We do live in the North, and that means Vancouver homeowners need to take a few steps to ensure their dwellings are secure for winter. Weatherproofing isn’t just for areas laden with snow, the cold weather alone and incessant rain that hails with the winter months can wreak havoc on your home. Whether you’re gearing up to sell your house, or just purchased a property in Vancouver, here are a few things that will help a clean home inspection and keep you cozy all winter long.

Protect Your Patio & Potted Plants

Start by storing patio cushioning, and either cover furniture well to prevent rust and weathering, or move it inside -- along with your potted plants. Keep your greens as close to warmer outside temperatures as possible at first to prevent them from going into shock.


It’s good to blow out your outdoor pipes and turn off the water for winter months to prevent ice from forming and potential bursting. Insulating your pipes and hot water tank as an added layer of protection can also save you on energy bills. Drain hoses and store them indoors as well to keep them in pristine condition. Remove all debris from gutters to prevent water build-up and keep melting snow on the move. When it does snow, watch out for ice dams on the roof that can cause water back-ups, which can then leak behind siding and cause serious damage to your walls.

Don’t Crack Under Pressure

Either hire a professional or do a walk-through of your property to ensure all windows, doors, and roof openings such as skylights have weather stripping that’s intact. Break out the caulking or invest in new stripping and insulation so no crack in the foundation or walls is left untended; this can lead to heat loss and high energy bills. Windows especially can be a huge source of heat loss. Simple window coverings can do the trick, or consider a low-emissivity coating to reflect UV rays and save energy.

Fireplace & Furnace Maintenance

If you’ve got a traditional wood-burning fireplace, check to ensure your wood rack isn’t warped, which can prevent oxygen from getting underneath. Have a professional check your fireplace every year, whether it’s old school or gas. Clean chimneys help prevent smoke from circulating inside your home instead of out, and it’s always a safe bet to keep gas in check.

Pinterest Your Way to Cozy

Keep the inevitable slush, dirt and debris at bay with a boot tray at the entrance filled with polished river rock for pretty yet effective drainage. And don’t underestimate the power of a few rugs over hardwood and additional throws on the couch for both added heat, and pops of colour on dreary winter days.


Got any more winterizing ideas for your Vancouver home? Share with us on Facebook!


In today’s hot Vancouver real estate market, you need to do everything you can to keep on top of the game, and that includes getting into the spirit of the holidays. In this case: All Hallow’s Eve. Come Monday, October 31st, there will most likely be a line-up of pint-sized characters on your stoop, and the adults with them might just be home buyers in disguise.

Why Decorate?

Keeping your home neat and tidy, inside and out, is just one part of making it market ready. Going the extra step to stage the inside and manicure the outside will be the key factor in getting the asking price of your dreams, and in some case, way beyond them. Staging your home like a professional haunted house may not be necessary, but adding a few tasteful details that scream Halloween to your welcoming front stoop and yard could make a difference. It shows you care for your home, and it will make others want to do the same. Potentially hundreds of people will be walking by your home on Halloween, why not give it the best curb appeal you possibly can?

Ideas for Decorating

Check out our post on Fall Decor Ideas, then hit up Pinterest for tasteful takes on Halloween decorating! Another good place to source ideas is the talented people at HGTV Canada. Search their Decorating database for a number of elegantly spooky ways to make your home just the right amount of festive for walkthroughs and curb appeal. If you’re selling, keep in mind to keep it simple! You don’t want to be dealing with decorations if it came down to a quick sell.

Host an Open (Haunted) House

You’re going to have trick-or-treaters and their guardians knocking on the door anyway, why not invite them in for a walkthrough that includes free candy and an ‘in’ to the conversation? Make your take-away pieces halloween-themed and they’ll stand out from the pile for sure. And remember: don’t skimp on the treats.

What’s your top tip for keeping Halloween decor classy? Share with us on Facebook and have a Happy Halloween!

Image Credit: Better Homes and Gardens




A few evenings ago, a good client of mine indicated that her search to buy a Vancouver home was (on advice of her friends and family) going to be put on hold until Spring 2017. She wants to wait until prices soften and then will buy in the Spring when prices bottom out! I chuckled to myself when i heard this reasoning and also of where the so called expert advice came from. I guess her friends and family know something I and the experts don't know.


I told her that no one knows which way the market is going to trend moving forward. That so-called crystal ball is something we all wish we had but instead we have to make decisions based on what our intuition tells us to do. We always say, “Buy and sell when it's right for you based on your personal circumstances. Forget trying to time the market. If you’re buying you should have a minimum 5-year horizon so short term swings in the market should not matter."


Since the recent market stats came out this week showing August sales off from July I have been inundated with calls from homeowners and potential buyers wanting my advice on what to do. I will start by a very simple analysis of general economic conditions here in the lower mainland stated in Layman terms. Nothing too complicated.


General Economic Conditions In The Lower Mainland

The overall economy here in BC and the lower mainland remains robust. We have low unemployment, and general business conditions are in great shape. You go downtown on most evenings and restaurants are busy. People are spending money. Interest rates are rock bottom and will likely stay down for quite some time. This is not 2008 when businesses were closing, banks were not lending and the economy came to a stand still.


Our real estate market has cooled and I think it has been caused by so much negative news media stating the market was either going to crash or cool down. When enough people hear this negative news the negativity feeds on itself and eventually changes the sentiment. The clincher that really cooled the market was the 15% tax to foreigners. This scared the entire market taking buyers off the streets and also causing many sellers to de-list their properties.


Here is what I am telling everyone and its just my opinion: 


If You're A Home Buyer In The Lower Mainland

If you are a Buyer and looking to step into the market this is a great time to buy. Buy now! This is the first time in maybe two years where you may not end up in a bidding war forced to make a subject free offer! This is finally a sane time to buy. Why would you wait on advice of your friends and parents to buy in the Spring! By Spring 2017 we may see market conditions swing again in the direction of a Seller’s market. When the market is out of favour its time to buy. Be a contrarian. With interest rates at record lows this is a real opportunity.


If You're A Home Seller In The Lower Mainland

If you are a Seller, I am advising those homeowners that have to sell to list in mid September. The rest should wait until the market stabilizes and market sentiment becomes more positive. It does not make sense to list your home when buyers are negative. A seller should stay on the sidelines until possibly late October or maybe even early 2017. Now, if you’re selling and then buying in the same market and location then its probably fine to go ahead and move forward sooner rather than later.


If you consider the big picture in Vancouver you like so many will feel that long term prices should stay at or near current levels. Vancouver is consistently regarded as of the most desirable cities to live in globally. Vancouver has one of the easiest climates to live in. Never too hot or too cold. Vancouver has limited land so we cannot have urban sprawl. The city is so called, landlocked. As more people migrate here the population increase will continue to put upward pressure on price. This new 15% tax to foreigners will cause some to buy elsewhere but for the super wealthy and there are many, this added cost will simply be the price to pay if you want to live in a great city. Safe, clean and far removed from the chaos of what is going on in so many other regions of the globe.


Just my opinion so we’ll see how this all plays out.

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