FlyOver Canada

flyover-canadaAfter being told about this new attraction (not so new anymore) FlyOver Canada at Canada Place in Vancouver for quite sometime, my wife and I finally went to check it out last week on her birthday.  Not knowing, really, what to expect – other than it was a movie that shows you Canada coast-to-coast, I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. Your “boarding pass” will run you about $20/person for the approximately 30min journey – pre-flight and flight – with “flights” leaving every 20mins.  The pre-flight is a pretty cool video of Canadiana complete with music and lighting effects Continue reading

Steveston Village Development?

steveston-waterfrontThe idyllic town of Steveston, located at the western tip of Richmond, is the site of what appears to be a battle for the ages: the City Council is facing an invasion of the Borg as they debate what to do with a developer’s plans for an historic district along the waterfront.

Yes, the Borg. Those Star Trek baddies who are part-human, mostly-machine who invade, who tell you in a terrifying voice that “Resistance is futile,” who ignore the fact that you just want to get on with your own life, and who assimilate you – forcibly make you be part of their plans, and do their bidding.

They’re pretty awesome villains on TV, and while Steveston isn’t actually facing an invasion of robots who want to take over your life, they’re facing a foe that’s pretty comparable.

Enter Onni. Onni is a real-estate development company. In Vancouver, that’s pretty much tantamount to the Borg. And Onni is making their stand in Steveston at Imperial Landing, a stretch of newly-developed land along what used to be the BC Packer’s fishing land and cannery alongside the Fraser River in Steveston. And they want you to comply with their wishes, and the won’t take no for an answer. Resistance is futile. Continue reading

South Surrey Long Boarding Park

longboardingA designated longboarding site is set to open in South Surrey this spring, giving longboarders a safe, off-street place to cruise.

The pilot project site will be located on the service access road leading to the running track at the South Surrey Athletic Park. Due to its limited slope and good site lines, the site is being developed as a safe learning environment for beginners.

“We recognize the growing popularity of the sport of longboarding among today’s youth,” Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said in a news release. “In developing this site we want to ensure the safety of both the participants and the public.”

Safety was the paramount concern for the city, because longboarders typically have nowhere to ride other than the streets, which can be dangerous to motorists, pedestrians and the boarders. Continue reading

Why do real estate agents still exist?

housecomputerOn Tuesday, the quintessentially mainstream American real estate brokerage–Re/Max–went public. The housing market is hot enough, its initial filing explained, that raising investor cash could launch it into markets around the country it hadn’t yet reached.

But wait–real estate agents? Wasn’t the internet supposed to drive them out of business?

The online age has been hard on all kinds of middlemen, after all. Travel agents, for example, rendered obsolete by Orbitz and Expedia. Soft goods retailers, for another, outpaced by Amazon. The effect should be similar with people who sell homes: What do they have but what they know? And what of that can’t be better figured out through unbiased, publicly available data, crunched and presented on Web sites like Zillow and Trulia for free? Continue reading

Why Pay Commission to a REALTOR®

moneyDuring my career I have heard many versions of these two questions: “Why should I pay a REALTOR® to sell my property?” and “What do I get in return for the commission I pay?”  Many sellers believe that their REALTOR® puts a sign on the lawn, an ad in the newspaper and then waits for the property to sell. Generally, nothing could be further from the truth!

When a seller signs a listing contract, the REALTOR® makes a commitment to help their client obtain the highest price, in the shortest time with minimum inconvenience. A good REALTOR® gives valuable advice, expert guidance, and great value. The REALTOR® provides objective and accurate information about current market value, allowing the seller to select the appropriate listing price. In many cases they can offer expert advice on staging the property for maximum appeal to potential buyers. Continue reading

Demand for REALTORS® is increasing

realtorYou may or may not be aware of this fact, but more people are choosing to use a real estate agent than ever before. In correlation to the increased demand for real estate agents is the so-called democratization of information – the opening of the web, a.k.a. the Google factor, and the general trend of consumers choosing how and when they purchase products. When you analyze the statistics surrounding Internet adoption and demand for real estate agents, an untold story unfolds.

Let’s start with the number of home buyers working with a Realtor, as published in a recent U.S. report issued on Realtor.org. In 2001 about 69 per cent of all home buyers worked with a real estate agent. Dramatically, by 2012 that number increased to 89 per cent, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s a whopping 20 per cent increase. Continue reading