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New Construction of multi family units

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Kamloops is continuing to counter province wide trends for real estate, at least for now.

Home sales in B.C., driven by the sagging Lower Mainland market, fell by 23 per cent from the same time last year. The Kamloops region, however, saw an increase in sales of five per cent compared to January last year.

Cameron Muir, chief economist for B.C. Real Estate Association, said some markets are going against the grain. 

“Housing demand across the province returned to long-term average levels last month,” he said in a statement.

“However, regional variations persist, with Victoria posting above average performance and Vancouver falling below the average.”

At the same time, the average price on the multiple listing service (MLS) declined by 17.5 per cent. Kamloops and District Real Estate Association estimated the average sale price for a residential detached home within the city in January was $410,000, a number that is stable. Numbers do vary from month to month due to price range of homes sold but has stayed over $400,000 since last year .


federal government officially announced changes to the minimum down payment required on new home purchase.

Friday, December 11th, 2015


Here is what you need to know:
Today, the government announced its intent to raise the minimum down payment requirements on homes valued over $500,000. Properties below $500,000 will not be affected. Requirements will remain at 5 % down payment for homes under 500,000.

Any amount over $500,000 will require a 10 % down payment. For example a $700,000 home will require a $45,000 down payment, 5 % on $500,000 and 10 % down on the remaining $200,000.

The announced changes will take effect on February 15, 2016.

The purchase closing date can be after Feb 16th 2016

The minimum down payment for homes  $1 million and over remains unchanged at 20%
The government cites its desire to “contain risks in the housing market” as the
reason for its decision.

Thinking of becoming a realtor… open letter by a realtor.

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Reposted letter BY

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP
A Houston Texas realtor but some of the same comments apply here as well.

Several times a year I am approached by people who want to become a Realtor. Many of them think it’s a great way to supplement their income while they keep their day job. A lot of others are interested in a career change. I decided to type this blog to save myself time. Each time I’m asked I’ll simply send the inquiring person a link back to this post. So, with that said, grab your favorite beverage and read below, because you’re about to get a heavy dosage of what it’s like to start a real estate career.


1. PASSING THE EXAM is easy. Creating a business with real income is a different story.

2. Now that you have your license be prepared to lose friends and get your feelings hurt. Most, if not all of your friends and family will avoid using you the first year or two that you’re licensed. Simply put, you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Earn your battle scares. Even after you’ve gained experience, you’ll have friends and family who will not work with you because you’re a friend or because you are family. It happens every day to Realtors across the country.

3. If you don’t spend money you won’t make money. You needs to spend THOUSANDS of dollars to create a business. Most of what you are thinking is a cute and new idea has already been tried a thousand times. You will do what every new agent does… spend money (A LOT OF IT) on the wrong things. Over and over again. There’s a famous saying in this business…”If you want to get rich in real estate, sell stuff to Realtors.”

4. You and your smart phone will become inseparable. You will have to get up from eating, watching a movie and sleeping to take calls, return emails and respond to text messages. Of course you don’t have to do this, but you also don’t have to make any real money in this business. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Ignoring a call could be a $20,000 mistake. Or more.

5. Be prepared to be second guessed, doubted, questioned, accused and lied to repeatedly. Buyers and sellers have the propensity to lie just like you and the guy next to you at the grocery store. People have perceptions about lawyers, mechanics and police officers. They have them about us too. Even after years of experience there will be clients who will second guess your every move. This will never go away.

6. You will show thousands of houses. Showing a house isn’t just about unlocking a door. Sometimes you get rained on while showing. Sometimes the house says active on the market when it’s already under contract with another buyer. Sometimes you are late to the appointment because of traffic. Maybe your buyer will be late. The number of things that can go wrong are practically endless.

7. Almost nobody will respect your time. Almost everyone thinks you are over paid.

8. Expect people to ask for kickbacks both legally and illegally. Buyers and sellers will often want to haggle with your commission.

9. You will pay taxes. A lot of taxes. Expect to pay for the gizmo you use to unlock doors. You will pay for this yearly along with dues to three different associations. You’ll pay for signs, lock boxes, tools, equipment, cameras, advertising for both you and your listings, leads, websites and on and on and on.

10. You will pay for your own health and life insurance. There is no 401k matching in real estate. You are an independent contractor. In fact, YOU will PAY to be at your local real estate office! The broker will take money from you. You will also pay for an office if you want one. Your phone is your costs. Your internet is also your costs. So is your paper, pens and everything else imaginable. You’re running a small business. It’s ALL your costs. You’ll also pay for errors and omissions insurance. The list is really long. Yay!

11. You will get screwed in this business. It’s not for the naive, light hearted, ignorant or thin skinned. You will work your rear end off and sometimes not make a dime.

12. You will deal with a certain number of psychopaths each year.

13. You will meet criminals, convicts and felons, especially if you work in the leasing industry.

14. Strange men and women will ask you to meet them at houses RIGHT NOW.

15. You might get a gun pointed at you while showing a house or two. Sometimes rabid Pitt bulls will chase you down.

16. Expect to get towed at least once.

17. Eventually you’ll get in a wreck while showing. You better hope your clients aren’t with you. Is your auto insurance updated correctly?

18. There is no disability insurance. So, if you break a leg while playing softball you’re screwed. It’s going to hurt your business.

19. You might get sued even when you aren’t at fault.

20. When you become successful your competitors might file complaints on you because they are jealous. You won’t like this.

21. As you show houses you’ll be in questionable neighborhoods from time-to-time. You need to learn self-defense, carry a gun or a can of mace. Everyone should be concerned about their safety.

22. Be prepared to leave a social event early to run and show a house or to get yelled at by one of your clients for something you did not do. It doesn’t matter, you are the chew toy sometimes.

23. It’s likely you’ll get audited by the IRS. You have too many write offs and once again… you make too much money.

24. Lawyers are annoyed by Realtors.

25. Expect to list homes and never sell them. No agent sells every home they list. You will waste time, money, energy and resources.

26. Your signs will be stolen, spray painted and eventually played with by the local kids.

27. Your flyer box will always be empty because kids, passerby’s and neighbors will take too many. Sometimes they’ll take all of them in one day. Then you’ll be chastised for not having flyers in the flyer box.

28. Did I mention you’ll deal with at least two crazy people each year?

29. EACH real estate transaction you work means you are likely dealing with at least 8 different people.You’re responsible for 15-20 things. Right now I am trying to close 11 contracts. I am a little stressed. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my paperwork, my clients and my business.

30. You will become an unlicensed therapist, divorced lawyer and counselor. You aren’t allowed to give legal advice, and you shouldn’t. You aren’t a doctor, but everyone will unload their personal lives with you. You will sometimes live their life.

31. Your spouse will at times hate what you do for a living. 

32. Your wife/husband will despise the fact that you are always on your phone.

33. When you’re sick… you still work. There’s no floating holidays.

34. While on vacation…. you still work. You can get an agent to cover your business, but NOBODY will care for your business the way you do.

35. Sometimes when you make mistakes it costs people money. You can’t just apologize.

36. You have to have a nice car. You must wear nice clothes.

37. When you first get started everyone will know you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s a fact. This sucks. But if you stick it out, you’ll be okay. 75% of the new agents don’t make it.

38. You get to work with agents! Not all of them are put together correctly. A lot of your problems in this business will be because of the other agent. You will get upset, angry, pissed and offended. Ego’s are here too.

39. Wait for it….. friends, neighbors and family will ask you for real estate advice while they are involved in a real estate transaction….. YOU aren’t.

40. Other Realtors will give your client advice when they aren’t supposed to. Every buyer and every seller knows an agent somewhere.

41. Each market is different. Very different sometimes, but that won’t stop friends and family from influencing your client. Your client will become confused at times.

42. You have a better chance of meeting E.T. than you do working real estate part-time and being successful. It takes time, effort and money to be a part-time Realtor. In fact, being a part-time agent can be even more difficult.

So why do agents do this?

You’ll have the amazing opportunity to reap what you sow. You can work when you want. No matter how bad your boss is (client) you are only working for them for a certain period of time. You get new bosses all the time. You can make a real difference in a lot of people’s lives. You literally help shape dreams. YOU can be the difference in someones life as they look to sell and buy a home. And not all clients, buyers and sellers are bad. Most of them get it. It’s awesome when everything works out.

And sometimes the money is really good.

Buying a home in Kamloops – Title Insurance

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015


What started years ago as a replacement for a survey certificate has now become standard on real estate purchase or refinance transactions. If you are buying or refinancing your home, expect title insurance to be a requirement of your lender.

What is Title Insurance?

In its simplest form, title insurance protects the lender and homeowner against a number of risks related to the property’s title or ownership.

What does Title Insurance cover?

From the point of view of most lenders, the main coverage is fraud, which can occur in a variety of ways.

With identity theft on the rise, it is not difficult for a fraudster to obtain legitimate identification claiming to be the true owner. The fraudster then deals with realtors and lawyers as if they were the owner, and proceeds to sell the property. Alternatively, the fraudster may work with a lender or mortgage broker, again with identification, to place a new mortgage on the property. In either situation, the true owner is unaware of the fraud and the fraudster absconds with the sale or mortgage funds.

Other typical examples include spousal impersonation and lawyer fraud.

In most cases the Assurance Fund of the Land Title Office may reimburse the true owner, but this may take several months and thousands of dollars in legal fees. Title Insurance is usually quicker and less expensive.

In addition to protecting against title fraud, title Insurance can cover:

a. violations of municipal by-laws;
b. encroachments onto an adjoining property;
c. property tax arrears;
d. existing work orders;
e. lack of legal access to the property;
f. unpaid strata assessments;
g. zoning and setback non compliance;
h. forced removal by a governmental authority of a structure built without a required building permit;
i. legal status of any septic system;
j. gap coverage.

How much does Title Insurance Cost?

For properties with a purchase price under $1,000,000.00, the cost of title insurance is generally $225.00, with $175.00 to the Lender Policy, and $50.00 to the Owner Policy. For every additional $1,000.00 over a purchase price of $1,000,000 the price increases by $0.90.

Unlike life or house insurance, purchasing title insurance is a one time cost, with no annual premium.


Courtesy of Spagnuola Group

Copyright © 2015 by the Spagnuolo Group of Real Estate Law Firms.  All rights reserved.  You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution.  All copies must include this copyright statement.

About Royal LePage

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


Royal LePage is Canada’s oldest and largest Canadian owned real estate company. Founded in 1913 by Albert LePage when he was just 26 years old, Royal LePage is now Canada’s largest real estate company with more than 14,000 agents in more than 600 locations across the country. And we firmly believe that you can only become the oldest and largest company by being the best.

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about real estate – and how to provide the best possible service for our clients. Since the mid-1990s, Royal LePage has more than tripled the size of its sales force and almost doubled its market share.

Throughout our successes, we remain dedicated to helping you through the real estate process. Our commitment to innovation and customer service is as strong as ever.

We offer all of our REALTORS® – from those serving tiny communities to those in major urban centres – strong support from our national pool of knowledge, skill and technical expertise. We regularly invest time, money and resources to develop and provide the knowledge and tools they need to best market your home, including:

  • Up-to-date information about local market conditions
  • Quarterly housing reports
  • Creative brochures and newspaper ads to showcase your home
  • Ongoing negotiation, marketing and technical training

Canadian home sales hold steady in November

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Ottawa, ON, December 15, 2014 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity was unchanged on a month-over-month basis in November 2014.


  • National home sales were unchanged from October to November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above November 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4% from October to November.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.2% year-over-year in November.
  • The national average sale price rose 5.7% on a year-over-year basis in November.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate

Boards and Associations was unchanged in November 2014 compared to October. As a result, activity remains much improved compared to the quiet start to the year.

November sales strengthened in half of all local housing markets, with monthly increases in Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie, and Windsor-Essex tempered by a monthly decline in the Greater Toronto Area.

“The Canadian housing market remains a story about how sales and prices are still running strong in some areas while others are seeing subdued levels of activity with slower price gains or modest price declines,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “All real estate is local and your REALTOR® remains your best source for information about how the housing market is shaping up where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

“The effect of lower oil prices on Canada’s housing markets is something of a wildcard at the moment,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It’s not clear how far oil prices may drop or for how long they’ll stay down. How that plays out may affect the outlook for interest rates, job growth, consumer confidence, and sentiment about making major purchases.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in November stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. November sales were up from year-ago levels in about half all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary, and Greater Toronto.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity for the year-to-date in November was five per cent above levels in the first 11 months of 2013. It was also slightly above (+2.4 per cent) the 10-year average for year-to-date sales.

The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4 per cent in November compared to October. Led by Greater Toronto, new supply was down in just over half of all local markets.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56 per cent in November. While this is marginally tighter compared to the previous three months in which it averaged 55.7 per cent, the broader trend for the ratio indicates that it has remained balanced and largely stable for the past four months.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is usually consistent with a balanced housing market, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in almost 60 per cent of all local markets in November. About 60 per cent of the remaining markets posted ratios above this range, almost all of which are located in British Columbia, Alberta and Southern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.8 months of inventory nationally at the end of November 2014. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory has been stable for the past four months and remains well within balanced market territory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.19 per cent on a year-over-year basis in November. Price gains have held steady between five and five-and-a-half per cent since the beginning of the year.

Year-over-year price growth decelerated among all property types tracked by the index in November compared to October.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.79 per cent), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+5.63 per cent). Price growth was comparatively more modest for one-storey single family homes (+4.20 per cent) and apartment units (+3.18 per cent).

Price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. As in recent months,

Calgary (+8.53 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.73 per cent), and Greater Vancouver

(+5.69 per cent) continue to post the biggest year-over-year increases. By contrast, prices in Regina declined by 3.36 per cent.

In other markets from West to East, prices were up between 1.6 and 2.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, by less than one per cent in Saskatoon and Ottawa, flat in Greater Montreal, and down by less than one per cent in Greater Moncton (Table 1).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in November 2014 was $413,649, up 5.7 per cent from the same month last year.

The national average home price continues to be raised considerably by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $331,743 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to five per cent.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Housing starts across Canada remain flat except growing momentum in B.C

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Housing starts across Canada remained flat year over year in November, although seasonally-adjusted numbers point to growing momentum in British Columbia and Quebec as developers ramp up to meet immigration demands.

“The trend essentially held steady for a third consecutive month in November,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, in releasing November numbers Monday. “This is in line with our expectations for 2014, of a stable national picture with new home building concentrated in multiple starts, particularly in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario.”

Seasonally adjusted starts in November climbed 6.5 per cent month-over-month to 195,620 units. More than half of those starts were multi-unit properties in urban centres, led largely by Ontario and Quebec, though British Columbia posted the largest gains – 26.7 per cent – from October.

t’s important to note, say analysts, that starts were flat from the year-ago period.

While reports suggested overbuilding would become a problem for Canada’s major urban centres, CMHC said more housing is needed to fill the demand created by healthy immigration.

“Ask any real estate developer in any of Canada’s major cities about the risk of overbuilding, and the first line of defense would be immigration and its critical role in supporting demand,” said Benjamin Tal, CIBC’s deputy chief economist. “It turns out that, at least for now, this claim is more valid than widely believed.”

New immigrants account for 70 per cent of the increase in Canada’s population. Half of these new immigrants are aged between 25 and 44, representing the country’s economic engine, according to CMHC’s 2014 Canadian Housing Observer.

Housing market ‘modestly’ overvalued, CMHC says

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

House prices in parts of Canada may appear to be increasingly out of reach for many Canadians, but lofty prices aren’t about to sink any time soon.

In fact, Canada’s homes are only “modestly” overvalued on average, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says in an analysis, and there is no evidence that any dramatic reversal is in the cards.

Over all, “there is little risk of a housing price correction,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan says. “There is only a modest amount of overvaluation, and other risk factors don’t seem to be present now in Canada.”

Nationally, house prices are only slightly higher than where they should be relative to disposable income and population growth, the study shows. Overheating and price acceleration are also not a concern on a national basis.

The challenge of renovating a heritage castle in Moncton, N.B.,for less than an East Vancouver bungalow.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Castle Manor

A Vancouver owner who wishes to remain nameless has taken up the challenge of renovating a heritage castle in Moncton, N.B., that went on the market earlier this year for less than an East Vancouver bungalow.

Jay Tse is a Moncton-based, semi-retired contractor with family ties in Vancouver. Much of his family is involved with real estate and construction.

“That’s what we talk about — construction and how much real estate is in Vancouver and in Moncton — and the topic of the castle came up because at that time, it was for sale,” said Tse, noting media reports about the peculiar property had caught the eye of a Vancouver relative.

In January, The Province wrote a story comparing the price of East Van bungalows to the 107-year-old Castle Manor in Moncton, N.B.

While many B.C. bungalows were priced north of $700,000, the Moncton castle — with 54 rooms and 12-foot ceilings spread over 19,000 square feet — came in at under $700,000.

“By Vancouver standards, it was very economical and that’s how we all started,” Tse said.

A Vancouver relative then became interested in buying the castle and asked Tse to look into the property on their behalf, and to consider taking on the renovations.

“I think they found it very interesting because of the history and the tradition of the castle in Moncton, and they asked me to think seriously about it,” Tse told The Province.

“I discouraged them because it’s not an easy project, as you know. It’s a heritage building and there were a lot of issues associated with a project this size and the extent of renovations.”

Following the sale, Tse said it took a few months to clear up legal paperwork and secure the right permits for the renovations.

The local community has also grown attached to the castle, which Tse said has challenged him to find the right balance between honouring the history of the castle, while also moving forward with renovations that will “make it last at least another 100 years.”

“That was the first huge stumbling block, but after that, it’s just a beautiful old building that needs a lot of tender loving care,” Tse said, adding the municipality has also been very supportive of the project and has offered extensive help.

For the Vancouver owner, who has asked to remain anonymous, Tse said the castle represented more of a challenge than an investment property.

“If they wanted to make money, there were other things they could do that are much easier,” Tse said, noting the new owner was adamant about buying the castle.

Still, the new owner has no plans to live in Castle Manor.

“I doubt they will move to Moncton — they love Vancouver too much,” Tse said.

Instead, the castle — which used to be a care home but has sat empty for several years — will be converted into a planned 14 high-end market condo units. Tse said the finished product could be ideal for mature professionals at a nearby hospital, professors and mature students at the local university, or retirees in the surrounding area who are looking to downsize but wish to remain in the neighbourhood.

There are no plans to change the stone facade of the castle, other than possibly adding a few windows, and the rest of the designs are still subject to the heritage board’s approval.

Tse and his crew — many of whom have worked with him for 25 years — begin their work on Tuesday, by conducting support-beam and sound- proofing tests. A completion date of Oct. 1, 2015 has been set.

“It’s a challenging but interesting project,” Tse said.


Is staging still important in a hot market?

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

by Olivia D’Orazio15 Oct 2014

Today’s super-heated market is making home staging a tough sell, say agents, nonetheless arguing that it’s  essential to winning maximum sale price.

“If you spent $5,000 staging your home, it could get you another $50,000 on offer night,” David Fleming, a Toronto real estate agent and author, wrote on his

His advice comes even as CREA reports home sales climbed 10.6 per cent in September, with the average sale soaring 5.9 per cent to $408,795. That’s not traditionally the market that recommends staging, say agents.
But the fundamental reasons for staging are the same, regardless of market conditions, say advocates.

“You stage a property in order to drive buyer traffic and show the maximum potential of the space,” Chandra Bradley, CEO of Home Staging Visuals, tells REP. “As a result, you tend to sell faster for higher.”

Staging also helps potential buyers to see the space in a better light. For example, if potential buyers walk into an empty bedroom, they might not believe that a queen-sized bed can fit in the space, Bradley explains, but if that bed is in the room, they can see that.

Staging is also a reflection of the lightning-fast decision making of clients, who are increasingly inclined to place bids on a property before even seeing it in person. It’s for the same reason that staging the outside space is important.

“With landscaping, you need to think about colour and the exterior being well groomed. You also need to think about function in the backyard,” she says. “You want to romance the buyer, so you’re really selling the lifestyle.”

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Kamloops Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.