Living in Lower Lonsdale

August 19, 2010

There are many reasons to choose Lower Lonsdale as your home and here are a few of them. I shot this video from the “biggest patio known to man,” which happens to be part of a new listing I have at 305-250 W 1st St in North Vancouver.


Top 21 Grants and Rebates for Vancouver Property Buyers and Owners

August 13, 2010

1. Home Buyers’ Plan

Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (couples can withdraw up to $50,000) from their RRSPs for a down payment. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time.
Canada Revenue Agency www.cra.gc.ca. Enter ‘Home Buyers’ Plan’ in the search box. 1.800.959.8287

2. GST Rebate on New Homes
New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the federal portion of the HST (the 5% GST) if the purchase price is less than $350,000. The rebate is up to 36% of the GST to a maximum rebate of $6,300. There is a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000.
Canada Revenue Agency
www.cra-arc.gc.ca. Enter ‘RC4028’ in the search box. 1.800.959.8287

3. BC New Housing Rebate (HST)
Buyers of new or substantially renovated homes priced up to $525,000 are eligible for a rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion (7% of the 12% HST) paid to a maximum rebate of $26,250. Homes priced at $525,000+ are eligible for a flat rebate of $26,250.

http://hst.blog.gov. bc.ca/faqs/new-housing-rebate1.800.959.8287

4. BC New Rental Housing Rebate (HST)
Landlords buying new or substantially renovated homes are eligible for a rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion of the HST, up to $26,250 per unit.

http://hst.blog.gov.bc.ca/faqs/new-housing-rebate 1.800.959.8287

5. Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First Time Home Buyers’ Program
Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price of a home priced up to $425,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $450,000.

BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue. www.rev.gov.bc.ca/rpt 250.387.0604

6. First-time Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC)
This is a non-refundable income tax credit for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation. It’s calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000. For 2009, the maximum credit was $750.

Canada Revenue Agency www.cra.gc.ca/hbtc 1.800.959.8281

7. BC Home Owner Grant
Reduces school property taxes by up to $570 on properties with an assessed value up to $1,050,000. For 2010, the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of value over $1,050,000, and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,164,000+. An additional grant reduces property tax by a further $275 for a total of $845 for seniors, veterans and the disabled. This is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,050,000 and eliminated on homes assessed at $1,219,000+.

BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue www.rev.gov.bc.ca/hog or contact your municipal tax office.

8. BC Property Tax Deferment Programs
Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes.

Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program. Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes.

Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children. Qualifying low-income home owners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes.

BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue www.sbr.gov.bc.ca and enter ‘Property tax deferment’ in the search box or contact your municipal tax office.

9. Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Grants.
This federal program provides financial aid to qualifying low-income home owners to repair substandard housing. Eligible repairs include heating, structural, electrical, plumbing and fire safety. Grants are available for seniors, persons with disabilities, owners of rental properties and for the creation of secondary and garden suites.

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/prfinas/prfinas_001.cfm 1.800.668.2642 | 604.873.7408

10. CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund
Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10% premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient home or make energy savings renovations.

www.cmhc.ca/en/co/moloin/moloin_008.cfm#reno 604.731.5733

11. LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program
Home owners improving the energy efficiency of their homes who hire a certified energy advisor may qualify for cash incentives through this provincial program provided in partnership with Terasen Gas, BC Hydro, and FortisBC.

www.livesmartbc.ca/rebates 1.866.430.8765

12. BC Residential Energy Credit
Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel receive a BC government point-of-sale rebate on utility bills equal to the provincial component of the HST.

http://hst.blog.gov.bc.ca/faqs/energy-credit 604.660.4524

13. BC Hydro Appliance Rebates
Mail-in rebates of $25 – $50 for purchasers of ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, or freezers between June 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011, or when funding for the program is exhausted.

www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/appliance_rebates.html 1.800.224.9376

14. BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program (different from Appliance rebates)
This ongoing program rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in spare fridges measuring 10 – 24 cubic feet in working condition.

www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/fridge_buy_back.html 604.881.4357

15. BC Hydro Windows Rebate Program
Customers can save $100 per window on BC made ENERGY STAR windows until August 18, 2010.

www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/current_offers.html

16. BC Hydro Mail-in Rebates/Savings Coupons
To save energy, BC Hydro offers rebates including 10% off an ENERGY STAR cordless phone; 50% off an E2™dual-flush toilet; $15 off a clothes drying rack; and 50% off Earth Massage showerheads. Check for deadlines.

http://www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/coupons.html 1.800.224.9376

17. Terasen Gas Rebate program
A range of rebates for home owners include a $25 gift cards for furnace servicing; $50 rebates for upgrading a water heater; $150 rebate on an EnerChoice fireplace; $1,000 rebate for switching to natural gas and installing an ENERGY STAR heating system.

www.terasengas.com/homes/Offers/LowerMainlandSquamish.html 1.888.224.2710

18. SolarBC Incentives
Contractors will provide home owners buying a solar hot water system with a $2,000 discount at the point of sale until December 31, 2010.

http://www.solarbc.ca/learn/incentives-costs 1.866.650.6527

19. City of Vancouver Solar Homes Pilot
Offers $3,500 (about 50% of the cost) towards the cost of a solar hot water system for anyone building new homes in Vancouver. Offered by the City of Vancouver, SolarBC, Terasen Gas and Offsetters to 50 new homes on a first come, first served basis, January 2010 – March 2011, with building permits issued in 2010.

http://vancouver.ca/sustainability/SolarHomes.htm 604.873.7748

20. RBC Energy-Saver Mortgage
Home owners who have a home energy efficient audit within 90 days of receiving an RBC Energy Saver™ Mortgage may qualify for a $300 rebate credited to their RBC account.

http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/mortgages/energy-saver-mortgage.html 1.800.769.2511

21. Vancity Green Building Grant
In partnership with the Real Estate Foundation of BC, Vancity provides grants up to $50,000 each to qualifying charities, not-for-profit organizations and co-operatives for building renovations/retrofits, regulatory changes that advance green building development, and education to increase the use of practical green building strategies.

https://www.vancity.com/MyCommunity/NotForProfit/Grants/ActingOnClimateChange/GreenBuildingGrant
604.877.7000

Source: REBGV


Home Buyers in the Driver’s Seat

August 13, 2010

Vancouver, BC – August 12, 2010. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province declined 42 per cent to 5,784 units in July compared to the same month last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, MLS® residential unit sales in the province declined 19 per cent in July from June 2010. The average MLS® residential price climbed 6 per cent to $491,832 in July compared to the same month last year.

“A relatively large number of homes for sale have created the most favourable supply conditions for home buyers in more than a year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. MLS® active residential listings were 21 per cent higher in July than at the start of the year on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, with newly listed MLS® residential units now declining, tighter market conditions may emerge this fall.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 16 per cent to $24.2 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales rose 4 per cent to 48,127 year-to-date, while the average MLS® residential price climbed 13 per cent to $504,281 over the same period.

– from BCREA


Home Buyers and Sellers Less Active in July

August 7, 2010

Home sales activity in Greater Vancouver was quieter last month than most Julys over the past decade, with residential sales, prices, and the number of homes listed for sale trending downward in recent months.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,255 in July 2010. This represents a 45.2 per cent decline from the 4,114 sales in July 2009, the highest selling July ever recorded, and a 24.1 per cent decline compared to June 2010.

Looking back further, last month’s residential sales represent a 3.7 per cent increase over the 2,174 residential sales in July 2008, a 41.8 per cent decline compared to July 2007’s 3,873 sales, and a 17.5 per cent decline compared to July 2006’s 2,732 sales.

“With the pace of home sales and listings easing off in our market, we’ve begun to see a levelling of home prices from the record highs seen in the spring, creating greater affordability,” Jake Moldowan, REBGV president said. “Activity in today’s marketplace is clearly trending in favour of buyers.”

The number of properties listed for sale on the market has been trending downward since spring, with 4,138 new listings in July compared to April’s peak of 7,648. New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) declined 17.9 per cent in July 2010 compared to July 2009, when 5,041 properties were listed for sale.

At 16,431, the total number of property listings on the MLS® in July declined 6.5 per cent compared to last month and increased 33 per cent compared to July 2009.

“It’s currently taking home sellers who work with a REALTOR®, on average, 45 days to sell their property, which is a historically healthy timeframe for people on both sides of a transaction,” Moldowan said.

Since spring, housing prices have decreased 2.8 per cent compared to the all-time high reached in April when the residential benchmark price was $593,419. Over the last 12 months, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 9.1 per cent to $577,074 in July 2010 from $528,821 in July 2009.

Sales of detached properties in July 2010 reached 908, a decrease of 43.7 per cent from the 1,614 detached sales recorded in July 2009 and a 9.8 per cent increase from the 827 units sold in July 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 11.5 per cent from July 2009 to $793,193.

Sales of apartment properties reached 979 in July 2010, a decline of 42.7 per cent compared to the 1,708 sales in July 2009 and an increase of 1.3 per cent compared to the 966 sales in July 2008.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 6.2 per cent from July 2009 to $387,879.

Attached property sales in July 2010 totalled 368, a decline of 53.5 per cent compared to the 792 sales in July 2009 and a 3.4 per cent decline from the 381 attached properties sold in July 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 8.6 per cent between July 2009 and 2010 to $490,995.

– from BCREA