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Your essential guide to condo life in the Lower Mainland September 2016

BURGEONING BRENTWOOD’S CHANGE IN SEASONS Seasons is a boutique collection of 101 condos and townhomes in a thriving neighbourhood










FAMILY-FRIENDLY CONDOS Our roundup of the local developments with most to offer families

MAKING IT WORK The considerable advantages of choosing condo life for your family

SPACE-SHARING SOLUTIONS A designer’s tips on maximizing space in smaller bedrooms for kids

September 2016

29 Free your inner investor Why now is the time to invest in a Metro Vancouver, by expert Frank O’Brien

Seasons: A boutique collection in Brentwood These uniquely positioned townhomes and condos are in the heart of this thriving ’hood CO N










Family-friendly condo communities Our pick of the best Metro Vancouver developments for living a great family life

Our new feature on products and items perfect for condo living, as chosen by yours truly

Did you know about the online process to settle resident or council issues? Tony Gioventu advises

Planning ahead Does your strata council have an annual maintenance guide? The experts explain what’s needed









26 4 September, 2016










Space-sharing solutions for kids’ small bedrooms

26 29 34

The GVHBA’s Bob de Wit has some words of wisdom about how it can work – or even be better




If you’re going to live in a condo with children, this designer’s advice will be invaluable

How to… Live in a condo with your family



WCC loves...

An easy solution to condo disputes


Condo market snapshots 6 18 22 24 25 28 32

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


Condo options for family living expanding Our fall special on family-sized condos reveals increasing supply of alternatives to houses


ith the price of singlefamily homes in the Lower Mainland out of reach for many, and the supply of townhomes far outstripped by demand, the need for family-sized condos has never been greater. This has been recognized by local municipalities, with New Westminster mandating that 20 per cent of new condo units have three bedrooms or more, and Vancouver following suit in July with a minimum of 25 per cent two-bedroom and 10 per cent three-bedroom units or larger. It’s a move that will certainly be popular among the buying public – although it far from guarantees affordability, with these requirements proving onerous for developers already challenged by soaring land costs and crippling procedural delays. Not that there weren’t already a good selection of developments offering larger units targeted towards families – albeit certainly not enough. As part of our fall family special edition, we take a look at some of our favourite familyfriendly condo communities around the Metro Vancouver area. Many of

these offer not only great living spaces for larger households, but also fabulous on-site amenities that more than make up for a slightly smaller floor plan. Turn to page 10 to check them out. If you’re feeling daunted about how to adapt family living to a condo, we have some great advice for you from our columnist Bob de Wit, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association on page 34. And for those looking to have their children sharing a smaller bedroom, we asked an expert for some fantastic ideas for spacesharing storage and bed solutions – take a look on page 29. Enjoy, and happy fall to you all!

It’s a move that will certainly be popular among the buying public – although it far from guarantees affordability

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.


Your essential guide to condo life in the Lower Mainland






PUBLISHER: Janai York EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Joannah Connolly EDITOR: Jill Lunde




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

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to time occur. No part of this publication may be quoted or


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Rea l Estate W eekly


September, 2016 5


Could it be time to make a move? By Jill Lunde


ncertainty is at play in all real estate markets across Metro Vancouver and that doubt has cast its shadow on Burnaby condo sales and prices. Still, while some indicators point downward, our market is nothing if not unpredictable. When it comes to the most recent additions to the marketplace, a one-bedroom in Novo li in the SFU community is the most affordable option. It was listed in early September for $249,000. At the high end of the Burnaby scale is a threebedroom in Brentwood’s Stratus complex. The oneyear-old unit has been on the market for a few months with an asking price of $1,717,900.

Forest Glen This Metrotown-area community has lots to offer condo dwellers with easy access to both shopping and the outdoors. Listings start at $168,000 in the aptly

named Forest Glen complex where you’ll find a onebedroom that joined the market in early September. A Centrepoint three-bedroom is the area’s most expensive listing: $1,660,000. We looked at a dozen recent sales. Final prices were from 10 per cent under asking (a two-bedroom in Madison that sold for $680,000) to 18 per cent over (a three-bedroom in Maple Glade that went for $538,000).

Cariboo This neighbourhood is known for its wilderness backdrop and there are four active listings here, all along Manchester Drive. The entry-level condo is a one-bedroom in Barclay Woods for $215,800 that came on the market in early September. If your pockets are deeper, a three-bedroom in Strathmore Towers could be home for $516,000. Area sales have been brisk, with five condos changing hands recently. A Strathmore Towers two-bedroom sold for four per cent under asking ($438,000) while a Barclay Woods two-bedroom closed at 10 per cent over its list price ($269,900).


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* 1 BR: 26% 2 BR: 66% 3 BR: 8%

$611 25

Median price per square foot*

Median days on market*

$518,500 Burnaby median listing price*

up $58,500 from last issue *Active listings up to September 7, 2016

*Active listings up to September 7, 2016


Why now is a great time to buy a condo This is the time to summon your inner Warren Buffett


etro Vancouver condo sales are plunging – down 45 per cent in some municipalities from a year ago during the first two weeks in August. Price increases have slowed, even stopped, and it is suspected that scores of pre-sale condominium deals may collapse. Some of the recent turmoil relates to the 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers that was rushed into Metro Vancouver on August 2, some to the seasonal summer doldrums. But the sales slowdown began earlier. Condo apartment sales in East Vancouver – one of the best investment markets – were down 20 per cent in May from the same month a year earlier and have been tracking lower, year-over-year, ever since.

Get in on the action For investors and even first-time buyers, this is the break you have been waiting for. Tina Mak, a Vancouver real estate agent and founder of the Vancouver chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, believes now is a great time to buy a home, including a condominium. Mak urges buyers to remember the words of legendary investor Warren Buffett: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Over the next few weeks, we suspect that media reports on the housing market will be mostly fearful. It will take a while for the jolt of the foreign buyer tax to work through the system and, in the meanwhile, condominium sales and prices will be slower and lower.

Yet the fundamentals for condominium investors remain rock solid. Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, there is a huge demand for rental condominiums, in-migration to the region is strong and there are more than 2,000 resale condominiums on the Metro Vancouver market. Best of all for investors, vendors spooked by the sudden sales slide are more open to price negotiation than at any time in the past 18 months.

It’s all part of the cycle Be calm. Real estate cycles normally roll over seven-year periods. In 2009, when the last downturn hit, listings spiked and the average price of a condominium sold through the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver slumped below $260,000. Today the average condo price is north of $510,000. Recently, rew.ca, the Real Estate Weekly web page, listed three dozen one-bedroom condominiums in Metro Vancouver priced at $350,000 or less, including 16 priced below $300,000.

At the same time, nearly 700 condos were listed on Metro MLS at $500,000 or less. For first-time buyers who need mortgage insurance, this can often be purchased with just a five per cent down payment. We fully expect the condominium market to bounce back from the current slump, but right now a window of opportunity is wide open for savvy condominium buyers.

Be calm. Real estate cycles normally roll over seven-year periods

Key takeaways Q Condo sales are down significantly and there’s lots of resale product available. Q This represents a great opportunity for investors and first-time buyers. Q Mortgage rates remain low. x Demand for rental condos is high. x Our population continues to rise. x Sellers are open to negotiation

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


September, 2016 7


Seasons is a boutique-style offering of condominiums and townhomes Collection of 101 contemporary residences is unique to Burnaby’s thriving Brentwood Town Centre


uch has been written about why Burnaby’s Brentwood Town Centre neighbourhood is a good location to live, work and play in. Brentwood is emerging as a sought-after enclave with great outdoor cafes and shopping, parks and trails, recreational amenities, and a historic business district, all within walking distance. Well-respected builder Ledingham McAllister understands the community’s appeal – it has chosen Brentwood for several of its most recent residential projects including Escala, released earlier this year, as well as its sold out high-rise Aviara. Now, the awardwinning developer introduces its newest collection – Seasons. Seasons is a collection of 101 West Coast contemporary one-bedroom and den, two-bedroom and two-bedroom and den condominiums and townhomes, ranging from 641 to 1,053 square feet. Each open-concept home has been designed to maximize the natural light and flow of living while combining style, form, and function. “It’s the only boutique-style residence currently on offer in the Brentwood town centre,” says Manuela Mirecki, senior vice president, marketing and design Ledingham McAllister. “Just 100 homes tucked into an incredibly landscaped enclave.” Inside, these thoughtfully designed home will feature sleek laminate wood flooring throughout the living space, long-lasting nylon carpeting throughout

8 September, 2016

all bedrooms, and conveniently located cable and data outlets throughout most homes. The kitchens will be outfitted with a premium stainless-steel appliance package, Quartz countertops with contemporary tile backsplash, Kohler fi xtures and timeless finishes. It doesn’t stop there. Cooks and those who love to entertain will appreciate the 30-inch refrigerator and freezer with temperaturecontrolled drawers, metal wine rack and icemaker. For optimum comfort, each home presents energyefficient, Solarban 60 UV-protected, double-glazed windows and sliding-glass or swing balcony doors with vinyl window/door system. To encourage a sense of community, owners will share a landscaped common outdoor terrace with children’s play area, community garden, and a 1,000 square feet amenity room. Nearby home owners, who purchased in Ledingham McAllister’s Aviara and Escala communities, say they were attracted to the fact that Brentwood is one of the best connected neighbourhoods in terms of transit, SkyTrain, bike networks and highways. Seasons owners will also be close to the urban hub, and just minutes away from several good schools such as Simon Fraser University and BCIT. “In addition, the new Brentwood Shopping Centre is going to be a destination retail spot and is only a couple of blocks away,” she adds. For the environmentally-conscious consumers, Seasons features two eco-friendly initiatives, a


commuter bike package and a transit pass subsidy. With more than 110 years of building landmark developments and 5,000 homes in Burnaby alone, you can rest assured you are buying from a builder renowned for outstanding quality, integrity and solid performance. Meanwhile, Mirecki says interest in Seasons has been very strong. “We expect a quick sell-out. People really need to register in advance to be sure to get an opportunity to purchase,” she adds. The Seasons Presentation Centre, located at 1710 Gilmore Avenue, Burnaby, opens for previews on Saturday, October 15 and the public opening follows on Saturday, October 22. For more information or to register, call 604-568-6888 or visit www.ledmac.com/seasons









Our pick of Family-friendly condos communities Looking for a brand new condo for your family? We’ve done the legwork!


By Michelle Hopkins

evelopers don’t need municipalities to tell them to build three-bedroom condos; they’re already doing it. Check out our top choices for new family digs.

Falcon House by Falcon Homes Falcon House is now sold out of three-bedroom plans. Pricing starts at $879,900.

Family-friendly amenities: ■ Easy access to lots of great outdoor activities including: ♦ Golden Ears Provincial Park ♦ WildPlay Park (outdoor adventure park with zip lining) ♦ Alouette and Whonnock Lake (swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding) ♦ Kanaka Creek (walking, biking and hiking trails) ■ Maple Ridge Leisure Centre ■ The ACT Arts Centre (theatre programs for kids) Location: ■ 12011 224 St., Maple Ridge ■ Backs on to dedicated parkland and Morse Creek ■ Only minutes from the city centre’s shops ■ Close to all levels of schools including the prestigious Meadowridge School 10 September, 2016



Royce by Forge Properties Fifteen spacious three-bedroom homes - now sold out, so look out for resale units

Family-friendly amenities: ■ Royce Lounge: A great spot for family activities and events. This space is used for everything from dinners to games night. ■ Royce Gardens: A great place to have picnics and enjoy the sun and ocean views with the kids and loved ones. Royce Gardens offer several intimate and public areas to enjoy.

Location: ■ 14855 Thrift Ave., White Rock ■ Walking distance from White Rock town centre and White Rock beach ■ Close proximity to bus routes ■ Close access to both elementary and high schools

The Residences at Lynn Valley by Bosa Development Six three-bedroom homes with pricing from $909,900

Family-friendly amenities: ■ 12,000-square-foot secure landscaped green space ■ Fully equipped fitness studio with his and her change rooms ■ Separate steam and sauna rooms ■ Yoga studio ■ Expansive social lounge with catering kitchen, dining room, entertainment area and outdoor barbecue patio ■ Meeting and games room ■ Private 14-seat theatre ■ Dog wash room ■ Bike service room ■ All homes over 800 square feet come with two parking spaces and assigned storage space Location: ■ #100 – 1199 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver ■ The heart of Lynn Valley in North Vancouver’s largest integrated residential and retail master-planned community ■ 5 minute walk to Lynn Valley Elementary School ■ Shops and services at Lynn Valley Centre at your doorstep ■ Only 10-minute drive to Lonsdale Quay SeaBus ■ 20 minutes to Downtown Vancouver WestCoastCondominium.ca

September, 2016 11

COND O PICKS The Grayson by Pennyfarthing Homes Eleven three-bedroom and three-bedroom + den condos plus two three-bed-and-ex townhouses - now sold out, so keep an eye out for resale units

Family-friendly amenities: Q Large format homes give you the space for larger families to live comfortably Q Outdoor children’s play area with green space Location: Q Cambie and 26th Ave., Vancouver Q Transit virtually out your front door Q Schools close by CONTINUED ON PAGE 14


Concord Brentwood by Concord Pacific Developments Eighteen per cent of the building’s units will have three bedrooms with prices from $880,000

Family-friendly amenities: ■ Study rooms ■ Multipurpose games room ■ Fitness centre ■ Entertainment lounge, music room and theatre room ■ Pet-grooming room ■ A 13-acre urban park will be created at the heart of this master-planned community with: ♦ Open field space ♦ Seating areas ♦ Children’s play area ♦ Water features

Location: ■ Douglas Road just east of Willingdon, Burnaby ■ Five-minute walk to Brentwood SkyTrain station ■ Daycares, Montessori pre-schools, public and private elementary and secondary schools nearby ■ A new elementary school is also proposed to complete the community grand plan ■ Quick drive to SFU and BCIT ■ Just minutes to Burnaby Lake Park and Deer Lake Park’s nature trails

Calla at The Gardens by Townline Homes Nineteen three-bedroom condos; pricing not available - now sold out, so look out for resale units

Family-friendly amenities: ■ Sports court (badminton, ping pong) ■ Gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, change rooms and showers ■ Outdoor courtyard with dining area, kids’ play area and summer garden ■ Located next to a 12-acre park Location: ■ Steveston Highway and No. 5 Road, Richmond ■ Immediate access to Loblaws City Market (right within The Gardens’ community) ■ Minutes’ walk from Ironwood Plaza and Coppersmith Mall ■ Close to the West Dyke Trail (popular with cyclists and joggers) ■ A number of schools for all ages ■ Easy access to Highway 99 for travelling to neighbouring communities, YVR and the US 14 September, 2016



Sorrento at Capstan Village by Pinnacle International Fifty-six three-bedroom condos with prices from $789,900

Family-friendly amenities: ■ Swimming pool ■ Half tennis court ■ Badminton court ■ Theatre ■ Exercise room, sauna, steam room, Yoga, Pilates and dance room ■ Children’s play room and gymnasium Location: ■ 8633 Capstan Way, Richmond ■ Located between two transit stations with the future Capstan Station coming in the next few years


September, 2016 15


Virtuoso by Adera Development Thirty-two three-bedroom homes; the remaining three-bedroom units start at the low $900,000s

Amenities: ■ A focus on outdoor living ■ An expansive courtyard garden offering space for tranquility and reflection Location: ■ 6033 Gray Avenue, Vancouver ■ Great access to UBC and all its amenities ■ A hop, skip and a jump to Pacific Spirit Regional Park ■ Nearby schools include University Hill Secondary ■ Close to transit ■ 20-minute drive to Downtown Vancouver

16 September, 2016


STAFF PICKS David Witherspoon, Advertising Consultant


Restored teak paisley desk Janai York, Publisher

White-and-silver expanding pendant lamp

Our staff members pick out the products they love for condo living Joannah Connolly Editor-in-chief

White electric fireplace Staples www.staples.ca ■ $599.99 ■ Home Depot ■ www.homedepot.ca ■ $496 ■ ■

Why I love it: Who doesn’t love fireplaces, especially at this time of year as the weather cools? But what if your condo doesn’t have one, like mine didn’t? Electric fireplaces are perfect for condos because you just plug them in and go, with no mess, and no need for a chimney or flue – and bonus, you can take them with you when you leave! Pictured is my own white electric fireplace, bought from Home Depot in 2015, which no longer has this model in stock but Home Depot still has several similar ones, as do Staples and Lowe’s, to name a few stockists.

Audrie Gilson Advertising Consultant

IKEA Product code: PS 2014 ■ www.ikea.com ■ $159 ■ ■

Why I love it: Incredibly stylish and fun, this pendant lamp brings a high-tech vibe with a slight sci-fi twist. It transforms from a brighter, larger light to a softer, smaller light by justt pulling ojects the strings, and projects decorative patternss onto the ceiling and on the wall. With three different sizes, it can fit in easily with any sized room.

Mid-Century Modern Home ■ mcmhome.ca ■ 604-515-1865 ■ $3,895 ■

Why I love it: Surely one of my favorite desks ever. This 1950s Danish design by Kai Kristiansen packs about as much sex appeal as you can into a single item of furniture! Ideal for condo living, it’s compact yet full of function, light and airy, and even has a bar…

Tracey Aussem Advertising Consultant

Jackie Mollenhauer Advertising Consultant

Fatboy bean bag

Vitto storage ottoman

Scottish cabinet

OMG It’s Small, 1400 Marine Drive, North Vancouver ■ www.fatboycanada.com

Sofa So Good ■ www.sofasogood.ca ■ Item # R980020 ■ Starting at $625

Why I love it: This ottoman comes in various sizes and you can choose from hundreds of fabrics. It’s perfect for storage, as a coffee table and, of course, an ottoman! The narrow version can be used as a bench at the entrance to your condo, making it a perfect place to hide shoes when you don’t have much space.

Why I love it: When space and storage is king! For those with limited space but a decent budget, this lovely cabinet can be made with unlimited options and colour. Regular dimensions are 50 inches wide by 40 inches high by 15 inches deep, compact for condo living but large enough to lay a bottle of wine down, or stand one up. Also deep enough for a loose leaf binder or serving platter.

Why I love it: This bean bag for adults is perfect for creating your own chill-out space in even the smallest of spaces. I love the colour choices and versatility!

Custom made in Ladner, only at Heritage House Interiors ■ 4924 Chisolm Street, Ladner ■ www.heritagehouseinteriors.ca ■ $1,200


September, 2016 17


Cooler sales complement cooler weather By Jill Lunde


t’s no secret that home sales are slowing in many parts of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver itself is not immune to the trend. However, this is still a sellers’ market and condo hunters need to jump on new listings. At $199,900, the most affordable current offering in town is a one-bedroom unit in Camfray Gardens. This Killarney-area home has been on the market since March, so most savvy shoppers are likely to have seen it already. A newer option is a one-bedroom in City View Place in the Hastings East neighbourhood. It joined the market in September at $295,000.

Yaletown This is not the neighbourhood you head to for affordability. On the other hand, Yaletown has great energy and is perfect if you hunger for a true city lifestyle. There’s also no shortage of options with 173 current listings. The “get-your-foot-in-the-door”

choice is a one-bedroom in Nova that joined the market in late August for $398,000. Prices go as high as $7,988,000 for a pre-sale home in Vancouver House. We counted 31 sales in Yaletown in the four weeks leading up to September 7. A studio in Nova sold after a week for 10 per cent over its $399,000 asking price. Other owners weren’t so lucky with a One Pacific seller settling for 10 per cent under their $679,990 sticker price after more than a month with no better offers.


Type of inventory* Studio: 3% 1 BR: 39% 2 BR: 47% 3 BR: 11%

$980 34

Collingwood This East Side neighbourhood has a more suburban feel, but if you’re not adverse to east-sizing, it could be a good choice. A Kingsway property takes the prize as the area’s most affordable option: a one-bedroom for $250,000. A newer listing is a one-bedroom in Connaught that came on the market recently for $259,900. The latest neighbourhood sales have gone anywhere from five per cent under list (a two-bedroom in Emerald Park Place; selling price: $388,000) to 14 per cent over (a one-bedroom in The MacGregor; selling price: $419,000).

Active condo listings*

Median price per square foot*

Median days on market*

$838,400 West side median listing price*

up $175,400 from last issue

$499,900 East side median listing price*

up $20,900 from last issue *Active listings up to September 7, 2016

Simpli ed Online Insurance 50% of strata buildings in British Columbia will su΍er a water damage incident this year, and unit owners are regularly assessed thousands to pay for it. Find out how this a΍ects you on leoinsurance.ca

Quote, buy, & download in seconds. www.leoinsurance.ca

18 September, 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.

108 3278 Heather Street

206 1775 W.11th Avenue

304 4815 Eldorado Mews

Vancouver - $419,000 Terrific One Bedroom plus flex space 1 bed/1 bath Marty & Adam Pospischil 604-263-1144

Vancouver - $494,900 Tastefully Renovated 1 bed/1 bath Marilou Appleby 604-318-9566

Vancouver - $499,000 Open Layout with View 2 bed/1 bath Derek Sun & Newell Cotton 604-263-1144

301 1720 W.12th Avenue

207 535 Smithe Street

104 1429 William Street

Vancouver - $499,900 Bright & Spacious top floor unit 1 bed/1 bath Jimi Brockett 604-551-7959

Vancouver - $520,000 Corner Unit in Downtown 1 bed/1 bath Alex Bolongaro 604-720-1449

Vancouver - $525,000 Near Trendy Commercial Drive 1 bed/1 bath Carolyn Rollo 604-317-6556

301 933 Seymour Street

303 181 W.1st Avenue

305 3611 W.18th Avenue

Vancouver - $559,000 Open Layout Loft 1 bed/2 bath Kris Pope 604-314-4123

Vancouver - $588,000 The Brook Building 1 bed/1 bath Sara Garcha 604-764-9228

Vancouver - $598,000 Fabulous Dunbar Apartment 1 bed/1 bath Pat Graham 604-263-1144

1709 1331 W. Georgia Street

312 5723 Collingwood Street

202 4387 W. 10th Avenue

Vancouver - $708,088 Located in Coal Harbour 1 bed/1 bath Evelyn Singer 604-263-1144

Vancouver - $738,000 Lovely Neighbourhood 2 bed/2 bath Henry Wen 778-862-8868

Vancouver - $748,000 Loft Living 1 bed/1 bath Rhonda Ennis 604-836-7657

22 5605 Hampton Place

406 6328 Larkin Drive

105 5989 Iona Drive

607 1470 Pennyfarthing Drive

102 1616 W.13th Avenue

106 6328 Larkin Drive

Vancouver - $758,000 Well Maintained End Unit 2 bed/3 bath Evelyn Singer 604-263-1144

Vancouver - $789,000 Beautifully Updated Top Floor Unit 2 bed/2 bath Kris Pope 604-314-4123

Vancouver - $828,000 In the Heart of UBC 2 bed/2 bath Karen Chong 604-700-8092

Vancouver - $888,000 Totally Renovated 1 bed/1 bath Tony Arkell 604-716-1459

Vancouver - $898,000 Stunningly Renovated, 2 bed/2 bath Carole Lieberman 604-263-1144 Luana Robertson 604-263-1144

Vancouver - $968,000 Luxurious West Coast Spirit 2 bed/2 bath Victoria Bell 604-209-1382

315 1783 Manitoba Street

1908 198 Aquarius Mews

1878 W.12th Avenue

2666 W.2nd Avenue

1920 McNicoll Avenue

406 4900 Cartier Street

Vancouver - $1,048,000 In The Heart of Olympic Village 2 bed/2 bath Naseem Shivji 604-808-9347

Vancouver - $1,198,888 Magnificent Vistas of False Creek 2 bed/2 bath Pouya Ghazi 604-689-8226

Vancouver - $1,299,000 Heritage Building in Kitsilano 2 bed/2 bath Jackie Chan 604-318-7788

Vancouver - $2,198,000 In the Heart of Kits!, 3 bed/3 bath Carole Lieberman 604-263-1144 Luana Robertson 604-263-1144

Vancouver - $2,699,000 Kits Point! 2 bed/3 bath Matt Magee 604-790-6589

Vancouver - $3,188,000 Stunning 2126 SF, 3 bed/2 bath Carole Lieberman 604-263-1144 Luana Robertson 604-263-1144

905 1328 Marinaside Crescent

214 1655 Grant Avenue

303 4770 52A Street

1007 111 E.13th Street

805 575 Delestre Avenue

508 1480 Foster Street

Vancouver - $3,380,000 Waterfront in Yaletown, 2 bed/3 bath Kelly Lindahl 604-761-6140 Tony Ioannou 604-725-6441

Port Coquitlam - $319,000 Gorgeous, Very Spacious 2 bed/2 bath Candace Filipponi 604-263-1144

Ladner - $437,500 Fantastic West Exposure 2 bed/2 bath Wes Klassen 778-903-1346

North Vancouver - $499,000 Beautiful, Bright End Unit 1 bed/1 bath Sara Garcha 604-764-9228

Coquitlam - $359,000 Stunning Condo near Lougheed Town Centre 2 bed/1 bath Nick Moroso 604-562-6106

White Rock - $710,000 Ocean & island Views, 2 bed/2 bath Robin Hill 604-340-4000 Grace Kreykenbohm 778-998-4523

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. WestCoastCondominium.ca

September, 2016 19


An easy solution for condo residents’ disputes The new online Civil Resolution Tribunal will transform how issues are dealt with and remove significant barriers, explains Tony Gioventu of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association of BC


s of mid-July, the Civil Resolution Tribunal started receiving early applications for strata disputes in British Columbia. While full-scale case-management proceedings and adjudications have not yet started, the early submissions allow for strata corporations, lot owners and tenants to file their applications to stop the twoyear clock on the Limitation Act. Later this fall, full-scale operations will resume. Knowing that the costs of taking disputes to the Supreme Court and arbitration are a significant barrier, many strata councils have ignored the pleas of owners to comply with legislation and bylaws – but they will soon be faced with a rude awakening. For a few hundred dollars and from the convenience of their home, strata owners and tenants will easily be able to file their CRT complaints online. On the flip side, it will also be much easier for strata corporations to enforce bylaw infringements and outstanding fines.

For strata lot owners, you will likely now face two issues that have often been ignored by strata corporations due to cost and time: bylaw infringement; and money

How it works The online process starts with the Solution Explorer, a guided pathway system that prompts users through a variety of possible topics and scenarios to provide them with an understanding of the type of problem they are facing, possible solutions to the problem, what the law requires, and eventually a series of steps the user can take to enable a solution. The system provides information guides and culminates with sample letters to address the problem or request a hearing with the strata corporation to seek a resolution. If the problem cannot be resolved at this point, the user has the option to enter the CRT dispute process, pay a fee and commence their dispute. As an owner, once your dispute is commenced, the strata corporation will be contacted, either through the 20 September, 2016

strata manager or directly to council members, and the strata will be given an opportunity to respond and to settle the matter consensually early on. This is the case-management phase. If the parties agree to a solution within the scope of the law, a consent agreement is drawn up and becomes a binding agreement on both parties. If the parties cannot agree to a solution, the dispute proceeds to the adjudication stage. At the adjudication level, which continues on line, both parties submit their claims and responses (their evidence) and the adjudicators render a decision within 60 to 90 days. Whether it is by consent or adjudicated order, the parties may file the decision in the court registry and the order may be enforced through the courts. If the decision is against an


owner, the order may be filed against the strata lot as well. There is an appeal mechanism to the Supreme Court of BC within 28 days if there was an error in law, or if both parties agree to appeal the decision.

Likely disputes – on both sides For strata lot owners, you will likely now face two issues that have often been ignored by strata corporations due to cost and time: bylaw infringement; and money. If you don’t comply with the bylaws of the strata and/or pay

money you owe for fines, damages or insurance deductibles, the strata council, which will not require a vote of the owners at a general meeting to commence a CRT complaint, will be making decisions about CRT actions at council meetings. For strata councils and corporations, if you do not enforce your bylaws, comply with the Act, or act unfairly against owners in enforcing bylaws, lot owners and tenants now have the same access to the CRT to obtain decisions – and the list is long. Chronic strata violations that are eligible CRT claims will include failing to provide records or documents on request, denying voting rights to eligible voters, procedural errors at general meetings, failing to meet financial reporting requirements, attempting to impose financial penalties or collections on owners that are not permitted and failing to enforce the bylaws of the strata. The CRT will not be dealing with matters that relate to property in strata corporations, such as liquidation votes, appointments of administrators and the court-ordered sale of a strata lot. If for some reason you do not have access to the Internet, you will still be permitted to manage a dispute by phone or mail, and the CRT will also be providing free translation services for the dispute proceedings. So it’s time for strata lot owners, their tenants, councils and managers to review their operations and comply with the law, before you get involved in a CRT dispute. For more information go to www. civilresolutionbc.ca

Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association, which promotes the interests of strata property owners by providing advice, resources and support for its members. Tony has more than 20 years of experience within the local real estate and development industry.


S TA R TI N G $ 1 . 92 M

S TA R TI N G $ 1 . 24 M

O P E N H O U R S 1 – 4 P M , M O N DAY – F R I DAY #3 01 , 178 8 W B R OA DWAY, VA N CO U V E R O R C A LL FO R P R IVATE A P P O I NTM E NT: 60 4 55 8 5 8 51 | A L A BA S TE R H O M E S .C A




Gaining perspective on recent sales trends By Jill Lunde


here’s been a lot of fuss lately about declining sales, and the Surrey condo market did take an eight per cent reduction in the number of condos that changed hands in August as compared with July. But when you compare last month with August 2015, there was a massive 86 per cent jump in sales. Surrey remains one of the best places to search if you’re looking for bang for your condo buck. You can get a starter home here for as little as $99,900 (a studio in Fleetwood in the Fleetwood Tynehead community). If you really want a separate bedroom, the most affordable option is in Guildford’s Creekside Place: $119,900.

Bolivar Heights Located north of Surrey’s city centre, this is an evolving neighbourhood with 11 active condo listings. If you’re looking for an affordable option here, the lowest priced

condo is currently a two-bedroom in Hilton House for $128,000. Deeper pockets? A two-bedroom in Summit recently came on the market for $298,000. We only found one recent condo sale in Bolivar Heights. A two-bedroom in River Pointe changed hands for $234,000 – seven per cent less than the sellers had counted on.

Cloverdale Featuring one of Surrey’s more historic town centres, Cloverdale has two dozen condos on the market. If you prefer the lower end of the price range, a onebedroom in Esprit could be the home for you. The sellers are asking $229,900. The three priciest options in the neighbourhood can all be found at St. Andrews, where asking prices for two-bedroom suites run from $489,000 to $499,000. When it comes to recent area sales, one St. Andrews seller must have been very happy with the $776,000 offer that came in at 10 per cent over asking for their two-bedroom. Another seller in the complex accepted an offer two per cent over their $618,800 sticker price.


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* Studio: 4% 1 BR: 46% 2 BR: 47% 3 BR: 3%

$345 43

Median price per square foot*

Median days on market*

$239,888 Surrey median listing price*

up $60,020 from last issue *Active listings up to September 7, 2016




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Royal City condo sales remain strong By Jill Lunde


he widely reported August downturn in real estate did not take much of a toll on New West condo sales. The city saw 100 apartments change hands last month, a slight reduction over July’s 106 sales and still well over August 2015’s 85 transactions. A one-bedroom unit in Uptown’s Fraserview Apartments remains the city’s most affordable option. On the market since June, the condo’s owners are hoping for $122,000. That’s a far cry from the most expensive choice: a three-bedroom in The Point in Downtown New West entered the fray in late August with a sticker price of $1.2 M.

Fraserview There are stunning views of the river to be had from many of this community’s 27 active condo listings. These start at $245,000 for a two-bedroom in Fraser Mews and climb as high as $687,900 for a pre-sale

three-bedroom in The Royal. Most of the nine recent sales we analyzed went close to their asking prices. The outliers were a twobedroom in Gatehouse Place that changed hands for four per cent under its $368,000 price after 51 days and a two-bedroom in Fraserview Park that sold for six per cent over asking ($400,000) after a week.

Queensborough There are just five current condo listings in this close-knit multicultural neighbourhood. None of the offerings are particularly new to the market and prices range from $409,000 for a one-bedroom home in Regatta to $699,900 for a two-bedroom in the same complex. We noted three recent neighbourhood sales; all have two bedrooms. A 957-square-foot unit in Glasshouse Lofts sold for three per cent more than its $559,900 list price, while its 1,207-square-foot neighbour went for exactly its asking price of $739,000. Meanwhile, the owners of a home in Paddlers Landing accepted an offer of $546,000 – one per cent over list.


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* 1 BR: 27% 2 BR: 65% 3 BR: 8%

$435 34

Median price per square foot*

Median days on market*

$448,900 New Westminster median listing price*

up $100,937 from last issue

*Active listings up to September 7, 2016


Condo sellers still on a roll By Jill Lunde


he much ballyhooed downward trend in real estate sales did not materialize at all in South Delta’s August apartment stats and was only a gentle hit in Richmond. Indeed, sales of apartments in Ladner and Tsawwassen were up close to 42 per cent last month in comparison to July, while Richmond sellers took a 9.5 per cent hit. Richmond’s entry point in the condo market is a strata suite in the Hilton Hotel in Brighouse. Listed at $68,800, it’s been languishing on the market since early 2013. A more recent entry is the court-ordered sale of a one-bedroom in Sussex Square in the Granville neighbourhood that’s asking $112,900.

Riverdale Positioned between Terra Nova and the developing urban area around Richmond’s Olympic Oval, Riverdale currently has five condos on offer. A onebedroom in Braeside which entered the market in late

$570 36

Shopping and recreational amenities abound in this Ladner neighbourhood where there are just three condo listings currently, all in the Sunningdale complex. Prices range from $290,000 for a onebedroom to $518,000 for a two-bedroom that was listed in earlier this month. The same Sunningdale complex also saw all the recent area sales activity that showed up in our statistics. Two units sold in mid-August: a one-bedroom went for two per cent under its $290,000 asking price; while a twobedroom changed hands for three per cent less than the seller’s $369,000 list price.

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Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* Studio: 0.5% 1 BR: 26.5% 2 BR: 58% 3+ BR: 15%

Delta Manor

Ricki WILLING 604.788.9727


August is the most affordable option at $250,000. At the other end of the spectrum is a two-bedroom home in Pelican Pointe for $520,000. Another one-bedroom in Braeside asking $250,000 closed a deal in late August for six per cent under asking. Likely happier was the seller of a one-bedroom in Lighthouse Place who accepted an offer 10 per cent over the $298,000 asking price.

Median price per square foot*

Median days on market*

$518,000 Richmond median listing price*

up $97,700 from last issue

$539,800 South Delta median listing price*

*Active listings up to September 7, 2016

Kathy JOHNSON 778.773.9563



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September, 2016 25


The ins & outs of annual maintenance planning Does your condo building have a robust maintenance plan in place to keep things ticking over? Here’s what it should include

26 September, 2016



maintenance plan is a great tool for organizing and discussing a strata corporation’s property repairs and maintenance. What the plan looks like depends on the building type and age, as well as the strata corporation’s finances. Maintenance plans come in a variety of different formats, from brief outlines, to comprehensive multi-page reports. Regardless of the situation, an ongoing plan for preventive maintenance can extend the effective life of the property and increase its value by: Q Increasing the life of building components. Q Improving a community’s visual

appeal. Q Increasing residents’ pride of ownership.

What goes into a maintenance plan? Q Required maintenance: This includes anything your strata corporation must do to be compliant with BC Safety Authority and government authorities, such as your city or fire department. Q Regular maintenance: This is maintenance that is not legally mandated. Most people think of it as preventive maintenance (cleaning, painting, etc.). It also enhances curb appeal.

Required maintenance Backflow devices: Strata corporations are required to annually test their backflow prevention devices. This helps ensure that they are functioning properly to prevent water from the building flowing back into the city line. Cities in BC have become increasingly stringent about enforcing testing requirements. Roof anchors: These safety devices, which are attached to the building exterior, are used by trades such as window washers who require fall protection equipment. Roof anchors need to be certified by a specialized company each year and it is best practice to post the certification at the access point to the roof. Emergency generators: Some buildings have emergency generators that typically can provide emergency power for lighting and one elevator. The last thing community residents want to discover during a power outage is that their generator is not functioning properly. Strata corporations are expected to test and check their generators, which is recorded in a log kept on site. Fire and life safety/elevators: A strata corporation must perform a variety of testing under different frequencies. Contractors provide a copy of test results that the strata corporation may have to provide – along with proof that they have fi xed any defects – to fire inspectors upon request. Recently, inspectors have focused on parkade fire doors and storage areas because of their susceptibility to fires. Mechanical/electrical/HVAC: This equipment requires a wide range of inspections. A unique requirement is the testing of CO2 sensors, which are located in the parkade. These turn on the parkade fans if the CO2 level from car exhaust becomes too high. Strata corporations must also maintain and test the communication links between the fire panel and exhaust fans.

Regular maintenance Window washing: Most strata corporations have their windows cleaned a minimum of once a year. Two methods to wash windows are with a tucker pole that extends to about 50 feet and allows cleaning from the ground, or by hand washing using a bosun

The last thing community residents want to discover during a power outage is that their generator is not functioning properly

chair or ladder. Give residents a set time to report deficiencies once work is complete. Landscaping: An annual walkthrough with your landscaper can help identify issues that may affect the strata corporation’s maintenance plan. Has your strata council considered artificial turf? The main benefits are that it needs less maintenance and is dog friendly. Janitorial: Remember to consider budgeting for both regular cleaning and deep cleaning. Deep cleaning includes items such as scrubbing the complete garbage room, thorough cleaning of stairwells, and detailed grout cleaning. A way to reduce costs is to encourage residents to sort waste correctly and break down boxes they are discarding so that janitors do not have to do it for them. Power washing and parkade cleaning: It is a good idea to pressure wash the front of the building at least once a year. Hot water pressure washing can remove items like gum. Parkades can be cleaned by pressure washing or power scrubbing. A great option for dusty parkades is a mid-year power sweeping. Carpeting and flooring: Regular vacuuming not only helps maintain carpets, but may extend their life. On average, a strata corporation may want to have its carpets cleaned once a year by a professional cleaner and spot-checked quarterly. For tiled areas, cleaning grout regularly and having it sealed at least once a year can reduce cleaning costs. Painting and mill work: When it comes to painting, prioritize the building’s front entrance and lobby.

These areas have the greatest impact on property values. Rotate painting of hallways so that, for example, north hallways are done one year and south hallways the next. Although mill work is often forgotten, it is important to budget for repair of the wood trim in the lobby and common areas. Dryer vents: Dryer vents can be cleaned from the interior and exterior. It is important for the strata corporation to create a policy on who is to conduct the interior cleaning of the dryer vents. As fire codes become stricter on cleaning

frequency, more strata corporations may find it worthwhile to take responsibility for interior cleaning.

Role of a strata manager Since each strata corporation is unique, it is important that the strata council and owners discuss their vision for what is to be included in a potential maintenance plan. From there, your strata manager can work with council members to create a plan that reflects your directives and particular maintenance focus.

Quick checklist Required maintenance

Regular maintenance

Backflow devices

Window washing

Roof anchors


Emergency generators

Power washing and parkade cleaning

Fire and life safety/elevators

Carpeting and flooring


Painting and mill work Dryer vents

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.


September, 2016 27


Sun shines on Port Moody condo sales By Jill Lunde


ownturn? What downturn? That was probably the reaction of Port Moody condo realtors to tales of the recent sales slump. While others were seeing a slowdown, they enjoyed a 16 per cent increase in sales last month compared with July. That wasn’t the case, however, in Coquitlam and sister city Port Coquitlam where sales were off 23 and 21 per cent respectively. Port Moody has always been the priciest option among the Tri-Cities and its current 36 condo offerings reflect that. The two most economical choices there are both two-bedroom homes in Villa Marquis with asking prices of $249,900 and $259,900. You can also spend as much as $1,550,000 for a twobedroom penthouse in The Sinclair.

Westwood Plateau Boasting some of the most prestigious addresses in Coquitlam, this neighbourhood has 11 current condo choices. These begin at $260,000 for a one-

bedroom in Montreux and go up to $558,000 for a three-bedroom in Trillium. The handful of recent sales we looked at showed condos selling anywhere from six per cent under to 12 per cent over list. At the low end (six per cent under asking) was a two-bedroom in Tamarisk that took 17 days to sell for $439,700. At the top end (12 per cent over asking): a one-bedroom in Summerlin that went for $363,000 after 12 days.

Glenwood This fast-growing PoCo community has a dozen condos looking for new owners. They range from a one-bedroom in Suffolk Manor that came on the market in mid-August for$168,800 to a two-bedroom in The Residences at Shaughnessy for $399,000. A couple of other condos from The Residences showed up in our recent sales reports. One, a twobedroom listed for $349,800, took six days to sell in mid-August for four per cent over asking. A couple of weeks later, a two-bedroom listed at $355,500 sold for its asking price the same day it went on the market.


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* 1 BR: 20% 2 BR: 79% 3 BR: 1%

$428 16

Median price per square foot*

Median days on market*

$450,900 Coquitlam median listing price*

up $24,400 from last issue

$299,900 Port Coquitlam median listing price*

up $22,500 from last issue

$498,000 Port Moody median listing price*

up $38,500 from last issue

*Active listings up to September 7, 2016











Space-sharing solutions for kids’ small bedrooms With more families opting for condo living, the need for small-space solutions is on the rise

By Michelle Hopkins


ike many baby boomers, Mila Cotic grew up in a large suburban home with a big backyard. Meanwhile, her European-born husband, Les, was raised in a city apartment. When it came time to have children, Cotic expected they would sell their 870-square-foot condo in the West End and buy a house in the burbs. It didn’t happen that way. “We grew to love and appreciate the convenience of living in the city, so we decided to raise our three kids in our three-bedroom condo,” she explains, adding their two daughters shared a room, while their son had his own bedroom. “For Les, it was normal; he didn’t see any reason to move.” That was 22 years ago. It would seem

that this couple was years ahead of what is now called the growing “new normal” for many young families in Vancouver. Today it isn’t unusual to raise children in condominiums because for many people buying a single detached home in Metro Vancouver is out of their reach.

Pros and cons of family condo living Although Cotic concedes there are challenges – a lack of storage and bathrooms were definitely two of the biggest – the benefits are many. “We became really innovative when it came to storage solutions, but we also didn’t collect as much superfluous stuff as we might have had living in a traditional home. You can’t overstuff your physical space and not end up living in chaos.” But kids also need space to run, play and climb.


September, 2016 29


“My kids’ backyard was the school yard, Stanley Park, the beach and Science World,” Cotic says. “My children didn’t sit round watching television; we were always out exploring.” With the condominium building boom of the past few years, the increased density is attracting everything a family needs: grocery stores; restaurants; green space; events; libraries; schools; and easy access to transit.

Where to put all the stuff? However, anyone who has had children knows they accumulate lots of stuff, lots and lots of it. And when it comes to small bedrooms, Sarah Gallop, principal at Sarah Gallop Design Inc.,

30 September, 2016


is experiencing an increased demand for storage ideas from clients living in condos with young children. First off, says Gallop, decorating a small bedroom doesn’t have to be daunting if you choose a peaceful palette, great lighting and simple, yet smart, storage solutions. These allow you to meet the challenge with style and ease. “Also, it’s a good idea to design a space that your child can grow into rather than just for the present,” she says. “Choose a design that is flexible and can adapt to their changing needs.” Ask yourself how they will use the space as they grow older so you avoid redoing it over and over again. Choose


larger storage containers for your toddler’s toys that can convert to games storage as they get older.

Tips from a pro Built-ins are a great solution. “Many of my clients are asking for built-ins to add extra storage space by taking advantage of all the nooks and crannies,” says Gallup. She also recommends: Q Buy multi-functional furniture. Q Look for bunk beds with a desk underneath or captain-style beds with built-in drawers. Q Build a window seat so your children have their own private little reading space. Q Look at all the other under-utilized areas that you might be missing – the

backs of doors, the sides of bookcases – and use them for additional storage space. Fold-up, retractable furniture is on the rise, notes Gallup, mentioning that her company has just created a table that comes out of the wall. Additionally, she suggests putting beds on risers to give more space to place things underneath. Flat boxes, she says, are ideal for art or toy storage and fit easily under most beds – even those not raised off the floor. Meanwhile, to help your kids stay organized, keep things at their height. That includes installing pegs or hooks in the closet at child height and putting a basket for shoes on the closet floor. As for that closet… let your CONTINUED ON PAGE 33

Today it isn’t unusual to raise children in condominiums because for many families buying a single detached home in Metro Vancouver is out of their reach


The real estate gods giveth… and taketh away By Jill Lunde


he North Shore has been a microcosm of our region’s recent real estate volatility. North Vancouver followed the trend seen in many parts of Metro Vancouver with August condo sales down considerably over July’s and even reported a downturn over August 2015 sales. On the other hand, West Vancouver saw a minor increase in sales between July and August of this year and a good leap in sales when comparing August 2016 with August 2015. The North Van entry-level price is $250,000 for a onebedroom unit in Woodcroft Estates in the Pemberton neighbourhood. It joined the market in late June. Ready to splurge? At the top end of the North Vancouver condo market is a two-bedroom new home in The Trophy in Lower Lonsdale that can be yours for $2,199,000.

Central Lonsdale It’s the heart of the city and, if it’s the neighbourhood you have your heart set on, check out any of its 17 current listings. These start at $289,000 for a one-

bedroom in The Hacienda and stop at $1,399,888 for a three-bedroom in Local. The 14 area sales we looked at in the four weeks leading up to September 7 showed some sellers jumping for joy and others not so much. Take the owners of a two-bedroom in Keith 100; they got 14 per cent more than their $485,000 list price after less than a week. The sellers of a one-bedroom in Eastern House, meanwhile, cut their losses after only 18 days and accepted an offer four per cent under their $378,000 asking price.

Park Royal Some of the North Shore’s best shopping is right outside your door in this neighbourhood. There are eight current condo listings here, all of which entered the market back in the spring. This is not a starter home area. The cheapest, a two-bedroom in West Royal, will set you back $798,800, while the most expensive, a twobedroom in At Forest’s Edge One Evelyn, is $3,289,000. Neighbourhood condos haven’t been moving quickly. We saw only one recent sale: a two-bedroom in West Royal sold for one per cent under its $829,000 asking price. These were motivated sellers; the property was only on the market for three days.


Active condo listings*

Type of inventory* 1 BR: 25% 2 BR: 66% 3 BR: 7%

$743 29

Median price per square foot*

Median days on market*

$599,800 North Vancouver median listing price*

up $127,800 from last issue

$1,149,000 West Vancouver median listing price*

up $97,000 from last issue *Active listings up to September 7, 2016

32 3 2 S September, ep ept e pttemb p em e mb m be er, er rr,, 20 2 2016 016 16



Choose a design that is flexible and can adapt to their changing needs


imagination soar. The bottom can be converted into a cozy, private little fort. That’s not Gallop’s only suggestion. “I had a client who asked us to convert their child’s walkin storage closet into an art-making room,” she recalls. “I’ve also seen closet doors taken off in favour of curtains, making it a special nook for younger kids to play on the floor. My daughter plays all the time with her dolls in her closet. “I also tell clients to involve their kids as much as possible so they will feel a sense of ownership of their own space,” adds Gallop. Finally, Gallop says use mirrors to add depth and dimension to a small bedroom. Hanging several smaller ones in a group can add lots of visual interest, while using one large mirror will instantly create the illusion of more square footage.


Live in a condo with your family M






Amenities play an important role in supporting healthy, happy families

Kids + condos = a great combination in the right location

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 930 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations. You can reach Bob at bob@gvhba.org.

34 September, 2016


hen I was a kid, no yard was ever big enough. We all had back yards, but we always ended up in the local park for a game of football or soccer. Today, young families wanting to live in Vancouver are looking to the condo as an affordable housing choice. And I’m here to say I believe there are a host of benefits to living in a condo with kids – many of which outshine the traditional single family home. On the simplest level, limited indoor space fosters getting outside and going for a walk. Not only is walking a health benefit, there are endless discoveries to be made. As Vancouver’s density increases, communities and neighbourhoods are focusing on creating liveable, usable outdoor space. With parks, art installations, outdoor meeting places, and walkable paths and bike lanes, urban communities have never been more vibrant and connected to people.

Benefits of urban living Heading out for a walk? Running an errand is easy. Urban living offers


amenities within walking distance, eliminating or reducing the need for a car. Running around the corner to quickly run errands saves time, is less stressful, and promotes physical activity. You might even meet a neighbour along the way and strike up an interesting conversation. Taking time to walk actually creates time in your day to step out of the rat race and enjoy your surroundings. In a world where we have become so accustomed to driving everywhere, walking the kids to school, running errands on foot, and enjoying the cityscape has never been so refreshing. Just as condos encourage healthy outdoor living, there is also a reduction in consumption. Lower energy bills, and less maintenance and work around the house mean more family time. Less space also limits the amount of “things” so easily collectable with a home and young family. Limited space helps clear the clutter and bring to the forefront real needs, how we use things, and what is really important. Condo living supports the sharing generation. Children who grow up

in smaller spaces, sharing a room – possibly toys – have the opportunity to learn from an early age how to be respectful of others, to share, and to cohabitate without the need for excess.

The role of amenities Admittedly, there will be times when cabin fever may set in. Amenities play an important role in supporting healthy, happy families. It is a good idea when shopping around for a condo to check into the building and surrounding community’s amenities. Gyms, pools, yoga rooms, access to community gardens, dog parks – what is important to you and your children’s lifestyle? Amenities foster community connections, healthy living and provide the extra space we all need once in a while. It is a great time to consider the condo as a form of affordable housing to raise a family. As many parts of Metro Vancouver densify, local municipalities and builders are working together to make our cities more liveable. For a list of developers to help source condos being built in your area check out www.gvhba.org/find-a-builder.

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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”

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