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.

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