Shuchat Group Real Estate Blog

Not everyone gets to be able to sell their home at the perfect time in life when all clutter is removed. Sometimes moves are made when families simply grow out of their current home.  Two of the forgotten areas of home staging are the back yard and the garage.  In my practice, I have noticed that for these two areas, it has become acceptable to simply leave them as a footnote: garages are jam packed with clutter from the rest of the house and back yards are simply unimpressive spaces accessible from the kitchen with little thought to exterior decor. But people need to "be" outside and incorporating the outside, especially the backyard into your living space will impart lasting benefits to your property.

During the summer months, if you have somehow managed to spiff up your exterior space, take the time to shoot some amazing photography to capture the fruits of your efforts.  Perhaps you might end up selling your home in the winter or the rainy season when leaves and water...

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I am going to put some effort into reviving this page.  For starters, I will open the page up to comments.  I will explore downsizing alternatives for people living in the Lower Mainland.  Be sure to check it out from time to time to see articles and topics which complement this blog.
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Firstly, I would like you all to know that I am not an engineer.  I did receive a flyer from the City of Richmond with my utility bill that outlined where a typical house uses water and I happened to read it.  I did not know for example, that a typical home uses 32% of its fresh water in its toilets.  Take a second to let that fact sink in.

Please stick with me here.....(absolutley no pun intended)

Research has found that a healthy human bladder can hold about 2 cups, which is about 1/8 of a gallon. The average older toilet tank uses about 3.6 gallons per flush.  That is a ratio of about 28:1.  It is astonishing that we would need to use 28 times the amount of fresh water to dispose of the little that our bodies actually use.

Newer toilets use only 1.6 for gallons for larger flushes and .6 gallons for liquid flushes. Those of you contemplating switching to the new lower flush units should know that many municipalities offer a rebate on your utility bill of $100 with...
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QUOTED IN THE VANCOUVER SUN-Check out the article below!

After reading Peter McMartin's article in the Vancouver Sun on Heritage Property earlier in the week, I decided to respond to his question: "Heritage Property, Who Pays?"  After reading my letter to him, he picked up the phone and called me and we chatted about how to make the system better so that the city's goal of preserving heritage listed property would not be a burden on those honoured by having their property on that list.

Here is a link to the response article he wrote in the Vancouver Sun.  The city manager took note and promised change as early as next week!  Let's wait and see how effective that change will be..... more on that soon!
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BC has a Property Tax Deferment Program which in certain cases allows a property owner with a principal residence to apply and receive the right to defer all property taxes on that residence for a one-time application fee of $60 with an annual renewal (not automatic) fee of $10.  The interest rate charged on the amount deferred is prime minus 2% which is currently 1.5%- there is no cheaper money around.  There are certain prerequisites which must be met, most notable of which is that one of the property owners must be over 55 years of age and there must be at least 25% equity in the home based upon the BC property assessed value.

This process takes some time so it is best to start it as soon as you get your property assessment.  The 25% equity calculation is sometimes tricky as it may include authorized but not drawn down lines of credit and will include a previous bank’s undischarged mortgage amount even though the balance was refinanced.  Therefore, you need to...

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Over the years, clients who are buyers have asked what they might have to do to back out of a deal that perhaps had a "subject to inspection" clause in it or based on some other technicality.  The discussion is probably not as important in a rising market as the seller could probably sell it for a higher price the following month with little in the way of tangible damages.

This all changes as soon as a market starts to approach its peak or perhaps experiences a downward correction. This was the case in the latter part of 2008 when Lehman Brothers in New York started to unravel and the underwritten mortgages which had been parcelled and sold off turned out to be worth a lot less than their face values. The entire market collapsed, and one couple who had negotiated a purchase of a beautiful single family home in Whistler for about $3.6 Million found themselves in a connundrum as the sale of another property of theirs in the US fell through just as others began unravelling.  They didn't...
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Everyone has been disussing possible solutions to the problem of affordability in the Vancouver housing market. Most of proposed solutions have been about increasing density around main transportation corridors, removing foreign buying power and using tax policy to discourage speculation.  I would like to propose a completely different approach whose time has come.

For years every time a new technology has emerged in relation to building construction, I have always heard the same comments from either professional planning staff or architects and engineers. They usually say something like, "it won't happen in our lifetime-good luck with that".  I suggest, that the time has come to open up our real estate and construction markets to new technologies which can drastically reduce costs and delivery times of housing stock.

Here are a few examples of products that involve construction techniques that warrant discussion and adoption:

1.  A 400 sqare foot 3D house is printed in 24 hours...
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Sifting through investment properties is often tedious.  Not every Realtor has access to a strata's bylaws at the very start of his mandate.  Sometimes the documents take time to obtain.  Accordingly, a computer filtered search requesting "rentals, no restrictions, or rentals-some restrictions" may not yield accurately described listings.

Buyers are cautioned to review strata Bylaws themselves in detail and even seek legal advice to avoid these inaccuracies entering into an investment decision.

The recent Court of Appeal case of 
Mathews v. The Owners, Strata Plan VR 90, 2016 BCCA 345  addressed the issue of the clarity and force of law of rental restrictions contained in strata bylaws.

I have been asked in every investment mandate I have had, whether the hardship provisions which may be contained in strata bylaws could be used as a reliable lifeline in the event an investor may need to rent out a unit due to changing circumstances. The answer has now become more...
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From my archive: I sold a sweet 1 BR condo midtown which generated 4 offers in a very short time.   Our initial bid was the lowest one by a very substantial amount; substantial as in the value of a new car....  In the end, we still won!
How is that possible?  

To understand that, you would have to remember the fable about the Sun and the Wind having a bet as to who could best make a man remove his coat. The wind huffed and puffed, but the man held on tighter and tighter.  Then the Sun started to shine and the man removed his coat. And that's about as much of the secret as I will disclose here... except that the process involved bagels, the ones from my previous post; 6 of them is all it took!
My mother never taught me how to make bagels, but she did teach me how to take a chance and make "something from nothing" in the kitchen,  and she would be smiling ear to ear to know that my culinary adventure paid off in real estate matters. It was tough to let...
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Think back to when you were growing up.  Can you remember any of your friends moving? Moving more than once? Moving more than once in a two year period?

Things are different now.  A recent review that I conducted in Richmond over a two year period from 2014-2015 inclusive revealed that out of 160 single family properties described as having lots greater than 7000 sq ft, frontages greater than 60 feet and homes on the land older than 34 years, 42 of them, or around 25% were sold and relisted at least once during that two year period, often within a few months.

Here's the problem.  They are houses. Houses may qualify for the principal residence exemption and therefore afford a tax free gain on the price increase since purchase. If a person bought a property and sold it, they would only be required to file taxes on it by April of the following year.  That is, if they account for the gain at all.  Being that it is a house, its sale is likely to not even be reported. ...

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