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Personal Real Estate Corporation Cell 778-636-7707 | info@axelziba.realtor

This is a short and quick tutorial on free vancouver home valauation.


To start go to Whatisyourhomevaluetoday.ca


In the middle of the page you have a clear widget asking for your home address and unit number. If you leave in Vancouver condo or townhouse it is neccessary to enter your unit number, otherwise we cannot perform the valuation process. You then can simply press the yellow "Show Me Now" button.


In the same page on the left top corner of your screen, you can also review the Real Estate Council new regulation and requirement disclosure necessary for real estate services. Rest assure i follow all the regulation and you will receive a copy of Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services in your Free home evalaution package.



In step 2, you must filll in your "first name", "Last Name" and valid "email address" where we can send the evalaution kit directly. If you don't fill this section, the kit will be mailed via Canada post to your home address provided.



In Step 3 it would ask you for your phone number and two drop down menu where you can tell me when is the timeline for selling your home.


Congratulations. I have received your info and will start working on it with full details.

Here is a quick video tutorial for your review.


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This is a quick tutorial on how to define your Vancouver Home Search and assign your Criteria on axelrealtor.ca MLS® Search by Vancouver Realtor - Axel Ziba PREC - Engel & Völkers.


To start go to Https://axelrealtor.ca


From the top main menu choose "MLS® Search" Tab.


This page direct you to "Start Searching Listings". Click on the writing to be directed to the main search map.


On top of the map, you have many criterias to narrow-down your Vancouver home search.


The largest tab is "Enter location or MLS® #". This will help you assign what desired area you're searching. You can type "Kitsilano, Yaletown, Downtown, False Creek, Coal Harbour, Shaughnessy and so on"



Next is to assign your property Type. Click on "Type" and select " Houses (Detached), Condo/Townhouses (Attached)"

This will significantly focus your search on what you're after.

Other tab is to assign your budget range. "Price"

You have been pre-approved and have dne your research on how much hoe you can afford. This tab wil help define and search for Vancouver homes in your budget range.

Next tab is assign your number Bedrooms and Bathroom you prefer.


You can also define more advanced criteria for your Vancouver home search by going to "More" Tab and narrow down your search by defining "Lofts, Penthouse, Corner unit, Year built, Lot Size and much more".

Below is a full video for your review.


Enjoy your Vancouver homes and Condo apartments MLS® Search.

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If you have missed it on the news and media channels, there is a new announcement from the Government of BC for all BC homeowners. The new requirement is that every homeowners whose home is located within Speculation Tax zoning, will be receiving a letter.
This letter must be completed by the end of march to declare and opt-out from speculation tax and it must be done every year. The ones who miss the deadline will be charged as speculators. Although they can appeal to get their money returned, but it would take a long period.
 
This is a heads up as many homeowners in BC are exempt from this tax and yet must opt-out and fill up the form sent.
Please contact your legal advisor or your tax accountant to make sure you properly fill up the form to avoid any complication.
 
Here is an article from Globe and Mail. 
 
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As a local Vancouver REALTOR® and a full time real estate agent, I come cross many real estate home buyers in Vancouver that are not familiar with the steps and process of buying a home or condo in British Columbia.
 
There are numerous steps involved with purchasing a House or condo for sale in Vancouver BC. 
There are 3 level of purchase:
A) Pre-Purchase Activity
In this stage, the consumer feels the need to purchase. wether it is downsizing to a smaller property, upsizing because of growing family, or simply feel the need for safest investment. reviewing the products, getting to know the market and getting familiar with the prices, neighborhood, and other important detail.
B) Purchase
In this stage the consumer engages in the purchase by stepping forward using all the information gathered by the step one to make a final decision.
C) Post Purchase Activity
In this stage the consumer has obtained the product and pending on the scenario, lots of excitement or remorse.
Step 1. Get your finances in order
This is one of the most important step in purchasing a real estate. Many buyers assume their affordability and after searching for months and finding that dream home, get the shocking news that they can not be approved financially. It is important to find a quality and top rated financial mortgage company that is familiar with all under-writings and new implemented banking requirements. In this stage, the buyer must provide all their personal financing information to their mortgage specialist in order to obtain pre-approval. In my other article we discussed about pre-approval and its lack of financing confirmation support, hence it is suggested to go one step forward and provide further details of personal income and finances to obtain more accurate conditional approval from your financial institution. 
Steps 1 and 2 are in co-relation as your REALTOR® can refer you to a reputable mortgage specialist and or broker to make the process much easier and more pleasant.
Step 2. Choose your REALTOR®
Despite of the number of technology and real estate website available to brows all properties and Vancouver MLS® Listings, non can define detailed and focus search criteria. I also need to mention, the importance of hiring a REALTOR® professional as i have discussed in other articles. In the first meeting with your real estate agent, the agent goes through a wide range of questionnaire. By asking targeted questions, this professional agent, can narrow down the search and target your desired;
- Location
- Price range (Approved maximum budget)
- Home type (House, Condo or townhouse)
- Home Shape and size ( Character built, Modern contemporary, Living square footage)
In addition to the targeted search above, the agent also focuses on deal breakers as your need such as 
- Pet friendly properties
- Backyard and or balcony
- Top floor or first floor
- Number of parking garage
- Defined property titles (Freehold, Leasehold, Coop)
When these criteria are assigned and targeted and discussed, your search and showing schedules are more focused toward the property of your liking without any time wasted. This is one of biggest advantages of using a REALTOR® and discussing this conversation in the first meeting.
Step 3. Showings and Viewings
As discussed above, your Vancouver REALTOR® has narrow down your search and focused on your search criteria and now has located few top properties for you to view. One of the advantage of having a REALTOR® working on your side, is that the real estate agent reviews all backend documents and notes that are not displayed publicly and eliminating the ones that are not aligned with your search. As an example, 
- Probate
Properties that the title holder has passed and it is in a hand of legally authorized person to obtain all approval prior to sale. These properties usually take longer to close and obtain all required documents.
- Foreclosure
A bank owned or troubled in finances that requires judgement from a court for sale proceedings which has much longer closing and much riskier to obtain. 
- Tear-down
Properties which are not safe to live-in and require extensive renovation or complete tear-down. this process requires city approval, permits and special financing.
- Needing TLC and or SOLS AS/IS
This is a code that property is in despair and requires extensive care and renovation. These are risky properties as the buyers fully take responsibility of any issues. Financial institutions are usually do not support the financing on such risky properties.
- Special assessment and strata issues
This is for condos and strata properties that have an upcoming expenses to cover certain issue in the building which has not been remedied yet. This is also a risky situation as the buyer may be responsible for portion of the expense and most financial institution steer away from these strata properties for approval of finances.
- Renovation with no Permit
This is also a risky situation, although many Vancouver properties have unauthorized suite for additional income, and or have done renovation without a city permit, it can turn ugly as the city may want to inspect and change the entire renovated project which is the buyer cost. 
- Title issues ( Covenant, easements, litigations, scheme)
It is important to know when searching for a properties online by yourself, non of the information above is mentioned publicly. So it is crucial to have a REALTOR® review all the situation and advise a legal advisor to consult these situation with the buyer.
Step 4. What to see when viewing
Many buyers don't know what to see when viewing the property. They simply walkthrough, looking at furnitures and decoration. It is important when viewing a property for a first time to:
- Look for first and last impression
As a buyer, if you see yourself and or your family living and walking toward the door, sitting in the living room, cooking in the kitchen, and or entertaining your guests, it is starter feeling to connect. 
- Look for potential 
Don't see the seller's furniture, see yours and observe the potential for putting a right color on the wall, changing the chandelier, change the kitchen cabinets and so on. It is important to see the opportunity and potential. not the existing condition.
- Room sizes
observe living room and bedroom sizes. Does your king bed fits comfortably in the main bedroom? how about your sectional sofa in the living room?
- Bathrooms and comforts
Number of bathrooms always important specially for families. Also consider the size of bathroom and their location in the house. Are the bathroom close to bedrooms? Is there an en-suite bathroom in the main bedroom? is there a guest bathroom? or they have to use the main one?
- Home direction
Property direction is important for many buyers. Capturing the natural light, sunshine in a proper season, and or exposed view of your privacy. 
- Storages
Look for number and space of the storages. are there enough space to put all your luggages and chrismas decorations?
 
Step 5. Make an offer
After viewing some properties, you found your desired property and know the one you just viewed is the one. It is time to make an offer. In your first consultation with your REALTOR® you discussed about the market, whether it is a buyer's or seller's. Based on that information, your agent will provide you with all the information to prepare the offer and all the condition that protects a buyer for investigating their purchase on that for sale house or condo in Vancouver. There are various number of conditions (subjects) depending on the type of the property.
- Financing approval
- Title Review
- Documents review (Strata documents, Property Disclosure Statement, 
- Insurance approval
- Property Inspection (Oil Tank, Asbestos and Mold are addition)
and may there be some additional condition depending on the property situation and type. 
This stage is another example where you need a professional REALTOR® familiar with the neighborhood and market. Your agent negotiates the offer and directs you toward all required consultation with accountants and legal advisors, protecting your interest at all time.
Step 6. Removing the subjects and deposit
After a hard negotiation, your offer is accepted. The subjects (conditions) time length in the "Contract of Purchase and Sale" or CPS depends on the real estate market and financial institution's need. a regular practice in a balanced market has 7-10 business days for the buyers to review all documents and get their full approval confirmation in order. 
Your real estate agent actively researches all documents and is in a direct contact with you and your legal advisor for providing all the necessary information to be reviewed. When every subjects is satisfied and safe, buyers sign a subject removal form, declaring their satisfaction with all the subjects and provide the agreed deposit to be given to the trust account.
Congratulations. You officially purchased your property!
Step 7. Prepare for closing and lawyer 
Depending on the date of closing assigned in the contract, there are three specific dates to understand. 
- Completion Date
Is a date when lawyers transfer the title and the seller gets paid in full.
- Possession Date
Is the date when buyers obtain the key to move in.
- Adjustment Date
When the lawyers adjust and pay all taxes and file fees.
 In most cases, Adjustment and completions are the same dates and possession sometimes a day after the completion to give the sellers enough time to clean and empty the property.
about a week or two  before completion date, your real estate lawyer will have you sign all necessary papers and is in direct relationship with real estate broker conveyancing department as well as your financial institution. 
Step 8. Moving
Many buyers hire a moving company and start preparing to move right after they remove the subjects. It is a good idea to secure a moving company and organize all your moving schedules, specially when you have pets. Did you read my article on how to care for pets when moving?
 
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5 low-budget changes to make your house looks more attractive for saleAs Vancouver real estate shifting toward a more balanced market by having more inventory and listings on MLS®, it is important for homeowners and real estate seller enthusiast to be more vigilant when it comes to their Vancouver property presentation.First impressions are the ones make the biggest impression to any potential buyer and visitor. Followings are five suggestions to make a quick and inexpensive changes which make high impact for your home presentation. 

1.     Landscaping.

Trimming and cleaning the front and backyard doesn’t have to put a dent in your wallet. A clean fresh cut grass and clear driveway is way more inviting than having a rusted vehicle and unattended shrubs. Don’t leave it to the buyers imagination. A simple gardening care can go a long way.

2.     Fresh paint

Devote a day to do a complete paint. If you ever lived in a college dorm, you know how to do it yourself. But hiring a professional to do it, is not expensive and leaves a lasting impression. Pick a lighter colour to open up the space. This activity has also another purpose. In addition to complement the walls and remove all scratches, it makes you remove all the family photos and personal decoration of your safari trip with uncle Ted.

3.     Declutter

De-cluttering is simple and free, but the result is outstanding. Every square footage worth lots of dollars. In some cases over one thousand. Don’t cover up the money by newspaper basket, broken vase and that scratched Ikea table from your college time. Remove the unwanted furniture. Either sell them for extra cash or donate, maybe store them. This goes for all the kids toys and Danny’s office project.

4.     Furniture re-arrangement

This is a simple way to show the usage of the space. Vacant homes and apartments can be negative as the buyers won’t be able to imagine the usage of the proposed space. In many cases the data shows a properly designed staged home by a professional stager sells faster and fetches extra dollar value. Some staging pros even work with your own furniture for a low-budgeted expense and consult you on how to re-organize them for the best layout. If planning not to spend anything, then have our team of pro, do a walkthrough and direct you on how to space the furniture and storing the unwanted ones.

5.     Brighten it up.

One of the most common keyword use in real estate write ups is “Bright and spacious”. A bright indoor space has more life and energy to it. Change your burnt light bulbs and add more light fixtures. For showings open up the curtains and or blinds and let the light inside. These five quick and to-do things can go a long way and make tremendous impact and impression on every potential real estate visitor. As a local Vancouver REALTOR® I may add, to open up the doors and windows and let the air in. It certainly refreshes the indoor air.

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June 15 2018, was a date assigned to implement the newly introduced disclosure forms by Real Estate Council of British Columbia. In here, I will only share the portion of changes that will effect Vancouver area. The changes that will take effect immediately are:
- Banning of dual Agency
As of June 15Th 2018, a Real Estate Agent Professional, REALTOR® is not able to represent both Seller and Buyer clients in one transaction. In addition, Limited Dual Agency also applies where there are two competing buyer clients. Trading services are: 
- Trading Real Estate in Vancouver
- Leasing and renting
As a result, REALTOR® who is in a multiple Listing contract (MLC) with his/her seller client, must only work as a designated agent to the seller/s owing legal (Fiduciary Duties) to his/her client. 
If a buyer, who is not represented by a real estate professional, wanting to make an offer on the listing agent represented property, the agent must 
1- Make it clear that he/she is merely representing the seller and is working only to protect their interest.
2- Offer the buyer to seek representation and if applicable, refer the buyer to another REALTOR®
3- If the buyer prefers to remain "Unrepresented":
A) Provide the Buyer with "Disclosure of Representation In Trading Services" and have the buyer review and understand the difference between "Client" (Agency) and "Unrepresented" (No Agency) relationship and differences. 
The duties owed to a "client" is and not limited to:
- Duty of "Loyalty"
- Duty to "Avoid Conflict of Interest"
- Duty to fully "Disclose any relevant information"
- Duty to "protect the client confidentiality"
as an "Unrepresented" party, there is no duty owed.
4- If the buyer insist in remaining "Unrepresented", the REALTOR® in Vancouver, must provide the "Disclosure of Risks" so the buyer can fully understand the Risks involved in being "Unrepresented"
 
June 15, 2018, Real Estate Council, also introduced "Disclosure to Seller of Expected Remuneration". 
This enhanced form is to be represented to the seller clients at the time when presenting an offer to the seller, disclosing the segmented remuneration/commission in dollar form. Despite of the original real estate agreement to list the seller's property in Vancouver in Multi Listing contract and agreed amount or percentage of commission, the real estate agent must and is obligated to inform the sellers of the dollar amount of commission for any offer received:
- The total amount of commission paid to the Listing brokerage
- The total amount of commission to Coop Brokerage
- The retained amount of commission by listing Brokerage
In addition, the REALTOR® is also owed the duty to disclose any expected amount of remuneration involved in this transaction. 
I also have provided a short video for any consumer that I come in contact online which i provide the form and send them the link to this video for their review.
The following link is a full detail directly on RECBC, Real Estate Council of BC
 
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Well maintained and healthy attic is a subject to really focus on as attic in contrary can turn nasty and hold hidden issues and problem.

Can I use my attic space as storage? As Vancouver REALTOR® I do daily showings and get to know many people. The common issue I observed when showing properties to potential home buyers, they commented while pointing at the attic’s entrance “oh, here is an additional storage we can use and store our Christmas trees and decoration”.
According to Duxbury Inspections (https://www.glennduxbury-inspections.com): The added weight may loosen or dislodge connections on the roof trusses and cause a damaging burden on ceilings. Do not use attic / roof trusses as place on or from which to hang heavy items, for example a Kayak or boxes of books.

One of the most common issues and serious attic problems are rodents, and critters in general. Sometimes birds have nests and in some serious cases, even bats. Remedy is to declutter and regularly inspect the attic for such issue.
Living in Vancouver we are not stranger to damp and humid weather. Dampness causes mold and rot. Remedy is to keep the attic ventilated and check that no ventilation system has been covered by insulations.
Speaking of insulation, insufficient insulation causes loss of heat and higher electrical bills. So having regular check-up and maintenance of the attic every season is important. Since most attics access are limited and or difficult, maybe hiring a professional to do regular maintenance, can eliminate any future expense and surprises.
Have you checked your roof lately? 
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Observe this sold sign and imagine it right in front of your property. The day the buyers remove their subject and submit their deposit fund, is a very exciting day for every Vancouver home seller.
At this day, with my seller clients help, we place a SOLD sticker or topper on the "For Sale" sign post. 

What an exciting day it is.

How can you get there quicker? Implementing following techniques have tremendous impact on selling your home with best value.

- PRICE
Price it right. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to price your property perfect and reasonable. Being realistic with price gets higher attention from buyers.
Some sellers believe if they price it lower than it's value, they can bring more buyers and attract multiple offers. Although this scenario can be true, it is not a full proof method and can have a negative effect if only one offer arrives. At this point, the single offer if asking price, may not willing to go higher than ask and may walk away.
Pricing it higher to negotiate is another technique some sellers use. Pricing higher than the value sold based on other comparable, can scare buyers away assuming you may not wish to negotiate on your asking price. So what to do?
Price it reasonably right. There are various method to calculate the property value and its home evaluation. Using few proper approach and based on the market trends and activity, price it according to comparable sales, home price indexing (HPI), and sub-area average sales. It is important to also study the sales ratio in the sub-area and by adjusting a few thousand dollars, bring the property to a higher ratio niche market.

- GET THINGS FIX
Never rely on home buyer’s imagination. Buyers see what they pay for. You most likely don’t have time for a big renovation. Small repairs can make big impact in property value and potential buyers appreciate the fact that as a property owner, you cared and maintained it.
• Apply fresh quote of paint to cover any scratches and dents on the walls.
• Replace that old light fixture with a LED modern fixture. 
• Old wood flooring? Sand it and repaint, makes it brand new again and adds tremendous value in the eyes of the observers. 
• Change the 80’s gold door handles and knobs. Replace it with a modern element. 
• Plugs and light switches are cheap and easily replaceable.
• Kitchen cabinets handles also can make a big difference.
• In another article we talked about front door and its first impression.
• Leaky tub and plumbing. It is not expensive and easy to change. 
• Replenishing the bathroom tiles and tub’s corner with fresh caulking.

- DE-CLUTTER
Remove and clean. These should be your motto right before taking photos for the property. Store and remove everything that is bulky, unwanted, and occupies square footage with no purpose. Open it up and show your property. Have everything including appliances deep cleaned professionally. Don’t forget inside your fridge and the greasy oven tray. Don't forget the memory wall picture of family generation. Trust me. Buyers don't want to see your naked uncle on his fishing boat.
Remove and replace that old curtains and give the interior design a change into a modern element. 

- STAGE
Most sellers are afraid of the word staging. As a matter of fact, staging and design should be the sellers first on the list. Stagers can work with your own furniture and if they are not proper and attractive, they can have it replaced with what makes your home attractive in the eyes of buyers. Vacant property? It is a biggest mistake to list a property vacant without staging it. Placing furniture with smart planning, helps buyers to determine the usage of floorplan.

- FLEXIBLE WITH VIEWING
It is all about exposing your property at its most. Some buyers are last minute, few hours in town, or maybe working until after open house is done. Be flexible and ready for every showing. By ready, I mean to be prepared and keeping the property at its best shape. 
Keep the property at its most attractive position and that includes its aroma and smell. Try not to cook that smelly fish before a showing is scheduled.
By being flexible with showing times, it shows you are a motivated home seller and easy to deal with. 

- WORK WITH A PRO
Work with Vancouver real estate agent and REALTOR™ like me that is familiar with area trends, sales, and is competent. Market knowledge, ability to adopt with an unexpected surprise and negotiation skills are a few example of a savvy agent. 
Have more question? Let me help you in any way for Vancouver real estate.
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Our pets are part of the family and our hearts. As pet owner real estate buyer, when purchasing a townhouse or a condo for sale in Vancouver, we all must be careful to examine the strata documents specially when it comes to its provincial rules and bylaws.

When we talk about pets, we mostly refer to cats and dogs, but there are folks who have different pets, like Fish, birds, lizards, small piglets, and so on.

Every strata in BC must have bylaws and may have rules and it applies to all owners and tenants residing in the strata. The strata council is responsible for enforcing the rules and bylaws of the strata. bylaws govern the strata lot as well as the strata common property, but rules only govern the common property, not the strata lot.

As a pet owner, always ask for a copy of strata documents of the building or complex you have an interest of making an offer. These documents must be always available for buyers review and they are easy to read and understand.
When looking at the bylaws, scroll down to Pet section and review of what type of pet the strata allows and what restriction applies.
In this section of the bylaws, strata define what type and how many pets an owner can have in their unit. It also clearly explains the size and weight restriction.
Some strata don’t allow fish tanks or aquarium of any size due to the possibility of the water tank breakage and leaks. 
When it comes to our furry friends, some strata don’t allow dogs but are fine with limited number of cats. This can be due to the dogs barking and noise. 
Weight and size also is very important factor. In many cases, a buyer assumed the strata will be ok and lenient of a few extra pound weight of their pet dog, and unfortunately that was not the case and they had to pay fines and penalties to strata council.

Some strata also restrict some type of dogs like Pitbull, due to the trend of news that these types are more aggressive than others. (this decision comes from strata votes and the council)
Standard bylaws of BC allows 2 dogs or 2 cats with no weight or height restriction. 
Most newer built buildings and complex have standard bylaws with less pet restriction.

When it comes to the other pet kinds, it is important that the buyer investigate the bylaws and fully understand about its pet restriction. 
Have any question on how to review rules and bylaws? I’d be happy to help.
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I was at a friends house in Vancouver downtown the other day and came cross with a very friendly couple whom as soon as understood i was a REALTOR®, started to ask some interesting questions, which I felt necessary to share in my news.
The started by describing their property and its features, wanting to know what i thought of its price. After taking some notes, I gave them an estimated property value but assured them that the same night I would send them a detailed property evaluation and complete CMA (Comparable Market Analysis). I was familiar with their neighborhood and their house location so i knew the lot sizes and the properties that were sold nearby.
 
They asked when listing their home, they are familiar with the inconvenience of home preparation, but didn't see a value in open house. "Can open house sell my house in Vancouver?" they asked. "Is it effective to have an open house?"
 
I knew they didn't want to have many people walking around their privacy and property. I explained, there are Three types of Open Houses; 
A) Public open house
B) Broker Open House
C) REALTOR® weekly tour open house.
 
Public Open House:
In real estate we work with percentage and trends. Every percentage and minimal effect counts in selling a MLS® listing and keeping the momentum and attraction to the property. Most public open houses are placed in weekends for 2 hours a day. In some cases, I sometimes hold an open house during the weekday to attract more crowed as many folks already are committed in the weekend and might not be able to attend. 
To have an effective open house, it is important to have an extensive preparation, Marketing and advertisement,
Post it on MLS® and www.realtor.ca also openhouse.ca is a necessary step as many search through these sites. In addition, online blast in many other social medias, classifieds, and google ads can attract many potential real estate buyers in Vancouver.
When listing a new listing on MLS®, whether a house or condo for sale, it is very effective to hold and blast an open house the same weekend. I also use many other successful method to attract more crowed in the open houses, which I'd be happy to discuss when planning to list your home.
As mentioned, people are competitive and if they see another buyer interested in the same property, comparatively they get interested. In many occasions, REALTORS® receive offers at the open houses.
 
Broker Open House
In addition to bring public in to the property, sometimes it is a good idea to market the house toward brokerages that are qualified for that property. For instance, if we have a luxury listing for sale in Vancouver area, prior to do a public open house, we market it exclusive toward other luxury brokerages in the neighborhood, or the ones with extensive related networks. Broker open house is more intimate and exclusive, with the realtor being in charge of walk-through and showcasing the property to its fullest. In these occasion, sometimes we make an event and serve luxury drinks and appetizers including price draw. 
 
Weekly/Monthly REALTORS® Tour Open House
This is one the most effective way to showcase the property to as many real estate agent as possible. Although many agent have access to MLS® listings and know what's in the market, it is crucial to invite as many agents to attend the open house and including the property in their monthly/weekly office tour. Viewing the property physically by reminds them of the wants and needs of their certain clients.
 
In general Open House is a great tool to showcase a property fro sale in Vancouver. In real estate we work round the clock to create a momentum for our house or condo for sale listings on MLS®. Open house is just one of many effective methods to expose a listing for sale in Vancouver.
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Vancouver is one of the most attractive cities with its beautiful mountain backdrop and a picturesque scenery, whether in downtown urban areas or a bit further in North Shore cross from Stanley Park. One of the most attribute of Vancouver is its neighborhoods and communities.
Working close with many homeowners, I always wanted to address their biggest issue when thinking of selling their home; What do I do now?

Despite of the market trends, whether seller or buyer’s market, homeowners have variety of motivation to sell their property and the simplest ones are downsizing, relocation, financial hardship, or a growing family.
This stage is usually indicating a need to sell. First step to do is to involve the REALTOR® and discuss about the pros and cons. This step is crucial and must be the pillar of all your next planning. As a professional real estate agent, I’m knowledgeable in market’s trend, history, ups and downs and possible loss and gains. Consider this step as you’re writing a business plan. 
You start by gathering all the information related to your house:
- Market trends whether it is seller’s or buyer’s market.
- Comparable analysis and data research of all stats, sales ratio, to do a define and detailed evaluation of your house to determine the price range. This is a primary step to make or break, as we have to puts hopes and wishes aside, and only consider the reality of what the true value is. In addition, analyze the price based on two factors:
A) keeping the house in its current condition without upgrade or renovation
B) Increasing its price and value by spending smart renovation and upgrades.
- Based on the home value and the price determined, consider any impacts and expenses;
A) Mortgage penalties, fees, interest rate changes and anything finance related
B) Taxes and any implication that was not considered. 
C) Real estate commission and fees
- Next is to go through the selling steps and familiarize yourself with any upcoming risks and unknowns. (I have written a full detail seller’s guide)
- Considering the inconvenience of showings and open houses which you have to prepare your home and make it buyer’s friendly ready.
Familiarizing yourself with the unknowns and unpredicted risks, is very helpful for any home sellers since it reduces any surprise and helps planning in advance of how to deal with it.
Interviewing many homeowners, this was the most important factor that they wanted. To be informed and aware of what’s involved and be communicated with.
Luckily, my real estate industry skills and knowledge has always helped me to be competent and I always have been a detailed and responsive REALTOR® in Vancouver BC.
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People love to talk about real estate as it is the hottest everyday conversation maker. I even have people approaching me recognizing that I'm a realtor from my RE/MAX pin on my blazer, loving to talk about the real estate trends. 
The conversation is usually starts with, "so, how is the market" and or "oh, by the way, how much is my home worth now?"
I love to help people for their real estate questions and needs. regardless if even they are only curious and have no intention of buying or selling. To me, finding and connecting with people organically, is very precious as they can one day become my clients.
As a homeowner, it is important to be on top of your biggest investment and know what your local area real estate trends are. As our market constantly fluctuating, real estate enthusiast finding useful to understand how these trends work and can impact their local economy.
The basic rule of real estate is about supply and demand. when we have low supply for a sustained period, demands increases and it tips the market toward seller's market. the reverse is also called a buyer's market when supplies of inventory adds up for sustained period and satisfied the demands. 
We live in a beautiful city surrounded with mountains and ocean and realistically, the lack of land to build and extend. therefor, with the help of various municipalities changing the zoning and building permits, developers helping the city to go upward in to sky. There has been many talks about affordable housing as with the current price of real estate, owning a home for young generation is becoming a far fetched dream. But lets me a bit more realistic. taking away the 2016-2017 activity out of our equation, studying the trends of real estate, shows a steady growth for all type of homes in most areas, and that is not realistic since most real estate buyers, regardless of their motivation, wish to see growth in their initial investment and to build enough equity in sufficient term. Especially in our city of Vancouver with limited land, this is a fact that real estate is truly a long term investment. 
Ten years ago, regardless of the area, everyone yet was talking about how expensive the real estate was and how to create more affordability. BC Government meddle with the issue and added many taxation in the name of creating more housing, and affordability. Here we are again, the party in power, once again, wants to be the hero and in the name of affordability wanting to control and cool down the market and have created tremendous taxation.
Is it going to help? Would the money truly go toward creating more affordability and housing supplies? 
As a Canadian  homeowner, it is important to know the current influences that can impact real estate sales. low sales does not mean lower property prices, and that is something that media in effect, has wrongfully translated.
Although number of sale s for certain areas and for certain type of properties dropped, the prices didn't get affected and in certain cases increased from last year. 
Home price evaluation is an extensive research. there are many approaches to evaluate a property and estimate its value;
- Home price Index (HPI)
- Average Sales Value (ASV)
- Median Sales Value (MSV)
- Sales Ratio (SR)
- Dollar per square foot.
- Comparison Market Analysis (CMA)
All the approaches above, need to be calculated based on seller or buyer's market considering;
- Type of the property 
A) Single Family Detached (SFD)
B) Attached (Condo/Townhouse/ 1/2 Duplex)
- Area and sub area
in addition there need to be further due diligence in:
- Zoning and re-zone potential
- Nearby development and future plans
- Proximity to social housing and non-marketable properties
- Land and its characteristic
- Assessment taxes which are close relation to:
A) Local schools
B) Community centres
C) non-taxable lands like churches and places of worship.
- Walk score and commute friendliness.
 
All the factor above are important to consider when evaluating a price for your property.
I have an extensive tools, apps, data and most of all market knowledge that can provide an extensive detail home evaluation for your review.
Simply go to What is your home value today to get your report.
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And the title says it all. 
With our current market trending to be more on the seller's side when it comes to strata properties like condos and townhouses, many real estate buyers are interested in these property type. The motivation varies whether it is a designated residence for this buyers or simply an investment, there are many things to watch for and review when buying a strata and or condo for sale in Vancouver.
- Bylaws
Every strata property has bylaws and rules. These provincial bylaws have been voted by the strata and approved by its council. 
A) Age Restriction: Specifically existing in older buildings, many strata condos or townhouses listing in MLS®, have age restriction. Some are only for senior of 55+, and others are adult only building and have 19+ restrictions. It is crucial for any buyer to review this section. Whether a young couple planning to start a family or a grand parents who get to keep their grand children for the weekend, some buildings they don't even allow anyone under 19 to visit or stay. This is very important to inquire all strata expectations prior to purchasing such condo or townhouse unit.
 
B) Pet Restriction: Most of us, have our furry friends become part of our daily life and a member of our family. This is important to review this bylaws restriction, as many have different requirement. A standard BC bylaws permits 2 pets with no size restriction. some strata complex, have added size, or kind restriction and in some cases wont allow any pets in their complex.
 
C) Rental Restriction: In many Strata bylaws in Vancouver, rentals also is restricted or partial. That means either it is not allowed, or it is restricted to certain amount of unit per the entire complex with strata approval. This is an important step to review this bylaws for an investor or a family who knows at one point they wish to rent this unit.
There are also zonings for certain buildings that makes them transient and allows daily rentals. This new popular investment, although profitable for the unit owner, can be not as pleasant for someone wishes to reside in this complex, knowing their next door neighbor changes daily.
 
- Rules and Regulations
In addition to Bylaws, strata council also record their prefer regulation and rules. This rules are attached to the bylaws and if any changes to the bylaws, it is indicated as amendment. It is crucial for every buyer to review these requirements and making sure it can be implemented.
 
- Type of the property Title
A) Freehold / Strata
B) Leasehold / Strata
C) Leasehold / non-strata (rental prepaid)
D) Coop
Always review these variety of titles. As a buyer it is important to be educated in these properties for financing, equity requirement, future investment potential and or many restriction associated with it.
 
- Form B and Form F
This is another important information which needs to be inquired by a buyer from strata council. Form B indicates everything about the unit including monthly charges, any liability and or any money owed. This form is usually accompanied by all strata financials and depreciation report if applicable. Engineering reports are way more accountable and detailed than depreciation reports. 
 
- Minutes, monthly and AGM meeting reports.
This information indicates every conversation and history about the units and the complex. Most financial institution require a full review of these forms as they discuss any previous problem history and whether it has been remedied and fixed.
There are many other paperwork and details involved. Need more information, I'd be happy to assist with your real estate purchase and or sale.
 
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In our day and age, technology is routed in our daily lifestyle and living. As the technology improves, so as the real estate and Realtor's approach not only in Vancouver, but internationally. The easy access on internet, brings the world closer and the social media has tremendous impact on international real estate sales.
 
Real Estate Buyers
As a real estate buyer, the first thing to do when curious about the market is to login online and search randomly for that dream house for sale. According to data, 99% of real estate buyers now use online sources to search for homes for sale. This is not a small number to ignore. And this search can easily be done on their mobile device and in the palm of their hand using various mobile search apps.
As their realtor, when these buyers show interest on a certain property, my job is to research and investigate everything that is necessary as these information can help the buyers to determine their final decision.
With the new technology, many of these information can be obtained online by going through a correct channel. This is not only cost effective, but also extremely time saving. 
In addition, if buyers are not in the same location, the real estate agents now can easily provide enough data and information and even receive their legal signature on a contract of purchase and sale. 
I deal with many out of town purchasers. Not being able to be present to see the property is a big challenge. But technology has played helpful role. Now I have many choices like video Skype, 3D Matterport floor plan that can help buyers visualize themselves in the property even if they are not in the same location.
 
Real Estate Sellers
From the need of buyers above and the data source available, real estate sellers must adjust their marketing. As listing agent in Vancouver, my selling strategy is based on numbers and percentage and I consider every little detail even if the effect is small. In my presentation, I emphasize that even a small 1% exposure on a certain marketing tool, can sell their home to that 1 potential buyer. 
In my approach for my seller clients we strategize every niche, and implement the technology to expose their property. 
Using 3D floor plan, Video tour, arial drone footage, in addition to the traditional 2D floor plan and still photos, are necessary (depending on the property) to showcase their home beyond the local Vancouver home buyers.
As a computer graduate and IT person, I am familiar with how to optimize their property online in every possible channel. Social media is a great pillar to expose a property and a great marketing tool. In addition, search engines, and website optimization is another tool to attract many potential buyers.
Want to know more about my strategies on marketing your home? I'd be happy to discuss my personalized plan for your property. Contact me and I'd be happy to help you get the top value for your castle in a shortest time.
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In a luxury home it is important to choose the right décor to help create a unique feel in the home that can add value and at the same time allow for it to have the personality of the home owners. There are some simple tips of interior design for luxurious homes to make them look amazing inside and out and really showcase the features of the home. Vancouver is rich with luxury property inventories spread everywhere and it is known for one of the most expensive cities in Canada.

Tip 1
“Focal Point” is important to remember – where do your eyes go to when you enter a room? This can be planned out in the design phase, whether it is an accent chair, “wow” light fixture, attention grabbing accessory, or accent wall – it can really be just about anything that stands out and draws the eye. The important part to remember is to keep everything else transitional around it as to tie it altogether, but allow for unique pieces to stand out.  

Tip 2
“Furniture placement” is very important step in the design process as it can take a decent looking space and make it amazing! Sometimes spacing the furniture out a bit more can allow for the space to have “breathing room” and this can help make the room look larger, allow for the nicer pieces of furniture to showcase themselves and create an easier space to move around in. Higher-end homes often have lots of features about the home to show off and you do not want to take away from that. Remember area rugs, end tables and accessories are a great way to tie pieces together and help create attractive vignettes in the home. 

Tip 3
“Paint Color” is a very important part of the entire picture as well. Whether you have a small space or large space, Ocean view or Mountain View, the color of the paint can really set the tone for the space and help take any size home up to classy and special. Whether you want to make a bold statement with your paint or keep it neutral so it helps keep the space transitional there are some simple paintings rules to help out. Dark paint will make a space look smaller and light paint will help make it look bigger, accent walls will draw the eye and good quality paint makes a difference. The most obvious rule is regardless of the paint color you choose, the color will directly impact everything in the room. So make sure before you start your design process you are in love with the color on your walls and in beautiful higher end homes it is an easy way to make them look well put together and maintain their high values. If you need more design tips, as a Realtor and Real Estate Consultant in Vancouver, I always use the top design and staging professionals to stage, design and order furnishing for my clients. I'd be more than happy to provide further information.
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Thinking of relocation and selling your home? Selling a real estate can be complicated and needs advanced planning. If you’re like most home owners, you’re struggling with a few questions. After all, you’re about to sell the single biggest asset you’ve ever bought.
You might have questions like, What’s my home worth? Should I use an agent, Realtor or go at it alone? What can I do to make my home as attractive as possible? What is the current market like? And of course, the big one:  How do I get the most for my home?

The best way to start answering those questions is to be informed. If I’ve done my job right, then this guide should
A) give you answers to many of those questions and
B) make you feel a lot more confident about the whole process.

Step1
Choosing a REALTOR in Vancouver
Most sellers use a real estate agent. You certainly don’t have to, but there are good reasons why majority of sellers do:
1. Pricing is a real art. 
The biggest factor in determining how quickly your home sells is the price, and deciding that price is trickier than it seems. It takes experience and even 1% more for your home can mean thousands to your bottom line. To analyze, it takes few hours to review all charts and data, comparable, and area trends based on Hope Price Index, Benchmark evaluation, and Median and average sale price. It is also important to navigate all these facts based on the market trend, whether sellers or buyer’s market. As an experienced Vancouver realtor, I’d guide you through all this information for you to make an educated decision on the most important factor of selling your property in Vancouver, “The Price”.
2. Negotiating is hard.
Not just hard to do, but it can feel uncomfortable. If you want someone to negotiate fearlessly on your behalf, you need an agent. As a seller you’re emotionally attached to your home and it is personal and territorial. Negotiation is not only based on the price, but reviewing the offer, you’d have to make sure all subjects and condition of the offer received, is suitable and to your benefit. Let’s not forget the date on the closing and length of subject removals. Let your realtor negotiate it to your terms and keeps you informed of the ambiance of negotiation.
3. Marketing is more than MLS. 
To get the most for your home, you need as many buyers interested as possible. 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts. When it comes to selling your home, every 1% counts. Placing a “For Sale Sign” by the agent is 15% possibility of selling your home. Open house is 30% chance. Placing your feature sheet behind the office window, is 1%, but even that 1% can be 1 qualified buyer. At Re/Max, I have a global network in addition to our local market. My guidance of how to expose and market your home is extremely valuable and exposes your property to the most potential Vancouver real estate buyers. 
4. Showings and paperwork are a pain. 
There’s more to the legal side of a home sale than you might think. The paperwork and making sure how to present your home legally, can be costly. Not only for its preparation, but if it is not done right, the consequence can leave thousands of dollars in home value, in table. Showing your own home is not only awkward, it can really complicate your schedule. Let your agent manage all these and coordinate with your schedule.
 An agent takes away the burden of all these things, and works to get your home sold for the best price in the fastest time. After all—you’ve got a life to live.

Step 2
Price right to profit more
Setting the price for your home is challenging. Too low, and you leave money on the table. Too high, and you scare away buyers to other properties. To complicate all this, your home is an emotional asset—it’s hard to see it objectively. 
To find the optimal price—one that maximizes the sale price and minimizes the time it takes to sell—requires strategic thinking. 
Pricing is something agents spend their careers refining and mastering. They combine intimate local and national market knowledge, an exhaustive study of similar homes for sale, and an analysis of past sales to come up with the optimal list price. And then they combine that with your unique needs to pick a price that fits you.
It’s no easy task, but it’s a critical one. Pricing your home right the first time results in more exposure, more showings, more offers, and ultimately, the highest price for your home.  
If you want to get as much for your home as possible within a reasonable time frame, you need to get the price right.
First, it is important to understand that only the market can determine the ultimate value of your home.  That said, choosing the optimal list price is essential to maximizing your home’s value. If you price too low, you risk not getting as much as you can for your property, but price too high and you risk losing potential buyers who may think your property is out of their price range and you help your competition sell faster.  
As your chosen realtor, I have all the tools to guide you, including the buyer sale ratio percentage, that shows even $5,000 in price difference, may result in losing a great niche market. 

Step 3
Prepare to amaze
After price, the condition of your home is the single biggest factor determining how fast—and for how much—your home sells.
REALTORS® repeatedly find that people can’t visualize the potential of a home. They have to see it. That means that how your home shows now is how people see themselves in it. They can’t see past the chips, leaks, clutter and stains—in fact, they tend to focus even more on those things. 
Luckily, you can dramatically improve how your home sells with few quick steps:
- Clean. Inside and out. It matters a lot.
- De-clutter. Give it away, throw it away or store it away, but get it out of your house. 
- Make minor repairs. Chipped paint, cracked tiles, squeaky hinges, leaky faucets. Fix everything you can.
- Consider staging. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, staged homes sell 49% faster, and for 7-11% more money.
- Clean again. Really. It’s that important.
Sound overwhelming? You don’t need to do it overnight, break it down into just one small task a day. Think of it this way: everything you remove from the house, clean or repair puts money in your pocket. You’re getting paid to do it!
In addition, I have a great experience in how to rearrange, and set up your furniture to open up its layout (expand the square footage) and makes it more buyer friendly. You can count on me to provide you with full guidance of what we need to do to make your home buyer’s ready.

Step 4
Maximize exposure to buyers
Once you’ve found a price for your home and put it in showroom condition, there’s one more critical piece of the puzzle before buyers begin flocking in to see your masterpiece: getting their attention.
Getting the word out about your home matters for two critical reasons. First, buyers can’t be interested if they don’t know your home exists. But more important still, the more buyers you have interested in your home, the higher the potential sale price, and the faster the sale.
Marketing your home to the biggest audience possible takes more than a sign on the front lawn. The best and fastest home sales use a combination of many of the following:
- MLS Listing. The largest online database of available real estate.
- Video Tour. A behind-the-scenes, online look at your home and neighborhood.
- Property Website. Your home’s very own website with all the info a buyer needs.
- Online Exposure on nationally ranked real estate websites. From my background in IT and technology, my main focus is online marketing as 90% of buyers search online to find properties for sale in Vancouver. Based on this fact, your house will be exposed on more than 5000 websites cross board including all other active Vancouver realtor’s personal webpages as reciprocity for additional exposure. Let’s not forget I also have your property exposed in all major ranked sites where every international buyer peeks through.
- Proactive Prospecting. Reaching out directly to people who might be interested.
- 24/7 Direct-to-Text Ads. Instant access to property details right from the “for sale sign”.
- Property Brochures. extraordinary photos, vibrant descriptions in professional take away form. This is one of the most marketing aspect that many miss. Every home has a story. It is best to outline its beauty through spectacular photos that bring its every detail and highlights its attraction. Hiring a professional photographer is costly, but I’m known for this free service despite of the property type and price. Every home is a castle and I’d market it to its extreme. 
- 24-Hour Online Ads. On major online sites from Craigslist to Kijji, and usevancouver,com
- Print Marketing. Print ads, just listed cards and more. I must declare, I’m not a believer of off line and paper ads. In our day and age of technology, these are obsolete and a non-necessary practice. You want someone like me for the majority of buyers focus and that is online. Welcome to the new world of technology:
- Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and more and these platforms are the ones going to place your home right in front of a potential buyer.

Step 5 
Show it off
As interest in your home rises, so will interest in seeing the real thing. It’s time to show off your masterpiece to prospective buyers.
A REALTOR® will take care of almost all of the details, but here are a few tips to maximize the showing experience.
- You should leave. Buyers want to be able to look around and discuss your home candidly. They won’t be comfortable if you’re there and won’t be able to make honest commentary. Your realtor will provide you with their showing feedback.
- In addition to the usual tidying, make sure your home is inviting. Turn up/down the temperature. Leave the lights on. Open the blinds where appropriate. Leave inside doors open or slightly ajar. Try avoid cooking when you have a showing scheduled, unless you’re baking a cookie 
- Leave out any additional information that’s helpful—property brochures, floor plans, zoning type, title, permits, survey certificate, and house feature sheets.
- Be as flexible as you can—try to accommodate the buyer’s schedule. As a realtor, I always coordinate with my seller clients and provide an ample notice time for showings. However, there also last minute requests, which those are the ones that most often brings an offer. It is important to accommodate. If you have rental property or part of your home is rented, it is challenging for the last minute showings as it requires minimum of 24 hrs. But most times, tenants are extremely commendable and as a realtor I always offer them a gift to show our gratitude for their help.

Step 6
Negotiate like a master
Now this is where things get exciting. You’ve got an offer or maybe two or three at once! In most cases, your home’s list price won’t be the selling price. When it comes to settling on that final magic number, you’re going be negotiating. That’s something your REALTOR® is an expert at, but here are some key strategies for owners:
It’s a conversation. Don’t be offended by low offers and conditions. No one is forcing you to accept them. Think of it as a starting point to have a conversation.
Always counteroffer. Momentum matters. Just the act of moving a deal forward helps make the deal happen. Every offer is valuable. If its low, don’t take it personal and instead let me as your real estate agent to go back and deal with it. I always advise my seller clients not to dismiss or ignore a lowball offer. Always counter. 
Price isn’t the only thing. You can negotiate on price, offer conditions, assets in the home. Don’t get stuck on one thing. It’s best to see the big picture.
Remember, even 1% more for your home can mean thousands to your bottom line.   
The buyer provides a deposit check to be held in trust at the time when all buyer’s conditions are met. This can be 7-10 business day for buyers to perform and satisfy all the subjects. In most practices in Vancouver the deposit is due 1-2 business day after all subjects are removed. The conditions usually have a set time for removal, and usually include things like an inspection, financing review of all tile, disclosures and other documents.
Once the conditions are met, the buyer signs a waiver known as “subject removal form” and the deal is firm. If you’ve completed all these steps, then you are a successful home seller. At this time as your realtor, proudly, place a “SOLD” sign on your “for sale sign” post. This is my most favorite time and joyful moment for my career.
Congratulations! 

Step 7
Calculate your net proceed
Now how much do you get to keep? There are a number of closing costs to consider.
Legal Fees. Lawyer’s fees vary, but often have structured fees for the purchase and sale of homes posted on their websites. Sellers pay in the area of $1000 for a lawyer to look after the legal details necessary to close their home. 
Mortgage Fees. Check with your mortgage lender to determine if any costs will occur when transferring or releasing your mortgage. There is sometimes what is referred to as a discharge fee to remove the mortgage from title that can range from $100 to $250. 
Disbursements. These fees cover additional legal expenses such as travel, copies, couriers, registration fees and preparing document transfers. Disbursements can range upwards of $500, but can sometimes be built into your legal fees. 
Adjustments. It’s difficult for a home seller to calculate exactly how much money is owed to which utilities on closing day. Your lawyer will ensure that any overpayments or deficiencies on rents, mortgage interest, property tax and utility charges will be corrected, and the buyer and seller will be credited or charged accordingly.
Moving Costs. Moving costs vary based on location and the amount of possessions being moved. If you’re moving yourself, you should factor gas, rental vehicles and moving supplies.
I also will provide another detailed article on seller’s expenses, but to mention also the sellers are the cost bearer of the commission paid to the realtor’s brokerage. This commission goes 4 ways. The seller’s brokerage, The seller’s Realtor, The buyer’s brokerage, and lastly the buyer’s agent. The total percentage of the commission to be paid is agreed with your realtor at the very beginning when signing a listing agreement. The BCREA has introduced a new regulation as of March 15th, that all agents are required to disclose the total commission cost to the seller, for every offer and counter offer. This can help the seller to determine their bottom-line.

Step 8
Prepare to give the key
This is a farewell day to your property. I didn’t call it “your home” since it is a sold property and now is someone else’s. The last step is to clear all belongings, and do an overall cleaning, preparing the property for the buyers to move in. This is another important steps mostly missed. The buyers expect a ready to move in and a clean property. This is the seller’s responsibility, making sure the home is free of any of their belonging (unless agreed in the contract), and is professionally cleaned. 
If it is a condo or strata, it is advisable to book a moving out and reserve the elevator to do so. Sellers can move out in the completion date of the contract (Closing date) and the buyers move in on the possession date which is usually a day after closing. This is a great practice to provide both side parties to prepare move-in and out and for their schedule not to collide. As your realtor, I will do a final walk-through with you and making sure all list is check marked. Then I obtain the keys to be given to the buyer agent at the time the title is transferred and you got paid. 
Congrats. You’ve done it. This was a heavy lifting, and I’m glad I could help. 
Have any questions? Contact me direct. I’d be happy to help.
 
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Let’s discover the 8 Steps to buy a house for sale in Vancouver:
Step 1 Decide Where and What to Buy
Step 2 Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Step 3 Choosing the Right Realtor®
Step 4 Becoming an Educated Buyer
Step 5 Making an Educated Offer
Step 6 Conditions, home inspections and waivers
Step 7 Preparing to Move
Step 8 Move in – Enjoy!
In my previous article we discussed the variety of homes and their types as well as the type of buyers and their motivations.
I love working in our beautiful city. Vancouver is combination of all nature, history and modern lifestyle. It is exciting time to be a realtor in Vancouver. In my first meeting with buyers, after determining their motivation to buy, I need to guide them through the purchase process. It is a complex process with many ups and downs. Working alongside of an expert real estate agent, makes a great difference. It is an exciting time and my hope is that this guide will bring clarity and peace of mind during your home buying journey.

Step 1
Where and what to buy:
Congratulations on taking this first step toward buying a home. Pride of home ownership is indeed one of life’s greatest joys and biggest accomplishments. 
The first step is deciding where you want to live, what type of home you are
looking for and what features are “must have’s” or “would be nice to have’s” in a home.
Invariably, there will be tradeoffs, but rest assured I am here to help sort through the options to find you the best house, at the best price and with as many of your wants and needs as possible.

Step 2
Getting Pre-Approved for mortgage:
The mortgage industry is a highly competitive field and it is important to understand that interest rates can change at any time. Partnering with a mortgage broker or financial institution to help you find the right mortgage product at the best rate is key to your home buying process.

5 Easy Steps to Get You Pre-Approved For Mortgage:
1. Talk with a mortgage specialist. There are hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to lenders. Independent mortgage brokers tend to offer the most options because they do not just work with one bank. However, if you have a good relationship with your bank or financial institution, contact them as your first step towards finding the right mortgage for you. But be sure to compare rates.
2. Complete and submit your application with the mortgage broker. They will collect your financial and personal information in order to find out how much mortgage you can carry.
3. Gather all the necessary documents. The mortgage broker will give you a list of documents that the banks/lenders need to finalize the mortgage.
4. Verification of your details. They will do their checks and balances to make sure that you are not getting in over your head.
5. Obtain a copy of your pre-approval. This is a powerful negotiating tool. The seller of your dream home will feel more confident that you are the right person.
 
Having that Pre-Approval Documentation Can Offer You Several Benefits:
- Save you time by only looking at properties that you can afford.
- Save you money. Rate guarantees and mortgage terms can save you money for years to come.
- Less stress throughout the process. You will know that you are ready and capable of buying a home.
- Get a better deal on the home that you want. Sellers like to know that buyers already have financing in place.

Step 3
Choose the right REALTOR® in Vancouver
First, it’s important that you understand whose interests Realtors® are legally bound to serve in a real estate transaction.
The Listing Agent:
The Listing Agent is under contract with the seller to market and sell their property for the best possible price. Working with a listing agent means that they can:
• Arrange a showing of the property for sale.
• Assist with financing the property.
• Provide details about the property.
• Explain all the forms and agreements related to buying the property.

Your Personal Realtor®:
When you engage the services of your own personal agent—someone who is under contract to work solely in your best interest—you get all of the same services listed above plus your personal Realtor® provides:
• Confidential assistance that addresses your needs first.
• Honest, loyal and diligent care, free from any conflicts of interest.
• Access to all listings including MLS® listings, bank-owned properties, distress and estate sales, even homes that were previously on the market where the seller might still be interested in selling.
• Expert advice on useful legal clauses such as home inspections and financing to protect you fully.
• Expert negotiation of the offer to purchase, to achieve the best possible price and terms.
• Expert advice on market value, CMA (comparable market analysis), inclusions, location, as well as help you decide when you should walk away.
• Discovery, research, and disclosure of all information about the property including liens, warranties, disclosures, seller’s purchase price, and market and planning activity in the Vancouver area.
As your Realtor® in Vancouver, our job is to ensure you are an educated buyer in all aspects of your home buying process.


Step 4
Become an educated Buyer:
My exclusive Home Buyer Service Program will empower you with key market information and every possible advantage to ensure you become an educated buyer. Educated buyers are able to make informed decisions creating a stress free and enjoyable home buying process.

Here’s what you can expect from me when you enroll in my program:
• Absolutely no fees or costs to you as my buyer.
• Access to MLS® listings in greater Vancouver from a variety of advanced property search programs. I even have my own app!
• Access to a database of expired listings that may reconsider selling.
• Proactive prospecting within your desired area to locate potential sellers with homes that match your criteria, that are not actively for sale on the market now but may be considering selling. Yes! I found many house for my buyers doing this!
• Access to “For Sale By Owner” homes that match your criteria. It’s tough, but doable.
• Up-to-the-minute access to the best deals on the market, including brand new MLS® listings, newly price reduced properties, current bank power of sales, new home options, private sales and deals under contract that have fallen through.
• The most current real estate market information that may impact your buying decision, including mortgage changes, statistical sales data on median house for sale and sold prices, sales and months of inventory, local area market changes, trends and much more.

The Educated Process:
1. After our initial fact gathering meeting, I enter a detailed summary of your wants and needs for a dream home into my database and a variety of property search programs. That includes the type of home; 
A) Condo for sale
B) House (Detached) for sale
C) Townhouse and duplex for sale

2. I won’t bombard your email with information that is not relevant to you. I will provide daily update emails on all the homes that are new to the market or have had a recent price change and that matches a broadened scope of what you are looking for.
3. As market area specialists in Vancouver, with a pulse on local and national real estate market trends and changes, I also ensure you are kept informed of all relevant industry changes that may impact your buying decision, including price trends and mortgage rates.
4. You get all the information about every property – the same information only I, as a Realtor®, have access to.
5. When you find a home that peaks your interest, simply contact me and I will arrange a convenient time to view.
Remember, when selecting what homes to view…
• Choose styles and types of home that meet your needs.
• Do a drive-by and inspect the area for your first impression.
• Select a maximum of 5 homes to visit in one day (3 to 4 is best).
• Schedule time after the showings to sit down and discuss the homes’ merits.

Step 5
Making an Educated Offer:
The ongoing communication and education you will receive from my team, will empower you to get the best possible deal on the home that you desire.
You’ve found the one. Fantastic! Here’s what happens next:
1. I will conduct a detailed CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) complete with comparable active, recently sold and historical data relevant to determining the market value of the home. This will empower you to make an informed decision. In addition, I will analyze the price by reviewing all Stats and Home Price Index (HPI) which exist in Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board from 2005. 
2. I will prepare an offer, following your instructions, fits your schedule and needs.
3. I will explain the details of the offer and suggest options for specialty clauses ensuring you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
4. I will present and negotiate the offer on your behalf to get you the home that you want at the price and terms agreeable to you.
What happens after this:
• The seller may accept your offer – This is the best scenario. congratulations!
• The seller may reject your offer – not common, but it can happen and I would endeavor to find out why.
• The seller may counter the offer, changing the terms of the offer and present the offer back to you – This is excellent, meaning they are motivated to sell and we can make this happen.
• Our negotiations continue to reach agreeable terms between the seller and yourself, or until I know an agreement cannot be reached and it is time to walk away.
 
Step 6:
Conditions, Home Inspections, and Waivers:
The offer has been accepted. Now we need to satisfy the conditions.
This usually involves performing our due diligence and follow the offer conditions like, home inspection, Financing, Title review, strata documents review, Property Disclosure review, Insurance. Oil tank, mold, and asbestos, fall under inspection. We need to send your accepted offer and getting the rest of your personal information and the property information to your mortgage broker or bank informing him/her of our deadline, and arranging for the other information that might be necessary, like surveys, and condominium documents. I will help you make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly before the deadline. In addition, we need to be in connection with your legal advisor/lawyer to have the entire documents review. 
I tell all my clients that I’m an advisor, but I’m not a lawyer or an accountant. 

Next, you will need to add some people to your team:
Finding a Home Inspector
Home inspections allow you to scrutinize the details of the home and save you from some unpleasant surprises. I would be happy to recommend a reputable home inspector, however, when making your decision….
• Ensure that the home inspector is a qualified professional. Being a member of an Association can reassure you are getting an experienced, knowledgeable professional.
• Ensure the home inspector checks for visible issues with plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors and windows, and the condition of the foundation. They can also check that included chattels, like furnaces and air conditioners, are in working order.
• Ensure your home inspector gives you an up close and personal look at your new home. It takes about 3 hours to go through all the systems, and if there are any problems, you will see them with your own eyes. They will also give you maintenance tips and easy fixups, if necessary.
• Ensure that in the end, you receive a detailed report that summarizes the condition of your home.
Choosing a Lawyer:
Lawyers are an invaluable member of your team whose job is to ensure that you get what you are paying for and in accordance with the terms of your agreement of purchase. Your lawyer will ensure:
• There is nothing on title that is not supposed to be there.
• The property taxes, utilities and condo fees, if applicable, are up to date.
• You have all the information that you need about your new home.
• Your mortgage lender is satisfied and that your mortgage is secured on property title as required by your mortgage agreement.
• You know exactly how much money you will need in order complete the transaction on closing day.
• They also ensure that the seller gets paid the purchase price.
 
Step 7
Prepare to Move:
Typically, you will have anywhere from 30 to 90 days to get everything ready for your home. It could be shorter or longer, depending on what you need and have agreed upon with the seller for the closing date. The closing date is usually the same as your move-in date. There are three closing dates:
A) Completion Date: This date is the date that your lawyer and the seller lawyer coordinate all documents and after the payment is completed, they transfer the title of the property to your name.
B) Adjustment date: This date is also the same date as above, when lawyers, pay all the taxes and assessments.
C) Possession Date: This is the day you’re looking forward to receive the key and move in to your new home in Vancouver. The practice is to have the possession one day after closing, to give the sellers enough time to move out and clean the property, providing an ample time and making it ready for you to move in. In certain circumstances, when the house is vacant, or the seller can move out and clean the property on the same date you’re moving in, we realtors assign the same date at completion.
It is a good idea to get things organized well in advance of the closing date to reduce the stress of the move.

• Lawyer: I will send your lawyer the information about your purchase. You will need to provide the lawyer with some additional information: insurance, down-payment information, fee payments, adjustment payments and possibly other signed documents that they require. You will meet with the lawyer about a week before the closing to finalize everything.
• Down Payment and Closing Costs: Make the necessary arrangements to have the funds available when the lawyer asks for it. Liquidating some assets can require some additional time.
• Movers: Whether you are using professional movers, renting a truck or getting a bunch of friends together, plan and organize it early. Specially for strata properties, where you have to reserve elevators and book a move-in and out.
• Insurance: The lawyers will need a copy of your homeowner’s insurance before closing so that the financial institution will release the money to them. Call your insurance broker with the listing information. They might also want to know the age of the house, the condition of the roof, furnace, electrical system, oil tank and hazardous material, plumbing material as well as other general information.
• Change of Address: It’s time to start giving out your new address to everyone. 
- Banks and financial institution
- CRA and Tax office
- Driver License
- Health cards
- Cable and internet company
- Cell phone company
- Friends list
- Security and alarm company
- Family physician 
- Vets and your pet related care 
- Children’s school 
- All memberships like gym and library
- All your previous online purchases
• Utilities: It is important that you call the local utility company to get their services changed into your name. These include gas, electricity and water. Remember, too, to cancel the services at your old address.


Step 8
Enjoy! I’m giving you the key to your new castle:
You Just bought a house. Oh my god! This is huge and a great achievement. Congratulation. You did it. You are now a proud homeowner in our beautiful Vancouver. I’m proud to give you the keys and I must say, that also comes with a small token of my gratitude, a gift. I’m grateful you chose me as your trusted Vancouver realtor. Did you benefit from my service? I survive on my client’s referral. And for their act of kindness of referring me to someone else, I have created a bonus system and giveaway a $500 referral fee when the deal closes.



Have more question regarding the process?
Contact me.

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If you are at the early stages of thinking and planning to purchase a real estate, it is important to know all the steps involved. As an experienced realtor in Vancouver, it is my duty to all clients to inform them and guide them through their purchase, even if they haven’t decided to work with me yet. 
This is an important part of my job, when meeting with a prospect buyer, regardless of their motivation and reason to purchase in Vancouver.
Purchasing a real estate requires extensive search, research and information gathering, which, truly can be daunting. 
In this article I will cover the property and buyer type and next step in another article I will state every steps and guidance to purchasing a real estate.

Type and category of properties for sale in Vancouver vary from Single Family Detached (SFD), Strata Duplex Unit, Condo, Townhouse, or revenue property. Let’s not phase out empty lot to build your dream house. 
Determining what property interests you the most, also depend on affordability and location. 
Detached house:
This type of property has a “freehold” title meaning the land has not been divided and shared. Depending on the lot size and municipal zoning, it is important to review the title for covenants, schemes, bylaws, restriction and zoning application. Although I have discussed this in detailed in other article, but I feel it is crucial to mention this again in here as well. Not every Detached house, has a “freehold” title. This is a common assumption that a real estate investor or buyer makes. In our Province, there exist many detached house with “freehold/strata” title. Meaning the original lot had been divided between two properties and based on the development time, some easement, covenant and mostly bylaws restriction exist. To make you more aware, there are also detached homes with “freehold” only title that have covenant and scheme registered against their title. In general if interested in a detached home, ask yourself why and what are your motivation. As an example, if you’re thinking of having some chicken pets, studying the title of the property is extremely important. 
Duplex Properties:
These properties have “freehold/strata” title and are very similar to townhouses. Duplexes contains of two units attached in one lot and each have its own title separately registered. They are commonly known as ½ duplex. These properties, have bylaws and may have certain restrictions in age, pets and rentals. Depending on the original development and the strata rules registered for these type properties, it also may have monthly strata fees to cover certain costs like insurance, yard maintenance, garbage pickup and possibly repairs.
In Vancouver ½ duplex properties are very common and in high demand because of its lower price points.
Condos
Condominium units are in high demand in Vancouver specially in and around the city. Depending on the buyer’s motivation and lifestyle, condos can be a great advantage. They have no yards to maintain, mostly have amenities such as pool, gym, storage locker, covered parking, balcony, and possibly good views.
Condo’s title can be “freehold/strata” or “leasehold/strata”. Having a leasehold/strata condo title is common in our province, but buyers must be cautious as most are not desirable to finance although coming with an attractive lower and affordable price point. Every condo and apartment complex residence, has bylaws and rules assigned by their strata counsel and have monthly and annual meetings. It is required to review all these documents for any restrictions on age, pets and rentals, as well as any rules assigned. 
Some of condos for sale in Vancouver have age restriction, and re only allow 18 plus of age. In regards to pet some have certain requirement such as weight, type and kind. As for investors who wish to lease their condo, it is an important step to review rental restriction whether the strata allow daily (transient), monthly, annually, or not at all. 
Let me also turn your attention to Form B and Form F when purchasing strata property. These two forms are prepared by the strata president and provide the units, monthly strata fees, parking, storage assignment and also any money owed by the unit.
An experienced realtor can help the buyers to determine and research all information required as many of these form can be misleading. 
Parking and or storage can be “Limited Common Property” or “Common Property”. This overlooked issue, can create tremendous problem for buyers. Assume a buyer during a showing, looking at the current parking spot location and find it suitable for her vehicle access and since this was one her deal breaker, she purchases this unit, assuming that she is going to park in the same parking spot. However, if the parking spot is “Common Property”, it gets assigned by strata. Meaning, the parking spot that she viewed may change due to many factors as strata see fits. They may have a waiting list or other request for that spot. This can be frustrating for buyers as if she knew this fact, she would have made a conditional offer base on getting the same spot, or wouldn’t even have purchased that unit.
A “Limited Common Property” states that the parking or storages have been assigned by the developer at the development time and are transferrable by sale of the unit. Even though, it is important to always investigate these facts and mention this information when making an offer to purchase.

Townhouses: 
Townhouse properties are very similar to condos in regards to research and information on Form B & F, Title, Strata documents, rules & bylaws reviews and restrictions. Townhouses are in a high demand for their price point and have many advantages for families. They usually have front or backyard that is quite attractive for a family and pet owners, offer 3 bedrooms in contrary to a common condo unit, that is mostly 2 bedroom units (except the ones with den or rare 3 bedrooms), and even an attached parking.
Townhouses may be attached on both or on one side, however they also rarely come detached. 
Some are gated and private with amenities for the entire complex. 
As you see above, each property type above require tremendous research to determine their usage.
Now that we reviewed the property types for sale in Vancouver, in it a good idea to see the various motivation to buy a property.
First time real estate buyers:
Many first timers can enter the real estate market by searching for properties online or off-line. Don't forget the importance of having a knowledgeable Realtor in Vancouver. Vancouver realtors can provide beneficial assistance to help make your home search much easier. 
First time buyer’s motivation to buy varies from entering the real estate market and own instead of renting. Extending family and starting a new lifestyle. Investment in real estate. First time real estate buyers are the most vulnerable and it is their realtor responsibility to guild and educate extensively. It is also important to plan all budgeting and costs associated with owning and purchasing a real estate and clarify for their affordability purpose.
Real Estate Investors:
Looking for investment property. These buyers are in search for cash flow and capital gain. Most are sophisticated and familiar with all steps of buying process. But it is the realtor’s responsibility not to assume their knowledge and provide additional valuable knowledge. This category require experienced local realtor to be aware of the market, knows what to research and aware of future market potential trends. In Vancouver there are non-resident investors (out of province or even out of country) that require further guidance in regards to legality and taxes.
Real estate Downsize or up-sizers:
This category either downsizing or have a growing family from their existing real estate needs. Their real estate agent and representative must provide extreme value and information in regards to market, taxes, and legality. These type of buyers also must sell their existing property and are familiar with buying steps. Should they buy first and then sell or whether sell their existing home first, depends on their financial situation. The ideal situation is to buy first for two reasons:
A) They don’t rush to buy
It is very helpful and to the benefit of every real estate buyer not to rush and do the due diligence.
B) They don’t rush to sell
It is a perfect situation when the sellers can prepare their existing home for exposure.
However, in most cases, financially carrying two properties is a burden.

Real estate re-locaters:
A) Employee relocation
When a company moves its employees, they require to a quick networker realtor in Vancouver to find them a desirable house within the proximity of their employment. 
B) Non-residents
A non-resident purchaser is very similar to a first time buyer regardless of their past purchase experience elsewhere. 

Within our current date and age of technology, every buyer have access to many online resources to search for properties for sale in Vancouver. As an experienced realtor in Vancouver, what makes me valuable is information & research, network and negotiation. What makes me from a real estate agent into a valuable realtor is that I’m knowledgeable about the area trends, upcoming and history of listings, skilled in property information and research, gathering valuable data, and competent on extreme negotiation, and have global and local networks for my clients. Searching for that “one of a kind’ property is not the pillar of real estate purchase, but is having an expert realtor on your side.
 
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In my first meeting with every potential real estate buyer in Vancouver, I go through many details specially sorting out their budget. In addition to ask them about the style of the property, mortgage pre-approval steps, location and desired area, wants and must-haves, as their assigned Vancouver rREALTOR®, I'm also obligated to go over every step of real estate buying process, as well as all expenses and costs involved. In most cases, specially first time real estate buyers, only budget for their down-payment. It is important to highlight the facts and budget ahead of time for all costs involved in purchasing a real estate. Here are a short list of costs to be borne by The Buyers:
 

-        Lawyer and Notary expenses and fees
This cost includes, researching and reviewing title, drafting all documents and retrieving any required document from the city, municipality, or land title office. Lawyers offer various fees for their services. In addition there additional services they offer which it can be purchased such as title insurance. Also depending on each case complexity, fees can vary. It is a good idea to call 3 different lawyers and obtain their fees in detail.


-        Land Title registration fees

The Land Title Office, charges a fee for title registration. This service is offered through your chosen real estate lawyer's office and it is stated in their cost disclosure statement.
-        Obtaining survey certificate if required and not available from the seller.
This service also is covered by your lawyer for closing cost. In many cases, Survey certificate is digitally available in Land Title Office, but also can be purchased. Please consult with your lawyer to see if the survey certificate is required for your purchase.

-        Cost of financial institution and mortgage
This cost includes the cost of mortgage company lawyer or notary, appraisal fees if applicable, and Land Title registration fees. Depending on the financial institution, costs varies and some waive the cost.

-        Fire Insurance premium
This fee applies for any properties with wood burning fire whether as heating source or other purposes. In addition if your property has Poly-B plumbing, or electrical issues that are not in favor of most insurance companies, you still can insure the property through some home insurance companies with premium extra cost.

-        Sales Tax if applicable.
This tax mostly applies for commercial purchases, lot, or brand new developments. It is a good idea to consult with your accountant or lawyer if purchasing a property that requires sales tax. There are some exception depending on government requirement and you maybe eligible.

-        Provincial Property Tax Transfer Fees

The property transfer tax rate is:

  • 1% on the first $200,000,
  • 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
  • 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and
  • If the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).

If the property is classified as residential and farm, or is residential mixed class (such as residential and commercial), you pay the further 2% tax on only the residential portion of the property.

 unless the Buyer qualifies for an exemption. This is also important to consult with your accountant or lawyer, as there are exceptions fo seniors, first time buyers, and some new development limitation.
 
-        Speculation Tax
Please refer to BC Government Site for more info
 
-        Vancouver 1% Empty Home Tax:
Please refer to City Of Vancouver Site for more info on this


-        Goods and Service taxes if applicable.
Property annual taxes are calculated by the lawyer and any taxes due payable or credits will be applied to the closing cost. Annual taxes fluctuate depending on assessed value and neighborhood growth. This taxes relate to nearby school, transition and municipal decisions.

-        Home Inspection
It is the Buyer’s responsibility to inspect the real estate property they are purchasing in Vancouver. The cost varies for each inspection company. I work with reputable and most recommended home inspection companies which I’d be happy to provide you with their referral. I always suggest to my clients to call minimum three different companies.

-        Moving 
Keep in mind in many cases for Condo and strata units, the buyer is responsible to inform the property manager and pay a moving fee and reserve an elevator. I always review the Rules and Bylaws of the strata units in detail for my clienst and inform them in advance for any additional charges. Moving companies also are not cheap and its best to call several reputable ones to obtain a quote. The cheaper companies doesn't necessarily means better. Always go wit the most recommended companies even if they cost a little higher to protect your furniture and assets.
 
-       Preparing the real estate property purchased.
Depending on the shape and state of the property purchased, buyers need to assign a budget for the work needed to bring the property up to their desired state. Sometimes it is a good idea, if purchasing a ran-down property, foreclosure, or AS/IS state property, in addition to full home inspection, to schedule a walk-through with a general contractor and obtaining a overall cost to upgrade and renovate prior to purchase. 
 
-       Property Management 
In case, if you're not planning to live in the property, want to use it as vocational purpose, or rental investment, hiring a property management cost should be among assigning budget.
 
-      Monthly recurring cost
Hydro, water, garbage pick up, strata fees (If applicable), cable and telephone, and most of all cost of maintaining a home. As an advisor and realtor in Vancouver area, i always recommend to my clients to open a bank account and place a reasonable amount of money for maintenance aside per month. In case of any unseen upcoming incident, you don't have to break your bank as you have been collecting emergency maintenance money for such a day.


Purchasing a home is not a small transaction. Every real estate buyer wants to see return in their purchase and must be diligent on where the money goes. Always keep track of your expenses and making sure to calculate every cost to understand whether the house of your desire can be easily affordable and falls under your assigned budget.
I work with a reliable, reputable and professional team of lawyers, mortgage specialists, home inspection companies, real estate property management, and other needed professional that I’d be happy to provide their reference.
Call me direct 778-636-7707 or email me for any additional question.
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Q: What do you mean by Non-Resident?
A: A Non-resident is a person who either might be an out of province Real Estate Buyer or a Non-resident of Canada.

Q: Do you work with a lot of Non-Residence Buyers?
A: Yes! I dealt with numerous out of province and out of country Vancouver real estate purchasers. I provide full service viewing through skype, 3D floor planning, and complete information package from start to finish. With our thorough information, it is as you're already inside the house and viewing it.
 
Q: Do Non-residents pay more taxes when buying Real Estate in Vancouver BC?
A: Since August 2016 any non-residents who have no status in Canada pay an additional 20% Foreign Buyer Tax in Greater Vancouver. This blog will be updated if such ruling changes. I do work with sophisticated team of tax experts and lawyers that can answer every of your question base on personal situation. Please don't hesitate to ask for their information. 
 
Q: Is there a sales Tax due when buying a Real Estate property, house or condo in Vancouver BC?
 

The property transfer tax rate is:

  • 1% on the first $200,000,
  • 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
  • 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and
  • If the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).

If the property is classified as residential and farm, or is residential mixed class (such as residential and commercial), you pay the further 2% tax on only the residential portion of the property.

Unless the Buyer qualifies for an exemption. This Exemption depends on the many factors like if you are a first time buyer, senior or veteran.In addition to Provincial Property Tax Transfer fee if applicable, the real estate buyer is responsible for any balance owed on Annual Real Estate Property Taxes due at the closing time. I will add an informative blog on real estate costs for buyers and sellers in Vancouver.

Q: If I am only in my Vancouver BC home seasonally, say 4 to 6 months out of the year, who takes care of my home or condo while I’m away?
A: It is all depend of what you wish to do with your house or condo, while not in Vancouver. If you wish to rent it or lease it while away, there are reputable Real Estate Property Management companies which I can refer. depending on the service you require from them, they charge an average of 10-20% of the rental fees per month. It is important to keep in mind that if purchasing a condo, Townhouse, or strata duplex, to review all the Provincial Bylaws associated with your property for any rental, age, and pet restrictions. Some Strata properties have no rental restriction at all and operate even as a transient zone for short term rentals. Some only allow rental for a minimum of 30-60 days and many require minimum of 6 months. I review all your strata documents, minutes, AGM and depreciation report and have a lawyer to review everything on your behalf for additional protection of your interest. I take pride of researching everything involved in your purchase.
If you're not planning to rent or lease your property, it is important to have someone maintain your property while it is vacant. This services include, yard maintenance, security, mail pick up, cleaning and such which in British Columbia Real Estate licensing falls under Real Estate Property Management. I'd be more than happy to refer you to most reputable companies in Vancouver.  It is also important to consult with a tax expert accountant if an additional Vacant tax fees apply. I will update the blog if such tax reform takes effect in Vancouver. 
(Update): As of January 2018, City of Vancouver applied 1% vacant tax based on the Vancouver property assessment value for properties that are vacant for over 6 month and it is imposed under vacancy tax by-law NO.11674. However all homeowners are obligated to declare the status of their property through form. To get more information you can contact city of Vancouver and listen to the detailed voice prompt. This is very important for all out of province or non-residence purchasers that use their home for vacation periods.
Also as of January 2018, our provincial government, introduced "Speculation Tax" where if the owner of the property is not using the property as their main residence, and or if the property is not rented and or if the owner is not paying any BC income taxes, they may occure specualtion tax of 2% on the fair market value annually. To read more on this new tax, please refer to BC Government Site
 
Q: Should I get a condo versus a single family home because condos are low-maintenance?
A: In BC, these properties are called Strata Titled Properties. Purchasing a Strata versus a Single Family Detached Homes are a common frequently asked questions. It is important to understand the title of a property as even though it seems detached house, it might have a strata title. Yes! meaning that it might have by-laws and restrictions. There are also Townhouses and duplex properties that also have strata title. Question is, is having a strata title a bad thing?
No. It all depends on what the usage of the property is. Lets assume you also have an RV or a boat and are interested in a strata property. We need to fully discover every regulation and by-law's restriction which might not allow you to park these vehicles at your property. So to answer your question, in our first meeting (in person or on the phone) , we would go through all your needs and wants. Based on that, together we decide which property type in Vancouver suits your best interest. Just a short not, it is also important to review the title by a lawyer to make sure there no covenants existing. A property also can have a freehold (no strata) title but have covenants registered on its title. This is a common practice in closed neighborhood which place regulation on the border of the neighborhood. This regulation are similar to bylaws which require further discovery and research to make sure if any of them go against your requirements. 
 
Q: Who pays for your real estate services?
A: In most cases it is the Real Estate Seller, who takes care of my Brokers commission and fees. In a very rare cases, where the Seller deals with discounted Brokers, or selling privately, the commission that is assigned for my services on behalf of the Seller (Vendor) does not cover my assigned services fees. Therefore after negotiating, if the seller does not agree to cover my full commission, it is the responsibility of my Buyer client to cover my fees. I always disclose in writing every cost, expense, earning and such according to Canadian Real Estate Council requirement. So as a buyer you'd make a detailed educated decision in every step. 
 
Q: Can a Non-Resident of Canada Buyers Get a Loan to Purchase in Vancouver BC Property?
A: Yes! Canadian banks and mortgages are very accommodating and in general the process of approval is much faster than United State. Regardless of your residency, Canadian financial institutions, review the application and qualification quite fast and provide you with pre-approval letter, which can help determining your maximum spending budget and down payment. Next step is to make sure to have conditional offer subject to Financing approval in the contract of purchase and sale (your Offer) and send it to the mortgage specialist/broker. The process of this subject usually is assigned for 7-10 business day. generally based on my experience, for foreign buyers, non-Canadian buyers, there is 30-35% down payment requirement with a proof of income of the last 2 years.To read what are other common practiced subjects (conditions) exist when making an offer go to my other blog.(What Are the Commonly Used Real Estate Buyer's Subjects)
 
Q: Why Is it Beneficial if You Search Properties For Me?
A: If you are not familiar with the neighborhoods, I save you a lot of time and frustration. My expertise and experience on neighborhoods, pending assessments, construction details, association fees, and most of value of the locations is what we put to work for you. Instead of searching and searching endlessly only to find out that what appears on the surface to be a great house is not…. Let me do the leg work for you. I take pride of detail research and protecting your interest. My motto is Real Estate from A to Z. 
 
Q: I see the terms “sold AS-IS” in many of the listings. Are these distressed properties that I should stay away from?
A: Most "Sold AS/IS, Where Is" properties are bank foreclosures, court orders. There are many factors and challenges involved in buying such properties and it usually takes longer time for approval. It also can be a risky move, since even after you receive an accepted offer from the bank, you still have to face the court and judge approval, and worst, if in court any other interested buyer attends, it turns into a competing multiple offer with sealed offer envelope. These properties also require full research, inspection, repair budgeting, in advance which I's be happy to provide this services on your behalf. 
Purchasing such properties depends on personal motivation. Keep in mind if flipping and investment are in mind, not every of this properties priced lower than a regular sale and not worth the process. Also i do recommend to consult a tax and a lawyer if planning to flip for income tax purposes. In addition, some sellers declare their property sold as/is, because of the state and the condition of their property. This usually means they have priced it based on existing issues in mind. In this scenarios, the sellers wont do secondary negotiation after home inspection.
 
Q: Is home property insurance difficult to get?
A: It is easy to obtain a property insurance in Vancouver BC. There is a questionnaire that requires thorough respond for the insurance agent to determine the safety of your real estate purchase as a homeowner. These questions vary from oil tank, heating source, pluming material, electrical (knob and tube), asbestos and other hazardous material existing, fire-places, exterior construction material, security system, roof age, and some other related questions which mostly the responses are in your inspection report. Some inspectors, don't check on the level of molds, asbestos or the underground oil tank, but based on the home age, recommend a further inspection by those professionals. There is also an additional optional coverage for earthquake, or other natural disasters. It is important to clearly state all correct information for your insurance broker.
 
Q: Why Choosing your services over other REALTORS®?
A: There are many good REALTORS® in Vancouver BC. what I offer in addition is a thorough and transparent process, which does not stop after closing date. When choosing a real estate agent in Vancouver BC, it is as you create a serious relationship. I like to compare it to marriage while in this relationship. There are expectation from both sides, which I make clear on our first consultation. I have to add, my Real Estate market knowledge, negotiation skills, and relationship in the industry are the key of my success in this field and I'd happy to work on your behalf for this most important investment. Why settle for good when your real estate desires are full field with THE BEST.
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