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REAL ESTATE: Transformative lifestyle choices spur 2020 land rush – Agassiz-Harrison Observer



For many decades, we have been told to live a healthy active lifestyle to live a longer happier life. Above all other factors, it is our location, where we live, that dictates the kind of lifestyle we have. Where we reside influences our daily behaviour, our interactions, what we consume, where and how we work and what leisure activities we take part in.

Ask yourself, do you wake and have a coffee on the lake view sundeck before heading inside to your home office when you are ready to begin your day? or are you up early to commute in traffic to a professional office or occupation on a strict schedule that you have no control over?

The time spent in isolation during the legislated lockdowns brought with it a clarity about how we really wanted to be living our lives. The fundamental things that bring us peace, joy and fulfillment are not what we believed them to be. Life’s simple pleasures became just that – simple, and the most basic of them all freedom; the independence and flexibility to spend our time as we really want, and to live life to its fullest despite our new conditions.

RELATED: REAL ESTATE: Your House Has Become More Than Just Home Base

Where we call home, just became of paramount importance. This shift in societal perspective has sparked a “2020 land rush,”a mass generational quest for a change in lifestyle.

Even before the threat of Coronavirus, we were living with blockades, civil unrest, a national unity crisis, a forestry workers crisis,an oil and gas sector crisis, and the growing problem of inflation costs leading to high household debt. 2020 rang in with the Covid19 outbreak, economic upheaval, job losses, lockdowns, widespread uncertainty and product shortages. British Columbians have been living with uncertainty for over two years, and even when the threat of viral infection becomes a secondary consideration, fundamentally what we have lived through has changed us.

All this movement shows us that British Columbians are making transformative choices to better their future and the future of their families during these uncertain times. July’s red hot sales numbers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and across the country are the result. The Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board posted July Sales up 32.7 per cent with 352 units sold and new listings were up 11.2 per cent. The Canadian Real Estate Board posted national records for home sales that haven’t been seen in over 40 years. Record sales in the Lower Mainland have created a ripple effect making its way north east across B.C., and August’s new listings and sales will ride this wave north into September’s political and economic uncertainty.

Fuelling the market surge is The Bank of Canada’s new benchmark five-year mortgage rate of 4.79 per cent, and three-year rate of 3.75 per cent. The BOC has indicated that rates will be kept low until at least 2023 in an attempt to help stabilize our battered economy and foster growth.These motivating rates, combined with adjusted B-20 Stress testing ratios have qualified a whole new segment of buyers who into the already burgeoning market.

RELATED: REAL ESTATE: Rural Land inquiries stimulate market movement amid lockdown

This unprecedented mass perspective shift is being seen across all generations from Boomers and GenXers taking decisive action to achieve what they really want to be doing for the remaining few chapters of their lives, to Millenials and GenZ’s who have the majority of their working lives ahead of them and need to find the right place to move forward with a planned or unplanned COVID career change.

Many youth can longer expect their parents who lost a huge portion of retirement income in the stock market crash to take on the debt of post secondary education. Nor can our youth take that debt on themselves with uncertainty in our economy and changing jobs market. Jet setting around the globe for a few years in search of adventure is unaffordable and unsafe in our new norm. Those young adults who would be applying for travel work visas are now making long term commitments first to a safe location to live, and hundreds of thousands have decided that living with their parents will be a permanent ongoing arrangement so that everyone can be safe and make steps to rebuild their life plans.

Families are turning to homesteading 21st century style in rural locations, trying their hands at farming, gardening and sustainable living, on a property that will also raise their food and be a home school for their children. Residents who now have the flexibility to work from home permanently have realized that they can live a more rural lifestyle and still keep the urban pay check that kept them in the city to begin with, and they are seeking acreages and privacy. The province’s retired or soon to be retirees are taking stock of what is left of their investments and equity and making decisions about how to remain solvent and independent for as long as possible to avoid needing to live in long term care or seniors residences that have become more like prisons for residents who are being kept safe but away from family contact.

This new perspective has many realizing that in order to achieve their lifestyle goals, they must change their location. To a place that brings contentment to their daily routine and ensures that their time is spent in ways that bring satisfaction and security no matter what life’s challenges will bring.

There has never been a better time to take action and make your next move count towards achieve the lifestyle you have always wanted. If you are currently searching for a new home or property, remember to always perform careful due diligence and work with a qualified realtor.

Freddy Marks, together with his daughter Linda Marks, runs Agassiz’s 3A Group Sutton Showcase Realty. He has been a Realtor in Canada and Germany for more than 30 years, and currently lives in Harrison Hot Springs.

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Calgary real estate sales improve despite ongoing pandemic – CTV Toronto



Calgary realtor Shaukat Hayat had his busiest summer ever, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic people realize the value of a property, value of a house while they were staying inside,” said Hayat, who has been in the industry since 2006. 

Hayat said homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 price range are the ones moving, with homes selling within 30 to 45 days. 

“Whoever is going out, they are a very determined buyer, and whoever has listed the property, very determined seller,” said Hayat.

“Summer 2019 and summer 2020, there is an increase in the price and increase in the number of the units sold all over the city.”

Hayat points to a number of factors, including inventory levels and low interest rates on monthly mortgage payments.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says sales started to pick up toward the end of June, but were soft in April, May and June. 

CMHC released its latest Housing Market Assessment on Monday, looking at the health of the market during the second quarter of 2020.

“We had a huge economic shock in labor markets, in the oil markets which Calgary is a centre of,” said Michael Mak, senior analyst, economics with CMHC. 

“This shock basically gave consumers a level of uncertainty and both sellers and buyers didn’t really have a certain outlook on the future. It may be that they decided to wait and see how the government responded how the pandemic responded before making any sales or buys.”

April to June 2020, Mak said approximately 3,400 homes sold in Calgary, compared to 5,200 during the same time period in 2019.

“The MLS average price was $423,311, in the second quarter of 2020, down four per cent from the same period in 2019,” reads the report. 

Mak said the report also found there is increased supply in new homes being built in the city compared to demand. 

Final sales numbers for the summer aren’t available yet, but Mak says sales are slightly higher and prices are about 10 per cent higher also.

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Don’t be a stranger! Sooke real estate agent won’t shy away from your questions – Sooke News Mirror



When you’re buying your first house, you’re likely to have a thousand questions. You may even ask the same questions more than once. The same goes for selling — whether it’s your first sale or your fifth, you’ll likely ask the same questions over and over.

Most real estate agents can answer your questions the first time you ask, but it takes a special kind of ‘people person’ to treat you with genuine compassion the fourth time you ask.

“I want my clients to feel comfortable reaching out to me for anything, even if they’ve asked me before,” says Paula Wensley, a real estate agent with Macdonald Realty Ltd. “My goal is to reduce stress for my clients so they don’t lose sleep — they’ll probably lose sleep anyway, but I can do my best to make the process easier.”

Find the right fit

Paula is relatively new to Sooke but she’s no stranger to southern Vancouver Island, having lived in many Island communities over the years. That local knowledge comes in handy when helping clients find their forever-home.

“I’ve had some amazing experiences with clients who weren’t happy with where they lived, but didn’t know where to move,” she says.

They’d describe their personalities, lifestyles and goals, and ask Paula ‘Where can you see us? What community would suit us?’ Using her knowledge of local communities and her talents for connecting with clients, she’d make a recommendation.

“One client reached out a year after they’d moved in just to say thanks. She said ‘we wouldn’t have found this community without you.’ It’s amazing to have that kind of impact.”

3rd generation in real estate

Paula comes from a family of real estate agents including her grandpa, dad, uncles and cousins, so she draws from a wealth of experience beyond her years. Before real estate she worked as a property manager and commercial sales assistant, so she’s seen the industry from all sides.

“I try to offer a fresh approach — I’m up to date on new negotiating techniques and other strategies,” she says.

Paula finds she connects well with clients who prefer a bit more time and attention to their individual needs. If you have a unique situation or just want a little extra help with your listing, Paula will give you her full attention.

“I don’t see myself in sales, I see it as a service. It’s not just a conveyor belt of clients.”

Follow Paula Wensley on Facebook for her latest insights on the tight real estate market, and visit to browse current listings from Mill Bay to Sidney to Sooke. Get in touch by calling 250-388-5882 or at

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Real Estate Transactions: Exclusive Use Servitudes Deemed Invalid – Real Estate and Construction – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts



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While exclusive use clauses remain common in leases, they can no
longer be drafted in the form of servitude agreements in

In April 2020, in the case of Société
immobilière Duguay Inc.
v. 547264 Ontario
1, the Court of Appeal of Quebec
ruled in favour of dismissing a Superior Court
judgment2, thereby granting an application for
declaratory judgment and striking off “exclusive
” clauses drafted in the form of servitude agreements
restricting the types of business that could be carried out on a
property. As a result, this case puts an end, in commercial
transactions, to the use of servitude agreements to protect certain
exclusive businesses or commercial uses from third parties in a
given location.

Exclusive use clauses have long been included in leasing
agreements, such as those in shopping centers, to define the
permitted uses of the leased property and prohibit or limit one
tenant from carrying on the same type of business or
principal use” as another tenant. The bottom
line is to protect the market within a property and ensure the
commercial success of all tenants. The Civil Code of Quebec
(C.C.Q.) does not currently define or regulate such clauses
directly; these are usually the result of negotiations between the
landlord and the tenants. Exclusive use clauses have also been used
in commercial real estate transactions, in the form of servitude
agreements. Under Quebec civil law, Article 1177 C.C.Q. defines a
servitude as “a charge imposed on an immovable, the
servient land, in favour of another immovable, the dominant land,
belonging to a different owner

The Duguay matter is the most recent case in which the
Quebec courts had to determine whether exclusive use agreements in
commercial real estate transactions were valid in civil law. In
this case, the Respondents owned a shopping centre and various
contiguous or nearby lots, which they leased for commercial
purposes. In 1998 and 2000, the Respondents sold two of those lots
to a third party for the purpose of opening a clothing store. The
notarized deed of sale included a servitude agreement stipulating
that the buildings of the shopping centre owned by the Respondents
could not be used to carry on business activities that would
compete with those of the buyer (i.e. a family clothing store),
while the properties acquired by the buyer could not, for their
part, be used for the principal business activities then taking
place at the Respondents’ shopping centre and on the
neighbouring lots they owned (i.e. a grocery store, drugstore,
movie theatre and department store). In 2012, the two properties
were sold by the initial buyer to the Appellant, with the new deed
of sale providing that both properties remain subject to the
exclusive use servitudes set out in 1998 and 2000. Following this
subsequent sale, the Appellant asked the Superior Court to declare
that the “servitude agreement” was not enforceable and to
order its striking out on the grounds that it did not constitute
servitudes, but rather, personal obligations.

The Court of Appeal found that, since the purpose that the
Respondents claimed to be pursuing through these exclusive use
agreements, namely to promote the commercial diversity of their
shopping centre, served largely to ensure that the businesses in
the shopping centre they owned were not subject to commercial
competition, they could not be construed as constituting valid
servitudes under the C.C.Q. The Court of Appeal found that the
rights flowing from these agreements do not relate to the
Respondents’ real estate property, but rather to the
Respondents’ financial and commercial interests.

As a result, although the exclusive use servitude agreements
could be deemed creative in commercial real estate transactions,
the Court of Appeal of Quebec ruled in favour of the Appellant,
finding that such agreements restricting commercial use do not
constitute valid servitudes, as they do not encumber the dominant
land as required by Article 1177 C.C.Q., but only apply to the
servient land. According to the Court of Appeal, these stipulations
must be characterized as personal obligations binding on the first
buyer and the Respondent but not the Appellant as the subsequent
buyer. Moreover, the Court of Appeal found that the Respondents had
not demonstrated that the Appellant agreed to undertake these
agreements as personal obligations when purchasing the


1 Société immobilière Duguay inc. v.
547264 Ontario Limited, 2020 QCCA 571

2 Société immobilière Duguay inc. v.
547264 Ontario Limited, 2018 QCCS 2099 (CanLII)

Originally published by August-September 2020 issue of
Canadian Lawyer InHouse magazine

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Real Estate and Construction from Canada

Construction Dispute Resolution In Ontario

Miller Thomson LLP

The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (“CCDC”) forms of contract provide for a dispute resolution process that is generally contained in Part 8 of the contract.

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