All posts by Virani Real Estate Advisors

An Update On The BC Tenant Protection Changes

On March 25, 2020, the BC government announced that renters would not be evicted if they could not pay rent due to the COVID-19 crisis. It also introduced a Temporary Rental Supplement (TRS) to help renters pay their rent. 

Last month, it partially lifted the ban on residential rental evictions, but maintained the moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent. 

The government has also extended the TRS program that was supposed to end in June, to the end of August. The rental supplements of $300-$500 are paid directly to the landlords. 

Between April 9, 2020 and June 15, 2020,  BC Housing received more than 90.000 applications for the temporary rent supplement, and nearly 82,500 eligible applications were confirmed. 

On July 2, 2020, the following tenancy laws came into effect:  

A landlord can now issue a Notice to End Tenancy for any reason (other than unpaid or late payment rent). Landlords with existing orders for eviction can now take them to the courts for enforcement and can enforce a writ order effective immediately. Landlords can enter a rental suite with 24 hours notice and do not need the tenant’s consent. They are expected to follow health guidelines like physical distancing, cleaning and wearing masks when appropriate. 

The change also allows for personal service of documents to resume, rather than via email. The landlords’ ability to restrict access to common spaces for COVID-19 related health reasons remains. 

A tenant who has not paid rent could face eviction once the state of emergency is over. 

If you require more information regarding this issue or any other developments that have taken place recently, please contact us or call us on 604 913 1000. Our real estate professional advisors will be only too pleased to be of assistance. 

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Here Are 5 Great Tips To Summer Maintenance For Your Garden.

Summer is here with all its heat and unique challenges to your garden. Not only is the weather hot and dry, but your grass and garden respond differently in summer compared to spring. Consider the following tips to keep your garden and lawn looking beautiful before the summer temperatures kick into high gear. 

Adding mulch 

Add a layer of mulch over exposed soil to keep the weed problem under control. Weeds grow faster during the summer, and the mulch makes it easier to control them and shield the ground from heat and sun. Landscape cloth and cardboard between the plants and under the mulch also does a good job of keeping the weeds under control. 

Pruning flowers 

Remove the spent buds on existing flowers – this process is also know as dead heading. Once these spent buds are no longer soaking up energy, the plant can start blossoming again. 

Watering early 

Water early in the morning to prevent mildew from setting in. Make sure you don’t over soak your lawn, but give it a good hearty dose of water a few times a week. Garden plants need an average of 1 inch of water per dose. 

Pest control 

The summer is also a time when insects are out in full force. While you are pruning your flowers, keep an eye out for insects and disease problems. Early detection is the best way of saving your plants. 

Lawn mowing 

In the early days of summer cut the grass short, but as summer wears on, raise the height of the cut level on your lawn mower. Dry, brown, weed infested lawns can be the result of lower cutting lengths. 

Using these tips will ensure that even in the dead summer heat, your flowers will bloom and your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood. 

If you are looking for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start, then visit our website http://virani.ca and browse through our huge database of houses, condos and townhomes. 

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Here Is The New Normal When Buying A Home With Social Distancing

There’s no doubt now that using technology has become the new normal for buying a home. Keeping everyone safe is front of mind, and online tools like those created for remote working and collaboration, are now being actively used to help home buyers look for a home. 

Fewer visits to homes 

The rules for viewing homes in person have changed drastically. While one family member may be allowed to physically walk through the home, the whole family may not be able to view together, Touching countertops, opening closets and other habits we are used to doing when viewing a home, may be a thing of the past. Finding a suitable property may take longer than before. 

Distance home viewing 

Buying a home today will require more online investigation and viewing virtual open houses. Gone are the days when real estate professionals would drive 30-40 clients to multiple listings over a number of weeks. 

Virtual staging, 3D floor plans, aerial photography, videos of the home and the neighborhood are essential to buyers, sellers and appraisers, who now rely on these  marketing tools to price homes that they may not have physical access to. 

Less paper work to deal with 

There is more exchanging of contracts and transfers through the Internet, thus eliminating the need for paper. Not only does this save time, it is better for the environment as less paper is used, and fewer trips are made to municipal offices, open houses etc. It is also cost effective regarding time spent and less disruptive to staff. 

With all these changes, real estate professionals are finding that more time is needed for transactions to go through the buying process. Everything now has a process that cannot be circumvented or avoided. 

This new virtual world is an adjustment for everyone including the real estate industry. While there is less interaction between clients and real estate agents, there is still the need for employing the services of a real estate professional, who are now using these tools more efficiently and effectively.  

Our investment in technology puts us in the forefront with regards to the real estate industry. We use the best available online tools to market your home. Contact us if you are interested in buying or selling a home in today’s market. 

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Are You A Homeowner? Don’t Make These Mistakes During The Summer

If you are a homeowner, summer does not mean lazy days relaxing in the garden or lying on the hammock reading a book. Summer requires continuous work on your property to ensure it stays well maintained and problem free over the long term.  

Here are areas that you must always be working on: 

The roof 

Winds, gale force winds and thunderstorms that are typically associated with summer, can put your home at risk of considerable damage. Once the rough weather has passed, it is important to check your roof for loose, torn or warped shingles that may lead to roof leaks and water damage. 

Gutters 

Don’t neglect the gutters. Heavy downpours and winds can blow debris and leaves, which can ultimately obstruct your gutters, making your home vulnerable to expensive damage. To enable your gutters to drain away storm water at all times, consider cleaning them twice a year. Alternatively, you can install a storm drainage system that requires no maintenance. 

Exterior sidings 

Over the summer months, dirt, mold and pollen steadily accumulate on your home sidings. While a dirty siding may lessen the curb appeal of your home,  these surface imperfections can ultimately shorten the lifespan of your siding material. Using a pressure hose periodically to remove the accumulated gunk is a good idea. 

Pavement 

It is easier in the summer to repair cracked, crumbling or chipping concrete before it worsens. While this can be done in the fall or winter, the cold weather makes it more difficult to guarantee a satisfying result. Resurfacing gives the paved area a new look, and if you just want to disguise the repair, a latex or epoxy-patching compound should do the job. 

Pest control 

Insect activity always ramps up due to the warm weather. Unpleasant as they may be, the threat imposed by household pests is usually benign. However, there are some critters such as termites, who pose a genuine threat. You need to take necessary measures to prevent an infestations: keep the attic and basement well ventilated, make sure there is an adequate gap between solid and wood portions of the home and seal all cracks in the foundation. 

HVAC Filter 

Your air conditioner works continuously over the summer months. In order to keep cooling costs low and the unit running smoothly, check the HVAC filter on a regular basis. This can be done at least once a month if you live with a smoker or own pets. 

Whether you are listing a condo or a luxury home, we can help. Our experienced real estate professionals are available to assist you in making the transaction as stress free as possible. Contact us by email or call us on 604 913 1000. 

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REBGV Market Update For June 2020 – Buyers and Sellers Play Catch-up

The June 2020 market report released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) showed that home sales in the Greater Vancouver area are starting to return to more typical levels after dipping to four decade lows in April. All this while, prices continue to edge up from 2019. 

“REALTORS® continue to optimize new technology tools and practices to help their clients meet their housing needs in a safe and responsible way,” said Colette Gerber, REBGV president. “Over the last three months, home buyers and sellers have become more comfortable operating within the physical distancing and other safety protocols in place.” 

Home Sales 

In June 2019, there were 2,443 residential property sales. This represented a 17.6% increase from the 2,077 sales in June 2019 and a 64.5% increase from the 1,485 homes sold in May 2020. 

The number of detached properties sold was 866, 16.1% more than June 2019. 

The number of apartments sold was 1105, 17.4% more than June 2019. 

The number of attached properties sold was 472, 21% more than June 2019. 

Board chair Colette Gerber said realtors and their clients are getting more used to exploring and showcasing homes remotely through video tours and floor-plan reviews as buyers and sellers alike acclimate to health protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Home Listings 

There were 5,787 new listings of detached, attached and apartment properties for June 2020 added to the Multiple Listing System (MLS). This represented a 21.8% increase compared to the 4,751 homes listed in June 2019, and a 57.1% increase compared to May 2020 when 3,684 homes were listed. 

The total number of homes listed for sale in June on the MLS was 11,424, a 23.7% decrease compared to June 2019 (14,968) and a 15.1% increase compared to May 2020 (9,927). 

“Much more of the real estate transaction is happening virtually today,” Gerber said. “Before considering an inperson showing, REALTORS® are helping potential buyers pre-screen homes more thoroughly by taking video tours, reviewing floorplans and an increased number of high-resolution images, as well as often driving through the neighborhood.”  

Sales-To-Active-Listings Ratio 

This is a good indication of the supply and demand forces in the market. Downward pressure on home prices can occur when the ratio is below 12% for a sustained period, and there is upward pressure when the ratio is above 20% for a number of months. 

For all property types, the ratio in June was 21.4%. When broken down by property types, the ratio was: 

  • 19.9% for detached homes 
  • 25.2 % for townhomes 
  • 21.3% for condominiums 

Home Prices 

The MLS Home Price index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $1,025,300. This represents a 3.5% increase over June 2019 and a 0.3% decrease compared to May 2020. 

Click here for a full report. 

Working with our real estate professionals will enable you to set realistic expectations that help you achieve your real estate goals. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, contact us by email or call us on 604 913 1000

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How To Repair Your Credit Score

A poor credit score can hinder your chances of getting into your first home or your dream home. If you have a “decent” but not optimum credit score, a lender will compensate for the risk by offering you a higher interest rate, which means higher monthly payments on your mortgage. 

Here’s how to repair and improve your credit score and keep it healthy: 

Get a credit report. 

The first step on the road to recovery is to get your report from the 2 main credit bureaus in Canada that collect and share data about how you’ve used credit in the past – Equifax and Transunion, and identify any errors in your borrowing history. These companies have been known to make mistakes. Finding mistakes and resolving will make a huge difference to your score. 

Consolidate your debt 

If you are dealing with out of control debt, it makes sense to evaluate your accounts and consolidate your debt. Developing a repayment plan is a good idea as it shows the financial institution that you are taking steps to remedy the situation. 

Make your payments on time. 

Paying bills on time, even if it is just the minimum payment, is one of the most important things you can do to improve your credit score. Late payments are very serious. Don’t make your payment exactly on the due date as with some financial institutions and companies, your payment may take a few days to process.  

Contact the financial institution for late payments 

If you do have a problem making a payment or if you cannot meet the minimum payment, contact the financial institution concerned and inform them. They will not penalize you if you are frank and open with them. 

Maintain low balances on your cards 

Maintaining a low outstanding balance in relation to the borrowing cap on a credit card or line of credit will help improve your rating.  Owing 50% or more of your credit limit has a negative impact on your credit score. 

Put boundaries on your spending behavior. 

Ready to jump into the market? Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or learn more about the market changes, reach out to our team today! We’ll help you make the right move! 

Contact us by email or call us on 604 913 1000

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If You Have Investment Properties Earning Rent – You Must Read This

 If You Have Investment Properties Earning Rent – You Must Read This 

As COVID-19 makes its way through our lives and the economy like a hurricane sweeping over land, it leaves nothing untouched. Its has also affected rents. Cities like Vancouver and Toronto are seeing rent reduction rates that would have been unheard of at the beginning of the year. 

While rents in some Canadian cities have declined a bit or even risen slightly in the last few months, the cities of Vancouver and Toronto, homes of the priciest rental market in the country, have seen rents falling fast because of the pandemic. 

Last week, Rental.ca posted figures showing that compared to a year ago, rents in Metro Vancouver are down by about 9%.  The average rent demanded for a 2 bedroom apartment in Metro Vancouver had dropped by almost $450 to $2,478 a month. 

Reasons for rental declines: 

Flood of new rental inventory has hit the market   

In the pre COVID-19 economy, real estate investors with a portfolio of homes would be renting them out on the short-term rental market. They would be making more money renting out homes for days or weeks, than they would with traditional long-term leases. But now with the lockdown and restrictions on movement across borders and regions, the short-term market has virtually dried up overnight.  

This has made some owners seriously think about selling their investment properties, while others are being forced into the long-term rental market, adding much needed supply to the tight rental markets that the Lower Mainland has been experiencing for the longest time. 

New home owners stuck with 2 homes 

Some homeowners bought a new home before the lockdown and have yet to sell the old one. They are in a bind as this is no longer in a seller’s market and selling has become much more difficult. An option they face is to rent out the home that is for sale, bringing in some much needed funds, while they wait and hope for prices to rise again. 

Decline in international students 

The lockdown has forced a ban on international travel. Many universities are contemplating on line education that will not require international students to be physically on campus. Canada has over 300,000 international students per year studying at its institutes of higher learning. Their absence will be noticed and make a noticeable impact on rental properties and the economy. 

Decline in seasonal workers and visitors

Canada will have less immigration, fewer international students and, with the border closed for the foreseeable future, not nearly as many seasonal and part-time workers. All typically are renters. 

Tighter borders provincially and internationally means landlords who once offered costly short-term rentals, like those on Airbnb, have been hit hard in attractive cities like ours, whose economies rely more than most on the traveller. Former airbnb properties are now being marketed as long-term rentals. 

More rental units built ready for occupation

The dire rental-housing situation that Vancouver has faced over the last few years, has prompted the municipal and provincial governments to push for an increase in the construction and availability of purpose built rental units. Many of these building which were on the drawing board a 2-3 years ago, are now fully constructed and inviting tenants to rent. This has further increased the inventory of rental units available in the region. 

 
Home buyers are buying homes today for potential move-in dates 30, 60, or 90 days from now. If you are contemplating a move, contact us. We have the experience, tools and know how, to navigate this uncertain market.  

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