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GARBUTT + DUMAS REAL ESTATE TEAM
630 Fifth St
New Westminster, BC, V3M 2X9
604.805.3115
info@gdrealestate.ca




James Garbutt

#POMOLIFE: EPISODE 4 – U-BICYCLE TOUR THROUGH NEWPORT

PORT MOODY! THE U-BICYCLE TOUR… DOES MONICA SURVIVE THE SKATE PARK?  FIND OUT BELOW!

We have passed by these U-bicycle stations all over Port Moody and finally decided to give it a go! Quick app download and we were on our way. Yes, we wore our helmets #safteyfirst!

Port Moody is surprisingly rideable, even for someone that hasn’t ridden in a hot minute. Guys, if you haven’t tried this you are missing out. We made it to Moody Ales from Newport Village in 8 minutes on our “Lunch Break”!

 

 

Spring 2019 Market Update

Surprise surprise… It’s slow. In terms of units sold, statistically the month of March was the slowest it’s been in 33 years! However, don’t let the media headlines fool you, it’s not that bad for all property types. It may be a ‘Buyers Market’, particularly for luxury homes, fixer uppers and land value, but many entry level homes, condos and desirable areas are experiencing more of a ‘Balanced Market’, we have even experienced a few bidding wars. Check out this video to learn more about our thoughts on the 2019 Spring Market.

 

 

 

 

Vancouver Real Estate Stats

VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE STATS – MARCH 2019

Vancouver, BC is one of the most beautiful places to live in Canada, but it comes at a high price. The average price for Vancouver Real Estate in 2019 is $1,019,600, which is 4.5% lower compared to 2018.

It is expensive to own a home in Vancouver, but it is also expensive to rent. The average 1 bedroom apartment price increased by 6.5% from 2018, which is the second highest rental price in Canada, right below Toronto.  Burnaby ‘s 1 bedroom rentals increased by 9.8%, which is the third highest in Canada.

Below is some more Vancouver real estate stats: 

Vancouver Real Estate Stats 2019

Vancouver too expensive? Move to New West!

As real estate prices in Vancouver’s neighbourhoods escalated out of reach, Vancouverites looking to own their home are heading east.

New Westminster Realtor James Garbutt says he’s seeing more and more buyers looking at the city as an affordable alternative to Vancouver, but without giving up the amenities of city life. While $1.2 million might get you a tear-down on a small lot in East Van, in New West it can put you in a beautifully-renovated Craftsman heritage home that’s centrally-located close to schools, parks, shopping and transit.

The city’s condo market offers similar value, says Garbutt. “Let’s take your typical 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in a newer concrete high-rise. Currently in Yaletown or False Creek you’re looking at $1,100/sqft.  In Burnaby’s Brentwood Park area you’re looking at $800/sqft , and in Downtown New West this figure goes down to $625/sqft.”

That value isn’t going unnoticed in Vancouver. In fact, says Garbutt, over the past year about 30 percent of visitors to open houses he’s conducted in New West are from Vancouver.  For detached homes in particular the number is much higher.

Garbutt recently sold a beautiful Craftsman style home at 903 Henley St, New West. Roughly 75% of the open house visitors came from Vancouver.  It achieved multiple offers, and the buyer was a young professional couple from Downtown Vancouver.

 

Vancouverites are moving to New Westminster

This Craftsman heritage home in New Westminster was recently sold by Realtor James Garbutt to a couple from Vancouver.

 

For detached, single-family homes in New Westminster sold in 2016, 51 per cent of the buyers’ agents were from Vancouver, suggesting their clients likely are as well, says Garbutt. For condos, 36 percent of the buyers’ agents were from Vancouver.

“In New West, our main sources of buyers are coming from more expensive markets, primarily Vancouver,” says Garbutt.

 

Who’s buying houses in New Westminster

Who's buying houses in New Westminster

Where buyers are coming from to buy houses in New Westminster

Who’s buying condos in New Westminster

Who's buying condos and townhouses in New Westminster

Where condo and townhouse buyers in New Westminster are coming from

 

New Westminster is no longer a secret, says Garbutt. “It’s centrally located. There’s a great sense of community and local pride that many other suburbs lack.  And, quite frankly, it’s the most affordable community to buy into that’s within 30 minutes of Downtown Vancouver.”

The city is undergoing a renaissance. After languishing through the 1990s as a marketplace for cheap street drugs peddled by Honduran dealers loitering around its SkyTrain stations, Downtown New West has come alive with new restaurants, with more on the way. At Eighth and Columbia Streets, the gleaming Anvil Centre has replaced a squalid block of cigar shops and temporary employment agencies. The western end of historic Front Street has been opened to the sky with the partial demolition of the old parkade. The waterfront has been enlivened by Pier Park and the River Market.

The historic Queen’s Park neighbourhood abounds with lovingly-restored family heritage homes along quiet, leafy streets, and the Sapperton area surrounding Royal Columbian Hospital is alive with young families attracted to its affordable, smaller detached houses and new condo developments.

 

The leafy streets and lovingly-restored heritage homes of New Westminster’s Queen’s Park neighbourhood.

 

Progressive businesses like Steel & Oak Brewing Co.Brick + MortarEl Santo and 100 Braid St. Studios actively promote the city far and wide on social media using the hashtags #newwest or #theroyalcity, which have more than 130,000 posts on Instagram combined.

To preserve the city’s historic identity, City Hall is taking steps to implement historic design guidelines in neighbourhoods like Queen’s Park. The City works with developers to maintain historic building facades, like the Trapp & Holbrook and the Freemasons Hall, which is currently being transformed into a new residential development.

 

Vancouverites are attracted to New West

The City is working with developers like Robert Fung to preserve historic facades such as the Trapp + Holbrook condo tower on Columbia Street.

Vancouverites are buying in New West.

An architect’s rendering of a new residential development being built behind the preserved facade of the New Westminster Mason’s Hall on Agnes Street.

 

With the pressures of growth, New West is looking at finalizing a new Official Community Plan in June (check out the 25 year vision at: OUR CITY 2041), that will introduce higher density in certain neighbourhoods and laneway houses throughout the city.

The city is growing conservatively without losing its identity, says Garbutt. It’s being proactive about managing that growth. That’s attracting new businesses and new residents. Especially from Vancouver.

 

What’s hot in Greater Vancouver real estate

What’s hot in Greater Vancouver real estate? And what’s not? We’re well into the new year, we’ve settled back into familiar routines. It’s time for a little market analysis and look ahead to the coming months.

Snow and ice. A media feeding frenzy. Changes to the mortgage rules. The foreign buyers’ tax. The usual post-Christmas lull. It’s all added up to a of uncertainty, and a “lukewarm start” in the Greater Vancouver real estate market.

Sure, sales are down 39.5 per cent from last January. And there’s 9.1 per cent more listings.

But the market is stronger than it may appear.

Condos and townhouses are what’s hot in Greater Vancouver real estate

In fact, condos and townhouses are hotter than ever! They’re still selling at peak prices. They’ve been virtually unaffected by the legislative changes, or skittish buyers. We’ve already had a few recent sales that were 5-10 per cent above last summer’s spike.

Quite simply, there’s more demand for condos and townhouses for sale than there is supply. It’s the first time I can recall condos being hotter than houses.

So, if you’re looking to purchase a condo, don’t expect to find a deal. You’re going to have to jump when the right one comes up because there’s no sign they’re going to slow down in the short term.

If you’re selling a condo, it’s a great time. The provincial government’s new loan program to help first-time homebuyers with their downpayment is already driving demand. Many of those buyers are shopping for condos.

Houses are what’s not hot in Greater Vancouver real estate

The market for detached houses, on the other hand, is still cool. Especially for houses worth more than $2 million. Currently, there’s 240 of those listed for sale in Burnaby, New Westminster and the Tri-Cities. But only seven have sold.

Then again, only seven such homes sold in all of 2010.

Also feeling the pain are land value listings as builders hold off, hoping to score a deal. Difficult properties such as those with weird layouts or ones located on busy streets are presenting challenges as well.

Overall, their prices are discounted 5-10 per cent, and sometimes even as much as 20 per cent, from where they were last summer.

That’s not great news for sellers. If you’re looking to sell a high-end detached home, it might be best to hold off a little longer if you’re able; I expect the market will rebound 5-10 per cent by the time the weather warms up.

For buyers, there may be some opportunities to score a deal that would have been unattainable last summer. You could do especially well if you’re willing to throw a little sweat equity into the mix by buying a home that needs some renovation.

Of course, what’s hot in Greater Vancouver real estate, and what’s not, is always evolving. The fact remains, this is a desirable place for people to live and invest in real estate, and the general trend for property values continues to increase over time. It’s all about where and when you want to jump into or out of the market. Spring is just around the corner; traditionally that’s a busy time of year whether you’re selling or buying.

Top 10 questions a buyer should ask a Realtor

Finding a Realtor may be the most important step in your search for a new home. There are questions a buyer should ask their Realtor to make sure they’re a good fit for the way you like to do things. Your Realtor should understand your needs and desires, keep your best interests first and foremost.

Think of it as a job interview; if you like what you hear, like their qualifications and feel like they’re a good match for your needs, they’re hired.

1. What is your experience?

One of the first questions a buyer should ask their Realtor is about their experience.  Not just in terms of years, but in real estate the number of sales is just as important.

You want to make sure your Realtor has a good base of knowledge and experience in the type of properties you’re looking for, and that they’re well in tune with the current market.

If the Realtor doesn’t have much experience it’s good to know if they have any related experience or knowledge.  A background in real estate investment or construction could be a valuable resource to tap as you evaluate possible properties.

2. What is your approach to the buying process?

Does your Realtor’s way of doing things align with your own philosophy and approach. Some buyers prefer to monitor listings themselves and then just inform their Realtor to set up a showing when they find one of interest. Other buyers prefer to sit back and entrust their Realtor to do all the leg work. Make sure each of you has a clear understanding of who’s watching the market.

And be clear about your timeframe for your search; some buyers are very anxious and want to get their new home purchased quickly while others are more patient, willing to wait until they find the “perfect” place. If you’re the latter, you don’t want your Realtor pressuring you before you’re ready to buy.

3. What are your expectations from your clients?

You should know what your Realtor expects of you. Conversely, your Realtor should know what you expect of them.

Be open in all your communications with your Realtor; let them know when you’re anxious to buy, or when you might want to take a break from the search. Try to stay focussed so you, or your Realtor, aren’t expending a lot of wasted energy. Make sure your financing is in order, and you’re pre-approved for a mortgage so when the right home does come along, your Realtor can move quickly and confidently on your behalf.

Be realistic in your expectations; it may take some time to find the perfect house, or you may have to make some compromises if you need to move quickly.

4. Where do you primarily work?

A Realtor who is familiar with the community and its neighbourhoods will likely get you the best result.  If you’re looking in a specific area, that Realtor should know it well.

A knowledgable Realtor will be able to recommend neighbourhoods, and even streets, that are the best fit for your needs. They’ll be give you valuable information about schools in the neighbourhood, as well as daycares, parks and transit service.

5. What is your approach to evaluating a property?

A property evaluation, or Comparative Market Analysis, will compare a home you’re looking at to other similar homes in the area that are for sale or were sold recently. This will give you an idea of the local market conditions and what it will take to purchase the home you seek in the area you desire.

You should ascertain your Realtor’s approach to doing their evaluation; how detailed are the evaluations? A generic condo can be easy to evaluate, especially if there have been recent sales above or below. But evaluating a unique home can be quite difficult as there’s little to compare it with.

A skilled Realtor will be able to evaluate a property’s value with confidence and accuracy. They’ll look at similar properties outside the neighbourhood, as well as in similar neighbourhoods. Or they could use a replacement cost approach that calculates the value of the land and what it would cost to build a comparable home.

If a Realtor doesn’t provide you with any guidance and just wants to hear your offer, you may want to find another Realtor.

6. Are you part of a team, or do you work independently?

One of the questions a buyer should ask a Realtor is whether they work as part of a team.

One of the questions a buyer should ask a Realtor is whether they work as part of a team.

 

You want to know whether the Realtor you’re dealing with is going to be there for you when you need them or whether you’ll be tapping into a team of Realtors. Make sure you have a clear understanding of who is your primary contact and who is the backup if your Realtor isn’t available. If your Realtor doesn’t have a backup, establish a contingency for when they’re not available; the perfect property could come along at any time and you want to know you can jump on it.

7. How many clients are you currently working with?

This may give you an idea how much time and energy your Realtor will have available for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Keep in mind the references the Realtor provides will likely be their best and happiest clients so try to dig a little deeper by asking around the community or other people who’ve recently bought or sold a home. Search their name on Google and Facebook, check out their profile on LinkedIn.

8. What happens after I buy?

A great Realtor will be there for you if there are any issues before, during and, especially, after the purchase, such as the seller not fulfilling their end of the contract, or leaving the place in a shambles. They’ll also be available to help you settle in, perhaps recommend professionals and trades to help with any renovations or repairs you want to do. A Realtor who doesn’t abandon you once they’ve handed over the keys to your new home will likely be your Realtor for life.

9. What is your availability and how will you communicate?

Does your Realtor prefer phone contact, or email? How often will they update you? What hours are they available? And what happens if the right property comes along when the Realtor isn’t available?

Your Realtor will likely have the same questions for you.

The more you know about your Realtor’s way of operating, and vice-versa, the more likely you’ll have a good home buying experience.

10. What else do I need to know?

It’s always a good idea to ask an open-ended question to give the Realtor a chance to highlight a unique service they might offer, or speak to areas you might have overlooked. That extra little tidbit of information could be the tipping point to your decision.

Bonus question. Do you own a brewery?

If your Realtor owns a brewery, that’s a bonus!

 

This question might throw your Realtor. Unless of course they do happen to own a brewery, in which case you may end up with a particularly thirst-quenching welcome gift when you take possession of your new home!

Questions a buyer should ask their Realtor: It’s all about trust

There’s no general rule for forging a great relationship with your Realtor. It’s all about trust and personal preference.

But your Realtor should be responsive to your needs; they should be patient when you need to take a little time, and proactive when you’re anxious. Your Realtor should be a good listener who will offer advice and help find solutions. And, most importantly, your Realtor shouldn’t try to sell you into every property you view.

Tips For Selling Your Home

Tips for Selling your Home in Greater Vancouver

 

Having your own home in Greater Vancouver can be a dream for many people, however at some point you might want to move on, and this is when you might be looking to sell your house. If you want to sell your home in Vancouver however, we have comprised a list with a few tips that might help you get the best price and sell your home faster!

One of the most important things is to try and make your home as appealing as possible from a visual standpoint. The landscaping, curb appeal, as well as the front exterior need to look their best if you want to make a great impression on the customer. On top of that, you might also want to trim the trees and keep all the exterior locations as clean as possible.

The interior also has to be clean as well, since this is another crucial selling point for your home in Vancouver. Also, try to remove the large furniture as this makes the rooms feel larger. The main idea here is to open up the traffic flow and make these rooms feel warm and welcoming, while also showing potential buyers that there is a lot of options for customizing the home according to their needs.

Another crucial thing is to make sure that you free your home from offensive odors, and instead bring some fresheners instead.

When you sell your home, you also need to work with a realtor, because without a realtor with strong negotiation skills, you won’t be able to get the asking price, and that would be unfortunate if you home was sold for less than what you felt it was worth. Of course, before you start promoting your house on the market, you need to make sure that you place it on the market for the right price, because you don’t want it to be too expensive or too cheap. Speak with your realtor about pricing your home. Think about every asset in the home, all its features, then price it accordingly.

And while these tips are important if you want to prepare your house for selling it the right way, the reality is that your realtor has to promote it quite a lot online if you want to attract potential buyers.

If you want to sell your home in Vancouver, then your realtor needs to create online listings that showcase information about your home. The main idea here is to get the best possible exposure across the Vancouver residential housing market. Ensure that your realtor adds a few photos of your house, those that showcase the most important features, and avoid stuffing too much data into the description.

Also, make sure that your realtor conducts any home visits as this way you will have an even better chance of getting the desired results. In fact, working with a professional realtor when it comes to selling your house in Vancouver will increase your chances of getting more money on the property, not to mention that the sale will be made a lot faster.

In conclusion, by combining a proper house presentation with a great marketing strategy you will be able to sell your Vancouver home quickly and without too many issues. Just remember that it might take a little while for the right buyer to appear, but as long as you are patient you will be able to get the amount of money that you want from this sale!

#304 290 Francis Way, New Westminster (The Grove – Victoria Hill)

  

The Grove at Victoria Hill – 2 Bed, 2 Bath, 951 SF West Facing unit overlooking the inner courtyard with Large Balcony. Very Quiet and surrounded by Greenspace this unit features a very spacious & open Living/Dining/Kitchen Area. Gourmet Kitchen with stainless steel appliances, lots of cabinets & island. Ideal Floorplan with two bedrooms located on opposite sides of the living room, Master Bedroom has walk-through closet leading into a Full Bathroom. Great Amenities at the Boiler House: Gym, Theatre, Study, Party Rm/Lounge, Outdoor Basketball Court. Central Locations, steps to Queens Park, 15min walk to Skytrain or 10 min Bus. Won’t last! Must See!

Virtual Tour

MLS Feature Sheet #304 290 Francis Way

 

SOLD! 5939 188th St, Surrey (Cloverdale)

Well Kept Home in a Great Cloverdale Hilltop Neighborhood! Home has 3 bedrooms & 2 Bathrooms upstairs, 2 Bedrooms & 1 bathroom downstairs, 2 Kitchens, suite (not currently rented out). Over 2500 sqft of living space with 2 car attached garage (additional uncovered parking as well) and a HUGE fully fenced west facing backyard, all situated on a large 7799 SF lot! Newer updates incl: high efficiency furnace (2006), hotwater tank (2010), roof (2007), gutters & downspouts (2007), paint (2012), new balcony (2011). Excellent floorplan: Spacious & open Family/Kitchen/Living/Dining area on the main. Enjoy the large balcony off the Kitchen leading onto a brick patio and spacious yard. Steps to Sunrise Ridge Elementary & Public transit.

For complete listing click here.

MLS Feature Sheet 5939 188th St

SOLD! #117- 225 Francis Way, New Westminster (Whittaker- Victoria Hill)

Whittaker at Victoria Hill – Stunning 875sq. 2 bedroom, 2 bath corner unit. Built in 2010 & under warranty. This suite features a HUGE private patio, laminate flooring, gourmet kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances and lots of cabinets. Located just steps to Queens Park and a 10min walk or quick bike ride to the Columbia Skytrain Station. Impressive amenities at the Boiler House which features a huge gym, lounge area, reading area, media room, meeting room & basketball court. 1 parking stall included. Rentals allowed & pets allowed with restrictions. Centrally located in New Westminster’s Victoria Hill master planned community. Close to shops, schools & the Quay

For complete listing click here.

MLS Feature Sheet 117 225 Francis Way

 

SOLD! #3204 240 Sherbrooke St, New Westminster (Copperstone)

 Copperstone at the centre of the Lower Mainland. This immaculate 2bedroom 2bathroom NorthWest 1034 square-foot corner suite includes: laminate flooring, crown mouldings, stainless steel appliances, upgraded paint, lights and fixtures, in-suite laundry, security system, and more. Sit and enjoy the afternoon sun on the private covered 9’x11′ balcony. Spacious living areas and open floor plan. This unit faces NorthWest onto the quiet treed courtyard with a glimpse of the mountains. Steps from the trendy Sapperton area that boasts a Thrifty’s (open 24hrs), Starbucks, shops, bistros, boutique gift shop, spa, and bakeries… Close to freeway access and only a 3 minute walk to the skytrain. Built in 2008, 2-5-10 warranty, 2 parking, 1 locker, Pets & Rentals Welcome.

For complete listing click here.

MLS Feature Sheet 3204 240 Sherbrooke St