Nest Townhomes are a collection of 22 boutique Townhomes in Burquitlam.  Community oriented Development 1 & 2 bedroom Townhouses (no 3 bedrooms left)  by Aquila Developments.  A great community with food essentials just steps from home, as well as the stores at Burquitlam Plaza and Lougheed Mall.  In minutes take a break from the city life.  Burnaby Mountain, Burquitlam Park, Miller Park or nearby Como Lake are great for a scenic stroll.  The upcoming Evergreen Line will provide transit access to Vancouver via Lougheed Town Centre allowing Burquitlam to reach its full potential as a community. Ideal access to SFU, Douglas College David Lam Campus, while Downtown Vancouver is accessible on transit via the Mellenium Line. Come see the Home Show

Mon-Thur 3-5  /  Sat-Sun 12-4


For more information, please contact 

Preston Fisk:

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Are you considering moving to a peaceful and family friendly location?

Sapperton, New Westminster, BC offers a family-friendly array of parks, trails, historic grounds, and schools within it's area. The Royal Columbian Hospital, the Sapperton Skytrain station and a Brewery district is also located in its vicinity.


Watch this video to know more about Sapperton community and what it has to offer for residents like yourself.



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Canada CrowdThe latest Canadian Census of 2011 has just been released. In the Province of British Columbia we saw an increase of almost 300,000 people over the last 5 years. This amounts to about 60,000 new residents each year and our province now boasts 4.4 million residents. It is worthy to note that the Greater Vancouver area captured two-thirds of the growth, or 200,000 residents. Such continued growth is expected at least for the next 25 years.
What does that mean to the province? There will be a need for more services, infrastructure, and housing. People need a place to live, whether they buy or rent. We have seen and heard of many stories about “housing bubbles” around the world. I would suggest that supply and demand will dictate the market. While British Columbia is not immune from the global economy, the population growth should keep us in good health. While there are cycles in every market, investing in your home is a sound advice. How many prominent people do you know where their long term wealth was not built on real estate?
--Arthur Ng
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 Just imagine that school re-opens for most students next week. I heard many parents have been waiting for this time to return to a routine, while some kids have been eager to see their classmates, and others anxious because they are starting a new school.
This also means that the days will be getting darker sooner and we must be more careful driving to and from work. We should be slowing down and not driving faster while we chauffer our children to their many activities.

Packing healthy lunches, eating proper dinners and ensuring that everyone is well rested creates a happy, healthy family. Getting the homework assignments completed in a timely and amicable manner is another story but I digress. You see, I have 2 daughters as well. So enjoy the last week of summer and the final days of the PNE. The next break is Christmas, just a few months away!

--Arthur Ng
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Cultural DiversityDid you know that Vancouver’s MLS soccer team is comprised of players from 17 different countries around the world? (Vancouver Sun, Yvonne Zacharias). Ghana, Brazil, South Korea, India, France, China, Scotland, Switzerland, Malta, New Zealand are just a few. This is what Vancouver is all about, cultural diversity. While English is spoken by more than 80% of British Columbians, Chinese, Punjabi, Korean, Tagalog (Filipino) and Farsi (Persian) are the other common languages spoken. More than 30% of British Columbians immigrated to BC from another country. Those who are relocating to Vancouver from another country find comfort that they quickly can feel at home here. Combine this with the mild winters/moderate summers all year round, and the political/economic stability, it’s a comfortable place to call home.
And if you truly love authentic international food, you can experience it all here without having to travel very far. Yum!
-- Arthur Ng
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Coldwell Banker released their 2012 TV ads at the Generation Blue convention in New Orleans last week. The ads focus on the "emotion and lifestyle" of homeownership and not the usual ads promoting reasons to hire a Real Estate agents that you find in most realty company TV ads. In addition the voice in the ads is that of Tom Seleck, the famous actor from the current TV series Blue Bloods and well he is known from the movies and of course his break through role as Magnum PI. Mr. Seleck has a real connection with Coldwell Banker as his father, brother and sister all worked for Coldwell Banker and his father was a VP for 33 years. The following article was recently published by the NY Times reporter Stuart Elliott, who comments on the refreshing message the ad creates for the slow to recover American housing market, and celebrates "the Value of a Home".
-- Paul Prade


Coldwell Banker Sings ‘Home, Sweet Home’

Scenes of home life fill a commercial for Coldwell Banker that is part of a new ad campaign.
What would you do if you were a leading real estate broker during this sluggish, problematic market for American home sales? One such firm plans to accentuate the positive by playing up the emotional reasons for owning a home, now that the rational reasons like making a killing no longer seem relevant.

The firm is Coldwell Banker Real Estate, which in a campaign that is scheduled to begin on Monday will celebrate what it calls the “Value of a home.” The start of the campaign, with a budget estimated at $15 million, is timed with the approach of spring and the start of the home-buying season.

In this instance, each value cited in the campaign is a warm and fuzzy one, ranging from “the warmth of a winter fire” to “a grandmother kissing her grandchild.”

The values are brought to life in a television commercialthat cranks the emotional dial to 11, or maybe 12. The vignettes, photographed with a gauzy, well-lit look, celebrate “about 50,000 memories and a hundred thousand smiles,” which are generated, according to the campaign, by living in a home of one’s own.

Tom Selleck with Coldwell BankerAnother way the emotional approach is intensified is through the use of the actor Tom Selleck to supply the voice-over narration in the commercial. It is no coincidence that Mr. Selleck is currently playing the paterfamilias of a clan of New York City police officers in the CBS series “Blue Bloods.”

“How to put a value on a home,” Mr. Selleck begins, then cites intangibles that include “the smell of pancakes made on a Sunday morning,” “the taste of a good cabernet with family at Thanksgiving” and “the power of a bedtime story.”

He also urges those listening to his voice to “subtract the stress of work” as well as “the struggles of the outside world” when considering “the value of a home.”

“Coldwell Banker,” Mr. Selleck concludes. “Where home begins.”

The campaign is created by Siltanen & Partners in El Segundo, Calif., which was selected as the Coldwell Banker creative agency in August. Siltanen & Partners replaced McKinney in Durham, N.C., whose last campaign dramatized the pitfalls of selling a home without using a Coldwell Banker agent.

“People buy homes for lifestyle reasons, for emotional reasons, and it’s not always a rational decision,” said Michael Fischer, chief marketing officer at Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

“But everything out there,” he added, in terms of advertising, “is about a rational decision.”

“There needed to be a better voice, a more positive voice,” Mr. Fischer said, that brought up “all the things that make a house a home” like “a large backyard, the outdoor fire pit” and being able to have pets.

The upbeat message is aimed not only at potential home buyers, he added, but also at Coldwell Banker agents, to remind them of what he termed “that emotional higher kind of calling of their business.”

The campaign is not a Pollyanna-like paean to buying a home at all costs, Mr. Fischer said.

“We’re not running away from” being realistic about the state of the housing market, he added, and the firm says “don’t buy a house” to those without sufficient income or plans to stay in a home for a long time.

Mr. Selleck was chosen for the campaign for “that authentic, trusting, warm voice,” Mr. Fischer said.

There also turned out to be, appropriately enough, a warm and fuzzy connection between the actor and Coldwell Banker.

Mr. Selleck’s father, Robert, “was a vice president for 38 years at Coldwell Banker” in Los Angeles, Mr. Fischer said.

And Mr. Selleck’s involvement in “Blue Bloods” resonates apart from the part he plays, Mr. Fischer said, because agents of Coldwell Banker, which has blue as its corporate color, “will say, ‘If you cut me, I bleed blue.’ ”

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 “My property assessments are up over 15%! Does this mean that my house is worth more now?”
As Real Estate agents we get asked this question all the time, in fact I remember getting asked this question 30 years ago too! Logically homeowners and buyers look at property assessments as some sort of guide to determine house values; unfortunately this method of evaluation is flawed. For example, most properties that are assessed by the BC Assessment Authority are never even inspected, meaning no one enters the home to see its physical condition, properties are mostly viewed from the outside or aerial mapping and assessed based on land size/location and age of the dwelling (recent building permits may trigger some further investigations as well). Can you imagine a Real Estate agent evaluating your home and providing professional price estimation and never even going inside? Of course not.  Well that’s exactly what the property assessor’s do and yet we place so much value on their pricing method, it just doesn’t make sense to use property assessments as your basis to determine the correct Real Estate market value. I have heard some people say that the assessments are always lower than market value, or add 10% or 15%? All of this doesn’t make any sense and are just “guesstimates”. Another major reason for not considering assessed values when pricing a home is the fact that your 2012 assessment was completed by July 1011, over 6 or more months ago (depending when you sell in 2012). Anyone with Real Estate experience will tell you that a lot can change in 6 months when it comes to house prices. So there you have it, don’t put too much weight in your assessed value when deciding on the right price for your home or when you are making an offer to buy a property. At Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty we have experts to help you determine the “Right” price based on recent listings/sales on homes like yours in the market place near your location. Please watch the video below for an even better understanding of how property assessments work in B.C.
--Paul Prade
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Why Realtors Are UsefulI’m of the generation that knows next to nothing about buying a home. In high school CAPP (career and personal planning) class we learned not to submit résumés on fluorescent pink paper (something, I’ve learned, they encourage in university co-op programs). In math class, we applied algebraic formulas to arbitrary scenarios about cement trucks or airplanes when we could have been applying them to mortgages, something we would realistically need in the future. I hear they’re changing this now and high school students are actually learning about banking and mortgages, things they’ll need later in life. For everyone in my generation, this series is for you.

I’m going to start with a potentially controversial topic: Why Realtors® are useful. I’ve said it before: using, or not using, a Realtor is your personal choice, and whichever you go with is a fine one. Personally, I use a Realtor. Here’s why.

·         At one point in my life I worked two jobs and went to school full time. I don’t anymore, thank goodness, but I still work full time, have a dog and significant other to look after, have friends and family to keep track of, and play on a hockey team. I also like sleep and occasional down time. I’d rather not spend my spare hours sifting through MLS or attending open houses. This is why Realtors are great – it’s their job to sift through the pages of listings and preview the homes that may be suitable for you. Realtors save me time.

·         Closely related to this is the fact that Realtors have access to other Realtors. Through this widespread Realtor network they find out about listings that haven’t gone on the market yet. This could get you a head start to investigate the details about the property and neighbourhood before writing the offer.

·         When you take a day to tour homes you’re interested in, your Realtor will drive you. This gives you the opportunity to focus on the area in comfort with complete attention rather than trying to find the property on your own.

·         I was recently interested in a house and asked my Realtor to take a look at it. Within the hour he responded with an email with concerns about the property for reasons I hadn’t thought of: possible oil tank in the yard, septic (the house wasn’t on the city’s sewer system), knob and tube wiring. The asking price was also high for a property with so many possible issues. It also had been listed for an extensive period in a market where houses typically sell within a week or so. An experienced Realtor can spot problems in the property you may miss, and can advise you on market value.

Basically, it’s a Realtor’s job to know things you don’t about the market, about the property, the market, and especially explaining in detail the extensive paperwork and strategies involved in purchasing or selling a property. I never learned this stuff in school. This is why I use a Professional Realtor.
 -- Sarah Mah
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When I was younger and the Vancouver housing market not quite so scalding, the truly intelligent among us drained their bank accounts in order to put a down payment on a home, choosing to pay monthly mortgage payments rather than monthly rent payments.  The logic in this choice was infallible .  The payments were very often similar, depending on where or what you decided to buy or rent, and while the initial mortgage pre-approval process was stressful – not to mention the sudden lack of funds after the down payment – it was all well worth the result of eventually owning your very own piece of property.

Now, however, this logic is less certain.  Housing prices are up, making that original down payment substantially larger and increasing monthly mortgage payments as well.  As well many investors who purchase homes don't necessarily live in them, increasing the number of rental units available. 
The ruleVancouver House for Sale of supply and demand dictates that rent prices, therefore, should hold steady, if not decrease.  And of course, looking at the current prices of homes in Vancouver, one can't help thinking that – despite market experts making predictions to the contrary – this is a peak and prices should fall to more reasonable standards.  And even if the experts are right and the market will continue its upward climb, I wonder how much higher it could realistically go. Yet BC's population continues to grow through migration from the rest of Canada and the world.

The market will always have some degree of unpredictability but the way things are looking now it may be worth some second thought when deciding to rent or own in Vancouver’s real estate market. Yet the question remains, what is the likely future scenario? And as a tenant, the landlord could always sell the home, meaning a move that was not part of your plan.
- Sarah Mah


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When selling your house, first impressions are everything. Whether or not a potential buyer will actually get out of his car during a drive-by viewing to see the inside depends largely on how good the outside looks. This is where a little exterior staging makes a big difference. After all, getting the buyer to come see the place is one of the hardest parts of selling, but if he pulls up and sees overflowing gutters, overturned planters and an unkempt lawn, he may decide he's seen enough and just keep driving.

Improving the curb appeal of your home can be as simple or intense as you like but the more you put into it, the better the chance of attracting a buyer. For front yard landscaping, the goal is to make your house look as inviting as possible: highlighting driveways and walkways with flowerbeds or potted plants on the borders, sweeping the sidewalk and walkway, keeping the lawn neatly trimmed and edged. Remember, though, that while the yard does a lot for appeal, it's the house people are here to see. Make sure gutters are clean, you've taken in the garbage cans from the morning pick-up, and you've touched up the paint job.

Landscaping House in VancouverCurb appeal has become a whole industry within real estate. Several television shows have dedicated entire episodes to explaining and demonstrating the importance of curb appeal and how to best achieve it. There was even a show called
Curb Appeal that aired on HGTV. Curb appeal has become so prominent that there is even software available that lets you virtually alter your front yard to see the changes before even touching a rake or hammer. A bit much, I think, when all you really need is some hard work and gardening gloves, but the point is still the same: In order to get people out of their car to see your house, it has to look good from the curb.
-- Sarah Mah
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Sometimes it feels like these two terms – "common sense" and "home purchase" – don't really belong in the same area code. Buying a home is an emotional process, especially if it's your first time. AApartment Tower in Downtown Vancouvers hard as it is to peel back the layers of excitement and anxiety when searching for a property, a cool head and a healthy overdose of common sense will help keep you within your means and get you into a suitable home.

Common Sense: Go see the house before making any decisions.
I know. This one is pretty obvious. But there are people who see pictures on-line
or read a general description and are suddenly and irrevocably convinced the house is the perfect fit. On many occasions, it's not. Chances are the staging was incredible or the description was written by a retired novelist. Go see the place for yourself. It may back onto the highway or situated beside an apartment block. Overlook the wow factor and see if the house makes sense to you. Are there sufficient rooms for your needs? Does the kitchen work for you? Are there are any obvious flaws? This is where the home inspector comes into the picture where he may find defects where you may need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on repairs.

More common sense to come.
-- Sarah Mah
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Every January homeowners receive their Property Assessment Notice. This is an estimate of property value established by the BC Assessment Authority for Home in Burnabyproperty tax purposes. Many get upset when values goes up because they expect property taxes would increase accordingly. This is not always the case. If the municipality in where you live decides to raise taxes to improve public services, or if TransLink or Greater Vancouver Regional District does the same, your property taxes would increase even if your assessment value dropped. Many also believe that this truly is what their property is worth.


So how accurate is this property assessment value if you wanted this to be used when you sell your home? Imagine two million properties in BC being reviewed every year by a group of appraisers from the BC Assessment Authority. That’s quite a few for each staff member.  Have you ever had someone enter your property from BC Assessment Authority to establish value? Furthermore, the current assessed value is estimated as at July 1 of the previous year. If you have been a property owner in BC, in particular the Lower Mainland, you will realize that real estate values are cyclical between and within years. I would suggest the property assessment is merely a starting point established in part by some mathematical formula and assumptions.  Only a licensed Realtor® or a certified appraiser would be able to provide the true current value of a property based on their local market knowledge.


If a property came up for sale priced below “assessed value”, would you jump on it without thinking twice? I wouldn’t bet my house on it.  Would you be paying too much for a house priced well above the “assessed value”? Many might be led to believe so. But is it really?
 -- Arthur Ng
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I've been feeling very old recently. Ever since Vancouver's housing market really took off I've been hearing and reading about people talking about houses as investments, to grow or depreciate as the market develops. I can see the validity of this viewpoint – how can I not with all this foreign investment flooding Vancouver's shores? – but until now I've only ever seen a house as a place to live and raise my (future) family.

Housing Market InvestmentThat's been changing. Now, when I see a For Sale sign and look at the house, I wonder how much the seller has gained from his investment since he first purchased it. Has he considered inflation when he calculates his per-year take-away? What about renovation costs, or holding costs, or transaction costs? Would that money have been better invested in stocks? Nevertheless, that there is no capital gains tax on a principal residence helps.

I can't sleep, cook, or raise a family in a stock portfolio so for me, a house will always be a place to live first and an investment a distant fifth or sixth. My parents live in a neighbourhood where many houses within a week of being listed in this current market  are sold after a bidding war selling over asking price.  A house across the street from my parents just sold for over one million dollars. Dad just rolled his eyes. "What do I care if my house is worth a million dollars?" he asked. "I'm not selling."

There could be some stock in the argument that treating houses as an investment (or perhaps the growing number of people who are treating houses as an investment) has actually created the searing hot real estate market in Vancouver today, a market that is driving home prices further into the stratosphere. With prices this high, one could argue, prices have only one direction to go. This is economics at its best, balancing the market in another turn of the cycle. If it happens.
-- Sarah Mah
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The increase in foreign investment and the recent changes in mortgage qualifications have not helped first time homebuyer in Vancouver.  In fact it feels more like a concerted effort on the part of the city to drive these young Canadians out of this market.  Even without the weight of tens of thousands of dollars of student debt, many young people simply cannot afford the price of a home in Vancouver.  Consider this fact from The Vancouver Sun’s Bob Ransford: today, the average cost of a home in Metro Vancouver is nearly ten times the median household income.  And the RBC is surprised that young Canadians are waiting another year before buying their first home.  Even for established two-income households, a mortgage of seven hundred thousand dollars, or more, is worthy of at least a moment’s consideration.  What hope does a young, likely-single resident of Vancouver have of owning in this market?

From Spanish Banks to Downtown VancouverA likely resolution, and that accepted by many Canadians, is to look elsewhere in other markets that are not overly impacted by foreign investment and heightened mortgage qualifications.  Those things that sway a person to look in a certain area – neighbourhood, job prospects, social connections – are seemingly trumped by the sheer cost of housing.  So the question then becomes whether or not these market forces are good for the local economy.  After all, they are driving away the young, educated minds that the GVRD has produced and will produce in the foreseeable future.
Another alternative is perhaps to allow higher density in various neighbourhoods or relax secondary suites. While the thought of owning a single family home may be more challenging within the city, there are options for the more affordable apartments and townhouses. The market price is determined by supply and demand. And Vancouver's reputation as the "place" to be internationally likely means that affordability won't get any easier.
- Sarah Mah
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While foreign investment has been a noticeable factor in pushing out young and first time homebuyers in Vancouver’s real estate market, there have been other more domestic factors as well.  Over the last year the government has made it systematically more difficult for people to purchase a home albeit to keep the threat of homeowners overextending themselves.

View of North Shore Mountains in Vancouver from Point Grey ListingIn the spring of 2010 mortgage lending rules changed, requiring all homebuyers to qualify for a standard five-year, fixed-rate mortgage.  With the highest rates compared to most mortgage options, five-year fixed-rate mortgages are the most secure but also the most difficult to qualify for. 

On July 1st 2010 the BC government rolled in the controversial Harmonized Sales Tax, combining the Provincial Sales Tax and Goods and Service Tax into an overall 12% tax that covered a wider scope of goods and services.  What goods and services the HST actually applies to when purchasing, building, or selling a house is difficult to nail down but has increased the costs of buying a home, especially on new construction.

And finally, in March of this year, mortgage rules changed again, decreasing the maximum amortization period for a mortgage from thirty-five years to thirty, thereby increasing monthly payments.

Not only are young Canadians facing tougher mortgage qualifications from their government, but the social factors weighing down on them from their education, including property ownership – are actually proving a detriment rather than a benefit.

So where does this leave the first time homebuyer in Vancouver?
- Sarah Mah
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RBC recently released their annual Homeownership Study in which they declare, with apparent shock, that fifty-five per cent of young Canadians plan on waiting a year or more before purchasing their first home, and that forty-six per cent of young Canadians who already own their own home say their mortgage uses up too much of their income – to which I must ask: Why are you surprised?

Downtown Vancouver Real EstateOver the last two years there have been several economic, market-based, and social forces pushing young and first time homebuyers farther to the fringes of Vancouver’s housing market.  RBC’s report doesn’t bring any new information to the table (other than definitive statistics) that most, if not all, young Vancouverites are already well aware of: You can’t buy here unless you have realistic expectations.

The most obvious of these forces is the new wave of foreign investments in Vancouver’s housing market, the second such wave to occur in the last thirty years.  The first wave launched property values into the stratosphere and they didn’t seem to come down until a US housing crash brought everything else down with it, but even then prices didn’t fall as drastically as those in other markets.  This second wave is elevating prices much as the first did, and to all new heights.  In Burnaby’s real estate market—the current hot spot in the GVRD—residents who paid less than one hundred thousand dollars for their property less than thirty years ago are finding themselves millionaires because of the unquenchable overseas demand for housing.

While the inflow of foreign money benefits the economy and raises the city’s status internationally, it does not help young residents looking to break into the market where their parents live and raised them.  And foreign investment isn’t the only factor keeping young Canadians out of the Vancouver housing market.  Government-driven market changes, as well as ongoing social norms, are converging to hand young Canadians a heavy disadvantage while foreign investors are seemingly courted into the market by local authorities.
Despite such discouraging news there are pockets where the market is not as active. Speak to one of our agents to see how we can help you. It's not as bad as it seems.
- Sarah Mah
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The Right Real Estate Vancouver

ight now the Vancouver real estate market is changing and Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty is changing with it.  Monday April 18th marks the launch of our new website and our new brand, “The Right” Real Estate.  Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty is interested in more than just buying and selling property.  We want to keep our readers up to date on all the changes and facets of real estate in Vancouver so you can make informed decisions and have confidence in your investment.  To provide you with a consistent, reliable source for information we’re launching The Right Real Estate Experience, The Right Realtor ®, and The Right Career.

The Right Real Estate Experience is designed as an informal community gathering place where you have access to our growing library of real estate videos.  These videos, released once a month, will explain everything from oil tanks to property negotiation to ethics in real estate and how they may affect your investment.  Have a question about real estate?  Email us and we’ll either post a video on your topic or forward your question to one of our experienced agents.

The Right Realtor is a new service we’re offering to find you a real estate agent that will fit your needs, because in an industry that changes as fast as real estate you want someone who stays ahead of the curve and who sets your best interests as the top priority.  Fill out a short questionnaire and we’ll personally match you with the agent in our office that best suits your needs.
In order to provide our clients with the best possible service available in Vancouver we have the best possible agents.  Our hiring procedure is strict because we put a lot of time and energy into supplying our agents with all the support services they need to build a successful career with us.  Interested in joining the Westburn community?  Fill out our short questionnaire here.  We mentor our new agents to help them get off to the right start, and we always welcome the experience that veteran realtors can offer.
Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty is looking to change the expectations you have for your realtors.  Enter the Vancouver real estate market knowing exactly what to expect.  Use the tools provided on our website to learn about your area, your investment, or real estate in general, so when the market changes or when you’re ready to buy or sell, you have the knowledge and support to make the right decision.
- Sarah Mah


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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.