Author Archives: Jason Wood

What are the basic amenities of Luxury Houses in Vancouver West?

What are the basic amenities of Luxury Houses in Vancouver West?

There are various reasons for the highest demand and sale of the luxury houses in Vancouver West. One of the greatest reasons is the presence of outstanding neighborhood along with improved landscape and excellent climatic conditions. The higher sale of the residential houses out here is the major reason for the increasing popularity, prosperity and economic value of the real estate in Vancouver of British Columbia. Moreover, these residential houses are located in such prospective locations that are highly connected with all kinds of effective transportation systems from all directions.

The luxurious apartments for sale in UBC are mostly taken on rents on the basis of legal contractual agreements. These apartments are taken on rent by immigrated students and sometimes by tourists during the tourist seasons. These luxurious houses can provide all kinds of special amenities to the tenants at highly affordable process and thus these rented apartments are in great demand these days. These rented apartments have also recently replaced the need for expensive hotels and thus the value of the hotels or resorts of that place has considerably come down. The luxury condos for sale in UBC can also be used for almost the same purposes.

Lots for sale in Kerrisdale are getting purchased for the purpose of retirement dwelling. There are many overseas foreigners or local people who are purchasing luxurious homes out here for the sake of spending their retirement days in peace and prosperity. Lots for sale in Dunbar can provide the outstanding natural views which can be highly enjoyed by retired and older people and can spend a good time out there after their retirement. The luxury homes for sale in UBC can also be converted into holiday resorts or recreational oasis’s where you can spend your holidays in peace either with your friends or family.

The luxury homes in Dunbar are highly surrounded by shopping malls, restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, health clubs, spas, hospitals and schools. All these facilities are highly useful for the people dwelling out there. On the other hand, the airport is also quite near so that the people can easily travel on a frequent basis without any hazards. The waterfront homes in Point Gray are highly useful as you can enjoy the splendid views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains. Many of these luxurious houses are also quite affordable compared to the like on an International level and thus can suit your pocket limit.

Why are the luxury houses For Sale in Vancouver West in high demand?

Why are the luxury houses For Sale in Vancouver West side in high demand?

If you are looking for the finest and highly luxurious housing properties in Canada, then you must check out the outstanding residential houses located in West Vancouver of British Columbia. Recently, a sharp progress has been observed in the industry of real estate in Vancouver and this is the reason that both domestic and international property-investors are finding greater interests in the same. The metropolitan condos of Vancouver are highly vibrating and prospective in nature and thus they are in high demand these days. The luxury homes in Dunbar are having the highest economic values and thus they are having the highest sale in both local and international market.

You can also check out the luxurious waterfront homes in Point Gray and you can spend absolute recreational and pleasant holidays in these homes. You can have mind-blowing amenities in these homes that can make your holidays more memorable and splendid. The luxury homes for sale in UBC are gaining highest responses and thus if you are intending to buy the same, then you need to look for the best sources out there. But in that case you need to obtain home inspection reports in order to ensure the safety of the properties. Building lots for sale in Dunbar are gaining the highest sale in the recent days.

The luxury condos for sale in UBC are being equipped with a lot of specialized amenities like luxurious swimming pools, pool bars, spas and many more. The rooms of these luxurious condos are highly spacious in nature along with attached bathrooms and kitchens. The luxury apartments for sale in UBC are highly useful and desirable to International Students and you can use them for leasing out while earning a huge amount of revenue. You can either lease out to International or Immigrated students or to tourists as that will surely fetch you great returns.

Building Lots for sale in Kerrisdale are also gaining the highest response as this particular place in Vancouver is becoming economically prosperous day by day. The luxury homes for sale in Vancouver are getting dealt by different reputed real-estate companies out there and they are gaining higher profits from the same due to the high sale volume. These luxurious residential houses can be regarded as one of the most potential investments for the foreign investors as they can earn good returns without taking on much risk and hazards.

British Columbia’s Top Schools | Best Schools in BC

BC has one of the best educational systems in the world and this is one of the main reasons why the province continues to be a top relocation destination. If you have school-age children and you’re wondering which particular schools are typically ranked the best, have a look at the Fraser Institute’s most recent rankings of BC’s top elementary and secondary schools of 2011-12 and their ratings (10 being the highest):

K-12 Schools in BC

Crofton House, Vancouver
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

An independent university preparatory school for girls, Crofton House was founded in 1898 and is BC’s most prominent all-girls day school. It’s located on a wooded 10-acre campus.

Meadowridge, Maple Ridge
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 9.8
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.0
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.3

Meadowridge School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) co-ed preparatory school and its mission is “Learning to live well, with others and for others, in a just community.”

Richmond Christian, Richmond
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 9.6
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 8.6
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 8.0

Established in 1957, Richmond Christian School has three campuses (elementary, middle and secondary). As of now, it is the only school in the city with a middle school program.

Southpointe, Delta
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 9.4
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 8.9

Southpointe Academy is located in Tsawwassen and was founded in 2000 (and re-founded in 2004). It recently moved into a new 68,000-sq.-ft. facility and is currently partnered with schools in China, France and Spain.

Southridge, Surrey
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.6
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.7

Southridge is an independent university preparatory co-ed school on a 17-acre campus in South Surrey. It is an International Baccalaureate World School (IB) for Grades K – 7.

St. George’s, Vancouver
Grades: 1-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.5
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.7

Founded in 1930, St. George’s is an independent preparatory boarding and day school for boys located on two campuses near the University of British Columbia. 100% of its graduates gain acceptance to universities.

St. Michaels, Victoria
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.1
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.1

St. Michaels University School is an independent co-ed day and boarding school with campuses in Oak Bay and Saanich. More than half of its graduates earn college scholarships.

Vancouver College, Vancouver
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 8.6
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 8.9

An all-boys Catholic prep school, VC is located in Shaughnessy and was founded by the Christian Brothers in 1922. It has an enrolment of just over 1,000 across its three schools (elementary, middle and senior).

West Point Grey, Vancouver
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.3
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.7

As its name implies, West Point Grey Academy is located in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood, on a 37-acre campus. An independent co-ed day school, it has an average class size of 22 students.

York House, Vancouver
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0

Centrally located in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood, York House School is an independent day school for girls established in 1932. It has 100% university acceptance.

Elementary Schools in BC

Corpus Christi, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

Located in Southeast Vancouver, Corpus Christi School was established in 1957 and is administered by the Corpus Christi Parish. It feeds into Notre Dame Regional Secondary.

Mulgrave, West Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

Mulgrave is an independent co-ed International Baccalaureate (IB) World School whose mission is “Inspiring excellence in education and life.” It is located on the North Shore.

West Bay, West Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

West Bay School is located in the West Bay neighbourhood and has been an IB World School since 2007. It also has a preschool, Early Inquirers, located on site.

St. Joseph’s, Smithers
2011-12 Rating: 9.9
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.9

Established in 1959, St. Joseph’s is a Catholic school in the Diocese of Prince George. It follows the B.C. curriculum and offers additional instruction in French and Music, among others.

Our Lady of Mercy, Burnaby
2011-12 Rating: 9.9
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.8

Our Lady of Mercy School was founded in 1959. Part of its mission is the belief “that all people best learn and teach in an atmosphere of compassion, generosity, joy and laughter.”

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 9.9
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.3

Located on the Westside, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School was established in 1927. OLPH also has a junior kindergarten program.

St. Paul, Richmond
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 10.0

St. Paul School is run by the St. Paul Parish and first opened its doors in 1961. Part of its philosophy is to “challenge the students to achieve their highest level of performance and strive for excellence.”

Holy Cross, Burnaby
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

Holy Cross Elementary is under the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese school board. Extracurricular activities include cross-country running, basketball, and mountain activities.

John Knox Christian, Burnaby
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.3

John Knox Christian School was established in 1955 and is set to merge soon with Vancouver Christian School and Carver Christian High School under a unified school system.

St. Augustine, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.5

Founded in 1921, St. Augustine School is one of the Vancouver Archdiocese’s oldest Catholic schools. It is currently building its new school facility.

Secondary Schools in BC

Little Flower, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 9.3
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.6

The only Catholic high school for girls in Vancouver, Little Flower Academy is located in Shaughnessy. It has had a 100% graduation rate and college acceptance rate over the past 5 years.

Brentwood College, Mill Bay
2011-12 Rating: 9.2
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.3

A co-ed boarding school, Brentwood was established in 1923 and has a 49-acre oceanfront campus. Around 80% of each graduating class are accepted to their first choice of university.

Collingwood, West Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 8.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.1

Collingwood School has two campuses, with grades 8-12 in the Morven Campus. A co-ed preparatory school, it is known for its debating and public speaking and advanced placement programs.

Relevant, Surrey
2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Rating in the most recent five years: n/a

Relevant High School is co-ed and non-denominational. It is administered by the Relevant Schools’ Society, which was formed in 1970 and seeks “to develop academic excellence, as well as social and cultural awareness.”

St. Margaret’s, Victoria
2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Rating in the most recent five years: n/a

St. Margaret’s School was established in 1908 on Vancouver Island. It is an independent, non-denominational all-girls day and boarding school.

Timothy Christian, Chilliwack
2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Rating in the most recent five years: n/a

Timothy Christian School is part of the Society of Christian Schools in BC. Its mission is “to graduate students who are ruled by God’s Word, and prepared to be upright, contributing members of society.

Okanagan Mission, Kelowna
2011-12 Rating: 8.5
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.3

A public high school in School District 23 Central Okanagan, Okanagan Mission Secondary is noted for its fine arts and athletics programs. Its motto is “Excellence through effort.”

University Hill, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 8.4
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.7

Located in the University Endowment Lands area, University Hill Secondary is consistently ranked as the province’s top public secondary school. It is very near the University of British Columbia.

Kelowna Christian, Kelowna
2011-12 Rating: 8.4
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.5

Apart from its high school, Kelowna also has preschool as well as elementary and middle schools. It is located in Okanagan Valley and was founded in 1978.

King David, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 8.4
Rating in the most recent five years: 7.9

King David High School is a co-ed Jewish community high school located in the Oakridge district. The campus is close to the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre.

More on the School Ratings

Elementary school ratings are calculated using Grades 4 and 7 Foundation Skills Assessment results. Secondary school ratings are based on a wider range of factors, including provincial exam results, graduation rates, and grade-to-grade transition rates.

Want more school and community info? Head to the Resources section for details on popular school boards in the region. The Fraser Institute publishes its report card annually so stay tuned for the release of the 2012-13 rankings soon. It should be noted that not all educators agree with the institute’s rankings—the preponderance of private schools is a matter of some concern, for one—so it’s still best to make a shortlist of the schools you’re interested in and to make inquiries about each.

A Guide to Immigrating to Vancouver, Canada

Thinking of making the move to Vancouver? If you’re planning on immigrating to Canada or you’re already here and you’re wondering if you can become a permanent resident, this guide is for you. Learn more about the immigration process, how and where to apply, what fees to expect, and more.

 Main Types of Immigration

Canada and the Province of British Columbia have several immigration programs, most of which fall under either the family or economy class. Below are brief overviews of each so you can get an idea about your options:

BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Operated by the Province in conjunction with the federal government (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), this economic immigration program aims to attract foreign workers who can meet B.C. employers’ critical employment needs as well as entrepreneurs who want to invest in and actively manage a business here. If you’re eligible for either the Skills or Business Immigration streams and your application is successful, the Province will nominate you for permanent residence and thus accelerate the processing time. Note that it’s still CIC that will be making the final decision.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

This is for foreign nationals who’ve studied or worked in Canada and wish to become permanent residents. Eligible applicants can benefit from speedier processing times and can remain in the country while their applications are being processed.

Start-Up Visa Program

A relatively new program, it’s aimed towards immigrant entrepreneurs with unique business ideas and connects them with designated angel investors, business incubators, and venture capitalists.

Immigrant Investor Program and Federal Entrepreneur Program

CIC has temporarily paused accepting applications under both of these programs though it will continue to process those received before the suspension.

Self-Employed Persons Program

This program is for those who have relevant experience in cultural activities, athletics or farm management, which will enable them to be self-employed and to make a significant contribution to Canadian culture and sports. Those with farm management experience must intend and be able to purchase and manage a farm here.

Family Sponsorship

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouse, partner, dependent child or other eligible relative to come to the country as permanent residents.

Canada’s other immigration programs are:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Worker Program
  • Live-in Caregiver Program
  • Refugee Programs

Application and Processing

Applications and processing times vary greatly, depending on the chosen program, the Canadian visa office in your country, and the application method. Below are the most recent estimates from CIC. Note that the estimates for some visa offices and programs are unavailable and you should contact CIC if you don’t find the information you need.

For Provincial Nominee Applications:

 

Asia and Pacific

Visa Office

Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)

Beijing – China

20

Colombo – Sri Lanka

12

Hong Kong – China

14

Manila – Philippines

12

New Delhi – India

15

Singapore – Singapore

27

Sydney – Australia

12

Africa and Middle East

Visa Office

Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)

Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

28

Accra – Ghana

16

Ankara – Turkey

48

Cairo – Egypt

11

Dakar – Senegal

22

Nairobi – Kenya

11

Pretoria – South Africa

14

Rabat – Morocco

9

Tel Aviv – Israel

14

 

Americas

Visa Office

Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)

Bogota – Colombia

20

Buenos Aires – Argentina

10

Guatemala City – Guatemala

22

Kingston – Jamaica

15

Los Angeles – United States

30

Mexico City – Mexico

15

New York – United States

31

Ottawa (Case Processing Pilot) – Canada

17

Port of Spain – Trinidad and Tobago

15

Sao Paulo – Brazil

18

 

Europe

Visa Office

Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)

Bucharest – Romania

16

Kyiv – Ukraine

16

London – United Kingdom

27

Moscow – Russia

14

Paris – France

7

Rome – Italy

21

Vienna – Austria

17

Warsaw – Poland

9

 

For Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – 13 Months 

For Start-Up Visa – Still Unavailable

For Self-Employed Persons

Asia and Pacific

Visa Office

Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)

Hong Kong – China

70

New Delhi – India

97

 

Europe

Visa Office

Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)

Paris – France

39

 

Americas

Visa Office

Processing Times
IN MONTHS
(based on a complete application package)

Bogota – Colombia

55

Ottawa (Case Processing Pilot) – Canada

23

Sao Paulo – Brazil

38

For Family Sponsorship

These applications are processed in two (2) steps and the time estimate for step 1 is updated weekly and quarterly for step 2. The most recent time approximates can be found on the CIC website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/perm-fc.asp.

 Fee Schedule

The majority of CIC applications will have processing fees. As of this writing, the latest required fees (in Canadian dollars) are below.

 

For Citizenship

Right of Citizenship            $100

Grant of Citizenship           $100

 

For Family Class Applicants

Sponsorship application (per application)

$75

Principal applicant

$475

Principal applicant, if less than 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner (including a dependent child of the sponsor, a child to be adopted and an orphaned brother, sister, niece, nephew or grandchild)

$75

A family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older, or is less than 22 years of age and is a spouse or common-law partner

$550

A family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner

$150

For Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Provincial Nominees

 

Principal applicant

$550

Each family member age 22 or older

$550

Each family member under age 22 who is married or in a common-law relationship

$550

Each family member under age 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship

$150

 

For Self-Employed Persons Class

 

Principal applicant

$1,050

A family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older, or is less than 22 years of age and is a spouse or common-law partner

$550

A family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner

$150

 

For Start-Up Business Class

 

Principal applicant

$1,050

Each family member age 22 or older

$550

Each family member under age 22 who is married or in a common-law relationship

$550

Each family member under age 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship

$150

 

Other Fees

Once your application is approved, you will need to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee. Dependent children are exempt.

 

Principal applicant

$490

Spouse or common-law partner

$490 

More Info on Permanent Residency

What does it mean to be a permanent resident? If you have been granted permanent resident status, this means that you have the right to:

  • apply for citizenship
  • live, study or work anywhere in the country
  • enjoy most of the social benefits that citizens receive such as health care
  • be protected by Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

You cannot vote or run for any political office, however, nor hold particular jobs that require high-level security clearance. As a permanent resident, your responsibilities include paying taxes and respecting Canadian laws at all levels.

Your status also comes with residency obligations – you must reside in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. Not meeting this obligation may result in your losing your status.

You will also get a permanent resident card, also known as the PR card, which you will need if you plan to travel outside the country. This is the official proof of your status and it will need to be shown upon re-entry if you are onboard a commercial vehicle.

More on Sponsoring Parents and Grandparents

Are you thinking about having your parents and/or grandparents join you in Vancouver? The Parent and Grandparent stream of the Family Sponsorship program, which has been on hold for two years, has just reopened, but before you send in an application it’s important that you become aware of your responsibilities as a sponsor and that your parents understand the benefits and drawbacks of immigrating here.

The advantages of moving to Canada – and B.C. in particular – are manifold:

  • The standard of living and quality of life are topnotch. Vancouver has been ranked among the world’s best cities to live for years.
  • The natural setting is beautiful and offers plenty of options for outdoor recreation.
  • The healthcare and education system are excellent and there are plenty of seniors’ programs and centres to help seniors make the most of life here.

Those moving to a new country will always face challenges, however, and you must also weigh the disadvantages when making your decision. These include:

  • Language – English is B.C.’s official language and immigrants who don’t speak it can have a difficult time settling in and becoming part of the community.
  • Culture – Adjusting to a new place with different cultural norms will always be challenging, especially for older individuals who are used to a different way of life.
  • Climate – While the climate in B.C. is more temperate than most other parts of the country, it can still get pretty cold here and those unused to dealing with winter might get a shock if they aren’t prepared.
  • Social support network – For many immigrants, immigrating means leaving behind an extensive social network. Your parents and/or grandparents may feel isolated and this can lead to depression.

To find out if moving to Canada is the right step for them to take, consider testing the waters first, so to speak. Consider applying for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa instead. A multi-entry visa, it’s valid for up to ten (10) years and will allow them to stay in the country for up to two (2) years without renewal.

For more insights and for recommended professionals and service providers who can help you with your immigration needs, get in touch with me anytime. Contact me as well for more information on real estate investment opportunities in BC. I must also note that immigration law is constantly being amended, so it’s always best to check with the appropriate provincial and federal government agencies for the latest updates.

 

Understanding Strata Title in British Columbia

Condominium housing makes up an increasingly large percentage of British Columbia’s housing inventory and BC now has around half a million residential strata lots (this doesn’t include the growing number of mixed-use and commercial stratas). Roughly 29,000 strata corporations now operate in BC and there will likely be more in the future as the demand for urban higher-density housing grows.

Despite the rising popularity of this kind of housing ownership, however, many people remain unaware of what strata lot ownership entails. This post serves as an introduction to stratas and seeks to shed light on some of the issues that owners typically face.

Is There a Difference Between a Condominium and a Strata?

If you’re a bit confused about the terminology – and who isn’t – know that strata and condominium ownership are one and the same. BC just happened to adopt the term from the Australians, who enacted strata title legislation back in the ‘60s, and has stuck with it since.

What Exactly is Strata Title?

Strata title is a type of property ownership, which as defined by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, “is designed to provide exclusive use and ownership of a specific housing unit (the strata lot) which is contained in a larger property (the strata project), plus shared use and ownership of the common areas.” In other words, as a strata owner you hold the title to your individual unit and you also have a proportionate share of the common property, which are typically common areas such as the grounds, elevators, halls, recreational spaces, etc.

To sum it up, the owners of the strata lots in the strata titled property make up the strata corporation. The corporation is responsible for the management and maintenance of the common property and assets, which is typically enacted by a strata council. The council is elected by the corporation’s eligible voters at every annual general meeting. Most corporations also hire a strata manager to help make the council’s job easier.

 Are Strata Corporations in BC the Same as HOAs in the US?

While they are similar, the main difference is the fact that the members of a strata corporation in BC all have a proportional ownership share of the common property, while members of an HOA in the US don’t. In the US, it is the HOA that owns the common areas and the homeowners in that particular community have the right to use them, subject to whatever covenants and restrictions are in place. Whereas strata corporation members have an ownership interest in the common areas and the strata fees that they pay go towards the management and maintenance of what is essentially their joint property.

What Laws Govern Strata Properties?

The main set of laws governing stratas is the Strata Property Act and Regulations. Note that amendments have been made to the Act since it was first implemented, the details of which can be found here: http://www.housing.gov.bc.ca/strata/regs/index.htm. Also note that the Act specifies that all strata corporations must have bylaws. Every corporation will start out with the Standard Bylaws that are detailed in the Act, though sometimes these will already have been amended by the Owner Developer. Among the other legislation that can affect stratas are the Real Estate Services Act, the Human Rights Code, the Residential Tenancy Act, and other local government bylaws.

Corporations also have their own particular set of bylaws, including those that regulate whether or not pets or rentals are permitted, which is why it’s so important for would-be buyers to review a strata complex’s bylaws and rules before they invest in a unit there. The creation and amendment of these bylaws follows a specific procedure, which involves getting majority vote approval, the proper dissemination of information, and filing at the Land Title Office.

What Are My Rights and Responsibilities as an Owner?

When you invest in a strata lot in a strata-titled property, you should be aware that along with all the right and conveniences of strata living comes an attendant set of responsibilities. As for owners’ rights, these include:

  • The right to vote at a general meeting
  • To ask for particular records from the strata council
  • Direct the strata council and place limitations on its power by majority vote at general meetings
  • Request general meetings so long as it is petitioned by 20% of owners
  • Obtain insurance
  • Seek a court or arbitration order to:

–       Stop/prevent unfair acts of the strata corporation/council

–       Prevent a person holding over 50% of the votes from voting

–       Require the corporation to perform a duty covered by the Act, Regulations, bylaws or rules

–       Require the corporation to stop violating the Act, Regulations, bylaws or rules

Owners are responsible for:

  • Paying regular strata fees on the designated date
  • Maintaining and repairing their strata lot as well as limited common property
  • Observing the bylaws and rules
  • Using the property in a manner required by the bylaws
  • Paying special fees if they have been ratified by the required vote

You should know that strata corporations are self-governing, so you should be prepared to play an active role, whether by sitting on the strata council or by ensuring that you are present for important meetings and that you understand the bylaws and rules. You as well as the other owners have a personal stake in making sure that your investment in the property is protected and you should bear in mind that whatever decisions will be made will affect everyone. In short, it’s best to always keep the greater good of the corporation in mind. A well-run strata corporation benefits everyone – it enhances the quality of life of all the residents and boosts property values in the long run.

Where/To Whom Do I Complain?

Strata corporations govern themselves in accordance with the Strata Property Act and are responsible for enforcing the Act’s provisions. If you have any complaints, whether about your neighbor/s, strata council, strata manager, or a particular bylaw amendment, there are several ways to resolve them. You are advised to communicate directly with your strata council or get a resolution through arbitration or the courts. Generally speaking, it’s best to exhaust all other avenues before opting for litigation and it’s always a good idea to consult a real estate professional knowledgeable in strata matters as early as possible.

The Act contains provisions on complaint resolution so you should consult it as well as your strata corporation’s bylaws if you’re not clear about how to proceed. According to the Act, for example, strata lot owners can require a special general meeting or propose a resolution if they have the written support of at least 20% of the strata corporation’s votes. Other things to keep in mind:

  • You are allowed to vote by proxy, which is a right that strata corporations cannot prohibit.
  • If a complaint has been filed against you for the breach of a bylaw or rule, you have the right to respond to it and to challenge it before it is enforced.
  • If you have an issue with the fees you’re paying or about special assessments, check the registered strata plan, which will contain the schedule of unit entitlement.
  • If you’re considering a major alteration that you think may impact common property, always ask your council or review the bylaws and rules first.
  • The Land Title Office does not review whether or not the bylaws filed with them are valid or enforceable.

If you need more information on stratas and strata living or if you’re unhappy with your current situation and you’d like to talk to an expert, contact Jason Wood today.

 

Trump Tower Vancouver Construction Update

It’s been just over six months since the official launch of Trump Tower Vancouver and already there’s been a lot of progress at the site. Go down West Georgia St. and you’ll see what we’re talking about – they’ve built their way up to the 8th floor already and are now pouring concrete. Who knows, they might even be done with it by the time we post this update.

Also, the first panes of glass have started to go up. This building is going to have plenty of glass, by the way. According to reports, some of the highest floors are going to have 50-ft.-long walls of windows. Now that’s going to be some view. We’d also like to note that this has got to be one of the cleanest and most well-run construction sites in Vancouver, which is doubtless something that the rest of the neighbourhood appreciates.

Trump Tower Vancouver Photos 3

Trump Tower Vancouver Construction Photos 1

Trump Tower Vancouver Construction Photos 2

Who’s in the Neighbourhood?

Speaking of neighbours, one of Trump Vancouver’s biggest draws – apart from all those luxe features mentioned in our previous post – is its undeniably convenient central location. The tower is going to be in pretty good company. Just down the street is the Shangri-La Hotel, which also contains residential units and is currently the tallest building in B.C. On the next street over is the renowned Loden Hotel, recently ranked among the world’s best in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2013 Gold List.  Then there’s a cluster of high-end retailers mere minutes away. These include Burberry, Escada, DeBeers, Tory Burch, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Hermès, Tiffany & Co., Mont Blanc, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, St. John, and Christian Dior, among others.

We’ll be keeping you posted on further updates!

 

 

Burnaby’s Secondary Suite Program Gets Off the Ground

Secondary suites are now going to be legal in Burnaby. After an overwhelming positive response from the public, the city has just signed off on a secondary suite program, the final details of which will be ready by January. This is good news for property owners looking to add a suite to their single family home or to legalize an existing one (as of last count, there are around 5,878 unauthorized secondary suites in the city). Here are the highlights of the proposed amendments under the new program:

Zoning Bylaw

  • Secondary suites in single-family dwellings will be permitted in these zoning districts: R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R9, R10, R11, R12, A1, A2, A3, RM3 and RM6.
  • Suites will have a minimum size of 32 m² (344 sq. ft.) and a maximum size of 40% of the house’s total liveable floor area or 90 m2 (970 sq. ft.), whichever is less.
  • Provision will be made for additional off-street parking space for suite occupants, with feasibility exemptions.
  • Restrictions will apply on home-based businesses. Homes with secondary suites won’t be able to get licences for: boarding house, child-care facility/center, any home-based occupations that will involve on-site client services.
  • Non-resident property owners who are renting out both the principal residence and its secondary suite will be required to acquire a Home Rental Business Licence.

Building Permit Process

  • Owners of single-family residences that have existing unauthorized secondary suites will have the chance to get a Building Permit in order to legalize their suites.
  • Complimentary suite feasibility reports will be provided by the City for the first two years of the program to help owners in legalizing their existing suites.
  • The Building Department will review applications for new and existing suites using Section 9.36 of the BC Building Code as the guide.

Secondary Suite Fees

Licence and utility fees for dwellings with secondary suites will include:

  • A supplementary utility fee, which will be approximate to 50% of the single-family residence charge. 
  • One medium-sized garbage toter (established charge of $205.00)
  • All charges would be subject to annual rate increases
  • The Business Licence for non-resident property owners will include the application fee of $270.00 and an annual renewal fee of $92.00.

The Building Permit Fee Schedule for Building Permit applications, whether for new secondary suites or for legalization of existing suites, will apply.

I’ll be keeping you posted on any further updates, so check back often or get in touch with me anytime.

Trump Tower Vancouver Presale Information and Prices

The construction of the first Trump Tower on West Georgia Street in Vancouver, BC is still in its early stages, but the $360-million project is already generating a great deal of press. The tower bearing the famous Trump name is undeniably striking. Designed to rise 63 storeys, the Trump Tower is going to be the city’s second-tallest building and will certainly make its mark on the Vancouver skyline upon completion in 2016.

Trump Tower Vancouver BC

Trump Tower Vancouver BC photo courtesy of developers Holborn Group and TA Global Bhd.

The developers have also lined up more perks for future owners. Developers Holborn Group and TA Global Bhd. just announced a partnership with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and London Air Services Vancouver, allowing them to offer residents an allotment of private jet hours and access to a chauffeur-driven car. Would-be residents of Trump International Hotel & Tower® Vancouver can now look forward to enjoying the luxury services of a Bombardier Learjet 75 and a chauffeured Rolls-Royce Ghost. They’re definitely pulling out all the stops on this one.

 Amenities in the The Trump Tower Vancouver

Designed by celebrated architect Arthur Erickson, the gently twisting tower in the city’s sought-after Coal Harbour district is going to feature a 147-room luxury hotel, above which will be just a little over 200 residences. Among its other features will be:

  • A Champagne Bar
  • Pool Bar & Nightclub
  • Canada’s first Mar-a-Lago Spa (by Ivanka Trump)
  • Chinese fine dining restaurant
  • 15,000 sq. ft. conference centre
  • Trump Attaché™ service
Trump Tower Building Vancouver BC

Trump Tower Vancouver BC photo courtesy of developers Holborn Group and TA Global Bhd.

Living in The Trump Tower Vancouver

Because of the twisting design of the building, each unit of the Trump Tower Vancouver’s residences is going to look out on its own unique view. All units also include luxury designer finishes and detailing. Residence features include:

  • Expansive open floor plans
  • Gourmet kitchens by Arclinea, winners of the prestigious Compasso d’Oro
  • Engineered hardwood finishes
  • Gaggenau, AEG, Panasonic and Bosch appliances
  • Smart home technology
  • Master-crafted closets, faucets and bathroom accessories
  • Master en-suite bathrooms with marble countertops, floor and walls, Victoria + Albert limestone sinks and baths, and more

Your Trump Tower Vancouver Presale Options

Trump Tower Vancouver presale options are already available, though floor plan details are currently not being widely publicized. The condos will range in size from 644 to more than 2,100 square feet and penthouses are going to be in the 3,500 to 4,400 square feet range.

Trump Tower Vancouver Presale

Trump Tower Vancouver photo courtesy of developers Holborn Group and TA Global Bhd.

Want more info? If you’d like to learn more about Trump Tower Vancouver prices, information on amenities, construction progress, and more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

This is an exciting project that brings a whole new level of luxury to Vancouver and I’m looking forward to helping you discover what your options are here. I’m also going to be posting regular updates on this, so stay tuned!

Vancouver BC Events – November and December 2013

Vancouver Jewish Film Festival. November 7-14, 2013

Canada’s longest-running Jewish film fest is back for its 25th run. Venues are at Fifth Avenue Cinemas and the Beth Tikvah Congregation & Centre. Expect special screenings and receptions, panel discussions, and a wide range of featured films.

Eastside Culture Crawl. November 15-17, 2013

Get cultured at this annual 3-day visual arts, crafts and design festival where you can meet artists right in their studios. Head to the district north of First Avenue between Main St. and Victoria Drive.

Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair

November 30. Satisfy your yen for handcrafted items at the fair, which features 140 exhibitors and is one of the highest rated craft fairs in the region.

 Vancouver Christmas Market

November 24-December 24. Get into the holiday spirit, German-style. The market will be right in the heart of downtown at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Shop, dine, enjoy live performances, and be enchanted.

Rogers Santa Claus Parade

December 1. The 10th annual street celebration will start at 1 pm in downtown Vancouver and features dozens of floats, dance troupes, marching bands, and more. The parade typically attracts more than 300,000 spectators.

Browse the site to learn more about the many things to do in the Vancouver BC area and to get an introduction to the real estate market here. For more in-depth information, get in touch with me anytime.

Featured Listing: Mansions for Sale in the Historic Area of Shaughnessy, Vancouver, BC

Vancouver’s historic Shaughnessy neighborhood is serene, centrally located and features a large selection of heritage houses as well as some of the most highly valued real estate in the country. Have a look below at two of the most notable properties currently available in this exclusive community.

The Mayfair, 1790 West 38th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6M 1R6

The Mayfair Mansion Vancouver BC

Priced at $22,800,000, The Mayfair was originally built in 1912 but has been significantly remodelled by architect Stefan Wiedemann. This spectacular Tudor Revival masterpiece sits on a 0.57 acre lot and has 5 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms and a total living space of over 10,000 sq. ft. Timeless interior design and superb finishes throughout along with state-of-the-art lighting, audio/video, and security systems. Grounds include a botanical garden, a poolside living area, and a putting green.

The Mayfair Mansion Vancouver for Sale

 

The Mayfair Mansion Vancouver Living Room Area

See more details and beautiful photos here: http://bchouseandhome.idxbroker.com/idx/details/homes/a499/V1013391/1790-W-38TH-AV

Heritage A Mansion, #1 & 2 3838 Cypress Street, Shaugnessy, Vancouver BC

Heritage Mansion Shaugnessy Vancouver

The two units of this duplex mansion have never before been on offer at the same time. Priced at $35,000,000, they have a combined total floor space of 12,216 sq. ft. and have been connected by the current owner, but can easily be reconverted. Once the estate of Eric Hamber, the 15th Lieutenant Governor of BC, it has 9 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 3 kitchens combined. This rambling heritage residence has been exquisitely restored with no detail left untouched. Features include wine cellars, an oak panelled elevator, and secured underground parking.

Heritage A Mansion for Sale Vancouver BC

Learn more about this luxury home listing at http://bchouseandhome.idxbroker.com/idx/details/homes/a499/V1018083/-1–2-3838-CYPRESS-ST

Browse the site for more information on other luxury homes in Vancouver BC and get in touch with me anytime.