October 2015

Found 26 blog entries for October 2015.

Q. Our kitchen appliances are in great working condition, but they’re not the most modern or stylish. We upgraded them along with our kitchen 15 years ago. Do purchasers care if a stove or fridge isn’t stainless steel? Would investing in new units increase our property’s value?

A. “The trick isn’t that all the appliances be modern or stylish, but instead that they are suited to the kitchen they are in,” says Chris Allen, a real estate agent and the author of The Book on Toronto Real Estate.

“Few things stand out as awkwardly as seeing brand new stainless steel appliances in a kitchen with worn melamine countertops, tired old cupboards and tarnished or mismatching cabinet handles.”

He recommends this family skip investing in new units largely

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The good news is that Canada is home to so many great universities that it’s difficult to make a poor decision.

That’s why choosing the school that best suits you requires going beyond rankings and reputation, and considering the unique culture and educational environment of your potential alma mater.

These are the top universities in British Columbia:

BC Universities










  • Vancouver (main) and Kelowna
  • Students: 59,200 Cost: $6,000

Despite being a big campus with many professors focused on research, UBC maintains a hands-on learning environment. More than half of senior students report participating in an internship, co-op placement, field experience or other professional

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Heritage house questions and answers.

Q: What is a Heritage Building?

There are no hard and fast rules, no binding legal definitions, that determine what is, and what is not, a heritage building. Of course, everyone thinks of heritage as old. "Heritage", however, is best understood when joined to another word, such as conservation. The term "heritage conservation" was coined in Canada to describe the movement that advocated an alternative to the thoughtless development and urban renewal that was destroying irreplaceable vintage buildings. In this sense, heritage is clearly understood to mean something worth keeping, preserving, and protecting.

Heritage conservation has in fact been largely concerned with "old" buildings (a very relative term), for

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Bank of Canada stands pat, keeps interest rate at 0.5%


The Bank of Canada is keeping its benchmark interest rate right where it currently sits, at 0.5 per cent.

The bank, led by Stephen Poloz, meets every six weeks to decide on monetary policy and has cut its trend-setting interest rate twice this year in a bid to stimulate Canada's economy. 

The central bank's interest rate influences the rates that borrowers and savers pay and earn for things like mortgages and savings accounts. Mortgage interest rates

The consensus view among 27 economists polled by Bloomberg ahead of the bank's decision was for the bank to do exactly what it did — nothing.

In explaining its reasoning, the bank said it kept its rate as is based on the impact of previous changes.

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The Canadian dollar’s slide came to a halt amid speculation the country can cope with the extra spending that may result from Justin Trudeau’s election victory.

The loonie rebounded after dropping to the lowest level in a week against its U.S. counterpart as Trudeau’s Liberal Party put an end to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decade-long rule by winning a surprise majority. The country’s new leader campaigned on a plan that included running C$25 billion ($19 billion) in deficits over three years to stimulate the economy with infrastructure spending, while increasing taxes on top earners and cutting them for the middle class.

“It was a little bit premature to say this was really that negative for the Canadian dollar,” said Thu Lan

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The Liberals’ new majority gives them all the power they need to influence Canada’s mortgage market. Interest rates, mortgage policy and affordable housing initiatives will all be affected.


Here’s some of what the mortgage market can expect from Mr. Trudeau’s new government:

  1. Higher bond yields: Balancing the budget is not a priority for the Liberals until 2019. Trudeau is expected to go on a spending spree and bond traders aren’t keen about it. It suggests a greater supply of government debt and potentially higher long-term yields to come. That, of course, could mean at least slightly higher fixed mortgage rates than we’d otherwise see.
  2. A More Hawkish Poloz: The odds just dropped for a cut in prime rate. More spending by Ottawa puts less
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A new report says while the slump in oil is stifling house prices in provinces driven by energy markets, other sectors have picked up the slack and taken home values to new levels nationally.

The report from Royal LePage, which provides a composite price based on values in 53 of the country’s largest housing markets,Royal LePage Westwing finds the average home sold for $502,643 during the third quarter of 2015 — an eight per cent increase from a year earlier.

“Economic slowdowns in energy-dependent markets, most notably in western Canada, have in part been offset by both renewed industrial activity in other parts of the country and the Bank of Canada’s recent interest rate cuts,” said Phil Soper, chief executive of Royal LePage, in a statement.

Soper said that, as in

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Top 10 Real Estate Sayings & Quotes

Pretty much every industry has some silly sayings or jargon that sounds like nonsense to people who aren’t in the know. Real estate is no different. There are plenty of funny real estate sayings that agents and brokers use all the time – sayings that your average consumer might not understand.

1) Cash is king!
(In real estate, this usually means that all cash offers often trump other offers that are contingent on a loam. In all cases, having cash available during a real estate transaction is ideal. )

2) A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
(Meaning: get it in writing or it doesn’t count!)

3) Everything I touch turns to SOLD!
(A classic seller’s agent brag that is a witty take on the

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Your condo’s strata will likely have rules about rentals… here’s how to find out whether or not you can rent your unit.


How many times have you heard the story "‎we were told we could rent our condo, but we found out the strata has a bylaw" or "we rented when we first bought the unit, but everything changed"? The landscape of rental bylaws in condo buildings is difficult to navigate at the best of times unless you have accurate information and your strata understands how to administer rental bylaws. So can you rent your unit or not? Read on!

Bylaws that prohibit or limit rentals are permitted for residential strata corporations or residential strata lots in a mixed-use strata property. Whether it is a duplex, bare land strata, high-rise or

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Despite lack of choice, home sales across province rise 12 per cent year-over-year in September as buyers snap up what's on offer, according to new figures.


Unrelenting demand for real estate across BC is pulling home listings inventory to an eight-year low, according to British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) figures released October 14.

There were just 39,977 units available for sale in the province in September – a low that hasn’t been seen since early 2008.

“Strong consumer demand has pulled down the inventory of homes for sale to its lowest level in eight years,” confirmed Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist.

“Market conditions are favouring home sellers in some board areas, while contributing to relative balance between

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