Saturday, February 2, 2013

Important Vancouver Real Estate Trends!

Anyone living in Vancouver knows that the real estate market is very different from any other Canadian city. The desire for everything new and innovative makes our local architecture and our real estate trends very distinctive. However, if you're planning to purchase property in Vancouver, you have to be aware of local trends in order to make a smart purchase. Here are some of the trends that define Vancouver real estate today.

Be Prepared to Pay

Most other Canadian cities have neighborhoods and regions that vary in price. For example, you can choose between more expensive areas and more affordable ones. While this trend does exist in Vancouver, the general price point is decidedly higher. A "cheap" residence usually costs around $1 million dollars, and oftentimes you are paying more for the land than the house itself. And supposedly run-down areas like Commercial Drive and Main Street are now as expensive as upper class neighborhoods in other cities. So if you want to live in Vancouver, be prepared to pay.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Because Vancouver is a newer city, there is less of an appreciation for heritage residences. Almost every day, newspapers advertise the demolition of older buildings in favor of new condos. This trend is only getting bigger and bigger in Vancouver. If you plan to live in Vancouver, it will be very hard to find older apartment buildings, which generally have larger spaces and more affordable prices. Instead, you will probably be looking at newly developed condos with less room and higher price tags.

The Suburbs are the New Hotspot

Because Vancouver has become very unaffordable, many young people and new families are choosing to live in the surrounding areas of Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Surrey. This large influx of young individuals is turning the suburbs into trendy and hot areas. Businesses are becoming younger and hipper in order to accommodate these new residents. This means that the suburbs, which are usually considered a real estate consolation prize, are fast becoming the hottest places to live.

Longer Waits for Houses

Normally, a family will have to go through one or two "starter" homes before they can afford their ideal house. Due to high prices, Vancouver residents usually have to go through two to three apartments and then another two houses before they can upgrade to their dream home. This is just a reality for a city that has higher than average property prices.

There is no doubt that Vancouver is one of the best places to live. However, residents have to be prepared before purchasing a home. Get to know the city and the local real estate trends before investing in anything. You'll be grateful in the long run.

Luxurious And Comfortable Living: Top Benefits Of A Property Investment

Dubai is a city-state in the United Arab Emirates and is considered one of the top tourist and business locations around the world. Dubai offers all the elements that make for an extraordinary and electrifying lifestyle: sun, sand, endless coastlines, luxury shopping destinations and exciting activities. The business climate in Dubai is just as dynamic as well; the emirate has one of the strongest and most stable economies in the world and is thus the chosen home of many companies that operate on a global level.

Whether you're a tourist visiting this city for its many remarkable attractions or an entrepreneur aiming to launch a new company, Dubai offers many different types of accommodation options that can deliver the best in luxury and comfort such as serviced hotel apartments, fashion residences and other luxury investment properties.

There are numerous reasons why a visitor to Dubai should consider staying in one of these high-end accommodations. One of the foremost benefits of a serviced apartment hotel is that it offers more space. Unlike a regular hotel room which consists of only a bedroom and a bath, an apartment hotel may also have a separate area for the living and dining room, as well as a fully-furnished kitchen. In some cases, this apartment may also have a separate utility room that houses a washer, dryer, and other appliances that you may need. Because of this configuration, a serviced apartment hotel feels more like a home away from home, rather than just a place where you can stay temporarily.

The large space is perfect for families and larger groups on vacation. Business owners can also make use of the space to entertain fellow tycoons. Apartment hotels may be conveniently located near restaurants and conference centers, thus giving entrepreneurs more choices for business meetings.

In addition to having more space, the amenities provided in an apartment hotel offer more convenience. For instance, having your own kitchen means that you can dine out less and eat a home-cooked meal if you so prefer. This is especially important for individuals with special dietary requirements. Utility rooms also make it possible to attend to laundry conveniently.

A top-of-the-line Dubai property investment offers the same features that make hotel living attractive. These include housekeeping, room service and a concierge. Residents are given access to pools, gyms, restaurants, conference rooms and other amenities found in hotels. In some upscale locations, the hotel may also offer the exclusive services of a chef, babysitter, butler, and even a personal shopper. All in all, staying in a serviced apartment hotel in Dubai is similar to having an incredibly stylish and comfortable home - but with all the perks of living in hotel.

Monday, December 10, 2012

MPAC versus MLS pricing/valuations for homes?


This was a question that was asked of me just recently. Well, some of this may always remain a mystery. One never know fully how these entities really operate. But this is my understanding and professional knowledge of this question.

I can tell you the way that professional real estate agents evaluate a home or property. But first, in all my experiences, MPAC seems to be mysterious in evaluations. I have seen some of their assessments right on, what the market would allow. Other times, they have been way lower and yet other assessments are so high, it makes for a good laugh. Then we have to figure out why they are so high.

MPAC may or may not actually come to your home to see the property. Some MPAC evaluators may knock on your door and ask you a few questions just after you purchase a home. It is not likely they will ask to come inside. They use their own system to determine a value to base your property taxes on. They may tend to base their assessment on factors such as:

  • location;
  • lot dimensions;
  • living area;
  • age of the property, adjusted for any major renovations or additions; and
  • quality of construction.

  •  Just know that when you get your assessment, it may not be an accurate assessment of the true value of what your home would be worth in today's real estate market.
    It is typical, that we all want our MPAC assessment to be lower than what it would really sell for in today's market. That way we pay less taxes, and no one I know wants to pay more taxes! However the assessment turns out, don't panic. Did you know, you CAN contest the assessment if you feel it is unfair?

    As for the real estate end of your home's value, that is not a real mystery, but must be considered carefully. Some of the factors that we, as Professional Real Estate agents, take into consideration are:
    • past sold homes that are similar in many ways
    • current homes for sale that are similar
    • the average length of time in takes to sell a home in your neighbourhood
    • the condition of your home
    • the amount and type of product on the market
    • the location
    • the available services and ammenities
    • the MPAC assesssment (Although it may not reflect the actual market value, this still carries some consideration.)
    There are other factors as well. These would actually be specific to your home and would be determined at the time you are considering to sell. Every home is different, even if they look the same from outside. Since there are so many factors that help determine the homes true value, and these can vary in every market, you need someone to help you, who knows the area and the condition of the comparable homes and all these other factors.

    A professional REALTOR® will help you determine the best value in today's market. Our real estate markets are always changing so you need to be in touch with a knowledgeable agent. Feel free to call me, if you are interested in selling, and I would be happy to help you determine what you home is worth. I never charge any fees for a consultation prior to listing your home for sale. I enjoy helping folks plan for the future. I look forward to helping you in the near future. If you have any questions or comments, I always encourage you to send me an email or call me at 705-733-5821 or email at  or my website at

    Monday, February 6, 2012


    Well the Dirt Pig has spoken,

    Wairton Willie says we are having an early spring. Well I say that you have to have winter in order to have spring and we have not had winter yet. As you can probably tell by the tone of my voice ( if you were here) my family and I love winter.

    So, now that spring is on the way and the melt waters and spring rains are going to start flowing through your basement weepers, you will want to be prepared.  First you should make sure that your sump pump drain lines are not frozen or clogged, including the end where the water makes its exit. If they are clogged or frozen you will likely burn out your sump pump and then proceed to have water flowing through your basement like an indoor pool.

    Then you should make sure that your sump pump is in good working order. As a good rule for any home owners with a crawl space or basement, it is a great idea to have a new sump pump on backup. Having two pumps is a great idea.  Just in case we have an extra soggy wet spring. Just ask anyone that has had a pump die on them when the water levels are bursting over the top of the rim. Also make sure the new one works, take it out of the box and test it.

     Another thing to keep in mind is to put a check valve on the out take pipe. This will help the water from being sucked back into the sump basin. If you need help with this just give me a call.

    It may also be in your interest to put an alarm on the system. Especially if you do not go into your basement or crawl space very often. This will alert you as to when the level of water is too high and is at risk of coming over the top and flooding your basement or crawlspace.

    If you really want to take precaution, you could install a back up system. Then when the hydro goes out the sump pump will continue to work. Whether it is a pressure system hooked up to town water, a battery backup or a manual or automatic generator. Otherwise it could be the old fashioned backup system, a bucket and a mop.

    I know that some of you good folks say that you have never had water in your sump pump basin, and that is great. However, I know of a number of homes that the owner said they never had water in their sump holes, EVER. Until that one wet quick spring thaw. Now they wish they had. EVERY HOME that has a crawl space or basement should have a sump basin and a sump pump.  This just makes sense, because it is a hole in the ground and water always takes the easiest route. It is part of the Ontario Building Code now. If you have any questions about this or anything to do with buildings, just give me a call.

    Also, just so you remember, I am in the business of selling real estate and I would like your business. So if you want to sell or buy a home, please call asap, so I can get started helping you achieved your real estate goals. It is going to be a great spring in Real estate for all of us. I also would like your referrals, so if you know anyone else that is interested in moving to upsize, downsize or any size, I would give them the same great service that I would give you.

    Thankyou very much for stopping by,
    I hope that this was helpful
    Have a great day!

    Joseph Talbot, ABR®, ASA, SRES®, AGA, Sales Representative

    RE/MAX Clearview Inc., Brokerage, Independently Owned & Operated

    202 Montreal St., Stayner, ON L0M 1S0

    Office: 705-428-4500 Direct Line/Text: 705-733-5821

    "Ordinary Joe, Extraordinary Service"

    Proud supporter of Children's Miracle Network (Sick Kids)

    Monday, January 30, 2012



    This is what can kill you. It is so imparative that you have a smoke alarm and a Carbon Monoxide detector.
    Today I speak with confidence and experience that this is REALLY IMPORTANT. Not just if you have a gas furnace, stove, dryer or any kind of fuel burning source of heat. You live inside you should have one, and I think most of us do!!!

    Today I had a distress call from one of my client's tenants. ( I am a property manager and real estate agent) They own a home and rent out the apartments. The owners do not live in the area. So I am here to help whenever they need me. The home has an apartment in the basement and the rest of the house is rented out separately. The Tenant in the basement called me at 9 am today to say the alarm was going off in the house and she was still sleeping. Needless to say, I told the tenant I would be right over. I get there and the door to the garage was open and the house all closed up. I go talk to the tenant in the basement. The tenant said the alarm had been going for about 30 minutes. I knew right away that it was not the basement apartment. ( instinct) It is an emergency, so I can enter the other apartment. The main floor tenant was not home. I enter the home and the smell just about knocked me over. The air was definitely not right. CO, you can not smell though. All the lights were on and the furnace was off, but the house was really hot. A little dog was very busy barking at me and the cat just looks at me. Good thing. This meant they were still alive. I first check the whole house to make sure no one was sleeping or unconscience. No one was. I check the furnace and the hot water heater. I touch nothing ( be sure not to, not even a light switch, in case of leaking gas, then an explosion could happen). I did turn off the detector. It comes back on in a few minutes. There is no smoke so we call Enbridge. They arrive about an hour later. The technician opens the door, takes a reading and say STAY out of the house. We leave the doors open to air out the house. He is getting a really high ready of CO. He is not sure where the CO is coming from. To make a long story a little shorter, after about two hours of airing out the house and taking more readings, the level final gets down to zero. Now it is safe to go in the home and stay. It is a wonder how the little dog or the cat even lived through this. The levels where so high it would have killed a human. It is a good thing that the tenant in the other apartment called me. We likely saved the animals lives. The tenant in the basement, in this case was not in danger, because the apartment was a legal conforming apartment to todays building code and completely sealed up apart from the rest of the house. After all inspections by the gas technician and my heating contractor they found nothing wrong with the gas lines, furnace, or gas water heater in the house. This is puzzling you may say. However after speaking with the main floor tenant, I learn that they had a car running in the attached garage. As soon as they opened the door into the house, the wind sucked the CO right into the house, like a vacuum and set off the alarms. It filled the entire house including all the duct work.
    The moral of this story is two fold.
    1. NEVER run your car in your attached garage, and
    2. ALWAYS  make sure your smoke and CO alarms are working. Check them at least every six months or more often, is better.

    I have one on every floor of my home, plus one in front of all the bedrooms. Plus I have a two fire extinguisher, for different types of fires.

    Praise God for the basement tenant calling me today, good thinking.

    Thanks for reading this and have a great day!

    Also be sure to call me for all your real estate, rentals and property management needs. I am always glad to help out, when I can.
    Joseph Talbot

    Carbon monoxide
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

    Carbon monoxide (CO), also called carbonous oxide, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It can be toxic to humans and animals when encountered in higher concentrations, although it is also produced in normal animal metabolism in low quantities, and is thought to have some normal biological functions. In the atmosphere it is however short lived and spatially variable, since it combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and ozone.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Tub Spout Video

    Last week, I described how to fix a tub spout that isn't cooperating.  Now you can see exactly how to do it. 
    Fix a Stubborn Tub Spout (Video)

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Helpful Tip of the Week


    In 2012 I am going to try and give you a tip of the week. You might see Home Maintenance, Building & Design, or Renovation/Retrofit topics. Please let me know if any of this is of any interest to you or helpful. Be sure to suggest a topic if you have a need. I would like to help as many people this year as possible.

    Your tip: 

    Have you ever had a tub spout/ diverter that has become stubborn and was hard to pull up to divert the water to the shower head. Well here is an easy way to fix it. Take off the tub spout turn it upside down and spray the whole inside with Olive Oil... Yes it works. I have done it with my own at home. Let it sit for a minute and then reinstall it. If you are not sure of how to remove your tub spout give me a call I would be happy to walk you through it or show you.

    Be sure to stop back here often, I will have other tips weekly.

    Also please remember if you are thinking of selling or buying give me a call or email

    So no matter where you are, whether it is in Creemore, Collingwood, Stayner, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highland, Lake Eugenia, Newlowell, or town of Blue Mountain or anywhere in between. This is my area that I work and know well.
    If you are from out of town and want to sell or buy, I can referr you to a great REALTOR in you area. I have colleagues all over the country to help you.

    Thanks for stopping by to read this, I hope that this is useful to you.

    Have a terrific day!