Quick Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tread slowly but surely when buying a home. There are quite a few pitfalls that could get you ending up in the gutter of a bad deal, or with an overpriced loan, or a secretly horrible house. You need to look beyond the surface when you’re looking into securing a mortgage or searching for the house itself. Here are some tips that should prove useful:

Attend seminars

Ask if there are organizations in your neighborhood that conduct seminars or forums for first-time home buyers. These are often offered by the local city housing department, some real estate organizations, and certain non-profit companies. Attending one should help you learn the ropes of the process. You might even get some much needed help.

Focus on your needs

You might be enticed to buy a house for the elegant kitchen or the stunning deck and pool, but you should never lose track of what you need. Your priority should be making sure that the house will fit your family and that it is a practical choice considering neighborhood safety and accessibility. Luxury can come later.

Weigh mortgage options

When choosing a mortgage plan, think about your long-term goals. If you’re thinking of living in that house for a very long time, then you might benefit from a 30-year fixed mortgage. On the other hand, if you’re thinking of eventually refurbishing and selling, there should be a 15-year plan available.

Choosing the Perfect Condominium

Not everyone who wants a house wants the responsibilities associated with living in the suburbs. People who don’t want to spend their weekends mowing the lawn or repainting their fence often choose to live in condominiums instead. In condos, occupants pay a fee that covers property maintenance so they can spend their long-awaited weekends enjoying the various amenities that condos offer.

In a metropolis like Vancouver, however, there are countless condos to choose from and the options can be overwhelming for first-time buyers. Don’t despair though; below are a few tips to help you land the condo of your dreams:

Get a trusted realtor
No one knows the Vancouver real estate market better than realtors, so hire a local one that has extensive experience in finding suitable condos for clients. Just tell them what type of condo you need and they’ll prepare a shortlist of properties that you can view.

Location is everything
Location, location, location—no word is more important when it comes to real estate. The best condos are situated near business districts, schools, shopping centers, and hospitals. Be warned, though: they can be pricey.

Check the floor plan
You won’t have quite the same freedom when it comes to renovating your condo unit like you would with single-detached homes. Therefore, choose one with a layout that fits your needs since major structural changes have to be approved by the condo board first.

A Guide to Vancouver’s Luxury Estates: Star Homes

Friday, December 27, 2013

When Hollywood’s greatest stars come to Vancouver, they’re always on the lookout for properties that complement their high-profile status. Here's a short list of the abodes and neighborhoods the celebrities prefer. Let it serve as your quick overview and buying guide to the best luxury homes in the city —or simply as a way to indulge your fantasies of staying in some of its most exclusive properties.
  • Matt Damon – This young man with an old soul prefers the solitude offered behind the iron gates and old-growth cedars of the palatial homes of North Shore. Channing Tatum and his family have also been temporary residents of this very exclusive part of town.
  • Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes – TomKat rented out the entire penthouse of the Shangri-La Hotel while they were in Vancouver for the filming of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
  • Jennifer Aniston – This famous Friends actress was reported to have booked the Metropolitan Hotel’s top floor in 2008.
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – The actor and wrestling superstar rented out a penthouse on Beach Avenue during the filming of The Tooth Fairy for $20,000. The property featured views of the English Bay as well as the city and its mountainside backdrop. The same penthouse was also rented out by Jeff Bridges while he was filming Tron: Legacy.

Sell Your Home Quickly with These Tips

Whether you’re upgrading to a bigger home or downsizing to a modest condominium, you’ll have to sell your current house before you can move. However, with Vancouver’s competitive real estate market, the time it will take between hanging the “For Sale” and “Sold” signs might take interminably long. If you need to sell your house quickly, here are a few tips to help you along:

Get an experienced real estate agent
Yes, hiring an agent is an additional cost but there is no faster way to sell your house than to tap professional services. An agent can post your property on multiple listing services to help it gain wider exposure, as well as arrange viewings for interested parties. Once your house is bought, an agent can also handle all the paperwork and legal requirements so you can focus on preparing for the move.

Set a reasonable price
Everyone wants to get top dollar for their house, but be realistic when it comes to pricing yours. Research comparable home prices in your area and set your asking price around those figures. You might even want to price it a bit lower—the relatively cheaper price attracts a lot of attention and encourages competing bids from buyers.

Improve curb appeal

Looks aren’t everything, but buyers are more likely to purchase an aesthetically pleasing home than a displeasing one. Clear up the clutter, mow your lawn, change your doors and windows, and repaint your house to give it a quick make over.

Opsal Steel Presale Condos in South East False Creek

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Kits 360 by Intergulf | Pre-Sale Condos in Vancouver


Presale Condos Keefer Block Condos by Solterra in Vancouver

The Keefer Block development is another high rise building to bring some modern touch to the neighborhood of Chinatown to blend with its rich heritage. The exact site of this building is at the corner intersection of Keefer and Main Streets and to be precise, at 189 Keefer Street. With ever increasing demand for residential homes as a result of increased growth of Chinatown (both in terms of economy and Population), this is the place where investors ought to be. The night market of Chinatown, sky train, the heart of the downtown area, Gastown and Yaletown are easily accessible from this development. - See more at: http://www.youtube.com/v/o-zScu7lWk8?version=3&autohide=1&showinfo=1&autohide=1&autoplay=1&feature=share&attribution_tag=W5icBd9EE7rCB_qdL6Gbpw

Evan Presale Condos in Mount Pleasant Vancouver

Evan Presale Condos in Mount Pleasant Vancouver

Vancouver presale condos Burrard Gateway from Reliance Properties and Ji...

Vancouver presale condos at Burrard Gateway!

Central Condos For Sale in Vancouver by Onni -- Block 100

Central Condos For Sale in Vancouver by Onni -- Block 100

Structural Pitfalls to Avoid When Looking at Homes for Sale in Vancouver

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Buying a good home is one of the most important financial investments that most people work hard for to achieve, and your home will likely become a major financial obligation that you'll be paying off for years to come. While home ownership can be an exciting prospect for a first-time homebuyer, remember that you should never rush into making a purchase, lest you end up carrying the enormous burden of a bad deal throughout your entire mortgage period. A home for sale in Canada's Terminal City, for instance, might be in an excellent neighborhood and comes in a style that pulls at your heartstrings – something that gets you hyped up and ready to hunt for a mortgage lender. However, after closing the deal, you find out too late that the house is riddled with flaws, maybe a leaking roof, foundation problems, or bad siding. Hence, to avoid this predicament, an article from MSN Money by Liz Weston, highlights the following considerations that you have to keep in mind when looking at affo


Enviable Condos for Sale in Vancouver: Living the Life in Rain City

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Vancouver is the eight largest city in Canada, with a metropolitan area home to more than two million people. This seaport city is an excellent place to live in, thanks to its mild climate and favorable economic conditions. Visitors and locals can't get enough of the abundance of natural beauty in sites like Stanley Park and the Burnaby Mountain, as well as notable attractions like the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Chinatown. Many new and long-time residents who would rather not deal with the high upkeep demands of a traditional house and lot are eager to acquire condos for sale in Vancouver. After all, who wouldn't want to have convenient living conditions in one of the world's cleanest and best cities to live in? If you fancy a bit of an international road trip, the U.S. state of Washington is only 45 minutes to the south from your nice, comfy condo."


Planning to Move to Vancouver? Check Out Vancouver Luxury Real Estate Listings

Friday, September 27, 2013

"According to rankings by The Economist, which is often based on the cost of 160 products and services in the cities being surveyed, Vancouver, B.C. was found to be the most expensive city in North America to live in. However, given the fact that Vancouver has also been ranked one of the most livable cities in the world, not to mention it has the least carbon footprint among all major cities in North America, it's easy to say that every dollar you spend in the “Hollywood North” is worth it. In a vancitybuzz.com article, the most expensive home in Vancouver was listed at $35 million. The home has formal rooms, 2 wine cellars, 9 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, stained glass windows, art deco parkade, and secured underground parking spaces. Homes like this help boost the Vancouver luxury real estate market. In fact, Vancouver's overall real estate industry is seeing a positive rise in sales figures and demand."


Vancouver Real Estate Market Boom – A Good Sign to Move to Vancouver?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"In a huffingtonpost.ca news article published last August 2, which was based on a news release given by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), it was reported that Vancouver's housing market had the most sales for the year, specifically in the month of July, which is also the best since 2009. The recent Vancouver real estate market saw a 40.4 percent increase compared to the same month last year and 11.5 percent over June 2013. These data also showed a 0.1 percent growth throughout the 10-year average. According to The Economist, Vancouver is not only the best place to live in Canada, but it's actually the best city in the world to live in. Furthermore, if you check the results of the United Nations 175-country Quality of Life survey in the past ten years, you'll see that Canada has always remained among the top ten best places to live. Some factors that were considered to determine the outcome of the said researches are: the city's political stability, healthcare, inc


What to Look for in Homes in Vancouver BC

Monday, September 23, 2013

According to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit's livability survey, Vancouver is the best city to live in North America and the third best city to live in the world, trailing right behind Melbourne (Australia) and Vienna (Austria). For this reason, if you've been delaying your plans to relocate to this great city for awhile, this is a good time to reconsider and look for housing options here. You can choose from single-family homes to more luxurious homes in affluent areas.

When house-hunting, it helps to examine a home from inside and out to know exactly what you'll be in for when you purchase the home. Doing a quick assessment of the place may cause you to miss a poorly installed gutter system or fading siding paint. At times, however, with all the paperwork you need to complete when buying a home, you may not get a chance to do a thorough examination, so it's best to rely on a house inspector to do it for you.

It is also a must to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood. If you scour newspapers and you see that the neighborhood has figured in robbery incidents, then it may be best for you to take your business elsewhere. Your fellow residents are also a clue to how charming the community is; if the people give you a scrutinizing look and you haven't even bought the place yet, chances are, they are not as welcoming as you'd like them to be.

What Are the Features of a Luxury Condo?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

As with other luxury items, the demand for luxury condos does not decrease with increasing prices. Instead their value is enhanced, attracting investors who are looking for properties in the luxury market. Buyers of luxury condos naturally want to make sure that they get the best value for their money, and thus look for features that rightly place these properties in the luxury class.

As with any other real estate property, location is a prime consideration when valuing a luxury condo. It will need to be situated in a highly secure area, but with convenient access to the necessities of its residents, such as schools and offices. Needless to say, the location has to be a well-kept and maintained area. A condo unit's placement in the building can also affect its value, with penthouse units typically considered the most luxurious. A good view from within the unit also helps to enhance its value.

A luxury condo naturally has to have the right size, and good interior planning and design. Spaciousness is another feature of most luxury condos. A smaller-spaced luxury condo needs to be built such that it still affords the resident ample room to move around, and does not appear cramped or boxed-in.

Another feature which sets luxury condos apart from the others are the amenities provided in the condo. Exclusive pools, gyms, and gardens are some of the facilities offered by most luxury condos. Others provide extra services such as valet parking and housekeeping. 

Things to Do Before Buying Luxury Real Estate

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Despite being a city that's popular for its vibrant culture and pleasant atmosphere, Vancouver is also known for having the highest cost of living in North America. It's so high that the starting price of many luxury homes in Vancouver can reach $4 million, especially in more affluent neighborhoods like West Side. As such, those who are in the market for some high-quality and expensive real estate should decide on their purchases carefully to avoid making a bad bargain.

One of the first things that buyers should do is to inspect the property they wish to buy and see to it that everything inside and outside is in good working order. Pest problems and roof damage can be found even in luxury real estate properties, especially vintage houses like those found in Gastown. Buyers may also want to double check the property's history to see if the relevant documents are available, with special interest being given to its maintenance history.

It would also help if the buyers would work with a lawyer and a home appraiser to ascertain if the property is properly-valued based on its current condition. There may be some home features or fixtures, like antique furniture, that the seller harbors great sentimental value for, but they really don't do much to increase the property's selling price. A lawyer is especially important so that the estate's legal documents can be properly reviewed before any purchase is made.

Gauging the Vancouver Real Estate Market

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vancouver may not be Canada's capital city, but it's certainly one of the most well-known economic and cultural centers in the country. Best known for its intricate downtown layout, it's home to numerous people of various ethnicity. This, in turn, creates a multinational mix that presents locals with opportunities to partake of various cultural delights. Indeed, there are so many things to enjoy in Vancouver that many decide to purchase homes in the city to stay permanently.

The first thing home buyers need to take into account when buying property in Vancouver is that the city is informally divided into two parts: West Vancouver and East Vancouver. Typically, West Vancouver is the more affluent of the two, but the East is where the city's melting pot of cultures can be experienced. There are many choice properties up for grabs in Vancouver that lie on either side of the city, and it would help to get a second opinion.

Having a Realtor® handy can help home buyers choose the right home. Realtors can look for a house based on the preferences of the buyers in terms of pricing, building quality, property proximity to amenities, and so on. Whether buyers want to live on the East side or the West side, realtors can make deciding between the two easier.

Why Hipsters Should Check Out Homes For Sale in Vancouver

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Some people regard hipsters as outgoing individuals or the happy-go-lucky ones who seem to have no direction in life. But the truth is their personality is just a bit unusual to the perspective of some. They love independence and see the world in a constructive way. They want to explore, engage in many things, and seeks to discover the path they truly belong to. That being said, living in Vancouver is great idea as the city has a lot of things to offer to hipsters and non-hipsters alike. It won't fail you when it comes to fun and exciting social functions. Vancouver is also known for having lots of underground concerts and celebrations that hipster will surely enjoy. And the metro has a lot of cultural treasures waiting to be discovered. There are many affordable homes for sale in Vancouver, so finding a shelter won't be a problem. Asking for a professional's help might be too mainstream for you, but it's an option that you have to bear in mind.

High Quality Living: Reason to Purchase Condos for Sale in Vancouver

Vancouver is considered to be one of the most outstanding cities in Canada. The various awards and recognitions that the city have received in the past years attest that reputation. In one instance, Vancouver was recognized by The Economist because of its high quality of life that is enjoyed by its residents. Residing on the city is a great idea for those looking for a new environment and a better way of life. There are many grand yet affordable condos for sale in Vancouver today. Condo living is just one of the great things you can experience when you're in the city. You can have fun without having to worry about your safety since the buildings provide a high level of security. The amenities are a plus factor too. With various sports and leisure activities, you'll surely have a good time. Moreover, Vancouver always hosts wonderful events. You can expect awesome festivities happening in the city proper from time to time. 

How can a Reliable Realtor Help you Purchase a Vancouver Luxury Real Estate Property?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sometimes, comfort is not enough in a home. And if you're going to buy something as lucrative as a property, luxury oftentimes never goes out of the equation. But this is only a dream realized by a few. Realtors such as Jean Seguin can help you achieve comfort and luxury at an affordable price. They will assist you in putting your hard earned money in a Vancouver luxury estate where you can benefit in the long run. Nothing is more important than establishing a working relationship with a trustworthy and honest broker who values your assets just like you. Aside from this, realtors also have listings of available houses that you can browse conveniently. Asking help from realtors can also help you budget your money, prompting you to make loans that will surely fit in your means. Vancouver is an ideal place to build your family and your dreams. With a lot in store for the city, you'll never regret choosing this area as your home.

The Vancouver Real Estate Market Puts Home Buyers in an Advantage

Friday, August 23, 2013

The best place to settle in would be somewhere that has wonderful surroundings, with a lot of business opportunities and a world-class education system. This sounds impossible, but Vancouver proved it otherwise. With a reliable and trustworthy realtor in your side, you'll sure to have the best offer for your dream home. This makes house hunting easy for you! These realtors will present you a list of properties where you can begin your hunting without needing to spend time outside checking houses. Securing your future includes making wise decisions and one of them is investing on a Vancouver real estate market. What separates the Vancouver real estate from other is that it offers affordable real estate to suit your budget while offering the same things that you'd find in cities that have higher costs of living. Make use of your hard-earned money for an investment in a stable market, where the value of homes increases as time passes by.

Do you Really Need a Realtor When a Buying a Home?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vancouver, British Columbia has several residential neighborhoods that are nothing short of ideal when it comes to raising a family. It isn't surprising, then, that many families find it appealing to relocate to this city. This brings up the age-old question: Do you need to hire a Realtor to find the home of your dreams?

You can certainly attempt to buy a home in Metro Vancouver without an agent. Yet some selling agents find that buyers with no representation are perceived as less serious about property acquisition. As such, this might hinder your chances of buying a home.

Hiring a Realtor can help make the home buying process proceed more smoothly since the agent has connections with both sellers as well as lenders. The agent will first ask about your preferences as well as your financial situation to determine your buying power. This will make it easier for them to match you with a lender.

Aside from matching you with lenders and sellers, Realtors can also protect your interests when you are about to close the deal. For instance, if you need a third-party inspection for termites, asbestos, and other faulty structures, Realtors can usually hook you up with reputable service providers. In any case, see to it that you hire a buyer's agent who'll be on your side through it all.

The Advantages of Condo Living

Friday, July 26, 2013

If you lead a hectic urban lifestyle, where you live can determine the amount of stress you can expect on a daily basis. You can choose to live in the suburbs where property costs can be cheaper and where there's more space for your family to enjoy. Yet the distance to your place of work as well as home maintenance costs can soon prove taxing.

These days, a lot of city folks find it more practical to live in condominiums. Some condos are located near city centers, thus minimizing the stress and hassle associated with one's daily commute. For instance, you can get a place that's just a few blocks away from your office so you can simply walk rather than drive a car or take public transit.

If home maintenance tasks are not your cup of tea, then condo living might just be the perfect solution for you. Condo building administrators usually take care of electrical and plumbing repairs, round-the-clock security, and maintenance of common areas (such as gyms, swimming pools, and lobbies). You therefore have less to worry about regarding property upkeep and your family's safety within the premises.

In any case, you might find it easier to acquire your very own condo unit with the help of a certified realtor. Your real estate agent can give you a listing of available properties that suit your budget and preferences, and even facilitate on-site visits.

Real Estate in Vancouver is Doing Fine...for Now

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Things are looking good so far for the Vancouver real estate market, what with the Northern and Western districts experiencing at least 30 percent more gross sales since June (which is way better than the same period last year). That's not all; in fact, demand for luxury real estate is expected to remain consistent. If the market holds up, there won't be a foreseeable downturn in sales anytime soon—excellent news for both buyers and sellers.

That said, it will still take some time before a luxury property gets sold, particularly if the price is unusually too high or if there aren't that many interested buyers. Case in point: one $29.9 million estate in the West Side hasn't been sold since April 2013, despite the fact that a $25 million condo in Fairmont was sold in June. No doubt buyers still demand lower prices, as was the case for one residential property in Whistler that was sold earlier this year after a $5 million price slash.

Still, the Canadian real estate scene is much better than in the United States, which is only expected to turn up better numbers by late 2013. One expert even suggests that the year actually marks a transitional phase from Canada's lackluster real estate performance to one filled with optimism and greater potential. If this is true, then people can expect to see even better things in 2014 and beyond.

Three Essential Items on Your Dream Home Checklist

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Vancouver is the place to go to when you're looking for a new home. With its extensive business district, pristine beaches, and surrounding mountains, this city probably has all you're going to need in this new chapter of your life. To succeed in your search, here are some things you should keep in mind.


While you won't have a problem getting basic services in Vancouver, service providers and other important establishments may not be near. Find a home close to schools, offices, supermarkets, hospitals, etc. The closer you are to these places, the easier your family can adjust to your new surroundings.


Neighbors are part of your everyday life. You may often see what they do, hear what they talk about, and invite them to your home every now and then. As such, be sure choose a peaceful community where you can get along harmoniously with the other households.


You're probably firm in your decision to purchase a home given that you are quite confident that you have the necessary monetary resources and easy access to a home loan. In any case, buy a home that suits your budget so you won't have to deal with financial problems later on. Keep tabs on your expected income to figure out how you can settle your mortgage payments on time.

Relocating to Vancouver: Find Your Dream House

Monday, July 8, 2013

If you're looking for another city to call home in the near future, you might want to consider Vancouver, Canada. Known for its alternative arts scene, diverse population, and rich culture, this British Columbia city is one of the top choices for relocation. While each neighborhood in Vancouver has its own allure and draw, there are a couple of communities that stand out if it is a dream house you’re looking for.

The North Shore is where waterfront luxury homes can be found. Just across the Lions Gate Bridge, this area is divided into West and North Vancouver, and features breathtaking views of the beach and the mountains. If your nest egg is quite substantial and you're willing to spare no expense to get your dream home, the North Shore is the perfect area in which to reside.

The West End, on the other hand, is the place to be if you fancy living in quaint apartment buildings or older-era homes. Residences with a view of the English Bay are available in the area and can be bought at relatively affordable prices.

There are many neighborhoods in Vancouver where you can settle down. To get a great deal on a home, get a real estate agent who can show you around British Columbia and knows the neighborhoods inside out.

Is Buying a Condo the Right Choice for You?

Friday, July 5, 2013

There are plenty of available choices when you are into buying a new home, and one of them is a condominium unit. A condo is almost like an apartment in size, but ownership terms may differ. They are perfect for those who are ready to own a home, but don't like the traditional detached structure.

Condominiums are attractive for those who want a simpler lifestyle and minimal maintenance requirements. Living in a condo can free you from some chores like mowing your lawn, cleaning several rooms plus your garage, and worrying about security when you're out of town.

Searching for the right condo is much like looking for a house. If you have an idea of the layout, size and community you want, seek an established and reputable real estate agent who can bring you to the unit you want. Go over listings for prospective properties, and real estate websites for the realtor who can help you.

If you are thinking of buying a new home for your family or for yourself, condos should definitely be on your list owing to their practicality. Talk to a real estate agent now to discuss your concerns. He'll help you decide if a condo is the right choice for you.

There's Still Hope for Canada's Housing Woes

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

When it comes to expensive houses in Canada, Vancouver seems to consistently make the top cut. Shaughnessy currently has the highest average home price in the country at about C$3 million, while West Vancouver is home to the country's most expensive house, priced at about C$28 million. It is even expected that an average homeowner who wants to buy a house in Vancouver has to pay C$100,000 more than in other places like Toronto.

Arguably, this prestige can also come across as a double-edged sword, since high prices tend to scare away a lot of prospective buyers. In fact, this is exactly what is going on right now with the Canadian housing market, with sales either remaining flat or dropping even lower every month—a trend that is expected to stick around at least until 2015. Stricter mortgage laws that were passed recently seem only to increase home prices in Toronto and elsewhere instead of combating the unprecedented rise of home loans.

However, the future isn't really that bad for real estate in Canada since it is also expected that the increasingly large supply of unsold properties will encourage more people to buy them eventually. This can also happen if interest rates remain low and construction of new houses also slows down, because a growing population will compel families to buy homes. For now, and despite these housing woes, Canada is faring fairly well on the global real estate market compared to other countries like the United States and Chile. 

Finding a Home in a New Neighborhood

Friday, June 28, 2013

Before moving to a new town or city, you must first find a home for your family. However, a new home is not just a piece of real estate investment that you can acquire easily or dispose at will. It's difficult to find a property that perfectly suits your and your family's needs, and even harder to sell it when it has served your purpose.

This is why in any real estate purchase, the top priority should be your family's safety and convenience; all other matters take second place. For instance, you may want to consider the location and type of real estate suited for your family. Is it a single-detached residence, a condo unit, or an empty lot on which you plan to build your dream home? Is it strategically located near schools, churches, shopping centers, hospitals, and offices?

The kind of neighborhood where the property is located also requires careful consideration, especially in terms of crime rate. Can your family be safe and secure in the area? It may be a beautiful home, but if you can't guarantee your family's safety, it would be best to find another real estate to buy.

An ideal home is one that belongs to a pleasant neighborhood and is near places of convenience. If you can find such property, you've found the best place to live.

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