The Empty Homes Tax and the Vacancy Tax are similar in that they are both designed to turn empty homes into long-term housing for people who live and work in Vancouver. They also ensure foreign owners and those with primarily foreign income contribute fairly to British Columbia’s tax system.


Vancouver homeowners may be required to pay one or both taxes, so be sure to submit declarations for both the Empty Home Tax and the Vacancy Tax. Even if you live in your home, you must make these declarations every year.


EMPTY HOMES TAX (EHT)

How Does the Empty Homes Tax Work?

Vancouver residential homeowners are required to submit a declaration each year to determine if your property is subject to the Empty Homes Tax. If your property is deemed or declared empty in the 2021 reference year, it will be subject to a tax of 3% of the property’s 2021 assessed taxable value. 


Properties Not Subject to the Empty Homes Tax

Most properties will not be subject to the Empty Homes Tax, including those:

  • Used as a principal residence by the owner, their family member or friend, or other permitted occupier for at least six months of the year.

  • Rented for residential purposes for at least six months of the year, in periods of 30 or more consecutive days.

  • Meeting the criteria for one of the exemptions.


To read the exemptions and more FAQs regarding the Empty Homes Tax, go HERE.


How To Submit Your Empty Homes Tax Declaration

Only one declaration is required per property. For example: if you co-own a property, only one owner needs to declare.


If you fail to declare your home’s status by the deadline, your property will be deemed vacant and subject to the Empty Homes Tax of 3% of its assessed taxable value for the previous tax year, and a $250 by-law ticket.


You may give permission for someone else to submit your declaration on your behalf.


Declaration Timeline

  • Previous years' unpaid tax added to property tax bill: December 31, 2021

  • Declaration Deadline: February 2, 2022

  • Empty Homes Tax Payment for 2021 Deadline: April 14, 2022

 

What You Need to Submit Your Declaration 

 

VACANCY TAX

How Does the Vacancy Tax Work?

The Vacancy Tax is an annual tax based on how owners use residential properties in major urban areas in B.C. Like the Empty Homes Tax, homeowners are required to submit their Vacancy Tax declaration every year to declare their residency status and how their property has been used.


This annual tax is based on:

  • How property owners use their residential property

  • The property owner’s residency status

  • Where property owners earn and report their income

If a property has more than one owner, a separate declaration must be made for each owner, even if the other owner is your spouse or relative.


Because this tax is based on how each owner uses the property and whether they have foreign income, each owner on title needs to declare separately.


Most homes will not be subject to the tax as it does not apply to principal residences, homes that qualify for an exemption, or homes rented for at least six months of the year.


You need to declare your residency status, whether you pay taxes in Canada and how you use your property so that the government can determine:

 

Declaration Timeline

  • Receive your declaration letter mid-January to mid-February

  • Declare by March 31

  • If you owe tax, pay by the first business day in July

 

What You Need to Submit Your Declaration

  • Your your Letter ID and Declaration Code, which can be found at the top right corner of your letter

  • Go HERE to submit your declaration


The Vacancy Tax is different from Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax and different rules apply for each one. This means that if you own residential property in the City of Vancouver, you:


  • Must declare separately for each tax

  • May be exempt from one tax but have to pay the other

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The long-awaited moment has come—your BC Property Assessment has arrived! We can picture it now: You’re holding the letter in your hands; with anticipation, you rip open the envelope. You pull out the paper and scan the writing until you find the dollar sign. Cue the gasp and wide eyes as you exclaim: “That’s what my home’s worth?!” 


The assessed value of your home is likely significantly higher than it was last year seeing as property values of BC Assessments in the Lower Mainland have increased an average of 20% from the year prior. We have even heard from some people that their assessment went up 47%! Alternatively, your value may have decreased or is lower than what you expected. Don’t fret!


Is that really the value of my home?

The short answer is no. It’s not. The main purpose of the BC Property Assessment is to determine how much municipal or provincial tax the government can get from you. These property appraisals are all done through an algorithm online. Appraisers don’t walk through every home and therefore they do not take into consideration renovations or interior layouts, etc. They base their assessments on a property’s location, size (of both the lot and the home), age, garages, and any add-ons made with permits.


Timing is also key. BC Property Assessments were done in July of the previous year. That’s six months’ worth of appreciation and other factors that aren’t reflected in the property value assessment. In many cases, as of January 2022, current values may already be hundreds of thousands of dollars higher than they were in July 2021, especially for homes over $900,000.


What actually determines the value of my home?

Unlike the BC Assessment, market value is determined in real-time and changes much more frequently depending on supply and demand. When your REALTOR® comes up with a price for your property, they take all of the following factors and more into consideration:


-Location and proximity to businesses, schools, restaurants, parks, etc.

-Lot size for detached homes

-Strata bylaws, contingency funds, etc. for condos and townhouses

-Interior layout, sizes, age and desirable features

-Upgrades and maintenance done to the home, especially more recently

-Recent comparable sales


That’s great, but what if I think my assessment is unfair or way off compared to my neighbour?

There are pros and cons to having a property assessment that’s either too high or too low for your property. Taxes are based on your assessment, so if it’s lower you can expect to pay lower taxes than other comparable homes in your area. On the other hand, if your assessment is much higher, you can use it to negotiate a better price when you sell. If neither of those scenarios suits you, you can always appeal your assessed value, but you have to do it before the deadline of January 31.


What could I put my house on the market for?

Regardless of what your property has been assessed for, there is no doubt that it is currently a Seller’s Market, which means you have the advantage. If you’re curious about what you could get for your home today, you can fill out the Home Evaluation form on my website by clicking here. We do a Comparative Market Analysis to evaluate the prices of properties similar to yours that have recently sold in your area. This analysis will give you a better idea of your property's market value, one of the first and essential steps as you prepare to sell your home. All it takes is less than a minute to complete and submit the form. Then, let us do the work for you! 


If you haven’t received your BC Property Assessment in the mail yet and are curious about your property value, you can search for your property online at www.bcassessment.ca.


Lower Mainland — Highlights

2022 Lower Mainland Highlights for BC Property Assessment

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There’s no denying that selling your home can be stressful and often emotional. It’s a big decision with huge financial implications. The to-do list for preparing your home and setting up the listing is long. So, how can you make the process easier on yourself with the best outcome? 


Start early.

 

If you know you want to sell your home in the coming months or within the year, there are steps you can take now to alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with putting your home on the market. 


First, find a REALTOR® that you trust. Someone who knows the Greater Vancouver or Fraser Valley real estate market inside and out and can give you accurate, honest information and advice throughout the process.


Then you can start getting your home ready to sell. This will involve decluttering and cleaning every nook and cranny to get the best possible photos to showcase your home and entice potential buyers to book showings. (Read THIS BLOG POST for more ideas on how to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.) You may also need to do some minor repairs including painting walls, replacing light bulbs, tightening door hinges, etc.


When the time comes to put your property on the market, you’ll be ready to sell.


Another tip to keep in mind is to think of yourself as a businessperson throughout the process, not a homeowner. Your home has a lot of sentimental value to you, but not your buyers. You’ve made memories and shared experiences with loved ones, but now it’s time to separate the nostalgia from the transaction if your goal is to get the highest price possible for your home.


If you’re entertaining the idea of selling your home and would like to find out what the value of your home is, or if you have any questions about the selling process, please send us an email or give us a call, we’d love to talk to you. We offer a free consultation so you can see if we’d be a good fit and the right REALTOR® for you.


Simply fill out the contact form HERE and I’ll be in touch with you shortly.
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Whether or not you're planning to sell your home in the near future or a bit further down the road, keeping these simple tips and ideas in mind now will help you wow potential buyers when the time comes.


Less is More

Keep it simple. Remove unnecessary furniture, decor, toys, and personal items from shelves and any open areas, even cupboards and closets. Think "minimalist." The more surface area buyers can see, the easier it is for them to envision their belongings in the space.



Clear surfaces

All surfaces should be cleared, including bathroom and kitchen counters, coffee tables, night stands, etc. Only items that fit the room's functionality—soap dispenser, espresso machine, etc.—could remain, if they blend into the decor of the room. No more than 3 items should be visible.



De-Personalize

Though your family photos are beautiful, potential buyers don't need to see them. An unpersonalized space is ideal for potential buyers to visualize themselves in your home. Add a few neutral prints to add a little something to the walls, but remove all photographs with people.



Minimize Storage

Potential buyers will open closets, cupboards, and pantries to see how much storage space there is, and how their items will fit in your space. Keep your storage items to a minimum so buyers can see the shelving space. Minimize your wardrobe to a few neutral pieces hanging on matching hangers and reduce the number of plates and cups in your kitchen cupboards to a set of 4. Don't forget about the fridge and freezer either—organize items to showcase the appliance.



Neutral colours

Neutral colours like grey, white, beige, black, etc.—keep a small space from looking too busy or overwhelming. Colour can be sparingly added in decor elements like pillows, throw blankets, vases, and prints.




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The Year in Review

Fueled by the consumer response to the COVID‐19 pandemic along with historically low interest rates, home sales hit a record high across the board in 2021! As the pandemic continues, many people remain working from home, meaning the need for housing is still a top priority for Vancouver and Fraser Valley residents. 


Market Update for Metro Vancouver

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,688 in December 2021, a 13.1 per cent decrease from the 3,093 sales recorded in December 2020, and a 21.6 per cent decrease from the 3,428 homes sold in November 2021.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 5,236, a 38.7 per cent decrease compared to December 2020 (8,538) and a 26.7 per cent decrease compared to November 2021 (7,144).


This is the lowest supply of homes on the market that Metro Vancouver has seen in over 30 years. With demand still at record-high levels, Vancouver residents can expect home prices to continue to grow until a more adequate supply of homes is available.


Metro Vancouver December 2021 Market Update

To view the year-to-date and historic statistics for Metro Vancouver (which includes: Downtown, Westside, Eastside, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, Tsawwassen, and Ladner) CLICK HERE.


Market Update for Greater Vancouver

Greater Vancouver Market Update December 2021

To view the year-to-date and historic statistics for Greater Vancouver (which includes: Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge) CLICK HERE.


December Market Update for Fraser Valley

In December, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,808 sales, second only to December 2020’s record‐setting 2,086 sales. New listings in December were 1,278. By month’s end, active inventory finished at 1,957 units, 60 per cent below the 10‐year average, and the lowest in 41 years.


Despite the decrease in supply, single-family, townhouse, and condo sale prices continued to increase in December. But, like Metro Vancouver, with demand still at record-high levels, Fraser Valley residents can expect home prices to continue to grow until a more adequate supply of homes is available.


Fraser Valley Market Update December 2021

To view the year-to-date and historic statistics for Fraser Valley (which includes: Surrey, South Surrey, White Rock, North Delta, Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission) CLICK HERE.




Curious how the market is doing in your city? Whether you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey, Langley, or Abbotsford, these Lower Mainland market update statistics will give you insight into the Vancouver and Fraser Valley real estate markets.


If you'd like more details about your specific market, please send us an email, we'd love to chat more. You can also fill out the Home Evaluation form here.


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When entertaining this holiday season, wow your guests and ramp up your festive spirit with these four holiday cocktails.


MISTLETOE MARGARITAS

Yields: 4 cocktails

Requires make ahead components: Yes, for garnish


Ingredients:

2 tbsp kosher salt

1 lime wedge, for rim

2 cups cranberry juice

12oz tequila

8 oz triple sec

½ cup lime juice

12 cups ice

Fresh mint, for garnish

Sugared cranberries*, for garnish


Directions:

  1. Put kosher salt in a shallow dish. Wet the rim of each glass with the lime wedge then dip into the salt.

  2. Combine cranberry juice, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth.

  3. Pour into the salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with mint and sugared cranberries.

  4. Enjoy!


*Sugared Cranberries Recipe:

  1. Combine ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water in medium saucepan over medium heat (this is also how you make simple syrup). Stir until sugar is dissolved.

  2. Stir in cranberries until well coated. Don’t let cranberries sit in liquid for too long before going to the next step.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack to dry and cool for an hour.

  4. Once cool, work in batches and roll cranberries around in more granulated sugar.


PEPPERMINT BARK MIMOSAS

Yields: 6 cocktails

Requires make ahead components: Yes, for rim


Ingredients:


¼ cup dark chocolate chips, melted

3 candy canes, crushed

3 oz peppermint vodka

3 oz white creme de cacao

1 bottle prosecco or sparkling wine

6 candy canes, whole, for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Melt dark chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour melted chocolate onto a small plate.

  2. Place 3 unwrapped candy canes in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pour crushed candy canes onto a separate plate.

  3. Dip the rims of the champagne flutes first in the melted chocolate, then in the crushed candy canes to coat.

  4. Pour ½ oz peppermint vodka and ½ oz white creme de cacao to each champagne flute and  top up with prosecco.

  5. Enjoy!


SUGAR COOKIE MARTINIS

Yields: 1 cocktail

Requires make ahead components: No


Ingredients:


Vanilla frosting and sprinkles, for rimming glass

1 ½ oz vanilla vodka

1 ½ oz irish cream

2 oz whole milk

1 oz amaretto

1 tsp powdered sugar

Ice

Cocktail shaker



Directions:

  1. Pour the sprinkles into a shallow dish. Dip the rim of the martini glass in the frosting (or spread it along the rim) and then dip it into the sprinkles. Set glass aside.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine vanilla vodka, irish cream, milk, amaretto, powdered sugar, and ice. Close lid and shake for 20 seconds to mix and chill ingredients.

  3. Strain cocktail into the prepared glass.

  4. Enjoy!


SANTA CLAUSMOPOLITAN

Yields: 1 cocktail

Requires make ahead components: Yes, for rimming glass


Ingredients:


1 candy cane, crushed

Juice from half a lime

Zest of half a lime

1 lime wedge, for rim

1.5 oz citrus or regular vodka

2 oz cranberry juice

1 oz cointreau (optional)

Ice

Fresh cranberries, for garnish

Cocktail shaker



Directions:

  1. Place unwrapped candy cane in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pour crushed candy cane onto a shallow plate. Alternatively, granulated sugar can be used around the rim. Rub lime wedge around rim of glass then dip in crushed candy cane or sugar to coat. Set glass aside

  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and cointreau. Close lid and shake for 20 seconds to mix and chill. 

  3. Strain cocktail into the prepared glass. Add lime zest on top and garnish with cranberries.

  4. Enjoy!

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This may seem hard to believe, but many people thoroughly enjoy their moving day and the time leading up to it. The secret? Being organized. Make sure you have the right tools, start early and work steadily. Make progress every day instead of leaving it all until the last minute.

Here are 14 tips for packing like a pro:

1. Develop a master “packing/to do” list so you won’t forget something critical.


2. Purge! Get rid of things you no longer want or need. Have a garage sale, donate to a charity, or recycle.


3. Before throwing something out, remember to ask yourself how frequently you use that item and how you would feel if you no longer had it.


4. Pack like items together. Put toys with toys and kitchen utensils with kitchen utensils.


5. Decide what, if anything, you plan to move yourself. Precious items, such as family photos, breakable valuables, or must-haves during the move should probably stay with you.


6. Use the right box for the item. Items packed loosely are more likely to be damaged.


7. Put heavy items in small boxes so they are easier to lift. Keep the weight under 50 lbs., if possible.


8. Do not over pack boxes, boxes that are packed comfortably will be less likely to break.


9. Wrap each fragile item separately and pad the bottom and sides of boxes.


10. Label every box on all sides. You never know how they will be stacked and you do not want to have to move other boxes aside to find out what is inside.


11. Use colour-coded labels to indicate which room each item should go in. Colour-code a floor plan for your new house to help your movers.


12. Keep your moving documents together, including phone numbers, the driver’s name, and van number.


13. Back up your computer files before moving your computer.


14. Inspect each box and all furniture for damage as soon as it arrives. Remember, most movers won’t take plants.


Moving boxes

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Literally translated, feng shui means "wind-water." This ancient Chinese practice harmonizes individuals with their surrounding environment using energy, or chi. Using the five elements—wood, earth, water, fire, metal—it creates balance with the natural world in our interior spaces.


Feng shui not only makes our homes healthier and more organized, it also places emphasis on physical and mental health, success, and healthy relationships. A positive energy flow is conducive to bringing these elements together, which is why the placement of furniture and elements in our home is important.

How to create feng shui in your home:

1. THE FRONT DOOR

The front door is a crucial element of feng shui as this is the "main portal." if you will, for energy to enter your home, and therefore it should be warm and welcoming. Also, avoid direct line-of-sight from the front door to the back door if possible. You want to slow down the path of energy and allow it to move around the whole house. If this is not an option in your home, add a patterned rug on the floor, artwork on the wall, or a round table. Alternatively, if you face a wall upon entering your home, if can feel like you're "hitting a wall" every time you walk in. Hang a mirror at eye level to open the space.


Welcome Front Door

2. CLUTTER-FREE

Clutter is an energetic anchor. It blocks energy from being able to move freely though our homes as well as our minds.

Clutter free

3. NATURAL LIGHT

Allow for plenty of natural light and air to enter your home. The combination will bring good energy and rejuvenating of your spirit and mind. If you don't have many windows, hang mirrors to reflect light and make the room appear bigger and brighter.


natural light

4. COMINE THE 5 ELEMENTS

Whether physically or symbolically, find ways to incorporate and combine the five elements into your decor. Some ideas for each element are:

FIRE: warm tones, fire place, candles
WATER: fountains, mirrors, aquariums, boats
EARTH: plants, ceramics, crystals, nature art
WOOD: plants, carvings, heirlooms
METAL: tools, games or toys, statues


5 feng shui elements

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Here are four pro-tips you might want to consider as we head into the cooler months of the year.


WINTER BLOOMS

Beautiful flowers aren't only found in spring. There are a few species that will bloom through the winter, like pansies and violas. Ensure they're planted in well-draining soil and space them 10-15 cm apart. You'll have a display of bright florals to cheer you up on dreary days!


Winter Pansies


PLANTING TULIPS

Fall is the time to plant bulbs that will grow in spring, like tulips. Ideally, you want to plant the bulbs as soon after purchasing them as you can and before the first big frost. On average, you want to plant your bulbs around 20 cm into the ground. Give each bulb space, you don't want bulbs to rub against each other or they could rot.


Planting Tulips


WINTERIZING WATER PIPES

Drain and store water hoses for the winter. To winterize the pipes, turn off the water-valve in the house that feeds the line, then open the spigot to allow any excess water to drain out. Trapped water can freeze and crack the pipes.


Winterizing Water Pipes


CHECK HUMIDITY LEVELS

If your windows are dripping with condensation, the humidity in your room is likely too high and could potential damage windows, drywall, and flooring. Using a dehumidifier in your home will regulate the moisture in the air.



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From mulled wine and craft markets to chopping down Christmas trees and decking the halls, there is no shortage of memories to be made leading up to Christmas. Most of your favourite Christmas attractions are running again this season so be sure to fill your calendars with all the holly jolly fun activities happening in the area! Whether you're continuing old traditions or looking to add new ones, this list of local events will keep you busy.


MARKETS AND CRAFT FAIRS

The Vintage Barn Market | November 5-7 | Chilliwack
Made in the 604 Holiday Markets | November 6-7 & December 18-19 | Vancouver & North Vancouver
Circle Craft Christmas Market | November 10-14 | Vancouver
The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market | November 13-14 | Abbotsford
Vancouver Christmas Market | November 13 - December 24 | Vancouver
Swedish Christmas Fair | November 20-21 | Burnaby
Candy Town Street Festival | November 27 | Vancouver



ATTRACTIONS

Christmas Store at Potter's | November 1 - December 24 | Surrey
Christmas Glow | November 18 - January 1 | Langley
Glow Maple Ridge | November 26 - January 7 | Maple Ridge
Festival of Trees | November 26 - January 2 | Vancouver
Burnaby Heritage Christmas | November 27 - January 3 | Burnaby
North Pole Express | November 27-28. December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19 | Squamish
Holiday Festival at the Museum | December 1-24 | Port Moody
Steveston's Winter in the Village | December 1-31 | Richmond
Lumagica Surrey | December 3-30 | Surrey
Christmas at Fly Over Canada | December 6 - January 3 | Vancouver
Bear Creek Park Christmas Train | December 7-31 | Surrey


Vancouver Christmas Lights Displays 2021


CHRISTMAS TREE FARMS

Z+Z Christmas Trees | Richmond
Armstrong Creek Farm | Surrey
Red Truck Trees | Surrey
Aldor Acres Christmas Tree Farm | Langley
Dogwood Christmas Tree Farm | Langley
Fernridge Christmas Tree Forest | Langley
Frosty's Family Christmas Tree Farm | Langley
O Christmas Tree Farm | Langley
Bough & Branch Christmas Tree Farm | Abbotsford


Fraser Valley Christmas Tree Farms

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From pumpkins to trick-or-treating to decorating for Christmas, fall is a great season for many reasons! We are lucky to live in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley of beautiful British Columbia which offer so many events and attractions for every season. Whether you're continuing old traditions or looking to add new ones, this list will keep you busy!


Pumpking Patches and Corn Mazes

Maan Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, Abbotsford | September 17 - November 1

Loft Country Farms, Langley | October 1-31

Southlands Farm Pumpkin Patch, Vancouver | October 1-31

Aldor Acres Family Farm, Langley | September 18 - October 31

Laity Pumpkin Patch, Maple Ridge | September 30 - Octoebr 31

Willow View Farms Pumpkin Patch, Abbotsford | October 1-31

Chilliwack Corn Maze, Chilliwack | October 1-31


Halloween 2021 Events

Fly Over Canada Halloween Edition at Canada Place

Fright Nights at the P.N.E.

Glow in the Garden at VanDusen Gardens

Pumpkin Train (Day Time) at Bear Creek Park

Scream Train (Night Time) at Bear Creek Park

Halloween in the Forest at at Surrey Nature Centre

Celebrate the Night at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge


Markets and Shows

Vancouver Fall Home Show | October 14-17

Westcoast Small Home Expo | October 18

The Vintage Barn Market | November 5-7

The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market | November 13-14

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Autumn brings with it a beautiful, soft exhale. This is the time to reflect on the summer and plan for the remaining months of the year. Now that you're back to schedules and the usual school/work grind, having a healthy routine will set you up for success each and every day.

When it comes to creating a routine, where do you start? What do you incorporate into your day to inspire positivity and confidence? Well, that depends a lot on your personality, likes and dislikes, and how much time you want to dedicate to your routine.

A FEW ROUTINE ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER:

- Start your morning with journaling or Morning Pages
- Incorporate a skincare routine using natural products that not only smell amazing but also have healing and uplifting properties
- Eat healthy
- Exercise
- Meditate
- Go for a walk
- Read
- Work on creative projects

The list could go on and on. Experiment with a variety of rituals to see which ones fill your soul and bring you joy.
Fall Routines
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As the season changes from summer to fall, it's a good time to go through an end-of-summer cleaning checklist. Here are four tips to get you started:


Clean Outdoor Furniture

Scrub all patio furniture and wash or wipe cushion covers. Cover outdoor furniture or store in a covered area to avoid rust and dirt accumulating over the winter.


Scrub the Grill

The BBQ's time to shine is coming to an end. Give it a thorough clean to remove grease and grime. Try this all-natural grill cleaner recipe:

1 tbsp baking soda

1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

1 tbsp natural/biodegradable cleaner

1 ball or sheet of aluminum foil

2 tbsp avocado oil spray (or similar high-heat oil)


Garage or Storage Sweep

Clear out your garage, shed, or storage locker and give it a thorough sweep. Brush away cobwebs and purge no-longer-needed items as you go. You can also oil your garage door and chain and all door hinges while you're in there.


Scrub Garden Tools

Scrub down garden tools to prevent rusting. Also, take advantage of end-of-summer sales to replenish your gardening supplies so you're ready to start fresh in the spring.

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Green home upgrades like installing a heat pump, adding insulation, and putting in new windows, can reward you with greater comfort and lower energy bills. 

Still, such projects can get expensive. 

By tapping the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you may be able to defray some of the costs. 

The federal grant program, launched in June, provides up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,600 for energy efficiency upgrades to eligible homeowners. 

Given that buildings account for 18% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, the grant serves twin purposes: helping homeowners improve home performance and achieving the country's climate goals.

Eligible Retrofits are:

  • Home insulation - up to $5,000
  • Air-sealing - up to $1,000
  • Windows and doors - each window/door is eligible for either $125 or $250
  • Thermostats - up to $50 (must be combined with another retrofit)
  • Space and water heating - up to $5,000
  • Renewable energy - up to $5,000
  • Resiliency measures - up to $1000 (must be combined with another energy efficiency retrofit)

The program is restricted to primary homes, and properties eligible for the grants are:

  • Single and semi-detached houses
  • Row housing
  • Townhomes
  • All-season cottages
  • Mobile homes on a permanent foundation
  • Permanently moored floating homes
  • Small multi-unit residential buildings (three storeys or less with a footprint of 600 m2 or less), and mixed-use buildings (residential portion only).

Be sure to read the fine print to fully understand all the requirements (https://bit.ly/3xGgzos), mandatory pre-and post-project evaluations, and how reimbursement works.

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                                               Let us help you

      

 

                                 www.RealEstateYouCanTrust.ca

                                           Ph: 778-355-6400

                                    info@RealEstateYouCanTrust

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What Home Inspectors See that You Can’t.

 

When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.

 

That being said, you might question whether you really need to invest the hundreds dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.”

 

However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement. 

 

But you won’t pick up all the issues a home inspector can.

 

A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mould. He or she will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code.

 

That’s not all.

 

Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components — and then report the findings to you.

 

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended — even for recently built homes.

 

A good REALTOR® can recommend a trusted home inspector for you.

 

Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a home? Call us today for our list of recommended inspectors.



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There is no way to keep your address off of Google Maps however, you can get Google to blur out your property so Google Maps users will not see it. Here’s the process to get your property, license plates or faces blurred:

- Go to Google Maps and type in your address
- Bring up the street view of your property
- Look to the bottom right hand corner of the screen you should see an Icon Labeled: “report a problem.”
- Click on “report a problem.”
- You will see a page labeled “report inappropriate street view.”
- Adjust the image so your house is inside the red box.
- Fill out the form
- Type/click the verification code at the bottom of the page into the box provided and click submit.
- Check back in a few days to see if the image has been blurred.

Link to find your address on Street View Maps: https://www.google.ca/maps

Judy Sehling
Keller Williams Black Diamond Realty 

 

Street View

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It’s shocking how much damage water can cause. Just a few gallons from a burst pipe or overflowing toilet can wreak havoc throughout your home and necessitate thousands of dollars in repairs. Ouch! What should be done at the first sign of water leakage? First, stop the source. Check under and around the sink, turn off the nearest water valve. If you can’t find it, turn off the main water valve to your home. If you do not know where the main water valve is located, check your home inspection report. Next, do everything you can to soak up as much water as possible. If necessary, lift carpeting. Borrow your neighbours Shop Vac. Pay particular attention to water settling next to walls or inside ductwork. Get these areas dry as quickly as possible. Containment is important. Do your best to prevent water from infiltrating other rooms. Once you’ve got the area as dry as possible, run fans in the room along with a high powered dehumidifier – for at least a full day – to draw in the remaining moisture.

If, despite your best efforts, you suspect that moisture remains inside the walls, floors or ceilings, call in the professionals. There are many companies that specialize in emergency water damage control.  Google “Restoration Services.” Also, consider contacting your insurance company… especially if the damage will cost more than your deductible to fix. They’re as motivated as you are to reduce the damage.

 

 

 

Judy Sehling

Keller Williams Realty

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When you are thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I buy a new home first or list my property first? Let’s take a look at both options. If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges. First, sellers may not take you seriously as a buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale yet. As far as they are concerned, you might merely be testing the market.

 Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If you have removed subjects on your new home and it has an early closing date, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells. This may make you feel desperate to sell for a lower price than you would have wanted.

 If, on the other hand, you list and put your property on the market before buying a new home, the sellers will know you are serious. That puts you in a better position when you want to make an offer. Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence. Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time. Solutions such as bridge financing are available to help if the closing dates on both your purchase and sale don’t match. A REALTOR® who has experience dealing with these situations on a regular basis will be able to guide you through the process.

 Judy and Forrest regularly help their clients right-size their lives and move into new homes that fit their current needs. They have an incredibly high success rate of negotiating closing dates to match up so that bridge financing doesn’t have to come into play. Whether you are downsizing or upsizing, Judy and Forrest can help. Call for more information.

 

written by: Judy Sehling

Keller Williams

Realty Real Estate You Can Trust

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