7 Tips to Consider When Purchasing a Condo

Today, we share with you those tips that may be overlooked when purchasing a condo. These are important for you to consider as they can help you determine which place will meet your desired needs.

1. Parking Stall Assignment

Strata unit contracts may specify that you are purchasing parking stall(s), storage locker(s) or bike storage with your property. If you are buying a strata unit, please note when reading your contract,  that if the parking stall is designated as common property, the strata board has the authority to reallocate the parking stall number and location. It is strongly recommended to have your solicitor request confirmation of the seller’s right to transfer the parking stall(s), storage locker(s) or bike storage to you from the seller’s lawyer.

2. Recently Done Work

It’s important to make sure that the appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that no Builders’ Lien will be filed when the condo has had recent work done, such as alterations or repairs.

3. Property is Appropriately Zoned

It’s important to check that the property is not the subject of anticipated expropriation, municipal or other work orders – this information can be obtained through the Municipality of the property. For any particular use you want to may wish to make of it, be sure the property is appropriately zoned.

4. Satisfactory Agreements

To ensure these agreements have been made for delivery for actual possession of the Property, particularly if there are presently any tenants in occupation. Arrange with your Realtor for the delivery of the keys on your possession date.

5. Hook-Up Utility Services

Don’t forget to arrange for your internet, cable, hydro and any other services that you require to be hooked up.

6. Satisfactory Insurance

Be sure to arrange satisfactory insurance when purchasing.

7. Final Inspection

Ensure that all final inspections and occupancy permits have been issued, completed, and acceptable to you.

If you have questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca


Fraser Valley Housing Market Update – May 2014

Property sales are strengthening in the Fraser Valley housing market, reaching the highest they have been in the last seven years.  The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) have released their May 2014 Statistics package. Below are the key stats from the report:

Key Stats:

  • Property Sales: 1,633 – an increase of 11% compared to April 2014
  • New Listings: 3,218 – an increase of 2% compared to April 2014
  • Active Listings: 9,870 – a decrease of 7% compared to May 2013

Benchmark Prices: 

  • Single Family Detached Home: $566,400 – an increase of 3.1% compared to May 2013
  • Townhouse: $237,300 – a decrease of 0.2% compared to May 2013
  • Apartment: $198,100 – a decrease of 2.3% compared to May 2013

Ray Werger, President of the Board states, “For the second month in a row, we’re experiencing healthy sales volumes with the most popular choice being single family detached homes followed by townhouses. For single family homes, that market is at the upper-end of a balanced market with certain areas in a sellers’ market where over 30 per cent of available inventory is selling.”

“Our home supply is the best it’s been since last fall, with the highest demand for priced-right, quality properties. If your home fits that description, anticipate a lot of interest,” Werger adds.

For the full Fraser Valley housing market update from FVREB, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca



Vancouver Housing Market Update – May 2014

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) has released the May 2014 Vancouver housing market update. The statistics report shows a strong increase in home buyer demand as well as home prices continue to increase at  a very consistent and modest pace. The key stats from the report are below:

Key Stats:

  • Residential Sales Totaled: 3,286 – an increase of 14% compared to May 2013 and a 7.7% increase compared to April 2014
  • Sales-to-Listing Ratio: 20.4% – this marks the first time this ratio has been greater than 20% since 2011
  • New Listings Totaled: 5,936 – an increase of 5% compared to May 2013
  • Current Listings Totaled: 16,072 – an increase of 3.6% compared to April 2014

Benchmark Prices:

  • All Residential Properties: $624,000 – an increase of 4.3% compared to May 2013
  • Detached Properties: $966,500 – an increase of 5.4% compared to May 2013
  • Apartment Properties: $377,500 – an increase of 3.2% compared to May 2013
  • Attached Unit: $469,100 – an increase of 3.1% compared to May 2013

The President of REBGV, Ray Harris, says, “Our MLS® statistics tell us that there’s more home buyer demand today than at any point over the last three years. With sales surpassing the 3,000 mark in May and our sales-to-active-listing ratio exceeding 20 per cent, this is the most active marketplace we’ve seen since the spring of 2011.”


For more information on REBGV’s Vancouver Housing Market Update, click here.

All statistics are from the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®)

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca

BC Building Code 101

When you are looking for a home, it’s important to understand the BC Building Code to ensure those homes that interest you are built and/or renovated to the current standards and requirements.

The BC Building Code is a provincial regulation establishing minimum standards and requirements for safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection of building or facility from water and sewage damage for all new construction and building alterations.

Examples of the B.C. Building Code:

Bedroom Window – generally requires every bedroom in a house and a small multi-family residential building to have an outside window that is equipped as an emergency exit.

Existing Buildings – they are not expected to be brought up to the current standards of the BC Building Code except under the following conditions: if the building is altered of renovated, if the building’s use or occupancy changes, and finally if a building’s components are replaces.

Temporary Buildings – if it is authorized by authority having jurisdiction, it may not need to conform to the BC Building Code. It is recommended to check with your local government building department.

For more information regarding the BC Building Code, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca



CMHC Program Changes

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has new changes to their program effective May 30th, 2014. CMHC is committed to benefiting all Canadians by contributing to the stability of the housing market, while effectively managing and reducing taxpayers’ exposure to risk. The program is undertaking a review of it’s mortgage loan insurance business.

What are the CMHC program changes?

CMHC is discontinuing its Second Home and Self-Employed Without Third Party Income Validation mortgage insurance products (both high and low ratio), effective May 30th, 2014.

Why are these changes occurring? 

Both these types of mortgage insurance products accounted for only a small portion of CMHC’s business last year, in 2013. These changes are not expected to have a material impact on the housing market.

If you are self-employed you are still are able to qualify for CMHC-insured financing through CMHC homeowner products with validation of their income using traditional methods.

How to Get Your Lawn Green

As summer is sneaking up on us, you may be starting to think about how to get your lawn green this season. With Scotts Lawn Service Best Practices for a green lawn, we share 3 tips for you.

1. Understanding the Elements of a Green Lawn 

Below the surface of that picture-perfect green grass, there are many factors that determine and contribute to a healthy lawn. These factors include:

  • Nutrients available in the soil
  • Soil type and pH
  • Thatch and turf density
  • Turf damaging insects
  • Turfgrass diseases
  • Lawn environmental conditions (shade/sun)

A healthy, balanced soil will contain 45-50% minerals, 25% water, 25% air, and 2%-5% organic matter. The soil is responsible to improve water retention, deepen root systems, and improve nutrient storage and release.

2. Maintenance is Key

In order to grow a perfectly green lawn, patience, commitment and expertise are key to success. Every lawn does have the potential to turn into the perfect shade of green, however the level of maintenance is what sets the lawns a part. Proper maintenance requires professional-grade fertilizers, preventing insect damage, and weed control treatments. The dependents are climate and soil type.

3. Trust the Green Lawn Experts 

Expertise is important as they know exactly how to get your lawn green. Lawn maintenance is a science and when combined with the knowledge of the experts, you are on your way to having the picture-perfect lawn!


For more information regarding lawn maintenance from Scotts Lawn Service, click here.

5 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Are you a first-time home buyer? We want to provide you with the top 5 common mistakes that you can avoid during your purchasing experience. A smooth ride is what we want for you.

1. Thinking You Don’t Need a Real Estate Agent 

As a first-time home buyer the process of finding your dream home can be overwhelming and confusing. A real estate agent helps you meet your needs, negotiate offers, ensure inspections are scheduled, and handles financial details.

2. Getting Your Heart Set on a Home Before You Do Your Homework 

Research is very important. It’s also important to keep your mind open as that what you have your eyes set on may not always be what it seems. If you jump in too fast, you may quick to go over budget or may overlook potential pitfalls.

3. Picking a Fixer-Upper Because the Listing Price is Cheaper

Ensure that you are extra diligent in the inspection period despite the home’s potential. It’s recommended to negotiate a long due-diligence period which will give you more time to get the estimates from contractors just in case you need to back out. Finding what it will really cost you to do the fixes you have in mind will help you ultimately decide if that house is the right one for you.

4. Committing to More Than You Can Afford 

Overextending yourself can put your investments, including your house, on the line. Don’t sacrifice your retirements savings and emergency funds for mortgage payments. Keep those savings safe as you never know what life could bring you next.

5. Going With the First Agent That Finds You 

Ask for referrals! Be sure to talk with your potential choices as you want an agent who understands your all your needs.


Need advice? Looking for your first time? Give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us info@brokersmart.ca to find out how we can help you find your dream home that fits your lifestyle.

FVREB April Statistics

The Fraser Valley housing market was reported to have a healthy balance this past month. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) have released the April Statistics report.

Key Stats: 

  • Total Sales Volume reported a 17.0% increase compared to March 2014
  • Active Listings: 9,400 – a 7.0% decrease compared to April 2013
  • New Listings: 3,153 – an increase of 6.8% compared to April 2013


Benchmark Prices: 

  • Detached Homes: $566,000 – an increase of 3.4% compared to April 2013
  • Townhouses: $298,700 – a consistent price compared to April 2013
  • Apartments: $196,300 – a decrease of 3.7% compared to April 2013


The President of FVREB, Ray Werger says, “There’s a lot of optimism right now. It will take a few more months of numbers, but our 2014 market is already on track to outperform last year. A measurement we rely on to gauge the health of the housing market is the ratio between sales and active listings and in April that number was the highest it’s been in our region in three years. Last month, that ratio for both single family detached homes and townhomes was 21 per cent, meaning for every 100 homes available, 21 sold. That’s a strong, balanced market.”

Werger adds, “In some of our areas we have an oversupply of condos and you’ll see that reflected in prices. Generally, prices of benchmark or typical apartments have decreased over the past year. However, both buyers and sellers need to be aware that it depends on the community and the age and quality of the condo.”

To see the full FVREB April Statistics Report, click here.

All statistics are from the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®)


If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca


REBGV April Statistics

This past April there has been steady increase of buyer and seller activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) has released their April Statistics report.

Key Stats:

  • Property Sales Totaled: 3,050 – an increase of 16.1% compared to April 2013
  • Sales-to-Active Listings Ratio – 19.7%, this is the highest it has been since June 2011
  • New Listings Totaled: 5,950 – an increase of 12.7% compared to March 2014

Benchmark Prices: 

  • Detached Properties: $956,700 – an increase of 4.7% compared to April 2013
  • Apartment Properties: $375,500 – an increase of 2.6% compared to April 2013
  • Attached Properties: $464,400 – an increase of 2.0% compared to April 2013

The President of REBGV, Ray Harris stated, “We saw steady increases in home seller and buyer activity in April, which is typically the case in the spring months. People often look to buy or sell their home this time of year as the school year draws to a close and the summer holiday season is still a few months away.”

To see the full REBGV April Statistics report, click here.

All statistics are from the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®)

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca

3 Benefits of Forwarding Your Snail Mail

Are you current moving or temporarily re-locating? Canada Post gives the 3 best reasons why forwarding your snail mail is beneficial for you. Forward your mail anywhere in Canada or around the globe. You can take one less thing off your mind during this busy time!

1. Peace of Mind

The thought of knowing that your bills, cheques, final statements and other important mail have been prevented from being lost or returned to the sender will put your mind at peace.

2. Security

By forwarding your snail mail, you are eliminating any risk of identity theft by knowing your mail won’t be delivered to the new occupant of your old house or location.

3. Convenience

You are able to pick up your mail yourself! No need to ask friends or relatives to collect your mail from your previous house or location.


Forwarding your snail mail can be accomplished by choosing the right service for you in a few easy steps. To forward your mail to a new home or a new location, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca