29Sep/140

Join our Eco Green Realtor Initiave

September 29th, 2014

Are you looking to sell even more real estate than ever while still helping the environment? Then join our small group and get designated!

green-realtorBeen a GREEN AGENT Means a Lot! And we hope you can apply today for your designation!

  • Electrical energy Use: We wish to restrict our electricity consumption. We have mostly energy effective lighting throughout the office, this indicates either we have compact fluorescent lighting or T 8 Electronic Fluorescent lighting. We turn off our exterior sign throughout the daylight hours to decrease our electricity usage. We shut off our electric hot water tank after hours plus all the interior lights. We also make certain our computers are switched off during the night and the copy machine is readied to a “power save” mode so less electrical power is made use of when someone is actually not photocopying.
  • Paper, newsprint, cardboard, glass, metal and plastic: All 6 of these items are recycled on a consistent basis.
  • Food Waste: The majority of food waste from our office does not wind up in the land fill. Rather, we compost our food junks with the city’s garden compost program turning our waste into fertile soil.
  • Carbon counter credits: Often times purchasing or selling a residence requires significant driving time. Frequently this driving time contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. I will certainly purchase carbon offset credits to “compensate” the environment for the quantity of green house gas emissions that happened during your house’s sale or purchase. Please ask me for details if you would like this service.
  • Reduction of paper waste: We do our best to minimize excess paper waste with scanning and e-mailing files whenever possible and printing on both sides of the paper.
  • Caring for Agricultural Land Reserves – that they be kept free of rezoning.
  • Recyclables: Beverage containers like pop cans, and juice containers are recycled in addition to metal and plastic containers.
  • Clothes; we are a passionate advocate of the Yearly REALTORS® Care Blanket Drive for the homeless. We collect blankets, jackets and other clothing items for the homeless and guarantee they are donated to needy people.

FIRST CALCULATE YOUR GREEN FOOTPRINT

You think you have what it takes? WE THINK SO!! Apply below and let’s get started!

29Sep/140

Agricultural Land Reserve: What is the concern all about?

September 29th, 2014

ALR-real-estateIn November 2013, the media reporters revealed government ultimatum to Agriculture Land Reserve and Agriculture Land Commission. It quite simple to understand since B.C. farmland is in short supply and the conservation of it has become a critical task, which will surely land us in trouble very soon. Each and every individual must assure that we safeguard our farms and assist the farmers who cultivate food for us, which is just a fundamental security for the food. A province wide strategy is needed as local government is not willing to protect our agricultural lands..

The minister reviewing B.C.’s basic operations argues that Agricultural Land Commission will not be given over to politicians or civil servants. Its basic mission will continue which is to safeguard the farmland in any case. It is quite troubling to hear from B.C.’s minister of energy and mines, Bill Bennett that ALC would be successfully disassembled and its powers will be submitted to B.C. Oil and Gas Commission for almost of all the provinces. The cabinet documents acquired by The Globe reveals that ALC will not be an autonomous body soon and will move in the hands of Ministry of Agriculture. Whereas the Agriculture Land Reserve will be divided into two zones, one is for Oknagan, Vancouver Island and Fraser Valley and the second is for the rest of the province.

About the Agricultural Land Reserve

The Agricultural Land Reserve is a provincial zone where agriculture is a prime concern. It was formed in 1973 by the British Columbia Government of Dave Barrett. It is very well known in North America and in all the parts of the world as a successful planning tool. It is a desire of policymakers in many other jurisdictions. It is one of the most enlightened legislation. Farming activities are motivated and all other non-agricultural practices are suppressed. The ALR covers around 4.7 million hectares. It encompasses public and private spaces that may be cultivated, forested or deserted lands. Some blocks of ALR cover thousands of hectares where as others are just small bunches of little hectares. Overall, it constitutes those lands within B.C. which have the future of production of agriculture.

The Agricultural Land Reserve is an eminent authority but it does not modify other laws and principles that apply to the land. Other authorities like local and regional governments, all provincial agencies set the policies in accordance with the policy of preserving agricultural land.

The Agriculture Land Commission Acts provides the judicial framework for the foundation and management of the preserving program of agricultural land.

Need for the establishment of Agricultural Land Reserve

Till 1970, near about 6000 hectares of agricultural land was lost every year to urban and other works. On April 18 1973, the provincial government reacted to the serious abrasion of the farm lands by initiating B.C.’s Land Commission Act. Provincial government appointed a commission to safeguard the supply of agricultural land. This zone was known as Agricultural Land Reserve.

The Agricultural Land reserve was formed between the year 1974 to 1976 through the combined efforts with many regional areas and municipality’s member.

Conclusion

There is a great concern for the utmost transparency which is required in the decision making and evaluation processes which is highly concerned about the agricultural land and activities of the ALC. The power to eliminate land from the Agricultural Land Reserve strongly lies with Agricultural Land Commission, and all the decisions related to sub division of ALR lands could be entrusted to local governments. The intention of Agricultural Land reserve is to preserve the precious agricultural land that was rich in fertile soil in the country. Despite its existence for over 30 years, the ALR is still a threatened organization by urbanization and the land development industries.

Population growth is one of the ongoing concerns of the society and which is a major ultimatum to the agricultural lands. In 2007, ALR faced one of the biggest losses of land as all the land was utilized for the developments of industries and most of the areas were occupied by residents. According to the annual report of ALCo, it permitted 1220 hectares of farmland from 4.76 hectares reserved and for non-farmland 588 hectares bearing a loss of 632 hectares

29Sep/140

Terry McLeod, the Fort St. John real estate developer claims that the entire city wants rodeo and the land is not high quality farmland

September 29th, 2014

 

Terry McLeod built a rodeo on his Fort St. John agricultural land in defiance of the Agricultural Real Estate Land Commission.

Terry McLeod built a rodeo on his Fort St. John agricultural land in defiance of the Agricultural Real Estate Land Commission.

The northern B.C. developer Terry McLeod claimed that he does not expect to face any legal charges for the rodeo ground that he developed despite the Agriculture Commission rejecting the establishment. McLeod, the Fort St. John landowner questioned whether the commission is going to put a road block around to prevent people from coming to his property. It is to be mentioned that Mr. McLeod organized a rodeo during summer and was the host for the RCMP’s musical ride. 

Only one official is currently assigned to enforce the decisions made by independent Crown agency in British Columbia, means taking any concrete step against McLeod is highly unlikely with the serious lack of man power that the agency is currently facing. A 2010 government audit expressed dissatisfaction towards ALC for the lack of its man power which is struggling to operate on the ground level outside South Coast and Lower Mainland. The agency has been struggling after one of the two enforcement officers left last summer. However the agency is still trying to find a replacement to extend its capacity. 

According to Brian Underhill, the co-executive director of ALC, his agency’s budget went up by one million dollars last year reaching $2.9 million in total to enhance the commission’s capability to carry out its duties. According to the audit, the numbers are identical to what the agency had for its budget a decade ago. However ALC needs to continue seeking out for more creative and cost effective ways to balance the enforcement which has become a matter of major concern in the recent years. 

McLeod claimed that his property has swampy hay fields and therefore is not considered to be a potential place for agricultural productions according to ALC which according to him clearly backs his claim that the property is not a high quality farmland and therefore, the agency’s decision to reject his project makes little sense. It is to be mentioned that Mr. McLeod developed the rodeo grounds that he claimed was desired by the entire city after ALC’s summer inspection of the property which later rejected a plan that has entangled Pat Pimm, the Agricultural Minister, the local B.C. Liberal MLA, involving controversies for backing and lobbying for the proposal. 

According to Mr. McLeod, he built holding pens for cows, sheep goats, bulls and horses and regardless of how ALC takes it the project is still agricultural since it deals mostly with cattle. 

McLeod, who is planning to organize an international rodeo on his land next June asked whether the authority is going to fine him for developing pens on his property. He said that he is a retired business person and not worried about the recent legal concerns raised by ALC regarding the use of his property as he believes he didn’t break any law. 

Despite Mr. McLeod’s confident statements, ALC co-executive director Mr. Underhill assured that once the investigation is completed and proper assessments are there regarding McLeod’s property, necessary steps will be taken accordingly. 

He also added that the commission is well aware of the fact that just like any authority or tribunal, one needs to recognize that he also has limited resources and should act responsibly when it comes to utilizing those resources. He said, the agency acts according to the legislation but will use every available options including persuasion and direction to issue stop-work orders wherever it is applicable under legal grounds. 

Although the authority may penalize an individual or a certain entity, the actual purpose of an enforcement or compliance activity is to ensure the proper use if a property under legal grounds which is considered appropriate, according to the ALC con-executive director. 
It is to be mentioned that ALC holds the power to seek for a B.C. Supreme Court injunction under which, an individual who is found guilty for a contravention can be fined up to $1 million or can be imprisoned for up to 6 months. With Mr. McLeod raising questions about the legal grounds for ALC’s actions and Underhill’s determination to do whatever is necessary to enforce regulations, the matter might end up in the court. However, the incident may also raise concerns regarding ALC’s capacity to carry out its duties as it seems the agency is clearly struggling at the ground level.

8Sep/140

A West Vancouver Real Estate Agency with strong Green presence in Canada

September 8th, 2014

west-vancouver-propertiesRemax is a Real Estate Agency founded in 1973. It has been growing tremendously and today Remax has about 30% market share in West Vancouver Canada. It has been growing in strength since 1973 to become one of the leading real estate agencies in the world. The Real Estate Agency commands respect owing to the well established history of agents, who are well trained, and the extensive coverage it has of available real estate assets in the market. Now REMAX has launched a green initiative: http://rismedia.com/2009-10-15/remax-green-offers-agents-second-environmental-designation-through-ecobroker/ This confirms that any home seller or home buyer would greatly benefit by working with the agency. And now a few RE/MAX Western firms have vowed to get green.

In addition, real estate market studies show that the Remax has held on to the top position for largest market share from 1987.  Their commitment to green real estate means that they are on the cutting edge of consumer readings as ECO means a LOT now a days. This has created confidence in customers and shown that Remax in West Vancouver is doing something right: WORLDPROPERTYLINKS. For any customers or investors, this information is important. It shows that Remax has the ability to move property. This is certainly the case for this agent. Having a large west vancouver property market share also allows Remax to give customers a better fit when it comes to what they are looking to buy. For those selling, they can expect to get as close to their asking price as possible, in any real estate market.

Remax has grown its market share through a well established tradition of offering quality service to all its customers. This coupled with having well trained sales associates allows the agency to deliver what most home buyers and sellers are looking for. This is especially appealing for first time buyers, who are younger and appeal to green initiatives who are in the apartment market in West Van. They typically buy a starter condo with less with 2 bedrooms in West Vancouver as they intend to use the room for a baby in the future.  They are very adamant on green initiatives in west van. Remax also participates actively in the local community acquiring great knowledge of the uniqueness of individual locations. It deals with properties from diverse backgrounds from rural to small town to British Properties west vancouver mansions with a view like these creating diversity from which customers can choose. Customers and investors alike are bound to find something that meets their needs and which, from a financial point of view, they can comfortably manage.

Remax has presence all over Canada with several offices in different locations. This make it easier to work with others outside of West Vancouver using credible networks. West Vancouver residents can therefore trust the information they receive from outside their city, knowing that it has been diligently worked on and approved by Remax agents. Remax has also established the financial strength to withstand common challenges of a real estate market. It managed to weather the recent economic difficulties that affected many real estate agencies and continue to offer reliable services. This kind of reliability makes Remax a sound choice.

However, Remax is not all about selling property. It also invests in the communities where it works and has been greatly involved with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, for example. And now the REMAX GREEN INITIATIVE.  Remax proves to be an agency dedicated to the local level while bringing world class services and vision to its customers. It is clear that though Remax has about 30% market share in West Vancouver Canada, it is poised for more growth.

 

28Aug/140

Explaining the real estate condo craze in west vancouver

August 28th, 2014

real estate boomLong gone, are the days when a lady would saunter into a condominium and spew a barrage of words revolving around male chauvinism, due to its very manly setting. Initially, especially in Canada, admitting to owning a condo would usually be followed by trite (and sometimes crude) bachelor jokes with dirty dishes as part of their makeup. This situation has been massively overturned though. The condo-love virus has seemingly spread from Montreal to Calgary to West Vancouver and it seems to be catching on at an alarmingly swift rate. This is however with good reason. Take for instance the phenomenon that existed several years back when “smart” real estate fellows thought it prudent to have condos made for either ladies or men, instead of men only. They either had fully fledged facilities for ladies (a la all-women gyms and spas) or the opposite. The very process of moving into a condo was awfully tricky and the jokes carried on. Today condos have exhibited certain resurgence, especially in West Vancouver. Montreal may have been the king of condos, but West Vancouver is well on its way to claiming that crown.

Canadians are more conscious of home costs than ever before. West Vancouver residents, being Canadians, bear this consciousness trait as well. This has supplemented to their love for the condo. How is this? Recently, the Canadian Bankers Association gave a report that home owners in certain areas of Canada are twice as likely to struggle with mortgage issues as their fellow Canadians. The report makes sense (think of Alberta; the collective voice of complaining people hurts just to listen to) but smart West Vancouver fellows know they are not far removed from this particular situation. The rates of delinquency have shot up to 0.83%, which is absurd given that the last time they were up to that level was back in 1990. People have realized that owning a condo doesn’t necessarily cramp their styles, but they do offer lower mortgage payments as opposed to owning a house, which qualifies as a good thing. This is part of the collective reason why West Vancouver condos are really up and coming.

One thing that supplements to the previous point is that one of Canada’s largest developers of condos, Tridel, put together a string of promises to the effect that they will put up residences that will shelter the financial aspect of present and future generations by utilizing environmentally sustainable designs of building, which accord for easy management. How many fully-sized home developers and sellers are promising the same? This has to be the rhetorical question of the year. Given that Tridel is familiar with most of Canada, the assumption by most West Vancouver residents is that they know West Vancouver well (they have actually developed several tasteful condos there). Philosophies such as theirs are the reason why West Vancouver condos are really up and coming.
With green construction growing in popularity in leaps and bounds, it should be noted that Canadians in West Vancouver are in love with it and the perks it comes with. Green construction basically involves building structures using environmentally friendly material. Condos have been the structures that have embraced the concept of green building best, with overall costs as the fulcrum of all such operations. Everyone loves water and energy efficiency in their homes and this comes in droves in green buildings. This explains the growing preference for condos in West Vancouver.


Even with all the above aside, West Vancouver is one of the most beloved places in Canada. Owning a condo near Granville island and attacking the excellent sushi on a daily basis has to be everyone’s dream. As a matter of fact, it has to be the Canadian dream. This points out to why West Vancouver condos are really up and coming.