Earlier this month, Homeday released a study to discover the most family friendly city around the world. The cities were selected based on the desire to raise families. We are proud to say that Vancouver was ranked number 6 in the study.
Homeday conducted the study by asking hundreds of parents what they considered most important for raising a family. Five main categories were determined throughout the study: City, Maternity and Health, Happiness, Travel and Activities, and Expert Perception. While parents considered affordability and pollution, their biggest considerations are good schools and the ability to buy a home. Thousands of cities were analyzed and a list of the 100 top cities came up. For these 100 cities, they were ordered based on parent and professional polls.
Each city received a mark out of 10 for each category. While Vancouver scored under six points for housing, it received over eight for education, happiness, safety, pollution, child activities and transportation. Also, out of all the Canadian cities, Vancouver scored the highest.
Steffen Wicker, the managing director at Homeday, stated that the most important factor for young families when looking for real estate is a location that is good for family development.
Family Friendly City Rankings
Today, our team was recognized with an award for being the #1 Team at RE/MAX All Points Realty!
We are extremely grateful for this award. 127 deals in 2016 – way to go team! We missed having Anh Hoang at our event. She is on a much deserved holiday in London – though still working, from a distance, on 3 deals!!
Congratulations to Léo Bruneau for earning the Diamond level of achievement!
Extra special thank you to:
Keith Cornies – for your much needed coaching throughout the year!
Gayle Kossaber – for your continuous support and guidance!
Lynda Kell and Jennie Copeland – for looking after our conveyance needs!
And all of our incredible family, friends, clients, and community for helping us to achieve this award, and doing so with smiles on our faces!
Looking forward to a successful 2017,
Matt, Ron, Nancy, Jasmine, Robin, Kristen, Anh, and Léo
Is now the time to buy real estate? Absolutely.
According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver the past year has seen a tremendous increase in the value of real estate value in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody, making homes in these areas an incredible investment.
… that’s an average increase of $213 333 in only one year!
The Tri-Cities’ townhouse market experienced the same upswing as well, with the MLS HPI Benchmark Price increasing by an average of $77 ,833, and the condo market wasn’t far behind with an average increase of $52 500. Port Moody saw the most growth in respect to both, with Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam not far behind.
These trends indicate a unique (and incredible) opportunity for real estate investment, and they’re projected to continue. While it is apparent that the Tri-Cities have the potential for rapid and substantial return, homes in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody also provide a picturesque, family-friendly place for homeowners to settle down with a very positive outlook for appreciation as well.
There’s pride in homeownership; while owning a home offers greater privacy than renting, you’re more likely to become a part of the community when you own, and the Tri-Cities offer a variety of fantastic communities for you to plant your roots.
Choosing the neighborhood best suited to your wants and needs can be as important as choosing the right home. How can you choose the right community? Become a neighborhood detective. Figure out what you’re looking for, do research and find a neighborhood that fits your description.
STEP 1 — Profile Your Perfect Neighborhood
Before you start scrutinizing neighborhoods, turn the magnifying glass back on yourself.
Think about what you’re really looking for in a new neighborhood. Remember, you’ll probably have to make compromises, so put the “must-haves” at the top and the “would- like-to-haves” at the bottom. Not sure what fits your lifestyle? Here’s a list of 12 types of neighborhoods to get you started.
Here are some things to consider:
- Do you have children or are you planning to have children anytime soon? Parents know that the first thing to do when looking at a neighborhood is to research the school system. Even if you’re single, living in an area with a much sought-after school system raises your property value. If you have kids, you’ll also want to live close to parks and community centers.
- What type of home do you want? Are you interested in a single-family home or an apartment, townhouse or co-op? Read more about the different types of homes.
- How far are you willing to commute? Do you plan to drive, walk or take mass transit to work? Do you have a car or would you be willing to get one?
- Do you want to be in a historic neighborhood or a new development? Historic neighborhoods have tons of character, but often require lots of repair work and are governed by community associations with strict standards. Newer developments have more modern features, but are typically far from the city center. Read more about the different types of architecture styles.
- What is your current community lacking? If you’re currently landlocked, but have always wanted to live on the waterfront, put that at the top of your list. If you’re a coffee junkie, having a Starbucks down the street may be a dream come true.
- Do you want to be able to go places on foot? Would you like to be within walking distance of shops, restaurants and bars? Or would you be willing to drive to nearby businesses?
- Think about what you don’t want in a neighborhood, too. If you can’t stand late-night noise, you’ll probably want to steer clear of the college area or an area with a lively bar scene.
STEP 2 — Zero In on the Area
If you’re moving within the same city, you may already know the various neighborhoods. Choose the ones that best match your list of wants. If you’re moving to a new city, you’ll have to do more research. Start by picking a part of town to search in. For instance, if your job is on the west side of town, start there. In a really large city, narrow it down to a few-block radius. This will make your search more focused.
STEP 3 — Get the Suspects
With your area of the city in mind, start digging up information. Find interesting neighborhoods online, ask local real estate agents for recommendations and compile all the background information you can, including:
- School information: Look into the local public and private elementary, junior and high schools, as well as daycare programs.
- Crime statistics: Most real estate sites have statistics that tell you how the zip code’s crime rates measure up to the national average. If you want specifics, call the local police station.
- Parks and recreation: How far is it to the closest park or recreation center?
- Neighborhood associations: Does the community you’re looking at have one, and, if so, are there lawn or construction restrictions? Is there a yearly fee?
- Tourist attractions: Get a guidebook or check out the convention and tourism bureau’s Web site to see all the city has to offer.
STEP 4 — Find the Clues
Once you’ve done the background research, visit neighborhoods that made the preliminary grade in person. There’s no better way to paint a real picture of life in the neighborhood. Use your senses to get a complete picture of the prospective community.
- Remember your first impression. What do you notice first about the neighborhood? Do the streets have curb appeal? Are the houses well-maintained? Do the shops and restaurants look hip and inviting? You’ll want to feel good about where you call home, and impress buyers when you’re ready to move on.
- Visualize yourself in the neighborhood. Think of your daily routine. If you can’t live without a morning latte, is there a coffee shop nearby? Where will you walk your dog or go jogging? You’ll enjoy the neighborhood more if it’s easy to do what you like.
- Observe the neighborhood at different times of the day. Driving through will help you get a snapshot of life in the community — good and bad. Do the roads turn into a parking lot after school or during rush hour? Are people using grills or decks in the evening? Are neighbors and kids socializing or do people keep to themselves? Are the streets well-lit at night? These visual clues can help you decide if you’ll fit in.
- Make sure the local schools make the grade. Even if you don’t have kids, pay a visit to the nearby schools. High ratings are great, but seeing the buildings is much more telling. It will be easier to sell your house later if the schools are nice.
- Look for warning signs. Be on the lookout for signs that the neighborhood is in trouble. Do you see abandoned buildings or vandalism? Are there a lot of “For Sale” signs or rentals? If the community goes downhill, so does your house’s value.
- Stop and listen. Bird and nature sounds are generally pleasant, but what about noise from the highway, airport, hospital, train tracks or nearby clubs and bars? It’s not very relaxing to listen to trains screech by during your morning coffee — especially not every morning.
- Talk to your future neighbors. Ask how they like the area, and get the dirt on anything they don’t like about the place. What do they want to change? What’s their favorite place to hang out? If they’re rude to you, they probably wouldn’t be good neighbors anyway.
- Talk to more people. You’ll get the best information from regular people who aren’t trying to make a sale. (Read: not your real estate agent.) Hit up your waiter for information when you’re checking out the local food, or ask a gas station attendant to spill what they know about your chosen neighborhood.
- Specifically, are there any? You can’t experience unpleasant smells on the Internet and they’re not advertised in tourism brochures, but they can certainly affect your decision to live in an area. Take a big whiff of the air, and ask around if you smell any fishy (or just bad) odors.
STEP 5 — Close the Case
You’ve chosen your neighborhood. Now for the hard part: finding a house you love. That’s when you call on a real estate team who specializes in the local housing market. If the neighborhoods you’ve chosen happen to be located in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New West, or Maple Ridge call Team Leo at 604-936-1111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you find the perfect home!
The Bank of Canada announced it will keep its key interest rate on hold at 0.5 per cent.
The central bank said a lower Canadian dollar has helped absorb some of the impact of lower commodity prices, which have been hurt by increasing uncertainty about growth prospects for China and other emerging markets.
“The stimulative effects of previous monetary policy actions are working their way through the Canadian economy,” said the bank, which twice cut its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point earlier this year.
Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres, said the central bank had been disappointed with the export sector, but more recent data has shown considerable improvement.
“That is a result of the decline in the Canadian dollar as well as the strength in the U.S. economy, both of which helped offset the negative effects of the havoc that has been wreaked in the oil sector,” she said.
Cooper said if the signs of growth for the third quarter hold steady, the Bank of Canada will likely keep its key rate on hold for a “considerable period.”
“Movements in the Canadian dollar are helping to absorb some of the impact of lower commodity prices and are facilitating the adjustments taking place in Canada’s economy,” the central bank statement said.
“Today’s statement suggests the bank remains nervous about the impact of the recent slide in commodity prices however (it) appears to be willing to be patient,” said Royal Bank assistant chief economist Dawn Desjardins.
“Encouragingly, the bank did not indicate any predisposition to revise the forecast issued in July for the economy to return to positive growth in the third quarter with this growth continuing to (the) end (of) 2017 despite the recent slip in oil prices.”
Statistics Canada reported earlier this month that the economy contracted in the second quarter in line with the Bank of Canada’s expectations.
That was followed by better than expected trade results for July and a stronger than expected jobs report for August that suggested the economy is pulling out of the slump that saw it contract in the first two quarters, putting the country into a recession.
Inflation has also ticked higher in recent months as rising food prices have offset lower gasoline prices, while core inflation — which excludes some volatile items — has been above two per cent for a year.
Total inflation has remained near the bottom end of the Bank of Canada’s target range of between one and three per cent, due to the drop in energy prices. However, core inflation has been close to two per cent due to the drop in the Canadian dollar and some sector-specific factors, the bank said.
The Bank of Canada’s next rate announcement is set for Oct. 21 when it is also scheduled to release an updated outlook for the economy and inflation in its monetary policy report.
Fire Insurance is on many people’s minds right now, as there are approximately 240 fires are burning throughout BC.
With property owners facing evacuation orders and alerts, it’s a good time to re-visit your insurance policy.
Existing insurance policies and renewals may be affected, according to Trudy Lancelyn, deputy executive director of the Insurance Brokers Association of BC.
Clients facing insurance policy renewals should contact their insurance broker well ahead of time. “The insurer may have new requirements,” said Lancelyn.
“For example, the insurer may send out inspectors who could require brush around the property to be removed.”
- If there is an evacuation order or alert, an insurer may not renew a policy until the threat eases. There could also be restrictions in a policy.
- Insurance for properties in unprotected fire districts (without a fire department or fire hydrants), such as some of the smaller Gulf Islands, can be more expensive than in protected fire districts.
What to do
Home owners and buyers should contact several insurance providers to compare criteria and get the policy most suited to your needs.
Your REALTOR® will also help you by using the Subject to Fire/Property Insurance clause developed by the Real Estate Council of BC:
“This offer is subject to the Buyer obtaining approval for fire/property insurance, on terms and rates satisfactory to the Buyer, on or before (date). This condition is for the sole benefit of the Buyer.”
For air quality in your neighbourhood, visit Metro Vancouver’s Air Quality Air Map.