Vancouver Real Estate News Blog

If you're planning to sell your Greater Vancouver home this year, it pays to live near public transportation.  As more and more people shift their home buying dreams to places outside the city's boundaries, a top question on their minds is, "How close is it to the SkyTrain?"

When you list your Burnaby, New Westminster or Chilliwack home for sale, don't be surprised if potential buyers are more interested in commuting times than they are in square footage and bathrooms.

Every minute -- and every step -- counts when it calculating daily commute times.   If you don't regularly use public transportation yourself, get a primer from your neighbors or real estate agent so you can answer buyers' questions with confidence.

Strong Demand for Homes in

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Vancouver holds the honorable title of being one of the world’s most walkable cities around the globe, according to the City of Vancouver official website. But despite the city’s unique and admirable quality, many children living in Vancouver are forgoing their pedestrian potential in favor of a less active mode of transportation. 

According to a recent article published in the Vancouver Sun, there is an increase in the number of children utilizing the car as their primary form of transportation.  Kids who travel by car instead of by foot – or similarly active means such as cycling, skateboarding or rollerblading – are at an increased risk of suffering the negative effects of not getting an adequate amount of daily physical activity. 

Jumpin' Math: 

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A stagnant real estate market is never a good thing -- not for home buyers, home sellers, investors or the general economy.  It is almost always possible to take advantage of market trends and come out ahead.  But there's a big difference between taking a smart approach and a dishonest one, as a recent example demonstrates.

Recent trends in the Greater Vancouver real estate market have some worried.  In large part, this fear has prompted inaction -- what chef economist at the B.C. Real Estate Association, Cameron Muir, described as “a wait-and-see approach.” .

In fact, the fear-derived lull in the housing market due to a showdown between consumers and sellers has caused a 14.3 percent decrease in the number of homes sold in Greater Vancouver in

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It is a common saying that fear can stop you in your tracks.  This statement, while not usually associated with real estate, seems strangely fitting given recent trends in the Vancouver housing market. 

Like frightened forest critters caught in the headlights, some prospective home buyers, fearful that the drop in home prices in the Greater Vancouver area over the past year is solid indication of a more substantial price decline in the near future, are postponing purchases. 

Consumers are reluctant to take the plunge and finally buy the house of their dreams because they are fearful that they would be buying on the high end of the market. 

No Bargain Bin Finds

According to a February 18th, 2013 statement by Cameron Muir, chief economist at the

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The decision to buy a house is a little like the decision to have a baby -- there's no such thing as the perfect time.  But it helps to make an informed decision, to weigh need against desire and facts against speculation.

So, if you're considering buying Vancouver real estate  in 2013, here are 6 things to think about:

  1. 1.    Home Sale Prices

Home prices in the Vancouver area declined 2.3 percent over the course of the past year, according to the MSL Home Price Index, as reported by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).  The average price of a home in Greater Vancouver was $590,800 in December.  This is a decline of 5.8 percent from the peak reached in May when the average selling price was $625,100.

Averages and fluctuations in

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Here, we will cover just some of the emergent trends for the Vancouver real estate market during 2012. The year was a key one for buyers as for the first time in several years, the tides shifted in their favor. But swirling through real data were also reports in the media about shifts in the market that weren’t truly validated by the real situation, which distorted buyer and sentiments alike and may have actually altered the mood in favor of one over the other.

General Trends

As a general trend, Vancouver real estate sales showed a definite lean towards the buyers’ market. For example, Vancouver West showed a near-consistent drop in sales by about mid-year –14% to 18%, depending on which 12-month period you’re looking at. While this was not by any

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Real estate has proven to be a good investment for owners.  Over the years, Real Estate experts and professionals alike have studied the benefits of investing in Real Estate.  Let's look at some of the benefits that were cited.

Ownership

This is the more obvious one.  Owning a property instead of renting, in the long run pays off.  Just think, instead of giving money each month to a landlord that is either using it to pay the mortgage or pocketing it because the property is paid off, you can pay your own mortgage on a property that you own.  Sure that means you don't have anyone to call if something needs to be fixed, though whatever it is you are fixing is also an asset you own.

Return on Investment

Generally speaking, history has proved that

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So you've decided to buy some property, congratulations!  This is both an exciting and rewarding experience.  Now all you need is the money to actually purchase it.  Don't fret, it's not as overwhelming as it may seem.  There are a few basics to get you started on the right track and into the home of your dreams.

The first step in the mortgage process is finding out how much you can afford.  Contacting a mortgage associate and filling out an application is how you do this.  You will be asked to supply a few pieces of key information such as your social security number to run a credit report, and employment information revealing how much you make and how long you have been at your job.  You may also need to supply the last 2 years of tax returns. 

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Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you and your family will make in life.  So it goes without saying, the Realtor you choose to help with such an important decision needs to be someone you can trust.  Though how do you determine this?  Below are some guidelines to help you choose a Realtor with confidence.

Check Out Their Credentials

First and foremost, check out your Realtor's credentials.  Most professional Realtors have websites which make it easy for you to get information on the their background, experience, areas of coverage, and even specific listings. Do your research and pick out a couple you are interested in speaking to further

Make Contact and Ask Questions

This part is like interviewing.  You have already checked out

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One of the big challenges in finding a potential home to purchase is to determine which neighborhood suits you and your family best.  Do you want a quiet neighborhood with architectural charm, or a more developed area with lots of young families and children around, or are you looking for the cosmopolitan feel of a city area? 

What are the best ways to checkout potential neighborhoods?  The starting point should always be a list of the critical factors for you and your family.  

What are your drivers?  Is it:

  • Access to public transportation? 
  • Proximity to work?
  • Great schools?
  • Public parks?
  • Active recreational areas?
  • Art and Culture?
  • Specific shops or restaurants? 

Once you have a mental or actual list of the things

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