Over the years, I have seen many Chinese buyers book a showing and pass by the house without even stepping foot inside. If the house has bad feng shui outside, they wouldn't even bother seeing the home. What then, makes a home have good feng shui?

Location, Neighborhood and Plot Placement

In feng shui, the real estate notion of location takes a deeper meaning as it deals with the quality of energy entering your home. Be sure your house receives good energy from its surroundings — a clean street, good neighbors, etc. One major element of feng shui is ensuring the house is not situated at the end of a T-intersection. That is, the house does not directly face a road straight ahead as bad luck will swiftly enter through the home that way. 


Strong Front Door

The front door is very important in feng shui as this is how the house receives its chi or energy nourishment. Feng shui-wise, people start looking right away at the feng shui direction of the house to see if it fits one of the lucky feng shui directions for the family members. While this is always a good idea, do not forget to look at all the elements of a strong feng shui front door — its size and proportion in relation to the rest of the house as well as the pathway that leads to it. Sometimes you can change a bad feng shui pathway with easy landscaping and sometimes you just can't — be mindful of it.

Door Alignment

Unless you plan to renovate the house and change the positioning of the back door, it is wise to avoid a house with direct doors alignment. The same feng shui principle, but to a lesser degree, applies to all doors in the house. Mostly, it applies to the bad luck that comes from the alignment of the front door and back door (as sometimes this applies in apartments). As a feng shui rule of thumb, no direct door alignment is good as it creates a strong rush of Chi and thus a loss of good energy.

 

Main Entrance

Other poor feng shui elements at the main entrance include:

 
  • Facing a wall when you enter through the main floor
  • A staircase when you enter through the main floor
  • An upstairs bathroom right above the front door

Unless you plan a major renovation, these are all important factors to consider when looking for a good feng shui home.


Source: The Spruce

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Chinese New Year is coming up on Tuesday, February 5th.2019 is the Year of the Pig.

In anticipation of Chinese New Year, here are some tips on how you can prepare.

House-Cleaning

Beginning on January 28 2019, Chinese people carry out a thorough ‘winter-cleaning’ of their houses. This is called "sweeping away the dust", and represents a wish to put away old things, bid farewell to the old year, and welcome in the New Year.

New Year Shopping

Before New Year’s Eve, people buy New Year’s food and snacks, New Year’s decorations, and New Year’s clothes. Chinese New Year in China, like Christmas, is a boom time for shopping.

Chinese people may be thrifty most of the time, but they seem to spend generously during their traditional festivals. For example, they buy everyone new clothes for the festival, whether they need them or not. On the days leading up to the festival, there are many New Year’s street markets.

New Year's Eve  (Feb. 4, 2019)

Putting Up New Year Decorations

Although some people decorate their houses several days before the festival, most people do it on New Year's Eve. Houses are decorated with red lanterns and New Years paintings. 

Puting up those decorations are thought to keep evil away and pray for blessing, longevity, health, and peace. 2019 is the Year of the Pig, so pig images will appear on decorations. 

Offering Sacrifices to Ancestors

Offering sacrifices to ancestors shows respect. In addition, ancestral spirits are believed to protect their descendants and help them become prosperous.

Many worship on New Year's Eve, before the reunion dinner, to show that they are letting their ancestors "eat" first. Offerings of meat and wine are placed in front of the shrine/grave.

Enjoying a Reunion Dinner

Chinese try very hard to make this family event, often traveling long distances. 

Big families including several generations sit at round tables and enjoy the food and time together. Dishes with lucky meanings must be included in the dinner such as fish, dumplings, niangao (sticky rice cake),and spring rolls. 

Giving Red Envelopes (Lucky Money) to Kids

Parents usually give their children red envelopes after the reunion dinner, wishing them health, growth, and good studies in the coming year. Money in red envelopes is believed to bring good luck, as red is China's lucky color, so it's called lucky money.

Staying Up Late

In the past, Chinese people used to stay up all night, but now most stay up only until the midnight firecrackers and fireworks die down.

Chinese New Year's Day (Feb. 5, 2019)

Chinese people believe that what they do on the first day of the lunar year will affect their luck during that year.

Putting on New Clothes and Extending New Year Greetings

On the first day of New Year, Chinese people put on new clothes, and say "gongxi" (恭喜/gong-sshee/literally ‘respectful joy’, meaning ‘greetings’ or ‘best wishes’), wishing each other good luck and happiness in the New Year. It is customary for the younger generation to visit their elders, and wish them health and longevity.

Watching Lion and Dragon Dances

Lion and dragon dances are also seen on New Year's Day.

Visiting Family

Children often visit their family in the week following Chinese New Year, especially their elders to pay respect.

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All homeowners are required to fill out their declaration of exemption of the speculation tax by March 31, 2019. 

I just received mine in the mail today and did it online right away at gov.bc.ca/spectax - it's super easy!


You will need your SIN and codes from the letter when declaring your exemption online, so make sure you have your letter in hand when declaring it online.

If you have multiple homeowners on title of the property, each person needs to declare separately.

Let me know if you have any questions on how this affects you. 

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"Where Do I Move Next?"


It is a recurring question homeowners have been asking me for the past couple of weeks. They love their home, they love their neighbourhood, but there is always just one little thing they would change. More space is a common answer. Othertimes, they simply want to move out of their complex for a change of scenery. 


With the average residential housing prices expected to drop over the next year, now is your opportunity to move up.


Detached housing prices have been dropping steadily for a while now. When you factor in your monthly payments for the average townhouse in the Lower Mainland, including your mortgage payment, strata fees, and any special levies/assessments, you may find it worthwhile to invest in an older, detached house with your own dirt. Now here's a bonus - if you get a house with a secondary suite or the potential to be converted to a secondary suite to use as an additional mortgage helper, your tenants can contribute a hefty chunk to your mortgage payments (you can't get that with a townhouse!) 


Same goes for a condo - if you're looking for more space, now is your chance to move up into a townhome while prices for condos are still higher!


Call me for a complimentary market evaluation on your home so we can discuss your real estate goals. 

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JUST SOLD!

2640 Venables Street, Vancouver


I have been wearing the biggest smile all week! I'm so happy to have helped find the most perfect, forever home for my clients Fran & Tim. After months of looking at mostly fixer uppers in East Vancouver and even branching into New West, this gem of a home came knocking. We went into multiple offers on Monday night and my buyers were able to secure the home that same night. While we were expecting to find something to fix up, this beauty came fully renovated in the neighbourhood they love - nothing to do but move in. And here is a first - we were even able to negotiate the kitty cat into the offer (update: all jokes aside, the cat won't be staying, they have enough dogs!). Nothing makes me happier than finding the perfect home for my clients.

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Over the past week, I have been doorknocking on townhouses and bareland strata properties in Port Coquitlam. I have spoken to local residents, many of whom have lived here for decades. Others have lived here for a few years or have just moved in over the past year. Whether they just moved in last week or have been here longer than I have been alive, the underlying message was that they all love it here. 


I agree.


My family moved here from West Vancouver when I was a year old, so I can proudly say that I am a native of Port Coquitlam. I grew up in Citadel; I went to school at Castle Park Elementary (starting in grade 1 when it first opened) then Citadel Middle and eventually Riverside Secondary. I love my neighbourhood. I still live in Port Coquitlam. I live five minutes away from my parents and all my high school friends still live close by. 


Many of the features that I loved about Port Coquitlam growing up are the reasons why I decided to make it my home into my adult years. I love that I am a stone's throw from the parks and trails. I love to run, so it is so easy for me to get onto the Coquitlam River trail where I can train for my upcoming marathon later this year. 


When I am not working or going far, I try to walk as much as I can. The shops along the downtown stretch of Port Coquitlam are within 10 minutes of my home. There's Donald's Market and Safeway down the street, also Starbucks and Waves if I want to get some coffee. My favourite sushi place (Asahi Sushi) is down the street and so is Poco Chinese Restaurant. If I want to get my hair done, I go to In a Wink Boutique and the girls are fantastic there.


By summer 2021, the 205,000-square-foot Port Coquitlam Community Centre will include a leisure pool, three ice sheets, library, multi-use spaces, games room and lounge, café, gym, fitness centre, outdoor plaza and more. 

Jade's Faves in Port Coquitlam (best of all, they are all so close!)


Fave Restaurant: Izba Bistro 

Fave Chinese: Poco Chinese Restaurant

Fave Dim Sum: Eastern Pearl Seafood Restaurant

Fave Thai: Tip Thai

Fave Sushi: Asahi Sushi

Fave Pizza: San Remo Pizza

Fave Bar: The Cat & Fiddle (especially on Wednesday Wing Night!) 

Fave Breakfast: The Big Flat Pancake

Fave Bakery: European Bakery

Fave Spa: In A Wink Boutique

Fave Gym: Gold's Gym

Fave Shop to Browse: Art Knapp

Fave Home Repair Store: Home Depot 

Fave Coffee Shop: Tim Hortons

Fave Bank: TD Canada Trust

Fave Auto Repair Shop: Kirmac Collision & Autoglass

Fave Grocery Store: Donald's Market... or Costco 



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While most of us are pretty giddy with anticipation on the new and exciting possibilities that 2019 may bring us, let me take a quick moment to recap on the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market in 2018. 


According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, sales in 2018 had dropped just over 30% since the previous year. It had been the slowest year according to number of sales since 2000, with 24,619 sales of detached and attached properties listed on the Multiple Listing Service, compared to 35,993 sales in 2017. There were 53,614 homes listed in 2018. 


High home prices, rising interest rates, new mortgage requirements and changes to taxes all contributed to this changing market, which has shifted into a buyers' market away from a sellers' market from the previous few years.


The average sale price across detached and attached properties had increased by 2% in 2018. In 2018, the price of detached homes dropped 7.8%. Townhomes increased 1.3% on a one-year average, but dropped 5.3% in the last six months since June. Condo prices also went up by 0.6% but dropped 6.4% in the last six months. In 2019, the average sale price is expected to decline by an average of 3% across Greater Vancouver. 


There have been many new construction projects in recent years, with many projects completing soon providing more housing options for homebuyers. With a changing market in Greater Vancouver, it is a great time to invest in property - give me a call to view listings in your area! 

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