How to find the right Neighbourhood to move to


Whether you’re moving to the City, the suburbs or anywhere else, having a plan to find the right neighbourhood for your needs is crucial. Here are some tips to finding that perfect place for you.


Speak with an Expert.

The first two people you will want to consult when moving to a new city is your Mortgage broker and Realtor. They will be sitting down with you to help insure that you are able to find your dream home.

Your Realtor will help you find neighbourhoods that have the type of home and amenities that you are looking for.

The mortgage broker will assist your in financing your home purchase and letting you know what is affordable based on your lifestyle.



Are you planning on attending school yourself? Making sure that the neighbourhood you choose is close to your University or has good transit can be important to consider.

Or if kids are involved there can be a number of other questions you might have.

  • Do you need afterschool programs in case you have to work late?
  • How about daycare or preschool
  • If you are planning on staying in the neighbourhood for a long time are there close elementary and high schools?


All cities and neighbourhoods have their own recreation. How you like to spend your free time can greatly affect where you will want to live.

  • Nightlife / Do you enjoy staying out late and having many bars, nightclubs and concerts to go to?
  • Outdoor activities / Are you the type of person that likes to go hiking or be close to the water? Perhaps you want easy access to skiing and snowshoeing. Or is it organized sports you want to be a part of.
  • Local events / Some neighbourhoods have more community activities then others. Knowing what kind of local activities are going on might help you decide where you would like to live.



How you get around can be one of the biggest factors of where you will want to move to. Some neighbourhoods have excellent transit systems that make it so that you will rarely need to use a car. Others are set up so that having your own vehicle is almost mandatory. New Car share programs such as Car2go and Evo allow users to pick up and drop off a car anywhere within the city. This can also be useful if you are looking in to move to a neighbourhood that has limited parking available.



Much time is spent commuting to work. Finding a neighbourhood close to your job might be beneficial. Or if you work somewhere that has easy transit access, it might be worth moving somewhere that has easy access to the skytrain or local bus system.



Checking out the walk score of the home you are looking at moving into can help you determine if it is in the right place for your needs. A home with a high walk score will mean that you will be able to do most if not all your errands without the use of transportation.



What ever your own personal wants and needs with your new move. It is good to consider these key areas before setting your sites on a particular neighbourhood.

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Listings are key for any real estate agent. It's a big part of our business. And as an agent, it's extremely hard to let go of a listing or cancel it, even for good reasons. This year in the Vancouver real estate market, it's been a market of change and adjustment. The government has come out with number of changes to slow down the market, but this last new change/program gave my seller and I reason to pause and think.


Let me explain.


My seller has a beautiful condo just steps from Coquitlam Centre. We priced it right, and for the last two months, have had numerous showings, and a number of great offers. Some of the offers fell through due to financing, while others didn't come together because of dates or other negotiable factors. Either way, its been a busy listing for us.


Along comes the annoucement on December 15, 2016 where the government issues a new First Time Home Buyers Program, offering a interest free loan to FTHB's up to $37,500. Our group had known this annoucement was coming, but we didn't expect it to happen this soon. We had been preparing our buyers for this, but we didn't expect things to move so fast in the market.


The following weekend after the annoucement, we had multiple offers presented for this listing, 4 total, all from investors. The new program was to take effect in the new years. Buyers could apply for it at the end of January, with the program benefiting any sales after February 15, 2017. 


What does this all mean? 


With an influx of investors jumping in and attempting to buy a rental property, do you see what we see? 


Talking it over with our seller, we agreed that it looked as the investing buyers were trying to get in the market before the flood of First Time Home Buyers, knowing that this would affect prices. I've already told clients who had strata properties to look to early next year as a great time to list. The market is expecting an increase of buyers. This should stir the market on more in all areas of the market, with a domino effect.


We encouraged the seller to cancel his listing, and relist in the new year. And the seller agreed!


For more information about this new program, the current market, or about a property you may be interested in buying or selling. Contact Alex at 604-626-1483 or


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Finding a rental that works for your family can be a big challenge. Really, anything regarding finding a suitable home in Vancouver is over the top difficult. As a real estate agent, you might be surprised to hear that I don't push buying a home on to all of my friends and clients. Owning a home isn't for everyone, there are many good reasons that people stay out of the real estate purchase market. I have close friends who rent a home in East Vancouver for $850 a month! It's a whole house with a garage and yard. $850 a month! Why would you move, you couldn't get a home that cheap.


So if you are looking for a new rental, how can you keep ahead of the game, or give you a leg up? Here are a number of tips that I pass on to friends who ask where to find a rental.




1. Use Craigslist/Kijiji properly: Craigslist and Kiji is the most likely rental source for many. And that's just it. Why go where everyone else is? Prices are higher and the ads are being viewed by thousands of people. You'll have to out bid people or dedicate all your time and effort towards getting to those places before everyone else. However, there are tools that you can use on these sites. Go to "Rooms Wanted" and post an ad for your family. Be as detailed as possible. Let them know you're a professional family, that you're willing to do yard work, that you don't have pets; or that you do have pets. Be frank, and sell your family as being the best tenant. You'll have those who don't want to post their ads contact you. There are some out there that want to have control over who they rent to. Some are not prepared to have anyone contacting them and pushing themselves on to them.


Side note: Use the other tools on craigslist, like the automatic email notifications for when rentals come up that meet your criteria. 


2. Hire a Licenced Rental Real Estate Agent: There are real estate agents who have the proper licence to help clients find rental property's. There may be a fee involved, but it may help you in the event that you are too busy and you have a limited amount of time to find your home.


3. Walk Your Desired Neighbourhood: Walking the streets where you desire to live can be a great way to find something not posted on the internet. Some buildings merely put out sign posts and don't bother posting online.


4: Look in the Newspapers (Yes! Print!): I seem to find great rental homes in the paper from the older ones not using the internet or craigslist. There's not as many ads, but sometimes you can hit one out of the park. People who are unaware of craigslist will resort to the local papers


5: Door Knock: Find a street you want to live on, and start knocking. If you don't find a homeowner who is willing to rent, there is a great chance that the neighbours you do talk, may know of their friends or neighbours who are looking for renters. Make up some flyers to hand out. 


6: Flyers: Nothing shows how great of a tenant you'd be if you had flyers or postcards made up, and paid for the mailman to deliver them. It would show how much you want to live in that area, and why wouldn't the potential landlords want to rent to someone willing to pay to find a home. It shows you wouldn't flake out on rent or just move months later. 


7: Co-ops: Apply for co-op complex's in the areas you desire to live. These are drastically rental reduced homes. You may have to put a large deposit/fee down to gain entry, but you get it back when you move out. The co-op communities are for those that are willing to help out the complex by volunteering your abilities. You can anything to help, from yard work, paper work, or trade work. A great way to get some control over your home and neighbourhood and give back for better rental prices.


8: Ask Your Realtor/Realtor Friend: Some real estate offices send out daily listings with notes at the bottom. Sutton Group - West Coast Realty does this, and they have a number of realtors in their office. If you are looking for something specific throughout the Greater Vancouver Area, let me know. I'll happily post something for you. 



Ultimately, the great rentals are usually shared between friends and family members of past renters. Think about it? If you were giving up your amazing rental because you bought your first home, would you not tell your friends looking for a home? The best rentals are usually not posted on the internet. Sometimes you have to get out there and search for the gems. Then you can be the one all your friends say have a incredible rental property! 


Have any further tips to share? Comment below!

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When moving into a new neighbourhood, family heads can't help but wonder where they can find a community best suited for their family needs. Today, some communities set themselves apart but their new regulations set by the city council.


New Westminster can be considered ahead of the game; they know how important families are to a community and they want families to move in and stay in New West. How?


The city of New Westminster set a precident on making sure there are enough homes for families in the City. With detached homes rizing in purchase and rental prices, Jonathan Cote passed new regulations making it a must that all new buildings in the city, must contain a certain number of 3 bedroom units. Wow! (Read More Here)




Why is this important? It keeps the city viable for families. With plans of many new high rise towers soon to break ground on, you won't see new rental towers being built, of just 500 square foot bachelor suites (which was an actual proposed new tower on Carnarvon). 



Why stop there?



Port Coquitlam looked at starting a new Anti Bullying Bylaw, arising from the Amanda Todd case. (Read more here) These are the types of things communities can do to attract more families to the area. This bylaw isn't something new, Regina credits their Anti-Bullying bylaw for limiting problems with their children. (Read more here)


Communities can only see potential when they put family priorities first. What areas do you want to see more attention given to families in your community? Do you see any problems you want address? 




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Chances are, your dream of living in a house with a yard are hard to fulfill in this high real estate valued, and high rental priced market in Greater Vancouver. Some love the condo life, and some just have no choice. However, with some planning, you can successfully live in a condo, even if you have a family. 


Today, there are companies who focus their efforts in maximizing space for those living in tiny spaces. You can have success in Condo Living, even with a family! Look to the example of this family of four living in a 2 bedroom apartment in Boston: 


Boston Family of Four Transform Living Space




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We just picked up our latest postcards from Jukebox Print and we love them! Nadine Hansen took this awesome photo of the much talked about Pattullo Brige, and we're giving them all away to those who would love one. These postcards can be mailed to friends or family, or you can just hold on to it. If you're like me, you might have a huge collection of postcards from over the years. 



These latest postcards are on the larger side, they measure 5.5'x8.5' in size. You'll find them throughout New Westminster at public spaces and local businesses. But if you can't find them, send me an email with your address, and I'll be sure to get one or more to you.


If you would love some professional photos of your business, events or family, contact Nadine at 604.889.0084 or visit her website,


Visit this page for more information on prizes associated with this postcard!


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I have listed a new property at 8160 DOROTHEA CRT in Mission.
This Cherry Ridge Estate, Cul-de-sac home has it all! A grand foyer that invites guests to a perfect entertaining space upstairs. Large Kitchen w/ granite counters/backsplash, zebra wood cabinets, high end appliances, natural light & walk out to massive patio/fenced yard. Dining rm opens to large living rm, w/california blinds. Bedrooms are generous in size, master bdrm has walk in closet & ideal ensuite bath. Home has thermal windows & AC. Downstairs includes office space any business owner would love, w/built in desks, loads of natural light & storage. 32x12 Rec rm/space that welcomes your ideas. Full bath down w/2nd laundry hook up. 10' ceilings in double garage which includes lots of built ins. Call today for more info! Open House Sunday February 8, 2015 2:00-4:00PM
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This past month we successfully sold a beautifully renovated townhouse in Coquitlam (


This isn't a blog post bragging of that sale (In fact I find those posts to be annoying to be honest). However, what I did find interesting was the current buying habits of the buyers of this price range, and primarily the habits of the First Time Home Buyers. This townhouse was in the price range of $200,000 to $300,000.


This home did receive a offer in the first weekend, which was very very close to the asking price which did not come together based on other factors, besides the price obviously. Within a month, the property had an second offer close to asking price at which was accepted and later fell apart after two weeks for other reasons.


Now this situation did give a great incite into a trend taking place in the market place. Normally what would have happened with a nicely renovated, well priced home like this one, is the accepted offer would have come together and sold within a weeks time. But because it didn't, and a second great offer was accepted and tied up the home for 2 more weeks, the property seemed to the active buyer out there, that the home wasn't selling.  This property was on the market now for over 100 days. We ended up getting two more offers that did not meet the sellers needs. The buyers were starting to think the property was not worth the asking price because of how long it had been on the market. 


Here was what I found interesting: We had an open house after the townhouse had been on the market for 100 days. We had a large number of buyers attend the open house, of which half of them said "we've been watching this home on your website/the MLS for three months." Three months. I thought to myself?!?! And they only NOW are coming in to view the home? That got me thinking: "Come to think of it, the two latest offers had been from buyers who had viewed the property a month back, and only then were bringing an offer in." We also had other numerous requests for second showings, of which the buyers had seen it a month or even two months ago. 


Now this isn't an unusual thing to see, a buyer taking their time in deciding on a home. But what is unusual, is the amount of buyers doing this at one time. This to me, clearly indicates what the market trend is.  


What does this mean?


This is definitely something to keep in mind if you are a buyer in the market place, and are competing with other buyers for properties in the $200,000-$300,000 price range. But more importantly, if you are a seller in this market place, be prepared to have you home sit on the market in most cases as you look for the right buyer for your home.


If you have any questions regarding the real estate market, or if you have a home in the Coquitlam area you would like to buy or sell, contact Alex Jopson 604.626.1483

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There are a large number of young professionals and young families moving out of Downtown Vancouver, and it is not because they have the desire to move from the city. The major reason for the move is price of course, but the two types of buyers are; (1) first-time home buyers; and (2) growing families needing the larger space of a single family house.

As mentioned, they are not moving because they do not love the city life. In fact they've grown to love it. And now they have to decide what suburb outside of the city meets their requirements. Many of the buyers I deal with enjoy the variety of cafes, restaurants, pubs, and shops. The mama and pop stores rule, while the major chain restaurants and stores are despised. Of course, everyone loves a great deal, but today, many are choosing the care of the personal face and locally run store over that of the no faced monster stores. This isn’t always the case, but it is for important purchases and entertainment.


New Westminster offers a lot of the things these relocating buyers are looking for. However, I’ve felt that the Tri-cities (Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and Port Moody) have seriously lacked in the non-chain establishments.


Good news, it is improving! For instance, Port Moody is catching up with the addition of the Skytrain line and locally run stores like the new brewery Yellow Dog ( Yellow Dog Brewery is ideally located just across from the Rocky Pointe Park on the edge of the Burrard Inlet. They too were new residents to Port Moody looking for local businesses to go to.



With the new buyers and trends, companies like Yellow Dog Brewery, will be very successful for years to come. Municipalities like Port Moody will only benefit from those who take the risk to start something new. The search for good beer is creating jobs throughout Canada (1 in every 100 jobs) and even tourism has seen a big push from beer drinkers heading to the Vancouver area. So of course the beer industry can affect the real estate industry! So head out and support the locally run businesses, and enjoy the finely crafted products.


Do you enjoy craft beer? Or do you want to see what the beer industry has become in your own area? Enter now to win two tickets to the Vancouver Craft Beer Week event on Friday June 6, 2014!! Sample beers from award winning local breweries and new breweries like Yellow Dog!


How to enter? Here are 4 ways you can enter:


(1) Email with “VCBW Contest” in the heading and your contact information.

(2) Email Alex & sign up for our newsletter that includes market updates, contests and valuable information.


(4) Follow City to Suburb on Facebook


Winner will be announced at noon on Friday May 30th. For any local real estate needs, contact:


Alex Jopson of Sutton Group - West Coast Realty 




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Have you heard? The same developers behind the Shangri La and Shaw Towers downtown Vancouver, have now set their eyes on the Burnaby/Vancouver Border. Kensington Gardens will be the newest development of the Westbank Developments ( 


But before you register, contact Alex Jopson for some special offers you can not get by just walking in. Exclusive to the Sutton Group - West Coast Realty Offices, we have HUGE savings to offer our clients. So exclusive, we are not allowed to publish them online. So call Alex Jopson directly to learn more, 604-626-1483


Why does the Sutton Group - West Coast Realty offices get this special offer? As the #1 office in all of Canada, and with the highest sales, many new developments recongize our office as the ideal candidate to work exclusively with. We gauruntee results! Westbank and Vancouver House are just a few developments with special offers through our office. Do not walk into any development without having Alex Jopson as your Real Estate Consultant!


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Today, you can see many of these signs popping up on for sale signs on homes throughout the lower mainland. And I get it! There will always be a new trend in marketing homes when they are for sale. However, I don't believe REALTORS® and sellers know there is another option out there.



For a long time now, I've enjoyed the use of dedicated websites for each of my listings. Is it that the dedicated website is dead? An old trend of selling homes? Or is it more of a difficult setup, not a useful tool, or is it that the seller and REALTOR® are unaware of the option. What ever the reason for the lack in dedicated websites for homes,  I am a strong believer in the use of dedicated websites. 




What are dedicated websites?  They are websites that are purely designed for one property listing. Giving only the information for the home you are marketing and nothing else. For instance, say you have a listing with the address 1234 Pleasant Lane (horrible choice of address I know). On the sign, you could have the dedicated website ,"For full details on this home visit -".  Example below.



Big deal, right?


There are some major differences in the benefits to the seller and the REALTOR® when using these signs. Let's look at the pros and cons of each. 



"Text for Info"



  • Everyone has a phone and can text for info
  • Sends full details to the potential buyers instantly via text
  • Creates leads for the listing agent
  • One created post sign can be used on a number of different listings


  • Buyers may feel "uneasy" giving their number to the listing agent, when really they just want info on the property
  • No details are given on where buyer traffic is coming from, except that buyers are standing outside of home
  • Companies Limit what information you can give to the buyers

"Dedicated Websites"



  • Everyone has a phone with internet access
  • Buyers do not need to search endlessly on the listing REALTORS® personal website to find the property info
  • The Website gives full details, including photos, floor plans, any videos and mapping for the home
  • Gives easy access to information anytime you advertise the listing, whether on the sign, print media or online
  • The website will also give complete stats to the seller and the listing REALTOR® including how many buyers came to the site to view the home, where they are coming from (online marketing, social media, and online classifieds), how long they are looking at the home on the site, and much more detailed info for both interested parties.


  • You have to pay for a new sign everytime you list a property
  • REALTORS® are not given phone numbers of the buyers to get leads or follow up with buyers
  • You have to know how to set up the sites


So there are reasons why some REALTORS® use each of the above. But what would the sellers prefer? Are REALTORS® giving the options? What do you think? 


I strongly believe all sellers and REALTORS® prefer the sign below over the signs above. It just depends on the route we take to get the sign below put up. 



- this article was written by Alex Jopson of Sutton Group - West Coast Realty

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How do you sum up a real estate market that is so inconsistent?


  • Homes not selling for months
  • Homes recieving multiple offers 
  • Little inventory in some areas
  • Too much inventory in others. 


What is the consistent part of the market? Answer. The Buyers


Put yourself in the buyers position. You've heard your friend/family member paid "X" amount of money below the asking price for a home.  What do you now expect when you go to buy? The same thing? Of course! You don't want to over pay when buying in the same market.   


The problem is, one street/neighbourhood/complex/builing in one area can greatly differ from another. Even a unit in the same building with the same square footage could sell for a drastically different price. It's hard to reason at times. For instance:


There could be one building in the same neighbourhood that has many diferent features then most buildings in the same neighbourhood - units rarely come available. If a home comes available in that building, likely, you'll have a number of buyers after that one unit, and the unit will sell for a higher price with little reduction on the asking price.


But if you are trying to buy it, and at the same time wanting the same price difference as another building that is in the same area but has numerous units for sale at any given time, you can seriously run into problems and miss out on a ideal home, and better investment.


With in reason every sale is unique, but at the same time similar. Am I confusing you? Right, because I think buyers can also get confused. And at with a similar effect, the sellers can get confused. 


There are many sub areas that have limited supply right now. And it's important to find out which areas are hot or cold when buying and selling. ( If you would like more information on these areas, and get a market picuture, contact Alex for a detailed report. )


What can you do when wanting to buy or sell?


Get a Realtor that you not only trust wholeheartedly, but that can professionally give you a balanced and experienced overall picture of the market you plan to buy or sell in. Get as much up to date information so you can make a informed decision when buying or selling. 


Are you thinking of buying or selling in this up and down market? Contact Alex today - 604.626.1483

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