The FHSA - The First Home Savings Account is an incentivised savings strategy for first time home buyers.

You must be a minimum of 18 years old (19 in some provinces to enter into a legally binding contract) up to the age of 71 years 

For the purpose of opening an FHSA, you are considered to be a first-time home buyer if you did not, at any time in the current calendar year before the account is opened or at any time in the preceding four calendar years, live in a qualifying home  (or what would be a qualifying home if located in Canada) as your principal place of residence that either:

How much can you contribute or transfer from an RRSP?
The year you open your first FHSA, you can contribute $8000. The lifetime limit is $40,000.
Read on for more details...


Arev You A First Time Home Buyer?

First of all, do you qualify as a first time home buyer?

To qualify for a full exemption, at the time the property is registered you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have either:
    • Lived in B.C. for at least a year immediately before the date you register the property
    • Filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 taxation years immediately before the registration date
  • Have never owned a registered interest in a property that was your principal residence anywhere in the world at any time
  • Have never received a first time home buyers' exemption or refund

and the property must:

You may qualify for a partial exemption from the tax if the property:

There are other incentive and supportive government programs that assist #firsttimehomebuyers in Canada. I will chat about those in future blogs!

For more details on this particular exemption, go to the link below:


Renting vs. Owning in Today’s Canadian Real Estate Market

Owning real estate is a dream come true for many and in our opinion, always the best option when possible, but in today’s market it comes with a high cost of high interest rates and a shifting economy. The answer to the complex buy-or-rent question is not black and white, considering the many variables at play. Perhaps, a better question to ask would be “Should you buy or rent RIGHT NOW?” To paint a better picture and make an informed decision, let’s break this down into a series of questions you should ask yourself before deciding.



October 2023 Metro Vancouver Housing Statistics

October is a month of transitions, from the changing colors of nature to the somewhat expected seasonal shifts in the Canadian real estate market. In this month’s real estate report, October has shown an increase in newly listed properties, offering more choice to home buyers across Metro Vancouver*. However, sales remained modest compared to the long-term averages.



A Rant About Permits

I applied to the City of West Vancouver for a Bulding Permit to renovate a condo top to bottom (but not to the studs). 

My application was rejected for 2 reasons. The second one drove me crazy! 

In the 1970's, when developers built condo towers in Ambleside, they enclosed many of the second balconies, usually off the living room - great for extra interior space. However, I am not sure if it was done after the occupancy permits were given.

Anyway, when you apply for a building permit, the Planning Department is notified and you have to apply for a Development Permit Exemption at a cost of $575. I am not developing this part of the condo - leaving it as is. So with the application, I had to submit floor plans, elevation drawings, photos of the balcony interior and photos of the balcony exterior, and photos of the exterior of other enclosed balconies, AND describe the scope of the work I was NOT doing!

According to an employee of the Planning Permit department, 4 different people have to review my application TO DO NOTHING which may take 1-3 months. Once approved, I then submit my Building Permit application. If it is not rejected again, that will take 4-6 months to approve.

So, 9 possible months to get permission to renovate a 950 sq. ft. condo where no walls are being removed, just new stuff everywhere.

My first taste of government bureaucracy has completely lined up with the experiences of my friends and colleagues. But you should always get the permits (Buyers will always want them). Just be prepared to be patient.........


Your last Move?

Seniors Downsizing from a House to a Condo for the First Time

For seniors, the decision to downsize is often rooted in a desire for a more manageable and maintenance-free lifestyle. The empty nest syndrome may have set in, and the idea of maintaining a large property becomes less appealing. Downsizing to a condo offers the promise of liberation from the demands of extensive upkeep while retaining a sense of independence.

 The transition from a house to a condo marks a shift towards a simpler, more streamlined existence. Seniors find solace in the idea of a space that caters to their current needs, eliminating the excess that comes with a larger home. Condo living often means less space to navigate, making daily activities more convenient and manageable.

 One of the unexpected joys of downsizing to a condo is the opportunity to become part of a close-knit community. Many condominium complexes offer communal spaces, social activities, and shared amenities, fostering a sense of camaraderie among residents. For seniors, this social aspect can play a crucial role in maintaining an active and engaged lifestyle.

 Downsizing is not just a physical move; it's an emotional journey laden with memories and attachments. Seniors may grapple with the prospect of parting with a home that holds decades of history. It's essential to approach the process with sensitivity, allowing time for reflection and acknowledging the emotions that may arise.

 The key to a successful downsizing experience lies in finding the right condominium that aligns with the unique needs and preferences of the individual or couple. Factors such as location, amenities, and community atmosphere should be carefully considered. Condos near medical facilities, cultural amenities, and public transportation often become appealing choices for seniors.

 Downsizing necessitates a thoughtful approach to personal belongings. Seniors often find joy in the process of "rightsizing," carefully selecting items that hold sentimental value and letting go of unnecessary possessions. This not only simplifies the move but also ensures that the new condo becomes a curated space filled with cherished memories.

 The financial aspect of downsizing is another crucial consideration. While moving to a smaller space may result in cost savings, it's essential to weigh the upfront costs of the move against the long-term financial benefits. Consulting with financial advisors can provide valuable insights into the economic aspects of downsizing.

Surround yourself with supportive people from your realtor, financial advisor and family, to make this transition as smooth as possible.


Do You want to Buyer a "Fixer Upper"?

I did! Surprised

And I chose to be my own Contractor - for the first time. And suffice it to say, it has been a challenge and I haven't even started the renovation.

My renovation is in a condo, so I am bound by the building By-Laws which require me to get a Building Permit. So I have joined the throngs of home owners, contractors, and developers lined up at city hall, waiting weeks and most often months for the prized permit.

One of the reasons for the long wait periods is that permit applications are often rejected - for missing information or drawings or requests to do unpermitted work, like remove a load bearing wall!

If you choose to be your own contractor, there is some good savings - contractors can charge 10-20% of the cost of the renovation ($20,000 to $40,000 for a $200,000 renovation) which is a lot. However, most contractors come with their rolodex of experienced trades people, who are difficult to find on your own.Fortunately, I have wonderful friends in the business and they were very generous in sharing their list of trusted trades.

Another plus on this arduous journey is that I am learning so much that is valuable to my job as a realtor and that is always a good thing.

Once I get my Building Permit, I will feel like I have won the lottery! 


Gretaer Vancouver Housing Update – September 2023

Autumn, a time where colours start to change, temperatures begin to drop, and leaves start to fall. It’s also a time for our local Metro Vancouver* housing market to take own its own seasonal shifts, ones which the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) have already begun to witness, with earlier price gains abating, sales slowing and inventory increasing modestly across the region.



How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your Home

You know every inch of your home and have loved it dearly since day one. Whether it was the very first house you purchased, the home you grew up in or the home you watched your own family grow up in, when it comes time to listing your home, it’s also time to make it stand out from the rest.

Here are a few simple tips to catch buyer interest quickly and showcase why your home’s new owner is going to love it just as much as you have.



Metro Vancouver August 2023 Market Results

If you’re feeling like summer went ahead and flew by, you wouldn’t be the only one. As the season winds to a close, the Metro Vancouver residential market* follows along its typical seasonal pattern where we begin to see sales starting to slow.

Residential Home Sales

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported that residential home sales^ in the region totalled 2,296 last month, up 21.4% from the 1,892 sales recorded in the same month last year. Still, this figure sits 13.8% below the 10-year seasonal average of 2,663.

Andrew Lis, Director of Economics and Data Analytics at the REBGV commented on last month’s housing trends by saying, “It’s been an interesting spring and summer market, to say the least. Borrowing costs are fluctuating around the highest levels we’ve seen in over ten years, yet Metro Vancouver’s housing market bucked many pundits’ predictions of a major slowdown, instead posting relatively strong sales numbers and year-to-date price gains north of eight per cent, regardless of home type.”



Why You need a Lawyer...

Whether you are BUYING or SELLING, you will need a lawyer to register the transfer of property with the provincial land registry office.

In addition, you need them for the following tasks:

*They will review the Contract of Purchase and Sale to make sure it protects you

*They will review the Title to make sure there are no claims against the property such as a Builder's lien for unpaid bills or pending litigation by someone who claims rights to the property

*They ensure the property taxes are up to date and the Property Transfer Tax is paid

*They draw up the mortgage documents

*They exchange legal documents with the other party to the sale 

For a similar price, you can hire a Notary to carry out the same duties. The difference is that the notary cannot represent you in court if needed.

**Once you have an accepted offer, we ask for the name and contact information of your chosen lawyer or notary. We then send all required documents to them on your behalf, and they in turn contact you to book an appopintment prior to Completion. This appointment is for you to sign documents pertaining to the transfer of title, mortgage documents and the statement of adjustments (money in, money out).

Let me know if you have any questions about this part of the real estate experience!


Image by By Elliott & Fry -, No restrictions,


OPEN HOUSE: Sunday August 27th 2-4 PM

#403 111 East 3rd Street

Lower Lonsdale

North Vancouver

Asking: $750,000

Just in time to take advantage of your Lower Rate Hold, we bring you this corner gem @ The Versatile! 675 sf 1 Bed + Den w/window for that perfect home office, yoga/Peloton space, dressing room or an ultimate golf clubs "drop zone". Over-height ceilings, wider than usual kitchen-dining-living area - this unit is truly meant for entertaining & comfort. Ensuite bath, dual closets & finally room for a king size bed! Built by Intracorp, well known developer for quality & lasting design. Thoughtful use of higher-end appliances - Fisher Paykel, Blomberg, Fulgor, Quartz counters & in-floor heating. We all know how important location is & it doesn’t get any better than Lower Lonsdale. Aesthetically beautiful building in car-less lifestyle location, 1 parking+storage.

Come and view this great property!

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