Simplified: B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program

B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity partnership program information:


Purpose: ·  To assist first-time homebuyers in BC to enter the real estate market by specifically targeting buyers who may not have sufficient resources to meet capital requirements (down payment)





·  Have been a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years

·  Have resided in British Columbia for at least one year immediately preceding the date of application

·  Be a first-time buyer who has not owned an interest in a residence anywhere in the world at any time

·  Use the property as their principal residence for the first five years

·  Purchase a home that has a purchase price of $750,000 or less (excluding taxes and fees)

·  Obtain a high-ratio insured first mortgage on the property for at least 80% of the purchase price

·  Have a combined, gross household income of all individuals on title not exceeding $150,000

·  Have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount for which the buyer applied

Benefits: ·  Interest free loan for the first 5 years

·  Allows access into the market today alleviating potential further real estate appreciation while they continue to save

Ideal Candidates for the program: ·  Individuals/families that may be fresh out of College/University that have excellent earnings potential but minimal capital

·  Individuals/families that expect an inheritance or a lump sum of money within the next 5 years



Important information to consider:

·  The loan will ultimately NOT increase buying power as lenders will be required to add a cost of borrowing into the debt servicing calculations (loan amount amortized over 20 years at a rate of 4.64)

·  This program is in partnership with CMHC/Genworth and Canada Guarantee (applicants will need to pay premiums) even if the down payment is 20%

·  If loan is not repaid within the first 5 years, the applicant will begin to repay the government at a rate to be determined by current interest rates

·  The loan can be repaid within the first 5 years penalty free at any time

·  The government loan will be registered on title as a second mortgage





·  Applicant to visit a qualified lender and submit a pre-approval into their financial institution of their choice

·  Once approved, applicant would then take their pre-approval letter and submit off the government office for review (see below for details)

·  Documents that need to be sent into the government will include: Proof of residency in Canada and BC, secondary ID, proof of income and tax filings, evidence of pre-approval from their lender

·  If approved, the applicant will receive notice of eligibility and a home buyers kit which includes information for the lender, real estate agent and solicitor conducting the transaction

For more Information:



BC loan program Summary

Townhouse, condo sales in Fraser Valley see double-digit gains as detached-home market slumps


Joanne Lee Young on Nov 4, 2016 12:13 AM

It’s an eye-catching but perhaps unsurprising development, as buyers are being forced out of pricier markets and are starting to consider smaller, cheaper properties in the wake of new federal lending rules.


Home sales for all kinds of properties in Metro Vancouver slid 38.8 per cent in October compared to a year ago, and some prices are showing signs of falling. In the Fraser Valley, it was a similar story of decline for all properties, with a milder drop of 17.4 per cent in October sales.


In particular, sales of single-family homes in the city and suburbs have dropped sharply, and this has also been the case in the Fraser Valley where there was a 45.3 per cent drop in detached home sales — from 937 in October 2015 to 513 a year later.


But when it comes to Fraser Valley townhouses, sales gained 10.2 per cent. For condos, the jump was 56.3 per cent, from 256 in October 2015 to 400 a year later.


In Abbotsford alone, townhome sales gained 19.5 per cent over a year, while condo sales soared 84.8 per cent, from 46 in October 2015 to 85 a year later.


“One of the main things is that buyers have lost some of their buying power, which has been hurt with the changes made (to mortgage lending) on Oct. 17,” said Langley-based realtor Alistair Young.


The new rules, designed by Ottawa to cool the housing market, require that homebuyers qualify for the posted rate for a five-year term, which is currently 4.64 per cent — meaning the buying power of some homebuyers will be reduced.

Ben and Vivi Schulz, parents of a seven-month-old baby, were looking for a bigger home and wanted to buy a townhouse in Port Moody. They were able to sell their one-bedroom condo in Langley’s Walnut Grove two days before the lending changes came into effect — but then didn’t have time to buy and could only qualify for a mortgage that gives them about $85,000 less buying power.


“We were actually frantically trying to find something before the changes, but we had only sold the condo two days before,” said Ben Schulz. Their bank agent “had given me a heads-up that if we wanted to go for the price range we had initially been approved for … but in the end, it was too rushed.”


The adjusted mortgage was still enough for them to buy a townhome with more space, but in Langley and not Port Moody.


“Folks who previously had more money to spend on a detached home or a townhome are now relegated to buying a condo,” said Young. “If they don’t have 20 per cent down, then they could be out as little as $50,000 or as much as $150,000.


So, for example, said Young, “somebody who previously could have bought a house for $640,000 now has to buy a townhome for $450,000, and they are not happy about it. There are strata fees. There’s no yard. There are rules and you don’t have the independence of being in your own house.”


This is “buoying up the lower market” of condos, especially the sale of those in the $200,000-$300,000 price range, said Young. “That is the most active price band.”


“There aren’t many townhome options under $350,000 these days so anything that comes onto the market in (that) range will likely be snapped up pretty quick,” said Michael Ferreira of Urban Analytics Inc., which collects real estate data.


“We’re also seeing that the higher townhome prices combined with the loss of buying power for the more price-sensitive buyer groups has driven these buyers to wood frame/low-rise condo product, which tends to be more affordable.”

Ferreira said there are 19 townhome projects throughout Surrey, Langley and White Rock “that could be in a position to launch in the next six months with a total of just over 900 units. To put this into context, there were 2,042 town home sales in these three sub-markets in the first nine months of this year.”


The more recent October sales numbers for townhomes and condos in the Fraser Valley reflect “a quick reaction to the new lending changes. There’s no way around it,” said Young.


Credit: Joanne Lee Young

Read Full Story

October 5, 2016

Buying a Home

Buying a home is both an exciting and scary venture. With the status of homeowner comes the costs of maintaining the property you are now tied to. If you are going to take on a lot of added responsibility it is your right to be selective when choosing a home. While your search may start out with enthusiasm, it can quickly grow tiresome as their are so many listings to browse.

Our question would be: why do all of the work when there is someone willing to help? The process goes a lot smoother with more that one set of eyes scouring the housing market for your perfect property. This is where our team truly shines, as we make it our duty to get our clients the keys to their ideal home! Simply tell us what you are looking for and we will go to work searching through our database of available homes. From there, we will give you a list  that most accurately match your requirements. With a list that is narrowed down to a handful of properties, your decision will be much more manageable.

Whether you are a first time buyer, or it has just been a few years since you’ve last bought a home, the process of buying a home can seem like a bit of a mystery.  I would be happy to sit down with you to walk you through the home buying process and the key milestones we will hit along the way.

home buying process infographic


Selling a Home

Selling a home can be a difficult task for even the most seasoned of sellers. There is so much that goes into the process of placing a property on the housing market. First, the owner needs to get the home in condition to present it to potential buyers. From there, taking proper pictures that display your residence in its best light is a must. These are the images that are going to grab the attention of those that are searching online through all the homes available for sale. Unfortunately, even the best pictures don’t ensure that your property will be seen. After all, you are competing with your neighbours for the attention of a select few buyers.

As with any competition, it is important to find an edge. This is where an experienced REALTOR® can be your ace in the hole. With an extensive list of interested buyers, as well as the knowhow to market your listing to a greater audience, real estate agents make it their mission to get the most money for your property. When you have a team of skilled agents on your side, the competition gets left in the dust!

I would be happy to sit down with you and explain the home selling process and all that I can offer to maximize the exposure of your home to potential buyers.

sell your home infographic


Introducing my global network… LeadingRE

Did you know that while I’m a real estate professional here in our community, I’m also a part of a global network of leading independent brokerages with over 120,000 real estate professionals who are experts in their own communities?

That means that if you ever need to buy, sell or invest in real estate elsewhere in Canada, the US or around the world just ask me to make an introduction to one of these local experts.  My company has helped clients successfully buy or sell in 9 provinces (including Nunavut!), over a dozen states (including California, Arizona and Hawaii), and internationally in countries like Mexico, England, France and China.

As we like to say… “I’m local, I’m global“.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) is the home of the world’s market-leading independent residential brokerages in over 50 countries, with over 500 firms and 120,000 associates producing over one million transactions valued at $321 billion annually. Our by-invitation-only network is based on the unparalleled performance and trusted relationships that result in exceptional client experiences.  Watch this short video for an introduction.

Increasing Your Property’s Value

The most common question to a REALTOR® when looking through a home is, “what improvements can I make that will increase the value of my property?”

What is your time and effort worth? Too many times we meet people who are eager to do the work, but don’t consider the buyer’s perspective. Some people may pay more for some features that won’t matter to others. Consult a professional to determine if the improvements you choose will be worth your money and will give you a return. Make sure this number is worth your time.

Increasing Your Property’s Value

This can range from buying a few flowering planters for around the front door to substantial landscaping work. A fresh coat of paint on the front door, and improved lighting can make a big difference for a relatively small expense.

Interior and exterior. Use neutral or modern colours and unless you are a pro, avoid creative patterns. No murals.

Upgrading from carpet or lino to hardwood and tile makes an enormous difference. Focus on look rather than price, since many buyers cannot tell the difference.

This is usually the focal point of the house. Open concepts and modern colours are key. Consider refinishing existing cabinets and just replacing the counter-top to save money.

Freeing up room in the bathroom makes a big difference. Pedestal sinks can work well for this. Also modern looking tile goes a long way.

People like to entertain and see their guests. When you enter an open concept home it also feels much larger. Furthermore, three small bedrooms may work better as one large master and a spare.

Please only use a builders, contractors or other professionals. Poor workmanship will be adjusted for at the time of the sale. You can do some work yourself, but leave the finishing to the pros.

Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes Magazine | Spring 2016

The latest edition of Macdonald Realty’s Luxury Homes Collection digital magazine is now available! This publication showcases unique and luxurious homes listed with my company across the province.

Highlights of this Spring 2016 issue include an exceptional “Super Prime Real Estate” in Vancouver, an article on Americans Investing Abroad and a new LuxeTrends: Make 2016 a Family Focused Year, content courtesy of our partner Luxury Portfolio International.

Simply click the cover image below to see the digital version!


If you have a luxury home that you are considering selling and would like featured in the next edition of Luxury Homes Collection, please give me a call to arrange a consultation.

The Local Housing Market

Whether you are buying or selling real estate, it is important to know the state of the local housing market. This way, each side knows where the advantages lie. For sellers, the market is at its best when there are fewer homes up for grabs. Less competition makes for an easier time getting your property viewed by the right individuals. On the flip-side, buyers will find top deals when there is a saturation of listings. When sellers are competing for your business, you end up the winner!

The housing market can give us a list of relevant information, such as: the number of homes for sale, the average selling price for real estate in the area, and the amount of homes sold during a specific period of time. With this data, both buyers and sellers can formulate a strategy on when to make a move. Perhaps more homes are sold during the summer. Maybe the average cost is lowest at the beginning of the year. Whatever the housing market shows, it is important to take the information into consideration.

If you would like some current statistics on the housing market in your neighbourhood, please contact me or sign up to receive my monthly email newsletter.