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Old 05-06-2016, 01:46 PM   #6026
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With how quickly units are selling these days, will the selling realtor even bother with sending the information package since most are selling with no conditions?
Realtors should have the Form B prior to the open house. You typically have 1 to 2 days before offers have to be submitted, so you should be able to get a copy of the documents before you have to submit an offer. If an open house is just a charade because the realtor already has a good offer in his back pocket from another buyer, then it's not worth making an offer on the unit anyway.

If you're really set on a place, you can still make an offer with a subject that includes a review of the Form B. I think when it comes to offers these days, it's usually the financing condition that gets passed over for a cleaner offer. Subjects like a Form B or an inspection are not really significant hurdles for a seller; the keys are being confident in your ability to secure financing (pre-approval is important as well as knowing the comparables) and having a flexible closing date. So, know how much you can borrow (and go a little less than that) and make sure your offer is in line with comparables so that no red flags are raised in the appraisal.
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:18 PM   #6027
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unconditional offers for a condo is risky, next thing you know your hit with a 10000$ special assessment because they need to replace the windows. Buying condos make sure u review the form b, strata minutes, and depreciation report.
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:19 PM   #6028
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And if you say anything, you're labeled a bigot or racist despite knowing where the primary source of that dirty money is coming from, in the name "multiculturalism". I don't know it's trying too hard to be PC, or Canadian hospitality, but one of the two is allowing the bending over backwards of regulations.
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:31 PM   #6029
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Market still isn't cooling down
Co-workers discussing among each other the stress and difficulty buying right now, all over asking $70,000+ just for 2b/2b 800+sq/ft apartment..
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:14 AM   #6030
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Market still isn't cooling down
Co-workers discussing among each other the stress and difficulty buying right now, all over asking $70,000+ just for 2b/2b 800+sq/ft apartment..
Surrey is still cheap.
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:31 AM   #6031
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Market still isn't cooling down
Co-workers discussing among each other the stress and difficulty buying right now, all over asking $70,000+ just for 2b/2b 800+sq/ft apartment..
i know everyone is sick and tired of hearing me say it, but if it's causing stress, why buy?

life is too short to stress about something you have choices over.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:49 AM   #6032
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^ I find that the affordability/payment calculator on Ratehub is pretty good for estimating your costs.

Most condos in the suburbs will come with at least one parking spot and storage locker. The other costs, such as lawyer fees and property purchase taxes, come with any property you buy. First-time buyers in BC get the property purchase tax waved unless 1) they do not live in the unit for at least a year or 2) the property price is more than $475,000. The only difference in closing costs for strata properties is that you have an estoppel certificate fee on top of your standard title insurance. The cost to close the purchase of a condo, provided that you can claim the property purchase tax exemption, shouldn't be more than $1200-1500.

Condo insurance is difficult to swallow, but it's an absolute necessity. Condo insurance premiums have doubled over the last decade and it's not going to get any better. After speaking to some insurance brokers, there are simply too many buildings going up with sub-standard quality. Water damage is a huge issue in buildings. It's not just due to owner negligence either (like hanging clothes hangers from sprinklers, for example). You have things like washing machines not being properly drained. Whatever you do, you have to make sure that your insurance policy covers the building's (strata's) deductable for various insured perils, such as water damage and earthquake damage. Most buildings have a $25,000 deductable for water damage meaning that if water damage is caused by your unit which affects common property (hallways, for example) and other units, the building's insurance will ask you to pick up the deductable. This is where your insurance policy would then kick in to cover the deductable. I've heard that some buildings with many incidents of water damage can have water damage deductables as high as $100K.

Something else that also comes with condo ownership in BC is almost all buildings will have baseboard heating (unless it's brand new with geothermal or some other central HVAC system). Baseboard heating can get expensive in the winter, particularly if the building has old windows or if the unit has a typical floor-to-ceiling window design. It wasn't uncommon for me to pay $100/month in the winter to heat a 9-foot ceiling unit with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Isn't the waiving of PTT limit now 749k vs 475k?
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:53 AM   #6033
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Isn't the waiving of PTT limit now 749k vs 475k?
The higher limit is only for new construction.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:33 AM   #6034
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Market still isn't cooling down
Co-workers discussing among each other the stress and difficulty buying right now, all over asking $70,000+ just for 2b/2b 800+sq/ft apartment..
Or why not just buy older condos? It seems like the craziness is mainly affecting all the new builidngs or presale ones. You can still purchase older (20yrs and under) for pretty reasonable prices, and you wouldnt need to squeeze a 2bdrm into 800 ft.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:55 AM   #6035
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^ People are afraid of special assessments and other issues with older buildings. However, if you do your homework, older buildings can be solid. In my experience, many buildings built in the last 10 years are mediocre. The margins for builders have been thin for some time (because land here is so expensive), so corners are being cut underneath the surface.

I also blame the frenzy on the Pinterest/HGTV effect. Older buildings will not have open concept layouts or floor-to-ceiling windows. They won't have stone countertops, Kohler sinks or stainless steel appliances either.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:10 PM   #6036
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2b 2ba in 800 sf is pretty generous these days no? Having said that, floor plans these days are more efficient than those 10+ years ago, so its not always just about the number.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:48 PM   #6037
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Too many people are buying into this hype and isn't considering the financial impact of such craze.

Another of my friend just bought a home in South Surrey for 1.5m. Nice home with huge bedrooms (4 of them and 3.5bath+a self-contained basement suite) in a nice area (about 5min from Morgan x-ing). But they are "only" making a bit over 100k between the two.

I asked why and how they are able to afford it (since I calculated to be way over 5k between mortgage, tax and insurance) with their first kid coming later this year? they just told me they are afraid of being priced out and the suite would help. Plus, one of their parents would move in with them should they get a second kid.

I didn't tell them anything, but they just poured their next 20yrs of wage into that place. This scares me. They are in public sector, so job security isn't much of a concern, but then again there isn't much room for them to grow their wages. Say goodbye to indulgences like a vacation abroad, toys and/or anything expensive really.

No wonder home equity borrowings are doing so great these days (I mean, literally every radio I tune into have their ads, FM and AM!)... there are people who simply can't afford anything besides paying the bills and bring food to the table. Any surprise or extra expense, they would have to resort to use their home as ATM.

When did the great Canadian life come down to this?
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:35 PM   #6038
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^ This story is not surprising as there are a lot of young families in this city with one or both people who work in the public sector. Most of the people I know, went to school with, etc are like your friends. Parental leave top up and defined benefit pensions make it enticing for people to go all in. However, raises are likely capped to inflation, or below. Some will hit the managerial ranks over time though.

But you're right - not a lot of room for much else besides food and shelter. Where are friends' kids going to go to school? Southridge at $15K per year?
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:18 PM   #6039
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Our tenants are moving out end of May, for our basement suite. I've noticed now there are a lot more renters out there looking, compared to 2-3 years back. I'm in the east Van area, and also rental prices has also increased about 20%
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:23 PM   #6040
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What are the rankings of reputable developers of Vancouver?

I assume BOSA to be top, if not one of the top ones?

With Onni being crap?
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:46 PM   #6041
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^ This story is not surprising as there are a lot of young families in this city with one or both people who work in the public sector. Most of the people I know, went to school with, etc are like your friends. Parental leave top up and defined benefit pensions make it enticing for people to go all in. However, raises are likely capped to inflation, or below. Some will hit the managerial ranks over time though.

But you're right - not a lot of room for much else besides food and shelter. Where are friends' kids going to go to school? Southridge at $15K per year?
In our contract, we're behind the inflation curve even with "cost of living" wage increases tied to inflation.

Since 2013, we've had a 2% wage increase while inflation is sitting at 4.07% over that same time period (source: Bank of Canada). And that actually is an improvement on the past couple of years as we had no wage increase in 2014 and 0.5% in 2015. This year, we got 1.5% to finally start making a dent in rising costs, but obviously we're still way behind.

I can't even fathom dropping $1.5M on a house with $100k/year household income. We have a similar household income with no kids and I'd like to keep it under $300k.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:34 PM   #6042
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Our tenants are moving out end of May, for our basement suite. I've noticed now there are a lot more renters out there looking, compared to 2-3 years back. I'm in the east Van area, and also rental prices has also increased about 20%
It's a dilemma a lot of people are facing in this city. Buy an overpriced shoebox and hope the market doesn't fall, or pay $1500-2000/month in rent for an illegal suite or for a shoebox in the sky, save the difference, and hope that the S&P will return 7% over the next couple decades. We were faced with paying $2000 for a top floor of a house, or paying roughly the same amount which includes the mortgage, utilities, strata fees, and taxes.

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What are the rankings of reputable developers of Vancouver?

I assume BOSA to be top, if not one of the top ones?

With Onni being crap?
Take this information any way you like about Onni.

The Marquis Grande, on Halifax St in Burnaby, was built by Onni and it's on public record that the strata is suing the developer for leaky windows. Onni also built a tower in Port Coquitlam on Shaughnessy and Lougheed Highway which is rumoured to be actually a few degrees off 90. There's no mention of this issue in any strata documents, but this is simply a rumour that has been passed among realtors working in the Tri-Cities.

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In our contract, we're behind the inflation curve even with "cost of living" wage increases tied to inflation.

Since 2013, we've had a 2% wage increase while inflation is sitting at 4.07% over that same time period (source: Bank of Canada). And that actually is an improvement on the past couple of years as we had no wage increase in 2014 and 0.5% in 2015. This year, we got 1.5% to finally start making a dent in rising costs, but obviously we're still way behind.

I can't even fathom dropping $1.5M on a house with $100k/year household income. We have a similar household income with no kids and I'd like to keep it under $300k.
If you are a public sector employee, you're quite brave to admit that these days.

My wife works for a non-profit and their COLA was about a percent, so 1.5% is pretty decent today. 1.5% isn't bad, but the rising price of food is making a significant dent in people's budgets.

I just did a quick calculation using Ratehub and this couple that bought the $1.5 million house needed about a $700K down payment to qualify for conventional financing. Immigrants tend not to let their children fall, so either this couple had property in valuable locations (e.g. Yaletown, South Granville, etc.) before they went all in on the house or they had a lot of help from their parents. Their mortgage payments with a 30-year amortization are well over $3000/month. Crazy stuff when you think about it.

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Old 05-08-2016, 09:05 PM   #6043
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Onni also built a tower in Port Coquitlam on Shaughnessy and Lougheed Highway which is rumoured to be actually a few degrees off 90. There's no mention of this issue in any strata documents, but this is simply a rumour that has been passed among realtors working in the Tri-Cities.
I'm far from an Onni supporter, but that could just be how the building settled on that land.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:08 PM   #6044
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I can't even fathom dropping $1.5M on a house with $100k/year household income. We have a similar household income with no kids and I'd like to keep it under $300k.
How the fuck anyone could do that makes me actually ill. I can tell you that you can comfortably (and I mean very comfortably) hit the higher 300s, with a 100k+ household income and no kids, but the thought of 500k, never mind 1.5 mil you have basically ruined your life.
Personally I think any higher than the 3-400k though and you are going to start sacrificing the fun stuff. I'm much happier with money to blow on fun and a nice small place than a big place full of Mr. Noodles.
I'd compare the Vancouver housing market to some stupid 19 year old hostess spending all of her money on a coach purse and having nothing left to put in it.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:15 PM   #6045
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What are the rankings of reputable developers of Vancouver?

I assume BOSA to be top, if not one of the top ones?

With Onni being crap?
Based on previous opinions in various thread BOSA is not that great ..

My list goes as follows.. would be good to hear people's opinions

1. Developers behind the Grace at drake st.
2. Westbank
3. Intracorp
4. Polygon
5. Mosaic
6. Concord

No data points for:
- BOSA
- Onni
- Cressey
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:24 PM   #6046
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Polygon is the biggest builder in BC, I like their stuff for the most part
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:33 PM   #6047
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Based on previous opinions in various thread BOSA is not that great ..

My list goes as follows.. would be good to hear people's opinions

1. Developers behind the Grace at drake st.
2. Westbank
3. Intracorp
4. Polygon
5. Mosaic
6. Concord

No data points for:
- BOSA
- Onni
- Cressey
A coworker of mine rents a unit at the Grace and it is simply a beautiful building. Definitely thumbs up to the developer of that building.

I've never seen a unit in a Polygon highrise, but they've built lots of multi-family over the years. The Polygon open houses I've seen seem to reflect a pretty decent standard of construction, though like a lot of developers, they've gradually cut corners over time (the switch to electric stoves and baseboard heaters, for example). Polygon also has a sister company, Morningstar, which is building single family in areas like Burke Mountain. A home inspector I talked to said their homes are pretty solid.

A friend of mine lived at Spectrum, a Concord development, for several years. He was never impressed with the quality of construction and materials, though they were built to a very low price point (I believe studios were in the low 130Ks when they were released).

I generally like the Mosaic style/aesthetic and some of the thoughtful touches they have (larger bedrooms, entryways, large windows etc.). However, I went through a number of units of theirs that were built over the last 5 years and I wasn't particularly impressed by their choice of materials (the laminate flooring in one was particularly appalling). I haven't heard any issues with overall construction though.

I will add Millennium to the list of developers as I owned and lived in one of their developments for over 8 years. The design of the building isn't bad, but they definitely cut corners during construction and choice of materials. It's not all on the developer of course; in this particular building, they hired Metro-Can as the general contractor. They developed the Olympic Village and declared bankruptcy shortly after that. However, they're back and developing a tower on the site of the old International Sausage Factory in Burnaby-Brentwood.

I will also add ParkLane Homes to the list. They've built many multi-family and single family over the years. They practically built all of the homes on Heritage Mountain in Port Moody, including one my in-laws have lived in since the 1990s. I can't speak for their recent projects, but my in-laws' house is very solid.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:47 PM   #6048
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How the fuck anyone could do that makes me actually ill. I can tell you that you can comfortably (and I mean very comfortably) hit the higher 300s, with a 100k+ household income and no kids, but the thought of 500k, never mind 1.5 mil you have basically ruined your life.
Personally I think any higher than the 3-400k though and you are going to start sacrificing the fun stuff. I'm much happier with money to blow on fun and a nice small place than a big place full of Mr. Noodles.
I'd compare the Vancouver housing market to some stupid 19 year old hostess spending all of her money on a coach purse and having nothing left to put in it.
How they could qualify for a mortgage is beyond me with that type of income, unless they had a huge down payment, which doesn't seem to be the case with a $1.5M house. All this is brewing up to be a repeat of the subprime mortgage crisis and everyone responsible bailing these idiots out.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:10 PM   #6050
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How they could qualify for a mortgage is beyond me with that type of income, unless they had a huge down payment, which doesn't seem to be the case with a $1.5M house. All this is brewing up to be a repeat of the subprime mortgage crisis and everyone responsible bailing these idiots out.
We won't be bailing this particular couple out because they're public sector workers whose jobs are largely secure. Their main risk is not being sufficiently insured in case of death, cancer, or other long-term disability. A term life insurance policy on $1 million+ won't be cheap.

You're right in that we own all of this debt indirectly through our exposure to the banks via the CPP or our personal mutual funds and indexes. We can't opt out of the CPP and I imagine most amateur investors who are following a passive index strategy have at least 5-10% in Canadian equities.

It's almost a perverse way to justify getting in the market.
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