By: Coxford Sheldon


  1. Shopping Local on West 4th



The lights are up, the shops are open and it's time to buy your gifts. Head down to West 4th, my favorite place to shop in Vancouver and buy local. Whether it's socks from The Boardroom or art prints from The Nooks there is something for everyone. 


Head down and take a picture on Candy-Cane lane (Burrard and 4th) and in front of the amazing mural there. It's hard not to feel festive on 4th.


     2. Ice Skating at Robson



Although not technically in Kitsilano. A worthy mention has to go to the Ice Skating Rink at Robson. Free when you bring your own skates or $4 for rentals, this is a super affordable way to spend the day. Open from December 1st to Christmas Day, the rink has entertainment planned for the whole festive season. With brass bands, sax players and DJs, go and have some holiday fun!


Check out the website for opening times.


   3, Christmas Tree from Mario!



For much of the year, the lot at West Eighth Avenue and Arbutus Street sits empty. But that all changes mid-November, when the Camillo family moves in with their Christmas tree lot. With trees, wreaths and Christmas lights, head down to W 8th and Arbutus for your festive fir. 


The lot was started by Mario’s uncle in 1959 during a slow month for Camillo's construction company. 61 years later and the family is still going strong, spreading Christmas cheer throughout Kits. Even if you have got your tree, it’s worth a visit to this family-run spot.


   4. Mulled Wine and a Bratwurst at Granville



Struggling to get into the festive mood? A trip to Granville Island will change that. Lights, music and mulled wine can be found on arrival. Head to the Kaisereck Delicatessen for perogies, beer, mulled wine and bratwurst. Great food, a great heated patio and Xmas tunes. What more could you want?


   5. A Must See: Van Dusen Festival of Lights



Again, not IN Kits, but worth the trip over. The Van Dusen Festival of Lights is a breathtaking show of more than one million lights decorating 15 acres of the gardens. Running until January 3rd, this should be top of your to-do list over the holiday period. 


 Be sure to stop by the Scottish Shelter to light a candle and donate to Make-A-Wish.


Your Kitsilano Agent


Looking to buy, sell or rent in Kitsilano? I am a local, I live here myself and am ingrained in Kits culture. Reach out if you need any advice at all. Email me here. 



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By: Sheldon Coxford

Great Article from Realtor Oscar Miklos discussing striate bylaws to watch out for. Struggling to get to grips with your strata documents? Reach out. I can help you navigate your way through.


Purchasing in a strata building means buying into its bylaws. Here are some potential deal-breakers


Buying a condo? The legal doctrine of caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) continues to apply to real estate transactions in BC today and can have the effect of denying the buyer a remedy for defects and deficiencies discovered in the property after purchase. In general, the onus is on the buyer to determine the state and quality of the property being sold – rather than on the seller to point out any potential problems.

When buying into a strata building, an important part of the buyer’s due diligence process is reviewing and understanding the current bylaws of the strata corporation. A failure to review the bylaws can lead to nasty, unwanted surprises for new homeowners later down the road. 

Schedule “A” of the Strata Property Act establishes a standard set of bylaws that apply to all strata corporations unless some or all of them have been replaced by custom bylaws. Any bylaw amendment must be passed by a three-quarter vote of owners at either an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or a Special General Meeting (SGM). Practically speaking, most large strata corporations will have adopted custom bylaws.

Bylaws are only enforceable if they are registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA). However, there is no strict time limit within which a strata corporation must register the bylaws at the LTSA after their adoption by the owners. In a seller’s condo market, it is not unheard of for prospective purchasers to submit offers without any subjects. In such cases, time-permitting, prospective purchasers should consider ordering a copy of the strata corporation’s registered bylaws from the LTSA before submitting an offer. 

In addition to reviewing the registered bylaws, prospective purchasers need to request a “Form B” Information Certificate. Form B discloses a variety of important information about the strata lot and the strata corporation, including any copies of any bylaw amendments that have not yet been registered with the LTSA. 

Here are five types of bylaws that you should pay particular attention to, as they could make a huge difference to many buyers.

 

Rental Restrictions or Rental Prohibition

Particularly if you’re purchasing the property as an investment, but also if you might simply want to rent out your place and go travelling, you will want to ensure that you are allowed to rent out your strata lot. The strata corporation may have already enacted bylaws that could either prohibit the rental of residential strata lots entirely or limit the number or the percentage of strata lots that may be rented out. Strata corporations may also restrict the length of time for which strata lots may be rented.

 

Short-Term Accommodation Prohibition

Offering up all or part of your strata lot for short-term accommodation can be a significant mortgage helper. However, the rise of Airbnb has led many strata corporations to pass use-of-property bylaws that prohibit short-term accommodation. So, even though the City of Vancouver will now permit primary residences to be let short-term by licensed hosts, that doesn’t mean the strata corporation permits this practice.

These bylaws should not be confused with rental restrictions or prohibitions, as BC courts have found that short-term accommodations are legally different to rentals. Unlike rental restrictions or prohibitions, there is no grandfathering of use-of-property bylaws. Rather, they take effect as soon as they are registered with the LTSA. 

 

Pet Restriction or Pet Prohibition 

When buying a home for yourself, make sure that your pet has a home as well. Pet bylaws vary greatly and can be as extreme as a complete pet prohibition. However, it is more common for strata corporations to restrict the number and types of pets.

The often-used Schedule “A” bylaws restrict pets in a strata lot to one or more of (1) a reasonable number of fish or other small aquarium animals, (2) a reasonable number of small caged mammals, (3) up to two caged birds and (4) one dog OR one cat. Strata corporations who have passed a custom pet bylaw may have modified these restrictions and may require pets to be pre-approved and registered with the strata council.

 

Approval for Hardwood Flooring

Want to replace carpeting with hardwood floors before moving in? It’s important to remember that when it comes to strata living, an owner is not the master of their domain. In an attempt to reduce noise transmission between strata lots, many strata corporations have adopted bylaws that specifically regulate the installation of new flooring.

Even if your strata corporation’s bylaws do not contain specific provisions targeting the installation of flooring, the bylaws will always contain some general provisions requiring approval of the strata council for alterations or renovations to a strata lot. Proceed with caution before making such changes. 

 

Insurance Bylaws

Unfortunately, many homeowners will check their strata corporation’s bylaws only after a problem arises. One very common issue faced by owners in a strata building concerns the obligation to repair water damage. Depending on the wording of insurance bylaws, you may be liable for damage caused by water escaping from your strata lot irrespective of whether you have been negligent or careless. The easiest way to protect yourself from such claims is by making sure that you purchase homeowner insurance to fill in any gaps left by the strata corporation’s insurance policy.

 

Don't hesitate to reach out anytime if you have any questions about all things real estate

Sheldon - 778-835-5621

or sheldoncoxford@gmail.com


By Oscar Miklos 

Original Article from REW.ca


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By: Coxford Sheldon

Advice from a Realtor

Thinking about selling your condo? Let's look at five things you should accomplish before listing your property.

1. Find a great real estate agent

First things first, realtor. Have a look around, Rate My Agent offers an inside look on Realtors and other sellers’ experiences with them. You can see unbiased opinions on your local realtors and get in touch from there. You can see my reviews here. 


The next step would be calling the realtor(s) that you like the look of and seeing whether it is a fit. A good working relationship is crucial when selling your condo as you will be working with your realtor to get the best buyers and offer for your home. You may also want to buy a new property and your realtor can represent you through that process. 


If you have any questions about my Realtor experience, area of expertise or any questions around selling your condo, please call me - (778) 835 5621 - there’s no obligation to work with me, but I am happy to answer any questions about selling your condo.


2. Declutter living areas

So, you have decided to sell. It’s time to de-clutter. You are almost starting the moving process before you have sold your condo. 


Less is definitely more when it comes to getting your home ready to show. Do a clean sweep of counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas, and then tackle behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards. Clutter takes attention from the great features that your condo has to offer. 


Clearing your clutter will mean that buyers are able to best see the storage space your condo has. Storage is high up on a condo-buyers list, so make sure you prioritise this.


3. Deep Clean

This should be the cleanest your home has ever been. If you can afford it, now is the time to hire a cleaner. It’s worth the money, especially if your condo is carpeted. Clean homes make a real difference to prospective buyers, and often buyers can not attach themselves to a cluttered or unclean space. 


Many home buyers expect the house they buy to be cleaner than the one they currently own. This truth is a reality that must be accounted for. A clean house gives the impression that the property has been well maintained and therefore less likely to have issues. 


First impressions count! 


4. Depersonalise


Before staging, photos and showings - take your personal items down. Take this opportunity to have a clear out and put the things you are keeping in storage. It helps buyers to envision themselves living in the property. They can imagine their things in the space and it helps to create a more neutral environment.

5. Organize the Paperwork

Get yourself organized. Mortgage paperwork, permits and inspections - also any receipt of improvements and repairs you have done, so buyers know how recent they are. Any manuals or documents for appliances, especially if they are covered by a warranty. 

Being organized and prepared before listing will help things run smoothly. Any questions, I am here to help!

 

Feel ready? Let’s do this. Email me today to find out what your condo is worth, or give me a call - (778) 835 5621. 

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By: Sheldon Coxford

You’ve checked out of the office for the day. You feel the breeze blow through your cardigan as you pedal home over the Burrard Bridge. Your breath is momentarily taken away by the condo-checkered cityscape, floating barges sprinkled over the sparkling inlet, and the white laced tips of the north shore mountain skyline.The sounds of anxious clicking away on a keyboard and the bitter taste of stale coffee have been dissolved into after work plans. 

Perhaps you find yourself breathing in the afternotes of kale and quinoa sweat permeating a spin class. Or peacefully vibrating off the soothing sounds of chant echoing through the walls of your favourite yoga studio. Or maybe you’re enjoying the sweet taste of a refreshing cocktail at your favourite bar as you sit back and unwind after a hard day. 

You’ve been grinding all day, and it’s time for some “me” time, right? Hold up. These scenarios aren’t possible when you’re a dog mom or dog dad, silly! 

Unless you’re heading somewhere dog-friendly after work, that is, like one of Vancouver’s off-leash parks. If you’re so lucky to be the proud owner of a pooch, you know that getting home to your pal is the after-work priority. That wagging, slobbery beast has been missing you like crazy all day and is deserving of some much-needed focus and attention. As dog owners, we’re definitely not complaining about our fur babes taking precedence. Don't get us wrong. Nothing pleases our oxytocin and serotonin levels more than our buddies’ sweet gaze keeping our love and happiness hormones topped up. 

Vancouver has a wealth of amazing outdoor activities, and there are plenty of spots to bring Fido along for the action.From community parks to beaches to mountain trails, there are so many beautiful off-leash dog areas in the Vancouver area that are beaming with feel-good vibes.An excellent place for your dog to let off steam and socialize, they’re also great for their humans because like-minded people congregate to enjoy the positive energy of these dog-oriented locations.

HERE ARE SEVEN OFF-LEASH DOG PARK FAVES FOUND IN AND AROUND VANCOUVER:

Hadden Park (Kits Beach)  

If your dog is as hip as you are, you’re definitely going to want to be seen down at Kits. This beach is great, rain or shine, for play and hanging out.

Charleston park 

This beautiful park has a little bit of everything. Located in False Creek, there are stunning views of downtown and the water.

Pacific Spirit Park 

Located in Point Grey. This park feels like you’ve left the city and entered the wild, without having actually to drive out of town.

North Shore Hikes 

Some of the most beautiful hikes in all of B.C. can be found here. You and your dog will get a great workout and an even better view from taking one of these trails.

McDonald Beach in Richmond 

Close to the airport, McDonald Beach is typically uncrowded, offers a pleasant stroll around the water’s edge and some incredible sunset views.

Nelson Park

This one is fenced, so it is great for recall training with your pup and hanging on in the west end.

Spanish Banks 

Summery picnics and playtime are bountiful here. It’s a great place to catch some sun and hang out at one of Vancouver’s prettiest beaches.

IF YOU’RE WANTING TO HAVE THE BEST EXPERIENCE AT AN OFF-LEASH PARK WITH YOUR PUP, IT’S VITAL TO HAVE TO KEEP THESE GUIDELINES IN MIND BEFORE YOU LEASH UP:

Love, trust, and respect need to be high between you and your dog because animals don’t rationalize. 

First off, what kind of energy are you two bringing to the dog park with you? Your dog feeds off your energy, so it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re not anxious, stressed out or angry. Leave those emotions at the door and exude a calm, relaxed demeanor to put your pet in the same mind frame. Dogs will be more inclined to listen if you’re calm too. 

Make sure you have recall training on lockdown for their own safety, and your dog comes when called. 

Here are some tips on how to correct your dog if they don’t come when called. 

Exercise your dog before bringing them to the park, so you’re not carrying a bunch of amped up, tense energy with you. 

Amped up energy can lead to aggression and someone possibly getting hurt. This would ruin everyone’s fun, so it's essential to try to get them out for a quick walk or run before heading to the off-leash park.

You have to get them settled before bringing them to the park, and if you’re negative or rushed, they’re going to pick up and react to that. 

Learn to read your dog’s energy by tuning in to their body language and signals they’re giving off. 

This can be really helpful in preventing bad behaviours and unfavourable incidents, like a runaway dog fiasco or dog bite from occurring.

Vaccinate and accessorize your dog.  

Never leave your place without dog bags in hand.

Give your dog what a dog needs, exercise their nose. Play hide n’ seek. Dogs love that game! 

Don't check out when you get to the park by going on your phone or just expecting your dog to play with other dogs. Strengthen your bond by engaging and playing with him. 

You are the boss. Be the pack leader your dog wants you to be!

Off-leash dog areas can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We can learn a lot from our dogs by how they play and love.

Think like a dog and become a happier human!

 


 
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By: Coxford Sheldon

Elevated home sale activity continues to outstrip the supply of homes for sale in Metro Vancouver

Home sale activity remains elevated across Metro Vancouver’s housing market while the pace of homes being listed for sale continues to follow long-term averages.

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 3,149 in September 2021, a 13.6 per cent decrease from the 3,643 sales recorded in September 2020, and a 0.1 per cent decrease from the 3,152 homes sold in August 2021. 


Last month’s sales were 20.8 per cent above the 10-year September sales average. 


There were 5,171 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2021. This represents a 19.2 per cent decrease compared to the 6,402 homes listed in September 2020 and a 28.2 per cent increase compared to August 2021 when 4,032 homes were listed. 


September’s new listings were 1.2 per cent below the 10-year average for the month. 


“The summer trend of above-average home sales and historically typical new listings activity continued in Metro Vancouver last month. Although this is keeping the overall supply of homes for sale low, we’re not seeing the same upward intensity on home prices today as we did in the spring,” Keith Stewart, REBGV economist said. “Home price trends will, however, vary depending on property type and neighborhood, so it’s important to take a hyperlocal look at your location and property category of choice before making a home buying or selling decision.” 


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,236. This is a 29.5 per cent decrease compared to September 2020 (13,096), a 2.6 per cent increase compared to August 2021 (9,005) and is 27.7 per cent below the 10-year average for the month. 


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2021 is 34.1 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 25.5 per cent for detached homes, 53.1 per cent for townhomes, and 36.7 per cent for apartments. 


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months. 


“The total inventory of homes for sale remains insufficient to meet the demand in today’s market. This scarcity limits peoples’ purchasing options and ultimately adds upward pressure on home prices,” Stewart said. “With the federal election now behind us, we hope to see governments at all levels work with the construction industry to streamline the creation of a more abundant and diverse supply of housing options.” 


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $ 1,186,100. This represents a 13.8 per cent increase over September 2020 and a 0.8 per cent increase compared to August 2021. 


Sales of detached homes in September 2021 reached 950, a 27.9 per cent decrease from the 1,317 detached sales recorded in September 2020. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,828,200. This represents a 20.4 per cent increase from September 2020 and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to August 2021. 


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,621 in September 2021, a 1.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,596 sales in September 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $738,600. This represents an 8.4 per cent increase from September 2020 and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to August 2021. 


Attached home sales in September 2021 totalled 578, a 20.8 per cent decrease compared to the 730 sales in September 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $963,800. This represents a 17.5 per cent increase from September 2020 and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to August 2021.


Don't hesitate to reach out anytime if you have any questions about all things real estate
Sheldon - 778-835-5621
or sheldoncoxford@gmail.com

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