I have sold a property at 16 MERCIER RD in Port Moody.
AMAZING VIEW! Did we mention the view? This home features panoramic OCEAN and MOUNTAIN views from 3 levels including the private ROOFTOP PATIO with built-in bar fridge. This incredible West Coast themed home boasts a formal dining and living room with vaulted cedar ceilings. Beautifully updated kitchen with granite countertops marble backsplash and S/S appliances leads to private back patio with ocean view. Walk through the flower-filled courtyard to the private guest cottage. This incredibly unique and beautiful home is a MUST SEE!
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See the before-and-after photos, and get top tips, straight from CL's Style Director.

 

When Country Living's Style Director, Page Mullins, purchased a 1920s bungalow in Birmingham, AL, she knew it was in need of a total overhaul. Room by room, she is tackling the space and giving it a fresh face with a neutral, restrained palette.

"I am always finding new inspiration on CL photo shoots. I'm constantly bringing home new textiles and antiques finds from the road and changing up elements in my house," says Page, "so I knew I needed a classic, neutral backdrop at home to build and layer up on."

Here, she jumpstarts the process with a bedroom and bathroom makeover, plus shares what she's learned along the way.

Before: Guest Bedroom

 

In the bedroom, water-stained walls and dated carpet needed to go. Page add a fresh coat of white paint (Sherwin Williams "Alabaster") to the walls and removed the dated carpet to expose hidden hardwood flooring beneath. 

Top tip: When starting a renovation, save the floor refinishing for last on the list. Construction, painting, and other reno tasks could damage your floor surfaces. Layered antiques rug add a vintage texture and conceal untouched floors in the meantime.

After: Guest Bedroom

 

Two full walls of the space are covered in windows. While great for allowing natural light during the day, the windows made it tough to use the space as a bedroom with a flood of bright light in the mornings. Page used Smith & Noblenatural shades ("Anzi" in Natural) to provide privacy and soften the bright light during the day. Neutral curtain panels with blackout lining ("Organic Cotton" in Natural) can be drawn for an extra sleep-friendly experience. 

Top tip: Extra-long drapery rods span the length of each wall and carry your eye through the space to make it feel larger.

Credits: Nightstand (noirfurniturela.com); Table Lamp (circalighting.com)

After: Guest Bedroom

 

For the consistent neutral backdrop she was looking for, Page painted the entire house in Sherwin William's "Alabaster." 

"It's the perfect white that adds just a hint of warmth," she says. "It creates a nice neutral canvas without feeling too stark." The woven side chair (noirfurniturela.com) and turned wood lamp added texture to the blank palette, while the sleek audio system (comoaudio.com) is a fun modern contrast.

The one wall in the bedroom without windows needed visual interest above the dresser. Page composed a gallery wall of vintage art and prints she's collected. 

Top tip: A haphazard arrangement takes the pressure away from perfecting meticulous placement and makes it easy to add new pieces to the wall over time. Page hung the pieces temporarily with 3M hooks while she was composing the wall and went back with nails once she settled on a final arrangement to avoid misplaced nail holes in the newly painted walls.

 

Before: Guest Bathroom

 

Damaged tile and grungy walls were the biggest eyesores of the bathroom space. Page used a mail-order bead board kit (elitetrimworks.com), complete with all wall planks and trim pieces, for a quick solution to cover imperfect walls. 

After: Guest Bathroom

 

Tiled trim pieces (Rittenhouse Square shelf rail trim in Artic White; daltile.com) that frame the new window and shower niche, are an easy way to embellish simple subway tile, also from Rittenhouse Square, and mirror the paneling trim on the walls. A subtle marble mosaic floor tile adds the perfect dose of pattern, while still keeping the palette neutral. Page had an extra long linen shower curtain (linenshed.com) made to emphasize the tall ceilings in the space. 

Top tip: "With Etsy and other makers online, it's easier than ever to have items tailored to your liking. Just ask an Etsy vendor about swapping the dimension or colors when placing your order. Most are happy to accommodate a custom order for the same pricing." 

Credits: Bath towel (brahmsmount.com); Shower Toiletries (glossmoderne.comgrownalchemist.com)

Before: Guest Bathroom Vanity

 

As you can see, the small existing vanity didn't provide enough storage for toiletries.

After: Guest Bathroom Vanity

 

So, Page installed a larger shaker-style vanity and surface mount medicine cabinet  (decoracabinets.com) to keep small everyday items at hand and easier for frequent use. 

The medicine cabinet finish ("Harmony," decoracabinets.com) was matched to the wall color ("Pearly White," sherwinwilliams.com) to make the piece feel like a built-in component of paneling. Page used an oversized Moen faucet ("Weymouth," moen.com) in Polished Nickel on the vanity. "Polished nickel is always my favorite finish," she says, "It adds a subtle hint of warmth and feels natural in any old home."

 

Credits: Hand towel (brahmsmount.com)

After: Guest Bathroom Medicine Cabinet

 

The existing light fixture with exposed bulbs created harsh lighting above the mirror. Page opted for a fixture (Sutton 2 Light Bath Vanity Light, hudsonvalleylighting.com) with frosted glass shades to diffuse a softer, more flattering light and kept the polished nickel finish consistent with plumbing fixtures throughout the space.

Small paper keepsakes and sketches, like the postcard shown, are an easy way to create affordable artwork. "Frame anything small with a large matte and it instantly has impact." The sleek, simple frames mimic the inset door style of the medicine cabinet.

Top tip: "Lighting in a bathroom is key because it's where you are looking in the mirror every morning. When daylight isn't an option, chose a fixture that will create a warm, even lighting and not cast harsh shadows." 

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Finding a Vancouver property that fits your lifestyle, location preferences and budget can be a tricky process. Buyers must know what to prioritize, what to budget for and what to put on the backburner when it comes to finding the right home. 

 

Q: What is the best way for home shoppers to decide what type of home fits their lifestyle and what they’re looking for?

Shawn: Check out open houses. The key to finding out what best fits your lifestyle is seeing as much product as possible. Part of my job is taking clients on tours of not just homes, but of neighbourhoods that we think would meet their needs and wants. Maybe it’s outside of where they think they want to be. I show them different properties and neighbourhoods that they may not have explored or even thought of. That’s where open houses offer a lot of value. Typically, every weekend between 2 and 4pm. there are dozens of open houses that would fit in one’s criteria that they can go see. The more you see, the more you realize what you do or don’t like, and it might open up some other avenues that you might not have thought of.

 
 

Q: Should buyers with a more limited budget opt for a home more centrally located or a larger home further out?

Location, location, location. If you’re living in an area where the walk score is high, you’re close to work and can walk there, which can alleviate many everyday stresses. Having to get in your car for a long period of time twice a day, to come in and out of work, is an added stress. I think Vancouverites have to realize, and this is what Millennials have to figure out as well, is that condo living and raising a family in a condo is acceptable and highly probable. Looking at our parents living in big homes with big land is not necessarily a luxury that will be an option for us.

If you’re okay with the hustle and the bustle inside the city downtown, West Side, East Side, or close to the core of Vancouver, there’s definitely a lot going on. It’s a higher-paced city. If you are more interested in living a quieter lifestyle and owning a bigger piece of land, being out in the suburbs may be the right thing for you, but you have to be OK with a little bit of a longer commute to get into the city if that’s where you decide to work.

How I help people make that choice is to show them what you can get in different areas that you’re looking at, and take that drive during rush hour or outside of rush-hour times, just to get an idea of what to expect. They have to go through that experience to see what it’s going to be like.


Q: With a bigger budget, for example $2 million-plus, is it more valuable to invest in higher end property with no land (i.e. a condo) or investing in a detached house on a lot?

I’m a firm believer in buying land. There’s only so much land in Vancouver. You can always build up on a given piece of land, but you can’t build any more land than we have. Land is being densified, which is creating more scarcity. Every time you turn a piece of single family land into a duplex or into apartments, there’s less single family land.


Q: For first-time buyers, do you recommend buying a finished home or a fixer-upper that they can put their own sweat equity into?

 I like the idea of starting with an unfinished product. You start small, get in the market, buy whatever you can, the building’s in good condition, you’re in a good location, and the inside is tired and needs some work. You slowly but surely build up the equity, what’s in the property, and you can climb up the real estate ladder faster that way than buying something new. That’s what I did when I first started. 

 

 

 
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Average sale price increases in every real estate board in the province in June

Sales may be down from last year’s record-breaking activity, but that doesn’t mean home prices across the province are falling, according to the latest figures from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released July 13.

The BCREA reported that 11,671 BC homes were sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, a fall of 9.6% from June last year, and down 5.9% compared with May’s surge.

However, the average MLS® sale price in BC was $725,778, up 4.4% from the same month last year, and rising on an annual basis in every one of the 11 BC real estate board areas.

 

“Although home sales remain well off the record pace set last year, demand is still quite robust," said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA economist. "That demand is supported by a strong provincial economy and vigorous job growth.”

He added, “Supply remains a challenge, which means most areas are seeing tight market conditions and significant upward pressure on prices.”

The number of total active listings across the province was down 6.2% to 29,651 units compared with June 2016.

Chilliwack was the board to see the highest annual price growth, up 18.3% year over year, followed by Kootenay, Victoria and Vancouver Island. Greater Vancouver saw the lowest average price increase of the 11 BC boards, a rise of 2.7% since last June.

Sales activity painted a different picture – revealing that it is largely supply, rather than sales volumes, that dictates price points. Along with Greater Vancouver, where sales were down around 12% in June year over year, Chilliwack saw an 11% annual sales decrease. In both Vancouver Island and Victoria, where prices are climbing robustly, year-over-year transactions declined 13-14%.

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I have sold a property at 701 1190 PIPELINE RD in Coquitlam.
Stroll around Lafarge Lake, walk over to the skytrain station, or simply sit in your private hot tub cabana, on your private 1,700 sq ft deck overlooking a beautiful mountain range. This unique apartment was built brand new with Owners' Architect working for Bosa to construct this grand apartment. Large family room leads to private deck, eating area off open concept chef's kitchen. Features formal dining room, spacious living room, 4 bedrooms and large den with assistant office off of den or convert it to 5th bedroom with massive walk-in closet. Includes 5 parking stalls and 3 storage lockers combined into one massive locker.
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I have sold a property at 40 181 RAVINE DR in Port Moody.
The Viewpoint - 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom townhome in popular Heritage Mountain. South facing deck off main level & walk-out basement with fully fenced yard backing onto open grass area with view of the city. Extra guest parking available for the unit. Roof, furnace & hot water tank done in approximately 2008. New kitchen appliances, lights throughout bathrooms, & laminate flooring on main level renovated in last couple of years. Spacious master bedroom includes updated 4 piece ensuite. Downstairs includes recreation room, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and lots of storage.
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I have sold a property at 12 DEERWOOD PL in Port Moody.
Heritage Green - 2 level end unit townhome backing onto greenbelt. Unit is the first one in and out of the complex. Visitor parking close by. Owner uses 1/2 of double garage for a gym and parks 2nd car on driveway. New high efficiency furnace and extra large water tank. Living room features 2 sided fireplace into the family room. Large windows with views of the greenbelt and nature surround the living room. Gas stove and heated tile flooring in kitchen. Sliding glass doors lead to backyard patio, surrounded by nature. Upstairs boasts 3 spacious bedrooms and open den at the top of stairs. Master bedroom includes fireplace and 4-piece ensuite.
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I have sold a property at 3174 REID CRT in Coquitlam.
Quarry Green, the most prestigious cul-de-sac in New Horizons. This 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with fully fenced yard (includes swing set!) backs onto wooded area, offering great privacy from concrete patio off of the recreation room and wooden patio off of the kitchen. Private access to walking trail to school nearby. Kitchen was updated in 2009 with hardwood cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Master boasts 4 piece ensuite with jetted soaker tub plus 2 additional bedrooms upstairs. Scraped engineered hardwood floors. Close to recreation, shopping, schools, Lafarge Lake and parks nearby.
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I have listed a new property at 1478 SALTER ST in New Westminster.
Well-maintained, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house on corner lot in super family-friendly Queensborough neighbourhood! Enjoy lazy, summer evenings from the comfort of the open, spacious living room with cozy, gas fireplace. Walk through French doors onto your wrap-around porch and take in views of the mountain and neighbourhood. Kitchen features island and stainless steel appliances. Patio door off of kitchen and family room lead to extended patio deck and fenced yard. Upstairs boasts 3 bedrooms and open den area, perfect for an office. Master bedroom features new flooring and newly renovated ensuite with his-and-her sinks. Crawl space in basement, lots of storage. Close to river trail, parks & playgrounds, marina and shopping.
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The City of New Westminster is averaging more than 50 new building permits every month this year, on a pace to edge out the $189 million in permits issued in 2016, the 10th straight year the Royal City has topped $100 million in permit values. 

As of the end of May, permit values had already eclipsed $144.5 million, and housing starts, at 612 units, were far ahead of the 339 starts in the same period last year.

“If the pace holds, [2017] will work out to a 12.7% increase from the previous year,” said Blair Fryer, communications and development manager for the city of 71,000 on the banks of the Fraser River.

There is little doubt the pace will hold up.

This month, New Westminster council approved zoning for the largest tower the city has ever seen: Bosa Development’s 53-storey condominium skyscraper. 

The building is part of a project that will include a second 43-storey tower and a three-storey commercial building, all built on the New Westminster riverfront. 

The anchor tower of Bosa’s Pier West would be the tallest building between Vancouver and Calgary if built today. 

“We saw overwhelming support for a two-tower scheme that opened up the skylines, with a modest increase in height,” said Dan Diebolt, development manager at Bosa Development. 

Bosa bought the 660 Quayside site from Larco Developments last August for $63 million, which works out to $79 per buildable square foot, according to Colliers International. (Today, this could be seen as a bargain price, considering a non-waterfront site on Duncan Street in New Westminster sold this spring at $89 per buildable square foot.)

Larco’s original development plan called for 1,000 housing units in five towers. Bosa’s bid scaled that back to three buildings and 665 homes, mostly tower condominiums with a total density of 4.52 floor space ratio. Bosa had to earn the variance that allowed the zoning to go an extra eight floors of prime waterfront condo space that is expected to pre-sell for north of $750 per square foot. 

The new development will provide approximately two acres of additional park and public open space, including an extension to the Westminster Pier Park. Fryer said it will also update pedestrian and cyclist access to New Westminster’s waterfront, including completion of the esplanade that connects the entrance to Westminster Pier Park and the River Market, along with a 40-space child-care facility.

To keep River Market merchants and existing residents in the waterfront area on board, Bosa also agreed to use a type of pile driving aimed at minimizing noise and will delay the construction start to ensure parking is provided at a neighbouring site.

Construction is now expected to start in the spring of 2018. Completion of Phase 1 – the 53-storey tower – is scheduled for the fall of 2021; Phase 2 is projected to be finished in the fall of 2022.

Pier West will also include 80 public parking stalls, 932 parking stalls for the development, and new pedestrian connections between Westminster Pier Park, Fraser River Discovery Centre and River Market.

After more than a decade of breakneck growth, New Westminster has become sophisticated in matching amenities to new developments. The city, for instance, insisted that the Bosa towers be landmark additions to the skyline.

“The part that I am really high on is that these buildings are going to be iconic,” said longtime New Westminster councillor Bill Harper. “That was written right into the design. Iconic means they are going to stand out. They are going to be a symbol, if you like, of New Westminster. When people are on the river, in Surrey or driving across the Pattullo Bridge, those will be some of the major landmarks for our city.”

Mayor Jonathan Cote said the Bosa site has been the “missing link” on the riverfront. 

He said one of the city’s biggest successes in the past decade has been connecting the waterfront with the community

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I have sold a property at 26115 124 AVE in Maple Ridge.
This custom built home sits on a private 1.315 acre property in coveted Whispering Falls. Electric gate opens onto driveway. Fenced yard boasts private ravine & treed setting, complete with newly covered gazebo, patio & deck to enjoy. Home features staircase, 10' ceilings, French doors, grand entrance way & oversized windows. Kitchen was renovated in 2015 with built-in microwave, gas stove, electric oven, refrigerator, wine fridge & garburator. Basement features 1 bedroom + den, plus huge office which can be converted back to bedroom, at ground level with separate laundry, entrance & storage. Roof, siding, deck awning, railing, gutter & heat pump was replaced in 2015. New furnace & hot water tank replaced in 2016. Includes triple car garage & RV parking for all your toys! O/H Sat 3-5.
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I have listed a new property at 40 181 RAVINE DR in Port Moody.
The Viewpoint - 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom townhome in popular Heritage Mountain. South facing deck off main level & walk-out basement with fully fenced yard backing onto open grass area with view of the city. Extra guest parking available for the unit. Roof, furnace & hot water tank done in approximately 2008. New kitchen appliances, lights throughout bathrooms, & laminate flooring on main level renovated in last couple of years. Spacious master bedroom includes updated 4 piece ensuite. Downstairs includes recreation room, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and lots of storage.
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I have listed a new property at 12 DEERWOOD PL in Port Moody.
Heritage Green - 2 level end unit townhome backing onto greenbelt. Unit is the first one in and out of the complex. Visitor parking close by. Owner uses 1/2 of double garage for a gym and parks 2nd car on driveway. New high efficiency furnace and extra large water tank. Living room features 2 sided fireplace into the family room. Large windows with views of the greenbelt and nature surround the living room. Gas stove and heated tile flooring in kitchen. Sliding glass doors lead to backyard patio, surrounded by nature. Upstairs boasts 3 spacious bedrooms and open den at the top of stairs. Master bedroom includes fireplace and 4-piece ensuite.
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I have listed a new property at 1568 CHADWICK AVE in Port Coquitlam.
Fantastic 4 bedroom 2 bathroom house on quiet street in Port Coquitlam! On the main floor are 3 bedrooms and 4-piece bathroom. Bright, open kitchen includes centre island, newer appliances and engineered hardwood flooring. Newer washer and dryer tucked away in laundry room off kitchen. Downstairs is 1 bed 1 bath walk-out basement with its own separate entrances. Gas fireplaces in main living room and downstairs rec room. French doors open into beautiful backyard. Entertain friends and family in the well-maintained, south-facing backyard complete with covered HOT TUB, spacious covered deck, new separate patio, TWO storage sheds including 20'x20' shed and nice garden. Garage has extension for extra storage. Within walking distance to all levels of schools, shopping and Hyde Creek Recreation.
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I have sold a property at 1995 ROUTLEY AVE in Port Coquitlam.
Beautiful & classic, renovated family home in Central Port Coquitlam. Ready to move in! Huge private patio & a handmade tree house for kids to play. Perfect for family with kids. Renovations done including: 1. Brand new appliances with warranty including: dishwasher, microwave oven, washer/dryer. 2. Brand new three pieces (shower, toilet, sink) on main floor. 3. New painting inside & out. 4. New gutters. 5. Newly maintained roof. 6. New high efficiency furnace installed in 2011. 7. New hot water tank in 2016. Open house on June 24, 3-5pm, June 25, 2-4pm.
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