Taylor Brown, Personal Real Estate Corporation
604-362-0350 // info@taylorbrownrealty.com

 

 

Ok.. If you know me (well) you know my house is generally fairly organized… it’s very black and white. Everything is in place & perfect, or it looks like a world war happened in my living room…& bedroom (sigh) Over the holidays; I started purging different areas of my house. My husband and I decided that we would donate a lot of extra stuff instead of purchasing a bunch of gifts for one another. So where did I start?

 

 


STEP 1: BATHROOM

I really could not believe that amount of unopened items I had in my bathroom… Facial Cleansers, Moisturizers, Face Masks (loaded up at Kiko in Europe!), Shampoos, Conditioners… you name it!

 So I challenge you, to START with your bathroom… Pour a nice glass of wine, turn on some good music and get it done!! I had 2 full Safeway bags full of these babies!! So what did I do with them??? DONATE!!! Donate to your local women shelters (Covenant House for me..),  OR there are so many other non-profit organizations out there to choose from! My skin is super picky so there were a lot of newer products that I had tried a few times and didn’t like… I threw those in too! What you or I may no longer want might turn into someone else’s favourite product!

 

 

STEP 2: MASTER BEDROOM

For me, when we “upsized” and bought our first detached house, the inside of our upstairs space is around the same square footage as our previous condo. Except our condo had SO much storage space!! I dedicated the 2nd bedroom as a wardrobe/makeup room that was filled with clothes from as far back as GRADE 8!!! YES!! Can you believe it?!! I’m sure you can because you are probably a clothing hoarder like me!!! (This may come back in style…. If I loose weight this will fit again…) Come on LADIES, I cant be the only one!! So in I went, and my husband probably thought I was having a nervous breakdown!!! I opened up those closets, pulled EVERY single item out and made different piles to get organized. I literally tried on so many pieces and put them in 2 different sections. One for a good girlfriend of mine that’s smaller than me & one for the DONATION pile! Guess how many garbage bags I lugged out??? SIX!!!!!!!!! I was on a ROLL… I even made my husband go through his stuff once I was finished!! (Ok—really I actually just went through it for him while he panicked when I threw out his precious cracked DC and Fox shirts from HIGHSCHOOL!!!!! Another mans trash is another mans treasure!!!




 

STEP 3: OLD TOWELS!

Ok… I’ve NEVER been one to ever do this, and boy oh boy did it feel GREAT!!!! We have a Berner Puppy-Milo and I’m always using “old” towels to wipe his feet and throw on my car seats etc.…. But nope, in the donation pile they went… (ALL of them… Except the ones that were totally ripped from his terrible puppy stages!) Where will these towels go? LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER!!! They are always in need & I will raise that Bernese to know that he too can donate his old stuff LOL.

STEP 4: OLD, WIRED HANGERS!!!

BLESS THEIR HEARTS!!!  Old wire hangers are a nightmare to me… & really I don’t know how our parents and grandparents used to use them on the daily. (I’m a huge advocate for the velvet, no slide hangers from Costco!) Best $16 EVER spent!! Not only do they poke you all of the time laying around, stubbing your toe, going right through your sweaters… They’re just plain ANNOYING to me!!! Recently we were out of hangers and my husband had a few wire ones left… They were so bent out of shape (literally) that the clothing on them even looked sad! The clothing wasn’t sitting properly & those sweatshirts looked like they were going to be on the floor faster than I could put them up!! So what did I do? Hit up Costco, replaced the hangers and put them in… DONATION pile. As much as I don’t like them, I guess they are better than NOTHING!


 

 

Step 5: Junk Drawer!!!

I’ve talked to a lot of friends and have been inside numerous homes and I know that we ALL are guilty of that “junk drawer!!” Where your intentions to keep it clean and organized are so genuine in pure but in reality…. LIFE HAPPENDS… and you’re rushing to find that pen and all of a sudden all receipts, cords and loose change are all over the cupboard. Once this junk drawer is organized, I promise you will feel a lot better!

 

 

Step 6: Kitchen

For the kitchen, I usually start at the spice rack. Even though I close every packet, salt, pepper and spice some how it always manages to get on the bottom of the drawer… Every time! Step 1 of 6…. Start with the spice drawer… & then head to the pots and pans… and glasses and candy drawers…. You will thank me later!

 

 

Step 7: JACKET CLOSET!
Open Up that jacket closet & check and see what you have accumulated! I took out my jackets I wear often, and brought them to the drycleaners, along with scarfs & dress blouses that needed to be dry-cleaned. The jackets I don’t wear anymore or haven’t in a long time… Those went on Craigslist and were sold!

 

 

Step 8: ENJOY YOUR NICELY ORGANIZED HOME!

YOU GO GIRL! Your place is organized, cleaned & you literally know where absolutely EVERYTHING is in your house. I wish I were you right now! (So hypocritical as I’ve written this post in anticipation that I can do the same… again!!) Put your legs up, pour a nice glass of wine & put on your favourite chick flick!

 

 

I hope this post gave you motivation to start a fresh, clean & organized 2018! I wish you all nothing but health, happiness & a great year ahead!

 

Taylor Brown

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Downtown Vancouver






If you needed a dose of depression this morning, look no further than another report highlighting how unaffordable housing in Vancouver is and will become.

According to a new study by Vancity, if housing prices continue to rise without intervention, the average detached home will cost $2.1 million by 2030. Because incomes will not be rising along with the price of living, it will take more than 100 per cent of median household income to put a roof over your head.

Downsizing the Canadian Dream: Homeownership Realities for Millennials and Beyond, published by Vancity, highlights the harsh realities that will face millennials and other home-buyers in the next few decades. In short, it seems the Canadian dream of owning property is no longer.

“Western Canada was settled on the dream of property ownership. Enterprising European immigrants were told that for the mere cost of showing up and their effort to cultivate the land, they could have something the old world could never offer: a piece of land to call their own.”

“In post-war years, this dream of home ownership came to be redefined to mean a bungalow and white picket fence. The sale of urban and suburban lots skyrocketed as families left inner city life for the quiet and controlled environment of residential neighbourhoods. For two generations, the single detached home has represented the focal point of the Canadian Dream.”

But Vancity now projects that owning a property will cost 108 per cent of average household’s monthly income in 2030, up from 48 per cent today. In contrast, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) states that housing costs should not exceed 32 per cent of a homeowner’s gross monthly income.

In keeping with CMHC numbers, the most expensive home someone with the median gross income per month of $6,225 would be able to buy appears to be $492,667.

“Assuming a five-year fixed rate mortgage of 2.89%, the most expensive home the purchaser can buy appears to be $492,667, but that is only if they can manage to accumulate a whopping $123,167 as a down payment (25% of the purchase price).”

Vancity points out that these numbers are the reason why so many millennials are aiming to invest in the condo market. But if they are hoping their “starter homes” will ultimately lead them to be able to afford a detached home in the future, their dreams may be out of reach.

According to Vancity numbers, the condo market has only increased in cost by 43 per cent since 2005 while the average property has increased by 126 per cent. In short, millennials are being pushed out of Metro Vancouver’s housing market, not just in the city, but in other municipalities too.

The mass-exodus of millenials from Vancouver is no theory: In 2013, Statistics Canada reported a net loss of 1,571 residents in the 20 to 30 age range, up from 770 in the previous year.

So, where are they going? Burnaby, Langley, Richmond and White Rock are easy answers, but probably not for long.

The percentage of monthly income it takes to own a home in those municipalities is rising dramatically as well, up from around 45 per cent to 54 per cent in 2014. Other areas such as North Vancouver, Delta, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey are equally, if not more, unaffordable.

The only areas left that Vancity reports as key target areas for affordable housing are Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam and Langley. But, according to the financial institution, they won’t be affordable forever. If trends continue, these areas will be unaffordable to the average household within 15 years.

And the great question – ‘Why?’

While it’s easy, and often accurate, to point fingers at foreign investors, there are contributing causes to the growing affordability of the region. A limited supply of land, for one, is Vancity’s first point.

“British Columbia’s Lower Mainland is strategically landlocked for growth which thereby forces migration of supply to stretch out to the east. With the mountains to the north, the U.S. border to the south, and the Pacific to the west, development can only occur eastward or upward. A Statistics Canada report referred to by the CBC noted that a population growth scenario could see more than two million people arriving in British Columbia by 2038 with many ultimately residing in Metro Vancouver.”

If these migration trends continue, Vancity projects monthly mortgage payments will exceed monthly income by eight per cent. But there is a silver lining: Langley will remain the only affordable region in Metro Vancouver in 2030 with average property values projected to be stable at $525,000.

Beyond Langley, the condo market may be the only feasible place to invest. Aside from the City of Vancouver, where condos are projected to become unaffordable, with an average price of $810,500 by 2018, condos in other communities will remain largely on budget. Vancity suggests that we need to adapt if we plan on living in Metro Vancouver, and that means living in condos.

If governments and institutions decide they want to prevent these projections from becoming reality, Vancity outlines a number of actions needed at various levels:

Municipal government:

  • Zoning for high-density multi-unit buildings must be increased, recognizing that a “starter home” will soon be a “forever home.”
  • Design growth centres with a dense core, tied to mass transit and efficiently leveraged infrastructure.
  • Maximize incentives for developers to build for affordable workforce housing.
  • Improve transit from suburban areas to central Vancouver, as well as inter-city transit throughout the region

Provincial government

  • Require every municipality to have a affordable housing plan that is tied to providing safe, decent and affordable housing to its residents
  • Provide inclusionary zoning reduced permitting costs and improved property tax incentives for the development of affordable housing
  • Require communities to permanently zone land (in similar fashion to the Agriculture Land Reserve) to provide capacity for affordable housing development in conjunction with regional housing trusts
  • Dedicate a portion of the Property Transfer Tax annually to support the creation of perpetually affordable rental housing and home ownership options across the province

Federal government:

  • Use the tax code, including tax credits for affordable rental housing, and the regulation of financial institutions to support the development of permanently affordable housing
  • Consider allowing accelerated depreciation, which has previously been used to stimulate investment in rental housing in Canada
  • CMHC could look to work with the bank regulatory regime to drive investment into affordable housing
  • CMHC could also build a policy framework to support the doubling of the density that currently sits on properties it financed in the past that is held by nonprofits and co-ops for affordable housing

Financial institutions:

  • Stabilize mortgage interest rates at levels that restrict speculative purchasing or reliance on increasing market values for homeowner financial stability
  • Include supplementary income, such as rental income from a basement unit or extra bedroom, into approval calculations
  • Maximize access to down payment loans for families entering the more sustainable condominium market
  • Encourage current renters to look at other vehicles of long-term investment, such as indexed mutual funds

Individuals:

  • Seriously consider the financial costs and benefits of ownership. If ownership does not currently make financial sense, institute an automated savings and investment plan that can build equity over the long term
  • Families should work together and embrace new forms of multi-family living and owning arrangements, such as housing co-operatives, co-housing and co-ownership
  • Reduce your footprint: consider a simple, small or tiny house with multi-functional space and furnishings.
  • Consider intergenerational community living
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Situated in the heart of Surrey’s dynamic new downtown core, Westsone Group‘s Evolve condo development promises to be a real game-changer.

With a collection of intelligently-designed studio suites priced from only $93,900, the 35-storey concrete building boasts some of the most affordable new homes in the province. Not to mention, of course, a wide selection of other unique layouts complete with engineered hardwood flooring, 8.5-foot ceilings, large windows, spacious balconies, quartz countertops, Energy Star stainless steel appliances from GE, luxurious bathrooms and much more.

 

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Those looking for a convenient lifestyle will be impressed with Evolve‘s onsite amenities, which include a fully-equipped fitness facility, theatre and multimedia room, lounge spaces, meeting room, garden paths, secure bike storage, and a rooftop patio and lounge with stunning views of the Metro Vancouver skyline.


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The best way to experience it all is by paying a visit to Evolve‘s recently opened and ultra high-tech presentation centre. Located at 13328 – 104 Avenue in Surrey, the facility makes use of the Evolve Condos 3D mobile app (free to download) which lets visitors take a virtual tour of any suite and interact with the 3D scale models and floorplans. For more on the interactive sales experience, watch the video below.




http://news.buzzbuzzhome.com/2015/02/evolve-condos-surrey.html


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By: Kelsey Pudloski FEBRUARY 12, 2015

 

 

 

 

Live on top of the twisting tower that’s set to reinvent the Vancouver skyline. Designed by renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the 59-story Vancouver House will offer panoramic views of the urban and natural landscape.



Penthouse six is a two-storey, open-concept residence with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. The master bedroom, accessible by elevator, boasts his and hers dressing rooms and a marble-clad ensuite. There’s also a custom-made Fazioli in the grand salon, because no penthouse is complete without a piano. At the end of a long day, watch the sunset over English Bay from the rooftop hot tub — the novelty’s not likely to wear off any time soon.


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Size: 5,837 square feet

Price: slightly below $20,000,000

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Development: Vancouver House

Developer: Westbank

Highlight: Every closet in the penthouse is a walk-in (even the pantry).

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8 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

You’ve been saving for awhile, weighing your options, looking around casually. Now you’ve finally decided to do it—you’re ready to buy a house. The process of buying a new home can be incredibly exciting, yet stressful, all at once. Where do you start?

It is essential you do your homework before you begin. Learn from the experiences of others, do some research. Of course, with so many details involved, slip-ups are inevitable. But be careful: learning from your mistakes may prove costly. Use the following list of pitfalls as a guide to help you avoid the most common mistakes.


1.Searching for houses without getting pre-approved by a lender:

Do not mistake pre-approval by a lender with pre-qualification. Pre-qualification, the first step toward being pre-approved, will point you in the right direction, giving you an idea of the price range of houses you can comfortably afford. Pre- approval, however, means you become a cash buyer, making negotiations with the seller much easier.

 

2.Allowing “first impressions” to overly influence your decision:

The first impression of a home has been cited as the single most influential factor guiding many purchasers’ choice to buy. Make a conscious decision beforehand to examine a home as objectively as you can. Don’t let the current owners’ style or lifestyle sway your judgment. Beneath the bad décor or messy rooms, these homes may actually suit your needs and offer you a structurally sound base with which to work. Likewise, don’t jump at a home simply because the walls are painted your favourite colour! Make sure you thoroughly the investigate the structure beneath the paint before you come to any serious decisions.

 

3.Failing to have the home inspected before you buy:

Buying a home is a major financial decision that is often made after having spent very little time on the property itself. A home inspection performed by a competent company will help you enter the negotiation process with eyes wide open, offering you added reassurance that the choice you’re making is a sound one, or alerting you to underlying problems that could cost you significant money in both the short and long-run. Your Realtor can suggest reputable home inspection companies for you to consider and will ensure the appropriate clause is entered into your contract.

 

4.Not knowing and understanding your rights and obligations as listed in the Offer to Purchase:

Make it a priority to know your rights and obligations inside and out. A lack of understanding about your obligations may, at the very least, cause frictionbetween yourself and the people with whom you are about to enter the contract. Wrong assumptions, poorly written/ incomprehensible/ missing clauses, or a lack of awareness of how the clauses apply to the purchase, could also contribute to increased costs. These problems may even lead to a void contract. So, take the time to go through the contract with a fine-tooth comb, making use of the resources and knowledge offered by your Realtor and lawyer. With their assistance, ensure you thoroughly understand every component of the contract, and are able to fulfill your contractual obligations.

 

5.Making an offer based on the asking price, not the market value:

Ask your Realtor for a current Comparative Market Analysis. This will provide you with the information necessary to gauge the market value of a home, and will help you avoid over-paying. What have other similar homes sold for in the area and how long were they on the market? What is the difference between their asking and selling prices? Is the home you’re looking at under-priced, over- priced, or fair value? The seller receives a Comparative Market Analysis before deciding upon an asking price, so make sure you have all the same information at your fingertips.

 

6.Failing to familiarize yourself with the neighbourhood before buying:

Check out the neighbourhood you’re considering, and ask around. What amenities does the area have to offer? Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within reach? Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children. How will you be affected by a new commute to work? Are there infrastructure projects in development? All of these factors will influence the way you experience your new home, so ensure you’re well-acquainted with the surrounding area before purchasing.

 

7.Not looking for home insurance until you are about to move:

If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be rushed to find an insurance policy that’s the ideal fit for you. Make sure you give yourself enough time to shop around in order to get the best deal.

 

8.Not recognizing different styles and strategies of negotiation:

Many buyers think that the way to negotiate their way to a fair price is by offering low. However, in reality this strategy may actually result in the seller becoming more inflexible, polarizing negotiations. Employ the knowledge and skills of an experienced realtor. S/he will know what strategies of negotiation will prove most effective for your particular situation.

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