Yvette Sabi Real Estate Blog This blog is everything about real estate, trends, and opportunities in the real estate market Tue, 21 Apr 2015 07:36:55 -0700 Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.6 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.mysmallhome.com yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Tarko) Yvette Tarko Important Information Regarding Mortgages and Refinancing Wed, 19 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/107 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/107 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi The government of Canada has announced changes in the rules and regulations related to taking a new mortgage or refinancing an existing property. Those new regulations will take affect as of March 18th of this year.
If you are planning on taking a new mortgage or refinance a property, the time to act is NOW before those changes take affect.

I have both the resources and expertise to assist you!

Call me or send me an email if you are interested, have any questions or concerns.

This is the information I received regarding the changes I mentioned above
" First, the government will reduce the maximum mortgage amortization period from 35 to 30 years. Second, the maximum amount of the value of a home that can be re-financed will drop from 90 per cent to 85 per cent. And finally, government insurance will no longer be available to financial institutions wishing to insure home equity lines of credit
“These are prudent measures that promote responsible lending practices and further strengthen our internationally recognized mortgage finance system,” Jake Moldowan, Board president said.
The adjustments to the mortgage insurance guarantee framework will come into force on March 18, 2011. The withdrawal of government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes will come into force on April 18, 2011."
Your realtor in the Vancouver and Richmond areas.


Successfully Selling A Home Tue, 01 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/108 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/108 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Having the Right Mindset:
When selling your home it is important to put yourself in the position of the buyer. You must organize your house in a way that is most appealing and comfortable to the buyer and not what is most enjoyable and convenient for yourself. If you are able to achieve such a mindset, it could potentially lead to a faster sale of your home for more money.
First Impressions:
The key to successfully selling a house begins with first impressions. You only have one chance to strike a positive lasting impression with potential buyers when they view your home.
Here is some constructive advice on how to improve the impression and sale of your home:

Curb Appeal:
The first time prospective buyers set eyes on your property they will begin forming an impression. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 49 percent of homes are sold based on curb appeal. There are several easy ways to improve the buyer’s impression of your home:
␣            Keep the front yard relatively tidy by removing any tools and toys to reduce clutter
␣            Sweep the stairs if necessary
␣            Clean windows if they are dingy
␣            Clear away visible weeds and fungus while keeping your plants and lawn healthy
␣            Apply a new coat of paint where necessary
␣            Replace your old doormat with a new one
␣            Consider pressure washing the exterior of your home giving it a newer and brighter

Create Space and Flow:
When prospective buyers enter your residence they should be able to feel a sense of space and flow. Try the following tips:
␣            Make sure that the entrance and hallways are free of clutter
␣            Make the effort to reposition furniture to generate a more spacious and natural feel
␣            In a small room try switching to smaller furniture to create a feeling of more room
␣            It is important to have matching accessories that complement the décor of the home
␣            In darker rooms be sure to have all the blinds and curtains open
␣            Move any unwashed dishes into the dishwasher
␣            Hang up any loose clothing
␣            Clear kitchen and bathroom countertops
␣            Organize closets and other storage spaces as buyers do look inside

Revitalizing Your Walls:
Often the best solution is not to repaint your walls. Simple touch ups can improve the appearance of your home and can take years off your walls. Here are several techniques you can use to improve the appearance of your walls:
Create Space and Flow:
When prospective buyers enter your residence they should be able to feel a sense of space and flow. Try the following tips:
␣            Make sure that the entrance and hallways are free of clutter
␣            Make the effort to reposition furniture to generate a more spacious and natural feel
␣            In a small room try switching to smaller furniture to create a feeling of more room
␣            It is important to have matching accessories that complement the décor of the home
␣            In darker rooms be sure to have all the blinds and curtains open
␣            Move any unwashed dishes into the dishwasher
␣            Hang up any loose clothing
␣            Clear kitchen and bathroom countertops
␣            Organize closets and other storage spaces as buyers do look inside

Dealing with Odor:
Every home comes with its own unique scent – it could be the smell of new carpet or the smell of a pet. To combat undesirable odors you can try the following:
␣     Open windows to let fresh air in and the stale air out
␣     Minimize pet odors by vacating your pets prior to showing and vacuuming to remove
        pet odors from furniture and     carpet
␣     Running a lemon through the kitchen carburetor can remove unpleasant carburetor smells
␣     Using scented candles would be a good idea as many people enjoy vanilla based scents, such as French vanilla, crème brûleé, and scents related to baking, which enhance the potential buyer’s first impression of your home - other scents that might also be pleasant to buyers are the scent of clean laundry and citrus smells which indicate a clean home.

Home Buyer’s Handbook (Post 1 of 6) Thu, 10 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/119 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/119 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Home Buyer’s Handbook 
Congratulations on deciding to purchase a home.
In the next six by-weekly newsletters I will describe a step-by-step process that will get you off a fantastic start to successfully being a superstar, informed homebuyer.  Helping you make the right decision easy!


The calculation below can give you a general idea of costs associated to home buying:

Cost of home buying = One Time Costs (down payment, legal fees, inspection fees, taxes) + Monthly Costs (mortgage, utilities, maintenance, insurance, property taxes)
Mortgage – the amount a bank will lend you is determined by two lending principals:

1. GrossDebtServiceRatio(GDSR)–this lending principle says that your monthly housing costs should not exceed 32% of your gross monthly family income.
2. Total Debt Service Ratio (TDSR) calculation – this lending principle says that your monthly housing cost and payments on all other debts (including loans, credit card, lease payments, etc...) should not exceed 40% of your gross monthly income.
With these basic calculations as a point of reference, doing some research and applying them to your own situation will give you a general idea of how much home purchasing and ownership will cost, and an estimate on mortgage eligibility.

There are also numerous mortgage affordability calculators one of which you can find on my website www.mysmallhome.com  to assist you in figuring out how much you can afford.
Ultimately, the best way is to consult a mortgage representative at a financial institution – this way, you can ask them questions, and remember, don’t be shy! If there’s anything you’re uncomfortable with or unsure about, ASK!

An important step before looking for your dream home is to know, in advance, the amount of financing that you qualify for. Getting a mortgage pre-approval will set you on the right track and your financial representative can discuss your options with you and answer any questions that you may have.
By having a budget based on knowing all the costs involved in buying a home, you can set a realistic expectation for your dream home!


As mentioned earlier, an important step prior to looking for your dream home, is to get a mortgage pre-approval so your home search efforts are targeted to properties you know you can afford.
Some basic mortgage considerations include choosing between:

1. Down payment – putting a larger down payment will mean that your mortgage becomes smaller, though you must keep in mind to reserve some money for fees associated with home buying/ownership, taxes, repairs, moving, furniture, etc.

2. Fixed rate mortgage – involves an interest rate that does not change during the entire term of the loan, and offers peace of mind as your monthly payments will remain consistent during the term.
Variable rate mortgage – involves an interest rate that changes based on market rates, and can be unsettling if the rates begin to rise.

3. A mortgage term is the amount of time the bank has agreed to lend you the money. Terms usually can range from 6 months to 5 years, after which, your mortgage is renegotiated.
Long term mortgages may be more attractive when rates are beginning to rise or trending upwards, while short term mortgages would be preferable if rates are high.

4. Open mortgage – offers flexibility to repay the mortgage with a full payment or large payments anytime during the term without penalties. Typically, the interest rate for an open mortgage is higher.
Closed mortgage – usually offers lower rates, but do not have the flexibility of allowing large one-time payments.

5. Amortization – is the process of paying off the loan by periodic payments of blended principal and interest. A shorter amortization involves paying less interest, but your monthly payments would be larger, whereas a longer amortization would lower your payments.

When applying for a mortgage prepare the following:
·      Letter of employment confirmation (include your position, your pay and how many years you’ve been with the company).
·      List your assets (your car, stocks, bonds, GICs, etc).
·      List your liabilities (car payments, student loans, credit card debt, etc).
·      Social Insurance Number.
·      Your chequing account number.
·      Your lawyer’s contact information.
·      Information about the house you want to buy.
Next newsletter will discuss doing your research –which neighborhood? New or Resale home? Considerations to real- estate growth?

For any real-estate needs in the Vancouver and Richmond areas please call NOW
Yvette Tarko-Sabi at (604) 773-7247.

Working on your side, making the right choice an easy one!

Home Buyer's Handbook (post 2 of 6) Wed, 30 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/125 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/125 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Homebuyer’s handbook

This is the second of six chapters in which I will describe a step-by-step process that will get you off a fantastic start to successfully being a superstar, informed homebuyer.  Helping you make the right choice easy!

In the last post I discussed affordability and mortgage solutions. Today’s chapter is about doing your research!

Step 2

Before committing to any neighborhood or home, see what’s available. There may be places where you can find information about local areas for you and your family. Try looking through local real estate newspapers, or visiting www.mysmallhome.com. Other ideas may be visiting open houses in areas where you want to live, and taking the time to walk and drive around your ideal community.

Also, when doing your research, consider the type of home that would best suit your needs, lifestyle and meet your budget – are you raising a family and prefer a townhouse in the outskirts of the city as opposed to a condo in the city centre? Or, is a suburban single-family detached home more appropriate? Would a resale duplex be more affordable than a brand new condo in your desired community?

Spend time considering your needs first, and then look into your wants – many times, this is directly related to how much you can spend.

New or Resale

Besides having that ‘new home’ smell and feeling – a blank canvas for your personal touches, a new home offers:

* Modern elements: features, design and adherence to the latest building codes and standards.

* Warranty: new homes have levels of protection against defects and failures.

* Construction: the possibility exists where your move-in date may be postponed due to construction delays.

* HST: Affecting Ontario and BC starting July 1, 2010, homes at a certain price level will be impacted by the Harmonized Sales Tax (13% in Ontario and 12% in BC).

Although resale homes will likely not have the modern details of a new home, they do offer:

* Character: some people prefer to purchase a pre-loved home because of its history, unique qualities, and character.

* Upgrades: previous owners may have made improvements

that you get along with the house without having to do the work yourself.

When doing your research, remember to keep an open mind and not to get too high or too low about a particular home or area. There are plenty of options and opportunities out there!

Having a checklist of what you want in your ideal home and neighborhood will allow you to make comparisons when reviewing your options.

Home Buyer’s checklist


Area ____________ Street Address ____________ REALTOR® or Sales Person __________
Phone _____________

Distances to:

Work ________ Schools _____________Shopping _________ Highway Access ________
Public Transit   ___________      Doctors/Dentists __________
Hospital ___________Church _______ Community Centre            _________
Parks/recreation/jogging trails/bike paths etc. ____________
Train Tracks            ________ Airport __________ Neighbours’ property maintenance standards ____________ Garbage collection services   __________      Street Lights _____________
General maintenance of streets & alleys _________________
Area Zoning            _________
Neighborhood or Municipality covenants or restrictions on property use _____________
Proximity to industrial or manufacturing areas            ____________
Flood or earthquake potential ______Traffic Volumes __________

Roof ____________
 Furnace Pipes ___________
 Gas / Electrical Capacity _______
 Electrical Outlets location            __________
 Cable __________
 Telephone ___________
 Flooring ____________
 Appliances List & Conditions  __________
Landscaping ___________

REALTOR® _________________ Phone _______________________
Mortgage ___________________ Phone _______________________
Lawyer/Notary _______________ Phone _______________________
Home Inspector ______________ Phone _______________________

Asking Price$ ____________  Likely Price $ ____________ Property Taxes Utility / Garbage or Other Municipal Levies $ ____________ HST Applicable $ ____________
Property Transfer Tax $ ____________ Other Costs $ ____________ Down Payment $ ____________
Mortgage Terms $ ____________ Monthly Payments $ ____________ Principal & Interest Taxes$ ____________
Life Insurance on Mortgage $ ____________ Household Insurance $ ____________  Total $ ____________

Home Type __________________
Age ___________________ Kitchen ________________ Living Room ____________ Great Room ____________ Master Bedroom ________ 3rd Bedroom ___________ Number of Bathrooms            ________________
Master Ensuite _________            Storage Space ______________ Fireplace:            [ ] gas            [ ] wood burning
Total Square Feet ____________ Dining Room ________________ Family Room ________________
Den ___________ 2nd Bedroom _______________ Other Room ________________
Garage:            [ ] attached [ ] detached
Carport _______________ Back Yard _____________ Patio __________________
Special Features’________________
Font Yard _____________Fence ____________ Driveway            __________________

Next Newsletter will discuss how a REALTOR can help you.

or any real-estate needs in the Vancouver and Richmond areas please call NOW
Yvette Tarko-Sabi @ (604) 773-7247.
Working on your side, making the right choice an easy one!

Real estate search Fri, 08 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/154 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/154 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi With the Spring Market in full swing, it is important to know that not all agents and not all real estate companies are created equal. When hiring a professional to help you with your real estate search, take the time to ask them what their sales plan is to ensure that it matches your goals

Here is the outline of my Marketing Plan:

For most people, their home represents the single largest investment that they will ever make. In addition, the government encourages home-ownership by making principle residences one of the few investment vehicles on which CRA does not tax capital gains. Because of this, it is important for owners to make an informed decision about how they sell their home.

Sutton Group prides myself as being a full-service real estate company .

Home Evaluation-I will provide you with a FREE comparative market analysis (CMA) that outlines the strengths and weaknesses of your home, along with the current market conditions, including both recent sales and current listings, so that you may make an educated choice when it comes to pricing.

Marketing-Effective marketing is crucial to ensure you get the best price for your home. Marketing doesn’t stop at placing a sign on the lawn and posting your house on MLS. I, as a Sutton Group Realtor, in consultation with you, can provide a market analysis and property review to give you suggestions on how you can effectively improve the appearance of your home. In addition, I will respond to buyer/realtor inquiries, conduct open houses, qualify buyers for private showings, create high-quality marketing materials, utilize print advertising and social media tools.

Negotiation-I have been trained to provide advice and guidance throughout this process to ensure that you protect your own interests while maximizing the value for your home. It is important to have a great negotiator on your side

Once the deal is accepted, I will work hard to resolve any issues which may come up before the deal goes firm. If, for any reason, a problem should arise, I will have the backing of a full-service real estate company to support me.

Completion Services-Once the deal is near completion, a Sutton Group Realtor will work to ensure that all required legal documentation is transmitted to their respective legal and governmental bodies. I will assist with solving last minute problems, and possession will be arranged. This is a stressful time and it’s important that all closing issues are dealt with efficiently to ensure a smooth transfer.

Post Completion-My job is not over even though the deal has completed. I am still responsible for smoothing over any post-completion issues and being the primary communications conduit between the buyer and seller. In addition, I can be called upon to provide any advice with respect to settlement services, trades, and/or troubleshooting that may be required. Being a full-service professional, your Sutton Group Realtor will have the answer for you, or know where to get it.

Sutton Group Realty and its agents invest hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in training, education, market research, program development and agent support to ensure we have the necessary skills to provide our clients with the best service in the industry.

As a Sutton Agent I will help you make the right choice an easy one!

Call Today (604) 773-7247  I am there for you!

Apartments in Richmond Fri, 22 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/155 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/155 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi The Spring Market is underway. For those of you thinking about selling your condo, it is important to realize how vital the Art of Pricing is to the sale of your apartments in Richmond.

All sellers want the highest price possible for their homes, but the strategies to get there are not always intuitive. In certain circumstances, pricing low can be more effective than pricing high, while in others, pricing above market value can be a winning strategy. In most cases, however, the optimum pricing strategy is to price within 10% of market value and let the market decide. After all, the ‘list price’ comes with a caveat: Or Best Offer.

5 Reasons for NOT Pricing High:

·      You lose out on potential buyers who put a price cap on their property searches.

·      Serious buyers question the motivation of a seller with an overpriced listing.

·      You provide a strong comparable for your neighbors who are properly priced. You are effectively
       selling other people's well-priced homes.

·      Buyers assume that properties which remain on the market for long periods of time have something
       inherently wrong with them.

·      Other agents will be more hesitant to show your home.


As a Sutton Agent I will help you make the right choice an easy one!

Call Today (604) 773-7247  I am there for you!

Richmond real estate Mon, 02 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/156 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/156 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Please see below some interesting Richmond real estate information, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver,:

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 5 per cent to $622,991 in April 2011.

Sales of detached Richmond properties on the MLS® in April 2011 reached 408 units, an increase of 35% per cent from April 2010,

Sales of apartment properties reached 322 units in April 2011, a 42 per cent increase compared to April 2010.

Attached property sales in April 2011 totaled 239 units, a 45 per cent increase compared to April 2010!

Average Price of a Richmond Detached property (House) was $1,084,694 (2.1% increase over 2010).
Average Price of a Richmond Attached property (Townhouse, Duplex est.) $558,629 (1.4% increase over 2010).
Average Price of a Richmond condo unit (apartment) $360,425 (1.3% increase over 2010).

It’s Time to SELL!

For all your real estate needs please call NOW (604)773-7247.

                        …..Helping you make the Right Choice an Easy One!

The 200 largest real estate brokers in Canada Wed, 01 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/157 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/157 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Real Trends has published its second annual list of the 200 Largest Brokers in Canada, and there’s a new No. 1.

It’s Sutton Group – West Coast Realty, based in New Westminster, B.C. With 17 offices and 1,690 agents at the time the list was compiled, the brokerage had 14,577 “ends” or transaction sides in 2010. It also leads the Real Trends list of the largest brokers by closed sales volume in 2010, at a whopping $8,410,954,874.

Sutton Group – West Coast Realty was the original Sutton office in Canada, founded by Scott Shaw and Lance Tracey in 1983. The first office was in North Vancouver, but the company soon expanded to Coquitlam and Surrey. The firm later expanded across the province with other partners.

“In 2009, we recognized an opportunity for us to bring better value for Realtors in the market, which began a ‘rebirth’ of the organization,” says Josh Heppner, chief operating officer of Sutton Group – West Coast Realty. “We brought all the offices under a common ownership group and transitioned into expansion mode.”

The firm is now owned by a group of silent investors, most of whom have been brokers/owners at one time. The management group is led by Heppner and general manager Merrily Hackett. As of April 1 of this year, the firm had 1,751 sales reps.

Last year’s No. 1, the 15 Royal LePage corporately owned offices in Toronto, came in second on both lists for 2010.

Nicolai Kolding, partner at Real Trends, says compiling the second list was easier than the first time out, but they know there are companies that didn’t make the list and should be there. “We wish we could have reached everyone,” he says. “There are even some we heard from after we closed the survey.”

Sutton Group – West Coast Realty did not appear on last year’s list because they were not aware it was being compiled, says Heppner. Another significant newcomer to the list is independent Harvey Kalles Real Estate in Toronto, which ranks 14th on the sales volume list and 59th in transactions.

Re/Max offices hold down 137 of the top 200 positions. The top independent on the transaction sides list is CIR Realty in Calgary, at No. 18.

The full list includes the largest 200 firms, plus 29 “up and comers” that almost made the list.

Kolding says the 229 firms averaged 13.5 transaction ends and $4.79 million in closed sales volume. “The agents from the 229 largest U.S. firms, on the other hand, averaged 7.2 transaction ends and $2.04 million (US) in closed sales volume.”

REAL Trends 200

The 10 Largest Brokers in Canada

(Ranked by Closed Transaction Sides for 2010)

1. Sutton Group – West Coast Realty, New Westminster, B.C.  14,577

2. Royal LePage Real Estate Services, Toronto 10,979

3. Re/Max Realtron Realty, Markham, Ont.  8,444

4. Re/Max Real Estate (Edmonton), Edmonton 7,593

5. Royal LePage Team Realty & Royal LePage Gale Real Estate, Ottawa 7,537

6. Re/Max Real Estate Centre, Cambridge, Ont. 7,123

7. Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty, Belleville, Ont. 7,021

8. Re/Max Twin City Realty, Kitchener, Ont. 6,883

9. Re/Max Hallmark Realty, Toronto 6,700

10. Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre/Four Seasons, St. Catharines, Ont. 5,766

CREA revises forecast for 2011 home sales Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/183 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/183 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi According to CTV news,

CREA previously had forecast a one per cent dip in sales this year compared with 2010.

However, CREA said Tuesday that the strong second-quarter performance and momentum going into the third quarter means the resale market should finish this year slightly ahead of last year.

Overall, 450,800 housing units are expected to be sold across Canada under its multiple listing service in 2011, up less than one per cent from 2010, and the average selling price will be slightly higher. About 90 per cent of resales in Canada are listed on MLS.

On a regional basis, British Columbia's 2011 sales forecast has been revised slightly higher, while stronger than expected activity in Ontario is expected to offset slightly softer than anticipated demand in Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland.

Meanwhile, the association says erosion in affordability due to higher prices has prompted it to make a slight, seven-tenths of a per cent downward revision in its sales outlook for 2012 to 447,000 units. That would be roughly on par with the 10-year average, CREA said.

"While there had been some talk of potential interest rate increases. That hasn't happened," said CREA president Gary Morse.

"In fact, rates have actually come down and are now expected to remain low for the remainder of this year and into 2012. It's a great opportunity to purchase a property with financing at very favourable rates."

The national average home price is forecast to rise 7.2 per cent in 2011 to $363,500. This is an increase from the previous forecast, reflecting continued strong price growth in Vancouver in the second quarter of 2011 and acceleration in prices elsewhere, particularly Toronto.

"These two markets exert an outsized influence on the national average due to their relatively high level of activity and average price," CREA said.

The national average home price is expected to moderate in the second half of 2011, returning to normal following a heavily skewed start to the year due to a surge in multimillion-dollar sales in selected areas of Greater Vancouver and a higher than normal share of overall sales in more expensive markets.

"Some of the expected moderation in the national average price is seasonal, with average price peaking in many local markets during the second quarter of any year," said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist.

"Elevated shares of provincial and national sales activity in Vancouver and Toronto are also expected to return to more normal levels, contributing to an anticipated moderation in average price in British Columbia, Ontario, and nationally," Klump said.

He said additional new listings should result in a more balanced resale housing market in most provinces, with the national average price forecast to stabilize in 2012 "although at a slightly higher level than previously expected."

Meanwhile, CREA said national resale housing activity was stable on a month-to-month basis in July following an uptick in June.

However, actual, or non-seasonally adjusted, sales activity in July came in 12.3 per cent above national levels in July 2010 when levels for the month reached their lowest point since 2002.

With year-to-date sales continuing to run in line with the 10-year average, the national housing market remains firmly entrenched in balanced territory.

The national average price in July posted the largest year-over-year gain since April 2010, but was below where it stood in June.

"Upward skewing of the national average price is diminishing due to fewer expensive sales and a declining share of national activity in Vancouver and Toronto," it said.

Major markets that saw gains compared to June include Edmonton, Montreal, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador. Activity also held steady in Toronto, while Vancouver recorded a small decline.

Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent, about three in every five local markets in Canada were balanced in July. Half of the remaining markets may be classified as sellers' markets, with a sales-to-new listings ratio of above 60, CREA said.

Hot NEW LISTING in Richmond BC! Thu, 01 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/184 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/184 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Be the First to See!
#7- 9308 KEEFER AVE. RICHMOND     

Open House  好屋难求!
  Saturday Sept 3rd  OPEN 2-4pm

3 Bedroom + Den + Rec Rm Townhouse

Outstanding END UNIT townhouse! 
Windows facing N-S-W! 

Main floor offers open concept kitchen, family room,
dining area & living room with lots of natural light, 9' high ceiling,
beautiful laminate floors. 

The gourmet kitchen has top of the line stainless steel appliances (w/gas cooktop),
granite countertops, island & custom designed cabinets. 

Three good sized bedrooms upstairs with ensuite shower in master
& additional full bath.
Beautiful size rec room downstairs. 

Huge yard with gorgeous garden & extended patio. 

Hardi-plank siding, remainder of 5-10 warranty!
Great central location yet quiet!    

Only $648,888      Don't miss!

                                                                   MLS #907639

                                                                   Living Room  (起居室)   14' X 14'

                                                                   Kitchen  (厨房)         12'2 X 11'
            Dining  (饭厅)          11' X 7'

                                                                   Family Room (家庭房)   11' X 10'

                                                                   Master Bedroom (主人房)16' X 10'

                                                                   Bedroom (睡房)         14' X 8'

                                                                   Bedroom (睡房)        14' X 8'

                                                                   Bedroom (睡房)        14' X 8'

                                                                   Rec Room                 18'X 11'

                                                                   Total Floor Area (房屋总面积达) 1,615

                                                                   Age 5 (楼龄 5 年) (built 2006)

                                                                   Maintenance fee  only $201

Real Estate as an Investment Wed, 09 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/198 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/198 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Dreaming of Long Term Wealth and a Secure Future?

It can become a dream with Real Estate!

According to the Real Estate Investment Network, Surrey Ranks #1 Best Place in British Columbia to invest in Real Estate. Surrey has one of the lowest tax rates in the country and the second-lowest business tax in the region.

An increase in property listings and fewer home sales this summer has turned Metro Vancouver into a buyer's market, according to The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

"There's more competition amongst home sellers in today's market, providing more options for prospective buyers," Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said in a statement.

"Buyers now have more properties to choose from and more time to make decisions compared to the spring season."

The first Buyers Market in two and a half years for British Columbia!
This could be the perfect time to jump in!

For all your Real Estate Needs Call Yvette Sabi @ (604) 773-7247.

First-Time Home Buyer's Mortgage Mon, 14 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/199 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/199 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi There's nothing quite like owning your first home.   

If you're like most first-time home buyers, you've probably listened to friends',
family's and coworkers' advice; many of whom are encouraging you to buy a home.
However, you may still wonder if buying a home is the right thing to do.

Relax! Having reservations is normal. The more you know about why you should buy a home,
the less scary the entire process will appear to you.

 You should know that although real estate moves in cycles, sometimes up, sometimes down,
over the years, real estate has consistently appreciated.
Many people view their home investment as a hedge against inflation.

Before you take a step to buy or even look at what’s in the market, come and see me- your mortgage Specialist;
I will qualify and advise you regarding mortgage trends.

This way you will be prepared to put a great offer on your dream home.

For any Mortgage needs contact me:
Guy De Picciotto 

RBC Mortgage Specialist
T: 604.726.0940
F: 604.665.6768

For any Real Estate Needs contact Yvette Sabi at (604) 773-7247.

11 Reasons to List During the Holidays Fri, 18 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/200 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/200 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Are you concerned about listing your home during the holidays? Not to worry.

Here are a few great reasons why you may want to move forward instead of waiting for the spring.

1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers! 

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you! 

3. Many people from overseas come to visit friends and family members in our marketplace over the Holiday season. Some of these visitors will buy real estate. Why miss these buyers by not being on the market?

4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays! 

5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price! 

6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week! 

7. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market! 

8. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays! 

9. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year! 

10. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in the New Year, there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!

11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be an “all cash, no subjects” buyer whereas during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market this is less likely to happen and more product either stabilizes prices or drives them down! This will allow you to sell high and buy low!

For all your Real Estate needs call Yvette Sabi @ (604) 773-7247

Metro Vancouver property assessments - changes for 2012! Wed, 04 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/202 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/202 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi According to the Vancouver Sun, property owners

will likely see a wide variation in assessments by region, city and neighbourhood.

For all your Real Estate needs please call Yvette Sabi @ (604) 773-7247
or e-mail yvette@mysmallhome.com
International buyer purchases most expensive condo in Canada for $28M Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/203 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/203 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi A penthouse suite at a Toronto building has just set a record for the

most expensive condominium in Canada, selling for 28 Million dollars.

However, it wasn't a Canadian who purchased the unit, it was a mystery international buyer.

Maybe the buyer thought he or she was getting a deal as it sold for $2 million less than the listing price when the suite first went on sale in September 2008.

The luxury top-floor residence will be more than 9,000 square feet with 12-foot ceilings and have a staff residence. However, the staff residence is actually located in a connected building next door.

The suite, on the 55th floor, also comes with panoramic views of Toronto's skyline, a floor-to-ceiling glass galleria, a 2,500-square-foot master suite, stone fireplace, theatre, wine cellar for 800 bottles and TVs that hide behind vanity mirrors.

The building is currently under construction at the corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue as part of the new Four Seasons hotel and Residences. The first 20 floors will be for the hotel and the condominium suites will be on top.

This is not the first time an international buyer has scooped up pricey Toronto real estate. Back in February, a home in the Lawrence Park neighbourhood of Toronto sold to an unknown Europian Buyer for $17.5 million.

The Four Season Residences are 85 per cent sold and the developer expects the first occupants to move in and the hotel to open next summer. For those looking to buy a 1,000-square-foot condo, units start at $1.9 million.

For all your Real Eastate needs, Please Call/E-mail  Yvette Sabi.

Balanced real estate market prevailed through much of 2011 Mon, 09 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/204 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/204 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Acording to the Real Estate Board:

" The 2011 Greater Vancouver housing market began with heightened demand in regional hot spots and concluded with greater balance between seller supply and buyer demand."

Go to http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIoQQAGDa2I

for full story.


For all your Real Estate needs call Yvette Sabi (604)773-7247


RBC Offer- ZERO Down Payment Tue, 24 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/206 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/206 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Your RBC Royal Bank® mortgage specialist can help you get into the home of your dreams sooner than ever.
If you have a solid credit history, but limited funds for a down payment, you could qualify to use borrowed funds or an RBC Cash Back Mortgage to help you meet the 5% equity requirement for default insured mortgages.

Requirements and eligibility
This option is available for home purchases only.
The property must be an owner-occupied primary residence and all mortgage applicants must reside at the property.

We’re here to help you with the right advice
Understanding home financing options and affordability is especially important for first-time buyers and other purchasers with limited funds for down payment.

Let us help by working with you to provide mortgage pre-approval, and offering tailored advice that meets your needs for today and the future.

Ask about your mortgage options today
For more information on finding the best mortgage option that suits your needs,

call Guy De Picciotto - RBC Royal Bank mortgage specialist today at 604-726-0940.


For All your Real-Estate needs, call Yvette Sabi at (604) 773-7247

Snowbirds buying property must affirm sellers’ residency Wed, 08 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/207 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/207 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi According to Adam J. Savaglio in TheSpec.com

Snowbirds buying property must affirm sellers’ residency

As financial instability continues to plague the United States, many Canadians are scouring the saturated housing market south of the border to take advantage of depressed listing prices in order to purchase a second residence, often in warmer climates. For instance, residential housing prices in southern Florida have dropped by as much as 50 per cent. That has garnered the attention of many Canadian snowbirds, in particular baby boomers hitting the age of retirement and hoping to flee our harsh winters.

Prior to purchasing any real property in the U.S., Canadians should be aware of the obligation on buyers to withhold and remit taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

Under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, if the seller is a foreign person, the buyer must withhold and remit 10 per cent of the gross sale price paid by the buyer to the IRS. If buyers do not remit the withholding tax, buyers have an affirmative duty to determine if the seller is a foreign person, which a Canadian buyer may perceive as burdensome, since the snowbird’s primary residence is in another country.

If a buyer fails to withhold and remit to the IRS the proceeds from the sale of the real property, the buyer and the foreign seller are jointly and severally liable to the IRS for that amount, plus any accrued interest and penalties.

When a foreign seller remits the aforementioned tax, a buyer may still be responsible to the IRS for any accrued interest and penalties, should the remittance be delivered to the IRS outside of its prescribed deadline.

Relief from title insurance companies seems to be dissipating as underwriters, which formerly assisted buyers through the purchase process, are now beginning to discontinue assistance in steering buyers away from the Act’s pitfalls.

In addition, real estate agents in Florida are including in their engagement contracts, provisions that disclaim any liability regarding the residence of a seller.

This makes it imperative for any Canadian buyer to affirm, prior to closing a transaction, the resident status of the transferor of the real property (i.e. the seller) and/or withhold 10 per cent of the gross proceeds.


There are exemptions to the withholding requirement a party purchasing real property may rely upon to avoid tax liability to the IRS, most notably having the selling party execute a sworn declaration known as an FIRPTA certificate, which states the seller is not a foreign person. Included in this certificate is information regarding the seller’s name, taxpayer number and new home address.

A buyer may also be exempt if the real property purchased is for a value of $300,000 or less; however, to rely upon this exception, a buyer must establish primary residence in the home in the first 12 months. For Canadian snowbirds, this threshold may be difficult to attain.

Be proactive

When purchasing property in the United States, if a seller is not prepared to execute a sworn FIRPTA certificate, you should discuss with your lawyer and consider withholding and remitting to the IRS 10 per cent of the gross proceeds of the sale. Seek out local American legal counsel to ensure that you are not offside with the act or any other legislation, which may adversely affect your interests.

Adam J. Savaglio is an associate at Scarfone Hawkins LLP specializing in business law and can be reached at asavaglio@shlaw.ca.

original posted:


For all your Real-Estate needs please call Yvette Sabi @ (604)773-7247

CMHC Funding Cap Means Changes Are Coming Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/208 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/208 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recently announced that it was within 10% of reaching its mortgage $600 billion funding cap. A number of lenders immediately reacted by restricting or eliminating their Business for Self and Stated Income programs. A few also tightened their guidelines for New to Canada programs.

It's not yet known how this will impact the housing market in general but for now, the private-sector mortgage insurers - namely Genworth and Canada Guaranty may get a boost. These two companies have oft-complained that the government has given CMHC an unfair advantage by guaranteeing a larger proportion of its insurance. CMHC's insurance is backed 100% by the government, while private sector mortgage insurance is only 90% backed.

"The result of the CMHC announcement means an increased demand for private mortgage insurance," said Andy Charles, president and CEO of Canada Guaranty in an interview with TMG. "We have not yet reached our cap and I assume that the current private mortgage insurers will realize a greater share of the market."

In a conference call with the Globe and Mail on Friday, February 3rd, Genworth CEO Brian Hurley brought up CMHC's limit, and said "I just want to clarify that our business has plenty of capacity for 2012 and beyond. There is plenty of runway for both entities in the private sector to grow with multiple years of production opportunity ahead of us."

Homebuyers who put down less than 20% are required to pay for mortgage default insurance either through CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guaranty.  However, the banks may also take out mortgage default insurance for borrowers who have down payments greater than 20%. This allows banks to more easily bundle the mortgages and raise money on the capital markets with covered bonds backed by the mortgages.

For Sheila Bianchi, a TMG broker working in Nova Scotia, the recent CMHC announcement is not material. "We're just going back to the way we did business 10 years ago," she said. "CMHC's funding cap is a result of bulk insuring conventional mortgages so now clients have to pay. Business for Self and Stated Income programs are being cut back and perhaps in some cases they should."
Morgan Vaughn, Lending Solutions Manager for TMG the Mortgage Group Ontario hasn't seen an increase in declines since the CMHC announcement but says there will definitely be changes coming for certain borrowers.

"It's interesting that the biggest contribution to CMHC reaching its cap is bulk insurance so that lenders need to have less on reserve" he said. "So what we're starting to see are lenders putting the onus on borrowers to pay the equivalent to the default insurance fee upfront."

Vaughn sees two possible scenarios: the government will increase the cap and/or lenders will get rid of their less risky programs such as Stated Income programs. Ottawa did increase its cap in 2008 from $450 billion to $600 billion as the global financial crisis led banks to increase focus on their cash reserves.

Vaughn believes it will cost more for certain types of borrowers. "In addition to paying fees, they may be looking at higher down payments and even higher interest rates. Over the last few years at this time we've had changes to mortgage rules and there are more to come," he said. More worrisome for Vaughn is that any more changes to the mortgage rules will slow the housing market, which could mean job losses, which would have an impact on defaults and the economy. 

Boris Bozic, president and CEO at Merix Financial shares Vaughn's concern about the potential for slowing the housing market and where that could lead. "The government has to look closely at the impact on employment when it decides to tighten the rules," he said. "The housing industry makes a significant contribution to the GDP and to the country's overall economic health. As well, the spinoffs to other industries such as retailers like Home Depot are enormous."

Bozic also believes that there are definite changes coming to the way lenders conduct their businesses. "We were all surprised at CMHC's announcement and we have evidence of lenders pulling certain programs but we don't know for how long. Clearly the Stated Income and Business for Self programs will be impacted, and that's interesting because the Business for Self mortgages is one of the safest portfolios." he said. "The government could raise the ceiling - having a sovereign guarantee is nice - however, that raises questions. How much do we want to fund? Do we price the insurance higher? Do we tighten up the rules? We have to be careful because we don't want to slow the market too much."

In the short term, the private insurers will start getting more business however Bozic said they also have ceiling issues. "We have to take a closer look at the funding caps and determine if they are appropriate for today's market and if there is a more equitable way of providing capital relief for lenders."

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has not specifically stated that he won't increase the limit, but he has signaled that he wants CMHC to figure out a way to operate within it for now.

More study of the impacts of these decisions is what's needed according to Jane Londerville, Associate Professor at the University of Guelph who teaches real estate financing and has written numerous papers on the subject. She is also an advocate for reexamining the role of CMHC.

"Instead of making knee-jerk decisions, we need to look at the whole system of mortgage financing and the role of CMHC needs close examination," she said. "Banks are insuring things they aren't required to insure for capital relief. We don't know what the impact will be with any of the changes. If we studied these issues it may be that nothing needs to be changed or that certain areas just need tweaking."

Londerville said that these changes in criteria for lending started as a reaction to the U.S. housing crisis. "Our sub-prime market was not the same, so we don't really know if we needed to tighten our criteria at all."

BC will return to the PST on April 1, 2013 Thu, 01 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/209 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/209 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi

Transition plan will raise rebates to homes under $850,000

 Posted: Feb 17, 2012 8:38 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 17, 2012 2:14 PM PT

B.C. will scrap the HST and return to the PST on April 1 2013, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced on Friday in Victoria.

Until that time new home buyers will be able to take advantage of expanded rebate program and a transitional tax designed to ensure that there is no tax difference whenever they choose to buy their home — provided it costs $850,000 or less.

"The B.C. new housing rebate threshold will be increased to $850,000, meaning more than 90 per cent of newly built homes will now be eligible for a provincial HST rebate of up to $42,500," said a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Friday.

"The housing transition rules help ensure when people buy a newly constructed home under the PST, whether built entirely under the HST, entirely under the PST, or partly under HST and partly under the PST, they will all pay a consistent and equitable amount of tax."

The government also rolled out a new grant designed to encourage people to buy vacation homes outside of Metro Vancouver and Victoria.

"In addition...purchasers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital regional districts priced up to $850,000 will now be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to $42,500 effective April 1, 2012."

Falcon said he expects the new rules will bring certainty to new home buyers and the building industry.

"The relief measures announced today are a boost to home buyers purchasing either a new primary residence or a secondary home. At the same time, they help an important job-creator in all parts of the province."

The move was welcomed by the homebuilding industry on Friday.

More details on how the transition back to the PST will affect other goods and services will be rolled out later this spring.

"For goods and services that will be subject to PST, PST will generally apply where tax becomes payable on or after April 1, 2013."

Link to CBC NEWS story

for all your Real Estate needs please call Yvette Sabi at (604) 773-7247


Headline Rates? Read This First! Tue, 20 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/231 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/231 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Great Rates, No Frills

Those Low Rates Aren’t Always What They’re Cracked Up to Be…

So you just found that great fixed rate in the headlines… is it for you? It could be! But amazing rates are amazing for a reason…
they may not include some or all of the mortgage options you would actually require for your specific situation. Please ask me how to tailor your mortgage.

Make sure you do proper research on this mortgage! Does it include:

  • Capped Amortization? – Is your amortization capped at a specific length of time?
    Most mortgages allow you to have 30-year amortization periods. This decreases your mortgage payment and allows you more flexibility in payments.

  • Portability? – Is your mortgage portable? In other words, are you able to move your mortgage from one home to another?
    If not, and you intend to sell or move homes, you may have to pay an incredible termination penalty.
    As fixed-rate mortgages go, you may have to pay a huge pre-payment penalty should you break it.

  • Pre-Payment Options? – Does this new mortgage allow you to pre-pay your mortgage monthly or yearly?
    Pre-paying your mortgage lets you pay off your mortgage faster which allows you to pay less interest over the term of your mortgage.
  • Accelerated Payment Options? – Again, does your mortgage allow you to pay your mortgage off faster using the accelerated payment options?
Protect yourself from headline rates! Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into – ask all the questions.
If you don’t know what questions to ask, contact me. I’m always available for you on the phone or by email.
Eitan Pinsky
RBC Royal Bank
Mortgage specialist

I Provide Mortgage Answers and Solutions.

Financing your home can be a difficult and stressful process - I take the uncertainty out.
I love and am truly passionate about educating you on one of the largest financial decisions you can make.


For all your Real-Estate needs please call Yvette Sabi @ (604) 773-7247


We are Now Featured on Condo Richmond .com Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/232 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/232 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Exciting news! Two of my New Listings are now Featured on http://www.condorichmond.com !

The two listings are :

  •  #221- 8751 GENERAL CURRIE RD Richmond, BC
  • #204- 7437 MOFFATT RD, Richmond, BC

Great investment oportunities!

For all your Real-Estate Needs, Please call Yvette Sabi @ (604)773-7247


Increased selection helps maintain balance in Greater Vancouver housing market Tue, 03 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/233 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/233 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi

Accordning to the  Real Eastate Assossiation of BC, home sales in March trended below the 10-year average in Greater Vancouver
while home listing activity outpaced what’s typical for the month.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver
reached 2,874 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2012. This represents a 12.9 per cent increase
com- pared to the 2,545 sales recorded in February 2012, a decline of 29.6 per cent compared to the 4,080 sales in
March 2011 and an 8.4 per cent decline compared to the 3,137 home sales in March 2010.

March sales in Greater Vancouver were the second lowest total for the month in the region since 2002 and
were 16.8 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sellers have been more active than buyers the first few months of the year, but we continue to see a relative
ance in the total supply of homes for sale and current demand in the marketplace,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.

According to the Real Estate Board of BC,

new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,843 in March 2012.
This represents a 5.2 per cent increase compared to February when 5,552 homes were listed and a 14 per cent
decline compared to March 2011 when 6,797 homes were listed for sale on the region’s MLS®.

Last month’s new listing total was 4.5 per cent above the 10-year average for listings in Greater Vancouver for March.

At 15,236, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 8.4 per cent in March
compared to last month and increased 16 per cent from this time last year.

“The total number of properties for sale in Greater Vancouver has increased each month since December,
which means there’s more selection to choose from as we enter what’s traditionally the busiest season of the
year in our market,” Klein said.

The MLS® HPI benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver currently sits at $679,000,
up 5.3 per cent compared to March 2011 and an increase of 1.1 per cent compared to February 2012.
The benchmark price for all residential properties in the Lower Mainland is $607,700, an increase of 4.8 per cent
compared to March 2011.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in March 2012 reached 1,183, a decline of 34.1 per cent from the
1,795 detached sales recorded in March 2011, and an 11.5 per cent decrease from the 1,336 units sold in March 2010.
The benchmark price for detached properties increased 9.2 per cent from March 2011 to $1,056,400.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,191 in March 2012, a decline of 26.6 per cent compared to the 1,622 sales in March 2011,
and a decrease of 4.9 per cent compared to the 1,252 sales in March 2010.The benchmark price of an a
partment property increased 2.2 per cent from March 2011 to $375,100.

Townhome property sales in March 2012 totalled 500, a decline of 24.6 per cent compared to the 663 sales in March 2011,
and an 8.9 per cent decrease from the 549 townhome properties sold in March 2010. The benchmark price of a townhome
unit increased 0.9 per cent between March 2011 and 2012 to $480,900.

For more information go to:


For All your Real Estate Needs call YVETTE SABI @ (604) 773-7247

Focused on Real Estate in Metro Vancouvr.


BC Home Owner Grant Wed, 04 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/234 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/234 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi To keep pace with rising property assessments, the BC government has raised the Home Owner Grant threshold to $1,285,000.

The threshold is the maximum assessed value a property can reach to allow the property owner to claim the full Home Owner Grant.

BC Assessment estimates the value of all BC homes on July 1 each year. The Ministry of Finance reviews this data and adjusts the Home Owner Grant threshold to ensure at least 95.5% of eligible home owners receive the full amount. Owners of homes valued above the threshold may qualify for a partial grant.

The basic Home Owner Grant gives home owners:

  • a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts;
  • an additional grant of $770 to rural home owners elsewhere in the province; and
  • an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war veterans of certain wars.

Basic grant for 2012 – the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,285,000, and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,399,000 or more.

Additional grant for 2012 – the additional grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,285,000, and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,454,000 or more.

Canadian citizens and landed immigrants residing in their principle residence are eligible for the grant.

In November 2011, the government announced plans to create a further grant of up to $275 for low-income Canadian Forces veterans with more recent service in the event they do not already qualify as seniors or persons with disabilities. Details will be announced soon.

For information on the BC Home Owner Grant program visit: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/hog

This is information is according to RealEstate Board of Greater Vancouver
for more info go to: http://www.rebgv.org/bc-home-owner-grant-threshold-keeps-pace-assessments

For all your Real Estate Needs call Yvette Sabi @ (604) 772-7247

10 steps to buying your home Mon, 04 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/235 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/235 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.
So it’s always best to get all the help you can. The Real Estate Board of BC made it easy for you to consider.

  1. Are you ready to buy?
    You should already have saved some of your down payment and you should be
    good at managing debt like credit cards or student loans.
    A mortgage is a financial responsibility that also requires constant upkeep.
  2. Decide how much you can afford
    Use this simple equation to consider what you can expect after you’ve saved for your down payment.
    The cost of buying a home = one time costs (down payment, legal fees, inspection fees and taxes) + monthly costs
    (mortgage, utilities, maintenance, insurance and property taxes).
  3. Decide what you want to buy
    First, decide where you want to live (urban, suburban, rural) and then decide which neighbourhood suits you best
    and what type of home (detached, attached or apartment) you want.
    Whether or not the property is new or resale may also affect your costs.
  4. Find the right REALTOR®
    There are many ways to find a REALTOR®: drive through neighbourhoods that interest you and jot down names,
    go to open houses, look at advertising, ask friends and family if they have worked with a REALTOR® they like.
    Interview two or three and pick the one you like best.
  5. See what’s out there
    REALTORS® run an incredible search tool called the Multiple Listings Service® (MLS® for short) which contains
    information on property listings. Your REALTOR® can send you listings that fit your criteria and together,
    you can draw up a short list and visit a handful of homes to make an informed and wise decision.
  6. Sell your current home

    It’s the age-old question, do I sell my home before I buy, or do I buy my new home before I sell?
    It’s natural to want to buy your new home first so you have the security of knowing where you’ll be living.
    But there are advantages to selling first, buying later:

    • You’ll know how much your house is worth, so you can be surer of how much you can spend
    • There’s a chance you won’t have to make your offer subject to financing
    • You might be able to arrange a long closing to give you time to look
    • It could be a stressful situation, but it’s also stressful to own two homes!
  7. Add some specialists to your team
    A mortgage broker may be able to get you the best possible rates. A notary public or a lawyer will help you understand the
    many legal documents that come with buying your home.
    A home inspector can save you from unpleasant surprises when you move in.
  8. Make an offer
    REALTORS® are expertly trained and will prepare your offer for you. For some of the terms you’ll
    find in the documents, visit our Words You Need to Know: Real Estate Terms section for help.
    If you have any concerns or hesitations, ask your REALTOR® to explain.
  9. Arrange a mortgage
    There are hundreds of banks, credit unions and other lenders. How do you select which one is best for you?
    Now is not the time to be money-shy! Talk to your financial institution and call around to others.
    Ask friends, family and colleagues. REALTORS® are very knowledgeable about mortgages and have
    lots of good advice and they may be able to refer you to a mortgage broker.
  10. Close the deal and move in
    You offer has been accepted! Great news! Your REALTOR® and notary public or lawyer will do
    most of the closing work. But make sure to ask about any conditions of the agreement that require
    immediate action on your part. Before you know it, you’ll be handed the keys to your new home.

For more details go to: http://www.rebgv.org/10-steps-buying-your-home

For ALL your REAL ESTATE needs please call Yvette Sabi at (604)773-7247

BC First-Time New Home Buyers' Bonus Wed, 13 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/249 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/249 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi The BC First-Time New Home Buyers' Bonus is a one-time bonus payment worth up to $10,000 for first-time new home buyers in BC.

Applicants can receive a cheque of up to $10,000, if they qualify, and the amount of the bonus is not taxable.

The legislation to enact the BC First-Time New Home Buyers' Bonus received Royal Assent on May 31, 2012.

First-Time New Home Buyer Qualifications

  • Eligible claimants must be first-time homebuyers - an individual who has never previously owned a primary residence anywhere in the world;
  • For couples, neither the individual nor the spouse or common law partner can have previously owned a primary residence anywhere in the world;
  • In the case of multiple buyers of a home, each buyer must be a first-time home buyer having never owned a primary residence anywhere in the world;
  • The claimant must file a BC resident personal income tax return for 2011 or if the claimant moves to BC after December 31, 2011, must file a 2012 BC resident personal income tax return;
  • Individuals or families who move to BC after December 31, 2012 will not be eligible.

Please note: in addition to the BC First-Time New Home Buyers' Bonus you may also be eligible for the Property Transfer Tax First Time Home Buyers' Program. You can find more information on the Property Transfer Tax First Time Home Buyers' Program.

Newly Constructed Homes and Substantially Renovated Homes

  • The bonus is available in respect of new homes located in BC (i.e. newly constructed homes purchased from a builder and substantially renovated homes), on which HST is payable;
  • A substantially renovated home is one where all or substantially all of the interior of a building has been removed or replaced, generally 90% or more of the home must be renovated to qualify;
  • The written agreement of purchase and sale for the home must be entered into on or after February 21, 2012 and before April 1, 2013;
  • Ownership or possession of the home must transfer before April 1, 2013;
  • Eligible new homes include detached houses, semi-detached houses, duplexes, and townhouses, residential condominium units, mobile homes and floating homes and residential units in a cooperative housing corporation.

Eligible Owner-Built Homes

The bonus is available in respect of owner-built homes:

  • Where the written agreement of purchase and sale for the land is entered into on or after February 21, 2012 and before April 1, 2013;
  • The bonus will be based on land and construction costs subject to HST;
  • Construction of the home must be complete, or the home must be occupied, before April 1, 2013.

Other Criteria

  • The claimant must be eligible for the BC HST New Housing Rebate in order to receive the bonus;
  • The claimant must intend to live in the house as a primary residence;
  • No one else has claimed the bonus in respect of the home.

Bonus Calculation

  • The bonus is calculated as 5% of the purchase price (not including HST) of the home up to a maximum of $10,000;
  • The bonus is income tested. For single individuals, the bonus will be phased out at a rate of 20 per cent of net income in excess of $150,000 and eliminated at incomes greater than $200,000. For couples, the bonus will be phased out at a rate of 10 per cent of family net income in excess of $150,000, and eliminated at family incomes greater than $250,000.

More information can be found on:  http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Income_Taxes/Personal_Income_Tax/tax_credits/fthb_bonus.htm

For all your Real Estate needs please Call Yvette Sabi at (604) 773- 7247


It's Time to Make YOUR move! Deadline for mortgage changes- July 9th. Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/250 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/250 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi Finance Minister Jim Flaherty outlined new rules aimed at reining in a hot housing market today
and ensuring Canadians aren't taking on more debt than they can afford.

Here are the three main changes with CMHC:

  • Maximum amortization is dropping from 30 years to 25 years.
    This is equivalent to a 0.90% rate increase on affordability.

  • Maximum refinance amount on a CMHC mortgage is dropping from 85% to 80% of the property value.
    Note: at 80% loan to value, CMHC insurance is rarely required,
    so essentially CMHC is getting out of the refinance market
  • No insurance will be available for homes with a value over $1,000,000.
    Therefore a client will have to have 20% as a down payment.

CBCNews explins:

Flaherty outlined a series of changes to the rules that govern the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation,
the crown corporation that effectively oversees the housing market by insuring the vast majority of Canadian mortgages.

The most important new change is that the maximum amortization period to 25 years, down from 30.
The longer a mortgage is spread out, the lower the monthly mortgage payments are
— but the more the borrower ends up paying overall over time.

The impact of the change is likely to be significant. It's about the same as a 0.9 percentage point increase on a typical mortgage,
Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic noted.

Indeed, the numbers add up. A $300,000 mortgage spread over 30 years at 4 per cent would cost $1,426 a month to pay back.
That same mortgage amortized over only 25 years increases the monthly payment by $152 or 10 per cent to $1,578 a month.

Ultimately though, the higher monthly payment saves the borrower money in the long run.
The total interest payments are $213,558.91 on the 30-year mortgage, but only $173,416.20 on the 25-year one.

The shortened amortization is also likely to affect a huge segment of the market, as about 40 per cent of
all new mortgages were amortized over 30 years last year, the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals estimates.

Ottawa has now moved three times to rein in the maximum mortgage term, since the CMHC briefly started insuring mortgages
with 40-year terms in 2006. The limit was brought down to 35 years, then 30 and now the more traditional 25.

"The reductions to the maximum amortization period since 2008 would save a typical Canadian family with a $350,000 mortgage
about $150,000 in borrowing costs over the life of that mortgage," Flaherty said.

"Our government has encouraged Canadians to borrow responsibly," Flaherty said. "Most Canadians have done so."

At 25 years, the maximum amortization period for CMHC-backed loans is now back to where it had historically been
before the Harper government began raising the period after taking office in 2006.

Anyone who needed or wanted a 30-year mortgage before is going to have to qualify under tougher 25-year requirements now.

Refinancing limit set at 80%

Flaherty also outlined a few other measures Thursday.

The government has lowered the total amount that Canadians can withdraw when
refinancing their homes to 80 per cent of the home's value, from 85 per cent.

"This will promote saving through home ownership and encourage homeowners to prudently manage
borrowings against their homes," Flaherty said.

Flaherty also moved to cap the maximum gross debt service ratio at 39 per cent and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44 per cent
in order to get CMHC insurance. Banks calculate the former by adding up mortgage payments and property taxes on a home loan,
and dividing by the borrower's income. The latter adds in other debt payments such as lines of credit and credit cards to the top side of the ledger.

Although they both have obscure, technical names, they're both effectively just limits on how much debt a borrower is allowed to take on as a
percentage of their overall income. That move, too, is aimed at making sure a borrower can't bite off more than he or she can chew.

The final change was to limit CMHC insurance to homes priced under $1 million. "Wealthy people can borrow whatever they want from banks,
and they can work that out from banks," Flaherty said. "That is not my concern."

July deadline

That effectively means that if a homebuyer wants to buy a home for more than $1 million, they can't get insurance on it
— which in turn means they'll have to come up with the 20 per cent down payment requirement in order to get an uninsured mortgage.

So under any circumstance, any new borrower wanting to buy a home of $1 million or more is going to have to have $200,000 down at a minimum.
That's also likely to have a major impact on a comparatively small segment of the market.

All of the changes will be in effect as of July 9, 2012. In the interim, the action in hot Canadian housing markets is likely to get even hotter,
experts say, as borrowers scramble to get in ahead of the more stringent rules.

"As we’ve observed around prior mortgage rule changes, some housing market activity will likely be pulled forward
ahead of the implementation date," Kavcic noted.

But there's likely to be a subsequent pullback, too, he says. The last time Ottawa tinkered with CMHC rules,
home sales fell by three per cent in the two months following the implementation date.

For more CBCNews go to:

For ALL your Real Eatate Needs call YVETTE SABI (604) 773-7247

Is YOUR property Priced to SELL? Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/273 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/273 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi This is your opportunity to sell your value.
“For sellers it’s critical to work with your REALTOR® to understand today’s market and
to develop the best strategy for selling your home,”
advises our Board president.
“On average it’s taking about two months for a home to sell on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver today.”

Any market swing takes a period of adjustment for buyers and sellers to move back onto the same page.
At the leading edge of this latest downturn, it is more important than ever for you as the seller to
consult your real estate expert in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Here are some key points consider as a seller:

  • Market value of your current property is not determined by
    what equity you 'need' to take out of it.
  • Your REALTOR® has a better professional and impartial
    knowledge of the market value of your property than your family and friends.
  • Buyer’s REALTORS® will not show an overpriced property to prospective buyers.
  • Your property will be used by other REALTORS as a comparison to ‘sell’
    other more sharply market priced properties.
  • Other buyers may equate the long market ‘shelf life’
    of a listing as a property with problems.
  • You risk losing bona fide buyers who might have viewed a property if priced to the
    market in the critical first two weeks of marketing,
    the period when the home has maximum exposure.
  • Sellers may find themselves chasing the market down,
    ultimately selling below market value and leaving tens of thousands of dollars
    on the table by not reducing their price now.

Don’t try to overprice your home during the period of highest activity, only to lower the price after the Buyers are gone!
In a declining market, your successive price reductions may not reach the market.


How Much do YOU pay for WATER?? Fri, 12 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/274 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/274 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi A dear client of mine brought to my attention that City of Richmond has a Water Conservation Program….
Did you know that Canadians are among the biggest water users in the world?
Nearly all of our economic and social activities depend on water.

According to Environment Canada, in 2005, thermal power generation accounted for about 60% of total withdrawals;
manufacturing came next, with over 18% of the total. Municipal, agricultural,
and mineral extracting activities withdrew 9.5%, 8%, and 4% of the total, respectively.

Why do we have to pay to use water?

First, there are numerous administrative costs incurred in order to manage our water resources effectively and efficiently.
Second, water supplies usually have to be pumped, stored, moved, and treated to make water available and safe for use --
and then have to be taken away after discharge.
Third, existing water systems, also called water "infrastructure", have to be maintained and upgraded or
replaced as required. All of these services cost money.

What is the cost of water? How much do we use?

Water prices across Canada are generally low compared to other countries.
The average household pays $33.18 per month, and uses about 26 500 litres per month, f
or water delivered to the residence. Monthly bills range between $19 and $52,
the lowest being in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia,
and the highest in the Prairie provinces and northern Canada (2001).

City Of Richmond

Home owners in the City of Richmond are issued a utility bill annually.
This bill covers services for water supply, sewage collection and treatment, drainage, diking,
solid waste, recycling, flood protection, grease management and environmental programs.
The rate is set annually based on Metro Vancouver service fees and City of Richmond costs
associated municipal infrastructure renewal and maintenance, operating and related services.

The rate is set annually based on Metro Vancouver service fees and City of Richmond costs associated
with municipal infrastructure renewal and maintenance,operating and related services.

Water & Utility Rates

Home owners in the City of Richmond are issued a utility bill annually.
This bill covers services for water supply, sewage collection and treatment,
drainage, diking, solid waste, recycling, flood protection, grease management and environmental programs.

The rate is set annually based on Metro Vancouver service fees and City of Richmond costs associated municipal
infrastructure renewal and maintenance, operating and related services.

The 2012 utility bill due date is April 2, 2012

Average Cost for City Utility Services
Based on the average single family home:


Cost Per Year

Cost Per Day


$  559.36



$  360.23


Garbage, Recycling, & Environmental Programs

$  241.96


Dykes & Drainage

$  110.31





Conservation Programs

In the Lower Mainland, the cost of potable water is rising significantly due to increasing water treatment costs
and new infrastructure costs to service water demands. There are significant costs associated with constructing
and operating the new Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration Plant, which is needed to meet new Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Drinkable water is a scarce resource in the Lower Mainland and it is everyone’s responsibility
to do their part to conserve water and help preserve our environment and live sustainably.

The benefits of saving water include:

  • Conserving water saves money for all of us.
    The need for publicly funded upgrades or new infrastructure to deliver and treat water can potentially be delayed or eliminated.
    It also means less water goes to treatment facilities, saving energy and money.
  • Energy is used more efficiently because less energy is used to heat water and pump potable water and wastewater.
  • Conserving water stimulates job creation.
    New economic activities are triggered for water-related manufacturing and service sectors,
    encouraging new business opportunities and job creation.
  • Conserving water is environmentally friendly.
    Reducing water use helps to preserve and protect fish and wildlife habitat.
    These natural attractions are essential to the economic health of BC’s tourism and outdoor recreation industries.

Following are various water conservation programs available for Richmond residents to participate. 

Multi-Family Water Meter Program

This voluntary water meter program was endorsed by Richmond City Council
and is designed as a strategy for fairness and equity for water use.
The program will allow residents to pay only for the actual amount of water they use,
rather than being billed on the flat-rate system.

Why does Richmond have a Voluntary Water Meter Program?
In the face of rising water rates, Richmond residents wanted a more equitable way of paying for their water use.
In response to these requests, the City developed the Multi-Family Volunteer Water Meter Program.

Quarterly Payments:  When you switch to a water meter, your bill is divided over four smaller payments,
one every three months, instead of paying everything at the beginning of the year.  This enables you to track water usage more closely.

Free water conservation devices:  To help you save water and money,
all volunteers qualify for a water conservation kit, which includes the following devices:
Low-flow showerhead
Low-flow faucet aerators (for both kitchens and bathrooms)
Toilet leak detection dye tablets

Single Family Water Meter Program

The Richmond Volunteer Water Metering Program has been extended until the end of 2012.
Neptune Technology Group (Canada) Ltd. will continue to be the City of Richmond's contractor in administering the program. 
The City is exploring new installation methods to address homes that were cancelled in the past. 
To find out more about the opportunity to volunteer if your installation was cancelled in the past,
or if you live in a multi-family residence, please contact 604-276-4289.

For  more information go to:


For ALL your Real-Estate Needs call Yvette Sabi @ (604) 773-7247



Homes are more affordable Now! Thu, 22 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/275 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/275 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi

Housing prices decreased slightly in the third quarter. This is your time to buy!

RBC's affordability index for a detached bungalow stood at 42 per cent of income nationally in the second quarter.

That means an owner would need to spend 42 per cent of pre-tax annual income to pay for mortgage payments,
utilities and property taxes -- one percentage point lower than in the second quarter of 2012.

The index fell even more for two-storey homes, by 1.2 percentage points to 47.8 per cent and
eased 0.6 percentage points to 28 per cent for condos.

The bank, which publishes the index on a quarterly basis, says ultra low interest rates have been the key factor
in keeping affordability levels from reaching dangerous levels in recent years.

Despite the recent improvement in affordability, RBC said the amount of income to service
home ownership costs continues to be higher than long-term averages.

RBC notes that Canada's housing market cooled further in the third quarter, partially because of the
effects of a fourth round of rule changes to government-backed mortgage insurance.

The bank expects the negative effect of the changes on home sales will ease by the end of the year
and that resale activity will stabilize next year.

The July-September quarter fully reversed the mild erosion in affordability that occurred during the first half of 2012,
said RBC chief economist Craig Wright.

For more information go to: http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/canadian-homes-slightly-more-affordable-in-third-quarter-rbc-index-1.1049360

For all your Real Estate needs, call YVETTE SABI @ (604) 773-7247

Accepted Offer! Mon, 07 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/281 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/281 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi I just finished negotiating on a beautiful house in Richmond!

Congratulations to my clients!! This is a very good deal they got today!!


For All Your Real Estate Needs, call Yvette Sabi @(604) 773-7247

Assumability (Mortgage Assumption) Mon, 18 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0700 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/301 http://www.mysmallhome.com/index/blog-details/objectID/301 yvette@mysmallhome.com (Yvette Sabi) Yvette Sabi

An assumable mortgage can be taken over (assumed) by the buyer of a property when that property is sold.

The buyer must typically apply and qualify for the mortgage in order to assume it.
If approved by the lender, the buyer then takes over the mortgage payments
and receives the seller’s existing mortgage rate and terms.

Mortgage assumptions have benefits:

  • If the seller’s mortgage has a below-market interest rate,
    the buyer can save some money
  • If the seller has paid for mortgage default insurance,
    the buyer may paying insurance premiums again.
    This is relevant when the new buyer is putting less then 20% down.

If you’re considering assuming a mortgage, make sure that:

  • The mortgage terms, features, and restrictions are to your liking
  • The rate is sufficiently low compared to current alternatives
  • There is enough time remaining on the mortgage to make it worthwhile

These days, most (but not all) lenders offer assumption privileges.

For ALL your Real-Estate needs, please call YVETTE SABI @ (604) 773-7247

Richmond, Vancouver