TGIF: Commercial real estate and pot!


2019 will be an unprecedented year in Metro Vancouver for commercial and industrial real estate with the office sector leading the pace. The perfect storm combines some of the lowest vacancy rates in north America, record high prices and sustained development. Even though 1.6 million square feet of new offices are currently under development downtown, most of this space is already claimed!

Commercial lenders are however more conservative this year, looking for familiar names with experience in executing projects. They want to efficiently transition from non income supporting portfolios to construction portfolios in record time. Strata pre sales are a key element with repayment on the mortgage at construction stage. Lenders are now looking for higher presale requirements to prove financial viability of the development.

High density residential sites with an often large commercial component continue against all odds to sell at staggering prices. Most recently a 35,580 sq.ft. high rise zoned residential parcel in Burnaby’s Metrotown sold at $43.2 million.

Meanwhile the much anticipated marijuana industry is floundering under conflicting and confusing government regulations and laws. Why not close down the experienced long term successful pot shops in favour of opening new government outlets with insufficient supply? The black market received an unexpected windfall!

Remember if you have a licence to grow marijuana at home, avoid growing it in the house. Because of resulting mould, the banks currently won’t touch financing a home where plants have been/ or are growing. This could change over time, but right now there are no exceptions to the bank rules with regard to growing marijuana.

Meanwhile in our world, we saw more people out viewing our open houses last weekend and making offers on the well priced properties – a good sign. With Chinese New Year around the corner our Asian clients are looking for good fortune this year and shopping for a new home at this propitious time. Always with our umbrellas and advice at the ready we have you covered for all things real estate. Let us help you navigate an interesting market in order to reach your goal.

We are the Generations Real Estate Partners – Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF: Community Art and Real Estate

Port Moody City of the Arts is continuing to live up to its name and growing reputation by welcoming a new resident artist on staff.  Sara Graham is a talented local artist working her magic in multi mediums from drawings to designing sculptures. Over the next number of weeks, there will be brainstorming on how best Sara can bring her artistic lens to the City on projects large and small. It will be exciting to see her work intertwine with civic events.

For lovers of both art and history, Port Moody Museum is the place to go this year – the museum’s 50th year in existence. Their special year kicked off by being highlighted at the start of Port Moody’s Council meeting last Tuesday with a beautiful hand painted cream pitcher dating back to the late 1860’s. This is the first of a display of 50 such artifacts to be featured over 2019, both in the Museum and by digital display at City Hall. The cream pitcher was painted by Port Moody resident, Jane Murray Raymond – after whom Port Moody named two streets – Murray and Jane.  Look on the Port Moody Museum’s website if you are interested in participating in their call for heritage recipes for a cookbook the museum will produce this year.

WHAT WILL HISTORY tell us about the 2019 REAL ESTATE MARKET?  Without that elusive crystal ball, we can only use educated guesswork.  What we do know as of right now is that this is a perfect market for those wanting to move up the real estate ladder to gain more space and possibly a location better suited to their needs. There are choices in every category of home right now from the condo to the large detached home with more new listings continually coming on stream.  The current fear is that you are not going to achieve the same high sale price for your home as you could have in the past 2 hears – however neither is the seller from whom you are buying.  In absolute dollars you are ahead of the game as you are buying a more expensive home where the seller’s “loss” amounts to more money than yours.  And… even with the past raises in mortgage interest rates, history tells us that they are still incredibly low.

First-time buyers too can benefit this year as long as they can qualify for financing with the more stringent bank rules – this qualification must have the paper trail where all the buyers’ documents have been submitted to the mortgage broker / financial institution and the approval returned subject to having an accepted offer on a property.  On line or phone conversations do not equate to the approval necessary for a purchase. Save yourself from disappointment and frustration!

Yes – we are going to experience a reality check in our real estate market in the next little while, but we are part way there.  Sellers are realizing that sitting for 100+ days at an inflated price is non productive, even annoying,  while buyers are beginning to discern between realistic asking prices and the ones dating back to 2016.  With a bit of luck, our stalemate will end soon and we shall have a more balanced market.

Every person’s situation is different and we are happy to sit down with you, listen to your requirements and tailor our advice accordingly. If this timing is good or not so good for you, we’ll be truthful and work on either a current plan or a more long term one for the future. Downsizers cannot start too early to consult with us – lots to think about and prepare.

We have you covered whatever the conditions and shall continue in our tradition of trust and care.

Best wishes from the Generations Real Estate Partners –  Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF: Happy New Year!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Winston Churchill
It is that time of year when best intentions prevail when we vow to be better people, live healthier lives and be at the gym every day by 6AM!  We have to give ourselves a chance and make resolutions that we can reasonably, or with a bit of a stretch, expect to achieve. Can we clearly visualize ourselves doing what we have resolved and believe in the outcome?  This is an attitude adjustment for most of us, but it works – visualization is powerful,  as is persistence, specially when whatever it is starts feeling like a slog.  One well intentioned, well thought out and managed resolution is better than 6 big fanciful wishes.
Our business coach has continued to give us the sound advice of taking something we are doing and “plus oneing” it.  We spend group time thinking “how can we do this better?”. It’s a great question and leads to a creative tweaking process which improves our service, cooperation and overall outcome.  We have taken this home with us and this is the time to tweak aspects of our personal lives – just minor ways to make a major improvement.  This is the amazing time of year when we wake up January 1st with the opportunity to do it all again, but better!  What good fortune. Every day is a gift to be valued and maximized.  We can’t get it back again, so let’s wisely use every minute and enjoy every moment, appreciate our families and friends and have fun at home and work (no matter what we do).  There are hard days for us all when we have to live in our attitude of gratitude and develop an eye for finding silver linings. Life is so much more enjoyable when we can remember.
So….let’s find the courage to move into 2019 with the determination to “plus one” our lives.  Others will love us for it, but most of all we’ll love ourselves. Our team sends all our valued clients, friends and colleagues very best wishes for a healthy, successful and joyful New Year.  We look forward to keeping you and your families covered for another busy year.  May your resolve outlast the year!
-Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray, Shane and our two invaluable assistants, Leah and Sheena.

TGIF: ‘Tis the Season, Last Episode!

 

Only 10 more shopping days for those who like to live dangerously!  Even the grocery store midweek seems to be overcrowded these days.  Possibly we are experiencing the return of online shoppers worried about the mail service.  This is where our small personal service shops come into their own – and all currently with sales and parking outside! Don’t forget the Winter Treasures Artisan Market in Port Moody Arts Centre which is still running until December 23.  This is where to find the unique one off gifts, and support our local artists.

 

As a change from shopping, December 17 & 18 offers a couple of fun, family activities – the most spectacular being the arrival of the Christmas Train.  Winding up its festive journey across Canada, the final stops are in our communities – Dec. 17 is Maple Ridge at 7.45 & Pitt Meadows at 9.30 when the Sam Roberts Band will entertain, as at all stops.  The following evening (18th) the train will arrive in Port Moody at 4.45pm with the final show of the tour being in Port  Coquitlam same night at 6.15pm. Decked out in lights, this CP Holiday Train is raising food and money for local food banks – donations made in Port Moody and Port Coquitlam will stay here with Share Family and Community Services.

 

If your young family wants a quieter, warmer event, head to the Port Moody Library at 6.30pm, December 18. Carol singing, holiday stories and special guests, Pigeon and Santa are the order of the day along with hot chocolate. Food bank donations will also be gladly accepted there.  Between now and New Year’s Eve there are lots of opportunities to skate at Port Moody’s Rec Complex.  Look at their crammed holiday schedule & choose your day/s.

 

And…if the rain has kept you away so far, at the first sign of a dry day, head to Lafarge Lake for the awesome creative light display and a lovely walk round the lake.  For the more intrepid, wear boots and take an umbrella.

 

As far as real estate goes – only serious buyers are out looking at present and, provided that the price is right, they are purchasing.  And.. it is lovely to show those warm, decorated homes as we step in from the cold and rain during this season – something a little magical about candles and switched on fireplaces. Only a week until December 21, the shortest day of the year (and the first day of winter), so remember, it gets better each day after that – we’ll be on the downward slope (maybe Grouse?).

 

Our best life is all about our relationships – family, friends and colleagues.  And this is one of the best parts about the Christmas season – enjoying their company, getting together and celebrating.  Another best part is that this is a season of giving when we believe that we should not resist a generous impulse and we feel better for it. We can never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed -one person can make a difference. So give in to the season, relax and enjoy every moment – perhaps we can make it last all year!

 

Our team is enjoying the season – spending time and thanking those who make our world go round – at home, at the office and out there in our community – our clients and advocates.  It is our special time of gratitude. Thank you all for your loyalty and friendship. No matter the season, we are here to answer your questions and help you move forward – we still have you covered and continue in that long standing tradition of trust and care.

 

Happy shopping, visiting and cooking!
Generations Real Estate Partners:- Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF: Lights, Plays & Plans

By the end of this weekend our cities will be dressed in their finest – Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. Christmas carols will be in the air, and shopping will now be in earnest! This is the time to remember our local businesses and support them whenever we can as they are our handy resource the rest of the year.

One of our local gems is the Evergreen Theatre, supported by a band of cheerful volunteers. We are so fortunate that the Evergreen stages amazing professional shows and plays of all types – ones which we would normally have to commute to see in Vancouver.  I just attended a fabulous professional musical morning as well as over the year seeing the plays from our very own Stage 43.  There is truly something for everyone – worth a visit to their website.  In mid-December during the run of the acclaimed play, ‘Jake’s Gift’, Evergreen Theatre celebrates its 1,000th show. Our congratulations and thanks for bringing us better and better eclectic performances.

Before being entirely absorbed in family and social events, now is the time to plan for 2019. Don’t wait until New Year resolution time – now is the the time to review the past year and make solid plans for the next. A detailed plan is your GPS for 2019, so that can hit the ground running after the holidays. And.. Christmas will be so much more enjoyable, knowing that the plan is in place. We speak from experience and our team is committed to serving our clients even better in 2019.  We are focused on effective, personal service. In footballer Ralph Marston’s words –

“Excellence is not a skill.  It is an attitude.”  Words for us to live by in 2019!

Enjoy all the events, parties, music and warmth of the season.  Know that we are still here to keep you covered.

Best wishes – Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF: ‘Tis The Season!

 

Christmas kicks off with a vengeance in the Tri-Cities this weekend, beginning with the amazing Lafarge Lake Christmas lights being switched on Saturday at 6PM – Metro Vancouver’s largest, free outdoor light display.  The event goes until 8.30PM with live entertainment on 2 stages, food trucks, roving entertainers, buskers, family crafts and the Crystal fire and light show, featuring Cirque du Soleil alumni, theatre actors and opera singers. Best advice – dress warm and dry (specially footwear).

Port Coquitlam’s Leigh Square Community Arts Village will light up with ceremony on Saturday between 1-5PM.

Share Food Bank is top of mind at this time of year and a number of community Christmas events support Share.

Pitt Meadows is hosting a popular one this Sunday (25th) at Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall from 11AM – 4PM – The Local Love Holiday Pop up market – $3 admission.

 Moving forward to next Saturday, December 1, the excitement moves to Port Moody at Rocky Point Park 6pm for Cheer at the Pier when the pier and gazebo will light up, Santa will visit, the holiday mini train will be in action along with carol singers and lots of hot chocolate.  At this event our firefighters are looking for unwrapped toys for their toy drive.

Christmas shoppers at Coquitlam Centre can once more look forward to having their gifts wrapped between December 1 and 24th.  All proceeds to Share.

The most spectacular Food Bank event is the CP Christmas train which will once more make entertaining stops at Port Moody (behind the Rec. Centre) and Port Coquitlam (West Coast Express Station) December 18 – 5.20PM and 7PM respectively. Really fun for the whole family.

Watch out for more upcoming festive events – we are a busy, fun-loving community with lots going on!

Meanwhile we realtors look forward to showing those dressed up, lit up homes at this time of year – it’s a little magical!  Why not share your Christmas lights and decor with us  on our Facebook page?

Let’s get in the real spirit, and  remember those who need our help specially in this season, which is not happy for everyone. There are lots of great ways we can lend a hand with volunteering, supporting our local food bank, sharing Christmas hampers, shoe boxes etc.  Every little helps and yes – one person can make a difference!

Making a difference is always our goal whether at work or at play. When it comes to real estate, we keep you covered even in the festive season!  See you at one of our many community events

Generations Real Estate Partners – Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane

TGIF – Together, let’s help others to stay covered!

While we are writing our Christmas greetings, arranging our family gatherings, booking our social calendar and Christmas shopping, there are many folk close by who are wondering how they are going to weather the cold and wet outside and where their next meal is coming from. We can help – the 24th annual Realtors Care Blanket drive is underway. Since its inception, we have helped more than 34,500 people in our communities stay warm and dry.

We would really appreciate your help in donating:-

Gently used or new blankets or sleeping bags
Warm clothing – coats, jackets,hats, gloves,scarves
New socks & underwear
Plastic ponchos & warm rain gear

All of this can be dropped at our RE/MAX Sabre office at Westwood & Lougheed, (by the popular Signature liquor store!) or if you need help getting it to us, please call our team office – 604-936-7653 and we’ll arrange for it to be picked up. Many thanks in advance!

On the real estate front, remember that listing your home for sale in time for the festive season is not the bad idea you have been led to believe. For the first time this year, we currently have a diminishing inventory as sellers remove their homes from the market over Christmas and others wait until Spring. The buyers who are out there looking between now and New Year are serious; otherwise they too would be home by the fire! There will be less traffic through your home, but we are dealing with purposeful, real buyers. And…it is transfer time! Right priced homes are currently selling. Feel free to test us out on this one – we have the Christmas experience to prove the point!

We always keep you covered, even in the cold, rainy season – let’s together help others to stay covered!

We remain your Generations Real Estate Partners –
Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

TGIF Lest We Forget

At the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, John McCrae, (a Canadian) wrote the following words as a tribute to the dead:-

“We are the dead: Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders Fields!”

Excerpt from the now well known and repeated poem “In Flanders Fields” written as a heartfelt tribute to John McCrea’s fallen friend and former student. This poem has now become our annual reminder to honour those brave men and women who sacrificed themselves to secure our peace and freedom.

Along with the iconic poppy!  Poppies have been on sale since the last Friday of October and all funds raised go directly to veterans and their families, to the Legion Foundation, to special programs for veterans with physical needs, PTSD care & research and veterans care homes and bursaries.  So.. aside from being the visual tribute, they also contribute to our veterans in a real way.

On Sunday our cities all have services, parades and celebrations honouring our veterans of all ages from all wars.  An unusual event is taking place at the Port Moody Museum at 7pm when School District 43 principal, John Goheen will talk about the Battle of  Passchendaele followed by an 8pm candlelight vigil. Gabriola author and playwright, Charlotte Cameron will read from one of her books during the vigil.

Dozens of red poppies have been sprayed onto the lawn surrounding Coquitlam’s cenotaph on Veterans Way where the traditional 11am Remembrance Day service will take place followed by day long music from Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, Bruce James Orchestra and Vancouver Naval Veterans Band. Poppies courtesy of ‘Park Spark Team’ with community volunteers. The many yellow ribbons each carry a message of remembrance.

Port Coquitlam too has day long celebrations following the 11am ceremony at the cenotaph at City Hall on Wilson. Included are the Golden Spike Can Can Dancers, Eire Born Irish Dancers & Retro Sonic Band.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month Port Moody historically has a community crowd 5000 strong on the street and it is growing consistently. This year’s parade, ceremony and reception is at Kyle Centre with the traditional 21 gun cannon salute performed by the Seymour Artillery – the Port Moody branch the only Legion left in Canada to still present the salute. The SFU Pipe and Drum Band are celebrating their 40th anniversary of attendance.

This year as we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, we feel gratitude for our freedom and for those who paid the ultimate price. We also feel tremendous gratitude to those men and women serving today in pursuit of justice and freedom for all.

Finally, thanks to all in our cities who work to keep the memories of war and our veterans alive so that we can appreciate our democracy. Let’s wear our poppies with pride.

“Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields”

With thanks, the Generations Real Estate Partners team.

The Port Moody Poppy Mosaic’ Port Moody’s Poppy Mosaic was created under the direction of Evelia Espinosa, by the students and instructors of Evelia Espinosa Art Studio in Port Moody. This special art piece, currently on display in the gallery at City Hall, was designed as a unique commemorative display for Veterans Week 2018’.

TGIF: Thank You For The Recognition As An A-Listed Real Estate Team!

It was an honour to once again be recognized as an A-Listed Real Estate Team!

Thanks to our community, clients, family, friends, RE/MAX, the Tri-City News and fellow local businesses for your ongoing support. It’s our pleasure to keep you covered in all things Real Estate.

With thanks, from the Generations Real Estate Partners team.

TGIF – Happy Hallowe’en

Only a few days until we reach that spooky evening when we can’t recognise the neighborhood children as they knock on our doors tricking and treating.  Hallowe’en is observed in similar ways in many countries, though we are winners in the field of pumpkins!

For the past month the Ayers family have been busy preparing the best haunted house in the TriCities – for the 19th time!  Their scary place at 443 Draycott will be bigger and better than ever this year and as always, the Ayers are raising funds for ‘Variety – the children’s charity’.  This year’s goal of $10,000 might seem frightening until you realise that over the past 18 years they have raised $96,420 from scaring kids!!  Their Hallowe’en haunted house opened October 20 and is running from 6.30 – 9 pm nightly until Hallowe’en is over.  Always better to be scared out of your wits for a good cause!!

Now for what spooks us out – suddenly having our emails to a familiar client go undelivered. So please include us in your notice of change of email address – otherwise you will miss out on invitations, regular statistical market reports etc.

Another spooky aspect of the real estate market right now is the waiting game many buyers and sellers are playing.  Buyers believe that real estate prices will continue to slide and sellers believe that they will bounce back up!  Clearly they can’t both be right, so we have to focus on what we know at present – it is dangerous predicting the future.  For the move up buyers, this is your market – while the percentage of price decline might be the same, the actual cash involved makes the differential so much less than in a rising market.  So…if your family has outgrown your home, this is the time to consider a move up.

Hoping for a dry, safe  Hallowe’en for all our young tricksters and of course our walking parents!  As always, we have you covered for another season, rain or shine.

We remain your real ghost busters – Generations Real Estate Partners – Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane.

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