TGIF – Great show of support for Hawthorne Lodge from our Port Coquitlam community!

It was a day of celebration yesterday as, in the words of Mayor Greg Moor, the “family of Port Coquitlam” came together in an awesome display of support for Hawthorne Lodge. Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens’ Housing Society launched a “Growing Our Care” million dollar capital campaign to extend the lodge, modernise, provide more private rooms, lounge and common space.

We are proud of our Re/max Sabre office – our realtors stepped up and became a lead donor with a contribution of $60,000 to be used for a fireside lounge. The first large donation of more than $100,000 came from Hawthorne Lodge staff and residents themselves, then more came from local businesses, developers & organizations. More than half of the required 1 million dollars was pledged by the launch – quite a feat in this day and age. We must feel so grateful for our community as there is little public funding available for renovating chronic care facilities. And there are few facilities like this one, well run and managed by a non profit society. Mayor Greg Moore is chair of the Campaign Cabinet.

Our Hawthorne & Francis team will hang riders on our ‘for sale’ signs in support of Hawthorne Lodge, hoping that others will become aware and donate. For more information contact manager of the capital campaign, Rita Albano – 604-468-5027 –

* By 2036, almost one in four BC residents will be 65 or older (BC Stats)

Whatever your age, we still have you covered! Sunny forecast for the weekend – enjoy!

Sheila and Michelle.

TGIF – Your weekly recap of Real Estate in the YVR ‘burbs. What you need to know!

Spring break almost over and hopefully, our students have had fun and are ready for school, whether they have been away on holiday or enjoying time at home. We have noticed the difference in both rush hour traffic and smaller number of folk out in the active real estate market. The market is still busy, but definitely followed the annual trend of slowing down somewhat over the break. We still have low inventory which, over the past month, caused a return to fast sales and multiple offers. Our demand still outstripping the number of good homes on the market showing a definite return in public confidence. Quite a different scenario from Fall through January – we have always said that the market turns on a dime, fooling the best pundits. Predictions are very positive now for the rest of our year. Condos are the hot commodity – flying off the shelf. And well priced new buildings selling out before a spade is in the dirt!

Many of our sellers are leaving our area relocating to points east in the Valley, the Okanagan is very popular right now and Vancouver Island. We are happy to discuss the micro-market in your neighborhood and how we can help you maximize your major investment. Similarly, we love those “Buying 101″ meetings with our first-time buyers.
A recent extensive survey of full service real estate brands showed that 46.5% of buyers and sellers questioned replied that Re/max was the first brand that came to mind. We know we work for the most professionally recognized company – love that balloon!

Happy New Year to all our Persian friends – we hear the feasts are still ongoing!

No matter the trends or seasons, we always have you covered.

Have a great weekend!

-Sheila and Michelle

TGIF – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

On this annual holiday, the heritage and culture of the Irish is celebrated all over the world – often with lively festivities, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, Irish stew, and green-tinted everything – yes, even beer! With all of the celebrations and hype, it can be easy to forget the exact origins of this holiday.

Beyond the festivities, our Irish heritage is deeply rooted in our Canadian history. According to Stats Can figures, the last count (2011) had 4,544,870 people claiming Irish origin in Canada! Our Canadian counterparts use this day to honour their Irish ancestors who immigrated here years ago.

Saint Patrick himself was actually born in Britain – not Ireland – but eventually converted thousands of the pagan Irish to Christianity in the northern half of the country.

So where does the shamrock come from?

A leaf of the clover plant, it’s believed that St. Patrick used its three leaves to represent the Holy Trinity to those he preached to. Since, it’s been used as the symbol of Ireland since the 18th century and is a registered trademark of the Republic of Ireland.

There’s no shortage of fun ways to celebrate St. Paddy’s day in Greater Vancouver this weekend. Don’t forget that anything green goes – you can bet that Realtor socks himself is donning a green pair today.

Don’t leave your Real Estate investment up to the chances of a four leaved clover – contact your experienced team for results. We’ve got you covered!

Michelle thanks the team for letting her spend the day on the mountain! (talk about the team advantage!)

TGIF – The Team Advantage

“My model for business was the Beatles; the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.” – Steve Jobs

The market in the YVR ‘burbs is hopping and we are busy, busy, busy! As you know, we’ve seen enormous growth and flux in this ever-changing market; season to season – week to week, even!

It is especially during times like this that we feel so fortunate to have our team in place – every one of us is committed to ensuring our clients have the best real estate experience possible. Consider this the ultimate team advantage! Our involved, experienced team coupled with our tried-and-true systems help us provide you with the efficient, full service experience you have come to know and expect.

Our own team office and full support staff provides a level of efficient administration, client support and marketing support far beyond a single Realtor. That, coupled with our experience gives you a strong ally negotiating hard for your interests.

Our pulse is on the market, and you can count on us to have you covered.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your Real Estate questions – we’re here to help. ☺

Your Real Estate team in the YVR ‘burbs,
Hawthorne & Francis Team

Rotary Club of Coquitlam’s Inaugural Sports Gala Dinner 2017

We live in such an AMAZING community, and last night it was all about giving back! We were thrilled to be invited to The Rotary Club of Coquitlam’s Inaugural Sports Gala Dinner to raise funds for our local Mountainview Park and the Canucks Autism Network.

Proceeds for Mountainview Park will go to the installation of new playground equipment – a desparate need. Like a second home to many of Coquitlam’s most economically disadvantaged children, Mountainview Elementary hosts breakfast, lunch and even weekend backpack programs to ensure that all our our community’s children in need have food on a daily basis.

Especially with government cutbacks, it falls on all of us to help the kids where we can, and the Rotary Clubs are doing some amazing work with these organizations.

In order to make this fundraiser a smashing success, we were treated with many of our local sports legends as special guests! Included were Lai Passaglia, our resident retired BC Lions kicker, retired Canuck heroes Captain Kirk McLean and Jyrki Lumme, and a special guest appearance by Burnaby’s own Robert Gagno – 28 year old Autistic World Pinball Champion! What a lineup!

Proceeds were shared by both worthy causes and the event was a total success!

Many thanks to our friend and colleague Leo Bruneau for the invite and his work as a Rotarian.

TGIF – We’ve got you covered – what you need to know Real Estate in the ‘burbs this week!

Shane’s pulling up his realtor socks – it’s going to be a busy weekend here for Real Estate in the ‘burbs!

Our week kicked off with B.C. Family Day, followed by Valentine’s Day, and a flurry of closings for our clients! We can’t believe it’s Friday already. Today, we’re in and out of the office preparing for some open houses and incoming multiple offers.

Months after the introduction of the 15% foreign-buyer tax and new federal mortgage rules, our Greater Vancouver housing market has cooled, but we are feeling the heat begin to rise as we inch closer to spring. The detached home market has moderated with the foreign tax and tighter mortgage rules, but townhomes and condos remain strong and steady in many areas.

The influx of young families who have migrated here from Vancouver’s downtown core are snapping up our detached homes as well as townhomes and condos in pursuit of a more affordable, comfortable lifestyle for their growing families. Our easy access to our new Evergreen Extension Skytrain station makes commuting and Vancouver hockey game nights a breeze, too! And what about our baby boomers? They’re actively seeking their best downsize option in the ‘burbs – often in pursuit of “one-level living” that’s ideally larger than the typical 2 bed/2 bath condo.

Buying or Selling – Your Best Bet in the ‘Burbs?

It’s important to note that our sales averages vary greatly across our local neighborhoods as well as by property type – if you’re wondering if now’s a good time to buy or sell in Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, or Maple Ridge, contact us to find out the ‘sellers best bet’ and the ‘buyers best bet’ in each neighbourhood.

Regardless of the season – we’ve got you covered. You can count on us to carry you through what’s sure to be another exciting spring in Real Estate!

Your partners in Real Estate,
Michelle and Sheila


In other news? We’ve got some EXCITING new changes we can’t wait to show you. Be sure to follow us on social as we roll them out…

TGIF – Love is in the air! Celebrating Family Day, Valentine’s Day, and National Umbrella Day.

It’s official – they’ve got a holiday for everything now, don’t they?

This year’s Family Day is on Monday, Feb. 13th, giving us a much-deserved long weekend. With plenty of family-friendly activities scheduled in every city –many of them free of charge – the ‘burbs truly are a wonderful place to raise our families.

Following Family Day, comes Valentines Day on Tuesday, Feb. 14th . If you needed an excuse to partake in some of our local sweet treats or enjoy a beautiful meal out, here it is!

And today, Friday Feb.10th, we honour one of the most useful inventions known to Vancouverites – the all-mighty umbrella! Every year on February 10th, this protective piece of rain gear is celebrated across the nation.

Not only does it keep us dry from the rain, but the umbrella also protects us from the heat of the sun (especially during patio season) – a wonderful friend, year-round!

The YVR ‘burbs are known for our West Coast weather: mild, temperate, and a bit rainy during the cooler months. If you live here, chances are you’ve got a solid pair of gumboots and a large umbrella at the ready for whenever the skies may open.

Beyond a helpful accessory, the umbrella holds a great deal of significance to our team. In fact, we even incorporated the umbrella into our branding, along with the now-recognizable “walking lady”, in 2013.

Why, you might ask?

We consider our team to be your umbrella for the (sometimes) unpredictable climes of the Real Estate market. It’s our mission to keep you covered, for every step of your Real Estate journey.

Through the ins, and through the outs – through the rainy skies, and through the sunny times – you can count on us to keep you informed.

Need one? Swing by our office and pick one up. It’s our gift to you!

Sometimes, Jimmy says it best:

”I didn’t invent the rainy day. I just own the best umbrella.”
Jimmy Fallon

Just like your favorite umbrella? We’ve got you covered.

- Sheila and Michelle

TGIF – It’s not always about moving!

There are moments when we go to visit seniors who feel that, financially, they have no option except to sell their home, even though that is the last thing they actually want to do. If the owners have paid off their mortgage, they can access their equity with ease by means of a reverse mortgage which supplies a much needed additional income.

We know many people who have extended their time in their happy place, their home, by means of a reverse mortgage. It is always our pleasure to be able to advise these seniors that selling is not their only option. As the Baby Boomers age, and we experience a remarkable appreciation in real estate values, reverse mortgages have become a more popular trend. Home Equity Bank reported a 26% rise in reverse mortgages last year alone!

We are supplying the link to the appropriate Gov’t of Canada website and, if you still have questions, please call us and we’ll put you in touch with a live expert!

All things real estate come under our umbrella – know that we have you covered. Sheila and Michelle

Red is IN this Year! Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Rooster.

Gong hei fat choy
Gong xi fa cai
Happy New Year!

We wish all our Chinese friends and clients a prosperous, healthy, joyful New Year!

This, the 4714th Chinese New Year, 2017, is the year of the red fire rooster. In the interests of full disclosure, this is my year and it explains why red has always been my favorite colour. The Chinese believe that having red as part of your home decor brings in energy and in the west we refer to red being the power color. Both work for us!

According to Chinese astrologists, this will be a year to celebrate progress, honour & maximum integrity – a year of fortune when people learn to temper their ardour. The Year of the Fire Rooster begins, tomorrow, January 28 – the second new moon after Solstice.

Chinese astrology is considered to be the most ancient system in the world, believed to be over 5000 years old. While western astrology depends on the 12 months of the year, Chinese astrology is based upon a 12 year lunar cycle. Here in Vancouver, we are privileged to be able to celebrate both Chinese and western New Year with huge celebrations for both.

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying the parades, parties, family gatherings and all that fabulous food! And remember, whatever the date, we have you covered.

See you in the New Year – Sheila and Michelle.

TGIF – Clients are invited to our RE/MAX Skating Party at Planet Ice this Sunday! Plus, your week in Real Estate News – we’ve got you covered.

It’s that time again – time to say Hi to many of our clients and their families as they take to the ice this Sunday (Jan. 22nd) at our private RE/MAX party at Planet Ice from 2:15-5:00pm. We love connecting at this event and seeing how much those children have grown since we last saw them! There is food, face painting and balloon animals for off-ice activity. Please come and say hello if we don’t catch you among the arrivals. If you have not yet registered, please give us a call at (604) 936-7653. We are looking forward to seeing you, and have included here some cute memories from a previous party.

Good news for those of you with variable mortgages & lines of credit – the bank rate did not go up this week and shows no signs of any upward trend in the near future. Bad news for those coming into the market requiring CMHC insurance – it is increasing substantially – effective March 17 this year. CMHC quotes an average of $5 per month increase on mortgage payments. For those with 5% down, buy before March 17 and avoid having the increase chew up your equity. We can connect you with experienced mortgage brokers for more detailed information and explanations.

As with every day, not just Friday, we have you covered.

Sheila and Michelle