Are You A Non-Resident Interested in Investing In BC Real Estate? Here Is Some Important and Useful Information You Cannot Ignore.

BC is currently experiencing a housing boom never seen before. The lower Canadian Loonie, the political and economic stability and the aftermath of the Winter Olympics 2010, have put BC, especially Vancouver on the world real estate radar.

Here are a few guidelines for non-residents to keep in mind when investing in our beautiful province:

1)      Higher down payment required.

Because you are a non-resident without any Canadian history, you will be considered a higher risk. So your down payment may be typically 35%, compared to the Canadian resident who can come to the market with just 5-10%.

2)      Required documentation.

The lender will require certain documentation to justify the loan. This includes an international credit report from your country of origin, and other detailed income related reports in both English and French.

3)      Higher mortgage rate.

Only major banks can lend to non-residents. The rate on the mortgage may be slightly higher than what residents pay,  depending on the lender to cover the additional risk of lending to a non-resident.

4)      Rental tax.

If you are planning on using your property as an investment property and earn rent, the rental income may be subject to a 25% tax typically taken off the monthly rent. Expenses may reduce the rate. Since every situation is unique, consultation with a tax accountant or mortgage broker may be required for further clarification.

5)      Higher taxes.

Non-resident home-buyers are subject to the same taxes and fees as Canadians. Depending on the jurisdiction where the property is located, non-residents may be asked to pay higher property or land transfer taxes, as well as different capital gains when they sell a property. Again, consultation with a tax accountant or mortgage broker may be required for further clarification.

If your are currently a non-resident in BC looking to buy a home, contact our offices and one of our experienced real estate professionals will be able to advise you effectively and efficiently.

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Will A Smart Home Will Make Your Home More Marketable? – YES!

Welcome to the “Internet of Things” where automated devices like lights, locks and thermostats work together and are controlled by the Internet. Things that were not previously automated are now simplified and automated.

There is now a consensus amongst homeowners of newly constructed and recently renovated homes to employ “Smart” technology.  Smart technology automates household tasks such us unlocking doors, adjusting temperature, rolling down blinds, shutting off appliances etc.

A 2016 survey by Coldwell Banker revealed that owners believe that smart home technology makes their home safer, saves them money and saves them time.

Advantages of employing Smart home technology:

1)      Security – owners can be notified if something in their home seems amiss.

2)      Economy – money can be saved when the energy use of a home can be automatically controlled – this includes, lights, heating, air-conditioning, the outdoor sprinkler system, etc.

3)      Insurance savings – Insurance companies (and utility ones) offer reduced rates and rebates for homes that use smart devices.

4)      Today’s home buying population will pay more for a smart home (according to the survey by Coldwell banker).

There is a caution however, on the security risk of the data generated by the devices. The onus is on the user of the smart technology to do the necessary due diligence.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other of our home related highly informative blog topics, please contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.


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Be Careful – Someone Can Actually Steal Your Home From Under Your Nose!


Yes, this does happen even in a developed country like Canada – its called Title Fraud. Incidents of title fraud are very minimal compared to, say, debit or credit card fraud, but the damage to its victims is considerably more devastating and serious.

Title fraud is potential big money for the fraudsters, and their schemes can be complex to say the least. Don’t underestimate the lengths to which they will go to cash in on a big payday.

How does this happen?

It all begins with Identity theft. If you are the unfortunate victim of ID theft, the perpetrator takes on your identity and becomes you in essence.

That’s when your problem starts and this is what can happen to you:

The fraudster could:

1)     Use fake id and forged documents transfer the title of your property out of your name, register a home equity line of credit or mortgage against the title, get hold of the funds in cash, and leave you in trouble a few months down the road.

2)     In a hot seller’s market as is currently the situation, sell your property sight unseen, close the transaction and leave town before the unsuspecting buyers show up to your home ready to move in.

3)     Use your stolen identity, discharge your current mortgage and replace it with one at a higher value, pocketing the difference in cash and disappear before the mortgage goes into arrears.

Taking care to safeguard your identity is one of the most important actions you can do in this increasingly digital world.

In this current seller’s market, you need to use a real estate professional that can get you the optimum price for your property. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000 if you have a home for sale.



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Here’s How You Can Sell Your Home Faster For A Higher Price

Coming up with the right price when selling your home is a precarious balancing act. You want to ask for as much as possible and you also don’t want to cheat yourself with a price that’s lower than your home’s worth.

The “right” price is one that’s in line with what similar homes are selling for in your market. Your real estate professional can help you evaluate the market and resist the temptation to overprice your home — or give in to your fears and underprice it. Always listen to what your agent says: You’re better off getting the price right the first time around.

Here are three reasons to price your home correctly from the start and strategies for coming up with the ideal dollar amount:

You can attract more buyers.

Some sellers may be tempted to ask for more than market value — even if they’re willing to accept a lower offer just to see if there are any takers at the larger number. But this strategy can backfire if sellers price their home out of range of potential buyers.

If you over price your home from the start, you may reduce the number of qualified and serious buyers who may be searching for a home just under your inflated price.

It’s better to price your property right from the start to maximize the number of qualified buyers.

You will sell your home faster, for a higher price

In a hot market with many buyers, a fairly priced home could receive multiple offers because people recognize it’s a good deal. There’s a good chance that it may start a bidding war that drives the final offer above your asking price.

But an overpriced home could scare away some of those buyers, who may think that they’re dealing with an unreasonable seller. You may be willing to sell your house for less, but there’s a good chance that the buyer may not even bother to make an offer if the home’s overpriced from the start.

Buyers will have more confidence in your property

If you price your house high and then reduce it, a potential buyer may wonder if something is wrong with your property.

When your home is priced according to the market and similar to comparable sales in your neighborhood, a buyer may feel better about the transaction.

The buyer may reason that if you’ve done your homework on pricing, you’ve also done your homework on making sure the home is in good condition.

According to the National Association of Realtors, if a home doesn’t sell within 30 days, it’s a good indication that it’s not priced right. In addition, research suggests the longer a house stays on the market, the lower its final selling price will be.

Please feel free to call THE VIRANI SALES TEAM at 604.695.1000 if you would like further explanation on any of our blog topics, or if you have any real estate questions at all.


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Here’s How To Get The Best Real Estate Professional To Sell Your Home.

Your home is probably the largest asset you will ever invest in. So when you sell it, you want to get the best possible return on your investment and find the most qualified buyer.

It makes sense to hire a real estate professional to handle the sale of one of the most important assets of your life. Unless you are in the real estate business, you will find it very difficult to handle the marketing, showings, negotiations and closing of your home. All this is done within a very short period of time.

With so many different real estate brokerages and agents out there, it can be hard to know whom to trust to handle your most valuable asset.

Here are tips and interview questions you should ask potential real estate professionals before choosing the right one to list your home.

1) Get referrals from people who have worked with the agent

Word-of-mouth referrals are great but make sure you ask the person who’s doing the referring if he or she has worked with the agent. Get a referral from someone who has.

2) Interview at least three agents

If you were renovating your bathroom or getting a new roof would you get a quote from just one company? Hardly likely.  Likewise, you should interview at least three agents in person to see whether you feel comfortable with them.

Some agents have plenty of experience and happy clients to their credit. Some, however, haven’t closed a deal in years. Research credentials online and when you visit an agent’s website, check the number of current and recently sold listings.

3) Know the right questions to ask.

Be prepared to ask important questions. You want to see if someone is qualified and has the right experience not only to market your home, but to get it sold as quickly as possible and for top dollar.

Here are some very useful and important questions to ask:

a)     What do you think my home is worth and why?

b)     How many homes have you sold in the past 1/2 years?

c)     What are comparable listings worth in my neighborhood?

d)     What kind of marketing plan do you have in mind?

e)     How much commission do you charge?

f)       Are you a full time or part-time realtor?

Once you have picked the agent you are comfortable with, let the agent take over and do what he/she has been trained to do.

Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your agent so you know what’s happening with your home.

Buying or selling your home can be a frustrating and harrowing experience. We are in the experience business, that, in a very meaningful way, we change the quality and the direction of people’s lives.


Contact us or call us on 604 913 4000 if you have any questions or concerns regarding selling or buying a home.


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Meet the Pov Family

We recently sat down with the Pov family and asked them about their lives before moving into a World Housing community. Read their inspiring story and see how far they’ve come…

When I was five years old, I moved to live in Phnom Penh. I’ve worked many different jobs in my life, including making cigarettes in a factory and selling vegetables. I have lived alone all of my life until I adopted my daughter. The happiest moment in my life was when we received this World Housing Home.

Before, we lived in a wooden rental room for $15 USD. I felt so happy when we moved away from there and into the new World Housing home. There is nothing to compare with this feeling.

Life is easier now than before. I like everything in this home including the cooking and sleeping materials. The neighbours here are so kind and always help us. We never argue with the neighbours.

If there was no World Housing, life would be so difficult. With the support that we get, we can now pay for food.

This article was written by Caley Vanular courtesy of “Worldhousing”.

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Home Safety Tips You Cannot Afford To Ignore – Part 3 – Child Safety At Home.

Parents worry about their children’s safety when they are away from home, but not many realise that there are also safety concerns to be handled at home. Home injuries are a leading source of accidental death for children.

Fortunately, home injuries are largely avoidable through education and prevention. Parents can take proactive steps to childproof the home and keep their children safe by teaching them a few practical rules.

1. Keep cleaning material and other potentially poisonous materials out of reach.

Be sure to install cabinet guards on any cabinet where cleaners, chemicals or garden fertilizers are stored. Keep these products in their original container; do not store them in a container where they might be mistaken for food.

If there are certain rooms that aren’t childproofed or contain many potential hazards, such as a workshop or a hobby room, keep the door closed and install a doorknob cover or childproof lock.

Store all medicines in a locked cabinet, away from a child’s reach. Even cabinets that are up high need a lock, because curious kids might climb up to see what’s inside.

2. Take measures to prevent accidental drowning.

Never leave your child unattended around water. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.

Put the cell phone away, forget about all the other things you have to do and give young children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water.

Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.

If you have a permanent pool, enclose it with a fence that’s at least 4 feet high, and lock the gate leading to the pool after each use. Always secure and lock the cover on your spa or hot tub.

3. Childproof your electrical outlets.

It’s a good idea to protect electrical outlets with outlet covers. Unfortunately, the removable little plug-in caps can easily end up in your baby’s mouth. Instead, replace the outlet covers themselves – at least those that are accessible – with ones that include a sliding safety latch.

If you’re using extension cords in your home, cover any exposed outlets with electrical tape.

Keep your kids away from electrical appliances as much as possible and teach them to respect electricity from an early age.

4. Important steps to prevent choking.

Cut food for toddlers into tiny pieces. Children under 5 should not eat small, round or hard foods, including pieces of hot dogs, cheese sticks or chunks, hard candy, nuts, grapes, marshmallows or popcorn.

Consider your child’s age when purchasing a toy or game. It’s worth a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s just right for your child.

Make sure small household items, such as coins, buttons, jewellery, small balls and pins, are stored away from a child’s reach to avoid accidental choking.

5. Preventing falls and related injuries.

Keep stairs and hallways clear and free of clutter that could cause a child to trip and take a tumble, and install safety gates to block a toddler’s access to a staircase.

Many injuries to older toddlers and preschool children result from falling out of an unsecured window. To avoid such injuries, keep windows locked and screens in place. A young child could squeeze through a window opened as little as 5 inches.  Screens are not strong enough to keep a child inside.

Discourage play near windows and patio doors, which could lead to a fall through glass. And most important, don’t store or display anything a child could climb near a window.

6. Take adequate precautions to guard against fire

Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.

Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Instruct them on how to respond to the sound of a smoke alarm.

Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room in case of a fire.

7. Take preventative measures against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Install a carbon monoxide detector along with your fire detector, and keep it properly maintained, to help ensure your home is safe from this poisonous and silent killer.

It should be installed near sleeping areas, and kept them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

Home injuries are largely avoidable through education and prevention. Parents can take proactive steps to childproof the home and keep their children safe utilising tips outlined in this article.


If you are contemplating buying or selling a home, get in touch with us.  We can guide you within your budget and lifestyle. Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  or follow us on Facebook.


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Meet the Samaen Family

We recently sat down with the Samean family and asked them about their lives before moving into a World Housing community. Read their inspiring story and see how far they’ve come…

“Our family moved into the World Housing community in September 2014. Originally, we are from Svay Rieng province. There, I worked as a farmer on my sister’s land, and grew rice. It was so difficult. Our land was so small and the harvest was never enough for us to eat.”

“I decided to move to Phnom Penh three years ago because there was nothing to do in my hometown except farming and, from year to year, we were getting poorer.”

“When we first moved to Phnom Penh, I sold Khmer cakes made from rice and coconut. I could only earn around 15,000 riel ($3.5USD) per day. I was working alone to support the family because my daughter went to work in Thailand.”

“We lived in a small room where we paid $15USD per month for rent. There was no toilet and only one small window. When we moved into World Housing, I felt so happy. I felt freedom. The environment here is different. At our old house, I never opened the door because of arguments with the neighbours. Here, in the World Housing home, there is lots of space. I can grow crops for cooking.”

“I like this house because it feels like my own home. I am proud because my grandchildren can get an education. My daughter can find a job and I can look after my grandchildren.”

Written by Caley Vanular courtesy of “Worldhousing”.

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Home Safety Tips You Cannot Afford To Ignore – Part 2 – Fire Prevention

Your Home. It’s the place where you expect to feel safe. Reliable statistics show that more fire deaths and injuries occur in the home than in any other place. So don’t underestimate the danger of home fire.

 Common fire hazards around your home:

  • Smoking/lit cigarettes
  • Open flames from a stove top burner
  • Candles left unattended around children and/or pets
  • Un-emptied dryer lint traps
  • Especially dry brush or leaves
  • Old, worn, or frayed electrical cords
  • Overfilled electrical outlets and power strips
  • Unsafe fire places or stoves

Follow these home fire safety tips and make sure your family is in the know when it comes to house fire dangers.

  1. Routinely check your electrical appliances to make sure cords have not been damaged. Replace old or damaged cords immediately.
  2. Do not overload your circuits or extension cords. Remember that you should use extension cords only on a temporary basis. Consult an electrician to install additional outlet, if necessary.
  3. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use, especially if you will be away from home for an extended period of time.
  4. Never try to fit a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet.
  5. Stay alert while cooking. Make sure you turn kitchen appliances off once you are done cooking.
  6. Keep stove surfaces free of clutter and built-up grease.
  7. Always have a lid or some type of non-combustible flat surface to put over a pan fire so it can be smothered.
  8. Keep electric or portable space heaters at least 3-feet from everything, including you! 
  9. Prevent fires with proper dryer duct installation. The dryer duct should vent directly outdoors – never to a room inside the house. Venting a gas dryer inside is especially dangerous. The air discharge can contain a combination of combustible gases.
  10. Never leave burning candles unattended. Always have them in or on a non-combustible surface away from combustible surfaces.

Make sure you have these important fire safety tools in your home:

Smoke detectors

Be sure to have smoke detectors in all sleeping areas and on every level of your home including the basement. Have a smoke detector either in each bedroom or in the hall adjacent to the bedroom.

Test the batteries monthly, and replace them when you turn your clocks forward or back for daylight saving time.

Fire extinguishers

Install at least one fire extinguisher in plain view above the reach of children. Position it near escape routes and away from stoves or heating appliances.

Make sure all family members know how to use an extinguisher, and get it inspected and serviced as per the manufacturer’s requirements.

Family escape plan

You must have a family escape plan known to all your family members. Practice this plan annually.

Designate a meeting spot outside the house.

Always call 911 first if you have a fire.

Your safety in the home should be a major concern. To discuss this and other home related topics fill in this form, visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000.




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Meet the Soeun Family

Every home has a story.

We recently sat down with the Soeun family and asked them about their lives before moving into a World Housing community. Read their inspiring story and see how far they’ve come…

“We moved into the World Housing community in March 2014. Before that we lived in Kandal province where my husband and I worked as farmers. When we had free time, we cut down wood and sold it to earn extra income.

We moved to Phnom Penh because when we collected the crop, it wasn’t enough for us to survive. My husband moved to Phnom Penh first. He lived in Phnom Penh for around one year and then he brought us to live there with him.

At first, my husband worked as a CENTRI worker (garbage collection) and I worked as a scavenger. I could earn 6000 riel ($1.5 USD) per day and my husband earned $30 per month. I started scavenging from 6 am in the morning and came back home at 5 pm. I used to work at the dump site. I felt afraid and there were always bad smells. I often went to the hospital because the bad smells made me feel sick. When I felt better, I went to work again.

Typical family home in Steung Meanchey slum.

We lived in this area before it was a World Housing community. We rented a small wooden house for $17USD per month. It would flood during rainy season, and surround our house like a lake. When we moved into World Housing, life became easier than before. Now, there is no lake around our house, and no flooding. Before, we didn’t have access to a bathroom or toilet – now, it’s close to us.

One word to describe our house: safety. Before, our home situation was very difficult. There was no space for living, and it often flooded. It was dark and dirty, because of the mud. Now, it is safe. It is the best for us. We can live upstairs and downstairs.


“My favourite subject is English because I want to speak with my sponsor and go abroad.” – Sreypich, 11 years old.

We are happy here. In the old house, our neighbours always had a lot of arguments. It wasn’t safe. Here it is safe. We cook food together and watch TV together. When my grandchildren grow up, I hope they can get good jobs.”

This article was written by Scott Wilkins, courtesy of “Worldhousing”.

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