The local Squamish newspaper recently did a feature article on Julie Phoenix as a part of their Women in Business Feature.  Here's a snippet of the article:

Julie Phoenix became a realtor for the same reason she became a police officer: she wanted to help people.  It was something she’d always been interested in but never took the plunge.  Six years ago, Phoenix was working with the Vancouver City Police when an injury forced her to follow the dream she’d never pursued.  “It was the kick in the pants I needed.  I enrolled at UBC, and six months later I was licenced and on my way.  And that was about five years ago.”

Phoenix enjoys finding meaning in her day-to-day work at Macdonald Realty, saying it’s the best workplace she’s ever been a part of.  In her previous line or work, people weren’t always happy to see her, she recalls, saying, “in my past job, it was a very negative job.  When you’re a police officer, no one calls you because they want to hang out with you.  It’s because they’re in crisis.  This is the opposite to what I was doing before.  People call me for help, but it’s in a positive light.”

Phoenix feels she is a realtor well-suited to understand clients because, as someone who migrated to Squamish from North Vancouver, she knows what draws people to the community.  She and her husband both grew up in the Lower Mainland and longed for something different.  “We found what really drew us was the lifestyle, just being out of the rat race” she explains.  “Every time we came up the highway and around the corner, we felt like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders.”

Like many Squamish residents, Julie is an outdoor enthusiast.  She loves to cross-country ski, run and hike but mostly, she loves to race mountain bikes.  Her races have taken her far afield as well as sticking close to home, and she has supported the mountain bike community by sponsoring social rides and cross-country mountain bike racing events for the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA) for the past four years.

Phoenix says that while the community has changed in the years she’s been there, “it’s still the small town feel.  There’s so much more community here than anywhere we’ve ever lived before.”  And Phoenix says that, be it helping someone find their dream home or selling it, her favourite part of her job is helping people in her community.

The whole Women in Business feature article can be found here.

@Copywrite 2019 Squamish Cheif

Photo credit: Paula Owen

Read full post

Budgeting for Home Ownership

BUYING A HOMESmart budgeting is required when buying your home. Saving the down payment and crunching numbers helps determine how much mortgage you can afford. But the costs don’t just end there. Planning in advance ensures that financial surprises will not interfere with your homeownership plans. Be prepared for these additional costs.


This is due when your Offer to Purchase has been accepted and is essentially a gesture of good faith between the buyer and the seller. Your deposit becomes part of your down payment if the deal proceeds. A minimum deposit is usually a small percentage of the purchase price. 

Home inspection

Homebuyers are usually counselled to add a home inspection as a condition to the Offer to Purchase Agreement. A home inspector looks for items that could affect the price and desirability of a home, such as outdated wiring, shabby roofing, an elderly furnace, cracks in the foundation, moisture or mold issues, or poor insulation.


An appraisal may be required to determine the market value of the property you are buying.

Mortgage default insurance

This is a mandatory expense for buyers who make a down payment of less than 20%. The cost of this insurance depends on the amount of your down payment and also certain details of your application. This premium is charged on the amount of the mortgage and can be added on to the mortgage.

Legal Fees

Once you sign your Agreement of Purchase and Sale you will need to hire a real estate lawyer or notary. Your lawyer will conduct a title search, register your new home in your name, register the mortgage properly and make sure the down payment and land transfer tax go to the correct offices on time. 

Title insurance

This protects you from any unpleasant revelations about your property's history that might crop up in the future. This insurance is obtained through your lawyer. 

Interest adjustment

Unless you take possession on the first of the month, you must prepay the amount of interest accrued up to the first day of the next month. This depends on what payment structure you have chosen (monthly, bi weekly, weekly, etc). That sum is due on your closing day or with your first payment, depending on the lender. This is not an extra cost. It is the amount used to align the payment schedule that works for you.

Prepaid bills

The seller may be entitled to a reimbursement, from you, if he or she has prepaid bills (water, gas or hydro), property taxes, or condo fees.

Provincial and Municipal Land Transfer Tax

All provinces, with the exception of Alberta and Saskatchewan, charge a land transfer tax when a property is purchased. This is called a provincial land transfer tax. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, the provincial government charges a much smaller registration fee instead. Land transfer taxes are normally calculated as a percentage of the property value and are to be paid up front.

House insurance

Canadian law states that a home owner must have fire insurance on his or her new property effective when he or she takes possession.  

Utility deposit

If you are a new customer, in most cases be prepared to pay a deposit when you sign up for your services.

Moving costs

Take into account the cost of moving all your possessions from one location to another. Get an estimate of your moving cost.

Source: Jason Nesseth - Mortgage Broker with TMG The Mortgage Group

Read full post

With all the crazy cold weather Squamish has been enduring lately, we felt it would be a good time to share some homeowner care tips.

When a snowstorm hits, you may still have to take care of some clean up around your home no matter how well you planned ahead after seeing your friends and neighbors post about the storm on Facebook. Follow these steps to get your property safe and back to normal for you and your family.

What to Look for INSIDE Your Home

  • Windows: Check for cracked or broken windows. If you see something, while you wait for a repairman, cover it with plywood or a thick piece of cloth to help keep the heat in and the pests out.
  • Water Pipes: Stop any possible flooding by shutting off the water supply until a plumber can come over to make repairs.
  • Chimneys: Check your chimney for any structural damage – prevent household fires and smoke inhalation by calling in a professional to fix the damage before using your fireplace.
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Make sure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If you experience a power outage and need to use your fireplace or burn fuel to stay warm, it’s especially important that you’re protected.
  • Ceilings: A cracked or leaky ceiling could mean roof damage. If there are any structural issues, either find a place to stay outside your home or keep to a safe part of your house until the damage is fixed.

What to Look for OUTSIDE Your Home

  • Power Lines: Stand at your front door and scan the area to see if there are any downed power lines nearby. If there are, stay indoors with your family and pets to stay safe from electric shocks and call your power company to inspect and fix the problem.
  • Clearing Snow: If it’s safe to do so, start as soon as you can – fresh snow is lighter and easier to clear than packed snow. Be sure to dress in layers to prevent hypothermia, warm up slowly by marching in place, and then stretch to avoid pulling a muscle.
  • Trees and Branches: Check your yard for fallen trees and broken branches. Even if you find none, inspect your trees closely to make sure you haven’t missed any cracked tree limbs that may eventually fall and cause damage or injury.
  • Roofs: Check the roofs of your house, garage or shed. Generally, one square-foot of snow that is one-inch deep weighs about a pound. If your roof has up to 12 inches of snow on it, that equals thousands of pounds of stress. Hire a professional to safely remove the snow so you don’t experience damage or leaks. Even if you don’t have a lot of snow on your roof, it’s still important to remove the snow that’s there to prevent an ice dam from forming after it melts. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and stops melting snow from draining off properly.


  • Before You Drive: Before getting your car out of the snow, warm up the engine for at least ten minutes and scrape or brush off any snow or ice that has piled up. To clear snow away from the tires, turn the steering wheel from side to side or dig out with a shovel. Next, rock the vehicle, shifting from forward to reverse and back again. (Check your owner’s manual first — this technique can damage some transmissions.) Avoid spinning the wheels by keeping a light touch on the gas while easing forward and backward.
  • After You Drive: After a few days, go to the car wash to remove any de-icing materials or salt that may be left on or under your car. When the air temperature rises above 35 degrees, salt can cause corrosion and rust. Also, consider changing your windshield wipers because ice from the snowstorm can warp the blades.

Pets: Salted driveways and streets can cause chemical burns on your dog or cat’s paws, especially after long periods of time, so make sure they have booties when they walk outside or be sure to wash their paws clean.

It can feel overwhelming after a snowstorm has passed through your neighborhood. But the sooner you start cleaning up around your home, the faster you and your family can go back to enjoying the winter wonderland.

Source: and WolfPack Home Insepction

Read full post

It's been quite a long time since we have blogged on our website but we felt now was a great time with all the excitement in the air surrounding the Reader's Choice Awards.

In 2014, Jack was the winner of the Reader's Choice Award for Best Realtor and this year, Julie won! 

With almost 60 practicing realtors in Squamish, it's such a privilege to be the recipient of this award.  Julie couldn't be more excited to now carry the torch and she is very grateful to everyone who voted for her.

The photo below was taken by Dave Buzzard who is a freelance photographer for the Squamish Chief Newspaper and this photo was used in their supplemental edition of the paper which included all the winners.  

The photo below was an advertisement that Julie put in the newspaper to thank everyone for their support.  The photos used in this advertisement were taken by the lovely and talented Paula Owen, who was also a recipient of a Reader's Choice Award this year.

Congratulations to all the businesses and individuals who won an award this year.  Here's a link to see all the winners of the Reader's Choice Awards for 2018:

Read full post

Wow, I guess it's true that hard work pays off! What a great surprise and honour to receive these awards today. This just further confirms that I made the right choice with my career change. 

Thank you to everyone at Macdonald Realty for welcoming me as the newbie to the office last year and for all the help along the way. Thank you to Jack Fowler for seeing something in me that made you want to partner up with me. Thank you to my clients, friends and family for all the business, referrals, encouragement and support. Couldn't have done it without each and every one of you! 

I look forward to what 2016 brings and will continue to work just as hard to reach new goals this year.

Read full post

It's the beginning of the month and the start of a new year so that means the market stats are here!  I do have all the stats across the board but since Squamish is my specialty, Squamish is what I'm going to talk about.  


Overall, 2014 was a great year for Squamish.  Prices are up all around from December 2013 to December 2014 and are as follows:



- Single Family Detached Homes: up 7.9%;


- Townhouses: up 7%; and


- Apartments/Condos: up 15.1%



Compared to the same time last year, sales are up as follows:



- Single Family Detached Homes: up from 8 sales in December 2013 to 14 sales in December 2014;


- Townhouses: up from 10 sales in December 2013 to 17 sales in December 2014; and


- Apartments/Condos: up from 3 sales in December 2013 to 6 sales in December 2014.



We are all eager for another great year in real estate for 2015 but as we start the year off, Squamish is lacking inventory.  There are many buyers just waiting in the wings for the right home to go up for sale so whenever anyone ever asks me when they should list, I say do it now!  Why wait until the spring like all your neighbours and have that much more competition to deal with?  Why not sell your home now when you know there are buyers just chomping at the bit to get a piece of the Squamish lifestyle?  Many properties, when priced right, are going into multiple offers and because of that, buyers are acting quickly as they don't have the time to sit on the the fence as in previous years.


If you're interested in knowing the stats for other areas in Greater Vancouver, you'd like some information on listings in your area or you just want to catch up over coffee, feel free to contact me any time.


All the best for 2015!




Read full post

Two sets of buyers, two offers on two different properties in one day, two inspections on the same day, two subject removals in two days, one exhausted realtor.  What an awesome way to start 2015!  

Read full post

The agent's open tour was held this morning on my new listing at #6-2401 Mamquam Rd, Squamish and it went off without a hitch.  This home is in the highly sought after complex of Highland Glen Estates so there has been lots of action on it already.  We had one showing before any other realtors even got in to see it and tonnes of agents showed up for the open.  Another showing lined up for Saturday and an open house is scheduled for Sunday, November 30th from 2-4pm. Can't wait!

Read full post
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.