With Spring Break and Summer vacation in sight, you might be dreaming of escape to other climates. While your Vancouver home is where your heart is, vacation is a good way to rest and recharge so you can tackle that To Do List with a fresh, clear mind. Whether it’s prepping your Eastside house or Westside condo for the spring real estate market, or unpacking those last few boxes into your new home; a little holiday could be just the thing. But first, choosing the right destination can make or break your next family vacation.
It might not even be a resort! Be it a campground, all-inclusive, or Air BnB, choose your vacation ‘home’ carefully. It’s not just you (and your partner) anymore! Paying that little extra for a 1- or 2-bedroom suite so you and the kids --or grandparents!-- have your own sleeping areas is well worth the money to ensure everyone is well-rested for the days ahead. Whether you’ve got children, teens, or seniors along, researching ahead of time what amenities your hotel has for those age groups or are in the vicinity will save you wasting precious vacation time later.
If an all-inclusive sounds like heaven to you, keep in mind that you’ll want to keep your options open. While it’s fine to simply sit by the pool day in-and-out, the others in your group might not feel the same. There’s plenty of fun to be had beyond the hotel wall: do a little leg-work on what’s available for sightseeing around the property. Most destinations have kid-friendly parks, and make sure there’s something for adults, too! Choosing a vacation that’s solely for one age-group won’t be much fun for everyone.
Choosing your perfect family vacation spot can be as simple as picking one with a direct flight. Long travel days wear on everyone; little ones to unaccustomed adults alike. Also, by choosing a home-away-from-home that’s central to all the things you want to do, you’ll save on the hassle of transporting multiple people--and the possibility of meltdowns. Keeping your expectations low and daily To See list short are also key.
BE FLEXIBLE. Over the years as airport and border security have tightened with more stringent rules and international destinations come with a whole new set of tricky obstacles to maneuver, it’s become key to plan ahead. However, unexpected things will crop up. Also, take into account traveling with more people automatically means things will take more time and it’s important to keep that in mind. Sometimes, it’s best to just go with the flow, keep your cool, and everyone will have a better time for it! Remember the cardinal rule of travel: it’s supposed to be fun.
February 2017 saw the lowest number of new listings registered for the month since 2003, and the sales were 7.7% below the 10-year average.
However, “While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today’s demand. This is why we’ve seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets,” said Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president.
The numbers are being attributed to limited supply and the unexpected and prolonged snowy weather. Residential home sales totalled 2,425; a 41.9% decrease from February 2016 but a whopping 59.2% increase from January 2017.
New Listings (detached, attached, and apartment): 3,666
36.9% decrease from February 2016
11.4% decrease from January 2017
Total Active listings on MLS®: 7,594
4.0% increase from February 2016
4.9% increase from January 2017
Sales-to-Active Listings Ratio: 31.9%
Benchmark price for all residential properties: $906,700
1.2% decrease from January 2017
Benchmark price for a detached property is $1,474,200
6.5% decline over the past 6 months
0% change from January 2017
Detached property sales totaled 745
58.1% decrease from February 2016
Benchmark price for an apartment property is $526,300
2.3% increase over the past 6 month
2.7% increase from January 2017
Apartment property sales totaled 1,275
28.8% decrease from February 2016
Benchmark price for an attached unit is $675,500
0.3% decrease over the past 6 months
1.3% increase from January 2017
Attached property sales totaled 404
33.1% decrease from February 2016
*REBGV Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
Forget Canada Day and the 4th of July; if there’s one National ‘holiday’ that’s gone international, it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Despite its Irish Catholic origins, the deeper meaning behind March 17th festivities has given way to a reason to let loose and party like the Irish. So in celebration of all things Celtic, here’s a list of the Top 5 things to do around Vancouver for St. Patrick’s Day.
Vancouver isn’t short on good watering holes, and when it comes to Irish pubs, we have a few of the best on the West Coast. So in keeping with tradition, raise a pint to St. Patty at one of these fine establishments:
Doolin’s Irish Pub (654 Nelson St) features live music.
The Irish Heather (210 Carrall St) is a Gastown landmark and also has a Whiskey bar
Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub (1601 Main St) will have an all-day St. Patty’s day party with live music and Irish dancers
Mahony & Sons Pub for a good Irish time, choose from its 3 locations.
Just like their poster promises, be the first person at The Blarney Stone for the big day by spending St. Patrick’s Day Eve partying with live music and a balloon drop at midnight. Then, join their St. Patrick’s Day Festival from 9am - 3am, March 17th. The Blarney Stone will be serving up fun for the whole family. Live music, face painters, entertainment and Irish inspired food.
For something a little different, forgo the drinks in favour of entertaining stage plays--with an Irish twist. Catch the darkly comic Almost a Stepmom at the Havana Theater and Belfast Girls at the Cultch as part of Celtic Fest.
This annual tradition brings East and West Vancouver together with various celebrations going on around town. From pub crawls to plays, and a Celtic Village in Robson Square Friday the 17th - Saturday the 18th, check the official CelticFest website for a complete schedule of the 9-day event and to get your tickets.
It’s not too late to sign up for the BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K Saturday, March 18th. Save your drinking plans for a toast post-race and feel good about those extra pints you plan to have!
Cheers! Or as the Irish say, Slainté!
It seems winter just doesn’t want to quit this year! As the colder weather persists in Vancouver, so does the drain on your wallet as we use more electricity to heat our homes. Looking for ways to offset your climbing heating bills?
If you’re thinking of listing your Vancouver house for sale, then we’ve rounded up our top tips to curb your electricity usage and prevent you from pouring more money into it while you wait to sell.
Keep window coverings closed to avoid heat-loss through windows. Conversely, when the sun decides to arrive for the season, this will keep indoor temperatures regulated and reduce your need for an air conditioner! Storm doors will do the same for doors.
Invest in a little weather-stripping, or a lot in proper insulation. Both will help prevent heat-loss and high energy bills.
Consider replacing your bulbs with LEDs, which use approximately 90% less energy than incandescents. Don’t forget, nightlights count! The high cost of LED lightbulbs can be a deterrent, but long-term they will save you money. Another trick is to install dimmer switches. That way, you’ll only use the amount of light you need.
Stock your fridge and freezer well; food acts as insulation so your refrigerator doesn’t have to work so hard. Also, only store covered food and dishes that have already cooled off so your fridge doesn’t have to do double-duty.
You know all those TVs and accessories, kitchen appliances and computers that glow with the time and other settings? They’re draining your electricity. Consider plugging them into a power strip, then switch it off between uses.
Other ways to stop the drain is to turn off the “Heated Dry” on your dishwasher, only do dish and laundry loads when you have a full load, and always wash laundry on cold. Also, check when your off-peak hours are and only run appliances then for cheaper electric rates.
Insulate it well and drain it twice per year of sediment to keep it running at top efficiency. If you install a water heater timer so the tank only runs when you need it most, you have the opportunity to see a 5 - 12% reduction in your hot water heater’s energy costs.
If you’ve just bought your dream house on Vancouver’s Westside or are calling the East Side home now, these money-saving tactics will also help you ease into homeowner bliss!
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.