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Friday, November 21, 2014

8 Must-Have Home Decor Pieces

8 Must-Have Home Decor Pieces

 

For most designers, there are certain home decor pieces they return to time and time again. These elements instantly enhance any space, no matter what the style, and add personality, function or color (maybe all of the above). Regardless of the complexity of the space, these eight essentials give rooms the shot of style they need.

 

Tips on how to start a decorating project

 

1. Porter floor lamp. This classic lamp is the epitome of good transitional design — a little bit of contemporary and a little bit of traditional.

By combining the elegant forms of a traditional lamp with the crispness of a minimalist metallic finish, the Porter creates a statement that can mix well with any style and add a sense of brightness even before you turn it on.

Use it: Behind your bedside tables, next to a sofa (paired or alone) or in an office.

2. Brno chair. Another modern classic that can suit any space, this cantilevered chair (seen here in the foreground) is great for bringing any space into the 21st century.

Use it: As a dining chair, an office chair, you name it. Consider using a pair as dining end chairs. They’ll serve double duty as extra guest seats.

3. Chinese garden stool. Speaking of seating extra guests, the Chinese garden stool is another designer go-to solution for all sorts of dilemmas. It’s a stool, footrest and side table, and using one is an excellent way to add a pop of color and pattern or a touch of ceramic to round out a texture palette.

Plus, it moves outdoors with you as soon as the weather warms up — truly a smart long-term style investment

Use it: In the bathroom as a wet-friendly side table, or tucked under a console until it’s needed elsewhere.

4. Mongolian pillow. Real or faux, a sheepskin pillow adds a touch of luxury to any space. It softens a crisp modern sofa or dresses up a relaxed family lounger. The lovely feel will draw you in as soon as you run your fingers through it.

Use it: As a layer on your bedding or behind the main pillows.

5. Plug-in sconce. Plug-in sconces are always a go-to lifesaver for two reasons: They add an important extra layer of light with no electrical work, and they do it while looking amazing.

Use it: As a directional desk lamp, a bedside reading light or a space-saving light anywhere to soften shadows from an overhead fixture.

6. Saarinen-style table. The marble-topped Saarinen table, a modern-period staple that has inspired many similar silhouettes, brings an accessible touch of stone (a much smaller investment than, say, a full kitchen counter or bathroom tile) and has a very practical, livable style. The clean look is easy to dress up or down, and the table comes in sizes from a compact 24 inches (or even smaller) to a full eights seats or beyond.

Use it: For a casual breakfast nook or formal dining room.

7. Statement mirror. A beautiful mirror virtually doubles the size of your space and creates an important visual focal point at eye level.

This style has burnished metal, for an aged quality with endless subtle detail. A touch of worn metal helps any space feel texturally rich and contrasts clean glass beautifully.

Use it: Choosing one with an extensive frame helps the mirror become a work of art, anchoring a seating grouping or foyer table.

8. Bar cart. Use a bar cart in a bathroom for all your everyday needs: soaps, shampoos, towels — it’s like a little spa on wheels. Even if you don’t have a vast en suite, a compact bar cart makes an excellent place for storing your morning essentials in easy reach while giving the bathroom a stylish twist.

Use it: A bar cart is also great as a side table for your sofa, as a nightstand or as a guest-room addition.

 

 

Yanic Simard, Houzz Contributor - FORBES

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Mortgage Rates To Stay Low For The Next Six Months

Mortgage Rates To Stay Low For The Next Six Months


A recent article in Mortgage Broker News the author believes as do I and many leading economists that mortgage rates will stay low for at least another six months. Good news for many including those who have variable rate terms or those whose mortgages are coming up for renewal as the article explains:

"Renewing a home loan shouldn’t be too painful for the next six months according to a new report from The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals. It’s predicting that the low rates should continue well into 2015 and that means those that have been used to paying at a higher rate can look forward to savings and that will be good news for the economy as a whole. CAAMP says that of the 1.35 million homeowners that have renewed or refinanced their loans during this year 1.05 million are now paying at a lower rate. Their figures also show that 16 per cent of those with a mortgage have increased the level of their monthly payments or paid a lump sum to pay down their loan faster. Another 7 per cent have increased the frequency of their loan repayments to fortnightly. Around 11 per cent have taken equity out of their home for other purposes including debt consolidation, home renovation or investments. Among first-time buyers the average down payment is 21 per cent with 11 per cent of respondents being gifted the money from a relative and 6 per cent receiving a loan from a family member."


Tony Marchigiano 1-155 Water Street
Mortgage Broker Vancouver, BC

cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
 


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Are New Mortgage Rules A Non-Event?

Are New Mortgage Rules A Non-Event?
 
OSFI (The Office of Superintendent for Financial Institutions) finally came out with their B-21 lending rules. Twenty one more recommendations made for banks and federally related lenders to follow. But has a lot changed? Not really. They also came out with B-20 rules back in 2012 which did make some big changes and made mortgages harder to get. 
 
Below is a recent article by Canadian Mortgage Trends which states their opinion on the above as well as some of the changes that were made. If interested click here:
 
 
And, always, if you have any home financing related question please give me a call.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tony
 
Tony Marchigiano1-155 Water Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
 
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vancouver, Toronto Prime Real Estate Prices Top Rome And Milan: CBRE

Vancouver, Toronto Prime Real Estate Prices Top Rome And Milan: CBRE

 

Residents of Toronto and Vancouver ought to ask themselves why they're still living in those cities, when they could buy prime Roman real estate for cheaper.

 

A map released by commercial real estate company CBRE to The Huffington Post Canada on Thursday showed that prime residential prices per square foot in Vancouver ($1,368) and Toronto ($1,225) exceed prices in both Rome ($1,073) and Milan ($1,073).

 

They're also not too far off more expensive cities such as Tokyo ($1,482), Singapore ($1,727) and Paris ($2,000).

The reason, said Vancouver-based director of research Ross Moore, is that markets in some cities (particularly Vancouver) are now being driven by international factors such as foreign investment.

 

"We have a handful of cities around the world whose markets are increasingly being driven by global trends and factors, as opposed to local factors," he said.

 

The statistics come out of a map that appeared in a recent CBRE report out of the U.K. titled "Global Living: London in an International Context."

 

The report has a section on overseas investors, in which it names Vancouver among cities that are favoured by Chinese buyers, citing factors such as "well known universities, a strong economic backdrop and world-class lifestyle."

 

It also says that luxury condos in both Toronto and Vancouver have become increasingly popular with retirees looking to make a "lifestyle shift, without necessarily making a huge sacrifice on the size of the property."

 

Foreign investment is a particularly touchy subject in Canada, where it's been blamed for an uptick in housing prices that have made home ownership unaffordable for many residents.

 

How much it's a factor in housing prices remains open to question. Canada does not keep statistics on foreign ownership the way that countries such as the U.S. and Australia do.

 

Whatever the cause of rising real estate prices, Moore said that both Toronto and Vancouver ought to become used to being globally-competitive cities.

 

"I don't think it's a trend that's going to peter out," he said. "Once you're on that global stage, you tend to stay."

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Credit: Huff Post

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Friday, November 7, 2014

REBGV Stats October 2014

Metro Vancouver Home Sales Above Average In October

 

Home sales in the Metro Vancouver* housing market continue to outpace long-term averages for this time of year.

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,057 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2014. This represents a 14.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,661 sales in October 2013, and a 4.6 per cent increase over the 2,922 sales in September 2014.
 
Last month’s sales were 16.6 per cent above the 10-year sales average for October.

 

“We’ve seen strong and consistent demand from home buyers in Metro Vancouver throughout this year. This has led to steady increases in home prices of between four and eight per cent depending on the property,” said REBGV president Ray Harris.

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,487 in October. This represents a four per cent increase compared to the 4,315 new listings in October 2013 and a 14.7 per cent decline from the 5,259 new listings in September.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,851, a 9.2 per cent decline compared to October 2013 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to September 2014.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $637,000. This represents a six per cent increase compared to October 2013.

 

“Detached homes continue to increase in price more than condominium and townhome properties. This is largely a function of supply and demand as the supply of condominium and townhome properties are more abundant than detached homes in our region,” Harris said.

 

Sales of detached properties in October 2014 reached 1,271, an increase of 19.1 per cent from the 1,067 detached sales recorded in October 2013, and a 60.9 per cent increase from the 790 units sold in October 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 7.9 per cent from October 2013 to $995,100.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,268 in October 2014, an increase of 15.5 per cent compared to the 1,098 sales in October 2013, and a 57.9 per cent increase compared to the 803 sales in October 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased four per cent from October 2013 to $380,200.

 

Attached property sales in October 2014 totalled 518, a 4.4 per cent increase compared to the 496 sales in October 2013, and an 53.3 per cent increase over the 338 attached properties sold in October 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.7 per cent between October 2013 and 2014 to $479,500.

Click here to download the complete statistics package.

 

REBGV Full Article>

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Friday, November 7, 2014

What Makes Good Mortgage Financing?

What Makes Good Mortgage Financing?
 
So what makes GOOD mortgage financing? 
 
Well rate is definitely important but is just one part of it. 
 
You'll also want to consider things such as:
 
The ability to make extra payments
How are the penalties calculated?
What refinancing options are available?
Is a variable rate mtg an option?
 
Are there other important features such as the ability to port your rate & term to another property to avoid any penalties.
 
So if you're thinking of buying a place but feel intimidated or uncomfortable by the process of getting pre approved for a mortgage I would love the opportunity to share my knowledge with you. 
 
Again, I'm Tony Marchigiano at Mortgage Aliiance West, the Right Broker...for the Right Mortgage!
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Most People Need Mortgage Help

Most People Need Mortgage Help

 

This was the title to a recent article on Canadian Mortgage Trends. It does support the fact that personalized mortgage advice, by a licensed professional, is still an essential to the majority of people.

 

See the article below for details and percentages:

 

"Despite the abundance of Internet mortgage resources, more than 6 in 10 Canadians say they still need help when shopping for a mortgage, according to a recent poll.

Most folks also value meeting their mortgage advisor in person. The survey found that only 27% didn’t think a face-to-face talk with a mortgage professional was important.

 

Then again, well over 90% of investors felt it was necessary to meet with a stock broker prior to the 1980s. Now 45.5% of the 10.8 million retail brokerage accounts in Canada are self-directed, as per Investor Economics data. It’s the trend that matters here, not the absolute value.

 

Other stats from the survey:

  • 25% say they need no help when selecting a mortgage.
  • 13% “didn’t know” if they need help.
  • 56% said they would not go to a bank for mortgage advice.

RateSupermarket.ca polled 453 Canadians via their newsletter and social media, so the survey cannot be deemed representative of the population. But it nonetheless supports the fact that personalized mortgage advice is still essential to the majority."

 

 

Tony Marchigiano                            1-155 Water Street

Mortgage Broker                              Vancouver, BC

tony@mawest.ca                           mawest.ca

 

cell: 604 505 7109

fax: 604 909 4666

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What It's Like To Live In a $95-Million Penthouse 1,396 Feet Above NYC!

What It's Like To Live In a $95-Million Penthouse 1,396 Feet Above NYC!

 

432 Park Avenue – this is the address of the New York skyline’s newest ornament and of the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. Towering up to 1,396 ft, the skyscraper offers 104 apartments at 30,000 sq ft each with 12.5 ft ceilings, 10 x 10 ft windows, and prices ranging from $16,95 million to $82,5 million.

 

The breathtaking condo tower was designed by Rafael Viñoly and took three years to construct. It is situated in the center of Manhattan, and the upper penthouses offer a view of all of New York City: from the Hudson to the East River, from the Bronx to Brooklyn, and from Central Park to the Atlantic Ocean. The building also features a private restaurant with an outdoor terrace, a 75ft swimming pool/spa, a screening room/ performance venue, climate-controlled wine cellars, a children’s playroom and a board room.

 

The skyscraper will welcome its first residents next year, so if you’re looking for a nice little place in NY and have a solid bank account, you’d better hurry, as the penthouses are going like hot cakes.

 

FOR PICTURES and Full Article Click HERE>

Credit: BoredPanda

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Not All Mortgage Penalties Are Equal

Not All Mortgage Penalties Are Equal
 
Last week CBC reported on an Edmonton family's shock over being charged a $17,000 penalty for breaking their mtg term at TD Bank. They were breaking it to sell their home in order to start an orphanage in Haiti. This was seriously going to cut into their savings and jepordize their plans.
 
On average up to 70% of people break their mortgage term prior to maturity. For reasons such as to refinance, lower their rate or to move.
 
If faced with a penalty there is no reason why it should be this large.  
 
Since moving the banking world to the broker one I've learned that the penalties charged by some of the lenders, I now work with, are a quarter of the amount of what a bank, & even some credit unions, would charge. That coupled with no haggling on rates, better features with more flexibility on paying down your mortgage makes this a better way to go to avoid... what I call... Mortgage Remorse.
 
So if you're looking to buy & are pre approved for a mortgage with your bank please consider there are many other options available.
 
Again, I'm Tony Marchigiano, Mortgage Broker @ Mortgage Alliance West.
 
Tony Marchigiano 1-155 Water Street
Mortgage Broker Vancouver, BC

cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vancouver's Real Estate Forecast To Stay Hot Into Next Year, Study Finds

Vancouver's Real Estate Forecast To Stay Hot Into Next Year, Study Finds

 

Foreign money and a robust provincial economy will preclude any cooling of Vancouver’s red-hot property market next year, according to a major real estate study being released Wednesday.

 

Office space is the one real-estate category where an oversupply is forecast in the city, to be accompanied by potential downward pressure on pricing.

 

That assessment comes courtesy of a voluminous annual report, titled Emerging Real Estate Trends 2015, issued jointly by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

 

It describes Vancouver’s market as one of the country’s “best bets” in 2015, fourth strongest in the country in terms of investment, development and housing.

 

Vancouver trails Calgary and Edmonton, boosted by Alberta’s resource industry, and Toronto, where a still-strong condo market is being bolstered by people flocking to live downtown, in more compact spaces.

The report’s bullishness on Vancouver is tied to a recent Conference Board of Canada prediction that, during the next three years, the West Coast city will lead all other major urban centres in economic growth — with a 3.2-per-cent annual increase in output.

 

The report also cites the role being played by Greater Vancouver’s relatively new tech industry.

And, of course, Vancouver is “a hedge city.”

 

It “lacks the cachet of Paris or Milan,” opines the report. “But it does offer ... a place for the world’s super-rich to park sizable funds in local real estate as a hedge against risk.

 

“Returns aren’t the point; safety of capital is, and a $5-million condo is more insurance policy than investment.”

The report also notes that foreign buyers, mainly from Hong Kong and China, account for the purchase of about 40 per cent of the luxury homes and are “one of the key reasons Vancouver real estate prices continue to rise.”

 

With the economy on a roll and so many foreign buyers, the city has issued a record number of building permits in 2014.

 

The report identifies a concern about a possible office-space glut resulting from several new office towers being completed. “Some foresee AAA space leasing at B rates.”

 

No such discount rates are anticipated in the residential sector. The report features a chart showing Vancouverites in 2015 will spend more than 50 per cent of household income on shelter — significantly more than in other cities, even Toronto where just more than 30 per cent will go to housing next year.

 

Overall in Canada, the property market is expected to be steady, with urbanization being the “new normal. People are flooding into city cores to live close to both work and the lifestyle they crave.”

 

Retailers and companies are following them with some builders incorporating stores and offices into their centrally located residential housing developments.

 

Western Canada’s real-estate market will continue to be the most robust, with the region acting as “the country’s economic engine.”

 

In a separate analysis on Wednesday that focused exclusively on the Vancouver market, Urban Analytics Managing principal Mike Ferreira told a downtown luncheon audience of realtors and developers that not since 2014 have sales for multi-family housing been so strong.

 

The real estate strategist said investors comprise a significant portion of condo buyers in Vancouver and Burnaby, but purchasing also has been strong among first-time buyers “with help from mom and dad, and low interest rates” and mature buyers, downsizing from single-family homes.

 

Ferreira told his audience the Chinese are a strong component of the market “and I suspect we will see more impact from that buyer group as we go along, especially with (the political instability) we are seeing in Hong Kong.”

 

byaffe@vancouversun.com

Click here to report a typo or visit vancouversun.com/typo.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Mortgage Debt Being Reduced At Record Pace!

Mortgage Debt Being Reduced At Record Pace
 
According to Benjamin Tal, CIBC Economist, and contrary to the Bank of Canada's estimates mortgage debt has decoupled from home sales. Home sales are still moving along at a good pace but mortgage debt is about half the pace it used to be. 
 
Reasons for this is people with mortgages are paying down their mortgages more quickly much a do to the lower rates we've been benefiting from.
 
People are making lump sum payments, accelerating the payments as well as taking advantage of other ways of paying down their mortgage. One way of doing this is keeping your mortgage payment dollar amount the same even though your rate may have fall when you renew your mortgage. 
 
See this interesting article for more of this encouraging news… Read HERE
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Canada’s Housing Boom Comes Down To Just 3 Cities

Canada’s Housing Boom Comes Down To Just 3 Cities

 

Young immigrants and boomer echo children who hold good jobs and are able to tap extraordinarily low interest rates are what’s currently behind the country’s housing boom.

 

More specifically, they’re what’s behind the sustained booms in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, big and already pricey markets that remain on fire this autumn while the rest of the country appears to be settling into what may amount to a long period of cooler activity.

 

That’s the take of Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at Bank of Montreal.

 

“While housing is static in most regions, the opposite is true for three of the nation’s four largest cities, which are benefiting from an influx of immigrants and wealth, youthful populations, strong employment and record low mortgage rates,” Guatieri said in a new note on Friday. Guatieri breaks down his five factors driving activity in these three markets – what he calls the “Hot 3” — as the rest of the country cools.

 

Population growth

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are all growing faster than the rest of Canada.Calgary’s population is positively surging, up 4.1 per cent in 2014. Far larger Toronto is posting a gain of 1.8 per cent, a rate well above national population growth. “In fact, the combined population of the Hot 3 has risen twice as fast as other regions for the past decade,” Guatieri said.

Young buyers

Another trait each city shares is a younger population. Boomer children are now flocking to Toronto the way their parents did in the late 1980s, Guatieri says, while the share of 25-to-44-year-olds in Calgary “towers over other cities” at 33.8 per cent, the BMO economist said.

Toronto and Vancouver also have elevated populations in that age band compared to the national norm. Not surprisingly, this demographic trend is helping absorb high numbers of some more affordable housing types, like condos.

“By contrast, cities with weak housing markets, such as Saint John and Victoria, tend to have [an] older population.”


‘Solid’ job growth

 

The third characteristic common within the three centres: “solid job growth is a mainstay,” Guatieri says. Though bursts have followed lulls in recent years, job growth generally in each city has run considerably higher than the 1.1 per cent pace at the national level.

 

Cheap financing

Poor affordability be damned – ultra low interest rates that have persisted for years now are helping new buyers into the market. Even with rates where they are, the average family would have to dedicate 62 per cent of income to service debt on an average bungalow in Vancouver – a figure which jumps to 75 per cent (!) if rates were to jump two percentage points. “Toronto isn’t much cheaper,” Guatieri says. As for Calgary, it remains affordable, but “this won’t last if prices continue to leapfrog income.”

 

Foreign wealth

“Although reliable data are unavailable, anecdotes from builders and realtors suggest foreign wealth is a meaningful force in a number of high-end regions in Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Toronto,” Guatieri’s note said.

 

“Many new residents and foreign investors pay cash, and some of the more affluent investors don’t even bother leasing their units. They are motivated by wealth diversification—and Canada ranks high on the list of countries that are politically stable. Vancouver continues to be a favoured destination of Asian immigrants.”

 

What does it all mean though?

When borrowing costs eventually rise, prices in Vancouver and Toronto will “face moderate price declines,” the BMO economist predicts. “Still-affordable Calgary could get off more lightly.” A spike in rates or recession would leave Vancouver and Toronto “vulnerable to a severe correction” – “a risk that builds the longer prices outrun income.”

 Calgary isn’t “immune either.” If oil continues to plummet, the region’s jobs bonanza would fade, Guatieri said.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

JDRF - Juvenile Diabetes Ride For Life!

JDRF - Juvenile Diabetes Ride For Life!


In lieu of discussing mortgage financing I want to talk about a Disease that many Canadians & people around the world suffer from. That is, Diabetes. My brother & now his son, my nephew, both have Type 1 Diabetes both got it when they were very young. As a child I watched my brother deal with the fact that he had to give himself a needle twice a day for the rest of his life as well as some of the complications of this disease which can be anywhere from blindness, infection, stroke, kidney or heart disease.
Because of these ties the search for a cure is very close to my heart. That's why this year, like many before, I am leading a team of Mortgage Brokers from Mortgage Alliance West in a charity event called the JDRF ride for life. It's taking place this year on Oct. 24th. 
If anyone has the means or the desire to donate to our team & this great cause it would be greatly appreciated. Please do so HERE.    
 
Thank you.
 
Tony Marchigiano1-155 Water Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
 
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
 


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Friday, October 10, 2014

Vancouver Head Planner Brian Jackson Puts Sustainability First

VANCOUVER — When the City of Vancouver named Brian Jackson as general manager of planning and development in August 2012, he quickly took aim at the city’s community amenity contributions (CACs) — a system through which the city demands extra money from developers to help pay for additional amenities such as parks, social housing and daycares.

 

Jackson told The Sun at the time that the city negotiated CACs with developers on a case-by-case basis, but that system was leaving many developers uncertain of how much they would have to pay out in the form of “voluntary contributions” to get their land rezoned as needed for their developments. He called the method “unproductive and divisive,” while developers blasted the city’s CAC method as extortion. More recently, the province criticized the system in April, calling on municipalities to seek more “modest” contributions from developers or else risk even higher housing costs.

 

After slightly more than two years on the job and with the civic election just over a month away, Jackson spoke to The Sun about changes to the city’s CAC system and a few other real estate topics, including Vancouver’s flavour of nimbyism and what he considers to be the city’s most pressing development problem.

Q Earlier this year the city said it was reviewing its community amenity contribution policy in light of criticism from the province and developers. What has happened with that review?

A We have moved the dial in terms of addressing the issues brought up by both the province and developers. We are providing more certainty as to the amount of contributions we are seeking from the development community to accommodate growth. Prior to my arrival, we were at about 15 per cent of CACs that were fixed and where there was certainty. Now, with the changes in the area plan, we’re nearing 50 per cent. So this allows developers the certainty that they require to go out and purchase properties, and it is providing the clarity for the public in terms of understanding the kinds of contributions we’re asking for.

 

Q How can developers do more to hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to making Vancouver a more affordable and livable city?

 

A We ask a lot of our development community here. And when we look at a project, we look at it through a sustainability lens, but it’s more than just environmentally sustainable. It has to be economically sustainable and it has to be socially sustainable as well. In other words, we have to make sure that as growth occurs, that the new growth accommodates facilities and services that are necessary for that growth. That’s new parks, new community centres, new libraries, new daycares and other amenities that make our city one of the most livable cities in the world.

 

Q When it comes to nimbyism (the Not in My Backyard attitude), how does Vancouver compare to other places you’ve worked as a planner?

 

A I wouldn’t describe it as nimbyism. I would say that Vancouver people are more passionately interested in urban design and architecture, than [people] anywhere else I’ve worked. They want to delve into the details of how a project will actually work in the future and that shows their commitment to helping us create the most livable city in the world.

Q When you took over the job back in 2012, what did you see as the city’s foremost problem when it came to planning and development?

 

A The biggest problem was probably the fact that we do highrise development really well, we do single-family development really well, but there needs to be a diversity of housing types to meet the demand for housing in Vancouver.

 

Q What have you done to make our housing more diverse?

 

A The new area plan — which has been brought in — addressed that issue in providing a variety of housing types and tenures for people who want to move to Vancouver in Marpole, the Downtown Eastside, the West End and Norquay. These have all been approved in the last two years.

 

Q Give me an example of a large commercial development that you think has failed in Vancouver.

A I honestly cannot think of an example that has failed. I believe that we take enough care as a staff in ensuring that development response to the local conditions as well as the market conditions, and I honestly can’t think of an example in the last few years where a development has not responded well.

 

Q What do you see as Vancouver’s biggest challenge moving forward when it comes to real estate and development?

 

A Affordable housing. It’s an ongoing problem. It’s not a new problem of trying to improve the affordability of housing for people who want to move to Vancouver and do it in such a way and to facilitate growth … that still protects the single-family neighbourhoods and the quality of life that we have here in Vancouver.

 

Q In one sentence, how would you describe your vision for Vancouver’s commercial development?

 

A I keep coming back to the message that new development has to be done in such a way as to ensure our long-term sustainability environmentally, socially and economically.


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Friday, October 3, 2014

8 Tips To Review Before You Renew!

Mortgage Options ~ 8 Tips To Review Before You Renew

Eight great tips from New Home Guide & Boffo Developments, a excellent property developer here in the Lower Mainland who I personally purchased my home from just last year; with Mike & Will's help, of course.
If your mortgage is coming up for renewal review these tips and call me to get a rate held up to 4 months prior to the maturity date!

 

New Home Guide

 

Chances are your circumstances have changed from when you obtained your first mortgage. Whether it's a change in job or family situation, mortgage renewal time is a great opportunity to re-evaluate your needs and the mortgage that works best for you. In most cases, when you renew your mortgage, you are simply starting the mortgage from scratch. The existing mortgage is closed and a new mortgage with new terms and rates is set up.

 

Typically, the process starts when your lender sends you a mortgage renewal statement about 30 to 45 days before your current mortgage matures. At that point, you will have to make an important decision about your future mortgage. Will it be based on signing the renewal notice and returning it to your financial institution, no questions asked, or will you take the time to meet with your lender face-to-face? If you make the wrong choice it could be a costly mistake. Since most lenders want to keep your business, meeting with them could help you secure a reduced interest rate and better term. The renewal letter from your lender may not give you the best rates available. In fact, these are often higher than the lender's lowest rate. Negotiating a rate and other privileges can strengthen your financial position. If your lender is not willing to do this, you are not obliged to renew your mortgage with them.

 

When it's time to renew your mortgage, a little review could help put thousands of dollars in your pocket and bring you a step closer to being mortgage free. Too often, Canadians receive their renewal notice and sign on the dotted line without weighing their options. Don't be swayed by the convenience of this route. By doing your homework, you can bring yourself one step closer to mortgage freedom.

 

8 Tips to review before you renew


01 Pay down as much as you can afford on the existing mortgage before signing the new deal. This can save you a lot of interest over the life of the mortgage.


02 Banks are often willing to negotiate rates and terms, but are restricted by the products they have. On the other hand, mortgage brokers deal directly with the mortgage underwriting department from most financial institutions and can look for the lowest interest rate on your behalf.

 

Making more money? Try shortening the term of the mortgage by paying bigger lump sums each month. This strategy not only cuts the repayment period, it also saves you interest in the long term and pays down your mortgage faster.


03 The new mortgage should be tailored to your specific needs and not to the latest headline news. Interest rates can rise and fall like a roller-coaster and are hard to predict over long terms.
04 If the renewal rate is lower than your previous rate and you are still comfortable with making these payments, keep the payments the same at the lower rate. By doing this, you will reduce the amortization period of your mortgage.
05 There are a variety of mortgage types available for homeowners and choosing the right one can be confusing. Lenders will off er you terms ranging from short-term open to longer-term closed and locked-in rates. If you plan to sell your home soon, a short-term mortgage or one with flexible terms will help you avoid penalty charges if you plan to get out before the mortgage comes to an end.

 

Tip  Making more money? Try shortening the term of the mortgage by paying bigger lump sums each month. This strategy not only cuts the repayment period, it also saves you interest in the long term and pays down your mortgage faster. Although it increases your monthly mortgage payment and raises your monthly expenses, it's a great option for those who are financially sound, planning an extended leave or working toward early retirement.


 Apart from making larger payments, you can also change the frequency of your mortgage payment from monthly to biweekly or weekly installments, which will save you a bundle in the long run.


If your budget is tight, choosing a long-term mortgage with a lower, fixed-interest rate may be a better option. A three-, four- or five-year term is considered a long-term mortgage. And even though the rates are higher than a short-term mortgage, it can help you manage your budget accordingly.

 

06 You can increase or decrease the amortization period of your mortgage, which can range up to 25 years. If you are looking to minimize your monthly payment, a longer repayment period is perfect. If you are looking to pay off your mortgage faster, a shorter amortization period is the way to go.


07 Renovations are a great way to increase the value of your home, but these projects are usually expensive. You can make this type of project affordable by adding a line of credit to your mortgage, using existing equity or keeping your mortgage payments low.


08 Refinancing your mortgage is something you may want to consider during mortgage renewal time. Refinancing frees up cash you may need for the unexpected. If you choose to refinance, you must pay out the mortgage in full and arrange a new mortgage with the same or a new lender. However, you will be expected to pay extra fees such as appraisal, legal and other costs, as it is considered a brand-new mortgage.

Becoming mortgage-free requires some planning. Taking a fresh look at your future and staying on top of your renewals will not only help you get the best deal, it will also help you enjoy the benefits of home ownership sooner.


Source: New Home Guide -  By Michelle Malcolm-Francis

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Home Sales Activity Picks Up The Pace In September

 

Home buyers were active in Metro Vancouver last month, with home sales well exceeding the 10-year average for September.

     

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,922 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2014. This represents a 17.7 per cent increase compared to the 2,483 sales in September 2013, and a 5.4 per cent increase over the 2,771 sales in August 2014.

Last month’s sales were 16.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the third highest selling September over that period.

 

 “September was an active period for our housing market when we compare it against typical activity for the month,” Ray Harris, REBGV president said.

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver* totalled 5,259 in September. This represents a 4.6 per cent increase compared to the 5,030 new listings in September 2013 and a 33.5 per cent increase from the 3,940 new listings in August. Last month’s new listing total was 0.4 per cent above the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 14,832, an 8 per cent decline compared to September 2013 and a 0.4 per cent increase compared to August 2014.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $633,500. This represents a 5.3 per cent increase compared to September 2013.

 

“Gains in home values are being led by the detached home market. Condominium and townhome properties are not experiencing the same pressure on prices at the moment,” Harris said.  “Individual trends can vary depending on different factors in different areas, so it’s important to do your homework and work with your REALTOR® when you’re looking to determine the market value of a home.”

 

Sales of detached properties in September 2014 reached 1,270, an increase of 24.1 per cent from the 1,023 detached sales recorded in September 2013, and a 113.8 per cent increase from the 594 units sold in September 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 7.3 per cent from September 2013 to $990,300.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,188 in September 2014, an increase of 16.7 per cent compared to the 1,018 sales in September 2013, and a 75.7 per cent increase compared to the 676 sales in September 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.3 per cent from September 2013 to $378,700.

 

Attached property sales in September 2014 totalled 464, a 5 per cent increase compared to the 442 sales in September 2013, and an 88.6 per cent increase over the 246 attached properties sold in September 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.2 per cent between September 2013 and 2014 to $477,700. 

Download stats package here

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

How Does Your Property Tax Compare With The Rest of Canada?

How Does Your Property Tax Compare With The Rest of Canada?

Looking for a reason to grumble about property taxes? Depending on what type of property you own and where, we might have one for you.

 

The Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac), which represents commercial real estate owners such as pension funds and real estate investment trusts, has completed its 11th annual property tax survey. The association, which advocates for lower commercial-to-residential tax ratios, has crunched the numbers for the major municipalities in Canada. The association notes that while residential and commercial tax rates have generally been declining, that doesn’t translate into significantly lower tax payments because assessment values have been on the rise.

 

Here’s a sneak peek at the findings:

 

Calgary

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $14.11
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $6.10
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.31, up 2.2 per cent from last year
  • Calgary has one of the lowest estimated tax rates on commercial properties per $1,000 of assessment

Edmonton

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $18
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $8.01
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.25, down 3.6 per cent from last year
  • Residential rates rose by 2.5 per cent

Halifax

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $34.02
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $12.11
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.81, down 4.4 per cent from last year
  • Halifax’s ratio has been edging down since 2012. A 6.8-per-cent increase in the city’s taxable commercial property assessment base this past year allowed for a significant drop in commercial rates, which went down by more than residential rates. As a result Halifax’s ratio saw the largest drop of all the cities since last year.

Montreal

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $37.12
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $8.27
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 4.49, up 1.9 per cent from last year
  • -his is the tenth year in a row the ratio has risen in Montreal. Both commercial and residential rates fell from last year, but residential rates are declining more quickly. The city has one of the highest estimated commercial tax rates per $1,000 of assessment.

Ottawa

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $30.41
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $11.27
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.7, up 0.4 per cent from last year
  • The ratio is expected to remain stable for the rest of Ontario’s 2013-2016 property assessment cycle. Ottawa has one of the highest estimated commercial tax rates per $1,000 of assessment.

Regina

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $21.37
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $13.69
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 1.56, down 0.1 per cent from last year
  • Regina has one of the lowest ratios, with one of the highest residential property tax rates.

Saskatoon

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $17.62
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $12.58
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 1.4, down 1 per cent from last year
  • Saskatoon has one of the lowest ratios and highest residential property tax rates. It has a goal of maintaining the target ratio of 1.4 per cent.

Toronto

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $28.98
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $7.23
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 4.01, down 1.5 per cent from last year
  • The ratio has been falling for 11 years. The city aims to reduce the tax ratios for commercial properties to 2.5 times the residential rate by 2020. It cut residential taxes for the sixth year in a row.

Vancouver

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $15.91
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $3.68
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 4.33, down 0.4 per cent from last year
  • The ratio has been fairly stable for three years.

Winnipeg

  • Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $25
  • Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $12.13
  • Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.06, up 1.9 per cent from last year
- Credit to The Globe and Mail  Full Arricle>
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Don't Just Sign That Mortgage Renewal Form!

Don't Just Sign That Mortgage Renewal Form!

 

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun & The Leader Post talked about the process of renewing your mortgage at a bank and the fact that many people just sign the renewal document sent to them in the mail. Don't sign this! The rates offered are not good. In the example used in the article the rate offered was a full 2% above what the best rate on the mkt was.

 

In that scenario a 2% difference made a 47K difference in interest on a 500K mtg over a 5 yr term. The renewal document was sent out 2 wks before the maturity date. As a broker I can shop the mkt, with access to over 50 lenders and hold an excellent rate for up to 120 days prior to your mortgage maturing and with no haggling. 

 

I know some people want to be loyal to their banks but I'm not sure loyalty always pays. In my years working within the banking industry I have seen that their loyalty was taken advantage of or taken for granted. 

 

See here for full article:

 

 

 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

East Vancouver, Breaking Records For Luxury Priced Homes!

East Vancouver, Breaking Records For Luxury Priced Homes!


Vancouver's East Side may no longer be the affordable, funky alternative to the tony, high-priced real estate west of Main Street.

 

At least if a recent sale is any indication.

 

A house at 846 E 27th Avenue, on a 33 ft. wide lot just east of Fraser Street has sold for the asking price of $2,150,000. And the realtor who listed it says the new buyers traded UP from their last home on the West Side.

 

"It's significant because it shows there is not that sort of same discrepancy between the East Side and the West Side as there once was. I think the gap has narrowed in terms of price," said Paul Eviston, of RE/MAX Select Properties.

As prices rise in the West Side, more buyers are finding they get more for their money east of Main Street, Eviston says.

"There are many buyers that have sold their homes on the West Side and have moved to the East Side, put money in the bank, and there are many buyers that once would buy only on the West Side that are considering the East Side based on the value quotient."

 

The house is three years old and comes with a laneway house. Both structures have a combined total of six bedrooms and six bathrooms within 4,150 sq. ft. The house was only listed a couple of days before selling in the spring.

The house was built by Mercia Construction. The company built two other similar houses on the same block, without laneway houses, that sold for $1,395,000 just four years ago.

 

"There are funky, affordable neighbourhoods in East Vancouver but they're a little further east now and they are different neighbourhoods than they were five and 10 years ago," said Eviston.

 

Full Article>

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Let Renters Pay Your Mortgage

This was the title of a recent article that discusses the idea of purchasing a bigger home or say moving up from a condo or townhouse to a single detached home. Friends of mine did this and a recent client as well. Both of them now paying a smaller mortgage once they receive the rent they're getting from their income or basement suite. 
 
Some lenders, including the some of the banks, are making it harder to qualify and aren't allowing the use of the full rental income to qualify. I work with a number of lenders who will allow anywhere from 70 to 100% of the rental income added back to qualify you for the financing needed to buy your house.
 
Here's the full article below if interested…
 
From Globe Investor:
Let renters pay your mortgage

Tony Marchigiano 1-155 Water Street
Mortgage Broker Vancouver, BC

cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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