630 Fifth St
New Westminster, BC, V3M 2X9

James Garbutt



Many of our clients find themselves in the dilemma of buying first or selling first, and there is no universal answer. We hope this article will give you some clarity on the questions to ask yourself when the time comes for your next purchase or sale.

Let’s assume the seller will not consider a ‘subject to sale’ offer… because if they will, go this route and don’t read any further. The negatives of a ‘subject to sale’ offer is that you could get bumped by another buyer, and in many cases a ‘subject to sale’ offer reduces your negotiating power as you’re not a ready to go ‘cash buyer’. Note that not all ‘subject to sale’ clauses written the same. The wording is crucial, and there are rare situations where you get bumped from a purchase (by another buyer) and end up selling your place anyway… call us to avoid this!

To Buy or Sell first? The main items to consider are your personal risk tolerance, finances, the subject properties involved, and the market.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1) What is your risk tolerance? Will you sleep at night if you buy a property before having sold your own? If you buy first (and need to sell), you have to take whatever the market will bring. Plan conservatively. Make sure the purchase is feasible with a lower than expect sale price of your current property (maybe 5-10% below market).

2) How are your finances? Are you stretching yourself to make this purchase? or can you afford to carry two properties? If you’re stretching yourself on the purchase and you require top dollar for the sale of your personal property, it may make sense to sell first so you know exactly how much you can afford. We don’t want you to lose your deposit by committing to a purchase that the banks won’t finance (more likely for up-sizers or first time ‘House’ buyers). However, if you’re downsizing and are financial able to support the carrying costs of owning two properties, than buy when the perfect property is available.

3) What are you buying? Is it rare? If you find yourself looking for a property that’s on a certain block, or maybe a penthouse condo, or waterfront property that rarely comes available, you may not have a choice but to buy first or lose the property. If the property type you’re looking for is readily available (or maybe you’re just not picky) and it’s just a matter of time before the next one comes up… it may be best to sell first and put yourself in a strong negotiating position.

4) What are you selling? Is it very desirable, or is difficult to sell? If you have a very desirable property that would sell quick, it may make sense to purchase first. Alternatively, if you have a fixer upper, luxury home or busy street home (anything with a negative or very limited buyer pool), it may make sense to sell first.

5) How is the market? Is it hot or cold? In the hot market we experienced in 2016 everything sold fast, and as a result our clients were often buying first. In a hot market, sales are more predictable and risks of buying first is much lower. If the market is cold, like we’re experiencing now (2019), it’s typically best to sell first unless you’re prepared to own two properties.

Buying First: PROS
– You know where you’re going and when your Completion date is.
– Less likely to move twice. The challenge is to sell your place and match up the dates.
Buying First: CONS
– More financial risk, and potential loss of deposit (if you’re unable to sell current property).

Selling First: PROS
– Less financial risk.
– You know exactly how much you’re getting for your property, and will have a clear budget for your purchase.
Selling First: CONS
– You may not find a suitable place to buy right away. Be prepared to find temporary accommodation and move twice.

At the end of the day, every situation is different and needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. This is where we can help.’

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Burnaby Condo Market Update for May 2017


May is here and it’s time for a Burnaby condo market update! It’s been a bit of a crazy year, we had a lot of snow at the beginning followed by record amounts of rain and we feel that this held back the number of sales compared to previous years.

As of April 26, 2017, the year-to-date number of condos sold in Burnaby is 636 units*, compared to 1022 units in 2016 and 708 units in 2015. Sales volumes may be down, but prices are up, and condos are hot. The REBGV just released the latest market stats and it shows Burnaby condos are up 25% compared to 1 year ago.

To get a good indication of how the market doing, we like to look at the sales ratio. The sales ratio is the sales-to-active listings ratio or the number of sales that take place in a given month divided by the number of active listings. A seller’s market is considered to have a sales ratio of 21% or higher. Currently, Burnaby condos are experiencing a strong seller’s market. When looking at the last 60 days of activity, the sales ratio is 65% for 2 bedroom condos and 85% for 1 bedrooms. This tells us that condos are in demand, and even more so for lower price points.

Let’s look at Brentwood Park for a moment as it is a popular neighbourhood for many condo buyers due to it’s central location and ample supply of newer condos.

The price per square foot for a typical 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, mid level unit that is 850-880 sqft in a 10ish year old building at OMA (2345 & 2355 Madison Ave, and 4250 Dawson St) or Tandem (4118, 4178 & 4182 Dawson St) is currently selling for about $775/ sqft or $675,000 (as of April 2017). In April 2016, they were selling for $635/ sqft or $540,000, and in April 2015 they were selling for $520/ sqft or $450,000. It is a climbing market and Burnaby has seen back-to-back years of 20% plus appreciation.

The highest price per square foot recorded this year was $980/ft in Brentwood Park, and if that is the start of the new trend, expect Burnaby to get even more expensive!

*Note that this information was taken on April 26, 2017. They are likely firm sales that have not registered on the MLS. Actual 2017 figures may be slightly higher than noted above.

Full Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Stat Package for April 2017

If you’re thinking of buying, selling or just curious about the value of a property, contact us today!


Contact Us Today


James Garbutt
Burnaby Realtor



Burnaby’s Most Expensive Condo For Sale!

Property: #2602 5051 Imperial St
List Price: $1,955,900
Sold Price: TBA
Sold Date: TBA

A 1,541 sq. ft. wrap-around rooftop deck that’s almost as large as the indoor living space is one of the stunning features at Burnaby’s most expensive condo currently on the market. The 3 bedroom + den penthouse is at the top of the Imperial development by Amacon, currently under construction in the Metrotown neighbourhood.

The unit is one of only two penthouse suites at the Imperial that is comprised of 169 units inspired by the elegance of a fine boutique hotel. That attention to luxury and comfort is reflected in the fine finishings that include central air conditioning, nine-foot ceilings, a gourmet kitchen equipped with soft-close drawers and top-end appliances like a convection wall oven.

Each of the bedrooms in the 1,834 sq. ft. unit has its own ensuite, and there’s also a powder room for visitors. It comes with two parking stalls and a storage locker.

Amenities at the Imperial include a guest suite, games room, music room and meeting room as well as a grand entrance lobby with hotel-style concierge service. Residents will also have access to an electric BMWi3 and a bike share program.

The latter may be especially useful as the Imperial is located near the BC Parkway bike route that connects New Westminster to Vancouver along the Expo SkyTrain line. The Bonsor recreation centre, with a pool, fitness facilities and activity rooms is nearby, as is the massive Metropolis at Metrotown shopping complex.

Click here to see the listing

For more information, contact Burnaby Realtors James Garbutt and Denny Dumas

#2602 5051 Imperial St

Kitchen features luxurious cabinetry and high-end European appliances

#2602 5051 Imperial St

The elegant lobby also has concierge service.

#2602 5051 Imperial St

The Imperial is currently under construction.


Gold House Sets a New Standard for Condo Living in Metrotown

Project: Gold House
Developer: Rize Alliance

Gold is about to glitter in Burnaby’s Metrotown neighbourhood. Gold House that is.

Gold House is a stunning new development by Rize Alliance that will set a bold standard for architecture and luxury in the city. In fact, the project is so remarkable, the two towers have already sold out, but penthouse suites are still available.

Designed by the renowned architects at Chris Dikeakos, the two towers that comprise Gold House feature gold accents, expansive windows and generous patios that will make a glittering addition to Burnaby’s burgeoning skyline.

The bold exterior design is matched by lavish interiors that include Bosch appliances in the kitchens, custom Italian Armony Cucine cabinets and spa bathrooms with polished quartz and marble counters. Each unit is also air conditioned. That luxury is kicked up a notch in the penthouse homes with over-height ceilings, exclusive interiors designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, and huge patios up to 1,230 sq. ft.

Amenities include a furnished outdoor terrace, fully-equipped fitness centre, yoga studio, social lounges and sound-insulated music rooms in each tower.

The development is perfectly located, across from the hundreds of shops, restaurants and services at Metropolis at Metrotown and Station Square as well as the main branch of the Burnaby Public Library, a short stroll from the Metrotown SkyTrain station and handy to beautiful Central Park.

Click here to visit the Gold House website

Gold House in Burnaby

The distinctive architecture of Gold House extends to street level

Gold House in Burnaby

Soaring penthouse suites are still available.

Gold House in Burnaby

Stylish interiors


Brentwood Park Condos Sales Averaged $750/SF Last Week

Burnaby condos and townhomes are hot. Brentwood Park condos are on fire!

In fact, all five Brentwood Park condos sold last week went for above list, at an average price of $750 sq. ft. Four of the units are 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condos. The other is a dramatic two-level loft townhome in the Tandem development that looks out over a greenbelt.

The 1-bedroom townhome, at #8 4178 Dawson St, features soaring 16-foot ceilings, an open kitchen and a large master bedroom on the second level. The building is across from the Gilmore SkyTrain station and a short walk to the booming urban centre that is transforming the Brentwood Town Centre. When the $1.3 billion project by Shape Properties is completed, the 28-acre site will include more than 250 shops, restaurant and entertainment venues like art galleries and a VIP theatre complex, as well as soaring residential towers designed by master-plan architect James Cheng. And all of it is directly connected to the Brentwood SkyTrain station for quick trips into Vancouver along the Millennium Line.

The excitement for that project has spread throughout the Brentwood Park neighbourhood. Eventually it could be home to 40,000 new residents over the next 30 years. So it’s little wonder buyers are eager to get in early.

For more information contact James Garbutt and Denny Dumas, Realtors in Burnaby who specialize in Burnaby condos.

The five Brentwood Park condos that sold last week:

Property: #8 4178 Dawson St
List Price: $449,000

Property: #1604 4118 Dawson St
List Price: $599,900

Property: #2604 2232 Douglas Rd
List Price: $778,000

Property: #1204 2355 Madison Ave
List Price: $599,000

Property: #501 2355 Madison Ave
List Price: $598,000

Brentwood Park condos are hot

The Brentwood Park neighbourhood is being transformed by new development.

Brentwood Park condos are hot

The area is afire because of the transformation of Brentwood Town Centre.

Brentwood Park condos are hot

Open air plaza at the Amazing Brentwood.

Bosa’s Verdi Composes a Harmonious Mix of Style and Tradition

Project: Verdi at 3959 Hastings St
Builder: Bosa’s Aquila Development
Units: 42


You don’t have to be a composer of popular operas to own a condo in Aquila Development’s Verdi in Burnaby’s popular Heights neighbourhood. But you’ll still be able to enjoy the same sense of style and respect for tradition that made the project’s namesake, Giuseppe Verdi, a composer of some of Italy’s most popular operas, like Rigoletto and La traviata.

Verdi is a 42-unit project that is currently in reconstruction at 3959 Hastings St. Prices for available units range from $504,900 for a 770 sq. ft. 1-bedroom suite to $879,900 for 1313 sq. ft. 3-bedroom plus den.

The 4-storey building’s architecture is a blend of contemporary West-Coast style built with Old-World quality. Expansive windows, generous overhangs and large balconies and terraces invite outdoor living. It’s rooftop features a patio with a gas barbecue, seating and community gardens.

That commitment to style and quality carries on inside each unit with interior design by Cristina Oberti, whose portfolio includes luxury projects throughout Greater Vancouver, Calgary and San Diego. Floors in the kitchen and living/dining area are wide-plank laminate. The kitchen’s quartz countertops are matched with a quartz backsplash. Appliances are by Bosch, Whirlpool and Fisher & Paykel. Most bathrooms feature dual vanities with quartz countertops and backsplash. And every unit is pre-wired for high-speed internet and digital cable.

And just in case you are an opera lover, double party walls, lightweight concrete topping at each floor and insulated floor joists will limit sound transfer between homes.

Click here to learn more about Verdi

Verdi at 3959 Hastings St

Open concept style and quality at Verdi

Sold! Stylish 1 Bedroom Condo With a View!

Property: 1705 4400 Buchanan St
List Price: $579,000

A 1 bedroom + den Burnaby condo at 1705 4400 Buchanan St with plenty of style and a view to match was attracting plenty of interest when Burnaby Realtors James Garbutt and Denny Dumas presented a successful offer on behalf of their buyer.

The 821 sq. ft. unit is in Appia’s Motif development in the Brentwood Park neighbourhood of North Burnaby. It features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, wide plank laminate flooring and sweeping views of Vancouver and the Metrotown skyline from its large balcony.

Motif is located close to SkyTrain and the Brentwood Town Centre is just a quick walk away. That area is in the early stages of a massive transformation into a major urban hub with new condo towers, a redeveloped shopping mall, outdoor plazas, open-air cafés and galleries. A new Whole Foods Market just opened.

1705 4400 Buchanan St

The kitchen features granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

1705 4400 Buchanan St

The large balcony with views of Metrotown.

1705 4400 Buchanan St

The Motif development features a fully-equipped fitness centre.


Sold! North Burnaby 2 Bedroom Condo Sells Fast With Multiple Offers!

Property: #202 3939 Hastings St.
List Price: $398,000
Sale Price: TBA
Sold Date: March 20, 2017

If real estate is all about location, then it’s not surprising Burnaby real estate agents James Garbutt and Denny Dumas sold this North Burnaby 2 bedroom condo for over asking, in less than seven days after multiple offers! The 780 sq. ft. unit is located in The Heights, one of Burnaby’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.

Right outside the front door is a world of culinary and shopping delights. Literally. Hastings Street is a multicultural meeting place where traditional Italian delicatessens share the same block with Vietnamese Pho restaurants, Parisian bistros, and one of Greater Vancouver’s most renowned restaurants, The Pear Tree. There’s a butcher, a baker, and even a fish monger. Everything from hardware to used books to pet supplies is within a short walk. And downtown Vancouver is a quick 10-minute ride on transit away!

The bright, North Burnaby 2 bedroom condo is located in The Sienna, a small complex that was built in 1998. It’s efficient layout makes it seem much larger. The spacious kitchen is open to the dining and living areas. The balcony is partially covered for year-round barbecues. Its two bedrooms are located on opposite sides, and it would be very easy to convert one of them to a large home office. The master bedroom has its own 4-piece ensuite.

Click here to see the listing

Open layout at 202-3939 Hastings St

Bright open layout


Deck at 202-3939 Hastings St

The large deck is partially covered for year-round use.

Home office at 202-3939 Hastings St

You can use the second bedroom as a large home office.

Sold! Rare 3 Bedroom Townhome Sells Above List in 8 Days!

Property: 7322 Salisbury Ave
List Price: $570,000
Sale Price: $580,000
Sold Date: Oct. 13, 2015

With detached homes out of reach for many buyers, townhomes have become a more affordable option. Especially ones that are large enough to accommodate a growing family, in a good location. This 3 bedroom townhome in Burnaby’s Highgate neighbourhood ticks both those important boxes. James Garbutt and Denny Dumas, realtors in Burnaby, were able to sell it in 8 days for $10,000 more than list price.

The townhome’s 1,224 sq. ft. of living space is spread over two levels. All three bedrooms and both bathrooms are on the upper floor. The open concept main floor features a spacious kitchen with granite countertops, updated stainless steel appliances and plenty of storage space. The adjoining eating area/family room opens to a huge ground floor patio surrounded by lovely gardens that ensure privacy.

The townhome’s location is just a five minute walk from all the amenities of the burgeoning Highgate area, including shopping, groceries, the new Edmonds Community Centre and the Edmonds SkyTrain station. Elementary schools are nearby and Burnaby South Secondary School is a short distance away.

Click here to view the listing

townhome at 7322 Salisbury Ave

The spacious kitchen opens to a dining area or family room.

7322 Salisbury Ave townhome

The living room is large enough to integrate a dining room.

7322 Salisbury Ave townhome

The private patio is surrounded by trees and gardens.


Burnaby’s Most Expensive Townhouse For Sale!

Property: #4 4400 Buchanan St.
List Price: $1,490,000
Sold Price: TBA
Sold Date: TBA

Burnaby’s most expensive townhouse is as big as some houses. The 1,853 sq. ft. townhouse is part of Bosa’s Motif development in Burnaby’s Willingdon Heights neighbourhood.

The 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom unit features over-height ceilings on the main floor, a huge open kitchen with a large island, plenty of cabinetry for storage and top-end appliances. There’s also a walk-in laundry. Floor-to-ceiling windows look to the north and south. The second floor opens to a large patio with views to the south across Burnaby’s Central Valley to the Metrotown skyline.

The townhouse is located close to SkyTrain and the Brentwood Town Centre is just a quick walk away. That area is in the early stages of a massive transformation into a major urban hub with new condo towers, a redeveloped shopping mall, outdoor plazas, open-air cafés and galleries. A new Whole Foods Market just opened.

Click here to see the listing

For more information contact Burnaby real estate agents James Garbutt and Denny Dumas

#4 4400 Buchanan

The kitchen features plenty of storage space and top-quality finishings.

#4 4400 Buchanan

The bedrooms are on the second floor.

#4 4400 Buchanan

The townhouse is part of Bosa’s Motif development.


Burnaby’s Largest Penthouse Condo Sold!

Property: PH 1 6888 Station Hill Dr.
List Price: $1,695,000
Sale Price: $1,498,000
Sold Date: April 21, 2016

Wrap-around balconies provide almost unlimited views to the east, south and west from this penthouse condo in the prestigious Savoy Carlton complex in Burnaby’s South Slope neighbourhood.

The 1,267 sq ft of outdoor space, combined with 2,858 sq. ft. of indoor space make this two-level penthouse one of the largest of Burnaby condos. Its 3 bedrooms, 4 baths and a sauna represent luxury living at its finest. The unit was completely renovated in 2005 with a spacious chef’s dream kitchen, custom millwork, hardwood flooring and built-ins. The two bedrooms on the upper level each have their own 4-piece ensuite. The unit also comes with 4 parking stalls and 2 storage lockers.

The complex is surrounded by lush, landscaped private gardens. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, pool table, theatre and library. It’s close to SkyTrain, schools, parks and shopping.

PH 1 6888 Station Hill Dr is luxury living

The views are limitless from the wrap-around balconies.

PH 1 6888 Station Hill Dr is luxury living

The gourmet kitchen.

PH 1 6888 Station Hill Dr is luxury living

The master bedroom suite features its own fireplace.


Condos and townhomes in Burnaby are hot! March 2017 Market Update

The market for condos and townhomes in Burnaby is hot!

So hot, prices are up 25 per cent over this time last year. In fact, they’re even higher than the peak of the market we saw last spring and early summer.

One of the hottest neighbourhoods is Brentwood Park. This area, near Lougheed and Willingdon, is feeling the excitement from the redevelopment of the Brentwood Town Centre that is already underway.

When the $1.3 billion project is completed, it will be like its own city within the city.

And that’s boosted interest in existing developments nearby. Of the last 40 condo sales in Brentwood Park, 75 per cent of them went for list price or above.

Condos and townhomes in Burnaby are hot

A typical 2 bedroom 2 bath condo, 850-875 sq. ft., in an established development like Oma, is now going for about $600,000. Last year it would have sold for $480,000.

Condos and townhomes in Burnaby

A typical 630 sq. ft. 1 bedroom condo in an established concrete development like Tandem is now selling for $450,000. Last year it would have sold for $370,000.


We’re seeing similar stats in other areas of Burnaby as well, including South Slope and Burnaby East.

If you’re a buyer, the market for condos and townhomes in Burnaby might be more favourable in the Metrotown neighbourhood. An abundance of available product there means 60 per cent of  sales in the past 60 days have gone for below list.

And just as the market for high-end houses has been struggling a bit, the market for condos and townhomes in Burnaby above $600,000 is a little slower.

There’s a lot of new development coming down the pipe, so it’s hard to say how long the market for condos and townhomes in Burnaby will stay hot. But with interest in condos and townhomes high across the Lower Mainland right now, there’s no end in sight. That might be a little frustrating if you’re a buyer. But if you’re selling, you’ll be rewarded.