on July 21, 2021 Comments Off on Big Companies Pricing You Out of a Home? – What To Do About It
Homeowners who owned their homes before the pandemic are feeling richer due to the increase in housing prices. Many households saw a net worth increase of 21.5% with most in the first quarter. While the wealth of homeowners was going up, the wealth of renters were not going up as fast.
All of this was not due to the pandemic though, we have to thank the policy-makers who decided to ramp up mortgage lending. The larger banks now have over $40.5 billion in common equity tier 1 capital. The internal target is an 11% CET1 ratio but we are looking at lenders passing that sitting on average around 12.8% with the highest recorded CET1 capital of $270.6 billion.
While the current housing market is booming for existing homeowners it is proving difficult for those who don’t already own a home for themselves. Wages are not keeping up and for many this means they are falling further and further behind. Competing with the average citizen are companies that are buying out entire neighborhoods and converting single family homes into rental units. There are a number of companies doing this and really pushing average citizens out-of-pocket. It is these companies that are a part of the bidding war you face when you send in an offer on a house. They are the ones that can easily outbid you and price you out of the housing market completely.
What Can You Do About It?
You have the option to build your home with us here at SilverBeam Homes. Not only can we make your dream of owning a home a reality. But we can also help you get the home you really want. We can create a home that functions the way you need it to. And will make it easy for you to adapt to your new setting to your day to day life after moving in.
Don’t let these large corporations ruin your dream of owning a home. Let us help you create your own home.
on July 14, 2021 Comments Off on How to Style Shelves the Professional Way
Have some shelves in your home you need to add some style to? Considering your layout options? The first tip we have for you is to be patient. You want to get it done the right way, gather your items, lay them all out and try different variations before you settle on a final place for each item. Here’s a couple things you can use to jazz up your shelves;
Mementos that tell a story
Souvenirs from vacation
Storage is an issue for a lot of families in Vancouver, especially in current situations where we are all spending more time at home than usual. If your shelves can accommodate storage solutions this will be a great addition to your shelving. You don’t have to go out and purchase storage solutions if you have decorative boxes lying around, these can be used.
Before You Get Overwhelmed
We understand it can be overwhelming to consider styling your home yourself. As a result many people simply default to the necessities. We don’t recommend this, we recommend embracing your home and all its nicks and knacks that make it yours. Don’t be afraid to at least try.
You may have an idea in mind that doesn’t quite translate into real life. After stepping back and examining what you have and tweaking it from there to get it looking its best. You don’t want to give up and leave your space undesigned and feeling cold.
Once you have some items in place that you took from around your home, you can start sourcing items outside of your home that can enhance your current setup.
Play with Height and Angles
When adding things to your shelves you want to play with height and angles. If your shelves are customizable then you can change the heights of the shelves. When you are working with fixed shelves then you want to play around with the height of the items you have to display on the shelves.
If you have a slanted higher shelf you can play with larger picture frames or coffee table books. If you have deeper set shelves you can use vessels and objects. When using books, remove the glossy covers and allow the matte fabric-bound covers to shine through. This will give a more elevated and tonal feel to the space.
What About Open Shelving?
Open shelving is very popular but open shelving doesn’t have to mean empty shelving. Use your shelves to display functional items, pretty items or a mixture of both. This goes for free-standing cabinets as well. The latter though gives you a lot more flexibility especially if you are not yet a homeowner and ever have the need to move.
When you repeat colors throughout shelves, this makes for a great look. It provides balance to the overall look of the shelves. In addition to colors you can add some hints of black to the shelves to provide an anchoring effect.
Mistakes to Avoid When Decorating Shelves
Using too many small items is one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to decorate their shelves. When you have too many small items your shelves can look cluttered or these smaller items can get lost easily. If you are using small items, try to group them in groups of three or stack them on books, so they can get some additional visual weight. You may have heard of the “rule of three” which advises that items arranged in odd numbers tend to be more appealing than those items that are arranged in even numbers. This rule is not a new one, it is often used by stylists and designers and has been used for years to create effortlessly cool spaces.
When you are done following these tips and tricks, stand back from your shelves, take a couple pictures and then view them from your phone. Give it some time before you move anything to see if it will grow on you. Let us know how your shelves came out in the comments below. Was it a hit or miss?
on July 7, 2021 Comments Off on Connect to Nature from the Inside
Wait, what!? Yes you read that right. You can connect with nature from the inside and you can do it without taking all the plants inside. If you can’t invest in a front yard or backyard for whatever reason. Then an indoor atrium or courtyard could be just what you need. This is what you can get when you choose to have SilverBeam Homes build your dream home from the ground up.
Growing Demand for Internal Courtyards and Atriums
We are seeing a lot of interest in internal courtyards and atria in home designs. While both of these are old concepts they can apply to modern design and decor. They can give you a connection to nature and quiet solitude. A courtyard gives you a private space away from the public, your very own piece of mother nature at home. They can be considered spaces of contemplation where you can go and reflect and embrace your philosophical and existential contemplation right at home.
Internal courtyards can be landscaped and planted in specific ways to allow you to notice seasonal cycles in the plants. You can also do it so that you can see dew on the leaves, smells, sights when the sun hits certain flowers etc. This helps you to really get an authentic outdoor experience while still inside. And since we are all spending more time at home nowadays it’sa a great way to transform your current home if you are not in the market to build.
You can use a small space with no need for furniture. They can be placed in an area of the house that you simply move through. You may have glass walls from ceiling to floor and will have access to the plants through a door.
What if You Can’t Do an Internal Courtyard?
Even if you can’t do a full on internal courtyard you can create an area like this in your current home. All you need to do is identify a sunny place and create your own little indoor garden in that space. This is a great option if you can give over some of your home’s footprint for planting. It doesn’t have to always be about maximizing the use of every square foot in your home for traditional living. Sometimes we have to think outside the box and remember less is more.
Are you considering building? Why not give us a call? We’d be more than happy to help make your dream of owning a home a reality. Let our team help you make it happen.
on July 1, 2021 Comments Off on Making the Most of Small Spaces
Small spaces don’t have to feel cluttered and crowded. With a touch of thoughtful decor and design, you can make the most of your small space. In today’s post, we want to help you to do just that.
We are currently living in times that call for efficient use of our home spaces. Many of us are stuck at home for the most part and need to use our homes for more than regular day to day house living. Many people are now downsizing and apartments in cities like Vancouver can be small – posing a challenge. How can you fit it all in?
Start by taking the less is a more approach to life in general and to your spaces as well. One of the biggest things you want to spend on when living in a small space is storage. This will help you to keep stuff you use without your immediate surroundings being cluttered. This way when you need them you can easily retrieve them and take advantage of their functionality.
Designing Your Small Space Room By Room
In your living room, you want to start with just one sofa. You can always add a side chair if you find you have more space and also have the need for more seating. Don’t add a chair if you don’t have the need for it. And remember to always choose multifunctional furniture when possible.
If you have millwork and it goes up to the ceiling you can take advantage of a room’s height and create additional storage. Whatever it is that you are doing, go at it with a practical approach. Know the size of your room and the needs for that room in terms of functionality. Write down the different ways you need the room to function and then write down the types of furniture that would help the room to function as needed. Then you can start looking at multifunctional furniture that can meet those needs. This approach will work no matter which room in your home you are trying to get furnished or organized. And the same principle applies if you have a space that is full of stuff and you need to downsize.
Getting a Designer
If you are a bit overwhelmed by it all, we can definitely understand. It can be a lot of work and there can be a lot of uncertainty. If you can afford the services of a designer or interior decorator we suggest you go ahead and hire one. Sit down with them and let them know what you need from your space and you can all come up with a plan to provide you with just what you need.
They may be able to bridge the gap between you and suppliers to find the perfect piece of furniture to make your space work for you.
And if you ever feel like you are outgrowing or have outgrown your space, maybe consider building your own home with help from us! Give us a call and let us start making plans for your first home built from the ground up.
on June 7, 2021 Comments Off on Increased Demand for Rental Housing
Many Canadians have been living in the same rental unit for years with no intentions to move. You know the old adage: “if it’s not broken don’t fix it!” But for many renters, the change in the work environment has caused a change in their home needs. And so they need to move. Are you among those who want to move or need to change your living situation? Have you considered building your very own starter home?
Here at SilverBeam homes our speciality is building you the home that will meet your needs. While 50% of Vancouver residents are tenants you don’t have to be a part of that statistic if you think it is time for a new page.
With current home prices skyrocketing beyond the reach of the average Canadian your best options right now would be rent or build. But if you choose to rent, there is a lot of competition out there. Good news though if rental is still your only option. Government support for rental building construction has returned, and we expect to see construction throughout 2021.
Immigration’s Effects on Housing Affordability
With record levels of immigration our unaffordability problems are further compounded. Even though there was a slow down of immigration in 2020 due to the pandemic with a number of COVID-19 restrictions being lifted we can expect the inflow to rise again. And new residents are typically renters. So from immmigration alone we could be looking at a rental demand of approximately 39,000.
Historically, the British Columbia rental market is provided by “Mom and Pop” rentals. These idnividuals invest their home into small rental projects as a way of making an extra income or even their only source of income.
Do you think buillding could be the right move for you to make right now? Give us a call and let us help guide you through the process.
on May 28, 2021 Comments Off on Buying With Pets? – Why You Should Build Instead!
Are you considering purchasing a Condo but have a pet? Let’s explore the pet policies and help you make the decision to build instead of buy. Yes, that’s right! If you don’t want to get rid of your furry friend, many condo management is making it hard for you to buy. Even in developments where there are already pets, we are seeing new policies banning new pets from entering the building.
It is very troubling to start searching for a home, only to be turned around time and time again because you have a pet. Many feel like they are now in this no-win situation. But is it really a no-win situation? What if we told you, you had another option? Would you be interested in hearing about that? The next option would be to build your home from the ground up! While you may think that is a lot of work and will take a lot of time, we are here for you. We are equipped to help you smooth sail through every step of the process.
You don’t want to leave your pet behind, and do you really want to buy into a residential community where they are already clamping down on pets? Why not get your very own home where you and only you set the rules?
How We Help You Every Step of the Way
We understand how important it is for your home to be a place of solace. We want to help you meet that goal by building a home that is just as unique as you are, and that meets your needs exactly. So whatever your needs are; in this case, a pet friendly custom home, we have what you need.
We organize the process so that you have full control. The process is initiated with a consultation where we take your feedback into account and find out what you really want your home to do for you. We allow you to freely share your thoughts and aspirations. Then we offer our expert opinion to help you see how your masterpiece can come to life.
Our next step after consultation is, to begin with, the design services. We will help you to gather all necessary documents and put together an application package. We will help you with the drafting of legal submissions. These are to be included with every application when building a custom home in Vancouver.
When your application has been filed, we will help you through interviews and such until the final decision is made. Once the permit has been granted, we can now move into the more exciting build phase when your home will come alive in front of your eyes. Want to find out more about our process? Give us a call, we would love to hear from you, and more importantly, we would love to help you build your dream home. Don’t let the current market stress you out in a never-ending search. Let us help you get into not just a home, but the home that really meets all your needs.
on May 21, 2021 Comments Off on The Home Front Color can Make or Break Your Mood
If you’ve never heard of color psychology before, welcome! Colors are known to have a very powerful effect on the way we feel. That is why there are decor professionals with the title of “Color Consultant”. Color can lift your mood or it can make one feel miserable. The colors in your home are no exception to that rule. The color of a room is one of the first things your unconscious mind takes notice of, and when it comes to your home, these colors can be the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see before going to sleep.
In recent times, people have been spending a lot of time at home, and so more people are turning to color to make their homes more inviting and more relaxing. We have seen an increase in the use of colors such as terracotta, orange, teal, dark blue and green to create feelings of depth. This is for many a drastic change from the paler, more muted shades used in the designs of yesteryear.
Green is one of the colors that is getting the most popular, the fastest. It is getting especially popular in kitchens as well as in bathrooms. The green we are talking about is a very modern and refined green. It is the type of green that is inspired by food ingredients, softer vegetation and dark tree foliage.
How Color Affects Mood
Each color has its own wavelength, and as such each color will stir up a different feeling. Colors in the red and yellow family can provide feelings of comfort and warmth, or they can irritate and cause feelings of anger. It all depends on your mental health and the setting you are in.
Purple is quite the interesting color, and it is also a very complex one as well. It embodies a lot of the warmth of red, while also embodying the coolness of blue. It is considered to be calming as well as uplifting, and is linked to expanding awareness and encouraging creativity and spirituality. Too much purple though can aggravate depression in those who are already suffering from this or other forms of mental issues. It is a great option for children’s rooms, as well as for the rooms for teenage girls. It is great for these age groups due to its ability to simulate creativity, and is believed to thereby stimulate academic ability. Because it contributes to serenity, it is also ideal for use in hyperactive and highly animated children’s rooms.
Break from the Monotony with New Paint Colors
With a year behind us of many restrictions, a lot of us are having a lot of gray days. If you are looking for a way to break up the monotony in your home, but can’t afford a Reno project, changing your paint color is a great way to make the change. The best part is you don’t have to paint an entire wall. You can easily start off by doing an accent wall and adding small decor touches to pull the color into the room in other ways outside of the paint on the wall.
What color do you think would look great in your living room? Let us know in the comments!
on April 28, 2021 Comments Off on Larger Tax Burden on Vancouver Homeowners for 2021
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.
on April 21, 2021 Comments Off on COVID 19 Condo Updates Revisited
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.
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.
on April 17, 2021 Comments Off on Increased Lumber Prices Increasing New Home Building Costs
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.
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.