As you know the lending policy has changed a lot in the last two years.  One of the most challenging changes is how they calculate rental income . For all big banks the maximum  you can use is 50%  of the rental income can be added to gross income. For example if you make $1000/mo income from a property, you can add $6000 to increase your annual income. This makes it harder to qualify for larger mortgages.


Here’s the good news!


Here are some key points to know:

  1. High ratio owner occupied subject property with basement suite legal/non-legal – there are insurers that will allow 100% add back to income
  2. No subject properties whether high ratio or not can be qualified using rental worksheets or a rental offset depending on the lenders.
  3. Subject Rental property can use rental worksheet or offset depending on the lender.


This is great news for your clients buying property with an income suite or those clients moving up and converting their insured owner occupied homes into an income property.


Qualifying using these programs has significant effect on the amount of mortgage we can qualify our customers for.


Who do you know who is already invested in real estate and wants to expand their portfolio? Who do you know who owns their own home and wants to start a rental portfolio? Are they having trouble getting qualified?


For more information and to apply online please visit

Till next time...

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On February 26, 2014 everyone is encouraged to wear something PINK to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere. We wish we could take credit for this idea but it comes from two incredible Nova Scotia high school students. Here is a snippet of the Globe & Mail article which inspired me:


David Shepherd and Travis Price

“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied [for wearing a pink shirt]…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.

‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’

So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag.

As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled.

The bullies were never heard from again.”


Will you join in by wearing pink on February 26th?


Till next time ...


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I have listed a new property at 8686 HARVIE RD in Surrey.
Honey Stop The Car! Situated in peaceful Port Kell's this Cozy,Comfortable,Colonial Style home boasts many wonderful features from location to privacy this hidden oasis allows you live in the country yet close to freeway access and shopping. Features include well maintained home in the country formal living, dining, great room office/den with pine softwood throughout the main, pella windows with pine trim, updated spacious kitchen featuring, qaurtez counter tops, 6 burner gas range, updated main bathroom with soaker tub and large shower, amazing 2 storey workshop insulated/drywalled and heated workshop, hot tub great home to raise a family or retire. Its all about community! Must book an appointment. We would love to work with you
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Effective for registrations on and after February 19, 2014 the Property Transfer Tax exemption threshold under the First Time Home Buyers’ Program is increased to $475,000 from $425,000, with the partial exemption/phase out applying between $475,000 and $500,000.


Government information online has already been updated:


The government estimates that approximately 1,700 first-time buyers will benefit this year, saving an average of $4,000 at a cost to government estimated at $8 million. According to BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir, who was in the budget lockup today, Minister de Jong stated that this tax measure is a “start” and a “beginning” of relief to the PTT. PTT revenue is forecast to decline 10.6% in 2014/2015, before increasing at 1.2% in each of the following years.


Fiscal year

Forecast PTT revenue


$899 million


$804 million


$820 million


$834 million


Home Owner Grant

For the 2014 tax year, the Home Owner Grant threshold for phase out will be decreased from $1,295,000 to $1,100,000. For properties valued above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of the threshold. The threshold captures at least 93.8% of homeowners as opposed to 95% previously. The measure is estimated to provide an additional $11 million in revenue.


And these are Cameron’s other observations on the budget:


The BC government’s “Balanced Budget 2014” is both fiscally conservative and surplus oriented. In addition to a conservative economic growth forecast (2% in 2014, 2.3% in 2015 and 2.5% in 2016), the projected surplus (see table below) is cushioned by a doubling of the forecast allowance, after falling to just $100 million in 2013/2014.


Fiscal year

Forecast surplus


$175 million


$184 million


$206 million


$451 million


The budget also incorporates expense contingencies of $300 million, $400 million and $575 million over the next three years. After climbing to 18.5% (Ontario=37.4%/Canada=33%), the ratio of debt-to-GDP in the province is forecast to decline to 17.8% over the three-year fiscal plan.


Other tax measures include:

  • Increasing tobacco tax by 32 cents per pack, raising an estimated $50 million (Note: Federal government raised tobacco taxes by 40 cents per pack at last budget).
  • New Early Childhood Tax Benefit of $55 per month per child under six years of age effective Apr. 1, 2015.
  • Extend BC mining flow-through share tax credit, Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Phase out corporate income tax preference for credit unions, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Extend Distant Location Tax Credit to Capital Regional District, Feb. 19,v2014.
  • Extend Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit, Sep. 1, 2014.
  • Increase Medical Services Plan premiums and enhance premium assistance, Jan. 1, 2015.

Full budget information available online:


Till next time ...


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2014 Real Estate Investment Trends to Watch in Canada


Here is a list of some real estate trends that are revealed, according to Canadian Real Estate Magazine online:

- Solid fundamentals will continue to characterize Canada's real estate market, buoyed by what is anticipated to be a period of moderately stronger economic expansion.

- Property values will continue to range close to the peak, supported by robust investment demand and low interest rates.

- Income performance will remain positive over the near term as rental markets in all sectors post solid occupancy levels, positive demand trends, and stable or modest increases on 2013 rental rate averages.

- Capital flows into Canada's property investment sector will remain robust over the near term, boosted by the eventual return of capital market buyers (i.e. REITs and Real Estate Operating Companies).

- Construction activity will rise significantly over the next few years in the industrial and office sectors, with developers hoping a stronger economy will see these properties leased quickly. The ongoing delivery of new supply in the nation's major downtown office nodes could lead to increased vacancy and downward pressure on rents, if demand fails to keep pace over the next few years.

- The arrival of U.S. retailer Target will continue to impact the retail sector, as the discounting sector adjusts to new competition.

- The broader retail sector will continue to adjust to changing shopping channels, formats and consumer preferences.

- The multi-family residential real estate sector will continue to stabilize, as rental buildings remain largely full. However, competition from the rental condominium market will be monitored closely by landlords in the purpose-built market segment.


You can read the entire post here.


Till next time ...

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Muted Impact Expected From Cancelled Investor Immigrant Program


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,244 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, up 24.5 per cent from January 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $2.4 billion, an increase of 36.8 per cent compared to a year ago.  The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $565,036, up 9.9 per cent from the same period last year.


"Residential sales activity in the province posted the strongest January since 2010,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Consumer demand has recovered from last year’s lower levels and is now trending at the long-term average.” The ten-year average for January is 4,276 unit sales.


"Stronger economic conditions are expected to underpin a modest uptick in home sales later this year,” added Muir.


The demise of the federal Immigrant Investor Program is expected to have little impact on the Metro Vancouver housing market. “The only impact we foresee is less pressure on the inventory of detached homes in Vancouver’s West Side, Richmond and West Vancouver,” said Muir.


The number of investor immigrant landings peaked at 5,876 in 2008 before declining to just 2,644 in 2012, with a similar number expected for 2013. These numbers include spouses and dependents. The total number of added households is estimated to be between 900 and 1,000 per year since 2011.

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In its recently tabled budget, the Federal Government effectively cancelled a program, the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), which afforded wealthy prospective immigrants access to fast-tracked immigration.  The program, which began in 1995, allowed immigrants with $1.6 million or more in assets (the amount was increased from $800,000 in 2010) to make an interest free loan to the Canadian government of $800,000 for a period of 5 years in return for Canadian citizenship. At the end of the five-year term, the principal of the loan was returned. 

The IIP was a popular avenue for those with significant wealth to immigrate to Canada. An average of 7,100 people entered through the program each year from 1995 to 2012. Traditionally British Columbia has been a popular final destination, with an average of 3,300 immigrants locating in BC since the program’s inception. That number peaked from 2008 to 2010 at approximately 5,650 but slowed to just 2,600 in 2012 as new applications were halted while the Federal Government determined the future of the IIP.


It is important to note that these numbers include all members of the household, and so to get a more accurate estimate of the number of new household formations, it is common to divide the total number by the average immigrant household size.   Therefore, we estimate that an average of 1,200 households per year located in BC through the IIP from 1995 to 2012, with that number climbing to 2,100 during the peak years of 2008 to 2010 and falling off to 1,430 in 2011 and just 979 in 2012. Data available for 2013 indicates a similar number of immigrants through the IIP as in 2012.


The impact of the IIP on the economy and the housing market of British Columbia as a whole is relatively insignificant.  At its peak, immigration through the IIP represented only 13 per cent of total immigration to BC, and most years it has been less than 10 per cent. That said, the impact of 1,200 to 2,100 new millionaire households settling each year in select Vancouver neighborhoods has likely been a factor in rising single-family home prices in those areas, though far from the most important factor.  If there is any impact from the Government’s decision, we anticipate it will be contained to the very high-end of the real estate market. Notably, we have not observed an uptick in inventories in those areas most impacted by the IIP, even as immigration through the program has dropped by half.


For more information, please contact: 

Cameron Muir

Chief Economist

Direct: 604.742.2780604.742.2780

Mobile: 778.229.1884778.229.1884




Brendon Ogmundson


Direct: 604.742.2796604.742.2796

Mobile: 604.505.6793604.505.6793


Till next time ...

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You’ve probably heard that Canada Post raised postage rates in January. Although they’re accepting the previous 65 cent rate for standard first-class letters until the end of March, standard first-class letter postage is set to increase 22 cents—if you purchase your stamps in a booklet or coil—and increase 35 cents if you purchase an individual stamp.


Canada Post is in the midst of a major overhaul. What are the changes and how will they impact you?


Since you’re a valuable member of my Client Appreciation Program, I’m attaching a guide to help you understand the changes, including the postage hikes and the phase out of door-to-door delivery in urban areas. It also includes tips to help you save money when mailing packages.


These changes will impact all Canadians. Share this information with family and friends to keep them up-to-date as well.






 Oh, by the way … if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me (604.832.8229) with their name and business number.  I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

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Some homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). Here are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five of our reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO.

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 92% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3.  Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000.   This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.


When you are ready to sell (or buy) I'd love to walk you easily through the steps of getting you into your dream home!  Because YOU Deserve the BEST!


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BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) Chief Economist Cameron Muir discusses the December 2013 statistics.



For more information on this report please contact:


Cameron Muir
Chief Economist
604.742.2780 or


Brendon Ogmundson


Till next time ...


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Canadian Real Estate Magazine reports on the latest development of the micro-condo units:



One of the country’s leading realtor and developers has criticized the big five for not providing lending for micro-condos.


The Big Five do not know what they doing when it comes to the micro-condo market. That is the view of outspoken developer and real estate agent, Brad J. Lamb, as he slates the lenders for not tapping into this growing and lucrative market.


“They are greatly mistaken and poorly informed of where they should be putting their money,” he tells CREW. ““The funny thing is that they are prepared to lend money on the products that take the longest to sell and hardest to sell yet the properties that rent instantaneously and sell instantaneously are the ones that the most people can afford.”


Lamb says the demand for micro-condos – the units that range between 350 and 400 sq. ft. – is “unlimited” in downtown urban centres, with young professionals craving these compact spaces. “If I put such a property to rent, averaging between $1,200 and $1,500 a month, it is rented in two to three days with a line of people waiting for it.”


The full interview with Brad J. Lamb will be in the April issue of Canadian Real Estate Wealth.


Till next time ...


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