Is it a good idea to buy a home during Covid-19?

Here are 8 good reasons for buying a home today:

1. You need a tax break. The mortgage interest deduction can make home ownership very appealing.

2. You are not counting on price appreciation in the short term. You plan on owning it for at least a few years. Home values in Vancouver have remained stable and could jump out of reach once this situation with Covid-19 ends.

3. You can afford the monthly payments. If you can afford to rent.. you can afford to own. Sure, the 1st monthly payment is all interest… but the middle payment is half in your pocket.

4. You plan to stay in the house long enough for the appreciation to cover your transaction costs. The costs of buying a home include, lender fees, property transfer tax, mortgage insurance and if buying new construction… GST.

5. You prefer to be an owner rather than a renter. An owner never has to worry if the landlord decides to sell and you have to move to a different neighbourhood, or worse.. a different school for your children.

6. You can handle the maintenance expenses and headaches.

7. You are not greatly concerned by dips in home values.

8. You want pride of ownership. As a homeowner, you have the freedom of choice.

Just Listed! Full Duplex in Burnaby

Full Duplex for sale by Tom Ikonomou.jpg

BUYERS DELIGHT! Full Duplex on double sized lot. never worry about pet or rental restrictions again, ever! Bright south facing features 4 fireplaces, two balcony’s on front and two oversized decks at the rear. Parking for at least 8 cars. SIDE A has 3 beds, 2 baths on main & 2 beds plus den and 1 bath below. SIDE B has 3 beds, 2 baths on main & 2 beds, 1 bath below. Both share a large laundry room. All measurements are approx. and to be verified if important. Call for more info today!


Top 13 places to send change of address to

Most people know in advance they will be moving by way of subject removal dates. This time period can be anywhere up to 60 days and is adequate to send emails to your service providers with your new contact info. This will save you additional fees setting up mail forwarding. The following is a list of the 

  1.  Post Office
  2.  Change accounts and credit card agencies
  3.  Friends and Relatives – send them private messages or text your new address.
  4.  Subscriptions, book clubs, record clubs (notice requires several weeks in         advance)
  5.  Bank – transfer funds, arrange for check cashing in new city
  6.  Insurance – Notify regarding new location for coverage:  Life, Health, Fire, Auto
  7.  Automobile registration – Transfer of auto title is necessary: also driver’s license,   city windshield sticker and motor club membership
  8.  Utility Companies – Gas, electric, water, telephone, cable television, fuel: obtain   refund of any deposit made:  arrange for immediate service in new location
  9.  Route Persons – Laundry, newspaper delivery, changeover of services
  10.  School Records – Ask for copies of the transfer of children’s records
  11.  Medical, dental, prescription histories – Ask physicians and dentists for referrals,   transfer needed prescription, X-rays
  12.  Church, clubs, civic organizations – Transfer memberships, request letters of   introduction
  13.  Pets – ask about registration for licenses, vaccinations, tags.  Request transfer of   veterinarian’s records

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Turmoil for Homebuyers

  1. Find a real estate agent that’s simpatico. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the agent you choose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality.
  2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, any more than there’s a right time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes don’t usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long. 


  3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas will make it much harder to make a decision.
  4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. Focus in on the things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go. Look carefully at the home inspection report but remember, home inspectors cannot pass or fail a home. They will bring to light items of concern that you may has missed during your initial viewing. These items for example can be that the 10 year old hot water tank is past it’s life cycle and should be replaced soon.
    Building without Professionals
  5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love.
  6. Remember that your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself–room size, kitchen–that you forget such issues as amenities, noise level, etc., that have a big impact on what it’s like to live in your new home.
  7. Get financing approved first. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance availability, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
  8. Account for extra costs. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be some costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
  9. Prepare to be uncomfortable. For most people a home is the single largest investment in their life. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big commitment, but it also yields big benefits.
  10. Treat your home as a home. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While Canadian homes have appreciated an average of 7.3 percent annually over from 2014 to 2019, a home’s most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Tom Ikonomou RE:MAX City


There are more, way more things to consider when buying a home and your real estate professional can guide you through the process. To streamline the process Click HERE

Go West young man, Go West

Vancouver has two main areas. Vancouver East & Vancouver West. In December 2018 the average detached home in Vancouver West sold for $3,306,055 whereas the Average home in Vancouver East sold for $1,480,383 That’s $1,825,672 more for a home on the Westside! However, we are not comparing apples with apples. The other factor you must account for is the size of the lot the home is on.

As of December 2018 there were 494 detached homes listed with an average size lot of 4,270 sq foot, and of the homes that sold, it worked out to $346.63 per sq foot. Of the 549 homes listed on the Westside, the average sized lot was 7,808 sq feet and of the homes that sold, worked out to $423.39 sq foot.

This means for $76.76 per sq foot more.. you would get (on average) a lot that is 3,538 sq feet more. A larger lot generally means a larger home as well.

If you’ve always wanted to live on the Westside, now may be the single best time to do that. For a complimentary, no obligation market evaluation on your home.. give me a shout at 778.879.8366 or send me an email with your name and address to

From Renting to Owning: Pros and Cons

Vancouver Rent_or_Buy

Switching your status from tenant to owner can bring its own challenges. So before you decide whether homeownership is your next step, take a glance at this list of some pros and cons below.

Pro: You can customize anything
Paint the walls. Tear out the carpet. Install a trash compactor. When you own a property, you don’t have to wait for a management company to decide when, and how, a unit will be remodeled.

Con: You pay for the upgrades
If the dishwasher breaks down in your rental, you can simply call maintenance to get the issue fixed, often within a day. When you own a home, not only do you have the headache of finding a reliable repairman available at a convenient time, but you also have to cover the cost of all repairs (and heaven forbid, replacements).

Pro: You can finally have a yard
When you upgrade from renting to owning a home, chances are you’ll be able to find a patch of grass to call your own. Think of the all the barbeques and birthdays you’ll finally have room to host! Your dog will also be grateful for the extra space to roam.

Con: You’re in charge of yard work
This one may be a matter of perspective. Some people enjoy working outside and keeping their lawn looking greener than their neighbors. Others tire easily of the mowing, weeding and fertilizing needed as just the basic steps of lawn care. You can always hire someone to help, but that’s an added cost you didn’t have while renting.

Pro: You establish roots
You needn’t worry about your rent going up next year (depending on your mortgage). If you plan to stay put for a while, you’ll build long-term relationships with your neighbors and can feel free to finally unpack that box from high school you’ve been carting around. Go ahead and grow a garden of perennials – you’ll still be around the next time they bloom.

Con: You lack mobility
When renting, it’s easy to make a change when the lease is up or even, in dire circumstances, break a lease if you have to relocate right away. If you suddenly need to relocate as a homeowner, you’ll remain responsible for the monthly mortgage until your home sells. In hot markets this isn’t a problem, but it’s not unheard of for homes to remain on the market for months until their owners have to consider a credit-damaging short-sale.

Pro: You build equity
When you sign your rent check each month you’re handing off money you will never see again. In comparison, as a homeowner your check is going toward paying down the overall price of the home. Ideally, when it’s time to move on you’ll be able to sell your home for at least as much as you paid for it.

Con: You’re at the whim of unpredictable markets
Ideally you’ll be able to sell your home for the same price you bought it for, if not more. Unfortunately, the housing market can be volatile. Some homeowners end up underwater on their home, owing more on their original loan that the property is worth.

The bottom line? When you’re ready, there are many great benefits to home ownership, but it’s not a decision to be made lightly.

Using my knowledge of the market and learning more about your personal situation, I can help you decide when the time is right to make your next move. Contact me anytime.

What’s hot in Vancouver?

Regardless of declining prices in Vancouver, the hype that Vancouver is too expensive will still continue. This is what I call the “real estate market lag” This lag is from the time the market shifts until buyers and sellers actually believe it’s happened.

That being said, buyers are currently searching for homes in Metro Vancouver and just outside. The most popular area right now is; Delta & Richmond for detached homes, and Condos priced between $350,000 to $400,000 in Burnaby as well as Vancouver.

The following are links to the noted properties and areas.

Richmond, BC
Burnaby, BC : 350000 to 400000 : 1br
Vancouver, BC : 350000 to 400000 : 1br

Get access to resources, property info, news & updates via electronic messaging. You may withdraw consent anytime. We take your privacy seriously. For market stats specific to your home and area call Tom Ikonomou direct at 778.879.8366 or reach out to us here

Building without Professionals

Building without Professionals

Buyer Beware! This poor woman was ripped off for $80,000.

Buyer Beware! This poor woman was ripped off for $80,000. Check out our interview on how to protect yourself from unlicensed and unscrupulous builders.

A Surrey woman is fighting to get some of her money back after discovering the builder she hired isn’t licensed as a new home builder in British Columbia.

Queency Marfa says she didn’t learn this critical information until after she signed the deal, and now she’s discovered there are a whole lot of things she should have done differently.

For example, she should have checked the licensing of the builder, as well as had an expert or real estate lawyer take a look at her contract before she signed it.

The Home Builders Association says there’s a lot more to being a good home builder than knowing how to swing a hammer and use a saw – you need business skills too. The company you hire needs to meet regulations and provide up to date paperwork and invoicing.

Larry Clay, VP of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, took a closer look at Marfa’s contract and immediately saw a red flag with the warranty the builder was offering. “This is not a licensed builder providing a 2-5-10 warranty,” Clay said, nothing this means a two-year warranty on labour and materials, five on the building envelope, and 10 years on the structure.

The 2-5-10 warranty is the strongest defect insurance you can get on a new home in Canada, but not every builder can offer one. Only a licensed residential builder can offer a warranty, and it needs to be registered with BC’s Home Protection Office and held by a third-party company – not just the builder.

Clay was also concerned about the 40 per cent down payment required in the contract, given that 10 per cent is the industry standard. He says a home building contract should be very specific, laying out a project schedule and terms of payment. Once construction beings, the consumer should be provided detailed job cost reports and expect weekly project status updates along with receipts for money spent.

Marfa says she’s paid about $80,000 to Steel Dragon Construction Ltd., which is not a licensed builder. Her old house has been demolished, and plans were purchased and submitted for permitting of the new home, but Marfa has been given no receipts for the work that has been done.

“I have no proof of anything of what [the company] has paid and what [the company] has done with the money,” Marfa said.

“If you look at my scope, my scope is going to be hundreds of pages,” says Clay. He offers homebuyers, signed agreements to make sure that workers are paid. Ten percent of the money is held back from subcontractors and kept in trust to protect the consumers from liens. He says only 10 percent of builders offer holdback accounts, but it’s worth requesting.

As for Marfa, she will likely have to go to court to get out of the contract and recover any used funds.

That’s why real estate lawyer Paul Roxburgh highly recommends that anyone building a new home get their own representation before entering into a contract. “It’s, I think, dangerous for the unsophisticated non-lawyer public to be signing documents like this without some form of representation,” Roxburgh added.

In addition to checking out a builder’s license, check how long they’ve been in business and ask about their background and try to verify their credentials. You should also follow-up with references and ask whether they allow onsite inspections of the project.

Story courtesy of Ross McLaughlin on your side CTV

For more information, visit

Get access to resources, property info, news & updates via electronic messaging. You may withdraw consent anytime. We take your privacy seriously. For market stats specific to your home and area call Tom Ikonomou direct at 778.879.8366 or reach out to us here

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