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Month: November 2007

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Today’s Stats

Vancouver west side condos and townhomes

29 new listings. 9 price changes – all down. 24 sales.

yesterday’s stats 49 new listings, 18 price changes – all down. 40 sales.

Best mortgage rate today 5.5% on 5year variable.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Wanted!

I have a delightful lady from Germany who wishes to purchase a Coal Harbour studio (or West End if its located near Alberni corridor). We have written 5 offers without success. please call me if you wish to sell your studio. 604-328-0077. Thank you.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Today’s Stats

In my area there are 16 new listings and 15 price adjustments (all down) and 29 sales…more sales than listings. 7 sold at list price and 4 sold over list price, so nearly half of the sales still selling at or above list. We shall have to watch carefully and see if this is a trend. Traditionally as we approach Xmas the number of listings will drop, as will the sales.

It was a very busy last two weekends, the buyers are buying and there’s insufficient product. The buyers are both local and from out of town, including the US.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Home Owner’s Property Taxes

“The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet”. Damon Runyan

I thought i’d do a few posts on property taxes.

Do you know what your property tax bill includes? Here’s what –

-Municipal Tax, which is set by the municipality and is based on revenue needs set by city council and staff in their annual budget. Revenue funds local infrastructure and services

-Regional District Tax, municipalities belong to a regional district, such as the GVRD. Regional services include water and sewer. Municipalities collect taxes for regional districts.

-School Tax, set by the BC Government to fund schools, this tax varies by school district and is paid by residential and non residential property owners

-Hospital tax, set by the BC Government to help fund health authorities. In the GVRD, hospitals are funded by the BC Government, not by property taxes

-Other Taxes – set by other local taxing authorities, but collected by the municipality to fund BC Assessment, the Municipal Finance Authority and TransLink

In fact, property taxes pay for Archives, Community Centres, Fire Departments, Historic Sites, Libraries, Local road maintenance, Museums, Parks, Police, Sewers, Skating rinks, Swimming pools and Water

Do you agree with what the governments spend your property taxes on?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Changes to the Homeowner Protection Act

Buying a new home in BC? here’s new legislation to be aware of 

Effective November 19, 2007 these changes became law:

-an owner builder is not permitted to sell a home during construction “as is” without permission from the HPO

-an owner builder must occupy the new home for at least one year after obtaining an occupancy permit. the home cannot be sold or rented during this one year period.

-home buyers should understand that only owner builders who purchase 2-5-10 home warranty insurance from a warranty provikder have the backing of a new home warranty

-owner builders must provide a disclosure notice from the HPO to prospective buyers within the first 10 years after occupancy. Subsequent buyers are also required to provide a disclosure notice if they sell the home within the 10 year period. The disclosure states that the home was built by an owner builder. It also states whether or not there is a home warranty insurance policy.

-owner builders who sell their home within the first 10 years are obligated to subsequent purchasers for defects in the new home during that 10 year period.

-new homes under construction but not complete cannot be listed or sold unless the home is covered by home warranty insurance or has received an exemption.

Registry of new Homes – a searchable registry of new homes will soon be available to home buyers on the HPO website.

For more info in home warranties, visit www.hpo.bc.ca

Ever bought a new home? was it a good experience?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Thursday’s Stats

In my market area there were 19 new listings today and 15 sales, two sold at list and one above list, all but 2 were under $600K. 7 price reductions. total of 1169 west side condos for sale.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Today’s Stats

In the west side condo stats for the day, there were 26 new listings and 20 sales. 5 of those sales sold over list price and 4 at list price – so almost 50% of the sales for the day are still selling with multiple offers.

total condo and townhome listings 1357, of those 130 in coal harbour, 391 downtown, 150 false creek north, 158 in the west end, 115 in kits and 125 in farview.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver Downtown Condo Prices

DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER CONDO PRICES 2007

Coal Harbour $793,741, False Creek North $824,442, Downtown $414,034, West End $475,981

CMHC says apartment starts in Downtown Vancouver drop by 37% and Vancouver Westside by 42% this year. However, condo construction picks up at a rapid rate of 93% in Vancouver Eastside.

According to analysts, Vancouver’s housing market is still considered healthy as only about 20% of properties are resold within a year, indicating speculation remains low.

Among the 8% of Vancouverites who are planning to buy a property, 35% are first time buyers and 64% are repeat buyers, according to CMHC’s  survey.

Mortgage rate outlook is flat, according to CMHC’s regional economist Carol Frketich, at around 7%, down from the mid-2000 peak of 8.75%.

However, while still low by historical norms, mortgage rates are expected to rise .25 to .50% in 2008. The one year posted mortgage rate is forecast to be in the 6.50-7.50% range, while three and five year posted mortgage rates are forecast to be in the 6.75-7.75% in 2008.

I am finding there is a shortage of inventory, still lots of multiple offers happening, in all price ranges under $1 million. The buyers are first timers, investors and offshore people looking for vacation homes.

How are you finding the market? Do you think the above forecast is accurate and that prices will rise again next year?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Proposed New Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations

“A man must live like a great brilliant flame and burn as brightly as he can. In the end he burns out but this is far better than a mean little flame”. Boris Yeltsin

What do you know about money laundering and terrorist financing regulations compliance that realtors must adhere to?

CREA set out a Call to Action Campaign regarding the new proposed regulations that apply only to REALTORS and not to other professionals who can sell real estate, such as lawyers. The new regulations are slated to become law in June 2008.

Realtors across the country responded by sending more than 12,000 e-letters to their MP. 12% were from BC.

As a result CREA representatives were able to meet with Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to discuss our concerns.  The Minister agreed to revisit the proposed new rules.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

New Tax Measures – Is Capital Gains Next?

2007

“There is the risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take”. Peter Drucker

Do you intend to take advantage of the reduction in GST and buy a new home in the new year?

The tax changes outlined in the federal government’s economic statement are one step in helping Canadians buy a new home, but CREA says the government should include other initiatives in the next federal budget.

The l% savings in the GST will help Canadians pay for home renovations, or new appliances and furniture. According to CREA research, Canadians spend an average of $7,475 on renovations when they buy a home, and spend another $3,950 on furniture and appliances. The GST cut represents $1,142 in savings based on these averages.

CREA has proposed two other tax measures to the federal government. One would help first time home buyers and the other would encourage investment in rental properties.

CREA’s recommended the federal government increase the personal maximum withdrawal allowed under the Home Buyers’ Plan to $25,000 from the current level of $20,000. The current level has not been adjusted since the plan was launched in 1992.

REALTORS are asking the federal government to amend the Income Tax Act to provide real property investors with the freedom to change asset classes without the financial penalties they currently face. Under the proposal, this would be achieved by allowing property investors to defer the Capital Gains Tax and the Capital Cost Allowance recovery on the sale of an investment property when the funds are reinvested into another within a specific time period.

What’s your opinion on the above…good idea or not? Is there another home related tax you would like to see the government address?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

BMO Drops Mortgage Rates

“Whenever you meet difficult situations dash forward joyfully and bravely” The Way of the Warrior

BMO announced its decreasing its residential mortgage rates as of November 14, 2007 . It’s one year term close has been reduced 1/2% to 7.20% and its 5 yerar term is also down .50% to 7.39%. These are their posted rates. Mortgage brokers can find 5 year fixed at 5.90%.  Stay pre-approved! If your mortgage is coming up for renewal ask your bank to pre-approve you.  The rate is usually good for 90 days.

A half a point drop saves you $30 for every $100,000 borrowed over a 25 year amortization. Of course it makes a big difference in the long term interest you pay.

If you are a first time buyer now entering the market, or even a tradeup buyer, it is a good time to buy with mortgage rates coming down and a slower market than we had in the spring.

Ask me for a referral to an excellent mortgage broker.

Are you happy with the deal your bank gives you or do you deal with a mortgage broker? Do you shop your mortgage rate and terms?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Port of Vancouver’s Waterfront Land

“When you confront a problem, you begin to solve it”.  Rudy Guliani 

The last piece of public waterfront land  in Vancouver, between the seabus terminal and crab park,  has been declared by The Port of Vancouver (federal)  as ‘surplus’, meaning it can be available to private developers and the Whitecaps have proposed an entertainment complex stadium. The central waterfront coalition want to keep it public, as a space that can be enjoyed by all. www.centralwaterfrontcoalition.org

What do you think? Do you wish to see a sports stadium built here or not? Whould it be good for the neighbourhood or not? What would be the impact on traffic? Perhaps you are a Gastown resident…if so, how will it affect you? Share your opinions with us.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Coal Harbour History

Ever wondered how Coal Harbour got its name? Well, here’s a brief history of the neighbourhood

 In 1792 explorer Captain George Vancouver named Burrard’s Channel after a former navy shipmate. At that time Coal Harbour was home to the Squamish and Musqueam natives who used areas of Stanley Park as burial grounds. By 1859 the Fraser River Gold Rush was drawing prospectors to these shores and Colonel Moody of the Royal Engineers, discovered major coal seams near the foot of But Street, giving rise to the name Coal Harbour. Vancouver’s first settlers, the Three Greenhorns (more about them later)  arrived in 1862 and homesteaded where the Guinnes Tower now stands, followed by logging in the 1860’s, with Stamp’s Mill opening in 1867. A year earlier, Gassy Jack Deighton had arrived and built his infamous saloon.

 By 1870 a colonial government surveyor laid out the official town site for Granville – what is now called Gastown – near Gassy Jack’s saloon. Stamp’s Mill was now run by Captain James Raymur, who tried to reform the somewhat squalid settlement by banishing the roustabouts and Kanakas (imported Hawaiian workers). In 1884 Coal Harbour was announced as the official terminus for the CPR and a larger town site named Vancouver was laid out. Enormous growth followed, along with a disastrous fire in 1886 which destroyed the new city in 20 minutes. The city’s first elected mayor, David Oppenheimer, succeded in persuading the federal gov’t to set aside 1000 acres for the public and called it Stanley Park. In 1890 the Hudson’s Bay Company built the first warehouse on Coal Harbour’s waterfront, increasing the area’s profile as a major shipping port. This was followed by the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush, which boosted the economy as sawmills and warehouses sprang up along the waterfront.

The CPR opened two shipping piers in Coal Harbour in 1910 and in 1914 they built is station at the foot of Granville St and the Canadian department of Public Works erected the Immigration building on the CH waterfront. The city survived the Prohibition of the 1920’s and the Port of Vancouver continued to expand, adding Piers B,C and D as well as the Ballantyne Pier. The Hastings sawmill closed in 1928 and the Marine Building went up in 1929. Huge fires in 1951 nad 52 destroyed the docks and the face of CH changed in the 1960’s and ’70’s as the industries were removed and the Westin Bayshore was built in 1961, then called The Bayshore Inn, which housed Howard Hughes, who rented the entire top floor.

Today the neighbourhood has more than 1000 pleasure boats moored and is home to upscale homes, parks, shops, restaurants and a shoreline of over 20 kilometers of seawall – totally spectacular.

The Nine O’Clock Gun was installed in 1894 and was Stanley Park’s first permanent structure after the Prospect Point and Brockton Point Lighthouses. Apparantely until Davy Jones, the Brockton Point light keeper, demanded a safer way to help ship captains in the harbour synchronize their chronometers at 9pm every evening, they had to set off a stick of dynamite.  Today it is set off electronically and can be heard up to 70 kilometers away.  It was silenced during the war because they needed the gunpowder. It was kidnapped in 1969 by engineering students, causing damage to a floating fuel barge when it shot out stones that had been inserted into the barrel. The gun’s bang every night is as much a part of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour traditions as the noon hour opening notes of our national anthem from the hors atop Canada Place.

What an amazing formation in a relatively short time period.  I remember when the ship building terminals were in Coal Harbour in the 70’s and the railway tracks. It was very industrial. Now its a beautiful residential neighbourhood.

Have a bit of Coal Harbour history you’d like to share with us?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

A call from Ireland

Back in August I received a call from a man in Ireland who owns a suite in Cielo, which is a new building steps to the waterfront in Coal Harbour. The new Urban Fare just opened at the bottom of this luxury condo building. At the time I was asked about the Vancouver real estate market and Coal Harbour in particular, what type of properties are selling, who is buying them, would the suites in Cielo be saleable and to whom, how long would it take to sell and what is current market value.

The building should have completed in the summer but due to the civic strike the occupancy permit was delayed.  The developer’s agent kindly showed me the suite in september and thought possession would be mid october, shortly after Urban Fare opened up in the building. In fact it turned out to be beginning of November.

Anyway, we are up and running. A beautiful 2 bedroom s.e. corner suite with water views,brand new and no GST.  The building has a concierge and Sky Spa.  Drop by my Open house Nov 17th/18th 2-4. View it here

 http://www.affordablevancouverhomes.com/4a_feature_sheet_new.php?ltl=271733&open=1

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Immigration Matters

What do you know about immigrating to Canada?  If you’re like me, not very much.

I was recently contacted through my blog by Ryan Rosenberg, who is an immigration lawyer. A large portion of my business is non canadian buyers , many of whom ask me questions about buying property in vancouver and immigration to canada. So, i asked Ryan to write me a series of articles on the matter and here is the first one. 

Changes to the BC PNP Business Programs

Since their inception, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Programs have offered expedited processing for people wanting to immigrate to
Canada and are destined for BC.

Recently, the BC PNP announced major changes to its business programs in an effort to attract more business immigrants. Under the new criteria, the program is divided into three streams – “Business Skills”, “Regional Skills” and “Strategic Projects”.

The Business Skills program is designed for people with viable plans to establish or purchase and expand a business in the greater
Vancouver and Abbotsford areas. The program requires a personal net worth of $800,000 and a minimum investment of $400,000 and for the investor to hold at least 1/3 of the equity in the business. The investment must create at least three new jobs for Canadians or permanent residents and the investor must play an active role in the management of the business.

The Regional Skills program is similar to the Business Skills program, only it is designed for areas of BC outside of Greater Vancouver and Abbotsford. The program requires a personal net worth of $400,000 and a minimum investment of $200,000 and the investment must create at least one new job for a Canadian or permanent resident.

Under either of these programs, BC PNP has created a very interesting fast-track option. Under either program, an investor now has an option to secure nomination at the front end of the program by placing a performance bond in trust with the province. Before changes were made to the program, investors had to come to BC on a two year work permit at which time they would work to establish their businesses and hire employees, as required. Only after these goals were met would the province issue a nomination certificate. And it is only once the nomination certificate has been obtained that the investor could apply for permanent resident status.

If an investor chooses the fast-track option, the province will issue the nomination certificate upon approval of the investor’s PNP application and upon the investor placing a performance bond in trust for $125,000. Once the bond is placed, the investor has the option of coming to
Canada on a work permit to establish the business or can wait until they get permanent resident status. Within 2 years of arriving in
Canada on a work permit or with permanent residence status, the investor has to establish the business and hire employees, as required. If these goals are met, the investor gets the bond back, without interest. If the investor fails to execute the business plan, the investor will forfeit the bond, but will not lose permanent resident status.

There is lots of upside to these programs, but you have to be willing to stomach the risk. Using a provincial business program will take 3-4 years off of processing times when compared to federal entrepreneur applications. For investors, timing can be everything and this PNP program may be the solution.

The third program, the “Strategic Projects” program, does not offer a fast track option. This program is designed for foreign corporations that want to invest at least $500,000 in BC. For every 3 jobs created, the foreign company can designate one potential immigrant staff member who can move to
Canada to work in the Canadian business project.

All in all, the BC PNP has demonstrated its commitment to forward thinking approaches to real-time issues. With the new criteria in place, we should anticipate a sharp increase in business investor immigrant applications in BC that will help fuel and maintain our already hot economy.

If you have questions, or need further info on immigration matters, contact Ryan or visit his blog http://immigratetocanada.blogspot.com

Ryan N. Rosenberg, Barrister & Solicitor Larlee & Associates Law Corporation

Suite 600

Randall Bldg,

555 West Georgia St

.


Vancouver,BC Canada
V6B 1Z5
Tel: +1 604 681 9887 Fax: +1 604 681 8087E-mail: [email protected]Website: www.larlee.com  

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

A Call from Ireland About Coal Harbour

In August I received a call from a man in Ireland who owns a suite in Cielo, a new Coal Harbour condo building steps to the waterfront.

The new Urban Fare just opened at the bottom of this luxury condo building. At the time I was asked about the Vancouver real estate market and Coal Harbour in particular, what type of properties are selling, who is buying them, would the suites in Cielo be saleable and to whom, how long would it take to sell and what is current market value.

The building should have completed in the summer but due to the civic strike the occupancy permit was delayed.  The developer’s agent kindly showed me the suite in september and thought possession would be mid october, shortly after Urban Fare opened up in the building. In fact it turned out to be beginning of November.

Anyway, we are up and running. A beautiful 2 bedroom s.e. corner suite with water views,brand new and no GST.  The building has a concierge and Sky Spa.  Drop by my Open house Nov 17th/18th 2-4. View it here

View my listing on my website.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Origin of Coal Harbour’s Name

Ever wondered how Coal Harbour got its name? Well, here’s a brief history of the neighbourhood

 In 1792 explorer Captain George Vancouver named Burrard’s Channel after a former navy shipmate.

At that time Coal Harbour was home to the Squamish and Musqueam natives who used areas of Stanley Park as burial grounds. By 1859 the Fraser River Gold Rush was drawing prospectors to these shores and Colonel Moody of the Royal Engineers, discovered major coal seams near the foot of But Street, giving rise to the name Coal Harbour. Vancouver’s first settlers, the Three Greenhorns (more about them later)  arrived in 1862 and homesteaded where the Guinnes Tower now stands, followed by logging in the 1860’s, with Stamp’s Mill opening in 1867. A year earlier, Gassy Jack Deighton had arrived and built his infamous saloon.

 By 1870 a colonial government surveyor laid out the official town site for Granville – what is now called Gastown – near Gassy Jack’s saloon. Stamp’s Mill was now run by Captain James Raymur, who tried to reform the somewhat squalid settlement by banishing the roustabouts and Kanakas (imported Hawaiian workers). In 1884 Coal Harbour was announced as the official terminus for the CPR and a larger town site named Vancouver was laid out.

Enormous growth followed, along with a disastrous fire in 1886 which destroyed the new city in 20 minutes. The city’s first elected mayor, David Oppenheimer, succeded in persuading the federal gov’t to set aside 1000 acres for the public and called it Stanley Park. In 1890 the Hudson’s Bay Company built the first warehouse on Coal Harbour’s waterfront, increasing the area’s profile as a major shipping port.

This was followed by the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush, which boosted the economy as sawmills and warehouses sprang up along the waterfront.

The CPR opened two shipping piers in Coal Harbour in 1910 and in 1914 they built is station at the foot of Granville St and the Canadian department of Public Works erected the Immigration building on the CH waterfront.

The city survived the Prohibition of the 1920’s and the Port of Vancouver continued to expand, adding Piers B,C and D as well as the Ballantyne Pier. The Hastings sawmill closed in 1928 and the Marine Building went up in 1929.

Huge fires in 1951 nad 52 destroyed the docks and the face of CH changed in the 1960’s and ’70’s as the industries were removed and the Westin Bayshore was built in 1961, then called The Bayshore Inn, which housed Howard Hughes, who rented the entire top floor.

Today the neighbourhood has more than 1000 pleasure boats moored and is home to upscale homes, parks, shops, restaurants and a shoreline of over 20 kilometers of seawall – totally spectacular.

The Nine O’Clock Gun was installed in 1894 and was Stanley Park’s first permanent structure after the Prospect Point and Brockton Point Lighthouses.

Apparantely until Davy Jones, the Brockton Point light keeper, demanded a safer way to help ship captains in the harbour synchronize their chronometers at 9pm every evening, they had to set off a stick of dynamite.  Today it is set off electronically and can be heard up to 70 kilometers away.  It was silenced during the war because they needed the gunpowder. It was kidnapped in 1969 by engineering students, causing damage to a floating fuel barge when it shot out stones that had been inserted into the barrel.

The gun’s bang every night is as much a part of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour traditions as the noon hour opening notes of our national anthem from the hors atop Canada Place.

What an amazing formation in a relatively short time period.  I remember when the ship building terminals were in Coal Harbour in the 70’s and the railway tracks. It was very industrial. Now its a beautiful residential neighbourhood.

Have a bit of Coal Harbour history you’d like to share with us?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver Port’s Waterfront Land

The last piece of public waterfront land  in Vancouver.

Situated between the seabus terminal and crab park,  has been declared by The Port of Vancouver (federal)  as ‘surplus’, meaning it can be available to private developers and the Whitecaps have proposed an entertainment complex stadium. The central waterfront coalition want to keep it public, as a space that can be enjoyed by all. http://www.centralwaterfrontcoalition.org/

What do you think? Do you wish to see a sports stadium built here or not? Whould it be good for the neighbourhood or not? What would be the impact on traffic? Perhaps you are a Gastown resident…if so, how will it affect you?

Share your opinions with us.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How to Benefit from Lower Mortgage Rates

BMO announced its decreasing its residential mortgage rates as of November 14, 2007 .

It’s one year term close has been reduced 1/2% to 7.20% and its 5 yerar term is also down .50% to 7.39%. These are their posted rates. Mortgage brokers can find 5 year fixed at 5.90%.  Stay pre-approved! If your mortgage is coming up for renewal ask your bank to pre-approve you.  The rate is usually good for 90 days.

A half a point drop saves you $30 for every $100,000 borrowed over a 25 year amortization. Of course it makes a big difference in the long term interest you pay.

If you are a first time buyer now entering the market, or even a tradeup buyer, it is a good time to buy with mortgage rates coming down and a slower market than we had in the spring.

A mortgage broker is the best way to keep your Bank honest, shop around for the best mortgage rate and terms.

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