Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbours! They care about and are invested in the well-being of our community and its future. Right now more than ever, it's important to offer support to your community where you can!

1. Get It To Go: Many restaurants, cafes and shops are operating in new ways. Check out their social media pages for current take out menus or items being offered for delivery.

2. Connect To Your Neighbours: Are you in need of help or able to provide help to others right now? Click here to connect with your community online.

3. Get Social - Safely: Follow, like, share content and review your favourite businesses on their social media platforms. It's a free and easy way to offer support! 

4. Order online: Many local businesses have the option to make orders online and are even offering special discounts, curbside pick up or free delivery! 


5. Digital Services: Check to see which of your local services are now being offered online. Yoga, personal trainers, coaches, therapists, coaches, financial planners, lawyers, music classes can all be continued online! 


6. Need to buy a gift? Buy a gift certificate from a local business!


7. Donate: Many local charities aren’t taking physical donations right now. Find out how you can help - Harvest Project | West Vancouver Foundation | Capilano Community Services 

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British Columbia is undergoing a huge change with strata property insurance. Strata owners are facing significant increases in insurance rates and deductibles. Some renewals have increased 300%, with deductibles as high or higher than $250,000.00. There are also multiple older buildings across the province struggling to find an insurer to renew their policy.

If adequate insurance is not in place, an owner could become bankrupt if a claim is made against them. Deductibles vary and can be large, depending on the risk insured or the strata corporation's own claims history. If a strata corporation claims against its insurance policy for an amount exceeding the deductible, the corporation usually absorbs the deductible as a common expense to which every owner contributes through their respective strata fees or a special levy. However, owners may be personally liable to reimburse their strata corporation for the insurance deductible.


If a plumbing incident causes $75,000 in water damage to a strata owner’s unit and the strata’s deductible is $100,000, insurance won’t cover the claim. In this case, the owner could have to pay for the damages out of pocket, depending on the strata’s bylaws.

 

Many owners of strata properties do not realize that their common property insurance taken out by the strata corporation, will not cover the damages to their own units, or to any adjoining units for damage caused by them, such as leaky washing machines. 

 

Background

The Strata Property Act requires a strata corporation to carry property insurance over, "(a) common property, (b) common assets, (c) buildings shown on the strata plan, and (d) fixtures built or installed on a strata lot, if the fixtures are built or installed by the owner developer as part of the original construction on the strata lot."

 

Recommendations

The Committee recommends adding a new standard bylaw to require every owner to have insurance to cover payment of a deductible under the strata corporation's property insurance policy. Where an owner is responsible for the loss giving rise to the strata corporation's insurance claim, the Committee recommends amending the Act to allow the corporation to charge back to the owner the lesser of the cost of repairing the damage or the deductible. The Committee also recommends amending the Act to require a strata corporation each year to inform owners and tenants of any material change in the corporation's insurance coverage, including any increase in a deductible.


When you’re buying a strata property:

·  Discuss insurance with your agent to better understand the situation.

·  Obtain independent legal advice on strata bylaws and insurance policies.

·  Determine if the strata is doing maintenance as needed, or are they deferring work that needs to be done?

 

When you own a strata property:

·  Obtain a copy of the strata corporation’s insurance policy or policies.

·  Get advice from their insurance provider to understand your liability.

·  Be a proactive strata, and don’t defer necessary maintenance.

·  Know where your water shut off valves are.

·  Ideally, each strata owner should:

o   Have a unit owner’s insurance policy.

o   Have a policy that covers the higher deductible (insurance deductible insurance) to cover a loss in your unit.

o   Understand the risk of not having enough coverage.

 

What caused this:

Several factors have led to high strata insurance costs, including a building’s size, construction materials used, claims history, where a building is located, the number of unoccupied units or tenants, the high value of real estate, lack of regular maintenance and the high cost of repairs—especially in the Lower Mainland.

 

These new premiums and deductibles are the new normal. As a result, we’ll likely see a rise in strata maintenance fees to close the gap between old insurance premiums and the new higher premiums. We’ll hopefully also see some government intervention. Alberta for example has implemented a regulation that no single owner can be liable for more than $50,000, any amount over that is incurred by the strata.

 

Hope you found this helpful, if you have any questions or concerns please let us know!

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Every day, week, month and year is an opportunity to start fresh. Your past does not dictate the future you deserve. You do have the potential to create the life you love. Make it a great day, week, month and year.


5 ways to start our day off on a positive note:


1. When you wake up in the morning, take a few minutes to check-in (go within). Take a few deep breaths and find something that you're grateful for - your children, partner, your health, the warm bed you are in, nature outside your window. Take this time to be thankful for all that you have in your life instead of wasting your energy on thinking about what you don't have.


2. Instead of jumping out of bed, spend 5 to 10 minutes (or however long it takes) meditating. Simply observe your breath. Breathe in for a count of 4 to 5, allowing your belly and chest to expand, and breathe out also for a count of 4 to 5 allowing everything to drop away. Notice how your breath enters your body, notice how your breath leaves your body, and notice the little pause between each breath. This will allow you to create a sense of peace within and it will also help get you into a good head space before your feet touch the ground.


3. Take a few moments while in the shower and/or while eating breakfast just to be present. Feel the water on your skin, taste the different flavors in your food. It feels good and it's an amazing way to consciously set your energy and intention towards your day.


4. Before breakfast have large glass of water with half a lemon squeezed into it and you may even like to add some ginger or cayenne pepper. This will assist with digestion and is effective in body cleansing and detoxification - it will help get things moving. Follow this with a nutritious breakfast to kick-start your metabolism and fuel your body to face the day ahead. You have just had maybe ten to twelve hours of fasting - your body needs sustenance and is ready to be refueled, so skipping breakfast is a big no, no!


5. Get clear about your intentions for the day. For example you can intend to have a productive day. You can intend to have quality time with your family and friends with no distractions. You can intend to have a fun and brilliant day. You can intend to have a calm and peaceful day. You can intend to learn something new or be helpful to someone. Whatever it is just be clear about what it is you want your day to be. In order to create, manifest, and attract it, you must first align your heart, mind, and spirit with your intention. In other words, you truly need to feel it!


Many people don't understand the power of thoughts, because they live every day on autopilot, doing most things out of habit, and therefore they create their reality unconsciously, as if they’re wearing a blindfold. But whether we’re aware of it or not, we create our reality with our thoughts and behavior - and this means we have the power to choose to be a conscious, mindful creator and change our reality to what we really want it to be. Remember, you choose your thoughts, you choose your behavior, you choose the outcome. And every choice you make determines how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.


How do you start your day? Is it with gratification and happiness—or doom and gloom? A day is easily ruined if started by holding onto negativity and resentment. So when you wake tomorrow, ask yourself, do I want to think and act like I did yesterday, or do I choose to be a new me today?

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Imagine the holiday season as a field of freshly fallen snow. Then imagine what it’s like after a thousand people have walked all over it. Every footprint contributes to one big mess. Everything we do leaves an impression on this earth, so here’s an invitation to step lightly as you plan your holiday celebrations. 


Shopping

Every excursion leaves a footprint; in the coming and going and the choices you make. 

  • Shop on your lunch break or after work when you are already near the shops. 

  • Take transit or carpool

  • Remember your reusable shopping bags

  • Avoid items with a temporary use, excess packaging and whenever possible, are made of plastic

Gifts

  • Choose experiences over stuff

  • Not every gift needs to be new; check out thrift stores, re-gift or make or upcycle gifts

  • Spread the eco love with natural gifts or items that help others be more green minded


Wrap it Up

  • Choose glue or tie with wool, ribbon or string over plastic tape

  • Reuse wrapping paper bags and bows

  • Wrap a gift in a gift; in socks, glass jars or a tea towel

  • Avoid non-recyclable glitter, tinsel, foil or cellophane

  • Choose cloth ribbon over synthetic


Food

  • Make a meal plan and only buy what you need

  • Be realistic about portions

  • Choose products in glass vs plastic jars

  • Pick package-free; Buy in bulk, bring bags for your produce


O Christmas Tree

Think twice about buying artificial trees and garlands. Many are made in overseas factories and often contain toxic PVS, lead and flame retardants. 

  • Look for a second-hand artificial tree to re-use

  • Buy a locally grown, pesticide-free tree

  • Buy a potted, living evergreen to plant after the holidays


Online vs In-store shopping

Which carries the lightest footprint? Tricky question. 

The answer depends partly on where goods are made. For example, and item shipped from another country travels far by ship or plane. Buying locally made is always the better choice. 

Worldwide, online shopping constitutes one out of seven purchases, nearly 15% of all shopping. 


That said there are advantages and disadvantages to both:


Online

  • Online companies with no retail storefronts to power and maintain already have a lower footprint

  • Delivery services are efficient; it’s like putting everyone’s packages on one bus, rather than individual cars - unless they are rush deliveries

In-store 

  • When customers can see, touch and try on merchandise, fewer returns are made 

  • Delivered goods come in their original packaging and delivery packaging

  • About 20% of online purchases are returned, doubling the delivery carbon footprint

  • Up to 60% of all first-time deliveries are unsuccessful and can take up to 3 attempts. If the buyer has to drive to pick up the package, all the carbon emissions savings are lost


Make Smarter Choices

  • Order online early and choose a longer delivery time. Overnight or rush deliveries result in individual deliveries in emptier trucks. 

  • Arrange a delivery time when you know you’ll be home or make arrangements with a neighbour

  • Buy locally made

  • Individuals driving to stores increases emissions; transit, walking or cycling are better choices

  • Buy less. The item not purchased online or in-store has the lowest footprint of all

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1538 Ostler Court 


Sold Over Asking!

$1,498,000

4 Bed | 3 Bath | 3,299 sq ft


Market Type: Holiday 

On Market: 6 Days

Features: Updated Home

Challenges: Owners divorcing during Christmas 


Due to our client's pending divorce it was imperative to the family's emotional health that the home be sold as soon as possible. When our team entered the picture the home was in need of significant preparation for sale. In just 1 week we had the home cleaned, painted, staged, marketed and sold in just 4 days before Christmas. We set a new benchmark price for the area, selling the home $150,000 more than the listing price. Our clients were extremely satisfied with the outcome and support they received from start to finish to move into the next phase of their lives. 

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