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Monday, February 23, 2009
Vlog#2 Cruising in Downtown Vancouver
Alrighty, here's part 2 of my previous vlogging...I think the edit turned out a little better this time!

So here we're headed into Downtown via the viaduct onto Dunsmuir Street, took a left on Burrard Street toward the water (Burrard Inlet) where some of Vancouver's finest hotels can be found along with the Convention & Exhibition Centre, another right on Howe Street toward Georgia Street and Robson, and then my camera died on Robson Street headed toward Denman Street (sorry!). But at least we got the main section of Robson...it's THE place most people go to cause major damage on their credit cards!

For all you out-of-towners, I've also attached an image of a map of Downtown with an iteniary...hoping this will help make the tour more comprehensive (you can click on it to enlarge).


Amy Kizaki
Vancouver PowerSearch Team


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Let's go to Downtown Vancouver!

Okay, here's my first attempt at vlogging. We started at the beginning of Commercial Drive, made a right on 1st Avenue, another right on Main and a left at the viaduct that goes straight into Vancouver. I love this drive because the view you get of Science World and the skyline, with all the new high rises, is absolutely priceless...and my sad excuse of recording really doesn't reflect it but I swear, I'm going to practice!! It was a super gorgeous day to boot, too.


Things to remember for next time:
- buy a better camera
- hold the camera still


Amy Kizaki
Vancouver PowerSearch Team


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Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Good News For Vancouver Real Estate Market
Over the last couple weeks there has been a noticeable change in the real estate market in Vancouver. The drop in interest rates combined with the new federal budget announcements encouraging first time homebuyers to break out of their shell and embark on the journey of home ownership. The two main announcements coming from the Federal Government was first time home buyers will now be allowed to use more of their RRSP (Up to $25,000 from the original $20,000) and the ability to write off closing costs such as legal fees.

On a personal note I have seen the market pick up substantially in the past couple weeks. I was taking out clients this past Sunday and was surprised to see that 6 of the open houses I was able to show had already had an accepted offer! Of course this was in very desirable areas in Vancouver (Kitsilano / False Creek) but this begs the question: Is this turning back into a seller's market sooner rather than later? I don’t think we are close to this yet, however people who are waiting for the market to drop further may be in for a surprise when they decide to purchase and there is a mad dash to the open houses across the city and they are paying through the teeth to purchase their investment. My advice would be to take advantage of these special circumstances and jump on the opportunity to become a homeowner in an area desired by most of the world!

Lee Bryant
Investment Specialist
604.220.5498 direct

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Saturday, January 24, 2009
Have a beer and window shop in Granville Island
Granville Island is nestled right in the middle of Vancouver, underneath the Granville Street Bridge, one of the bridges which connects Downtown Vancouver and Vancouver West. Sure it's a tourist destination, but locals (especially the artsy bunch) also love to go there and stock up on fresh produce and fruits from the Public Market and cruise through the different buildings packed with specialty stores, most of which are arts&crafts stores (I found a wicked bead store...you can actually sit there and make your own jewelry, something that I might drag a girlfriend there to do with) and custom designs stores.

The Public Market really never gets old. Enter through the doors and what's an old, industrial building from the outside turns into a bustling, exciting (and delicious-looking) world of every food product you can think of, from fresh veggies & fruits to seafood to candy to meats to pasta to a variety of teas to much much more. The strawberry and cherry baskets are stacked like pyramids and the flowers are beautifully assorted, the whole place is like an art gallery! You can't get away with just walking by the variety fudge and desserts section...especially if you're with kids. I also found a pasta place that held tortellinis with different kinds of filling...one word: mmmmmmm!!

I also took a full virtual tour of Granville Island some time ago, take a look at it here.

In the back end of the Market, past the food court is an exit that will pop you out at the dock right on False Creek. On a nice day it's a perfect spot to set up a picnic...across the water is Yaletown, one of Vancouver's trendiest neighborhoods, which is very nice on the eye. We caught it right when the sun was starting to set, casting a gorgeous orange-ish ray on the futuristic highrises, an ongoing trend in Vancouver.

The island also has it's own brewery, Granville Island Brewing. Since we were there of course we stopped in for a drink and some snacks...this time we tried the sampler, which gives you four options worth 6 oz each. We were served with the Winter Ale, some seasonal darker one, a Pale Ale and a Honey Lager. My personal favorite was the Winter Ale...very smooth and very yummy!

As I mentioned before Granville Island is full with art & craft stores...Emily Carr, the university for art and design, calls Granville Island home, and there is also a large theatre where different groups perform (the Arts Club Theatre Company).

Never been to Granville Island? You can read more about it's history and venues on their website. If you're from out of town, it's a destination you really shouldn't miss.

Amy Kizaki
Vancouver PowerSearch Team

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Saturday, January 17, 2009
DINE OUT Vancouver 2009
Last night I got to enjoy a DINE OUT dinner at Joe Forte's in downtown Vancouver with CEO Glenn Sanford and fellow Vancouver/ Seattle Powersearch team member Amy Kizaki.

Dine Out Vancouver is where numerous food loving locals and tourist dine at participating restaurants featuring three-course menus. This is annually held from Mid- January to the beginning of February. This is one of Vancouver's premiere restaurant events that showcases some of Vancouver's top restaurants at very reasonable prices. The three course menus are set at $18, $28 and $38. The menus will be highlighted with a BC VQA wine pairing, that compliments each restaurant's culinary expertise.

Joe Forte's has been a institution in downtown Vancouver for almost 25 years and one of its best Oyster bar and grill restaurants. Regularly packed with people waiting, last night was no different.

Forte's had a $38 three course meal. We all had their famous Oyster's to start, and then the Surf and Turf (Steak and Prawns) as our main course and Creme Brule for desert.

The food was totally worth it in my books. All three courses were quite delicious.

Recommendation: Food was excellent. Highly recommend it to anyone who likes seafood. Excellent Value. Two thumbs up!

Edison Chua
Real Estate Consultant
Vancouver PowerSearch Team
Sutton Group West Coast Realty
604-728-1939 direct

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Friday, December 19, 2008
Sun Sui Wah...quite possibly the best Dim Sum in Vancouver!
Being Dim Sum afecionados, last weekend my boyfriend and I decided it was time to find a new Dim Sum restaurant to make our new Sunday brunch destination. After doing quick research on the internet we decided to try Sun Sui Wah on Main Street in South Vancouver...and I am in L-O-V-E!

To start, the location is great, very easy to find on Main Street, and there is underground parking available for their customers (which is ALWAYS a plus in Vancouver). The restaurant is located on the entire second floor of the building, the first floor being the lobby/waiting area with a twin curved staircase leading up to the restaurant...gives the place a rather grand feeling. They apparently host parties and wedding receptions here as well. The food was excellent, a little on the pricey side compared to other places (dishes range from $3.20 to $5.95)but I would much rather pay a little bit more for great service and a clean atmosphere. The waiters are very friendly, quick on their feet and bring your requests almost instantly (if you aren't familiar with Dim Sum atmosphere, imagine staff scrambling to get tasks done quickly and your orders taking a looooong time to be filled, even if it's just water or your favorite hot sauce) and you have to witness these guys clear a table to believe how fast they get it done.

We also found out that they have won numerous awards, including Best Chinese & Best Seafood in Vancouver Magazine for 2006 & 2007. Didn't surprise us at all, though!

For those who are planning to try them out, be sure to have a credit card or cash; they don't take debit cards. And if you have a sweet tooth, for dessert a must-try is the baked tapioca pudding...it's absolutely scrumptious!

They have two locations, one in Vancouver and one in Richmond. You can get their information on their website.

Amy Kizaki
Vancouver PowerSearch Team

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