Metro Vancouver Real Estate: Hotline (604) 764-6873 76-HOUSE Geraldine Santiago, RE/MAX Realtor & Author

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Get your free PDF copy of "How to Band Together (with neighbours) in Land Assembly" by Geraldine Santiago, Author and Realtor. 
 
*Find out about FSR
*Price Points
*OCP
*Deposits
*Zoning
*Timelines
*Realistic Expectations
*Dealing with neighbours
...and more 
 
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Attend our FREE Land assembly seminar on SATURDAY, September 8, 2018 from 11-1pm and receive a complimentary copy of my book, "How to Band Together in Land Assembly", by Geraldine Santiago.  For more information and to pre-register (space is limited), please go to www.vancouverhomes.info or Eventbrite.ca or call/text me at (604) 764-6873.  

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Thinking about SELLING your home, and want to know how to maximize its full selling potential?  

Developers are snatching up properties and buying real estate in blocks to make way for high rise and mid rise condos and multiple dwelling homes.  But what exactly are developers looking for? In land assemblage or plottage, two or more parcels of real estate are combined into one parcel and a higher value is created for the assembled parcel than for the individual parcels.

 

Do you own a property that is right for development? Does your property location allow higher density?  Don't know where to look or who to ask?  Then attend our lunch and learn education seminar with industry experts on-hand as keynote speakers. 

 

Find out about the latest in land assembly and how to leverage your property by selling with your neighbours. Selling parcels of land to a developer with individual home owners is exponentiallly difficult.  Are price points agreed upon based on improvements on the land or size of the lot?  What are the price points to agree upon?  Realistic time lines?  Deposit holders and market shifts, escalation clauses and more. Who are my team members and what are the costs?  How many team members are involved?  

 

Pre-register as space is limited and get tickets through this site, OR TEXT me at (604) 764-6873, and email geraldinesantiago1@remax.net.   You'll be glad you did! 

 

Go to Youtube for Geraldine Santiago and Maximizing Your Property on Breakfast TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgCZBRiS93Y

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I have listed a new property at 3610 OUTRIGGER RD in NANOOSE BAY.
Experience West Coast at its finest. This gracious private waterfront estate invites you to enjoy the best in waterfront living on Vancouver Island. With over 3,000 square feet on two levels, this residence takes advantage of the natural beauty of the grounds and other dramatic vistas along the coastline. The private residence features two master suites, guest suite accommodation and spacious areas for entertaining and relaxation. Walk the trails along rocky outcrops or use the private cove for the start of your kayak adventure. Take in the majestic wildlife, coastal mountains and waterfront activity from almost 1,000 square feet of private deck space.
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Land assembly happens when two or more adjacent pieces of land are sold together as a larger parcel of land, also known as plottage.  By doing this, home owners can sell for more ro a developer.


Mark Twain said, "Buy land as they are not making more of it."  Accoring to BC Statistics Canada, by 2035 there will be an increase of 765,000 people in the lower mainland which means a growth rate of 1.3 % per year.  

 

According to Albert Said of MIT, the tighter the physical constrains such as bodies of water and land gradients correlates with higher real estate prices.  Vancouver is an example- the physical constraints of the mountains in the North and ocean make it impossible to build high rise buidings. 


The city of Vancouver is trying to address population growth and demand for housing options through the OCP in many communities in the lower mainland.  

 

Land assemblies often occur along major transportation corridors. (Granville street, Oak Street, Cambie corridor and now, adjacent arteries stemming from public transportation routes.)  t is not a new occurance but it is now more frequent.  By selling your property as a land assembly (if it is possible), owners are able to command a higher price together rather than by selling individually. 


However, it is not as easy at it looks.  This type of project is exponentially more difficult as there are many more players involved.


 

With all land assemblies, consideration needs to be given to the following items:

  • Intention of all parties in the land assembly to sell (each with a contract);
  • Whether all properties in the land assembly will be treated equally, or if there are special characteristics of some properties that warrant special treatment, such as a corner lot (price may differ because of the size of the property-- not all properties are the same even on the same block);
  • Formula to determine purchase price of each lot (here, land is being sold and not the improvements of the property such as renovation, upgrades, new paint, floor plan, condition of the property, appliances, new fixtures,-none of that matters.)
  • Whether any of the sellers have specific needs, such as a tenanted property (what type of lease do you have with the tenant? is it a fixed lease or a month to month? This is very important when finding out when the deveopers can complete);
  • The Official Community Plan for the area (This is determined by the city of Vancouver's zoning department and can be viewed on-line); and
  • Whether the land assembly would be viable for redevelopment and therefore attractive to a potential buyer. (Here, the developer has to determine whether your land assembly is cost effective and feasible with rising cost for labour, materials, analysis and careful planning takes time and cost to the developer.) 

In a land assembly, all parties enter into binding contracts which means each party is bound by the other party.  Timelines for land assemblies are important because developers need time to develop schematics and plans to see whether or not the land assembly is cost effective given variables like cost of materials, rising price of labour, land, etc. 


Due to this extended timeline, there are generally a number of deposits given throughout the process. Consideration must be given to the amount of time a property is tied up by the contract before the subject conditions are removed, since there is no guarantee the transfer will complete until subjects are removed.


Our seminar will englighten sellers who are thinking about selling their home as land assembly or for those who are just wanting more information. Our scheduled seminar is on Saturday, September 8th in Vancouver. 


For more information and to find out about our upcoming seminar, venue, and to pre-register, contact Geraldine Santiago at geraldinesantiago1@remax.net or TEXT/CALL : (604) 764-6873.

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Thinking of SELLING your property and want to know how to maximize its full selling potential?  Developers are snatching up properties and buying real estate in blocks to ake way for high rise and mid rise condos and multiple dwelling units.  But what exactly are developers looking for?  
 
In land assemblage or plottage, two or more parcels of real estate are combined into one parcel and a higher value is created for the assembled parcel than for the individual parcels.
 
Do you own a property that is right for redevelopment? Does your property location allow higher density in the near future?  Don't know where to look, or who to ask?  Then, attend our lunch and learn education seminar with industry experts on hand as keynote speakers.
 
Find out about the latest in land assembly and how to leverage your property by selling with your neighbours.  Selling parcels of land to a developer with your neighbours can be exponentially difficult.  Are price points agreed upon together?  What about market shifts and escalation clauses?  Deposit holders?  What are some of the costs ?  Who are my team member and what are their costs?  
 
Pre-register at www.vancouverhomes.ca, or TEXT or CALL me at (604) 764-6873 or email at geraldinesantiago1@remax.net.





 
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I've seen it, heard it, read it everywhere: " Capacity is needed." The demand for mid-rise housing continues to increase throughout Metro Vancouver as more residents want affordable choices for family living. Developers and builders are seeking options.

BCStats projects that by 2035, 768,600 more people will be living in the Lower Mainland, with 145,735 more within Vancouver's city limits alone. That's a growth rate of 1.3 per cent per year.

How does our area meet this demand? Densification.

As a long-term real estate agent in Metro Vancouver, I've seen this trend gaining momentum. It used to be that just your location within Metro Vancouver dictated your property's value. Now it's a combination of the associated lot size, zoning and future development potential.

The region is creating transit-oriented communities. It can be expected that single family homes within .5 KM of a rapid transit hub may be rezoned to allow greater density to make way for townhouses, row homes, or even mixed-use towers.

Metro Vancouver regional rapid transit plans

In my experience, if you buy a property and don't consider how zoning and subdividing the lot over time could affect its future value, you might be missing out on a tremendous investment opportunity. And if you are looking to sell, seize the opportunity to learn about zoning and subdividing in order to optimize your property's value.

Do you know your property's zoning options?

The reality is that Vancouver needs more housing options, and the only direction to go is up. Consider how high a developer can build on a lot to accommodate mid-rise, duplex, triplex and row housing relative to the zoning bylaws within a particular area in Metro Vancouver.

Zoning not only refers to the division of land into two parcels, it can include consolidation of two or more parcels into a single site, the adjustment of an existing property line or dedication of land for road or lane purposes.

The City of Vancouver is divided into zoning districts with their own particular zoning bylaws. For details on each district, you need to check the Zoning and Development Bylaw and any official development plan bylaws that may apply to that area.

Land use is divided into "Outright" or "Conditional." Outright land uses are those permitted providing that all the regulations are met. Conditional refers to land uses that have impact on the community and must meet numerous government-specified criteria before being approved.

The key to properly valuing your lot is clearly understanding its full potential and best use. This includes factors such as your property's Floor Space Ratio (FSR).

FSR is calculated by taking the floor area of a building on a lot and dividing it by the area of the lot. Depending on your zoning, FSR maximums can vary from .65 to 1.45. For example a property in Kitsilano, zoned RT-8, with a 33 x 127 square-foot lot has a total of 4,100 square feet. The outright FSR is .5 with a conditional increase to 0.75. Therefore, depending on the FSR, this lot could have a structure from 2,095-3,143 square feet built on the property.

Other important questions to consider before listing your property for sale include: Do you know your property's permitted use? Do you know which properties in your neighbourhood have applied to rezone their property?

Due to the complexity of zoning bylaws, partnering with your listing agent to maximize your property's value has become more important than ever. If you don't take advantage of your area's zoning laws and its future development potential, and promote them relative to your lot, you could easily undervalue your property.

Translink Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines

Future value should also be a part of how a property is assessed when purchasing.

If you are a first-time home buyer, you can invest in a property to sell it in a short period of time with a high rate of return if there is infrastructure being built around it. Think of your property's appreciation and anticipation. Anticipation is created by the expectation of benefits to be derived in the future. Home buyers may anticipate that a property in a certain neighbourhood will be in demand in the next five years, and may be motivated to purchase the property for future development."

This trend could translate into increased real estate values for properties located around transit hubs and lesser values of properties that are located farther away, due to the increase in supply over time.

Whether you're buying or selling, look for the market potential of the property five years from now. Consider where new transit lines, roads and amenities are being built, and how this will influence the property's future value.

You can find out more about your city's zoning plans at these links:

 
 
 
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DERRICK PENNER (VANCOUVER SUN) VANCOUVER — A single house in Vancouver is no longer a single house in the age of eco-density.

With property prices in the stratosphere and the city under pressure to encourage more affordable forms of housing, most single family homes can potentially be three housing units — a main house with a secondary suite, then a separate laneway suite.

And as the city completes more of its neighbourhood plans, single family lots can become something else entirely as developers assemble properties to turn them into higher density multi-family townhouses or mid-rise apartments.

“I think the focus that the city has placed on affordable housing and what they’re doing in other areas opens up the discussion at the city in terms of alternate forms of development,” said architect Larry Adams, principal at the Vancouver firm NSDA.

The move toward densification is most visible along streets such as Cambie or around Oakridge Centre, where it’s the city’s priority. Seeing what is happening there has definitely “piqued people’s interest” in the potential for continuing it along other arterial streets in other areas of the city, Adams added.

His firm is working on a rezoning proposal to turn three lots zoned for two-dwelling use at First Avenue and Victoria Drive into a 26-unit housing complex designed as an “intentional community,” which would include social housing.

Adams called the site something of a “poster child” for higher density, because although the lots are surrounded by single-family homes, they are used as parking by the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church and are at a high-traffic intersection.

The process, however, hasn’t become any less complex, Adams said, and hasn’t become an easier sell in single-family neighbourhoods.

Proposals for land assemblies of single-family lots for multi-family rezoning have recently begun to hit the city’s planning department in the Norquay Village neighbourhood surrounding Kingsway and Slocan Street in East Vancouver, according to Brian Jackson, the city’s general manager of planning and development.

Jackson said the city wants to encourage row housing and stacked townhouses in that area — housing types that are less common than houses and condos.

The city is pleased with the types of townhouses being built on the Cambie and Granville Street corridors, noting “housing innovation happens at the high end.”

The city approved a new Norquay neighbourhood plan in 2010, and to help applications along, Jackson said they’ve “pre-zoned” most of the neighbourhood’s blocks to accommodate higher-density uses. And this is where he wants to see similar housing types, but at a much lower cost.

“There are creative ways of increasing density in our single-family neighbourhoods,” Jackson said. “And the city has done that by allowing three units on almost every single-family lot in the city of Vancouver.”

The laneway house is the most visible manifestation of that effort, and Jackson said more than 1,100 have either been built or are going through the planning process since the policy was approved in 2009.

Such developments should give homeowners the incentive to do some research about the potential for their single-family home when they are considering selling, according to realtor Geraldine Santiago.

“If you only have one property, you want to maximize it,” said Santiago, a realtor with Re/Max Crest Realty Westside.

Santiago held a seminar recently for homeowners on subdividing and rezoning — titled Subdivide and Conquer — to test the waters of public interest. She said the event attracted close to 20 people, and there were several realtors in the crowd.

The key point of her seminar was for homeowners to know the exact size of the lot their house sits on and what its specific zoning is, so they can determine what is allowed on the property.

“The most important asset you have right now is your lot,” Santiago said, noting the physical improvements on the lot — the house — eventually depreciate.

And Santiago said the development potential for land assemblies isn’t always in large-scale, multi-family projects. Smaller builders might be interested in pursuing duplexes in some single-family zones.

However, there are limits to the city’s willingness to expand higher-density options, according to Jackson.

Jackson said the city’s preference is to work in locations that are covered by updated plans or specific policy, such as Oakridge, Norquay and Marpole. Outside of those areas, Jackson said planners are discouraging land assemblies along arterial streets until updated plans are in place.

Adams said single-family neighbourhoods are typically resistant to changes that bring higher density housing, although the city does need change.

“I don’t think every single single-family lot is right for development,” Adams said.
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Land Assembly Seminar 101 

 

 

Get ready for our Lunch and Learn Week-end seminar for sellers wanting to sell their home as land assembly or plottage.  Selling your home to a developer is exponentially difficult as you will be selling your home together with your neighbours.  Learn about what to expect about the process before you begin.

 

Learn about pricing pitfalls, escalation clauses during market shifts, realistic time frames, understanding your goals, dealing with developers, tenants, costs incurred, deposit holders, deposits (when do I get my initial deposit), and yes, a lot, lot more!

 

Stay tuned for updates on dates scheduled with industry experts.  Email me or PM me for location events at geraldinesantiago1@remax.net and TEXT (604) 764-6873 Code Word :  LAND.

 

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Neighbourhood Values by Geraldine Santiago, Realtor


When Realtors like myself place a value on your home, we know the local real estate market statistics, but most importantly, they know the intrinsic nature of the neighbourhood and its surroundings. Your property's location is valued as well its neighbourhood.


Values are placed on whether your neighbourhood has a certain 'cachet' or in other words-- 'neighbourhood appeal'. And these values can either be positive or negative. In France, the 7th Arrondissement in Paris, which is located on the Left Bank, is Paris' quintessential neighbourhood. This neighbourhood is filled with culture and history. Its vintage atmosphere is the ideal and central location, in the heart of Paris. Here, there are unique shops, boutiques, book stores, antique stores, art galleries, chocolate shops, neighbourhood street markets, cafes and charming bistros-- all on quaint cobbled streets. The ambiance is full of character, full of joie de vivre!


In the United States and Canada, neighbourhoods with white picket fences, rather than chain linked fences, have positive values. In addition, neighbourhoods with well established and leafy trees and foliage, rather than that of a newly developed area without any greenery or landscaping whatsoever, have a positive value. Examples of negative values are~ To read more, go to: http://vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca/neighbourhood-values.html


For more on home buying and to attend our home buying seminar, go to www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca

Text me or email at (604) 764-6873 or geraldinesantiago1@remax.net

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Real property is unique. Homes that are in the same neighbourhood, same street and even adjacent property are all different. Even if they look different, one might have a bigger lot size. 


In an apartment building, units vary in size, number of bedrooms, views, location, etc. Because it is unique, it has certain aspects that cannot be compared to another property. Each unit --even new building developments--is different. Appliances and finishes might be either inferior or superior to another unit, i.e. granite kitchen counter, stainless steel appliances, brand names Bosch vs. Maytag.


For a single detached home, the type of dwelling is unique from house to house even on the same block. The size of the dwelling, the landscaping, interior and exterior finishes, are all to be taken into account, and not easy to compare. These are some of the many aspects we look for when Realtors value a property. The more closely aligned the seller's and buyer's value a property's aspects, the better able the buyer and seller can achieve their goals.


For buyers, understanding that because a home is unique, be prepared to compete and bid as chances are there won't be one like it.


Attend our home buying seminar for more information about the process, market trends, forecasts, statistics & more.


Go to www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca for scheduled events, or TEXT / email me at geraldinesantiago1@remax.net (604) 764-6873. 

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Beautiful British Columbia, Beautiful Vancouver: Vancouver is a beautiful city with its location close to the water. The ocean, however, means there is limited inventory, and therefore no land to build on. Because there is limited inventory, there is a premium on land.


Land is a precious commodity. It cannot be replaced and it cannot be manufactured. When valuing a property, recognizing that inventory is crucial. Supply and demand. In any market whether you are buying hammers or nails, real estate is no different. Look at the supply and number of inventory that are in your search criteria to determine whether or not you need to value the property higher and aggressively bid for the property. If you think that 'another property like it' will come along, think again!!! Believe me, it's easier to say that and it is far from reality.  Each property is unique and there won't be another one just like it.  


Real estate 101 tells us that each property is unique and whenever the word 'unique' is used, you know it's going to cost more.  


For more info on buying, attend our home buying seminar. Our expert team members offer free home buying and selling seminars. Go on line for the latest events at www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca or TEXT me at (604) 764-6873.


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In 2001 a 500 sq.ft, one bedroom condo in KITSILANO sold for $159,000 and today, a similar sized condo in KITSILANO sells for $549,000.


If you are purchasing a condo today, one wonders--what will the future hold for condo prices in 2018 and is buying a condo in Vancouver still a good investment? Land is scarce, labour wages are increasing, population growth, global economies, longevity among Canadians all contribute to rising prices, not to mention that shelter is a basic necessity. For 2018, unless labour is replaced by inexpensive robots and we start building cities on water (ocean) and on land gradients (mountaints), then prices will continue to increase. If you have always rented, you know that every year, your rent increases, while mortgage payments eventually decrease over time.


If you want to find out more about home buying, attend one of our home buying seminars scheduled throughout the year. Go to my website at www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca or attend our free home buying seminar for the latest market trends and statistics, mortgage information & more.


Email me for real estate updates or TEXT me at geraldinesantiago1@remax.net or (604) 764-6873

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We’re officially a month into 2018, and one full month into the latest mortgage stress test. Are you feeling the pinch? With the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate hike, and more increases rumoured for 2018, if you’re looking to buy a home and sweating a bit about budget, you’re not alone.


But let’s take a step back and look at the stress test from a different perspective. Why was the stress test introduced? Concerns are mounting about the amount of household debt Canadians have been taking on. With interest rates hitting a record low, many stretched their home-buying budget (and mortgage amount!) to the max – particularly in Canada’s priciest housing markets, such as Greater Toronto and Vancouver. Attend our free home buying seminar SATURDAY, March 10 (North Vancouver) and March 24th (Vancouver) from 11-1pm. Pre-register as space is limited. www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca or TEXT me for more info at (604) 764-6873

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Did you know that Vancouver is the 3rd city in unaffordability according to Robert J Shiller, 2013 Nobel Laureate in economics, who surveyed 92 cities in 9 countries? Affordability is based on the ratio of house prices and income, and Hong Kong is the least affordable city, followed by Sydney and Vancouver. To find out more, attend our first time home buying seminar on Saturday,March 24 in Vancouver, from 11-1pm. For more info and to pre-register, go to www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca or TEXT me at (604)764-6873


Four industry experts will provide insight on the housing market in metro Vancouver.  

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I'm always asked about whether or not buyers or sellers can purchase or sell a home on their own. The analogy is like pulling teeth while at a dentist or building my own house. Though technically, I could pull my own tooth, or if I was stranded on a deserted island and had to make my own shelter, then perhaps. But if not, then my answer is NO!!!


In the case of my tooth, I could hurt myself, damage the roots or nerves, get an infection, bleed profusely, and so on. When building a house, I know the rudiments of making a house, but I wouldn't want to use a saw or drill or use heavy equipment and machinery. So, in the same way, when buying or selling real estate, why not hire a professional Realtor? There are so many things a home buyer / seller must do in order to have a successful sale and it is always better to leave it to professionals.


For more info, go to my website at www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca or TEXT me for info on upcoming home buying seminars on real estate at (604) 7646873.

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What is your tolerance level? First time home buyers -- what is your tolerance level? For this I mean-- what will make you walk away from the deal?


After competing with an offer, and winning, you are now privy to strata documents, contingency funds, financial statements, building inspection report. Your offer to purchase will have terms such as a subject to a home inspection. You will have to decide what your tolerance level is, in terms of a dollar figure. If your tolerance level is $5000 and anything that exceeds that amount makes you 'walk away' from the deal, then you must determine beforehand, with yourself, and with your Realtor what that number might be.


Discuss this beforehand with your Realtor and give yourself ample time to think about it.  


For more tips and information on home buying, attend one of our yearly seminars.  Go to www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca or Email me at geraldinesantiago1@remax.net or TEXT (604) 764-6873 for updates on home buying and selling seminars throughout the year.

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Congratulations! You're a home owner and you move in to your first home. And then there's a hiccup. WHAT?  


A huge wine stain on the floor, a cracked window, appliances that don't work, an electrical surge, keys and remotes that don't open doors, leaky faucet, heat not working, hot water tank leaking, garage full of junk and furniture, an unexpected snow storm, or fixtures that were removed by the seller or tenant.


Stay calm and focus. There are remedies and with your Realtor on hand to help guide you, you will not face these problems on your own. Whether you are buying a brand new property from a developer or a resale home, there are certain aspects that you can avoid or even anticipate.


If it is an older home, or property, building inspection reports do not provide a TIME for when the electrical surge will happen, or for a gas leak. That is beyond anyone's scope. Make sure you purchase home insurance before you take possession as these hiccups, unfortunately, do occur.


Attend our yearly seminar on home buying.  Go to www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca or Email/text me for upcoming events for buyers and sellers.  Email: geraldinesantiago1@remax.net and (604) 764-6873

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Attend our home buying seminar on SATURDAY, March 24th, from 11-1pm in VANCOUVER, RE/MAX Crest Realty Office and learn from industry experts about buying your first home. Whether you are a first time home buyer, investor, new immigrant, buying a new home from a developer, move up or down buyer, this seminar is for you.

 

Learn more about the current market, latest trends in real estate, how to best leverage your mortgage, how the mortgage 'stress test' plays an important role in your application, how to avoid a 'leaky condo', costs to the buyer and a lot, lot more!  You will hear from a mortgage broker, a Realtor, a certified home inspector and a notary public.

 

Remove some of the stress from buying but 'knowing' what to expect, what your role should be, how to build and select your team of experts.  

 

Please register on line at www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca, or TEXT me at (604) 764-6873.  

 

Refreshments and light sandwiches servced.

19+

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Thinking about home ownership? Find out if home ownership is right for you. You'll need to assess your financial goals, careeer path, life choices. Buying a home doesn't happen overnight. It takes months, and even years of planning and saving for a down payment. Our two hour seminar will enlighten you on the latest market trends, new mortgage rules, how to choose the right professional for your needs, and more!


Our team of experts have been providing free home buying information for the past 17 years and we are passionate about helping first time home buyers through our information based seminar.Buying a home is probably one of the largest investments you will ever make, financially and even maybe emotionally. Whether you are a veteran or novice, buying a home can be intimidating and worrisome. Understanding the buyng process can give you the confidence you need to make the right decisions.


Whether you are buying a condominium or a leasehold property, thinking of purchasing in Richmond or North Vancouver, our seminar is targeted to help buyers make confident decisions. Each presenter will have a 25 minute information slideshow followed by a 5 minute Q & A.


Pre-register on-line through Eventbrite as space is limited.


Refreshments provided. 19+


Presenters include:

Alma Pasic, Mortgage Broker, Verico Paragon Mortgage Group Inc.

Geraldine Santiago, Published Author and Realtor, RE/MAX Crest Realty

Glenn Duxbury, Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting

Patricia Wright, Notary Public, Wright and Associates

 

 

 

Testimonials

 

January 21, 2008

 

This letter is in reference to Geraldine Santiago and her relationship with the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Geraldine has been facilitating workshops and seminars on Real Estate and Buying your First Home for our community centre over the past six years. I have no doubt that the programs she runs have benefited both her participants as well as our community centre.

 

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kathryn Sweetapple

Recreation Programer II Roundhouse Community Centre Arts & Recreation Centre

 

 

May 4, 2007

Dear Geraldine,

I'd like to thank you very much for arranging and presenting the program on First Time Home Buying at the New Westminster Public Library on Tuesday, April 10, 2007.


What a great program you have developed! There is so much to know about buying a home; it can be quite daunting for a first time homebuyer. It was an excellent idea to invite people with different expertise to speak to their field (mortgage, realty, inspection and legal). Everyone had excellent information to give in their area and the audience of 63 seemed to really appreciate the presentation. It was also very generous of you to provide a free copy of your book to everyone that wanted it.


Thanks again for taking the time to come to the library. I hope we can have your team come again.


Yours truly,

Debra Nelson Community Services Librarian New Westminster Public Library

 

 

Dear Geraldine,


Thank you for presenting " How to Buy Your First Home--And Say Good-bye To Your Landlord"! a free program open to the public, at the George Mackie Library on October 24, 2007.

Your presentation was very well put together and informative and I know the participants really enjoyed it and found it very useful.


We appreciate your willingness to share your time and knowledge with the library and Delta residents.


-Frances Thomson, Community Librarian, Fraser Valley Regional Library

 


September 20, 2007


Ms. Geraldine Santiago has conducted two seminars on Buying Your First Home in Canada for the New Immigrant Orientation Series that Richmond Public Library presents in partnership with SUCCESS (Richmond Office). We have invited Ms. Santiago to to the same presentation again in March 2008.

Ms. Santiago has written several books ont he topif of house buying and selling including Buy & Sell Recreational Property in Canada; Sell Your Home in Canada; and Complete Home-Buyers Guide for Canadians. These popular books are part of our library's collection.


Ms. Santiago is an excellent speaker on the topic of house buying. Her knowledge combined with her desire to help people understand the topic has made her talks informative and interesting. Her presentations typically cover all apsects of house buying and include practical suggestions and information on legal procedures. Sometimes she brings other experts, e.g. house inspectors, mortgage consultants et al, to talk about their parts in helping ensure that house buyers have sufficient information to make sensible decisions.

If you need further information, please contact me at the Richmond Public Library.


Sincerely,


Wendy Jang, Coordinator, Multilingual Services

 

East Hastings Community Centre

May 18, 2010


I have had the pleasure to work with Geraldine Santiago during my tenure at Hastings Community Centre, as a recreation programer. During this period, (2006), she provided free real estate workshops (Buying Your Home) for the community.


She conducted herself in a very professional manner and was successful in providing an informative workshop for the participants.


Sincerely,

Wes Uyeyama



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Thinking about home ownership? Find out if home ownership is right for you. You'll need to assess your financial goals, careeer path, life choices. Buying a home doesn't happen overnight. It takes months, and even years of planning and saving for a down payment.

 

Our two hour seminar will enlighten you on the latest market trends, new mortgage rules, how to choose the right professional for your needs, and more! Our team of experts have been providing free home buying information for the past 17 years and we are passionate about helping first time home buyers through our information based seminar.

 

Buying a home is probably one of the largest investments you will ever make, financially and even maybe emotionally. Whether you are a veteran or novice, buying a home can be intimidating and worrisome. Understanding the buyng process can give you the confidence you need to make the right decisions. Whether you are buying a condominium or a leasehold property, our seminar is targeted to help buyers make confident decisions.


Pre-register through Eventbrite as space is limited.

 

Each presenter will have a 25 minute information slideshow followed by a 5 minute Q & A.

Refreshments provided. 19+

Presenters include:

Alma Pasic, Mortgage Broker, Verico Paragon Mortgage Group Inc.

Geraldine Santiago, Published Author and Realtor, RE/MAX Crest Realty

Glenn Duxbury, Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting

Patricia Wright, Wright and Associates Notaries Public



 

Testimonials

 

 

 

January 21, 2008

 

This letter is in reference to Geraldine Santiago and her relationship with the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Geraldine has been facilitating workshops and seminars on Real Estate and Buying your First Home for our community centre over the past six years. I have no doubt that the programs she runs have benefited both her participants as well as our community centre.

 

 

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

Kathryn Sweetapple

 

Recreation Programer II Roundhouse Community Centre Arts & Recreation Centre

 

 

 

 

May 4, 2007


 

Dear Geraldine,

 

I'd like to thank you very much for arranging and presenting the program on First Time Home Buying at the New Westminster Public Library on Tuesday, April 10, 2007.


 

What a great program you have developed! There is so much to know about buying a home; it can be quite daunting for a first time homebuyer. It was an excellent idea to invite people with different expertise to speak to their field (mortgage, realty, inspection and legal). Everyone had excellent information to give in their area and the audience of 63 seemed to really appreciate the presentation. It was also very generous of you to provide a free copy of your book to everyone that wanted it.


 

Thanks again for taking the time to come to the library. I hope we can have your team come again.


 

Yours truly,


 

Debra Nelson Community Services Librarian New Westminster Public Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Geraldine,

 

Thank you for presenting " How to Buy Your First Home--And Say Good-bye To Your Landlord"! a free program open to the public, at the George Mackie Library on October 24, 2007.


 

Your presentation was very well put together and informative and I know the participants really enjoyed it and found it very useful.


 

We appreciate your willingness to share your time and knowledge with the library and Delta residents.


 

-Frances Thomson, Community Librarian, Fraser Valley Regional Library

 

 

 

 

September 20, 2007


 

Ms. Geraldine Santiago has conducted two seminars on Buying Your First Home in Canada for the New Immigrant Orientation Series that Richmond Public Library presents in partnership with SUCCESS (Richmond Office).


We have invited Ms. Santiago to to the same presentation again in March 2008.Ms. Santiago has written several books ont he topif of house buying and selling including Buy & Sell Recreational Property in Canada; Sell Your Home in Canada; and Complete Home-Buyers Guide for Canadians. These popular books are part of our library's collection.


 

Ms. Santiago is an excellent speaker on the topic of house buying. Her knowledge combined with her desire to help people understand the topic has made her talks informative and interesting. Her presentations typically cover all apsects of house buying and include practical suggestions and information on legal procedures. Sometimes she brings other experts, e.g. house inspectors, mortgage consultants et al, to talk about their parts in helping ensure that house buyers have sufficient information to make sensible decisions.

 

If you need further information, please contact me at the Richmond Public Library.



 

Sincerely,

 

Wendy Jang, Coordinator, Multilingual Services



 

 

 

East Hastings Community Centre

 

 

May 18, 2010

 

 

I have had the pleasure to work with Geraldine Santiago during my tenure at Hastings Community Centre, as a recreation programer. During this period, (2006), she provided free real estate workshops (Buying Your Home) for the community.

 

 

She conducted herself in a very professional manner and was successful in providing an informative workshop for the participants.


 

Sincerely,

 

Wes Uyeyama

 



 


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It all adds up!


Open House + Free Home Buying Seminar = November 12, 2014
Join our home buying seminar with industry experts. # 1 Athletes Way, Second Floor To pre-register:  www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca

 

 

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Price of Style- Market Watch by Geraldine Santiago

 

 

I subscribe to a fantastic magazine called Canadian House and Home. I tend to keep the editions that I like the MOST. This special anniversary edition was published December 2006 to commemorate 20 Years of the Best- the houses, the people, the stories with Lynda Reeves editor.

 

They noted on house prices in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver in 1986 and twenty years later----2006.  House prices, landscaping cost, a gallon of interior wall paint, 200-thread-count cotton sheets, etc. have all gone up in price.  There are a few items that have decreased such  as 20" box TV, and track lighting are a few things that in 2006 are cheaper.

 

Now fast forward all the way to 2014 and house prices have just sky rocketed! Why has the Canadian real estate market and especialy Vancouver been so expensive?  

 

Plain and simple- it's such an attractive city to live, work, study and play!  On a recent family trip to Seattle,by car, we somehow got lost.  I wanted to ask the other car driver for directions and my husband warned me that I could get shot by doing so, just because Americans are allowed to carry guns.  There you have it, my friends!  That's why Canada is an attractive place to live.  

 

I've been lucky enough to travel all around the world ever since I was young.  I've visited many countries and when it comes down to it, nothing truly beats our Canadian lifestyle. That's why when it comes to real estate, many others new to our country find it attractive to live here!

 

 

!

 

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January 21, 2008

This letter is in reference to Geraldine Santiago and her relationship with the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Geraldine has been facilitating workshops and seminars on Real Estate and Buying Your First Home for our community centre over the past six years. I have no doubt that the programs she runs have benefited her participants as well as our community centre.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kathryn Sweetapple, Recreation Programer II
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre


For more information on our next home buying/ selling seminar, please visit my website at www.vancouverfirsttimehomebuyer.ca

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May 4, 2007

 

Dear Geraldine,

 

I'd like to thank you very much for arranging and presenting the program on First Time Home Buying at the New Westminster Public Library on Tuesday, April 10, 2007.

 

What a great program you have developed!  There is so much to know about buying a home; it can be quite daunting for a first time homebuyer.  It was an excellent idea to invite people with different expertise to speak to their field (mortgage, realty, inspection and legal).  Everyone had excellent information to give in their area and the audience of 63 seemed to really appreciate the presentation.  It was also very generous of you to provide a free copy of your book to everyone that wanted it.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to come to the library.  I hope we can have your team come again.

 

Yours truly,

 

Debra Nelson

Community Services Librarian 

New Westminster Public Library

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What Experts Think About Vancouver's Affordability- October 4, 2013

 

Taken from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's "The Open House"

 

Is Vancouver's affordability a problem?  And if it is, are there solutions?  The UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate decided to find out by hosting a panel of four experts on the subject.

 

Panel members agreed that Vancouver now ranks as the second most unaffordable city on earth, just aftter Hong Kong and well ahead of London (seventh place), and New York (12th place), according to the 2013 Demographis International Housing Survey.

 

Given the wide-ranging concerns this topic generates, it's no surprise that September 17, 2013 session was standing-room only.

 

HIghlights of what the experts had to say:

 

Tsur Somerville, Real Estate Foundation of BC Professor in Real Estate Finance, and Director, UBC Centre of Urban Economics and Real Estate, Sauder School of Business

 

"The idea that affordability has suddenly worsented is not new. Its been around since the 1980's" said Sommerville.

 

"But rather than it being a housing issue, it's more of an income issue," explained Somerville, noting that median incomes are lower in Vancouver than in Regina or Saskatoon--which are far more affordable cities.

 

Why is Vancouver so popular despite high housing price?" Vancouver is a high-amenity city," explained Somerville. It's attractive to college graduates and higher-income earners who are prepared to pay for amenities because they get significant value in return.  "This process, known as income sorting, drives up rents and housing costs," says Sommerville.

 

 

 

Robert Helsley, Dean, UBC Sauder School of Business

 

"In Vancouver, the ratio of a median house price to income is now eight," explained Helsely.  "This means the median price of a home is more than eight times the median household income."

 

Is that too high?--" Housing prices are deteremined by a process of idding. Housings costs are higher in Vancouer because people want to live here for the high qualify of life and are prepared to pay for it," said Helsely.

 

Helselsy noted that some of the most affordable housing is located in Detroit, but with few amenities, not many people want to lie there any more.

 

"  We have nothing to fear from density. It doesn't destroy surrounding neighbourhoods. It helps preserve them."  Michael Goldberg, Professor and Dean Emiritus, UBC Sauder School of Business

 

Michael Goldberg, Professor and Dean Emeritus , UBC School of Business

 

Is housing affordable?  "Yes and no," said Goldberg.  "Remember that half of all sales are below the median price."

 

What can we do? Slow demand? Stop migration? Raise taxes? Stop mortgage lending?

 

Plan B, according to Goldberg, would include cutting approval times, rezoning land in advance, and fixing costs such as development cost charges.

 

Stanley Hamilton, Emeritus Professor, UBC Sauder School of Business

 

When Hamilton moved to Vancouver in the 1960s, his professor's salary didn't qualify him for a mortgage because his annual housing costs would have been more than 32% of his total household income.

 

"The bank wasn't going to change their rules for me, so we sold our car and our couch to increase our down payment."  

 

Hamilton thinks its time to reconsider the 32% rule.

 

Foreign ownership

 

What role do foreign investors play in driving high housing prices?

 

"Is Vancouver becoming a vacation city like Aspen, where homes sit vacant for much of the year? asked Hamilton. "In Dunbar, many of my retiree neighbours head to Palm Springs for in the winter. Is this any different?

 

"Foreign ownership is not a problem, it's a solution, " explained Dr. Goldberg.  "We are a diverse city and we welcome immigration.

 

The solution?

 

Goldberg sees a key solution as higher density and height along major streets and transit corridors and in commercial zones.

 

"Density stabilizes neighbourhoods by letting residents such as empty-nesters, stay in their homes or neighbourhoods as they age and their housing needs change."

 

At the same time density helps preserve the character of the interior of the neighbourhoods.  "Looka at Kerrisdale and the Arbutus and West 12th Avenue neighbourhoods, which have benefitted from density. Also look at the Coal Harbour and Yaletown neighbourhoods."

 

To read the Demographia study, go to:  www.demographic.com/dhi.pdf

 

 

Another solution, in my humble opion....

 

I believe that RRSP used for a down payment of a first home should not have to be repaid if you are buying your primary residence.

 

At the moment, you can borrow from your own  RRSP funds but it is repayable up to fifteen years.  According to a February 2014 Sun Life report, 24% of Canadians, when they retire will be using their primary home as a source of income.  If this is the case, their RRSP funds to help purchase their first home would come to fruition here. In addition, the threshold sould be as much as possible.  

 

 

 

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Arm yourself with information.  First Time Home Buyer's Tote Bag:  My tote bag for First time home buyers includes: "the Complete Home Buyer's Guide for Canadians" ,Self-Counsel Press Ltd. by Geraldine Santiago, Real Estate Author and Realtor, "The Condominium Manual" by Mike Mangan-- A Comprehensive Guide to Strata Law in BC and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's, "Condominium Buyer's Guide". Get your copies today- give me a call to set up an appointment at (604) 76-HOUSE.
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Are you interested in buying or selling real estate in Vancouver?  We'll show you the importance of your property's lot and zoning in relation to future values.  Join our seminar, April 12, 2014 from 1-3pm. Pre-register as space is limited.  To register, go to Eventbrite.ca-- http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/remax-seminar-series-subdivide-and-conquer-tickets-10634252335

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Announcing the “Love Thy Neighbor Real Estate Seminar” – Presenting New Strategies for Optimizing Land Values in Vancouver, BC

Learn essential insights into how to jointly market properties to Developers and Builders

 

Vancouver, BC – Feb 26, 2014 – How can real estate sellers take advantage of the densification trend in Vancouver, BC? By looking to their neighbors’ properties when listing their own for sale. This Spring might be the best time to jointly list your property with your neighbor’s to obtain the optimal sales price. The upcoming “Love Thy Neighbor” seminar will provide critical steps to enable attendees to take advantage of this new listing trend.

 

As the demand for mid-rise housing continues throughout Vancouver, developers and builders find themselves continually challenged in finding large enough lots to build on within city limits for low-rise, mid-rise and small to medium multi-house dwellings. If a neighboring property is being listed at the same time as your property, there are techniques for bundling these two listings to achieve increased real estate values for the two properties.

 

“The lack of land and the desire for people to live in Vancouver has made densification the only choice for builders in Metro Vancouver,” says Geraldine Santiago, REMAX Realtor and published author.”If you have a property, especially along a transit corridor, and your neighbor is considering selling at the same time, you are in a unique position to bundle your properties to attain the highest property value. My team of experts have the tips, techniques and suggestions for leveraging this opportunity.”

 

Capacity within Metro Vancouver will continue to grow with the present population of the area estimated at 2.3 million and it is expected to increase by almost 50 percent to 3.4 million by 2041.  Without densification and the building of more laneway homes, in-fill, coach houses, duplex and triplexes, builders and developers will not be able to meet demand.

 

Do you know how to approach your neighbor about co-listing your properties? Are you aware of your area’s zoning options? Do you know how to partner with your listing agent to maximize your property’s value? Questions like these will be answered at this innovative seminar.

 

 

 

“My team and I ave been listing West side real estate in Vancouver for over 11 years,” says Ms. Santiago, “and now is one of the best times to co-list and bundle properties for sale. Learn the best practices for successfully taking advantage of this new trend at our upcoming seminar.”

 

###

 

To register for the event:

 

http://rem.ax/1gi2eAW

 

About the Organizer

 

Ms. Santiago is a licensed RE/MAX Realtor and published author of "The Complete Home-Buyer's Guide for Canadians", "Selling Your Home in Canada" and "Buy and Sell Recreational Property in Canada", Self Counsel Press Ltd. She is also an International Real Estate Specialist (I.R.E.S.) specializing in marketing local properties globally. She is a respected lecturer delivering seminars for over ten years on buying and selling Vancouver real estate. Contact Geraldine at geraldinesantiago9@gmail.com or geraldinesantiago1@remax.net, cell 604-764-6873 and RE/MAX Crest Realty (Westside) Independently Owned and Operated. Member of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

 

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Announcing the Subdivide and Conquer Seminar – New Trends in Selling Real Estate in Vancouver, BC

For sellers in Vancouver looking to dramatically increase the value of their property and sell quickly

 

Vancouver, BC – Feb 28 2014 – Sellers of real estate in the Vancouver market can seize on an emerging trend that not only increases the value of their property but makes it sell more quickly. As the demand for mid-rise housing continues throughout Vancouver, it is not only where your property is located that is important, it is the associated lot size and zoning that needs to considered. The “Subdivide and Conquer” seminar being held on April 12, 2014 will capitalize on this new trend by providing proven insights from experts in the field.

 

“Vancouver residents want more affordable units for families,” says Geraldine Santiago, REMAX Realtor and published author, “a lot of the downtown construction features small layouts that appeal to couples or empty nesters. But, what happens when genY and Xers in these buildings decide to have children? Capacity is needed and developers and builders are seeking options.”

 

Lot size and zoning are now key components of your sales strategy when pricing and marketing real estate in Vancouver. Builders and developers are continuing to buy up properties to meet the continued demand for family housing within city limits. 

 

Do you know your property’s zoning options? Zoning not only refers to the division of land into two parcels, but it can include consolidation of two or more parcels into a single site, the adjustment of an existing property line or dedication of land for road or lane purposes. 

 

If you are looking to sell your Vancouver property, seize upon the opportunity to learn about how best leverage subdividing to optimize your property’s value by attending the “Subdivide and Conquer” seminar on April 12, 2014. Topics will include: laneway homes; in-fill and coach houses; duplex; triplex; and architects, builders/developers.

 

“Vancouver’s real estate market has an appetite for transactions but it’s difficult to find deals,” states Santiago, “learn how to best position your property with new trends in zoning.”

###

 

To register for the event:

http://rem.ax/1gi2eAW    Or, email: geraldinesantiago1@remax.net or call (604) 764-6873

 

About the Organizer

 

Ms. Santiago is a licensed RE/MAX Realtor and published author of "The Complete Home-Buyer's Guide for Canadians", "Selling Your Home in Canada" and "Buy and Sell Recreational Property in Canada", Self Counsel Press Ltd. She is also an International Real Estate Specialist (I.R.E.S.) specializing in marketing local properties globally. She is a respected lecturer delivering seminars for over ten years on buying and selling Vancouver real estate. Contact Geraldine at geraldinesantiago9@gmail.com or geraldinesantiago1@remax.net, cell 604-764-6873 and RE/MAX Crest Realty (Westside) Independently Owned and Operated. Member of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

 

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In real estate,  they say that one of the most important aspects of your property is its location--, "Location, location, location". Location is very important, it's true.  There's a difference between North side and South side, West side and East side.  Values of homes in Shaughnessy are different than that of  Dunbar, or Kitsilano or Kerrisdale.  But when it comes to real estate in the Greater Vancouver area,  it's all about your LOT!  Lot size and zoning are equally important when selling your home. 


Your property's location and zoning will determine the type and size of home you can build, and in today's market, when laneway homes, in-fill housing,  and secondary basement suites are allowed to be built in addition to the main house, zoning is extremely important! Is your property zoned for a duplex, triplex?  What about selling to builders? Have you and your neighbours ever thought about selling your homes and that of your neighbours on the same block, to builders?

 

 

If you are thinking of selling your house, look at its zoning and do your own research as to what is allowed by the city. Take a good, close look around your neighbourhood to see what newer homes look like, and look at the allowable square footage of the new home. 


The face of Vancouver real estate is changing rapidly.  Are you aware of your property's full potential?  Are you in the 'know' of what your neighbours have been doing to get top dollar when they sell to builders, for their property?

 

 

Perhaps you are thinking of consulting an architect to draw up some plans to show potential builders or buyers what your home could look like.  This extra time and effort on your part could be well worth it when selling your home.


But before you do anything, why not join our two hour FREE seminar? We'll show you how you could maximize your home to builders and sell it for top dollar.  You could just be sitting on Camelot!  Space is limited. Pre-registration required. 


To register, click on the link below. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Geraldine Santiago, Published Author and Realtor

 

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