Toni Pohl

Phone: 604-725-6702 |

REBGV donates $10,000 to support Fort McMurray residents

Due to a devastating wildfire, a state of emergency has been declared in Fort McMurray, Alberta. All 80,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes and some neighbourhoods have been destroyed.

To help those displaced by this event, your Board made a $10,000 donation to the Red Cross. Many other real estate boards and associations across the country have also made donations. We ask everyone to do what you can to support this cause. 

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation is accepting donations to the Canadian Red Cross’ Alberta Fires Appeal. Click here to make your tax-receiptable contribution now. Donations will provide relief for those affected in the form of emergency food, clothing, shelter, personal services and other necessities to assist with recovery and resiliency.

By donating through the Foundation, you’ll help show fellow REALTORS® and Canadians in Fort McMurray that Realtors from across the country are here to help in their time of need. The more money we raise together, the stronger that message will be.

In addition to making a donation, we urge you to spread the word about this disaster and how others can help. Please visit the REALTORS Care® Facebook Page and Twitter account to find content you can easily share with your social networks.

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President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Ray Harris, explains how the supply of condos and detached homes are affecting pricing trends in this overview of the housing market in the Greater Vancouver area for September 2014.

 

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Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Laneway House Tour: Densification without Demolition

Saturday, October 25, 2014 1pm - 5pm

Tickets $30, Students $23

 

Laneway housing is not a new idea in Vancouver. It can be seen in Vancouver’s historic neighbourhoods dating back as far as the 1890s. More recently infills have shown potential to be a positive tool in heritage conservation. On the 2014 Laneway House Tour, we’ll get inside heritage and modern examples of densification without demolition. You’ll see 8 examples of living on the lane including a c.1890s character lane home and a strata infill built in the 1980s. We will also look at 6 modern homes built after the City of Vancouver’s 2009 laneway housing initiative came into effect.

 

Early lane homes often served as temporary residences while the main home was built, or as secondary housing for staff, guests or extended family. There are many examples of early Vancouverites living on the lane. We’ll take a look at a truly charming 900 sq ft home, built c.1890, that became a lane home with the addition of a larger residence in 1910. The lane was added after the two structures, and the smaller home has since been moved to share a closer relationship with the principal residence. This early home has all the character detailing of a grand Victorian, just in much smaller scale. We will also explore zoning variations with a home that it is part of a strata arrangement with the larger principal residence. This home is not only independently owned and larger than most lane homes, it also has the distinction of being designed by notable Canadian Architect Paul Merrick and was featured in Western Living (December 1990).

 

For those looking for modern examples of laneway housing, we also have six recently constructed residences, built behind existing homes, that showcase the latest in urban design. You’ll see the $300,000 home with a $3 million view and another small home that promises to have one of the best Energuide ratings in the city.

 

http://www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org/take-a-tour/laneway-house-tour/

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Participate in the Vancouver Scenic City MS Bike Tour on August 10th! Riders of all ages and skills are welcome to join our 15-60km routes around the city. From beautiful heritage residential neighborhood in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant to breathtaking waterfront bikeways, the tour offers participants the chance to explore Vancouver while supporting a wonderful cause!

To take part in the event, riders must collect pledges of a minimum 75$ for youth cyclists and 300$ for adults. The money raised helps fund MS research, as well as vital services for people living with MS.

Location: Clark Park 1500 E 14th Ave, Vancouver
Check-in Time: 7:30am
Start Time: 9:00am

For more information, visit www.msbike.ca or contact Paula Duhatschek at Paula.duhatschek@mssociety.ca/604-602-3221 for details.

 

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Celebrated short term for it's scientific approach to user friendly spaces, the Modern architecture movement quickly became labelled by some as de-humanizing. International Style began in the 1920s and 30s with architects like Mies Van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, in the formative years of Modernism. Typified by open interior spaces, cantilevered floors that appear weightless, and light taut planes on the exterior, International style avoids the heaviness associated with other concrete modernist structures. Join Maurice Guibord for a walking tour around Downtown to see some award winning examples of the style, and hear more about the great Modernist debate.

Friday, August 8th

Meet at the SW corner of Robson St. and Burrard St.
Sign up $15

Source:  Vancouver Heritage Foundation

www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org

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WATER
1  Fix leaks. Fix leaking taps
One drop per second equals 7,000 litres of water wasted per year. 
2  Install a filter
Stop buying costly bottled water which adds to the landfill.

 

LIGHTING
3 Change your light bulbs
Lighting accounts for 15% of your energy bill. Replace old bulbs with ENERGY STAR rated bulbs.
4  Motion detector lights
Turn lights off outside when not in use.
5  Keep it dark
Light pollution is an increasing problem. Turn off outdoor lights to save energy and encourage night life such as bats and frogs. A single bat can eat tens of thousands of mosquitoes nightly. If you have safety concerns, use motion detector lights – which come on, only as needed.
6  Holiday lights
Use LED lights.

Source:  Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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Home Improvements

1 Weatherize your home
From windows to doors to insulation and weather stripping. Don’t forget to seal your ducts.
2 Insulate your pipes
It will prevent costly heat loss and may even allow you to slightly reduce the temperature setting on your hot water tank.

3 Insulate your hot water heater
Buy a pre-cut jacket or blanket for $10–$20. You’ll save up to 10% on heating costs. 
4 Install a programmable thermostat
Set it lower at night and during the day when you’re away. Lower the temperature. Each degree below 20C saves you 3-5% on heating costs.
5 Replace your furnace filter
This optimizes performance, as clogged filters reduce airflow, forcing your furnace to work harder.
6 Use curtains
In the daytime during summer, close to help cool your home. 
7 Install ceiling fans
The energy it takes to run a fan is less than an air conditioner. In summer, make sure the fan’s blades are rotating anti-clockwise for a cooling effect. In winter, the fan should be running clockwise, pushing the warm air down. 
8 Use an electric fan
Skip the air conditioning.  On hot summer days, place a bowl of ice in front of a fan to cool down.

Source:  Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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LOCATION
Choosing Where You Live
1 Green neighbourhoods
Buy a home in a neighbourhood close to work, transit, shopping, community centres and other services.
2 Transit-oriented density (TOD)
New, compact, complete green neighbourhoods are being built with transit as their focus. Instead of owning a car, join a car share cooperative, take transit, cycle or walk.
3 Lower Cost Luxury
If it’s features such as a gym or pool you want, buy a strata unit with these amenities and share costs.
4 Score your location
Walkable neighbourhoods offer health, environmental, financial and community benefits. Enter your address or the address of a home you want to buy at www.walkscore.com. This tool calculates a walkability score based on the home’s proximity to transit, grocery stores, schools and other amenities.
Source:  Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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Mount Pleasant is a vibrant and eclectic area known for its unusual stores, heritage buildings, artistic residents, and arts-focused festivals. The neighbourhood is popular with first-time homebuyers, urban professionals, and families.  Also, the area has many parks for local citizens and families to enjoy.  

Here is a list of Mount Pleasant area parks:

 

Park name Map Address Featured amenities 
Carolina Park
  •  
2100 Carolina St Playground
China Creek North Park   1001 East 7th Ave Jogging trail, Payground
China Creek South Park   1255 East 10th Ave Skateboard park
Guelph Park   2390 Brunswick St Playground
Habitat Island   South East False Creek  
Jonathan Rogers Park   110 West 7th Ave Playground
Major Matthews Park   2627 Manitoba St Playground
Mount Pleasant Park   3161 Ontario St  
Robson Park   599 Kingsway Ave Playground
Sahalli Park   Eat 7th Ave & Fraser St  
Tea Swamp Park   266 East 15th Ave Playground

Source:  City of Vancouver

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house post editThe Vancouver Heritage Foundation is down to the last few seats for the final Musqueam Bus Tour of the summer! Sunday is calling for clear, sunny skies, so it will be a great opportunity to visit some of Vancouver's parks and beaches to learn the centuries old history hidden there. You'll learn about significant sites and their modern uses, hear personal stories and legend passed down from Elders to our Musqueam guides, and enjoy song, craft, and traditional practices as we travel between sites. 

Sites include (but are not limited to) Stanley Park, English Bay, Jericho Beach, Musqueam and the grounds of the Museum of Anthropology. 

Sunday, July 27th

9am - 1pm 
Meet in the parking lot at 1450 SW Marine Dr. and walk as a group to the first stop c̓əsnaʔəm before boarding the bus. 
Tickets $40

Source:   Vancouver Heritage Foundation 

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1  Home Energy Rebate Offer

BC Hydro and FortisBC offer home owners rebates for various upgrades and improvements, including insulation, draftproofing, space heating systems, water heating systems and ventilation. These improvements can reduce the average residential customer’s energy bill by 30%. There is a bonus offer for completing three or more of certain upgrades. Total value of available rebates is almost $6,000 per household.

www.bchydro.com/powersmart/ residential/rebates_savings/home-energy-rebate-offer.html and

www.fortisbc.com/Rebates/ HomeRebates/Pages/default.aspx

2  BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program

This ongoing program rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition.

www.bchydro.com/powersmart/ residential/rebates_savings/fridge_ buy_back.html

604.881.4357

3  BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Program for Businesses

The Power Smart Partner program partners BC Hydro with BC’s largest commercial, government and institutional customers (who spend $200,000 or more/ year on Hydro). Customers gain access to a wide range of energy management programs, tools and incentives.

www.bchydro.com/powersmart/ business/commercial/power_ smart_partners.html

1.866.522.4713

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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1  Low Interest Renovation Loans

Financial institutions offer ‘green’ loans for home owners making energy efficient upgrades. Vancity’s Bright Ideas personal loan offers home owners up to $20,000 at prime + 1% for up to 10 years for ‘green’ renovations. RBC’s Energy Saver loan offers 1% off the interest rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000.

For information visit your financial institution.

www.vancity.com/Loans/ TypesOfLoans/BrightIdeas and www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/ personalloans/energy-saver-loan. html

2  Energy Conservation and Assistance Program (ECAP)

BC Hydro and FortisBC offer free energy assessments and energy saving products to low-income customers. Qualified contractors will install upgrades ranging in value from $300 to $5,000 depending on the need of the home.

www.bchydro.com/powersmart/ residential/ps_low_income/ energy_conservation.html and

www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/ Homes/Offers/EnergyConserva­tionAssistanceProgram/Pages/ default.aspx

3  Energy Savings Kit Program

BC Hydro and FortisBC offer low-income customers a free energy saving kit containing products to help save energy and money.

www.bchydro.com/powersmart/ residential/ps_low_income/ energy_saving_kits.html and

www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/ Homes/Offers/EnergySavingKit/ Pages/default.aspx 

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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1  Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)

A program jointly sponsored by the provincial and federal governments provides up to $20,000 to help eligible low-income seniors and disabled home owners and landlords to finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer.

BC Housing www.bchousing.org/ Options/Home_Renovations

604.646.7055 or toll-free 1.800.407.7757 extension 7055

2  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 saving renovations.

www.cmhc.ca/en/co/moloin/ moloin_008.cfm

604.731.5733

3  Energy Saving Mortgages

Financial institutions offer a range of mortgages to home buyers and owners who make their homes more energy efficient. For example, home owners who have a home energy audit within 90 days of receiving an RBC Energy Saver™ Mortgage, may qualify for a rebate of $300 to their RBC account.

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

1.800.769.2511 

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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1 First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)

This federal non-refundable income tax credit is for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation. The calculation: multiply the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2012) x $5,000. For the 2013 tax year, the maximum credit is $750.

Canada Revenue Agency

www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/ tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/ lns360-390/369/menu-eng.html

1.800.959.8281

2  BC Home Owner Grant

Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,100,000. The basic grant gives home owners:

• a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts;

• an additional grant of $200 to rural homeowners elsewhere in the province; and

• an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war veterans of certain wars.

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

3  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/ individuals/Property_Taxes/ Property_Tax_Deferment/ptd.htm 

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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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 for the 5% GST if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal 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. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil.

Canada Revenue Agency

www.cra.gc.ca Enter ‘RC4028’ in the search box.

1.800.959.8287

3. BC 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 $475,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 and above the rebate is nil.

BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue www.sbr.gov. bc.ca/business/Property_Taxes/ Property_Transfer_Tax/ptt.htm

250.387.0604 

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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The final Musqueam Bus Tour of the summer will be on July 27th.

The first two runs of the tour have been incredibly popular and guests left with a new understanding of Musqueam culture and history. Don't miss the chance to experience history, legend, craft, and song all in one morning.

Cheryl Rossi of the Vancouver Courier joined the tour on June 21st. Read her experience here.

Sunday, July 27th
9am - 1pm
We will meet in the parking lot at 1450 SW Marine Dr. and walk as a group to our first stop c̓əsnaʔəm before boarding the bus.

Tickets $40

Source:  Vancouver Heritage Foundation, www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org  

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According to statistics released this month by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014.  Click to watch the video for details.


Source: The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

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According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a sizeable month-over-month increase in May 2014.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 5.9% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.8% above May 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.8% from April to May.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 7.1% on a year-over-year basis in May.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.0% year-over-year in May.

Click for details.

Source: The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

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