PROPERTY TAX REMINDER

tax

It’s everyone’s least favourite time of year – property taxes are due! For property owners, you should have already been mailed your property tax notices. In BC, there is a $570 grant available for property taxes if the property you are paying taxes on is your principal residence.

 There are two categories for grants: 

  1. Basic (principal residence) grant of $570
  2. Additional/Seniors grant to a maximum of $845

To claim your grant, you must have your FOLIO NUMBER and ACCESS CODE. These are provided on your property tax statement.

Claim your Home Owners Grant Online: 
Vancouver  |  Burnaby  |  Richmond  |  Surrey  |  North Vancouver  |  West Vancouver
New Westminster  |  Coquitlam  |  Delta  |  Langley  |  Maple Ridge  |  Pitt Meadows
Port Moody  |  White Rock  |  Kelowna

Once you claim your grant, you can then pay the reduced property tax amount online or at any bank.

Chris Lambert | 604.340.6457 | chris@chrislambert.ca

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Buyer Preparation Part 5: Final Steps

Buyer Prep Series

Introduction

Insufficient buyer preparation when searching for a property is a recipe for disaster. If you fail to prepare, the process will be long, frustrating, and filled with disappointment. Much of the work I do is with first-time buyers because it gives me great satisfaction to help people achieve their goal of home ownership. Unfortunately, many buyers make the same mistakes which prevent them from achieving their goals. I’ve created this educational series to help my clients improve their chances for success, and to better prepare them to navigate the highly competitive Vancouver real estate market. The real estate industry is evolving, and I will continue adding to this series as necessary.

PART 5 – Final Steps

Over the last four weeks I’ve taken you through the process of buying a home in Vancouver’s competitive real estate market. This week I’ll review the process so far, as well as your final steps as you prepare to receive possession of your new home. The previous sections of the blog series are below.

PART 1 – The Importance of Working with a Realtor is available HERE

PART 2 – Financing Your Home is available HERE

PART 3 – Needs Analysis is available HERE

PART 4 – Preparing the Offer is available HERE

The move to your new home can be a challenge. In my opinion, professional movers are well worth the expense, but beware of hidden fees. If you choose to hire professional movers then do your homework – ask for referrals from friends, read online reviews, and be sure that you read the fine print in your agreement. Disreputable companies will hide extra fees that can end up costing you a lot of money. You also want to hire a company that you can trust with all your possessions.

If you want to keep your moving expenses down then it’s time to start bribing your friends with free beer and pizza! Call in all the favours you’ve saved up by helping others move over the years – the more people helping the better.

[Read more…]

Buyer Preparation Part 2: Financing Your Home

Buyer Prep Series

Introduction

Insufficient buyer preparation when searching for a property is a recipe for disaster. If you fail to prepare, the process will be long, frustrating, and filled with disappointment. Much of the work I do is with first-time buyers because it brings me great satisfaction to help people achieve their goal of home ownership. Unfortunately, many buyers make the same mistakes which prevent them from achieving their goals. I’ve created this educational series to help my clients improve their chances for success, and to better prepare them to navigate the highly competitive Vancouver real estate market. The real estate industry is evolving, and I will continue adding to and updating this series as necessary.

PART 1 – The Importance of Working with a Realtor is available HERE

PART 2 – Financing Your Home

Financing is easily the most important factor in purchasing a home. Many Realtors, including myself, will not commit serious time to working with a buyer until their finances are in order. I’m always happy to sit down with a prospective client to introduce myself and provide you with some education & guidance, but we need to be sure you can afford to purchase a home before we begin our search. We must establish an accurate budget so we’re not guessing about what you can afford. You can’t purchase a home unless you have the funds available so this should be a top priority!

How do you prepare your finances to purchase a home? You’ll first need to save for a down payment, and then you’ll need to contact a Mortgage Broker and apply for mortgage pre-approval. Ideally, you will be able to save 20% or more for the down payment, but the absolute bare minimum you’ll need is 5%. Your Mortgage Broker will advise you on your financing options. If you need assistance finding a qualified Mortgage Broker then let me know. I work with some amazing professionals and I would be happy to connect you with one.

[Read more…]

Buyer Preparation Part 1: The Importance of Working with a Realtor

Buyer Prep Series

Introduction

Insufficient buyer preparation when searching for a property is a recipe for disaster. If you fail to prepare, the process will be long, frustrating, and filled with disappointment. Much of the work I do is with first-time buyers because it brings me great satisfaction to help people achieve their goal of home ownership. Unfortunately, many buyers make the same mistakes which prevent them from achieving their goals. I’ve created this educational series to help my clients improve their chances for success, and to better prepare them to navigate the highly competitive Vancouver real estate market. The real estate industry is evolving, and I will continue adding to and updating this series as necessary.

PART 1 – The Importance of Working with a Realtor

Many buyers try to learn about the market by viewing properties online and visiting open houses. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, and it can be educational, but not all property information is publicly available so you may be missing something crucial. Entering an exclusive relationship for representation with a Realtor will strengthen your position and allow you to access information that may not be available to unrepresented buyers. Ask yourself, how well informed do you want to be when you make the largest purchase of your life? If your answer is well informed, then hire a Realtor to represent you as a buyer!

I’ve created an extensive list on how a Realtor can add value to your property search. It’s also important for you to understand the law of agency, which you can read about in this article by the B.C. Real Estate Association – Why Use a Realtor?

[Read more…]

LUXURY HOMES COLLECTION SPRING 2017

The new season brings us a fresh new offering of Macdonald Realty luxury homes. We have a bright outlook for 2017 with our CEO Lynn Hsu providing our front line remarks on the market and our outlook.

We are delighted to present our spring edition with our cover feature from Bowen Island, a wonderful West Coast retreat perfectly situated to take in the gorgeous views and Zen atmosphere of the quiet landscape.

In this edition, in conjunction with our affiliate partners Luxury Portfolio International®, their MarketPulse® article gives a round up of wine regions of the world to invest in. From Oregon to South Africa, these are new market interests for investors and owners seeking a burgeoning market or new way of life. British Columbia’s own Okanagan Valley is included, where there is ripe opportunity for someone looking for a new venture or adventure.

Click the photo below to check it out.

*This post was originally written by the Macdonald Realty marketing team.

MacdonaldRealtyLuxuryMagazine_Spring2017-FINAL-COVER-791x1024

Real Estate 101 – RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan

It’s tax season and Canadians are thinking about investing some of their hard-earned money into their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). I’ve put together this quick blog post today to let you know how you can use your RRSP savings to help you buy your first home.

One of the biggest hurdles that first time home buyers face is coming up with the funds for a down payment. Many Canadians are unaware that they can access the savings in their RRSP to put towards the down payment on their first home.

[Read more…]

Property Taxes, Assessments, and Grants

It’s property tax season – don’t forget that your Vancouver property taxes are due to be paid by FEBRUARY 02, 2017. In Vancouver, we pay our property taxes in two installments – once in February, and again in July. There’s been a lot of talk recently about increased assessments and the property tax grant threshold so I thought I would write a quick blog to break it down for you.

I’m going to focus on a few topics to hopefully provide some clarity to you on how property taxes are calculated in Vancouver, property assessments, payment options, and the grant that may or may not be available to you.

How are my property taxes calculated?

In Vancouver property taxes are calculated using the mill rate – follow this link for a detailed breakdown of the rates in Vancouver. Basically, the amount you pay is tied to the assessed value of your home. You pay a specific rate for every $1,000 in assessed value of your property.

[Read more…]