Metro Vancouver's real estate recovery continued in October, with home sales soaring 45.4% higher than the same month last year.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported that residential resale transactions in the region totalled 2,858 in October, which is the highest number of homes sold in a single month so far this year.
Homebuyers appear to become more confident today than what appears to be the situation during the first half of this year. This is likely due to prices finally edging down over the last year, while interest rates remain low.
As more inventory was absorbed by a more active market, the number of available listings declined - exacerbated by fewer sellers listing their homes for sale in October. There were only 4,074 homes listed for sale on the regions MLS in October, which is 16.4% less than the 4,873 homes that were listed last October.
While sales have been increasing the past few months compared with last year, the benchmark price of a typical Metro Vancouver home is now pegged at $992,000, 6.4% lower than last October.
The benchmark price of an attached home is $771,600, which is 5.8% lower than October 2018 and the benchmark price of a typical apartment is $652,000, down 5.9% from October 2018.
A 74 acres mixed-used development in the Township of Langley, which is said to be the largest master-planned community of its type in Metro Vancouver, has just 'officially' began, even though home construction on the site began earlier this year.
'Latimer Heights', being developed by Vesta Properties, is meant to be an 'intergenerational community' that will consist of approximately 2000 homes - including retirement homes - a new elementary school and 17 acres of green space and parkland. A retail village is also planned as a later phase in the development. The total cost of the development is projected at $1 billion.
The community has been designed to attract families moving in and then perhaps the grandparents joining them in another part of the community. Everybody will be living together. Latimer Heights will create a new kind of community that will blend a wide variety of demographics.
Homes will include detached homes, row homes, townhouses, duplexes, and low and high rise condos.
Prices for detached houses of 2,500 square feet start at $883,000; townhomes start at $555,000, and condo apartments will in the low $300,000 range.
Latimer Heights is close to the proposed SkyTrain that will eventually link Langley with the SkyTrain hub in central Surrey.
A woman with a flat tire got assistance from a homeless man who saw her in the parking lot and noticed she needed help.
The owner of a nearby coffee shop snapped a photo and posted it on social media.
"Looked out the window to see this happening," wrote Jessie Jean of Black Lotus Coffee Roaster on Facebook. "This is Chuck...he's homeless and works his ass off helping every day in the cafe. This is 'one of those people' that get labelled. Ya know the ones everyone wants outta sight, outta mind..I didn't see anyone else out helping this young lady, just Chuck...the homeless guy..thank you, Chuck.
Chuck, whose full name is Charles Logan, said he just did what he was supposed to do in that situation.
"I believe in the Golden Rule," the 56-year-old said. "If a little lady needs her tire fixed, you go down there and fix the tire. That's what you're supposed to do. Anyone needs help, I'll do it.
Dozens of bikers stopped by a young girls lemonade stand to support and show their appreciation for her family.
One year ago, Daryn Sturch, a nurse, and her daughter came upon an accident involving several motorcyclists of the Milwaukee Iron.
"I stayed with them and did the best I could to triage them and keep them awake and calm,' Sturch said, adding that all five bikers involved in the crash had sustained 'severe' injuries.
After the accident, Sturch began receiving an outpouring of thank you messages from the bikers associated with Milwaukee Iron.
So when Sturch announced on Facebook that her daughter was setting up a lemonade stand, one of the bikers saw the post.
Nearly 30 bikers pulled up to buy lemonade.
Sturch went on to say "Last year my daughter and granddaughter pulled up on a motorcycle accident that involved several of the men and women of this group. Ever since then they've been so wonderful to my family. Today they came by for lemonade to surprise my granddaughter.
When an elementary school principal heard that one of his students had been spending recess all by herself, he took the time out of his schedule to sit with the youngster during playtime. Not only that, he helped to ensure that she would never have to sit alone again.
Since second-grade student Lucy Taylor has cerebral palsy, it has been difficult for her to make friends at school.
After her mother made a facebook post about her daughter's struggles, however, it was spotted by none other than Principal Jeremy Thompson.
The next day, Thompson joined Lucy during recess - and Lucy's mother says that the youngster was over the moon with happiness.
"She didn't play alone at recess yesterday. Her principal Mr Thompson stopped in and spent some time with her," her mother later wrote on Facebook. "He made Lucy's day... and helped her mom and dad's hearts! I am so proud of the Barth family," she added. " Mr Thompson is an exceptional role model for these kids?
Since Thompson first sat with Lucy, he has also managed to rally a group of youngsters together to share in their recess playtime - and they have named their new gang of friends the 'Bubble Club'.
"Lucy has playground friends. Mr Thompson taking the time to sit with her, of course, made other kids want to play too. And it has given Lucy the confidence to try the things that she is not necessarily great at!" wrote her mother.
Furthermore, since their story caught the attention of local reporters, Lucy and Thompson have become social media role models for other school staffers and lonely youngsters.
A number of parents have reached out to us whose children are also struggling and Lucy has started sending out T-shirts and bubbles and hand-written notes to kiddos who would benefit from being part of the Bubble Squad. She has taken her struggle and tried to use it to help others.
Everyone loves a good deal. There's just something satisfying about getting something good for less. An example is the 'fear of missing out' (FOMO) that drove thousands of people to battle the lineups to get into the Aritzia warehouse at the end of last month.
We all love sales? The adrenaline rush, the FOMO, and that sense of accomplishment. Well, clothes aren't the only thing on sale right now in Metro Vancouver. Condos are also seeing some great price reductions.
Here are a few listings that are going at a discount from their original price. Some of these have been sitting on the market for some time with little or no interest.
1. A 2 bedroom, 2 bedroom condo on Cornish Street in Vancouver. This property was previously listed for $998,000 and then was re-listed for $866,000 - which is a price drop of about 13.16%.
Living space: 840 square feet
Unique features: a south-facing unit with a 180-degree spectacular view of the city, mountains and ocean.
Other Features: walnut hardwood floor and A/C system. High-end appliances, granite countertops, European cabinets and wine cooler.
2. A 2 bedroom 2 bathroom unit on Richards Street in Vancouver. This property was previously listed for $939,000 and then re-listed for $829,000, which is a price drop of about 11.71%.
Living space: 850 square feet
Unique features: Perfect walking score! Hardwood floors, granite counters, gas range and a fireplace
Other features: Exercise centre, whirlpool/spa/steam/ room as well as a private garden and 2 guest suites.
3. A 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit on W. 1st Street in North Vancouver. This property was previously listed for $969,000 and then was re-listed for $870,000 which is a price drop of about 10.21%
Living space: 1,040 square feet
Unique features: stainless steel appliances and gourmet kitchen, radiant in-floor heating throughout and in-suite laundry.
Other features: amenities include a social lounge, gym and green courtyards.
4. A 1 bedroom, one bathroom condo on Burnaby Street in Vancouver. This property was previously listed for $665,000 and then was re-listed for $599,00.0 which is a price drop of about 9.92%.
Living space: 652 square feet
Unique features: granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, cherrywood flooring, walk-in closest with in-suite laundry.
Other features: two blocks away from the seawall.
5. A 2 bedroom, one bathroom condo on Westview Crescent in North Vancouver. This property was previously listed for $539,000 and then re-listed for $488,000, which is a price drop of about 9.46%.
Living space: 952 square feet
Unique features: kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, cabinets, counters and backsplash. Double windows. New washer/dryer.
Other features: covered balcony for BBQs and one covered parking spot. Outdoor pool.
Are you looking for a great deal amid this uncertain market? Perhaps we could find you something worth lining up for!
Are you in the market for a luxury home? Or maybe you just love to browse and check out the most spectacular homes available in Vancouver.
This group of the city's most expensive listings comes with a message: Don't be deceived by what looks 'just basic'. Luxury today can live hand-in-hand with simplicity and often, it's about the panoramic view that's included.
So let's go on an adventure and check out the 5 most expensive homes for sale in Vancouver right now.
5. $12.88 million: 4588 NW Marine Drive
* Living space: approximately 5,200 sq.ft.
* Unique features: view of the North Shore, designed by award-winning architect Loy Leyland
* Other Features: 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, sub-zero appliances and a sauna.
4. $12.88 million: 173. Sasamat Street
* Living space: approximately 4,100 sq.ft.
* Unique features; a 172 sq.ft. roof deck steps away from Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach
* Other features: 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, heated floors and a private elevator
3. $13.98 million: 1773 Knox Road
* Living space: approximately 6,640 sq.ft.
* Unique features: an outdoor swimming pool
* Other features: 5 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a media room and wine cellar
2. $32.8 million: 4788 Belmont Avenue
* Living space: 12,000 sq.ft.
* Unique features: 2 private patios, a five-star pool and a penthouse suite
* Other features: 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a theatre and music room and a butterfly staircase.
1. $38.88 million: 2601-277 Thurlow St.
* Living space: 6,670 sq.ft.
* Unique features: dual-suite residence, 3 private garages, 24-hour concierge
* Other features: Ozanated indoor pool, 2 fireplaces, 4 massive storage rooms and the option to use the residence as 2 independent suites or 1 massive living space.
Thousands of Canadians have started a business on the side that allows them to pursue their passions while boosting their incomes.
A poll of 2,000 adults with full-time employment found that more than one-quarter of them have already turned a hobby into a side hustle while staying in their current jobs.
And more than half, 55%, admitted that they would like to turn their passions into a money-making venture, but have yet to take the leap.
14% of side hustlers report making up to $22,800 annually - well more than that of a minimum wage full-time employee working 40 hours a week.
Beauty and Wellness is found to be the most popular side business sector, which includes hairdressers, personal trainers and dietitians.
Artists, DJ's and designers - along with retail businesses, selling in online shops - are also popular area.
Generating a little extra cash is the top reason people have either started or would like to start a side business (62%), but 37% started a side business to pursue a passion and more than a third (41%) did so to spend more time doing what they enjoy.
Canada's side business economy is booming, as employees increasingly look for financial, professional and personal fulfilment that may not be present in their main job.
More than half of these small business entrepreneurs (59%) treat their enterprise as a '5 to 9' pursuit, working on it in the evenings to fit around their workday. A typical side business takes up to 16 hours a week, while 34% of those polled spend 20+ hours a week working on it.
It is recommended that you start with something you already enjoy, focusing on tasks which generate revenue, building a strong social media presence, and networking with people who have succeeded.
TOP TIPS FOR SIDE BUSINESS OWNERS.
1. Ensure your side business is something you enjoy.
2. Focus on tasks that generate revenue.
3. Build a strong social media presence.
4. Set long term goals.
5. Leverage word-of-mouth marketing.
6. Network with people who run side businesses.
Do you have a unique idea for a 'side business? Let's share some ideas!!
The world's largest rooftop urban farm is set to open in Paris next year - and it's already projected to feed thousands of people every year.
The garden, which is being constructed in the southwest region of the French capital, will span over 14,000 square meters (150,700 square feet), making it the largest urban farm in Europe.
Managed by a team of 20 gardeners, the organic sanctuary will grow 30 different plant species. The representatives say that the site will likely produce about 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of fruit and vegetables every day in high season.
In addition to hosting a variety of educational workshops and farming classes, the site will also allow local Parisians to lease out tiny segments of the rooftop for their own gardening needs.
The developers say that they are designing the project around a specialized aeroponic 'vertical farming' technique so that the garden will use no pesticides and very little water.
The founder of the development company has a vision of a city in which flat roofs and abandoned surfaces are covered with these new growing systems. The goal is to make this farm a globally-recognized model for sustainable production, using quality products, grown in rhythm with natures cycles.
Hospital environments can be stressful for anyone - from the sterile smell and the drab decor to the metallic sounds of medical equipment, it's not the most comforting setting for patients and doctors.
So when a design firm was tasked with creating a hospital that actually lower people's blood pressure, they turned to greenery as the solution - and it worked well.
More than 700 native species of fragrant plants and trees have been integrated into the structure and surroundings of the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore.
In addition to the hospital now serving more than 800,000 patients since it opened its doors in 2010, it is also a popular spot for students seeking a conducive environment.
A number of other clever details that contribute to the hospital's ingenious design include the facility's enlarged windows and spacious indoor layout improved airflow throughout the area by 20 to 30%.
Success was also found in the hospital's natural ecosystem with evidence in the increasing number of butterfly species sighted on the hospital grounds (increasing from 3 to 83 as of now).
On top of all this - literally and figuratively - the hospital has a volunteer-run rooftop garden with more than 100 species of fruit trees, 50 species of vegetables and 50 species of herbs, all of which are served to the patients.
The hospital's success has already spurred the architects to launch similar projects in Malaysia, China and Pakistan - and it will likely inspire many more around the world.
Don't fall in love with your dream home until you have a pre-approved mortgage and know exactly how much you can afford. That way you won't be disappointed.
The best and easiest way to have an accurate pre-approval done is to visit a licensed mortgage broker (not a bank). The mortgage broker will review your documentation and do a credit check. You will also need to provide a job letter that confirms your position, start date at the company, guaranteed hours and your hourly rate, or your salary; a current pay stub; T4s and how much you earned in a tax year and how much tax was deducted for the past 2 years. You will also need to provide your driver's licence.
Your mortgage broker will also require a 90-day history of where your down payment is coming from - a bank statement. If a parent is helping with the down payment, then you would need to provide a gift letter, and proof of the gifted money being deposited into your account. It may also be necessary to have your parents' credit rating reviewed.
A perfect credit score, somewhere in the 900s is not essential. A credit rating of 680 and above will qualify you for a 'best rate' approval.
If your credit score is lower, you might have to jump through a few more hoops and provide more insight to the lender.
Once your mortgage broker has all the information, they will calculate your net worth and what mortgage payments you can afford. All that information is then sent to the lender, who typically gives a pre-approval within 24-48 hours.
Once your pre-approval has been granted, it's important not to do anything that changes the basis of the pre-approval. This includes such actions as incurring extra debt or quitting your job. The lender will be reviewing the file again before final approval is granted and if there are substantial changes then you will likely need to repeat the pre-approval process.
Even though you are pre-approved, when writing an offer to purchase a home, in addition to any other subjects, you should make the offer subject to financing and appraisal.
Please contact me for more information or for a mortgage broker referral.
Your home should be your sanctuary, but sometimes it's hard to brush off the stress of the day and sink into the serenity. That's especially true if your home is more chaos than calm. No matter what your day holds, you always want an inviting place to come home to.
Add some greenery - plants can make your home feel calmer and ease anxiety. Plants like jasmine and English ivy can improve sleep, lavender and rosemary can lower stress and several other plants have been shown to improve air quality.
Hide the electronics - Nobody wants to stare at a tangle of cords. Thankfully we have more options than ever for keeping our tech devices hidden away. Tie up cords in a media centre so they are not visible, and dedicate a single drawer to storing all your chargers, power cords and small tech devices when they are not in use.
Get a dog - or a cat, a bird or a turtle for that matter. Even though having a pet can mean more noise and more mess, having pets lowers stress and reduces high blood pressure. Pets will also increase your odds of surviving for at least another year after having a heart attack.
Clear the clutter - Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless and overwhelmed.
Tone down the harsh colours - There might be something said for going bold, but soft colours can bring on a calming feeling. If you want a deeper colour, consider shades of blues and greens - two colours that are known to be more serene than yellow, orange or red.
Clean up your entryway - It's the first place guests see, and while you probably don't pass through your front entry all that often if you park in the garage, it may not feel as welcoming as you would like when you do.
Soften the lighting - harsh overhead lighting can make you feel like you're being interrogated, and can also be hard on your eyes. A dimmer switch can give you some nice control over just how bright the light is, and allow you to create a mood with lower lighting as needed.
Limit the patterns - opt for solids and subtle patterns. While busy patterns may have their place, if you are aiming for calm, solid fabrics are your friends. If you would like to add some subtle patterns, try herringbone, tone-on-tone stripes, and tiny dots to add textural interest without competing for attention.
Buy some fresh flowers - the presence of flowers trigger happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behaviour in a positive way far beyond what was originally believed.
Make your master bedroom a zen zone - getting good rest is key and there are several ways you can create a soothing space. Keeping the colours serene is key, and so is a good mattress. Loading the bed with soft textures can also help. The sensation of touch is often overlooked, but a powerful way to unwind!
Some foods help keep your heart in shape. Others help your bones.
What keeps your brain and memory healthy?
The CNN website offers this list of what to eat to maintain a healthy brain as you get older.
Berries - Studies suggest that eating at least a half cup of blueberries or one cup of strawberries, on a weekly basis may help stave off cognitive decline. Berries have anthocyanidins, whose antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may keep the brain in shape.
Green leafy vegetables - One study of almost 1,000 adults found that a daily serving of spinach, kale, collard greens or arugula appeared to maintain cognitive health to the extent that participants were considered to be 11 years younger than people who rarely or never consume such veggies.
Eggs - Eggs contain choline, which is an important brain nutrient. In a study of 1,400 people, participants with high intakes of choline scored better of visual and verbal memory tests than those who ate fewer foods with choline.
In addition, people with a high intake of choline over the long term seem to have better MRI brain scans, suggesting that choline may protect against dementia.
Homebuyers want to take action to avoid costly surprises and budget for any of the extra expenses. While coming up with a minimum deposit can be challenging it is also important to be aware of the 'hidden costs' of buying a home.
A general rule for buyers would be to budget for a 'cash' deposit of at least 5% on resale properties, which is payable when the subjects are removed and the sale is firm. For new strata developments, the deposits required could be up to 20%. If you don't have this amount of cash you may need to obtain financing just to cover the deposit.
Buyers should prepare and budget as much as possible ahead of time, especially noting that the provincial property tax, which is 1% on the 1st $100K, 2% on the balance up to $2,000,000 and 3% on the balance over $2,000,000 will be one of the largest expenses to plan for.
Hopefully, before heading out to buy a home, buyers will sit down with their Realtor and discuss the process and outline the costs at each stage of the buying process, so they can budget and prepare for these expenses.
It would also be helpful, when your Realtor prepares an offer on your behalf, they outline the extra costs again as a reminder so you can consider all the costs when negotiating the price.
You will also want your Realtor to discuss timing the completion dates with mortgage-renewal dates, and budget for and what completion dates work to minimize penalties and extra costs. Often, buyers could 'port' (transfer) their current mortgages to their new property which will avoid a penalty for paying off their loan early, which can be expensive.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has a list to help homebuyers budget for extra or unexpected costs.
Good luck and happy buying. It should be an exciting process!
Most of us are guilty of using our phones too much. If you want to cut back on time spent on social media, online shopping or scanning headlines, IOS 12 has a new setting called Screen Time that can help. The feature definitely will come in handy for smartphone-addicted kids, too.
Here's how to enable Screen Time:
Tap the Settings App
Tap Screen Time
Tapp App Limits
Tap Add Limit
Tap a Category
Select the Time
Tap the Top Left Arrow to Save.
A homeless man was stunned by a policeman's kindness after the officer took off his shoes and gave them to the man as a gift.
The police officer saw the homeless man trip on worn out rubber soles of his shoes as he was walking down the street.
Upon approaching the man, the police officer struck up a conversation and inquired about his circumstances.
The officer asked the man if he wanted a bag of toiletries and supplies courtesy of a community assistance program offered by the police department, but the man declined.
The officer then asked what the man's shoe size was - and as fate would have it, his feet were the same size as the police officer.
Without hesitating the police officer took off his own shoes and gave them to the homeless man.
After the police officer made sure that his new acquaintance did not require any additional form of assistance, the man happily strolled away with a new pair of sturdy shoes on his feet.
We have a funny way of relegating certain foods to specific functions that don't always serve the overall purpose of health or flavour.
A perfect example of this is lettuce. In 2015, the average consumption of lettuce was about 25 pounds per person per year.
When compared to other greens, such as spinach, arugula and kale, mainstream lettuce is mostly inferior in terms of taste and nutrients.
So what about parsley?
According to a 2013 research paper, you would have to eat between 7 to 12 cups of lettuce a day to get the same amount of nutrients that you would find in 1 cup of parsley; and you would still be missing out on all its pharmacological benefits. A salad consisting of parsley would be rich in vitamin A, C, K and B vitamin called folate, iron, tons of antioxidants and host of other beneficial phytonutrients.
Even more persuasive, broad leaf parsley is cheap and is available year round, and unlike the stems of kale and collards, these are easily chewed and taste good raw in sandwiches and salads or cooking in eggs or soups, etc.
It's a mystery why parley (or oregano or mint or basil) has been pushed to the back of our cupboards, pulverized and dried, left tasteless to be sprinkled on fish.
Parsley deserves better.
Rather than making children scrounge up tuition money for education, this innovative new school in India has been asking their pupils to pay for their classes with plastic waste.
Every week, students attending the Akshar School are required to line up and 'pay' for their classes using grocery bags filled with at least 25 pieces of plastic waste that they collected from around their homes and communities.
The married couple responsible for the trailblazing little school was inspired to launch the initiative after they witnessed their students being forced to endure the acrid smell of burning plastic wafting into their classrooms. This was because prior to when the school opened in 2016, local families and village communities in the state of Assam commonly burned plastic waste as a means of keeping warm and fueling fires.
Now, rather than endangering the atmosphere and health of the students, the plastic is being collected, sorted, and recycled at the school's own recycling centre.
Older students can then work part-time jobs at the recycling centre as an additional source of income.
According to Forbes, the school now hosts over 100 students between the ages of 4 and 15. Since the school's creative curriculum has attracted more and more students to enroll, and the couple plan on working through the Akshar Foundation to open another 100 schools over the course of the next five years.
For some, Victoria Day is a sign that summer is just around the corner. the holiday, which is only celebrated in Canada and Scotland, began as a celebration to honour Queen Victoria's birthday.
The British Queen was born on May 24th, 1819 and was a reigning monarch for 63 years, 7 months and 2 days.
Victoria Day was declared a Canadian holiday by the government in 1845. At that time, it was celebrated with picnics, parades, sporting tournaments, fireworks and cannon salutes.
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Canada's parliament officially named the holiday Victoria Day. It was decided that the day would be celebrated on May 24th each year ( or on May 25th if the 24th fell on a Sunday).
In 1952, the government made the decision to begin celebrating Victoria Day on a Monday. It would be observed on May 24th if that worked out, otherwise, it would be held on a Monday immediately before it.
Today, Victoria Day is a holiday throughout most of Canada and the day is marked in most cities with parades, outdoor events and activities like camping and elaborate firework displays.
Of all the items in the news last week the biggest headline has to be about Canada's fastest growing industry - washing money. The numbers show laundering cash is now the difference between growth and recession in Canada.
When the report mentions the numbers, it is most likely an understatement.
The amount of cash laundered over a 5 year period tops a couple hundred billion.
One of the most interesting bits in this report is money laundering is growing faster then our GDP. The paper estimates $46.7 billion in laundered cash in 2018, which represents around 2.1% of GDP. GDP only grew 1.57% over that same period, just under 75% on the size of cash laundered.
Another takeaway that was glossed over by the media is that BC is the third largest province by dollar volume. Alberta is the winner, with an estimate of $10.2 billion in 2015 - 3.03% of the province's GDP that year. Ontario follows with $8.2 billion, the size of 1.13% of the province's GDP last year. BC is a distant third with $6.3 billion, 2.63% of the province's GDP in 2015.
One reason Alberta's estimate is so high is due to how the numbers were distributed provincially. Since Alberta has a relatively high crime rate, the province may be overrepresented. This would mean that Alberta's true number would be lower, but still very high. And if this is the case BC and Ontario estimates could actually be much higher.
Money laundering appears to play an important role for the Canadian economy and is easily one of Canada's largest industries. Both the federal and provincial governments are either clueless or unwilling to crack down due to the benefit. The former would imply wide scale incompetence and the latter recklessness.