HGTV’s House Hunt Winner in Best International Home 2015: Timber Frame Home in Squamish

The HGTV House Hunt has finished and the votes are in. Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you to all who helped Macdonald Realty’s International Home nomination become the 2015 winner. Find out more about this amazing listing below on the HGTV House Hunt website:

Timber-Frame Home in Squamish

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This backyard view of the home shows off the pairing of stone and neutral siding that were used for the exterior. The landscape and hardscape includes a small pond and evergreen trees.

Special thanks to our luxury home marketing network partners at Luxury Portfolio International for coordinating our nomination.  What an honour!  Our Squamish listing won over fellow nominees from Queenstown New Zealand, Paris France, Marrakesh Morocco, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and other exotic global locations.

Lynn Hsu, CEO of Macdonald Realty, named one of The 50 Most Influential Women in BC | BCBusiness

From politicians to bankers, charity mavens to retail entrepreneurs, these are the leaders who are having a big impact behind the scenes and at centre stage in British Columbia.

If you’re a reader of the business press—or any story featuring the power brokers in our midst—you’ll be struck by one thing above all else: the paucity of women. While some may argue that “them’s the numbers”—and yes, women are poorly represented in the boardrooms and backrooms of B.C.—the fact is that we in the media bear some responsibility. The evidence of powerful and dynamic women leaders abounds. It’s just not being reported as frequently.

That, in part, is why BCBusiness decided to do this survey of B.C.’s Most Influential Women: to put a distinctly female face on power and influence in B.C….

Lynn Hsu
President and CEO, Macdonald Realty

Influence: Taiwanese immigrant Hsu has helped turn Macdonald into one of the largest full-service real estate firms in B.C–and the gateway for Mainland Chinese investors.

The panel says: “Macdonald is far bigger than even the real estate industry realizes, in terms of the amount of transactions. They’re one of the largest residential brokers in B.C., and on the commercial side, the amount of real estate that they’re transacting–they’re doing deals that are as big as what Colliers or CBRE is doing.”

Read about the other 50 Most Influential Women in BC at BCBusiness

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BC Real Estate is Front and Centre in Shanghai | BCBusiness with Dan Scarrow

Beyond Borders
Macdonald Realty’s Shanghai office is meeting the needs of its clients and bearing fruitful results

As seen in BCBusiness July 2015 issue.

As the demands of the BC real estate market change, realtors and their respective real estate agencies must react accordingly to stay in the game. For one agency, this meant thinking outside of the box and stepping out of its time zone.

When Macdonald Realty opened its office in Shanghai, China, last year, it was branded as “The Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre.” But Dan Scarrow, who manages the Shanghai office, says that his Chinese clients had their own words to describe it. Impressed with the office’s scope, they say that it covers “an entire dragon of services.”

Those services include residential resale, commercial sales and leasing, new development project marketing and property management. While American, Australian, New Zealand and European real estate companies had established offices in China, Macdonald Realty was the first company in China with a sole focus on Canadian real estate. The company decided to open the office as a response to their clients’ desire for better access to the Chinese market.

Scarrow is uniquely qualified to run the office. He has been working with Macdonald Realty for nearly 10 years, and has worked as an executive assistant for the CEO, and as a residential and a commercial agent. He is a born-and-bred Vancouverite, but he is half Taiwanese. “The upshot is that Mainland Chinese see me as a white Canadian, but I’m also able to communicate with them in Mandarin,” he says. “I guess you could say that, in China, I am an authoritative foreign curiosity and hence memorable.”

His company, says Scarrow, has several competitive advantages. “Our intimate knowledge of the market is what makes us uniquely valuable to investors here,” he says. “We are small enough to be agile, but big enough to provide a full range of brokerage, management and advisory services.”

Scarrow works with Chinese clients who are in the process of immigrating to Canada, with new Canadians and with pure investors. Those interested only in investment tend to look at new condos and commercial properties. “What resonates with investors in China is the perception of Canada as a safe and secure investment climate, in contrast with China’s robust, but volatile, environment,” says Scarrow.

In order to stand out in today’s highly competitive real estate market, Macdonald Realty has undertaken several innovative marketing strategies. As technology has made property information widely available to the public, Scarrow notes that the role of the real estate agent has shifted: from gatekeeper of information to interpreter and negotiator. To meet the demands of those roles, Macdonald Realty has been working with an outside training organization to offer all agents the exclusive Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designation. Macdonald Realty has also launched its own magazine called Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes, to help market its luxury home listings in Canada and in China. Produced by the company’s own in-house creative marketing team, the magazine has proven to be a hit.

But from his own experience, Scarrow says that the most important way for an agent to get ahead is to be a competent professional first. “Doing a fantastic job with one client will generate more long-term business than even the most successful email campaign,” he says. “Start with the people who know and trust you, do an unbelievable job for them and continue learning about how to be a professional from the good agents and managers around you.” Dan Scarrow manages Macdonald Realty’s Shanghai office sults just come a lot easier.”

This article was originally posted on BCBusiness, June 12th, 2015. 

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Macdonald Realty Nominees for HGTV’s House Hunt 2015

The HGTV House Hunt is on once again! This year we are nominated under 3 categories, with 4 of our listings in beautiful BC. Tour amazing homes across the globe, vote for your favorites, and enter for your chance to win a $10,000 cash prize! And remember you can vote for your favorites once a day. Follow the instructions below to vote for Macdonald Realty Nominees for HGTV’s House Hunt 2015:

Step 1: Tour the homes in the category.
Step 2: When you’ve found your favorite, click “I’m Ready to Vote.”
Step 3: Choose your favorite by clicking “Vote.”
Step 4: Click “Continue to Next Category” to tour more homes.

Amazing Kitchens: Country Estate in Vancouver
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A mix of contemporary style and country charm brings this spacious, eat-in kitchen to life. Charcoal gray cabinets and gray stone countertops blend seamlessly together, while a gray and white chevron tile backsplash breaks up the monochromatic space. The large island pairs with country-style barstools to provide additional seating for dining. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite Amazing Kitchen!

 

Privacy, Please: Luxe Chateau in Victoria
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Sprawling mountain views and a luxurious infinity-edge pool and spa, what’s not to love? Relax, unwind and take in the incredible views of the natural Fiord of Finlayson Arm and the Saanich Inlet. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite Privacy, Please candidate!

 

Rustic Lodge in Chilko
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Located on 25 acres of deeded land with a private 10-acre lake, the Huston Family Estate offers an unparalleled atmosphere with breathtaking views of the majestic Chilko Valley. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite Privacy, Please candidate!

 

Timber-Frame Home in Squamish

 

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This backyard view of the home shows off the pairing of stone and neutral siding that were used for the exterior. The landscape and hardscape includes a small pond and evergreen trees. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite International Homes candidate!

 

Thank you to our global partners Luxury Portfolio International for bringing attention to our amazing collection of luxury homes listed across British Columbia by our Macdonald Realty agents.

5 Ways to Stay Safe At Home

No matter how beautiful or spacious your house, the most important thing is that you feel safe and secure in your own home. It is scary to think that break-ins happen, but don’t worry, there are things you can do to prevent them. Check out these 5 tips to stay safe at home!

  1. Set up an alarm system. Alarms are one of the most effective ways to ensure safety in your own house. By setting up an alarm system, the police would be alerted in case of a break in. Moreover, it would automatically make your home a less favorable target since the burglars would not want to risk setting off the alarm.
  2. Don’t hide your keys in obvious places. Hiding your keys under the doormat or a rock may be okay a few decades ago, but now you may want to change up your hiding spot. The best place to put a spare key is with a trustworthy neighbor or family member.
  3. Install yard lights and security cameras. The brighter the area outside your house is the less likely it is for burglars or intruders to find hiding spots. A security camera could also help with identifying the intruders or alerting homeowners of an intrusion.
  4. Lock your windows and doors. The easiest way to prevent a break-in is at the point of entry. Locks are crucial, so don’t be afraid of spending a little bit more on them to ensure the safety of your house. Burglar-proof windows are not necessary but could be a possible upgrade in particularly at risk areas or dark alleyways.
  5. Keeps your plans private. You may be super excited for your next vacation, but wait until you’re back from the trip to share your plans publicly. It’s okay to tell your close friends and families but there is no need to tell the supermarket clerk or the hairdresser because burglars rely on these tips on people who will be out of town.

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5 Tips for Staying on Budget During Renovations

Are you getting ready to sell your house? Perhaps that includes some renovations. Check out our top 5 Tips for Staying on Budget during Renovations!

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  1. Stick with standard sizes and models. Custom kitchen cabinets, for example, are very expensive. Save money by choosing stock ones, then attaching molding, corbels, or wood carvings for flair.
  2. Don’t work without a design. Some projects require an architect, some an interior designer, and sometimes a talented builder will get your aesthetic and help you come up with a good plan. Don’t start a remodel without a detailed floor plan. A lot of elements interact in a space — put them all on paper and you’ll catch problems before they are built.
  3. Rent or borrow what you don’t have. Check with neighbors and friends for miter saws and power drills. Home centers rent heavy-duty tools, such as tile cutters and power washers, for a weekend fee
  4. Keep the same footprint. Consider what projects you can complete without moving walls or other systems behind the walls. Building an addition, moving walls, or relocating sinks and stoves involves major construction as well as new electrical, plumbing and flooring work.
  5. Budget for the Unknown. While it’s great to keep a positive attitude and think that everything will go as planned, life usually doesn’t work out that way. When coming up with your kitchen reno budget, add on at least 15% for contingencies.

Big Fat Deal: This is what $15 million will buy you in Vancouver | BCBusiness

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Each week, BCBusiness takes you inside one of the most outrageously upmarket real estate offerings in the province in their Big Fat Deal real estate blog.

Price: $14,988,000
Address: 1268 Tecumseh Avenue, Vancouver
MLS: V1100762
Listing agents: Erin Mulhern and Manyee Lui at Macdonald Realty Ltd. in Vancouver

Custom built in 1984 with a Georgian design, this 7,000-sq.-ft. residence’s stately grandeur matches its location just off Vancouver’s exclusive Crescent enclave in the city’s First Shaughnessy district. For history buffs, the Crescent has always been synonymous with wealth and power, being the preferred address of lieutenant governors and the city’s elite over the past century.

Fast forward to present day and the area still holds cache with numerous august homes and estate-sized lots. This gated residence is described by listing agents Erin Mulhern and Manyee Lui as “simply exquisite” with a beautifully appointed interior that starts with a dramatic foyer accented by 18-foot ceilings and a sweeping double staircase leading to a galleried landing that sets the tone for the rest of the home.

The kitchen counts professional-line appliances while an expansive great room with vaulted and coffered ceilings provides an outlook that spans the entire south-facing garden. A butler’s pantry serves as a connection between the kitchen and the dining room, where mirrored ceiling panels and a chandelier add a touch of glamour.

The formal 23-foot living room can easily accommodate a baby grand piano, while hardwood floors flow through to the adjoining study where wainscoted walls imbued with a deep red gloss add a further notch on the imperial chart.

The upper level is home to four bedrooms including a private master wing endowed with the required walk-in closet and a spa-like ensuite bathroom complete with a rain head shower and bench seating, plus a stainless-steel freestanding bathtub. A one-bedroom suite above the three-car garage provides additional accommodation.

Pull up a chair in the recreation room downstairs where a well-stocked bar and separate wine cellar will keep the libation flowing, or decamp into the media room for movie watching.

Multiple french doors lead out into a garden oasis with large terraces that are perfect for summer entertaining, and a swimming pool and a tennis court for friendly—or more serious—competition.

This article was originally posted on BCBusiness, April 24th, 2015.  Written by Nicola Way.

Nicola Way runs the property listing sites BestHomesBC.com and AssignmentsCanada.ca.

Macdonald Realty Recognized for Outstanding Referral Services

Macdonald Realty was Recognized for Outstanding Referral Services

Macdonald Realty received the prestigious Global Alliance Award for the Most Outgoing Cross Border referrals from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), a global network of more than 500 top independent real estate firms. The award was presented at the network’s Annual Awards Gala this spring during LeadingRE Conference Week in Las Vegas.  This was Macdonald Realty’s third consecutive year winning this award, showcasing our position as a local BC company with strong international connections.

Also, in the Marketing category Macdonald Realty received honorable mentions for their 2014 Corporate Brochure of Integrated Real Estate Services and their 2014 Recruitment Video in the Interactive Media / Video category.

“An innovative and creative approach to marketing is critical for success in today’s real estate market. Our award-winning firms have distinguished themselves by conveying their firms’ unique character, while providing essential information to home buyers and sellers.”

Macdonald Realty is the sole Vancouver representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com), the largest network of premier locally-branded firms in more than 50 countries. LeadingRE provides its affiliates with an extensive range of brokerage services, which include lead generation, cross-market referrals, branding support, luxury marketing, online exposure, technology systems, and industry-leading professional development.

For more information on placing a referral with our award winning referral team, please email relocation@macrealty.com or call 1-877-278-3888.

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$94K micro condo in Surrey attracts hordes of home buyers | Platinum Project Marketing

Macdonald Realty Estate Group’s project marketing team, Platinum Project Marketing had a busy Saturday, launching sales on Evolve, a new condo development in Surrey, which Developer WestStone Properties said sold 300 condos worth about $70 million in a frenzied 90 minute rush.

Read on for the full story as reported by The Huffington Post.

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Photo from The Huffington Post

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Surrey Condo Sales: Hundreds Line Up For Chance To Buy $94,000 Micro-Units

The opportunity to buy a brand-new condo for under $100,000 in Metro Vancouver’s sizzling real estate market brought hundreds of people to a Surrey sales centre on Saturday.

Prospective buyers stood in line for hours to buy into the 35-storey Evolve concrete tower. A big draw were the micro suites, starting at 316 sq. ft. and $93,900.

Twin brothers and WHL players, Connor and Curtis Honey, drove up from Edmonton to be the first people in line at 4 a.m. for the opening day of sales. They snapped up one of the 80 micro condos.

“It is pretty small, but I think there’s ways to work around it and maximize the space,” Curtis Honey told CTV News.

Developer WestStone Properties said 300 condos worth about $70 million were sold in a frenzied 90 minutes Saturday.

The majority of Evolve’s 406 units are priced at less than $250,000.

The condo project’s marketers, Platinum Project Marketing, also credited the high-tech sales presentation, including holograms and augmented reality, for drumming up interest. (Watch video above.)

Evolve is scheduled to be finished in 2018. It’s one of several new towers in Surrey’s developing West Village.

With about 1,000 people moving to Surrey every month, the city is forecast to become B.C.’s biggest by 2041.