With all the excitement of the holidays and everyone decorating their homes with lights, we can easily forget about the added costs on our electrical bill. To avoid a big surprise in the new year here are some helpful tips on saving energy and money this holiday season.


Image result for christmas lights



Switch to LED Options – Best Choice: ENERGY STAR® qualified LED lights use 70 percent less energy


Find Rebates online when purchasing ENERGY Star® qualified holiday lights.


Fiber Optic Christmas Tree uses energy-efficient LED bulbs and uses much less energy.


Reduce Usage – Use automatic timers as a simple way to limit electricity usage.


Limit Secondary Lighting – Turn off other lights and enjoy the glow of your beautiful tree.


For more helpful tips click here

Read full post

Since everyone is talking about the current real estate market conditions, I’ve decided to give you another update this month. People across the lower mainland are unsure if they should list their property or buy in this market. Will the prices go down? Will my property sell? If only we could tell the future, then we would know what the best course of action is. What we can do is see the trends in the previous months to give us an idea of what the market may be doing.


Let’s see what The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has to say about October 2018 statistics.


“Home sale activity across Metro Vancouver* remained below long-term historical averages in October.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,966 in October 2018, a 34.9 per cent decrease from the 3,022 sales recorded in October 2017, and a 23.3 per cent increase compared to September 2018 when 1,595 homes sold.


 “The supply of homes for sale today is beginning to return to levels that we haven’t seen in our market in about four years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “For home buyers, this means you have more selection to choose from. For sellers, it means your home may face more competition, from other listings, in the marketplace.”


 “Home prices have edged down between three and five per cent, depending on housing type, in our region since June,” said Moore. “This is providing a little relief for those looking to buy compared to the all-time highs we’ve experienced over the last year.”


Sales of detached homes in October 2018 reached 637, a 32.2 per cent decrease from the 940 detached sales recorded in October 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,524,000. This represents a 5.1 per cent decrease from October 2017 and a 3.9 per cent decrease over the last three months.


Sales of apartments reached 985 in October 2018, a 35.7 per cent decrease compared to the 1,532 sales in October 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $683,500. This represents a 5.8 per cent increase from October 2017 and a 3.1 per cent decrease over the last three months.


Attached homes sales in October 2018 totalled 344, a 37.5 per cent decrease compared to the 550 sales in October 2017. The benchmark price of an attached home is $829,200. This represents a 4.4 per cent increase from October 2017 and a 2.8 per cent decrease over the last three months.”


If you have any questions or would like to discuss the current market contact me.

778.988.7487

Barbara.hutniak@remax.net

Read full post

Whether you are doing a large or small renovation here is some inspiration from the top home trends of 2019. 


Appliances:  

Cool colours in matte and satin finishes.

Smart appliances giving you control over your fridge and oven no matter where you are.


Flooring:

Cost effective options that look exactly like hardwood and marble including laminate, vinyl and ceramic tile.

Going for a green option for your floors with bamboo, reclaimed wood or engineered hardwood.

Carpet may seem like a thing of the past but with more options coming available, even water-resistant options, it is quite popular.


Windows:

With many options included eco-friendly ones, natural and contemporary styles are trending.


Hardware:

Finishes are ranging from brass to sleek black, and two tone is making a mark in 2019.


For more 2019 trends Click Here.

Read full post

With Halloween fast approaching here are some spooktacular ideas for decorating the exterior of your home. Doesn't matter whether you are living in a house, townhouse or condo here are designs for everyone. 


Rustic Farmhouse


Festive Wreath


Graveyard Theme 


Monster Door


Beware




A great place to find Halloween decorating ideas is on Pinterest.

Read full post

With Halloween only a couple weeks away, I thought it would be fitting to talk about how stigmas can affect the value of your home. Whether your house is haunted, you have an unlucky number in the address or bad Fein Shui, these are all factors that may impact the price and length of time it takes for you to sell your home.


Have you heard of Buyer Beware? Did you know that the seller has no legal obligation to disclose any stigmas about their home unless the potential buyer asks? Next time you are viewing a property and get an eerie feeling make sure to ask questions or have your agent do it for you.

Got ghosts?


Would you be willing to live in a home where a crime was committed? Do you believe in ghosts and if so, would you be willing to live in a home with one?


Lucky (and unlucky) numbers


The number 13 has a bad reputation and is the perfect example of an unlucky number that can hinder the sale of your home. Did you know that many developers when building a high-rise skip the 13th floor to avoid any issues during the selling process?


Feng Shui


Feng Shui is part of Chinese culture and focuses on your environment to allow for a gentle flow of energy also known as “Chi.”


Full Article Click Here

Read full post

The amount of sales remain low as supply of homes continue to grow across Metro Vancouver. This can be a trying time for home owners trying to sell their home quickly and a great opportunity for buyers trying to get into the market. With more properties on the market and less competition, buyers are less likely to end up in multiple offers. If you are a home owner in need of selling your home NOW it's not impossible, you may need to adjust your asking price, paint or stage your home to attract more buyers. I always hear sellers say they are losing money if they don’t sell their home for x amount of dollars but in reality, they never had that money to begin with and as long as they sell for more then what they bought for they are making a profit.


Here’s September 2018 Real Estate statistics compared to previous years by REBGV.


“The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 1,595 in September 2018, a 43.5 per cent decrease from the 2,821 sales recorded in September 2017, and a 17.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2018 when 1,929 homes sold.”


“There were 5,279 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2018. This represents a 1.8 per cent decrease compared to the 5,375 homes listed in September 2017 and a 36 per cent increase compared to August 2018 when 3,881 homes were listed.”


“The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,084, a 38.2 per cent increase compared to September 2017 (9,466) and a 10.7 per cent increase compared to August 2018 (11,824).”


 “Metro Vancouver’s housing market has changed pace compared to the last few years. Our townhome and apartment markets are sitting in balanced market territory and our detached home market remains in a clear buyers’ market,” Smith said. “It’s important for both home buyers and sellers to work with their Realtor to understand what these trends means to them.”


 “Sales of detached properties in September 2018 reached 508, a 40.4 per cent decrease from the 852 detached sales recorded in September 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,540,900. This represents a 4.5 per cent decrease from September 2017 and a 3.4 per cent decrease over the last three months."


"Sales of apartment properties reached 812 in September 2018, a 44 per cent decrease compared to the 1,451 sales in September 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $687,300. This represents a 7.4 per cent increase from September 2017 and a 3.1 per cent decrease over the last three months."


"Attached property sales in September 2018 totalled 275, a 46.9 per cent decrease compared to the 518 sales in September 2017. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $837,600. This represents a 6.4 per cent increase from September 2017 and a two per cent decrease over the last three months.”


Click here for more information.


If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

778.988.7487

Barbara.hutniak@remax.net

Read full post

With the rainy season upon us, I thought I would take this opportunity to give you something to look forward to. Here’s some upcoming events that are happening around the Tri-Cities you don’t want to miss!!


Oktoberfest

Location: 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody

Date & Time: October 5th to October 7th from 5pm to 10pm

More Info: Click Here


Fall Harvest Market Place

Location: Civic Centre Galleria, Port Moody

Date & Time: October 20th from 10am to 4pm

More Info: Click Here


Poirier Street Market

Location: 624 Poirier Street, Coquitlam

Date & Time: Every Sunday until October 28th from 9am to 1pm

More Info: Click Here


Remembrance Day Ceremony & Parade

Location: 125 Kyle Street, Port Moody

Date & Time: November 11th 10am to 10pm.

More Info: Click Here


Crossroads Hospice Coffeehouse

Location: 1100 - 2253 Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam

Date & Time: October 12th & 26th and November 9th & 30th

Doors open at 7pm and featured performer is at 9pm.

More Info: Click Here


I will write a Christmas events blog post in mid November.

Read full post

It’s that time of year again, leaves are changing colour, days are getting colder and shorter. Don’t get me wrong I love Fall! Every year I walk through the Riverview Grounds in Coquitlam with over a hundred different species of trees, it’s absolutely stunning there this time of year! Sorry I’m getting off topic, here are some living room décor ideas inspired by the season of fall.


Embrace Brass

Covet Caramel

Think Vintage

Welcome Fall Hues

Layer in Cozy Textures

Channel Cottage Style

Introduce Statement Textures

Swap Out Cushions

Add Rustic Accents

Track Down the World’s Coziest Sofa


Full Article Click Here

Read full post

Are you thinking of buying or selling? Are you looking for a real estate agent that you can trust and depend on?


Here’s why you should hire me. I have been in the Real Estate industry since the beginning of 2016 and it’s my mission to put my clients' needs first and find them the perfect home. I am young, innovative and understand that paper advertising is a thing of the past and marketing on social media platforms and websites is the best way to reach your target market. I go on property tours twice a week to keep myself up to date with what’s happening and a chance to see properties before they hit the market. It’s important to me to keep my clients educated about the current market conditions and to work closer with their mortgage broker, so once it’s time to write an offer I know we are ready to go!


I am dedicated to selling your home and finding the perfect place to call home.


Here’s what my past clients have to say about their experience.


Christine & Norbert


Barbara has gone above and beyond for us. We moved from a house we built and lived in for 40 years into a condo. Barbara demonstrated incredible patience during the search for the right place for us to live in and she found it. Barbara made the entire transition less stressful for us. She helped us with every big and small detail including calling the building caretaker and prepping everything for moving day. We felt that she was a good listener during the process and represented us in a very professional way for that, we are very thankful. She is just the best and we would highly recommend her to anyone! Thank you Barbara it was a very enjoyable experience for us.

Sasha

Barbara has made my condo buying experience easy & flawless. She went above & beyond my expectations. She was professional, charismatic & courteous. She provided me with the most recent available condos in my price range in the exact neighborhood I wanted. She was quick in answering e-mails, phone calls & setting up showings. She gave me good realistic advice on what to offer to make sure I was competitive. She was persistent, phoning late in the evening to get me a showing the next day, which in the end got me the exact property I wanted in the price range I could afford. She was never late, showed up early or on time & even shuttled me around to all the different locations, & took me to sign the property transfer documents! I recommend Barbara to everyone & anyone who wants a first-class relator.

Laura & Mike

As first-time homebuyers, we were very overwhelmed with the Vancouver condo market. Finding a realtor like Barbara, who we trusted and truly worked for us, made us feel confident in our purchase. Barbara took the time to understand what mattered to us—our preferences and concerns—and helped to educate us on the buying process. She took initiative right from the start, without ever being pushy or pressuring us. She was remarkably patient throughout our search and went above and beyond with her prompt replies, attention to detail, and thoroughness. Barbara was an absolute pleasure to work with and we’ve already recommended her to our family and friends.

Margot

I have worked with multiple realtors, and Barb went above and beyond! She made sure we were always comfortable, well informed, and knew all of our options. Barb herself is so knowledgeable in today’s real estate market. She worked quickly and efficiently to find us a home, and was flexible with every curve ball we threw her way.  I would highly recommend Barb Hutniak to anyone looking to find their perfect home.                    

Aleks & Kelsey

We would like to extend our gratitude to Barbara who was key in purchasing our first home. During a last-minute dash to put an offer on our new home, she remained calm and advised wisely to ensure our bid went through. Her great customer service has continued through the process as she answers promptly to our never-ending questions. Thank you for your help and support Barbara; our home purchase would not have been possible without you!

Hanna

I am so grateful that I chose Barbara to be my realtor. As a first-time buyer, getting your foot in the market can be quite the challenge. Barbara was extremely helpful, dependable, and knowledgeable throughout the whole process. She is the reason I was successful in purchasing my first home and I am truly appreciative for all her hard work.

Read full post

In last weeks blog, I highlighted the benefits of moving to the suburbs. Before you make the ultimate decision whether suburban or city life is for you, ask yourself what you need or have in your life right now, that you can or cannot live without. For example, is having a car important or is that a way you can save money and buy a home in the location you want?



Now let’s take a look at 7 reasons why Downtown living might be a better fit for you.


You’ve Got Action – Everything you need is in walking distance.


Unique Neighbourhoods – Since cities are build around the downtown core the buildings downtown have more character.


Up-and-Coming Areas – Gentrification is attracting many buyers because of lower prices and fixer uppers.


One of a Kind Homes – Homes downtown being older have charm and are unique, definitely not a cookie cutter home.


Higher Property Values – The closer you are to the city the higher the property value.


Hello, Party Central – Great restaurants, bars, pubs, breweries all around you.


The Views – Cityscapes never gets old, especially at night.


Full Article: Click Here

Read full post

With rising prices and properties becoming smaller (shoe box living) in Vancouver many buyers are choosing to move away in search of affordability, square footage and lifestyle. These buyers are now known as Move-Over Buyer.


As a move-over buyer they are searching for a home that gives them the lifestyle they have always hoped for but are unable to achieve if they stayed in Vancouver. Of course, there are pros and cons to moving outside the city limits but to some people the pros outweigh the cons.



Here’s 7 reasons why suburban life might be the right option for you.


Lower Prices – Get more bang for your buck and save money on property taxes.


More Space – Don’t need to settle for a small condo a townhouse or house may be an option with a yard.


Less Crowded – Peace and quiet. Perfect place to start or grow your family.


New Facilities – Typically newer developments since the suburbs are continuously growing.


New Infrastructure – New facilities goes hand in hand with new infrastructure.


More Green Space – Better air quality with loads of outdoor activities.


Best of Both Worlds – Suburbs are expanding and cafes, shops, restaurants and breweries are popping up everywhere.


Full Article: Click Here


Make a Pros and Cons list of what lifestyle works best for you and go for it!


Read full post

Whether you are building a home from the ground up or buying a home you have to make the decision of what type of siding works best for you.



Vinyl


Pros

  • Least expensive
  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Wide variety of colours
  • Paintable

Cons

  • Not the most desirable material
  • Doesn’t add much value to the home

Wood


Pros

  • Renewable Resource
  • Easy too install
  • Not to expensive

Cons

  • Lots of maintenance
  • Repainted or stained every few years
  • Water damage/Termites
  • Unmaintained can lead to rot, warp or twist.

Brick


Pros

  • Minimal Maintenance
  • Acts as some insolation value
  • Long lasting
  • Adds value to the home

Cons

  • Mortar must be weaker then brick or can cause damage to the brick itself.
  • Weaker mortar – deteriorates faster

What would your ideal siding be?

Read full post

We are so lucky to be able to call this beautiful place our home. Living here we have to take advantage of what our city has to offer with the many trails and breathtaking views. Below is a list of my favourite hikes scattered around Vancouver. In case you're wondering all the photos below were taken by me.


Sendero Diaz Vista, Anmore

More Info: Click Here

Difficulty Intermediate

Time 6-7 hours

Round-Trip 15kmlevation Gain 460 meters


Minnekhada, Port Coquitlam

More Info: Click Here

Difficulty Easy

Time 2.5 hours

Round-Trip 10km

Elevation Gain 180 meters


Jug Island, Belcarra

More Info: Click Here

Difficulty Intermediate

Time 2.5 hours

Round-Trip 5.5km

Elevation Gain 100 meters


Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls, North Vancouver

More Info: Click Here

Difficulty Intermediate

Time 5 hours

Round-Trip 10km

Elevation Gain 150 meters


Stawamus Chief, Squamish

I know this one is farther out but it’s definitely worth a visit, the views are breathtaking.

More Info: Click Here

Difficulty Intermediate

Time 6 hours

Round-Trip 11km

Elevation Gain 600 meters


What are your favourite hikes? Comment Below

Read full post

As you know there are many different factors that affect the condition of the housing market. With that said, working with a trusted knowledgeable realtor will help the buying and selling experience go without a hitch.


Here are some myths and truths about real estate, that you may or may not know already.


You should you wait until Spring to list.

True or False


Real Estate is seasonal.

True or False


Listing at a higher price leaves more negotiating room.

True or False


A good credit score means a better interest rate.

True or False


The house price is the only thing to budget for.

True or False


You can buy a home with zero down.

True or False


Mortgage insurance protects the buyer if something happens to you.

True or False


For all the answers Click Here

Read full post

Don’t Settle

When finding a contractor to work with it’s important to interview at least a couple different companies. Meshing well with your contractor will help the reno move more smoothly.


Create a Sanctuary

Can’t move out during the reno? Create an area that can be your sanctuary. Have the doorways blocked off with plastic to keep the room clean and comfortable.


Seal Vents

Renovations can get quite dusty, closing your vents and turning off your furnace will help.


Create a Makeshift Kitchen

Living without a kitchen and eating out for every meal can be tiresome. Making yourself a small kitchen space with a toaster oven, microwave and most importantly a coffee maker can make a world of difference.


Set Aside Funds

Having a contingency fund will help ease your mind if there are any surprises or extra costs.


Envision the End Goal

Renovations can be stressful and over-whelming, imagine the job completed and actually enjoying the space.


Interest in more tips? Click Here

Read full post

To be able to rent out your home on Airbnb (for a max of 30 days), you must live in the home for a minimum of one year and the suite must be legal and meet all building and safety regulations. If you live in a stratified building or are currently renting you must review the bylaws to confirm they allow short term rentals and/or request permission from your landlord.


In order to apply for the short-term rental business license, you need to meet the following building and fire safety requirements including:


  •  Confirm your home is a legal dwelling unit.
  •  Provide 24-7 contact information.
  •  Post a fire plan at all entrances and exits.
  •  Have interconnected smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom.
  •  Have a working and accessible fire extinguisher on every floor.
  •  Have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor if there are gas appliances.
  •  Have a fire alarm in the building if it has more than three dwelling units or 10 occupants.
  •   By January 1, 2023, have an automated sprinkler system or fire separation between units with at least a 45 minute fire-resistance rating, unless a higher resistance rating is required for the building type by the Building Bylaw or Fire Bylaw, if your short-term rental accommodation is attached to another dwelling unit.
  •  Inspect, test annually, and keep related records for smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.
  •  Review your insurance policies and cover any costs or damages that come from operating your short-term rental business.
 Information collected from Vancouver City Website


If you do qualify to use your property for short term rentals the next step is to acquire a short-term rental business license from the city of Vancouver. The cost of the license is a one-time fee of $54 plus $49 annually.


You can apply for the license online here.


Once you have completed the application and received your short-term business license, you can now post your property on Airbnb. Don’t forget to include your business license number on the listing, failure to do so can be a fine of up to $1,000.


Have any questions? Call, Text or Email me.

778.988.7487

Barbara.hutniak@remax.net

Read full post

Everybody talks about it! Whats the right choice, buying or renting? Renters worry about wasting their money while people who purchase property worry if their investment will make them money in the years to come.


Investing money in real estate offers many benefits but making the decision to buy or rent is completely up to you!


Here are several factors to consider when buying property.


The benefits of Home Ownership.


Full Blog: Click Here



Unsure about your next step? Let's grab a coffee and discuss the best course of action.

778.988.7487

barbara.hutniak@remax.net

Read full post

Have you ever walked into an Open House and fell in love instantly? That home was most likely staged. When a home hasn’t been staged or is completely empty it may distract buyers from seeing the home's potential. A staged home is not necessarily the most logical way to live, but is the most esthetically pleasing to the eye.


Here are my top staging tips:

  1. Curb Appeal: Love at first sight! Touch up siding, plant some flowers and keep the grass well manicured, especially before an Open House.
  2. Fitting Furniture: Less is more, put over sized furniture in storage.
  3. Fresh Coat: Paint all interior walls for a cleaner look.
  4. Fine Dining: Set the table as if you are having a dinner party.
  5. De-personalize: Remove family photos from walls and give the buyers a chance to imagine living there without any distractions.
  6. Clean Kitchen: Declutter countertops and remove magnets from the fridge.
  7. Pop of Colour: Keep walls neutral and add a pop of colour with throw pillows or artwork.
  8. Fresh Finishes: Add flowers or plants to a room to give it a homey feel.
  9. Clean, Clean, Clean: Clean your home from top to bottom, clean like your life depends on it!

Want to know how to make your home looking it’s best for potential buyers?  


Call, Text or Email me and I’d be happy to come by and give you my professional opinion.

778.988.7487

Barbara.hutniak@remax.net


Read full post

Summer is by far my favourite time of year! I love the sunshine, warm nights and especially all the fun events happening around town. Living in the Tri-Cities we have lots of events perfect for you and your family and friends to enjoy.


Here’s a few of my favourites from each of the cities; Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.


Port Moody


The Market At Brewer’s Row – Friday Nights from 6pm to 10pm until August 31st.

More Info: http://www.marketatbrewersrow.com/


Summer Concert Series – Rocky Point Park – Sundays at 2pm until September 2nd.

More Info: http://www.summersundays.ca/


Rib Fest – Rocky Point Park – July 20th to 22nd – hours TBA

More Info: http://www.portmoodyribfest.ca/


Car-Free Day – St Johns Street - Sunday August 19th from 12 noon until 7pm.

More Info: http://www.portmoody.ca/index.aspx?page=1538


Coquitlam


Summer Concert Series – Town Centre Park – July 13th, Aug 3rd, Sept 7th from 7pm – 9pm.

More Info: http://www.coquitlam.ca/parks-recreation-and-culture/arts-and-culture/special-events-calendar/summer-concert-series


Fifth Annual Ultimate Car Show – Hard Rock Casino – July 14th from 10am to 3pm.

More Info: https://www.familyfuncanada.com/vancouver/ultimate-car-show/


Kaleidoscope Arts Festival -Town Centre Park – August 11th from 2pm to 10pm.

More Info: http://www.coquitlam.ca/parks-recreation-and-culture/arts-and-culture/special-events-calendar/kaleidoscope-arts-festival


Port Coquitlam


Port Coquitlam Farmers Market – Leigh Square – Every Thursday October 11th from 3pm to 7pm.

More info: http://www.portcoquitlamfarmersmarket.org/


PoCo Grand Prix – Downtown Port Coquitlam -July 13th

More Info: http://www.pocograndprix.ca/


Downtown Port Coquitlam Car Show – August 19th from 10am to 6pm

More Info: http://pococarshow.ca/


What’s your favourite event in the Tri-Cities? Comment below.



Read full post

First things first, when walking into an Open House think before you speak! If the agent hosting the Open House is representing the seller anything you say can be passed on to the seller. It is important not to share any personal information including motivation, financials and your real estate needs. The real estate agent is happy and able to tell you factual information about the property.

 

If you do mention your motivation, financials or your real estate needs that will automatically put you and the agent in “implied agency” and the real estate agent will have to present you with a Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form. It is important to know that this form is not a contract but an acknowledgment of the relationship between the agent and the client.  This acknowledgment does not end after the transaction is complete or you both decide to go your separate ways, it continues on.

 

Here is a Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form for you to review.

 

Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services

 

Explanation of Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Video: Click Here

 

When entering an Open House without your Realtor you will either be greeted by the agent representing the seller or by an agent hosting the Open House, the forms below will help you understand the situations in more detail.


Open House - Real estate agent representing the seller (listing agent)

 


Open House – Real estate agent NOT representing the seller

 

 

 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

778.988.7487

Barbara.hutniak@remax.net

 

 

 

 

 

Read full post