Clara’s Blog

Governments are printing money

As a result money will be worth less and less. So, how do we protect ourselves?  Frank Giustra said on Michael Cambell's show : Buy Gold. I understand. Others say buy bitcoin. For me it has always been buy real estate. You live in it, you can rent it out, you can grow vegetables...and even though sometimes prices go down, like right now, that creates opportunities. I just sold 3094 Procter because several buyers recognized the value of unique and special. The price was lower than in 2017. Interest rates are super low and  prices are lower than 3 years ago, what better timing? Back  when inflation was a threat my dad sold the family vineyards in the north of Portugal and immediately put the money into rental condos in Lisbon. When I lived and worked in Rio, in the 80's - inflation in Brazil was 1000%. Alcan had a money market guy who collected our pay cheques on Friday and put the money into the overnight markets until Monday, when I usually would go to a currency exchange and get it into $US. My first sale in West Van in 1986 was a house in Dundarave for $143,000. I predicted that soon it would be worth $500,000. A few years later I thought that people were overpaying at $800,000:) . In 1987 I had a listing on Westhill for $350,000 - a Tudor with a view of the city and harbor. The kind of property that now sells around $4 million. I had people coming in and saying they would not buy because prices would come down. At the same time I had buyers moving in from California because they wanted their kids to be educated in Vancouver. They bought a house instead of renting which was their initial idea.  Two years later they told me they wished they had bought 5 or more. In 1989 Hong Kong buyers started to come in ahead of the crowds to prepare for the change over in 1997. Some realtors were showing them 10 houses and asking - So which one do you want? And the answer was - I'll buy all 10.  

By |July 19th, 2020|

CMHC continues to issue blanket statements about real estate

Markets are sensitive to news flows. Especially in times of uncertainty, any news from a credible source are going to have an impact. For the 2nd time in 2 weeks CMHC has come out with predictions of real estate price decreases. So I have a question - where? There are micro markets even in a small market like West Van!  Really unique properties like my listing at 3094 Procter would not normally come to market only 3 years after being bought. It's an opportunity. 2538 Kings in Dundarave with 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, is an opportunity. 501 1930 Bellevue is irreplaceable Waterfront at an asking price $450,000 below the most comparable sale in the same building in 2017. 501 2167 Bellevue is identical to 402 sold in the same building 3 years ago. 402 sold for $1430, we are asking $1088 for 501!Buyers looking for a home for the next few years should take note of these opportunities and remember, there is also a non financial value in real estate - you live in it, you enjoy it...Some people have almost doubled their money in the past 2 months investing in certain tech companies on the stock market. Many are cashing out and buying real estate. Tangible assets like real estate are in the long run better investments than paper assets... That is a fact. Forget the clerks at CMHC.   Even Genworth and Canada Guarantee are not listening...

By |June 24th, 2020|

Hindsight is 2020

Beautiful post going around on Facebook. The great re-set. The great realization. It's a father in the future softly telling a bedtime story  to his kid, in the future, about 2020. Hindsight is 2020 .I often wonder when we are going to be able to look at this as something in the past, and how we are going to feel, what will be our memories? For some friends in the UK I know it will be walking on empty golf courses. For me, the discovery of zoom. So much information, so much connection, and this evening the weirdest - a costume party on zoom. My dream, a party where I see everybody and nobody sees me. Put together by Re/Max as a fundraiser for Backpack Buddies , the charity started by Joana Griffiths to feed kids on weekends, when they  have no school. Now it's every day. Great music, great creativity, lights and sound , each square a person home alone, dancing and sometimes drinking, in some cases couples. Surreal. But fun.

By |May 1st, 2020|

Is this the dawning of the age of Aquarius?

The world has never been more connected. It's a contradiction because everywhere people are isolating.  Nobody - not the scientists, the doctors, nobody truly knows anything . Governments and businesses make tentative decisions, watch for results, change direction or stay the course. It's trial and error. New Zealand got it, so far. It's not crowded and it's just 2 large islands. BC seems to be on the same course. Acts of love and kindness,  jokes, noise at 7:00 pm , cooking and baking , music, lots of music, feel our days all over planet Earth. Today I talked to my stepson Justin in England. They live outside London , in the country. Like us in West Van, they don't see any of the stuff that we know is happening in crowded cities. Justin simply said "I'm not a fan" We agreed we had to hang up because we had to go back to doing nothing. Truth I actually had to return a call from another realtor about one of my listings. Not business as usual but busy. People are bored and real estate is always uplifting. Bill Gates just bought a $43 million house in Del Mar. I guess being at home in Seattle is just too cold...David Beckham bought a 10.000 sq ft condo in Miami for $20 million. Florida taxes? Every day I attend zoom meetings with US realtors. They say that the "low end" which they describe as from $1million to $5 million is slow. But they are selling over $10 million and even over $40. Home is more relevant than ever before... The smart money is going into homes...

By |April 28th, 2020|

The Earth is breathing

This Earth day, for the first time in probably centuries, the Earth is breathing. I'm listening to the waves. A light rain is watering the plants. The birds are chirping. Enough said.

By |April 22nd, 2020|

There is a blanket of kindness

This virus thing is a mystery. Nobody knows anything about it, really. The situation in China and in Italy and Spain created a lot of fear. New York is similar. Imagine. In BC most of the cases are limited to care homes and one prison. I think, I have been avoiding the news. In my perhaps ignorant opinion, based on the numbers in BC, I think this is the most marketed virus in the history of mankind. The images and the name are everywhere. Yet, thankfully, community transmission is minimal. Also, there are deadly cases but most cases are mild. The much publicized reunion of 15,000 dentists resulted in one very sad death of a very respected and loved dentist. One. All dental offices are closed. We are thanking lovely Doctor Henry for keeping us safe and keeping the numbers down. However - the damage done to our economy and the economies of the world is beyond imagination. The number of jobs lost mind boggling. Some people in the US are starting to react. They want to go back to work. In Sweden the government hasn't done anything. I wonder, if we published every day the number of deaths from heart attacks and the flu - would the celebrity virus even stack up?    On the plus side the millions of acts of  kindness and connectivity around the world are moving and beautiful.

By |April 21st, 2020|