Thursday, July 30, 2009

West Vancouver Secondary Suites Approved - West Van Basement Suites Now Legal - Licenses Available Early 2010!

West Vancouver Secondary Suites APPROVED!

Legalization of West Van secondary suites is expected to have full approval by early 2010 says Sarah of the North Shore News. The amendment and the zoning bylaws were passed in December 2009 for the second and third readings at West Vancouver City Council meetings but a decision on when the issuing of secondary suite permits was tabled until early in the new year. The director of planning for West Vancouver real estate, Bob, mentioned that the lands and permits license of West Vancouver secondary suites approval will be about six hundred and fifteen dollars ($615) for the first license fee, and then $465 or four hundred and sixty fivedollars for a renewal if the increased city costs are not covered by the initial fee. Because of the West Van secondary suite licensing fee, some councillors are wary that home owners may not apply for these fees, and therefore operate or continue to rent out illegal suites for rent. Some say that this tax grab by the city will deter a lot of people from renting or renovating their homes to accommodate new West Vancouver secondary suites, which is likely going to help affordability as well as the tight rental market in the city. The approximate increase in municipal services for 1.5 residents per secondary suites is only an additional $600 per year. However, the higher property taxes on homes with West Vancouver secondary suites will account for about only three hundred and ninety five dollars increase per year. Therefore, some balance must be met in order for all parties to benefit from the approval of the secondary basements suites in West Van real estate. Some Councillors however indicate that the license fees should be even greater as it is more of a business for home owners to benefit from and therefore, should not be burdened on other people living in the city. In many ways, expenses such as license fees for West Van secondary basement suites will be passed on to the tenant in the form of higher rental amounts, argues other Councillors. The approval of secondary suites will be made available early next year for any West Vancouver single family detached home or even duplex home. In addition, some of the provisions or regulations surrounding these basements suites have further been changed so that the secondary suite’s entrance does not need to face the same direction of the main home. However, the legal West Vancouver secondary suite must have its own private entrance. In addition, home owners can rent one of their two existing parking spots to the tenant of the basement or secondary suite, so they only need a minimum of 2 secured parking spots for their entire lot. For those home owners who break any of the rules and regulations of the West Vancouver secondary suite process will be fined three hundred dollars ($300) per day for operating an illegal suite. That’s a hefty price to pay when considering the license fee is only $615 (subject to change) per year.

The City of West Vancovuer Moves to Legalizing Secondary Suites

If you own a home in West Vancouver real estate market, legal secondary suites may be approved very soon. According to various news outlets, West Vancouver is one of three cities in the Lower Mainland regional district that doesn’t allow the rental of secondary suites in homes according to the district’s director of planning, lands and permits, but may be moving towards approving legal West Vancouver secondary suites. Currently, there are approximately six hundred to three thousand illiegal secondary suites in operation in the West Vancouver rental market and the city hopes to address these issues by contemplating and formulating some bylaws that will see the legalization of suites. Currently, West Vancouver bylaws only allow for secondary suites in homes if they are occupied by family members of the owners, and with Delta, the West Vancouver bylaws was recently ruled as discriminatory according to the Supreme Court of BC, a major issue amongst a few municipalities currently. Currently, the West Vancouver council is looking to legalize West Van secondary suites only if they are self contained and attached to the primary residence. In addition, the proposed bylaw that will allow for West Van legal secondary suites will limit one unit per lot. The latest survey of West Vancouver district residents have shown that the majority of people in the city actually approve and support the legalization of secondary suites in the city and will also pull more tax dollars to the city every year. According to West Vancouver council, a Victoria secondary suite study found that a home with a legal secondary suite will up its property value by $40 to $60k in value and that would cost about $105 per home in property taxes per year. The West Vancouver legal secondary suites will have to be smaller than 30 per cent of the total floor space of the home though and will only be legal if the primary home owner is living there too. The West Van secondary legal suites will not be given separate title or metered water, hydro or cable service and the parking requirements include 1 off-street parking space or garage. The secondary suite will also need a separate entranc that doesn’t face the same way as the primary house entrance.

The Next Steps for West Van Legal Suites

A West Vancouver town hall meeting is being scheduled to review the draft of the legalization of secondary suites in West Van later in the fall. The draft will become available to the general public for review at

Legal Secondary Suites in West Vancouver Rental Market – Will It Be a Go?

From the North Shore News in August 2009 – The City of West Vancouver is planning on initiating talks regarding the legalization of secondary suites in West Vancouver homes to increase the rental housing stock in the city. Secondary suites could be legal by the end of the year, if the current recommendation is passed by the District staff this week and is passed by city council. A new housing bylaw, would allow a separate living space for non family members within an existing West Vancouver home and will b a legal secondary suite or basement suite for rent. There is currently a city bylaw that prevents West Van secondary suites, so it is currently illegal for a home owner to rent out their basement or extra suite to a non family member. Recommended for both the West Vancouver draft strategic plan in addition to the business plan, it is estimated that there are currently almost three thousand illegal West Vancouver secondary suites that are rented out right now. By legalizing basement/secondary suites in West Van rental market, there will be more choice for renters as more current home owners will take the steps to finishing their basements and renting out extra space. These so called mortgage helpers will also allow a new influx of young families into this aging population in West Vancouver, as the renters of the legal West Van secondary suites can help them pay down their mortgage, or make them more manageable at least. In addition, the legalization of the West Vancouver secondary suites and basement units will also allow the city to shut down current sub-standard suites in addition to adding an alternative income source for West Van homeowners. The low income housing and more affordable basements suites will add to the very restrictive and tight West Van suite rental market and the vacancy levels will go up a bit and become more ‘normal’. In addition, the legal West Van secondary suites will allow home owners to get some passive income sources as well through the rental of their basement units. Currently, the City of West Vancouver only allows in law suites for relatives where home owners are living in the primary residence. Legally back in 1997, the Supreme Court of B.C. actually ruled against a regulation that restricted who can and who cannot occupy a home/residence, and that is being tested through the process of legalizing West Vancouver secondary basement suites at this time.

The West Vancouver Legal Secondary Suite Requirements

The West Van homeowners or landlords will be only able to rent out a single suite per lot and must be less than nine hundred and sixty eight square feet (968 sq ft) and cannot take up more than thirty per cent (30%) of the total West Vancouver property lot area. In addition to these suite size requirements by the City of West Vancouver bylaws, the legal secondary/basement suites much actually be a separate living space that is private for the resident in addition to having a separate washroom, separate cooking area (can be full kitchen or kitchenette) as well as a separate entrance. The legalized West Van secondary basement suite must also have its own entry way in addition to one off-street parking spot reserved for the renter. The current illegal basement suites operating in West Vancouver rental market will be asked to apply for the appropriate permits that are part of the new requirement for secondary suites in addition to making sure that their rental units meet all safety standards as indicated by this new housing bylaw. Some councillors are unsure about the legalization of the secondary suites in West Vancouver rental market as the new influx in population and people migrating into the city will actually not be contributing in the way of property taxes, but will be exhausting some of the conveniences, parks, schools, and other city amenities during their time renting in the city. However, other councillors indicate that the increase population caused by the legalization of the West Van secondary suites is on par with an increase in electricity, power and water, that the current homeowners and new renters will be paying. In addition, the value of the West Van homes with secondary suites or basement units for rent is typically higher than those that don’t have this secondary source of income, which obviously results in higher property taxes to the current home owners. There have been two public studies done in West Vancouver regarding the legalization of secondary suites in the city, and both polls have been overly positive in favour of the legal basement suite bylaw change. Approximately ¾ or seventy five per cent of people interviewed actually agreed with the housing bylaw change for legal West van secondary suites during both pools. The City of West Vancouver has also pointed out that in the Lower Mainland area, only Pitt Meadows, Bowen Island, Langley and West Van do not permit any sort of legal secondary suites at this time. The proposed housing bylaw is going to council October 26, 2009 and if it is a go, it can be passed by the end of the year.

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Vancouver Laneway Housing Approved by City Council in July 2009 - Applications are $899 - Estimated Cost is $125k to Build Vancouver Laneway House

The City of Vancouver Approves Laneway Housing

As of July 2009, the City of Vancouver has approved the construction of Laneway Housing in the city. So home owners in Vancouver real estate market can start converting their laneway garages or extra space into cashflow rental housing under a new Vancovuer bylaw passed unanimously by city council on Tuesday, July 28, 2009. Albeit unanimous, the City of Vancouver now leads the way in North America for implementation of a bylaw that accepts and legalizes Laneway Housing to get out of a housing crunch that renters and home owners are currently experiencing in the city. According to Metro News Vancouver, Vancouver is the first city in all of the continent to approve this large scaled construction of laneway housing and was brought to the forefront by EcoDensity action item by the previous NPA council. After several public hearings, the City of Vancouver approved laneway housing as a way to increase non strata rental units in the city. Vancouver laneway housing will also for smaller, non strata rental Vancouver suites to be built in the lanes of ninety four per cent of the city’s single family lots. The new re-zoning of these single family home lots in Vancouver real estate market will allow more than 60,000 homeowners to build laneway housing on their property. According to CBC News, more than 70,000 home owners will be eligible to add new Vancouver laneway housing. There are 2 main stipulations and constraints of this housing bylaw though: the Vancouver laneway housing rental unit can only be used as a rental suite as well as can only take up the space that was originally planned for garage space along the back lane.

For information regarding the approval of Vancouver Basements Suites in the Sky - Legal Secondary Lock-Off Suites within Suites in downtown Vancouver, click here.

Vancouver Laneway Homes Come Across Some Road Blocks with BC Hydro

According to the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver laneway home owners are now facing a costly utility hook-up fee that is being proposed by BC Hydro. The approval of the Vancouver laneway homes or coach homes earlier this year came at a time when City Council wanted to increase density within the city in order to bump up the rental housing stock without having to rezone or build apartment buildings. However, BC Hydro wants to charge about $20,000 to hook up their services for a Vancouver laneway home. As far as homeowners are concerned, this new development of BC Hydro charching $20k for the hook-up of utilities for laneway homes is definitely something surprising and new. According to the original Vancouver laneway home proposal, the City Council approved that homeowners and contractors could use existing BC Hydro hook-ups from their main homes to the garden cottages or coach homes. On the other hand BC Hydro has stated that the power lines and poles do not have the capacity to service the influx of laneway housing in Vancouver. As part of the Vancouver EcoDensity charter, the laneway house proposal was being allowed for single family lots where homeowners could build completely separate laneway homes or coach houses for rental purposes only. The idea of the Vancouver EcoDensity charter was to provide sustainable and environmentally friendly rental housing stock within the city itself and also become mortgage helpers for current city home owners. The estimated cost of building a Vancouver laneway house according to current trades materials and trades rates is about $110,000 or slightly over one hundred thousand dollars. With the BC Hydro fee for service hook-ups between $8,000 to even $20,000, this could bump up the cost of the laneway house construction by more than 20%! Originally, a service extension was proposed from the main house to the laneway home for a fee of about $500 - $600, which is much less. For an underground link between the two homes, it would be roughly $600 - $1,700, still much less than a new service connection to the Vancouver laneway house. This issue is still unresolved, so stay tuned for more news updates.

More About the Approved Legal Vancouver Laneway Housing Bylaw

According to Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver, the standard lot for a single family home can see the construction of a single laneway rental suite in Vancouver up to five hundred square feet in size. This 500 sq ft is the interior square footage or floor space that is allowed under the current Vancouver laneway housing bylaw and can only be built up one and a half stories/levels high (kind of a loft style floor plan). In the previous NPA council, Sam Sullivan, the previous major of Vancouver set the eco-density intitiative going and now, the government has seen it through. This positive green initiative is supposedly more environmentally friendly as it allows for more non-strata rental suites to be built on current single family Vancouver lots and allows for more affordable rental units that are located within the city. Through some current surveys, it was noted that more than two thirds of Vancouver city residents approved and agreed with the Vancouver laneway housing changes. Opponents of laneway housing in Vancouver cite both congestion and parking as key issues and problems that may result in this new legislation. According to the city councillors, laneway housing in Vancouver is important so that there is a great mix of rental units in the city and allows singles, couples and families to properly migrate into various housing types through their life, allowing them to stay in a specific Vancouver neighbourhood throughout their entire lifetimes. In addition, the newly approved Vancouver laneway housing bylaw will help the city’s low vacancy rates for rental suites, which have been below five per cent for decades now in this housing crunch.

The Next Steps for Vancouver Laneway Housing Applications and Approvals

For current Vancouver home owners who wish to build laneway housing on their lots, the approval process should be quite easy and quick. Remember that laneway housing in Vancouver will allow homeowners to built secondary suites in the back of their property and rent them out as mortgage helpers or positive cashflow, while supplying the Vancouver rental market with new suites that are affordable and well located. The City of Vancouver will start accepting applications for laneway housing construction projects in Vancouver starting Wednesday, July 29, 2009. A Vancouver laneway housing permit will cost only $899. The estimated cost for building a legal laneway house in Vancouver will be between the price point of $125,000 to $200,000 according to previous studies done. The Vancouver laneway house will also need to be inspected by the city in order for the occupancy permit to be allowed. These new rental suites will increase the number of new rental homes in the City of Vancouver, along with basement suites as well as the lock-off suites in condos (or basement suites in the sky) that are currently being contemplated by Vancouver city council for the downtown core. Remember that you can only get approved permits for Vancouver laneway house if you own a single family lot in the city. In addition, you must be living in the primary house yourself and the laneway house can only be a maximum of 500 sq ft costing at least $125k to build and properly finish. The Vancouver laneway house can only occupy the space reserved for a garage, and must have a separate entry that does not point in the same direction as the house entrance. You must also provide one off-street parking space for the renter in your new Vancouver laneway house for it to be approved.

More information about Burnaby Secondary Lock-Off Suites is located here.

Vancouver Approves Secondary Houses on Single Family Homes
Under discussion for years already, the City of Vancouver finally approves secondary laneway houses on single family lots that will allow up to 70,000 Vancouver home owners to create detached mortgage helpers on a standard thirty three foot lot. The Vancouver laneway houses can be up to 500 square feet in size and 1.5 stories high that will hopefully create more sustainable and green rental housing within the city itself. Hundreds of Vancouver homeowners have already applied for the secondary houses and Vancouver laneway housing permits that will cost you $899. Builders of these Vancouver laneway houses expect construction costs to run anywhere between $125,000 to $200,000. According to realtors, a completed laneway house on a Vancouver lot will increase the potential sales value of the house as the mortgage helper can add anywhere from $1250 to $1750 per month in rental income. Some senior homeowners who still own their single family home may consider building a Vancouver laneway house or secondary house, move into it and then rent out the main single family home on the lot to generate income during retirement.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

City of Vancouver Approves Secondary Suites in the Sky - Essentially Vancouver Basement Suites or Condos Within Condos - Minimum Size of 280 sq ft

The City of Vancouver Council Passes “Mortgage Helpers” in the Sky for Condos within Condos

According to Metro Vancouver newspaper, the City of Vancouver has passed the bylaw that would allow for secondary suites within Vancouver high-rise condominiums. Citing a few problems with the current model, the City of Vancouver explained that availability as well as affordability are expected to rise with the ability to rent condos/rooms within condos legally in the City of Vancouver rental market. Secondary suites within high-rise Vancouver condominium towers are coming soon to the city, as new property developments will certainly take advantage of these incentives for mortgage helpers for new homebuyers. In a great move that will see the rise in the City of Vancouver’s rental condo stock and home affordability, the City of Vancouver coundil has agreed to the development of Vancouver secondary suites within condo homes. Often termed as mortgage helpers for sky suites, the City of Vancouver is the second municipality in the Lower Mainland to pass this form of secondary suite, just after Burnaby ok’d earlier this year. Just like a Vancouver basement suite, the Vancouver secondary suites in the sky will be lock-off units within condos that will be quite small, but affordable rentals. Much like UniverCity SFU Burnaby real estate development that is the first full-scale condominium project that has created floorplans that sustain secondary mortgage helpers and condos within condos, these Vancouver basement suites allow people to purchase a larger home while renting out these mortgage helpers to help pay down debt, and even make it more affordable for them to purchase new property. Many homebuyers may ultimately purchase a 3 bedroom condo with one of the bedrooms as a lock-off suite, as the Vancouver mortgage helpers or condominiums within condos will help pay part of the mortgage.

For details about the recently passed housing bylaw for legal Vancouver laneway housing, please refer to this link.

More About the Vancouver Secondary Suite Lock-Off Unit Plan

A secondary advantage of these Vancouver secondary suites is that it will help increase the Vancouver rental stock, which for decades has been very tight. With these basement suites or Vancouver lock-off suites the size of a small hotel room, the bylaws surrounding these mortgage helpers will be a minimum size of 280 sq ft with a bathroom, kitchen area. And for new Vancouver condo development, floorplans allowing lock-off suites down to 205 sq ft will be allowed upon a case by case scenario as long as all regulations are followed including security, storage and lighting in the Vancouver mortgage helper suite. Residentiaul suites the size of a five ton truck has never been seen in the rental Vancouver real estate market, so this is definitely a first. Allowing for families to age in place, homeowners can now rent out the suite before they have children and expand their own home during the time when their kids grow up, and then lock-it off again once their children leave, allowing Vancouver homeowners to effectively utilize and leverage their property investment. The City Council expects that it will take about 1 year before the first master-planned Vancouver condo real estate development will have secondary lock-off suites built into the floor plans. What people don’t realize is that the City of Vancouver allowed for secondary suites in the South Vancouver East Fraserlands real estate development.

More information about Burnaby lock-off suites and Burnaby secondary suites in the sky, please click here.

Rental Suites Inside Condos Approved by Vancouver City Council

According to Real Estate Weekly, the City of Vancouver have approved Vancouver lock-off suites within condos as small as two hundred and five square feet which is meant to ease the very tight rental market in the city. With Vancouver lock-off rental suites within condominiums becoming reality, many Vancouver condo owners will be able to rent out these ‘mortgage helpers’ to students or other individuals looking for small affordable spaces to live. Lending some of the approval to the City of Burnaby’s UniverCity development that saw the creation of these legal lock-off suites within condos, homebuyers in the Vancouver real estate market can now look from larger residences such as two and three bedroom condos and then rent out the legal rental suite within the condo to help with their mortgage payments, thereby making their own home into a valuable asset. With lock-off suites approved in Burnaby, the City of Vancouver has now followed suit, allowing for Vancouver lock-off suites within existing condos as small as 205 sq ft. In Burnaby, condo lock-off suites can be up to 240 square feet and were part of the UniverCity real estate master planned community for student housing. The rental suite or lock-off suite within the condo will have its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom and can be as small as 280 square feet in Vancouver down to 205 as a minimum as long as there is adequate lighting and storage for the tenant. Such rezoning and approval of Vancouver lock-off suites in condos will allow the densification of areas such as downtown Vancouver as well as Southeast False Creek in future developments. South Vancouver East Fraserlands had already gotten approval from City Council for secondary suites in strata units and that community is in its development stage right now.

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Introducing Greater Vancouver Real Estate Builder - TQ Construction – Envision, Design and Build - GREEN Home Renovations

Contemporary, Traditional, Country, Oriental, Romantic, Southwestern and Eclectic. Every great home renovation starts with an inspiration. At TQ Construction, we believe that every successful Greater Vancouver home renovation is not just about tearing down and starting over. It’s about retaining materials and labour, which have value and history. It’s about making something good even better. The Greater Vancouver real estate builders at TQ Construction are winners of 9 Gold Georgie Awards for building excellence. Complimentary Consulatation by TQ Construction: TQ Construction provides Greater Vancouver homeowners with a FREE initial consultation, typically between 1 to 2 hours. The purpose of the TQ Construction consultation is to discuss your needs and project scope, explain our design and construction services, as well as answer any questions you may have. The Greater Vancouver real estate builder TQ Construction free consultation program includes: interview and site evaluation, design development, interior design, detailed estimating, construction and project management. Please call 604.430.9900 or visit for more information.

GREEN Home Renovations by TQ Construction Saves You More

GREEN Home Renovations through TQ Construction Vancouver real estate builders and developersAccording to their advertorial, TQ Construction believes that a GREEN Home Renovation will save you more time and money in the short and long term of your investment. TQ Construction leads the way on geren home renovations in the Greater Vancouver real estate marketplace. Today’s Vancouver home owner is faced with many options when considering their home renovation. Should they build up? Build out? Many are choosing to Build Green, and for very good reason. Why Renovate Green? Aside from the environmental benefits, Greater Vancouver green home renovations provide lont term energy and maintenance savings to the homeowners. By opting for energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, and using less water on landscaping through Vancouver green home renovations, you can significantly decrease your energy bills and save money, while protecting the environment. Green Renovations for your Vancouver Home. Green renovation projects practices you can easily employ in your home include: EnergyStar appliances, triple glazed windows, LED lighting wherever possible, existing materials in the home, sustainable and local building materials, native plant landscaping to reduce watering and low VOC products to reduce off-gassing. Leading the Way in Greater Vancouver green home renovation: Recognized as a leader in Vancouver green home renovation, TQ Construction is a supporter of sustainable environmental practises, regularly using energy efficient appliances, windows and lighting, as well as sustainable, local resources in their home renovations, wherever possible. As Chair of the Renovations Council of the Canadian Home Builders Association of BC, TQ Construction’s President works closely with the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association and other Local Associations across British Columbia. Together, they are launching Built Green BC for Renovations, a program that provides a checklist that contractors and Vancouver homeowners can use to maximize their green home renovation efforts. Vancouver home owners wishing for a greener lifestyle can upgrade their home with confidence, knowing that their house renovations are in line with industry standards.

TQ Construction Launches Small Project Division And Undergoes Own Green Renovation Project

TQ Construction recently launched its Small Projects Division to meet the changing needs of homeowners. TQ’s Small Projects Division services clientswho are looking to revamp a specific area of their home, whether it’s a bathroom, attic restoration or an upgrade to the exterior of the house. The streamlined service will appeal to Vancouver homeowners who love TQ Construction’s detailed planning and responsive approach, but require a simplified process. TQ Constrution also recently underwent their own green home renovations by Epic Marketing Solutions. The company’s new brand identity and website reflect TQ’s commitment to sustainable business practices and environmentally conscious renovations. You will also find a new section on the TQ Construction website dedicated to green home renovations that offers easy-to-do tips, fast facts and resources to inspire your own Vancouver green home renovations. TQ Constrution is recognized for excellence in Lower Mainland home construction and renovations since 1985. Contact TQ Construction today at 604.430.9900 for a free consultation or visit today.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get Ready for the 2009 PNE Prize Home Lottery - The Prize House is Now Previewing - Design by Barbara Aylesworth

The 2009 PNE Prize Home is Okanagan Inspired

The design of the spectacular 2009 PNE Prize Home is lead by Barbara Aylesworth of A Stroke of Genius based in North Vancouver.A Stroke of Genius’ owner, Barbara Aylesworth, is behind the style and design of the latest installment of these dream homes at the 2009 PNE Prize Home draw. This North Vancouver designer was approached to help co-ordinate the design of this year’s PNE Prize Home and Barbara couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Ten designers worked on the three thousand square foot Craftsman style house, which marries the charater of a heritage home with modern day luxuries and Barbara coordinated the colours, materials and other parameters that have made this year’s 2009 PNE Prize Home simply spectacular in every way. Much like Okanagan home styling the PNE Prize Home 2009 features lots of wood and sealed stone, decorative paint finishes and the paint colours chosen reflect the plums and soft sage palettes. The PNE Prize Home 2009 is now open for public viewing at the PNE every Sunday from now until August 9th. It is open from 10am to 4pm and is free to view. Man made stone counters, lush carpeting and fully integrated sound system add to the luxury of this environmentally friendly PNE Prize Home 2009 with energy efficient solar panels, hot water on demand, in floor radiant heating and a roof that was constructed using recycled tires. In addition, there is beautiful lighting throughout, moulding, efficiency, functionality and modern conveniences that make the 2009 PNE Prize Home one of the best ever.

More about the PNE Prize Home 2009 – Now Viewing

The interiors of the PNE Prize Home Lottery winning house is simply Okanagan style with modern finishes, features and eco-friendly design and construction.This year’s instalment of the PNE Prize Home features an Okanagan styled two storey and three bedroom home that is designed and built by Britco. The 3000 square foot Craftsman style home will eventually be relocated from the PNE grounds to a spectacular half acre lake view lot at Kirschner Mountain in Kelowna real estat market. Some of the features of this grand house at the 2009 PNE Prize Home features patio furniture and BBQ from The Home Depot as well as a hot tub from Coast Spas. Other great features include four extensive outdoor decks, two car attached garage, fitness center, office space and 2.5 bahtrooms. In addition the 2009 PNE Prize Home will feature a media room with large screen LCD television in addition to some of the most outstanding features ever promoted through the PNE Prize Home Lottery. Definitely Craftsman style, this family sized house is beautiful both inside and out and has modern finishes and features with state of the art heating systems from TErasen, radiant in floor heating, California Closets, silestone counter tops, Lane Home Furnishings and an everlasting roof. With innovative system throughout and technologies for heating, air conditioning, low maintenance, gas usage and integrated systems, the PNE Prize Home Lottery will feature the most energy efficient home ever for this lottery. Some of the alternative energy forms include solar thermal energy, in floor radiant heat, heat recovery ventilation system, forced air heating and cooling as well as high efficiency condensing boiler. In addition, there are two roof mounted solar panels here at the 2009 PNE Prize Home Lottery.

The PNE Prize House is now open for viewing and will be later transported to its final location in the prestigious Kelowna real estate district.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Preventing Asbestos Exposure and Green Insulation Alternatives for Homebuyers - An Informational Article About Asbestos Exposure

Utilized around the world for almost a century, asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was implemented for various building and construction applications. Commonly found as insulation for pipes, boilers, roofs, siding and flooring, it’s flame resistant and highly durable qualities once made it an ideal choice for manufacturers, who buried evidence of its toxic qualities from the public. This wrongfully exposed an entire generation to asbestos.

Even today, many homes or buildings built prior to 1980 may still contain asbestos. This should not make home buyers overly worried because asbestos exposure can be easily prevented by taking simple precautions.

Regarded as one of the great American traditions, the road to purchasing a home is an important step in one’s life. Your home is your sanctuary, security and your investment. Although an exciting time for you and your family, it can also bring additional responsibilities into your life. Having the assistance of honest and reliable U.S./Canada real estate agents can make this process simple, happy and most importantly, stress free! The green movement has allowed for man insulation alternatives which provide healthy, sustainable and more Eco-friendly methods of insulation.

Healthy Tips

One of the main things that can go unnoticed when purchasing a home is taking simple precautions to avoid asbestos exposure. Many older homes may need remodeling or additional repairs. If any obsolete building materials are present, this can pose several dilemmas for homeowners.

If you locate any suspected asbestos in the home, most experts suggest leaving it un-disturbed until a home inspector can examine your property, take evaluations and determine the safest course of action. Sometimes the best action is no action at all. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air.

Exposure to damaged airborne asbestos fibers can lead to the development of a severe lung ailment known as mesothelioma. Many symptoms of mesothelioma mimic those of less serious conditions, which pose several problems for medical doctors. Asbestos-related illnesses may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure, which makes mesothelioma diagnosis even more difficult.

Removal of asbestos in public facilities, workplaces and homes should be performed by licensed abatement contractors as long as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) are not violated. Not only are they trained in handling toxic materials, but come equipped with the proper safety gear required for such procedures.

Going Green in the Home

Throughout much of Canada and the United States, construction practices are upgrading methods to suit better lighting, heating, cooling systems and environmentally habitable insulation. On February 17, 2009, the United States congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. Included in this act were extensions of the Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives first enacted in 2005 as well as some new tax credits for people building or remodeling their homes using Eco-friendly or “green” materials.

Some of the measures that are eligible for tax credits include added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope that meets the 2009 IECC specifications, sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce heat loss. Storm doors paired with U-factored rated wood doors are also eligible.

If asbestos is removed, green forms of insulation should be used as replacements. Some Eco-friendly alternatives to asbestos insulation include: cellulose, which is becoming a popular new green insulation material. It is chemically treated to reduce levels of mold. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and is then treated to be fireproof. These alternatives not only allow for a healthy and safe home, but studies have demonstrated that they can reduce annual energy costs by 25 percent annually.

Implementing green methods of building can have many other positive environmental, health and economic benefits. These include: increase in property value, conservation of natural resources, enhancement of air quality, energy sustainability, improve quality of life, improvement of pulmonary and cardiac health and reduction of waste.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer 2009 Update: Vancouver Real Estate Market June Numbers, Electric Vehicle Plug-In for New Multi-Family Projects & Vancouver Cost of Living Drops

June 2009 Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

It was a June to remember for the Vancouver real estat market, as sales and prices pushed upwards amidst a renewed optimism in the global economy recovery coupled with lowered asking prices and historically low interest rates. In the Greater Vancouver area, the price of a detached house in June 2009 was about 8% higher then in February 2009 ($649,000 benchmark price) and up 3% compared to this May 2009 (benchmark price of $680,000). For June 2009, the average benchmarck price for a detached Vancouver home was above $701,000, touching this mark for the first time since last year. With signs of a Canadian economic recovery and also an end to the global recession in site, the Greater Vancouver housing prices have steadily increased since February 2009. In addition to the detached homes, the attached Vancouver homes also saw a benchmark price gain up to $441k while condos/apartments also saw a 2% rise to an average of $357k. June 2009 signified the second busiest month for number of Vancouver real estate sales in the Lower Mainland, only to be bettered by June 2005. At one point, the average Vancouver home prices dropped 15% from the height of the market in 2008 to the lowest point earlier in 2009. Right now, Vancouver housing prices are still down 8% compared to June 2008, but with a renewed optimism and more homebuyers looking to purchase at low interest rates, the trends towards higher benchmark sales prices and number of sales will likely continue through the year. In most markets, homebuyers are also seeing a shrinking number of home listings compared to last year, which is a sign of a more balanced Greater Vancouver real estate market.

According to the North Shore News, although prices are still down, values are recovering and the number of Greater Vancouver real estate sales in June 2009 were record breaking and at all time highs! Whether it is pent up demand from homebuyers who opted to stay away from purchasing last year or lower prices, North Shore real estate sales continue to increase as well through 2009, signifying a huge rebound in both property values as well as real estate sales. While the North Shore property prices are still lower than the all-time peak highs in 2007 and 2008, both West Van and North Vancouver property sales have accelerated faster then most analysts and experts had predicted. In June 2009, the North Shore (West Vancouver, District and City of North Vancouver) had four hundred and seventy two sales, as released by the Greater Vancouver real estate board on July 3, 2009. This increase in sales represents the 5th consecutive month in which the number of North Shore real estate sales has increased, which followed a 7 month period where property values plummeted. The worst month came in December 2008, when only 65 homes were sold on the North Shore. The benchmark price for a detached home in west Vancouver was still down at around $1.25 million, which represents a 16.7% decrease in value compared to last May 2008. In the North Vancouver real estate market, the values are 12% lower at a benchmark price of $812k. The rebound in North Shore property sales and that of the entire Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley real estate markets is due in part to these drop in asking/listing prices which increases affordability for all lifestyles and age groups in addition to the lowest interest mortgage rates in the history of the country. With many people not purchasing property in 2008, these homebuyers are showing up in flocks to buy devalued Vancouver property now with interest rates as low as they are. The entire Greater Vancouver real estate market showed a 75.6% increase in number of sales over last June 2008 with 4,259 total homes changing hands, which represents the second largest sales month of all time, just behind the 4,333 sales in June 2005.

City of Vancouver Pushes for Car Plug-In Requirements for New Real Estate Developments

The City of Vancouver is pushing for a new requirement in building processes, plug-ins for electric vehicles. This is the first step in any major municipality to have this requirement for Vancouver real estate construction. Hping to build and they will come approach, any new Vancouver development, whether it be condos, townhomes or single family homes will require plug-in stations in garages or parking stalls for electric vehicles according to 24 Hours Vancouver. Vancouver developers will be required by building law to include a specified number of electric plug-in stalls for new developments depending on the size of the project for multi-family housing. As one of the defining factors of electric vehicles making it into the common marketplace, the City of Vancouver hopes that this push in new Vancouver real estate requirements will help facilitate more electric vehicle sales and thereby creating a healthier environment within our city. Currently, the City of Vancouver is asking for at least ten per cent of all parking stalls/garages to have plug-in capabilities for electric vehicles. According to the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, they think this is a good move by the City but says that it should become a requirement that all parking stalls for new multi-family Vancouver housing projects should have these electric plug-ins available, which will be in line with future growth, tenants and homebuyers. However, there are many local Vancouver developers who are opposed to such changes in building requirements, citing that electric vehicles are not mainstream yet. The estimated increase in building costs for the 10% of all parking stalls to have electric vehicle plug ins is a mere 0.5 per cent.

Vancouver Cost of Living Falls

Contrary to popular believe, Vancouver’s cost of living has fallen down the ranks for world class cities according to the latest 2009 Worldwide Cost of Living survey. According to Metro News Vancouver, the City of Vancouver is now 93rd most expensive city to live in, which is surprisingly tied with Panama City. Last year in 2008 Worldwide Cost of Living survey, the City of Vancouver ranked 64th (which represents a drop in 23 places for this year). Some of the major reasons for the drop is the strength of the Canadian Dollar globally, which reduces the cost of living here in Vancouver. The priciest Canadian City was Toronto at 84th, Calgary at 89th followed by Vancouver. The 2009 Worldwide Cost of Living survey covered one hundred and forty three cities in six continents and the top 2 priciest cities were in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka).

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Adera Real Estate Builder – Building Trust for 40 Years in Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market

From their recent advertorial in the New Home Buyer’s Guide, Vancouverites learned more about the leading Vancouver real estate developer, Adera. Here are some of the many reasons why Adera Builders are considered one of the top developers in the Lower Mainland. The year was 1969. The year man first walked on the moon, the Boeing 747 was unveiled and Cablevision premiered in Vancouver. It was also the year Adera was founded in Vancouver real estate market. Four decades later, Adera is one of British Columbia’s leading multidisciplinary real estate organizations. From Langley to Steveston, from White Rock to the North Shore, Adera has built more than 7,500 BC homes – all with a vibrant, innovative style and an inherent quality that’s as much felt as seen – and over three million square feet of commercial building space as well. Adera is now known as a respected leader and innovator in the Vancouver multi-family residential marketplace. But more than that, ADera is a company with heart and soul. Award winning by design – Already, during this 40th anniversary year, Adera has received some of the industry’s rarest awards. For a second year in a row, an Adera project was recognized as the best project locally, nationally and internationally. Pathways at UBC by Adera picked up the awards hattrick this year right on the heels of its sister, Legacy. Adera was named Best Multi-Family Builder in BC at the Georgies and Best Builder of he Year in Canada at the National SAMS awards. This was alos the year that Adera developers earned a Platinum Georgie for winning more than 25 major Gold Georgies over the years, the second time ever that this award has been granted. Adera Developers was also named 20th on the Globe and Mail’s Top 50 Canadian Employers list for 2009.

Adera Innovation – Innovators in the Vancouver Real Estate Marketplace

Building Communities – At Adera Builders they are about more than just building homes. They create lasting communities: unique, vibrant communities filled with real heart and soul, and families, too. Each Vancouver Adera real estate development is an individual with its own character and special outlook – no two are quite the same. You’ll discover all are thoughtfully designed to maximize their livability and minimize their eco-footprint. These are real Vancouver homes where real people can celebrate life with a style all their own. Connecting People – Adera believes strong communities are created through a strong sense of community. Adera Builders make it a priority to connect their home owners with their neighbours. When a new Vancouver real estate development is nearing 80% occupancy, Adera organizes a party so that you can meet people who live next door. They will also introduce you to the folks behind the scenes here at Adera – the construction crew who built your home, the Adera management and your customer service representatives who will ensure your new Vancouver home meets your expectations in every way. The will even help organize clubs within the community so that you can socialize with people who have similar interests. Celebrating Individuality – You’re an individual and your Vancouver home should reflect that. Which is why Adera Builders offers the most extensive customization program found anywhere in British Columbia for new and pre-construction Vancouver real estate developments. From backsplashes and flooring to light fixtures and appliances, the Adera Customization Prgoram gives you enormous choices you can use to personalize your new Vancouver home. That way you’ll know your home will directly assume your own personal style.

Sustainability in Adera Vancouver Real Estate Developments

Sustainable Confidence – Adera has a profound respect for environmental stewardship. Adera has made a conscious decision to embrace sustainable building practises as a core value. Why? Adera Builders believes it’s just the right thing to do. Leaders in Innovation – One of BC’s green building pioneers, Adera is proud to have helped define Built GREEN BC practices and standards in the province. Adera is a Platinum Sponsor and have an employee serving on the board of directors for Built GREEN BC. Veranda was BC’s first Built GREEN townhouse community. Now Adera is the largest multi-family Built GREEN builder in BC. They have also worked closely with UBC, sharing sustainable expertise as they developed their REAP standards, now used for all residential construction on campus. Every Adera Vancouver home that they build today is certified by an independent third party body to ensure it meets sustainability standards. Talk about confidence. Active and Involved – Sustainability comes in many forms – Adera has donated vehicles to the Co-Op Auto Network in many of their new Vancouver real estate development communities; sponsor ongoing programs for young people, recognizing they are our future and; at GREEN, for our 40th, they are sponsoring a controlled release of salmon fry into a local cree with the help of Taylor Park Elementary students. From sourcing materials locally, which reduces fossil fuel consumption in transport, to investing in solar powered hot water preheat systems, to recyling programs for waste reduction, Adera Vancouver developer is making a big difference. Triple Bottom Line – The Adera environment savvy gives their homebuyers a winning triple bottom line: a direct, ongoing financial benefit – lower energy costs for themselves, and an advantage if they decide to sell (up to 35% savings on annual operating costs); a personal benefit – pride knowning your home positively affects the environment, and; finally, a social benefit contributing to the preservation of a better world and cleaner environment for all who share this planet.

Passion at Adera Vancouver Builders

Award winning customer service – At Adera, customer service begins the first time a potential Vancouver homebuyer walks into one of their condo or townhouse presentation centres – and never ends. It’s not a ‘service department’, it’s a way of life for every member of the Vancouver Adera team. Although they have won many awards during their 40 years of Vancouver real estate development communities, it’s the recognition for outstanding customer service the they value the most. They have been honoured seven times for the Best Customer Service Award and recipient of the first ever Customer Choice Award at the prestigious Georgie Awards – a record unrivalled in the BC residential reale state construction industry to date. Experience the joy of Vancouver Home Ownership – Adera Builders understands that purchasing a new Vancouver home can be daunting, especially if you’re a first time home buyer. Which is why the Adera team pledges to you that they will do everything that they can to make your journey of Vancouver home ownership uncomplicated, exciting, and ultimately fulfilling. They will help you choose the home that’s perfect for your lifestyle and within your budget. They will explain te many financing options now available, help you navigate the legal complexities and answer all of your questions regarding Vancouver home buying – whether you want to know more about just how your home was built, how your home warranty protects your real estate Vancouver investment or even how strata operates. And, of course, we’ll help you personalize the finshing details through the Adera Customization Program – an unparalleled opportunity to make your new Vancouver home as distinctive as you are. With you into the future – At Adera Developers, exceptional customer service doesn’t end when they hand you the keys upon closing of your new Vancouver home. Whether you’ve lived in your Adera home for two days or two years, they aren’t satisfied until you are – until you’re so delighted with your new Vancouver home that you’ll tell your friends and family about them. After all, it’s now just awards that count. It’s the testimonials and referrals that Adera receives from customers past and present.

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BC Builder Profile: Adera Developers Building Vancouver Homes for Over 40 Years - Part 1

Adera Has Been Building Vancouver Homes for 40 Years

Adera real estate developers have been building Lower Mainland and Greater Vancouver condos, townhomes and single family homes for over four decades.Here is a list of the most recent Vancouver real estate developments including condos, townhomes and other multi-family residential projects.

1984 – Richmond Brigantine Square I & II (40 Homes)
1985 – Vancouver Ballyntyne Square (19 Homes)
1986 – Richmond Brigantine Square III & IV (97 Homes)
1986 – Richmond Ridgecrest (55 Homes)
1986 – Vancouver Seascape Vista (22 Homes)
1987 – Coquitlam Cedar Green (54 Homes)
1988 – Coquitlam Le Parc (64 Homes)
1988 – Richmond Sunset Terrace (84 Homes)
1989 – Coquitlam Le Chateau I (75 Homes)
1989 - Burnaby Mission Woods (68 Homes)
1989 – Richmond Springate (72 Homes)
1990 – Port Coquitlam Country Park Estates (115 Homes)
1990 – Coquitlam Le Chateau II (75 Homes)
1990 – Burnaby Sandborne Hill (42 Homes)
1991 – Coquitlam Country Park Phase III (40 Homes)
1991 – Burnaby Saturna (42 Homes)
1992 – Burnaby Cascade West (60 Homes)
1992 – Richmond Redonda (154 Homes)
1992 – Burnaby Saltspring (54 Homes)
1992 – Port Coquitlam Stonebrook (84 Homes)
1993 – Burnaby Winchelsea (160 Homes)
1994 – Maple Ridge Gabriola (119 Homes)
1994 – Maple Ridge Galiano (82 Homes)
1996 – Richmond The Hamptons (167 Homes)
1996 – Langley Highland Ridge (176 Homes)
1996 – Richmond Nautica I (114 Homes)
1996 – Burnaby Tudor Gate (56 Homes)
1997 – Langley Mayberry (91 Homes)
1997 – Burnaby Tudor Grove South (137 Homes)
1998 – Richmond Nautica II (106 Homes)
2001 – North Vancouver River Rock I (62 Homes)
2001 – Burnaby The Village (405 Homes)
2002 – North Vancouver River Rock II (33 Homes)
2002 – Richmond River’s Reach (150 Homes)
2002 – Richmond Riviera Garden (25 Homes)
2003 – Bunaby Ledgestone I (83 Homes)
2003 – Burnaby Riverstone (65 Homes)
2004 – Langley Denim Condos (283 Homes)
2004 – Vancouver I (65 Homes)
2004 – Vancouver Journey (80 Homes)
2004 – South Surrey Sundance (195 Homes)
2005 – Richmond Granville Greene (31 Homes)
2005 – Richmond Heather Greene (60 Homes)
2005 – Burnaby Ledgestone II (49 Homes)
2005 – Vancouver Reflections (77 Homes)
2005 – South Surrey Solay (175 Homes)
2006 – Surrey Veranda (200 Homes)
2006 – Richmond Red (84 Homes)
2006 – Richmond Red II (76 Homes)
2006 – Vancouver Legacy (55 Homes)
2007 – Vancouver Pathways (109 Homes)
2007 – North Vancouver Noma (81 Homes)
2007 – South Surrey Brownstones (97 Homes)
2007 – Burnaby Green (325 Homes)
2008 – Surrey Salus Cityhomes (160 Homes)
2008 – Surrey Salus Flats (238 Homes)

Adera On The Podium – It’s Only Bragging If You Can’t Back It Up! Here are the numerous awards that Adera Builders has won that include numerous awards from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC – Georgie Awards, SAM Awards, Gold Nugget Awards and other awards.

West Coast – World Class Homes

Adera Builders was founded on four core values: Passion, Partnership, Innovation and Sustainability. Guided by these guiding principles Adera aspires to grow the real estate development company into a true West Coast world class company – a meaningful, valuable group producing real estate and other business solutions competitive and accepted anywhere in the world. Other members of the Adera group include Adera Capital Corp., a diversified group investing in small and middle market companies who are leaders in mature Canadian insdustries. Adera Commercial Inc. includes construction management and holdings in a diverse array of office, industrial and retail buildings that help maintain the company’s financial stability. A fully integrated real estate mortgage lender and investment company, Terrapin Mortgage Investment Corp., deals primarily in first and second Canadian mortgages, as well as short term construction financing and interim mortgage funding. Thanks to the talents and skills of the extended Adera family of direct employees, consultants and trade partners, Adera is an acknowledged leader in Vancouver real estate residential construction. Each and every member of the Adera team is passionate about what they do, but it came as a wonderful surprise when Adera was name one of Canada’s Top 50 Small to Medium Employers for 2008 by the Globe and Mail – number 20 in the first year they were nominated. It’s a responsibility that Adera takes seriously. Saluting the Finest – When the world arrives in Vancouver in 2010, Adera will be ready to do their part, representing all the things that make the city and province great. Adera salutes the dedication of the athletes who will achieve gold as the fastest, strongest and most skilled in the world. It takes guts and determination to be the best. Looking to the Future – During the next 40 years, Adera will continue to look for innovative strategies to make home ownership more accessible and more exciting then ever. Adrea will explore new ways to preserve the fragile environment. And Adera will never lose sight of the fact that without you, the customers and friends, Adera would not survive as a company.

The Adera Platinum Partners

The Adera Platinum Partners Awards were created in 2007 to honour the companies and trades who consistently go above and beyond. These Senior Adera Partners exemplify the extraordinary teamwork and commitment that make our success possible. Here are the Adera Platinum Partners Awards. Integra Architecture, Inc: Integra, our first ever Platinum Parnter, was founded in 1999 by Dales Staples and Duane Siegrist, both ‘graduates’ of Graham Crockart Architecture, and have worked with Adera since it opened 40 years ago. The quality of the Integra Architecture designs has helped Adera win countless awards. Many times the Integra Architecture team anticipated what Adera would need next, getting started on it before they even asked, in order to ensure every Vancouver condo project not only meets but exceeds the level of excellence that home buyers insist on these days. Inf act, it was Adera’s desire to recognize Integra Architecture exceptional performance that led them to create the Adera Platinum Partners Awards. The second awards goes to CIR Mechanical Ltd. Headed up by Daryle Anderson, CIR Mechanical has worked on Adera condo projects for over 20 years. At the start of any Vancouver condo project, CIR Mechanical advises Adera on plumbing and mechanical issues that will have to be solved. The CIR Mechanical expertise maximizes each Adera condo project’s value engineering right form the design phase. During construction CIR Mechanical is also a true and proven leader in teamwork on the site, and when customer service is needed, they are always there to help. The last Adera Platinum Partners Award goes to MCAP Financial Corporation. MCAP, Adera’s leader of choice for more than a decaide, became the newest Adera Platinum Partner award winner in 2009. Lead by Bob McIvor in the Vancouver Branch and Derek Norton in head office Toronto, MCAP Financial Corporation is Canada’s largest independent mortgage and equipment financing company, developing sophisticated financing products tailored to the specific needs of each new Vancouver real estate development from project inception to completion. Coordinating the numerous critical deadlines for everything from progress payments and letters of credit to legal document processing requires an extraordinary high level of teamwork. MCAP Financial Corporation continues to deliver excellent service in all areas of their business, while leading the industry in sophisticated structuring to look after all of Adera’s financial needs.

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