Hi Everyone,
 
The story hasn't changed much from recent months: decreased demand continues to allow the supply of homes for sale to accumulate across the Metro Vancouver housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region were 29.1% lower than April 2018, but 5.9% higher than March 2019.

Last month’s sales were 43.1% below the 10-year April sales average.


“Government policy continues to hinder home sale activity. The federal government’s mortgage stress test has reduced buyers’ purchasing power by about 20 per cent, which is causing people at the entry-level side of the market to struggle to secure financing,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “Suppressing housing activity through government policy not only reduces home sales, it harms the job market, economic growth and creates pent-up demand.”


“There are more homes for sale in our market today than we’ve seen since October 2014. This trend is more about reduced demand than increased supply,” Smith said. “The number of new listings coming on the market each month are consistent with our long-term averages. It’s the reduced sales activity that’s allowing listings to accumulate.”

Market conditions are favouring Buyers at the moment, no question. I am seeing a few detached homes in East Van selling in multiple offers however, indicating that there is demand out there. Savvy Buyers not sidelined by the mortgage stress test are seeing the opportunity to get in to the market and/or move up to a detached house. 
 
For Vancouver, here is the snapshot:
*Month's Supply Key:
Seller's Market = 1-5 months
Balanced Market = 5-7 months
Buyer's Market = Over 7 months
Source of data: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
 
Contact me if you would like more information on a specific neighbourhood, or area outside of Vancouver.
 
Come join me on social media or visit my webpage:
Instagram: kim.c.parish.realestate
Twitter: @kimparish73
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimParishMacRealty/

A large part of my business comes from referrals, so if you or someone you know is interested in buying and/or selling, please pass along my contact information and I would be happy to speak with them about how I can help. 

Warm regards,
Kim
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At some point in life your home will require minor or major improvements. Before you start any home improvement project, it's important to find a company that has experience with the type of project you're going to do. For example, if you're going to tear out a bathtub and add a shower in its place, you wouldn't hire an electrical contractor to do the job, you'd want a professional plumbing contractor that has experience with this specific type of work, right?


The same concept applies to replacing the windows in your home, you're going to want to find the best local company with the skills, experience, and products to do the job right. Not every window manufacturer or a dealer has resources and experience to install your new replacement windows. It may seem as if there are any number of companies out there that can get the job done, and you'd probably be right, but finding a company you can trust through every step in the process and afterwards should be a factor.


It's important to compare several companies as related to cost, but that's not all. There are specific questions to ask and actions to take before signing the agreement with your ideal candidate. Here are some key elements you're going to want to look for when choosing your best Vancouver window replacement company for your project:


How Much Will It Cost?

 


You likely have a budget number in mind before you start to get price quotes, and it's human nature to want to pay the least amount while still getting a quality product and workmanship. Be cautious about window companies offering bargain prices. Are there hidden costs or are you going to get an inferior product? What's the expected lifespan of the windows? Are there any maintenance costs? Special discounts for winter installations or special incentives like buy one/get one half off could help you save without sacrificing anything.


Familiar with Local Requirements

While it may be tempting to choose a big-name company to do the work, bigger isn't always better. Choosing a Vancouver based window replacement company will ensure that product selections will meet the special climate needs of the region. In addition, the company should be familiar with local regulations and building codes plus be certified to do the work. Reputable companies should also be aware of any rebates being offered by the municipality to help save you money.



Window Materials


 


The three most common window materials are wood, vinyl and fibreglass. Each has different quality levels within a series to meet various price points. Make sure your comparison includes an evaluation of the specifications. Are the interior and exterior finishes the same? Are trim packages included for a finished aesthetic? What's the mil thickness? Does the company offer a replacement window that will fit into your current openings or will a lot of extra work be required to finish the job?


Energy-efficient Glass Options


If you've got leaky windows, you know that a drafty house is both uncomfortable and costly. To save money on utilities, look for Vancouver companies that offer green renovation -compliant Energy Star certification and energy-efficient LowE coatings. Winnipeg’s extreme-temperatures may warrant triple pane glass but Vancouver’s winters bring more rain rather than snow that’s why double pane glass filled with Argon or Krypton gas will offer maximum efficiency. While these options may add to the initial cost, the lifetime savings and return on investment if you sell your home will offset the extra expenditure.


Styles and Custom Window Options


The competitive window replacement companies offer a large selection of window styles to meet your needs. It's important to compare window types —casement, hung, slider, custom shapes, paint and stain colours, hardware, grilles, blinds between glass, and trim. Need a narrow profile window to make a small space feel bigger? How about a double-hung window that opens in for easier cleaning? The window company that best meets your specific needs should have the highest consideration.


Installation Method


There are two types of replacement window installations—retrofit and full-frame replacement. Retrofit is the less expensive method that is generally used to maintain the current look of the house where windows are inserted into existing frames. Full-frame installations are more costly but are best suited to rotting or damaged frames. The complete existing frame is torn out, cleaned up, and all new materials (frame, brickmoulds, jamb extensions, and casings) are installed. This method adds approximately 15 to 20-percent to the overall cost but will save another replacement when untreated moisture rots out the existing structure and new windows. Ask for an on-site evaluation to make sure you understand the condition of your current framework.


Qualified Installers


Great windows require great installers. Without both, window performance will suffer. Compare installers by asking if certification is required, are they trained in both methods, are they employed by the company or a subcontractor? Is the company and its workers insured in case of jobsite accidents? Who is responsible for damage, clean-up, and unforeseen issues? For large window replacement projects, will a jobsite foreman oversee the project or work as part of the installation crew? Make sure you understand who is responsible for what and uncover potential hidden costs before the job starts.


Labour and Product Warranty


Most manufacturers offer a product warranty but they often vary by length and coverage. You'll probably notice that more expensive windows include more comprehensive warranties. The best window replacement companies provide a strong warranty that exceeds industry standards. When you hear companies offer you a “Lifetime” warranty make sure to clarify exactly what it means because in reality Lifetime window warranty does not mean forever. Some companies also provide a warranty on the installation. Ideally, you should look for companies that include protection for both.


Service During and After Installation

While most home improvement projects can be coordinated online, eventually you'll need to speak with a company representative. The interaction with staff members should instill confidence. Be wary of high-pressure sales techniques, vague answers to your questions, or slow response times to requests for information. A free in-home consultation should be included, not just a rough estimate. Ask about the type of service they offer after the job is done. Ultimately, you should choose a company you trust will do a professional job and provide any support you need once it's complete.


Reviews and References

Word-of-mouth is still a strong marketing method so use the resources available to find out the good and bad customer experiences. Ask friends and family members for recommendations. Check online reviews and browse the company websites for testimonials and completed job portfolio. Check out HomeStars and the Better Business Bureau to see complaints and how problems were resolved.


It's important to take your time and do thorough research before choosing an ideal window replacement company. By following the guidelines listed, you'll find the best company for your project and enjoy many trouble-free years in your home.






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The provincial government’s new Speculation and Vacancy tax will apply to Metro Vancouver (excluding Bowen Island and Lions Bay), Greater Victoria, Nanaimo and Kelowna. The deadline is 31st of March to apply for your exemption. Owners of property within the taxation area will receive letters by the end of February with instructions on how to complete a declaration and register an exemption online.
 
If you are not exempt from this tax, or you miss the deadline, the tax rate is .5% of assessed value for the 2018 tax period, regardless of your nationality. For 2019 this changes to .5% for Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents, or 2% for foreign owners. You can read more about this new tax here:
 
 
Own property in Vancouver? You will also need to complete a declaration for the City of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax. The deadline for this is the 4th of February. Should you miss this deadline or are not exempt, the tax is 1% of assessed value.
 
Have more questions? Please don't hesitate to get in touch.
 
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The Holidays are upon us! It can be a wonderful time, but also busy and stressful. Be sure to take some time for yourself and enjoy.
 
Looking to real estate: Home buyer demand remains below long-term historical averages in the Metro Vancouver housing market. The number of sales are down a whopping 42.5% compared to November 2017 and 18.2% lower than October 2018. They were also 34.7% below the 10 year average for sales in November. 

“Home buyers have been taking a wait-and-see approach for most of 2018. This has allowed the number of homes available for sale in the region to return to more typical historical levels,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “This activity is helping home prices edge down, across all property types, from the record highs we’ve experienced over the last year.”

“Home prices have declined between four and seven per cent over the last six months depending on property type. We’ll watch conditions in the first quarter of 2019 to see if home buyer demand picks up ahead of the traditionally more active spring market,“ Moore said.
 
For Vancouver, here is the snapshot (please get in touch if you'd like information on an a different area):
 
I wish you, your family and friends a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic 2019!

Come join me on social media or visit my webpage:
Instagram: kim.c.parish.realestate
Twitter: @kimparish73
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimParishMacRealty/

A large part of my business comes from referrals, so if you or someone you know is interested in buying and/or selling, please pass along my contact information and I would be happy to speak with them about how I can help. 

Warm regards,
Kim
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As the third planet from the sun, the Earth is perfectly positioned to support life and enjoy all its benefits for free. With new solar technologies emerging more and more, the focus has been on finding more ways to utilize the sun's power.


As experts at bringing natural light into Canadian homes, Ecoline Windows understands its benefits and gives the top 5 reasons why increasing it is a good idea:


1. Improved Health

The majority of Canadians spend more time inside than outside and the lack of adequate sunshine has slowly been compromising our health. To counteract that, increasing the amount of natural light has been proven to help homeowners gain more energy, improve the immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, clear up skin disorders, increase Vitamin D, and even get more sleep.



2. Better Mood

Most of us have experienced that feeling of sadness, dread, and even hopelessness when summer ends and the days get shorter. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) stems from reduced exposure to sunlight and less melatonin production. This can lead to mood changes and even depression. By increasing the amount of natural light inside your home, you can counteract this cycle. It can trigger the release of a hormone called serotonin and improve your overall mood.


3. Lower Utility Bills

The principles of "daylighting" to bring more sunlight into your home can significantly reduce your hydro, heating, and cooling bills. Sizes and locations of energy-efficient windows and skylights can reduce the need for artificial light, furnace, and air conditioning—saving you a ton of money.


4. More Comfortable Home


Did you ever notice how quickly a room warms up on a sunny day? Even on the coldest days of winter, bringing in more natural light will give your home a soft glow and turn every room into an inviting, comfortable space either it’s your bedroom or kids’ reading nook.


5. Rooms Will Look Larger

Natural sunlight reflects off all the components in your room, making colours appear more vibrant and the space seem bigger. For an optimum effect, you should choose light, soft shades of off-white, green, and blue as these colours are more reflective than darker shades that will absorb light.


So how can you take advantage of these natural benefits and increase your home's natural light? 


Add Windows or Increase Size

The more windows in your home, the more sunlight can shine through. South-facing windows will provide the best source of natural light throughout the day. You'll achieve the maximum warming benefit during winter months and little direct light in the summer to keep your room comfortable. This will provide a more passive solar design and take advantage of free energy.


Adding skylights or solar tubes are also beneficial to bringing in more natural light when you don't have south-facing windows. Skylights can be installed in areas where there is no room above and solar tubes are a great option to brighten rooms without direct roof access. 


Consider changing your front door to include decorative glass, sidelites, and even a transom window above. French doors at the entrance to a den or sun room will also help open up the floor plan while allowing natural light to penetrate every spot in your home.


Add Reflective Components

By incorporating as many reflective materials as possible to your home, you'll obtain maximum benefits from any natural light that comes in. You can do this with:


  • Mirrors—decorative, framed mirrors can be used in every room. Hang a large one directly across from a window or another mirror to gain the best illumination.
  • Light fixtures—metal frames or globes will bounce natural light from the ceiling down.
  • Glass tiles—trendy glass tiles are being used in kitchen and bathroom backsplashes to improve aesthetics and enhance light in the room.
  • Countertops—choose a glossy, light-coloured quartz countertop and watch the sunlight bounce around the room.
  • Faucets—take advantage of the highly reflective properties chrome or nickel finishes provide.
  • Cabinet hardware—match your faucets with shiny metal cabinet handles in pulls in your kitchen and bathrooms for even more "bounce."
  • Flooring—like your countertops, add a highly polished marble floor for an elegant look and enhanced light reflection.
  • Walls—light-coloured paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish or metallic wallpaper both provide the perfect palette for natural light.
  • Ceiling—don't forget that every surface can help. Add trendy tin tiles to the ceiling for the ultimate "wow" factor and reflectiveness.


Knock Down Walls


If you've got an older home, your layout may be made up of separate rooms that are divided by walls and doors. If you're planning some remodeling, consider knocking down non-bearing walls or creating half-walls or pass-through areas. This will open up the plan and allow more natural light to pass easily across your entire home.


Inspect the Exterior


You'd be surprised at how much light is blocked from exterior elements. Now you should trim bushes and trees that are blocking windows and doors. Remove dead branches to allow light to pass through. Replace overgrown shrubbery with shorter greenery or move it to a new location away from windows and doors.


You should also remove any awnings that permanently shade the windows. New retractable styles can be adjusted to allow light in when they're not needed for outdoor activities.


Conclusion

It's a great idea to increase the natural light in your home. It can improve your health, encourage better moods, can lower utility bills, provide a more comfortable home, and can make your rooms look larger. Take full advantage of all these benefits by adding windows or increasing their size, adding more reflective components into each room, open up your floor plan by knocking down walls or adding pass-through areas, and clear away any exterior obstructions like trees, shrubs, or awnings.


Improve your wellbeing with a few easy steps and enjoy a long and happy life while you bask in all that natural sunlight.

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Hello Everyone,
 
The 24th annual Realtors Care Blanket drive has kicked off. You can read more about it here:
 

Making a donation is easy - I can come and collect! Macdonald Realty is collecting toonies for socks and toques. Each pair of socks or toque cost $2. No donation is too big or too small. All are very much appreciated.

 

Socks are a lifeline and the most important item to a homeless person.  Without them, feet can become infected, blistered and render the homeless unable to walk.  Toques will keep a homeless person warm and dry during our winter.


If you would like to make a donation of any of the following, I can come and collect these as well:
 • gently used or new blankets or sleeping bags
 • warm clothing, coats
 • hats, gloves, scarves
 • new socks and underwear
 • plastic ponchos, bivy sacks 
 
 
Now, as far as what happened in real estate in Greater Vancouver: listings are at a four-year high for October as sales remain below typical levels.
 
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region were 34.9% lower in October 2018 than October 2017, but 23.3% higher compared to September 2018.
 
Last month’s sales were 26.8% below the 10-year October sales average.

“The supply of homes for sale today is beginning to return to levels that we haven’t seen in our market in about four years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “For home buyers, this means you have more selection to choose from. For sellers, it means your home may face more competition, from other listings, in the marketplace.”

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 42.1% higher compared to October 2017 and 0.8% lower compared to September 2018.
 
“Home prices have edged down between three and five per cent, depending on housing type, in our region since June,” said Moore. “This is providing a little relief for those looking to buy compared to the all-time highs we’ve experienced over the last year.”
 
Here's the snapshot for Vancouver - contact me if you'd like info on another area:
 
Come join me on social media:
Instagram: kim.c.parish.realestate
Twitter: @kimparish73
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimParishMacRealty/
Web: http://kimparish.com

A large part of my business comes from referrals, so if you or someone you know is interested in buying and/or selling, please pass along my contact information and I would be happy to speak with them about how I can help. 
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Hello Everyone,
 
First a huge THANK YOU to all the ladies that donated bags for the Dress for Success ‘Helping Handbags’ campaign in September. I was so happy to be able to deliver your donations to this fantastic organization Your generosity is helping other women on the road to success. Should you wish to learn more, or to donate clothing/accessories, here is their website: https://vancouver.dressforsuccess.org/ .
 
I can always pick up from you too - just let me know.
 
As far as what happened in real estate for September? Much the same as we’ve been seeing the last few months. The supply of homes for sale continued to increase across the Metro Vancouver housing market in September while home buyer demand remained below typical levels for this time of year.
 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales were 43.5% less from September 2017, and a 17.3% less compared to August 2018.


Last month’s sales were 36.1% below the 10-year September sales average.


“Fewer home sales are allowing listings to accumulate and prices to ease across the Metro Vancouver housing market,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president-elect said. “There’s more selection for home buyers to choose from today. Since spring, home listing totals have risen to levels we haven’t seen in our market in four years.”


The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 38.2% more compared to September 2017 and a 10.7% more compared to August 2018.

“Metro Vancouver’s housing market has changed pace compared to the last few years. Our townhome and apartment markets are sitting in balanced market territory and our detached home market remains in a clear buyers’ market,” Smith said. “It’s important for both home buyers and sellers to work with their Realtor to understand what these trends means to them.”
 
Please get in touch if you would like information on a specific city/neighbourhood. For Vancouver, here is the snapshot:
 
Source of data: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Come join me on social media or visit my webpage:
Instagram: kim.c.parish
Twitter: @kimparish73
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KimParishMacRealty
Web: www.kimparish.com 

A large part of my business comes from referrals, so if you or someone you know is interested in buying and/or selling, please pass along my contact information and I would be happy to speak with them about how I can help. 

Warm regards,
Kim
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Hi Everyone,
 
It would seem someone has flipped the ‘Autumn’ switch! That sure came on quick. I was hoping for a couple more weeks of sunshine, but our province sure needs the rain. I hope it’s helped with the wildfires further north.
 
Looking at the real estate stats for the warm month of August, home buyer demand continued to stay below historical averages for the month, across all housing types. Sales volume was 25.2% below the 10 year average for August. 
 
“Home buyers have been less active in recent months and we’re beginning to see prices edge down for all housing types as a result,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “Buyers today have more listings to choose from and face less competition than we’ve seen in our market in recent years.”

While the total number of active listings is down slightly from July, by 2.6%, it is 34.3% higher than August 2017. It is important to note, however, that inventory levels have been at historic lows for much of 2015 through to earlier in 2018.

As I said last month, it’s a great time to be a buyer. Properties still do sell in these slower markets, but sellers must now be willing to price their homes sharply in order to be successful. After three years of a highly competitive market, with steep price appreciation, it’s sometimes hard to make this adjustment, but sellers are being more realistic now, overall. 
 
Contact me for more information on specific neighbourhoods in Greater Vanocuver. For Vancouver, here's the snapshot: