue and dining area, fire pit, lounge areas, putting green, children’s play space and – yes – an outdoor movie theatre. Other inside amenities include underground parking with optional electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle storage, car wash area, dog-washing station, fitness gym, indoor hot tub, steam room, a guest suite and a party room. Now selling presale condos. For more, go to milanoliving.ca

Fremont Village, Coquitlam Now selling its second phase of two- and four-bedroom condominium rowhomes, Fremont Village by Mosaic is a new community in Coquitlam that has proven a big hit. Not least, we suspect, because of the fabulous common amenities – The Riverclub, a 12,500-square-foot clubhouse that includes a glamorous outdoor pool area with a lap pool for dedicated swimmers, family pool, daybed loungers and a dining terrace. All this is also a stone’s throw from the river, which the rowhomes also back on to. Looks like a pretty great place to bring up a family. Now selling phase two Fremont Indigo rowhomes. For more, go to mosaichomes.com/fremont


June, 2016 11

Altus at Solo District, Brentwood, Burnaby

Callisto, Coal Harbour, Vancouver A well-established, seven-year-old condo-and-townhome building in Vancouver’s toney Coal Harbour district is the Georgie-award-winning Callisto, which has a sister building, the Carina. This one made it into our selection because of the super-cool swimming pool. Do you love swimming outdoors but can’t always handle the direct sunshine? This indoor-outdoor pool allows you to bask in the sun and then just swim inside when it all gets too much. There is also an outdoor hot tub and great terrace that has direct access to the worldbeating Coal Harbour seawall. Interested? Right now there’s a stunning townhome for sale in Callisto for $3,998,000, listed by Jason Soprovich, with three bedrooms, a private deck and its own elevator. Resale townhome available as of press time. For details, go to REW.ca and search for R2069376

The Altus tower in Brentwood’s Solo District had to make this list because it has the coolest, nightclub style rooftop bar and patio that we’ve seen – with unbelievable views. In fact, Club 55 is so-named because it is Burnaby’s highest rooftop patio, soaring an equivalent of 55 storeys high. It offers residents more than 5,000 square feet of amenity space indoors and outdoors, with the outdoor component including a fullsized outdoor kitchen/BBQ area, wet bar with a long counter and stools and chic lounging areas. There’s also an outdoor rooftop multisport court and landscaped rooftop gardens featuring environmentally considerate and droughtresistant landscaping. Now selling presale condos. For more, go to solodistrict.com

One Pacific, Downtown Vancouver Currently under construction at the north end of Cambie Bridge is Concord Pacific’s undulating One Pacific building, a super-high-end residential development with a double dose of stunning outdoor amenities. The mid-level Riviera Deck includes a stunning cantilevered glass swimming pool that overhangs the edge of the building, with cabanas, hot tub and outside fireside lounge, and a gourmet kitchen with tasting bar and grand dining hall inside. The amenities extend to the Sky Garden on the roof, which offers a family-friendly rooftop garden, barbecue and dining area with fabulous city, mountain and False Creek views. Now selling presale condos. For more, go to onepacific.ca

Park Avenue West, Surrey At the glamorous Park Avenue West, home ownership offers a resort lifestyle more reminiscent of Las Vegas than Surrey. Club PA features a stunning swimming pool surrounded by cabanas, a yoga pavilion, a fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment, a sky garden, a grand entertainment lounge with wet bar, tennis courts and much more besides. The residences themselves are equally fabulous, with super high-end finishings, gracious proportions and fantastic mountain views. Now selling presale condos. For more, go to www.parkavenueliving.ca

12 June, 2016










Charleson, Yaletown, Vancouver A LEED Gold building designed by the award-winning DIALOG, Onni Group’s Charleson development in Yaletown is a stunning tower in its own right, the luxurious homes inside ranging up to 3,500 square feet and offering unbelievable finishing touches. But the outdoor amenities are spectacular too, including a pool and hot tub deck, onto which the huge fitness centre opens. There’s also a rooftop garden a fire pit, dining and BBQ areas (which open off the indoor entertainment lounge and kitchen), children’s play area and even small garden plots for the green-thumbed among residents. Now selling presale condos. For more, go to www.onni.com/charleson

The Residences at Lynn Valley, North Vancouver

South Ridge Club, South Surrey After selling out the first phase, Adera Homes is now selling the second phase of its South Surrey development, Greenway. These high-end condominium townhomes offer private membership into the South Ridge Club. At the heart of the community is this resort-style clubhouse complete with a fantastic, family-friendly outdoor pool with comfy loungers and a barbecue area for parties. Inside, there’s a full exercise room, and the club’s Fireside Lounge with a billiards table, kitchen and banquet-ready dining area and movie theatre. Now selling presale condos. For more, go to adera.com/properties/ southridgeclub

One of North Vancouver’s most thoughtful new developments, the Residences at Lynn Valley by Bosa Properties is a masterplanned community of mid-rise condo buildings that blends seamlessly into the surrounding area. Residents will enjoy more than 15,000 square feet of luxury amenities including a lush rooftop garden with an outdoor BBQ and entertainment area, plus a dog run. That’s in addition to the interior amenities of theatre room, games and meeting room, steam room, sauna, yoga studio, gym and huge social room with catering kitchen, which opens on to the BBQ area outside. And throughout the development run pedestrian trails and bike paths to effortlessly move locals from their homes to the natural environment. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, this has to be a good choice for you. Now selling presale condos. For more, go to lynnvalleyresidences.com

Jewel I & II, Metrotown This twin-tower Metrotown condo development by Boffo is a national award winner, not least for its stunning gardens and patios that are so welcome in the summer months. The immaculate landscaping is not just beautiful at ground level but creates visually intriguing, geometric patterns when viewed from the tower balconies. Integrating the residences seamlessly into the neighbourhood and environment, the developer also transformed adjacent undeveloped city land by creating an open public space complete with vegetation, benches and meandering pathways. Th is also involved the transplanting of a rare, reclaimed 40-year-old Gingko tree – perfect for reading that book under. Look out for resale condos – go to REW.ca and search for 6188 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby


June, 2016 13


Decorating a loft with high ceilings Take your condo to new heights with advice from a seasoned interior designer

14 June, 2016

By Michelle Hopkins


hat is it about loft-style living that is appealing to so many of us? There are too many fabulous features and reasons to name just a few. For most of us, it’s the high ceilings, the open concepts, and the brick features that draw us to them. However, it’s those same qualities that can also create some challenges. West Coast Condominium spoke to ZWADA Home Interiors & Design principal and interior designer, Don Zwarych, for advice on some of the most co mmon decorating issues that loft dwellers face. He had lots of tips on how to address these.


“Every designer will have a different take when decorating any interior with high ceilings, but it’s not that much different than other spaces, it just requires a little more creativity,” says Zwarych. “When we design lofts, we divide the room into three levels, first, the upper level (the high ceilings), then the middle (walls) and lastly the lower (living space).” From there, you have to factor in your design style: contemporary; or more traditional/ transitional. “If your home decor is modern, leave the upper level as is, minimalist,” adds Zwarych. “If you are more traditional, create interest with panelling or by using layers.” Zwarych loves cladding walls with brick, natural stone and wallpapers with depth and lots of texture, and also

Go for large-scale pieces of furniture, artwork, sculptures or murals for dramatic impact

notes that grass cloth is making a huge comeback. The mid-level is perfect for artwork and paintings, while the lower is for your furnishings. “In lofts, opt for more than one focal point and create separation and definition within the space,” he advises.

Scale As in any residence, the size of your furnishings needs to match the volume of the space. Impressive soaring ceilings in a loft with too much furniture will give the impression of a dollhouse – definitely not the desired intention. High-ceiling lofts lend themselves beautifully to large-scale furniture or artwork. Zwarych tells his clients to embrace the height.

Divide the loft into sections and distribute furniture to create little intimate spaces anchored by carpets, a chair, an open bookcase, bi-fold doors, Japanese shōji doors or with the use of folding screens or floor-to-ceiling draperies in bold or sheer fabrics. The range of options for materials and styles is one of the great things about loft living. You can opt for clear glass or opaque bi-fold doors that allow for lots of natural light to flood in, yet still offer you that privacy you need.

Pendant lights hung lower work well where you want to create a more intimate feel

Privacy/division Unlike a traditional home with doors separating rooms, lofts don’t have divided spaces other than the bathroom. “When you’re living in a loft, you have to create barriers for some degree of privacy,” Zwarych says. A great way to devise private spaces in a loft, he adds, is to establish the effect of alcoves, “So people can be both together in the same space and yet have their own individual space.”

Lighting and colour Lighting is crucial in any home in order to achieve ambience, atmosphere and mood. However, in a loft space, for maximum effect choose lighting at different heights. Pendant lights hung lower work well where you want to create a more intimate feel, such as over the dining table or a sitting area. Hang lights higher in spaces like the entry hall and kitchen work zones.


June, 2016 15


Tri-Cities Who’s the fairest of the three? It all depends... By Jill Lunde

T Zwarych also recommends bold, dramatic lighting – think large chandeliers – and a variety of mounted and floor lighting options. As far as your colour scheme is concerned, it is best to stick to a simple, neutral earth-tone colour palette. “Here on the west coast, soft greys and various shades of white work wonderfully in lofts,” says the seasoned designer, adding also to think of the size of the room and the scale of the slanted ceilings before choosing your hues. Having said that, Zwarych adds using different shades and tones of darker colours with a painted ceiling can also look great. “It becomes a way to personalize your space and showcase that wow factor,” he recommends.

Decorating dos and don’ts “Do not clutter a loft and don’t push everything against the wall,” he cautions.

“In addition, create natural pathways so there is good traffic flow.” Meanwhile, avoid using too many small pieces of furniture. Instead, go for large-scale pieces of furniture, artwork, sculptures or murals for dramatic impact.

Storage Storage can be the bane of a loft owner’s existence – there is never enough. It all comes down to purchasing multi-functional furnishings, such as Murphy beds, coffee tables that convert into work stations, and ottomans. “Ottomans are triple threats, transitioning from seating to table to foot rest,” says Zwarych, adding Vancouver is home to some innovative multi-functional furniture designers. “The foundation of practical solutions for lack of storage space comes down to double-duty design.”

rying to narrow your TriCities condo hunt to one municipality? There’s a wide variety of choice and that’s reflected in the prices. Port Moody is the most expensive and May sales were up more than 17 per cent over April and 44 per cent over the previous May. Coquitlam’s May sales were a similar 44 per cent higher this year than last, but only six per cent up over April. Prices are cheaper in Poco where sales were remarkably slower. May was down there over April by 12.5 per cent.

Coquitlam West Th is neighbourhood is undergoing tremendous change thanks to the Evergreen Line. There are 48 active condo listings starting at $168,800 for a studio in The Avenue and going as high as $1,080,900 for a threebedroom in The Crown. Close to half of the listings are in brand new buildings or ones offering pre-sales. Our reports show 25 condo sales in the area last month with most homes changing hands at or near list price. The exceptions were a two-bedroom in the pre-construction Burquitlam Capital that sold for four per cent under its asking price of $503,900 and a two-bedroom in Brookmere Towers that went for eight per cent more than its $509,000 list price.


Active condo listings* Type of inventory* Studio: 1.5% 1 BR: 25% 2 BR: 66% 3+ BR: 7.5%

$396,000 May Coquitlam median listing price*

up $17,200 from last issue


May Port Coquitlam median listing price* up $2,000 from last issue


May Port Moody median listing price* down $25,950 from last issue

Port Moody Centre Also on that Evergreen Line route, this community has 30 active listings. A studio in Sonrisa is the starting point at $234,900, while a twobedroom in Aria 2 tops the price range at $930,000. Port Moody Centre sales were brisk in May with our reports showing more than 25 condos changing hands. Owners of a two-bedroom in Aria 2 accepted an offer of $560,000 – six per cent less than they had hoped for. It was the owners of the two-bedroom unit in The Residences who must have done the happiest happy dance. Their unit sold for 16 per cent over their list price of $599,000.

16 June, 2016



Median price per square foot*


Condos sold in May


Median days on market*


New listings in May

*Active listings up to June 1, 2016


Insurance risk management #1: Tips to prevent water damage If you live in a condo, you need to take responsibility for any insurance risks – and be fully prepared, say the experts at FS Insurance Brokers

By FS Insurance Brokers


iving in a strata building allows for many benefits, and also presents special considerations. Insurance-related property damage and liability exposures can have serious consequences if a strata lot owner is unprepared. Water damage is the most frequent source of insurance claims and can leave owners with immense expenses, and/or force occupants of the source and neighbouring units temporarily out of their homes. Most strata units have 10 or more water connections, including the washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator/ice maker, bathtub, shower, sprinkler heads, hot water tank, faucets

and more. Each of these connections has the potential to leak. If your unit is found to be the source of a leak that causes water damage, you may be held responsible. Fast action is imperative once a leak occurs in order to prevent or at least minimize damage.

Prevention strategies ■ Know the location of your in-suite water shut-offs and immediately turn off the water supply if you discover a leak. ■ Use a water leak detection device to monitor appliances or piping that can leak, or contract a servicing company to do so. These devices are great for areas that are difficult to inspect frequently. ■ Winterize hose bibs as needed.

■ Replace rubber appliance supply hoses with steel-braided hoses. ■ Dishwashers can leak from the front or back of the appliance – visually inspect the rubber gasket around the inside edge of the door and replace if cracked or worn. ■ Avoid flushing foreign objects down toilets. ■ Ensure your tile grout is properly sealed.

Sprinkler heads A single sprinkler head can release more than 75 litres of water per minute, enough to fi ll a hot tub in 10 minutes. In just a short time, this much water can cause major damage



June, 2016 17

CONDO MARKET If your unit is found to be the source of a leak that causes water damage, you may be held responsible

North Shore Condo sales added fuel to the fire in May By Jill Lunde

■ Replace hoses every three to five years or sooner based on usage.


to your unit, as well as units beside or below you. However, it is extremely rare for sprinkler heads to spontaneously burst. Human error is the cause of most unintentional sprinkler activation. Follow these tips when it comes to the sprinkler heads in your unit: ■ Do not hang anything from your sprinkler line or heads. This includes electrical cords, cables, candle holders, clothing and hangers. ■ Keep an 18-inch clearance between the sprinkler head and items underneath to allow proper disbursement of water. ■ Make sure you have insurance coverage to protect against damages to your personal unit and property.

Washing machines Malfunctioning supply hoses for your washing machine can result in some of the most common water damage claims filed by homeowners. Water can discharge at a rate of up to 1,900 litres per hour, causing major losses to your home and any adjacent units. Here are some tips for preventing washingmachine-related losses: ■ Use steel-braided supply hoses and inspect them often for damage. ■ Use only detergent appropriate for the type of washer you have – for example, high-efficiency washers need high-efficiency detergents to prevent sudsing and backflow. ■ Use a water leak detection system. ■ Allow three to four inches between the hose connection and the wall.

Dishwashers A slow leak may go undetected for years, leading to huge water damage claims. Many leaks are visible, but a good majority are hidden and you should take appropriate action to properly inspect. Water pooling, mould, mildew and damage to neighbouring units are common results of leaking dishwashers. Use the following tips to help prevent dishwasher-related losses: ■ Visually inspect the rubber gasket around the inside edge of the door and replace if cracked or worn. ■ Use steel-braided supply hoses and inspect them often for damage. ■ Consider installing a water leak detection system for hard-to-reach areas: pumps; valves; etc. ■ Only use detergents specifically formulated for dishwashers; avoid detergents that create suds. ■ Keep the drain basket clean. Finally, condo owners should maintain unit owner’s coverage. Insurance will cover you, your contents, improvements to your unit, and damage to neighbouring units. It is estimated that only 50 per cent of owners across Metro Vancouver carry insurance – even though unit owners have unique insurance exposure due to the nature of strata living. Any experience of loss can be stressful to those parties involved. To lessen the financial impact and protect owners as much as possible, adequate loss prevention and insurance should be a part of every unit owner’s strategy.

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.

18 June, 2016



here was no slowdown in condo sales as spring edged closer to summer. While the sellers’ market was good in North Vancouver (two per cent higher in May than April and 15 per cent higher than May 2015), it was positively rampant in West Van (59 per cent higher month over month and 23 per cent more than the previous May). It was North Van that saw the greatest highs and lows of sales. A Lower Lonsdale owner let their Pinnacle Residences home go for 12 per cent under asking while a Central Lonsdale Lions View seller accepted an offer 22 per cent over asking.

Pemberton The handful of active condo listings here start at $325,000 for a onebedroom in Woodcroft Estates. You can tip the other end of the scale with a one-bedroom in The Drive that’s listed at $459,900. There are some interesting comparables with Woodcroft Estate recent sales, with six of the complex’s properties fi nding new owners in May. One seller settled for three per cent under their $359,000 list price after only a week on the market. All the other sellers received their asking price or more. Indeed, one unit went for 16 per cent over its $248,000 sticker price.

Dundarave As one of the most in-demand neighbourhoods in West Van, Dundarave is best for those with deep pockets. The cheapest active condo listing is $679,800 for a studio in Seastrand. If that feels too rich, you probably don’t want to know about the three-bedroom in Les Terraces for $7,498,000. If it’s any consolation, most of the five Dundarave sales that showed up in our May report went for under asking. Only one, a two-bedroom in The Bellevue, had an offer over asking. That home sold for three per cent more than its $650,000 price.


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 34% 2 BR: 58% 3+ BR: 6%


May North Vancouver median selling price*

down $1,000 from last issue


May West Vancouver median selling price* up $61,750 from last issue


Median price per square foot*


Condos sold in May


Median days on market*


New listings in May

*Active listings up to June 1, 2016



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Find all the latest real estate headlines, whenever and wherever you want.

Burnaby The pace may be slowing, but May sales were still hot By Jill Lunde


urnaby condo sales slowed slightly in May compared with April – an easing of that frenzied buying anyone anywhere near a water cooler couldn’t help but talk about. Even with a four per cent dip between those two months, sales were nevertheless up more than 30 per cent over May 2015. Across the entire city, our May sales report shows condos going for from 11 per cent under their list price to 30 per cent more. The latter was a two-bedroom in Brentwood Park’s Fitzgerald that was on the market 11 days before selling for $186,000 more than asking.

Edmonds This Burnaby neighbourhood is prized for its easy access to rapid transit as well as its numerous parks. There are only a handful of active listings, ranging from $289,000 for a one-bedroom unit in Kingsgate Gardens that was listed in early April to a high of $588,000 for a two-bedroom in Reflections that came on the market June 1. Recent sales were all over the map. A two-bedroom in Chateau Lyon sold for 11 per cent under its $244,900 asking price, while a two-bedroom in Park 360 was snapped up for 14 per cent over its list price of $450,000.

Sullivan Heights

News | Advice | Tips | Buying | Selling Celebrity Home Profiles

/news 20 June, 2016


The most affordable current listing in this Burnaby North neighbourhood is a one-bedroom in the Timberlea complex that’s been on the market since mid-March. It’s asking $184,900. At the other end of the scale is a twobedroom in Silhouette that was also listed in mid-March. Its owners are asking $749,800. Sales here indicate condos going well above and well below their sticker price. A one-bedroom in Silhouette was only two days on the market before being sold six per cent under its $419,000 price. Meanwhile, a two-bedroom in Strathmore Lane took only eight days to sell for 11 per cent more than its $399,900 list price.


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* 1 BR: 35% 2 BR: 54% 3 BR: 11%

$438,000 May Burnaby median selling price*

up $2,500 from last issue


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market*


Condos sold in May


New listings in May

*Active listings up to June 1, 2016


A photo tour of the stunning Hometown Heroes Lottery prize condo If you dream of winning one of those amazing prize lottery condos, check out the photos of this one at Onni’s Central in Vancouver’s False Creek

22 June, 2016

By Michelle Hopkins


here are certain things one can expect each spring – warmer weather and the unveiling of the five spectacular homes one lucky winner can choose from in the Hometown Heroes Lottery. This year, one of the homes is an unbelievably fabulous two-bedroom-and-den penthouse suite in Onni Group of Companies’ Onni Central, in the heart of Vancouver’s False Creek waterfront, which we at West Coast Condominium just had to show you. Conceived by award winning architects DIALOG, this 22-storey concrete building stands out in the sea of towers. Its unique shape comes from the two towers connected by an upper-


level skybridge, with a courtyard below. The prize home on offer is a 1,355-square-foot penthouse, made even more amazing by its 440-squarefoot roof terrace that takes in Vancouver’s cityscape, mountain and waterfront vistas.

Interior and features The contemporary interior was decorated in order not to compete with those spectacular views, says Sandra Hurtley, founder/interior designer, Positive Space Staging + Design Inc. “As soon as I walked into the penthouse, the first thing I noticed was the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows opening up to those incredible views,” she says. “Because there is so much going on through the windows, I wanted to create a serene, soft palette to calm it down inside.”

The seasoned designer went on to say: “The view is the art so the décor is kept at a minimum. In order to keep it light, we added texture rather than patterns.” Throughout this penthouse it is a peaceful blend of neutral tones, wide plank dark engineered hardwood flooring, 100 per cent wool Berber carpeting in the bedrooms and closets, and bathrooms enhanced by natural stone countertops and flooring, with a frameless glass shower enclosure. Check out the photos on these pages – or you can take a virtual tour of the penthouse at www.tourbuzz.net/public/tour by searching for tour number 52880. The lucky resident will also enjoy the building’s wellness centre, complete with a fitness centre, yoga and dance studio and steam and sauna room. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24


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June, 2016 23

There will also be a social lounge with a full kitchen, games room and a theatre, as well as a private landscaped rooftop garden terrace with garden plots, encouraging a sense of community.

Where the prize comes from The $2.2 million prize package comes complete with a $25,000 furniture credit, private two-car garage, a BMW 228i Convertible to park in it, a generous storage locker in the underground parking lot, and $600,000 cash. This penthouse suite is provided by the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. According to Randy Motkaluk, Burn Fund regional director, the foundation purchased the penthouse prize home. Should the winner not choose the 24 June, 2016

penthouse, it will either go for sale or it might be held by the foundation for their next lottery. “Each ticket sold funds our ability to purchase the prizes,” says Motkaluk, adding the furniture credit and all cash value prizes that go along with this penthouse prize (as well as all five Grand Prizes) aren’t purchased until the winner chooses it. “More importantly, tickets bought fund programs for burn survivors across the province, as well as support the trauma teams and medical specialists at VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre.” For more information or to purchase tickets for your chance to win this penthouse condominium, visit heroeslottery.com or call 604-648-4376 or toll-free at 1-866597-4376 or visit any London Drugs.


Lottery prize condo in a nutshell 55 SQ FT (APPROX) RACE 440 SQ FT (APPROX)

• One of five grand prizes to choose from • Penthouse unit at Central by Onni DN

• 1,355 square feet of living space DEN

• Two bedrooms plus den




• 440-square-foot private roof terrace • Private two-car garage


• BMW 228i Convertible ENTRY

• Huge storage locker



• $25,000 furniture credit





• $600,000 cash


• $2.2 .2 million total value prize ze package








How simple is liquidation of a strata corporation? The short answer: it’s a long and complicated process

By Tony Gioventu


iquidation – selling an entire strata property – is a dramatic step for a strata corporation. The risks of failing are high, so it is essential to follow some basic steps. There are two factors that affect liquidation from the owners’ perspective: value of the property; and its condition. Values differ for every project based on land use and location. A project sale that may yield only the current assessment value could be a prudent decision if each owner is facing a $100,000 special levy for repairs, whereas a development in great condition may not consider a sale unless owners can see a 200 to 300 per cent increase in value. The Strata Property Act was amended last fall, lowering the voting requirement for liquidation from 100 per cent to 80 per cent of the schedule of voting rights. Even though the change is significant, obtaining the total number of votes is difficult and requires an application to the Supreme Court of BC to approve the decision as part of the legislative amendment.

Two methods of selling a strata property Option 1: A buyer purchases all of the units directly from each owner. The new owner then may liquidate without a liquidator. Option 2: A strata corporation votes to liquidate. The option gives the owners the collective ability to market their property for competitive bidding and obtain the best price; however,

the strata has to vote by 80 per cent to sell, a liquidator must be appointed to ensure the transaction is completed and the developer is given a clear title. Costs for this process are generally three to five per cent of the total sale, including commissions. To achieve that best price as well as the best terms, a logical process is helpful. It begins with a general meeting of the owners to direct the council to investigate selling the property. The strata owners by majority vote will instruct the council to start the process and to retain a lawyer who will act solely for the strata throughout the process, and an exclusive commercial broker to market the property. Commercial brokerage fees depending on the size/ value of the property are generally one to three per cent.

Marketing the property Developers and land speculators will be invited to assess the property, and submit offers. The offers may take into consideration location, expanded development opportunity, transit and community access, neighbouring developments and amenities, plus the overall potential for the site. This phase usually takes three to six months. When the strata finalizes a short list of three to five of the highest offers, the strata council and their lawyer will meet to consider and negotiate the terms and conditions. When the details are clear, a final offer is tentatively agreed upon, subject to the approval of the owners at a general meeting. Once the fi nal offer is approved in principle, the complicated work begins. Around six to 12 months later, the fi nal negotiation of the purchase conditions

The resolution the owners vote on and the sequencing of the events are the most critical parts of the transaction

and price are completed and the strata corporation’s lawyer will prepare the 80 per cent vote resolution that authorizes the liquidation, authorizes the court application to ratify the decision, and appoints a liquidator. The liquidator will be responsible for the receipt of the money from the buyer, the cancellation of each owner’s title into one parcel of land, and the payout to each owner.

The critical stages The resolution the owners vote on and the sequencing of the events are the most critical parts of the transaction. You can easily expect a resolution that is 20 to 30 pages in length. One quirk of the liquidation process is owners who require their proceeds to make another purchase will have to wait until the job

of the liquidator is complete before they can shop for a new home. To provide time for owners to move and relocate, the strata corporation may want to negotiate at least 90 to 120 days of occupancy after the completion of the liquidation as part of the contract. If all goes well, it will take 12 to 18 months. Success depends on a number of information meetings, constant communication with owners to prepare them for the vote, and the emotional liquidation of their community. Before you vote, an information meeting to help the owners understand what other properties are available in the region is just as critical. CHOA provides an onsite information service for strata corporations that are considering liquidation. Contact tony@choa.bc.ca for more information.

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.


June, 2016 25


People now have the choice of where to live, often within their existing neighbourhoods


Live in a high-rise condo GVHBA’s Bob de Wit on the high points of high-rise living

By Bob de Wit


ancouverites are looking to the high-rise apartment as a form of permanent housing as the cost of the single family home becomes further out of reach for the average person. Some people may consider this a set-back for millennials: that they will be at a lesser advantage than previous generations. But from my viewpoint, there are some great benefits to the high rise.

The benefits of living the high life ■ Affordability: Hire-rise apartments offer different entry-level pricing, based on location within the building and size of unit, creating great options for a broad range of purchasers. ■ Lifestyle: Limited space means limited chores. Consider lawn mowing and building maintenance 26 June, 2016

out the door! This new-found freedom adds to personal time and quality of living. ■ Choice of municipality: Apartments, no longer a Vancouver-only housing choice, are being built across Metro Vancouver in Burquitlam, North Shore, Surrey, Langley and South Fraser to mention a few communities. People now have the choice of where to live, often within their existing neighbourhoods. ■ Convenience: Apartments predominantly located within urban centres along transit corridors provide easy access and mobility throughout Metro Vancouver. Concierge service found in some buildings adds an extra level of convenience with courier service, dry cleaning, food delivery, etc. ■ Amenities: A shared roof top patio with as good a view as the penthouse, shared barbecues, exercise room, pool, wine room, yoga studio, party room, co-op car share program, and guest suites for your out-of-town


visitors – just some of the amenities to be found in apartments being built today. ■ Urban design and livability: Gone are the days of the concrete jungle. Urban planning and municipal requirements are focused on creating mixed-use, livable cities as Vancouver densifies. Gardens, outdoor sculptures and artwork, bike and walking paths with playgrounds are just some of the community amenity contributions provided by developers as land is rezoned for apartments. ■ Interior design: Smaller space also means more efficient living. Video, CD, and photo libraries are a thing of the past. The digital realm has

opened the world to space efficiency, with leading-edge design ideas. The luxury of apartment living is reflected in the finishing details too. Granite countertops, designer lighting, European appliances, spalike bathrooms – typical finishing found in apartments these days, comparable to a custom-built home. ■ Views: Vancouver’s views are maximized with state-of-the-art architectural design. Can’t afford an apartment with a view? Outdoor sitting areas, shared rooftops or cafés will most likely be just steps away. ■ Security: Apartment living provides secured space with gated parking and secure-entry keycoded elevators. ■ Urban grind: For those who think the elevator will be a hassle, I present the “urban grind” – yes, you’ve got it: the stairs. Guaranteed to keep you in shape! Vancouver is consistently rated one of the most livable cities in the world, and from my viewpoint, the apartment is a housing choice which will provide the freedom and lifestyle for generations to come.

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 bob@gvhba.org.



Richmond/South Delta

May was a bountiful month for Surrey condo sellers

May sales higher than April’s in these southern districts

By Jill Lunde

By Jill Lunde


ith condo sales for the city seeing a phenomenal 180 per cent increase last month over May 2015, you can appreciate the frenzied buying that must have been going on. Our reports indicate homes changing hands anywhere from nine per cent under to 15 per cent over the listed prices and many of those transactions being finalized within a week of the properties coming to market. The city’s current active listings start at $59,800 (a Sunnyside Park retirement home studio) to go to $849,900 (a twobedroom in Whalley’s The Odyssey Tower).

Cloverdale You can begin your condo hunt in this historic neighbourhood with a onebedroom in Clover Park Garden that joined the market in April for $98,500. A two-bedroom in St. Andrews at Northview is the area’s most expensive option. The unit was listed May 30 for $680,000. Nine Cloverdale sales made it into our report with offers from six below list to 12 per cent above being accepted. Two units in St. Andrews sold in the 12 per cent over category, while another in the same complex went right at list. The fastest neighbourhood transaction was a two-bedroom in Derby Downs listed at $224,900 that changed owners after three days for 11 per cent more than asking.



Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* Studio: 3% 1 BR: 46% 2 BR: 49% 3 BR: 2%

$235,900 Surrey median listing price*

up $900 from May issue


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market*

radition would have us believe that property sales slow as summer approaches. That wasn’t the case in Richmond or South Delta last month. Richmond saw a close to 13 per cent increase in sales month over month, while the picture was even rosier for sellers in Ladner and Tsawwassen where sales were up more than 31 per cent. It’s a bit of a different story though when you compare May 2016 sales with those from May 2015. In Richmond, this year’s stats are 46 per cent higher; whereas South Delta actually saw a 24 per cent drop.

Steveston Condo hunters love Steveston and its quaint village vibe. There are fewer than 20 active listings beginning at $260,000 for a two-bedroom in Bayside Court. If the sky’s the limit, there’s a two-bedroom in London Station that may have your name on it. The asking price? $1,198,000. Our sales information shows three out of sixteen Steveston condo sales in May went for under asking, while six went for list price, and the balance went for more than list. One two-bedroom home in London Station sold for one per cent under its $575,000 mark. The highest over-asking offer was received by the owners of a two-bedroom in The Village at Imperial Landing. Asking $838,800, they accepted $908,000 after six days.

Guildford There were likely many sellers in this neighbourhood who would have happily danced around the area’s landmark flagpole last month. The 21 sales in our report spanned a range from four per cent under asking to six per cent over. That high fell to the owners of a twobedroom in The Boulevard Club who listed at $299,800 and sold eight days later for $320,000. There’s plenty to choose from in Guildford’s active listings. These range in price from $125,000 for a one-bedroom in Creekside Place to $358,800 for a twobedroom in Guildford Marquis.


Condos sold in May


Increase from May 2015

*Active listings up to June 1, 2016

Beach Grove There are a lucky seven active condo listings in this Boundary Bay community. You can get your foot in the neighbourhood’s door for as little as $254,800 (a one-bedroom in Fairway Estates) or as much as $1,680,000 (a three-bedroom in the under-construction The View at 1212). May sales were closing pretty much at the asking prices. A two-bedroom in La Mirage went for one per cent less than its list price of $638,700, while a two-bedroom in Hunter Greene closed at four per cent over its $659,900 asking price.


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* Studio: 0% 1 BR: 35% 2 BR: 52.5% 3+ BR: 12%

$416,500 May Richmond median selling price*

down $7,000 from last issue

$549,000 May South Delta median selling price*


Median price per square foot*


Condos sold in May



Median days on market*


New listings in May

*Active listings up to June 1, 2016

June, 2016 27


Staging your condo for sale – a room-by-room guide

Putting the effort into staging your condo properly before selling it is time and money well spent

28 June, 2016

By Joannah Connolly


f you’re thinking of cashing in on our hot market and selling your condo, you’ll get the best price for it by staging it properly first. It might seem like an expense, but it will likely more than pay for itself. by staging it properly first. It might seem like an expense, but it will likely more than pay for itself. In fact, according to HomeStagingAbout.com, a staged home spends on average about 83 per cent less time on the market than a nonstaged home. What’s more, the money you spend on home staging provides, on average, a return-on-investment (ROI) of 586 per cent. That means


for every dollar you spend on home staging, you’ll get back an average of $5.86 in extra sale price. So how do you – or the professionals – go about properly staging a condo? Here’s a useful breakdown of what to do, room by room.

Living room De-clutter: You might think your place is tidy, but you may have more knick-knacks than you realize. If you have more than a single, well-chosen accent item on a shelf or coffee table, it’s too cluttered. Think minimalistic. De-personalize: Instead of personal framed photos or family heirlooms on the mantel, have a single vase or a plant. Remove your favourite art works and chose simple signature pieces with colours that work with your furniture

(you can rent this if necessary). This will allow the buyer to visualize the condo as their home, not yours. Furniture and focal point: Group furniture into arrangements that inspire conversation, instead of being TV-centred. If you have a fireplace or a view window, make that the focal point of the room in terms of furniture placement. Add a few pillows and maybe a throw blanket in a chosen accent colour. Keep it colourcoordinated and simple. Light and space: Use large wall mirrors to throw light into the room and expand the space, and ensure dark corners have table lamps turned on. Add greenery: Don’t turn your living room into a jungle, but a few well-placed plants of various sizes will breathe life and energy into your room.

Kitchen Clean and clear: Ensure surfaces are immaculately clean and virtually empty. Only display items that are brand new, matching and stylish – like a shiny knife rack or a fruit bowl with lemons. Put everything else out of sight. Make lipstick improvements: Changing the outdated handles on cabinets and replacing the faucets with cool new ones can make a tired kitchen look brand new. If it’s really bad, replace the cabinet doors and/or countertops. Spend more if necessary: Kitchens are important, even to condo buyers, and nobody wants to buy a place that needs a new kitchen. If your appliances, lighting, tiling and floors are woefully out of date, it will pay dividends to replace them before selling your home.

Bathroom Clean and hygienic: The bathroom has to get the deepest clean of all – only completely spotless will do. That includes mould, calcium residue, stained tile grout, fan covers, behind the toilet – everything. New items: Put a brand new bath mat down, replace the toothbrush holder, replace the toothbrushes – everything has to be unused. Keep your old ones hidden away for use between showings. Make it luxury: Remove all your products (again, keep them aside for use) and buy just a few bottles of expensive shampoo, conditioner, hand wash and hand cream – it will create an aspirational feeling.

Bedroom(s) Focal point: Make the bed the focal point of the room, and consider changing which wall the head of the bed is against. What works for you may not work for others. Room flow: Ideally a person should be able to walk each side of the bed, and have a nightstand on each side. If your condo bedroom is small, imagine what a couple would think of the space when seeing it for the first time. Can you organize the space better? Smarten up: Get new linens and an accent throw and cushion. While you’re selling your place, make sure the bed is clean, is made and all the accessories are in place. Keep your nightstands and other furniture clear of any clutter and personal items. Beware snoopers: Most viewers will open closet doors to check out the space. Keep it organized, even behind closed doors and in drawers, to impress the snoopers with how easy it is to stay tidy in this home.


June, 2016 29

Balcony or deck Clear off junk: A balcony or outdoor space that looks like it is just being used for storing bikes and/or junk is very off-putting to buyers. Clear out anything that isn’t gorgeous! Strike a balance: Empty balconies or patios are boring, so make sure you show how the space can be used with well-chosen patio furniture and some plants in pots. You want the buyer to be visualizing warm summer nights sipping cocktails…. However, keep it simple, and don’t clutter the space with trinkets.

Entryway A clear path: Even if your condo unit is small, don’t clutter the entrance with shoes, purses and coats. Put all your personal items in a cupboard, and leave the hooks and space by the door empty for the viewer to put their shoes and coat when coming in. Space and light: Condo entryways are often dark and windowless. Replace artwork with a mirror to reflect light and boost the sense of space.


New Westminster Spring fever continued through May for condo sales By Jill Lunde


elieve it or not, buyers and sellers took a collective breath last month, allowing the pace of condo sales in New West to decrease by six per cent compared with April. If it still felt busy to you, no wonder. May 2016 sales were up 20 per cent over the same month last year. While most properties still change hands at or close to list price, there are always some outliers. In New West last month, those exceptions go to two one-bedroom units in Uptown and Downtown that sold for seven per cent less than list price and to two twobedroom homes in Fraserview and Glenbrooke North that received offers 24 per cent over asking. The Fraserview condo, originally listed for $379,900, ended up selling for $500,000 after four days.

Glenbrooke North This close-knit neighbourhood only has three active condo listings starting at $248,800 for a one-bedroom unit in 8 West. The priciest listing is a twobedroom home in the same complex; it’s on the market for $382,500. In terms of recent sales, five area homes traded owners in May. The happiest sellers are likely in Crofton, where a two-bedroom unit went for 24 per cent over its $329,000 sticker price. Other Crofton owners weren’t so lucky. They let their one-bedroom home go for two per cent under its$299,900 price.


Storage/den/solarium/nooks Maximize extra space: If you have any additional space, like a storage room or a nook, clear it out completely (put your stuff into rented storage) and stage it in the most aspirational way possible. If it is big enough to be a nursery or child’s room, stage it that way. If a little smaller, try turning it into an office. Solariums/dens: These kinds of additional rooms can mean a lot to condo buyers who are looking for an occasional guest room or a work-from-home space. Show them what life could be like when they buy your condo.

30 June, 2016


The Quay is a popular destination for people all over Metro Vancouver – and living here is a joy. The area’s 17 current condo listings start at $260,000 for a one-bedroom unit in Westport and go as high as $799,900 for a two-bedroom in The Excelsior. Quay properties were selling well in May with owners accepting offers anywhere from three per cent below list (a one-bedroom in Murano Lofts with a list price of $368,800) to 11 per cent over (a two-bedroom in Dockside on the market for $539,900).


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 33% 2 BR: 58% 3 BR: 8%


May New Westminster median selling price*

up $18,250 from last issue


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market*


Condos sold in May


New listings in May

*Active listings up to June 1, 2016


BEST FLOORING FOR CONDOS Whether you’re updating an older home or making design decisions for your pre-construction unit, we’ve got your floors covered

By Michelle Hopkins

need to speak to the strata members before you do anything else.”



ou’ve decided to install new flooring in your condominium. What to buy? With condos you have to take a lot more into consideration than simply how the floor will look. First and foremost, there are the neighbours, and it’s not just how much they might hear you, but how much you might hear them. Before you start shopping for flooring, says Ashley Kitchen, interior designer at reVISION Renovations, check into your condominium bylaws. “With older condominiums, many strata councils will absolutely say no to hardwood floors,” she says. “You really

The next consideration is noise control. No one likes listening to their neighbours pace across a room in high heels or listen to their pounding music. The type of floor and underlay you choose can greatly reduce the sound that travels through the floor. “The key to soundproofing is in the underlay,” says Kitchen. “Talk to your installer to get their recommendations.” If you are in the market to buy a new condo, ask the sales team or your realtor to inquire about how soundproof the flooring is and, more importantly, “don’t be afraid to ask for the specifics of the underlay.” Kitchen went on to speak about a


June, 2016 31

The type of floor and underlay you choose can greatly reduce the sound that travels through the floor

product her installers are raving about. “I haven’t worked with Flexilastic yet, but it is a peel-and-stick sheet coating that reduces impact and airborne sound transmissions. It works great with ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tile where sound absorption is really needed.” In addition, the way to ensure maximum soundproofing is combining the best underlay with carpet. “The prices [for underlay] really depend on the model and square feet you need to cover, so the best thing to do is call your installer to suit your specific needs.”

Carpets Although carpeting will provide your condo with the best soundproofing, Kitchen admits she hasn’t had any clients in recent memory who have asked for it. As much as baby boomers have become accustomed to carpet for its warmth and soft feel underfoot, many are turned off by its staining and the crushed, matted traffic areas. “Millennials do not want carpeting 32 June, 2016


anywhere, period,” she says. “However, when customers request carpeting, they are going for a tightly woven wool carpet.” Although on the pricier side of carpeting, wool actually retains its shape much better, is durable, naturally soil resistant, non-allergenic, and ecofriendly. Manufacturers are also creating synthetic carpeting that is more environmentally friendly and a few are actually producing fibre combinations that take softness to a whole new level. The seasoned designer says there’s no question that carpeting is quiet. And, when a high-density pad is used, a beautiful wool carpet can look stunning and feel comfortable to walk on. As far as carpet colour is concerned, condo owners are sticking to the organic neutrals – greys and whites but no beige, which “is passé.”

Laminates versus hardwood The biggest craze in condo flooring hands down says Kitchen is laminates.

Tiles that look like concrete are super hot right now in Europe and gaining momentum here in BC

Today’s laminate looks so much like hardwood, many people would be hard pressed to know the difference. “There are faux wood laminates, produced in Europe and in China, that you can’t even tell they aren’t hardwood,” she adds. “They look amazing. Most clients are going for the long, wide planks.” The faux hardwood laminates come in a huge selection of colours and options. The great advantage of laminate flooring is that not only does it have the look and feel of hardwood but it costs a fraction of the price. “In newer condos, engineered hardwood is not the driving force anymore,” says Kitchen, adding hardwood will always require a lot more maintenance. “I’ve had clients who say their first and only choice is hardwood but, when I show them the laminates, they can be swayed.” However, some homeowners will never be convinced away from hardwood. Kitchen concedes that, for some clients, the beauty and look of hardwood is hard to beat.

Tiling Tiles that look like concrete are super hot right now in Europe and gaining momentum here in BC. “Again, these tiles look great and they feature minimal grout joints, so they are easy to clean and almost seamless,” Kitchen adds. She goes on to say that there are also tiles coming out of Spain and Italy that look a lot like hardwood as well. “We’re also seeing lots of tile that looks like fabric,” she says. Another hot trend is decorative tiles for accents with a nod to the old hydraulic tiles. “They look stunning in larger bathrooms and kitchens... the factories

are producing them differently now but with similar patterns,” says Kitchen. As far as tile size, small is definitely not better. What is vogue right now is moving toward “modular” sizes — rectangular tiles or 12-by-24-inch sizes. “Twelve-by-12 tiles are out, we are following the European trend of bigger is better, going as big as 24-by-24,” she adds. As a condo owner you are probably thinking that is way too big for small spaces. Not true. If you avoid dark tiles, big, fat tiles can actually make a room look bigger. “A side benefit is that with bigger tiles there are fewer grout joints so less cleaning,” she adds.

Vinyl Vinyl… the word alone conjures up 1950s cheap flooring. Well, not anymore. Today’s vinyl is gorgeous and can be pretty pricey. Although some vinyl flooring is quite affordable and looks great, Kitchen says others can cost from $18 to $22 per square foot or more. “It’s a tough sell – because it’s expensive but it is a really good quality product,” says Kitchen. “It comes in a variety of options… it can have the look of stone, slate and even hardwood.” Vinyl is easy to install and maintain and Kitchen recommends it for recreation rooms, offices, gyms or play rooms.

Cork: Yes or no? In an eco-conscious province like BC, there’s been a lot of buzz about cork flooring. Made from tree bark, it’s a natural and renewable resource, so it’s environmentally friendly, but is it trendy? When asked, Kitchen says: “It’s not durable at all, and the style is a little outdated.”






A selection of open show homes and sales centres across the Lower Mainland






Concord Brentwood Dawson Street Coming Spring 2016 604-899-8800 ...................Pg 35


Milano 4247 Lougheed Hwy, Brentwood Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.294.8989 ...................Pg 21


Veritas 8999 Cornerstone Mews Open Daily 12 – 6 pm (except Friday) 604.298.9956 ...................Pg 23








Modena Burnaby Heights Coming Soon 604.294.9919



Uptown 104 -522 Clarke Road Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.939.9337


The Lloyd 3096 Windsor Gate Open Daily 12 – 6 pm (except Friday) 604.942.8416




The Gardens - Calla 140 – 10880 No. 5 Road Coming Soon 604-271-3331


Concord Gardens 8511 Capstan Way Open Daily 12 – 6 pm 604.233.7748




Westbourne Residences 1306-5TH AVENUE PRESENTATION CENTRE 503-12th Street 604.553.4855 The Peninsula 210 Salter Street Coming Soon 604.544.2258 ...................Pg 2

34 June, 2016


Seylynn Village 600 Mountain Hwy Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.980.5000 ...................Pg 19 The Residences at Lynn Valley #100-1199 Lynn Valley Road Coming Soon 604.924.0166 ...................Pg 3

By Cressey 15 Mckinnon 48th & West Boulevard Coming Soon 604.428.8858 Wall Centre Kerrisdale 16 Shannon 1538 W. 54th Avenue Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.267.8882




The Leveson 8188 Granville St Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Thu. & Fri.) 604.880.8312

Grayson 18 The Cambie Street & 26th Ave. Coming Soon 604.558.1907

VANCOUVER 8xonthepark 1149 Hamilton St Open Daily 12 – 6 pm 604.801.6861 ...................Pg 9

Open Daily 10 – 5 pm 604.899.8800

SURREY Ridge Club 21 South 15918 Mountain View Drive Coming Soon

13 Connaught 3044 Edgemont Boulevard Call for your Private Viewing 604.699.0036

Arc 20 The 89 Nelson Street


West 10th & Maple 2001 West 10th Avenue Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604-602-7747


22 Westpointe 1551 130 Street, South Surrey Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Thu. & Fri.)


TSAWWASSEN Springs 23 Tsawwassen 5099 Springs Boulevard Open Tues – Sun 12 – 5 pm & Open by app. 604.948.4663 ...................Pg 36

RANCHER IN THE SKY. Spacious Living. Inside & Out 1622 Square Feet Condo Luxurious deck space for year-round outdoor entertaining.

Bright living space.

DECK 14’-10” X 10’-6”

Master bedroom large enough for a king sized bed. A master bedroom with a walk-in closet. Master ensuite with dual vanity and large soaker tub.

Quality construction for a strong durable building, inside & out.

Open-concept living area with expansive windows and gas fireplace.

LIVING 16’-11” X 17-3”

ENSUITE 9’-3” X 9’-8”

MASTER BEDROOM 14’-1” X 14-2” DINING 11’-0” X 14’-1”

Ample kitchen space for cooking, dining. Equipped with stainless steel appliances.

WALK-IN CLOSET 6’-2” X 8’-1”

Enjoy full size, energy saving washer and dryer unit with double door closet.

KITCHEN 8’-6” X 12-6”

DEN 9’-3” X 8’-10”

HRV, Geoexchange heating, air conditioning and hot water.

LAUNDRY 5’-0” X 3’-2”

BEDROOM 2 12’-8” X 11-1”

POWDER 5’-1” X 5’-5”

ENTRY 6’-10” X 7-4”

STORAGE 7’-9” X 8’-5”

* solar panels to offset electricity costs

(65 SQ. FT.)

ENSUITE 7’-6” X 5’-4”


Powder Room


HWY 99



Great Homes: All On Freehold Land. A Resort Community, 30 Minutes Or Less To Everything.



56 ST


52 ST

5099 Springs Boulevard, Tsawwassen T. 604.948.4663 (HOME) info@tsawwassensprings.ca Open Tuesday to Sunday 12 -5pm


HWY 17- A



Y 9 9

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