My East Van Blog

Fortis BC raising gas rates by 2015

(April 30, 2012)

News coming from Fortis BC this week:  The company is undergoing new billing system.  Currently, different areas in the province pay different rates for natural gas.  The company will be trying to bill all homeowners for the same rate across BC.

What that means for us is that initially there is a slight decrease in our cost today, but in 2015 there will be annual increases of $35-$45 per year. The pro... read more.

The High Cost of Raising a Family in Vancouver

(April 28, 2012)

Recent report by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looks into the real cost of raising a family in Metro Vancouver.  The study looks into the cost of shelter, transportation, childcare, and food.  It does not including buying your own home or retirement planning.

It concludes that for a family of four (2 parents and 2 children) will require at least dual income of $19.14/hour.

According to Liv... read more.

Are You Legally Responsible for Contractors Safety?

(April 25, 2012)

That's right, when you hire one or more contractors to do work in your home, you may be liable for compensation in cases of accidental injury or death!

Under current legislation, as a homeowner hiring a contractor, you automatically become the "prime contractor" and therefore financially responsible if a worker is hurt on the job. Most people just aren't aware of this potentially huge liability. To... read more.

Opening Day at Playland

(April 25, 2012)

That time of year again - Playland opening day will be on April 28, 2012 (10am-6pm).  Local band "These Kids Wear Crowns" and The Beat 94.5 DJ's will be on site for the celebration.  Seniors and children 3 years and under go free.  Playland will run until the end of September.

Just around the corner is an exciting season at Playland that you won’t want to miss out on. Purchase a Playland PlayPass now... read more.

The Danger of Underpricing for Bid Wars

(April 23, 2012)

We've all heard of homes in the Greater Vancouver Area, getting multiple offers and selling for over asking price.  Sometimes this is simply because a desirable home catches the eye of more than one Buyer, and they keep bidding until one offer (the highest) remains and wins the home.

However, sometimes the Seller/Listing Agent strategically "under-prices" the property, with the purpose of attractin... read more.

Canada Keeping Our Rates Low

(April 17, 2012)

During their meet, Bank of Canada announced that they are keeping overnight interest rates unchanged.  What that means is our Prime Rate for mortgages are staying the same.  The central bank has kept our interest rates at the same level since September of 2010.

But it isn't going to stay that way for long. Because economies around the world are doing better, and with inflation getting stronger, the B... read more.

First Time Buyers Helps Hold up the Market

(April 15, 2012)

According to BMO Bank of Montreal, first time home buyers are being drawn into the market by a combination of low interest rates, convenience, and urban living (where homes are close to schools, restaurants, and transit).

Early this year, it was reported 50% of those living in Vancouver are renting. That represents a large segment of the population that is ready to buy up properties if the market... read more.

Underground Oil Tanks

(April 09, 2012)

We got a few questions about underground oil tanks this month, so thought we'd share some info.

Natural gas and electricity is the most common heating source for most homes today. However, not too long ago, heating systems that used oil tanks were predominately used in homes. These oil tanks were usually installed in basements or buried underground. Most are now abandoned and replaced by more moder... read more.

More Laneway Houses on their way

(April 05, 2012)

Vancouver has now issued 500 permits for laneway houses to be built (substantial difference from 2009 when their were none).  These "minihouses" often take the place of where a tradition garage would sit on the lot of your house. 

It really speaks to the trend where the housing market is so high, residents are looking for extra mortgage helpers to maintain their lifestyles. Families are willing to s... read more.

Best New Vancouver Restaurants

(April 01, 2012)

The 15th annual Golden Plate Awards, has Georgia Straight staff members calling 100 local restaurants, chefs, and managers to name the best Vancouver has to offer.  This year, the best 3 new restaurants are:

1.  Hawksworth Restaurant.   801 West Georgia Street.  604-673-7000.  David Hawksworth's contemporary cuisine served in a sophisticated space in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.  http://www.hawksworthres... read more.