Episode #45 – The Amazing Brentwood: Redevelopment and Investing Opportunities

Brentwood, located in Burnaby, is a growing neighborhood that offers beautiful views and a central location.

James and Denny share information about the developing community and review the different condo options available to buyers.

This episode will focus on the development in Brentwood, resale versus new construction, the varying amenities that different buildings offer, the importance of air conditioning in a condo, the increasing amount of incentives from developers, and the positives and negatives of investing in presale properties.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & Youtube.

2020 Greater Vancouver Housing Market Recap, and What to Expect in 2021

James and Denny discuss what they have seen in real estate during 2020 and make predictions for what they believe will happen in 2021. Let’s get ready for the great migration!

Top trends and predictions we expect to see in 2021:

  • Buyers wanting more space!
  • Townhouses and Detached Houses will be hot!
  • People moving outside of Vancouver to smaller cities and suburbs.
  • Cities like: Port Moody, North Vancouver, Tsawwassen, Squamish, Maple Ridge & Langley will see record high prices and sales activity.
  • Up-sizers (due to low interest rates) and down-sizers (due to high prices) will be very active!
  • More investors will be coming back.
  • Condos will increase in prices (but less than houses and Townhouses).
Detached Homes in East Vancouver, North Vancouver, Tsawwassen and Langley are going to see all time high prices. Places like Burnaby will not see all time high prices. Beautiful townhomes and condos will see a 10-20% increase this year.
HSBC just announced a 0.99 rate. This may force other big banks like RBC, TD and Scotia Bank to be slightly competitive.
There has been an increase in population growth on the island and sunshine coast in the last 6-12 months.There will be a lot of people making lifestyle choices that want to own homes, and that movement will keep the market insanely active for the next couple of years.
What is one thing you want to say about 2021 predictions you haven’t said yet: Buy a house now or you may never own one.

This episode will focus on the uncertainty within the industry when COVID-19 first hit BC, low-interest rates and increasing taxes, the upsizing trend, bidding wars, the popularity of condos and townhouses, and the growing appeal of moving out of the city and into the surrounding areas. Watch the full episode here.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & Youtube.

Blog: Supporting Local with PoMo Life

Monica Harmse and Lucas McCann live and work in the beautiful city of Port Moody. They created the vlog PoMo Life about two years ago to create a genuine resource for information about what is going on in the community, new shops or breweries opening, or to find great restaurant recommendations.

Denny Dumas caught up with Monica and Lucas to learn more about PoMo Life and see how things have changed since it was first created.

Why did you start the vlog and how has it evolved?

  • Wanted people to see more of Port Moody and learn about us through where we love to spend our time most
  • We wanted more real estate business in the area that we are passionate about
  • Had to change our process in the last 10 months because of COVID-19 restrictions: cannot go into as many shops, not as intimate, and harder to do interviews
      • Focused on how the pandemic has affected businesses – heard their story of hardships and survival
  • Not shooting as much, focusing more on Instagram and Facebook
      • Reposting what local businesses post to help with a larger reach
  • Do not need to have both of us in every post/get each other’s permission for everything
      • Trust each other; be a part of the team, hold each other accountable for our own responsibilities

What have you learned?

  • After about 1 year in, we realized that not many people knew we were real estate agents so had to start posting more about that
      • We did not want to advertise ourselves, we wanted to interact with the community and show our personalities
      • Recognized we had to share what we did for a living so that our followers could use us as a resource for real estate as well
  • Finding balance in work life and personal life is so important
      • The intention is to get as much content out as possible but must realize that we are busy professionals and have other priorities that need our time
  • Our most successful posts are created when we have fun with our content and show things that most others are not posting about (going into dark crawl spaces, etc.)
      • Do not let fear or ego hold you back; we are all learning and do not know the answer to everything
      • Do not overanalyze! This could stop you from moving forward personally and professionally

How do you measure success with PoMo Life?

  • Hearing from shop owners that our followers stopped by after we posted about their business
      • Owners love it – free exposure, a great way to get their business out there
      • Businesses have started reaching out to us about upcoming events or promotions
  • Starting to see more real estate referrals – the more people who know you, the more likely you are to get a recommendation
  • Starting to feel like we are a part of the community

What are your long-term goals with PoMo Life?

  • In 5 years, we want to build something that people trust and find entertaining
      • Bring more business to the local shops and showcase our community
  • Build referrals
      • Feel more fulfilled working in Port Moody
      • We want to get busier in this area to decrease the amount of travel done for work all around the lower mainland
  • Become real estate experts in Port Moody
      • When buyers or agents walk into our properties, we want them to already know who we are, could be advantageous in deals or in creating long-lasting relationships
Lucas and Monica join Denny to discuss all things Port Moody

Tell us about Port Moody and why people love it:

  • It is such a cool city to live in!
  • Consists of a mostly younger demographic (25 to 45-year-old adults), newlyweds or young families
      • Great community feel, you get to know your neighbors and see the same people every day
  • Beautiful backdrop – mountains, water, and great trails
  • The amount of PoMo businesses increased within the last 5 years to cater to the families moving here
  • Connected to surrounding cities by Skytrain
  • Housing prices are more affordable here compared to comparable properties in other areas (North Vancouver, New Westminster, etc)
      • Large variety in types of real estate available: luxury homes to small condos
      • No new detached homes being built in Port Moody, so will not have a better newer house than yours 5 years down the line
      • Long term value in Port Moody, real estate value is constantly going up
  • There is a misconception that Port Moody is so far from everything else, but it takes on average about 25 minutes to get to North Vancouver or downtown
  • One area of the city that needs more attention is the amount of infrastructure available to accommodate the population growth
      • More roads and better traffic signs need to be put in place before the city gets too big and too much is built
      • Certain parts of the city are difficult to get to or have not seen any road updates recently
Monica and Lucas are excited to see where year three of PoMo Life takes them! Follow them on Instagram @pomolifebc to stay up to date with their adventures.

Listen to The Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast: Supporting Local with PoMo Life episode to hear more from Lucas and Monica about their love for the city of Port Moody and PoMo Life.

Do you have questions regarding buying or living in Port Moody? We would love to hear from you – contact us and we can help you with some of the specifics.

Blog: The Grey Areas of GST in Real Estate

It can be a confusing and frustrating task trying to figure out which real estate deals the 5% goods and services tax (GST) applies to.

There are some examples that are not in question for paying GST. These include new construction from a developer, a brand-new lot, and a new condominium or house.

The grey areas arise with the following circumstances:

  1. A significantly renovated home (75% or more of the home was renovated)
    • The criteria for these homes are difficult as each house and renovation is different; tough to get a straight answer
    • GST will probably apply if there is an extension/square footage is added to the home or if it changes the exterior
    • GST will also probably apply if the owner is in the business of buying a home and significantly renovating/flipping it (especially if you do not move into the property)
  2. In new construction, sometimes not only the first owner but also the second owner must pay GST
    • This depends on the first owner’s intent for the property
  3. GST may or may not apply to land purchases

It is important to note that the intent of the owner is crucial in determining whether GST must be paid.

For example – let us say that Bob buys a new construction condo in 2015 that completes in 2019.

Once completed, he decided that he wants to sell. In the time that it took for the condo to be built, the condo’s worth increased. If Bob’s initial intent was to have it as his primary residence, then the GST does not have to be paid on the increase in price. If his intent was to sell for a profit, then GST is applicable.

If Bob were to have a tenant rent out his condo for a year and claim it as an investment property, then that can change whether the GST must be paid. However, be careful with this as if it is done too often, there could be consequences. The longer the unit is an investment property, the better. 

This is only one scenario with relatively little information – every real estate deal can have its own challenges, so it is best to seek out an expert who can help guide the transaction properly.

Work with your real estate agent to ensure that you fully understand the contract and small details (like who is responsible for the GST) are not missed.

Quick Tips:

  • When searching for properties, look at how the property is represented and if it states whether the GST has been paid or not.
  • In deals where it is unknown if GST must be paid, real estate agents should ensure that a GST clause is put into the contract so that it is the buyer who is obligated to pay the taxes. This stops the seller from proactively paying the GST, and instead puts the responsibility on the buyer who is less likely to pay it if deemed unnecessary.

In any circumstances where it is unclear whether the buyer will have to pay GST, it is beneficial to talk to an accountant or someone who is an expert in the tax field. They will ask all the necessary questions and help navigate the process. Real estate agents will do their best to help their clients, but they may not have the expertise for each specific situation.

Listen to The Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast: The Grey Area of GST in Real Estate episode to listen as James and Denny talk about their experiences with the goods and services tax in their property deals.

Do you have questions regarding when to pay real estate taxes, investment properties, the fine print in contracts, and what a significantly renovated property is? We would love to hear from you – contact us and we can help you with some of the specifics.

Episode #42 – The Importance of Having an Online Presence as a Realtor

Real estate agents are adopting new strategies to reach more clients virtually.

James and Denny share how they started growing their brand online and what they have learned throughout the process.

This episode will focus on gaining authority in your field, using social media and other platforms to reach your target audience, the power of videos in getting your brand out there, overcoming the insecurities of trying something new, and the impact of being kind and going the extra mile for clients.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & Youtube.

Blog: The Importance of Having an Online Presence as a Realtor

The amount of caution surrounding COVID-19 has recently increased, and as a realtor, it is important to understand that everyone has different comfort levels. Common methods used by real estate agents in the past (for example, door knocking) may not work during today’s restrictions.

Open houses have changed as well, with a limited number of people able to enter the house at a time. It is key to take this opportunity to make a personal connection, get to know what the buyer is looking for, and answer any questions they may have while walking through the house. This is a great way to make a long-lasting good impression, and you never know which buyers do not have a realtor to represent them yet.

Helpful tips:
  1. Be pleasant with everyone you come across – it can go a long way
  2. If you do not know something, never leave it at, “I do not know.” Always promise to find out the answer and follow up with them
    • This is also a great way to get their contact information!

Find out which medium works best for you – videography is a great way to show your personality while delivering your content.

Real estate agents have had to adopt new strategies to reach more clients. One of the biggest opportunities in building a database and a following is by going virtual and reaching your target audience online.

What should agents be doing online in the next couple of months?

The first step is to get started: begin learning and creating content around topics you are passionate about, and who you want to be or what you want to do in the future. The more you share during this downtime, the more benefit will come from it. Experiment to find out what social media platforms or mediums work best for you – do you like video, blogs, Twitter?

Understand that you are not perfect and try to push past the insecurities that come with trying something new. Get comfortable being uncomfortable! Continue to produce content and if the message is genuine and helpful, your audience will enjoy it. With practice, you will gain confidence and authority in that field.

Analyze what you want to be known for:
  1. Educate:
    • Certain property type
    • A specific community specialist
      • Know the OCP, zoning, how it is changing, building applications
    • Common issues of homes built during a certain period
  2. Entertain
    • Quirky property videos with fun intros
    • Market yourself and show your personality

This process takes time, but the pay off is worth it when clients start noticing. Channel your focus into one thing and do it consistently well. Once you have become an expert in a certain niche, your followers will trust you and will continue consuming your content. It is this support that will have people sending you business from your channel and when it is time for them to sell or buy a property, you want to be the first person on their mind.

Listen to The Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast: The Importance of Having an Online Presence as a Realtor episode to listen as James and Denny share how they started growing their brand online and what they have learned throughout the process.

Do you have questions regarding gaining authority in your field, using social media and other platforms to reach your target audience, and the power of videos in getting your brand out there? We would love to hear from you – contact us and we can help you with some of the specifics.

Episode #43 – Supporting Local with PoMo Life

This week’s episode is a special one as realtors Monica Harmse and Lucas McCann from the Garbutt and Dumas Real Estate team join Denny on the podcast.

Monica and Lucas created the real estate vlog PoMo Life to promote community awareness around what is going on in Port Moody and the surrounding Tri-Cities.

This episode will focus on the value of connecting with local businesses, the power of referrals, facing your fears to grow personally and professionally, increasing your social media following, and the beautiful city of Port Moody.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & Youtube.

Episode #41 – The Grey Areas of GST in Real Estate

There is no hard and fast rule as to which properties you must pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on, as every situation is a little different.

James and Denny review situations where it was unclear if the GST had to be paid, and what they learned from those circumstances.

This episode will focus on the impact of intent when purchasing a property, buyers vs. sellers paying the tax, the difference between new construction and significantly renovated homes, and the importance of speaking with a professional accountant about each individual real estate deal.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on SpotifyiTunes & Youtube.

Blog: The Ins and Outs of a Depreciation Report

What is a depreciation report?

A depreciation report is a formal, standardized report created by an engineering firm to evaluate older buildings in the greater Vancouver area. It was created in 2013 as a proactive way to increase the amount of information available for strata to plan and pay for the repair, replacement, and renewal of common property and assets (roof, windows, elevator, etc.) over the next 30 years. This report is also used by prospective buyers to reduce the chances of running into unexpected and expensive issues after the deal goes through.

The Pros:
  1. Gives detailed information on previous renovations – before this report, it would be difficult to know when the roof was replaced, plumbing was done, etc.
  2. If the seller was living in the building for a short amount of time, the report will offer a more detailed history that they may not be aware of
The Cons:
  1. It is a long document that is not meant to be taken word for word; the percentage of people who go through the full document and understand how to read it is quite low
  2. Not buyer-friendly – jeopardized deals when it was first created and could still be doing this today due to lack of understanding
  3. The reports tend to err on the conservative side – making estimates on all possible renovations within a 30-year span; the strata does not have to follow recommendations if upgrades are not appropriate at that time
  4. Can be overwhelming and look very negative when listing all possible upkeep projects on older buildings

A depreciation report can be a helpful tool, however, how it is communicated and used can play a huge factor in its effectiveness. Before presenting any report to your client, ensure that you understand what it means. Additionally, keep in mind that each tenant is only responsible for a certain percentage of the total cost depending on their unit entitlement, making a large renovation cost more manageable.

Remember that sizeable updates will be voted on by the strata and may not necessarily happen when they are predicted to if deemed unnecessary. Professional assessments and quotes from different experts in that field will be collected to ensure that the proper work is done at the best cost.

In the end, the positives of a depreciation report outweigh the negatives. Always take into consideration that the property’s land may be worth more than the actual structure, and it could still be a good deal even if the depreciation report is pessimistic.

Listen to The Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast: The Ins and Outs of a Depreciation Report episode to listen as James and Denny offer more insight into how best to use this information.

Do you have questions regarding older buildings, understanding how to read reports, and knowing if it’s a solid real estate deal? We would love to hear from you – contact us and we can help you with some of the specifics.

Episode #40 – The Ins and Outs of a Depreciation Report

A depreciation report is a formal, standardized report created by an engineering firm to evaluate older buildings.

James and Denny discuss the impact that this report has on buyers and the positive and negative experiences they have had with it in the past.

This episode will focus on the importance of properly communicating the depreciation report to your clients, understanding that the engineer creates a conservative report with estimated dates for maintenance, unit entitlement, and the role that the building strata plays in carrying out these upgrades.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.