• West End Retreat Vacation Rental
    Just in time for summer, we listed our new Airbnb. Welcome to the West End Retreat, in the heart of Vancouver. Nestled right next to Stanley Park, English Bay, Downtown, and Coal Harbour. The space is newly renovated with wood grain vinyl plank flooring, 24” tile, custom vertical window coverings, modern lighting and fixtures. Enjoy…
  • eXp Acquires Zoocasa
    As part of eXp World Holdings’ strategic vision to strengthen its online lead generation, home search and listings portal solutions in Canada, they announced their acquisition of zoocasa.com and its parent company, Zoocasa Realty Inc., effective July 1st, 2022. Zoocasa is an award-winning property technology company and brokerage based in Toronto, Canada, that offers an…
  • District of North Vancouver Real Estate
    Deep Cove Deep Cove is a small, waterfront-oriented village centre at the eastern edge of the District of North Vancouver—nestled within the forests of the North Shore Mountains. “The Cove”, as locals call it, is 13km from Downtown Vancouver, once the traditional fishing area of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation. It’s one of the most desirable…
  • 1818 Alberni
    1818 Alberni is a multilayered experience in elevated luxury living. The parkside and cityside location is simply unsurpassed, offering the best of both worlds—peaceful nature and urban convenience—right at your door. In one direction is Stanley Park, offering invigorating walks amid towering trees and plentiful park space to explore and admire. In the other direction…
  • Ghost Kitchens
    Ever thought of opening your own restaurant? A new Canadian company named Coho Commissary is pioneering ghost kitchens—professional food preparation and cooking facilities set up for the evergrowing delivery-only meal industry. It’s one of the more creative uses I’ve seen for commercial real estate, with brilliant execution on what looks to be the future of food delivery.…
  • Burke Mountain Real Estate
    Burke Mountain is one of the Tri-Cities’ fastest-growing communities—located in Northeast Coquitlam, British Columbia. We had a lot of buyer interest in this family-oriented neighbourhood over the last few months, though the frenzy of activity which led to record price appreciation peaked in February and is returning to typical levels. So what is it that…
  • Rental Housing
    “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” – Henry Ford It’s amazing how quickly society’s attention can be so easily diverted from one current event to the next. From a pandemic, to convoys, to wars, to celebrity outbursts, to billionaire hostile takeovers, and eventually the media portrayal of “home sales crashing on higher interest rates”. The…
  • Facade Design Pattern
    “To make a complex subsystem easier to use, a simple interface should be provided for a set of interfaces in the subsystem.“ I am not referring to a facade in the context of the veil of ignorance displayed by our government trying to fix the housing problem they created—but an engineering analogy for how I approach real estate trading services. The…
  • Financing Short-Term Rentals
    Short-term rental operators on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO must have a business license and include their license number in all online listings and advertising. You must have strata and/or landlord approval before applying for a license, which costs $104 per year in the City of Vancouver for 2022.
  • The Federal Budget 2022 and Housing
    Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland laid out how the government is planning to address housing affordability in the Federal Budget for 2022 by adopting policies in three categories: building, saving and anti-flipping/foreign investment.
  • Canada’s Largest Passive House
    Spire Landing—Canada’s largest passive house by Spire Development—is a 5 storey wood-frame purpose-built rental complex located in Vancouver East fronting Fraser Street, in the heart of South Vancouver. Spire Landing was built under the City of Vancouver’s Rental 100 program (also known as the Secured Rental Policy), which creates a city-wide policy to encourage the construction of new buildings where 100% of the residential area is secured rental housing.
  • Real Estate and GST
    “You don’t pay taxes—they take taxes.” – Chris Rock. Home prices continue to push higher, despite a foreign buyers tax, empty homes tax, speculation tax, mortgage stress test, and record new home completions. While complex in nature, the implications of not understanding the different taxes can be costly.
  • Bank of Canada Increases Interest Rate
    The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to ½ %, with the Bank Rate at ¾ % and the deposit rate at ½ %. The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a major new source of uncertainty. Prices for oil and other commodities have risen sharply. This will add to inflation around…
  • A Better Way Home?
    The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) announced their “whitepaper“, outlining proposed solutions to address the housing crisis both in the province and across the country. BCREA is recommending a “pre-offer period” where offers cannot be presented to a seller on new listings until the listings have been posted for five business days (for a…
  • Choice Residence Lot for ONLY $125!
    Crazy to even hear those words in this day and age. Particularly when home prices are up 18.5%, and 44% of all properties sold above the asking price in January. 70%+ in the suburbs. Those same properties in Vancouver Heights are now worth around $3 million. “Balance covering a period of 24 months in easy…
  • Alpine by Beedie
    Surrounded by lush forest, Alpine is ten contemporary single-family homes in the Uplands community of the prestigious British Properties. Elevated multi-level private sanctuaries feature light-filled interiors and spacious terraces to take in stunning south-facing views of the ocean, city skyline and beyond. Alpine is an exclusive opportunity to live in design-driven two and three-storey residences conceived by award-winning architects BattersbyHowat. Surrounded by nature yet close to top schools, exceptional shopping and world-class recreation, Alpine is the peak of modern mountainside living.
  • 2022
    The barge is still chillin’, yet the real estate market hasn’t let up—as the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported last year’s sales as record-breaking. Home buying activity, albeit through a pandemic, has been resilient and remained a top priority for residents in the second year of nobody knows what’s going on.
  • Happy Holidays
    In trying to make sense of current events, I tend to defer to stoic philosophy. Never has it been more important to focus only on what you can control. That has served me and everyone I’ve had the privilege of working with this year in spades. There is much to look forward to in 2022, and I hope it is a year in which you thrive. From my family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
  • Antidote to Chaos
    Sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate just how good we have it here on the West Coast. Some of the most beautiful real estate in the world. This house is located in the Quilchena subarea of Vancouver West. The discovery of homes such as this, is one aspect I love about the profession. Even moreso, working with people that find the same joy in the process.
  • Investor Boom
    A revealing report by Teranet suggests that investors now make up 25% of Ontario homebuyers. The number of mortgages taken out by investors doubled in the last year, as per the Central Bank. The “extrapolative” demand is being attributed to the expectation that prices will keep rising, a.k.a. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).
  • Cooling Off
    The BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) intends to introduce a mandatory “cooling off” period for real estate services in 2022. The first Canadian jurisdiction to enact legislation for all residential real estate sales.
  • NFTs for Real Estate
    NFTs have been taking the world by storm, giving more power to content creators than ever before. NFTs use Blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership—a way to represent anything unique as an Ethereum based asset. Naturally, this technology could solve many inefficiencies in real estate transactions, and ultimately provide more transparency.
  • The Nature of Real Estate Negotiation
    The Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI) is the first and leading negotiation training company in real estate in North America. Their flagship course is the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®) designation program. It is a culmination of knowledge and expertise from world renowned schools like Harvard and Oxford University in England. The Canadian RENI operation is spearheaded by Suze Cumming—director, facilitator, and founder of The Nature of Real Estate—with over three decades of experience in the real estate industry. Fascinated by human nature, she conveys that syncing with the nature of things is essential for high levels of success in all parts of our lives.
  • The Redevelopment of False Creek South
    One of the areas under consideration for redevelopment, is False Creek South—80% of which is owned by the City of Vancouver through its Property Endowment Fund, made up of co-op and non-market housing, leasehold stratas, and market rental homes. The remainder of the land is owned by other levels of government, the Squamish First Nation, or private owners. There hasn’t been any new construction of housing since False Creek South’s inception in the 1970s and 1980s. Much of the land was leased by the City via 60-year leases, and with most of the leases expiring in the next 15 to 25 years, existing residents are rightfully experiencing significant stress after more than a decade of meetings with the City as per Councillor Colleen Hardwick. Hardwick recently filed a motion regarding the future of False Creek South, requesting that the City immediately proceed with lease extensions and renewals for all strata and co-op leaseholds in the neighborhood respectively.
  • Buying Farmland in British Columbia’s ALR
    The ALR is a “provincial land-use zone where agriculture is the priority use.” The reserve comprises 5% of BC’s total land base, and is the area with the greatest agricultural capacity. When buying property in the ALR, along with a home inspection, it’s recommended to get a well test, septic test, soil and tissue sample. A plant tissue analysis is used to detect low nutrient levels in plants before they are seen by the human eye. The test results are an indicator of plant nutritional health and a basis for diagnosing whether existing problems are nutritional in nature. There are a number of different uses for land in the ALR, which shows why such a high value is placed on properties within this zone. The possibilities for experimenting with new types of business are plenty. If the land is in the ALR, land uses are restricted and agriculture is the priority use, as stated in the Agriculture Land Commission Act and the Agriculture Land Reserve Regulations.
  • Vancouver’s Growth Since the 70’s
    Pictured above is an aerial view of Downtown Vancouver and West End in the 1970’s, facing south, with Burrard Street and Granville Street bridges, and law courts under construction. What’s striking is not only how the density has significantly increased over the years, but the amount of greenery that has been added in neighborhoods like the West End—part of the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. The city’s green buildings goal and targets require all buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral in operations—implementing the greenest building code in North America.
  • City of the Future
    The utopian city—named after the Greek word telos, meaning “higher purpose”—has a target population of 5 million people by 2050, supported by a reformed version of capitalism. The economics of how it all works is called Equitism, described as “inclusive growth”. This would enable its residents to participate in the decision-making and budgeting process. The type of land ownership would be based on Georgist principles, where anyone would be licensed to build, keep or sell a home, but the city retains ultimate ownership of the land. It’s akin to leasehold land in False Creek, or the University Endowment Lands—an unincorporated area that lies to the west of the city of Vancouver which has no mayor or municipal government. While it may seem farfetched, Lor selected famous Danish architect Bjark Ingels to design the metropolis, adding further credence to the project.
  • The Park Theatre in Cambie Village
    I had the pleasure of going to a theatre again over the weekend—the first time since Covid hit. Park Theatre is one of Vancouver’s oldest, which opened in 1941, and passed through multiple owners since being acquired by Cineplex Entertainment. What I loved is how they managed to preserve the charm of movie night. Still somewhat a hole in the wall, but surprisingly well-maintained through a $300,000 renovation made by its previous owner. It features an 18 x 36 foot screen, and a small concession stand that will transport you back to the golden age of cinemas.
  • Fifteen Fifteen
    Coming soon to the coveted Coal Harbour neighborhood is a visually striking development offering a new paradigm of living. Fifteen Fifteen is located just across the street from another up-and-coming architectural masterpiece, Alberni by Kengo Kuma. Designed by globally renowned architect, Ole Scheeren, Fifteen Fifteen is characterized by glass-enclosed cantilevers reaching out towards the Harbour, North Shore mountains, and city, drawing the natural setting into the privacy of personal space.
  • JOYCE in Collingwood
    I had a chance to check out one of Westbank Corp’s latest developments, JOYCE, at their exclusive one weekend opening celebration. Located in Vancouver’s Collingwood neighborhood, JOYCE brings a high degree of artistry and beauty to one of the city’s most multicultural communities. The expansive views of Vancouver’s skyline, West Vancouver, and the North Shore Mountains from the rooftop garden are incredible. The development is transit-oriented, conveniently located next to the Joyce-Collingwood Skytrain Station. It’s surrounded by several lakes, schools, and parks such as the 222-acre Central Park.
  • eXp Shareholder Summit Takeaways
    eXp World Holdings, Inc. capped off its 2021 shareholder summit in the EXPI Campus, with world-renowned speakers from all walks of life sharing their journeys to success. The list included names like Grant Cardone, John Salley, Jamie Kern Lima, and Tim Storey. Even The Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff was in the house to play tunes for a COVID safe avatar dance party. What resonated most with me was the common thread found in every major success story. It always comes down to hard-work, discipline, routine, and consistency. Daily dedication to achieving what it is you set out to do, without compromise. These are some of my favorite moments from the summit.
  • Urban Fringe Communities: Marpole
    Marpole is one of Vancouver’s oldest communities, split up into four sub-areas of Granville, Hudson, Oak, and Cambie. It’s a bustling gateway from the south that visitors first encounter via the international airport (YVR). The neighborhood has an eclectic mix of shopping, entertainment, and housing in the form of apartment buildings under 5 storeys (50.1%), newer mixed-use buildings up to 12 storeys (9.1%), single-family (20%), and detached duplex (11.7%) according to 2016 census data.
  • The Virtual World of eXp Realty
    eXp Realty, The Real Estate Cloud Brokerage, is the fastest-growing global residential real estate company, and the largest by geography in North America. The international LLC was founded in 2009 by Glenn Sanford and is a subsidiary of eXp World Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPI) which currently has a market cap of well over $7.4 billion—indicated…
  • How to Route Emails with Action Mailbox
    Action Mailbox is a feature introduced in Rails 6 that enables you to route incoming emails to controller-like mailboxes. It opens up interesting use cases for how you can deal with inbound email in your own application.
  • Winter at Beaver Lake
    The Beaver symbolizes good work ethic and determination, with a strong sense of family values. The Beaver has a great understanding of nature and working in harmony with his surroundings, he is very industrious working towards goals and gaining a sense of achievement. – Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
  • Managing Subscriptions with Stripe Checkout
    Software as a service (SaaS) nowadays makes it easy to integrate e-commerce solutions into your application, and nothing comes close to the capabilities of Stripe. Founded in 2010 by Patrick and John Collison, Stripe has democratized online payment processing for internet businesses around the world—handling financial infrastructure for some of the largest companies like Amazon,…
  • Victory Square
    “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.“ – Winston S. Churchill Once grounds for the provincial courthouse—Government Square was renamed to…
  • Sea to Sky
    “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” – Socrates The scene in the photo above gives me great solace, with all the uncertainty in the world right now. I captured the shot on a recent trip to Squamish—one of my favorite places…
  • Digitization of Mortgage
    mort-gage(old french)noun 1. Death Pledge CMHC released a publication on Mortgage Data Standards–analyzing the impact of initiating a system of data standards in the Canadian mortgage industry. One aspect of the data standards framework I’m paying close attention to is what the acceleration of digitization means to the future of mortages. The overarching premise is…
  • Opendoor
    From laying off 35% of its employees in April, to becoming a publicly traded company valued at $4.8 billion via merger with Social Capital Hedosophia in September, Opendoor has been the talk of the tech world as they reinvent how people buy and sell homes. Opendoor’s co-founder, Ian Wong, spoke about the company’s meteoric rise…
  • Shaping the Future of Proptech with GIS
    “A framework to organize, communicate, and understand the science of our world.” – Esri Global real estate is an asset class more valuable than all stocks, shares, and securitized debt combined, at $228+ trillion. There are remarkable technologies pushing the boundaries of the industry’s evolutionary curve—Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, drones—yet…
  • Transferring Data in Postgres
    “We believe that databases need to excel at more than simple selects to be useful for complex tasks, and our positive experiences with PostgreSQL has done nothing but reinforce that philosophy.” – David McNett Migrating data hardly ever comes without headaches and the odd “oh shit” moment, but after getting the hang of it, you…
  • SaaS + Fintech
    “Once one software solution demonstrates it is valuable, the customer base will consolidate around that company for all its software needs.” – a16z a16z released an article on how SaaS businesses can scale to new vertical markets by directly embedding financial products into their software. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz (author of What…
  • Outsourcing Design
    Good designers are hard to come by––it can be a costly process to find the right candidate, and you may end up paying for work you aren’t satisfied with. Now that we basically all live on the internet, meeting in-person with design teams to hammer out a design brief no longer seems like an appropriate…
  • Journey to Nowhere
    “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” –…
  • Streaming Real Estate Data
    Big data in real estate is a prime use case for real-time stream processing—a programming paradigm that allows us to instantaneously respond to data as it arrives. It is the antithesis to batch processing, whereby all data is loaded into memory before it is delivered and processed. The real estate profession is truly a matter…
  • JWT Authentication
    Implementing authentication for third-party access is no small feat, but is imperative in order to compete in a complex API economy and expand business capabilities. With every application, securing protected resources always poses a unique challenge, particularly considering how rapidly technology evolves. New solutions come along and customers expect a level of consistency across apps,…
  • Multiple Databases with Rails 6 and RDS
    Rails 6 shipped with the ability to use multiple databases in one application, making automatic connection switching as simple as adding a connects_to method in the respective class. To go a step further, we’ll set up an Amazon RDS instance, which benefits team members by providing consistent access to the same database—which could contain a…
  • IRAP Funding
    Launch Academy presented a webinar on everything you need to know about the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)—a cross-Canada network of 255 industrial technology advisors, with $300 million in support for more than 3,000 development projects annually. Having gone through the process myself, it was a good refresher on how to acquire financial support for…
  • AWS Lambda Functions for Python and Ruby
    I love to program in Ruby as well as Python, and AWS Lambda functions provide the perfect solution to combine both languages’ capabilities without additional server configuration. The aws-sdk-lambda library makes serverless computing workflow dead simple, by providing a gateway that connects to a Lambda function that will run Python code and return the results…