SilverBeam Homes Blog

Canada’s Most Moved-to Cities 

by Bevony on March 31, 2022 Comments Off on Canada’s Most Moved-to Cities 
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/multiethnic-couple-packing-ceramic-belongings-in-parchment-before-relocation-4246193/

2021 was the second year of the global COVID-19 pandemic.  This has changed the way that Canadians live, and also has changed where they live.  There are currently more than four million Canadian workers working from home.  This change in work environment has given them the freedom to change their plans on settling in major urban centers.  Persons are now looking to settle in smaller cities where they can afford more square footage for their money.

A recent report from Statistics Canada shows that people are migrating to the East Coast more so than the prairies and metropolitan areas. Another report by U-Haul based on its customers is showing Canadians moving to smaller towns like Alberta and Rural Ontario. 

Alberta is the Top Province for U-Haul Movers

U-Haul’s report is based on customer data, and they are seeing a rise of 33% in one way U-Haul trucks arriving in Alberta. Within the province, the top city and destination seems to be Calgary. The arrival of new residents in the city has caused an increase in home prices, as the demand rises above the supply. In January of 2022, the average cost of a home in Calgary was $510,701.  This reflects a year-over-year increase of 8%. 

Most Moved to Cities in Ontario 

Wild Alberta took the prize for the most moved province of Canada. Ontario was also high on the list. Here we saw smaller communities receiving the newest residents. We believe that in the sky high prices in the greater Toronto area, many homeowners move to smaller communities.  In these smaller communities, individuals find more affordable homes and more square footage for their money.

 There has been a change, you know what Canadians are looking for in your homes. People are moving away from open floor plans, I know, seeking homes with dedicated spaces for work, relaxation and exercise.

A recent Zolo survey showed that 34% of Canadians wanted a change in the size or layout of their homes after living through the COVID pandemic and its ensuing restrictions. We think this is one of the major driving factors in choosing where people want to move to. These smaller communities offer more square footage and space for their home offices at a more affordable price than their current place of residence. 

Top Moved to Cities As Per U-Haul’s Data 

Photo by Curtis Adams: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-house-3555615/
City Approximate Average Home Cost% More Affordable Than Toronto 
North Bay $478, 00056
Belleville $546,00050
Greater Sudbury $458,000 58
Kingston $578, 00047
Owen Sound-Port Elgin$555, 00049
Sault Ste. Maire $269, 00075
Chatham $457, 00058
St. Thomas $707, 00035
Sarnia $539, 00051
Brantford $758, 00031
Orillia $748, 00032
Peterborough $814, 00026
Cornwall$397, 00064

Affordable Cities Seeing Home Price Increases

The search for more affordable housing has increased the demand in these smaller towns and cities, and so the house prices here are starting to crawl up as well. We are seeing this sort of domino effect in a lot of the smaller towns and cities, and coupled with high prices is a dwindling supply. 

It is hard to predict the future, especially with the unknown of the virus and with the effects of inflation. What we do know is that cities like North Bay and Calgary are posting large year over year gains in prices. Other urban centers like Halifax and Moncton are seeing price appreciation as well. 

With these significant price gains, these areas are still not as expensive as the Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto areas. With this, we believe that Canadians will continue to look to smaller cities, as their needs are not being met in these metropolitan areas. Cities like Alberta and Ontario will continue to see new families arriving in the search for more space and more affordability. 

What are your thoughts? Are you in the market for a home? Can you afford one where you currently reside? Have you ever thought of building? If your answer to the last question is yes, give us a call and let us discuss your needs and your budget. We can build your home from the ground up, making your dream of owning a home a reality. 

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BevonyCanada’s Most Moved-to Cities 

Vancouver Housing – All You Need to Know

by Bevony on March 23, 2022 Comments Off on Vancouver Housing – All You Need to Know
Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Vancouver ranks highly as one of the most livable cities in the world quite often. It has been ranked as the best North American city to live in. With a very scenic location with views of the oceans on one side, while being tucked against the North Shore mountains, it is ideal for those who want milder weather, so they can explore all year round. 

Vancouver House Prices

With a high demand for houses, it is currently a seller’s market. What this means for buyers is waiting longer to close on a home, being bid out of homes, and pushing the dream of owning a home in Vancouver further away.  If we compare home sales prices of 2017 and 2021, we see an increase over each month, and this trend continues to be the norm.

Unless a healthy supply of houses are entered into the market, we can expect these conditions to remain fueled by a high demand. If you must relocate to Vancouver, you can expect to find diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. You will have a lot of nature to enjoy and have almost every cuisine at your fingertips. Jobs are plenty, and you can only expect the best healthcare and education here, so it is a good choice. 

If you choose to make Vancouver your home, you also don’t have to worry about not owning a car, because there are lots of transit options. These include the bus, the sky train and the sea bus. There are also a lot of walkable downtown sites, and others are typically just 30 minutes away by bus or sea bus. This network of public transportation can help to ease some of the expenses that come along with owning a car. 

Best Places to Live in Vancouver 

Vancouver’s most livable communities include: 

  • Fairview 
  • Grandview-Woodland
  • Kitsilano 
  • Mount Pleasant 
  • Riley Park 
  • Shaughnessy 
  • South Cambie 

Where Not to Live in Vancouver

Like almost everything on this earth, Vancouver has its downsides. Stay away from areas east of Main Street. Avoid the Downtown Eastside and East Hastings, and these places are known for homelessness, prostitution, crime and poverty. 

Outside of that, Vancouver is a fairly safe place to both live and visit, and buying a house here is worth it if you are planning on living here for the long term. Vancouver has always been a desirable place to live and will always continue to be. 

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BevonyVancouver Housing – All You Need to Know

Hot Housing Market in Rossland, B.C

by Bevony on March 15, 2022 Comments Off on Hot Housing Market in Rossland, B.C

There has been a lot of growth in property valuations in Rossland. This small town did not escape the woes of the rest of the housing market. Many people who are not Rossland natives come here in the hopes of buying a more affordable home, but find themselves being priced out of the market still. This can be especially discouraging, especially now with a pandemic and most people not having a 20% down payment. 

What the Price Increases Look Like

Prices jumped 33% from July 2020 to July 2021, reveals B.C Assessments. These numbers were shared in January of 2022. Where we saw a 16% increase in Vancouver for the same period. This jump was a surprise for many, even though there was intense inflation in previous years for the housing market. The increase is being attributed to persons who now can work remotely choosing to make a lifestyle change, because they like the idea of living in a ski resort area. 

In the past, one of the saving graces for Rossland was the difficulty to reach the area. But now with remote work, even though local businesses can’t afford to pay the kinds of wages to support the house prices, purchasers are coming from outside the community, pushing up prices even further. Many parents who are longtime residents of the community are worried that their children won’t be able to afford to live here. Residents feel like the area is beginning to feel like a town for the rich. 

With intense demand driving up prices, some homebuyers are spilling into places like Castlegar, which is close by but still cheaper. We can expect to see a domino effect of prices there going up in the near future too. They have seen a year over year growth of 21% compared to the 33% seen in Rossland. 

Rossland could benefit from new developments, but not all the locals like this idea. They think new development will just lead to more city folk moving into their quiet ski town. But there are some locals that welcome the change. 

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BevonyHot Housing Market in Rossland, B.C

Metro Vancouver Prices Continue to Wow

by Bevony on March 8, 2022 Comments Off on Metro Vancouver Prices Continue to Wow

Just two weeks into March, and the local housing market is showing us that it hasn’t gotten wild just yet. A new report published by Dexter Realty indicates March could yield the highest prices we have ever seen in the Metro Vancouver housing market. 

There was a significant increase in listings in February 2022, as well as there was a significant increase in home sales. We can expect March to be a “barn-burner”, the representative from Dexter Realty said. 

When we look back at March of 2021, we also saw a high number of new listings. March 2021 was also the month we saw the highest sales. There was an all time high of 45,000 sales in that month alone. 

Low Housing Supply

We are still seeing low supply of housing, as a matter of fact, some areas have extremely low supply. But we have seen some increases in new listings recently on the metro Vancouver market. Some markets, however, only have one month supply of homes. Markets with just a month of homes for sale include;

  • Port Coquitlam
  • Port Moody 
  • Tsawwassen
  • New Westminster
  • Pitt Meadows
  • Maple Ridge
  • North Vancouver

Without a sudden increase in the available supply, the spring buying season will only continue to see higher prices. With low supply, you will also see multiple offers, which will just drive the prices up even more. The demand is still high, but the supply is just not scratching the surface when it comes to meeting the need.  

Condo, Townhouse, Detached Home Sales

In metro Vancouver, February sales were dominated by condo apartment sales. This is due to the greater supply of these types of properties, with lower prices than the other property types available. Added to that was a high demand from investors. 

Vacancy rates are now back to record lows. Investors are aware of this and aware of the need for rental housing. Governments in all cities have been able to supply this need adequately for a while now. But there is a predicted shortage looming over our heads currently. Added to that, the current benchmark prices are currently 15.9% higher than they were just a year ago. 

The prices for detached homes dropped in February when compared to February of 2021. Factors causing the price drop include buyer resistance due to lack of choice, and benchmark prices at a record high of $2,044,800. 

There are also not enough townhomes available for sale. As of February 2022, only 90 new townhouses were started in the Metro Vancouver area. 

What Are Your Options?

It is a seller’s market, and there is no doubt about it. If you are a potential homeowner, be prepared for high prices and competition from other buyers. If you are looking for a detached home, your other option is to build your own home. Build with us, let us show you how!

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BevonyMetro Vancouver Prices Continue to Wow

Financing for Pre-Sale Homes 

by Bevony on March 1, 2022 Comments Off on Financing for Pre-Sale Homes 

All home loans are definitely not the same. Here’s how you can tell the difference between a good and a bad fit. 

The region is still seeing a strong demand for real estate, and with listings highly priced, many are turning to the new construction market to meet their home ownership needs. Most Condos and Townhomes are sold pre-sale. That means they are sold even before construction starts, or sometimes while construction is ongoing. This is referred to as a presale purchase. 

Your reason for presale doesn’t matter too much. There are some critical elements that can help you enhance your experience when purchasing presale. This is very true, especially when you consider your options for mortgage financing. You won’t find comprehensive financing solutions. So you have to ask all the right questions. The main thing is that you want your mortgage approval to still be valid when the construction is all done. Here are some things to consider when purchasing presale. 

What is the Lender Offering?

You can get one of two options. There is the condition free and final mortgage approval offer, and there is the mortgage pre-approval for purchasing the presale home. There are conditions that come with pre-approval offers, which allow the financing to be reviewed later, so there is the chance that the terms can change. With a final mortgage approval offer, you get peace of mind knowing there will be no changes in the terms of the offer when your construction is finished. 

Validity Length of Mortgage Approval 

The best scenario is to choose a lender that offers a final mortgage that is equal to the length of construction. The best scenario is for the final mortgage to be valid for greater than the length of construction. 

You want to know what happens if there is a delay in construction. Will your lender require you to undergo another requalification, or will they honor the original approval? 

We find that most lenders can only guarantee mortgage rates for up to four months. But there are those that specialize in presale construction financing. These will allow 36 months and beyond, giving you even more peace of mind. 

Review or Requalification 

Not all lenders will offer you unconditional mortgage approval for the long term. They will often ask for updated information, even if they don’t do an actual requalification. They may simply ask for updated income verification or may retrieve an up-to-date credit report. If you can, choose a lender that will not try to requalify you and will keep the initial commitment. 

Additional Benefits

Some lenders offer disability, life and critical illness coverage. If you can get this type of coverage, it is highly recommended, since anything can happen with you and your family as you wait on the completion of your new home. 

If you are considering presale construction, it is important to note that mortgage financing options are different for this market. When selecting your lender, review the above information and make an informed decision. Close on a new home without any unpleasant surprises, by being harmed with the right knowledge from the get go. 

Purchasing a pre sale property can be a great experience, whether you are purchasing for yourself, for a child or as income property. Start off by seeking the advice of a mortgage specialist. 

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BevonyFinancing for Pre-Sale Homes 

How to Build a Foundation

by Bevony on February 20, 2022 Comments Off on How to Build a Foundation

The foundation of a house is the concrete base that the house sits on. It is the professionals that get these tasks done, but we understand you could be curious as to how it’s all done. So here we will guide you through the process of the basic steps of building a foundation for your home or garage. 

Types of Foundations 

A foundation ensures that a building will stay in place. There are three general foundation types. There are differences in how foundations are made across the region due to climate. Warmer places have slab foundations and crawl spaces, while in other places homes will have basements. 

  1. The most common type of foundation is the concrete slab foundation. These foundations are manufactured with poured concrete with reinforced steel bars. The concrete is typically between four and eight inches deep. 
  1. Then there are basement foundations that are made with subterranean concrete walls supporting the structure above-ground. These types of foundations offer more square footage, but it is of course more work and requires more material. This makes this type of foundation more expensive. 
  1. A crawl space foundation is made with concrete footings underneath the ground. There are short concrete walls extending one foot above the surface, and the house rests on these. 

Any type of foundation that makes use of concrete must have secure footing. The footings serve as a support for the foundation, which supports the house. A foundation is designed based on the soil conditions and the size of the building, which it will support. The dimensions and the depth of the footings are then based on the type of foundation, as well as other factors. These other factors include: 

  • Water tables
  • Frost line
  • Flood zones
  • Stability of soil 
  • Type of soil 
  • Drainage of site
  • Slope 
  • Local building codes

Building the Foundation 

Foundation size and footing calculations have to be done before any excavation can be done. Forms for the footings are made with pressure-treated lumber. Rebar is installed within the forms. The forms are staked into the ground, so they will stay in place when the concrete is poured. Once the concrete has cured, the forms are then removed. 

The next step all depends on the type of foundation that is being built. Mortar and cinder block can be added on top in courses until you reach the top of the foundation. Or a concrete wall can be cast with the use of wooden forms similar to those used when making the footings. It is very important that all of these walls are level and plumb. 

For slab foundations, a layer of compressed gravel is necessary to be added to the perimeter of the foundation to ensure proper drainage. You also need to add a vapor barrier along with a layer of sand. Wire mesh is needed for reinforcement, then concrete poured in the defined area after you have placed your necessary conduits for electrical work and plumbing. Porous, clean backfill is used in the space between the complete foundation and the excavated dirt. Surface level ground is graded to form a slope to take water away from the house. 

Building the Foundation for a Detached Structure

The general outline for building a home’s foundation is similar to that of building one for a detached garage. You always want to obtain the necessary permits for any type of foundation or construction you are doing.  Then you can follow the necessary steps found here: 

  • Lay out the foundation area and mark the perimeter
  • Ensure the absence of underground utilities
  • Follow building and safety codes to dig out dirt for the footings and slabs
  • Build forms for footings and slab
  • Install Rebar
  • Pour concrete footings
  • Pour concrete for the slab 

Did this information provide you with insight into the process of building a foundation? Because if it did, we would love to know. Therefore, let us know in the comments! And when you are ready to build a home, let SilverBeam Homes become your homebuilders of choice! Contact us today.

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BevonyHow to Build a Foundation

The BC “Cooling Off” Legislation and What It Means 

by Bevony on February 11, 2022 Comments Off on The BC “Cooling Off” Legislation and What It Means 

Some new measures have been proposed by the provincial government. The aim of these is to protect the rights of consumers during the buying process. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all watched the housing and mortgage markets heat up to unprecedented levels. One of the most common occurrences is condition-free offers. 

Competition is high, and there were bidding wars everywhere. Many potential buyers are submitting offers without financing. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and we expect to see it remaining fierce throughout the end of this year. 

The provincial government in British Columbia took steps to address the situation. The legislation allows buyers to back out of a sale. This is only allowed in a “cooling-off” period. 

The legislation is nice, since people know they are protected while making such a big decision as purchasing real estate, which is also investing in their future. This is especially necessary during a time like this, when the housing market is heightened. People want peace of mind, and an assurance that they are making the right choices. 

When We Can Expect The Legislation?

The legislation is expected to arrive in Spring of 2022 at the earliest. In the meantime, the steps for changing the current system remain unclear. 

The intention of the move is to provide protection for consumers during purchasing processes. Some think this measure may stoke the BC housing market further than it already is. Realtors believe it will complicate the buying stage of the process, making it more difficult. If anybody can walk away at any time, it will make it hard for the realtor to make sense of the quality of what they are offering/listing or receiving. 

At the buyer end of the spectrum, if buyers don’t have to show financial conditions, we can find other bidders increasing the purchase price or the size of a down payment. This will be bad for the already high house prices on the market. 

Lenders have been slow to react and make adjustments. But they are aware of how commonplace, condition-free offers are, and that they are increasing in the marketplace. 

If you want to own a home your alternative to buying is building your own. Here at Silver Beam Homes, we can help you with this dream. Call us today.

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BevonyThe BC “Cooling Off” Legislation and What It Means 

 

by Bevony on February 4, 2022 Comments Off on  

Canadians Seek to Grow Wealth Outside of Housing

The housing market across the country has soared to heights that so many of us cannot reach. Buying a home is entirely unaffordable for the majority of Canadians and for many others the debt that a mortgage incurs is simply not justifiable. Many potential buyers are using their down payment for investments such as art and stocks so they can appreciate their wealth. 

Canadian stocks are very advantageous today because they have high free cash flow yields. The real estate market is offering the opposite of this. People are finding investment opportunities in index funds of natural resources and financial. Both are expected to do well even during inflationary times, like we are experiencing now. 

The risk of rising interest rates makes it even harder for some people to justify a mortgage. Consider a rate increase that could make a million dollar mortgage hard to carry. And what does one million get you in this market anyway? Depending on location, it could be only a one bedroom apartment. Yes, for many, renting is now better than owning. Along with trading stocks, there are also cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens – NFTs that make investors money. There has also been a boom in digital art. 

In December 2021, the average cost of a Canadian home was $713,500. That price was up by 17.7% from 2020. Costs have risen even higher in more populated areas of the country. In Vancouver, the average cost is $1,910,200. Clients who were waiting on prices to drop find the market is now completely out of their reach. Any house currently under 2 million will have a bidding war when it hits the market. 

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Benefits of Planning for Future Repair Costs

by Bevony on January 28, 2022 Comments Off on Benefits of Planning for Future Repair Costs

We all want to take care of our things, especially when they are expensive to acquire. You take your car to the car watch, and you change your oil when you are supposed to. You take your clothes to the dry cleaners, and polish your shoes. But when it comes to our homes, we often skip routine maintenance because we are never prepared for it. A home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, and it should be the one thing we try to keep up the maintenance for.  

It can be hard to stay caught up on home maintenance projects. But when you do, you prevent costly repairs and bigger future problems. 

Why Home Maintenance is Important

Regular home maintenance is a good investment. Yes, it will add things to your to-do list, but they will all be worth your time. When you keep up with monthly tasks around your home, you can prevent major damage and prevent high spending over time. Here are five reasons to stay on top of your home maintenance this year.

Save Money 

If you routinely check your home, you can save yourself a lot of money. Routine maintenance can help you avoid issues by fixing small problems that left overtime, and can become large and expensive problems. 

Enhance the Quality of your Home Life 

If your AC or water heater breaks, your home life will get a huge interruption. If you do annual checks on your AC units and water heaters, you can avoid problems. You can identify problems that can cause long-term damage. And you don’t have to take cold showers while you figure out how to fix something. 

Adds to Market Value

Most homes will appreciate over time. With curb appeal, you could add 10% in value for your home. Maintaining your home with a fresh coat of paint and replacing broken driveway tiles, bricks or slabs can make a huge difference.   

Extends the Life of your Appliances

Your washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and other home appliances come with high price tags. But they are needed for your comfort and some for everyday life. Simple upkeep can ensure that these remain in good condition, so they can continue to serve you and your family.  Maintenance of these is quite easy too. Your stove needs to be cleaned with the right cleaning solutions, etc. 

Increase the Safety of your Home 

When you maintain your home and yard, you are securing your property and keeping yourself and your family safe. Burglars tend to target homes with overgrown bushes. Each season comes with its own set of needs for maintenance. If you can’t do it all yourself, you can hire the right professionals based on your needs and budget.  

There are a lot of perks to regular home maintenance. Saving money, improving home value, keeping you and your family safe are just some benefits of regularly taking care of small tasks around your home. 

What kind of TLC does your home need right now?

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BevonyBenefits of Planning for Future Repair Costs

Canada’s Inflation Rate Rises to a 30 Year High of 4.8%

by Bevony on January 21, 2022 Comments Off on Canada’s Inflation Rate Rises to a 30 Year High of 4.8%

At the end of December 2021, the Consumer Price Index had increased by 4.8% for the year. With food costs increasing, the cost of living has risen the fastest we have seen since 1991. Statistics show grocery prices have risen by 5.7%, which is the largest gain since 2011. The two things that are mainly affecting the price of groceries would be weather conditions in growing regions and disruptions in the supply chain also due to the weather. 

Just How Much Has Food Prices Increased?

Apple prices increased by 6.7%, and oranges saw an increase of 6.6%. With the United States being the major supplier of oranges, having bad weather and citrus greening in the major growing region. Orange export and production numbers have fallen their smallest since 1945. This not only affects the price of the fruit, but also the price of frozen concentrate and any commodity it is used in. We are seeing that price increase, with the cost of orange juice doubling in the last few months. 

Other food prices are increasing too, such as frozen beef, which has gone up by 12% over the prices of 2021. Ham and Bacon have also increased in price by 15%. 

With supplier’s costs going up, retailers have to pass on the increases to their customers. Kendra Sozinho, Fiesta Farms grocery store manager, indicates she has never seen a price jump like this one in her 20 years working for the company. 

Current new rules which forbid unvaccinated truck drivers from entering the country could make price hikes more likely in the coming weeks and months. 

As pandemic spending winds down, we expect to see a decrease in pent-up demand, which is one thing driving price increases. We still expect challenges in inflation and the supply chain. 

What is Happening Outside the Food Industry?

Expect to see more rate hikes! Food is not the only thing that we are going to see price increases on  in the future. Shelter prices have increased by 5.4% over last year, which is even higher than the overall inflation rate. Worst is that the factors pushing up shelter costs are all local Canadian problems. 

Yes, domestic issues are what drives housing inflation. There is also the weather driving up insurance costs, which affects homeowners and dwellers. 

Politicians Weigh In

Pierre Poilievre blamed the inflation on the federal government. He is a conservative finance critic who believes that a nation such as Canada should be able to keep prices down. Poilievre told reporters that the biggest increases we have seen on consumer products are on stuff that we source here in Canada. 

He calls home price inflation a “home-grown” problem, and argues that all blame regarding the inflation should be placed on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He noted that the more the Prime Minister spends, the more prices go up. 

Early in the pandemic, we saw lending rates reduced to all time lows. This stimulated the economy, but two years later the housing market has seen skyrocketing prices and reduced listings. 

Investors Weigh In

Investors believe there is a 75% chance of a rate hike soon. While inflation is expected to come down over the year, it is necessary for the Bank of Canada to require tighter financial conditions.  

If we saw any relief at all, it was with gas prices. We saw a drop of 4.1% during one month, which is the largest monthly drop since April 2020. But gas prices are still high compared to 2020 rates. 

How is inflation affecting you? We’d love to hear in the comments!

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BevonyCanada’s Inflation Rate Rises to a 30 Year High of 4.8%