A building problem: B.C. has too many stratas, not enough managers ...


Strata Corporation insurance rates have jumped about 40% across BC since last year, with deductibles sometimes leaping to triple-digit increases.

Among key findings, bases on a survey of 6,000 condo and townhouse properties are:

-an average increase of 40% year-over-year to strata premiums province-wide;

-a 50% increase in Metro Vancouver;

-54% of strata properties experienced a premium increase of less than 30% compared to premiums the previous year;

-31% of strata properties saw increases in the 30%-50% range;

-9% faced year-over-year increases of 50%-100%; and

-6% saw increases in excess of 100% compared to the previous year.


Kelowna Townhomes For Sale - Kelowna BC Townhouses


And price pressures will continue with buildings that are considered to be higher risk expected to face the most significant increases as well as the possibility of not being able to obtain full, or in rare cases any, insurance coverage.

BC's finance minister, Carole James, told CTV News that legislation is on the way to address the skyrocketing strata insurance costs, but did not offer any details as to what exactly that will entail.


B.C. stratas, such as condos, told to minimize risks as insurance ...


"It's clear there is no quick fix for this problem," James said. "It's important to recognize that the dynamics driving these increases are playing out in the private insurance industry-government does not set insurance rates or regulate pricing.

The new legislation is expected this summer as a first step to tackle the problem.


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Finding a Dream Home with Homes for Sale GTA – Mache Mag


B.C. homes sales dropped more than 45% in May compared to the same time last year but home prices continue to rise.

The average residential sales price in May was $728,898, which is 3.2% higher than last years average of $706.394.


Zillow wants to buy your house...but what's the catch?


In Greater Vancouver, the average sales price was up 2.9% ($1.012 million to $1.041 million) compared with the same time last year, while Fraser Valley home prices climbed 2.6% ($725,292 to $744,322)

Vancouver Island had the biggest price jump with a 9.5 rise over May 2019 ($494,380 to $541,485), while the largest drop was recorded in Powell River where home prices plummeted 19.4% (366,933 to $295,748)

There were 4,518 homes sold in B.C. last May, compared with 8,244 sales in May of 2019, which illustrates the drastic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on B.C. real estate activity.


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A hairstylist was left in tears after a customer tipped her $2,500 before leaving another $3,300 for salon staff who were just returning to work after closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ilisia Novotny wasn't even supposed to work on Saturday, the first day this barbershop was reopened.


good stories 2020


At the end of the busy day, she got a walk-in customer who had just moved into the area.

After his hair cut, he walked out to the barbershop, looked back at Ilisia and said, "Just so you know, it's not a mistake".

Ilisia was confused by what the man meant before her coworkers rushed over and informed her that the stranger had left a $2,500 tip.

'I cried" said Ilisia. "I'm a single mother. It's been rough the last few months not knowing what's going to happen, not knowing when we might reopen so I could go back to work".

In addition to the large tip, the anonymous client also left $500 for the receptionist and another $1,000 for the general manager. He also left another $1,800 for the rest of the employees.

In total, he gave $5,800.

Ilisia said Saturday's tip allowed her to pay June's rent in advance. Money was tight during the 2 months away from work, and she had to work out deals with her landlord and utility company so she could keep the lights on.

Now, things are looking up.

"Coming back and having clients, even people you don't know, show so much love, it felt great" Ilisia said.

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Don't be one of these 17 Costco jerks - oregonlive.com


Costco says free samples will likely return by mid-month, but the COVID-19 pandemic will affect how they're handed out.

It's been a while since Costco shoppers have been able to snack on as many free samples as their hearts desired while browsing the retailer's massive aisles, but it looks like some of those tasty treats are about to make a comeback.


71-Year-Old Canadian Costco Worker Regains Right to Sit at Work


After suspending food sampling over coronavirus concerns back in March, Costco stores are now planning to reintroduce the popular shopping perk soon, however, the typical grab-and-go experience customers have grown accustomed to will likely be replaced by a more orderly process.

Costco CFO Richard Galanti announced that the mid-June rollout will start slowly and it's not going to be where you go and just pick up an open sample in your fingers.


Costco plans to bring back free food samples | Fox Business


Fans of the store are already speaking out and they seem to have pretty mixed opinions about the news.

Some consider the return of samples a cause for celebration.

Others aren't looking forward to wading through sample crowds.


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This 103 woman was given a slim chance of survival after she was hospitalized with a case of the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

Jennie Stejna, a 'feisty Polish grandmother' was the first resident of her nursing home to be diagnosed with the virus after she contracted a low-grade fever. Despite being moved to a quarantined ward, her condition worsened.

Nursing home staffers eventually called Stejna's granddaughter, Shelley Gunn, and advised her to say her final goodbyes before it was too late.  Gunn's husband apparently asked Stejna if she was ready to go to heaven - and Stejna reportedly responded with a resounding "hell yes".

To everyone's shock, however, Stejna made a full recovery from the virus.

As a means of celebrating her recover, nursing home staffers gave her a bottle of Bud Light - a drink which Stejna loves but has not gotten to enjoy in a long time.

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Welcome Spring Equinox


In 2020, The spring equinox (also called the March Equinox or vernal equinox) falls next Thursday, March 19th, which is earlier than it's been for over a century! This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.


Crocus field in spring


For much of the last century, the spring equinox has occurred on March 20 or 21. This year, however, the equinox happens on the 19th, making it the earliest spring we'll have seen in our lives (so far).  The last time spring arrived this early was in 1896 - a whopping 124 years ago.


Daffodils in field


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Problem: If you store your photos and videos on your computer or 'the cloud' then you know the risks that come with it: Computer crashes, viruses, and power surges that could wipe out 1,000's of your digital memories in seconds.


Solution: The PhotoStick



The PhotoStick is a clever new device designed to protect your photo and video memories and be super easy to use.  It's one of the most in-demand gadgets in 2020, selling over 1,000 units per day.


Using the PhotoStick is easy, just connect this small thumb-sized drive to your PC or Mac, press 'Go' and it will automatically sync your pictures and videos onto the stick. It even finds and removes duplicates so you don't spend hours deleting them manually.



No technical knowledge or computer expertise is required and all your photos are stored safely offline where only you have access to them.  The PhotoStick is perfect for anyone who wants to safeguard their digital memories and doesn't trust 'the cloud'. 

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Once again we have found 3 nice properties in Richmond, one in each category, condo, townhouse and detached house.



The condo this week is a 19+ age limit unit in Park Towers. This fine home features 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms over 1,024 square feet of living space. In a great location within Richmond's downtown core. Fresh on the market at $398,000.



This week we are featuring a totally updated 2 level townhome in the Saunders area.



This unit features 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms over 1,279 square feet of living space. Updates include a gourmet kitchen, new flooring, upgraded bathrooms and more. A nice value at $599,000.



Our detached house is a 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom home in the Hamilton area. It's only 14 years old and boasts some very nice upgrades. 



The home features granite countertops, updated bathrooms and outdoor wooden deck.  This 2,066 square foot home is new to the market, asking $998,000.

Contact me anytime for more information about these fine home or for a list of the 'best values' that would fit your criteria.

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As the world crumbles around us, we can all take comfort in pizza.


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If you, like 99% of people like pizza then you've got to know about the pizza box pizza from Vinnie's Pizzeria.  It is exactly what it sounds like. It's a pizza box made out of pizza and inside the 'box' there is, you guessed it, a pizza.

One of the owners created this contraption a few years ago when he noticed that customers would order a pizza to go, eat in the restaurant, and then clog up the trash can with the paper pizza boxes.


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First, the base or bottom of the box is made. It's a Sicilian dough slathered in a zesty marinara sauce. Then comes parmesan, mozzarella, and oregano.

Next is the pizza that's packed into the box.  It's a classic pepperoni pizza. Last the lid. There's no sauce on this one because it's basically a giant garlic bread that's closed over the pizza. (And yes, it fits into a paper pizza box. It's a glorious thing!

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Once again, Delta is demonstrating many great real estate values. Some of the best choices are:



This beautifully updated 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom Condo in the Annievelle area with over 1,150 square feet of living space, in a worry-free concrete high-rise with newer elevators, roof, boiler and plumbing. Great amenities. Fresh on the market at $400,000.



This weeks townhouse features 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms spread out over 1,329 square feet, again in Annieville. Perfect for a young family with loads of updates. Pet-friendly and family-oriented. This one won't last. Asking $520,000.



And finally our detached house this week is in the Nordel area of North Delta. It's a 2,556 square foot rancher with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and a full walkout basement. Large 9,360 square foot lot with 2 car garage and room for an RV. Asking $848,000.



Please contact me anytime for more information on any of these properties and for a list of the better valued of homes that fit your criteria.


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The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, is inspired by Ford's unmistakable pony car and powered exclusively by electricity. While this car shares the name and familiar styling cues with the Mustang, the all-electric crossover otherwise is completely different. 


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It will be available with two different battery sizes, either the standard range 75.7KwH battery or an extended ranged 98.8 KwH pack, that will provide up to 480 kilometres of driving range. The batteries will feed and an electric motor mounted on the rear or both axels, depending on if you want a rear or all-wheel drive.


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The latter combination creates an all-wheel-drive on the sporty GT model, where the motors combine to make 459 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. Ford claims this will send the Mach-E from zero to 96 kph in less than four seconds.  While purists might call an electric Mustang crossover sacrilegious, Ford expects the name and design to increase interest and help sell the cars when they go on sale late this year.


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This 91-year-old man has not only become a role model for his entire gym, but also to thousands of people on the internet.

Lloyd Black resolved to join the Anytime Fitness gym in Semmes, Alabama last year after he found himself struggling to accomplish simple household tasks. He hoped that joining a gym might strengthen some of his muscles and help with the random aches and pains in his body. 

Over the course of a year, Black has been diligently working out at the gym three times a week. Despite how his outfits garner plenty of attention, he says that he prefers to wear overalls and coveralls during his workouts because they are warm, comfortable, and he has “trouble keeping his pants up” otherwise.



When Black first joined Anytime Fitness, gym manager Ashley Seaman says he could barely last 10 minutes on the treadmill without becoming winded. Now, however, the senior can effortlessly breeze through half an hour of power-walking before moving on to his workout routine.

He also takes time to help other seniors new to the gym learn how to use the weightlifting machines.

“He’s just a friendly soul,” Seaman told TODAY. “It’s cute because he will go to the other silver sneakers—the elderly members—and he’ll show them how to use the machines.”

As a means of praising Black for his progress, Seaman recently named Black “Member of the Month”.

“Mr Black became a part of our Anytime family 1 year ago and we have seen nothing but motivation and inspiration from him since he started,” the gym wrote on Facebook. “He says he is 91 years young and brags about how much his workout routine has helped him in his daily routines.

“Seeing someone like him inspires others to keep it up and incorporate fitness into their life,” they added. “Seeing him in the gym 3 times a week working out in his overalls brightens our day and we hope to have him many more years to come!”



Black’s photos have now been shared thousands of times across social media, with internet users praising Black for being such a positive role model.

“He says that, even before his feet hit the floor, he will do his bicycle (exercises) in the bed and it helps them to get up and do things in the morning,” Seaman told TODAY. “[He shows] that age is just a number, it doesn’t mean you can’t get into the gym, and it’s never too late.”


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The number of condo presale units released for sale in 2019 fell sharply in Metro Vancouver, as developers respond to demand that fell off.

Developers put 7,588 units up for presale, less than half the 18,998 released in 2018. 


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The drop was more pronounced for more expensive, concrete condos in high-rise towers than for wood-frame units in smaller, low-rise developments.

It is much harder to presale towers that are 40 to 50 storeys and have some 400 to 500 units than it is for a less-expensive, low-rise or townhome developments of only 80 units. Lenders typically expect developers to lock up presales for 60 to 70 per cent of units before providing money for construction.


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Developers warn that if this slower period lasts for several years, it might mean that projects could get cancelled after tying up buyers' deposits for too long. However, with presales taking longer to sell, lengthening the marketing period to, perhaps, 18 months might be a middle ground that allows developers to get to the construction phase.

Developers are also grappling with having paid peak prices for land, adjusting to rising construction costs and navigating increasing bureaucratic hurdles and taxes. They are also warning that there could be a shortage of new housing and a jump in prices in a few years as the population grows and demand returns.

This kind of sounds like a threat to me - let's see how this plays out!

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A person holds up a note and $100 bill anonymously placed in a park in New Glasgow,


An anonymous benefactor who secretly placed a $100 bill and an unabashed message of positivity in a Nova Scotia park has delighted and intrigued the town's residents.

The bill was taped to a New Glasgow, N. S., gazebo in a Ziploc bag with a note encouraging the finder to spend the money on something that brings them happiness and to remember the good in the world.

It was found by town employee Doug Miller while setting up for a funding announcement over the weekend.

Geralyn MacDonald, the town's director of community development, arrived at Carmichael Park shortly after Miller found the money and shared the heartwarming story on Facebook.


Image result for images of mysterious $100 bill and note in Nova Scotia


MacDonald said the random act of kindness has been the talk of the town, with nearly 1,000 comments and hundreds of shares commenting on the great community.

Sean Fraser, MP for Central Nova, shared the story on his Facebook page noticing he was with Miller after he discovered the money, applauding the 'terrific gesture', and a terrific guy!

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Most of us are aware that 'best-by dates' often come and go long before the food product has begun to spoil inside in any way.  We also understand that food could go bad in ways which we can neither notice nor anticipate.

What if the packaging containing a fresh food product could detect and warn you when spoilage occurs?



An intrepid nonprofit is currently developing such packaging that incorporates sensing material that will change its colour, or give a sign in some way, to the handler or buyer when it detects the presence of harmful or unwanted bacteria or other chemicals.

Along with their spoiling-sensing technology, this company is developing a compostable version of this sort of plastic as its flagship effort - a plastic that can be composted in your own garden by simply burying it.

No word yet on when these products will be ready for market.

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For immediate release

BC Housing Markets Off to a Strong Start in 2020

Vancouver, BC – February 13, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,426 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2020, an increase of 23.7 per cent from the 3,579 units sold in January 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $725,370, a 9.1 per cent increase from $664,633 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in January was $3.2 billion, a 35 per cent increase over 2019.

“Housing markets in BC are off to a strong start in 2020,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “We expect a much more typical year of home sales in 2020 as markets recover from the policy-induced slowdown of the past two years.”

Total MLS® residential active listings fell 12.6 per cent to 25,790 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings increased to 17.2 per cent from just 12.1 per cent last January. 

“While many markets are showing strong signs of recovery, the struggling forestry sector is having a clear impact on housing demand, particularly in the North and parts of Vancouver Island,” added Ogmundson.
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For more information, please contact:  

Brendon Ogmundson
Chief Economist
Direct: 604.742.2769
Mobile: 778.505.6793
Email: bogmundson@bcrea.bc.ca
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Sarge's Deli


The awning outside of Sarge's Deli proudly proclaims that it opened in 1964, the Manhattan delicatessen is decidedly not stuck in the last century: It recently started offering plant-based sandwiches.

If you walked up to the counter you may wonder if you were in the right place. There is no signage announcing the new menu item or branding for Unreal Deli, the company behind this deli's particular meatless meat option. In fact, it looks like the type of old school New York deli that would rail against the non-traditional ways of meatless meat.

But it is the right place. The plant-based corned beef sandwich cost just over $15. If you asked the cashier if the order was popular, especially with what seems like little marketing should we give you an enthusiastic affirmation, saying people were ordering in-store and online after seeing the new choice on the deli's website?

You can actually find Mrs Goldfarb's Unreal Deli online, offering the same corned "beef" that is sold in the deli. It comes with an encouraging note that says this cold-cut choice has a six-month shelf life.


Unreal Deli Corned Beef


The rise of Unreal, Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger and other plant-based meat purveyors marks a turning point in dietary restrictions and choices. Vegetarians, vegans, or anyone else looking to cut down on meat aren't doing it because they don't like eating meat. Health and ethical choices push people to make the change or even to consider the change. For those struggling or find themselves missing their favourite dishes, it could be just the thing that lets everything fall into place.

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Welcome to this week's best buys in Richmond. This week were are featuring a 2 bedroom condo with 1.5 bathrooms in a fully rain screened building. This southern exposed ground floor unit facing into the courtyard and swimming pool has everything done!  A great value in a great building for just $369,900.





This weeks townhouse features 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms spread out over almost 1,300 square feet. Great floor plan surrounded by green space, with newer kitchen, bathroom, floor and windows. All for just $588,000.




The detached house this week is Richmond's only detached home under $1,000,000. This 3 bedroom newly renovated home has brand new quartz countertops and new white cabinetry. New flooring and new windows throughout. Situated in one of Richmond's popular areas close to shopping, parks and transit. Move-in ready!


Call me anytime if you have any interest in any of these valued properties or would like your own tailored list of best buys that fit your criteria.

 

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This week we are featuring 3 hot properties, 2 in the North Delta, Annieville area and 1 in Ladner's Holly Subarea.




Our house this week is in Ladner and is approximately 22 years old featuring 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms over just under 2200 square feet of living space.



Beautifully maintained with radiant hot water heat, open living room with fireplace and large master with full ensuite. This ideal home is located close to a desirable Elementary School, very easy access to the freeway and only a 5 minute walk to transit and recreation.  Currently listed for $839,900



We are also featuring a 4 bedroom 1879 square foot townhouse in North Delta's popular Annieville neighbourhood.  This updated townhome feels like a house with a great floorplan. Functional updated kitchen that looks onto a huge living room and dining area with newer flooring. Private yard featuring a large covered deck. Recently listed for $509,000.



Our Condo of the Week, also in Annieville, features 2 bedrooms spread over 896 square feet. It is a fully renovated corning unit in the heart of Delta.  One of the very few 2 bedroom condos in this area under $300,000 - currently listed at $287,000.

Please let me know if you are interested in any of This Weeks Best Pick in Delta, or if you would like a complete list of the better buys that fit your criteria.

I'm at your service.


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If you are interested in helping the dwindling honeybee populations you should learn to love weeds and leave the dandelions alone this coming spring.

Working to live in harmony with nature can be as simple as keeping your lawn pollinator-friendly.

It's probably best that you mow around the dandelions and buttercups when cutting your grass because as you can't really help tigers, whales and elephants from home, you can really do something for the insects, birds, and plants that are local to you.


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Think about what you had for breakfast. The marmalade on your toast, or even the coffee beans and tea leaves that make your morning cup - all of these products rely on pollinators to survive and thrive.

The whole business of keeping your lawn clipped and pulling the weeds out is part of our obsession with tidiness.

Whether you have a community allotment, a balcony garden, a  front or back garden and lawn, or simply a potted plant, the choice of plants you make can have an impact on your local ecology.


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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.