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How to Make the Buying Process More Enjoyable, and Get Better Results

I often come across buyers who have looked at so many properties that they have become frustrated and have lost all faith in ever finding anything suitable.

One of the most important steps in purchasing a piece of real estate is to make a wish list. Included in this list, is everything you want and need in your new place. Brainstorm for as long as you can and include everything you can possibly think of.

Each item on this list should have a priority. Try to not have too many items have the same priority. To do this, you need to first write down everything that comes to your mind that will help you make your decision. This can include: price, location, age of the property, interior finishes, amenities, vicinity to public transport, etc. 

You will know the priority of most of the items on this list, however, if you have trouble deciding between two points' priority, assume that everything else is exactly the way you want it to be and compare the two points of confusion with each other, which one would you rather have in your new place? For example, all other items being available, would you more like to have a swimming pool in your building or would you like to be within one block of a grocery store?

When you have this list, be ready to give up at least 2 or 3 items on the list when you are trying to decide what to purchase since like everything else, no one piece of real estate is perfect unless you have an absolutely unlimited budget, time and patience. If you do, chances are you will never buy anything.

Just remember, the goal when buying your own place is to live a happy and comfortable life, if something feels right, go for it. You can always sell and move up in a few years.

Buyers: Are you frustrated with your real estate agent?

I have heard this too many times from buyers: "My agent does not listen to me. The properties they show me are not what I told them I desire!!"

Well, it boils down to this. If your agent does not take the time to really UNDERSTAND what you are looking for, chances are, they will show you properties you are not interested in.

When interviewing agents (or getting referred to one), make sure you pay attention to the questions they ask you. You want them to ask you very specific and detailed questions not only about the type of property you are looking for, but also about your lifestyle, your hobbies, your inspirations, etc.

Only in this way can they really understand what it is that you are hoping to find among the thousands of listings available on any given day.

Types of Property Ownership

Today I will briefly discuss types of property ownership.


  • Freehold
Also known as "fee simple" this is the form we most commonly know 
as "ownership" of a home.
The owner of this type of ownership has full control over the land and the buildingson the land subject to any bylaws or restrictions at the time of purchase.
  • Strata Title
This form of ownership provides exclusive use and control of a particular housingunit (strata unit), in addition to shared use and ownership of the common areassuch as hallways, courtyards, etc.
Financial responsibility of the common property is shared between all owners.
Homes that offer this type of ownership include: apartment buildings, duplexes,townhouses, warehouses, etc.
  • Leasehold
In some cases, the right to use a residential property is purchased for a long butlimited period of time. This is called leasehold interest.
Leasehold interests are usually set out for a term of 99 years. But regardless ofthe original term, buyers can only purchase what is remaining of the term of thelease.
Apartments built on city-owned land and some properties on First NationsReserves, some single detached homes on farmland as well as apartments wherethe freehold owner of an entire apartment block sells leasehold interests toindividual apartment owners.
  • Cooperative
When owners own shares in a company which in turn owns a property, this type ofownership is a "cooperative".
Most properties with this form of ownership have age restrictions, rentalrestrictions, pet restrictions and so forth.
When purchasing a property, make sure your real estate agent explains the form of the ownership and what it means to you.

Inspection: A Buyer's Best Friend

As buyers, you are responsible for inspecting the home on which you have an accepted offer. Normally, a buyer is given about a week after their offer is accepted, as per the contract, to do due diligence and make sure the property you are looking into is as the seller is representing it.

Inspection is one of the most, if not THE most, important item on the todo list for that week. A professional inspector walks through the whole house or apartment, checks the plumbing, flooring, appliances, lights and electrical panel, windows, boilers, mechanical and electrical rooms, etc...

The inspection normally takes about two hours (regardless of the size of the home) and at the end, the inspector provides you (the potential buyer) with an extensive report. The report contains any problematic areas in the property with recommendations about how to remediate them.

The cost normally starts at about $300 plus applicable taxes. Beware that a less expensive inspection quote may not necessarily be a good thing. You want a very thorough inspection done on your most important investment to prevent potential big ticket problems in the future.

Top Ten Buildings with Three Bedroom Condos for Sale

I have been working with a lot of clients who love to live in downtown Vancouver AND need a three bedroom condo. Well, as I mentioned in a previous post, these are very hard to come by and not very common especially in the downtown core. 

So I have compiled a list of top ten buildings with three bedroom apartments available for sale. Please feel free to browse through the available listings on my "Featured Properties".


1. 1199 Marinaside Crescent (Yaletown)
Aquarius I
Built in 1999
38 Floors and 189 Suites

2.1499 W Pender (Coal Harbour)
West Pender Place
Built in 2011
36 Floors and 91 Suites

3.1226 Hamilton (Yaletown)
Greenwich Place
Built in 1998
7 Floors and 20 Suites

4.1067 Marinaside Crescent (Yaletown)
Queywest II
Built in 2001
24 Floors and 132 Suites

5.1201 Marinaside Crescent
The Peninsula
Built in 1997
36 Floors and 146 Suites

6.1211 Melville (Coal Harbour)
The Ritz
Built in 2008
38 Floors and 185 Suites

7.788 Hamilton
TV Towers I
Built in 2009
26 Floors and 225 Suites

8.1239 W Georgia (Coal Harbour)
Built in 1997
36 Floors and 298 Suites

9.1189 Howe
Built in 1999
29 Floors and 238 Suites

10.833 Seymour
Capitol Residences
Built in 2011
43 Floors and 372 Suites


Own for $300,000 in Coal Harbour, the Most Sought After Downtown Neighbourhood

The Coal Harbour neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver is one of the most prestigious and sought after areas in Vancouver. But we know what that means: EXPENSIVE.

Well, I'm excited to tell you that whether you are a first time home buyer or an investor looking to own in this great neighbourhood, you have excellent options.

One of the buildings that I love and always recommend to clients is "The Qube" at 1333 W Georgia Street (between Jervis and Broughton). Situated in the heart of Coal Harbour, only a block away from the water, seconds to public transit and two blocks away from the Robson Street shopping, this great building completed in 2006.

Having been previously a commercial building, The Qube boasts a sound structure, 4 elevators and commercial grade materials. Because it was converted to residential in 2006, the balance of the 2-5-10 warranty remains for owners to enjoy.

Among the 181 units in the building is 420 sf. studios, 560 sf. Junior 1 Bedrooms, 670 and 770 sf. 1 Bedrooms and 940 sf. 2 Bedrooms, all with the same great 9' ceilings and very well coated exterior windows which allow for complete privacy from the neighbouring buildings.

With prices starting at around the $300,000 mark, you can certainly easily buy into this fantastic neighbourhood. The fact that rentals are allowed in this building is an added bonus for investors. 


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