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March 11, 2016

CONDOMINIUM www.westcoastcondominium.ca


HOTTEST LUXURY CONDOS Our pick of the most fabulous properties on the market P8-10 MOVIE MAGIC




Is your strata building a good lm location? P16

Investing in a condo that is already rented out P24

Ways to mitigate risks in buying a presale unit P26

No home is too small for a great feature wall P31

2 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms 3,005 sqft. + 2539 sqft. deck


January 15, 2016 1

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!





New Listing

Live by the Beach

• Penthse Suite • Pet/Rent w/ Rest • Soaring Ceilings • 2 parking • Wrap Terrace • Main Fee: $978

1600 –120 West 16th Avenue

• 1,437 s.f. home • Georgie Awrd Wnr • Great Location • 3 Bdrms & Den • Gourmet Kitchen • 2 Pkg/1 Stg • 2 Bathrooms • H/W Floors • Main: $410


1739 Maple Street

For the complete schedule of our open houses & our listings complete with enhanced detail go to...

Condo market snapshots 6 12 14 18

North Shore Burnaby Vancouver Tri-Cities

Richmond/South Delta Surrey New West


Hollywood North at home

Our pick of some of the most fabulous properties currently for sale

How your strata building could capitalize on movie-making – and the pitfalls



If you’re buying a rental condo, what do you do if it’s already rented?


How to… Buy a presale unit



22 28 30

Hottest Metro Vancouver luxury condos

Investing with tenants in-situ

Breathtaking 360 Views • 1,970 s.f. • 2 Bdrm & Den • 3 Bathroom

March 11, 2016


The GVHBA’s Bob de Wit explains what you must do when your new home is new


O D L O S T O JUS 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

Perfect ½ Duplex in Kits! • Side xSide Duplex • 3 Bathrooms • Front & Back yard • 1,350 s.f. Home • Bright Kitchen • Patio in Back • 3 Bdrms & Den • Cozy Family Rm • 1 Car Garage


3236 West 7th Avenue


The strata police


How to enforce strata bylaws when they are broken, by FirstService Residential


New Listing

Spacious & Quiet View Home • 641 s.f. Home • 1 Bdrm & Den • 1 Bathroom

• LEED Gold Stndrds • NW Balcony • Air Conditioning • 1 Parking • Mtn & Wtr Views • Main Fee: $244

1093 – 1372 Seymour Street

Expansive Mountain Views • 638 s.f. Home • 1 Bdrm & Den • 1 Bathroom


• Open Concept • Large Balcony • Natural Light • 1 Parking • Terrific Kitchen • Main fee: $204

905 – 9188 Cook Road


Buying or Selling, you’ve got to have Faith *see FaithWilsonGroup.com for details

4 March 11, 2016


Make a splash No interior is too small for a fabulous feature wall – here is some inspiration





BC Budget 2016: First-time buyers sidelined, new home buyers win


ast month, our provincial nance minister Mike de Jong announced the 2016 BC Budget that included a number of housing affordability measures. One of the key moves was to make new home purchases under $750,000 exempt from Property Transfer Tax (PTT) – for rst-time or repeat buyers. All you have to be is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and for the home to be your primary residence (investors need not apply). This is being funded by an increase in PTT for properties over $2 million. Sounds great, right? Well… maybe. There’s a lot of reasoning behind the measure. Affordability issues don’t just affect rst-time home buyers, so you could say it makes sense to apply an incentive to housing under a certain price threshold. New homes are also subject to GST already (and still will be) so it means that you won’t be paying two lots of tax on the same property purchase. And making new homes a more attractive option inevitably means more new homes will be built. With the supply of housing desperately low in comparison with demand, this can

only be a good thing. So there’s much to be optimistic about in terms of the effects that this change may have on our market. However, one problem is that new homes are already more expensive than resale housing – and new homes have ve per cent GST too. Most people facing affordability issues have to choose resale homes. And yet there is no tax relief for anyone, rst-time buyer or otherwise, who wishes to buy resale. The measure also hands a little too much control to the development industry. While development is to be supported, we must also remember that developers set the prices of new homes. If prices rise, they will absorb the saving that the buyer would have received with their PTT exemption. Perhaps it would have been better to spend the increased revenues on other more innovative affordability measures, like rent-to-buy or sharedownership schemes. Or simply by funding more non-market affordable housing. It will be fascinating to see how the budget measures affect supply and demand – and the prices – of new housing in our region.

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 DIRECTOR, SALES: Lynn Fry SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Tracey Aussem, Rebecca Bookham, Audrey White, Audrie Gilson, Jackie Mollenhauer PRODUCTION MANAGER: Holly Burge PRODUCTION: Darko Isic, Peter Gallagher DESIGNERS: Carol Rui, Arslan Sultan, Joanne Yen

Your essential guide to condo life in the Lower Mainland









VANCOUVER HEAD OFFICE: 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y-1J6 COPYRIGHT: WEST COAST CONDOMINIUM is published bi-weekly by Real Estate Weekly Partnership. Copyright 2015. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of articles and advertising that appear in each edition of West Coast Condominium, the publisher may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may from time to time occur. No part of this publication may be quoted or reprinted in any medium without the express written permission of Real Estate Weekly Partnership.

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the peace of mind of


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 *

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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.

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The listing portion of the commission on your will be credited to you upon the final reconciliation of your new purchase.







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Rea l Estate W eekly


March 11, 2016 5



North Shore Age in place with a home close to your friends and family By Jill Lunde


o one likes to leave a neighbourhood they love and where their friends still live. Fortunately, there are condo choices in just about every community, so making the move to an apartment doesn’t mean you have to nd a new doctor or learn to negotiate the aisles of a new grocery store. Over half of the current condo listings on the North Shore have at least two bedrooms. That means there’s enough space to get away from one another or have a family member stay over, but no more maintenance to worry about. Current two-bedroom offerings in North Vancouver start at $289,000 and go to $1,748,000. In nearby (and pricier) West Van, the range runs from $418,000 to $3,888,000.

Capilano Condos are a rare breed in this neighbourhood where the homes are predominantly bungalows and ranchers. All the current condo action is focused in Capilano Estates where two two-bedroom homes are newcomers to the market having been

listed February 19 and 23. The prices are at North Van’s high end: $749,000 and $812,000. We can’t be sure, but those two sellers may well have been galvanized into action by a recent sale in their complex. Another two-bedroom Capilano Estates condo spent 10 days on the market before selling for a whopping 19 per cent over its $799,000 list price.


Ambleside This neighbourhood has long been a favourite with seniors and twothirds of the area residents live in the high-rise towers that run along the waterfront. There are 25 active listings; just over half have two or more bedrooms. Of the two-bed options, the lowest price is $418,000 and the highest is $1,650,000. Most of these buildings are edging up in terms of age, but two are in Parkview Place, which was built in 2010. Four recent sales in Ambleside offer reason for condo buyers to hope. Only one went for over asking with owners of that two-bedroom unit in Westerlies receiving just a touch over ($100) their asking price of $999,900. The other sellers settled for two or three per cent off their list price.


Active condo listings*


N. Vancouver median listing price*


W. Vancouver median listing price*


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 36% 2 BR: 53% 3 BR: 9%

We can’t be sure, but those two sellers may well have been galvanized into action by a recent sale in their complex 6 March 11, 2016


*Active listings up to February 26, 2016









604.980.5000 SEYLYNN.CA






The hottest luxury condos for sale in Metro Vancouver Looking for a home with maximum style and glamour? West Coast Condominium picked out some of the hottest penthouses and luxury condos on the market Park Avenue West by Concord PaciďŹ c The glamorous Park Avenue West probably boasts this list’s most spectacular amenities, as home ownership here 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 tness 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 nishings, gracious proportions and fantastic mountain views.


1555 West Eighth by Kenstone Properties Want the feel of a penthouse without paying for the most expensive residence in the building? With only one residence per oor in the four-storey building and two per oor on the eight-storey building, every one of the homes at 1555 West Eighth feels like an executive penthouse. Enjoying a fabulous location on Burrard Slopes, 1555 West Eighth is one of the hippest new luxury developments in town, offering owners privacy, serenity and luxury. The large three-bedroom residences will have high-end, contemporary nishings including brushed oak wide-plank ooring and kitchens with designer Italian cabinetry and a premium European appliance packages.


8 March 11, 2016


Milano by Solterra Group Located in the booming Brentwood neighbourhood in Burnaby, with great transit links, Solterra Group’s Milano is a jewel in the area’s crown. The homes will feature Italian-imported, dual-tone kitchens with premium appliances and quartz countertops. Spa-like bathrooms will boast European faucets and Italian cabinetry, and every home will have air conditioning. And for those of you who have the cash, Solterra’s exclusive Private Collection residences on the top eight oors will offer upgraded nishes and details throughout. The building’s amenities include an outdoor landscaped terrace with a barbecue and dining area, re pit, lounge areas, outdoor movie theatre, putting green and children’s play space.


Portage by Aragon One of the coolest penthouse lofts that West Coast Condominium has visited is at Portage, Aragon’s latest addition to its Port Royal community in New Westminster’s Queensborough. Taking design cues from its expansive views of the Fraser River and its local industry, these gorgeous lofts have enormously high ceilings and window walls, vast brick feature walls, a lower-level balcony and an upper-level roof terrace, as well as all the luxury nishings you could desire. Super-cool luxury living at a much more reasonable price tag than in downtown Vancouver.


The Jervis by Intracorp One of the hottest tickets in town is the new Jervis tower by Intracorp, currently under construction in the West End. This building is described as “design-led” and it is a collaboration between the developer and Inform interior design group. This result is set to be a sensational collection of homes, with the massive penthouse and sub-penthouses offering exquisitely designed interiors and ultra-luxury nishings. These condos will also have remarkable views of English Bay, downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains.


Empire at QE Park by Intergulf Boasting some of the best views of Vancouver, the large three-bedroom-and-den residences atop the buildings that make up Empire at QE Park are extremely desirable. As the name suggests, the development is gloriously located right next to Queen Elizabeth Park in the highly sought-after Cambie Village, with superb transit links nearby. These LEED-Gold-certi ed homes also offer an impressive package of ne nishings including marble or travertine countertops, engineered hardwood ooring and Miele appliances.



March 11, 2016 9

Charleson by Onni Group Another LEED Gold building designed by the awardwinning DIALOG, Onni Group’s Charleson development in Yaletown had to make this selection for its sheer elegance. A stunning tower in its own right, the luxurious homes inside range up to 3,500 square feet and offer unbelievable nishing touches. These include smart home technology such as built-in surround sounds and motorized blinds, marble countertops, engineered oak ooring, porcelain ooring in laundry rooms, walnut closets – the list goes on and on. There’s also a pool and hot tub deck, a rooftop garden with lounge and BBQ areas, and a huge tness centre.


Central by Onni Group If you’re looking for a central location and an urban lifestyle, look no farther than Central by Onni. Located on False Creek near Science World, this innovative building, designed by DIALOG, features a number of penthouses and sub-penthouses in the “Sky Bridge” that connects two buildings. These homes offer amazing downtown Vancouver, False Creek and mountain views, with the interiors crafted beautifully with ergonomically designed chef’s kitchens and high-end appliance packages. The top oor two-bed-plus-den homes are huge, and have stairs up to incredible, sprawling, private roof terraces.


Two ultra-luxury resale property highlights It’s not just brand new developments that are wowing us here at West Coast Condominium. Check out these two incredible properties available on the MLS®…

Penthouse, Private Residences at Hotel Georgia

Penthouse, Two Harbour Green

677 Howe Street, Vancouver

3000-1139 West Cordova Street, Vancouver

Still for sale several years after completion

The most expensive property on this list

is the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia’s

and arguably the most fabulous available

48th- oor penthouse, in which West Coast

condo in Vancouver right now, the 35th- oor

Condominium hosted its launch party in

penthouse at Coal Harbour’s Two Harbour

September 2015. Listed for $18 million, it is a

Green is listed for a cool $19.8 million. At more

rare true penthouse, taking up the entire top

than 6,000 square feet, with more than 3,000

oor and entirely encircling the elevator core.

square feet of outdoor space, it is absolutely

Of course, it also has incredible 360-degree

vast – and that doesn’t take into account

views and several large balconies, including

the soaring 25-foot ceilings. The massive windows offer world-beating, 360-degree

a west-facing covered terrace currently home to an outdoor kitchen and bar. But, aside from

will – at their own cost, in addition to the

views of the North Shore mountains, Stanley

terraces, one of which has a putting green

one lavishly staged corner, the penthouse is

purchase price. However, the developer told

Park, downtown Vancouver and the ocean

and hot tub. The penthouse’s features are

currently a vast, empty, concrete shell, waiting

us, “It’s not a hard and fast price” – so if you’ve

all the way to Vancouver Island. The home is

far too numerous to mention here, but the

for whoever takes it on to do with it what they

got the cash, there’s room for negotiation.

spread over two levels and has four walk-out

champagne bar is perhaps our favourite!

10 March 11, 2016




Burnaby Looking to downsize? Burnaby has lots to offer empty nesters By Jill Lunde


f you’re one of many older couples looking to trade in your singledetached home for a condo in Burnaby, you have lots of choice. There are 237 two-bedroom homes to select from ranging in price from $213,800 for a 794-square-foot choice in the Upper Deer Lake community to $1.59 million for a spacious 1,400-squarefoot-option in Metrotown. Listings have softened somewhat since our last reporting period, with a couple dozen less choices than previously. The median days on the market is also dropping slightly… a sure sign that properties that are priced right are being snapped up quickly. A quick analysis of recent sales of 50 condos in Burnaby shows homes are going for anywhere from eight per cent under asking to 12 per cent higher than list.

Sullivan Heights This central neighbourhood has easy access to Lougheed Town Centre plus a network of forested trails that run from Burnaby Lake to Burnaby Mountain. There are 21 active listings here, including a dozen two-bedrooms starting at $298,000 and going as high

as $748,000. There is currently one listing for a brand new (preconstruction) home. It’s in the 150-unit Cameron complex and is expected to be move-in ready in 2017. The price: $479,900. There have been four recent sales in Sullivan Heights, including one in the Cameron building (it sold for its list price of $440,900 after 88 days on the market. The area’s happiest sellers walked away with 12 per cent more than their $215,000 asking price after only six days.


Brentwood Park Brentwood is one of several neighbourhoods experiencing a huge amount of growth thanks to the arrival of rapid transit. There are over 50 active listings, with two-bedroom units making up the vast majority of properties. These start at $269,900 for an older condo in Hillside Terrace to close to $1.2 million for a preconstruction home in developer Solterra’s Milano 30-storey high rise. The neighbourhood has been seeing its fair share of sold signs. Of a dozen properties recently reported sold, nal prices ranged from seven per cent under list to eight per cent over. The only brand-new listing among those was a two-bedroom in SOLO that took only two days to sell at four per cent over its $644,888 sticker price.

A quick analysis of recent sales of 50 condos in Burnaby shows homes are going for anywhere from eight per cent under asking to 12 per cent higher than list 12 March 11, 2016



Active condo listings*


Burnaby median listing price*


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 28% 2 BR: 63% 3+ BR: 7%

*Active listings up to February 26, 2016

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March 11, 2016 13



Vancouver Boomers trading in suburbia for urban chic By Jill Lunde


robably every real estate agent has tales about clients who ed the city to raise their children and are now ocking back to their urban roots as soon as the chicks leave the nest. Vancouver offers a wealth of condo choices for these buyers who prize location and access to amenities above all else. Half of the 934 current listings have two bedrooms – a must for couples who want a bit of extra space as well as a place for junior and others to stay for short visits. The least expensive two-bedroom in Vancouver is currently in Gardenia Villa on the city’s Eastside Renfrew neighbourhood. It’s listed at $269,000 and just went on the market February 24. If you must live on the West Side, your cheapest twobedroom option is $359,000 in Gulf View Court in Marpole.

Fairview Rising above the south shore of False Creek, Fairview Slopes is chock-a-block full of condos and there are 39 active listings here, including 16 with two

bedrooms. In this category, prices start at $499,900 and go to $2,875,000. Condos are moving fast and those stories you have heard about properties going for over list are not limited to single-detached homes. One twobedroom in La Galleria took eight days to sell for a whopping 30 per cent over its $336,000 list price. While this number is exceptional, only two of 17 recent sales in the area went for less than list.



Downtown Eastside Put aside the initial angst you feel when you see the name of this maligned neighbourhood and you will discover a close-knit and vibrant community. There are seven active condo listings, four of which have two bedrooms. They range from $549,500 to $879,900. Condos in this neighbourhood are also selling well above asking. A onebedroom in Van Horne was snapped up after a week for seven per cent more than its $398,000 sticker price and the owners of a one-bedroom in Koret Lofts accepted an offer of $749,000 after three days on the market – that was 21 per cent over the $618,000 asking price.

Active condo listings*


Vancouver West median listing price*


Vancouver East median listing price*


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 3% 1 BR: 35% 2 BR: 52% 3 BR: 10%

Put aside the initial angst you feel when you see the name of this maligned neighbourhood and you will discover a close-knit and vibrant community 14 March 11, 2016


*Active listings up to February 25, 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

March 11, 2016 15


Is your strata a

good location for a movie shoot? Business is booming in Hollywood North. Here’s what to do if your strata has an opportunity to cash in on the lights, camera, action By Tony Gioventu


growing number of strata corporations and strata lot owners are being approached by production companies for access to their communities for movie shoots and television productions. In many ways, strata corporations are ideal as they offer signi cant space for staging, parking, crew facilities, and a diversity of lming variations and opportunities without the need to relocate. A high-rise with sweeping views of the BC coast, accompanied by open plazas, public spaces or secluded gardens, recreational facilities and underground parking all within one site is a great nd for a production company. Bare land and townhouse strata corporations with marinas, golf clubs, and riding stables are also frequently used for location shoots. However, a word of caution! Don’t be lured by the fast cash until everyone affected agrees in writing and the strata council and owners have the authority of the owners to go ahead.

• Clearly identify all of the property

Who are the players and what are their roles?

• There are three principle parties to the contracting of a lm shoot in a strata: the production company; the strata corporation; and any owners affected by the production or who have lming in their strata lots. For the protection of everyone involved, it is essential to negotiate written contracts between all of the parties before any production begins. Before an owner permits lming, and before the strata corporation agrees, several conditions will have to be resolved. 16 March 11, 2016


areas that will be accessed as well as the type of production that will be on your site. Con rm strata lot owners, tenants and occupants will have continued access to their parking, their strata lots, or other services in the building, unless they have agreed. Establish schedules for the time periods of lming, site production and preparation, and when access to the strata lot and strata common property will be required. Obtain a copy of the proposed contract from the production company and certi cates of insurance for all productionrelated activities. Site production may expose your strata to a higher risk level. Contact your insurance broker and have them review the

insurance certi cates.

• Review privacy and con dentiality

agreements. There may be proprietary conditions that affect your strata and certainly the intellectual property of the production company. The strata corporation and residents may be bound to con dentiality agreements. Review your strata bylaws to verify there are no con icts with the production. Bylaws for surveillance, security, access and use of property may impose restrictions. Have the strata lawyer review the terms and conditions of the contract. This cost should be negotiated as part of the fees for the lming, along with the advance payment for the production. Con rm your strata has negotiated

If an owner is entering into a production agreement, they need to be aware that the strata corporation is most likely affected and they will need its consent

the fees for the production, liability for any additional maintenance requirements or damages to the strata property, and additional fees if the production runs over schedule. The strata may also require damage deposits to ensure site restoration after the production. Once the strata understands the scope of the production, its impact on your community, and the revenue that is anticipated, determine if the strata has the authority to enter into the lm contract. Don’t forget, the strata may not signi cantly change the use or appearance of common property or common assets without a 75 per cent approval vote of the

owners at a general meeting. an owner is entering into a production agreement, they need to be aware that the strata corporation is most likely affected and they will need its consent. Access to strata lots will likely involve common property, parking logistics, and may disrupt use and access to the strata or other owners’ strata lots. Owners do not have the authority to grant access to the strata or the common property. Before production begins identify who is responsible for the site production on behalf of the strata and the production company and review the post-production restoration plans.

• If

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.

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.

Your one-stop source of Lower Mainland home listings and real estate news. RESALE HOME LISTINGS | NEW HOMES FOR SALE AGENT PROFILES | REAL ESTATE MARKET NEWS HOME BUYING & SELLING ADVICE

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


March 11, 2016 17



Tri-Cities Putting down new roots in your old stomping grounds By Jill Lunde


hen you reach the age where the upkeep on your single-family detached house is just too much to handle, you begin to weigh your options. Many boomers are discovering that condo living has lots to offer and downsizing can be a good way to build up retirement savings. Fortunately, there are condos in just about every Tri-Cities’ neighbourhood, so you do not have to move far from your friends and all your cherished familiar places. Two-bedroom condos make up 62 per cent of the active listings in Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam. You can set up home in one of these for as little as $138,000 in Orchard Valley in PoCo or as much as $945,000 in North Coquitlam’s The Evergreen complex.

Port Moody Centre While this community is known mostly for its preserved historical character, it has also been the focus of recent development activity in anticipation of the completion of the Evergreen Line. There are 36 active

condo listings here; all but 10 have two bedrooms. Prices for a two-bedroom here start at $275,000 for a home in Sonrisa and go as high $719,000 for one in Nahanni. Recent sales activity in Port Moody Centre indicates properties are well priced. One two-bedroom in Aria 1 was only on the market for ve days before selling for one per cent over its $485,000 list price, while another two-bed in Sahalee went for $528,000 – a little under its $528,800 asking price.



Active condo listings*

Central Port Coquitlam This is one of the busiest Tri-Cities’ neighbourhoods when it comes to active condo sales. There are currently 63 listings, with just under half of those having two bedrooms. The most affordable of these is $138,000 in Orchard Valley. Prices go as high as $528,888 for a unit in Villagio 2. Sales in the area have also been brisk and a review of 17 two-bedroom condos that recently changed hands paints a picture of 18 per cent of owners accepting offers under asking, 47 per cent getting exactly what they asked for, and 35 per cent closing deals above their list price. .


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* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 34% 2 BR: 62% 3+ BR: 3%

While this community is known mostly for its preserved historical character, it has also been the focus of recent development activity in anticipation of the completion of the Evergreen Line 18 March 11, 2016


*Active listings up to February 26, 2016








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March 11, 2016 19



Guide to being a landlord #2:

Furnished vs. unfurnished rentals In the second of our series for first-time landlords, Michael Drouillard examines the pros and cons of renting your unit furnished or unfurnished By Michael Drouillard, courtesy of Self-Counsel Press


ast time, we looked at how to create an impactful rental advertisement for your unit. But one question to consider is whether to rent out your unit furnished, on a short-term basis, or unfurnished? Renting out furnished space on a short-term basis is a tempting prospect. After all, a good furnished property rents for 25 to 75 per cent more than unfurnished property. An ideal furnished rental property is an apartment condominium in or near the downtown core of a major city or an area sought-after for tourism. Smaller one- and two-bedroom apartments are good candidates for this type of rental because they can be furnished more inexpensively than larger rental property. However, this arrangement is not desirable for most landlords, and it is certainly not recommended for inexperienced landlords. It may require signi cant cash up front to adequately furnish the rental. Carrying costs are higher as well, as you are expected to pay for all utilities including cable/Internet access and you will have to pay these fees even when the property is vacant. You are also commonly expected to offer some 20 March 11, 2016

sort of housekeeping service. The most time-intensive part of property management is time spent nding tenants. The owner of a furnished rental has to do this many times each year. It can be tempting for a landlord in such circumstances to lower tenant selection standards, making the risk of letting a bad tenant in much higher. Strata or condominium corporations may not permit owners to run this type of rental business. The bylaws of your corporation may state that prospective tenants must sign a one-year lease, or they might require a move-in fee of several hundred


dollars. The move-in fee is payable even if the incoming tenant doesn’t move anything of signi cance into the suite other than a suitcase. Such bylaws make short-term tenancies less pro table. It is possible to have a pro table furnished rental business, but in order to be successful it is necessary to put

in much more time and effort than most landlords are prepared to do. Renting the space unfurnished is the best way to go for the vast majority of landlords. Keep it simple!. Next time: Checking prospective tenants’ references

Self-Counsel Press This article is an edited extract from Landlording in Canada Kit by Michael Drouillard, published by and reprinted here courtesy of Self-Counsel Press. To download the full e-book or for more information, go to www.self-counsel.com. Self-Counsel Press is Canada’s leading publisher of do-it-yourself reference titles, authored by experts but written in clear, easily understood language. Self-Counsel Press books and e-books help others help themselves by providing timely, reliable information and guidance at an affordable price.

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, Westcoast Condominium oɈers 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: lfry@glaciermedia.ca for more information.


March 11, 2016 21



Richmond South Delta Who cares about bridges if you don’t have to commute to downtown Vancouver? By Jill Lunde


ooking to downsize and open to relocating? Heading south can be a great option for seniors seeking more sunshine and less urban rush. And, moving into a condo doesn’t mean you have to compromise on space. You may even nd yourself a home with many more amenities than you ever even dreamed of during your detached house days. The Richmond, Ladner and Tsawwassen areas offer plenty of choices for condo hunters and well over half (60 per cent) of current listings have at least two bedrooms.

Cliff Drive Tsawwassen is a gem. Most of us know it as we speed by on the way to catch a ferry, but there’s a strong sense of community among the neighbours including in the Cliff Drive area. There are 23 active listings here, including 17 with two bedrooms (after all, you want people to be able to visit). The twobedroom units range in price from $279,500 for a home in Magnolia to $999,900 for a preconstruction unit in Tsawwassen Springs that should be ready for you in 2017.

At least three Cliff Drive condos have been sporting sold signs recently. One, a two-bedroom in The Oliva, spent 20 days on the market before the owner accepted an offer right at asking ($388,000). The other two owners may have been less pleased. A Windsor Woods unit went one per cent under its $369,900 list price, while a Sunland Plaza home went for $219,500 – four per cent under asking.



Steveston South It’s as far south and west as you can go in Richmond and it’s a popular destination for people from all over Metro Vancouver. Steveston has 22 active condo listings – half have two bedrooms. These range in price from $239,900 for a home in Bayside Court to $725,000 for one in The Village at Imperial Landing. Condo sales are steady, but two recent two-bedroom condo transactions indicate a market that seniors will appreciate. Both homes went for under asking. A home in London Station 1 sold for $570,000 – one per cent below list after 76 days on the market. A home in Westwater Views took 21 days to sell at two per cent less than its $479,900 price tag.

Active condo listings*


Richmond median listing price*


South Delta median listing price*


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 31% 2 BR: 60% 3+ BR: 8%

Condo sales are steady, but two recent two-bedroom condo transactions indicate a market that seniors will appreciate 22 March 11, 2016


*Active listings up to February 26, 2016


















Buying a condo

with a tenant already in place A reliable income source or a troublesome and expensive headache?

If a tenant is on a fixed rent, you cannot make them leave and the tenant cannot break the lease just because the property has changed hands

How much is the rent?

By Frank O’Brien


s an investor it is likely you will come upon the purchase of a condominium that already has a rental tenant in place. This can be a bonus, since you will receive income immediately without the hassle of advertising or screening tenants. However, it is not always an ideal situation. Here are ve things you should consider before committing.

Tour the suite without the tenant Get permission to walk through the suite, preferably on a Sunday. Are there signs of a party? Do you smell marijuana smoke? Is the suite clean? Are there signs of damage, especially to doors and ooring, or are more people living in the suite than expected? Also, quietly ask the strata corporation if there have been complaints about the tenant. 24 March 11, 2016

In BC the annual rental increase allowed in 2016 is 2.9 per cent, but it has been in the 2.1 per cent range for years. However, when a tenant vacates, the landlord can raise the rent to perceived market value. If the in-situ tenant has been renting for some time, the rent may be much lower than you could achieve in the current market. If you decide you don’t want the tenant, arrange for the existing owner to end the tenancy if your timing allows. This requires two months’ notice to the tenant, but means you start with a clean slate. There can also be concerns if the rent is unusually high or low. A relatively high rate of rent should prompt you to ask whether that rent is sustainable, and how long the tenant has been paying it for. If they are on a short lease, with the rent jacked up, you can’t always be sure it hasn’t been done to make the property seem more attractive. Always question suspicious-looking gures, particularly when you’ve


compared them to the rent for similar condominiums in the same neighbourhood.

period of notice to vacate. If you’re hoping for a long-term renter, this may not be an attractive prospect. However, if you are unhappy with the current tenant, this can provide you an opportunity to re-advertise the home for rent.

What is the lease agreement?

Ask about side agreements

If a tenant is on a xed rent, you cannot make them leave and the tenant cannot break the lease just because the property has changed hands. You can attempt to negotiate a break-lease situation on mutually agreeable terms, but there is no obligation for either to accept. When a property is sold, a lease is transferred to the new owner, not voided. Occasionally, special clauses have previously been inserted to allow the void of a lease in the situation of a sale, but this is uncommon. A periodic lease, which is sometimes adopted automatically after a xedterm has lapsed, will often see the tenant able to provide a shortened

Sometimes the existing landlord may have agreed to certain conditions, perhaps allowing a pet or providing special repairs and improvements to the suite. In some situations you may be bound to these agreements, especially if they are in writing.

How easy would it be to rent? Ask yourself whether you could easily rent the condo if it were vacant. This means checking out Craigslist and other sources for comparable condo rentals in the area. Putting a tenant in place that you have personally checked out may be worth it to you in the long run.

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



Low loonie, interprovincial migration key to hot new home market: UDI report Local and global economic factors at play in pushing region’s sales to five-year high, says quarterly State of the Market report

By Joannah Connolly


low loonie and interprovincial migration are two key factors propping up the city’s hot new home market, according to the Urban Development Institute’s latest State of the Market report for 2015’s fourth quarter. The report, compiled by Urban Analytics and issued February 19, said that “Metro Vancouver’s new home market experienced an exceptional quarter in Q4-2015. A combined total of 5,274 new multi-family home sales were recorded in Q4-2015, which is up

45 per cent from the same quarter last year and represents a ve-year high. Current levels of standing inventory for all new home product sectors are also at ve-year lows.” Metro Vancouver’s net population change was up 10,000 compared with the previous quarter and was up nine per cent compared with the same quarter last year, said the report, with interprovincial migration at a 10-year high. The chart in the image gallery above shows Metro Vancouver’s population growth relative to housing starts. “Continued weakness in Alberta’s economy is assumed to be a primary reason that can explain the recent high

levels of interprovincial migration to BC,” added the report. The UDI added that the current ratio of 2.3 new residents per housing start is down from the 2.6 recorded in Q3-2015 but is still deemed to be in a healthy range for the overall housing market. The report also looked at the effect of the Canadian dollar being at a 10year low against the US dollar. “The short-term impact of this has

been twofold; an increase in global demand for Canadian real estate due to an increase in purchasing power for international buyers, and an increase in construction costs for new home developments.” To read the full report, which is sponsored by REW.ca and its parent company Glacier Media Group, go to udi.bc.ca/policy/ publications

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.



Buy a presale condo unit Confused by all the legalese that’s part of a presale purchase? You’re not alone. The GVBHA’s Bob de Wit has some advice By Bob de Wit


ollowing my previous column discussing the advantages of purchasing presale condos, this article focuses on how to go about buying a presale unit: mitigating potential risks; and understanding a buyer’s rights and responsibilities under the British Columbia Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA), including disclosure, down payments and rescission. I reached out to GVHBA member Nav Kandola of AXIS Real Estate Solutions Inc. for an overview of the Act.

Disclosure, amendments, rescission, down payments – what you need to know Disclosure: The developer is required to disclose the anticipated start and completion dates of the project. This is more for convenience to the buyer than actuality. With unknown variables that could delay a project, the sales agreement typically allows the developer three 30-day extensions. If a project is delayed, the buyer will receive a letter well in advance making them aware of the delay and the new anticipated completion date. Amendments: The developer is obligated to keep you up to date on amendments to estimated dates and material facts. This is important because building a new development is a long and complex process, often with many changes. Rescission: Buyers have a sevenday right of rescission from the day the disclosure statement is received from the developer. This gives you time to read over the documentation, and provides a cooling-off period. It is always best to get legal advice during 26 March 11, 2016

It is important for the buyer to understand that a presale is not the purchase, but a contractual agreement to purchase when the product is ready for sale this stage. You can choose to rescind your contract and receive your initial deposit back. Down payments: Typically, buyers are required to place a 10 per cent deposit which becomes part of the mortgage down payment. Some developers may take more or less of a deposit dependant on the situation of the project. Construction nanciers will require a minimum, and the duration of the completion date will be determining factors. The initial deposit can be low as $1,000 to $5,000 when writing the contract.

How to mitigate potential risks


It’s important to buy from a

reputable builder when purchasing a presale unit. You need to be con dent in the quality of the home you are buying, and also be con dent that it will be built to quality standards in a timely manner. It is a good idea to check out previously built developments and talk to owners too. It is also important for the buyer to understand that a presale is not the purchase, but a contractual agreement to purchase when the product is ready

for sale. Find out how much of a mortgage you can afford. Be realistic. You will need to ensure you have the full down payment and be in a position to take on the nancial obligations of a mortgage when the project reaches completion. There is no cost difference between buying from a developer or through a real estate agent. No fees are being saved. Working with an agent who is connected to the industry may help in securing your desired unit in what is a very competitive market with developers selling record numbers of units in record days. Buyers should closely review what they intend to purchase. Consult a lawyer familiar with REDMA on the presale agreement and review the following items: size of a unit; nishing details and appliances; parking and storage lockers; date of delivery; any penalties or additional costs for changes in the property and delay or delivery clauses. Also, make sure you are clear on what is included, and what items are optional or shown only for display purposes. A presale purchase is an ideal way to secure a new home or investment in the location with the services you want. When looking to buy a presale condo, buy only from reputable builders, and always consult with your real estate agent, mortgage broker, and lawyer. The GVHBA offers consumer-buying resources for all stages of the home-buying process. Go to www.gvhba.org for a complete list of members.

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






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Surrey Looking to downsize in an affordable urban market? Surrey has lots of possibilities By Jill Lunde


any older Metro Vancouver residents view their detached house as their retirement nest egg. But where do you move to when it’s time to cash in on the extraordinary growth of that home’s value? Surrey is one of our region’s more affordable choices and with 65 per cent of current listings having two or more bedrooms, there are also plenty of options. Of the 421 two-bedroom condos currently on the market, the cheapest is $134,500 in the Creekside development in Guildford (869 square feet). If your pockets are deeper and you would like more space, the most expensive two-bedroom in Surrey is a 2,165-square-foot home in Whalley’s Odyssey Tower which can be yours for $849,900.

East Newton This is one of Surrey’s most ethnically diverse areas and there are 31 active condo listings, 22 of which have two bedrooms. These homes range in price from $145,000 to $269,900. The largest, at 1,256 square feet, is in Canterbury Green and is on the market for $238,000. The most

recent two-bed condo to come on the market in the area was listed February 24. It’s in the Knights Bridge complex and the sellers are asking $195,000. A two-bedroom home in East Newton’s Earl’s Court building enjoyed a spectacular sale recently. The owners held out for 55 days until accepting an offer of $165,000 – 18 per cent over their asking price of $139,900.

King George Corridor Located in the heart of South Surrey, the King George Corridor has some of the city’s most admired communities like Heritage Trails, Semiahmoo Trail and Rosemary Heights. Of the area’s 40 active condo listings, 29 have two bedrooms. These start at $189,000 and go as high as $465,900. A number of these are in Adagio II, a brandnew development with a variety of oor plans all around 1,000 square feet. The most recent listings came to market February 22: a 1,087-square –foot home in Stratford Gardens for $337,000; and a 960-square-foot option in Gemini for $415,000. A two-bedroom home in the neighbourhood’s Chateau Grace complex sold recently after 85 days on the market. The sellers there accepted an offer three per cent under their $249,000 asking price.

The King George Corridor has some of the city’s most admired communities, like Heritage Trails, Semiahmoo Trail and Rosemary Heights 28 March 11, 2016




Active condo listings*


Surrey median listing price*


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 33% 2 BR: 61% 3+ BR: 4%

*Active listings up to February 26, 2016



How strata councils can enforce bylaws The experts at FirstService Residential provide a comprehensive guide to bylaw enforcement measures By FirstService Residential

a strata manager is responsible for imposing nes and deciding whether a person has contravened a bylaw. This is actually not the case. Strata management companies are responsible for assisting strata corporations by taking direction from the strata council. A strata manager is typically directed by a council to assist with bylaw enforcement by doing the following: sending warning letters; communicating nes; and managing correspondence between the strata council and residents. While a resident may receive a letter from a management company saying they have been ned for a bylaw violation, this is actually a ne imposed by the strata corporation, not the strata management company. A strata manager cannot reduce nes or make a decision when a person appeals a violation.


ne of the most common items strata councils deal with is bylaw enforcement. All strata corporations have bylaws. They affect a strata lot owner’s rights and responsibilities and how a strata corporation operates. The Strata Property Act includes a set of standard bylaws issued as the default bylaws for a strata corporation. However, a strata corporation may change its bylaws by a three-quarter vote of the owners. Strata corporations can have bylaws that: establish quiet hours; ban smoking in common areas; allow certain types of pets; restrict the rental of residential units; or even specify the type of window coverings. Whether you are a strata council member, owner, landlord or tenant, it is important to understand how bylaws are enforced to help foster a positive sense of community with your neighbours and volunteer council members.

Walking through the bylaw enforcement process Imagine an owner violates a bylaw and this is reported to the strata council (e.g., smoking in a common area where this is banned). The rst step is for the strata council to provide the alleged offender written notice of the complaint. (If the alleged offender is a tenant, the strata council must also give the landlord and owner written notice.) Once notice has been given, the council must begin the process for enforcing the bylaw. It is common for strata councils to start by issuing a warning along with a deadline to comply. If the breach is corrected, the strata council may decide not to take any further steps. If not, the strata council may proceed with further enforcement

and must give the alleged offender a reasonable opportunity to respond to the complaint, including an opportunity to respond at a hearing at a strata meeting. The strata council may receive a written response that provides additional details regarding the reason for the infraction. The resident may also request a hearing with council to discuss the bylaw violation. The council can use the additional information collected at this stage in deciding how to enforce the bylaw, if it was indeed broken. (If the council determines the bylaw was not violated, it must send written notice to inform the owner of its decision.)

When a bylaw is broken: enforcement options The strata council must decide how to enforce the violated bylaw and must give written notice of its decision as soon as feasible to the offender. There are a number of

options (all of which should follow any requirements set out in the Strata Property Act): • Give them time to comply. • Fix property and charge it to the owner. • Impose a ne. • Restrict access to amenities. If the matter is resolved, the strata council can monitor the situation to limit ongoing violations. If the situation continues, the strata council can continue imposing nes or, as a last resort, take the issue to arbitration.

Whether you are a strata council member, owner, landlord or tenant, it is important to understand how bylaws are enforced to help foster a positive sense of community

Role of the strata manager It





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.


March 11, 2016 29



New Westminster Condos a great option for seniors on the move By Jill Lunde


hen that house and yard get to be too much to handle, many seniors trade in their lawn mowers and opt for condos with plenty of square footage plus onsite amenities. In New West, two-bedroom units (you want enough space, but not too much) make up almost half of the current listings with 76 distinct choices for buyers. These two-bedrooms start at $185,900 for a 911-square-foot old timer in Uptown’s Casa Del Ray to $1,150,000 for a 2,200-square-foot perch in Palace Quay in Fraserview. In between there’s a gamut of choice including nine brand-new and preconstruction homes in two complexes: Parkside in Fraserview and Riversky 2 in the Quay neighbourhood.

Uptown Uptown offers seniors (and others) easy access to shopping and there are some ne parks in the neighbourhood too. There are 55 active listings, including 22 two-bedroom units. The most economical two-bed home here is going to cost you $204,000; it’s a unit in the older Regency Court complex and it’s been on the market for ages – since October 2014. There may be an opportunity to make a

lowball offer and spend your savings on upgrades. A look at six recent area sales shows owners happy to entertain offers. Two-thirds of the properties went for below asking (anywhere from one to six per cent less); one went right at list; and only one went for more than asking. That was a two-bedroom in Cornwall Terrace that spent 11 days on the market before being passed on to new owners for four per cent more than the $279,900 list price.


Downtown This neighbourhood has lots to offer downsizing seniors too including easy access to SkyTrain and great vistas and walks along the Fraser River. If this is where your heart lies, check out the 28 active listings; 18 of which have two bedrooms. The least expensive two-bed option is $291,500 for a home in The Peppertree while the priciest choice will set you back $549,900 for a 1,500-square-foot home with an address at Tiffany Shores. Sales have been steady in Downtown New West. A review of ve recent ones indicates several happy sellers. Only one property went for under list (a one-bedroom in Brickstone Walk – one per cent less than its $289,000 list price after 20 days) while the other four condos sold for two, three, ve and six per cent over.

A look at six recent area sales shows owners happy to entertain offers. Two-thirds of the properties went for below asking 30 March 11, 2016



Active condo listings*


New Westminster median listing price*


Median price per square foot*


Median days on market* Type of inventory* 1 BR: 40% 2 BR: 48% 3+ BR: 12%

*Active listings up to February 26, 2016



How to make a splash with

feature walls in condos Having one wall stand out is a great way to make a design statement

By Michelle Hopkins


nterior designer Jennifer Scott recently spent a month in Morocco searching for unique and unusual items for her clients back in Vancouver. When the principal of A Good Chick to Know stumbled upon a vintage wedding blanket in Marrakesh, she knew exactly what she was going to do with it. “This beautiful blanket is now hanging on the wall in my bedroom,” says the sought-after guest speaker at several home shows. “It is quite large… it hangs from the top of my

ceiling to where the pillows are on my bed, creating a stunning signature feature wall.” Whether you call it an accent or feature wall, incorporating one in your condominium is a perfect way to highlight or emphasize a room’s architecture or to instill a sense of extraordinary in an otherwise plain room. “With a feature wall, you have the ability to inject your own individuality in a typically cookie-cutter condo,” says Scott. “Whether you want to make a statement, or simply have a small space that needs to impress without overwhelming, feature walls can produce that.”

Using texture to make that wall stand out Adding textures such as brick, wood or other materials are a great way to incorporate that extra something without too much in the way of imagery or vibrant colour that might overpower a small space. Reclaimed wood The rise in reclaimed and whitewash wood is a movement that is growing stronger in BC. Scott says she’s seen a huge trend in reclaimed barn-wood accent walls. “We are moving the wood from the oors onto the walls in bedrooms and dining rooms. In condos, go a little lighter, such as bleached greys, or more natural tones,


March 11, 2016 31

because heavier, dark woods will make your room appear smaller.” Brick A brick wall can add untold timeless beauty in a room or can look really out of place in a contemporary condo, advises Scott. “Brick can be a beautiful design feature when it speaks to a loft conversion,” she adds. “I believe original brick lends itself best to a heritage building which has been converted to lofts or apartments.” Concrete The rise of the industrial look has made concrete a popular choice for a unique feature wall. “I love the warmth that a textured concrete wall can bring to a room with its rough nish that is one of a kind,” says Scott. “I am also a big fan of the polished concrete look which is incredibly smooth and gives rooms an edgy feel as well as a crisp, clean and modern look.” Wallpaper There is a huge revival in wallpaper feature walls, most notably, custom wallpaper designs. When wallpaper designer Markella Mildenberger works with a client to create a custom feature wall her rst consideration is to ask clients how they will be utilizing their space, what their colour preferences are, what existing hard features exist such as ooring, lighting, hardware etc., what the furnishings are like, and the client’s personal taste in art in order to get a clear idea of what they are after. “Often, we aren’t always sure

32 March 11, 2016

exactly what we want as a feature wall; however, we have ideas of what we don’t like and what we do like,” says the principal of The Red Palette. Mildenberger encourages her clients to select shades, tones and colours that are pulled from the undertones in a main piece of furnishing or nishes in your space. For instance, use the gold specks in a granite feature or a secondary shade in a marble one as a jumping-off point. “When we want something bold, that is really that statement piece, there can be many routes to go,” she went on to say.


How to achieve “wow” factor Whether you are thinking about full-sized painted or printed murals, wallpapers, fabrics, textures or largescale art for a feature wall, there are certain things to contemplate rst. Ultimately, when you want to design a focal area in your condominium, concentrate on ones that can afford more drama and dazzle. “If my clients want to redecorate a space, such as a hallway that sees frequent traf c, then I suggest they don’t use too many furnishings, otherwise the eye just doesn’t know

Adding textures such as brick, wood or other materials are a great way to incorporate that extra something

Remember that with smaller spaces, large-scale patterns with less structure work best

where to go rst,” she says. Mural-sized images that take inspiration from photos add interest. However, Mildenberger says err on the side of caution when selecting imagery and make sure all copyrights are adhered to. Ultimately, you want to choose an image that you can live with every day and not tire of. An outdoor or scenic image can do wonders to relax, but your décor and furnishings will need to forever complement this. Scott agrees with Mildenberger and says, “Remember that with smaller spaces, large-scale patterns with less structure (stripes are passé) work best.” She adds, “A two-foot repeat rather than a six-inch repeat gives the pattern room to breathe and looks great in a condo. The key to a successfully designed feature wall isn’t about recreating something; it’s about showcasing your story, what makes you distinctive and injecting that into your décor.”


March 11, 2016 33




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










Modello #118 - 5021 Kingsway Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.456.0688 ...................Pg 13



Milano 4247 Lougheed Hwy, Brentwood Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.294.8989 RICHMOND SURREY

The Lloyd 3096 Windsor Gate Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.942.8416 ...................Pg 19


Loughed Heights 581 Clarke Road, Coquitlam Coming this Fall 604.412.0313


Novella 711 Breslay Street Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.563.5777


Evergreen 3007 Glen Drive Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.942.2672



Residences at Lynn Valley 10 The 1175 Lynn Valley Rd Coming this Fall 604.924.0166 ...................Pg 3


Harbour Walk 12235 No 1 Road Open Mon to Fri 9 -4 pm, Sat & Sun 12 - 4 pm 604.274.7326 ...................Pg 23


Aragon 260 Salter Street Coming this Fall 778.398.1344 ...................Pg 2

Quay 11 West 21 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.988.8856

PORT MOODY 12 Clarke 909 Clarke Rd Call for more Information! 778.558.6377







13 Sterling 3130 Arbutus St

Seylynn Village 600 Mountain Hwy Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.980.5000 ...................Pg 7

34 March 11, 2016

VANCOUVER Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.428.8858


7th 14 West 2239 West 7th Avenue Open Mon - Fri: 9 – 5 pm 604.428.0588 Arc 15 The 89 Nelson Street Open Daily 10 – 5 pm 604.899.8800 ...................Pg 35 & Metro 16 Park 688 SW Marine Drive Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.325.8111 Leveson 17 The 8188 Granville St Open Saturday 12 – 5 pm 604.880.8312 Wall Centre Kerrisdale 18 Shannon 1538 W. 54th Avenue Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.267.8882

10th & Maple 19 West 2001 West 10th Avenue Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604-739-2080

TSAWWASSEN Springs 20 Tsawwassen 5099 Springs Boulevard Open Tues – Sun 12 – 5 pm & Open by app. 604.948.4663 ...................Pg 36

21 Brio 1625 56 Street Call for your Private Viewing. 604.657.9888 Northgate 22 CITYHOMES 1708 55A St at 18 Avenue Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.948.2345

180째 VIEW: SUNSHINE, GOLF COURSE & MOUNTAINS Corner Condo Living | 1384 Square Feet Floor to ceiling windows for optimal light, up to 12 foot ceilings

High quality concrete construction for long term living & return on investment

DECK 12'-6" X 11'-3"

LIVING 14'-5" X 13'-7"

Private covered deck with BBQ outlet, for luxurious year-round entertaining

Large open concept living MASTER BEDROOM 12'-3" X 13'-0"

Stunning Golf Course + Northshore Mountain views from the master bedroom

DINING 14'-5" X 11'-0"

Breakfast bar, perfect for entertaining CLOSET 5'-11" X 6'-6"

High end stainless steel appliances & natural gas cook range

Large walk in closet

KITCHEN 11'-4" X 8'-6" ENSUITE 11'-3" X 6'-11"

Enclave for a unique & bright desk space BEDROOM 13'-1" X 10'-0"

Spacious ensuite with double vanity


In-suite laundry BATH 11'-3" X 5'-0"

Walk-in closet for second master bedroom

HRV, Geoexchange heating, air conditioning and hot water

CLOSET 5'-6" X 4'-10"

*Solar panels on roof to

STORAGE 9'-7" X 5'-6" (53 SQ. FT.)

Large in-suite storage room

ENTRY 6'-0" X 6'-6"

DEN 8'-11" X 8'-0"

Private separation between entry & living space

Double door entry



HWY 99



HWY 17- A 52 ST

5099 Springs Boulevard, Tsawwassen T. 604.948.4663 (HOME) info@tsawwassensprings.ca


Open Tuesday to Sunday 12 -5pm



56 ST

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




Y 9 9

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