April 2021

All posts from April 2021

Larger Tax Burden on Vancouver Homeowners for 2021

by Bevony on April 28, 2021 No comments

A divisive city council vote on 4/27 has left Vancouver property owners with a larger share of taxes to pay this year. The changes also provided commercial and industrial property owners with a shift in the amount of taxes they will have to pay, a downward change. The decision created a shift in property taxes of $3.6 million from businesses to homeowners.  

How the changes affect Business and Residential Property Owners

This is being looked at as a way for the biggest companies in the city to save money while passing on the expenses to residents. But these arguments were not able to sway the decision. So if you own residential property in Vancouver, you will end up paying some extra money on taxes this year. Businesses on the other hand will be saving around $46 annually for properties valued at $1 million. This will help small businesses that are struggling, but larger businesses will benefit by paying less taxes, even though they can more than afford it. 

How Much More will Homeowners Pay?

What residential property owners will pay comes down to the value of their property. For a residential property valuing $1 million, the tax will be $11. 

Who Does the Tax Shift Benefit?

If the city did a progressive tax shift, this would be the better option, but it is not what has been dealt. Some smaller businesses will benefit it, but a lot of the businesses that will also benefit are really not in need of the break. It should be that those that have the means to pay be caused to pay more. This move does not seem well-intentioned at all. 

Why the Shift?

There has been a boom in the expansion of residential properties. While commercial properties have been negatively affected due to the pandemic. They say the shifting of taxes is a way to properly manage the city’s growth. 

We can all agree on one thing, the shift needs to be depoliticized. What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below. 

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BevonyLarger Tax Burden on Vancouver Homeowners for 2021

COVID 19 Condo Updates Revisited

by Bevony on April 21, 2021 No comments

There is some confusion in residential communities about COVID 19 orders and restrictions. There is also confusion about how these should be applied. What can you do if you live in a community like this? Where facilities are not being appropriately managed or monitored to curb the spread of COVID 19? 

The BC Centre for Disease Control issued indoor individual exercise requirements on March 31st. There were also orders from the medical health officers due to the increased risk of spreading the virus. How do these rules and requirements apply to your residential community, how are they managing your facilities?

Condo Facility Management Rules 

There is a decision from the Civil Resolution Tribunal that requires any strata corporation to require a three-quarter vote at a general meeting to shut down a facility. Because this would be a significant change in the use or appearance of a common asset or common property. If your facility management has not closed down shared areas and you are concerned, maybe find out if others share your concern. If enough are concerned, you can request a general meeting to share your concerns, and cast your vote. 

Strata Companies Hiding Behind Liability Waivers 

 A resident at one community expressed concern about the gym and pool areas still being open in her residential community. The strata has a sign-in sheet that implies users acknowledge the risks of using the space, but this is not enough for concerned homeowners. The facilities are not manned, and people are left to do as they please. This creates the potential for the easy spread of the COVID19 to other members of the community. Even those staying away from shared spaces are at risk. 

What We Wish For

It is our hope and the hope of many residents that corporations will be more interested in the health and safety of their residents. Yes, strata corporations can use liability waivers, but they also must comply with health orders. They are obligated to properly staff, manage and monitor facilities, if this is what the health orders require. They should also ensure the proper janitorial and sanitization standards are being upheld, and users’ activities should be recorded. This is how we can quell the risk of increased spreading of the virus. 

WorkSafe BC Protocols 

WorkSafe BC protocols should also be followed. These apply to all staff that has to interact with and manage facilities for the residents. It’s important for mechanical systems, waste facilities, elevators, hallways and lobbies to be maintained to ensure routine fresh air delivery.

Makeup air systems should be regularly and appropriately maintained. Because these systems pressurize hallways and ensure that vehicle exhaust doesn’t get into traveling elevator shafts. This reduces the chances of smoke or smells from the exhaust migrating to strata units. They also ensure the introduction of fresh air into a building. For these systems to be effective, they must be operational. All routine cleaning and maintenance should be done, especially the changing of filters on a monthly or quarterly basis. Maintenance scheduling is pre-determined by the manufacturer. 

Community Education 

This is a very important task when it comes to the proper use of facilities, still, if strata corporations have rules, they must be known by the residents. Posters should be distributed or strategically placed to remind residents how to operate in common areas. These can include information on washing hands, wearing a mask, not gathering in groups, etc. Reminders for staying isolated if one has tested positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing any of the symptoms of the virus. 

When we are yet to see the impact of COVID-19 close to us, it can be easy to become complacent. Indeed, you should be in the know. Even if your strata corporation is being complacent, do your own research and checks. Check out updates and orders from CHOA by visiting their website and clicking on COVID updates. Here you can see what other residential communities are doing. You can find the available guides and publications, so you can determine if your facilities management are not following the rules. 

Build Your Own Home 

If you are tired of living in a residential community where you have to share space with people who just don’t care or listen, maybe it is time for you to build your own home. We understand that nowadays home prices are high, and people need their homes to adjust to the new normal. The best way to do this is to create your own custom home. We can help you with that. SilverBeam home builders at your service! Give us a call today and let us help make your dream of owning a home, your new reality. 

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BevonyCOVID 19 Condo Updates Revisited

Increased Lumber Prices Increasing New Home Building Costs

by Bevony on April 17, 2021 No comments
Lumber and Building Supplies

Lumber prices have been on the rise since 2020 when the pandemic struck and sent many countries into lockdown. As more people are spending time at home and needing a home that meets their needs, there has been an increase in demand. With a lack of supply, the industry is struggling, and prices have tripled and even quadrupled in some instances. These record lumber prices are adding thousands of dollars to the costs of building new homes, as the customers are the ones left to stand the costs at the end of the day. 

The Ministry of Forests, lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development has a weekly forest product database with information tracking prices. In mid-September of 2020, a basic spruce, pine and fir 2×4 cost $960 USD per thousand board feet. In 2019, the annual average for the same was approximately $372 USD. 

President of the B. C Council of Forest Industries, Susan Yurkovich, notes that across the province, a number of lumber mills had closed down in the early parts of the pandemic. And this is what causes a lot of the pressure on supply. 

Effects on the House Construction Industry

The house construction industry is still holding on and doing well. People are spending money on their houses as they start to remodel their homes, make repairs, etc., as they are spending more time at home and need their home to meet different needs now. Equally, people are looking for new houses as their needs change, and they need their homes to be equipped to meet the needs of working from home, homeschooling, etc. 

This has caused an increase in demand in an industry that is already lagging in providing for the previous demand. While it will definitely take some time for inventories to refill, we are looking to the fall when there is typically a reduction in demand as the province heads into winter. Hopefully at this time, the supply can catch up and prices can fall. 

Current New Home Prices – Highest in the Past 3 Years

With low supply and increased prices, building materials are hard to source. Either because they really aren’t available, or the prices are so high. The cost of new homes has increased more than the last three years in just one month due to the high prices of building materials brought on by the pandemic. 

Statistics Canada reported their New House Price Index shows an increase for newly-built homes. Since May 2017, there has been an increase, but this has been the biggest one seen. 

The Pandemic and House Prices 

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a very big impact on the Canadian housing market on a whole. It initially brought reselling to a halt. Demand came back slowly, and sales rose, with many homes starting to sell way above asking. The demand then started spilling into the new house market, and so the demand for wood, drywall, tubing and wiring has risen. 

Because many places have physical distancing measures in place, many people have diverted their summer vacation savings towards home improvements, renovations, and finding a house that will meet their new needs better. 

Suburban areas with room for new builds are seeing a high amount of demand. New house prices have risen by 1.8% each month. For 2020, the index was up 2.1%, which is the highest it has been in two years. 

What Will High Lumber Prices Cause?

Data agencies expect a record high of lumber prices this year that will increase the cost of a single family home between $5000 and $10,000. Because of the increase in home demand, there is expected to be an increase in lumber and other building related supply prices. 

Here at SilverBeam Homes, we try our best to keep costs down, while still providing customers with top quality houses and workmanship. How much house can you afford? Get in touch with us and let us give you a quote. 

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BevonyIncreased Lumber Prices Increasing New Home Building Costs

Tips for Decorating kids’ Bedrooms

by Bevony on April 5, 2021 No comments

Let’s take a look at the latest trends in kid’s bedroom decor and nursery decor. Here are some third party reviews and recommendations to change up your child’s room and create a new look and feel.

Even though you are decorating a child’s room, you really always want to start with you, the parent/caregiver. Most often, it is the mothers that have a vision of what they want the space to look and feel lie. 

Consideration for Nurseries

As it relates to a nursery, you always want to have window coverings as a key consideration. These are to be considered, not only for their esthetics but also for their function. You want window coverings that are highly effective in keeping light out so your baby will get more sleep. A baby that gets more sleep will be a gift to the entire family. 

When considering nursery, furniture choose flexible options that are versatile enough to adapt to your child’s needs. Modern furniture tends to be minimalistic in nature. 

Space saving furniture is another great choice. These allow you to maximize your space, which is important especially if you don’t have a lot of space to work with in the beginning. Also consider multipurpose furniture as well. So find a crib that also has a changing table and some amount of diaper storage. There are also storage cribs that feature drawers where baby clothing, bedding, receivers, burp cloths etc can be stored. That will free up space as it may reduce your need for a dresser or chest of drawers. 

Space saving and multipurpose furniture also allow for a cleaner and tidy look which will make a room more inviting. This can give both you and your baby a way to be at ease while in space. 

Considerations for Older Kids Rooms

When it comes to older kids you want to balance the options with mature materials and colors. For whimsical fun pieces you want to limit these to accessories. Just keep in mind that as they grow, their tastes will change and you don’t want to be updating their rooms every year.  

Choose items that are sophisticated with a modern design and you can always add a splash of color. You can take into consideration your kid’s tastes when choosing an accent color. You want to at the same time balance out rugged pieces that are kid friendly but not too childish in appearance. 

Equipping Kids Room for the New Normal

With the current pandemic, more people are working from home and kids are also learning from home. So there is a need for activity tables, workstations and multi-functional furniture. Consider a loft bed for its space-saving capabilities. It allows space for a bed and for a work area in one room without it becoming too cluttered. 

Updating a Child’s Room 

If your child has outgrown their room decor you may be able to update their room with small touches. If their furniture is still functional you can simply swap out rugs, bedding, window coverings and even wall paper to update the room to a more mature look. 

After we build your home you want to move into a space that is inviting as well as fully functional. When it comes to kids’ rooms we hope these tips help. And if you would like to hire an interior designer or decorator, then go right ahead. Sometimes their vision and experience will see further than your dreams for your child’s room. 

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BevonyTips for Decorating kids’ Bedrooms