Living on the Quiet Side of the Building

September 30, 2010

When you’re reading the remarks for a real estate listing, you will often come across the phrase, “situated on the quiet side of the building.” As realtors, we do our best to put a positive spin on things, so it is not very often you will see, “situated on the noisier side of the building.” It’s just like when you’re first dating someone. You put your best foot forward and try to bring attention to your positive attributes (I hear listening is an attractive quality), while minimizing the less than positive ones. Eventually, your less-appealing attributes will come out, but hopefully they will seem insignificant in light of all the positives. So to tie this back to real estate, the less-appealing features of a home will come out too, but in the light of the positive attributes. It’s your decision after that what you want to do with the information you have been given and with what you have been able to observe firsthand.


“I hope that whoever falls in love with this place will be as happy here as I have been.”

September 23, 2010

I interviewed a client recently about why she chose Lower Lonsdale as the neighbourhood where she wanted to live, why she chose the particular condo she did and some of her thoughts on North Vancouver living. Enjoy!

Mike: I’m sitting in the living room with the homeowner this afternoon and I have to say Bree, your home looks fabulous!
Bree: Thank you!

Mike: So let’s go back a few years. In 2007 you were coming to the Vancouver area on a contract and you chose North Vancouver as the place you wanted to call home. Why?
Bree: I wanted to be close to the mountains and trails, while still being able to access the city very quickly. The 15 minute drive to the ski resorts and hiking trails, or 15 minute Sea Bus into the city, answered all the needs for me. It’s a community feel in Lower Lonsdale, while still having direct access to the best city in the world!

Mike: Did you concentrate your search on Lower Lonsdale or were you open to other areas as well?
Bree: I was originally looking at Lonsdale as a whole, but then concentrated my search to a certain area of Lower Lonsdale. I wanted to be within a 5 minute walk to the Sea Bus terminal and the Lonsdale Quay. I didn’t want to have to use my car very often, so being close to shops and restaurants was a big selling feature for me.

Mike: Do you remember what some of your criteria were?
Bree: Of course. Walking distance to all amenities, close to public transportation, less than 5 minutes to the Sea Bus so I could be downtown Vancouver very quickly (quicker than driving) and a community feel. Also, having easy access to the outdoor activities that North Van is known for was essential. As far as the home went, it needed to have 2 bedrooms (one with ensuite), larger living space, in suite laundry, and outdoor living space was essential, preferably facing south or west.

Mike: Ok, this home fits most of those, but certainly not all of them. Let’s talk about where it misses first.
Bree: Fire away.

Mike: South or west facing. As you know, there is a language called agent-speak. In this situation we might say that your suite is on the quiet side of the building instead of saying that it is north-facing. Tell me about your experience with living in a north-facing home.
Bree: It’s been great, as the suite faces on to a small access road for the apartment building on the next street above and is surrounded by a fence and mature evergreens. So there is no traffic at all except for the odd car going to the parking garage in the apartment behind me. The apartment also stays nice and cool in the summer because it’s north facing.

Mike: In suite laundry. In agent-speak we might say that having shared laundry is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbours. I also know it can be very efficient. I recall you saying that there was only one time when you wanted to do laundry and could not. Please give me the straight goods on your experience with shared laundry.
Bree: Well, I was pretty nervous about not having in suite laundry, as I am not a student anymore and didn’t want to live like one. But in all honesty I have only ever waited once for a laundry machine. Being in close access to the elevator, there is a laundry room directly above and directly below the suite. So it’s really just a quick extension of the apartment. And it’s cheap! Only $1 per load. So it hasn’t been an inconvenience at all, which I was surprised by.

Mike: Any other misses?
Bree: To be honest, no. It checked all of my “boxes” in what I wanted from a home and I have been incredibly happy to live here.

Mike: What drew you to this home? I’m pretty sure about one obvious attribute, so tell me about that and any other draws.
Bree: The patio is the obvious one. It doubles the size of the living space and is great for BBQ and relaxing from spring through the fall. At about 1000 square feet it sold me on the apartment. That and the fact that the building is a well maintained older building, so it has larger rooms and more living space than the newer apartments. The fact that it was move-in ready, the floors had been recently done with new laminate, the updated kitchen and bathroom, and fresh paint, made it easy to move into and feel at home right away. Also, the extra storage room and shed on the patio has been great to store all my toys – skis, bikes, gardening equipment, etc.

Mike: What about outside your walls but within the walls of Chinook House? What has that been like?
Bree: The Chinook House residents are all pretty quiet and keep to themselves. The apartment is great, as really there is only one direct neighbour. There is laundry and storage below, laundry above, and an elevator to the one side, so having only one shared wall is great as it’s very quiet.

Mike: How does Lower Lonsdale stack up to some of the other areas where you have lived?
Bree: I’ve lived in many different communities all around the world and this has definitely been home for me. I love it!

Mike: How do you feel about leaving Lower Lonsdale and in particular, this home?
Bree: I’m actually very sad. I wouldn’t be leaving if it wasn’t for my job change. I would love to stay in this home if I could.

Mike: Any final thoughts?
Bree: I hope that whoever falls in love with this place will be as happy here as I have been. And gets the chance to enjoy the $5 steak nights across the street at the pub on Mondays!

Mike: Well, this has been great. You’ve certainly made my job a little easier by how you present your home. I think people who visit will be inspired rather than intimidated by your flair for decorating and design. This place really pops and I’m excited to introduce people to your home!


Electra Condo Building in Vancouver Still Evacuated

September 21, 2010

Read the article on cbc.ca.


Low Mortgage Rates Boost August Home Sales in Vancouver

September 15, 2010

Vancouver, BC – September 14, 2010. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province declined 35 per cent to 5,590 units in August compared to the same month last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, MLS® residential unit sales in the province increased 7 per cent in August from July 2010. The average MLS® residential price climbed 4 per cent to $487,804 in August compared to the same month last year.

“August home sales posted the first month-to-month increase since March of this year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Lower mortgage interest rates and an improving labour market are inducing additional consumer demand.”

“The number of new residential listings in the province has fallen 30 per cent since April,” added Muir. “With fewer new listings, total active listings are now on the decline, signaling that an end to the buyer’s market may be on the horizon.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 8 per cent to $26.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales rose 2 per cent to 53,717 year-to-date, while the average MLS® residential price climbed 10 per cent to $501,226 over the same period.

– from BCREA


Adversity

September 14, 2010

“You must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci


West Vancouver Detached Property Statistics

September 11, 2010

There are currently 498 detached properties for sale in West Vancouver, ranging in price from $749,000. to $24,800,000., with the average asking price coming in at $2,593,414. There have been 226 sales since June, with the average selling price being $1,972,495. The lowest sale price achieved so far this year was for $670,000. in February. The highest sale price achieved so far this year was for $7,500,000. in June. With 498 homes currently for sale and 33 sales last month, there is a significant supply of homes.

There are currently 44 detached properties for sale in Ambleside, ranging in price from $829,800. to $3,995,000., with the average asking price coming in at $1,817,509. There have been 23 sales since June, with the average selling price being $1,454,520. The lowest sale price achieved so far this year was for $850,000. in March. The highest sale price achieved so far this year was for $4,750,000. in June. With 44 homes currently for sale and 3 sales last month, there is a significant supply of homes.

There are currently 32 detached properties for sale in Dundarave, ranging in price from $999,000. to $10,800,000., with the average asking price coming in at $2,316,603. There have been 17 sales since June, with the average selling price being $1,550,166. The lowest sale price achieved so far this year was for $1,000,000. in May. The highest sale price achieved so far this year was for $3,250,000. in June. With 32 homes currently for sale and 4 sales last month, there is a significant supply of homes.


West Vancouver Condo / Apartment Property Statistics (1-Br)

September 10, 2010

WEST VANCOUVER
In West Vancouver there are currently 30 active one-bedroom properties for sale, ranging in price from $219,000. to $995,000., with the average asking price being $482,813. There have been 28 sales this year, with the average selling price being $488,326. and the average cost per square foot being $598. The least expensive sale price so far this year was for $210,000. in February and the most expensive was for $775,000. in April. With 30 properties currently for sale and with 3 sales last month, there is currently a significant month supply of homes.

AMBLESIDE
In Ambleside there are currently 14 active one-bedroom properties for sale, ranging in price from $219,000. to $995,000., with the average asking price being $442,935. There have been 6 sales this year, with the average selling price being $446,166. and the average cost per square foot being $505. The least expensive sale price so far this year was for $297,000. in May and the most expensive was for $775,000. in April. With 14 properties currently for sale and with no sales last month, there is currently a significant supply of homes.

DUNDARAVE
In Dundarave there are currently 8 active one-bedroom properties for sale, ranging in price from $279,000. to $828,000., with the average asking price being $549,414. There have been 19 sales this year, with the average selling price being $491,744. and the average cost per square foot being $639. The least expensive sale price so far this year was for $210,000. in February and the most expensive was for $765,000. in April. With 8 properties currently for sale and with 2 sales last month, there is currently a 4 month supply of homes.