March 2021

All posts from March 2021

Attempts to Temper Crazy Price Gains in the B.C Real Estate Market

by Bevony on March 31, 2021 No comments

The housing market in British Columbia is hot right now thanks to fallen interest rates. As such, the bidding process is being scrutinized to see how it can be changed to temper these price increases. The new normal on the property market is multiple offers which drives selling prices far above a seller’s asking price. 

There are now discussions being held about how the bidding process can be changed. This, in an effort to temper price increases. The real estate system in British Columbia is quite opaque. And so, homebuyers rely on the information about offers that are provided by the seller’s agent. So a buyer really has no idea what is going on in the back end. What this means is that an unscrupulous realtor can sway things in their favor. We are not saying that this is happening nor that it is happening often, but we know that the potential is there. 

You never really know in actuality how many offers have been submitted. So, if a realtor tells you “we have shown this property 20 times” you may want to put in a higher bid. You will want to do this as you may feel like the competition is high. When in reality, 20 people viewing a property does not mean 20 offers were made. It also doesn’t mean that all the offers made were done at the asking price or higher.  

What is the Bidding Process Like in Other Provinces?

In Ontario, there is more transparency in the process. Sellers file offers to a public registry so buyers can see just how many offers have been made on a property. You still are unable to see the terms and prices of an offer. But at least it still gives you a better look at the property listing and how it is performing.  

Suggestions for a New Bidding Process

Most bidding websites use an “automatic step-up clause” system. This allows bidders to set a maximum bid and bidding occurs in specific increments. This type of system could help to temper the blind bidding we see being done in the market today. 

One example recently tweeted showed how one house got two offers. One was at asking price and the other was $175,000 over asking price. In this case we can see how an automatic step-up clause system could prevent such a huge jump. If the bid amount was set up in increments of $5000, the successful buyer would not have had to spend so much extra money on this one property. And in turn, the property prices of other sale units in the area would not be affected. 

Now that borrowing is cheaper for buyers, they can afford more than they could in previous years. With the growing concern about the pandemic, more people want to find that home that really meets the needs of their families while keeping them safe. So buyers are motivated once they can afford a property. But what about those who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and are now having to deal with living with less income? As prices increase, their dreams of owning a home fade day by day. 

Benefits of More Transparency for the Offer Process

Allowing more transparency in the offer process could help some people still have the ability to afford a home during this time. In our current market, you only have the seller’s word and that is what you have to take. Sellers can even fudge the numbers, so they can increase demand. 

With this type of behavior in the market, more and more sellers are expecting to get higher prices for their properties. And this creates a double standard of sorts. When agents are working with the buyer they want transparency but when they are working with the seller they want the reverse. 

How Can Changing the Process Help?

Changing the process can help everyone. Most sellers go back into the market as buyers. And then they will want to benefit from a more transparent process. 

Arm yourself with the knowledge of your rights as a buyer. The Real Estate Council of B.C states that buyers and buyers agents can inquire about the number of offers or how their offer compares to others when there are multiple bids. All brokerages must maintain records about submitted offers, so the information is there if there is an investigation or audit. 

Ask for this information as a buyer so you can make an informed choice when trying to purchase a home. 

How SilverBeam Homes Can Help

At the end of the day, if you find yourself in a situation where you simply cannot afford homes on the market, contact us. Here at SilverBeam Homes, we may just have what you need. Let us help you to build your home from the ground up according to your needs and to match your budget. Don’t know where to start? That’s OK, we can set you in the right direction and refer you to different professionals within our network for all your home buying needs.

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BevonyAttempts to Temper Crazy Price Gains in the B.C Real Estate Market

Let’s Look Back at 2020 in Real Estate

by Bevony on March 25, 2021 No comments

Many players in the real estate market of Greater Vancouver had big plans for 2020. The COVID-19 came along and disrupted so many plans and lives. While people in all industries were hit, the hit for the real estate market was notable. The main reason being that the real estate industry had a lot of interactions that were mainly faced to face. This would include interactions between realtors and sellers as well as realtors and buyers. Initially, no one knew if the industry would continue to function and the lack of ability to meet face to face was just the first hurdle. But it wasn’t all bad. 

Real Estate Designated an Essential Service

In March 2021, the government of British Columbia identified Real Estate as an essential service. And so the industry was encouraged to remain open as long as public health orders were being obeyed. The industry adapted quickly. Many took advantage of virtual showings, zoom meetings, and other types of digital media to keep the lines of communication open. 

So it was the traditional open house that was first stopped. There was also the disconnection of the button on many MLS programs so that people couldn’t book open houses. While ways and means were being implemented to work around the lack of face-to-face meetings, there was a bit of difficulty to get the market moving again after the initial scare and pause. 

Everything was changing. Staff had to be working from home, realtors had to be educated on the new ways to do business going forward. All in all, it was a challenging experience for most in the intermission. 

How the Changes Affected The Industry

When Real Estate was designated an essential service, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia and the British Columbia Real Estate Association along with WorkSafeBC started to develop protocols. It was these protocols that lead to the opening of the industry. Realtors could continue their work and people could continue to fill their needs for selling or purchasing a home. 

They started by adopting existing tools that were underutilized and started to include more information on new listings. Information such as room sizes, floor plans, photographs, and video tours all were being shared more often and quickly became the norm. Realtors would also advise clients to drive or walk around a neighborhood before making an appointment for a viewing. This way they could get a feel of the area and see if it truly emulated their style and matched their needs from the exterior. 

How Have The Changes Affected The Selling Cycle?

Interestingly enough, all the changes have caused a shortening of the cycle. With more information readily available to buyers they can easier identify homes they are interested in and cross off others they are not. All while not driving around to multiple open houses while losing time and money doing so. 

But how does it affect the realtors? Well, they now have a lot more work to do. They now have to space viewings and sanitize a house between viewings. There is also more back-end work since they are adding more information to listings causing longer working hours. But they do it happily as their industry is open. They want to keep it that way while satisfying their customers and helping them to find their dream homes. 

Changes in Frazer Valley 

Fraser Valley saw a drop in sales by 50% in April 2020. New listings also declined at a whopping rate of 60%. This was a real shock to the market especially since the last time figures were this low were in the ’80s and back then the population was less than half of what it was in 2020. 

They too had to replace open houses with virtual experiences providing full digital floor plans and more photographs. This came at the expense of extra time and money spent on listing a property. But it was well worth it for many as it meant keeping their jobs and keeping their own families and their clients safe. 

Comparing the Market to 2018 and 2019

Let us consider the pre-pandemic market and the post-pandemic market. In 2018 and 2019, the higher-end market was very quiet. Before the COVID-19 hit buyers were not even motivated by the low-interest rates. Everybody was in a “waiting it out” type of limbo. People were seemingly waiting for prices to drop significantly. While sellers were removing their listings from the market due to the very low offers that were going around. 

Along came the pandemic and more people were stuck at home trying to cope with their homes even when they were outgrowing their homes. That is why there was a shortage of inventory when we look at the statistics from July 2020. 

With the ability to provide more information digitally, the industry benefited by seeing a reduction in the tire kickers. Fewer people were going out to open houses on the weekend just to burn time or to entertain themselves. So actual viewers were coming in, already knowing what the house looked like and already know their way around. Many of them knew right away if they loved the house or not and if they would be putting in an offer or not. 

The Current Process 

The current buy-sell process is very conscious. Buyers are now looking more at the quality of a listing instead of looking at crazy amounts of listings. Zoom calls are very important to streamlining operations. Some operations have been streamlined so clients can book zoom meetings online.  

The use of technology has made many operations more efficient. 

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BevonyLet’s Look Back at 2020 in Real Estate

Design Trends That Can Lead to Huge Regrets

by Bevony on March 17, 2021 No comments

Overdoing trends can lead to big regrets for many homeowners. Today we want to help steer you away from overdoing trends. Trends tend to be bold, daring, and thought-provoking, and it is easy to fall victim to their charm. Because they are new and noteworthy, it is easy to want to jump onto the wagon, but you will want to play it safe and avoid getting too on-trend with the fixed elements in your home. Leave the excitement to the accessories and accents. 

Designers have the expertise to make trends work in a home harmoniously and sympathetically, ensuring beautiful home decor. But when left to your own devices you may not have the touch to provide that balance between too little and too much. 

There is a lot of regret from homeowners and a survey done in the UK showed that 61% of participants had regrets of making their homes “too industrial” while another 52% which they had not gotten pulled in by the trend of open shelving. While the actual trends themselves may not be the problem, it is more likely the way they went about applying the trends in their home. 

Know What Works

You want to look at the style of your home before you decide on decor. For example, if you have a traditional style home you won’t find industrial decor suiting int well but you could add an industrial flair to your urban downtown condo. 

Remember those salad bowl vessel sinks from the late ‘90s, those may be a regrettable choice as today we have moved to straight lines and sinks carved from natural stone for a more rustic and modern mountain style. 

Then there was the trend of open shelving. This one is still working well with modern designs. You will see this concept in kitchen designs and it follows the “less is more” approach. Kitchens nowadays have less adornment and open shelves that allow space for not just your usual kitchen inhabitants but also for beautiful objects that have been carefully curated to be left on display. This way you can have a functional item also acting as a decorative item. 

How Much Regret Are We Talking About?

When it comes to blindly following a trend, you can end up with a decrease in the value of your property. Yes, you read that right, following the wrong trend or indulging too much in a trend can lead to a decrease in property value. On your regret evaluation, scale how big of a regret would a decrease in your property value be?

Play it safe, keep the fixed elements in your home boring if we may use that word and add the touches of trend in the accent and accessory items that you can easily change and move around. So what trends should you stay away from? Or what trends should you not dive into the deep end with? 

  • Leather sofas
  • Wall texture 
  • Chic shabby furniture 

What’s The Better Option?

We aren’t saying you shouldn’t use any of the above, what we are saying is that you should not go overboard. Right now, in the pandemic, we all are spending more time at home and so a relaxed piece of furniture such as your sofa is something you want to be comfortable and inviting. You can swap things around by adding a slipcover. This way when the trend changes you can change it out without completely purchasing new furniture.

We mentioned leather sofas, and the truth is that the modern leather sofa is not the same as the ones our parents had in the 70s. Ours are more streamlined and are available in more than that one shade of brown so you can find something that works with your home and with your vibe. 

Wall textures are another thing that have come back in, but you can now choose monochromatic options or tones and colors that work well with your furniture and your lifestyle without clashing with other items in the room. The bottom line is to be mindful, to be deliberate and keep the core of the space neutral. Get trendy with the accessories, with the accents and with the decor while keeping the main items safe. 

In Conclusion

Trends come, and they go, some stay longer than others, and yet others come back around soon after disappearing. Revamping major items in your home with every new trend will be exhausting mentally, physically and financially. Anything you do in your home that doesn’t make it feel more like you or yours is something you will regret. So before you go gung-ho with a new trend, get some swatches, take them home and let them live with you for a couple days or weeks. Wait and see how you feel before you make the decision to do a drastic change that you may regret later on down the line. 

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BevonyDesign Trends That Can Lead to Huge Regrets

Using Plants to Transform Your Space

by Bevony on March 10, 2021 No comments

There has been a rise in demand for exotic plants in recent times. With travel restrictions everywhere, people are trying to be creative about making their homes more exotic. And so the market for lush, tropical houseplants has opened up. Think plants with big shiny leaves – the type of plant that can transform any space easily.

This transformation is appealing to many of us as we are now spending so much time at home, and would really appreciate a change. Exotic plants add so much texture and scale to a space that it really makes a huge difference to bring even one statement plant into your space. When you place one of these plants in a room they cannot go unnoticed as they are very eye catching. They have a lot of personality and are obvious so the change will not be a subtle one. 

Plants are so magical, they can add a feeling of renewal as well as they can add life. They are constantly changing so you never feel stagnant. This is great for apartment dwellers who cannot have a garden of any sort. 

How to Place Your Plants for Maximum Impact

Place your plants in an intimate corner such as a reading corner or in a corner of your home office. This offers a natural way for you to add a touch of personality to your space.  

Make sure you select the right pot size and do some research on the care and maintenance of the plant you choose. You don’t want to overwater them and cause root rot. Once you have root rot, you won’t be able to recover the plant. 

Another common mistake first time plant parents make is to place their plants in direct sunlight by a window causing their leaves to burn. That is not ideal, you want them to be getting enough light, but maybe not so much a full day of direct sunlight. Now after reading that you may think that you should move the plants around. This is another no-no, you don’t want to move the plants around too much, you want them to get used to their surroundings. 

Allergies and Exotic Plants

When purchasing exotic plants you want to tell the person you are purchasing from if you have any allergies. You will also want to ask about the possibility of poisonous plants especially if you have pets or small children at home. An experienced seller can help you find the safest exotic plants for your family and your lifestyle needs. 

Qualities of Plants

Plants are givers, and among their giving qualities is the ability to provide help with mental wellbeing. Plants are natural insecticides, they help to absorb noise, and they produce oxygen. 

If you have never had an exotic plant you want to consider first the space in which you will make its home in your home. Check out the maintenance necessary for the plants you choose and be realistic about what you can manage. And finally, when it comes down to selecting your pot, make sure it goes with your decor. 

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BevonyUsing Plants to Transform Your Space

Presale Condo Market 2020 Recovery

by Bevony on March 3, 2021 No comments

2020 saw the recovery of the presale condo market. Investors return to the market but still not in the spectacular way we saw them returning in 2016 and 2017. Due to the pandemic, prices and sales for condos, apartments, or homes have all defied the predictions. With low-interest rates, we are now in the time of what they are calling the COVID-19 real estate boom. 

But the data that doesn’t show up in the monthly real estate board information is for the new and presale condo market. In this market, buyers are purchasing condo contracts from developers who are then going to build these condos. The market for these sales was just about recovering when the pandemic hit in March 2020. In 2020, the presale and multifamily condo sales were their third-lowest since 2011. In the first quarter of 2020, the market saw 3,800 encouraging sales. But come 2nd quarter the market was paralyzed. 

But in the last quarter of 2020, there was again an increase in presale condo sales when compared to the last quarter of 2019 which only had 2,400 sales which was a drop from 2018,s 4,100 sales. The sales for 2020 were just about 300 less than 2018 thanks to the window of opportunity that opened up due to the drop in interest rates. 

Investors were staying on the sidelines and taking their time to gauge what would happen. They weren’t taking the predictions and were just waiting to see. 

What Does the Future Hold?

The prediction for the future is that the investor buyer is going to jump back into the market. With many new condos lining up for entrance into the market in 2021. So we don’t expect to see prices rising especially for projects for high-rise condos with more units available for sale. Whenever we see travel restrictions, lifting, and immigration resuming we can expect to see more sales as well. For all the people who started the immigration process and then had it interrupted by the pandemic, we will probably see them coming in and needing homes. 

Is a condo your dream home or are you more of a detached home dreamer? Give us a call, we can help you turn that dream into a reality. 

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BevonyPresale Condo Market 2020 Recovery