Video Blog | The BC Elite Real Estate Group | Solomon Yasin, PREC* | Real Estate News From Vancouver

 

July 12, 2020

Richmond, BC: Pros and Cons of the City

Richmond, BC:  Pros and Cons of the City

Located directly south of Vancouver, Richmond is best known abroad for Vancouver International Airport, which sits on Sea Island and is part of the city. Each year, over 25 million people pass through the airport to various destinations around the world. However, beyond the airport, Richmond is a beautiful city in its own right. When people are looking at homes in the Vancouver area, Richmond invariably comes up as an option to explore.

If you're thinking about moving to Richmond, BC, here are some pros and cons that you'll want to consider first!

Pro: Richmond Is Close to the Downtown Area

Richmond sits south of Vancouver, directly across the Fraser River. Without traffic, commuting from anywhere in Richmond to downtown Vancouver should take no more than 20-30 minutes. In rush-hour traffic, that number will rise, but several public transportation options help mitigate that. The Canada Line skytrain runs from Richmond to downtown Vancouver in about half an hour, even during peak traffic.

Being directly south of Vancouver has some other unexpected benefits. If you travel to the US frequently, you're a little closer to the border. Richmond is also enough of a suburb that there are homes with driveways and adequate parking if you're the type of person that wants to have a car (or multiple cars). Of course, having the airport in the same city helps if you travel a lot for work or leisure.

Therefore, if you work in the downtown area, travel, or want a suburb with plenty of space for a yard and vehicles, it's hard to beat the convenience that living in Richmond provides. The city of Vancouver and the entire world is very accessible.

Con: Richmond's Home Prices Are High

There's no avoiding it. Much like the rest of the Vancouver metropolitan area, Richmond has also experienced a price surge. The average price for a detached home is $1.6 million now. For a townhome, that figure decreases to $913,000. Condos run at about $550,000.

It is worth noting that these prices are about 60% of what you would pay for similar properties in Vancouver. By locating about 30 minutes south, you can save hundreds of thousands in housing prices. Even people who want to be close to the city often find the short commute a worthwhile tradeoff to save on housing.

However, while these residences are certainly cheaper than Vancouver's, that doesn't make them inexpensive. With that said, the home prices in Richmond have held their value well. Since Richmond is always in demand, it's easy for home sellers to command higher prices just due to supply and demand. So even though the home might be costly, it's most definitely not money lost.

Housing costs are certainly a con, but the same issue applies to practically everywhere else in the Vancouver area.

Pro: Great Food, Great Schools, Great for Families

Richmond is a great choice for raising a family. There are plenty of exceptional schools within the city borders, ranking seven or better on Fraser Institute's school rankings website. The best part about these schools is that they are mostly public so you won't have to pay exorbitant tuition fees to give your children a quality education.

The food in Richmond is also superb. There's cuisine from every culture, and most restaurants in Richmond are the best. If you want Indian, Chinese, Japanese or Greek for example, then Richmond has it all.  Some of the top-rated restaurants include Lamajoun, Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle, and Lido.

Richmond has two university campuses from Trinity Western and Kwantlen Polytechnic University(KPU) and Langara college in Vancouver is not too far away

Richmond is also a family-friendly city. Homes tend to have yard space for children, which is a significant benefit of locating in this part of the greater Vancouver area. There are parks, playgrounds, and many fun activities to do with kids. Childcare is also quite accessible in Richmond. It's a part of Vancouver built with families in mind!

There are several parks and trails nearby and I highly recommend, Minoru Park,Garden Point Park and Iona Beach Regional Park to name a few.

Con: Crime in Richmond Is Rising

Crime in Richmond isn't bad per se, but it is on the rise, at least according to the latest data available. In 2018, Maclean's published a report ranking Canadian cities on crime. Out of 229 spots, with one being the highest and 229 being the lowest crime, Richmond came in at position 85. It's certainly not the worst place in Canada, but it's also not the best either.

However, with that said, Richmond's crime rate is much lower than in other places in British Columbia. Langley City, Chilliwack, Kamloops, Surrey, and Vancouver all rank higher for crime than Richmond does. Cities like Delta and West Vancouver have less crime than Richmond.

Most people will feel perfectly safe in Richmond, so this isn't a significant issue, but it would be fantastic to see that trend downward in the coming years.

Con: Flood plain

You may hear that Richmond can be under water one day.  I am not a true expert in this field however Richmond is not officially designated as a flood risk but it is on a flood plain.  The last time any flooding occurred in Richmond was back in 1948.  However , it is surrounded by water and the City has implemented a comprehensive diking system to prevent a major catastrophe so if you move to Richmond, rest assured that the City has put preventative measures in place.

Pro: Steveston Village and West Dyke Trail

The West Dyke trail is one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the world. Starting at the south end of Richmond and heading up the coast to the north end, many people use the West Dyke to leave the hustle and bustle of the city. It's a very relaxing walk and a great way to start the day!

Of course, when thinking of attractions in Richmond, Steveston Village is at the top of the list. This little fishing town within Richmond has pubs, fish and chip places, museums, and a fish market! It's a perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends. They have some of the best fish and beer in Vancouver.

Pro: Shopping

Richmond has the Richmond Centre Mall, Lansdowne Centre, and the newly built McArthurGlen Designer Outlet.  Also if you are a Tesla Driver, Richmond is also home to one of several Supercharging stations in the lower mainland which is located at the Richmond Centre Mall.

Richmond Has a Very High Quality of Life

Richmond is one of the best suburban cities in the Vancouver area. With cheaper housing than Vancouver, lower crime, fun things to do, and a family-friendly atmosphere, Richmond should be one of the places that you consider if you're looking at moving here. If you enjoy trails, fantastic food, lots of entertainment and shopping options, and magnificent homes, you'll love Richmond, BC!  Not to mention having an international airport is very convenient.

If you're interested in Richmond, please give me a call or contact me on my site. I would love to answer any questions you may have about the area and help you find your dream home, whether in Richmond or elsewhere in the Vancouver area.

Posted in Community News
July 4, 2020

New Westminster: Here Are 5 Pros and Cons of the City

 

British Columbia history buffs might know that New Westminster was the capital of the Colony of British Columbia back in 1858. It is the oldest city in all of western Canada. Once the Mainland and Island Colonies merged in 1866, Victoria became the new capital. However, it continued to be the largest city on the mainland until the first decade of the 20th century when Vancouver passed it in population for the first and last time.

Nowadays, New Westminster is one of the top places within the greater Vancouver region. It's a fantastic place to live with lots of things to do, beautiful views, and many restaurants. Here are five pros and cons of living in this city of about 70,000 people.

Pro: Fantastic City For Families

Schools in School District 40, New Westminster, are excellent for children of all ages. Some of the schools, such as Connaught Heights, offer Montessori and Mainstream programs for students. Offering both tracks in a public school is unique and shows how much the New Westminster School District cares for its enrolled children.

New Westminster is also inviting for families in other ways. There are many things to do within the city, including the Fraser Discovery Centre along the river. There are many parks and trails, such as the Glenbrook Ravine Trail or the Westminster Pier Park, which has one of the most scenic boardwalks you'll ever experience. Restaurants in New Westminster are fantastic as well, with Thai New West, Wild Thyme, and Longtail Kitchen, all earning over four out of five stars on Google. Want Italian? No problem, there's Piva Modern Italian. Are you looking for Greek food? You might want to check out Taverna Greka, also located within the city.

There's the Royal City Farmer's Market, Tiny Tots performances at the Anvil Centre, and the Vancouver Circus School. Each of these activities represents a fun outing with the family, and they're all in beautiful New Westminster!

If you locate within New Westminster, you'll have many activities, food, and entertainment options at your fingertips!

Con: Although Less Expensive Than Vancouver, Real Estate Is Still Pricey

Vancouver and the surrounding areas are pricey for a good reason: this city is incredibly desirable. It's the sixth most livable city in the world, and it attracts tourists and immigrants from every country. Housing prices have risen in large part because of how amazing the city is.

New Westminster is no exception. An average detached home sits at $1.4 million. Townhomes run for $738,000, and condos go for $540k. While this pales in comparison to the average Vancouver home prices, it's still not ideal for most families.

Fortunately, there are ways either through provincial programs or federal ones to get you into a home. Discuss these with your real estate agent to learn more about the possibilities.

Pro: Many Public Transit Options

There are five SkyTrain stations in New Westminster: 22nd Street, Columbia, Braid, New Westminster, and Sapperton. The Columbia station is a transfer station that can take you up towards the Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby or go east towards Surrey. All of these stations are along the Expo line and can transport you to the downtown area in under 40 minutes.

With that many SkyTrain stations in a city as small as New Westminster, you'll undoubtedly find that these stations are highly accessible. It's relatively easy to find a condo or home that is either walkable or a short bus ride to a SkyTrain station. If you work in Vancouver, it's hard to beat the convenience that New Westminster has for getting to the downtown area quickly.

Con: Patullo Bridge Traffic

Under the right circumstances, the Patullo Bridge can get badly backed up. When this happens, it can wreak havoc with local traffic in the western part of town since so many cars are waiting to get on the bridge. Part of the problem is that the Patullo bridge is very narrow and only has four lanes (two each way). Recently, the Surrey Board of Trade has come out in favour of expanding the number of car lanes, but that won't be for a few years, at least.

If you want to go to Surrey or further east towards Langley, you might find it challenging to do so by car at various times during the day. Hopefully, the new bridge (if and when the multiple governments approve its construction) will be able to carry more people in the future, and this issue will disappear.

Pro: The Neighbourhoods

Since New Westminster precedes Vancouver, there's a lot of character in each neighbourhood. There are heritage homes that have so much history and style compared with today's cookie-cutter housing projects. The communities are incredibly walkable as well. While New Westminster is in the middle in terms of crime (some places in the greater Vancouver area rank better, while others rank much worse), most people feel quite safe on the streets in this city. It has a friendly feel, even though New Westminster is a decent-sized city in its own right.

If You're Thinking of Moving to Vancouver, Consider New Westminster

When moving to the Vancouver area, you might initially consider the downtown area for its walkability, entertainment, and vibrant neighbourhoods. However, other cities outside of the Vancouver area also have these characteristics. New Westminster is one of them. It's a fantastic city for families, with fun, unique neighbourhoods. For people looking to commute into the city, the five SkyTrain stations will make that a breeze.

That's not to say that New Westminster is perfect, though. It's a pricier place to live, although most of Vancouver suffers from expensive housing. Additionally, since New Westminster acts as a "hub" in terms of traffic, there are places with issues. The Patullo bridge is one of those places. It's not uncommon to see significant traffic waiting to cross the narrow bridge.

Overall, most people who move to Vancouver and decide to settle in New Westminster love it. If you're looking to move to the city and want to explore what's in New Westminster, please give me a call or contact me via this website. I would be happy to listen to your housing desires and try and find the perfect place for you!

Posted in Community News
June 29, 2020

BRRRR Strategy In Vancouver, BC

 

 

Have you heard of the BRRRR strategy? A What? BRRRR— It stands for Buy, Repair, Rent, Refinance and Repeat. 

 

If you are a real estate investor and want to learn an awesome strategy to implement in Vancouver, FV or Chilliwack, then you must watch this video to the end as we dive into this popular method to grow your rental property portfolio and we are going after it right now.

 

 

Let's define what BRRRR stands for:

 

1. Buy: purchase an undervalued or distressed property with alternative financing such as hard money or private loan.

 

2. Rehab: Make improvements to the property to add value and get it rent ready.

 

3. Rent: Rent the property out to market standards.

 

4. Refinance: Use a cash-out refinance to pay off your original hard money loan or private loan.

 

5. Repeat: Use profit left over from the cash-out refinance as a new down payment for your next investment property.

 

This method allows you to grow your real estate investment portfolio without having to tie up all your money on one property.  eg. If you wanted to own 5 properties, you would need large downpayments for each home and with this method you are able to pull money out of the properties you BRRRR and buy another one to repeat the process.  If done properly, this method can increase your net worth and passive income.  Ultimately financial independence. I would say this method is perfect for a buy and hold strategy for 10 to 20 years. 

 

So today we are in Chilliwack and I am going to show you a home that needs TLC and repair and the BRRRR strategy would work well in this home.  So let's go inside and take a look.

 

 

So with this property, if say it sell for $350k, you spend xxx amount in here is my estimate, rent it out for $2200 to $2500 month.  Analyze it.  Equity take out.

 

This strategy does come with risks.

 

Here are 3 risks associated with the BRRRR method:

 

1. The risk of unable to pull out the desired amount after the Reno’s and rent, eg the refinance appraisal came back lower than expected, or the market took a dip and you might have to prepare for holding it until the market goes back up and try in 6 months again.  It is so key to buy at the low and not overpay for these properties.  This is where a good Realtor, would come in to play.

 

2. The risk of a longer than expected time to renovate the home and the holding costs, as well as unexpected surprises during the Renos that may take much longer to finish.

 

3. You might lose cash flow because the refinance requires a larger loan and possibly a higher mortgage rate.  However the name of the game for me anyway is long term strategy and if you can think 20yr game plan, then you should be fine.

 

Hope you found this video helpful. 

 

Again, my name is Solomon, our team and I at the BC Elite Real Estate Group are here to help you with finding these types of deals.

 

If you are in the market to get into one of these homes and perform this strategy then reach out to our team of buyer agents and we are here to help you by calling or texting 778-655-7999 or visiting our website searchbcrealestate.com.

 

Please subscribe to this channel and smash the like if you found it helpful… we would love your comments and feedback. 

 

Thanks again Take care and stay safe!

Posted in Real Estate News
June 15, 2020

The Cost Of Living In Burnaby BC

 

 

Burnaby is a top-rated and sought-after destination because of its proximity to Vancouver. Located 13 km away from the downtown area, Burnaby has become a hotspot for people looking to escape the high costs associated with Vancouver. As such, there are a lot of shopping destinations, restaurants, and other fun things to do within the city limits. With so many people are looking at Burnaby, the cost of living in Burnaby, BC, has also increased.

To better understand what the cost of living in Burnaby is like compared with Vancouver, we'll look at the expenses across ten broad categories. These ten categories should be reasonably representative of how an average family will spend their money and will, therefore, be indicative of what it is like to live there!

·    Rental Prices

·    Housing Prices (buying to own)

·    Grocery Costs

·    Dining Costs (when you want to go out instead of eating in)

·    Utilities

·    Gas Prices

·    Median Income

·    Property Taxes

·    Commute

·    Childcare Costs

Rental Prices

One of the highest expenditures for any family living in Vancouver will be rent. If you are looking to rent an apartment within the city, you can expect to pay $2,200 per month for a simple one-bedroom apartment. That's the average rent price, so to get into the most beautiful areas will run you even more. Two-bedroom apartments (which are much more conducive for families) cost upwards of $3,000 per month. Rent, unfortunately, has become mostly unaffordable for the average family in the Vancouver city limits.

Given the fact that Burnaby is relatively close to downtown Vancouver, it should come as no surprise that rents in Burnaby are less, but not too far off what you would pay in the downtown area. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,600 per month. A two-bedroom unit costs approximately $2,400. Each of these prices represents a 20% discount from what you'd pay to be right in the city. Having that extra $500 or so per month certainly makes the cost of living in Burnaby less, but you should still expect to pay a non-trivial amount of your income towards rent if you choose that path within this city.

Housing Prices Reduce The Cost Of Living In Burnaby

Housing within the main cities in British Columbia is a hot topic. Many observers decry the high cost of housing within the city limits. A detached home currently runs for $2.2 million. Even the cheapest option, a condo, costs a stunning $787,000. If you want a townhome, you should expect to pay approximately $1.2 million. As a family looking to relocate to Vancouver, paying these sums of money to buy a home may be quite challenging.

As such, many would-be homeowners have been looking outside of the city limits. Since Burnaby is relatively close, it makes a logical choice for people who are deterred by the housing costs in Vancouver. Unfortunately, the desirability of Burnaby means that, while there is a discount on housing, there isn't a discount quite like can be found in other regions (like Langley or Surrey, for example). A condo will cost approximately $600,000. Townhomes cost $855,000, and detached homes cost an elevated $1.5 million. While these prices are technically more affordable than Vancouver, they do not represent a low cost of living by any means.

Grocery Costs

The proximity to Vancouver has also impacted the cost of goods within the city as well. According to Numbeo, groceries are only very slightly cheaper in Burnaby than in Vancouver. The price of milk, bread, eggs and other staples will be about the same or slightly above what you would pay in Vancouver. Of course, where you shop likely influences these prices quite a bit, but if you're buying in Burnaby expecting to have inexpensive food, you may be better to consider somewhere else within the greater Vancouver metro area.

Dining Costs

If you want to eat out, you will find the prices within Burnaby to be relatively comparable to that of Vancouver. You can expect a lower-cost meal to be under $20. Similarly, a meal for two at a nice restaurant should cost less than $100, unless, of course, you order lots of alcohol. The cost of dining out in both cities is roughly the same, even though there are most definitely restaurants that are more expensive in Vancouver than what you would find in Burnaby.

Burnaby is home to some top-rated restaurants, earning more than 4.5 stars on Google Maps, including Pear Tree Restaurant, Anton's Pasta Bar, and Chad Thai Restaurant. No matter what type of food you are craving, you are very likely to find it within the Burnaby city limits! And with the lower cost of living Burnaby, you'll be able to afford it.

Utilities

The number estimates that the cost of utilities in Burnaby is more than in the city of Vancouver. It's important to note that electricity prices are the same throughout the province as BC Hydro is responsible for those. Therefore, no matter where you live within the provincial boundaries, you can expect to have the same electric bill.

What can change, however, is the cost of water, garbage, and other essential services. For a 915 square foot apartment, the estimated price for these is about $100 per month, compared with $90 for Vancouver. It's not a significant increase, but technically speaking, you're more likely to pay a little bit more in utilities in Burnaby.

Gas Prices

Gas in British Columbia is, sadly, incredibly expensive. The average cost for a litre of gasoline in Vancouver is often over $1.20. Unfortunately, residents in Burnaby will not receive much of a break in this regard. It's typical for gas prices only to be about 10 cents cheaper than in Vancouver. While that is a little bit of a saving, you should also consider that in the downtown area, you might be able to get away with not having a car. However, in Burnaby the transit is really good and you can avoid gas payments by taking the many sky train options through out the city and bus transit.

Median Income

The median income within the city of Vancouver was $72,662, according to the last census figures published by Statistics Canada. Indeed, compared with some other Canadian metro areas, Vancouverites earn a decent wage. However, factoring in the exorbitant cost of living within the city limits, the rent alone on a two-bedroom apartment will consume a large portion of that wage.

Unfortunately, for Burnaby residents, things don't get much more comfortable. According to Townfolio, the median wage for a household in Burnaby is $64,737. While that wage is proportional, relative to the cost of living, to what people make in Vancouver, it's not much better. Other areas surrounding Burnaby, like Surrey, have a higher wage relative to housing prices. The cost of living Burnaby feels higher than in those other places.

Property Taxes

The property tax rate in Burnaby for residential properties is $2.84 per $1,000 of assessed home value. For the average detached home which sells for $1.5 million, the average yearly property tax bill will be $4,260.

The amount levied per $1,000 of value is similar to what Vancouver has. They collect about $2.56 per $1,000 of assessed home value. The difference, of course, is that homes in Vancouver cost $2.2 million (for an annual tax bill of $5,632) while homes in Burnaby have an average bill just north of $4,000. Expect to pay about $100 a month less in property taxes in Burnaby!

Commute

Burnaby is quite close to downtown Vancouver. Commute times are frequently under 30 mins.  Which saves time and money. Fortunately, there are many public transit options for this commute, so you should expect to spend money on cars, gas, insurance, and if you decide to simply use transit, then you can purchase a Translink monthly bus pass to access the skytrain and buses. The cost for a monthly pass is from $98 to $177 month depending on how many zones you need it for.  And a single pass is $3 to $5.75 for up to 90 mins.  Also, A bonus for drivers is that there are no toll fees around the city, not yet anyway.

Childcare Costs

Putting an infant in Vancouver's childcare system is notoriously expensive. The current cost of daycare is about $1,400 per month, which is quite substantial - especially considering the median income of $72,000 per year!

Childcare costs in Burnaby are roughly $1,000 per month, which is approximately 30% cheaper than within the city of Vancouver. Families very much appreciate those extra $500 monthly savings!

Burnaby Is A Lower Cost Of Living Region With Some Flaws

From a purely numerical point of view, Burnaby does have a lower cost of living than Vancouver. It's about 10-20% cheaper across the board. However, that does come at a cost. The overall household income isn't as high in Burnaby, and there is a commute into the downtown region. Both of these are negative factors. Additionally, the cost of living savings is not necessarily worth being outside of the city limits. That's a personal decision, of course, but something you should consider when looking at properties in Burnaby.

Burnaby does have many jobs within the city limits itself, though. There are tech companies, restaurants, hotels, and other industries that have plenty of employment. If you get one of those jobs, then the commute into work is not something about which you should be too concerned.

If you're looking for a lower cost of living place than Vancouver, speak with me today so we can see if Burnaby might be a good fit for you!

Posted in Real Estate News
May 31, 2020

Hidden Oil Tank In Vancouver Home

Underground storage tanks are a concern because they are a potential source of contamination of the soil and groundwater. They also pose a fire and explosion hazard.

 

 

In BC, if you are out looking at older homes built in the 1970s or older, we highly recommend you look out for an underground oil tank. The costs of remediating contaminated soil and removal of the tank can cost upwards of up to $100,000 and you don’t want to be on hook for that.

 

 

Homes in the 1920's started to replace fireplace heating to furnace oil heating all the way into the 1970's. Then natural gas came into BC in the 1960s and homes started to move away from oil heating. Oil tanks were ugly and they were buried underground to hide their looks. There weren’t any rules or regulations in the 1970's and homeowners just left them in the ground and over time they rusted and start to leak into the soil, and as well as the neighbours. You have to be really careful if you are buying or selling a home and transferring the problem.

 

 

Having an underground oil tank reduced the value of the property, banks and lenders decline mortgages on them and insurance companies refuse to insure them.

 

 

So how do you determine if a house has an oil tank or not? There are several ways, you would put a subject in your offer of having a professional oil tank scan complete. There are several companies who can do a proper professional scan which costs roughly $150 to $400 depending on how high tech the scanner is. You will get a certificate after showing that the property has no oil tank. Other signs could be pipes sticking out of the ground as well as copper pipes in the furnace room coming from outside. However, if there is evidence of an oil tank then we got a problem.

 

 

So the next step is for the oil tank removal company will excavate the oil tank, but before removal they will cut and flush out the contents of the tank. Then the tank will be removed. The next step is the soil is sampled for any contaminations from a lab. This is where it can get expensive as digging and digging will cost tons of money. One the soil is cleanout, then you are looking at landscaping and putting it all back together with new soil.

 

 

The house I am in right now, is an unfortunate situation. The buyers bought this property 10 years ago and were never disclosed of an oil tank, now they are selling the house but they discovered it has an oil tank. They are already $50k in costs.

 

So for the future if you are in the market for a home in BC make sure your Realtor will include a clause or subject to oil tank scan. If you don’t have a Realtor , we can assist you on finding a great deal and making sure you are fully protected in BC.

 

Posted in Community News
May 20, 2020

Cost Of Living In Pitt Meadows In 2020

 

 

Looking at the Vancouver housing market can sometimes feel like a scary sight. While the overall cost of living in Vancouver is not as high as some cities in North America, there is no doubt that it is still one of the costliest cities on this continent. To help mitigate some of these costs, many people look outside of the city for housing.

 

One of the cities that comes across people's radars with reasonable frequency is Pitt Meadows. Situated 38.4 km west of downtown Vancouver, this city is a fantastic choice for people looking for more affordability while still being close to the most magnificent city in the world.

 

To understand how Pitt Meadows compares with the city of Vancouver, we'll be looking at ten metrics in particular:

 

  • Rental Prices
  • Housing Prices (buying to own)
  • Grocery Costs
  • Dining Costs (when you want to go out instead of eating in)
  • Utilities
  • Gas Prices
  • Median Income
  • Property Taxes
  • Commute
  • Childcare Costs

 

Rental Prices

Rental prices in Vancouver are some of the highest in the nation. The only city that costs more than Vancouver is Toronto. Currently, the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is $2,200 per month. If you want a two-bedroom place, that amount rises to $3,000 per month. Those are steep prices, no matter how you look at it.

Fortunately, Pitt Meadows is significantly more affordable in this regard. Data is a little scarce since most places compile it for the city of Vancouver without looking at the suburbs. However, you can go online and find one-bedroom apartments running for $1,500 per month and two-bedroom units going for $2,000. On average, renting in Pitt Meadows can be 30%+ less expensive than living in downtown Vancouver.

 

Housing Prices

One significant factor when thinking about the cost of living is housing prices. The average single-family home price in Vancouver is $2.5 million, and the price for a condo is now $800k. That's an incredible sum of money to pay for a home. Even with 20% down, the mortgage payment on a single-family home would be about $10,000 per month. That's a very high sum of money to pay!

Fortunately, looking a little to the east of the city brings these prices down significantly. A single-family home in Pitt Meadows is $792,000, and for a condo, the price comes all the way down to $490,000. If you are looking at moving to the Vancouver area and don't need to be downtown, then Pitt Meadows is undoubtedly an affordable alternative.

 

Grocery Costs

As might be expected, grocery costs in Pitt Meadows are a little cheaper than in the city but not significantly less expensive. Unfortunately, there is no definitive data on this. Still, according to Numbeo, the cost of living in Maple Ridge (which is very similar to Pitt Meadows) for groceries is about 14.29% lower than Vancouver.

Much of this discrepancy comes from the fact that produce and staple food items like eggs and cheese tend to be cheaper in the suburbs when compared to Vancouver itself. You'll find most products cost a little bit less once you get outside of the city!

 

Dining Costs

As with the grocery costs, there is no specific data on Pitt Meadows. However, it is close to the cost of living in Maple Ridge. Number of estimates that the average price of dining out in Maple Ridge is 11.73% lower than Vancouver.

Interestingly, much of this difference is consistent as eating at expensive restaurants, cheap restaurants, and coffee shops are all less costly in the Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge area than in Vancouver.

 

Utilities

The cost of utilities in Vancouver is amongst the lowest in the nation. Even cheaper cost of living places, such as Calgary, have a higher electricity price than Vancouver. As a city, we have abundant electrical power that is available for an average of 11.42 cents/kWh.

Pitt Meadows has similar electricity prices. They receive their first 1,600 kWh at 10.39 cents/kWh, and then the remainder costs 14.92 cents/kWh. These prices mean that the average resident will pay approximately the same amount per month for electricity as someone in Vancouver.

 

Gas Prices

It's no secret that the city of Vancouver has some of the highest gas prices in the country. Prices typically hover around $1.30 per litre to $1.50 per litre in the city. Of course, it all depends on various factors that are beyond any of our control.

Pitt Meadows has similar pricing. You might find a station that's a few cents cheaper, but you won't find one that is half price or something drastic like that. Instead, most stations in Pitt Meadows will also be approximately $1.30-1.50 per litre.

One thing to consider though about living in Pitt Meadows is that you will likely need a car. If you're in downtown Vancouver, you may be able to rely on public transportation and bypass some of the high costs of gas. If you take the bus, then whether or not gas is $1.20 per litre or $20 per litre doesn't matter to you since you pay a fixed fare. However, once you live in a suburban community like Pitt Meadows, it becomes tough to avoid having a car. Therefore, the high gas prices are likely to be more impactful in Pitt Meadows than Vancouver.

 

Median Income

Residents of Pitt Meadows tend to be wealthier than their downtown Vancouver counterparts. While people who live downtown have an average income of $72,662, Pitt Meadows residents have an average household income of $86,912, according to Townfolio.

Many of the people in Pitt Meadows work within the region, although since the city is so small, a lot of people work in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Maple Ridge, or Langley. Therefore, most people wind up driving a car to work, although other commuter options are available.

 

Property Taxes

A critical piece of information to remember is that Pitt Meadows property tax percentages are roughly equivalent to that of Vancouver at 0.45%. On a $2.5 million single-family home in Vancouver, you'd be looking at about $1,000 a month just in property taxes alone. However, at $792,000 for a home in Pitt Meadows, your property tax bill drops to about $300 per month. Again, when thinking about the cost of living in Pitt Meadows, this is much more affordable than downtown Vancouver.

 

Commute

Of course, by living near downtown, your transit budget is relatively minimal since you may be able to walk to work or have a very short commute. In Pitt Meadows, it's 30km each way. However, the cheaper housing prices alone more than make up for the commute time and cost.

There's also the West Coast Express, which is a train that runs right through Pitt Meadows and can take you from Pitt Meadows to Waterfront in the morning in 40 minutes. That's a quick commute when compared with driving!

You'll likely want to have a car in Pitt Meadows, which means that you will be paying both gas and insurance on that vehicle. British Columbians have some of the highest insurance premiums in the country at an average cost of $1,832 annually. Living in Pitt Meadows pretty much guarantees that you will need to factor those costs (including car maintenance as well) into your overall budget. These costs tend to make Pitt Meadows more expensive in terms of transportation than living in Vancouver - where you can often take a bus, train, or bike pretty much anywhere you want to go. Biking to work is pretty much impossible in Pitt Meadows unless you happen to be lucky and find a job right by your home.

 

Childcare Costs

Vancouver's childcare costs are unfortunately amongst the highest in the nation. At $1,400 per month, Toronto is the only big city that surpasses us.

The childcare in Pitt Meadows is significantly more affordable. There are only a couple of childcare places within the city, and they offer prices that are around $1,000 per month. While it's certainly not as cheap as other cities within Canada, it is a lot more affordable than the Vancouver metro area!

 

Cost Of Living Is Better In Pitt Meadows

If you're looking at moving to Vancouver but are concerned about the cost of living, consider giving a city like Pitt Meadows a look. It's a beautiful place to live, raise a family, and commute to work. Pitt Meadows is also centrally located, being 30 km from downtown and 30 km from the easternmost part of the Vancouver suburbs, where you start getting into the beautiful forest area.

Pitt Meadows has lots of amenities for all families. You can have shopping, dining, and fun things to do with the kids all in one central location. Pitt Meadows offers more affordable childcare, significantly more affordable housing, and a higher median income all in a small, but beautiful city. You won't feel like you're sacrificing anything in Pitt Meadows, except, perhaps, the high cost of living!

 

Should Pitt Meadows sound intriguing to you, please contact me, and I'd be happy to try and find you the perfect home for your needs!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Community News
May 11, 2020

The Pros and Cons Of Living In Burnaby In 2020

THE PROS AND CONS OF LIVING IN BURNABY, BC

 

Do you want to know the pros and cons of living in beautiful Burnaby, British Columbia? Well, this video, we're going to be tackling that topic right now. So let's get right to it.

Burnaby is the third-largest city in British Columbia behind Vancouver and Surrey, it's situated immediately east of Vancouver. But first, let's do a little trivia. Which famous actor or actress has a theater named after him/her in Burnaby? Stay tuned to the end of the video to find out.

All right. Let's start with some of the pros of Burnaby. So Burnaby is a beautiful place. It's got lots of nature, has lots of parks, has lots of trails, mountains. Some of the famous parks that people love to attend is Central Park,Deer Lake Park. Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby Lake. And the good thing is that they're all free.

Another pro for Burnaby is that it's got a Skytrain station. Actually, it has several of them. So transportation here is really good. It's only 15 minutes by Skytrain to downtown Vancouver and less than that to New Westminster in the other direction. Now, right now, we're in one of the biggest Malls, actually it is one of the biggest small in British Columbia. We're in MetroTown. So Burnaby has several malls. So we've got Crystal Mall, We got Brentwood Mall, Burnaby also even has a Costco for all the Costco lovers.

Now, if you love to eat, there's some great restaurants and foods. You have many options here. So there's Italian restaurants on Hasting Streets in the north and in the south side of Kingsway near MetroTown, where we are, you can have any selection of Chinese and Korean food, as well as popular restaurants like Trattoria and Cactus Club. Now, Burnaby has some really good schools from elementary all the way to university and college. So we have Simon Fraser University here in Burnaby and as well as BCIT.

Burnaby is a mix of different neighbourhoods, which we will dive into. In another video in the near future, Burnaby in general is very safe. All right. Let's talk about some of the cons of living and Burnaby now. Burnaby does have a lot of rain. There is a ton of traffic here, especially in the mornings and afternoons. Highway 1 is, which is right in the middle of Burnaby, is usually packed in the mornings for the commute and as well as afternoon.

Now, one of the other cons is that Burnaby is very expensive to live here. In fact, it's one of the most expensive cities in all of British Columbia. The average cost for a house here is between $1,450,000 and $1,550,00 and condos are around $645,000 as well as rents are very high over here. Also note that there's an incredible shortage of rental housing in the Vancouver area.

And you cannot take very long making your mind whether to take a place when you look at it. Also, here's a tip(Renters). Never wire money deposit money into someone without seeing them. There are scams out there on Craigslist where they give you a story to wire the money and a lot of people have fallenl for it. So if something seems too good to be true, then it's most likely it's a fake. Now, it typically snows in Burnaby more often than Vancouver or say, Richmond, as Burnaby does have more hills and higher elevation. So it does tend to snow here more often.

One of the other cons, if you're looking for nightlife in Burnaby, there's hardly any nightlife here. If you do want to go and see something, you'd just have to take the Skytrain. And it's only about a 60 minute Skytrain to downtown for the nightlife. So Burnaby has it all. Give it a try. Live here and chances of you moving will be very difficult once you fall in love with the city. Now, being next to Vancouver gives Burnaby an edge on its own. Burnaby can be even considered a frontrunner in Canada for being a modern metropolis.

All right. Finally, our trivia. So did you guess who the famous person of theater is named after in Burnaby? Well, it's none other than Michael J. Fox. So I hope you guys enjoying the pros and cons of living in Burnaby.

Don't forget to like, comment & subscribe. And again, my name is Solomon. And if you're considering a move to Burnaby or surrounding areas in Vancouver, like Fraser Valley or even all the way to Chilliwack, don't hesitate to reach out to me or my team and our number is 778-655-7999 You can text us there and we look forward to seeing you on our next video.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Community News
May 6, 2020

Cost Of Living Burnaby, BC: The Definitive Guide For Non-Residents

Cost Of Living Burnaby, BC: The Definitive Guide For Non-Residents

Burnaby is a top-rated and sought-after destination because of its proximity to Vancouver. Located 13 km away from the downtown area, Burnaby has become a hotspot for people looking to escape the high costs associated with Vancouver. As such, there are a lot of shopping destinations, restaurants, and other fun things to do within the city limits. With so many people are looking at Burnaby, the cost of living in Burnaby, BC, has also increased.

To better understand what the cost of living in Burnaby is like compared with Vancouver, we'll look at the expenses across ten broad categories. These ten categories should be reasonably representative of how an average family will spend their money and will, therefore, be indicative of what it is like to live there!

·   Rental Prices

·   Housing Prices (buying to own)

·   Grocery Costs

·   Dining Costs (when you want to go out instead of eating in)

·   Utilities

·   Gas Prices

·   Median Income

·   Property Taxes

·   Commute

·   Childcare Costs

Rental Prices

One of the highest expenditures for any family living in Vancouver will be rent. If you are looking to rent an apartment within the city, you can expect to pay $2,200 per month for a simple one-bedroom apartment. That's the average rent price, so to get into the most beautiful areas will run you even more. Two-bedroom apartments (which are much more conducive for families) cost upwards of $3,000 per month. Rent, unfortunately, has become mostly unaffordable for the average family in the Vancouver city limits.

Given the fact that Burnaby is relatively close to downtown Vancouver, it should come as no surprise that rents in Burnaby are less, but not too far off what you would pay in the downtown area. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,600 per month. A two-bedroom unit costs approximately $2,400. Each of these prices represents a 20% discount from what you'd pay to be right in the city. Having that extra $500 or so per month certainly makes the cost of living in Burnaby less, but you should still expect to pay a non-trivial amount of your income towards rent if you choose that path within this city.

Housing Prices Reduce The Cost Of Living In Burnaby

Housing within the main cities in British Columbia is a hot topic. Many observers decry the high cost of housing within the city limits. A detached home currently runs for $2.2 million. Even the cheapest option, a condo, costs a stunning $787,000. If you want a townhome, you should expect to pay approximately $1.2 million. As a family looking to relocate to Vancouver, paying these sums of money to buy a home may be quite challenging.

As such, many would-be homeowners have been looking outside of the city limits. Since Burnaby is relatively close, it makes a logical choice for people who are deterred by the housing costs in Vancouver. Unfortunately, the desirability of Burnaby means that, while there is a discount on housing, there isn't a discount quite like can be found in other regions (like Langley or Surrey, for example). A condo will cost approximately $600,000. Townhomes cost $855,000, and detached homes cost an elevated $1.5 million. While these prices are technically more affordable than Vancouver, they do not represent a low cost of living by any means.

Grocery Costs

The proximity to Vancouver has also impacted the cost of goods within the city as well. According to Numbeo, groceries are only very slightly cheaper in Burnaby than in Vancouver. The price of milk, bread, eggs and other staples will be about the same or slightly above what you would pay in Vancouver. Of course, where you shop likely influences these prices quite a bit, but if you're buying in Burnaby expecting to have inexpensive food, you may be better to consider somewhere else within the greater Vancouver metro area.

Dining Costs

If you want to eat out, you will find the prices within Burnaby to be relatively comparable to that of Vancouver. You can expect a lower-cost meal to be under $20. Similarly, a meal for two at a nice restaurant should cost less than $100, unless, of course, you order lots of alcohol. The cost of dining out in both cities is roughly the same, even though there are most definitely restaurants that are more expensive in Vancouver than what you would find in Burnaby.

Burnaby is home to some top-rated restaurants, earning more than 4.5 stars on Google Maps, including Pear Tree Restaurant, Anton's Pasta Bar, and Chad Thai Restaurant. No matter what type of food you are craving, you are very likely to find it within the Burnaby city limits! And with the lower cost of living Burnaby, you'll be able to afford it.

Utilities

Numbeo estimates that the cost of utilities in Burnaby is more than in the city of Vancouver. It's important to note that electricity prices are the same throughout the province as BC Hydro is responsible for those. Therefore, no matter where you live within the provincial boundaries, you can expect to have the same electric bill.

What can change, however, is the cost of water, garbage, and other essential services. For a 915 square foot apartment, the estimated price for these is about $100 per month, compared with $90 for Vancouver. It's not a significant increase, but technically speaking, you're more likely to pay a little bit more in utilities in Burnaby.

Gas Prices

Gas in British Columbia is, sadly, incredibly expensive. The average cost for a litre of gasoline in Vancouver is often over $1.50. Unfortunately, residents in Burnaby will not receive much of a break in this regard. It's typical for gas prices only to be about 10 cents cheaper than in Vancouver. While that is a little bit of a saving, you should also consider that in the downtown area, you might be able to get away with not having a car. However, in Burnaby, it's harder to avoid having a vehicle and, as such, you will have to spend money on gas!

Median Income

The median income within the city of Vancouver was $72,662, according to the last census figures published by Statistics Canada. Indeed, compared with some other Canadian metro areas, Vancouverites earn a decent wage. However, factoring in the exorbitant cost of living within the city limits, the rent alone on a two-bedroom apartment will consume a large portion of that wage.

Unfortunately, for Burnaby residents, things don't get much more comfortable. According to Townfolio, the median wage for a household in Burnaby is $64,737. While that wage is proportional, relative to the cost of living, to what people make in Vancouver, it's not much better. Other areas surrounding Burnaby, like Surrey, have a higher wage relative to housing prices. The cost of living Burnaby feels higher than in those other places.

Property Taxes

The property tax rate in Burnaby for residential properties is $2.84 per $1,000 of assessed home value. For the average detached home which sells for $1.5 million, the average yearly property tax bill will be $4,260.

The amount levied per $1,000 of value is similar to what Vancouver has. They collect about $2.56 per $1,000 of assessed home value. The difference, of course, is that homes in Vancouver cost $2.2 million (for an annual tax bill of $5,632) while homes in Burnaby have an average bill just north of $4,000. Expect to pay about $100 a month less in property taxes in Burnaby!

Commute

Burnaby is quite close to downtown Vancouver. Commute times are frequently under one hour, which saves time and money. Unfortunately, there aren't many public transit options for this commute, so you should expect to spend money on cars, gas, insurance, and maintenance if you're working more than walking distance from your property.

Childcare Costs

Putting an infant in Vancouver's childcare system is notoriously expensive. The current cost of daycare is about $1,400 per month, which is quite substantial - especially considering the median income of $72,000 per year!

Childcare costs in Burnaby are roughly $1,000 per month, which is approximately 30% cheaper than within the city of Vancouver. Families very much appreciate those extra $500 monthly savings!

Burnaby Is A Lower Cost Of Living Region With Some Flaws

From a purely numerical point of view, Burnaby does have a lower cost of living than Vancouver. It's about 10-20% cheaper across the board. However, that does come at a cost. The overall household income isn't as high in Burnaby, and there is a commute into the downtown region. Both of these are negative factors. Additionally, the cost of living savings is not necessarily worth being outside of the city limits. That's a personal decision, of course, but something you should consider when looking at properties in Burnaby.

Burnaby does have many jobs within the city limits itself, though. There are tech companies, restaurants, hotels, and other industries that have plenty of employment. If you get one of those jobs, then the commute into work is not something about which you should be too concerned.

If you're looking for a lower cost of living place than Vancouver, speak with me today so we can see if Burnaby might be a good fit for you!

Posted in Real Estate News
April 29, 2020

Top 5 Neighbourhoods In Coquitlam

 

Top 5 Neighbourhoods In Coquitlam

 

Do you want to know the best neighbourhoods in Coquitlam? Well in this video we will discuss the top 5 Neighbourhoods in coquitlam. We are going after it right now!

 

 5) Maillardville

 

Maillardville is Coquitlams Most Historic Neighbourhood. It was once the largest francophone community west of the rockies, but its French population has slowing declined in the last years.

 

Maillardville is bordered by Austin Avenue to the north and Lougheed Highway to the south. To the west it is flanked by Blue Mountain Street, while to the east it is bordered by Mundy Road. The town centre of Maillardville is situated in the southwest corner of the neighbourhood, on Brunette Avenue between Lougheed Highway and Woolridge Street.

 

Population is around 15,000 according to statistics canada form 2016.

 

Ethinic groups living here mainly English, Canadian,Europeans, Chinese, Koreans,South Asians and Iranians.

 

Mackin Park is home to Festival du Bois every year, a weekend celebration of francophone culture. This park has playing fields, ball diamonds, tennis courts, walking trails, a playground, spray park, large skateboarding area and Nelson Creek. If you’re looking for another great playground in this neighbourhood, try Rochester Park, which features a spectacular nature-themed playground structure, zip line, climbing wall, tube slide, saucer swings and more.

 

Surrounded by shopping and entertainment, it has its own Movie Theatre, pubs, lots of great restaurants , close to United Blvd, which is known for its furniture stores, home lighting, and renovation retailers.

 

Maillardville is also closer to Lougheed Skytrain and transit, than most of the other Coquitlam neighbourhoods.

 

Maillardville has many different types of homes to choose from. They have older homes to brand new. From condos to detached homes. There is a selection for every home buyer here. The average price in 2019 was $1,269,000 for a detach home and $568,000 for an attached home such as a townhouse and condo.

 

4) Coquitlam West

 

Also known as Burquitlam, is situated between Burnaby and Coquitlam. North rd, which is the main throughfare through Burquitlam , was the first road built in the lower mainland! It was originally constructed to connect New Westminster to Port Moody. Great mixture of ethnic groups here as well. Mostly Europeans, Koreans, Chinese and South Asians. With over 23 condos being built here, there is a growing trend here for higher density.

 

Coquitlam West features two sky train stations: Lougheed Skytrain and Burquitlam Station. As you get off on North Rd, you have a variety of food options, shopping with Lougheed Mall next door and many commercial and retails options. North Rd is also home to Koreatown. There are also many parks nearby and if you are a student, this is a perfect place to live as it is very close to Simon Fraser University.

 

If you love golfing, Vancouver Golf Club is near by and it is recognized as one of the finest 18-hole courses in the Pacific Northwest.

 

There are several housing options here. Majority are high rises and low rise options with many older detach homes. There are many new condos being built here and even a YMCA is being built close by! Some benefits of living here are that you have a short commute to Vancouver as well as the quick hop on to a skytrain. The average home price in 2019 was $1,404,000 for a detach home and $571,000 for an attached home such as a townhouse and condo.

 

3) North Coquitlam

 

Is mainly an urban neighbourhood, with a lot of high rise concrete buildings, retail and commercial units. It is located between Pipeline Rd & Johnson St and David St To the North and Lougheed Highway to the south.

 

This area is very appealing to many people moving to Coquitlam due to proximity to Coquitlam Town Centre Mall, Three Skytrain stops, Coquitlam, Lincoln and Douglas. Douglas college is nearby with many public schools close by. You have a mix of demographics living here. From East Asians, Iranians, South Asians. There is also Henderson Mall nearby which features many asian restaurants and shops. The Coquitlam Library is located there as well.

 

There are many restaurants nearby and not to mention the famous Lafarge Lake and Coquitlam Town Centre Park within walking distance. This park also features Canada Day Fireworks yearly which draws tons of visitors to a free fireworks display.

People looking to move here have many condo options for 1 bedroom and 2 bedrooms and the average price is around $560,000.00 North Coquitlam is a great place to consider for the young family or someone downsizing with walkability scores in the 90’s.

 

2) Westwood Plateau

 

Westwood Plateau is a neighbourhood in the northern region of Coquitlam. The area is situated north Of David Ave, between Pipeline Rd and Forest Parkway. This area was mainly constructed in the 1990’s and prior to that was the site for Westwood Motorsport Park.

 

Between 1990 to 2005 the area transformed into one of the higher end neighbourhoods in the lower mainland. It features over 4500 homes and as of 2016 the population is over 20,000. Most of the community comprises of East Asian, European ,& Middle eastern. The streets are generally steep and slightly curvy. During the winter, it does tend to get snow up there.

 

There is tons of greenery here with the famous Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club located at the top of the hill. You would most likely need a car to live here however there is a transit bus but it comes very infrequently. The area is very close to Lafarge-Douglas and Lincoln Station. The area also features many great schools as well. There is a nice retail plaza near by called Westwood Plateau Village. Which features many shops includings an IGA grocery store and Starbucks. If you enjoy hiking, there are several trails near by as well and you can almost certainly discover wildlife by living in Westwood Plateau.

 

For home buyers looking to move here. This area features upscale and luxury homes known as the Street Of Dreams with amazing views of Mount Baker and the City. The mixture is approx 2400 single family homes and approx 2200 condo and townhomes. The average price for a detach home is around $1,500,000 , townhomes at $809,000 and condos around $593,000.00

 

1) Burke Mountain

 

Burke Mountain is one of the newer development areas in Coquitlam. It is rapidly growing and it is located in the northeast side of Coquitlam and North of Port Coquitlam. Its main access is from Coast Meridian Rd and David Ave. It currently has 13,000 residents calling Burke Mountain home. There are plans to accommodate over 50,000 people here in the near future. The reason why we chose this as #1 is the fact that it has plans for a future master planned community here in Burke Mountain Village. Future schools, shopping and parks are expected to be built here. The area also has many new homes being built. You are close to nature with several hiking trails. Very good schools nearby. Shopping nearby. The skytrain to Lafarge-Douglas is within 10 mins or you can head over to the Westcoast express. The views on top of Burke Mountain are spectacular. You are also very close to Fremont Village with tons of shopping such as Costco, Home Depot and Walmart. Quick Access to Highway 1 and the Mary Hill Bypass. Even the Vancouver Sun recently featured the unmatched lifestyle offered here in Burke Mountain.

 

Historically, single family homes were originally developed here but in recent years, the developers have paved the way for townhomes as the next most popular form of housing. The average cost of a single family home here is around $1,450,000 and townhomes are selling for around $964,000.

 

 

 

Posted in Community News
April 27, 2020

Cash Flow Property: 4-27-2020 45353 MCINTOSH DRIVE

 

 

45353 MCINTOSH DRIVE CHILLIWACK With 20% Down

 

 

45353 MCINTOSH DRIVE CHILLIWACK With 35% Down