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How Do You Choose a Realtor?

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent (For Buyers and Sellers)

When taking the first step on the path of buying or selling property, selecting the right realtor is a pivotal decision that can elevate your experience and outcome. Going above and beyond facilitating transactions, a top-performing realtor raises the bar in client-care, ensuring a smooth and successful journey. Here’s how to choose a realtor that’s a cut above the rest.

Tip 1: Look for a Relationship-Driven Approach

The heart of real estate isn’t just brick and mortar; it’s people. A relationship-driven realtor prioritizes your needs, preferences, and family and financial goals. They invest time in understanding your unique situation and are committed to building a lasting partnership. This is the kind of agent who will be by your side every step of the way, offering personalized advice and support. To find them, seek out testimonials that highlight the realtor’s dedication to fostering strong client relationships and delivering tailored service.


Tip 2: Evaluate Their Local Market Knowledge

A realtor with unparalleled local market knowledge provides an invaluable edge. They bring a market-leading understanding of the nuances of your specific area of interest, which is crucial whether you’re buying or selling. This insight can be the difference between an average deal and a great one. Inquire about their grasp of local trends, property values, and community dynamics. A top-performing realtor will demonstrate a depth of knowledge in local market trends, property laws, and the ability to accurately assess the value of properties in a particular neighbourhood.

Tip 3: Assess Their Communication Style

Communication is key in the real estate process. Your realtor should be readily available and willing to communicate in your preferred method, whether it be via phone, email, or text. They should keep you informed throughout the entire process and be proactive in addressing your concerns. A good realtor listens to your needs and communicates clearly and promptly.


Tip 4: Understand Their Niche Experience and Expertise

Experience in real estate can make a significant difference. An experienced realtor will have navigated their niche market conditions and dealt with many types of transactions. They bring a wealth of knowledge and a network of contacts in their real estate expertise, including potential buyers, sellers, and other industry professionals. However, don’t dismiss a newer realtor outright; they often bring enthusiasm and innovative approaches to their work. The key is to find someone who exhibits a strong understanding of the real estate process and demonstrates the skill to handle your specific needs.

Tip 5: Request a Strategy-Led Marketing Plan

In today’s fast-paced market, a strategic, well-executed marketing plan is essential. A top-performing realtor employs a strategy-led approach to marketing, ensuring that your property reaches the right audience. They utilize innovative tools and techniques, from virtual tours to social media marketing, to showcase your property effectively and make it stand out in the market. For buyers, a strategic plan means a more efficient search for the perfect home.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing a realtor who embodies these qualities can significantly raise the bar for your real estate experience. A top-performing, relationship-driven, and results-focused agent with unparalleled local insight and full-service capabilities will unquestionably exceed your expectations. The right realtor is more than an agent; they are your strategic partner in one of the most significant transactions of your life. Choose wisely, and the effort you put into selecting the best realtor for you will serve you well during your real estate journey and beyond.

Article courtesy of Stilhavn Real Estate Services

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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!


604-805-6820

bridget@bridgetross.ca

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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.

Inventory

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.

 

Detached

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.


Apartments

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




 

 

 

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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

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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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TITLE INSURANCE - WHAT IS IT AND DO YOU NEED IT?

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.


 
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OPEN HOUSE: Saturday January 27th 2-4 PM

1795 Victoria Drive

East Vancouver

$1,599,000

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.

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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 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.