Citti view

Become part of Citti – A new boutique building offering luxury homes with panoramic views on Cambie/Broadway

 

Citti offers you the ultimate urban living experience in its luxury boutique building featuring only 57 units that will complete in late 2016.

Located in the desirable Cambie neighbourhood, Citti is built with highest quality material, grey coloured brick and colourful window frames, offering 180-degree city and mountain views.

The units itself are customized with two modern palettes, including a gourmet kitchen with gas stove and build-in fridge, European fixtures, wide plank floors and aesthetic finish throughout.

Highest standards are met in these spacious luxurious homes to make exceptional living possible. Really, there’s no better place to live.

Bryant and Lasko Real Estate has five  rare assignments of contract available. From 1 bedrooms to sup-penthouse, we can make your dream home come true. Click below for more information or  contact us directly at Kristin@bryantandlasko.com

202 – 238 W Broadway- Stunning 1 bedroom plus den with 180 sq patio

708 – 238 W Broadway – Incredible 1 bedroom plus den with stunning views

506-238 W Broadway – Water and mountain views from your 300 sq patio in this 2bed/2bath unit

606-238 W Broadway – More views and luxury living with this beautiful 2bed/2bath unit

807-238 W Broadway – The sub-penthouse that has 3 of everything; 3 bed/3bath/3decks

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Why home staging helps you sell your home faster & at a premium price

Research shows that it takes only 7 seconds for us to judge another person when we first met them. Now you could say the same thing about a house. You walk into the door and the first thing you’ll do is breathe! Yes, you breathe and take in the smell of the house and you decide if you like the smell or not. This is the first judgment of many that you make within seconds of stepping in to a home. Then you start looking for the interior; is the place clean? Is the furniture in good shape? Your brain is already running on overdrive taking in all these new impressions and forming an opinion about the property and most likely about you!

When you decide to sell your home, staging is a strategic marketing tool to show your property in its best possible light. You can start by tidying up, fixing cracks in the walls, polishing your floors, removing unnecessary furniture and getting rid of clutter around the house. A room with minimum, but well placed items is visually more appealing. Professional home stagers can help you make a difference without the emotional attachment to your furniture and can create an atmosphere that appeals to your buyers instantly. Home stagers keep warehouses with all sorts of furniture, carpets, artwork and other decorative items that will make your home appeal to a broad range of tastes. According to the Staging Real Estate Association, professionally staged homes spend 73% less time on the market and sell at a higher premium.

Buying or selling a house is one of the biggest investments anyone could make and it pays off for both sides if it’s done right. Home staging costs between $2,500- $5,000 and will on average add between six-14 per cent to your asking price. Put yourself into the buyers shoes and imagine a house that is decluttered, updated and nicely decorated and another house in the same location that doesn’t offer any of it, which house do you think has a better chance of selling?
Remember; you never get a second chance at a first impression.

Why professional pictures are a ‘must-have’ to sell your property at a premium price.

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Gone are the days, where a buyer drives by a property to get a very first glimpse on a desired place. In our fast living, busy society more and more buyers are increasingly introduced to properties online. A good image is a strong marketing tool and can change the way potential buyers look at your listing and create a lasting impression.

Photographers specializing in real estate are popping up everywhere realizing the value they can provide to the market. The right camera, selection of lenses, and skill can help take control of light conditions and catch the room at the right angle. Try it out, it is very tricky to take a great shot of a tiny bathroom.  Interior space is a top priority for buyers and high resolution pictures help capturing the true size of a room. Research shows that pictures taken by professionals have on average 61% more views than other homes and buyers will be more inclined to view your property. This in turn will increase your chances of selling your property at a premium price.

However, just as important as the right photographer is the appearance of your listing. Making sure that your place is clean and properly staged during the photoshoot will make a difference in selling your property. Start with cleaning and decluttering your place and minimize the amount of items you have in each room. Less is often more! The idea is to ‘wow’ potential buyers the second they view  your listing online, so that they start picturing themselves living in your home and schedule a showing right away. At Bryant and Lasko we help you market you property the right way! Contact Kristin for more information at Kristin@bryantandlasko.com

 

Citti view

Become part of Citti – A new boutique building offering luxury homes with panoramic views on Cambie/Broadway

Citti offers you the ultimate urban living experience in its luxury boutique building featuring only 57 units that will complete in late 2016.

Located in the desirable Cambie neighbourhood, Citti is built with highest quality material, grey coloured brick and colourful window frames, offering 180-degree city and mountain views.

The units itself are customized with two modern palettes, including a gourmet kitchen with gas stove and build-in fridge, European fixtures, wide plank floors and aesthetic finish throughout.

Highest standards are met in these spacious luxurious homes to make exceptional living possible. Really, there’s no better place to live.

Bryant and Lasko Real Estate has  two rare assignments of contract available, click below for more information or  contact us directly at Kristin@bryantandlasko.com

Live at Citti – 201-238 W Broadway

Live at Citti – 207–239 W Broadway

 

 

 

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When is the best time to sell your house?

Many clients ask me the common question, “When is the best time to put my house on the market?” I always tell them the same answer, spring time. A lot of people have heard this before, but do not know the exact reasons why. Well, let me explain to you why selling your house during this season will provide you with the best results.

Climate Change

The climate change is the most obvious factor that drives the Real Estate market. Not only does the start of spring bring people out of hibernation mode, but it encourages them to focus on their landscaping as well. Curb appeal can really impact the sale of your home. After all, it is the first impression to a potential buyer when they walk up to your house. The winter months do not showcase the landscaping that decorates the front of your home, therefore rendering it useless to increase the value of your property. This is especially true with Vancouver Real Estate where the winter consists of mostly rain and snow. So, if you want to take full advantage of the spring, spend some time in the garden and create that “welcome home” image to potential buyers.

School Year

The end of the school year is a big factor for those with children. As the school year winds down in May, families that are deciding to move will be out in full force for a new home. People avoid moving in the middle of a school year because they would rather not disrupt their child’s studies with school changes and the added stress. Also, with a purchase of a house in April or May, the date of possession usually takes place in June or July. That is the time of year where people feel the most relaxed, therefore making a move less stressful and allowing them to make the change before taking a long awaited summer vacation.

Supply and Demand

There are buyers looking for new homes at all times of the year, but as mentioned previously, sellers who are waiting for the end of the school year to sell, keep the winter market cold. With low inventory, buyers looking to buy, casually shop through the winter, but know that there will be an influx of new listings once the spring comes along. This causes an increase in demand during the spring months, which sellers can take advantage of. This increase of buyers, paired with nicer weather and longer days makes the spring an ideal time to put your house on the market.

No matter when you decide to sell your house, whether in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, keep in mind that with proper staging and an effective sales plan, you will be able to sell it quickly and at the right price. If you’d like more information on selling your home or the Vancouver Real Estate market, please feel free to contact me at Elliot@bryantandlasko.com.

First-time-home-buyers

So you want to buy your first home….

Buying a home for the first time can be a stressful experience. It is a demanding and unfamiliar process that can be very rewarding in the end. It is better to be prepared than to risk the chance of not experiencing the joy and happiness you were expecting when the process is finished. Let this guide help you with what is most likely the largest financial investment you’ll make in your lifetime. I will tell you how we can help with the process, while providing you with the knowledge to make well-informed decisions.

There are several things to consider when deciding to purchase a home. Questions like where do you want to live? When do you expect to move in? What kind of home do you want to buy? How long do you plan on living there? How much can you afford? These are just a few of the many questions you will want to ask yourself.

First, get some help. By this, I mean find a REALTOR. Many people do not know this, but when you work with a REALTOR to find your new home, you are not directly paying him or her to do so unless a Fee Agreement is agreed upon beforehand.  A REALTOR will be beneficial every step of the way, from helping you narrow down exactly what you are looking for, to explaining all of the forms used in a Real Estate Transaction, to presenting your offer to the seller and negotiating on your behalf.

Once you find a REALTOR whom you can trust and want to work with, you can now start the process of choosing your home. Create a wish list of wants and needs. Remember to be realistic in terms of what you think you can afford.

Next on the list is to figure out your finances. Just how much can you afford? Other than the purchase price of the property, there are many other costs you need to consider, such as appraisal fees, home inspection fees, moving fees, and maintenance and utility costs to run your new home. I can help breakdown all the costs involved to give you a better understanding of the dollar amount you should expect to spend on each of these expenses.

If you don’t have a good understanding of mortgages already, then I would advise you to take the time to learn about them. Talk to your financial institution or a mortgage broker and get pre-approval, so you will know how much you can afford to spend on your new home. This way, you won’t waste time looking at properties above your price range. Usually you’ll be offered a guarantee of the interest rate for 60-90 days, so you won’t have to worry about rising rates. Also, when the seller knows you’re already approved to receive a loan, this will provide you with an advantage when presenting an offer. Another tip is to try to have 20% of the purchase price to put towards your down payment. By doing this, you can save a significant amount of money by not having to pay mortgage loan insurance.

Now it is time for the search. You have your wish list and budget in place, which means you are ready to go get what you want. When searching for your new home, it is a good idea to have a checklist with you, detailing every aspect of that home to see how it stacks up to your wish list. Keep in mind that people rarely find exactly what they’re looking for, so some sacrifices may be made.  This may take one day or one year, so be patient.

Once you have found the perfect home, it is time for the offer and completion. Your REALTOR will negotiate the price and terms and have you place an offer by filling out a standard form called the Contract of Purchase and Sale, and then proceed to present it to the seller. If accepted, you still need to remove the subject clauses stated in the contract. Always have the home inspected before the completion date. This is to protect you from buying into problems that you are not aware of or prepared for. Once all the subjects are removed and conditions satisfied, you will need to finalize the mortgage, purchase homeowners’ insurance and hire a lawyer to fulfill all legalities involved in transferring the property to your name.

…Congratulations! You are now at completion day. Completion day is the day you legally get ownership of the house.

I hope this guide gives all of you first-time home buyers a better understanding of the process involved in buying your first property. Please contact me for a more in-depth look at all the costs and procedures associated with the purchase of your new home.

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Depreciation Reports – The Essentials

One of the first questions our condominium buyers ask relate to strata/maintenance fees, and with good reason – these fees can represent a substantial portion of any monthly payment.  With recent legislative changes in British Columbia, there is even more reason to be mindful of what is included in these fees – and what isn’t.

Effective December 14, 2011, depreciation reports became mandatory for all strata buildings in BC with more than 4 units.  The intention is that these reports provide more certain information to potential buyers and owners in order to protect investors and their investments. These reports may be deferred by the strata with a ¾-majority vote every 18 months. But once completed, they must be updated every three years. These reports must contain:

  • Inventory – assets owned by the strata corporation
  • Evaluation – the condition of these assets
  • State of Good Repair – schedule for the maintenance and replacement of the assets
  • Financing – THREE cash flow models proposing how best to fund these non-annual/recurring costs over the next 30 years
  • Contingency – Amount in the Contingency Reserve Fund (CRF)
  • Assumptions – the assumptions behind the evaluation and cost forecasting

The reports must be prepared by a person or a company with sufficient qualifications, however currently the legislation does not specify the background or experience these preparers must have.

Impacts:

  1. Cost to Strata – Strata will need to fund preparation of the study and updating it every three years.
  2. Strata Fees – Depending on the condition of the building and cash flow, strata fees might rise to accommodate future asset replacements funded regularly instead of by special assessment.
  3. Mortgage Affordability – Because strata fees may rise, costs previously more likely to be incurred in a special assessment may comprise part of the monthly strata fees, which can be considered by a lending institution.
  4. Buyers comparison – As more depreciation reports are done, buyers may prefer buildings who have completed a depreciation report and have a more certain plan over those whose future costs are not as explicitly estimated. However they also allow buyers to make more informed decisions and have more comfort around the asset they are purchasing.
  5. Mortgage Insurance – Lenders may require a depreciation report as a condition to providing a mortgage.
  6. Paying for future good or service – Current owners may have to accept paying for their use of the current roof, plumbing et al as part of their strata fees so that sufficient funds exist in the contingency when these assets require replacement. New owners, though, must be aware that they might be paying for the pro-rated usage of these assets but that, on the upside, they may not be forced to pay a special assessment for the entire amount if it requires replacement while they own the unit.
  7. Overestimation – Owners must also take these reports with a grain of salt, as they offer only one scenario, not a range of costs depending on the type of work required. Rather than accepting the costs at face value, stratas must ensure that these reports are prepared accurately and reflect a fair assessment of future cash flow requirements.

As more and more depreciation reports are prepared in BC, they will become commonplace and, ultimately, make the buyer’s decision more informed – and knowledge is power, as they say.

 

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Phoenix Rising?!

SALES Month over Month

Sales took an 8.4% upward turn in October to 7,020 units.

SALES Year over Year

Sales in October (7,020) were 7.2% lower than the October 2011 figure. Lower sales figures are tied to lower inventory levels, which a year ago were 16.7% higher. Lack of inventory, particularly in the lower more affordable ranges, is the current market challenge.

NEW INVENTORY

New listings added to the market in October rose 10.3% to 9,821. Overall, the new listing trend line has been relatively flat since January. The October figure is only 1.7% above the same figure a year ago.

TOTAL INVENTORY

Total inventory, which has been trending downward since October 2007, when the inventory hit an all-time high of 58,178, dropped to a 68 month low in June of this year (19,857). Since June the total inventory figure has seen small incremental movement, averaging a 3.48% monthly gain. This month the total inventory metric came in slightly lower at 22,702, compared to 22,862 in September.

MONTHS SUPPLY OF INVENTORY (MSI)

MSI in October landed at 3.23, down slightly from September’s 3.53. At this level, the market is still regarded as a Seller’s market. MSI as presented in STAT, is seen as a barometer of overall market health, and is not intended to be used to assess MSI in small market niches. Further, MSI varies greatly from the lower end of the pricing spectrum to the higher end.

NEW LIST PRICES

Both new list price metrics continued the upward trend lines begun in December 2011. The median list price rose to $174,900, from $140,000 at the start of 2012. In fact, the market had not seen a median list price of $174,900 since October 2008, when the median list price was in its initial stages of crashing. October’s average list of $264,917 increased from $243,152 in January 2012. The Valley has not seen an average list price in the $264,917 range since the February/March period of 2009, when list prices were on their way down.

SALES PRICES

Following the path of new list pricing, both sales price metrics continued on their upward trend lines in October. The median price stayed level compared to September, at $150,000 for both months. The last time the market saw a median price in the $150,000 range was November 2008. The average sales price landed at $203,867, a level not seen since November/December 2008.

FORECLOSURES PENDING

Foreclosures pending continued on their steady downward trend, falling 7.72% in October to 13,458. Foreclosures pending reached an all-time high of 50,568 in November 2009, and have been falling monthly since that time. Foreclosures pending in the 13,000 range were last seen in January 2008. A range of 4,000-6,000 foreclosures pending is widely considered to be normal for the Valley.

DISTRESSED SALES

Distressed sales as a percentage of total sales fell in October to 39.1%, continuing the downward trend that started from the high of 74.1% in September 2010. October’s lender owned sales (906) accounted for 12.9% of total sales. Short sales (1,837) accounted for 26.2% of total sales, representing over a 2:1 ratio of short sales to lender owned.
A comparison of metrics from September 2010 with current distressed sales metrics underscores how much the market has improved. In September 2010, at the height of distressed properties’ influence, lender owned sales accounted for 43% of total sales, compared with 12.9% in October 2012. Short sales in September 2010 accounted for 31.1% of total sales, compared to last month’s 26.2%.
Before November 2011, lender owned sales outnumbered short sales in the total sales makeup. Since then, the number of lender owned sales as a percent of total sales has fallen behind that of short sales. The reversal of the lender owned and short sale ratio in the current market reflects lender appetite for workout over foreclosure, a big win for Sellers and the community.

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET (DOM)

Days on market bumped up two days in October to 70, but remained on the downward trend line begun in February 2011. DOM in the 68-75 day range was last seen in mid 2006, right before the bubble burst in the Valley. Market wide DOM is seen as a barometer of overall market health and should not be used to predict DOM in small market niches.

COMMENTARY

This month STAT reveals more steady positive gains. All four pricing metrics continued to rise. In fact, median sales price showed an upswing of 38.5% from its decade low of $108,300 in May 2011. Average sales price gained 34.7% from its low of $151,368 in August 2011. Similarly, median list price gained 49.5% from its decade low of $117,000 in January 2011. Average list price gained 40.4% from its low of $188,698 in July 2011. Hindsight lends the perspective of how far the market has progressed, which is not seen in a monthly myopic view of statistics.
Foreclosures pending continued their march downward to a level not seen since January 2008 when foreclosures pending were on the rise. Distressed sales as a percentage of total sales declined to its lowest level (39.1%) since STAT began tracking in January 2010. Further, short sales outnumbered lender owned sales 2:1. October’s closed sales ratios were 5:2:1 (normal: short sales: lender owned). At its height, in September 2010, distressed sales represented 74.1% of total sales.