Fall / Winter 2019
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WARMTH THIS WINE-COUNTRY HOME TRANSITIONS PERFECTLY FROM HOT TO COOL MONTHS | 10
TRY THE TRI-CITIES With great new transit links, this region is getting hotter
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EVERY HOME IS A PENTHOUSE UNVEILING SOON | REGISTER TODAY | 1818ALBERNI.COM
RESIDENCES STARTING FROM $5 MILLION
This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering can only be made with a disclosure statement. Prices are subject to change without notice. The developer reser ves the right to make changes and modifications to the information contained herein without prior notice. Ar tist â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renderings are representations only and may not be accurate. E .&O.E .
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Move up or stay put?
omeowners looking for more space or better functionality have an interesting dilemma that we have seen tackled time and time again on TV renovation shows. Do you stay in our current home and renovate, or do you upgrade to a larger property? In this fall edition of West Coast Condos & Homes, we have the content that will help you out, no matter which side of the fence you fall. Our feature on move-up
buyers — those upgrading to a larger home — looks at this group of purchasers and how they’re shaping the West Coast real estate market right now. The idea is that if you currently have a condo or other small starter home, now might be a great time to move up into a bigger townhome or house. This is because, even though home prices have fallen across the board over the past year, they’ve fallen more the higher up the market you get. And that means the price gap that you have
to bridge has narrowed. Add to that today’s low mortgage interest rates (see our expert Peter Kinch’s column for more on those), and you could have a real opportunity to get a bigger place. If that’s what you decide to do, our colleagues over at listings website REW have compiled a sample of what you can buy in our region for $500K, $1 million and $2 million, all featured in our What You Can Buy article. So whatever your budget, and whether you’re starting out, upgrading or downsizing, you can get a great sense of what’s on offer in today’s market. But for those who decide to love their home, rather than list it (see what we did there?), we have a host of design inspiration this edition for you to use in your renovations
Joannah Connolly Editor-in-Chief, West Coast Condo & Homes Joannah Connolly is editor-in-chief of West Coast Condo & Homes, as part of her wider role as editorial director of Glacier Media Real Estate, which includes writing and editing real estate content for Glacier Media’s local newspaper websites and specialty publications. She regularly appears on radio, TV and panels discussing the Metro Vancouver real estate market.
PUBLISHER: Lynn Fry
ADVERTISING SALES: 604.379.4576
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Joannah Connolly
SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Tracey Aussem, Jackie Mollenhauer, Igor Pogorelo
PRODUCTION: Darko Isic, Peter Gallagher DESIGNER: Arslan Sultan
and improvements. Our Vancouver Fall Home Show special feature has a Q&A with local celebrity designers on what’s hot and what’s not in interior trends this season, plus essential fall home tasks from HGTV’s Bryan Bauemler. And our favourite products page, We Love, also looks at great seasonal products on offer at the Vancouver Fall Home Show. And for those who don’t wish to renovate, or move, but just dream… This edition’s gorgeous Home Tour feature showcases one of the BC Children’s Lottery Dream Home grand prizes — a spectacular, brandnew house in Predator Ridge in the Okanagan. Talk about inspirational and aspirational. Happy fall, and keep renovating, moving, and dreaming!
VANCOUVER HEAD OFFICE: 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1J6
COPYRIGHT: West Coast Condo & Homes is published quarterly by Real Estate Weekly Partnership. Copyright 2019. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of articles and advertising that appear in each edition of West Coast Condo & Homes, 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 writtenpermission of Real Estate Weekly Partnership.
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T H I S
I S S U E
25 10 OKANAGAN WARMTH
A PHOTO TOUR OF THE B.C. CHILDREN’S DREAM LOTTERY PRIZE HOME NEAR VERNON
14 WE LOVE… OUR FAVOURITE SEASONAL PRODUCTS FROM THE VANCOUVER FALL HOME SHOW
20 CITY SPOTLIGHT WITH BUSTLING ’HOODS AND GREAT NEW TRANSIT, YOU SHOULD TRY THE TRI-CITIES
25 MOVING ON UP
HOMEBUYERS SEEKING SPACE FOR THEIR FAMILIES ARE CAPITALIZING ON THE MARKET
30 INVESTMENT INSIGHTS OUR IN-HOUSE EXPERT OFFERS THREE SMART REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
33 HOME SHOW Q&A TOP DESIGNERS AT THE VANCOUVER FALL HOME SHOW OFFER “HOT/NOT” DECOR TIPS
38 WHAT YOU CAN BUY GOT A BUDGET OF $500K, $1M, $2M? HERE’S WHAT THAT BUYS ON THE WEST COAST
42 MORTGAGE MOMENT IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO GET A MORTGAGE? AN EXPERT OFFERS INVALUABLE ADVICE
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P R O J E C T
P R O F I L E
Buyers lining up in Maple Ridge, summer sales close to normal
COME SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE
LINING UP FOR!
MORNINGSTAR IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER IN MAPLE RIDGE
ith three previous successful neighbourhoods in Maple Ridge already under its belt, Morningstar is definitely not a newcomer to the city of Maple Ridge – and with this fourth new neighbourhood (and quite arguably its best to date) it has taken the city by storm. Roslyn Ridge’s highly anticipated and long-awaited show homes are now open to the public, and boy, is the public ready! People have lined up two weekends in a row in order to snap up one of the 84 homes with three or four bedrooms ranging up to more than 3,200 square feet – with some in line as early as 7:30 a.m. in hopes of
purchasing one of the limited releases offered for sale. This new neighbourhood is all about location – tucked quietly away behind a backdrop of beautiful nature while just a stone’s throw away from schools, shopping and all major thoroughfares. Not only are the homes set in the perfect location, but they are built by one of the most reputable builders in the Lower Mainland, Morningstar Homes, which has been building ONLY single-family homes for 20 years (with over 2,100 homes in 38 neighbourhoods – and a Polygon associate to boot!). True family homes, built with families in mind from the ground up; well-thought-
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out and planned homes intentionally designed to suit the needs of today’s busy, hard-working and hard-playing family; a home with heart, built with heart. If homes could talk, the homes at Roslyn Ridge would speak volumes, but success speaks for itself. Since Morningstar opened its doors at noon on Saturday, September 7, it has not looked back, and has released more homes each weekend to enthusiastic purchasers waiting to gobble them up.
With a line that stretched down the street (see photo), the first release sold out in short order. The second release the next weekend witnessed the same demand from perspective buyers – and now Morningstar is getting ready to release even more homes priced from the midto-upper $800s, including GST. The B.C. market is picking up, and Morningstar is living proof that if you give buyers excellent homes at a good price, the market is receptive.
3192 113B AVENUE, MAPLE RIDGE 3 or 4 bedroom 3050+ sq.ft. single family homes For more information, visit www.mstarhomes.com
Visit Our 4 Stunning Show Homes With New Park & Playground Dewdney Trunk Rd DOWNTOWN
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23192 113B Avenue, Maple Ridge
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M A PL E RI D G E
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Family is the inspiration for this new Maple Ridge neighbourhood. ROSLYN RIDGE has 4 stunning show homes with a new park & playground conveniently located in the city, but perfectly positioned in a natural countryside setting. Enjoy lots of green space, easy access to all major thoroughfares, shopping, and schools close by.
DREAMING OF OKANAGAN WARMTH
peek a ro u n d t h e D r e a m Lot t ery p r i ze h o m e at P r edato r R id g e i n t h e O k a n aga n
Rustic elements are used in the great room to give it a cozy farmhouse feel, including black hardware in the kitchen and a barnwood feature wall in the living area
s the days begin to lose their summer heat, and the grapes are harvested for the next vintage, fall is the perfect time to be in the Okanagan.
It’s also the perfect time to enter to win a Dream Lottery prize home package worth more than $2 million. One of the prize choices is a fabulous, brand-new show home, showcasing the Maverick collection of houses at The Commonage at Predator Ridge in the Okanagan, close to Vernon. With that in mind, West Coast Condos & Homes took a virtual tour of this spectacular four-bedroom-plus-den home with interior designer Carla Bond-Fisher, owner of Sticks + Stones interior design firm. Bond-Fisher and her team were responsible for the show home’s design, from the finishes to the lighting, all the furniture, and right down to the art and accessories. Unarguably the key space in the whole home is the stunning great room on the main (upper) level, with its soaring vaulted ceilings and wall of windows looking out onto a large deck and a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. But instead of such a light, open space feeling cold, the design team chose an approach that created warmth and coziness. “The whole design concept for this project was to play off the modern farmhouse feel,” says Bond-Fisher. “We blended the two styles of contemporary/modern with a more traditional
farmhouse, with the bright white walls that are warmed up by the floors. We really wanted the interiors to feel cozy and livedin, so the furnishings are quite neutral with warm accent colours in places like the floor rug.” Blending contemporary with traditional was the key to success in this room, explains Bond-Fisher. “We brought in a more traditional feel with the dark-grey velvet nailhead chairs by the fireplace. It shows you can really blend styles in a home and we wanted to use soft, cozy fabric.” Livening up what would otherwise be a vast white wall is the barnwood feature wall, which rises up to the slanted vaulted ceiling on one side of the fireplace, while a corridor is on the other side. “We played with the asymmetry of the space, balancing the fireplace with putting a heavier barnwood wall to the right. It’s stained the same as the flooring, which brings your eye up to the ceiling, and within in there are hints of warmer colours and dark grey that are echoed in the furniture. It adds another layer of texture, depth and dimension.”
Refined industrial The statement light fixture in the dining area is an example of the “refined industrial” style, combining metal and glass, that Bond-Fisher says complements that contemporary farmhouse feel. And the counter-height dining table with bar-stool and
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We really wanted the interiors to feel cozy and lived-in – Carla Bond-Fisher, Sticks + Stones
high-bench seating adds to the more casual, less formal ambience of the space. In the kitchen, which is open to the living and dining areas, the design team chose simple, bright-white cabinetry and stacked subway tile, but added black metal hardware. Bond-Fisher explains, “That ties in with hits of metal hardware throughout the space, such as the door handles and hinges – you see it throughout the home.”
Metal detailing is a subtle but running theme in many of the design choices, through the lighting to the coffee table to the master bedroom console, to name a few items.
A touch of glamour The master bedroom, which is also on the main floor, takes the cozy factor to a new level, with warmer colours in creams keeping the interior neutral. “With the bedroom, it was all about the view. So we
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The warm master bedroom (top) makes the most of the Okanagan views, while the home office (above) is a great spot to work
kept it more neutral, with the grey-beige carpet being very flexible in terms of the colours you can play off. We kept it to creamy tones but with goldsilvery accents and mirrored nightstands for a touch of glam. And with the console, we’re bringing in the brushed wood accents that you’re
seeing in the great room.” The luxurious ensuite bathroom ups the glamour factor by another notch or two, with warm floor tiling and the same hardware as in the kitchen, “but in a softer, pewter finish,” says BondFisher. “We wanted it to feel like a spa, with clean lines for
the cabinetry.” A further bedroom and an office/den complete the rooms on the main floor. On the lower level, when complete, there will be two further bedrooms and a recreation room, perfect for guests or even a separate rental. The main floor leads out to a large deck with those fabulous views – big enough for outdoor dining and entertaining – while the lower level walks out to a patio and landscaped yard. In total, the finished interior floor space will be 2,500 square feet.
The liveability factor Kim Barnstable, project manager at construction company Westbild, which built the Maverick show home and The Commonage community at Predator Ridge, says that
what people love about the house is how liveable the layout is. “It’s really efficient and practical. The main floor is just over 1,500 square feet, and on that level you have everything people are looking for – two bedrooms and a den, two bathrooms, laundry and the great room. Yet it doesn’t feel cramped because it has volume, with those vaulted ceilings. Plus we have decks that are really generous, with glass railings to make the most of those views, which means the homes are really getting the most out of outdoor living.” The Commonage show home at Predator Ridge is one of the B.C. Children’s Hospital Dream Lottery Home prize packages, in total worth $2.5 million. For more information, go to bcchildren.com/grandprizes/
The spa-like master bathroom leads to a generous walk-in closet
GET THE LOOK The interior design team at Sticks + Stones compiled this list of key items used in the home – or very similar-looking items – so you can recreate the look. Dining table stools Primivito White Stool, CB2 $449.00
Entryway console table Mirrored
Union Rustic Console Table, Wayfair
Crosby End Table, Wayfair
Office sit/stand desk
Jackson Desk, Pottery Barn $475.00
Sitka Sofa, Article $1899.00
Counter-height dining table Coffee table
Rosecliff Heights Table, Wayfair
Bedroom storage console
Oscuro Walnut Table, Article
Industrial Console, West Elm
Accent chair Wylie Swivel Chair, Crate & Barrel $999.00
Harvey Swivel Chair, Crate & Barrel $549.00
Kitchen island stools Robin Stools, Structube $49.00
Entryway mirror King bed Madison Bed, Four Hands
Mac Mirror, Renwil $395.00
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FA L L
H O M E
S H OW
S P E C I A L
Wooden home accessories
Local company Bam Woodworks creates satisfying, tactile, wooden home accessories. Pictured is their device holder, and they do a great line in wooden art, as wells as lovely coasters and other table-top items. These products also make perfect gifts, so check them out at the Portobello West market at the show.
SEASONAL PRODUCTS AT THE VANCOUVER FALL HOME SHOW ALONG WITH home-and-garden celebrities taking to the stage, this year’s Vancouver Fall Home Show —and its local craft market Portobello West — will showcase countless fabulous products. Here are just a few that will be on display, and we
think are perfect for home this fall.
Alexandria sofa by La-Z-Boy La-Z-Boy’s products are getting increasingly stylish, as visitors to the fall home show will see. We love this Alexandria sofa, which is the perfect combo of elegant and comfortable, and comes in a vast array of different fabrics to suit any living space.
From $1,999 www.la-z-boy.com/p/sofas/alexandria-sofa
Bravura lamp by Steven Sabados Light up those darker evenings with this table lamp, part of a collection designed by TV celebrity Steven Sabados. The Bravura has an iron base with a gorgeous brass finish, an off-white linen drum shade and a super-cool, tiny decorative skull on the pull-chain switch.
$649.99 Available at La-Z-Boy outlets: Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley and North Vancouver
VANCOUVER FALL HOME SHOW 2019 The Vancouver Fall Home Show runs from October 24-27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre – West Building. More information and tickets at vancouverfallhomeshow.com
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New York View linear gas fire As the nights draw in, this stunning gas fireplace by Regency Fireplace Products will keep your home cozy and uber-chic. The fire base comes in a choice of wood-effect logs, or various types of stones. Here it is shown as installed in a real home in Whistler.
From $12,000 (fireplace only, excludes add-ons, freight, venting, or installation)
Arm-knitted throw Showcasing their hand-knitted wares at the Portobello West craft market, inside the home show, are locals Handmade by ChrisNKris. This is one of their sumptuous arm-knitted chenille blankets, ideal for snuggling under as the weather cools.
$218.53 www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ HandmadeByChrisNKris
THE TOWNHOME WITH BRIGHT IDEAS
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Orchard Park celebrates fresh design thinking with up-to-the-minute Scandinavian cues. Sleek single-panel doors lead into rooms with nine-foot ceilings. Wide-plank laminate wood ﬂooring and Ceasarstone countertops are beautiful and hard-wearing.
Now Selling: 2 & 3 Bed Townhomes
Orchard Park Presentation Centre: 16650 25A Avenue, Surrey BC
This is not an oﬀering for sale. Any such oﬀering can only be made with a disclosure statement. Prices exclude taxes and are subject to change. Promotion oﬀered for limited time and subject to change. Sales by Qualico Realty. E.&O.E.
P R O J E CT
P R O F I L E
An artist’s view of Major Rush Mews looking westward across 12th Street
OWN A PIECE OF WEST VANCOUVER’S HISTORY AT A TIME when many heritage houses are being demolished to make way for larger new residences, Vancouver architect and developer Michael Geller has been buying and conserving significant older homes and creating alternative housing choices. Two recent projects are Vinson House Cottages and Major Rush Mews in West Vancouver’s Ambleside neighbourhood.
density and other zoning and subdivision relaxations in return for retention and conservation of the heritage structures.
In both instances, heritage structures were moved to make space for new garages. They were then divided into two separate units - a single level Garden Suite at grade and a twostorey Heritage House above. Two new detached houses were also added on each of the properties.
The result is new housing forms that are unavailable elsewhere in the community smaller brand-new homes and completely restored heritage dwellings.
These developments were made possible through Heritage Revitalization Agreements (HRAs) negotiated with the District of West Vancouver. These HRAs allowed additional
The Vinson House, at 1425 Gordon Avenue, was built in 1913 for famed photographer Valient Vivian Vinson, an early Reeve of West Vancouver. It was the first home in the upper Hollyburn area and originally stood on a 2-hectare lot. An excellent example of the Craftsman style, the house had many decorative
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features and was a valuable link to West Vancouver’s early history. A few years ago, the owner needed to sell but was concerned her beautiful house would likely be demolished for a large new dwelling. She approached the District planning department who in turn asked Geller if he would be interested in purchasing it, on the understanding that it would likely be a suitable candidate for an HRA. Geller agreed and partnered with Trasolini Chetner, an experienced development and construction company which previously built his highly successful Hollyburn Mews development across from West Vancouver United Church. Together they engaged Formwerks Architectural, known for its creative designs and extensive experience with
heritage houses. While it took a while to obtain all the necessary approvals, the neighbourhood was generally supportive of the proposal, especially since Geller agreed to retain the large, landscaped front yard that had been a popular feature of the property for more than a hundred years. Before construction began, the lower-level Garden Suite was sold. After all, it offered the perfect housing solution for those ready to downsize into a single level home, but not yet ready for an apartment. The two new infill houses subsequently sold. Now Geller is seeking the right buyer for the 2540 sq.ft. 3-bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom Heritage House. This grand home is unlike few others in West Vancouver. Its spacious interior features a traditional cross hall layout with meticulously restored original fir
house above is about 2300 sq.ft. The two new detached houses on the southern half of the property have been designed for downsizers or families who still require space. They are 2670 sq.ft. and 2860 sq.ft. respectively. Each offers four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, along with a media room, office or den and an incredible amount of storage space. The exterior and interior designs of the new homes incorporate heritage-style details in keeping with the character of the main Heritage House.
Vinson House today with its large porches and garden
panelling, trims and mouldings. With its beam ceilings and extensive wainscoting, it looks like the sort of house you would find in Shaughnessy, not West Vancouver. Although it has been completely remodelled with brand new mechanical, electrical, fire-safety and security systems, and a fabulous kitchen featuring a Wolf stove and Sub-Zero refrigerator, the home’s charm and character have been carefully retained. New fire sprinklers have been discretely concealed in the beams and ceilings, and stained-glass windows have been preserved and added. Even new pushbutton onyx light switches have been sourced from the United States. Unfortunately, the development came to market at a difficult time. However, as the West Vancouver market has dropped, so has the price, which is now in the mid-two-milliondollar range including GST. Details of the home can be found at www.vinsonhouseresidences. com or by calling 778 997 9980. A few blocks away, on a large, double corner lot at Jefferson Avenue and 12th Street is another treasured West Vancouver heritage property. The Rush House, a Craftsmanstyle home originally built in 1923 for Major Frederick Rush is another of Ambleside’s earliest houses. It features a large wraparound verandah and traditional
dormers and rooflines. While the distinctive form and style of the house have been conserved, it has been completely rebuilt with new foundation walls and structure, concrete floors with radiant heating, and entirely new plumbing, electrical, fire-safety and security systems. Heritage conservation has been carried out in accordance with the directives set out in a plan prepared by Donald Luxton Associates Inc. one of Canada’s premier heritage consultants. Now known as Major Rush Mews, this development is very similar in concept to the Vinson House Cottages development. It too offers a brand-new single-level 2-bedroom suite constructed below the reconstructed heritage house. The Garden Suite offers approximately 1390 sq.ft. and the three-bedroom 3-bathroom
Each of the four homes has its own private garage and additional parking is available on the adjacent streets. Particular attention has been given to the provision of a variety of outdoor spaces. Owners of the heritage house can enjoy its large wrap-around veranda and a large, new covered deck off the kitchen and family room. Other homes feature traditional porches and large private patios with plenty of electrical outlets, water hose connections and gas outlets for barbq’s and heaters. The homes also share a large, Edwardian-style garden offering lush planting and friendly seating areas. With four separate homes clustered around a central space on a large corner lot, Major Rush Mews offers a unique opportunity in West Vancouver for an extended family or group of friends to live independently, but together within their own private family compound or estate. From their homes they can stroll down to Park Royal and
Ambleside Village, renowned for its unmatched natural beauty and relaxed West Coast lifestyle, where they can find everything they need, including charming stores, restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries. Ambleside Park, the beach and oceanfront, with its wonderful walkway, are also just a short walk away. There are two excellent public schools in the neighbourhood. Ridgeview Elementary, a highly regarded kindergarten to Grade 7 school is just a block away, and West Vancouver Secondary School is nearby. In addition, Chatwin Park, one of West Vancouver’s most beautiful and natural small, neighbourhood parks, is a short block away. With so many amenities and public transit close by, residents of Major Rush Mews will no longer need to get into their cars every day. Major Rush Mews will be a selfmanaged strata development. The modest strata fees cover property insurance, municipal charges, gardening, common services and maintenance, and a replacement reserve contingency fund. While many have reservations about strata living, especially in larger developments where there can be many restrictions and a difficult strata council, in a small development such as this it can be the perfect arrangement. It offers a more carefree lifestyle, with less worry about individual maintenance and repairs. In this instance, because there are four homes on one lot, the municipal sewer, water and garbage fees are reduced. At the same time, owners have the freedom to look after their own private outdoor spaces and choose how to live in their homes. Those who love gardening can even look after the shared garden areas if they so decide.
Vinson House as it appeared shortly after completion in 1913
Construction of Major Rush Mews has just completed, and the marketing and sales program is now underway. More details can be found at www.MajorRushMews.com or by calling 778-997 9980 or emailing Michael Geller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ADERA.COM/DUET | 604.937.9688 | 106 – 552 Clarke Road, Coquitlam Renderings are artist conceptual drawing. The developer reserves the right to modify the information contained herein without notice. This is not an offering for sale. E.&O.E. Duet Adera Project Ltd. Adera Realty Corp.2200-1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver.
CI T Y
S P O T L I G H T
TIME TO TRY THE
TRI-CITIES This burgeoning region is seeing a rush of development as new residents are drawn in
he Tri-Cities has been undergoing a developmental rebirth of late, prompted by a combination of overpriced land in Vancouver and Burnaby and the extension of the Evergreen Line Skytrain. The resulting supply of relatively affordable homes that are now easily
commutable to the city is drawing in a new wave of home buyers – whether they are coming from outside the area or are locals who realize there’s no longer any reason to leave. One such example is Alicia Soo. The 26-year-old lab assistant at Vancouver General Hospital is buying
her first home at Woodbridge Homes’ West Coquitlam 116-condo development Kira, which recently hit the headlines for offering buyers a year’s worth of avocado toast. But it’s not the regular free brunch that is attracting Soo to buy in the area. A born-and-bred Coquitlam resident, Soo – like so many
Millennials – currently lives with her parents, and is relying on their financial help to get her onto the property ladder. Her family home is just two minutes away from the Kira development, and her personal Bank of Mom and Dad was only too happy to share the financial burden and make the investment.
Adera’s Duet condo community is at the heart of a new building boom in Burquitlam. ADERA.COM/DUET
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There may be free brunches on offer at Kira by Woodbridge Homes, but it’s the light-filled layouts and great views that are attracting buyers
“This is an area that is at the start of the next big real estate boom” – Eric Andreasen, Adera Development Corp.
Soo tells West Coast Condos & Homes, “The whole area is developing, not just West Coquitlam but nearby Lougheed as well. I feel like the values in the area are going to go up. There are going to be so many new shops and amenities, there’s a new community centre being built close by, and a lot of that construction will be complete by the time I move into Kira.
Plus the Burquitlam SkyTrain station is so close by and I won’t even have to cross the street to get the SkyTrain downtown.” Soo is paying $504,900 minus a $20K discount for a second-floor, two-bedroom, brand-new home, which she thinks is great value compared with the price of new condos in other areas.
KIRA, WEST COQUITLAM A collection of 116 one-, two, and three-bedroom homes in the emerging neighbourhood of West Coquitlam. Developer Woodbridge Homes says the units are designed with spacious layouts, modern interiors and large windows allowing an abundance of natural light. The development will offer a residents’ gym, lounge, study rooms and outdoor rooftop space, and will be located a short walk from the Burquitlam SkyTrain station. www.liveatkira.com
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The townhomes at Victoria by Mosaic are just part of the burst of development activity being seen in the Burke Mountain area
The place to be Jamie Howard, president of Kira’s developer, says that Woodbridge Homes has turned its focus to the Tri-Cities region. In addition to pre-selling Kira, the company is starting construction on a new rental building project in Port Moody, is building 165 townhomes in the Burke Mountain area of Coquitlam, and also has land holdings in Moody Centre, right by the SkyTrain station. “When we look at the TriCities, we see it as a place we want to be developing on an ongoing basis. It’s very much a local buyer – we develop for Greater Vancouver residents. We think this is an area where there’s an opportunity to create something interesting.” Of the Kira development in Burquitlam, Howard says,
“The SkyTrain extension is an important consideration when we’re looking at where to develop, as it gives us a very nice option to be located right by the station. It can be a gamechanger for buyers.”
A new neighbourhood Howard also points to the Burke Mountain area as an exciting location. There the city is planning on creating not just new housing stock, but an entire new neighbourhood on city-owned land. “They’re going to be creating a whole new village centre, with retail amenities, schools and parks,” says Howard. Mosiac Homes is another developer that is putting money into the Tri-Cities.
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VICTORIA, BURKE MOUNTAIN Intended for the move-up, young-family buyer market, Victoria is a collection of three- and four-bedroom townhomes with generous floorplans and family-friendly layouts, developed by Mosaic Homes. The homes are packed with details such as floor-to-ceiling shelves with library ladders, bay window seats, and double-height stairwells. The Burke Mountain neighbourhood is seeing a burst of development and amenities are within easy reach, as is access to stunning nature. mosaichomes.com/property/victoria
Geoff Duyker, senior vicepresident of marketing at Mosaic, says that the company has built more than 1,000 homes in the region over its 20-year history. Duyker explains, “One of the reasons why is because it is an area where we can provide great value and offer buyers a lot of home for their money – but it’s still very accessible. It’s a bridge-less commute to Vancouver. That, coupled with the new transportation infrastructure, is what is attracting us now – and not just the SkyTrain.” Mosiac recently built a masterplanned community called Fremont Village in Port Coquitlam, which benefitted greatly from improved highway links.
More space, less money Burke Mountain is a hotspot for Mosiac, too, with the company recently launching sales of the Victoria townhome development. “There’s a lot of condo opportunities in Coquitlam Town Centre, close to the Evergreen Line, whereas the buyer at Victoria has maybe outgrown that first home. They might have a growing family, and want three or four bedrooms, and more living space, and access to nature.” (See our feature on Move-up Buyers on pages 25 for more on this.) Duyker says that being that little bit further out and not on the SkyTrain line makes it more affordable for buyers – plus, he adds, “there just aren’t
Panatch Group’s 50 Electronic Avenue condo development in Port Moody aims to bring affordability to local residents
townhomes available near the Evergreen line.” It’s certainly true that the more urban areas of the Tri-Cities are seeing an influx of new condos. Adera Development Corp. is building Duet, a boutique collection of 72 one-, two- and threebedroom urban flats, located in West Coquitlam. Like Kira, Duet is a short walk from the Burquitlam SkyTrain station, which means downtown Vancouver, Port Moody, and everything in between are just minutes from home. Eric Andreasen, vicepresident of sales and marketing at Adera, says, “This is an area that is at the start of the next big real estate boom – it’s becoming urbanized. This part of the Coquitlam-Burnaby corridor is seeing massive transformation.”
50 ELECTRONIC AVENUE, PORT MOODY This hip condo development by Panatch Group, of 358 units in two six-storey buildings, hit headlines for all the right reasons. The familyowned company gave the first opportunity to purchase to Port Moody residents and those who work in the city and offered some of the project’s commercial space as a community hub. The developer also gave 30 buyers chosen by lottery a much-sought-after rent-to-own program to help them get into home ownership. 50electronicave.com
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B U Y ER
F O C U S
With the price gap between starter homes and larger properties narrowed, is now a good time to be a “move-up” buyer?
avigating a highly expensive real estate market is always tricky – especially in such uncertain times as these. But the savviest among one group of home buyers are quietly taking advantage of market conditions, and recognizing g g the opportunity pp y that currently exists. These people are “move-up”
buyers – existing homeowners looking for a larger property. They are very often young couples starting a family or hoping to do so. The typical move-up buyers bought their first condo a few years ago, perhaps in their late 20s or early 30s, and are now looking for a bigger place – the “forever forever home.” home.
the market when it comes to upgrading. But the current softening of prices at the higher and mid sections of the market, coupled with a general robustness among prices for starter homes, has narrowed that cost gap. And this has created a window of opportunity for these young buyers.
This group has, until recently, been priced out of
Dan Kudzin and his wife Kristin, both 31, are just such
a couple. They had been living in a townhome in Edmonton that they purchased while in their 20s. Dan was offered a job in the Vancouver area, so they sold up to move to Tsawwassen, where Dan is originally from. For more than a year, they hunted the region for somewhere to put the equity they had built up in their Edmonton home – but, as Dan puts it, “Metro Vancouver
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Seaside by Mosiac Homes (this page and overleaf) is a brand-new Tsawwassen townhome community that offers space for growing families at more affordable prices
The main floor of the new homes at Mosaic’s Seaside have great areas for kids, such as this homework nook
real estate seemed like it was three times the price of Edmonton.” He says, “We were looking at million-dollar, detached fixer-uppers, which we would not have been able to afford to renovate, in Tsawwassen’s established neighbourhoods. We looked at countless homes, we put offers in on several, but sellers are still stuck on price points from a few years ago.” The couple also looked at various Tsawwassen new-home developments, but couldn’t find a fit. Then they came across the new Seaside townhome development by Mosaic Homes. After spending six hours with the sales team, including a site tour, they snapped up a four-bedroom townhome for just over $800,000. “It was much more affordable than the other options we were looking at, plus it was brand-new, we
could move right in. And it was scheduled for completion in August this year, so it fit our timeline.” Dan thinks he was able to get a better deal than he would have one year previously, because of the market conditions. “We were lucky that stars aligned in that way, it turned out to be the right time for us.”
Tapping in Developers are now taking the opportunity to tap into the move-up buyer cohort, and target buyers like the Kudzins in their marketing campaigns. “Now is a great time to be a move-up buyer,” asserts Rick Mann, director of development and construction at Isle of Mann Property Group. “A couple of years ago, the price gap between a condo and a townhome in this region was probably $200,000 to $300,000. Now, with continued price pressure on
Ebb & Flow is a townhouse project in North Vancouver that accommodates the ever-changing needs of its residents
condos but the townhome market softening, the price differential could be closer to $150,000. And with interest rates declining, it’s an even better time.” Mann says that 40 to 50 per cent of buyers of Isle of Mann’s new Luxia townhomes in Yorkson, Langley, are move-
up buyers. Usually they are selling a condo, he says, and many of them are Millennials in their early 30s. Mann adds that they are coming to Luxia because the units offer those buyers the space they need, with three- and four-bedroom townhomes in a fully serviced, walkable community.
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“Millennials are looking for quality and value above everything else” – Rick Mann, Isle of Mann Property Group
The livable townhomes at Luxia (above and below) are in the perfectly walkable neighbourhood of Yorkson, Langley
Skagen is another such development of three- and four-bedroom townhomes, located in Coquitlam. Ed Kolic, principal of developer Eighth Avenue Development Group, says the larger-than-usual townhomes for sale at Skagen are attracting the move-up buyer group, as they range from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet. “These are ‘forever homes,’” says Kolic. “Like the detached houses that we grew up in, where people stayed 20 or 30 years, these homes are large enough for that to happen. But they are priced below today’s cost of those single-family homes.” Kolic also shares an anecdote that his own daughter, a 30-year-old teacher, is a prime example of a move-up buyer. She and her new husband sold their individual condos, combining their equity of $600,000, and could afford a mortgage of $550,000. So they recently purchased a detached house in New Westminster for
$1.1 million, which left them $50,000 to fix up the older home.
Going with the flow Located in North Vancouver, the new Ebb and Flow townhome development – a partnership between Woodbridge Homes and Citimark Group – will be part of the burgeoning Lion’s Gate Village community. Jamie Howard, president of Woodbridge Homes, says move-up buyers are highly influential in this new development – even in its name. He explains, “Often, we see young people grow up in North Vancouver, they move away into downtown or further afield, and when they get a little older and want to start a family, they move back to the North Shore. So that’s part of the ‘ebbing and flowing’ of life that inspired the name, along with the tidal Capilano River that borders the community. These
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buyers get to the stage of life where it’s more important to have access to nature, and a community with great amenities, and a place that’s a bit bigger. That’s exactly who our buyer is.”
Bridging the cost gap Howard agrees that the opportunity is now ripe for
move-up buyers, with not only prices softening more at the higher and mid segments of the market than in the lower end, but also interest rates being currently so low. He adds, “Move-up buyers already have credit history, they have built up their equity, they probably have higher paying jobs than when they first bought a home, so they
Skagen in Coquitlam (above and below) comprises modern, sustainable homes that are cleverly designed to maximize community interaction
will likely qualify even under the stress test, and get a cheap mortgage. And the opportunity is there, because prices are off their peak.” How long this window of opportunity will remain open is hard to predict, with industry bodies forecasting a recovery over the next year or two. Howard says, “We can’t tell whether 2019 will turn out to be the low in terms of prices, or whether there’s more
opportunity in future. But a million people are expected to come to the region over the next 20 years, and there is not enough housing being built. If you’re trying to time the market to buy at the absolute lowest price, you’re taking a risk.” He concludes, “The best thing you can do is make your home-buying decision based on where you are in your life at the moment.”
WHAT MOVE-UP BUYERS WANT “Millennials are looking for quality and value above everything else,” says Rick Mann, developer of Luxia at Yorkson, Langley. Another key to attracting the move-up buyer group is “location, location, location,” says Mann. “They want a fully serviced walkable community within a few minutes’ walk of schools, shopping, cafes and amenities.” One of the home design trends is a desire for a side-by-side garage, so that there’s no need to plan who will leave the home first. Mann adds that buyers are also snapping up Luxia homes with a rooftop deck, which acts as a private outdoor oasis. Like Yorkson, North Vancouver’s under-construction Lion’s Gate Village, where Ebb and Flow will be located, is a no-need-to-drive community. There will be a new community centre and plaza, high-street stores, coffee shops and restaurants, plus easy access to trails and nature.
Rooftop decks, such as this one at Ebb & Flow in North Vancouver, are a proven draw for move-up buyers
Community is key at Skagen in Coquitlam, too. Ed Kolic has found that buyers with young families are attracted to the communal courtyard, which fosters a close-knit living environment. And, as Millennials are well known for their environmental conscience, the fact that the homes are built to Passive House standards is a big draw too.
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I N V ES T M EN T
I N S I G H T S
THREE INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
FOR A TOUGH MARKET Predatory condo investors today will feast on tomorrow’s returns
nvestor success in the current condominium environment demands a certain mindset: the confidence to see and seize opportunities that will often defy the data and the advice you receive.
average. Yet it is these premier neighbourhoods that will produce the highest rents today and the highest equity gains when condo sales recover, which they inevitably will.
Buy strategically: In
If most pundits are to be believed, investors today should be hoarding their money as they wait for the bottom to appear before they take action. But that not only ignores the unique foundational strength of the condominium market of southwestern B.C., it blinds investors to what is one of those historical openings that real estate markets rarely provide. The region will remain a magnet for immigrants and people from across Canada and the current slump in the condo market is both transitory and wide open to exploitation. The strategy today is to buy a condominium, perhaps a brand new apartment, using the cudgel of a buyer’s advantage to hammer the best deal possible, and then to not wait for the bottom but prepare for the next peak. Here is how some advice on how to do it:
Make an offer: In today’s buyer’s market it is sometimes possible to make a low offer that would not be considered in a more robust sales environment. Most condominium developers require 50 per cent presales to secure construction financing. Without this
magic number, the entire project is in jeopardy. But right now there are 37,784 new condo apartments under construction in Metro Vancouver, including more than 14,500 that started this year, all of which are hungry for buyers. As of July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. there are 645 brand new completed condo apartments across Metro Vancouver that remained unsold. At the same time new listings of resale condos in July totalled more than 3,300 units and active listings are even higher, but sales remain slow and prices are down approximately 9 per cent from a year ago and still falling month-over-month.
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What price would a developer or owner accept to sell and move on?
Aim higher: The real over supply of Metro Vancouver condos is in the higherprice inventory. In the first six months of this year, for instance, there were 736 new listings for Vancouver city condos priced at $1 million or more, but only 21 per cent of these sold, compared to a sales ratio of 65 per cent for condos listed at less than $1 million. It is the higher end where the prices have come off the most. Benchmark condo prices in exclusive Coal Harbour, Yaletown and Point Grey are down 15 per cent from a year ago, nearly twice as high as the Vancouver
Vancouver, purchase on the Eastside close to the SkyTrain extension to the University of British Columbia and to the False Creek Flats, which will soon house the new St.Paul’s Hospital and high-tech hubs but restricts the amount of housing that can be built. In the Fraser Valley, buy in South Surrey-White Rock, which is attracting many retirees from Greater Vancouver but where new high-rise condo construction is being discouraged and the rental vacancy rate is among the lowest in Metro Vancouver. Five years from now you will look like a genius. This year, condo investors must become predatory and hard-nosed in price negotiation as they take advantage of a near unprecedented buyer’s market. You have the edge. Make use of it before this window closes.
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Hot fall home trends Three of B.C.’s top interior designers, all featured at this year’s Vancouver Fall Home Show, share what’s hot and what’s not this fall
ppearing at this year’s Vancouver Fall Home Show is a host of interior design and home renovation experts – so we decided to get some trends and tips from the best of them, ahead of this year’s big event.
Here, three of B.C.’s top interior designers – Sarah Gallop of
Sarah Gallop Design, Jamie Banfield of Jamie Banfield Design, and Sabrina Smelko, Squamish designer and previous star of HGTV’s Save My Reno – answer our burning questions about fall home trends. Plus, overleaf, HGTV star Bryan Baeumler offers you his five must-do fall tasks to keep your home warm and safe.
A large, fuzzy area rug is perfect to cozy up even a light, bright space such as this gorgeous living room
Q: What are the latest fall home design trends that you’re seeing (“What’s hot”)? Jamie Banfield: We are seeing a more subtle tone entering the pallet this fall. Instead of vibrant jewel tones, or hearty shades, we are seeing light pastel colours such as pinks, blush, yellows or baby blues for stains and paints of flooring, cabinetry, furniture and other fun items. This trend is going to stick around as these fun pieces are more committal than a throw pillow. Also, the last few years has seen a large trend in natural stones, we are seeing terrazzo and concrete working its way in to flooring, tile and even countertop surfaces. Brands like Caesarstone are working with these trends while offering a nonporous product. Sarah Gallop: I’m definitely seeing lots of more feminine colours and patterns – blush, taupe, plum, gold, and florals. Also, texture, handmade accessories, and items with warmth and character. Mixed metals emerged last year and are still going strong. Sabrina Smelko: I’m here for “luxe wellness” – items such as incense burners that are more art than anything; designer crystals as decor; self-care products with packaging so pretty they steer the entire design of the master bathroom; pretty, ritualistic objects such as pastel sound bowls you arrange beside the sofa, and so on. Also, bouclé! It’s the new sheepskin and you already want it.
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Character elements such as exposed brick and conversation-starter furniture pieces really warm up a room
Using shiplap on walls or even ceilings is a sure-fire way to add coastal character to a space
Q: What is a home trend you’ve seen recently but is already outdated (“What’s not”)? Sabrina: I’m personally getting sick of subway tile. I’ll enjoy it again, I’m sure, but for now, I’m over it. Jamie: We love mixing metal and woods in our projects,
and recently we saw a large trend of reclaimed barnboard material flooding the market, but we have seen this trend pull back, become more reserved and not so heritage. Also, flooring is going from the large, wide-plank look to, again, something more reserved, a thinner panel. Instead of being six or eight inches wide, narrowing it down to a two- or three-inch-wide plank, paired with natural material in a matte look
nothing is too bare, a mirror can add some interest while reflecting light and making a space feel larger and brighter. I also love a gallery wall of differing shape and size mirrors – in a powder room, for example.
Sarah: Cold monochromatic spaces, and painted accent walls.
Q: What is your favourite, easy, go-to item that improves virtually any home interior? Sabrina: Mirrors – in terms of function and aesthetics. If you have dead space and artwork feels too busy, but having
Sarah: Fresh flowers always improve the beauty of a space, and they are such an easy thing to incorporate in to any style or size of space.
BRYAN BAEUMLER’S 5 MUST-DO FALL HOME TASKS Also appearing at the Vancouver Fall Home Show is Bryan Baeumler, star of HGTV’s Leave it to Bryan, House of Bryan and Home to Win, among others. Here he offers readers his five must-do fall tasks and renovations to get your teeth into this season. 1. Add or replace weatherstripping around doors and windows. 2. Add insulation and/or vapour seal your attic to keep the heat in this winter. 3. Make sure your soffit vents aren’t blocked, and that you have enough airflow through your attic to avoid ice damns in the winter. 4. Add or grade the soil around your foundation to slope it away from the house – this will prevent hydrostatic pressure against your foundation in the spring during the thaw. 5. Get your furnace inspected and serviced, and change your air filters.
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Jamie: A go-to accessory for all our spaces (we have three in our office) is the Vitruvi essential-oil diffuser in matte stone. A local Vancouver brand, it has hit the mark on design, colour and texture – white, black, blush, charcoal (has a green tone) – they work for all spaces from that girl’s bedroom, to a master bathroom, to a masculine office. Paired with the bundle of summer essential oils, this will keep a bit of summer’s energy around all fall.
Q: What is the single easiest/cheapest/ most effective way people can quickly cozy up their homes for fall? Jamie: Easiest to make any space feel cozy would be to install the correct size area rugs. We see so many living rooms where the area rug is way too small. Ideally if the rug is placed in a living room all seating should have its front legs on the rug, about three to nine inches of the overall piece sitting on the rug. Also, adding paneling, molding, or shiplap to a feature wall, all walls or the fifth wall (the ceiling) in a living room, dining room, bedroom, den or office and even a kitchen! This detail will add a touch of luxury and a cozy curated feel. Don’t be
Feminine, semi-neutral colours like this blush tone are on trend for cabinetry and paint this season
scared to paint the ceiling, walls, baseboard and all the moldings the same colour. Sarah: I love throws – on couches, on beds, on chairs – everywhere! They can add texture or colour, which can give a visual coziness, but are also functional for snuggling up on a cold night.
room pillows with ones that have richer, earthier colours and textures. Consider getting a runner or rug for any wood/
tile floor areas, and keep all the things that make you feel cozy within reach (slippers, candles and sweaters).
Vancouver Fall Home Show 2019 The Vancouver Fall Home Show runs from October 24-27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre – West Building. Bryan Baeumler, Sarah Gallop, Jamie Banfield and Sabrina Smelko will all appear as speakers at the event. More information, schedule and tickets at vancouverfallhomeshow.com
Sabrina: In addition to throws, replace your everyday living
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WHAT YOU CAN BUY IN B.C. FOR $500K, $1M, $2M Gorgeous home listings for three different budgets across our beautiful province
hether you’re looking for a starter home, moving up into a more generous property or looking for something luxurious, listings website REW has every home type for every budget. Here, our colleagues share what’s available at three
different price points, as of the end of August 2019. Some of these listings may already be sold as you read this, but we hope to give you an idea of what’s achievable for your money. (Hint: it also really depends on where in B.C. you’re buying!
3W2-8191 River Road, Richmond $550,000 2 beds, 2 baths
1,782 square feet Built in 1984
Listing agent: Judy Ross
This beautifully remodeled float home is low maintenance and easy to love. Built with long-term value in mind, the gorgeous open plan on the main floor features spacious living, dining, and kitchen spaces. There’s also separate storage, a back door mudroom and exit, built-in computer work station, wood stove, all wood kitchen counters, and laundry. Plus, did we mention the rare three-piece bathroom complete with jetted oval soaking tub and fireplace in the master bedroom?
867 West Bay Road, Gambier Island $499,000 4 beds, 3 baths
2,760 square feet Built in 1993
Listing agent: Allen Stevenson
Picturesque island life doesn’t need to cost a fortune. This fantastic open-plan house is situated on a beautiful acre of land and offers everything that a person looking to escape city life could want. Namely privacy, quiet, gardens, a greenhouse, clean air and nights lit up by nothing but the stars. The home is a perfect size for either a family or a couple looking for extra space (or running a bed and breakfast).
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$ 1 MILLION
2323 Brunswick St, Vancouver $1,149,000 2 beds, 3 baths
1,107 square feet Built in 2015
Listing agent: Paul Marchetto
This boutique townhome is a rare opportunity to live in the trendy Main Street/Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of Vancouver. This two-bedroom, three-bathroom home features an open-concept layout with nine-foot ceilings, stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. The huge 400-square-foot rooftop deck has 360-degree views of the park, city and mountains, with outdoor electrical, water, and gas connections for entertaining. Close to all the Main street amenities, this unit is perfect for anyone who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to give up the city lifestyle to have a luxury home experience.
1401-138 W 1st Ave, Vancouver $1,299,000 2 beds, 2 baths
1,116 square feet Built in 2013
Listing agent: Morgan Duvernet PREC*
This stunning sub-penthouse comes with an incredibly rare city feature: more than 600 square feet of private outdoor space. Located at the prestigious Wall Centre False Creek, it boasts a fantastic floor plan that includes an open concept kitchen with entertaining island/breakfast bar, spacious dining area and impressive living room surrounded by windows. The master bedroom features a spa-like ensuite bathroom with double sinks, soaker tub and stand up shower, plus bonus access to the patio. The second bedroom is a good size and ideal for children, guests or a home office.
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$ 2 MILLION
1979 Charles Street, Vancouver $2,199,000 4 beds, 4 baths
2,066 square feet Built in 2019
Listing agent: Ruth Chang PREC*
This modern masterpiece is one of the best homes on Vancouverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always trendy Commercial Drive, and perfectly combines practical design with elegant finishings. The airy, open main level is complemented by custom millwork, sleek fireplace and high ceilings. The large dining area opens to a stunning kitchen boasting satinfinish cabinets, high-end integrated appliances, stone counters and a massive waterfall island.
5810 Marine Drive, Sechelt $2,199,000 5 beds, 5 baths
4,800 square feet Built in 1990
Listing agent: Rachel Dempster PREC*
This stunning waterfront home and business overlooks beautiful Porpoise Bay. The 18,000-square-foot lot features an impressive 4,800-square-foot home including three separate licensed bed and breakfast accommodations. Each suite is private and equipped with hot tubs overlooking the ocean and cozy fireplaces, but as owner, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll enjoy the privacy of the entire top floor of this magnificent home and wake up to the ocean from the numerous wrap around decks. This resort also features a man-made beach, sauna and a recreation spot right on the dock. A dream opportunity for anyone looking to leave city-life behind to run a successful BnB.
All listings found via REW, a British Columbia-based home search site with access to thousands of real estate listings across the province. Set custom property alerts, connect with experienced agents and find your next home at REW.ca.
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rew.ca your next favourite real estate site :PNU \W MVY WYVWLY[` HSLY[Z Ã&#x201E; UK [VW YH[LK HNLU[Z HUK SLHYU ^OH[ `V\Y OVTL PZ ^VY[O (SS PU VUL WSHJL
Real estate. Real simple.
M O R TGAG E
M O M E N T
IS NOW A GOOD TIME
TO GET A MORTGAGE? With mortgage interest rates dropping along with home prices, expert Peter Kinch explains how to navigate these tricky waters friend called me the other day and asked an interesting question: “My wife heard on the news this morning that mortgage rates are dropping and we could be heading for a recession. Does that mean it’s a good time to buy a house?”
means that the long-term fixed rates are actually lower than the short-term variable rates (which is extremely rare) and you have a unique situation whereby you can now lock into a five- or even 10 year mortgage at an extremely low rate – typically below three per cent.
I suspect the question is quite common, but the answer is not a quick and easy one.
Fixed rates are priced off bond yields and the bond yields have dropped a full percentage point since October 2018 and as such, our long-term fixed rates, such as the five-year mortgage, have dropped accordingly. The Bank of Canada is holding steady on its overnight rate, and there’s no reason to think that interest rates are going up any day soon.
These are certainly interesting times and it can be quite confusing. Every day we hear phrases in the news such as inverted yield curves, pending recession, slowing housing starts, global uncertainty and lower interest rates… It’s little wonder the average consumer isn’t sure what to think. But the real question is, what does it meant to you? If you live in Vancouver and you’re thinking about buying a house and getting a mortgage, here are some things you need to know. First off – be careful listening to blanket statements that talk about the “Vancouver” market. There no such thing as a ‘Vancouver’ real estate market. Where are you buying and what type of property are you buying? The current downturn in our market will have a much more significant impact on the multimillion-dollar West Van house than it will on the more moderately priced condo in New West. In fact, while we may be witnessing
a significant drop in price on higher-end homes, a wellpriced condo or townhouse may still go into multiple offers and sell above list. On the flip-side, if you have to sell something in order to buy, you have to have the same conversation around what you are selling. If my friend is selling a well-priced condo or townhouse, they may still be able to get what they ask and the market should be strong. If they are looking to move up in the market and pay over $1 million for a house, they are now in the driver’s seat and should be able to negotiate a good price. I’d argue that today’s economic uncertainty could bode well for someone moving up in the market. [For more on “Moveup buyers” see our feature on pages 25.]
Interest rates dropping Regardless of whether you’re
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struggling to sell a multimillion dollar home or if you’re buying a well-priced townhouse, a key component to affordability is always interest rates. It’s no secret that Ottawa has made it much more difficult to get a mortgage these days due to the B-20 stress test, but an interesting by-product of the government’s decision to make getting a mortgage more difficult is the fact that banks are struggling to get more business.
So maybe now to buy your first home or move up into a bigger one – and lock into a great five-year mortgage near historically low rates. As with anything, the market may be showing signs of a pending recession, but there are two sides to every story and every cloud has a silver lining.
This means that if you have a mortgage coming up for renewal, you may be pleasantly surprised at how aggressive they get just to keep your business. Given the fact that new mortgage business has slowed for the banks, retaining exiting clients has become a top priority – Translation = Aggressive Rates. Combine this with the fact that we now have an inverted yield curve, which simply
A Master y of Design. Toppen Ridge is a design-driven collection of 24 townhomes coming this Fall to North Vancouver.
Homes starting from the low $900â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
A Collective Dedication to Craft. Designed by Formwerks Architectural, and developed in-house by Formwerks Boutique Properties, these two- and three-bedroom homes are influenced by Scandinavian style and functionality, marked by the same attention to detail as a Formwerks custom home. Boutique is our forte, and has been for 30 years.
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T O P P E N R I D G E . C O M
This is not an offering for sale. Any offering for sale may only be made after filing a Disclosure Statement under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act. The developer reserves the right to make modifications to building design, pricing, specifications, finishes, features and floor plans, before or after a Disclosure Statement is filed. E.&O.E.
Over 26 years of award winning service; join our clientele who have had tremendous success working with us.
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CONTACT JILL & ANDREW HASMAN TODAY 604-657-7936 andrewhasman.com firstname.lastname@example.org
JILL HASMAN 110 - 3540 West 41st Ave., Vancouver, BC V6N 3E6 â&#x20AC;¢ Office Phone: 604.263.2823 Each office independently owned and operated. This communication is not intended to cause or induce a breach of contract