A real estate analyst who accurately predicted Metro Vancouver’s housing crash a year ago says the current slump will stretch out for three more years.

One year ago, Dane Eitel of Eitel Insights forecast that 2018 sales of detached houses in Metro Vancouver would collapse and the average detached house price would fall from the $1.8 million peak in May 2017 to $1.6 million by the third quarter of this year.


As of September, detached housing sales had indeed plunged 40.4 per cent from a year earlier and the benchmark price had hit $1.54 million, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The average detached sale price was approximately $1.58 million.

 
 


Eitel, who applies stock market-style analytics to the housing market, now forecasts that the detached house price in Metro Vancouver will sink in stages to a bottom of $1.4 million by Q3 2020 and trade at the level for another 18 months. The turnaround will begin in January 2022 – and it will be dramatic, he predicts.

 

“By the end of 2023 we will be back up to the 2017 peak pricing [$1.83 million]. But the breakout will be historic. Especially for those who purchase at or anywhere near the bottom,” Eitel told Western Investor.

He is forecasting that in the following five years to 2028, the average Metro Vancouver detached house price will skyrocket to around $2.8 million – a 100 per cent increase from the 2021 bottom of $1.4 million.

Contradicting BCREA

The continued slump to 2022 is not what the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) is forecasting. The BCREA contends the current downturn is a government-caused blip and recovery is already underway.

According to the association’s calculations, the B.C. market has turned from its trough in June, and since then has seen a relative increase in activity of around 3.5 per cent, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Cameron Muir, BCREA’s chief economist, said “The B.C. housing market is evolving along the same path blazed by Ontario and Alberta, where the initial shock of the mortgage stress-test is already dissipating, leading to increasing home sales.”

But Eitel said that 40 years of Greater Vancouver detached house sales and average price cycles reveals a trading pattern is established that will play out over the next decade.

He noted that the last long-term cycle began in October of 1987 and ran to 1996, during which time average house prices increased 190 per cent and peaked at $286,000 in February 1995. The average price then dropped 19 per cent to bottom out in December 1996. Prices did not recover to the earlier price peak until November 2002, six years later.

We are seeing a similar pattern today, Eitel said.

Toronto’s “dead-cat bounce”

Eitel said he has applied his analytics to every major city in Canada and that some regions will outperform both Vancouver and Toronto over the short term. He cautioned that the current recovery in the Toronto’s housing market is “a dead-cat bounce” that will soon come to an ugly end.

“There are some markets in Canada that will see strong growth in house prices, even as Vancouver and Toronto decline,” Eitel said, adding that his information is proprietary and available through Eitel Insights.

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Don't waste money on inflatable Halloween decorations for your front yard. Use our ideas and your crafty skills to make one-of-a-kind decorations. You'll be the envy of the neighborhood and save a lot of money.


Mascot

Greet trick-or-treaters with a scarecrow mascot. Give it a personality to match your style: scary or friendly, male or female, casual or formal. Use lumber to create the body: a 2x4 for the main post, a 1x4 for the shoulders and four more 1x4s for the arms. Use wood glue and fasteners to secure the elbow joints. A dried or plastic gourd will last longer than a fresh one and a scarf is the perfect accessory to cover up any unsightly handiwork.



Flying Ghosts

Fill your trees or front porch with free-flying ghosts. Made inexpensively from balloons and gauze fabric, these little Caspers catch the wind to add movement to your outdoor decor. 




Pumpkin Bonfire

Don’t want to be bothered with a real bonfire because it's too dangerous for kids and too much of a pain to keep lit? Create a low-maintenance fire pit with faux pumpkins, battery-operated candles and a few logs. 
 
 
 
 

Eyeball Wreath

Add a little Cruella Deville style to your front door by wrapping a black feather boa around a wreath form then adorning it with some bloodshot eyeballs.
 
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1. Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink ribbons abound every October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


2. Bathtub Day

It’s a thing. Kind of. 

Bathtub Day on October 7th is a treat for real estate agents. 

3. Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadians in every province and territory recognize Monday, October 8th as Thanksgiving.



4. Election Day

Many Canadian municipalities are having elections in October, including:

  • Vancouver on October 20th;
  • Toronto on October 22nd;
  • Ottawa on October 22nd; and
  • Winnipeg on October 24th.


5. Make A Difference Day

On Make a Difference Day (October 27th)

Make a donation to the food bank. Volunteer at a nursing home or at a school. Gather some colleagues and go pick up trash at a local park.

 

6. Halloween

 Share a photo of your kids dressed up in their costumes on October 31st.

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5 Home Decor Trends of 2018 To Help You Sell Listings Faster

It doesn’t matter that most homes aren’t sold with all of the contents included; good decor helps prospective buyers fall in love with a property. That’s why staging real estate listings can be so powerful.

That power comes with a price tag, though. If you want to save money on professional staging and go the DIY route, there are two things you need to know:


In this post, we’re giving you the rundown on the top home decor trends of 2018 and how they can help you stage and sell homes faster.

1. Trays

In July 2018, American blind and shade company Next Day Blinds published the results of their research into the home decor items that Americans googled most in the last year.

The most searched-for item? Trays.

Wood trays that rest on an ottoman and contain a television remote, drink coasters and a photography book. Or lucite trays to hold a candle, matches and a notepad. Or gold-mirrored trays for bar supplies, like fancy cocktail glasses and chic napkins.

Trays like these are hot because they serve as both storage and a decor item that adds visual interest. They’re available in all kinds of aesthetics and at various price points, making them a flexible and accessible way to dress up various rooms in your listings.


2. Woven Textures

Wicker as a summer-only material? Not anymore.

Fringe, crochet and woven textiles are just bad 70s leftovers? No way.

Woven textures showed up in a big way this year. Think: fringed throw pillows, wicker storage baskets and nubby, vintage-inspired wall hangings.

Moderation is key here; try a large-scale wall hanging on a bedroom wall or wicker baskets containing a couple throw blankets in the living room.


3. Tropical Touches

Palms, monstera leaves and hibiscus motifs have showed up on everything from shower curtains to wallpaper to throw pillows to coffee mugs.

The tropical trend is a nice way to incorporate graphic touches without being too abstract. But it’s not for every home; a palm tree print will be out of place in a house otherwise filled with antiques, for example.

Turn to this trend when you’re selling a minimalist or austere home that could benefit from some warmth and personality. Tropical vibes can also be a great addition to an already maximalist or vibrant aesthetic.


4. Maximalism

Speaking of maximalism, it’s back after years of being overlooked in favour of minimalism.

We’re talking layered textures, colours and patterns – sometimes in surprising combinations. Forget less is more; we’re all about ‘more is more’ now.

The overall effect is whimsical and creative, which can feel inviting and warm.

It can be difficult (and expensive) to start creating a maximalist room from scratch, so save this trend for listings that already have the foundation of a maximalist aesthetic.


5. Plant Party

Houseplants never went out of style, but they’ve never been hotter than they are this year.

Whether it’s because of a desire to counteract our increasingly digital lives or simply because they’re relatively inexpensive and impactful decor, having an overabundance of house plants is a trend in and of itself.

We don’t mean a plant in each room; we’re talking rooms with plants on nearly every surface. Like maximalism, but with plants.

This trend can be applied in ways that achieve a myriad of looks. Add climbing vines and leafy palms to a maximalist artsy home. A more classic space, dominated by white walls, could be livened up with orchids in a variety of colours and sizes.

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How to Sell a Home in the Fall

Summer is over, and so are your summer-specific selling strategies.

Backyard party open houses, listing descriptions focused on outdoor entertaining potential, or even filling front porches with lush and vibrant flowers — put those away now.

A new season = time for new tactics.

Today, we’re exploring five season-specific strategies to help you sell more homes this fall.

1. Be A Stickler For Lawn Maintenance

Keeping lawns and yards free of fallen leaves and debris is a daily challenge in the autumn months.

We might only rake our own properties once or twice in the fall, but when it comes to homes we’re selling, we gotta kick our raking game up a notch (or five).

As long as there’s a ‘For Sale’ sign in the front yard, the lawns of your listed homes should be as free of dead leaves as possible. If you’re having an open house, that same level of care should extend to the backyard.

Other outdoor maintenance to undertake or make clear to your seller: trimming back overgrown trees and bushes, removing withered summer plants and flowers, and removing any summer-y decor and furniture.

2. Set The Mood

When sweater weather approaches, everyone craves coziness. Appeal to that craving by creating fall ambience at your September to November open houses.

Light candles in each room.

But stay away from heavy scents; while some open house attendees may appreciate the vanilla-fig wafting through the house, others will be heading for the door.

Play mood music.

Reggae jams and the Beach Boys may have helped you create a relaxed, sunny vibe in the summer months. Now that we’re in fall, opt for an intimate, softer, maybe even folk-y soundtrack.

Great fall picks include Bon Iver, Damien Rice, Sarah Harmer, and Nick Drake.

Offer seasonal treats.

When it comes to the snacks and beverages you offer up during open houses, trade slushy summer drinks and fresh fruit for spiced tea, apple cider, and pumpkin-everything baked goods.

3. Create Curb Appeal

Just because summer’s brightest blooms have retired, doesn’t mean you should leave a home’s front porch devoid of any plant life and decor.

Colours play a role in the buying process, so just opt for fall-appropriate colours like bold reds, oranges, yellows and purples.

Marigolds, chrysanthemums and pansies are all perfect picks for the fall months. As Halloween approaches, you can accessorize with a pumpkin and various squash.

4. Swap Out Decor


With the help of a stager or on your own, make a few small decor changes to your listings to help make them feel more seasonally-appropriate.

Throw pillows.

Add throw pillows in rich fall colours and sumptuous fabrics, like velvet.

Install dimmers.

Lighting dimmers are very inexpensive and easy to install. Being able to customize the level of brightness helps create a cozy fall mood.

Dress up a fireplace.

If your listing has a functional fireplace, you probably don’t want to be bothered with lighting and maintaining a fire during an open house.

Instead, fill it — as a for-show fireplace — with lit pillar candles in glass vases.

5. Sell Coziness

You can tailor your listing descriptions and social media promotion to be fall-specific, too.

Is the house close to a forested trail system, or does it offer a view of trees? Mention the amazing fall colours.

If the home features a beautiful working fireplace, describe cozy nights spent in front of a roaring fire.

Even large kitchens and standout dining rooms can be a fall-selling feature.

Using storytelling techniques, set the scene for prospective buyers by describing a big Thanksgiving meal spent with family and friends.


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While vinegar is commonly regarded as the “holy grail” of household products, it can't be used for everything.

 Vinegar is certainly useful in freshening up bath towels, de-gunking a dishwasher, or battling stubborn carpet stains.

Given the fact that vinegar is both non-toxic and natural, it’s a desirable cleaning solution. It’s also in high demand

because it’s not high in chemicals. Just because this magical solution offers help around this house in a range of ways

doesn’t mean it’s safe to use across the board. To ensure that you’re only using vinegar where appropriate, below is a

list of things that should never be done with vinegar around the house.

1. Cleaning Marble or Granite

Marble countertops.

Granite and marble are certainly something that you do not want to ruin or damage. Using vinegar to clean these items could

do just that. This is because the acid in vinegar can etch the natural stone. Instead, use a mild liquid dish detergent mixed with

warm water and your counters will soon be sparkling.

2. Cleaning an Iron

A steaming iron.

It’s tempting to clean your iron with vinegar to freshen it up, especially since the solution can be safely added to a washing

machine to clean towels and linens. However, doing so presents a danger to your iron. Doing this could damage the tool

internally, causing a clog. Instead, read the manufacturer’s instructions to learn how to best clean an iron and avoid the

steam vents clogging by emptying the iron each time you use it.

3. Touching Up Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors in a living room.

This is a part of the household where there’s still some debate as far as vinegar goes. Some argue that vinegar both cleans

and seals their hardwood floors nicely, while others state that it damages the finish. While there is a chance that vinegar could

react well to your hardwood floors, from our point of view, it’s not really worth the risk. Instead, you’d be better suited to use a

cleaner that is specifically formulated for hardwood floors, easily found at your local hardware or grocery store. If you simply

must try vinegar on your flooring, dilute it with water generously and test it on a small part of the floor to see its reaction.

4. Wiping Down Electronics

A computer is cleaned.

Since vinegar is known for cleaning items so thoroughly, you may think it’d be a great way to strip your laptop or even

smartphone screen of fingerprints and germs. This is not the case. Since many electronics have a thin layer of oleophobic

coating to improve their appearance and limit fingerprints and smudging, vinegar is a danger to these products. The acid in

vinegar can strip this film off completely.

5. Mixing with Bleach

A woman cleans with bleach.

Bleach and vinegar are both highly regarded and widely used cleaning solutions, but that doesn’t mean that they should be

mixed together. When they are mingled, in fact, they produce chlorine gas. This was the substance used to clear trenches in

World War I. Therefore, this is definitely not something you want within the walls of your home, so definitely don’t mix these

two solutions together for any reason.

6. Cleaning Cast Iron Pots

Cast iron pots.

Cast iron pots and skillets are valuable tools in the kitchen, and for that reason, you want to keep them in working order.

These kitchen tools build up a layer of grease and grime that demand a thorough cleaning. The cleaning shouldn’t be done

with vinegar. Vinegar can have an adverse reaction with cast iron, inducing rust. To keep your pans pristine, rinse them simply

with water or gentle soap and water if desired.

7. Cleaning Egg Stains

A cracked egg on the ground.

While this may not be something you run into too frequently, egg stains do occur when you drop an egg on the floor

accidentally. If this happens to you, opt for a different cleaning solution than vinegar. Using vinegar can cause a spilled egg

to coagulate due to the acid in the vinegar. This will make the stain more difficult to remove.

Vinegar is undoubtedly a valuable cleaning agent, but avoid using vinegar with these items in order to maintain a clean and

healthy home.


 
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Certain areas of your home make a good scrub down obvious. Some objects, however, tend to be a bit more forgettable, and dirt, dust, and germs build up without us noticing them. But not anymore! Banish bacteria, dust, and grime on common household objects with these quick and clever tips.

Need a hand during dinner prep? You're likely using one to open the refrigerator door -- even if you just finished handling raw meat. If left untreated, refrigerator, freezer, and oven handles become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Scrub handles down once a week with a mix of 1 part hot water and 1 part vinegar.  

2. Toothbrush Holder

Keep your pearly whites clean and your toothbrush holder cleaner. Throw the dirty bathroom accessory in the dishwasher once a week, or sterilize it by hand with hot water and soap. It's also a good idea to sterilize individual toothbrushes, especially during flu season. Boil brushes in water for two to three minutes.

3. Computer Accessories

Think of all the times you've coughed, sneezed, or blown your nose at your desk. Now think of the last time you cleaned your mouse and keyboard. Time to banish bacteria and prevent germs from spreading in your office. Detach your computer's  keyboard and mouse, then dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in soapy water and gently scrub. 

4. Place Mats

Place mats are great at protecting wood finishes from food stains, but they get filthy fast. Rinse plastic or vinyl place mats with warm water and soap. Let dry completely. Fabric mats can be thrown in the laundry machine with like-color linens, but be sure to hand-wash anything embroidered.

5. Handrails

Keep your balance without picking up any pathogens. Use damp paper towels soaked in hot water and vinegar to scrub down railings. Wipe dry with a polishing cloth. Give doorknobs the same disinfection.

6. Light Switches

Grimy hands touch light switches and lamp knobs every day. Disinfect with a slightly damp cloth soaked in hot water and vinegar. Wipe dry with a polishing cloth.

7. Reusable Shopping Bags

  • grocery bag

Reusable shopping bags are great: They hold a ton and provide an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. However, the bags can start to smell and become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold if not cleaned regularly. Wash cloth grocery bags in your laundry machine, or invest in plastic bags that can easily be wiped down.

8. Ice Cube Trays

  • freezer

It's easy to just refill ice cube trays without a thought, but trays are susceptible to picking up food remnants or odors inside your freezer. Each time they're empty, give the trays a thorough wash with hot water and dish soap.

9. Water Bottles

Put down the bottle. Before you take another sip, draw a hot, soapy bath for it. Let soak for five to 10 minutes. Use a bottle brush to scrub the interior, and utilize a toothpick to get inside the mouthpiece. Rinse thoroughly. 

10. Faucet

Faucets are hands-down the dirtiest thing in your home. Scrub handles daily with hot water and dish soap. For a shiny surface, make a paste with baking soda and vinegar, apply it to the faucet, let sit, then rinse off.   

11. Cup Holders

Latte spilled during a rough commute? We're here to help you out of this sticky situation. Use a rag soaked in hot water and dish soap to scrub the inside of a cup holder. Then use a toothpick to pick off any remaining gunk. Use a clean rag to towel dry. 

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Residential sales forecast to slow further this year but recover next year

 

 

Home sales across Greater Vancouver may be soft so far this year compared with the past couple of years, but that won’t be

enough to bring average prices down, according to a forecast by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).

In its quarterly outlook, the BCREA predicted that Greater Vancouver home sales on the MLS for the whole of 2018 will total

37,200 units, which is down 10.7 per cent compared with 2017 – but that transactions will recover somewhat in 2019 to rise

3.7 per cent.

 
 

The report said the average Greater Vancouver home sale price this year will be $1.08 million, which is 4.7 per cent higher

than 2017’s average price of $1.03 million. BCREA added that it expected a continued slight rise of 2.3 per cent next year,

to just over $1.1 million. This average encompasses all property types and all areas of the region, and doesn’t take into

account larger variables between different property types and neighbourhood sub-markets.

“The housing market continues to be supported by a strong economy,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist.

“However, slower economic growth is expected over the next two years as the economy is nearing full employment and

consumers have stepped back from their 2017 spending spree.”

 

Across the province, residential resales are forecast to fall nine per cent to 94,200 units this year, following 103,700 unit sales

in 2017, and stay flat in 2019. However, the BCREA said that B.C. sales are “expected to remain above the 10-year average

of 84,800 units into 2020.”

BCREA BC home sales forecast into 2019
 
 



 
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Filmed in Vancouver

The production of Bates Motel in action

We’re ready for our close-up! Vancouver’s film and TV show biz pumps $1 billion per year into the local economy, and with blockbuster flicks like Deadpool, Skyscraper, 50 Shades of Grey and Star Trek filmed here, word is out that Vancouver is spreading its own Hollywood glitter.

Chalk it up to lower production costs, close proximity to a range of available backdrops – sparkling ocean, sandy beaches, lush rainforests and soaring mountains, for starters – and a mild climate conducive to year-round shooting. Whatever the case, Vancouver is critically acclaimed by movie producers, directors and celebrities alike. In fact, the city has a long history with celebrity lore, back since Gary Cooper hitched a ride to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on a passing street-cleaning machine.

Of course, it’s not just big-name cinematic releases that shoot in Vancouver – plenty of your favourite TV flicks are brought to life here, too. The city has become a sci-fi and fantasy hub, starting back when the original X-Files series filmed in the ‘90s (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson also returned to shoot the series reboot). Other small-screen fan favourites shot in Vancouver include Riverdale, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, Arrow and The Flash, as well as old-school series spanning the range of 21 Jump Street to MacGyver.

While visiting, take note of big white trailers parked around the city, with cables snaking down footpaths and casually dressed crews milling about with walkie-talkies – you might be witnessing the makings of the next Hollywood blockbuster.  That’s a wrap!

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The garage is often the last place in a home that gets organized. But with the right plan and some motivation, you can organize and clean your garage in no time. Here are eight ways to organize your garage.

1. Pegboard Organizer

A pegboard holding tools.

Pegboards are great for organizing small tools and supplies in a neat and orderly fashion. Not only are they easy to install, but you can cut them down to whatever size you need and put them pretty much anywhere on the wall. Pegboards are best suited for smaller items, such as screwdrivers, hammers, measuring tools, and gardening items. You can also draw outlines of each item on the pegboard so you know where everything goes and when something is missing.

2. Vertical Storage

A bike hanging on a wall.

Storing larger items vertically is a great way to free up floor space in your garage. Bicycles, for instance, can be stored vertically on a pole or hung on the ceiling with hooks. Just ensure you are using a secure method when storing things vertically and make sure they do not interfere with the movement of the garage door.

3. Slat Wall Storage

Tools on wall storage unit.

A slat wall is another great solution for organizing loose items in your garage. While similar to a pegboard, a slat wall is stronger and can hold larger items, such as shovels, rakes, brooms and even garden hoses. You can use hooks to mount items or install baskets to store smaller things, like paint brushes or cleaning supplies.

4. Movable Workbenches

A workbench in a garage.

Workbenches are handy for DIY projects but they can get in the way when they are not in use. An easy solution to this problem is building a worktable that can be folded up and tucked away at the end of the day. If you already have a workbench, you can put castors on the legs to make it mobile. You might not be able to hide it in a corner, but you will be able to move it out of the way when you are not working on a big project.

5. Sports Storage

Storage containers with sports balls.

Storing sports equipment in the garage can be challenging, but there are easy solutions out there to keep everything neat and organized. For balls, consider hanging a wire wall basket. These handy devices make it easy to retrieve the ball when you need it while also keeping them from rolling all over the garage. For larger sports equipment, such as baseball bats and hockey sticks, you can store them upright in an old pallet. You can also build a rolling cart for the equipment, complete with shelving space and a wire basket for balls.

6. Ceiling Storage

An organized garage with lots of storage.

When organizing the garage, the biggest key is to free up as much floor space as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by installing storage options in the ceiling. There are a number of ways you can do this and your preference depends largely on what you need stored. If you have a lot of loose items, for instance, you can build a vertical shelf that will hold large tubs for storage. This is a great solution for seasonal items, such as Christmas decorations.

7. Shelves

A garage with a blue shelving unit.

Adding shelving in the garage is one of the easiest and most popular ways to get organized. You can build shelves out of an array of different materials, including recycled goods, and place them wherever you have wall space. If you are installing shelves, consider placing items in larger containers to help keep everything organized and looking neat.

8. Create Groupings

A garage with items organized by group on shelves.

Before you begin hanging things and tidying up, it is important to organize all of the items you have accumulated over the years. An easy way to get started is by grouping things together based on their similarities. Put all of the gardening supplies, for instance, in the same group and mark a space for them in your storage system. This will help you get better organized and give you a better idea of the types of storage you need.

 
 
 


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Home sales in the Vancouver region have tumbled to their lowest level in six years while prices flatline, with listings languishing on the market.

There have been fewer home buyers recently but prices tend to be slow to react before declining, said real estate economist Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

“Prices are slow to adjust,” Mr. Davidoff said in an interview on Wednesday. “But there are reasons for optimism if you’re a millennial buyer. The price momentum has certainly slowed and there is reason to think you will see a further softening of the market going forward.”

 

Total residential sales volume last month fell to 2,425 transactions, down 37.7 per cent from 3,893 sales in June, 2017. Last month’s sales, the lowest for June since 2012, were 28.7 per cent under the 10-year average for the month, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“Before prices fall, you tend to see sales activity fall first,” Mr. Davidoff said.

 

The benchmark price for all housing types in Greater Vancouver has flattened, slipping to $1,093,600 − down $400 from the previous month but up 9.5 per cent since June, 2017.

The benchmark price is an industry representation of the typical home sold in an area.

“Buyers are less active today. This is allowing the supply of homes for sale to accumulate to levels we haven’t seen in the last few years,” board president Phil Moore said in a statement.

The total number of listings soared to 11,947 last month, up 40.3 per cent from 8,515 in June, 2017.

“Rising interest rates, high prices and more restrictive mortgage requirements are among the factors dampening home buyer activity today,” Mr. Moore said.

 

Prices were flat month-over-month for townhouses sold, with the benchmark reaching $859,800 in June, up $300 from May and a 15.3-per-cent gain over the past year.

Prices began surging regionally in mid-2013. Those huge spikes ended in mid-2016, shortly before the B.C. government introduced the foreign-buyers tax in August of that year for the Vancouver area.

The average price for detached houses sold in Greater Vancouver reached $1,754,795 last month, up 2.4 per cent from a year earlier. The region’s condo market saw a 5.7-per-cent gain over the past year to hit an average of $693,626.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board saw a total of 1,452 sales last month, down 43.5 per cent from a year earlier. In the board’s territory, which includes the sprawling suburb of Surrey, the average price for all residential property types dipped to $748,709 last month, down 0.4 per cent from June, 2017.

On the higher-end part of the market, prices are dropping. On Vancouver’s west side, the benchmark price for detached properties slipped to $3,392,500 in June, down 1.1 per cent over the past month and a 6.5-per-cent decrease over the past year.

An annual 0.2-per-cent property surtax will be imposed by British Columbia’s NDP government on the portion valued above $3-million and up to and including $4-million; for the portion above $4-million, a 0.4-per-cent annual rate applies.

 

For example, the owner of a property assessed at $4-million will fork over extra taxes of $2,000 next year, while the owner of a $6-million home will cough up an extra $10,000.

The NDP got the idea of the surtax from Rhys Kesselman, professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy, who proposed the concept in early 2016, although he envisaged a formula that would have lessened the surtax burden on homeowners who pay B.C. income tax.

Mr. Davidoff, who supports the surtax, has been the target of booing at protests against the NDP’s housing policies.

He said many homeowners perceive their large price gains are the result of hard work and skill in investing in housing as an asset, but that clashes with the NDP’s view that the time is ripe to tax millionaires who benefited through sheer luck from the real estate boom. “Of course you want to avoid taxing those who scrimp and save,” Mr. Davidoff said.

Benchmark prices in Greater Vancouver for detached houses are up 0.7 per cent over the past year to $1,598,200. Whistler, B.C., has been one of markets escaping the cooling-off trend, with the benchmark price for detached properties rising 9.5 per cent over the past year to hit $1,716,200 in June.

 
 
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Beat the heat with these portable air conditioners that are good on energy and can be stored in the winter.

portable air conditioner

If your home lacks central air conditioning, you don't have to settle for using fans or window-mounted ACs to keep you cool. These portable air-conditioners can be moved from room to room, but require the use of an exhaust hose that is typically vented through a window. The last two on the list are evaporative coolers that do not use a compressor or require a venting hose, but they are most effective in hot dry climates and with room windows open.

Best Tech: Frigidaire Smart Portable Air Conditioner


This big Frigidaire just might be the smartest piece of tech in your home. You can remotely turn the unit on or off, change temperature, and control mode and fan speeds. This all adds up to saving energy. The A/C unit will remind you when the filter needs to be changed and about any other maintenance it needs. It's rated to cool a room up to 550 square feet.

Best Value: Honeywell Compact Cooler and Humidifier
HONEYWELL


This portable AC unit from Honeywell packs a ton of features into a value-priced product. In addition to serving as an air-conditioner, it can also be used as a fan and humidifier. Other features include low energy, carbon dust filter, and a remote control. It's available in five sizes, from 176 to 525 CFM.

High Performance: Whynter Eco-Friendly Air Conditioner
Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner


This 3-in-1 portable A/C operates as a air-conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier. Its dual hose exhausts and drains all condensate,

which allows the unit to perform at its peak. It rolls on casters and can be used in computer/server rooms, bedrooms,

classrooms, and garages/workshops.

 
 
Best Design: LG Portable Air Conditioner
G LP0817WSR 8,000 BTU 115V Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control in White Portable Air Conditioner


This all-white sleek portable AC looks great in any room. The auto-swing air vent circulates the cool air more efficiently,

which lessens hot spots in a room. The auto evaporation system allows for continuous use, and like most other portable

A/C units, it includes a programmable 24-hour on/off timer, which monitors and controls the temperature while you are away.


Most Versatile: Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner
Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control


The Honeywell can cool and dehumidify areas up to 350-400 square feet. It includes a full-function remote control allows

you to operate each feature from across the room. The auto-evaporation system allows for hours of continuous operation,

with no water to drain or no bucket to empty. Included is a flexible exhaust hose and window venting kit, which can be

removed when the A/C unit is not in use.

Best for Large Spaces: Portacool Jetstream
Portacool PACJS2401A1 240 Jetstream Portable Evaporative Cooler


When you need serious cooling power for working on home improvement projects or in your garage, the Portacool

Jetstream evaporative cooler is one of the largest portable coolers you'll find. It can cool garages and shop spaces

up to 1,125 square feet, as well as provide a welcome breeze of 4,500 CFM to patios and decks. Connect your garden

hose and fill up the 50 gallon tank, then fire up the pump and fan and you are ready to go. Bonus: It's made in the USA.

 
Easy Mobility: Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner
BLACK AND DECKER


Black+Decker is more than just tools. They now make a lot of household products including portable air conditioners.

This full-featured air conditioner is one of the lightest available, and rolls easily on casters with handles for transport.

Most Compact: Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler
Honeywell CL201AE 42 Pt. Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler with Remote Control, Silver

This little unit packs a chilly punch that can cool a room up to 280 square feet. Evaporative coolers like this one are most

effective in dry conditions and draw less electricity than typical air conditioners. Fill the top-loading ice compartment plus

5.3-gallon (42-pint) water tank, open your windows and doors, and enjoy the cool breeze.

Best Remote: Hisense Portable Air Conditioner

This unit from Hisense can be controlled via an included remote, or your smart phone, which allows you to cool the room

before you arrive or turn it off while you are away. It runs quiet and the cross-flow fan design cools a room quickly. The

included window ventilation kit installs quickly in horizontal or vertical windows from 18 to 50-inch wide openings.

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Seller’s market at-a-glance

  • More buyers than homes for sale
  • Prices tend to be higher because of increased demand
  • Homes sell quickly
  • More likely to be multiple offers on a home, which gives sellers negotiating power (and conditional offers may be rejected)

Buyer’s market at-a-glance

  • More homes on the market than buyers
  • Prices tend to be lower because of increased supply
  • Homes are more likely to sit unsold
  • Housing surplus can slow rising prices and even lead to price reductions
  • Buyers have more choices and more leverage to negotiate

If you’re looking to buy (or sell) a home, it’s important to know which type of market you’re entering into. If you’re unsure, ask your real estate agent. Of course, selling a home in a seller’s market is optimal, as is buying a property in a buyer’s market. But people don’t necessarily have the luxury of timing their home sale or purchase to coincide with the most advantageous market. It could be quite likely, for instance, that you’d be buying in a seller’s market or selling in a buyer’s market.

Tips on selling your home in different housing markets

Selling in a seller’s market is generally quick and easy. In a buyer’s market, with an abundance of properties sitting idle, you may want to do some legwork to help sell your home. There are a number of things you can do to improve your chances for making a sale. These include:

  • Understand the local market and your competition
  • Price your home right (and conservatively)
  • Make sure your home is ready to be shown at all times (consider using a professional home stager who can help show off the best features of every room in your house)
  • Be accommodating to your real estate agent's/prospective buyer’s schedules (think of every showing as the one that could get you the sale)
  • Be flexible with your terms (offer an extended closing date or lower your asking price)
  • Be patient (and stay positive)
  • If you get an offer early on, give it serious consideration because a better offer may not come along

Multiple offers

In a seller’s market, with fewer homes available to purchase and more buyers looking, you’re more likely to get several offers on your home. Here are some things you can do to help increase your likelihood for getting multiple offers:

  • Keep your home clean, clutter-free, presentable and ready to show (hire a professional stager if you can – see above)
  • Consider pricing your home slightly below its fair market value
  • Work with your real estate agent to to ensure that your home has sufficient market exposure (i.e. list on REALTOR.ca), create print materials, such as flyers or postcards with key selling points and a professional quality photo of your home, post on social media, consider newspaper/magazine ads, list on other real estate listing web sites and your agency’s company web site)
  • Be ready to show your house on demand (with no appointment necessary)

Tips on buying a home in different housing markets

With more homes for sale than buyers and potentially lower prices, a buyer’s market could be a great time to buy a new home. Before doing so, however, consider the possibility that home prices could continue to fall, meaning your new purchase might be worth less than you paid for it in no time. Of course, what goes down may eventually come back up. Still, if you wait for prices to drop even further, you might miss out on a great opportunity.

If you’re looking to buy in a difficult seller’s market, there are things you can do to improve your likelihood for success.

  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage first, so you know how much home you can afford
  • Put forward a strong offer with a significant deposit amount
  • Move quickly on a home if you like it (and be aggressive without being annoying)
  • Make your offer as attractive and uncomplicated as possible (i.e. eliminate as many contingencies as possible, such as a contingency on sale of your existing property, shorten the closing date or come up with a larger down payment)
  • Be agreeable and responsive
  • Be flexible with your move-in date
  • Appeal to the seller with a personal letter

Bidding wars

If you should find yourself in a bidding war with another potential buyer, try to not show your hand to them or the seller. Instead, try to figure out the seller’s trigger—such as a specific closing date that would work for them—and include that in your offer. This could potentially give you an advantage over other offers. Also, keep in mind that sellers prefer offers that have no conditions attached.

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With home sale activity dipping below long-term historical averages, the supply of homes for sale in Metro Vancouver* reached a three-year high in June.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,425 in June 2018, a 37.7 per cent decline from the 3,893 sales recorded in June 2017, and a 14.4 per cent decrease compared to May 2018 when 2,833 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 28.7 per cent below the 10-year June sales average.

“Buyers are less active today. This is allowing the supply of homes for sale to accumulate to levels we haven’t seen in the last few years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “Rising interest rates, high prices and more restrictive mortgage requirements are among the factors dampening home buyer activity today.”

There were 5,279 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in June 2018. This represents a 7.7 per cent decrease compared to the 5,721 homes listed in June 2017 and a 17.2 per cent decrease compared to May 2018 when 6,375 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,947, a 40.3 per cent increase compared to June 2017 (8,515) and a 5.8 per cent increase compared to May 2018 (11,292). This is the highest this total has been since June 2015.

“With reduced demand, detached homes are entering a buyers’ market and price growth in our townhome and apartment markets is showing signs of decelerating.”

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2018 is 20.3 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 11.7 per cent for detached homes, 24.9 per cent for townhomes, and 33.4 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,093,600. This represents a 9.5 per cent increase over June 2017 and is virtually unchanged from May 2018.

Sales of detached homes in June 2018 reached 766, a 42 per cent decrease from the 1,320 detached sales recorded in June 2017. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,598,200. This represents a 0.7 per cent increase from June 2017 and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to May 2018.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,240 in June 2018, a 34.9 per cent decrease compared to the 1,905 sales in June 2017. The benchmark price for an apartment is $704,200. This represents a 17.2 per cent increase from June 2017 and a 0.4 per cent increase compared to May 2018.

Attached home sales in June 2018 totalled 419, a 37.3 per cent decrease compared to the 668 sales in June 2017. The benchmark price of an attached home is $859,800. This represents a 15.3 per cent increase from June 2017 and is virtually unchanged from May 2018.

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Tree pruning can be a difficult concept for many growers, but proper pruning is essential to proper growth and fruit development. When it comes to pruning, it seems like an arcane a mixture of art and science. When my dad bought his first fruit tree, he tried pruning by himself. His idea was that pruning was more for looks than anything else. He’d take the time to cut them into a nice shape and take off any dead or dying branches. He’d also do it about once a month. He was also doing it all wrong.

Pruning is far more than just a cosmetic treatment for your fruit trees; it’s a necessary part of growing process. Improperly pruned trees can end up overloaded with fruit or bear no fruit at all.

(For more info on growing your trees, look here.)

When Do You Prune?

Any cutting of dead branches and shaping done throughout the year is more akin to cleaning. Pruning is specifically designed to make it easier for the tree to grow and bear fruit. The primary time to prune a tree is at the tail of winter, at the end of the tree’s dormant cycle, or very early in spring. There are no leaves or fruit to bar your way and you have a clear vantage of the branches. There’s nothing worse than trying to cut a tree branch and end up falling off your ladder, cutting through a branch or being hit in the head by falling fruit. (Been there, done that). The other time to prune is during the summer, but that's only to time down trees that are over grown or too big.

Pruning a Young Tree

Young trees need to be pruned heavy. You basically turn small trees back into sticks in the ground. You’ll want to keep any small horizontal branches and get rid of any that are growing more vertically or downward below 90 degrees. Ideally, you want branches that are shooting for 45 to 60 degrees. Of course, any damaged or diseased branches have to go, as well as any small trees sprouting at the base. These are called suckers and compete for nutrients and do nothing for you.

Pruning a Larger Tree

When trees get larger, consider topping and thinning. Be careful of topping versus thinning trees. Topping a tree means cutting the tops of the tree into a snowball or flattop shape. This is drastic, and I always leave this to a professional arborist. If done wrong, topping can severely decrease the foliage of the tree as well as create several new shoots going off in all different directions. Topping is usually only done if the tree is so large that it could cause damage to property or if it is near power lines. Thinning means complete removal of the branches back to the main stem. You can keep the overall shape of the tree and new growth is distributed via numerous areas. You also want to cut off any branches that have turned and are growing towards the tree.

Buds Versus Branches

Trimming buds should be done right where the bud and tree connect. You don’t want to leave any stubs. You want to prune buds and shoots if branches become too overgrown or too heavy with fruit. Remember, each bud will become a small branch. The old way of pruning branches was to do it flush with the trunk of the tree. The problem was this wound allowed organisms to enter and infect the tree. The accepted way now is to prune just outside where the collar is. This creates a circular wound as compared to oval if cut to close to the main trunk.

My dad never did get the hang of pruning, but that’s no reason why you can’t become an expert.

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Giro di Burnaby

Thursday, July 12th, 2018 marks the 11th anniversary of the Giro di Burnaby!

The sound of tires hissing, cowbells clanging, and crowds cheering only means one thing -  the Giro di Burnaby! The Giro di Burnaby (pronounced GEE-ro) is part of BC Superweek, the richest event in Canadian cycling, drawing professional racers from around the world.

The Giro di Burnaby was named in honour of Italy's most prestigious cycling race, the Giro d'Italia, and is a nod to Burnaby's vibrant Italian community.

This City of Burnaby event is quickly drawing attention from athletic and promotional circuits around the world, doubling the number of spectators and drawing an impressive number of cyclist entries. The quality and safety of the course, the generous prizes and "primes" (short races with prize money) and the unique atmosphere of the Heights neighbourhood have all contributed to the event's burgeoning reputation.

Event Schedule

Bike Valet Opens (3:30 - 9 p.m.)

Our bike valet service is open from 3:30pm until 9:30pm. Bike valet is located on Madison Avenue at Hastings Street (parking area on the west side of Madison, south of Hastings).

Boffo Breve Youth Race (5:30 p.m.)

Kicking off the evening’s races, we’ve got the Boffo Breve Youth Race, presented by Boffo Developments starting at 5:30pm. The youth riders will compete in a 12 minute race + two final laps. Don’t miss your chance to cheer on the pros of tomorrow!

Beer Garden Opens (6 p.m.)

Back for it’s third year is the official Giro di Burnaby Beer Garden at the corner of Hastings & Madison. Visit the beer garden for prime viewing, bleacher seating, and enjoy a cold Steamworks beer and an Italian sausage on a bun from Rocky’s Meats! Must be 19+ to enter!

Women's Pro Race  (6 p.m.)

Our pro racing begins at 6pm with Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan starting the women’s race. The women will race for 40 laps on our 1.14km course!

Men's Pro Race (7:15 p.m.)

City Councillor Pietro Calendino will start the men’s pro race at approximately 7:15pm. The men will race for 50 laps.

Awards Presentation (8:30 p.m.)

Podium presentation for the men’s and women’s pro races!

*Please note: All times are approximate and may be subject to change without notice.

Course Map

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Home buyer demand continues to decline across the Metro Vancouver* housing market. 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,833 in May 2018, a 35.1 per cent decrease from the 4,364 sales recorded in May 2017, and a 9.8 per cent increase compared to April 2018 when 2,579 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 19.3 per cent below the 10-year May sales average.

“With fewer homes selling today compared to recent years, the number of homes available for sale is rising,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “The selection of homes for sale in Metro Vancouver has risen to the highest levels we’ve seen in the last two years, yet supply is still below our long-term historical averages.”

There were 6,375 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in May 2018. This represents a 5.5 per cent increase compared to the 6,044 homes listed in May 2017 and a 9.5 per cent increase compared to April 2018 when 5,820 homes were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,292, a 38.2 per cent increase compared to May 2017 (8,168) and a 15 per cent increase compared to April 2018 (9,822).

The total number of listings available today is 17.2 per cent below the 10-year May average.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2018 is 25.1 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 14.7 per cent for detached homes, 30.8 per cent for townhomes, and 41.7 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“For home sellers to be successful in today’s market, it’s important to price your property competitively given the shifting dynamics we’re experiencing,” Moore said. “It’s also important to work with your local Realtor to better understand these changing conditions.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,094,000. This is an 11.5 per cent increase over May 2017 and a 0.2 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

Sales of detached properties in May 2018 reached 926, a 40.2 per cent decrease from the 1,548 detached sales recorded in May 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,608,000. This is a 2.4 per cent increase from May 2017 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,431 in May 2018, a 29.3 per cent decrease from the 2,025 sales in May 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $701,700. This is a 20.2 per cent increase from May 2017 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

Attached property sales in May 2018 totalled 476, a 39.8 per cent decrease from the 791 sales in May 2017. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $859,500. This represents a 16 per cent increase from May 2017 and a 0.6 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

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Get ready to set those alarm clocks, Canada.

The FIFA World Cup is nearly here, with 32 teams descending on this year’s host country, Russia, for the chance to hoist the most prestigious trophy on the planet.

 

It all begins on June 14 in Moscow, when Russia takes on Saudi Arabia for the first match of the tournament. That’s the beginning of 64 matches, with the final set for July 15.

There’s 11 time zones in Russia – more than any other country in the world, but matches will be contained on the western side of the country, spread across three time zones.

The earliest match is scheduled for 3 am PT in Vancouver (that’s 4 am MT in Calgary and 6 am ET in Toronto and Montreal), with the latest match set for noon PT (1 pm MT / 3 pm ET).

Noticeably absent from the below schedule are Italy and USA, who both failed to qualify for this year’s tournament. Canada, who hasn’t qualified since 1986, will also not participate in this year’s World Cup.

Every match will be broadcast on TSN and/or CTV in Canada.

Here’s the tournament schedule:

Group A

Teams: 

  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Uruguay

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Thu, Jun 14 Russia vs Saudi Arabia 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Fri, Jun 15 Egypt vs Uruguay 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Tue, Jun 19 Russia vs Egypt 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Wed, Jun 20 Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Mon, Jun 25 Saudi Arabia vs Egypt 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Mon, Jun 25 Uruguay vs Russia 7 am PT / 10 am ET

Group B

Teams: 

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Morocco
  • Iran

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Fri, Jun 15 Morocco vs Iran 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Fri, Jun 15 Portugal vs Spain 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Wed, Jun 20 Portugal vs Morocco 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Wed, Jun 20 Iran vs Spain 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Mon, Jun 25 Iran vs Portugal 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Mon, Jun 25 Spain vs Morocco 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Group C

Teams: 

  • France
  • Australia
  • Peru
  • Denmark

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Sat, Jun 16 France vs Australia 3 am PT / 6 am ET
Sat, Jun 16 Peru vs Denmark 9 am PT / 12 pm ET
Thu, Jun 21 France vs Peru 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Thu, Jun 21 Denmark vs Australia 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Tue, Jun 26 Australia vs Peru 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Tue, Jun 26 Denmark vs France 7 am PT / 10 am ET

Group D

Teams: 

  • Argentina
  • Iceland
  • Croatia
  • Nigeria

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Sat, Jun 16 Argentina vs Iceland 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Sat, Jun 16 Croatia vs Nigeria 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET
Thu, Jun 21 Argentina vs Croatia 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Fri, Jun 22 Nigeria vs Iceland 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Tue, Jun 26 Iceland vs Croatia 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Tue, Jun 26 Nigeria vs Argentina 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Group E

Teams: 

  • Brazil
  • Switzerland
  • Costa Rica
  • Serbia

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Sun, Jun 17 Costa Rica vs Serbia 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Sun, Jun 17 Brazil vs Switzerland 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Fri, Jun 22 Brazil vs Costa Rica 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Fri, Jun 22 Serbia vs Switzerland 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Wed, Jun 27 Switzerland vs Costa Rica 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Wed, Jun 27 Serbia vs Brazil 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Group F

Teams: 

  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Sweden
  • South Korea

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Sun, Jun 17 Germany vs Mexico 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Mon, Jun 18 Sweden vs South Korea 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Sat, Jun 23 Germany vs Sweden 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Sat, Jun 23 South Korea vs Mexico 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Wed, Jun 27 South Korea vs Germany 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Wed, Jun 27 Mexico vs Sweden 7 am PT / 10 am ET

Group G

Teams: 

  • Belgium
  • Panama
  • Tunisia
  • England

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Mon, Jun 18 Belgium vs Panama 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Mon, Jun 18 Tunisia vs England 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Sat, Jun 23 Belgium vs Tunisia 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Sun, Jun 24 England vs Panama 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Thu, Jun 28 England vs Belgium 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Thu, Jun 28 Panama vs Tunisia 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Group H

Teams: 

  • Poland
  • Senegal
  • Colombia
  • Japan

Schedule:

Date Match Time
Tue, Jun 19 Poland vs Senegal 5 am PT / 8 am ET
Tue, Jun 19 Colombia vs Japan 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Sun, Jun 24 Japan vs Senegal 8 am PT / 11 am ET
Sun, Jun 24 Poland vs Colombia 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Thu, Jun 28 Japan vs Poland 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Thu, Jun 28 Senegal vs Colombia 7 am PT / 10 am ET

Knockout round

Date Match Time
Sat, Jun 30 Round of 16: C1 vs D2 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Sat, Jun 30 Round of 16: A1 vs B2 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Sun, Jul 1 Round of 16: B1 vs A2 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Sun, Jul 1 Round of 16: D1 vs C2 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Mon, Jul 2 Round of 16: E1 vs F2 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Mon, Jul 2 Round of 16: G1 vs H2 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Tue, Jul 3 Round of 16: F1 vs E2 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Tue, Jul 3 Round of 16: H1 vs G2 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Fri, Jul 6 Quarter-final 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Fri, Jul 6 Quarter-final 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Sat, Jul 7 Quarter-final 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Sat, Jul 7 Quarter-final 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Tue, Jul 10 Semi-final 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Wed, Jul 11 Semi-final 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Sat, Jul 14 3rd place match 7 am PT / 10 am ET
Sun, Jul 15 Final 8 am PT / 11 am ET
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Knowing how to perform maintenance jobs around the house is an important part of being a homeowner, especially in the event of an emergency. From turning off the main water supply to resetting a tripped breaker in your home’s electrical, here are seven things every homeowner should know the location of around their property.

1. Gas Shutoff

It's important to know how to turn off the gas supply to your home in case of emergencies. The location of the gas shut-off valve is usually right beside the gas meter. You will need a wrench to turn the valve, so obtaining one ahead of time is crucial in keeping your home safe. Like water lines, individual appliances usually have their own shut-off valves as well. If you reach the point where you need to shut-off the main gas supply, contact your gas company and make sure everyone is safely out of the house.

2. Electrical Power Box

An electrical power box against a brick wall.

Houses typically have one electrical panel that regulates all the power to the home. The location of the panel will vary, but they are usually tucked away in the garage, basement, or a closet. You may even find the panel outside in certain parts of the country. You need to know the location of the panel in case a circuit gets overloaded and needs a reset, or if you need to shut off power to an area of the home for a project.

 

3. Major Home Appliances

You should know the location of all of the major appliances in your home, specifically the hot water heater and HVAC system. You should regularly inspect the hot water heater for leaks and adjust the temperature of the water for maximum comfort. The HVAC system should also be inspected on a regular basis and filters swapped out whenever they get too dirty.

4. Attic Space

A ladder leading up to attic access in a ceiling.

Knowing how to access the attic is important if you are doing repairs like running electrical wire or troubleshooting a leak. Finding the entryway to the attic is a fairly straightforward process. Just go to the highest floor in your home and look for a small door in the ceiling. A lot of homes also feature the attic entry inside the garage. If the home has been remodeled, you may discover multiple entryways to the attic.

5. Property Lines

You should have a good idea about where your property starts and ends. Most of the time, not knowing this information is not a big deal, but there are instances where it is important. You should know your exact property lines, for example, if you want to build an addition, if a neighbor’s tree encroaches on your yard, or when you are doing a little landscaping. You can find out about property lines by calling the county assessor’s office, looking at the deed, or hiring a licensed surveyor.

 

6. Safety Equipment

A fire detector in a ceiling surrounded by smoke.

You should know the location of all of your home’s safety equipment in case of emergencies. This includes fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. You should also inspect these safety devices on a regular basis and make sure they remain in working condition throughout the year.

7. Main Water Turnoff

Knowing how to shut off the water to your home can save you a lot of time and money when a plumbing issue hits. In the event of a major leak, turning off the water mains can prevent the water from causing serious damage to other areas of your home. You may also want to turn off the water when you are away for a long vacation. Most homes usually have two places where you can turn off all of the water: an inside valve and a street-level valve. Most faucets, toilets, refrigerators, and other water sources will also have their own shut-off valves. If you cannot find the location of the main water shutoff, your local water company should be able to assist.

 
 
 

 

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Break out the soil and seeds and start gardening already with these beginner gardening tips

 

 

Spring is in the air! This year you're going to start a veggie patch to enjoy the fresh and rich flavours homegrown vegetables have to offer. You are not alone; in fact you are part of a growing movement—some call it a revolution—of people reconnecting to the pleasures of growing food.

 

Here are some pointers on how to get your garden started, what you can plant when, and the best places to find help! Most of this information is as applicable to container gardens on apartment balconies as it is backyard plots.

 

Choosing a location for your garden to grow: soil, sun/shade

 

Back in the day, many of Vancouver's homes had a veggie patch. When I moved into my place I was excited to find the back quarter of the yard had rich soil that had obviously been home to a flourishing garden many, many years before. We had to do a lot of weeding to bring it back to a vegetable garden, but it has been worth it.

 

Take a spade and do some digging in your own yard; you're looking for dark crumbly textured soil that is rock free.

 

If you're dirty reconnaissance reveals rocky, sandy or hard pan clay, then you've run into the common soil of our region—a result of till deposited with the retreat of glaciers. Not the best for growing veggies in!

 

The solution? I would suggest building up your soil with lasagna gardeningpicking up some free soil or buying a good garden blend.

 

Make sure that the spot you choose for your garden has at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. You can still grow veggies if have a shady garden space, but you’ll have to re-think the varieties you plant.

 

Look for a spot that is not surrounded by big trees or neighbouring buildings. If you are south facing, align your garden running east to west; this will mean that your plants get a more even distribution of sun. Tall plants (pole beans, tomatoes, peas) go north of shorter plants (basil, bush beans, zucchini).

 

Leafy greens (kale, lettuce, spinach) can tolerate some shade because they prefer cooler weather.

 

 

Garden plot

 

 

Square-foot gardening provides high yields and is super easy to do.

 

Start small and try square-foot gardening

 

If this is your first gardening year then start small. A 2-x-3-metre plot is more then enough to get you started!

 

I would recommend taking Square Foot Gardening out of the library. This system of planting is great for beginners because it breaks down planting a garden into a small area (one foot at a time), which is less intimidating, it provides high yields and is super easy to do!

 

Composting keeps plants healthy and disease resistant

 

Vancouverites are good at staying in shape, and we can keep our plants healthy too with a regular dose of compost. Making your own compost is easy in your backyard or apartment. And I've found great success with vermiculture (a.k.a. worm composting).

 

If you are just not ready to become a Compost Captain, you can also try organic fertilizers from Gaia Green or the Kelp Man to make sure your plants are getting the nutrients they need.

 

Coral bead vine, Rosary pea

 

 

Once you've chosen a spot to garden you'll have to figure out what you want to plan. 

What are you going to grow?

 

Here is a rough guide for planting your garden. The West Coast Seeds Planting Chart is an excellent resource and a more comprehensive list.

 

Many gardeners in the Lower Mainland use the May Long Weekend to mark the date that it is safe to plant their garden. This works well for tomatoes, beans, basil and other heat-loving veggies, but you can start planting lots of cool weather loving veggies today!

 

April

 

Sow: arugula (or rocket), broad beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radish, spinach, swiss chard, turnips, potatoes
Sow indoors: peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, melons

 

Gardening glossary

 

Sow: To plant your seeds; can be done directly in the garden, or inside to protect from cold weather.


Transplant: To take seedlings that are growing indoors and planting them out in the garden.

May

 

Sow: arugula (a.k.a. rocket), bush beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, spinach, swiss chard, turnips


Sow indoors: cucumbers, squash, pumpkin

 

June

 

Sow: arugula (a.k.a. rocket), soy beans, corn, bush beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, turnips, squash


Transplant: melons, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, pumpkins

 

July

 

Sow: arugula (a.k.a. rocket), bush beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, turnips, squash, peas

 

August

 

Sow: arugula (a.k.a. rocket), carrots, lettuce, peas, spinach, swiss chard, turnips

 

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