Latest news from I4 Properties Group

Spa-Inspired Bathrooms: The 700 Standard

Luxury is about more than just style; it’s also about value.


After all, many of the most luxurious materials on the planet–diamonds, gold and marble–are also extremely durable and timeless.


Because consumers are looking at their homes in new ways–often refocusing on a longer-term commitment—an increasing number are seeking spaces that will continue to deliver luxury and style many years down the road. For the bathroom, that means spa-worthy products and features that add comfort, beauty and cutting-edge functionality.


I4PG developer Myron Calof has elevated the ‘powder room’ to new heights of luxury in his latest condo project. Floor-to-ceiling oversized porcelain wall tiles and shower surrounds are perfectly paired with porcelain floor tiles to create a seamless and serene water-resistant spa bathroom environment that is easy to maintain. Give yourself the Hollywood superstar treatment with an oversized backlit vanity mirror, sink into your oversized soaker bathtub or decompress under your multi-directional shower head to complete your highly personalized spa bathroom experience.


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Play to Win – Real Estate Investing

Buying and selling real estate property quickly is not always the best strategy for real estate investing. The Canada Revenue Agency may view this activity as business income, and you will likely have to pay tax on any profit you make on your investment. It is preferable to buy properties for the long term, rent them out and use your positive cash flow to reduce the amount of your mortgage owing, building equity in your property. If you then sell years later for a profit, it will likely be classified as a capital gain and thus one half of your gain will be tax free. In a traditional real estate investment situation, an investor buys a property and rents it out to tenants. If done properly, the investor builds wealth from not just one but from three distinct pillars.


Cash Flow

Cash flow is usually calculated by adding the rental income from all sources followed by subtracting the expenses and mortgage payments. Money left over at the end of the month after all expenses and mortgage payments have been made puts the investor in a positive cash flow situation. The benefits of owning a property with positive cash flow is that the investor can spend the money by topping up their reserve funds or by performing renovations that increase the value of the property. It’s also important to know that when a market or home prices experience a downturn, the investment is buffered by the cash flow that is still coming in. Regardless of market fluctuations, rental values rarely decrease in large cities, especially in popular neighbourhoods. While the sellers market can be affected by an economic downturn, the price of rent can even increase when demand for rentals goes up, which is likely to happen when the buyers market has slowed down. If your rental property is well located, well maintained, and occupied by quality tenants, your investment is guaranteed to yield a profit in the form of positive cash flow.


Principal Recapture

If you own a personal residence, you probably know that your mortgage payments include a principal portion and an interest portion. The principal portion is the amount of money that was borrowed and is still owed to the lender. One benefit of real estate investing is that the rental income collected from the tenant is used to pay down the mortgage, including the principal, month after month and year after year.



There are two types of appreciation in real estate investing. The first is called market appreciation and it occurs when a property increases in value over a period of time based on market forces. The second type is called forced appreciation and it happens when improvements have been made to the property. Re-investing your positive cash flow into the property builds appreciation and is a strategic way to grow your money when the market has slowed down. Purchasing new product in a pre-sale phase is another smart way to build on your investment that doesn’t leave you cash poor. Prices per square foot on pre-built new condos are considerably lower, and give the investor time to save capital before closing 6-18 months later. Once the building is complete, property values inherently increase, which increases your appreciation in a relative short time span.

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Savvy Buyers Choose Hardwood Laminate

Ever popular hardwood flooring has a tough competitor; hardwood laminate flooring has grabbed the attention of savvy buyers for several reasons. Appearance, durability and ease of maintenance are all very persuasive factors for new homeowners.


Like real hardwood options, hardwood laminate is available in a wide variety of simulated wood types and colors. While an imitation of real wood, the pattern visible on the floor is literally a printed image bonded to the clear surface with an aluminum oxide finish. This finish gives hardwood laminate floors their photo finish quality.

Hardwood laminate is manufactured in a process using melamine resins and aluminum oxide; bonded with high heat and extreme pressure. It is scratch and stain resistant and ideally designed for areas with a high degree of foot traffic, especially by children and pets. This type of flooring is very easy to maintain and does not fade even in direct sunlight.


Unlike real wood, hardwood laminate is extremely resistant to liquid penetration, and can withstand spills and wet footwear without changing colour or staining. Caring for hardwood laminated flooring is as easy as dry mopping or wiping with a damp cloth.

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Built to Last- Concrete Condo a Wise Investment

Proponents of concrete cite advantages that include acoustic privacy, building quality and return on investment. Its “green” qualities include durability and energy efficiency.


But the concrete low-rise is far from the industry norm, since a wood frame is generally a cheaper option both for the builder and the consumer. It’s a popular building form in cities like Barcelona – and it’s slowly gaining ground in Greater Vancouver.


Sotheby’s realtor David Thomas, who represents the four-storey 700 Marine project, says that “buyers come here specifically because it’s a concrete building.”


While the 26-unit project is an island in a sea of wood-frame condos it’s one that attracts a discerning buyer.


“For the West Coast climate,” explains Mr. Thomas, “wood is less than ideal as a building material since it expands and contracts. Concrete is more durable.”


In a typical mixed-use development, for instance, where the ground floor is usually concrete, “wood adjacent to concrete foundations – well that’s going to cause some problems.”


He contends that this project attracts a “wiser clientele who are more sophisticated and prepared to pay extra to have peace of mind and quality.” He also notes that concrete buildings depreciate less than wood frame, and are therefore a wise investment.


Acoustic issues are also paramount in buyer’s minds, he contends, recalling a wood frame project he represented recently where, from the ground floor he could hear “every word buyers said” at the upstairs sales centre.


In a typical wood frame building, he notes, floors might be concrete but in reality are only a “thin membrane over top of wood.”


In a special “why buy concrete” addendum to the project website, other advantages are cited, including more allergen-free ventilation than in mould-producing wood frames, as well as structural safety, lower repair and maintenance costs and a greater sense of comfort and privacy.


“There’s an emerging market for the concrete low- and mid-rise,” contends Mr. Thomas, “especially on Vancouver’s West side, North Shore and at UBC.”


“People get enamoured with fancy taps and display centres – but the important thing is the structure, and concrete is built to last.”


Original Source: Globe and Mail – Hadani Ditmars/2013

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New Condo: A Wise Investment in 2015

The value of a typical Edmonton house hit a record $401,000 in 2014 after assessments jumped 7.1 per cent. It is the first time average single-family home values in #YEG have been more than $400,000, pushed by the biggest rise in assessments since 2011. On average, condos, townhouses and duplexes were up 5.3 per cent, apartment buildings rose nine per cent, and commercial-industrial properties increased 2.8 per cent.


According to EREB, in 2014 average condo prices in Edmonton rose 4.5% to $252,175,  almost 30% lower than the current price of a detached home. I4PG developer Myron Calof says buying a new condo in a pre-sale phase gets you into the market at a lower price per square foot, and gives you time to save and grow your money before the mortgage payments begin. Qualified buyers can purchase a home for as little as 5% down.


Assessment and taxation branch manager Rod Risling says the real estate market is poised for growth in 2015. “The economy is pretty hot in Edmonton, employment is high, high salaries, a lot of net migration — that puts a lot of demand on housing.”


Despite recent reports of economic changes, “an outright recession is highly unlikely,” chief economist Todd Hirsch says in ATB Financial’s latest economic outlook. The quarterly report says Alberta will likely see its gross domestic product grow by two per cent in 2015, about half of the 3.9 per cent GDP growth seen in 2014. Hirsch said Albertans should watch their finances but not worry too much.


Sources: David Howell, Gordon Kent- Edmonton Journal


Real Estate Investing

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Best In Class KitchenAid Architect II Series

For years, KitchenAid has been a well-known affordable luxury brand in the consumer market. The KitchenAid Architect Series II features a 6-cycle 5 option energy efficient dishwasher that ranks highest among its competitors and is considered best in class. The sleek designed stainless steel dishwasher features a heat dry option, concealed controls, a 4-hour delay option and adjustable compartments to accommodate a wide array of bowl and plate sizes. The Architect Series II dishwasher also includes a rare third level utensil rack and features KitchenAid’s Whisper Quiet System.

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Quartzite Countertops

One of the biggest deciding factors in choosing a kitchen counter should be the amount of maintenance required to keep the countertop looking as good as day one. Quartzite countertops reign supreme since they are an extremely non-porous surface that can easily resist spills and ultimately stains.


Granite is a porous stone that needs to be sealed at least once a year to keep it protected. Without this labor-intensive sealing protection treatment, bacteria can grow in the small crevices that you cannot see with the naked eye. This can actually end up being a safety hazard in the sanctity of your own kitchen, where you may be preparing raw foods including chicken and fish. When it comes to strength, quartzite countertops win again. Granite contains crystalline material, which allows for fissures and small spaces. Although it is resilient to cracking and chipping, it just isn’t as strong as quartzite countertops in this regard.


Quartzite Countertops are the smart choice for durability, longevity, and maintenance.

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New North Vancouver Condos- A Wise Investment In 2015

The average price for a detached home in the Greater Vancouver area is now over $1 million according to statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.


That’s up 8.1 per cent from a year ago and more than 27 per cent in the last five years and comes at the end of a year of hot sales of Vancouver area real estate.


The number of sales of all properties from apartments and condos to houses, reached 33,116, a 16.1 per cent increase from the 28,524 sales recorded in 2013.


On average, new condo prices in North Vancouver hover around $480,000, less than half the price of a detached home. Purchasing a new condominium means a smaller deposit, a managable mortgage, modern features and finishes, home warranty gaurantees, and a great ROI first-time buyers and property investors who can capitalize on the demand for new rental product on the North Shore.


Analysts reccomend investing early in 2015, based on previous market activity and an estimated spike in sales by year end.


“Condominium properties have increased 3.5 per cent over the last 12 months,” Ray Harris, president of the REBGV, said in a news release.


Re/Max, one of Canada’s largest realtors, is predicting home prices in Vancouver will rise by another three per cent in 2015.


Across Canada, Re/Max forecasts a 2.5 per cent increase in house prices.


Canada’s other hot market, Toronto, could see prices soar by four per cent, it predicts.


“Housing demand is being supported by steady employment and immigration, while our GDP is expected to grow another 2.5 per cent in 2015,” said Gurinder Sandu, Re/Max Integra regional director for Ontario and the Atlantic region.


“This is mitigating the effects of higher inventory, which many markets have been experiencing due to increased development.”


Historically, low interest rates have helped sustain demand and the prospect of an interest rate hike later in 2015 could potentially mean a spike in real estate purchases as prospective home owners snap up homes ahead of a rate hike, Re/Max said.

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Public Art Installation at 700 Marine

Cascade – over 8,000 pieces combine to create Cascade, a flowing glass sculpture that captures the spirit of Wagg, Mission and Mosquito creeks that descend from the heights of the Coastal Mountain Range to intersect the site of 700 Marine Drive in North Vancouver.


three creeks
under your feet
can you hear us
quantities of water
merging to meet the ocean


Artist Claudia Cuesta says “Cascade speaks of water, constantly flowing, reflecting, bouncing light, rushing from within the earth. These ancient creeks dance beneath the sky circling the land, they pour, twist and run to meet at 700 Marine Drive as they descend on their way to Burrard Inlet. By deconstructing movement, Cascade constructs the spirit of the creeks and allows the elemental forces of nature to be referenced in the urban surrounding.”


The Artist – Claudia Cuesta is a graduate of the Slade School of Art. Cuesta, a Sunshine Coast resident, shows internationally and her work can be found in many public and private collections such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, the Bemis Centre for Contemporary Arts in USA, and the Schlumberger Collection in, Paris. Her public art pieces and large scale sculptural works in the Lower Mainland featuring glass include “Dancing Tower” at the Newton Arts Centre in Surrey, “Fields” at 3rd and Grandville Street in Richmond, and “Balance” at 224 Street and Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge.


Exhibits of Claudia’s work have been held at the Pitt Gallery in 2003, Indiana University in 2001, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in 2000, the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver in 1998, Performance at the International Exhibition in Chianti, Italy in 1998, an outdoor installation at the Rio


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de Janeiro Biennale in 1997, the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, Colombia in 1994, the Power Plant in Toronto in 1993, the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham UK in 1992, the South Bank Art Gallery in London,UK in 1992, and many group shows.


Cuesta taught until 2008 at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, at the Universidad Nacional in Colombia in 1995 and at various art schools in England from 1989 to 1993. She currently mentors emerging and senior artists. For the past ten years she has been collaborating with Bill Baker to create public artworks that integrate art and architecture.Lea Rosson Delong of the Bemis Centre for Contemporary Art has said of Claudia Cuesta:


Her art has been informed by late modern minimalism, yet she infuses it with content far beyond the purely formal.

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Work Underway at 700 Marine Drive

Work is underway at 700 Marine Drive as demolition began earlier this month in October as part of the site preparation.

The modular fencing has been erected for the security of the site and the safety of the neighbourhood.

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