Ride To Conquer Cancer A Big Success!

This past weekend Adam and I once again had the pleasure of participating in the annual Ride To Conquer Cancer.  Over two days we rode from Vancouver to Hope covering 230 km of gorgeous landscape.  The new route to Hope is beautiful and winds through quaint country roads, farms, and cute townships.  It winds from Cloverdale through Abbotsford to Chilliwack where our overnight camp was situated.  Then the next day we crossed over the Fraser River into Agassiz, and onto our final destination in Hope.  Overnight accommodations were tiny two-man tents which certainly do the job, as long as you are shorter than 6′ and enjoy a firm sleeping surface.  Over 1100 tents filled a field of tired cyclists, we were in the blue tent hahaha (see back side picture).  Of course, the ride organizers shipped our mats and sleeping bags to camp for us, thankfully we didn’t need to carry those on our bikes.

Our bikes are stored in a gigantic orange barn, and the fairway at camp is filled with food stops, freebie souvenirs from Ride sponsors, a massage tent (if you get there early enough to sign up), loads of snacks including fresh tomatoes & cucumbers, apples and oranges, and pretty well any refreshment known to man from Pellegrino’s to chilled wines.

The new caterer at camp (Peake Catering) had some great food this year from fabulous Quinoa salads, to Tofu Stir-fry, and tables of desserts.  Red Truck Brewing once again supplied the riders with cold lagers and summer ales to quench their thirst at the overnight camp.

Our sincere thanks to all of you that generously supported our fundraising efforts over the past 12 months!  Because of you, I am proud to announce, Pospischil Realty Group has now raised over $340,000 in total over the past 11 years of The Ride.  This year along with 2200 other riders, we helped raise $9.1 million towards cancer research and treatment options right here in BC.  Over the past 11 years the Ride To Conquer Cancer has raised $105.1 million for the BC Cancer Foundation. The monies raised by your donations over the years has led to dozens of breakthroughs in the ongoing battle with cancer and allows BC to lead the world in research and treatments.

As a cancer survivor myself I know the challenges cancer patients and their families face in their journey through diagnoses, treatments, and the roller coaster of emotions towards the finish line.  Our annual ride reminds me personally of my past challenges and enables me, and those that joined us through their support, to help push the boundaries of research and treatments to help those on the journey today, and in the future.  And perhaps one day we can celebrate a victory in a cure to cancer.

If you would like to support us in next year’s 2020 Ride To Conquer Cancer, we have just setup our donations link on our home page and welcome any online donations.  Every dollar makes a difference!  Please go the link on our home page and support this great cause. 

 

 

Another Epic Ride – Ride To Conquer Cancer 2019

Even in my 11th and Adam’s 10th year of fundraising for this event, the riders that participate in the event, and how they got to be there is always the most inspirational part.

At camp, Adam and I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah and her mom and sister. We sat across from them at dinner and heard her story. Sarah is a young lady, and is a dancer and a rower. She has just recently undergone two major brain surgeries for cancer treatment, resulting in a 75% loss of vision, and is still in treatment. Sarah rode alongside her mom and sister for the full 230 km! She did this while she battles the disease because she believes in the fight, and has a passion to help others with this disease.

She was so humble, kind, and happy to be participating in the event, and to share her story with us. Adam and I were so touched by her story that we sat teary-eyed and in awe at this young lady’s resilience and determination.

We asked her if we can share her story, as it’s a true beautiful picture of what this event means. If we had half the courage and a fraction of her determination, just think of what we could all accomplish united against this relentless and life changing disease.

If Sarah can do this grueling event after what she has gone through, then don’t we owe it to her and the thousands of other patients now undergoing treatments to support them and the growing alliance to beat this disease!

Donate now by clicking on the gold button on our home page

Fall Market Update 2019

MARKET UPDATE Every Market offers unique opportunities to clients. For example, this market we are currently in is an excellent time to buy a detached house or land or upgrade to a larger condo. This is especially true if you are selling a condo in order to make the land purchase. We have assisted dozens of clients taking advantage of this window to make this unique upgrade; some to live in, and some for investment. The opportunities in the westside and eastside of our fair city are phenomenal right now, a perfect environment to buy in. As they say “buy up in a down market.” This also holds true for those wanting to upgrade into higher-end strata such as townhomes, duplexes and luxury condos around and above the $1M mark.

In this compressed market, the analogy is best understood by looking at a compressed spring. The once more expensive properties at the top of the spring are much better value now compared to the entry level product at the bottom of the spring that only changed marginally. Plus, the cost for you to sell your current home and upgrade to these properties is lower than ever because the market is compressed. Once the spring is let go, and the market recovers, the jump from the bottom to the top or middle to the upper section is greater, the upgrade gap becomes much larger and the window is missed.

So, do we wait for the market to hit bottom? And when will that be?

Do we really need to wait until the Oct 16, 2021 Provincial Election to see a resurgence of our market? I don’t believe so.

Entry level condos under $700k are super-hot at the moment. We have been generating excellent sales scenarios for clients selling these through our strategic approach and marketing plan generating from two to a dozen offers on our listings as can be seen on the Sales-To-Actives Graph. At the same time, with interest rates being as low as they are, and dropping, many first-time and first-upgrade buyers are gaining a further benefit in this regard taking advantage of the cheap money. The banks are being super diligent in their approval process, but the money is there. As long as you have a job and some cash or equity in your current home you likely have the means.

As the cost to rent continues to increase and the vacancy rate dropped a full percentage point to 3%, many renters are doing the math and discovering it is making more and more sense to buy now. When your rent payment is similar to a mortgage payment for the same property, why would one rent? Further optimism of a potential roll back of the Stress Test in the upcoming Federal Oct 21st election platform is another bright light luring buyers into the market now. BC’s economy is expected to grow by 1.9% this year above what was forecast. New massive projects such as the contentious Trans Mountain Pipeline, the $9.1 billion Vancouver International Airport expansion, and the $3.3 billion dollar SkyTrain extension will both create massive employment and further boost our local economy.

I can’t tell you if the bottom of the market has hit yet, but it certainly is possible that the ‘bell has tolled’ and we just didn’t hear it. Whether it has happened, or we endure another 6 months to a year of this uncertainty, it does not forego the amazing opportunities that await us in our current market. And the only mistake we can make is not act on it, and miss it. It’s time to buy up in this down market and those who do will ride the wave up in their more expensive property for a higher yield than what they were getting by staying put. So, if you have the means to buy up, now is the time to do it. We are here to assist you in this, call us to discuss and plan your next real estate move.

Mortgage Update by Paula Siemens | Invis

An overall Global Economic slowdown caused by tariffs, and overall political uncertainty has caused the bond market yields to fall. We may not see a recession in 2020 as originally thought, but there is tremendous volatility in play at present.

In July, the jobless rate rose causing the Bank of Canada to come up with a plan to buy Canadian bonds back to create a stabilization to our bond yields. Falling yields are good for fixed mortgage rates. We have recently seen rate sales increase for purchases of homes under $1M and for mortgages coming up for renewal through lenders’ transfer programs. Refinance and rental rates have seen a modest reduction as well.

We are currently in an inverted market where variable rates are higher than the 5 yr fixed rates. If you are in a variable rate mortgage you may wish to explore your rate to convert into a new 5 yr fixed rate, you may end up saving money by locking in. However, it is very important to consider that locking your rate in also exposes you to a higher exit penalty. If you plan on selling to buy a bigger place, or downsizing you may be better off staying in a variable mortgage as your penalty will be be capped at a 3 months interest penalty for a traditional variable mortgage product.

The Non-Resident Vendor

Carolynne R. Maguire, Notary Public

In residential conveyancing, there are numerous circumstances under which funds must be retained in trust after the transaction is completed, but none more onerous than that contemplated by Section 116(5) of the Income Tax Act (the “Act”). Therein, a non-resident of Canada is obligated upon disposition of real Canadian property to apply to Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) for clearance as evidenced by a certificate (“Certificate”). In order to be protected from potential tax liability, their purchaser will require receipt of same prior to closing or must holdback from sale proceeds an amount prescribed by the Act.

The calculation of the holdback is based primarily upon the use of the sold property and has no relation to the amount of the withholding tax, if any, expected to be paid. As a general rule, if the property was never income producing, having been occupied only by family members for personal use, the amount need only be 25% of the sale price. Alternatively, if the property was ever tenanted, the holdback must be calculated as 25% of land value plus 50% of improvement value, usually pro-rated from current assessed values to actual price. When the history of the property’s use is unclear, the latter will prevail.

Clearly, the impact of such a significant holdback can affect the viability of a transaction and should be addressed prior to listing. Vendors with any question as to their residency for tax purposes should first satisfy themselves in this regard, perhaps with assistance from an accountant. Once determined non-resident, another important consideration for a vendor will be whether their financial position could support both the required holdback and full repayment of a mortgage and/or other transactional obligations. If not, hardship provisions may apply and, under very limited circumstances, the Certificate can sometimes be issued within days and made available to the purchaser before closing, thus eliminating the need for the statutory holdback.

The takeaway here for both parties to a real property transaction is to identify the residency of the vendor as early as possible and to be alert to the implications of non-residency in Canada. The purchaser is obligated to make reasonable enquiry in this regard and the vendor must be prepared to represent their residency under oath or obtain clearance. Just another reason to work with an experienced real estate agent and conveyancing firm!

For a more complete discussion on this subject, my original article published in 2003 can be found at: https://www.notaries.bc.ca/
resources/scrivener/winter2003/12_4_19.pdf

Additional relevant information is also available in the FAQ’s on our website under “Distance Clients”:  https://marpolenotary.com/services/real-property/
and/or by contacting me directly at: notary@marpolenotary.com

Market Update – May 2019

The real estate market in Vancouver continues to chug along at a consistent moderate pace with the odd spits and spats of activity.

Through our 38+ Point Marketing Plan, we have been successful in generating a high turnout and multiple offers on most of our listings resulting in well above market sales. The attached product is very active now with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom condos, townhomes, and half duplexes making up the vast majority of sales in our current market.

Our upgrade buyers are sitting pretty as they are in a super strong position selling their hotter entry to mid-level product and upgrading into the higher end detached product (houses) which is relatively quiet. Listing agents are rolling out the red carpet and making us lattes when we show their listings. It’s easy to setup tours, they are friendly, and accommodating and are hoping we choose their home to offer on. What a great market to buy a house in (see recent House article).

Our biggest challenge today is not necessarily the low activity stats, the numerous government tax programs, or the difficult loan qualification process (although these are not helping) but rather that the consumer confidence is down. Most buyers are playing the waiting game. If everyone waits, nothing happens. The market stays soft and prices flatline. . . . . It’s the perfect time to buy!

Once that big announcement in the media comes through that our market is recovering, prices are already well on their way up and those waiting buyers have missed the bottom end of the market cycle. At that point buyers begin climbing over each other to buy and prices climb faster than anyone anticipates.

So, if you are planning to make an upgrade, there is no better time than right now. Don’t miss this window as it will not last.

Best Options:
1. Do an equity take out on your current home and invest in an entry level detached house in East Vancouver.
2. Sell your condo/townhouse/duplex and buy your first house in the smallest marginal upgrade market cost we have seen in years.
3. Purchase with a friend or family member with a 3-5 year plan to cash out when the market decompresses and potentially earn 50 times more than what you are earning now in your investments.
4. Etc. etc.

Mortgage Update

by Paula Siemens | INVIS The Siemens Group

The Bank of Canada announced that they will be holding the overnight rate as is, citing a slower than expected 2019 economic outlook; which will keep the prime rate as is. Posted fixed rates should also remain stable. However, lenders’ cost to underwrite a mortgage have increased substantially over the past few years due to legislative changes. It now costs on average $1500-2000 to underwrite a mortgage application due to increased scrutiny and reporting required. The lenders feel that the current climate is a race to the bottom, leaving very little profit margin for your average mortgage. At some point lenders will feel that they can no longer offer the same rate sales, meaning we could see some effective mortgage rates rise slightly while the Bank of Canada Rate and Bank Posted rates remains unchanged.

The Bank of Canada will likely try to increase the overnight rate in 2020.

The 2019 Ride To Conquer Cancer

Every year Adam and I and Team Pospischil Realty join the Ride To Conquer Cancer to raise funds in our community for the BC Cancer Foundation. The funds raised annually go directly into cancer research and treatment options right here in BC. Thanks to your continued support over the past 10 years Team Pospischil Realty has raised over $325,000 in this fight against cancer.

This year’s route of 200+ km will run from Vancouver To Hope (100% Canadian!) and will take place over the August 24th/25th weekend.

This year for the 2019 Ride, we are pleased to announce that in partnership with our friends at West Point Cycle, we promise to have our most supported and successful ride ever!

As a cancer survivor myself I know the challenges cancer patients and their families face in their journey through diagnoses, treatments, and the roller coaster of emotions towards the finish line. I have travelled the cancer road 3 times in my lifetime, my brother Rudy has had cancer twice, and both my parents have battled cancer. My quest is personal and so may be yours as everyone is touched by this disease.

Our annual ride reminds me personally of my past challenges and enables me, and those that joined us through their support, to help push the boundaries of research and treatments to help those on the journey today, and in the future. And perhaps one day we can celebrate a victory in a cure to cancer.

We thank you for your continued support in our campaign. With your help cancer can be beaten within our lifetime. Join us in our fight against cancer and support our ride by simply clicking the link below:

Grand Office Opening

The day has finally come where Pospischil Realty opens its doors at our new head office located at 1638 W 1st Ave. After 6 months of construction, we officially open the office doors for business in early February.
Our new state of the art office is centrally located to best service our entire Vancouver market area. We also built in some little surprises into the new design like our “wall of success”, our new Kids Area, NY loft ceilings, some creative furniture, and generous glass-walled presentation rooms. It’s a great place to celebrate Vancouver real estate and link in with the latest in our market. We would love for you to drop in for a coffee or espresso to see the new digs and say hello.

Market Update

There is a new energy abound in Vancouver that began early in the New Year. I am not going to bore you with all the graphs and copious amounts of data we have to show you the carnage over the past 18 months but in summary: detached houses have softened, and strata condominiums and attached townhomes/duplexes have held their own and appreciated a healthy amount. On a lighter note, call volume is up, plus appointments for listings and buyer meetings are up dramatically, signalling a very promising spring market.

Now that the dust has settled from 2018, we are witnessing many buyers stepping back into the market including first time buyers, clients purchasing investment property, and upgrade buyers taking advantage of the compressed market. The threat of increased interest rates has calmed and current rates, which are well below the historical average, are holding nicely (see Paula’s Mortgage Update article).

With inventory beginning to build and buyers entering into our market we will likely see a stabilization and possibly some growth for 2019 despite the doom and gloom we are all reading in social media and the newspapers. Remember the media reports on past data, but we are on the front lines and see firsthand the activity and behaviour in our market. And it’s looking very very promising.

With some political windows opening up, beginning with the Nanaimo provincial by-election January 30th, there is further opportunity for a political shift back towards the right which would be a positive impact on our market. The upcoming Federal election this October 21st could also offer some easing of existing restraint programs assisting new buyers. The bottom line is our population in Greater Vancouver is expected to grow by 30,000 people per year, or 1.2 million people by the year 2040 for a total number of residents of 3.4 million. All of these new Vancouverites will need a place to live. Even with increased densities and increased rental stock, the demand on this limited supply of land will grow significantly. So, the opportunities are in place for our market to come back and, with any luck, 2019 could be a ‘revival year’ for Vancouver real estate.