If the Kardashians take their advice, so can you!
Real estate duo Jonathan and Drew Scott may be widely known for their iconic HGTV show, Property Brothers, but their B.C. roots run deep.
The celebrity brothers live in Los Angeles right now but they're actually from Vancouver, B.C., and they're spilling all the secrets to getting into real estate in their hometown.
On their show, the twin brothers help people create their dream homes by finding the perfect fixer-uppers and turning them into real estate heaven. They also have multiple other shows, and even put the Kardashian family to work for one episode!
Lucky for you, the Scott brothers sat down with Narcity and gave some super helpful tips for anyone thinking about buying real estate in Vancouver.
It was clear the brothers have some serious love for their hometown — even with its famously high real estate prices.
Drew said that he misses that "lush green feel" of Vancouver, and tries to find places that remind him of it in L.A., while Jonathan said he can't wait to take his girlfriend, Zooey Deschanel, to all his favourite local spots.
The brothers recently partnered with Properly, a Canadian company that lets you buy a house, move in and then sell your old home once you're fully settled, which just expanded to Vancouver.
"Maybe that's also my selfish reason for being a part of Properly and investing in Properly — because it brings us back to Canada. It brings us back to our hometown of Vancouver, it gives us an excuse," Drew said.
Areas in Vancouver to buy
Drew said he notices the Port Moody area every time he visits home and added that "they've built up a really great community."
"All the houses in and around that area, the values have been going up as well, because there really is this outdoor community vibe," he added.
He also said that areas south of Granville Island are great spots to buy.
Jonathan mentioned that a lot of the time, people are nervous when public transit is nearby, thinking that it could lower a property's value, but said that simply isn't true.
"When newer communities have access to transportation right into the core, all of a sudden more people are willing to live a little bit further out and have maybe a slightly larger lot in a quiet area and then commute into the city," he said.
He suggested looking at areas with access to light rail transit or those that will be getting it soon. He made it clear that you don't want a train or airport right next to your backyard, but being nearby opens your area up to a whole new group of future buyers.
Or people can consider moving out of Vancouver. Jonathan said that there are better prices in Fernie, B.C., "if anybody’s wanting to commute from there."
Another common misconception that Drew pointed out is the idea that new-build communities devalue older houses in the area. He said that actually a lot of the older houses come with bigger lots than newer builds.
"If you get into something that you can fix up, well now all of a sudden you're going to have a house that feels like it's new but it's got a broader layout — its got a more impressive layout, maybe higher ceilings and a bigger lot — than what you would've had with a new build."
Luckily, Vancouver has a lot of options for older homes that you can renovate to your personal style.
The Vancouver real estate market
Most people know that Vancouver has one of the most expensive real estate markets in Canada, but the brothers have a unique perspective that might be good news for homebuyers.
Drew said that the Vancouver market right now is really strong, and the benchmark home price has gone up the past couple of months to $1.25 million.
"For Greater Van, you have over 5,000 houses on the market — you're selling 2,000 or 3,000 houses a month, at least for the last couple of months," he added.
"The reason people are missing out on properties is because they're not organized," he said.
He encouraged people in hot markets like Vancouver to get the support of professionals and agents.
"When a market is hot you start to see more and more flip properties, and there's a lot of that happening all throughout the lower mainland," Jonathan added.
He said that with this in mind, buyers should be aware that just because something looks nice on the surface doesn't mean that it's all quality.
He said to make sure to put effort into getting inspections to ensure you are investing in something that's not "going to be a money pit."
Even with the steep prices, Drew said that you can still buy property in Vancouver by doing things like "partnering up with a family member or a friend that you trust," or finding a place with a basement suite or a converted garage.
When asked if they thought it was a good time to get into the Vancouver real estate market, Drew said that while some people are scared to get into a high-priced market, "anytime is a good time to get into real estate."
He did add that "you want to make sure that you have the right professional that knows how to assess the market value," to avoid overpaying.
Jonathan said that you can make bad and good decisions in any market and that the most important thing is to not rush the decision.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
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