Toni Pohl

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As promised, I am here to share a total of 50 ways to green your home in Greater Vancouver so you can enjoy some savings.  

Are you ready to learn 10 more tips in Day 2? Here we go:

  1. Clean your furnace filter - This optimizes performance.
  2. Get the most from your fireplace - Visit www.bchydro.com for fireplace efficiency info and power smart ideas.
  3. Use curtains - In the daytime during summer, close to help cool your home.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Fix leaks. Fix leaking taps - One drop per second equals 7,000 litres of water wasted per year.
  7. Install a filter - Stop buying costly bottled water which adds to the landfill.
  8. Change your light bulbs - Lighting accounts for 15% of your energy bill. Replace old bulbs with ENERGY STAR rated bulbs.
  9. Motion detector lights - Turn lights off outside when not in use.
  10. 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.

 Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (May 2013)

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I am going to share a total of 50 ways over 5 days to green your home in Greater Vancouver and save money.

Let's get ready to learn the first 10 tips in Day 1.


  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.
  5. You choose, you save - LiveSmart BC offers a variety of incentive and rebate programs.
  6. Install a high-efficiency heating system - Make sure it’s ENERGY STAR rated.
  7. Weatherize your home - From windows to doors to insulation and weather stripping.  Don’t forget to seal your ducts.
  8. Insulate your pipes - It will prevent costly heat loss.
  9. Insulate your hot water heater - Buy a pre-cut jacket or blanket for $10–$20. You’ll save up to 10% on heating costs.
  10. 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.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (May 2013)

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The first month of 2014 saw home sale and listing totals outpace historical averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 1,760 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2014.  This represents a 30.3 per cent increase compared to the 1,351 sales recorded in January 2013, and a 9.9 per cent decline compared to the 1,953 sales in December 2013.

Last month’s sales were 7.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“The Greater Vancouver housing market has been in a balanced market for nearly a year. This has meant steady home sale and listing activity accompanied by stable home prices,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.

View the news release and statistics for details.

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  1. Remove exposed posts and half walls. Today’s buyers want more space, and partial walls and posts gobble up room. The only walls that should remain are those that offer privacy or conceal electrical wires or plumbing stacks.
  2. Add power outlets with USB ports in rooms that lack them, especially in the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms where they’re most needed.
  3. Expand a small kitchen to increase its functionality and to look larger. Two quick fixes: Change the back splash by adding mirrors, stainless steel, or paint, which will introduce light and views; and add an island.
  4. Change out corroded or dented doorknobs and levers. The replacements don’t have to be expensive but they should look new and clean.
  5. Pay attention to landscaping. Focus on mowing grass, removing crab grass, and eliminating dead plants and tree branches. If you have extra funds, add lots of seasonal color through blooming annuals and perennial plants. Remove problems like too much noise from traffic or neighbors by installing an inexpensive fountain with trickling water.
  6. Outfit closets for extra storage to make rooms look larger and less cluttered. Top contenders for redo’s are an entry closet for a good first impression, kitchen pantries where storage is key, and a linen closet to keep sheets, towels, and other stuff neat.
  7. Tighten a home’s “envelope” to improve energy efficiency and savings. Put money and effort into well-insulated double-paned windows, sealed furnace ducts, energy-efficient appliances, the newest programmable thermostats, LED and compact fluorescent lights, and a smart irrigation box on a sprinkler to cut water usage.
  8. Remove outdated wallpaper, replacing it with paint and preferably a neutral color.
  9. Clear out and clean the garage. Power wash the floor or paint it if it’s in bad shape. Remove dated cabinets, and remove all junk that’s been stored there. This allows prospects to see how much space they would have for their own storage requirements.
  10. Pay attention to your bathrooms. Specifically, make sure you have freshly laundered towels, new soap in soap dishes, spotless mirrors, and no mildew in
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In case you have missed it, the provincial government recently announced changes to the exemption limits for the First Time Home Buyer exemption.

Prior to the change, the First Time Home Buyer Exemption was capped in the Lower Mainland at $425,000.00 and there was a sliding scale between $425,000.00 and $450,000.00. The new cap effective Feb. 19, 2014is $475,000.00 and there is a sliding scale between $475,000.00 and $500,000.00.  

View the fact sheet for more details.

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Another successful sale. Thanks everyone for coming to see the house! 4661 St Catherines ST in Vancouver.
Beautiful, rare, 2 bdrm 1912 Craftsman bungalow surrounded by enchanting garden. Generous 1200 Sf main level features gorgeous nutmeg coloured fir floors, huge living room with wood burning F/P, coffered ceilings & fine detailed built-ins throughout. Sunny eating area off of kitchen w/loads of cupboards & counterspace & gas range for your cooking pleasure. French doors open to deck off of the dining room; or entertain from your private huge covered porch - or just extend the party to the front patios. Basement has one large finished room w/extensive workshop & storage. This hidden gem is a quick walk to groceries, Starbucks, Grey's Park & Hillcrest Pool.
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Another successful sale. Thanks everyone for coming to see the house! 2720 Fraser ST in Vancouver.
If Space & Grace are what you're looking for then this Mt Pleasant Grand Dame has it all. Over 3100 SF with 3 bdrms up & 2 on the main you can give the Brady Bunch a run for their money! Best of all you dont have to do anything - all the walls are insulated, top quality Pella double paned wood windows, stunning new designer bathrooms, all newer electrical & hot water heat. How do you spell Green . . . The kitchen has custom wood cabinets, a functional island with bar seats & plenty of storage. And all the original oak & fir floors, window/baseboard casings, leaded glass doors, & coved ceilings are all still intact. With this central location you can't go wrong.
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Another successful sale. Thanks everyone for coming to see the house! 1639 Kitchener ST in Vancouver.
Stunning back half duplex in the heart of the Drive. Main floor features open floor plan w/powder room, large entertainer's kitchen with new S/S appliances, gleaming oak floors throughout highlight the generous dining room & sunken living room w/gas fireplace & 2 sets of French doors opening onto a huge 27x12 deck. SW exposure & skylights make all 3 levels of this home bright & sunny. Upstairs is master bdrm w/vaulted ceilings, walk in closet & adjoining office w/spectacular downtown views. 4 pc bathroom separates the 2 bdrms & 3rd level has large loft/bdrm. New roof & exterior paint.
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Another successful sale. Thanks everyone for coming to see the house! 216 555 W 14th Ave AVE in Vancouver.
Gorgeous corner suite with windows on 2 sides in awesome Cambie Village location. The complete & tasteful renovation features engineered hardwood floors, new carpet, great open kitchen with wood cabinets, newer appliances,insuite laundry, lighting, updated tile and marble bath, wood burning fireplace with new surround, great closet built-ins and spacious room sizes. The well managed building, has a complete rainscreen (2003) including roof, balcony decks, and windows, new plumbing (2005), and updated hallways(2010). Walk to all that Cambie has to offer: shops, skytrain, hospital, and more. 2 Pets and rentals OK. Walk Score 95(You can walk to all your errands!)
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Another successful sale. Thanks everyone for coming to see the house! 302 1950 W 8th Ave AVE in Vancouver.
Top floor, bright South facing suite in heart of Kits. It's been tastefully renovated with new kitchen, bathroom, bamboo flooring and designer's color paint. The kitchen comes with granite counter tops, B/I microwave, newer appliances including dishwasher, and extended cabinetries into dining area. Bedroom has very good size walk-in closet and gorgeous ceiling fan. South facing balcony looks into greens and can hold planters patio furniture. The building is also very well maintained and managed with low monthly fees which include your heat, and large CRF. Re-plumbed in 2005 and roof 2000. No rental restrictions and 1 pet allowed up to 11kg. Nothing to do but just move in! Perfect suite for Kits lovers and investors.
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Another successful sale. Thanks everyone for coming to see the house! 900 15TH AVE W in Vancouver.
Rare FULLY RESTORED 3665 sf. Heritage 'B' grand character home located on private corner lot in Fairview-classic example of early Craftsman architecture in Vancouver. Many original character feats. remain: hardwood flrs, wood panelled entry,antique f/p w/ heavy wood mantel, wainscoting, coffered 9' ceilings, window seats, built-in cabinets, clawfoot tub & leaded/stained glass windows. Plus a gourmet kitchen w/ huge island, fir cabinets, honed granite counters & s/s appliances. 4 beds and 2 baths up to accommodate large family. BONUS: Updated 1 bed above ground bsmt. suite w/ own laundry, 8 ft. ceilings & separate address. Great Westside location close to Canada line, shops, parks & restaurants. L'Ecole Bilingue school catchment.
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Another successful sale. Thanks everyone for coming to see the house! 2549 KITCHENER ST in Vancouver.
STUNNING 1928 3 lvl craftsman home TOTALLY transformed to Brand New with permits. Must be seen to appreciate! Big 40x127 lot. Almost 3000 sq ft of top qlty material & workmanship-engineered with seismic upgrades. Coffee colored extra hard WHITE oak flrs throughout top 2 flrs & staircase; 5 bd/5 baths; therma flo electric in mount htrs with fan. Marble mosaic bathrm flrs w/inflr heat; high end euro cabs & appls; ceaser stone counters. All NEW - #1 cedar siding with rainscreen; duo drain tile/sump/waterlines/electrical; wood burning F/P w/gas line & new chimney. Legal bsmt suite w/priv entrance & insuite laundry. Nanny quarters. Extra big bathrooms. Plse ask agent for comprehensive highlight list... too much to list.
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