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Coquitlam Housing Choice Review

 

The City of Coquitlam Housing Choices Review

 

What is happening in the city of Coquitlam?

The City of Coquitlam adopted a Housing Choices Program in 2011. The goal was to provide new small-scale housing options for varying household types, and income levels to areas of South Coquitlam.

 Phase 1

Possible expansion of ‘backyard suites’ across RS-1 and RS-3 “One-Family Residential” zones in Southwest Coquitlam.

Part of the review was the completion of the Large Home review in 2015. With the pop up of GIANT homes, the city found that builders were putting in additional illegal suites as mortgage helpers. From their investigation they went on the Phase 2 to see how new homes sizes could be managed

Phase 2 – CURRENT

Refinement of the proposal and review of potential options to manage the size of new single-family homes in Southwest Coquitlam.

The primary goal is to encourage more Housing Choices projects through updates to the Housing Choices zones (RT-1 “Two-Family Residential” and RT-3 “Triplex and Quadruplex Residential”) and by streamlining regulations, application processing, the approvals process, and Development Permit Guidelines.

AFFECTED AREAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSING CHOICES ZONING SUMMARY GUIDE

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking of Rezoning?

 

To read about the reviews and what is happening here are some links to follow.

There are a lot of changes happening in the City of Coquitlam. If you have any questions about your neighbourhood and how it affects you, I am a phone call away.

 

 

 

 

 

Legalization of Cannabis and the Affect Real Estate

 

October 17th came and went, and Cannabis is now legal.

What is legal…

You are now allowed to grow up to 4 plants PER residence.

 

What does that mean for you as a Landlord or Renter:

 

1. Existing “no-smoking” clauses will apply to cannabis smoking

If a tenancy agreement was entered into prior to the legalization of cannabis and had a “no-smoking” clause, it would include smoking cannabis (but not vapourizing cannabis) in the same way.

2. Existing tenancy agreements will be deemed to include a no-grow clause

All existing tenancy agreements are considered to include a term prohibiting growing cannabis (meaning to cultivate, propagate, or harvest) in or on the residential rental property, or the common areas of a manufactured home park and outdoor areas of a manufactured home site unless:

  • the tenant is authorized under applicable federal law to grow medical marijuana, and
  • the tenant is in compliance with the requirements under that law; or
  • the tenancy agreement specifically allows growing;

What does that mean for Sellers and Buyer:

 

REALTORS® want to help homeowners and buyers protect their biggest investment, and understand what makes a Safe Grow Home. The more you know about a home, the more prepared you’ll be when it’s time to buy, list, or sell.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board has put together some information for Home Owners in order to make informed decisions.

 

Is Growing Cannabis Safe?

Potential Hazards of Growing Cannabis?

Some of the questions that will be answered.

 

REALTORS® want to help homeowners and buyers protect their biggest investment, and understand what makes a Safe Grow Home. The more you know about a home, the more prepared you’ll be when it’s time to buy, list, or sell.

 

 

 

Still have questions?

 

 

 

Unauthorized Accommodation and/or use – Must Be Disclosed as of November 1st

 

Do you have accommodation that you use in your home as an illegal suite or unauthorized suite?

As Real Estate Professionals, we are obligated to let other agents know this in a comment field on the MLS ” realtor remarks”.

As of November 1st we will now have to disclose HOW the unit is being used, such as a short term rental. Why?

The Sellers use of a property might not be apparent through inspection an/or public record. So use such as a short term rental must now be disclosed to reduce the change of misrepresentation.

Also it reduced the chance of misrepresentation, and mitigate negative public perception.

 

 

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home With a Friend

You’ve seen it in the news, and in real estate articles. Have you actually considered the pro’s and con’s of buying a home with a friend OR family member?

 

Be warned, this isn’t like renting where you can leave if it doesn’t work out. When buying with a friend, you have to sit down, have an honest conversation about many, many things and sign a lot of paperwork. So if you’re going to buy with a friend, know the pros and cons before you put down a down payment. And one HUGE piece of advice… HAVE AN AGREEMENT DRAFTED UP BY A LAWYER!

The Pros

 

Get into the market earlier

Pooling your resources means you could enter the real estate market years earlier thanks to a bigger down payment. Pooling your resources also has the possibility of qualifying for a bigger mortgage and splitting home costs like property taxes, hydro and other expenses

 

More Space

The bigger the down payment, the more money you can borrow, which means you can likely afford more space. That’s key because even if you’re BFFs, everyone needs their own quiet area.

Cheaper than rent (maybe)

If the numbers work, buying a home could be cheaper than renting but check your numbers first!

Social Interaction

The advantage of buying with a friend is that you have companionship when you want it and it can be nice to share the responsibilities of home ownership with a friend.

 

The Cons

Unequal contributions

If you and your friend are contributing the same amount to the down payment and other expenses, then you can split everything 50-50. It gets a little more complicated when the amounts are different. Do you split the value of the home and the associated costs based on how much you’ve contributed? Does the person who put in more money have more say in what happens to the home? Situations like these can cause a lot of friction so make sure you really discuss this, preferably with lawyers and signed paperwork.

Future Partners

A long-term partner can shake up a comfortable living arrangement. If one of you ends up with a partner, that could mean selling the home or going from two to three people in the home. Then you have to have the budget conversation again.

Disagreements

 

 

It’s rarely the big things that cause disagreements, it’s typically the little, silly things that fester into massive fights. You and your best friend may love the same food, music, movies and have the same sleeping schedule, but that doesn’t mean you can live together harmoniously. There might be a quirk or two that could trigger unreasonable rage (it happens) and the next thing you know, you’re threatening to sell your share of the house.

Buying a home with a friend can work out well but whatever you do, don’t rush it. Buying in haste could mean repenting with thousands and thousands of dollars and a broken friendship.

 

Need More Info?

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6 Things to look for at an open house

If you’re on the hunt for a new home, that may involve visiting one, or two or half a dozen open houses. Some choose to visit open houses even if they are not ready to buy just so they have an idea of what the market has to offer when the time to purchase does come along.  Whatever your reason for frequenting open houses, it’s important that you are looking for and noticing the right things so that you can make an informed decision.

If you are working with a realtor, they will likely draw your attention to these items, but for those who are navigating the residential real estate waters on their own, here are six things you should pay close attention to during an open house:

  • The neighbours and neighbourhood – When you buy a house, you are also buying the neighbourhood. Take time to walk around the neighbourhood, and around the block. Look at how well the homes are cared for, how is traffic, what are the demographics?When you buy a house, you also are buying into its neighbourhood and the people in it, so take the time to walk down the street. Look at how well homes are cared for, how much traffic goes by, transit options if that’s important to you and demographics. If you have little kids, it’s nice to be on a street with other children.
  • The exterior – Before or after touring the inside, free to walk around the perimeter of the home, checking the foundation, eavestroughs, condition of walkways, decks and patios, paint on window sills and/or siding, etc.
  • The walls – Inside, keep a close eye on the walls. Nail holes and paint in need of an update is not an issue; you want to look for any signs of major cracking. This could be an indication of structural problems.
  • Smells – Believe it or not, nasty odours rank as one of the top factors in deterring a home sale. Strong smells from pets, tobacco and food scents can be a major turn off and might not be as easy to eradicate as you think. In some situations, it may be necessary to remove carpet and window coverings and paint walls to get rid of strong smells. Learn to recognize the smell of mould as well – mould is likely a symptom of expensive water damage.
  • The big ticket items – Ask the listing salesperson about the age of the roof, furnace, plumbing, electrical and windows if not included in the feature sheet. These are all costly upgrades that some buyers might not want to be burdened with.
  • Overall cleanliness – Take a peek along baseboards, in closets, behind toilets and in window tracks for dirt. A home that is clean is likely a home that has been well cared for!

Moving? Don’t Loose Anything In the Shuffle

 

 


 

Some things to consider

 

Mailing Address

Forward your mail and send change-of-address cards. Missing important government, tax or health care reminders can mean missing deadlines. Forward your mail for at least 6 months to make sure you changed everythign

 

Movers

Moving takes a LOT of energy (and muscles), which is why many people choose to leave it to the experts. Will your move be easy where friends and family can help?

Utilities and Services

You don’t want to arrive at your new home and have a bunch of tasks that you could have done ahead of time. Arrange utility, hookups and services (internet, phone and TV) ahead of time.

Child Care

You might want as few distraction as possible. Arrange for someone to take your little ones for the day if possible. Moving can be stressful.

Clear the Clutter

The less you ahve to move the better, especially if there are things you never used. Get rid of unnecessary items before you move.

Cleaners

Moving takes longer than you would expect, and the last thing you want to do at the end of moving day is clean your old house. Hire a professional to do it quickly and efficiently.