My East Van Blog

Can You Afford a Mortgage Rate Hike?

(March 28, 2012)

A BMO Bank of Montreal survey found that in Vancouver, only 48% said they could still afford their home if rates went up by 2%.  What about you?

John Andrew, real estate professor at Queen’s University commented, “It’s alarming because we’re only talking about a 2% increase here, and it shows how borrowers have become acclimatized to low interest rates."

In Vancouver, new mortgages average from $500... read more.

Choosing House or Kids?

(March 24, 2012)

UBC Public Policy Professor Paul Kershaw refers to people under 45 as the "squeeze generation." He argues they're having to do more with less, which limits the number of kids couples can have.

Kershaw says young couples who want to have kids can't afford it because they're paying 150 per cent more for housing than the previous generation.

"Our country's and our province's failure to use policy to a... read more.

Camping out to Buy Marine Gateway

(March 22, 2012)

That's right, some buyers camped out for 2 days just for a chance to buy a condo in the new Marine Gateway project.  The sales started on a Saturday morning at 9am, and in 4 hours, 415 were sold.

The project is not just residential condos. Marine Gateway consists of retail space - of the 29 storey and 38 storey towers, 6 floors will be supermarkets, movie theatres, retail stores, restaurants, and ba... read more.

$10,000 Bonus for 1st Time Home Buyers

(March 19, 2012)

A new $10,000 bonus, in the form of an one-time refundable personal tax credit, is being introduced by the government this spring.  The bonus is equal to 5% of the purchase price of a home, up to the maximum of $10,000.

The bonus will be sent to the purchaser(s) by cheque after home is purchased. Banks are already setting up financing options for people to utilize the bonus as part of their downpaym... read more.

Welcome to Mortgage Wars

(March 14, 2012)

In January, BMO announced a special, time-limited five-year fixed rate of 2.99% that included some restrictions on the term, a maximum 25-year amortization and pre-payment options.  The other major Canadian banks followed suit, but when BMO pulled the promotion early, the other banks hit the cancel button as well.

This week, in what many called a bombshell, BMO re-introduced the five-year, 2.99% of... read more.

2.99% Mortgages are Back

(March 11, 2012)

Those who have been following the recent mortgage rates saw that back in January of this year, the Banks were offering a historically low 2.99% fixed mortgage rate (for 3-5 year terms).  The offer was for a very limited time, and many missed out on getting that rate. 

Well don't worry, the 2.99% for 5 years is back again. In addition, some Banks are now offering 3.99% for 10 years! These fixed rates... read more.

Top 10 Things to do for Kids during Spring Break

(March 07, 2012)

Inside Vancouver has recently posted their top 10 picks for kids friendly activities for spring break.  Need some ideas, look into these:

Spring Break for kids in Vancouver schools runs from March 19 – 23, 2012 (though some schools are off before/after those dates). Which means many parents will be scrambling to find fun activities to do with the kids—and get them out of the house!

Luckily, Vancouver... read more.

Power Smart Homes

(March 05, 2012)

Buying an energy-efficient home is one of the best ways to maximize your home budget," says Doug Overholt, representative for BC Hydro's Power Smart New Home program. "If you save on expenses, you can afford more mortgage. But many new homes are not built with energy efficiency in mind - so looking for the EnerGuide label is wise."

  1. Mortgage insurance: Power Smart New Homes qualify for a 10% refund... read more.

Fighting the 2.5% Property Tax Increase

(March 02, 2012)

Vancouver's Fair Tax Coalition has started their campaign to try and convince city council to cancel its planned 2.5% property tax increase, and its 7.9% utility tax increase.

Article from

Until the city finds every last cent of efficiencies, it is wrong to saddle taxpayers with another property tax increase, said coalition member Ed des Roches.

“From a taxpayer point of view, we fe... read more.