Why Should you Pay Attention to Lighting When You Stage Your Home?

When people get their homes ready to sell, they generally do some decluttering, deep cleaning and some minor renos/repairs.

However, I would like to add something that often gets missed and if done right, can help create beautiful photos and a wonderful atmosphere in your home for Buyers to see.

And that is lighting. Below is a list of types of lighting and you need a variety of these types to literally show your home in its best light!

What I would also add, which is equally important, is the type of light bulb you use -make it warm, soft daylight light, not operating room blinding white light.

Various types of lighting in a home serve different purposes and contribute to creating a well-balanced and functional environment. Here are some common types of lighting and their purposes:

  1. Ambient Lighting:

    • Purpose: Also known as general lighting, ambient lighting provides overall illumination to a room. It ensures that there are no dark corners and sets the overall mood for the space.
    • Examples: Ceiling-mounted fixtures, chandeliers, track lights, and wall-mounted fixtures.
  2. Task Lighting:

    • Purpose: Task lighting is focused on specific areas where activities such as reading, cooking, or working take place. It helps to reduce eye strain and enhances visibility for detailed tasks.
    • Examples: Desk lamps, under-cabinet lights in the kitchen, and reading lights.
  3. Accent Lighting:

    • Purpose: Accent lighting is used to highlight specific features or objects in a room, such as artwork, architectural details, or decorative elements. It adds drama and visual interest.
    • Examples: Spotlights, track lighting with adjustable fixtures, and wall-mounted picture lights.
  4. Decorative Lighting:

    • Purpose: Decorative lighting serves both functional and aesthetic purposes, enhancing the overall design and style of a space. It can be a focal point in itself.
    • Examples: Chandeliers, pendant lights, decorative lamps, and unique light fixtures.
  5. Natural Lighting:

    • Purpose: Natural lighting utilizes sunlight to illuminate a space. It provides a connection to the outdoors, enhances mood, and can save energy during daylight hours.
    • Examples: Windows, skylights, and glass doors.
  6. Mood Lighting:

    • Purpose: Mood lighting creates a specific ambiance or atmosphere in a room. It's often used to evoke a particular feeling or to enhance the overall experience in a space.
    • Examples: Dimmer switches, LED strips, and colored lights.
  7. Cove Lighting:

    • Purpose: Cove lighting involves hidden light sources to provide a soft, indirect glow. It adds depth and dimension to a room.
    • Examples: LED strips installed in ceiling coves or recessed areas.

Using a combination of these lighting types allows for flexibility in adjusting the lighting levels based on different activities, moods, and times of day. A well-designed lighting plan considers the function of each space and incorporates a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting for a comfortable and visually appealing home environment.

If you are unsure how to make all this work, I can help. One of my areas of expertise in my job is helping Sellers present their homes, yes, in their best light!



Greater Vancouver Market Update – January 2024

Metro Vancouver’s housing market was off to a strong start in the first month of 2024. The conditions began shifting back in favour of Sellers as the pace of new properties being listed did not keep up with the volume of home sales.

 Residential Home Sales

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential sales^ in the region totalled 1,427 in January 2024, a 38.5 per cent increase from the 1,030 sales recorded in January 2023. This was 20.2 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (1,788).

“It’s hard to believe that January sales figures came in so strong after such a quiet December, which saw many buyers and sellers delaying major decisions. If sellers don’t step off the sidelines soon, the competition among buyers could tilt the market back into sellers’ territory as the available inventory struggles to keep pace with demand.” – said Andrew Lis, Director of Economics and Data Analytics at the REBGV.


There were 3,788 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in January 2024. This represents a 14.5 per cent increase compared to the 3,308 properties listed in January 2023. This was 9.1 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (4,166).

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,633, a 9.8 per cent increase compared to January 2023 (7,862). This is 0.3 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (8,657).

Home Price Data Analysis

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,161,300. This represents a 4.2 per cent increase over January 2023 and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to December 2023.

Metro Vancouver Home Sales by Property Type

Across all detached, attached and apartment property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2024 is 17.2 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 11.9 per cent for detached homes, 22.9 per cent for attached, and 19.9 per cent for apartments.



Sales of detached homes in January 2024 reached 379, a 28 per cent increase from the 296 detached sales recorded in January 2023. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,942,400. This represents a 7.3 per cent increase from January 2023 and a 1.1 per cent decrease compared to December 2023.


Sales of apartment homes reached 746 in January 2024, a 30.6 per cent increase compared to the 571 sales in January 2023. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $751,900. This represents a 4.4 per cent increase from January 2023 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to December 2023.

Attached Homes

Attached home sales in January 2024 totalled 285, a 82.7 per cent increase compared to the 156 sales in January 2023. The benchmark price of a townhouse3 is $1,066,700. This represents a 4.3 per cent increase from January 2023 and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to December 2023.

The Stilhavn Report

The Stilhavn Report

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home or investment property in the coming months, or just curious about what’s happing in your neighbourhood, The Stilhavn Report has you covered. Providing in-depth market information and monthly summaries of what’s happening in the areas we service, this monthly report is the perfect starting point for first time buyers and market savvy investors alike.

All stats are courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
*Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler. 
^REBGV is now including multifamily and land sales and listings in this monthly report. Previously, we only included detached, attached, and apartment sales, and these additional categories, which typically account for roughly one to two per cent of total MLS® activity per month, are being included for completeness in our reporting. 

Article courtsey of Stilhavn Real Estate





Interested in Investing in Real Estate?

Buying Investment Property in BC

Why British Columbia? 

They say the West Coast is the Best Coast and British Columbia is undoubtedly one of the reasons why. BC isn’t just a province; it’s a promise of distinctly West Coast lifestyle. It’s where the Pacific Ocean meets rugged mountain ranges, where one can frolic on nature’s playground or just take in the scenery. For those looking to invest in real estate, BC offers more than just properties; it offers experiences.

The real estate market here is a unique blend of urban sophistication and natural landscapes. In a city like Vancouver with its vibrant vibe, opportunities to venture into real estate investing are as diverse as the city’s cultural mosaic. In these urban havens, every listing isn’t just a transaction but an invitation to Find Your Havn in a place where majestic mountains, abundant parks, and ocean breezes merge with diverse culture.

Meanwhile, the serenity of regions like the Okanagan and scenic spots like Whistler and Squamish, often referred to as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada”, provide a different kind of appeal. These places cater to nature enthusiasts who also yearn for sanctuary away from the city’s hustle and bustle, where a ‘home’ means waking up to vineyards, lakes, or mountain trails.

In short, investing in BC is not just about finding a property. It’s about discovering a place where your heart feels at home, where the saying “Welcome home” takes on a deeper meaning. It’s a curated collection of lifestyles, each uniquely appealing and promising unparalleled experiences.

Understanding the Market: Residential Investments 

Diving into the British Columbia residential property market is akin to exploring an abundance of opportunities. From the vibrant streets of Metro Vancouver to the tranquil ambiance of the Okanagan, the province presents a rich palette of investment options.

In Metro Vancouver, the real estate market has its own rhythm. Any Vancouver Realtor would agree, the market here is dynamic, with neighborhoods varying from the hip and happening to the serene and scenic. This region, constantly buzzing with “new listing” and “just hit the market” offers something for every investor. Whether it’s a high-rise apartment overlooking the cityscape, or a cozy townhouse tucked away in a leafy suburb, the Vancouver property market is a cornucopia of choice.

Moving away from the city vibe, the Okanagan Valley offers a contrasting picture. Here, investment is synonymous with a lifestyle close to nature. Imagine owning a property surrounded by vineyards and lakes, where every sunrise is like a painting. The region’s growing reputation as a year-round destination makes it a smart choice for investors looking for properties with both seasonal appeal and long-term value.

But let’s not forget the adventure capitals of BC – Whistler and Squamish. These areas are magnets for those seeking a blend of thrill and tranquility. Investing here means tapping into a market fueled by tourism and outdoor recreation, with potential for both residential and Airbnb opportunities. 

In BC, residential investment is more than just a financial decision. It’s a choice to be part of communities that are diverse and celebrated. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned investor, the market is primed to offer unparalleled opportunities that align with diverse goals and lifestyles.

Airbnb and New Bylaws: What You Need to Know

Navigating the waters of Airbnb investments in British Columbia can be tricky, but with the right knowledge, it’s entirely manageable and rewarding. Recent bylaws have reshaped the landscape for short-term rentals, particularly for areas like Whistler, Squamish, and the Okanagan.

In British Columbia, especially in tourism hotspots, Airbnb has transformed from a side hustle into a significant investment strategy. However, with great potential comes great regulation. New bylaws aim to balance the thriving tourist industry with the needs of local communities. In BC legislation has been enacted to give local governments stronger enforcement tools for their short-term rental bylaws, return short-term rentals to the long-term rental market, and establish a new Provincial role in regulating short-term rentals.

Whistler, known for its ski slopes and picturesque landscapes, has specific regulations that govern short-term rentals. These regulations ensure that the area maintains its charm and accessibility for both tourists and residents. In Squamish and the Okanagan, similar rules apply, with a focus on preserving the community feel while still capitalizing on the tourist appeal.

For investors, this means doing your homework is more crucial than ever. Understanding these bylaws is key to ensuring your investment doesn’t turn into an unexpected game of ‘Monopoly’. Investors need to be strategic and should consider factors like zoning regulations, licensing requirements, and community impact before diving into the Airbnb pool.

Moreover, it’s essential to stay updated as these bylaws are as ever-changing as the BC landscapes. Regular follow-up with your real estate expert and local authorities will keep you on top of this constantly evolving market. In the world of Airbnb investments, it’s not just about riding the wave; it’s about navigating it with the right strategy and profound insight.

Key Areas for Investment 

Whistler: A Winter Wonderland Turned Investment Haven

Whistler is not just a skier’s paradise; it’s a goldmine for real estate investors. This world-renowned resort town, with its snow-capped mountains and vibrant village life, offers lucrative opportunities for both residential and Airbnb investments. Properties here are not just homes; they’re gateways to an enchanting lifestyle, attracting tourists year-round. The demand for short-term rentals, especially during ski season, makes Whistler a hot spot for those looking to cash in on British Columbia’s tourism boom.

Squamish: Where Outdoor Adventure Meets Real Estate Opportunity

Squamish, the outdoor recreation capital of Canada, is rapidly becoming a sought-after location for real estate investments. With its breathtaking scenery and endless adventure opportunities, from rock climbing to windsurfing, Squamish appeals to a growing demographic of outdoor enthusiasts. Investing in Squamish means tapping into a market that’s as dynamic as the town’s landscape, offering potential for both long-term residential rentals and vacation properties.

Okanagan: A Year-Round Retreat with Vineyards and Views

The Okanagan is British Columbia’s hidden gem, known for its sunny climate, stunning lakes, and world-class vineyards. The region offers diverse investment opportunities, from lakeside condos to vineyard estates. The Okanagan’s charm isn’t seasonal; it’s a year-round destination for tourists and a beloved home for residents. This unique blend makes it an ideal spot for investors looking for properties that offer both lifestyle and rental income potential.

Metro Vancouver: Urban Investment at its Finest

Metro Vancouver, with its cosmopolitan flair and robust economy, is the heart of BC’s real estate market. The area offers a spectrum of investment opportunities, from luxury downtown apartments to charming suburban homes. Investing in Metro Vancouver means being at the center of a bustling market, where each property is part of a “Curated collection” of urban living experiences. Whether for rental income
or capital appreciation, Metro Vancouver’s diverse neighborhoods cater to a wide range of investment strategies.

Each of these key areas in British Columbia brings its unique flavor to the real estate table, offering unparalleled opportunities to experience and invest in the Beautiful British Columbia for savvy investors and homeowners alike.

Making the Right Choice: Tips and Strategies

Investing in real estate, especially in a market as vibrant as British Columbia’s, can feel like navigating uncharted waters. Here are some tips and strategies to ensure your investment journey is smooth sailing.

  • Research is Key: Research the market data. From Metro Vancouver to the Okanagan, understanding local trends, property values, and future developments is crucial.
  • Consider Lifestyle and Investment Goals: Are you looking for a sanctuary away from the city’s hustle, or an elevated experience in urban living? Align your investment with your lifestyle aspirations and financial objectives.
  • Consult the Experts: Engaging with one of our top-performing real estate agents who are strategy-led and results-focused can be a game-changer. Their insights and knowledge about areas like Whistler or Squamish are invaluable. At Stilhavn, we understand the unique opportunities and challenges that our markets have to offer. Reach out to one of our market-leading Realtors® today.
  • Understand the Legalities: Especially with the new Airbnb bylaws, it’s vital to stay compliant. Ensuring your investment adheres to local regulations will save you from future headaches.
  • Plan for the Long Term: Real estate investment is often a long game. Think about long-term potential and sustainability of your investment, considering factors like community growth, infrastructure development, and market stability.

Welcome to Your Next Havn

As we’ve journeyed through the vibrant landscapes of British Columbia’s real estate market, one thing is clear: whether it’s the snowy peaks of Whistler, the windswept beauty of Squamish, the sun-drenched vineyards of the Okanagan, or the bustling streets of Metro Vancouver, BC offers a world of opportunities for the savvy investor or a current homeowner looking for their second property. Remember, investing here isn’t just about purchasing real estate; it’s about anchoring yourself in a community, a lifestyle, a dream. So, as you take the plunge into this exciting market, may you not just find a property, but also find your very own havn.  

*Original article from Stilhavn Real Estate


Unlocking Savings for First-Time Homebuyers: The HBTC Advantage

Are you a first-time homebuyer eager to make the most of tax savings? Look no further than the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit (HBTC) offered by the government. This incentive allows eligible individuals to save a substantial $1,500 on their taxes by simply claiming $10,000 on Line 31270 on their 2023 tax returns.

So, how can you ensure you qualify for this generous tax credit? Let's break down the criteria:

  1. Property Purchase in 2023: To be eligible for the $1,500 tax savings, the homeowner (or their spouse/common-law partner) must have purchased a property in the year 2023.

  2. No Previous Homeownership: The homeowner must not have resided in any other home, either within or outside Canada, that was owned by them or their spouse/common-law partner in the year of purchase or in any of the four preceding years. Essentially, if you haven't lived in a home that you or your spouse owned during this timeframe, you can confidently claim the HBTC by entering $10,000 on Line 31270.

Additionally, here are some noteworthy details to consider:

  • Sharing the Credit: The HBTC can be split between purchasers, allowing flexibility for couples or multiple individuals involved in the property purchase.

  • Persons with Disabilities: Individuals with disabilities have the option to apply for the HBTC more than once, providing an extra avenue for potential savings.

  • Claiming for Previous Years: If you missed out on claiming the HBTC in the past, don't worry. You can still unlock these savings by adjusting your previous tax returns. Simply use the My Account feature on the CRA online platform to make the necessary adjustments. It's worth noting that the claim amount was $5,000 for the year 2021 and previous years, showcasing the government's commitment to supporting first-time homebuyers.

In conclusion, the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit is a valuable opportunity for eligible individuals to save on their taxes. By meeting the outlined criteria and taking advantage of the various provisions, you can maximize your savings and pave the way to financial success as a new homeowner. So, if you've recently purchased your first home or are planning to do so in 2024, make sure to explore the benefits of the HBTC – your path to $1,500 in tax savings awaits!

Let's chat about how we can make this work for you! Get in touch here.

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