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


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.

10 Great Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home

A great Realtor can make the difference between a good or bad experience when you’re selling your home. But before you sign a listing contract, here are 10 great questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home.

1. How many properties have you sold? How many did you sell last year?
Most people instantly focus on years in the business, but your Realtor’s sales volume is just as important; one agent can sell as many homes in two years than others do in 10. A Realtor with a healthy volume of sales in the local market in the past year is likely more in tune with that market.
But don’t just focus on the numbers; you should also feel comfortable with your Realtor.
2. What types of properties have you sold lately?
This will help you determine your Realtor’s focus and performance, whether they’ve had success selling similar types of products, and in your area. Ask for proven results, such as the average number of days their listings are on the market, the ratio of their list prices to actual sale prices. What about listings that aren’t selling; a Realtor who openly discusses their failures demonstrates honesty.
3. Who is the buyer and where are they coming from?
Your Realtor’s knowledge and experience with the local market will help them market your home to potential buyers and highlight the features that will be important to them. It’s important for your Realtor to know their target market for your home, whether it’s young families, downsizers, locals or buyers from out of town.
4. What is your marketing strategy for my home?
This is where the rubber hits the road, and your Realtor will earn their commission. Your home is likely your largest investment; it needs to be marketed well from the beginning if you’re going to realize a good return on that investment. It’s important your home presents well and buyers are aware of it.

Top 10 questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home
Your Realtor should know how to present your home at its best, including professional photos.

In a hot market, just putting up a lawn sign might sell your home, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right strategy to get you the right price. Nice photos, a posting on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Open Houses are a minimal expectation; but what else can your Realtor offer? Creative campaigns that include online marketing, an active presence on social media, print advertising and staging can gain extra exposure for your home.
5. What separates you from your competitors?
Here’s where you’re really asking “why should I hire you?” There’s no shortage of Realtors out there to sell your home, but what is your Realtor offering to separate them from that pack. Their marketing ability is important, but so are honesty and trust.
6. What is your recommended listing price for my home, and why?
You want an understanding of how your Realtor evaluates properties. It should be by more than guesswork, or intuition.
Their evaluation of your property should be supported by recent comparable sales in the area. A more detailed evaluation could include listings that didn’t sell, and current active listings that you’re competing against.
If your home is difficult to evaluate because there’s been no recent comparable sales against which to measure it, a creative Realtor will look at similar properties outside the neighbourhood, or in similar neighbourhoods. Or they could use a “replacement cost” approach where they calculate the land value plus the cost of rebuilding the actual home.
Your Realtor’s pricing strategy for your home should align with your needs. If the market is hot and you have to sell quickly or you have specific requirements for the offer, such as a specific closing date, we typically recommend a lower price as it will generate more interest, more offers and cleaner offers that meet your terms. If the market is slow, or you have a unique property that could limit the pool of potential buyers, it may be best to price your home higher with room to negotiate; trying to set a price to spark a bidding war could be risky is these circumstances.
7. How do you, or your team, operate?

You want to know your Realtor is going to be there for you when you need them. It’s important to understand how communication will be handled, and who will be your primary contact. You want to know who will be showing your property and who is going to be handling the negotiations with buyers; you don’t want any surprises.
8. How much do you charge?
Commission fees are determined by your Realtor and they are negotiable. If a Realtor is hungry for a listing, they may reduce their fee. But top-performing Realtors typically don’t.
There are many different types of fee structures out there, from flat fee listing services to discount brokerages to full service brokerages. Whichever you choose, you should establish how much they charge, and how much of that goes to the buyer’s agent. Make sure the commission for the buyer’s agent is in line with the rates prevalent in your area.
9. What if I’m not happy with your service?
This question will help you determine a Realtor’s level of commitment to you and how strongly they believe in their ability to get you a good result.
If, for some reason, you’re unhappy with their service, you need to know if they’ll release you from the listing contract and how. There are two ways to terminate a listing: Cancellation vs. Unconditional Release. The former has restrictions that could affect your ability to move on; the latter releases you freely with no further obligation. Most listing contracts run for 3-4 months, but contracts for luxury properties can run up to 12 months.
10. What else do I need to know?
One of the questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home should be open-ended. That gives them a chance to highlight a unique service they might offer, like staging, or to speak to areas you might have overlooked. That extra little tidbit of information could be the tipping point to your decision.
Requesting references is one of the questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home that is sometimes overlooked. But keep in mind, if you are given references they’ll likely all be good. To get a more complete picture of your Realtor, do a little online research prior to your first meeting. See what properties they have recently sold, then ask for references from those clients specifically. If they have online and social media presence, see what people are saying about them, check their reviews and how they engage with others. See what they are doing to stay in front of buyers on a daily basis.
There’s no general rule for forging a great relationship with your Realtor. It’s all about personal preference and trust.
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. They should be a good listener who will offer advice and help find solutions.
More helpful blogs for sellers
10 Reasons to Hire a Realtor
Best Time of Year to Sell a Home
Get Buyers to Fall in Love With Your Home
7 Tips to Help Your Home Look Great in Photos

Just Listed! Burnaby North 2 Bedroom Condo for under $400K!

Property: #202 3939 Hastings St., Burnaby
List Price: $398,000
List Date: March 13, 2017
Imagine a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom North Burnaby condo in a great location for less than $400,000! No way, you say. Not in this market! But Burnaby Realtors James Garbutt and Denny Dumas have just listed one at 202-3939 Hastings St.
This 780 sq. ft. unit is located in The Sienna, smack dab in the middle of the coveted Heights neighbourhood. Restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, butchers, groceries and transit are right at your doorstep!
The open concept layout of this North Burnaby condo makes it feel much larger than its 780 sq. ft. The large kitchen features tons of storage. The huge patio is partially covered so you’ll be able to barbecue all year. And the bedrooms are on opposite sides of the suite, so you can enjoy your “me” time. Or you can use the second bedroom as a home office.
The unit comes with a newer in-suite washer and dryer as well as one parking spot. Downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver are about a 10-minute drive away.
Listed at $398,000, this North Burnaby condo is a great opportunity for a first-time buyer!
We’re going to be showing it for the first time on Thursday, March 16, 6-7 p.m., and at an Open House on Sunday, March 19 2:30-4:30 p.m. See you there!
Click here to see the full listing for 202-3939 Hastings St

living room at 202-3939 Hastings St
The bright living room features a gas fireplace.

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.


Top 8 Questions to Ask When Buying In Older Condo Buildings

Some older condo buildings age better than others, depending on the quality of the original construction as well as the care and attention paid by the strata to maintenance and repairs.
So if you’re considering buying into older condo buildings, here are eight questions you should ask to avoid any expensive surprises once you’ve settled into your new home.
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1. Has the plumbing been redone?
Galvanized steel plumbing was widely used before the 1970s; but it’s heavy and not very durable. Once the zinc coating inside starts to break down, the pipes are prone to rust. That can cause blockages or even breaks.
Copper plumbing is also popular in older condo buildings. It can last 50 years or more. But the lead-based solder that used to be used to join pipes and fixtures could eventually leach into your water.
Older condo buildings constructed from the late 1970s to the mid 90s could use polybutylene pipes. The plastic is cheap, light and easy to work with, but its lifespan is only 20 years.
It’s possible plumbing systems in older condo buildings have all three types of pipes, as repairs and replacements have been done over the years. If you see references to pin hole leaks in the minutes of strata council meetings, it’s a good sign the plumbing is nearing the end of its life and may be due for replacement.
2. How old is the roof?
Tar and gravel roofs last 15-20 years. An asphalt roof should last 20-25 years. If the answer to your question is close to those numbers, you may have to put room in your budget for your share of the cost of replacing that roof.
3. How old is the boiler?
A commercial gas-fired hot water boiler should last 10-15 years, but it could last longer if it’s been well-maintained.
4. Have the balconies been redone?
This likely isn’t a concern in older condo buildings constructed of concrete. But if the balcony is constructed of wood or vinyl, it could begin deteriorating after 15 years.

Older condo buildings can be a great buy because you usually get more space for your money.
The condition of balconies in older condo buildings shouldn’t be a worry if they’re concrete.

5. Are there any issues with the parkade membrane?
Water leaking into parkades can be a common problem in older condo buildings. It happens when cracks form in the structure because of settling, poor construction or maintenance, or just wear and tear.
Fixing a leaky parkade can be expensive.
6. Has the elevator been upgraded?
We’ve learned to take elevators for granted; we push the button, they take us to the floor where we want to go. But elevators wear out; all that up-and-down, opening and closing of the doors, pushing call buttons, takes a toll.
An elevator should last 20-25 years but could endure longer if they’ve been regularly maintained.
7. Has the building’s exterior been upgraded?
This question is often dependant on how older condo buildings were designed and built.
If the building is constructed of concrete, with large roof overhangs that prevent rainwater from hitting the exterior, the risk of a leaky building is minimal.
But if the building’s exterior is made of stucco or wood, and it’s exposed to the elements without protection from roof overhangs, you need to check if it has been rainscreened.
What Is Rainscreen?
8. Does the building have a depreciation report?
In 2013, the BC government mandated depreciation reports for every strata with more than four lots. The report is prepared by qualified architects or engineers who are able to assess and determine the short and long term health of the building and its upkeep schedule as well as anticipated costs. The report must be updated every three years.
Strata Documents You Should Read Before You Buy
Reading a depreciation report for older condo buildings can be intimidating; the maintenance schedules are usually pretty proactive and the dollar figures are high. But it’s how the building’s strata council reacts to that report that really matters; is it putting money aside early to deal with upcoming major expenses, does it address minor issues in a timely manner so they don’t snowball into bigger issues?

Older condo buildings can be a great value

Older condo buildings can offer tremendous value. You’re not paying for the flashy marketing campaigns of new developments. A lot of potential problems will have already been worked out. The strata has experience. And units were bigger in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, so you’ll likely get more space for your dollar.

More useful blogs if you’re shopping for a condo

Understanding Strata Fees
Strata Documents You Should Read Before You Buy
10 Tips For The First Time Home Buyer
What is Rainscreen?

Getting ready for an open house

Last week we offered some tips to buyers to help them get the most out of visiting open houses. This week we turn the tables with tips for sellers getting ready for an open house.
An open house is one of the best marketing tools for selling your home. But a successful open house takes a lot more than just handing the keys to the front door to your realtor and going to a movie for the afternoon. A little planning and preparation getting ready for an open house will go a long way to helping you achieve top dollar for your home after buyers have had a chance to see it.

Make sure your home presents well at an Open House.
Planning and attention to detail will make your home look great for an Open House.


1. Getting ready for an open house, not an open home

If you’re getting ready for an open house you’ve got to detach your emotions and start thinking of your home as a commodity, and everything you do from the day you sign a contract with your realtor has to be looked at through that prism. You’ll likely be facing some tough decisions as you depersonalize your home as much as possible.

2. Identify your market when getting ready for an open house

Is your neighbourhood filled with young professionals and families or is it more established? Buyers tend to stick to their demographic so you should be marketing your home to match that targeted population. That means if you’ve lived in your home and haven’t updated it since the 1970s while your neighbours are now all hipsters who’ve moved out from the city, you should probably strip that floral wallpaper in the living room, replace those harvest gold appliances.

3. Assess and address

Make a thorough assessment of your home’s condition and any faults that should be addressed. Most buyers want their new home to be move-in ready and the last thing they expect to have to deal with are your legacy maintenance issues.
Sometimes it helps to get an impartial third party to help with your walk-through; you may have lived with the dingy paint on the living room wall so long you no longer notice it, but it could be readily apparent to a first-time visitor.
Once you’ve compiled your list, prioritize according to what’s likely to be a turn-off to potential buyers and the budget and time you have available. Don’t scrimp! A few thousand dollars and a few weeks work getting ready for an open house could mean many thousands of dollars added to your sale price.
Some areas that are sure to catch the attention of potential buyers include:
• The condition and colour of the paint on the walls. A fuschia feature wall in your living room may be your taste, but if you’re getting ready for an open house, buyers will likely prefer a more neutral slate they’ll be able to make their own.
• Flooring. When you’re getting ready to host an open house clean or replace dirty and worn carpets. You may even consider installing hardwood or laminate as that’s often an attractive feature to potential buyers.
• Update light fixtures and replace or repair any that are broken. This can be a quick and relatively inexpensive upgrade that will instantly make your home seem more contemporary and well-kept.

4. Curb appeal

Give your home curb appeal by ensuring it makes a good impression from the outside. That means trimming the grass and trees, weeding the gardens, straightening shutters, rolling garbage and recycling bins out of sight. Clean out gutters, power wash the siding, repaint the front door and replace broken or faded house numbers. If your home looks good from the street, buyers will be excited to see the inside.

Curb appeal is a big part of staging a successful open house
Putting on a successful open house starts from the curb in front of your home.


5. Staging

Staging is the fine art of making your home look appealing to the highest number of potential buyers. It highlights your home’s strengths, and downplays its weaknesses. It tells a story, creates a mood.
Staging can be as simple as decluttering, to rearranging your furniture, to hiring a professional stager who will remove much of your stuff into storage and replace it with carefully curated furniture and decor.
As the living room is usually the first room buyers see when entering your home, it should be staged to impress. Remove large pieces of furniture so it appears more spacious. Arrange the furniture so it draws attention to a focal point, like the fireplace or an expansive window.
The kitchen should be spotlessly clean, the countertops cleared of small appliances and storage containers. Take magnets and notes off the fridge door. But don’t make the kitchen seem too sterile; accessorize with small decorative touches like a glass jar of pasta noodles or open cookbook on the counter, a vase of cut flowers on the island.

Tidy the kitchen when you're getting ready for an open house.
The kitchen should be spotlessly clean and uncluttered when you’re getting ready for an open house.

All of the bedrooms should look neat and uncluttered as possible. The master bedroom especially, should look as nice and inviting as a luxury hotel. Replace everyday bedding with luxurious linens, maybe add some accent pillows.
Bathrooms should be immaculate. Hide the toothbrushes and toiletries, hang up new towels, make sure the shower curtain is clean and bright. Accessorize with fresh flowers or even candles.
Don’t neglect the backyard or deck. Outdoor space is a huge priority for many buyers so when you’re getting ready for an open house you want to make sure your yard, patio or deck is at its best, as a refuge for relaxing or entertaining.
When getting ready for an open house, don't forget to make outdoor space inviting with a bit of staging.
When getting ready for an open house, don’t forget to make outdoor space inviting with a bit of staging.

Oh, and don’t overlook how your home smells. Cooking a meal with a lot of garlic when you’re getting ready for an open house the next day is probably not the best idea. Neutralize any odours as best you can, but don’t saturate the air with artificial fresheners as that can be equally offensive to visitors to your open house.

6. The big day

The realtor has hung their Open House signs around the neighbourhood, you’ve made arrangements to be out of the house for a couple of hours; but there’s still a few things to do as you’re getting ready for an open house.
Turn on all the lights and open the curtains to make your home as bright as possible. Put out some fresh cut flowers in nice vases, or fresh fruit arranged on plates or in bowls. Adjust the thermostat so it’s comfortable.

The payoff for getting ready for an open house is waiting for those first buyers to drop by!
If you’ve put the effort into getting ready for an open house, the buyers will come!

If you and your realtor have put in the effort getting ready for an open house, your home will practically sell itself!

7360 11th Ave, Burnaby

August 9, 2010 – Video Blog of 7360 11th Ave


I’m proud to present this excellent home on a nice and quiet street . This very well kept 5 bedroom home (3 Bed up, 2bed down) features hardwood floors on the main living/dining/halls/stairs, Laminate in bedrooms, large updated kitchen with beautiful wood cabinets and tile flooring, montgage helper down, HUGE 280sq ft balcony over looking large backyard with grape vines, pear, plum & fig trees. Great space for entertaining guests! Brand new high efficiency furnace, newer hot water tank (2yrs) Centrally located close to schools, public transportation, shops and restaurants.

#302 11 E Royal Ave, New Westminster – VICTORIA HILL

August 9, 2010 – Video Blog of #302 11 E Royal Ave


VICTORIA HILL! OUTSTANDING Spacious 1110 sqft 2 bed/2 bath + den condo in New Westminister’s 2007 Award Winning built by Onni & still under remainder of warranty. Outstanding finishing including granite counters, floor to ceiling windows, wood floors, stainless appliances. Spa like master bath ensuite with large sonker tub, separate shower stall and 2 sinks, 2 PARKING SPACES, 1 locker & pet friendly. Enjoy the fantastic amenities including: exercise room, swimming pool & more. Relax on your private balcony surrounded by lush greenery. Walk to Douglas College, close to Safeway, shops, Starbucks, Schools, public transit, Canada Games Pool and steps to Queen’s Park. Call today to view.

#304 707 Gloucester St., New Westminster

Aug 6, 2010 – Video Blog Tour of #304 707 Gloucester St


Impressively updated TOP floor CORNER, suite in the New Westminster Uptown Area, Enjoy the large wrap-around balcony overlooking 7th St, but privately surrounded by trees. this suite features new hardwood, tile & carpet flooring throughout,updated gas fireplace in the living room, granite counters in the kitchen,completely updated bathroom with new tub, vanity tile flooring, fixtures & faucets. Located on the Southeast corner of the building, lots of natural light, open and spacious living/dining room area. 1Parking & Storage locker included. NEW ROOF (2010) NEW BOILER to be installed (paid by Seller) MAINTENANCE FEE INCLUDES HEAT & GAS! Pets allowed with some restrictions. Call for your private viewing today!!