50 Best Decorating Tips to Maximize your Home’s Potential

Decorating a home is never easy but it makes a major difference in how you feel when you walk into it. A home done in all grey with no wall decorations can feel like a warehouse, while adding a few plants can make it feel lively and colourful. Whether it’s your first time or if you’re a seasoned vet, here are the 50 best decorating tips to help you along the way:

lighter home tips Alyssa R 5

PHOTO: ALYSSA ROSENHECK, DESIGN: CHELSEA ROBINSON INTERIORS

1. Mount curtains high above your windows
The closer to the ceiling, the grander the room will feel.

2. Hang art pieces right at eye level
Maybe a little lower if you’re in the NBA.

3. Station pretty baskets around the house
Just don’t fill them with garbage.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Chelsea Robinson Interiors)

designer photogenic trick 11

IMAGE: INSPIRED INTERIORS; PHOTOGRAPHY: DUSTIN HALLECK PHOTOGRAPHY

4. Style decorative objects in odd numbered groupings. 
Groups of 3 are key!

5. Layer your light sources
Task, ambient and accent lighting.

6. Always always make your bed
Nothing says “I don’t care about my home” quite like a duvet cover crumpled on the floor.

(Image: Courtesy of Inspired Interiors/Photography: Dustin Halleck Photography)

hingham home tour dining after 1

DESIGN: HELEN BERGIN; IMAGE: JOYELLE WEST FOR HOMEPOLISH

7. Use rugs to separate zones
It can help create a “dining room”.

8. Think of produce as decor
Fruits and veggies in a bowl make an ideal centerpiece in a pinch.

9. Decant your dish and hand soap
That Softsoap label does NOT match the decor.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Helen Bergin/Photography: Joyelle West)

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PHOTO: ALYSSA ROSENHECK, DESIGN: JASON ARNOLD INTERIORS

10. Clean your windows regularly
It makes a world of difference.

11. Cut your countertop decor by 90% 
It’s the one trick to an aesthetically pleasing kitchen.

12. Make big statements in tiny rooms
Powder/laundry rooms + brazen wallpapers are always a good idea.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Jason Arnold Interiors)

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IMAGE: THARON ANDERSON DESIGN; PHOTOGRAPHY: LESLEY UNRUH

13. Pendants should hover roughly 3 feet above surfaces
That goes for islands, bars and dining tables.

14. Use real bowls for your dog bowls 
Metal bowls don’t add much.

15. Never place your bed in direct alignment with your door 
Big feng shui faux pas (it blasts you with “energy”).

(Image: Courtesy of Tharon Anderson Design; Photography: Lesley Unruh)

faux home tour 3

DESIGN: KEVIN CLARK; PHOTOGRAPHY: DANIEL WANG FOR HOMEPOLISH

16. Fresh flowers, always
And fresh water too (no swamp water, unless you’re Shrek).

17. Add real rugs to utilitarian rooms
Like the kitchen and bathroom—for tons for warmth and character.

18. Test-drive paint samples before committing
You never know what that navy really looks like until you see it in the light at every time of day.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Kevin Clark/Photography: Daniel Wang)

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IMAGE: CECY J INTERIORS; PHOTOGRAPHY: SEAN DAGEN

19. Mix mediums in a gallery wall
Matchy-matchy is a big no-no.

20. Use cord covers to tidy your wires 
We swear by these guys for our TV’s and sound systems.

21. Always buy extra photo frames 
So you can add more down the road.

(Image: Courtesy of Cecy J Interiors/Photography: Sean Dagen)

color block bookshelves1

DESIGN: JAE JOO; PHOTOGRAPHY: JULIA ROBBS FOR HOMEPOLISH

22. Colorblock your bookshelves
Perfectionist and proud.

23. Karate chop your pillows
Easy luxe vibes (and stress relief, trust).

24. Place furniture 2 inches from your walls 
That’s right: “Float” your furnishings to make the room feel breezier.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Jae Joo/Photography: Julia Robbs)

cecyJ photogenic

IMAGE: CECY J INTERIORS; PHOTOGRAPHY: SEAN DAGEN

25. When in doubt, undecorate
Less is so much more when it comes to nicknacks.

26. Switch up coffee table decor often
It’s the easiest way to make the living room feel fresh again.

27. Never splurge on trends
Treat yourself to inexpensive decor pieces to stay fresh and modern.

28. Only buy what you love
Even if that means deliberating over a bed frame for two years.

(Image: Courtesy of Cecy J Interiors/Photography: Sean Dagen)

 greenbedroom paint
DESIGN: TALI ROTH, PHOTOGRAPHY: CLAIRE ESPARROS

29. Fill forlorn corners with plants
They can literally improve your mood.

30. No TV in the bedroom
And if you must, hide it.

31. Remember that everything looks better in a tray
Booze supplies, perfume bottles, you name it.

32. Use the 2:2:1 throw pillow rule
Symmetry makes for the ultimate couch hack.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Tali Roth/Photography: Claire Esparros)

Use an Oversize Ottoman As Your Coffee Table adding seating

DESIGN: AMBER INTERIORS

33. Consider furniture that does double duty
Like garden stools that double as side tables or ottomans that double as coffee tables.

34. Lean your art
Super chic… and no holes to patch up later.

35. Use table skirting to disguise clutter
Or transform your furnishings on the super cheap.

36. Use outdoor fabrics indoors
They stand up better to kids and pets.

(Image: Courtesy of Amber Interiors/Photography: Tessa Neustadt

Slide Stools or Cushions Underneath a Coffee Table adding seating

37. Use your coffee table clearance 
Psst: There’s room underneath for extra seating.

38. Add a ‘hero’ piece to your living room 
A huge painting, sculpture or mirror lends major design cred.

39. When in doubt, paint it white
Walls, dressers, scuffed baseboards.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Justin DiPietro; Photography: Claire Esparros)

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PHOTOGRAPHY: ALYSSA ROSENHECK; DESIGN: AMANDA BARNES

40. Hang mirrors across from windows
They bounce the light around make rooms feel so much brighter.

41. A rug should never ‘float’ in a room
Always have furniture legs placed on top to ground it.

42. Add moldings to fake ceiling height
… and make your house look fancier.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Amanda Barnes)

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DESIGN: TALIA LACONI; PHOTOGRAPHY: TESSA NEUSTADT

43. Leave an element (or two) undone 
Always leave something mussed to make a space look warm and lived in.

44. Place a rug between a wood table and a wood floor
To serve as a buffer.

45. Make sure your bed has two entry points 
The key to an elegant bedroom—and happy marriage.

46. Add one black object to every room 
Every space looks better with a little contrast.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Talia Laconi; Photography: Tessa Neustadt)

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IMAGE: COURTESY OF ALYSSA ROSENHECK/DESIGN: AMANDA BARNES INTERIORS

47. Use matte finish paint to brighten a room
It allows for the most even light dispersion.

48. Add at least one antique to every room
New looks best when mixed with old.

49. Invest in professionally framing your art 
Note: The mat should always be 1.5 times as wide as your frame.

50. If something doesn’t ‘bring you joy,’ toss it
Thanks for that one, Marie Kondo.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Amanda Barnes Interiors)

Neighbourhood Spotlight: Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive

Overview

A culturally rich and authentic neighbourhood, Commercial Drive – also known as The Drive – is one of the best and most colourful shopping, dining and nightlife districts you will find in the city; and boasts home to Vancouver’s own 8 block officially designated Little Italy, representing more than 60 years of Italian heritage. Day or evening, The Drive offers 22 full blocks to explore with over 300 distinct merchants, including quaint boutiques, an eclectic collection of restaurants, a vibrant live music and bar scene, dinner and dancing, theatres, coffee houses, specialty food stores and bakeries. A one of a kind experience. Welcome to The Drive.

 

Seeing and Doing

Commercial Drive runs through the centre of the neighbourhood, and strolling with a coffee in hand is a great introduction to Vancouver’s diversity. At the south end of the neighbourhood is John Hendry Park, which surrounds Trout Lake. On Saturdays from May through to October, the park is home to an excellent farmer’s market – the perfect place to grab a light breakfast while you browse the stalls. The pretty park is also a nice place for an impromptu picnic with items purchased at the market or along The Drive. At the north end, you’ll find a classic theatre space, and another green space – Grandview Park, known for its seemingly constant drum circles. In the streets on either side of Commercial, you’ll find lovely old houses, many built in the turn-of-the-century “Queen Anne” style.

Commercial Drive Graphic

Eating and Drinking

The sheer diversity of cuisine along The Drive is mesmerizing. You’ll find plenty of Italian influence, with espresso bars, wood-fired pizza, pasta palaces and gelato stops littered like confetti along the thoroughfare. But you’ll also find the cuisines of more recent immigrants, such as those from the Caribbean, El Salvador, Nepal and Mexico, in the mix as well. The vast number of options means that the best way to choose a spot is to keep walking until you find a place that fits the bill! For those just looking for a drink, The Drive is perfect for beer lovers: you’ll find tap houses specializing in both local and European brews, neighbourhood pubs for laidback beer, and even a number of craft breweries within walking distance.

Commercial Drive

Shopping and Souvenirs

The shops along The Drive still primarily service the residential area surround the street, which means that many focus on food. From fresh pasta to cheese emporiums, specialty wine to delicatessens hung with house-smoked sausages, this is one delicious drive! There’s also a distinctly bohemian air to the area, and fittingly, you’ll find plenty of places to buy beaded curtains, bongo drums, incense and carvings imported from South East Asia. Many of the other stores are hyper-local, making it a good place to pick up clothing and art from Vancouver designers and craftspeople as souvenirs.

For more information, visit the Commercial Drive Business Society.

Top Ten Tips for Selling Condos in Vancouver

vancouver condos

Selling a condo (or any property) in Vancouver in 2019 is more challenging than it has been in a long time. On average, properties take over a month to sell and if you want to make it into that group, you’ll need to take steps to prepare your home for sale. A couple of starting points are that this is not the same market it was in 2016-2017, and just like going on a first date, you want to put your best foot forward. There aren’t second chances when it comes to selling your home!

  1. Pricing is the most obvious so we can get this out of the way right at the start. As of the end of April 2019, there were about 40% more properties listed for sale compared to April 2018, which was 20% higher than April 2017. If your condo is overpriced the buyers will go down the street and find one that isn’t. Your Realtor should provide you with comparables and a pricing strategy that lines up with the current market.
  2. Cleaning your condo before pictures, open houses, and showings is a must. Buyers are going to be inspecting every inch of your home and they need to be comfortable doing it, or the only thing they’ll remember is how dirty it was. If cleaning isn’t your forte, consider hiring professional cleaners to make sure it’s spotless.
  3. Decluttering can make your home feel bigger and more welcoming when buyers are doing their walkthroughs. The goal is to have them looking at the space in general, and not nick-nacks that you’ve collected over years of hoarding. Moving furniture around to create more open space can also make an 800 square foot condo feel like it’s 900 square feet.
  4. Staging your property if it’s vacant or if it’s missing a few key pieces can turn your home into a show-home, and will bring more positive attention. Adding plants or colourful paintings can bring in a splash of colour that make it feel more welcoming and will help buyers remember it over everything else they’ve seen.
    vancouver condo selling tips
  5. Professional photography cannot be overstated when you’re ready to sell. Real estate photographers know the best angles to make your condo look bigger and brighter which will bring more buyers in to the open houses. Your iPhone may be great for selfies but you’ll need something more advanced if you want to sell your home.
  6. Patience and persistence are the themes of 2019 with the average property taking 39 days to sell today compared to 25 in April 2018. It’s not uncommon for it to take 3-4 months to finally sell which also means if your goal is to move by the end of the year, it’s time to start getting prepared now.
  7. Prepare to be flexible! People’s schedules change all the time which means you may be getting some last-minute showing requests, and while you may not be able to accommodate all of them, each one represents a missed opportunity. The goal of listing your condo for sale is to find one person that’s willing to buy it from you, so make sure they are able to actually see it.
  8. Renovations and minor touch ups ensure that the next owner has to do a little bit less work, and can make your condo significantly more appealing. 20 years ago it was common to have walls separating kitchens from dining and living rooms, but now the goal is to have as few barriers as possible. If you’re looking for more minor updates, a new coat of paint (preferably white/neutral) can go a long way in making your condo look brighter and makes less work for the next owner.
  9. Pretend you’re the buyer and be honest with yourself when you’re decorating and moving furniture around. Your personal taste may be different from other people’s and the goal is to appeal to the widest audience possible.
  10. Hiring the right agent that is experienced and knows the neighbourhood is the most important decision you’ll make when selling your condo. Your Realtor should be able to give proper pricing information, advice on staging (whether hiring a professional or making minor tweaks), and should be someone that you get along with on a personal level. A lot of people have their real estate license, but hiring someone that’s not active in the market could end up costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We’re always happy to help even if you just have a few questions so feel free to contact us by email or phone any time. If you’re just interested in keeping up to date with market news, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.

Coquitlam’s Newest Neighbourhood Centre

The Heights on Austin

Coquitlam’s Newest Neighbourhood Centre

heights austin coquitlam presale

Coquitlam has become one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver ever since the  skytrain extension made it easier for commuters to get around the area. Beedie Living’s newest condo project, The Heights on Austin, is the most recent addition to the area. The development will consist of two 25-storey towers with a total of 344 homes, 16,000 square feet of amenity space (in the east tower), and will feature a brand new 65,000 square foot Safeway just downstairs. The future of the neighbourhood will include cafes, plazas, and public art installations once it’s fully transformed into a neighbourhood centre.

The condos will range in size from 482 square foot one bedrooms to 1,061 square foot three bedrooms with prices starting at $424,900. Homes come with a choice of three colour schemes, high-end appliances, and luxurious soaker tubs in the main bathrooms. Residents can also enjoy water and mountain views from their suites, or they can step outside and enjoy the 750 acres of green space within just 4km that comes with living in Coquitlam. For commuters, The Heights on Austin will be located within a short drive to the skytrain or to the highway, providing easy access to the rest of Metro Vancouver.

The project is slated for completion in Spring 2022, and for a limited time deposits will be just 10%. Contact us for floor plan and pricing information.

Key Points:

  • Choice of three colour schemes: Oak, Walnut & Stone, designed by award-winning Bob’s Your Uncle Design
  • Generous balconies with views of the Fraser River and Coast Mountains
  • Energy efficient heating and air conditioning in every home
  • Over 2,000 sf of private indoor and 14,000 sf of outdoor amenity area
  • Air-conditioned Fitness Centre with herringbone flooring and state-of-the-art gym and cardio equipment
  • Transit Accessibility: – 5–minute drive to the highway – 5–minute transit to the Skytrain – 30 minutes to anywhere in Metro Vancouver
  • 750+ acres of green space within 4 km of your home

Fill out the form below if you’d like more information about the project!

The Heights on Austin
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Top Ten Tips for Buying Condos in Vancouver

buying condos in vancouver

Buying a home is the biggest single purchase most people will ever make, and because it’s such a rare occurrence, a lot of people don’t really know what to look for. Buying a condo is also very different from buying a detached house: you share walls, expenses, and common areas with all of the other residents which can make everything much more complicated. While your Realtor is there to help you through the whole process, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what’s going on too. Here are some tips for buying a condos in Vancouver:

  1. Is it in within your budget? Usually the first thing people will do when they start looking for a home is contact their Realtor so that they can start looking at places right away. The first question the Realtor will ask is whether or not you’ve been pre-approved so that they know exactly what your budget is. Buyers will often guess or look at an online calculator, but you’ll need a firm number to work with to avoid any complications or wasted time.
  2. How is it priced? A seller’s expectations can be the deciding factor as to whether or not a property actually sells. Make sure to have your Realtor go through some comparables with you, which should include both sales in the area, and current active listings.
  3. How’s the location? A perfect location will be different from buyer to buyer. It can depend on price, amenities, transit, schools, or any number of other factors depending on their lifestyle. Kitsilano may be perfect for a buyer that loves the beach, while Coal Harbour may be perfect for someone looking for a view of the water.
  4. How’s the layout? A clean, open floor plan can make all the difference both for you and for future buyers when you decide to sell your condo. Hallways can create a lot of wasted space, especially in a 1-2 bedroom home, and can make a 700 square foot condo feel smaller than one that’s 600 square feet.
  5. How old is the building? Buying an older home can be a fantastic opportunity, but it presents its own challenges as well. If the home was built in the 1990s, check if it’s rainscreened, if it’s built before 1990, there’s potential for asbestos. While certain materials like stucco were extremely common in the 1990s, it can be a cause for concern without doing your due diligence.bad reno
  6. Has it been renovated? Renovations can make a 30 year old condo feel brand new, but it’s important to make sure that all upgrades were done with the required approvals and permits, and that they were done by a professional. Homeowners will often renovate on their own, and it can show in the details so be sure to check for things like gaps in the floorboards, and ask questions.
  7. What’s happening nearby? Vancouver is constantly changing and being developed to accommodate the population growth. Construction of new properties could mean years of additional traffic, noise from construction, and blocked views. If it’s a larger development, traffic issues could continue as more people move into the area.
  8. How are the documents? Strata documents such as meeting minutes, annual general meeting minutes, and depreciation reports can all include information that can make or break a purchase or sale. It is CRUCIAL to review these to see if there are any past, present, or future issues with the building. You may think you’re getting a great deal on a unit, but it could be because of upcoming special levies.
  9. What are the restrictions? While you’re reviewing the strata documents make sure to check the bylaws: that’s where you will find information that could include rental limitations, pet restrictions, or age restrictions. If you have four dogs, smoke, and are wanting to occasionally AirBNB your place out, it’s not going to be easy.
  10. Find the right Realtor for you! Most people will already know a Realtor or can be referred to one by a family member or friend, but it’s important to work with someone that you trust, and that you connect with. Every Realtor will do things a little bit differently so make sure you’re on board with their plan, and make sure it’s someone that will genuinely look out for your best interests.

We’re always happy to help even if you just have a few questions so feel free to contact us by email or phone any time. If you’re just interested in keeping up to date with market news, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.

Lower Mainland Pre-sale Tips

Vancouver Presale
Thinking of buying a pre-sale condo or townhouse? You might be tempted by diversity of choice in the Lower Mainland, the immaculately designed sales centre, and the attractive buyer incentives.

Here’s how it works:

When you agree to buy a pre-sale unit, you’re actually entering into a contract for the right to receive and an obligation to pay for a finished condo at a set point in the future. This forms the basis for some of the unique opportunities and risks that go along with buying pre-sale. There are definitely advantages to buying pre-sale. You can pay just a small deposit now, save money while it’s being built, then pay the balance of your deposit when you move in. Or you can pay your deposit in bite-sized increments during the building process.

You can also customize design elements, finishes and even your layout. Because you’re buying a brand-new home, you won’t have to worry about doing costly repairs for at least another decade. And your unit will be covered under the BC government’s 2-5-10 Year Home Warranty Insurance program, so that if something does go wrong, you won’t have to pay for it.

But there are also risks and unique obligations that need to be considered before you sign on the dotted line and hand over your deposit. Here’s what you need to know: your rights and responsibilities under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA).

Though there are advantages to buying pre-sale in any market, the greatest opportunities arise in a rising or hot real estate market. That’s because, by the time you move into your completed condo, it could already be worth more than what you agreed to pay for it.

In a softening market, on the other hand, by the time you complete the sale, you might already have lost money. If you’re relying on a mortgage, lenders may only cover the market value of the property at the time of completion, leaving you scrambling to raise more cash for the difference.

The mortgage climate can change without warning as well. Many people who purchased before the federal government administered tighter mortgage rules found they no longer qualified for the amount they were pre-approved for by the time they had to pay up.

So what happens if you can’t raise the cash you need to complete the sale, or your unit is worth less than what you owe when it’s time to pay up? Unless the developer violates the terms of your agreement, you are legally obligated to complete the sale or forfeit your deposit.

Besides market changes, there are other unknowns, from unexpected construction delays to condos that don’t get built at all.

So how can you mitigate some of the potential risks?

  • Long before you’re ready to sign anything, find out everything you can about the builder of each development you’re considering. Do they have a reputation of building on time? Talk to Jordan & Jordan and to homeowners who’ve purchased from them in the past. And if you’re a first-time buyer with a small down payment, consider sticking with pre-sale units that are already close to completion to eliminate some of the unknowns.
  • Talk to an independent mortgage broker as well (we have a few we can recommend), to find out what you can afford and to make sure your credit is in shape before you go in. That way you’ll be financially ready.
  • Before you sign a purchase contract, you have the right to review a Disclosure Statement prepared by the developer, according to Section 21.2 of REDMA. The Disclosure Statement lays out everything you will be buying including proposed and filed bylaws, common property and storage allocations, and descriptions of appliances, furnishing, and finishes.
  • Under REDMA, it also has to include an estimated construction start and end date, as well as any “material facts” that could “reasonably be expected to affect, the value, price, or use of the development unit or development property.
  • The developer is obligated to keep you up-to-date on amendments to estimated dates and material facts. This is important because building a new development is a long and complex process, and things often morph as it progresses.
  • Take time to review the Disclosure Statement carefully and make sure you understand all the terms set out in it. This step is best tackled with an experienced lawyer specializing in residential real estate and, of course, your own Real Estate Agent (not the developer’s).
  • After you’ve thoroughly reviewed the Disclosure Statement, look over the pre-sale contract with a fine-tooth comb, and check the small print before you sign.

Buying pre-sale has some unique rewards, but the process can be far from simple. REDMA legislation leaves room for interpretation and is being shaped by a number of ongoing court cases. So it’s a wise move to enlist an experienced real estate agent, mortgage broker and lawyer to help safely guide you through the process and into your swanky, custom home.

Ready to start housing hunting? Let us find you the perfect deal!

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Burquitlam – Affordable and Transit Friendly

Starting at $375,000

Short Walk from Burquitlam Skytrain

vista burquitlam

Vista by Dolomiti Homes is Burquitlam’s newest development, adding 76 units to the transit-oriented, quickly growing neighbourhood. The project will be located just an 8 minute walk from the skytrain, providing quick access to the rest of the Lower Mainland, while also being a six-minute drive from SFU. The low-rise development will also be close to hiking trails, Lougheed Town Centre, and the Burrard Inlet.

Units will range in size from 464 sqft to 1043 sqft with prices varying from $375k to over $693k. Vista will have over 4,000 sqft of amenity space including a 3,300 sqft rooftop patio with 360 degree views, as well as a state of the art fitness centre on the second floor.

The project is slated for completion in 2021 with sales starting right away.

Key Points:

ROOFTOP AMENITY AND GYM

  • Over 4,000 square feet of amenity space
  • 360 degree views from the 3,300 square-foot rooftop deck for relaxing and entertaining
  • Fitness centre with patio access on level 2
  • Children’s play area next to greenway for extra privacy
  • Personal storage locker for each home
  • Secured underground parking with fob access
  • 2-5-10 New Home Warranty

STYLISH INTERIORS

  • Open floorplans with mostly 9-foot ceilings
  • Laminate flooring throughout
  • Front-load washer and dryer
  • Contemporary ceiling light fixtures
  • Polished chrome hardware throughout
  • Custom millwork closets organizers (available in select homes)
  • Modern and vibrant white cabinets
  • Kitchen Aid™ stainless steel appliances
  • Elegant quartz countertops and backsplash with graceful waterfall edge (most homes)

Fill out the form below if you’d like more information about the project!

Vista - Burquitlam Living
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2019 Budget Provides Good News for Home Buyers

homebuyer

The Federal Government recently unveiled their 2019 budget, and it included good news for first time home buyers.

Under the new CMHC First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation would use up to $1.25 billion over three years to help lower mortgage costs for eligible Canadians.

The money would go to first-time home buyers applying for insured mortgages. Borrowers would still have to provide a down payment of at least five per cent of the home purchase price. On top of that, though, they would receive an incentive of up to 10 per cent of the house price, which would lower the amount of their mortgage.

For example, say you’re hoping to buy a $400,000 home with the minimum required five per cent down payment, which works out to $20,000. With the new incentive, you could receive up to $40,000 through the CMHC. Now, instead of taking out a $380,000 mortgage, you’d need to borrow only $340,000. This would lower your monthly mortgage bill from over $1,970 to less than $1,750.

The incentive would be 10 per cent for buyers purchasing a newly built home and 5 per cent for existing homes. Only households with an annual income under $120,000 would be able to participate in the program.

Homeowners would eventually have to repay the incentive, possibly at re-sale, though it’s unclear yet how that would work.

Also, mortgage applicants still have to qualify under the federal stress test, which ensures that borrowers will be able to keep up with their debt repayments even at higher interest rates. There was some speculation that this stress test could be reduced, but the government opted to go a different direction.

However, the incentive would essentially lower the bar for test takers, as applicants would have to qualify for a lower mortgage.

On the other hand, the amount of the insured mortgage plus the CMHC incentive would be capped at four times the home buyers’ annual incomes, or up to $480,000.

This means the most expensive homes Canadians would be able to buy this way would be worth around $500,000 ($480,000 max in insured mortgage and incentive, plus the down payment amount).

The government is hoping to have the program up and running by September.

As was widely anticipated, the government would also enhance the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), which currently allows first-time buyers to take out up to $25,000 from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to finance the purchase of a home, without having to pay tax on the withdrawal. The budget proposes raising that cap to $35,000. This is a significant improvement as the withdrawal amount had been at its previous level for 10+ years, despite increasing prices.

The new limit would apply to HBP withdrawals made after March 19, 2019.

Economists said the new CMHC incentive and the enhanced HBP would encourage Canadians to take on more debt, stimulate housing demand, and possibly push up housing prices.

“It’s a different kind of borrowing,” David Macdonald, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said of the CMHC incentive.

And with a home-price limit of around $500,000, the program is unlikely to help middle-class millennials buy homes in Vancouver and Toronto, where average property values are far higher, said TD economist Brain De Pratto.

Those taking advantage of the higher HBP limit, on the other hand, would have to keep in mind that the government is not extending the program’s repayment timeline, said Doug Carroll, a tax and financial planning expert at Meridian.

Home buyers must put the money back into their RRSP over 15 years to avoid their HBP withdrawal being added to their taxable income. Now Canadians will have to repay a maximum of $35,000 – instead of $25,000 – over the same period, Carroll noted.

In general, the economists and financial experts Global News spoke to saw the budget as being focused on demand-side housing measures, rather than policies that would encourage the construction of new homes.

And while the budget does earmark $10 billion over nine years for new rental homes, it does not propose major tax breaks for homebuilders.

Tax incentives proved to be an effective way to stimulate residential construction in the past, said Don Carson, tax partner at MNP.

“They really drove supply,” he said.

If you have any questions or comments, let us know!

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2001 888 Hamilton – New Listing

2001 888 hamilton

About the Property

Enjoy Historical Yaletown & False Creek views and the best of downtown living has to offer at Rosedale Garden! Rarely available, spacious 2 bdrm + 2 bath + den (with large balcony) offers a great/functional layout and plenty of storage space. S, E exposure with Floor to ceiling windows that brings in tons of natural light. Granite countertops, laminate floors, SS appliances, custom made closets, in-suite laundry. Amenities include an indoor pool, sauna/steam room, gym, outdoor garden/lounge area. Rosedale Garden is very well maintained & common area improvements have recently been incorporated. Rentals and pets are welcome. This suite includes 1 parking & 1 large storage locker. With a walk score of 99.

Contact us for more info!

About the Neighbourhood

The downtown area is generally considered to be bounded by Burrard Inlet to the north, Stanley Park and the West End to the west, False Creek to the south, and the Downtown Eastside to the east. Most sources include the full downtown peninsula (adding the West End neighbourhood and Stanley Park) as downtown Vancouver, but the City of Vancouver defines them as separate neighbourhoods.

Besides the readily identifiable office towers of the financial and central business districts, Downtown Vancouver also includes residential neighbourhoods in the form of high-rise apartment and condominiums, in Yaletown and Coal Harbour. Other downtown neighbourhoods include the Granville Mall and Entertainment District, Downtown’s South, GastownJapantown, and Chinatown.

Contact us if you’re looking to buy or sell your home and need a Realtor in Vancouver today!

The Impact of Seasons: 13 Things to Consider When Buying or Selling

vancouver

There are a lot of factors that can impact real estate trends, including the time of year. The market’s ebbs and flows are often dictated by the seasons: For instance, summer months might be busier than winter, while the winter holidays can lead to a slump in sales, or the inverse, depending on the type of property or region.

1. Be Prepared For Changing Seasonal Property Perceptions

External factors like weather, foliage and light can greatly impact the perception of a property. Be aware of how these may vary each season. A property with stunning views may be diminished once leaves are on the trees. Likewise, what appears to be sunny and bright may drastically change if under a tree canopy that’s currently bare. Beach homes may see a very different traffic pattern in season.

2. Use The Changing Season As A Built-In Conversation Starter

Changing seasons or calendar events give you a great opportunity to connect with clients. At the end of the year, agents can talk about tax deductions, while spring or summer can be a great time to talk about moving before the new school year starts. Either way, a new season gives you an excuse to speak with a client!

3. Check In With Contacts During Seasonal Staffing Changes

As seasons change, staffing changes. People move. You should use this time to catch up and make sure your contacts are placed as you remember. While you are at it, update yourself on industry trends you wish to share. Listen for clues where you can provide service, such as expansions, contractions or consolidations. For investments, check for external changes as they affect each type of investment.

4. Acquire And Upgrade Multifamily Properties During The Winter To Spring Transition

We routinely acquire multifamily properties in the November through January window when few other buyers are active, resulting in lower purchase prices. Then, during January through March, we conduct value-add improvements. As spring starts, the properties are listed for rent when tenants start looking to move, securing high-quality tenants into our newly renovated units.

5. Invest During The Fall To Capitalize On Seasonal Price Cuts

Real estate prices fluctuate depending on the time of the year. Nationwide, end of summer and beginning of fall is the best time to invest. In Manhattan, highest price cuts are to be found in September and October. Also, as common knowledge teaches us, winter is always a buyer market. Based on seasonal data, and working with the seller or buyer side, we can always structure a deal.

6. Off-Season Differs Regionally

Seasons definitely create troughs and sprints of activity in the real estate market. Off-seasons, especially in cold-weather states, often mean less competition and more negotiability. When new surges kick in, like the peak spring-summer buyers’ market, it can be an attractive time to sell and let competing buyers bid up prices. However, some markets like Florida have reverse seasons.

7. Take Opportunity To Provide Feedback

Changing seasons can create opportunities as they can provide important market feedback. For example, if a client is selling a home and it does not sell during the peak summer season and fall is rapidly approaching, it sends a clear message that the seller should consider a price reduction or potentially be prepared to wait until spring to attract a buyer at their desired price.

8. Know That Commercial And Residential Markets Have Opposite Seasons

Commercial real estate seasons and residential (home sales) seasons are incongruent. Home sales pick up in the spring and agents talk about the flowering landscape, improved curb appeal, staging the pool and porch. In commercial, our seasons are the end of the year: Get those sales closed before tax laws change and in the first quarter when tenants or buyers set budgets and think about space.

9. Tailor Your Approach To Your Buyer’s Needs

Tailor your approach based on the needs of the buyer and why they’re looking in a specific location. In markets like Manhattan, you’re not impacted by the season as much as you are in the Hamptons or other primary summer destinations. It’s important to make sure brokerages have sufficient in-season marketing material so they can showcase homes that highlight its value through all four seasons.

10. Celebrate Changes In Season

As much as your city enjoys its four seasons, we all look forward to when they change. Celebrate that transition with clients by connecting with local businesses who bring that message home. For example, enjoy maple sugar in March or share a recipe for a local delicacy in April. This can make your agency stand out, add a local and educational component, as well as build a stronger rapport.

11. Financially Prepare For Seasonal Downturns

Being prepared ahead of time for changes in market conditions is important for prudent investors. Utilizing moderate leverage is the best way for an investor to protect themselves if a downturn occurs, enabling them to refinance or divest of the asset without incurring a loss. In addition, high cash reserves allow investors to swoop in for discounted properties while others are running away.

12. There’s Never A Wrong Time To Buy, Only Sell

Our brains are so fascinating. Most buyers wait until the market is appreciating to know it’s “OK” to buy and then wait again when the market is turning down, as they don’t want to buy a depreciating asset! The truth is there’s no wrong time to buy, only a wrong time to sell. Look outside your own market for opportunities as the market shifts and wait patiently for the next cycle to time the sale.

13. Focus On The Positives

There are benefits and downfalls to each season, so it is important to focus on the positive aspects of the current or upcoming season to build confidence with your clients. There will always be ebb and flow to the inventory available and buyers available. If it is winter, highlight there will be less competition on the market for your seller, but if it is summer, focus on the high demand.

There are pros and cons to buying or selling in any market, contact us today to have us help put together a plan that works for you.