Cory Raven | 604-220-9399


Can Vancouver learn lessons from this developer/development?  Vancouver is hoping to bill itself as the world's green capital, and it may just be time to do something drastic. Your thoughts?


California developer introduces 'One Planet' ethic to this coast

 "True sustainability' is the goal of 1,700-residence initiative north of San Francisco, not 'just a reduction in emissions'
If any organization has a truly global vision of sustainability, it's Bioregional.

The United Kingdom-based company has created an initiative called One Planet Communities. Those communities, now in place in several countries, are committed to reducing the ecological footprint of their residents to a truly sustainable level by 2020.

"The point of the One Planet program is to try to achieve true sustainability instead of just a reduction in emissions relative to something abstract like building codes or 1990 levels," says Greg Searle, executive director of BioRegional's North America office.

"The only real absolute that we know is that we have one planet and that there are nearly seven billion of us on a limited amount of bio-productive land. It's a kind of global speed limit that we're exceeding unsafely."

The One Planet initiative was inspired by BedZED, an urban eco-village Bioregional helped create in 2002 in the U.K. BedZED ended up being a living laboratory for ecological living, inspiring a new generation of design and public policy, Searle says.

"The One Planet program grew out of the observation that if we could create that much change in one country, just by building a small demonstration project, that we ought to challenge conventional ideas about sustainability with larger, more ambitious demonstration projects around the world."

Searle, a Canadian and an Ottawa resident, is One Planet's North American manager and a member of the organization's international steering committee.

There are now One Planet communities in Portugal, China, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and most recently in the U.S.: the Sonoma Mountain Village, or SOMO, in Rohnert Park, Calif., just north of San Francisco.

The SOMO project has all-encompassing sustainability as its goal. Sonoma Mountain Village is a 200-acre, mixed-use, solar-powered zero-waste community, of almost 1,700 homes that aims to have every resident no more than a five-minute walk to groceries, restaurants, day-care and other amenities offering local and sustainable products and services.

Good intentions

When asked how the initiative differs from green-building programs such as LEED, and in particular LEED for Neighbourhood Development, Searle says One Planet is goal-driven rather than point-driven, but also works to inject sustainability into every aspect of the project. For example, one development in the U.K. not only ran a sustainable canteen for construction workers, it also encouraged them to bike to work.

"Just going to the highest level of a green-building rating system like LEED doesn't get you out of trouble [with carbon emissions] in the building category, and does very little to help the waste and transportation contributions that are often very significant," he says. At last year's Living Futures Conference, Bioregional and SOMO developer Codding Enterprises presented a study on the total carbon footprint of households in various green-building scenarios.

To live truly sustainably, the report said, U.S. households would have to achieve a 75-percent reduction in their total carbon footprint.

The study found that even households in an LEED for Neighbourhood Development platinum project -- the highest ranking possible -- achieved only an 18-per-cent reduction. Green buildings and smart-growth planning are important steps, says Searle, noting that while LEED works nicely with the One Planet program, green buildings alone are not nearly enough.

Rising to the challenge

Already frustrated by the process and results he was seeing in his own LEED projects, Geof Syphers of Codding Enterprises welcomed the challenge One Planet Communities offered when developing the Sonoma Mountain Village.

"Even in the very best-case scenario, under an LEED Platinum project, we were only reducing CO2 emissions by 15 to 20 per cent relative to the status quo," says Syphers. "Even if we were beating stringent codes by 40 per cent, and we're supplying half of the power with renewable energy, we're still providing the other half with fossil fuels and causing a net detriment to the planet."

Syphers says the One Planet framework was attractive, in part, because it lays out exactly what is needed to achieve sustainability. "It makes no claim that you'll succeed," he says, "but if you fall short, you'll know exactly what the gap is and why, and then they publish that widely.

"Instead of patting ourselves on the back for reducing waste by 89 per cent, we say we made good progress, but still have a long way to go, and if you can help us, that would be great. It allows real science to happen."

Progressive Reporting

An important tool in the One Planet program is a publicly available annual audit. Searle

describes this aspect as particularly timely in light of recent negative press over green buildings found to be underperforming. "Monitoring is generally a huge gap and it's rare to find a real estate developer that's willing to take risk over a 10-year period to have their progress reviewed. I think it makes a much better product for the consumer and raises the integrity and credibility of a project enormously."

Searle argues that we need to go into sustainable projects with the spirit that they are pioneering opportunities for us to learn what works, and perhaps more importantly, what doesn't.

Priceless Future

Both Searle and Syphers acknowledge that they cannot control the environmental impact residents have when the developer leaves the SOMO development, but when they consider the BedZED experience and others, they estimate that the design, planning and services of the development with help residents reduce their total direct carbon emissions by 83 per cent.

Perhaps even more impressive than this, or the development's enviable bells and whistles, are the great strides being made in changing policy and bylaw barriers.

"My main motivation is to first legalize this and enable it," says Syphers. From variances needed to narrow streets, to the three bills now pending to expand solar applications, Sonoma Mountain Village's greatest impact, like BedZed's, could well be in forging the way for others.

For more information on the SOMO's impressive attributes, visit,,or

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Are you planning a visit to our beautiful city during the Olympics?  Be aware that due to the high demand for short term rentals, there are a large number of scammers out there on various websites.

See article below

Olympics schemers already at start line

Appeared in print: Sunday, Jan 10, 2010

The 2010 Olympics are approaching, but the scams already have arrived, according to the Oregon Better Business Bureau.
These include phony ads for British Columbia rental properties that are popping up on craigslist and other online classifieds, the BBB says.
Victims of these type of rental scams typically say they were told by the supposed landlord that they needed to wire a large deposit in order to receive the keys to the rental home.
When the victims ask if they can check out the property first, the landlords claim that they are out of the country. Often, the scammer lifts photos of actual houses that are for sale that have been posted online — a scam that also showed up in Eugene last year, real estate agents reported.

The BBB advises people who are looking for rentals for the Olympics to watch out for these red flags:

The landlord claims to be located outside the area where the rental is and will only communicate via e-mail. Scammers frequently say they’re out of the country for a job or on missionary work.
The landlord asks the potential renter to wire money through wire transfer services, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. “Money sent via wire transfer service is extremely difficult to retrieve,” the BBB says, “and once the scammers have picked it up, there is little recourse — if any — for getting your money back.”
The landlord requires a big deposit before giving you the keys — or even showing the home. “Don’t pay any money before inspecting inside the property,” the BBB says. If you absolutely can’t inspect the property in advance, the BBB says, get a contract with all the terms, details and conditions spelled out. Make sure the rental is furnished, ask for proof that the person actually owns it, and ask if you can pay when you arrive, after signing a contract, instead of in advance.
Homeowners who are renting out their home, condominium or apartment for the games are required to have a business license through the city of Vancouver — ask for a copy. A license is not, however, required to rent a single room.
Finally, the Olympics has an official Web site, , with a list of hotels, bed and breakfasts, private home rentals and rooms on cruise ships.
Cory Raven
Managing Broker
TAC Real Estate Corp.
604.220.9399 (direct)
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The Capitol Residences are coming along nicely, as seen in this photo found on
Capitol Residences at 833 Seymour as of January 2010
Capitol Residences, built by Wall Financial (Run by Peter Wall and Bruno Wall) was sold a few years back by Bob Rennie and Rennie Marketing Systems.
What is the address of Capitol Residences?
The address is currently slated to be 833 Seymour Street,Vancouver.  This may change at completion.
Who is the builder of Capitol Residences?
Capitol Residences is being developed by Wall Financial Corp.
What is my condo at Capitol Residences worth?
For a free evaluation of your condo, conact Cory Raven of TAC Real Estate Corp at 604-220-9399
When will Capitol Residences be completed / finished?
Capitol residences is slated to be finished in late 2010.
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I have just uploaded a copy of this month's Informed Buyer and Seller Newsletter
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Here is a copy of my July 2009 Informed Home Buyer Newsletter
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Market conditions drive strong June housing sales

VANCOUVER, B.C. – July 3, 2009 – The combination of low interest rates and more affordable pricing helped propel Greater Vancouver home sale numbers to the second all-time highest total for the month of June.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased 75.6 per cent in June 2009 to 4,259, from the 2,425 sales recorded in June 2008. The figure is just short of the record-breaking 4,333 sales which occurred in June 2005.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.9 per cent to 5,372 in June 2009 compared to June 2008, when 6,546 new units were listed. However, new listings increased 13.5 per cent from May to June of this year. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 13,252, down 27 per cent from June 2008 and 2.9 per cent below the active listings count at the end of May 2009.

“Price reductions and low interest rates have created an improvement in affordability, which is causing the number of sales to rise to levels comparable to 2003 to 2007,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said.
“Many people who were reluctant to purchase a home last fall and earlier this year are returning to the market because they see conditions that appeal to their personal and financial needs,” Russell said. “However, the current marketplace is such that buyers are more inclined to walk if they don’t like the terms of an offer.”

Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index, declined 8.2 per cent to $518,855 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of detached properties increased 81.6 per cent to 1,667 from the 918 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 8.4 per cent to $701,384 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of apartment properties in June 2009 increased 69.3 per cent to 1,790, compared to 1,057 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 8.2 per cent from June 2008 to $356,880.

The number of attached property sales in June 2009 increased 78.2 per cent to 802, compared with the 450 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 7.3 per cent between June 2009 and 2008 to $441,620.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in June 2009 compared to June 2008:


Burnaby up 109.7 per cent (151 units sold from 72)

Coquitlam up 122.2 per cent (160 units sold from 72)

Delta - South up 107.7 per cent (56 units sold from 27)

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 54.3 per cent (162 units sold from 105)

New Westminster up 104.8 per cent (43 units sold from 21)

North Vancouver up 96.2 per cent (153 units sold from 78)

Port Moody/ Belcarra up 120 per cent (33 units sold from 15)

Richmond up 77.4 per cent (204 units sold from 115)

Squamish up 107.7 per cent (27 units sold from 13)

Sunshine Coast up 33.9 per cent (75 units sold from 56)

Vancouver East up 71.2 per cent (238 units sold from 139)

Vancouver West up 85.2 per cent (200 units sold from 108)

West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 117.8 per cent (98 units sold from 45)


Burnaby up 81.8 per cent (140 units sold from 77)

Coquitlam up 80 per cent (54 units sold from 30)

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 48.6 per cent (55 units sold from 37)

North Vancouver up 121.2 per cent (73 units sold from 33)

Port Coquitlam up 82.6 per cent (42 units sold from 23)

Port Moody/ Belcarra up 77.3 per cent (39 units sold from 22)

Richmond up 84.5 per cent (155 units sold from 84)

Vancouver East up 118.5 per cent (59 units sold from 27)

Vancouver West up 121.8 per cent (122 units sold from 55)


Burnaby up 60.4 per cent (239 units sold from 149)

Coquitlam up 93.9 per cent (95 units sold from 49)

New Westminster up 57.1 per cent (121 units sold from 77)

North Vancouver up 71.4 per cent (120 units sold from 70)

Port Coquitlam up 58.1 per cent (49 units sold from 31)

Port Moody/Belcarra up 128.6 per cent (48 units sold from 21)

Richmond up 54.1 per cent (225 units sold from 146)

Vancouver East up 58.7 per cent (165 units sold from 104)

Vancouver West up 87.2 per cent (627 units sold from 335)

West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 155.6 per cent (23 units sold from 9)

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1. As with conversations, listen more than you speak (or read more than you Tweet)
Think of Twitter as a busy conference.  If you run up to everyone you meet in real life and try to sell them something, soon enough people will lose interest in you, right?  Same on Twitter.  It is not "whoever Tweets the most wins"  It is more "whoever can provide real information to their followers wins"
Spend some time reading the Tweets of people you follow, you will surely find some interesting topics and unique perspectives
2. Follow, Follow, Follow
Follow people.  You don't have to follow just your heroes, friends and favorite celebs.  When in doubt, follow!  If you find a person Tweets too often, you can always unfollow later
3.Thank people for their @ mentions
If someone takes the time to retweet what you say or mention you in a positive way to their followers, make sure you thank them.
4. Ask yourself "Why is this interesting to people?" Before Tweeting. 
If you are selling a product, don't just tweet that it is for sale, try to convey something of interest.
5. If Tweeting a news story, try to give your thoughts or opinion instead of just linking
Linking is like handing someone a newspaper and saying "read this"  Adding your opinion helps open conversation and perhaps even debate (Twebate? ok, maybe that is a little much)
6. Don't listen to me! 
Ok, I think I have some valid points here, but who knows where social media will go?  If you have something you think works, go with it!
Cory Raven is a Metro Vancouver Real Estate Salesperson currently licensed with MAC Marketing Solutions.  In addition to trying to add his mark to the social media phenomenon and servicing the needs of his clients, Cory is also working with MAC Marketing's owner, Cameron McNeill to create a boutique Real Estate Company of an elite group of Trusted and Committed Realtors to service the Vancouver Real Estate Market.
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Today's Real Deal is a 1250 square foot 2 bedroom on Jervis in the Westend.
Today, the price was dropped $20,000 to $539,000
Looks like a great price for a 2 bedroom in such a great area with 2 parking stalls.
This listing, along with most Real Deals is not my listing.  On my Real Deal's I scour the entire MLS looking for the best deals for my clients and post Real Deals here as often as I see them
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Today's Real Deal is a 2 bedroom  in Concord Pacific at Aqua @ The Park
Price has just been reduced!
This listing, as with most of the Raven's Real Deal, is not my listing.  The Real Deal service is me scouring the MLS for what look to be good deals on behalf of my clients and potential clients.  Enjoy!
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Today's Real Deal is a 4 bedroom FREEHOLD townhouse in Champlain Heights.  Rentals not allowed.  This seems like an excellent buy for a family looking to get into the market.
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1680 Bayshore Drive (Maybe I am biased because I used to live in the building, but I LOVE Bayshore Drive) offered @ $619,900
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Please excuse the mess while I upgrade my website.  In the meantime, you may access all my blog posts by clicking here.
Please excuse the mess while I upgrade my website to provide you with even more timely and topical information on our market and the process of buying and selling.  In the meantime, you can access my blog by clicking here
Cory Raven
Cory Raven - Managing Broker
RE/MAX Select Realty
4806 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
V5V 3R8