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Fall 2016 Update

 

After a blistering hot seller’s market for the last year or longer the Greater Vancouver market has cooled a bit as it digests the provincial move on foreign ownership and changes to mortgage rates and qualification rules. While I disagree with how the new taxes were implemented they certainly have impacted single family houses in the targeted areas. Supply is up, sales are down and it appears to have moved into Buyer’s Market conditions in most Vancouver areas....

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Finally!  The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, Bill 44, was passed this year. The Act,  creates an independent body, the Civil Resolution Tribunal, which will provide dispute resolution tools so that strata owners, strata corporations and tenants will have some recourse during disputes other than taking each other to court. The tribunal is expected to be operational by 2014. 

 

According to the REBGV, the tribunal will deal with disputes between strata property owners and strata...

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Global News recently reported that a huge condo building in Coal Harbour is about to become totally smoke-free. Ninety-one per cent of the owners of 'The Melville' voted in favour of a by-law banning all smoking. This is great news for Vancouverites who have been battling with their strata councils over this issue!

 

This is the first building in the downtown area, that I know of, that has implemented such a progressive health bylaw. Let's hope that more follow suit. 

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I wrote a couple of columns about Depreciation Reports last year. I've just added links to a report by Brian Taylor at Bull Housser and the B.C. Government Guide to the Strata Property Act which covers Depreciation Reports, Contingency Reserve Funds and Special Levies. Check out our Reports webpage. These two links are at the bottom of the page.

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Feds make banks come clean on mortgage prepayment penalties

  

BY DEB ABBEY, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

MARCH 21, 2012

 

The federal government recently announced the Code of Conduct for Federal Regulated Financial Institutions. It’s a series of consumer protection measures for borrowers. One of the changes announced is a new mortgage code that will require that federal financial institutions provide more information about how prepayment charges are calculated. Essentially, these charges...

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Depreciation report required every three years

 

BY DEB ABBEY, VANCOUVER COURIER

FEBRUARY 10, 2012

  

I've received many responses to a recent column I wrote about the changes to the Strata Properties Act, in particular, the mandatory requirement that strata corporations produce a depreciation report every three years.

The changes are part of a series of amendments that lawmakers passed in Bill 8, the Strata Property Amendment Act.

 

Strata corporations have assets and liabilities...

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New Strata Regulations Good for Condo Buyers

BY DEB ABBEY, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

JANUARY 18, 2012

 

2012 brings long awaited reform to the Strata Property Act that will provide greater security for more than one million strata property owners in the province.

 

But the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulations will be prospective buyers. Buying a condominium is a complex process in B.C. with buyers and their real estate agents playing the role of real estate detectives trying to suss out...

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Check out the Maintenance Records

BY DEB ABBEY, VANCOUVER COURIER

OCTOBER 14, 2011

 

Leaky condos aren't the only challenge facing buyers.

 

Another issue that affects all condominium developments is maintenance. If a condo was built prior to the 1980s, its condition today will be a factor of the strata council's long-term maintenance record and future maintenance plans. The same is true of rainscreened condos and condos built in the past few years where warranty reviews and maintenance...

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Condo Nightmare: Buyers Beware of Leaky, Rotten Condos
 
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Avoid the Pitfalls When Buying a Condo

 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or downsizing from a house to a condo, until recently, you probably haven’t needed to know much about the condo market in Vancouver. Like most buyers you’ve heard about the leaky condo crisis but think those issues have long since been resolved. Regardless of what you do, or don’t know, there are a lot of things you should...

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Good News for Downsizing Baby Boomers

BY DEB ABBEY, VANCOUVER COURIER

AUGUST 24, 2011


My husband and I downsized a few years ago. We'd just sold our business and were planning to take a couple of years off as a sort of retirement installment. We sold our house in Kitsilano and full of naïve enthusiasm, came very close to buying a 400 square foot studio apartment with a Murphy bed. It had a dining table that cleverly dropped down when you raised the bed. We ended up buying a one bedroom and den...

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Nine out of 10 condo owners don't smoke 

BY DEB ABBEY, VANCOUVER COURIER

JULY 27, 2011

 

 

In a recent column I featured Dr. Stuart Kreisman and his wife. They're a young couple who discovered that it's impossible to find a smoke-free condo in Vancouver--at any price. There simply aren't any for sale. Fortunately, there are other options.
 
Sharon Hammond, Manager of the Smoke-Free Housing Initiative for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, receives "tons of calls from people in condos...
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Real Estate: Non-smoking home owners in Vancouver still plagued by puffing neighbours 

BY DEB ABBEY, VANCOUVER COURIER

JULY 14, 2011

 

No one is asking the City of Vancouver to ban smoking in private residences—yet. But with only nine per cent of condo owners self-identified as smokers, a little encouragement for the development community would be welcome.

 

That’s right, nine per cent! According to Sharon Hammond, the Manager of the Smoke-Free Housing Initiative for the...

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City, Vancity partner to HELP homeowners save money and go green

BY DEB ABBEY, VANCOUVER COURIER

JUNE 15, 2011

 

Increasing the value of your home with green upgrades is going to get a lot easier for Vancouver homeowners.

According to Dave Ramslie, manager of the Sustainable Development Program for the City of Vancouver, 55 per cent of current Green House Gas [GHG] emissions come from buildings. That compares to 32 per cent from light-duty vehicles, five per cent from heavy trucks and eight per...

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Environmental improvements increasingly sought after by eco-conscious home buyers 
 
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Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink
 
Living in a city that's virtually surrounded by water, it's difficult to imagine not having enough. But 97% of the earth's water is in the oceans and undrinkable in its current state. Desalination, the process of making it drinkable, uses extremely large amounts of energy, expensive infrastructure and damages marine life and ecosystems. It's prohibitively expensive compared to using fresh water from rivers...
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In my last post, I mentioned the value added when you make choices that enhance the health, comfort, energy efficiency and sustainability of your home. Where to start?
 
Have a home energy audit done. A home energy audit wil help you determine how to reduce your home's impact on the environment, save money and add value to your property. For the low cost of $150 -  home energy auditors will evaluate your energy consumption, provide a detailed report of their findings and make recommendations...
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In a recent study done by Royal LePage, almost three quarters of Canadians said that they will look for a green-improved property in their next home purchase. 63% said that they would be willing to pay more for that property. 

Just south of the border in Seattle, e-certified homes built in 2007 or later made up 33 percent of the new home market, sold for a 9.1 percent premium per square foot and were on the market 24 percent less time. 

From November 2009 through January 2010, non-certified...
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