For the price of a two-bedroom castle in Vancouver, you could have owned this Irish castle.

For the price of a two-bedroom castle in Vancouver, you could have owned this Irish castle.Maison Real Estate

The castle, listed at $869,000 CAD, served as the set of Riverrun on Game of Thrones.

Someone bought a Irish castle that was featured on Game of Thrones for the price of a two-bedroom condo in Vancouver.

Gosford Castle, a mid-17th century castle in Northern Island, is off the market after being listed for £500,000 ($869,491 CAD), roughly the same price as a 835-square-foot downtown condo on Smithe Street currently listed at $868,000.


It’s no castle, but the walk-in closets are handy. MLS


The castle was featured on HBO’s Game of Thrones where it served as the set of Riverrun, one of the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms.


Inside, it’s a bit of a fixer-upper in spots. Maison Real Estate


According to Maison Real Estate, Gosford Castle was designed in the Norman Revival style by London architect Thomas Hopper and was occupied by the Earls of Gosford until 1921.



It’s perfect for Game of Thrones viewing parties – or maybe a Dungeons and Dragons game night. Maison Real Estate


“During the Second World War the Castle was commandeered and used to accommodate troops and prisoner of war camp was set up in the estate,” the castle listing said. “Following the war the Achesons sold the Castle to the Ministry of Agriculture who established the 590 acre demesne as Gosford Forest Park which was later designated Northern Ireland’s first conservation forest in 1986. The castle fell back into military use during The Troubles before being run as a hotel from 1983.”

The condo is pet-friendly (with restrictions).


A nice sectional and an Ikea bookcase would work in this space. Maison Real Estate


It boasts 15 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

It has no heat, however, other than those grand fireplaces. So that’s a point in the favour of the Smithe Street condo.


Castle living has never been so affordable!


“In 2006, the castle was bought by Gosford Castle Development Limited who put forward a £4m proposal to restore the Grade A listed building into 23 luxury residences. The restoration was undertaken by artisans and craftsmen with a focus on retaining the character and historic integrity of the castle,” reads the Maison sales brochure.

The condo looks like it has granite countertops.


Castle can be divided into luxury apartments.

The portion of the castle that was for sale has been partially developed with a view to convert the space into six luxury apartments, each with an average space of 3,500 square feet.

The condo building has its own exercise centre.



It’s a nice castle, but it’s probably really drafty.

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I have listed a new property at 920 ALDERSIDE RD in Port Moody.
West coast inspiration with ultra modern design describes this remarkable water front home on Port Moody's prestigious Alderside Road. Custom built over three levels, this home takes utmost advantage of the Burrard Inlet views from its every angle. The expansive floor to ceiling windows slide open to create a seamless indoor/outdoor living space throughout the home. Chef's kitchen includes Wolf & Sub Zero appliances, wet bar, and quartz. In floor radiant heat throughout and equipped with a Savant home automation system. Inner courtyard with fireplace accesses the private guest suite. Deep water dock and southern exposure with decks on every level to enjoy the views. This home is truly breathtaking, designed down to the smallest detail including an elevator! By Appointment Only.
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I have listed a new property at 1727 CHARLAND AVE in Coquitlam.
Spectacular renovation of this central Coquitlam home!! 5 bdrms, 5 baths & den; it has been totally updated w/ high end finishings throughout. Hardwood flooring, quartz counters & stainless steel appliances to name a few. Main floor is an entertainers paradise w/ an open concept kitchen and living & dining area that can accommodate a crowd. Kitchen w/ huge center island, pantry, 6 burner gas stove, wall oven & 2 beverage fridges! Double French doors open onto the huge sundeck that enjoys a covered area w/ built in fireplace. Completing the main floor are 3 bdrms, 3 baths & laundry. Down you have 2 bdrm self-contained suite & family room with kitchenette; each w/ their own laundry. Entire home is bright & welcoming. Situated on a huge lot w/ back lane access, double garage & RV parking.
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Please visit our Open House at 124 3000 RIVERBEND DR in Coquitlam.
Open House on Sunday, April 28, 2019 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Welcome to Riverbend; a quiet, safe enclave tucked away in East Coquitlam. This bright home, over two levels, has many recent updates to enjoy. Huge kitchen renovated with custom cabinetry, quartz counters, subway tile, eating area, stainless steel appliances and all with access to the enclosed sun room. Living room with gas fireplace & vaulted ceilings. New flooring; tile & Ash engineered hardwood & new blinds throughout the home. 3 bedrooms are up; master with updated 4 piece ensuite. Down enjoys recreation room, another large bedroom with ensuite, den/office that could be the 5th bedroom and laundry. Close to the walking trails along the Coquitlam River, restaurants and shopping. 2 enclosed sun rooms, A/C, patio, planter boxes & shed. Open Sunday Apr 28, 2-4pm
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I have listed a new property at 1184 GLENAYRE DR in Port Moody.
Eligible for Detached Accessory Building on a corner lot! Well kept family home in Port Moody's sought after Glenayre neighbourhood. Main floor with 3 bedrooms, living room w/ fireplace and adjacent dining room. Kitchen with gas stove, new tile flooring, eating area and access to the huge rear deck that is partially covered for your year-round enjoyment. Beautiful re-finished hard wood flooring thru the main. Down is a registered 1 bedroom suite and an extra bedroom and bathroom for upstairs use. Situated on a large corner lot with new retaining wall and fencing. Close to Glenayre elementary, shopping and transit. Open House Saturday April 20, 2-4pm
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Please visit our Open House at 1184 GLENAYRE DR in Port Moody.
Open House on Saturday, April 20, 2019 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Eligible for Detached Accessory Building on a corner lot! Well kept family home in Port Moody's sought after Glenayre neighbourhood. Main floor with 3 bedrooms, living room w/ fireplace and adjacent dining room. Kitchen with gas stove, new tile flooring, eating area and access to the huge rear deck that is partially covered for your year-round enjoyment. Beautiful re-finished hard wood flooring thru the main. Down is a registered 1 bedroom suite and an extra bedroom and bathroom for upstairs use. Situated on a large corner lot with new retaining wall and fencing. Close to Glenayre elementary, shopping and transit. Open House Saturday April 20, 2-4pm
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Please visit our Open House at 91 STRONG RD in Anmore.
Open House on Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Pride in ownership is evident in this stately Anmore home & property. Great curb appeal with its brick facade & trees surrounding the private yard. Living rm with 2 storey ceiling & floor to ceiling windows that overlook the greenery of the rear yard. Adjacent formal dining rm w/French doors to the patio. Beautiful hardwood floors through the main. Large kitchen with huge center island, separate eating area, family rm with gas fireplace & mud rm from the garage with washer/ dryer hook up. Master bdrm on the main has walk in closet & 5 piece ensuite. Up are 3 more bdrms including an open flex space at the top of the stairs. Down is a rec rm, games rm, workshop, office, laundry & storage. Many updates to the home incl appliances, flooring, painting & ensuite. Open House Sat Apr 13, 2-4 pm
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Federal housing agency says more than 10 per cent of Metro Vancouver home purchases would fall within price cap

 

The new First Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) announced in the recent Federal Budget has come under fire for its income and purchase price caps, prompting Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to release a statement defending the program April 4.

The program will offer first-time buyers an interest-free loan of up to five per cent of the purchase price of a resale home, or 10 per cent of a new home. The loan will come in the form of a shared-equity mortgage with CMHC and is available to households with an annual income of up to $120,000. The incentive is applicable on mortgages of up to four times the applicants’ household income, resulting in a maximum home purchase price of around $505,000, assuming a five per cent deposit and a $480,000 mortgage value plus CMHC loan.

 
 

Critics have suggested that the purchase price cap means those who most need the program, in expensive cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, will get the least use of the initiative, as average home prices in those areas are far higher than the incentive’s maximum purchase price.

However, CMHC disputed this argument Thursday, saying that there are many options for starter homes in both cities under $505,000.

 

The CMHC wrote, “Despite the income and borrowing limits, we are confident this program can work in all markets, including Vancouver and Toronto… This program applies up to a house price of $505,000, assuming a five per cent down payment. However, we shouldn’t confuse market average prices ($1 million in Vancouver and $770,000 in Toronto) with starter home prices.

“It may not be a condo in Yaletown or a house in Riverdale, but there are options in both metropolitan areas to accommodate this program. In fact, around 23 per cent of transactions in Toronto are for homes under $500,000 and 10 per cent in Vancouver. It is very difficult to estimate the demand for the incentive; however, based on last year’s activity — more than 2,000 home buyers in Toronto would have been eligible for the FTHBI and over 1,000 in Greater Vancouver.”

The CMHC also denied that the incentive would have an inflationary effect on home prices, saying that the program had been calculated to avoid this.

The statement said, “We have carefully targeted the FTHBI to help younger Canadians having trouble affording home ownership. The program is capped at $1.25 billion over three years... We do not expect the FTHBI’s inflation effect to be beyond a maximum of 0.2-0.4 per cent.”

The housing agency added that suggestions the federal government should have reduced the mortgage stress test or increased mortgage amortization periods to 30 years would result in much more inflation.

“Limiting house price inflation will keep housing more affordable, more so than some of the other suggested policy and regulatory changes. For example, a reduction of one per cent in the mortgage insurance stress test or an extended amortization limit of 30 years would have added to indebtedness and resulted in house price inflation of five to six times more than this maximum.”

However, all these arguments may be moot if the Liberal Party of Canada is not re-elected in October’s federal election.

CMHC concluded its statement with, “We will release more details as soon as we can and we expect the program to be operational this September.” But the agency also said that there were still a lot of details to work out, and offered no guarantee of a September launch date.

Elizabeth May, federal Green Party leader, told media on Budget day, “[New homebuyer incentives are] a big present that the Liberals have wrapped up for us, but it all requires new legislation, so we won’t get to unwrap that gift unless the Liberals are re-elected.”

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Cutting the grass with environmentally friendly push mower

 


First the bad news: if you neglect spring lawn care (and related concerns about your mower), you could end up paying for it the rest of the year. Now the good news: the chores required of you in spring don't entail nearly the amount of work that you'll have to invest in mowing alone throughout the summer months.

In fact, you might need to implement only about half of the following ten tips for spring lawn care, depending upon your unique circumstances. Furthermore, there are a few instances below that the task in question is better performed as part of your fall lawn care if you can wait that long.

Raking

Raking will be your first task of spring lawn care. You're likely saying, "But we already raked leaves in the fall!" Sorry, but raking is for more than just removing leaves: it's for controlling thatch, too. A thatch build-up of more than 1/2 inch is considered excessive.

 

Thatch is the reason why it's recommended that, when you rake leaves in the fall, you make an effort to rake deeply. Don't just skim the surface so as merely to remove the leaves. A deep raking will remove thatch, too, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone. Even if you followed this advice in fall, a spring raking is still recommended as it will remove grass blades that died over the winter -- dead blades that are just waiting to become thatch.

But there's often another good reason for a spring raking. As you survey your lawn in spring, see if there are any matted patches, in which the grass blades are all stuck together. This can be caused by a disease known as "snow mold." New grass may have difficulty penetrating these matted patches. But raking will be sufficient to solve this problem.

Raking lawn

When you perform any of these spring lawn care tasks will depend upon the climate of your region. But Mother Nature provides obvious cues in some cases. For instance, when you're pretty sure the snow season (if you have one) is over in your region, begin raking. Applying pre-emergent herbicides (see Tip #6) should be done sometime between the time the local forsythia bushes stop blooming and the time the local lilac bushes begin blooming.

Check for Compaction

If your lawn is subject to high levels of traffic year after year, it may eventually start to show signs of decline. In such cases, your lawn is probably suffering from compacted soil. For instance, the presence of moss signals compaction (among other things). You can get rid of it, but successful eradication begins with the recognition that moss shouldn't be treated as "just another weed."

Lawn aeration is the remedy for compaction. The good news is that lawn aerators can be rented at your local rental center. The bad news is that the experts recommend postponing lawn aeration until fall. But if during your "spring lawn checkup," you become aware of compaction, at least you can plan on setting aside some time in the fall to take care of it.

Liming

Besides compaction, the presence of moss plants also signals acidity. But grass likes a neutral pH. You can solve this problem by liming your soil. But don't expect a quick fix: the effects of liming are slow to take place.

 

But first, send a soil sample to your local county extension to determine the extent of your soil's acidity. The county extension will also be able to advise you on how much lime per square foot you'll need. Apply the lime using a fertilizer spreader.

 

But if your lawn has been doing fine and shows no signs of suffering from acidity, don't apply lime. Liming is only a corrective measure, not a preventive measure. A soil that is too alkaline will also cause your lawn problems, so too much lime is as bad as not enough.

 

Overseeding

Is your lawn riddled with bare patches due to dog spots, heavy traffic, or neglect? If so, you may need to apply grass seed to fill in those bare patches. This solution is known as "overseeding lawns." Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer when you overseed. Five weeks after the grass germinates, apply quick-release nitrogen fertilizer.

 

However, spring isn't the very best time for overseeding lawns. Fall is the preferred time when the new grass won't have to compete with crabgrass, which is killed off by autumn frosts. So postpone overseeding until fall, unless your situation is dire.

 
Lawn with dead grass

Fertilize

Lawns can be fertilized organically by using compost and mulching mowers. But for those who prefer chemical fertilizers, Scotts provides a schedule for fertilizing lawns. Many experts, however, recommend a lighter feeding in spring and a heavier one in late fall for the types of lawn grasses known as "cool-season grasses." Too much fertilizer in spring can lead to disease and weed problems. And if you have, indeed, already fertilized in late fall, your lawn is still "digesting" that fertilizer in spring.

 

For those who prefer weed-free lawns, spring grass care is as much about weed prevention as it is about fostering healthy lawn growth. Novices are often surprised to learn that not all lawn weeds are battled in the same manner. Depending upon whether a weed is an annual or perennial, you will use a preemergent herbicide or a post-emergent herbicide against it (although landscapers commonly use both preemergent and post-emergent crabgrass killers -- an indication of how tough that weed is to battle).

 

Apply Preemergent Herbicides

If you know that you have a problem with the annual weed, crabgrass, then fertilization in spring should go hand in hand with the application of preemergent herbicides. As their name suggests, preemergent herbicides address weed control, not after the fact, but before their seedlings can even emerge. Preemergent herbicides accomplish this by forming something of a "shield" that inhibits seed germination. Don't undertake core aeration after applying preemergent herbicides: to do so would be to "puncture" this shield, thereby decreasing its effectiveness.

 

Crabgrass begins its assault on lawns in spring when its seeds germinate. Overseeding should be carried out in autumn, rather than spring, based in part on the threat posed by a spring crabgrass invasion. "So why not just begin by killing the crabgrass first with a pre-emergent herbicide?" perhaps you ask. Well, the trouble is that most preemergent herbicides work against not only weed seeds, but grass seeds, as well!

 

You can appreciate the dilemma here. Overseeding is incompatible with the application of most preemergent herbicides. Faced with competition from crabgrass in spring, you may find it difficult to establish your new grass. So while it's still possible to overseed in spring, it's simply easier to do so in fall. There will be no competition from crabgrass then because the fall frosts kill off crabgrass.

 

If you must overseed in the spring, look for a product called, "Tupersan." Unlike other preemergent herbicides, Tupersan will not damage germinating lawn grass seed. But if you're committed to staying away from chemicals altogether in your spring grass care, postpone overseeding till fall.

 

Apply Postemergent Herbicides (Or Pull Weeds)

Keep an eye out for the emergence of the perennial weed, dandelion during the spring season, unless you find the presence of their cheerful yellow flowers in your lawn desirable. At the very least, you'll want to snap off their flower stems before they produce seed. If you're more ambitious, you can dig them out by the roots. Spraying dandelion weeds with post-emergent herbicides is more effective in fall than in spring. If you do choose to spray, you must select an herbicide for broadleaf weeds.

 

If you prefer weed control without chemicals and have consistently practiced organic landscaping, you can harvest these "weeds" as dandelion greens and eat them!

 

Besides proper spring grass care, there's more you need to do to get ready for a summer filled with lawn mowing. Don't neglect preparations concerning the lawn mower itself.

 

No other power equipment is as intimately associated with and essential to landscaping as is the lawn mower. You need to have one that will consistently get the job done without any hassles throughout the lawn mowing season. And you should also know how to use one to your best advantage. Consequently, the final three of my ten tips focus on caring for, selecting and using these machines.

 
Spraying dandelion herbicide

Tune-Up Existing Lawn Mowers

Mowing the lawn all summer can be tiring enough, right? Why make it more difficult on yourself by putting up with a lawnmower that doesn't start up immediately? When your unit is stubborn about starting up, that can be a sign that it needs a tuneup.

 

Although it’s often possible to get by without one, it is recommended that you have a mower tuneup each year. Don't put it off till summer or pay someone else to do it. Learn how to tune one up yourself.

 

Buy a New Lawn Mower

Or perhaps you're fed up with your old lawnmower? Is it time for a change? Research and decide on which type is best suited to your own unique landscaping needs.

 

Review Lawn Mowing Strategies

"What's there to know about lawn mowing?" perhaps you ask. "You just push the lawn mower, and it cuts the grass, right?" At the most basic level, Yes. And if lawn mowing is merely a mindless chore that you perform to satisfy other people (and you don't care much about the health of your grass), then you needn't know any more about it.

 

However, if you do care about the health of your grass, there's a bit more to lawn mowing than just keeping your grass short enough to prevent the neighborhood from thinking your house has been abandoned. Spring is a good time to learn (or review) lawn mowing strategies–before it becomes so hot outside that it's hard to think!

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I have listed a new property at 91 STRONG RD in Anmore.
Pride in ownership is evident in this stately Anmore home & property. Great curb appeal with its brick facade & trees surrounding the private yard. Living rm with 2 storey ceiling & floor to ceiling windows that overlook the greenery of the rear yard. Adjacent formal dining rm w/French doors to the patio. Beautiful hardwood floors through the main. Large kitchen with huge center island, separate eating area, family rm with gas fireplace & mud rm from the garage with washer/ dryer hook up. Master bdrm on the main has walk in closet & 5 piece ensuite. Up are 3 more bdrms including an open flex space at the top of the stairs. Down is a rec rm, games rm, workshop, office, laundry & storage. Many updates to the home incl appliances, flooring, painting & ensuite. Close to Eagle Mtn Middle.
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