What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance protects the lender and homeowner against a number of risks related to the property’s title or ownership.

 What started years ago as a replacement for a survey certificate has now become standard on real estate purchase or refinance transactions. If you are buying or refinancing your home, expect title insurance to be a requirement of your lender.

 What does Title Insurance cover?

From the point of view of most lenders, the main coverage is fraud, which can occur in a variety of ways.

With identity theft on the rise, it is not difficult for a fraudster to obtain legitimate identification claiming to be the true owner. The fraudster then deals with realtors and lawyers as if they were the owner, and proceeds to sell the property. Alternatively, the fraudster may work with a lender or mortgage broker, again with identification, to place a new mortgage on the property. In either situation, the true owner is unaware of the fraud and the fraudster absconds with the sale or mortgage funds.

Other typical examples include spousal impersonation and lawyer fraud.

In most cases the Assurance Fund of the Land Title Office may reimburse the true owner, but this may take several months and thousands of dollars in legal fees. Title Insurance is usually quicker and less expensive.

In addition to protecting against title fraud, title Insurance can cover:

  • violations of municipal by-laws;
  • encroachments onto an adjoining property;
  • property tax arrears;
  • existing work orders;
  • lack of legal access to the property;
  • unpaid strata assessments;
  • zoning and setback non compliance;
  • forced removal by a governmental authority of a structure built without a required building permit;
  • legal status of any septic system;
  • gap coverage.
If your lawyer does not mention TITLE INSURANCE, take note and request it that it is included in your costs.


OPEN HOUSE: Saturday January 27th 2-4 PM

1795 Victoria Drive

East Vancouver


3 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms

1397 sq. ft.

1 covered parking

Built in 2005

3 reasons to come and view this home:

*No maintenance fees

*air conditioning

*extensively renovated

Oh and no GST!

Come and see.


Tips for Winterizing Your Home
As substantial snowfall and freezing rain approach British Columbia, it becomes essential to prepare homes adequately for the winter season. Ready your home for extended periods of freezing temperatures to avoid increased energy costs and potential damage from cold weather and snow.

Begin with the fundamentals. Keep a snow shovel for your driveway and walkways to promptly clear snow after a snowfall, ensuring that outdoor spaces stay functional and safe without unnecessary delays. Severe winter conditions, including ice, wind, and snow, can lead to power outages. Be prepared to endure days without power. According to Emergency Preparedness B.C., have emergency supplies ready for at least two to seven days, charge all devices, and keep flashlights with extra batteries on hand.

The best ways to prepare your home for the winter:

  • Weatherproof Your Home
  • Inspect Your Heating System
  • Protect Your Garden and Exterior
  • Check for Energy Efficiency 

Weatherproof Your Home

Maintaining proper home insulation during winter is crucial, impacting both comfort and energy efficiency. Reduced energy consumption benefits not only your finances but also the environment.

Seal gaps around doors and windows with weatherstripping, reducing the workload on heating and cooling systems, leading to energy savings and lower utility bills.

Install window treatments to trap heat inside, reducing the need for excessive heating and, consequently, lowering energy consumption and heating costs.

Before winter sets in, inspect your roof for damage. Colder months often bring snow and rain, and a damaged roof can allow water to penetrate your home. Checking for leaks or vulnerabilities ensures your roof is watertight, preventing water damage to your home's interior.

Inspect Your Heating System

Schedule a furnace inspection to ensure safe operation. Technicians can identify and address issues such as gas leaks, carbon monoxide leaks, or other potential safety hazards.

Efficiently program your thermostat to conserve energy, save costs, and enhance comfort. Adjust the temperature based on your daily schedule, avoiding unnecessary heating or cooling during periods of absence or sleep, resulting in reduced energy consumption.

As you'll likely use your fireplace more in winter for additional warmth, cleaning and inspecting the chimney ensures efficient operation, maximizing heat output and minimizing energy waste.

Protect Your Garden and Exterior

Clean gutters and trim trees to reduce the risk of ice dams and falling branches that could damage your home, vehicles, or property. Ice dams can form when snow accumulates on the roof, heat escapes from the interior, and the exterior temperature freezes.

Disconnect and drain outdoor faucets to prevent freezing and subsequent damage to the plumbing system. Water left in outdoor faucets during cold temperatures can freeze, causing pipes to expand and potentially burst.

Check for Energy Efficiency

Consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows and doors for benefits such as energy savings, improved temperature regulation, better insulation against noise, and reduced UV rays entering your home.

Properly seal ducts, a crucial component of a home's HVAC system, to retain heat, optimize heating system efficiency, and maintain better indoor air quality by preventing the infiltration of pollutants.

Lastly, schedule a home energy audit to gain insights into energy usage, identify inefficiencies, and make informed decisions to improve consumption. Professional auditors use specialized equipment to detect energy waste, such as drafts, air leaks, and insufficient insulation. Addressing these issues improves overall home efficiency.

For those considering selling, repairs, renovations, or upgrades enhance property functionality, market appeal, and potential resale value I am ready to guide you through your individual home-selling journey.

Lets connect!

*original article from Stilhavn Real Estate Services 


Investigate the Neighbourhood First!

Before you buy a house or condo, it is a great idea to investigate the neighbourhood, not just for what is currently in the area but what might be there in the FUTURE.

When you drive around Vancouver, especially on the arterial roads, you can see For Sale Signs on several houses in a row that say Land Assembly. That is an indication of a change in zoning from single family homes to mulit-family homes, which could be anything from low rise townhouses like you see on Oak Street to potential 12 plus storey towers on Broadway.

For example, if you are looking at homes on East 8th or East 10th (Broadway is 9th Avenue) make sure you investigate what the zoning is and what it could potentially be built along that stretch of Broadway. Call the City of Vancouver for details, and ask your realtor as well to see how your view might change or the density/traffic change in a way that affects your enjoyment and possible future value of the home.


Sellers: What To Leave Behind for the Buyers

I have moved a lot. And on move in day (Possession Day) excited about our new home, many times we discovered that the Sellers had left behind personal items, some of it essentially garbage. 

There are always bumps in the day, but as Sellers, don't contribute to this already hectic day by leaving behind unwanted items such as:old broken step ladders, 10 year old paint cans, old vinyl flooring, rusty push mowers. You get it.

If you think the Buyers may want something of value (I repeat value!) that you don't need in your next home, reach out to the Buyers through your realtor and see if you can leave it behind. Don't assume. Buyers - make sure your purchase contract states that the Seller will remove all personal items and debris from the condo, balcony, storage locker, end of the parking stall. For a house, from the garden shed, the yard, the garage, the house!

This situation reminds me of the old adage I learned growing up: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Sellers: the day you move out may be the day you move in to your new home, hoping to find it spick and span. N.B. Spick and Span was an all-purpose household cleaner introduced in 1933. I am not that old but we always used that expression!

If your new home is clean and clear of debris, you will be very appreciative of the the Buyers and will be left with a more positive moving experience.


Reviewing 2023: A Market of Tenacity Dominated by Interest Rates

In 2023, Vancouver's real estate market defied predictions by finishing the year with positive price growth, despite facing the highest borrowing costs in over a decade. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the composite benchmark home price index for all residential properties in the city concluded the year at $1,168,700. This reflected a 1.4% decrease from November but a significant 5% increase from December 2022. However, this price resilience occurred alongside a notable decrease in sales.

Start of 2023

The early part of 2023 witnessed two rate holds by the Bank of Canada, creating false impressions that the rate-hike cycle was concluded. This led to a temporary surge in home prices during the spring, accompanied by heightened inflationary pressure. Subsequently, the central bank implemented two additional quarter-point rate hikes during the summer.

Despite this, both markets and economists appeared optimistic that 2023 marked the peak of interest rates, with expectations of rate relief and potential cuts by mid-2024.

Inflation Stats

Simultaneously, there was a parallel trend of declining inflation. Starting the year with Canada's headline Consumer Price Index inflation at 5.90%, it slowed to 3.10% by November.

Residential Property Prices

The average non-seasonally adjusted house price reached a peak of $729,044 in May but receded to $646,134 by November. While still exhibiting a 5.5% increase from January, this figure represented a decline of more than 20% from the all-time high recorded in February 2022.

Real estate trends are largely influenced by prevailing economic conditions, and in 2023, the Canadian real estate market experienced fluctuations due to the three interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada.

Home Prices Forecast

Looking ahead to 2024, most experts and analysts anticipate a gradual recovery in the Canadian housing market as interest rates stabilize.

At Stilhavn

We recognize the uniqueness of each local market and possess the expertise to identify opportunities and challenges within them. I am here to provide expert guidance and address any questions or concerns you may have, ensuring an elevated experience in your next buying or selling journey. Lets connect!

*Original article from Stilhavn Real Estate Services.


Greater Vancouver Housing Update – December 2023
2023 was marked by economic twists and turns, driven by interest rate ups and downs ending in balanced territory. Metro Vancouver’s* housing market closed out 2023 with balanced market conditions, but the year-end totals mask a story of surprising resilience in the face of the highest borrowing costs seen in over a decade.


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