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In This Overheated Real Estate Market, Will The Government Policymakers Impose A Capital Gains Tax On Principal Residences?

In This Overheated Real Estate Market, Will The Government Policymakers Impose A Capital Gains Tax On Principal Residences?

There are rumors that the government may consider tampering with the principal residence exemption from capital gains tax, as a measure to cool down the overheated housing market – the quarterly pace of sales returned to levels not seen since 2017, leading to significant price increases.  While this may not happen, however, because the housing market has become so overheated, it has become a topic of conversation.

COVID 19 has forced people to work from home, prompting them to look for more space. With rock-bottom interest rates and the fear of missing out, buyers are frantically buying any property they can get their hands on. Listings are being sold with multiple offers at prices well over asking, in a matter of days.

This is resulting in soaring home prices and a fear that policymakers will intervene at some point to bring some sanity to this market, as they have done in the past. However, in the current market, buyers are genuine local homebuyers, and not speculators or from overseas.

While the real estate industry and others would prefer a boost in the limited housing supply that has been a contributor to this problem, this solution will take time, and as mentioned earlier, the recent surge in home prices has the implication that regulators may have to intervene somehow to stabilize the market. Hence the conversation about the capital gains exemption.

The capital gains exemption is one of the modern engines of Canadian home ownership and retirement planning – typically homeowners have sold their homes and used the huge non-taxed gains to fund their retirement. Any attempt to disrupt this sacred cow would be like “an atom bomb on the retirement savings to Canada’s vast middle class.”

In the unlikely event that this should happen, homeowners would probably stay longer in their homes, diminishing the supply of startup homes and move up homes in the market, thereby exacerbating the current shortage problem.

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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How To Protect Your Finances From COVID-19 Scams

How To Protect Your Finances From COVID-19 Scams

There has been a substantial uptick in fraudulent scams during this pandemic, and it is important not only to protect your health, but also your finances. Unfortunately, during situations like these, there are many unscrupulous individuals who prey on peoples’ vulnerability. They are taking advantage of the fact that we are all looking for something, we want this to be over, and we are more likely to respond when we see something that appeals to that inner humanity.

Be aware of the following popular scams, and stay safe:

 

Text Messages

Fraudsters can send text messages disguising their number, pretending to be from some charitable organization or business offering a link to some free product or service linked to the pandemic. By clicking on the link, you are compromising your phone to malicious malware.

Other messages will ask you to download an attractive free app. This is could be a “trojan” that will sit on your phone and can harvest credit card information entered into other apps on your phone.

Do not click on the link or acknowledge the text. Just delete it and block the number.

 

Phone Calls

Phone calls from various public health agencies stating that they have results that you or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, and that you have to pay for either a prescription or a process.

Other situations may be a twist on the traditional ‘arrest warrant’ scam. Fraudsters may inform you that you were monitored outside your quarantine zone and have to pay a fine if you do not want to be arrested.

Never give your bank or credit card information to a number you cannot recognize, unless you can validate that the caller is legitimate.

 

House visits

There are some individuals who are currently going door-to-door administrating home tests to detect COVID-19. This is not official, as currently all tests are being done at government sanctioned sites. These callers will be selling fake tests, or could rob you.

Do not answer the door or acknowledge these callers.

 

Charities

There are a number of on line fake charities and fake government programs designed to solicit money. Links to such scam websites will result in your computer being hacked and your financial information being compromised.

If you are not sure as to the legitimacy of the site, do not click on the link and respond.

 

Emails

Fraudsters can send COVID-19 phishing email pretending to be from a Government Department to provide an “urgent” update or financial refund. These often trick people into opening malicious attachments or ask them to confirm personal and/or financial information.

Again, do not open emails from unknown senders, and or click any suspicious links.

 

Jobs

The pandemic has forced many people out of work forcing them to stay home. Fraudsters take advantage of people looking to work from home. The job application being advertised may require sensitive information that can be used to copy your identity. Others also ask for an administration fee to process the application.

Do not participate in these job offerings unless you have some valid proof of the validity of the company, in other words, do your research.

 

Considering buying or selling your property? We have over 30 years of experience, and ours sales exceed well over a billion dollars. We have dedicated sales professionals who will effectively guide you every step of the way. Call us on 604 913 1000 or email us for a consultation.

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Will a smart home make your home more marketable – YES!

Welcome to the “Internet of Things” where automated devices like lights, locks and thermostats work together and are controlled by the Internet. Things that were not previously automated are now simplified and automated.

There is now a consensus amongst homeowners of newly constructed and recently renovated homes to employ “Smart” technology.  Smart technology automates household tasks such us unlocking doors, adjusting temperature, rolling down blinds, shutting off appliances etc.

A 2016 survey by Coldwell Banker revealed that owners believe that smart home technology makes their home safer, saves them money and saves them time.

Advantages of employing Smart home technology:

  • Security – owners can be notified if something in their home seems amiss.
  • Economy – money can be saved when the energy use of a home can be automatically controlled – this includes, lights, heating, air-conditioning, the outdoor sprinkler system, etc.
  • Insurance savings – Insurance companies (and utility ones) offer reduced rates and rebates for homes that use smart devices.
  • Today’s home buying population will pay more for a smart home (according to the survey by Coldwell banker).

 

There is a caution however, on the security risk of the data generated by the devices. The onus is on the user of the smart technology to do the necessary due diligence.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other of our home related highly informative blog topics, please contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.

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Luxury homes : Here are creative ways to market them

 

Real estate isn’t considered luxury just because it’s expensive. Luxury real estate must be unique, exclusive and superior – people who are wealthy will pay a premium for something that is perceived to be superior. A luxury property will typically have its value above three times the median price of a house or condo in its region.

Location is very important. A luxury real estate buyer will want access to luxury activities such as high end shopping, dining, the arts as well as proximity to other luxury homes. There are those who prefer the natural beauty of a waterfront location, mountain views or city views perched from their hillside or mountainside location.

 

Luxury real estate buyers want the same features that all homebuyers desire, but on a grander scale. They want a beautiful home inside and outside, and can afford the custom design, landscaping and architecture. There should be over-the-top attention to detail and opulent finishes. Plenty of privacy and security is paramount to keep out would be intruders and the inquisitive public from accessing the property.

 

When it comes to amenities in a luxury home, everything should be top of the line and there should be features that are not ordinarily found in a normal home, such as expanded temperature controlled wine cellars, a chef’s kitchen, an elevator, and the like. Home theaters with top video and sound, gyms with massage areas and spas and cigar rooms with circulating fresh air are not uncommon in a high end residential home.

 

Luxury homes come in all shape and sizes, as grandeur is interpreted differently between different persons. Often, it’s the unique design of the home, based on the singular properties of the homeowner for whom it was built, which give the property the luxury label.

 

If you are looking to buy a luxury home, or sell your luxury real estate, contact us as we have offices in Vancouver, Seattle, London and Moscow, and we are firmly established internationally and recognized as a leader in the luxury real estate market.

 

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March 2021 Founder’s Message

The Greater Vancouver real estate market is the one of the hottest in history. Sales in February were almost 43 percent above the 10-year average. Residential home sales totaled 3,727 – a 73 percent increase from this time last year!

Homeowners are taking advantage of historically low interest rates as they purchase their piece of paradise on our beautiful West Coast. Sales and prices are up significantly in all areas of Metro Vancouver. Hot property markets include West Vancouver where all property types saw price increases of 16.1 percent from February 2020. Outlying areas such as the Sunshine Coast are also seeing significant price increases this year at 32.7 percent and Bowen Island at 34.4 percent.

Residential home prices continue to increase from last month in North Vancouver (2.4%), West Vancouver (2.7%) and Vancouver West (3.2%). The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Home Price Index benchmark price for all residential properties is currently $1,084,00. This is a 6.8 percent increase over February 2020 and a 2.6 percent increase compared to January 2021.

And, with no signs of slowing down, now is an excellent time to have one of our expert real estate advisors do a complimentary market analysis (CMA) to determine your home’s current value. We are in a strong seller’s market. Sales and prices in all areas of Vancouver continue to increase every month. Historically low interest rates and high demand for residential homes combined with limited available homes for sale are driving Metro Vancouver’s current hot, pandemic-proof real estate market.

As Vancouver’s record-breaking real estate market continues to make headlines, I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Virani Real Estate Advisor’s 15th year anniversary this month. We are passionate about helping our clients that have become like family members over the years. Our real estate advisors always put your needs first and empower you to make informed decisions. We are proudly founded in Canada and want to thank you all for joining together with us to become firmly established internationally and a recognized market leader. We are here for you and here’s to another 15 years together!

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What Is Luxury Real Estate?

What Is Luxury Real Estate?

 

Real estate isn’t considered luxury just because it’s expensive. Luxury real estate must be unique, exclusive and superior – people who are wealthy will pay a premium for something that is perceived to be superior. A luxury property will typically have its value above three times the median price of a house or condo in its region.

 

Location is very important. A luxury real estate buyer will want access to luxury activities such as high end shopping, dining, the arts as well as proximity to other luxury homes. There are those who prefer the natural beauty of a waterfront location, mountain views or city views perched from their hillside or mountainside location.

 

Luxury real estate buyers want the same features that all homebuyers desire, but on a grander scale. They want a beautiful home inside and outside, and can afford the custom design, landscaping and architecture. There should be over-the-top attention to detail and opulent finishes. Plenty of privacy and security is paramount to keep out would be intruders and the inquisitive public from accessing the property.

 

When it comes to amenities in a luxury home, everything should be top of the line and there should be features that are not ordinarily found in a normal home, such as expanded temperature controlled wine cellars, a chef’s kitchen, an elevator, and the like. Home theaters with top video and sound, gyms with massage areas and spas and cigar rooms with circulating fresh air are not uncommon in a high end residential home.

 

Luxury homes come in all shape and sizes, as grandeur is interpreted differently between different persons. Often, it’s the unique design of the home, based on the singular properties of the homeowner for whom it was built, which give the property the luxury label.

 

If you are looking to buy a luxury home, or sell your luxury real estate, contact us as we have offices in Vancouver, Seattle, London and Moscow, and we are firmly established internationally and recognized as a leader in the luxury real estate market.

 

 

 

 

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Ambleside beach

REBGV Market update for February 2021 – Very strong demand for homes continues

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) released its February 2021 housing report, which highlighted a market in favor of sellers with home sales up 73% year-over-year.

 

Ashley Smith, REVBGV president said ” Metro Vancouver’s housing market is experiencing seller’s market conditions. The supply of listings for sale isn’t keeping up with the demand we’re seeing. Competition amongst home buyers is causing upward pressure on home prices.” She also added, “This is particularly true in the townhome market where demand is outstripping the available supply. Conditions differ depending on location and property type so it’s important to work with your local REALTOR® to develop strategies to meet your needs.”

 

Home Sales

The REBGV report showed that residential home sales in the region totaled 3,727 in February 2021, a 73.3% increase from the 2,150 sales recorded in February 2020, and a 56% increase from the 2,389 homes sold in January 2021.

Sales of detached homes in February 2021 reached 1,231, a 79.7% increase over the 685 homes sold in February 2020.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,759 in February 2021, a 65.8% increase over the 1,061 sales in February 2020.

Sales of attached homes totaled 737 in February 2021, an 82.4% increase over the 404 sales in February 2020.

Last month’s sales were 42.8% above the 10-year February sales average.

 

New Listings

In the month of February, there were 5,048 detached, attached and apartment newly listed properties on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®). This represented a 26.1% increase compared to the 4,002 homes listed in February 2020, and a 12.7% increase compared to the 4.480 homes listed in January 2021.

 

Total Listings

The total number of properties listed for sale on the Vancouver MLS system in February was 8,348. This represents a 9.1% decrease when compared to the 9,195 homes listed in February 2020, and a 0.6% increase from January 2021.

 

Sales-To-Active Listings ratio

This ratio explains the relationship between supply and demand that influences price. The ratio for February was 44.6% across all property types.  For each property type the ratio was:

  • Detached homes 41.8%
  • Town homes 61.8%
  • Condominiums 41.7%

When the ratio is around or below 12% for a sustained period, then there is downward pressure on prices, and when it is above 20% for a sustained period, there is upward pressure.

 

Home Prices

For the month of February 2021, The MLS Home Price index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $1,084,000. This was 6.8% higher than February 2020 and 2.6 % higher when compared to January 2021.

 

If you are looking to get into this market with its “blistering pace of home sales”, we offer a huge range of homes suitable for any budget. Visit our website and browse our wide range of listings.

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When Is The Best Time To Buy A Security System For Your Home?

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Security System For Your Home?

 

There is no “best time” to buy a security system, however, if you pay attention to security company websites, flyers etc. you may be able to get a good deal through out the year.

But if you want to compare the best time to buy with intruder statistics, the peak time for break-ins usually coincide with:

  • Days after holidays such as Christmas, Easter etc.
  • Beginning of the school year.
  • Thanksgiving weekend.

 

If you are worried about buying because you want to get the best possible deal, go online and do your research. Companies are offering special deals throughout the year.

Many security companies send flyers through the mail – so keep a keen eye on the junk mail you receive. If you prefer a certain company over another that is offering a deal, take the deal to your preferred company and show them the offer. In many cases, they will match the price.

Keep a close eye on what is happening around your neighborhood. If you read about a spike in break-ins in your area, it may be a good time to get a security system if you don’t have one.

Sometimes it is better to be protected even if you don’t get a discounted deal on a security system.

Remember, there is no real perfect time to buy a security system. The perfect time is anytime before you get a break-in. As long as the system is in place before the danger arises, you have good timing!

 

If you have any buying/selling related issues, contact our experienced real estate advisors, or call 604 913 6000.

 

 

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You Won’t Believe How Many Jobs A Real Estate Agent Does At One Time!

You Wont Believe How Many Jobs A Real Estate Agent Does At One Time!

If you think that a real estate agent’s job is just to find you a home, well think again! They balance several jobs at any given time so that you can find the home of your dreams. From finding a home that will fit your budget, to negotiating a complex contract and filling out the necessary arduous paperwork, a real estate agent is one of the hardest working professional any homebuyer can work with.

 

Here are some of the duties of a typical real estate professional:

Guide

  • If you are not sure of the process, a realtor will explain the steps involved, the financial requirements, the emotional requirements, the time lines involved, what hurdles and difficulties to expect on the way.

Lifestyle Specialist

  • A professional real estate agent will help you assess how realistic your dreams are and how they fit with your lifestyle. An agent will help you find the right home at a price that you can afford.

Location Expert

  • Realtors will have access to more homes than are listed on the public domain. They also have access to exclusive listings that may or may not appear to the general public.

Human GPS

  • Getting hold of a local agent will ensure that he/she will have an extensive knowledge of your neighborhood, through careful research. As a result, you will get expert advice on the schools, communities, shopping, restaurants and amenities in the neighborhood you are considering.

Accountant

  • You will get firsthand advice on whether you are paying a fair price on your home as an agent can tell you what similar homes to the one you are considering buying, have sold for recently.  You will be advised on tax matters such as whether your home qualifies for the homebuyer non-refundable tax credit, or whether you need to use the Home Buyers Plan.

Conductor

  • A real estate professional can coordinate all the steps with the other professionals involved – mortgage broker, lawyer, home inspector, and the like, to ensure that the home buying process runs smoothly without any obstacles.

Lead Negotiator

  • An agent acts as the go-between for you and the seller’s agent, keeping you informed on price and contract negotiations, making an offer on your behalf, supervising any inspector required repairs, and other real estate matters. Your final move in date will also be negotiated.

 

Whether you are listing a condo or a luxury home, 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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You only need to make small changes in your house to go green

You Only Need to Make Small Changes in Your Home to Go Green and Make a Difference.

 

Everybody is talking about “going green”. It’s easy to understand the importance of becoming environmentally friendly and how some actions negatively impact the earth; however, the difficult task is making a change. Many people do not realize that small changes at home, along with some extra thought during daily activities, can have great impact on a global level.

We have outlined some simple energy tips that are easy to implement and will save you money in the long run and most important, reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Use a programmable thermostat. Setting your thermostat three to five degrees lower while you are asleep and when no one is at home, will lower your utilities bill and save energy. You can even adjust just one degree lower and save resources. Regular maintenance of your heating and cooling system can also be beneficial.
  2. Turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater. A typical home only requires the hot water heater to be set at 120 degrees, but some manufacturers have set their heaters to 140 degrees, a temperature that can be scalding. Turning your hot water thermostat down 20 degrees can save you between 6 to 10 percent in energy bills.
  3. Use more LED bulbs where possible. Light-Emitting Diode bulbs are significantly more energy-efficient than either incandescent or CFL bulbs. LED technology is nothing new. An LED bulb will last approximately 50,000 hours – five times longer than a CFL bulb. If the bulb is left on for eight hours per day, it will last over 17 years and there will be noticeable cost savings.
  4. Save water and save money. Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too. Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment. Also, make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
  5. Unplug appliances when they are not being used. Appliances and electronics when turned off but still plugged into a power outlet use energy – ‘phantom energy’. Of course there are some appliances that you simply cannot unplug everyday. Unplugging your appliances probably won’t leave you noticeably richer, but it’s a relatively easy way to save 5 to 10 percent on your electricity bill. And if you can convince your friends and neighbors to eliminate phantom power as well, the cumulative effect could be truly impressive.

 

Many of the steps we can take to stop climate change, collectively can make our lives better. Our grandchildren-and their children-will thank us for living more sustainably. Let’s start now by acting local and thinking global!

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