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EDITOR MICHAEL SASGES 604-605-2467 S AT U R DAY, F E B RUA RY 1 4 , 2 0 0 9 E-MAIL HOMES @ VANCOUVERSUN.COM I
For move-up buyers,
property equity is power
Couple brings combined 13 years of ownership to new-home purchase in Coquitlam
BY KIM PEMBERTON
osey Saroya and Anup Manhas
are in an enviable position, with
falling house prices. They are
move-up buyers with enough
equity in their current homes, to make
a profit after selling at a reduced price
and be able to buy more home for their
buck in the current buyer’s market.
The couple recently bought an under-
construction four-bedroom home in
Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain neigh-
bourhood for $640,000, after the builder
slashed about $100,000 from the origi-
nal price. Rosey Saroya, 33, has owned a
townhouse in New Westminster for sev-
en years. Anup Manhas, 36, has owned
an apartment in Coquitlam for six years.
“This (the Coquitlam detached house)
is going to be our dream house. I’m not
a mover. I’m the kind of person who
wants to do it only once,” Rosey Saroya
Yes, the couple will probably start and
raise a family in their Burke Mountain
residence. They are scheduled to move
into their home together in July; they
will wed in September.
Builders bring Anecdotally most buyers right now in
this declining housing market are first-
backyard living time purchasers who recognize low
interest rates and declining house prices
to spring show has finally given them the opportunity
to mount the first rung of the property-
It’s been a busy week at BC But what about move-up buyers?
Place, with exhibitors These buyers already own a home,
getting ready for the annual but either need or want something else,
spring home show, which something typically more expensive. As
starts on Wednesday and Jennifer Podmore of MPC Intelligence
runs until Feb. 22. — a real estate information and consul-
tancy company — points out, move-ups
One show-stopper promises
are typically in their 30s and 40s; if sin-
to be a small home from gle are typically seeking a larger apart-
Smallworks Studios/Laneway ment; and if a (new) couple want to
Housing of Vancouver. (That’s merge their accrued equity to buy
Smallworks principal Jake Fry together.
[above] taking a break from With interest rates at the lowest level
set-up supervision and posing seen in a long time they are now in the
for Vancouver Sun position of having purchasing power for
photographer Ward Perrin.) homes that were previously unavailable,
The 624-square-foot she says.
But the question is do they wait until
residence is called a laneway the market returns to a seller’s market
home or backyard coach in order to gain more profit from their
house; was designed by existing home or take advantage of low-
Birmingham & Wood er house prices happening now. “We’ve
Architects; and will be found never seen interest rates so low coupled
in the Greater Vancouver with declining house prices,” says Pod-
Homes Builders’ Association more.
exhibit. Westcoast Homes She points out last year when interest
columnist Peter Simpson, the rates for a five-year fixed term were at
5.5 per cent compared to today’s interest
association’s chief executive,
rate of 4.5 per cent for the same term a
is too unassuming in his person with $15,000 down and an aver-
column today, leading with age income of $79,000 would qualify for
the celebrity advice scheduled a maximum mortgage of $285,000.
to make an appearance at the The lower interest rate the person
home show. But centrepiecing qualifies for the same mortgage but
the laneway home in his instead of a monthly payment of $1,740
association’s exhibit was his would now be required to pay $1,577
idea. It’s a good one, a right- monthly.
for-the-times presentation for As Saroya points out although they will
not get as much money for their current
so many reasons. You will homes they are not too worried because
find Simpson’s column, and both the apartment and the townhouse
more pictures of the house have doubled in value since they pur-
under construction on the chased them.
floor of the stadium, on I-8. “Even if we take a bit of a hit it’s still a
bonus. The lower housing price is STUART DAVIS/VANCOUVER SUN
enabling us to get a lot more house,” she
says. For Rosey Saroya and Anup Manhas, here in a Burke Mountain show home in Coquitlam, an accumulated 13 years of
Those devaluation blues, I-2 separate home ownership is the foundation of a joint new-home purchase.
LAUNDERING LAUDABLY BEVERLY HILLS HOMAGE THEY CALL ’EM THE GEORGIES
Columnist Kim Davis writes A homeowner and architect restore The golds and silvers in the annual your when-you-want-
about doing the right thing a residence built for, and by, a mid- industry competition are pursued it show home/room.
at your washer and dryer. I-9 century modern. I-5 with vigour – and coveted. I-10
Your kind of place.Your kind of space.
The Foothills Information Centre opens on February 21st
With stunning natural surroundings, easy access to Coquitlam, and a truly connected
community, the Foothills at Burke Mountain is the perfect place for your family to
grow. Visit our Information Centre and ask about duplex homes, single-family
the low 400,000’s.
homes and estate residences starting from $419,900.
t he f oot h i l l s at b urke.com
I2 THE VANCOUVER SUN, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2009
In a buyer’s market, devaluations cancel each other
BY KIM PEMBERTON
VANCOUVER SUN Deals are great — but current home’s fallen worth is a problem Coquitlam and North Delta by 15 per
cent, for an estimated savings of
$100,000 on large single family detached
Housing prices may be falling but are doing it despite the great deals out “But if they’ve owned it three years- of selling their own homes improve. To homes, while Polygon for a Richmond
there’s still a psychological hesitation by there, says Cameron McNeil, of Mac plus they probably have equity built up. help try and overcome buyer reluctance project is throwing in a new Mercedes
move-up buyers willing to take the Marketing Solutions. The bottom line is if you can get a great many in the house building industry Benz to help sweeten the deal.
plunge because their current homes ”The problem is psychologically it’s price on a quality asset and you’ll be in have begun to introduce incentives to Peter Simpson, of the Greater Van-
have depreciated, says housing experts. hard for them [the move-up buyer] to the home for the medium to long term try and sell completed new home prod- couver Home Builders’ Association, is
A buyer’s market may be the “perfect see the condo that was worth $400,000 it’s worthwhile.” ucts. one of those who is finding it tempting
time to move up” because your dollar six months ago now at $320,000,” he Still, it appears many of these would- Morningstar Homes for instance just to move up to a more expensive home in
will buy you more but few homeowners says. be buyers are waiting until the prospects reduced prices for two projects in this softening market.
“My wife and I were out there looking.
Prices are very attractive. We looked at
a house almost twice the size and the
difference in price was $60,000 to move
up,” says Simpson.
But in the end, the Simpson have opt-
ed not to leave their established neigh-
bourhood for the new home because the
couple didn’t need the extra space.
“A lot of families need to move up
because they have kids. Our kids are
As Jennifer Podmore of MPC Intelli-
gence points out, while the company has
noticed more people visiting open hous-
es, there hasn’t been a corresponding
increase in sales.
“MPC has been doing daily monitor-
ing and we’ve seen a huge level in traffic
to sites. We’re definitely seeing more
people looking,” she says.
“What we tell people is you’ll never be
able to see the bottom [in this buyers’
market] but as soon as you see some-
thing you like that you can afford then
In the case of the move-up demo-
graphic, Podmore points out most have
owned their existing home for more
than five years so should have enough
equity built up in it to make a move to a
The Government of Canada’s proposed Economic Action Plan contains larger home worthwhile.
“The couple who had resigned them-
new tax measures that may benefit you. selves to believing a single family home
was out of reach is now realizing it’s pos-
sible,” she says. “Their money is buying
If you’re a homeowner, or are planning to become a homeowner, Rosey Saroya and Anup Manhas are
typical of this demographic. They were
able to get their dream home — a four
the Action Plan can help. bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home in
Coquitlam for $100,000 less than the
original price. The couple is selling a
condo and a townhome in order to com-
Support for home renovations plete the move to their single family
house which sold for $640,000.
Likewise, Gail Tachiyama and her hus-
band Matt were also able to move up in
¸ For a limited time, the new Home Renovation Tax Credit means this current housing market from a Burn-
aby condo to a townhome in South Surrey.
homeowners could receive up to $1,350 in tax relief on Their condo, which they only owned
for one year, sold within two weeks for
renovation expenses their asking price.
“The realtor said we should have
asked for $10,000 less than what we got
but we though we would give it a try. It
was a new building and we kept every-
Support for first-time homebuyers thing in good condition,” says Tachiya-
ma, who adds they were able to make a
The big benefit was buying the three-
¸ An increase to $25,000 in the amount you can withdraw from bedroom, two-bath condo and doubling
the square footage of their old home —
your RRSP under the Home Buyers’ Plan to purchase or build a especially necessary for the couple who
are now parents of 10-month-old
first home Jamieson.
And while there are sales happening
it appears those who aren’t pressed to
sell are opting not to put their home on
¸ A First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit that allows you to save up
Statistics from January in the Greater
Vancouver region show a continued
to $750 on the closing costs of a first home reduction in the number of homes list-
ed for sale, while sales volumes hit the
lowest for that month since the early
The Real Estate Board of Greater Van-
couver reports that sales of detached,
Canada’s Economic Action Plan attached and apartment properties
declined 58.1 per cent in January 2009 to
www.actionplan.gc.ca 762 from the 1,819 sales recorded in Jan-
New listings for detached, attached
1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) and apartment properties declined 20.9
per cent to 3,700 in January 2009 com-
pared to January 2008, when 4,675 new
TTY: 1-800-926-9105 units were listed. Total active listings in
Greater Vancouver currently sit at
13,966, down nearly 6,000 listings from
REBGV president David Watt says
his advice to homeowners is to time the
market to their life.
“If your jobs or income are vulnerable
I’d stay away from it [home buying],”
But, he adds, if you are in a position to
buy the “overall drop in prices is favour-
ing the buyer moving up.”
Home prices in Vancouver have
dropped an estimated 10 per cent in less
than one year.
WANTS YOUR NEWS
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We at Westcoast
Homes think that’s
news these days. We
know there are buyers
and sellers out there.
We also know there will
continue to be buyers
and sellers out there,
because of life’s transi-
tions: households start,
grow, shrink, “transfer,”
dissolve. If you are a
real estate agent, a
seller or a buyer, let us
know about your agree-
ment of sale and pur-
chase with an e-mail
sun.com or with a tele-
phone call to the Sun