5 Renovation Ideas That Are Guaranteed To Pay Off For You, Especially When You Sell Your Home

If you are a homeowner, you have either renovated or are planning a future renovation. A renovation will increase the value of your home and make it look good, so later when you want to sell it, you can make a nice profit.

Kitchen and bathroom improvements increase the value of your property more than most renovations and offer the highest average return on investment.

However, there are others you can do, depending on your budget that can add value to your home:

  1. Kitchen and bathroom facelift.

Renovations to the kitchen and bathroom are the most lucrative. Kitchen or bathroom facelifts can pay back 75% to 100% of their cost, depending on the renovations you do. Most real estate professionals and professional renovators agree that homeowners who renovate for the purpose of selling their home should focus on these two rooms.

  1. Painting the interior or exterior of the home.

Painting is an inexpensive and very profitable renovation project. Rolling on a new coat of interior or exterior paint can generate a 50% to 100% return on your investment. If you’re planning on selling your house, choose neutral shades over trendy colors that may not appeal to all buyers.

  1. Upgrade your home for energy efficiency.

Any renovation that may save you money such as upgrading the efficiency of your electrical system, heating or water heating will be a very attractive bonus when selling your home. These upgrades will make you benefit from an immediate reduction in costs and will make your home noticeably healthier and more livable.

  1. Give the exterior of your home a facelift.

The front of your home and the surrounding landscape are the very first thing a potential buyer will see, and very inexpensive projects like painting, updating the garden, fixing a broken fence, etc.  will make a favorable impact. Though these little projects won’t add thousands to your selling price, they are often worth much more than they cost to perform.

  1. Roof replacement.

Replacing roof shingles offers a 50% to 80% rate of return, which is quite a nice margin of profitability. Investing in a roof upgrade increases the value of your home and, most importantly, it protects you against various problems such as water infiltration.

Whatever home renovation project you’re considering, if you want to recoup the highest percentage of the cost, remember that the work has to be done properly and the results have to be tasteful.

It is important to get the correct advice when you are buying a home. We have been in the real estate business for over 28 years and know just about everything there is about buying a home. Contact us or call us on 604 695  1000 or 604 913 1000 if you are planning to buy a home.


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5 Important Ways You Can Avoid A Disastrous Moving Experience

June to September is peak moving season, and moving companies do a bulk of their yearly business within these 4 months.

Unsuspecting to the public, there are unscrupulous individuals that that front themselves as a moving company, ready to take advantage and profit from the vulnerable.

Horror stories abound:

  • Consumers losing their deposits to non-existent moving companies fronting on the internet
  • Extra fees charged for carrying furniture to higher floors
  • Moving companies sub-contracting to unlicensed and under-insured companies that cannot pay claims
  • No shows
  • Furniture being held hostage for higher payments

To avoid this and a myriad of other potential scenaarios, as a consumer, you must be better armed with sufficient knowledge and take the necessary precautions before you move:

Get an in-person quote

Never book a move using just the phone and or the Internet. Always get a representative of the company to make a house call and give you all the move details and price in writing.

Book well in advance if possible

If you book your July move in March or April, you will be able to get a fair price and a comprehensive quote. During the busy moving season, moving companies do not have enough staff to cover all their moves, so they end up sub-contracting. This means higher prices and you will be pressed to get the service and attention your deserve.

Get an estimate and not a price

When you get a quote, get the hourly rate and the estimated time the whole move will take. So if a move will take 5 hours @$125 an hour, the quote should be exactly that and not $625. By giving you a blanket quote, the moving companies can manipulate the move to their advantage.  So, if a move takes only 4 hours @ $100/hour, and the company has quoted you $600, you will be asked to pay the $600.

Get a number of quotes.

Don’t just rely on 1 company for a quote. Shop around and get at least 3-4 quotes so you can compare prices and services. The more informed you are, the better your judgment will be when it comes to choosing a company.

Read reviews

The Internet makes it easier to search for moving companies in your area. Reputable moving companies will post their reviews giving them bragging rights. Read the positive and negative reviews. The negative reviews are useful to learn what can go wrong.

Look for red flags

Ensure that the moving company has a bricks and mortar address. Call the listed telephone number and talk to a company representative. Make sure the company accepts different forms of payment. If some of these are missing, you should be on guard.

Moving is not a very enjoyable experience. A lot can go wrong.  So why not be prepared from the onset and reduce the stress?

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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Home Sales Move Off Of Record-Breaking Pace In July

VANCOUVER, BC – August 3, 2016 – Metro Vancouver* homes sales resembled more typical levels in July.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 3,226 in July 2016, a decrease of 18.9 per cent from the 3,978 sales recorded in July 2015 and a decrease of 26.7 per cent compared to June 2016 when 4,400 homes sold.

This is the first time since January that home sales in the region have registered below 4,000 in a month.

“After several months of record-breaking sales activity, home buyer demand returned to more historically normal levels in July,” Dan Morrison, REBGV president said.

Last month’s sales were 6.5 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sale activity showed some moderating signs in late June and this carried into July,” Morrison said. “We’ll wait and watch over the next few months to see if this marks the return of more normal market trends.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,241 in July 2016. This represents a 2.5 per cent increase compared to the 5,112 units listed in July 2015 and a 10.8 per cent decrease compared to June 2016 when 5,875 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,351, a 27.4 per cent decline compared to July 2015 (11,505) and a 6.9 per cent increase compared to June 2016 (7,812).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2016 is 38.6 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $930,400. This represents a 32.6 per cent increase compared to July 2015.

Sales of detached properties in July 2016 reached 1,077, a decrease of 30.9 per cent from the 1,559 detached sales recorded in July 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 38 per cent from July 2015 to $1,578,300.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,602 in July 2016, a decrease of 7.3 per cent compared to the 1,729 sales in July 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 27.4 per cent from July 2015 to $510,600.

Attached property sales in July 2016 totalled 547, a decrease of 20.7 per cent compared to the 690 sales in July 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 29.4 per cent from July 2015 to $669,000.

*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

This article is courtesy of REBGV.


To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss a property, contact us at http://www.virani.ca/contact.php , visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000.



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Canada’s Hottest Real Estate Market Gets a 15% Additional Property Transfer Tax

For the last 18+ months, British Columbians have voiced concerns that they are being crowded out of their own housing market by foreign buyers. House prices in Vancouver have increased by a whopping 36% in June from a year earlier. An average single-detached home in Metro Vancouver now sells for $1.56 million and the local middle class feels that it has been priced out of this market.

So on August 2, 2016 the BC Provincial Government made good on its promise to address the highly controversial situation by introduce a Housing Affordability Package.

Amongst the measures, it has introduced an additional 15% property transfer tax on foreign nationals, corporations and trusts that are buying in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).

“The data we started collecting earlier this summer is showing that foreign nationals invested more than $1 billion into B.C. property between June 10 and July 14, more than 86 per cent of it in the Lower Mainland,” said BC Finance Minister Michael de Jong. “While investment from outside Canada is only one factor driving price increases, it represents an additional source of pressure on a market struggling to build enough new homes to keep up. This additional tax on foreign purchases will help manage foreign demand while new homes are built to meet local needs.”

The GVRD includes Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley City and Township, Lion’s Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City and District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, White Rock and Electoral Area A. The additional tax does not apply to properties located on Tsawwassen First Nation lands.  

So typically, a $2m home will attract an additional tax of $300,000.

The new 15% tax applies to buyers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents and corporations that are either not registered in Canada or are controlled by foreigners.

We will comment on the fallout of this new measure in subsequent blog posts.

To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss a property, contact us at http://www.virani.ca/contact.php , visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000.



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The Shocking Truth About Your Electrical Wall Plate


When was the last time you looked at a wall plate or outlet in your home? Sure you plugged an appliance or your phone charger, but you probably took a cursory glace and went about your business.

Did you know that in the US, fires resulting from faulty wall plates and outlets cause roughly 2,590 home fires every year?  So why are they potentially dangerous?



Tiny cracks in a wall plate can attract dust, lint and hair, which act as the kindling when they accumulate behind the plate. This increases the possibility of a short circuit and the resulting fire can smolder and spread along your walls making it hard to extinguish.


When walls are painted, the wall plates and outlets are typically covered by masking tape to prevent paint getting on them. But sometimes they are not covered and painted over. This is dangerous because the paint can accumulate in the slots and the pins that go into the plate can come into direct contact with an electrical charge. Paint is not designed to withstand that amount of heat, and can cause a fire.

Charred outlets

If the outlet cover looks burned or brown it’s time to investigate. Check the wiring system for short circuits or other conditions that could cause overheating and, potentially, a fire. Shorts can occur even when a microscopic piece of hot wire hits any metal part of the outlet and transfers a current.

If a problem occurs immediately remove all the devices from the outlet and turn it off if there is a switch. Don’t use it until it has been looked at and or replaced by a professional electrician. If the wall feels warm, immediately call the fire department on 911.


If you are looking to sell you home in this seller’s market, you need a real estate professional that can get you the best possible price. We have a large inventory of prospective buyers both local and overseas. Contact us or call us on 604 695 1000 and let us get you the best price for your home. 


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What You Should Know About Multiple Representation


When the buyer and seller are clients of the same real estate brokerage firm, it’s known as multiple representation, formerly referred to as “dual agency”.

This means that one agent from a real estate company will be the listing agent, working for the seller as the client, and another agent (sometimes the same agent) from same real estate company will be the buyer’s agent, working for the buyer as a client.

Multiple representation can be tricky because a brokerage’s loyalty is divided between buyer and seller, who undoubtedly have opposing interests within a single deal.

Therefore it is absolutely essential that a multiple representation relationship be properly documented. Representation agreements specifically describe the rights and duties of everyone involved and any limitations to those rights and duties.

The brokerage will know about the seller’s home and sales strategy. This could be valuable to you when you put together an offer. On the other hand, it has information about your circumstances that could be useful to the seller during negotiations. You can see where a conflict of interest could exist.

Confidentiality is very limited under multiple representation, since the brokerage must treat both clients equally and impartially.

Purchasing a home is a large monetary investment. Make sure your interests are being represented completely. You never want to be in a situation where the loyalty of your real estate professional is divided. Please contact us or call us on 604 695 1000 if you have any questions or concerns.


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How Will The Brexit Vote Affect The Canadian Real Estate Market?

The Brexit drama has been playing in the news for the last few months.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union last month, plunged many governments worldwide into a pit of economic and political uncertainty. With any uncertainty, anxious investors look for places where they can park their cash, and one of the safest inflation protected vehicles is real estate.

In the past decade, Central London was the favored destination for global capital seeking a stable sanctuary, and subsequently saw the biggest increase in residential property prices of any major city. Nearly three out of every four newly built homes in 2013 were bought by foreign buyers, half of them from Asia, according to Knight Frank LLP. Similarly on the commercial side, 70 per cent of Central London purchases were by foreigners in 2015.

With Brexit and its uncertainty, the UK is no longer a la mode, and anxious investors will be focusing their attention on the trophy real estate markets of North America – Vancouver and Toronto being the Canadian targets.

Since 2015, billions of dollars of overseas funds have poured into the Canadian commercial and housing real estate market, with a large portion coming in from China.

The potential additional trickle of demand into our real estate market, caused by Brexit, could force our already record high real estate prices, even higher. Last year the price of a detached home in Vancouver rose 37 per cent to $1.5-million. In Toronto, the average price of a detached property rose 19 per cent.

Many of these investors aren’t actually looking for a revenue-producing purchase or appreciation value. They just want a safe off shore option to park their money. Evidence of this is the increase in vacant homes in Vancouver.

While the jury is still out on Brexit, world-wide capital will look for more attractive, stable markets and Canada is still very much a bargain.

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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Real Estate Board of Great Vancouver – June 2016 – Housing Market Update

Last month’s sales were 28.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest selling June on record. President Dan Morrison gives a quick summary of June housing events.

Courtesy of The Real Estate Board of Great Vancouver
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Dry Days Ahead – Here’s How To Keep Your Garden Healthy

Last summer, the lack of rain put a lot of strain on our lawns and gardens. The severe watering restrictions resulted in brown lawns and many failed gardens. In some neighborhoods (as we were made aware by the media), neighbors were reporting each other to the municipalities for violation of the watering by-laws. Things really got out of hand as people tried hard to save their gardens.

While you cannot do anything about the prevailing dry weather, you can take measures to ensure that your gardens do not get severely damaged and less winter hardy.

Take these steps to protect your plants and garden from the impact of severe water restrictions:

Water Your Garden Wisely.

It’s the most obvious strategy, of course, but to stay healthy, most garden plants like about an inch of moisture per week. In most cases, it’s better to apply the water weekly or every other week. It’s a bit of a waste to give your plants less water more frequently: doing so discourages the roots from growing as deeply into the soil (where it stays moister longer) as they can, and it’s also inefficient as more water is lost to evaporation.

Apply Mulch.

A 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil can do wonders: It keeps the soil cooler and shields the ground from direct sun. The benefit is that moisture stays in the soil longer, where it’s more available to your garden plants.

Run a soaker hose underneath your mulch to maximize water savings: Water will be delivered directly to the ground (reducing evaporation) and slowly (reducing water loss to runoff). It will also keep plant foliage dry, which helps prevent many common fungal diseases such as black spot on roses.

Stop Fertilizing.

If you apply fertilizers (organic or synthetic), it’s helpful to stop at the onset of a drought. Fertilizers encourage plant growth; the more a plant grows, the more moisture it needs. If fertilizer salts build up in your soil because they’re not naturally leaching out with rain or irrigation, they can build up and burn plant roots, causing further damage.

Pull Weeds Out. 

It might not be fun at the best of times, but getting those weeds out of the garden is especially important during drought. The reason: Weeds’ roots steal valuable moisture from the soil.

Prune Your Flowers.

Removing spent blooms before they have a chance to set seed saves energy for your plants: They don’t need to put extra energy (which they need water for) into producing seeds.


Contact us for your real estate needs. Drop by at our offices at 2240 Chippendale Road, West Vancouver, or 1280 West Pender, Vancouver. We can also be easily reached by phone on 604 695 1000.


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We Support The Report Of the Independent Advisory Board and Its Recommendations


Earlier this year, this province was rocked by the news that there were a handful of realtors who engaged in the practice of “shadow flipping”: homes were being resold for a profit without the buyer’s knowledge. This unethical action by a few unscrupulous members helped distort the image and reputation of the 12,800+ hardworking and knowledgeable professionals of the real estate industry in this province,  who act with integrity.

The Provincial Government stepped in and promised to crack down on this practice and work on improving consumer protection.  It appointed an independent advisory group to work on recommendations to address the controversies and issues facing the real estate industry in BC.

After 4 months of deliberation, the Real Estate Council of BC’s Independent Advisory Group last week released a 64-page report with 28 recommendations that were immediately adopted by the Provincial Government. It will create a new system of government regulation using these recommendations.

Together with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and its members, we wholeheartedly support these recommendations. We believe they are beneficial and progressive to the profession and we support their implementation as soon as possible.

Here are a few of the main recommendations worth noting:

  • Creation of a dedicated Superintendent of Real Estate to take over all the regulation and rule making duties from the Real Estate Council of BC.
  • Heavy potential fines of $250,000 for agent wrongdoing, up to $500,000 for brokerage firms.
  • Tougher licensing process for aspiring realtors including increased educational requirements, language proficiency and background checks.
  • Ending “dual agency,” in which a single realtor can represent both buyer and seller in a deal, therefore not have to share the commission with another agent.
  • Allowing the new superintendent to seize commissions from those found guilty of breaking the rules.
  • Forbidding agents to acquire interest in their own listings.

The full report can be found here.

As an established and reputable real estate company with over 27 years of business and over hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate transactions, we are supportive of anything that helps the industry do better.

Our experienced real estate professionals work with the highest level of integrity and ethics.

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