Royal LePage City Centre Michael Wilcox Personal Real Estate Corporation | Kate MacPhail Personal Real Estate Corporation


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.”

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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.

Full Article>

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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:



  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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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Thursday, September 18, 2014

In Vancouver, Rich Homeowners Get Richer!

Vancouver is well known for its pricey real estate. The median price for detached homes was $1,069,000 on July 1, 2013, based on assessed values for houses within the City of Vancouver.


Andrew Yan, an urban planner with Bing Thom Architects, crunched the numbers supplied by BC Assessment, the provincial Crown corporation that provides valuations on behalf of B.C. municipalities, and found the rich are getting richer, at least for their abode.


He found that to claim bragging rights to be a member of the 1-per-cent club, a Vancouver property needs to be valued at $5,586,000 or higher. The most expensive homes, he found, have enjoyed the highest increases in assessed value over a five-year period. Comparing assessments conducted in 2013 with those in 2008, the value of homes in the 1-per-cent bracket has soared an average of 65.4 per cent from $3,377,000 in 2008.


Prices have jumped sharply for luxury homes due to increased demand from well-heeled buyers from other provinces and abroad, combined with a relatively limited number of listings for detached properties in a city where developers are increasingly focused on building condos and townhouses. Over the past three years, prices have been flat for condos and townhouses in Greater Vancouver, including the suburbs.


But within the City of Vancouver, detached homes assessed last year at $3,278,000 or higher qualify for being among the top 5 per cent, up 63.8 per cent from the threshold of $2,001,000 in 2008.


Getting to the upper crust’s top 10 per cent means having a home valued at $2,601,000 or higher, up 60.4 per cent from $1,621,900 in 2008. To make it into the top-33rd percentile out of a total of about 67,800 detached houses, a homeowner needs to have a property valuation of at least $1,484,000. Assessed values in the top-33rd percentile climbed an average of 46 per cent during the five-year period.


A Globe and Mail review of the data reveals that Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson’s waterfront mansion is No. 1 on the latest assessment list, topping the B.C. charts at $54.2-million. In the previous assessment, as the home was being built, the value was $35.2-million


The next three highest assessed values are all homes located along Belmont Avenue in the upscale Point Grey neighbourhood on Vancouver’s west side.


A property registered to Pisonii (PTC) Ltd. is the runner-up at $46-million in the 2013 assessment, followed by the $28.6-million residence of philanthropist Nezhat Khosrowshahi and her husband, Future Shop founder Hassan Khosrowshahi. He is chairman of Persis Holdings Ltd. and serves on the board of the Bank of Canada. Fourth overall is the $25.6-million property owned by real estate developer Joseph Segal and his wife Rosalie, a philanthropist.

Other prominent owners include Vancouver entrepreneur Jacqueline Cohen, whose waterfront home in the Kitsilano neighbourhood is assessed at $24.2-million – enough to place No. 9 in the list of B.C.’s highest valued residential properties.


Mr. Yan’s data shows 4,360 detached properties were valued at $3-million or higher in his latest compilation. But owning a million-dollar home in Vancouver is increasingly run-of-the-mill, statistically speaking. He notes that 37,425 homes, or 55.2 per cent of the total detached properties on the assessment rolls, were pegged as being worth at least $1-million in mid-2013, up from 22,908 or 33.8 per cent in mid-2008.


Many first-time buyers look at townhouses and condos when entering the local market. Last month’s home price index for Greater Vancouver townhouses reached $474,900, up 3.9 per cent from a year earlier, while condo prices have climbed 3.6 per cent to $379,200 over the past year.


Credit - Globe and Mail> Full Article here

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Street Names of Vancouver

Where did the street names in Vancouver come from? Ever wonder?


""Shared below is a link to a PDF of the entire 1999 book “Street Names of Vancouver” a few years ago and to this day people still find their way to it, so I figured I’d re-post for those of you not getting to our site by way of a Google search. The book shares insight on how the names of our streets came to be from the 1870′s to 1999, it was published by the Vancouver Historical Society and is made available thanks to the Vancouver Public Library and their British Columbia City Directories. Download it for free RIGHT HERE."


Vancouver Is Awesome, and we are dedicated to everything that makes it that way. 

If you want to read ugly, bad news about this beautiful city of ours, you’re going to have to look to traditional media and other blogs; V.I.A. promotes everything that makes our city awesome, from old to new and everything inbetween. We’re like the human interest piece on the news… only different. Year after year we have been voted Vancouver's "Best Local Blog" by readers of the Georgia Straight. 

Article Credit - 

Free Download of Book Here>

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Banks To Be More Transparent With Collateral Mortgages

Banks To Be More Transparent With Collateral Mortgages
A recent article has noted that the current Finance Minister is finally addressing what mortgage brokers have been complaining about for years. That is; more transparency for collateral mortgages offered by 8 big banks.
Although their are benefits with this type of mortgage there are also some big negatives. Consumers have a right to know exactly what they're getting into when signing up for one of these and now they should have a better idea going forward. 
Please also remember I am always here to answer any questions you may have on this product as well.
Below is the full article:
"A major broker gripe about a big bank mortgage policy has finally been addressed by Finance Minister Joe Oliver and more transparency about the practice is forthcoming.

Canada’s eight largest banks have promised to provide more information about collateral mortgages; including online educational resources and better training for bank employees to help them better explain the difference between collateral charge mortgages and their conventional counterparts.

“Our government is standing up for consumers and savinBanks to be more transparent with collateral mortgagesg Canadians money,” Joe Oliver said of the voluntary policy.

The Department of Finance requires lenders to provide more disclosure for collateral charge mortgages than traditional mortgages. The website reads:

While many consumers continue to choose a traditional mortgage to secure their home loans, many are increasingly choosing collateral charge mortgages. The impacts of having a collateral charge mortgage may differ from traditional mortgages. For instance, switching between lenders may be more difficult. To make an informed choice, consumers need sufficient information to clearly understand the costs and consequences of collateral charge mortgages relative to traditional mortgages. The government will require enhanced disclosure, better equipping borrowers to understand these impacts.

However, many brokers have complained about client ignorance surrounding these particular mortgages.

“(Clients) are effectively entering into an ‘all indebtedness’ mortgage, which brings any other debts to that specific lender under the umbrella of the registered security against the real estate,” Dustan Woodhouse, a B.C.-based broker with Dominion Lending Centres wrote in the March issue of CMP Magazine. “In other words co-signing a credit card or car loan for somebody that stops making payments with the same lender holding the mortgage can ultimately result in a foreclosure notice against the original client’s property."

“This is often not clearly spelled out on a mortgage commitment.”

Tony Marchigiano1-155 Water Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Housing Market Activity Follows 10-Year August Averages

VANCOUVER, B.C. – September 3, 2014 – The Metro Vancouver housing market
experienced steady home sale, listing, and pricing trends for the month of August.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property
sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,771 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in
August 2014. This represents a 10.2 per cent increase compared to the 2,514 sales
recorded in August 2013, and a 9.5 per cent decline compared to the 3,061 sales in July

“Activity this summer has been strong but not unusual for our region,” Ray Harris, REBGV
president said. “The volume of home sales has been higher than we’ve seen in the last three
years, yet below the record-breaking levels of the past decade.”
Last month’s sales were 4.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for August of 2,658.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in
Metro Vancouver* is currently $631,600. This represents a 5 per cent increase compared to
August 2013.

“Broadly speaking, home prices in the region are continuing to experience modest,
incremental gains,” Harris said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled
3,940 in August. This represents a 5.9 per cent decline compared to the 4,186 new listings
in August 2013 and a 20 per cent decline from the 4,925 new listings in July. Last month’s
new listing total was 8.4 per cent below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro
Vancouver is 14,768, a 7.9 per cent decline compared to August 2013 and a 5.4 per cent
decrease compared to July 2014.

Sales of detached properties in August 2014 reached 1,158, an increase of 10.1 per cent
from the 1,052 detached sales recorded in August 2013, and an 85.6 per cent increase from
the 624 units sold in August 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased
6.6 per cent from August 2013 to $984,300.

Complete REBGV Stats August 2014 >

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bank of Canada - Prime Lending Rates

Why the Bank of Canada is leaving the Prime lending rate right where it is, again!


It's been 4 years and counting since the bank of Canada raised it's prime lending rate to 1%, which of course, is still very low by historical standards. Is this the new norm for years to come or will the bank move soon??


See the full article from Mortgage Broker news for the details:


The Bank of Canada announced Wednesday it will maintain its target for the overnight rate; days before the fourth anniversary of BoC upping it to one per cent.

“Overall, the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished,” the bank’s official release states. “The balance of these risks is still within the zone for which the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate and therefore the target for the overnight rate remains at one per cent.”

The rate has been held since September 8, 2010 and the Bank of Canada but an eventual hike may be on the horizon.

“The Bank remains neutral with respect to the next change to the policy rate: its timing and direction will depend on how new information influences the outlook and assessment of risks,” the release states.

Inflation, which has long been a factor in maintaining the rate, has improved according to the bank’s forecasts.

“Inflation is close to the 2 per cent target and is evolving as the Bank anticipated in its July Monetary Policy Report (MPR),” the release states. “Recent data reinforce the Bank’s view that the earlier pickup in inflation was attributable to the temporary effects of higher energy prices, exchange rate pass-through, and other sector-specific factors rather than to any change in domestic economic fundamentals.”

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

cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Population Growth Takes Off

The Lower Mainland

In the Lower Mainland, our population is forecast to grow by 30,000 new residents each year or 1.2 million residents by 2041 for a total population of 3.4 million, according to Metro Vancouver’sMetro 2040 Residential Growth Projections report. 

Where will new residents find homes?
Metro Vancouver estimates new residents will require 574,000 additional housing units to be built from now until 2041.

Newly developing and planned urban areas have capacity for about 250,000 residents, or about 20% of the region’s total projected growth to 2040, according to Metro Vancouver.

The vast majority – 80% – of Metro growth will occur through strategic infill and intensification of established urban areas. This will include secondary suites and accessory units with single detached housing, ground oriented duplex/multi-unit structures, row housing and apartment developments.

Metro 2040 targets about 68% of future residential growth within designated Urban Centres and along transit corridors – in areas like Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, the Tri-Cities and Surrey.

The province

From 2011 to 2013, an average of 51,000 BC residents left our province for greener pastures each year.  The lure of high-paying jobs made Alberta a key destination.

This all changed in the first quarter of 2014, according to BC Real Estate Association.

“The flow of interprovincial migration seems to be reversing course and population is trending higher,” said Cameron Muir, chief economist.

Muir forecasts growth in the BC economy will pick up speed for this year and next, helping our labour market compete with Alberta and convincing BC residents to stay home. It will also be a magnet pulling other Canadians westward. 

“As population growth in BC accelerates, housing demand is expected to follow,” said Muir.


Graph source: BC Real Estate Association

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Immigrant Investment Good For Canada?

Chinese investment is good for Canada says President of Asian Real Estate Association… More private investors buying commercial property… Affordable housing faces opposition in Halifax… And could a 3D model change the real estate business?


Immigrants are good for the economy and the housing market

There has been a lot of focus on the levels of foreign investment in our real estate market and although it’s not always said directly, there is often an undertone of suspicion and negativity around these discussions. Tina Mak is the President of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (Vancouver) and says that immigration is positive and reflects the ‘promise of Canada’. Tina came to Canada 26 years ago and became a citizen in 1993; she owns multiple properties and is an employer. She is also passionate about Canada and says that the fact that people from, for example China, want to come here is because it is seen as a safe haven, a solid investment. Mak argues that this should be seen as a positive thing. She highlights the large amounts of investment that is brought into the country, not just in our real estate, and maintains that we should welcome this and be proud that people want to make Canada their home. Read the full story.


Commercial ownership sees changing trend

Much of our commercial property is owned by the large pension funds but new figures show that this changed in the last quarter. Investment firm CBRE say that private investors outpaced the pension funds, whose activity in the sector fell sharply from Q1. Investment from private buyers has increased by more than 50 per cent. Large pension funds are focusing on developing property rather than buying while smaller pension funds are still making acquisitions. The private investor surge is helping to boost commercial property transactions, especially in the west. Read the full story.


Affordable housing faces opposition in Nova Scotia

A plan to create extra affordable housing in part of Nova Scotia is under threat from those opposed to greater housing density. The Housing Trust of Nova Scotia wants to build 123 affordable new homes in the Gottingen Street area of Halifax but says that opponents have challenged the council’s zoning decision. Read the full story.


Is technology set to revolutionise real estate?

Technology is disrupting almost every sector of business and real estate and the mortgage business is no different. We see new software solutions every day and now a Vancouver company is hoping that its 3D model of the city will revolutionise everything from construction to sales. The model city is so advanced is can be used for searching for attributes such a ‘south facing window’ or even a fire hydrant. GeoSim who have created the product say it takes the idea of Google Earth and adds complete freedom of movement; you can even walk into and around a building. The company says that the uses for its model are multiple; from planners to developers to realtors. It could be used to show prospective property purchasers, especially commercial buyers, almost every aspect of the building and its neighbourhood. Read the full story.



Full Article by Canadian Real Estate Wealth 

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

5 Reasons to Refinance

1. Lower your interest rate. Compare mortgage rates and see how yours compares to rates being offered today. Even a slightly lower interest rate could save you money on interest payments in the long term and may be just enough lower that you could afford to make the switch to a shorter loan term.
2. Shorten your loan term. If you've been paying down your principal for several years and perhaps have even made some extra payments to reduce the balance faster, check out what your loan payments would be if you refinance into a 15- or 10-year loan. Depending on the balance of your loan and the interest rate, your payments could be the same as what you're paying now or just a little higher. By shortening your loan term, however, you can potentially save thousands in interest payments as well as become mortgage-free faster.
3. Combine your current mortgage loans. If your home-equity loan or line of credit has a higher interest rate than your current first mortgage, look into the possibility of refinancing both loans to see if this can reduce your monthly payments overall. In addition, some home-equity lines of credit have a reset date when you stop paying interest only and must begin to repay the principal. You may want to refinance before your minimum payments jump.
4. Take cash out. If you've got other high-interest debt such as credit-card debt and your home has increased in value, this may be the time to consider refinancing to pay off your credit cards. Be careful that you have the discipline to avoid going deeper into credit-card debt and that you can comfortably afford your new mortgage payment.
5. Reduce your loan balance. You may want to do a "cash-in" refinance and pay down your mortgage balance to eliminate private mortgage insurance payments or to qualify for a lower mortgage rate. Some borrowers use the combination of a refinance and prepaying their loan to become debt-free faster.

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

cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666

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