Squamish Real Estate Blog


Lifestyle | Winter in the Sea to Sky
As the weather is getting colder and the holiday season is getting closer, I love supporting local holiday experiences and makers! 
Starting with Squamish at Dusk, a new winter light experience at Rose Park located near the Squamish Adventure Centre on now until December 10th. I also can't wait for my annual Vallea Lumina winter night walk in Whistler on now until May 2024, relaxing after a walk with a hot apple cider around a firepit is the best!
Now I can't forget about my two labs Georgia and Maya, they can't wait for Wednesday nights at the Whistler Olympic Park at Callaghan Valley to open on December 13th. They have over 40km's of dog friendly trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, the biggest off-leash furry friend experience in the Sea to Sky Corridor! 
Whistler Olympic Park
I also love that the Squamish Farmers Market is every Saturday until December 16th this year, I always make sure to take a walk downtown for the last Saturday market of the season to pick up some gifts from my favorite local makers, for my colleagues at the Macdonald Realty office here in Squamish. 
My holiday shopping experience is also never complete without stopping by at least one holiday market, this year I am planning on making it to the Whistler Bespoke Market located at the Audain Art Museum, a stunning venue and market filled with local makers on December 9th and 10th in Whistler. 
What is your favorite winter experience in the Sea to Sky? 
~ Julie

McGillivray Trusted Program

In June of 2023, I was contacted by the team at The McGillivray Group and was invited to be a part of McGillivray Trusted, a program offered by the McGillivray Group which offers Canadians a carefully curated hub of real estate agents, experts and professionals across the country who qualify for the exclusive Scott McGillivray stamp of approval in their market. Even as one of the top performing real estate agents in Squamish, this was a huge compliment and there was no hesitation to join the program.

McGillivray Trusted believes that the value of knowledgeable, connected and experienced real estate professionals is critical to Buyers, Investors and Sellers in any type of market. McGillivray Trusted is putting their name on the line to endorse real estate professionals so when you hire them for your real estate needs, you are getting the most bang for your buck. 

McGillivray Trusted takes the legwork and uncertainty out of finding reliable real estate agents and other professionals in the industry by hand-picking and extensively reviewing their excellence in client satisfaction, depth of experience, marketing and results. In turn, the endorsement program provides Buyers, Sellers and Investors access to the professionals with the highest level of customer care, experience and dedication in their chosen market.

With over 20 years of experience in real estate investments, Scott McGillivray the award-winning HGTV celebrity, executive producer as well as real estate and renovation expert and his team have successfully established the growing program with over 66 real estate professionals in over 70 markets across Canada.

When you work with me, a McGillivray Trusted Agent, you can feel confident that Scott has given me his personal seal of approval.

Click here to see all the McGillivray Trusted Agents & Professionals across Canada.

~ Julie


Community Spotlight | Borealis Landscape Lighting
As we head into the fall and winter seasons here in Squamish with those moody dark nights it is the perfect time to bring your outdoor space to life with stunning light designs.
Borealis Landscape Lighting is a newly established business here in Squamish, with a passion for creative outdoor lighting designs. They are a team of experienced professionals who are dedicated to transforming your landscape and home into a breathtaking and inviting oasis after the sun goes down. 
They understand that outdoor lighting is not just about illumination, but also about creating ambiance, enhancing safety and security as well as showcasing the beauty of your property. With their expertise in design, installation and maintenance they can help you to achieve the perfect lighting solutions tailored to your unique needs and preferences. Whether you have a residential yard or a commercial property, they take pride in designing a lighting system that maximizes the potential in your outdoor space and creating a stunning visual impact.  
We also love that they are committed to implementing eco-friendly practices like using energy-efficient LED fixtures and bulbs, which helps to save on energy costs as well as reducing our environmental footprint. Additionally, we love their dark sky compliant techniques, ensuring that the natural beauty of the dark skies in the Sea to Sky are showcased perfectly, this means that you can leave your backyard lights on while soaking in the hot tub and still see the stars!
If you are interested in getting your yard ready for those little trick or treating goblins and ghouls this Halloween season, reach out to Borealis Landscape Lighting! 
Phone | (604) 848-9190

Buying a Home | Pre-Sale Development

If you don’t need to move right away, there are many benefits to buying a pre-sale (home not yet built) in Squamish.

Lock in Today’s Cost | Since the market is often fluctuating and in Squamish specifically appreciating, purchasing a pre-sale generally means that you are locking in at the current market value and potentially avoiding future price increases.

Investment Appreciation | In a growing real estate market like Squamish, the value of properties tend to appreciate over time. If the market is continuously seeing growth, you may even see an appreciation of a pre-sale property before it is even completed.  

Pick your unit | If a development project has just been launched, there is a higher chance that you will be able to pick the location of your new home, maybe you want an exterior unit that has access to the main road or an interior courtyard unit. Something to also think about is the view, how much sun you want or how private your unit would ideally be.

Custom Home | If you buy a pre-sale early enough in the construction of your new home, you might also have the opportunity to customize certain interior finishes, the layout and sometimes minor design changes. A previous client of mine even had the cabinet making company upgrade and customize all of her closets during the process!

There are some risks involved like changes to interest rates and potential delays in construction, however if you don’t need to move right away there are so many benefits and buying a pre-sale might be the step that you need to get into the real estate market.

Before pre-buying real estate, make sure to research the developer and consider seeking advice from your local realtor and a mortgage professional in order to make an informed decision. Some mortgage brokers may even be able to secure you a longer-term rate hold specifically for pre-sale purchases.

Click here to see the current pre-sales in Squamish. The river views for the soon to come MTN Village pre-sale will be amazing! While your at it checkout the Finch Drive pre-sale the sunsets here can’t be missed!

~ Julie


Community Spotlight | Peaks and Ocean Window Cleaning

Peaks and Ocean is a premium window washing company based in Squamish, they are a locally owned and operated business that started in 2022, dedicated to providing high quality window cleaning services to residential and commercial properties in the Sea to Sky corridor. 

One of their main goals is to offer good employment to local teens and young adults. "It is awesome to work with these motivated teens and see them get stoked on putting out a great product through their hard work."

What do you love about what you do? | I love that I can be my own boss, it is so nice being able to think of an idea and implement it as fast or slow as I want. This also comes with a lot of responsibility, but I do thoroughly enjoy being able to make the decisions whether they are good ones or not.

What does a day in the life look like? | A day in the life is typically pretty hectic. I currently run Peaks and Ocean Window Washing and I just started up a second business called Borealis Landscape Lighting; this is a brand-new project for me where we specialize in high quality outdoor landscape lighting. My family has been in the landscape lighting business back in Ontario for 40 years and I have decided to go out on my own here in Squamish, so every day is a bit different from the last but they are always busy and filled with surprises.

What would your ideal weekend look like? | I truly enjoy spending time in Squamish, so an ideal weekend would be a mixture of time with my wife and friends either mountain biking, hiking or climbing. We also enjoy just hanging out around a fire or down at the river for a swim.

3 small things that make your day better?

1. Starting my day with some quiet time, I typically wake up between 5:30-6:00am and spend an hour reading the Bible and in prayer. It truly gets my day started off well and when I miss out on it, I notice.
2. Quality time with my wife.
3. Spending time with our pup Sawyer

3 small pieces of advice based on your industry?

1. Good customer service goes a long way, always pick up your phone when a customer calls.
2. Quality work over Quantity of work.
3. Treat your employees well.

If you had unlimited funds to build your dream house, what would the look and feel be like? | Well, thanks to Julie Phoenix we just got pretty close to our dream home. We moved in this weekend and it is everything we hoped for. It has mountain views, bike trail into our backyard and a great common area/kitchen for entertaining guests.

Where can people find you? 

Website | www.peaksandocean.ca

Facebook | Peaks and Ocean Window Washing

Instagram | @peaksandocean


Buying a Home | Kitchen Renovation

This kitchen renovation before and after! When my clients started the search for their home, they knew exactly what area in Squamish they wanted to buy in. After putting in three offers they had an accepted offer on the exact street that they were hoping for, however they needed a little vision for what the home could be. 

The house was only eight years old, with one previous owner and was really well taken care of, it just wasn't their personal style. They were able to look past the dark design choices with a plan in mind, in order to take this exciting next step together. They wanted a more bright, open and modern feel to their home and found a local renovation company in Squamish that was able to deliver exactly what they were looking for. 

When they bought their home it was in the peak of a market that was in favour of the seller with multiple offers, asking prices that were increasing and they also needed to make changes in the house to make it a home. However, if they had waited to buy in this market it would have been a while before a house in the same area became available again and this would have also come with a potentially higher asking price. I love that they took this step, even though they needed a little vision beyond the aesthetics and functionality as they now have their dream kitchen as well as lovely neighbours in a great community and I couldn't be happier for them. 

Overall, in a sellers market there are many benefits to buying a home that may need renovations, including less competition, potential lower asking price and the ability to fully customize your home. 

Have you renovated an area in your home recently? I would love to hear how it went, leave a comment below!

~ Julie


Neighbourhood Spotlight | Downtown Squamish
When the weather is warm, one of my favorite areas in Squamish for a Saturday walk is Downtown Squamish! I park near the Macdonald Realty office on Cleveland, it's always the perfect spot to start my walk.  
There is a new hidden gem in Squamish called Noshy that is a quick 5 minute walk, this is usually my first stop for a bite to eat. They have a small, casual and fun sit down area with a simple but yummy menu including my favorite, soup with a savoury tart! Then I make my way back down to Cleveland for dessert, which usually ends up being a Fox & Oak Doughnut. I'll of course have to also get two dog doughnuts to go, for my labs Georgia and Maya...as they will never forgive me if I don't!
My final stop is always the Squamish Farmers Market, I love supporting local makers, picking up fresh ingredients for dinner and listening to music when they have a musician playing. Here is a recipe that I made with my husband last Saturday evening, after stopping at the market: 
Grilled Peach and Blueberry Pasta Salad:
  • 4 Cups Penne
  • 4 Firm/Ripe Peaches
  • 2 Cups Bluberries
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 5oz Arugula
  • 3 Lemons
  • 4 Tsp Maple Syrup
  • 4 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste 
  1. Cook Pasta according to Package. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and then chill until needed.
  2. Place four peach halves cut side down on a bbq. Grill, covered over medium-high for 8 minutes or until grill marks appear, then cool. Cut remaining four peach halves into 1/2" pieces. 
  3. For the dressing, you will need 1 Tsp lemon zest and 1/2 Cup lemon juice. In a large bowl whisk together the lemon zest, juice, mustard and diced garlic. Add the pasta, chopped peaches, arugula and blueberries to the bowl and mix with dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. To serve, top with grilled peach halves and drizzle with maple syrup.
  5. Enjoy! 
I would love to hear your favorite spots to walk to in Downtown Squamish or if you try the pasta salad above, leave a comment below!
~ Julie

Community Spotlight | Home Steps Organizing
Home Steps provides Organization and Relocation services in Whistler, Squamish and Vancouver. I have worked closely with Ashley as she has supported multiple clients to declutter and stage their homes to get ready for listing. Home Steps provides light staging, meaning Ashley will use your own belongings while packing away any visual clutter and creating a more open and inviting space for a potential buyer. Learn more below!
Why do you love what you do? | I love that every client session is different, since Home Steps has started I have worked in so many homes. My clients have included a young college student needing a hand to pack and move home, to helping a busy family stage their townhouse and continuing bi-yearly decluttering sessions in their new home, to supporting a senior downsizing client find a home for her most loved possessions including a medium grand Steinway piano. 
What does a day in the life look like? | As mentioned above, everyday is different and I love that! I'm either working alongside my clients or on my own in their homes. Going to consultations, taking donations or working on the backend of my business to make it the best it can be! I am a one woman show, the only service that I hire is my accountant, everything else is 100% me.  

What would your ideal weekend look like? | When I'm not working, I love to keep it simple. A weekend in Squamish usually involves a hike or two, a walk downtown for lunch with my husband or a couple drinks with friends. Currently things are a bit hectic as our kitchen is being renovated, but I can't wait for that to be done, so that we can get back to our simple routines. 

3 small things that make your day better? | When a client has a pet, who is then my assistant for the day :) When I get to see a client's reaction to a finished space! Warm weather, with evening hikes or walks with my husband. 

3 pieces of advice based on your industry? | As soon as you know you want to sell your home start the decluttering process to get ready for listing, this will also make your packing and unpacking experience go much smoother. Start small in the least used areas of your home, until you know when pictures will be taken and showings will start, then you can ramp up as needed. Have some packing supplies on hand as you start to declutter, maybe you have some craft supplies for example that won't be used until after your move but they can be decluttered and packed properly now instead of scrambling near your possession date. 

If you had unlimited funds to build a dream home, what would the look and feel be like? | My husband and I have always discussed together that it doesn't matter how much money we have, our house will always be small since we don't need much space. As mentioned above we are currently renovating our kitchen, this is so that it feels more like our personal style. However, we will always keep things simple, I personally like the idea that if we get overwhelmed with life in a busy season and can't keep up with dishes and laundry, etc the piles will never really get that big, since we keep our belongings minimal to start with.   

Where can people find you? 
Instagram | @home.steps
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