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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven June 2017   

Hi,

The middle of June already, where does time fly.  Next Wednesday is the 1st full day of summer.


The market has been active and certainly keeps everyone on their toes.  Trish held the fort down for a couple of weeks while Rudi went to New Brunswick to help out his folks after his father spent 3 weeks in hospital.  Rudi got lots of chores done that were too big for them and was able to make arrangements for additional support.  Now they too can enjoy the coming summer and leizurely get into the garden when time and energy permits.

Rud & Trish enjoyed Rudi's return by spending the weekend in the mainland having a big family dinner, attending a lovely wedding in North Vancouver and then enjoying a boat cruise around Vancouver as a follow up to the wedding.

Please review the invitation to the right for TeamW's celebration of your continued support and the 1st full day of summer.  We hope you can attend!  RSVP team@teamw.ca .
 

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Home Is Where the Smart Is
Soothe Your Soul with a Water Feature
Washing the Washing Machine
VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 
Demand continues to exceed supply on Vancouver Island.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that in May 2017, 632 single-family properties sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 765 last May, a decrease of 17 per cent.

VIREB attributes the year-over-year decrease to continuing inventory challenges, not a weakening market.  Month-over-month, sales increased by 32 per cent from April, which saw 477 sales.  This increase likely reflects seasonal selling conditions since the housing market is typically busier in the spring.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 28 per cent from May 2016, with 1,210 active listings available last month compared to 1,681 one year ago.  Listings of single-family homes have steadily increased each month since VIREB hit its historic inventory low of 859 in December 2016.  However, demand continues to exceed supply, and well-priced properties are snapped up almost as soon as they hit the market.

“Limited supply, combined with high demand, means it has been a sellers’ market for months.  Sellers are in the drivers’ seat, and the lack of inventory is frustrating buyers and REALTORS® alike,” says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.  “That said, even though we’re in a sellers’ market, homeowners still need to price their home correctly.  Houses can sit unsold for months if they’re priced higher than the market will bear.”

She adds that sellers are not immune to the frustration that buyers are experiencing because it is hard to sell your home if you cannot find another property to buy.  Still, homeowners reluctant to sell due to concerns of housing availability should make the most of this hot market.  “Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.  “When the market does correct itself – and it always does – it usually happens without warning.”

Stromar also has advice for buyers, stating that patience and preparation are a must in a sellers’ market.  “When you find a property you like, you need to act quickly, so make sure your financing is pre-approved.  Since many homes are selling above list price, you should also decide on a comfortable price point you’re willing to pay.”  She adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market.

“This kind of market can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help clarify the situation,” says Stromar.  “We’re also equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help buyers formulate winning offers and ensure sellers receive maximum dollars for their home.”

For Single Family Homes in the greater Parksville – Qualicum Beach area in comparison to last May number of new listings was down 7% and the number of sales were down 25%, however note that the number of active listings at the end of the month was down 27% in comparison to the same time last year.  The lack of availability of inventory is reflected in the reduced number of sales.

Year to date (January to May) 2017 vs 2016 the number of new listings is down 16% and the number of sales down 20%

The prices continue to remain strong due to the lack of supply and the average value of the homes sold in May 2017 was $548,696 which is a 13% increase from May 2016.

If you would like more in-depth details check out the report here or if you would like to have a discussion about your specific situation or needs contact us, team@teamw.ca , and we would be pleased to meet and explore your situation with you.

HOME IS WHERE THE SMART IS

Smart home technology is continuing to grow at a rapid rate!

Smart home technology has gone from basic security to smart windows that open and close based on the weather and indoor air temperature.  Here’s a look at a few smart home innovations that will revolutionize our lives:

  1. Connectivity is King - The connected home is a huge theme this year that features connected appliances, smoke alarms, lightbulbs and doorbells.

  2. Talk to Me - There’s a huge focus on voice activated products around the home including voice controlled garbage cans, air purifiers and fridges.

  3. Home Help - Robots are being used to offer companionship for seniors and there’s also an innovative, lifesaving cane that sends out an alert in the event of an emergency.

  4. Laundry Lackey - Washing machines that can do multiple loads at once will save us valuable time and there’s even a machine in the works that will fold the laundry!

  5. Breathe Easy - Sensors can monitor your indoor air for Co2, VOCs, allergens and humidity levels and they’ll also be able to expel bad air and introduce clean air to your home.

  6. Robot Cleaners - With intelligent visual navigation, app control and powerful suction that cleans in corners, you’ll never need to push a vacuum again!

Smart home technology is always improving and it’s a major selling point because the higher your home's IQ, the higher the resale value will be!  Who knows what the future will bring but one thing’s for sure; smart home technology can provide you and your family convenience and peace of mind.

SOOTHE YOUR SOUL WITH A WATER FEATURE 

Bring new life to your outdoor space by creating a peaceful paradise.

Imagine relaxing after a stressful day at work and unwinding on a backyard lounger while listening to the sound of flowing water.

Your backyard’s the perfect place to take a break from the hectic pace of everyday life, and the addition of a water feature will help transform your garden into an oasis of tranquility, give it a beautiful focal point and may well increase the value of your home.

Water features also create an environmentally friendly haven for wildlife such as frogs, birds and butterflies.  There are a wide variety of solar powered fountains to choose from and by utilizing the sun's rays, you'll lower your electricity bills and won't get tangled up in cords.

Water attractions can be as simple or complex as your budget allows, ranging from a simple tabletop fountain to a full-scale babbling brook.  Safety of course should be a concern if you have small children and if you plan on digging, make sure to contact the utility companies.

It's important to spend a bit of time during the planning stage to ensure your water feature will integrate with your landscape and environment and then once you’ve finished implementing your new water feature, find a comfortable seat, close your eyes and imagine yourself in paradise.

WASHING THE WASHING MACHINE 

If your washing machine is giving off a musty smell, it’s time for a wash!

Washing the washing machine may seem strange but over time, soap scum and bacteria build up in front loading washing machines which creates a musty smell.

Start by cleaning the rubber door gasket with white vinegar and water.  Next, mix ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and add it to the detergent compartment, then pour 2 cups of vinegar in the drum and run an empty load at the hottest setting.

Clean your washing machine every month to keep it in tip top shape.  If you leave the door open between loads, promptly remove laundry as soon as the load has finished and don’t use too much detergent, you’ll help keep your washing machine fresh and clean.



PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
 
If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

 

Demand continues to exceed supply on Vancouver Island.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that in May 2017, 632 single-family properties sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 765 last May, a decrease of 17 per cent.

VIREB attributes the year-over-year decrease to continuing inventory challenges, not a weakening market.  Month-over-month, sales increased by 32 per cent from April, which saw 477 sales.  This increase likely reflects seasonal selling conditions since the housing market is typically busier in the spring.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 28 per cent from May 2016, with 1,210 active listings available last month compared to 1,681 one year ago.  Listings of single-family homes have steadily increased each month since VIREB hit its historic inventory low of 859 in December 2016.  However, demand continues to exceed supply, and well-priced properties are snapped up almost as soon as they hit the market.

“Limited supply, combined with high demand, means it has been a sellers’ market for months.  Sellers are in the drivers’ seat, and the lack of inventory is frustrating buyers and REALTORS® alike,” says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.  “That said, even though we’re in a sellers’ market, homeowners still need to price their home correctly.  Houses can sit unsold for months if they’re priced higher than the market will bear.”

She adds that sellers are not immune to the frustration that buyers are experiencing because it is hard to sell your home if you cannot find another property to buy.  Still, homeowners reluctant to sell due to concerns of housing availability should make the most of this hot market.  “Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.  “When the market does correct itself – and it always does – it usually happens without warning.”

Stromar also has advice for buyers, stating that patience and preparation are a must in a sellers’ market.  “When you find a property you like, you need to act quickly, so make sure your financing is pre-approved.  Since many homes are selling above list price, you should also decide on a comfortable price point you’re willing to pay.”  She adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market.

“This kind of market can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help clarify the situation,” says Stromar.  “We’re also equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help buyers formulate winning offers and ensure sellers receive maximum dollars for their home.”

For Single Family Homes in the greater Parksville – Qualicum Beach area in comparison to last May number of new listings was down 7% and the number of sales were down 25%, however note that the number of active listings at the end of the month was down 27% in comparison to the same time last year.  The lack of availability of inventory is reflected in the reduced number of sales.

Year to date (January to May) 2017 vs 2016 the number of new listings is down 16% and the number of sales down 20%

The prices continue to remain strong due to the lack of supply and the average value of the homes sold in May 2017 was $548,696 which is a 13% increase from May 2016.

If you would like more in-depth details check out the report here or if you would like to have a discussion about your specific situation or needs contact us, team@teamw.ca , and we would be pleased to meet and explore your situation with you.

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Though the number of sales are down May 2017 from May 2016 the market continues to be active and Buyers are struggling to find the right home for them.


For Single Family Homes in the greater Parksville – Qualicum Beach area in comparison to last May number of new listings was down 7% and the number of sales were down 25%, however note that the number of active listings at the end of the month was down 27% in comparison to the same time last year. The lack of availability of inventory is reflected in the reduced number of sales.


Year to date (January to May) 2017 vs 2016 the number of new listings is down 16% and the number of sales down 20%.


The prices continue to remain strong due to the lack of supply and the average value of the homes sold in May 2017 was $548,696 which is a 13% increase from May 2016.


If you would like more in-depth details or have a discussion about your specific situation or needs contact us and we would be pleased to meet and explore your situation with you.

 

Rudi & Trish

 

Click image to view May Market Stats

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Hi,

Well spring is finally here and we are almose finished our pink rain of cherry blossoms!  Everything seems a bit late this year but my herb garden is florishing and we are already planning our Summer BBQ and Client Appreciation event  on June 21st!  It is the first full day of summer!  Yes we truly do appreciate your business and support!! 


Wednesday, June 21
Drop in any time between 3 - 7pm
1478 Madrona Dr, Nanoose Bay
RSVPs appreciated though not required
team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498

We have had a wonderful year business wise so far and Rudi even managed to get away to New Brunswick for 5 days to get a Widdershoven four generation photograph while our son Nick and family were there.  Rudis' Dad is 91 and was hospitalized shortly after is & still in hospital so it was great that he got to go while everyone was there.  All our kids and grandkids are healhty & well and we are greatfull for that every day!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue... Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Cashing In On Curb Appeal
Unplugging Kids from TechnologyV

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Low inventory continues to write its own sales story.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that in April 2017, 478 single-family properties sold on the MLS® System compared to 659 last April, a decrease of 27 per cent.  Month-over-month, sales edged slightly lower from March.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 33 per cent from April 2016, with 1,122 active listings available last month compared to 1,694 one year ago.

Additional listings have entered the market since VIREB hit its historic inventory low of 859 in December 2016.  Active listings rose to 893 in January, 949 in February, and 1,023 in March.  However, properties are being snapped up almost as soon as they hit the market.

“Properly priced single-family homes between $400,000 and $600,000 rarely last more than 48 hours and usually generate multiple offers, with many selling above list price,” says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.  The real estate market on Vancouver Island has been telling the same story for several months now, notes Stromar.

“Limited supply, combined with high demand, means it has been a sellers’ market for months.  Sellers are in the drivers’ seat, and the lack of inventory is frustrating buyers and REALTORS® alike,”says Stromar.  “That said, even though we are in a sellers’ market, homeowners still need to price their home correctly.  Houses can sit unsold for months if they are priced higher than the market will bear.”

She adds that sellers are not immune to the frustration that buyers are experiencing because it is hard to sell your home if you cannot find another property to buy.  Still, homeowners reluctant to sell due to concerns of housing availability should make the most of this hot market.

“Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.  “When the market does correct itself – and it always does – it usually happens without warning.”

She adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market.  “This kind of market can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help clarify the situation,” says Stromar.  “We’re also equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help buyers formulate winning offers and ensure sellers receive maximum dollars for their home.”

In April 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $419,100, up 17.5 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 13 per cent in Duncan to 22 per cent in Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment in April rose 28 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increase was in Campbell River, at 39 per cent.  The townhouse market also strengthened in April, posting a 21 per cent increase board-wide.

CASHING IN ON CURB APPEAL 

A few small changes will transform your home’s first impression!

The key to getting top dollar for your home is to create huge demand.  In order to get as many people through the door as possible, your home has to stand out from the competition.
 
There's no need to completely overhaul your home's exterior as it's often the small details that increase the visual appeal of a property.  Here are a few ideas that will enhance your home's curb appeal:

  1. Light It Up - Solar lights will add a welcoming glow and dramatically highlight your home’s exterior.

  2. Perfect Entrance - A well-lit entry with perhaps a comfory chair and a couple of hanging baskets will set a tranquil tone.

  3. Peeling Paint - You want buyers to see that your home is well cared for so paint or power wash the exterior especially the trims and clean all the windows.

  4. Accessorize - Replace outdated fixtures such as your, door handle and lighting and make sure your house numbers are attractive and visible from the street.

  5. Landscaping - Cut the grass and trim the hedges.  Well-kept flower beds show pride of ownership and a few large pots full of bright flowers will accentuate the entranceway.

  6. De-clutter - An uncluttered exterior is as important as an uncluttered interior so put away tools, toys, bikes, pet toys and gardening equipment.

  7. Watch Your Back - When buyers drive by your home, they’ll usually try and get a glimpse of the backyard so make sure it also gets top notch treatment!

Just as people judge a book by its cover, buyers make assumptions about the interior of your home based on how the outside looks.  It's therefore important to make a great first impression starting at the curb.  Your efforts will significantly increase the chances of your home selling quickly and for top dollar!

UNPLUGGING KIDS FROM TECHNOLOGY 

It just takes a little planning to curb the addiction to screens.

Children rely on technology more than ever resulting in less exercise and a lack of creativity.  Here are a few “old school” activities to help them disconnect from their devices:

  1. Personal Puzzles - Cut an old photograph into various pieces and then see how quickly they can put it back together.

  2. Build a Fort - Drape blankets over chairs to create a cool fort.  Once they're comfortable in their new abode, drop by with some “fort warming” snacks.

  3. And... Action! - Putting on a play is a great way to exercise a child's imagination.  They can take turns writing, acting, designing costumes and even filming.

  4. Egg & Spoon Race - Give your children an egg and spoon and see how quickly they can cross the finish line without dropping it.  This old-fashioned game will get them active and outside!

  5. Caching In - Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game!  Register online and then set off to find the hidden cache with the help of a GPS.

Kids love being tourists in their own cities so take some time to regularly plan fun family outings that don’t involve technology.  If we make the effort to disconnect once in a while, our kids will be more likely to do the same.



PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
 
If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

 
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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven April 2017   



It’s been a long time coming but spring is finally here so this month’s article takes a look at a few of the latest gardening trends that will be sprouting up!

There’s also some advice on what to do if you think your house may have a foundation problem as well as a few tips on how to give your home a good spring clean.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
The Latest Garden & Landscaping Trends
Cracking Up is No Laughing Matter
Spring New Life into Your Home

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Low inventory continues to limit Vancouver Island buyers.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that in March 2017, 484 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 518 last March, a decrease of seven per cent.

Month over month, sales rose by 40 per cent from February 2017, which saw 346 sales.  Inventory of single-family homes declined by 36 per cent from March 2016, with 1,023 active listings available last month compared to 1,598 one year ago.

Low inventory continues to frustrate consumers and REALTORS® in the VIREB area. An additional 145 single-family properties came onto the market in March, but the increase was not significant enough to have a noticeable impact on inventory.  Sales would no doubt be much higher if there were more properties available, says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.

“Properly priced single-family homes between $500,000 and $600,000 rarely last longer than a day or two and generate multiple offers, with many selling above list price,” says Stromar.

Certainly, the VIREB area has been a sellers’ market for several months now.  Although some homeowners continue to be reluctant to put their home on the market fearing they will not find another house to buy, Stromar urges people to sell now.

“Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.  “When the market does correct itself – and it always does – it usually happens without warning.”

She adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market.  “This kind of market can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help clarify the situation,” says Stromar.  “We’re also equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help buyers formulate winning offers and ensure sellers receive maximum dollars for their home.”

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that strong economic fundamentals are fuelling housing demand throughout British Columbia, with the B.C. economy continuing to outpace the rest of Canada.  Increased interprovincial migration and strong job growth are significant forces driving the provincial housing market.

In March 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $410,400, up 17 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 12 per cent in Port Alberni to 23 per cent in Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment in March rose 26 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were seen in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, at 31 per cent.  The townhouse market also strengthened in March, posting a 19 per cent increase board-wide.

The March 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $323,100, an increase of 15 per cent over March 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $408,300, up 15 per cent from 2016.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $353,000, an increase of 14 per cent compared to March 2016. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 23 per cent to $452,900 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 18 per cent to $463,500.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni hit $217,800, up 12 per cent from one year ago.

THE LATEST GARDEN & LANDSCAPING TRENDS 

Get the dirt on this year’s latest and greatest gardening trends!

It’s the time of year when many of us start coming up with ideas on how to jazz up our outdoor space.  If you’re the type who can’t wait to get your hands dirty, here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  1. Natural Materials - Wood and rocks are popular gardening materials as people are moving towards a more organic and authentic look.

  2. Cozy Comfort - The Danish concept of Hygge is about creating comfortable gathering areas for friends and family such as pillow chairs that surround an outdoor fireplace.

  3. Grow Local - Sprawling lawns are being replaced with edible landscapes so homeowners can organically grow their own fruits, vegetables and herbs.

  4. eGardening - Smartphone apps make it easy to plan and grow your garden based on your climate zone.  They can even alert you if a cold snap’s coming so you can cover your plants.

  5. Gardening Gadgets - Robot grass mowers and customizable sprinkler systems that monitor the weather and adjust watering schedules are helpful for those who love lush lawns.

  6. Polly Plants - Create an inviting garden by planting bright, nectar rich flowers that will attract a variety of pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds.

Gardening is a great way to get outside and get in touch with mother nature so it’s no surprise in this ever-connected digital world that taking a break to work on our gardens is growing in popularity.  Regardless of whether or not you follow the latest trends this spring, here’s to digging in and getting your hands dirty!

CRACKING UP IS NO LAUGHING MATTER 

The foundation is the home’s most important structural component.

A serious foundation problem can quickly turn into an expensive nightmare.  Buyers realize this and won't purchase a home until it's been properly repaired or worse, they’ll simply walk away.

If you notice cracks, bowing or anything else that looks suspicious, you should have the foundation inspected by a qualified professional to determine just how serious the problem is.

Indications of possible foundation problems include uneven floors, windows/doors that are hard to open/shut and diagonal cracks on walls around the corners of doors and windows.  It's important to keep in mind though that many homes have cracks and defects which are purely cosmetic.

Foundation cracks are caused by hydrostatic pressure from water that soaks into the earth around the base of the home.  The foundation sinks as water spills out from the gutters and puddles around the perimeter putting pressure against the foundation which causes cracks that make the house settle more than it should.

If you're selling a home with a foundation problem, it’s usually best to get it fixed beforehand as a questionable foundation problem can often squash a sale.  If you don't plan on fixing the issue, at least get a few quotes so that you're able to show the approximate cost of repairs.

SPRING NEW LIFE INTO YOUR HOME 

It’s finally that time of year to refresh and reorganize your home!

Spring has sprung which means fresh scents, chirping birds and new life in the garden!  It's time to bring that spring fresh feeling into your home so open the windows, let the fresh air in and:

  • create a spring cleaning checklist
  • focus on only one room at a time
  • throw out all expired items
  • vacuum and rotate your mattresses
  • clean under the beds

With a clean, fresh home under your belt, you'll be all set to focus on cleaning up your outdoor furniture so that you can enjoy the summer months that are just around the corner!


Vie
PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
 
If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

 
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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven

  March 2017   
 



Poor indoor air quality can cause an array of health problems for you and your family. This month’s article shares some ideas that will dramatically improve the air you breathe.

There’s also a fun way to keep in touch with your pets when you’re away at work as well as a discussion on the importance of having emergency escape ladders for the upper rooms of your home.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Breathe Easy in a Healthy, Happy Home
New Technology for Pet Parents
Upper Level Fire Escape Planning

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Despite additional inventory, we're still in a sellers’ market.

In February 2017, 347 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 406 last February, a decrease of 15 per cent.  Sales rose by 42 per cent from January 2017, which saw 245 sales.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 38 per cent from February 2016, with 949 active listings compared to 1,529 one year ago.  However, the 949 available properties reflect a six per cent increase over January, an encouraging development since the lack of inventory continues to challenge consumers and REALTORS® in the VIREB area.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that strong economic fundamentals are fuelling housing demand throughout British Columbia, with the B.C. economy continuing to outpace the rest of Canada.  Among other factors, increased population growth is a significant force driving the provincial housing market.

“In the first three-quarters of 2016, net migration to British Columbia hit 50,000 people,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  “Although most of those residents will end up on the Lower Mainland, the effects of this influx will inevitably trickle into other markets.”

Although BCREA expects the provincial economy to weaken somewhat this year, consumer confidence and job growth should continue to have a net positive effect on the housing market.  After dipping in late 2016 and again, and that is certainly happening on Vancouver Island.

In fact, sales in the VIREB area would no doubt be much higher if there were more properties available, says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.  “The Nanaimo market in February was busier than I’ve ever seen,” says Stromar.  “Single-family homes in the $450,000 range are practically flying out the door, and multiple offers are the norm, not the exception.”

The VIREB area has been a sellers’ market for several months now, and Stromar encourages people to list their homes now.  “Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.

In February 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $403,100, up 18 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 14 per cent in Duncan and Port Alberni to 25 per cent in Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment in February rose 22 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were seen in Parksville-Qualicum (24 per cent), the Comox Valley (26 per cent), and Campbell River (26 per cent).  The townhouse market also strengthened in January, posting a 20 per cent increase board-wide.

The February 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $318,100, an increase of 17 per cent over February 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $401,000, up 17 per cent from 2016.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $345,500, an increase of 14 per cent compared to February 2016.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 25 per cent to $444,400 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 20 per cent to $454,100.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni stayed the same as in January but did rise by 14 per cent from one year ago.

Breathe Easy in a Healthy, Happy Home 

Improving your home’s air quality is easier than you might think.

The term "air quality" is usually associated with outdoor air pollution caused by cars and factories.  The truth however is that the toxins in our home can be just as dangerous.

Hazards include pet dander, dust mites, nitrous dioxides, formaldehyde and fungi.  Fear not though as there are a variety of ways to improve your home's air quality such as:

  1. Let It Out - Properly ventilate your home with exhaust fans and open up your windows whenever possible.

  2. Natural Air - Houseplants such as peace lilies and spider plants will soak up toxins and naturally purify your home’s air.

  3. Humid House - Purchase a humidity gauge so that you can monitor and adjust your home’s humidity levels.

  4. Clean Green - Use natural cleaners such as lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda instead of toxic chemical cleaners.

  5. Furry Friends - Brush pets outside and wash their beds on a regular basis to control hair and dander.

  6. Fresh & Clean - Mix up homemade air fresheners instead of using synthetic ones that are full of harmful chemicals.

  7. Tread Lightly - Carpets trap irritants which can be especially harmful to children so vacuum regularly and place doormats at each entrance.

We focus so much time and effort decorating our home for aesthetic appeal but we often ignore our indoor air quality.  Implementing just a few of these ideas will make a huge difference.  Nothing in life is quite as precious as the air we breathe so it’s important that we don’t take it for granted.
New Technology for Pet Parents 
You’re now able to watch, chat and play with your pets from anywhere!

It’s now easier than ever before to check in with Fido or Fluffy while you’re away.  Here are just a few of the ways the latest hi-tech pet gadgets can help:

  1. Pet Play - Relieve your pet’s boredom with a built-in laser pointer that you control remotely.

  2. Treat Time - If your pets are behaving, you can remotely dispense a treat or two as praise.

  3. Cheeky Pup - Now you can spy on your dog to see if he’s secretly jumping up on the couch for a snooze.

  4. Home Alone - The sight of your smile and the sound of your voice can help alleviate your pet’s anxiety.

  5. Fido’s Calling - Certain video calling cameras allow your pet to tap a button so that they can call you!

Leaving our best friends home alone is hard but innovative technology can now alleviate some of that stress while providing peace of mind.  Now you can check in on a sick pet, keep tabs on a mischievous pup or simply give your pet some love while you’re away.

Upper Level Fire Escape Planning 

No one wants to think about a house fire but it’s important to be prepared.

Hopefully your family already has a fire escape plan but an often-overlooked element are fire escape ladders.

This compact yet fully functional ladder will protect you and your family by providing a safe, reliable means of escape.  It’s important to measure the windowsills and purchase one for each upstairs room.

Once you’ve made the purchase, make sure every family member knows where they’re stored and how to use them.  It’s a good idea to have a practice run so that everyone will be comfortable using them in the event of an emergency.


PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
 
If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
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We would like to bring the following to your attention:

 

Reporting the sale of your principal residence for individuals (other than trusts)


On October 3, 2016, the Government announced an administrative change to Canada Revenue Agency's reporting requirements for the sale of a principal residence.

 

When you sell your principal residence or when you are considered to have sold it, usually you do not have to report the sale on your income tax and benefit return and you do not have to pay tax on any gain from the sale. This is the case if you are eligible for the full income tax exemption (principal residence exemption) because the property was your principal residence for every year you owned it.

 

Starting with the 2016 tax year, generally due by late April 2017, you will be required to report basic information (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition and description of the property) on your income tax and benefit return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption.

 

The Potential Implications


If you fail to report the sale of a residence in 2016 or later years, you won’t be entitled to the PRE. If you forget to designate a property as your principal residence in the year of sale (for 2016 and later years), you should ask CRA to amend your tax return for that year. CRA will often accept a late designation but penalties could apply (the penalty could be $100 for each complete month the designation is late, or $8,000, whichever is less).

 

For further information check out the following links:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2016/qa11-eng.html

http://www.thor.ca/blog/2016/10/new-tax-reporting-rules-for-principal-residence-sales/


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

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Hi

Today, February 15th, is National Flag of Canada Day!  February 15, 1965 was the first time the current well respected Canada flag was raised on Parliament Hill, 52 years ago.  My where does time go?


Trish and I are very proud to be Canadians and therefore this past weekend we fixed 2 of our flag poles at home so we can proudly display our flags in time for the anniversary.  Earlier today I got to replace the well worn flag at the RE/MAX First Realty office with a new flag.  All is in good shape for today.

Take a moment today to think how well our flag is respected and how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful country.  Thank you Canada and all Canadians.

We look forward to celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation in July.

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Hot Home Trends for 2017
Local Census Results
Clean Up Your Digital Clutter
The Power of Lemon Aid

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Inventory challenges continue to moderate sales activity.

In January 2017, 245 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 258 last January, a decrease of five per cent.

Sales were virtually unchanged from December, which saw 243 sales.  VIREB attributes this static sales activity to inventory challenges rather than insufficient demand.

Active listings of single-family homes did increase by four per cent in January to 893 from December’s 852, which typically happens at the beginning of the year, with 389 properties coming onto the market last month.  However, inventory is still down by 38 per cent from one year ago, a significant reduction from the 1,431 available properties in January 2016.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that housing demand in the VIREB area and throughout British Columbia is being driven by a provincial economy that continues to outperform the rest of Canada.  Although BCREA does expect B.C.’s economy to weaken somewhat this year, strong job and population growth will continue to have a net positive effect on the housing market.

“Although BCREA anticipates that less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints will slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent in 2017, unit sales should remain well above the 10-year average of 85,000,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  “Sales in the VIREB area this year will likely trend lower than in 2016, but this is merely the market returning to more normal levels from last year’s unprecedented sales activity.”

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, reaffirms that housing sales in the VIREB area would be much higher if there were more homes available.  “We’ve been in a sellers’ market for several months now, with buyers snapping up available properties and multiple offers a common occurrence,” says Stromar.  “But real estate is cyclical, and these conditions won’t last forever.  If you’ve been thinking of selling, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of our current market situation.”

Stromar adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market. REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling a home.

In January 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $400,000, up 18 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 14 per cent in Duncan to 21 per cent in the Comox Valley and Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment rose 21 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were posted in Parksville-Qualicum (25 per cent), the Comox Valley (27 per cent) and Campbell River (28 per cent).  The townhouse market also strengthened in January, posting an 18 per cent increase board-wide and high double-digit increases in every zone, from 16 per cent in Nanaimo to 26 per cent in Parksville-Qualicum.

The January 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $311,900, an increase of 16 per cent over January 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $400,400, up 21 per cent from 2016.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $348,000, an increase of 14 per cent compared to January 2016. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 21 per cent to $434,100 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 18 per cent to $457,800.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni hit $216,100, up 16 per cent from one year ago.

Hot Home Trends for 2017 

The new year is a great time to update your living space!

It’s fun to follow the latest home and garden trends, especially if you're hoping to make your home more attractive to buyers.  Here are a few of the latest trends to look out for:

  1. Shedquarters - A “shedquarter” is a private, backyard spot that can be used as an office, artist workspace or party area.

  2. Docking Stations - Small, pull down desks can be added almost anywhere as wireless technology enables us to shift away from traditional home offices.

  3. Vintage Vanities - Putting your bathroom sink on just about anything is huge this year!  Old dressers, filing cabinets and even tree trunks can be converted into unique vanities.

  4. Laundry Love - Homeowners are giving their laundry rooms some serious love with innovative storage solutions, bright lighting and even stylish wallpaper!

  5. Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are now being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.

  6. Smart Windows - Cutting edge window technology now allows our windows to be programmed according to the weather outside as well as the air quality inside.

Just like fashion, home trends can come and go so it’s important not to overcommit.  Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration as to what’s coming next, whether you’re thinking of selling or just simply looking to update your home.

Local Census Results 

Well the latest census numbers are out from the 2015 long form census and growth in the area is constant across the whole of the District:

Parksville                                                          12,514         + 4.5%
Qualicum Beach                                                8,943         + 2.9%
Nanoose Bay                                                      6,125         +7.9%
Area G (French Creek & North Qualicum)     7,465         +4.3%
Area F (Errington / Coombs)                            7,724         +1%
Area H (Bowser / Deep Bay)                             3,884        + 1%

The lowest growth is of course in areas where there is an abundance of ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) lands which means the land cannot be easily subdivided and generally it only allows 1 permanent dwelling per parcel.  This land is usually serviced by wells and septics which curtails growth.

Nanoose is growing partly because of Fairwinds and also because there have been a few parcels of land that have been developed in recent years that were not in the ALR.

Nanaimo now has a population of 90,504, up 8%

The entire RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo) is 155,698 which includes all of the above noted areas along with a few additional regional areas around Nanaimo.

We thought everyone would be interested in the overall population and there the areas of growth are generally.

Clean Up Your Digital Clutter 

Get a jump on spring cleaning by clearing out your digital clutter.

Paper files are often the first items we purge during a spring clean but many times we neglect our digital files.  Kick off your spring clean this year with a deep, digital cleanse:

  1. Get a Pass - Use a password manager to encrypt one master password that can be used on all websites.

  2. Address Your Apps - Uninstall apps you no longer use to clear up space and keep your phone running smoothly.

  3. Manage Mail - Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read and delete old emails or organize them into folders.

  4. Clear Cache - Regularly clear your browser history, cache and cookies in order to create more storage and speed up your browser.

  5. Back it Up - Make sure all of your important files and photos are automatically backed up to the cloud to increase storage space.

This digital cleanse applies to your computer, smartphone and all your social media accounts.  While you’re at it, you should also review your privacy settings on apps and social media platforms to make sure you’re sharing information with the right audiences.

The Power of Lemon Aid 

The lowly lemon can make quite the impact around the house!

Load up on lemons if you're searching for a powerful, environmentally friendly cleaner that can tackle virtually any household chore!  Here are just a few ways they can make your home naturally sparkle:

  • lemon juice is great at absorbing stains on countertops

  • soak carpet stains for 20 minutes then rinse and blot

  • mix lemon juice with baking soda to create a scouring paste

  • heat a bowl of water with sliced lemons in the microwave for a few minutes before wiping it down

Lemons are an excellent alternative to toxic cleansers plus they'll fill your home with a refreshing citrus scent!  A great tip for squeezing as much juice as possible from your lemons is to microwave them for 30 seconds, wait a minute, then cut and squeeze.


PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
 
If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
 
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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven

  January 2017   
 

Hi

Happy New Year!

Wow it's almost half way into the first month of 2017.  We hope that you got to spend some great time with family and friends over the Christmas holidays and we wish you all the best for 2017 and thank you for being part of our lives.  The picture of the t-shirt made at one of the family events pretty well sums up our December holiday time.  We started on December 9th having early Christmas with our kids and grand children in Langley, then off to Toronto for 3 nights with family there and then to New Brunswick for 8 nights to visit my folks over Christmas and their birthdays.

As result we were not as in in touch with everyone like we wanted to during the holiday season.  You can be assured our best wishes were with you.

2017 is off to a frosty start weather wise though very picturesque when the sun is out and the wind is calm.  It sounds like January will be up and down temperature wise, guess it will just make us appreciate our normal winters that much more.

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
Property Assessments Are Out!
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Surviving the Stress of a Home Renovation
Avoiding the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
The Trick to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

Property Assessments Are Out! 

No doubt everyone who owns property in British columbia has received their new Property Assessment Notices.  In most cases there has been a considerable increase however this does not necessarily mean higher property taxes.  If your increase is equal to the average increase then taxes will be somewhat similar to last year, other than local increases.  If your property value increased by a higher percentage than the average then you will probably see higher taxes.  The same is true in reverse if your percentage was lower.

Are you aware that in BC there is the option of deferring your taxes if it is your principle residence?  The program was intiated so you did not have to sell because you could not afford to pay your increased property taxes.  Once your receive your property tax notice, you may be able to apply for a low interest loan to pay our current year property taxes on  your principal residence.  You still want to claim your applicable home owner grant so the loan amount is reduced.  You may qualify for this program if you are:

     *  55 years of age or older during the current year, or
     * a surviving spouse of any age, or
     * a person with disabilities

Some may ask why would you do this?  Well are you aware that the loan from the BC Government is simple interest only and the rate since October 2009 has been 1% or less, currently at 0.70%.  You may actually decide it would be prudent to invest the money rather than pay your taxes.  For more information check out the government site by clicking here.  Applicatins to defer your taxes will be available after mid May.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

2016 was a banner year for Vancouver Island real estate.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that housing demand throughout 2016 was driven by a provincial economy that outperformed the rest of the country.  However, BCREA does expect the housing market to weaken somewhat this year.

“Although BCREA anticipates that less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints will slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent in 2017, unit sales should remain well above the 10-year average of 85,000,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  “Sales in the VIREB area this year will likely trend lower than in 2016 but this is merely the market returning to more normal levels from last year’s unprecedented sales activity.”

As she has stated in previous media releases, Margo Hoffman, 2016 VIREB President, reaffirms that housing sales in the VIREB area would be higher if there were more homes available.  Seasonal market conditions can account for some of December’s decreased sales, but there are still plenty of buyers, and multiple offers are the norm when listings hit the market.

“We’ve been in a sellers’ market for several months now, and buyers are snapping up available properties,” says Hoffman.  “But homeowners need to realize these market conditions won’t last forever, so if you’ve been thinking of selling, it’s a perfect time to do so.”

Surviving the Stress of a Home Renovation 

A bit of planning in advance will help keep you sane during a renovation.

If you're thinking about renovating your home, you’ll want to try and consider every little detail in advance.

Careful planning will not only allow you to hold onto your sanity during the upheaval but will also ensure you get the best bang for your buck!  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. No Surprises - Make sure you agree (in writing) on a completion date but keep in mind that renovations can sometimes be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.

  2. Be Flexible - Accept from the start that you’ll be dealing with a lack of privacy along with dust, noise, mess and disorganization but remember that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

  3. Kidding Around - Set aside some toys/games for the kids and schedule some playdates and local outings so you can escape the construction zone chaos.

  4. Plan Ahead - Pre-prep some freezer meals for quick and easy dinners.  Also, take this opportunity to donate unwanted items to charity so your newly renovated home won’t be full of clutter.

  5. Stay in the Loop - Misunderstandings between contractors (and spouses!) are one of the biggest causes of stress during a renovation.  Open communication is essential so schedule regular progress reports.

Watching your home transform into something new is a very exciting experience but it’s also a major inconvenience.  The secret to making sure everything goes smoothly is to remain calm throughout the process and plan ahead for surprises.  If you keep that in mind, your dream home will be a reality before you know it!

Avoiding the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide 

This odorless gas can poison or even kill with little or no warning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a serious threat that affects families every day.  Lower gas levels can cause headaches, fatigue and nausea while higher levels can be fatal.

Ensure exhaust gases are properly vented from the central home heating unit.  It’s also important to have your furnace, chimney and vents regularly inspected by a trained professional.

You should also install a CO detector on each floor of your home.  There are a variety of units available but it’s important to remember that a detector doesn't replace the need to maintain your furnace.  Please note that your detector needs to be replaced every 7 - 10 years.

Most cities offer environmental services that measure indoor air quality.  Prevention is key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning as this silent killer is difficult to detect so make sure your home’s properly protected.

The Trick to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions 

It’s important to have realistic goals as well as a flexible attitude.

The new year inspires us to start fresh but the possibility of failure sometimes stops us from even getting started.

There are a variety of smartphone apps to help you track your goals whether they be to quit smoking, build volunteer hours or lose weight.  Stride for iPhone and Resolutions for Android are both very popular options.

New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be set in stone so try to be strong yet flexible.  If you start realizing your goals aren't achievable, take a few moments to modify them.  Our lives are constantly changing so it’s important that our goals change as well.


PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498
 
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2016 Review


2016 was certainly a strong year for real estate, for Single Family Homes there were 15% more sales over 2015.  The months of December was down 33% however we believe that is due to the unusual weather.  At the end of 2016 the Active Inventory was down 44% in comparison to the end of 2015.

 

The average price of homes that sold was up 19% over 2015 ($482,475 versus $404,700) and the Median Price was $454,000 versus $373,000 for 2015 (+21%).

 

Similar statistics for Apartments, Patio Homes, Townhomes, etc. are available.  Statistics are also available for the various different areas in the greater Parksville – Qualicum Beach area.

 

The forecast by BC Real Estate Association for 2017 for Vancouver Island north of the Malahat is to moderate though remain strong.  The number of sales are expected to decline approximately 11.3% (still 13% stronger than 2015) and values are expected to increase by an additional 2.6%.  The lack of supply is certainly a strong influence on these predictions.

 

If you would like more in-depth information for you and your segment of the market contact Trish or I and we would be pleased to supply and discuss.


To read or download the January 2017 Market Report click on the image below


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  December 2016   
 

Hi,

If you're planning on selling your home, it’s important to be aware of some common mistakes that sellers often fall victim to.  This month’s feature article discusses what not to do when selling your home.

There’s also some advice on how to spot online scams that are so popular during the holiday season as well as a few tips on how to avoid the flu.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments.  In the meantime, here’s wishing you all the best during the holiday season!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Sellers Behaving Badly
Shopping Scams are Coming to Town
Forgotten Flu Spots

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Inventory dips again to reach new historic low in November.

Inventory of single-family homes in the VIREB area dropped yet again in November 2016 to reach a new historic low of 1,034, a 37 per cent decrease from one year ago and dipping below October’s 1,158 available listings.

Sales of single-family homes in November decreased by 13 per cent from October 2016, but remained flat year over year, with 347 homes selling last month compared to 349 in November 2015.

The lack of sales movement can be attributed to low inventory and seasonal market conditions, not reduced buyer demand.  Active listings of apartments and townhouses also dipped in November, down 45 per cent and 47 per cent respectively, an indication that consumers may be turning to alternative property types due to the lack of single-family inventory.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that robust housing demand continues to be driven by a provincial economy underpinned by consumer confidence, surging retail sales, population growth, and a strong GDP.  In its 2016 Fourth-Quarter Housing Forecast, BCREA reports that MLS® residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 11 per cent to a record 113,800 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005.  Although BCREA anticipates that less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints will slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent in 2017, unit sales should remain well above the 10-year average of 85,000.

While the Foreign Buyer Tax imposed at the beginning of August has adversely affected the Vancouver market, there appears to be no negative fallout thus far in the VIREB area.  Foreign buyers are not turning to Vancouver Island instead of the Lower Mainland and are not the impetus driving buyer demand in the VIREB housing market, nor are the new housing rules introduced by the Government of Canada in October.  The latter restrictions, intended to standardize eligibility criteria for high-ratio and low-ratio insured mortgages, will have a greater impact on buyers purchasing homes in the $500,000-plus range.  VIREB’s benchmark prices on all property types are below that mark.

Housing sales in the VIREB area would likely be considerably higher if there were more homes available, and buyers are frustrated by the lack of inventory.  Margo Hoffman, 2016 VIREB President, is encouraging potential home sellers to take advantage of these market conditions.

“Sellers are in the driver’s seat right now, but consumers need to realize that sellers’ markets don’t last forever,” says Hoffman.  “The real estate market always experiences ebbs and flows, so if you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, now is the time.”

Hoffman notes that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive market, particularly when multiple offers are the norm.  REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling a home.

In November 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $395,300, up 17 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 13 per cent in Port Alberni to 22 per cent in Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment rose approximately 21 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were posted in the Comox Valley (23 per cent), Campbell River (28 per cent), and Parksville-Qualicum (31 per cent).  The townhouse market also strengthened in November, posting a 15 per cent increase board-wide and ranging from 11 per cent in Port Alberni to nearly 20 per cent in Campbell River.

The November 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $310,600, an increase of 15 per cent over November 2015.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $393,500, up 16 per cent from 2015.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $346,500, an increase of 14 per cent compared to November 2015.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 22 per cent to $433,700 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 19 per cent to $452,600.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni hit $213,600, up 13 per cent from one year ago.

Sellers Behaving Badly 

There are various emotional side effects to selling your home.

Mistakes mean your home will sit on the market longer and eventually sell for less.  Try and get it right the first time by avoiding the following:

  1. Overpricing - Home sellers are often tempted to price their home way above market value but this tactic usually backfires.  The longer a home sits on the market, the more of a stigma it'll develop.

  2. Restricted Access - It’s easy for buyers to skip your home if it's not easily accessible.  The goal is to show your home to as many people as possible so using a lockbox is key, pardon the pun :)

  3. Hanging Around - Owners should always leave before a showing so buyers can browse without distractions.  If a buyer can make themselves feel at home, they’ll be better able to envision themselves living there.

  4. Poor Staging - You may love the statement your pink bathroom makes but odds are others won’t so consider a more neutral shade.  Also, make sure to get rid of excess clutter and take care of any outstanding repairs to portray pride of ownership.

  5. Going It Alone - Selling your home can be an overwhelming experience.  A real estate agent’s job is not only to expose your home to the masses but also to act as a 3rd party negotiator to help you get the highest price in the shortest amount of time.

Your home is most likely your biggest asset so when you decide to sell, it’s important that you do it right. Viewing the sale of your home as a business transaction and putting aside any emotional ties you may have is a great start to ensuring you sell your home quickly, easily and for top dollar!

Shopping Scams are Coming to Town 

Make sure to be on high alert for online scams this holiday season.

It’s convenient to shop online from the comfort of your home during this busy time of year but the hectic holiday season is also a popular time for cybercriminals.  Here are a few scams to be aware of:

  1. Delivery Details - Be wary of emails claiming “you have a parcel delivery but your address needs to be verified” as it’s likely a scam.

  2. The Hot Ticket - Desperate shoppers eager to score hot holiday gifts are easy prey for cybercrooks who set up legitimate looking websites that show the popular item in stock.

  3. Fake Shopping Apps - Fake retail and product apps designed to steal your personal or financial details are increasingly common and hard to recognize as they closely resemble popular brands.

  4. Holiday eCards - Don’t open eCards if you're not sure who they’re from.  Instead of a warm holiday greeting, it could be a cyber scammer whose gift comes in the form of a virus or spyware.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who aren’t thinking about holiday cheer and goodwill to all.  Keep yourself safe by updating your antivirus software, visit only trusted, secure sites and never open messages from people you don't know.

Forgotten Flu Spots 

Your home could be a breeding ground for the flu.

It’s no fun having the flu, especially during the holidays, so it’s important to clean shared spaces and frequently touched surfaces.  Here are a few spots to focus on:

  • smartphones & tablets
  • computer keyboard & mouse
  • light switches and remote controls
  • door knobs and handles on appliances and cupboards
  • car steering wheel, seat belts and shifter

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to fight germs but regularly sanitizing common germ infested hot spots is also key.  Remember to keep the hand sanitizer on hand (pardon the pun :) and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid the flu this year!


PS  Oh by the way, we are never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071team@teamw.ca

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
 
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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven November 2016   
 


I dont know about all of you but I am finding it hard to fathom where this year has gone and that the holiday season is almost upon us! Christmas will be here before we know it! I heard some one say 7 Saturdays from Friday is Christmas Eve! 

We have had an amazing & productive year!  We want to thank all of your for that and for your continued faith in us.

We feel that the coming year will be one of change, Diane Kellas our trade off partner is retiring at year end so we will be helping her replacemnt Janet & also assisting some of her clients as well.  There is a new President in the United States, Real Estate Regulations are changing, and new tax implications for foreign buyers & owners are all part of that. Rest assured, we are watching & monitoring changes as they happen.  If we percieve they are goiing to greatly impact values in any way, we will be in touch.  Having said that, we are quite optomistic about the propects for the coming year. All the fundamentals are in place for continued strength in our market.  We continue to find an influx of buyers who "come from away" and the reasons are still the same.  Our amazing lifestyle, weather and the friendliness and safety of our community!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Ho Ho Home Staging for the Holidays
Preserve the Past with a Family Time Capsule
Roasted Garlic Buds and Brie

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Home sales cool in October and inventory dips once again.

In October 2016, 399 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 368 last October, an increase of eight per cent.  Month-over-month, sales decreased by 24 per cent from September, which saw 528 unit sales.  However in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area the number of single family home sales for October was the same as September while the number of new listings that came to market was 32 less.

Reduced sales activity in October was likely caused by some late-summer cooling and continuing lack of inventory challenges.  Active listings of single-family homes dropped once again in October, dipping to 1,158, the lowest VIREB has seen since the board began tracking inventory levels in 1999.

Robust sales in the VIREB area and throughout much of B.C. continue to be driven by a combination of economic factors that are creating a sound foundation for housing sales.

“British Columbia’s GDP and employment growth have been above three per cent for three years now, and is currently tracking at 3.5 per cent,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA  Economist.  “Population growth is also a significant factor, with over 8,000 people migrating to B.C. from other parts of Canada in the second quarter of 2016.”

There has been a moderating trend in activity & prices Th The greater Vancouver area we expect due to the new tax for foreign buyers. The GVRD experiencing 3 consecutive months of flat sales in August, September, & October.  Yet Vancouver’s housing prices are still high, so many of B.C.’s new residents are settling farther out in the Fraser Valley or on Vancouver Island.

BCREA cannot definately say That the Foreign Buyer Tax imposed at the beginning of August has adversely affected the Vancouver market, nor whether the new housing rules introduced by the Government of Canada in October will have an impact.  Thus far, however, there appears to be a very limited fallout from any of these factors in the VIREB market. We have seen somewhat less activity from Vancouver but it is not significant.

Foreign buyers are not turning to Vancouver Island instead of the Lower Mainland and are not the impetus behind VIREB’s robust housing market.  As well, the federal government’s new rules that standardize eligibility criteria for high-ratio and low-ratio insured mortgages will have a greater impact on buyers purchasing homes in the $500,000-plus range.  VIREB’s benchmark prices on all property types are below that mark.

The single biggest challenge for the VIREB area continues to be a lack of inventory.  Sales would be higher if there were were homes available, and buyer frustration is growing.  Jason Finlayson, 2016 VIREB Past President, is encouraging potential home sellers to take advantage of these market conditions.

“Sellers are in the driver’s seat right now, but consumers need to realize that sellers’ markets don’t last forever,” says Finlayson.  “If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, now is the time.”

In the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area the number of single family sales was up 17% from October 2015 while the number of active listings on the market was down 45%.  If you would like additional statistics or wish to discuss your particular situation please contact us as we would be pleased to discuss with you.

Ho Ho Home Staging for the Holidays 

It’s important to carefully stage your home during the holidays.

Decorating your home for the holidays is a festive tradition but it’s important that buyers are still able to imagine themselves living there.  Here are a few seasonal staging tips to keep in mind:

  1. Curb Appeal Counts - A few lights and a tasteful wreath on the front door will accent your home. Its good to display some photos of what you home & yard look like during the summer months.

  2. First Impressions - Hallways can be cramped and dark this time of year so remove unnecessary items, and ensure you have adequate lighting. Try and keep decorations to a minimum.

  3. Deck the Halls (a little) - Too many decorations will make your home appear small and cluttered.  Also, never decorate over architectural selling features.

  4. Bows & Bells - Put away wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, etc. before showings but don’t just stuff them in your closets as buyers usually peek in cupboards to see how spacious they are.

  5. Holiday Cheer - Seasonal treats such as hot apple cider and holiday cookies will give your home a welcoming feel.  It may even encourage buyers to stick around a little longer!

Although there are fewer buyers during the holiday season, they're usually more serious plus there aren’t as many listings to compete with.  Your home will show beautifully if you use decorations to draw attention to its best features.  Just keep the decorations to a minimum so buyers aren’t overwhelmed, or distracted.

Preserve the Past with a Family Time Capsule 

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to Step back in time!

It’s truly remarkable how time flies but it’s also sad how many precious family memories fade as the years go by.  There is a way to turn back the clock though!

Preserving family artifacts in a “time capsule” is a fun and easy way to relive the past!  Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Choose a Capsule - A simple box decorated by your children is a great choice as it keeps them involved.

  2. Choose Your Treasure - Add items such as photos, trinkets, school papers or stuffed toys and mark dates/descriptions so you’ll be able to easily identify them.

  3. Choose Your Spot - Once you’ve filled the capsule, seal it tightly with thick plastic and decide where and for how long you’re going to stash it.

This project is a simple, unique and effective way of preserving the past.  Don't put it off though -- the key to seeing the past in the future is to start today!  There are endless ways to make a family time capsule but the most important thing is to just have fun.

This is something we are going to do with the family this Christmas and open it every 5 years to see how much things have changed!

Roasted Garlic Buds and Brie 

Simple appetizers are the way to go during the busy holiday season.

It's not always easy to impress holiday guests but the delicate, mellow taste of roasted garlic paired with creamy Brie is sure to be a huge hit.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 whole garlic bulbs
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1 round of Brie cheese
  • red pepper jelly
  • crackers

Slice the tops off the garlic bulbs and drizzle them with olive oil.  Then wrap the bulbs in foil, place on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

While the garlic is baking, slice the thin rind off the top of the Brie and add to the oven for the last 15 minutes.  When it’s done, transfer the Brie and garlic bulbs to a platter and serve with crackers and red pepper jelly.  Enjoy!


PS  Oh by the way, we are always available for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be our honour & privilege to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call: 
250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071team@teamw.ca

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
 
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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven September 2016   
 

Hi,

Well summer is over, we hope that you got to enjoy some of this great weather we have experienced.  The months just seem to fly by and now it is 'almost' time to turn the furnace back on.


We have had a few short breaks through out the summer:  weekend with the family in the lower mainland and took in a Canadians Baseball game at Nat Bailey Stadium - complete with 3 foot long hot dogs;  a wonderful trip on the authentic SS Minow, overnight stay at a B&B in Cowichan Bay and recently a 4 night stay in Las Vegas with friends where we spent time on the beach, rides on the Stratosphere and a zipline down Freemont Street.

The real estate market continues to be interesting and we thank you for your continued support and business.  You will get a sense in the article below as to what has been happening.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
The Importance of Strong Negotiating Skills
Helping Your Kids Adjust to a New School
A Few Apps to Help You Keep Your Cool

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Inventory levels drop to a new historic low in August.

Summer is almost over, where did it go?  Reflecting on the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach real estate market for the month of August.  The market continues to be active and more listings have been coming on however there continues to be increased demand and therefore at the end of August the active inventory available was still significantly less than August 2015, -32%.

Overview for August 2016 versus August 2015 – for single family homes in the greater area:
Unit Listed                     97 vs 74 = +31%
Units Sold                      96 vs 80 = +20%
Active Listings               166 vs 243 = -32%
Average Sale Price        $506,398 vs $413,959 = +22% (note this is average price of homes sold)
Median Sale Price $470,000 vs $373,000 = + 26%

Comparing the last 12 months to the previous 12 months shows similar trends.
  

Looking at the bigger picture, the entire Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area (Vancouver Island north of the 'Malahat'): 

Inventory levels of single-family homes in the VIREB area dropped to a historic low in August, dipping to 1,394, a 38 percent decrease from one year ago and down from July’s 1,577 available listings.

The last time inventory was this low occurred in 2005 when the supply of single-family homes for sale dropped to 1,629 units.  VIREB began tracking inventory levels in 1999.

Robust housing sales throughout the province, particularly in the southern half, continue to be driven by a solid economic foundation consisting of consumer confidence, strong retail sales, and employment growth of three per cent.  With GDP sitting at 3.5 per cent, British Columbia’s economy is leading the country.

Although a moderating trend in activity and prices is occurring in the Vancouver market, that slowdown is not affecting the VIREB area thus far.  Market conditions in Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland appear to be experiencing some backlash from the Foreign Buyer Tax introduced at the beginning of August, although prices have not dropped significantly.  Sales have taken a hit, yet it is too early to determine whether this is a temporary cooling in sales activity or indicative of a larger trend.

“Sales are beginning to normalize in the Vancouver marketplace but we don’t anticipate a significant correction any time soon,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  “The typical moderating trend seen after months of hectic activity might have been accelerated slightly by the Foreign Buyer Tax but we just don’t know yet.  We can predict many things, but not the psychology of consumers.”

If you would like to view the August Market Activity and Graph click here

If you would more details or statistics on your particular style of property or in a specific geographic area in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area please contact TeamW and Rudi or Trish would be pleased to supply or discuss with you, email team@teamw.ca

The Importance of Strong Negotiating Skills 

Strong negotiation skills aren’t just for business transactions.

You often don’t realize you’re using them but whether you're renting a car, asking for a raise or trying to get your kids to clean up their room, strong negotiating skills are essential.
 
Negotiating is a life skill that can be easily learned and eventually perfected.  Your success is partly based on how well you're prepared so it’s important to do your homework.

Also, never make assumptions but instead ask questions and listen to the other party’s perspective in order to gain their trust and to gather valuable information that may come in handy later.
 
There are certain scenarios where it’s best to use a third party negotiator.  The home buying/selling process can be very complex.  In order to successfully negotiate, you need to understand local market conditions but you also need to be able to identify specific psychological aspects in order to work around certain fears and motivations and turn them into advantages.

Even if you consider yourself the world’s greatest negotiator, emotions can often tear things apart.  If you negotiate with someone directly in such an emotionally charged situation as selling a home, chances are that negative personal feelings can get in the way.  It's hard to recover once that happens and oftentimes, the home of your dreams will be lost due to ego, pride or principle.
 
Emotions run very high when it comes to buying or selling a home which is why it's important to have a real estate agent represent you as a third party negotiator.  Professionals are able to see things through to the end by remaining calm and not letting their emotions get in the way.  If you're thinking about making a move, please get in touch so that we can discuss your options.

Helping Your Kids Adjust to a New School 

Starting fresh at a new school can sometimes be a challenge.

Switching to a new school can cause children considerable stress and anxiety.  If your child has just started at a new school, the following tips will help them settle in:

  1. Be Positive - Discuss your children's fears while encouraging a confident approach to making new friends

  2. Fear Not - Chances are you'll be a little nervous too.  Be careful not to transfer your anxieties over to them.

  3. Join Up - Encourage your children to join school clubs/teams and participate in after-school activities in order to meet new friends and have fun.

  4. Join In - Parent teacher groups are a great way for you to connect with the school community.  Attending field trips is another great way to get involved!

Moving to a new school can be a difficult transition so try to emphasize the positive when discussing the challenges and opportunities your children face.  By encouraging them to share their feelings with you, it'll be much easier for them to adjust to their new surroundings.

A Few Apps to Help You Keep Your Cool 

So many emotional and physical illnesses are related to stress.

Instead of being the source of your stress, your smartphone can actually help you relax with some great apps designed to relieve stress and anxiety.

Meditation is a huge stress reliever and apps such as Headspace are great at helping to guide you through the process.

Being grateful also reduces stress and increases happiness.  There are various apps like Grateful Journal to help you record your moments each day.

Finally, exercise is a great stress reliever but it can be hard to find the time.  Apps such as the 7 Minute Workout contain bodyweight resistant exercises including squats and push-ups to pump up your endorphins and help you feel great!


PS  Oh by the way, we are always available for your introductions friends and family.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071 - team@teamw.ca

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
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Now that the long weekend over we found the time to reflect on the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach real estate market for the month of August.

 

The market continues to be active and more listings have been coming on, however there continues to be increased demand and therefore at the end of August the active inventory available was still significantly less than August 2015, -32%.

 

Overview for August 2016 versus August 2015 – for single family homes in the greater Parksville/Qualicum area:

 

  • Unit Listed 97 vs 74 = +31%
  • Units Sold 96 vs 80 = +20%
  • Active Listings 166 vs 243 = -32%
  • Average Sale Price $506,398 vs $413,959 = +22% (note this is average price of homes sold)
  • Median Sale Price $470,000 vs $373,000 = + 26%
  • Comparing the last 12 months to the previous 12 months shows similar trends.

 

If you would more details or statistics on your particular style of property or in a specific geographic area in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area please contact TeamW and Rudi or Trish would be pleased to supply or discuss with you, email team@teamw.ca

 

Rudi & Trish


Download or View August 2016 Market Report


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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven July 2016   
 



Multigenerational living is making a huge comeback as it provides solutions to a variety of social and financial obstacles.  This month’s feature article offers a few points to consider if you're thinking about sharing a home with extended family.

There are also some suggestions on how to create a backyard sanctuary for birds and butterflies as well as some simple ways to help your home feel more spacious.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out this month's newsletter.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Sharing a Home with Extended Family
A Quick Chat About the Birds and the Butterflies
A Complete Waste of Space

Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Vancouver Island housing market cools slightly in June.

Home sales in the VIREB area cooled slightly in June but were still significantly higher than reported one year ago.  In June 2016, 713 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 636 last June, an increase of 12 per cent.

Month-over-month, sales decreased by seven per cent from the 767 sales processed in May 2016.  Last month’s active listings for single-family homes totalled 1,621, down 33 per cent from the 2,425 reported in June 2015, a record low.

The last time inventory levels neared the 2,000 mark was in 2006, when they dropped to 2,029.  As noted last month, the robust housing market in British Columbia, particularly in the southern half of the province, is solidly based on a healthy GDP, substantial job growth, and a growing population.

“The provincial economy is firing on all cylinders and continues to lead the country by a significant margin, which is fuelling the housing market,” says Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist.“ Job growth in B.C. is twice that of Ontario, our closest economic competitor, and is especially strong on the Lower Mainland and in Victoria.”  Ogmundson adds that although BCREA does expect to see some price relief in the Vancouver housing market, current market conditions will likely prevail for the rest of 2016.

Margo Hoffman, VIREB 2016 President, says that sales activity typically slows down in the summer, which likely accounts for June’s modest decrease in sales.  However, lack of inventory is also a contributing factor.  “We’ve been saying the same thing for months, but low inventory is the primary challenge facing buyers and agents right now,” says Hoffman.  “Although we’re in a seller’s market, homeowners are holding back because they’re worried they won’t find another property to buy.  And, when houses come onto the market, they’re snapped up very quickly.”

The lack of inventory is also contributing to rising benchmark prices for single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.  Despite those increases, however, the Vancouver Island housing market continues to be affordable compared to the Lower Mainland and Victoria.

“With the benchmark price of a single-family home ranging from $201,800 in Port Alberni to $433,400 in the Parksville-Qualicum area, home buyers have a lot of affordable options on Vancouver Island,” says Hoffman.  Hoffman adds that in a competitive housing market, connecting with a local REALTOR® is crucial to ensure you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling your home.

In June 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $373,200, up 11 per cent from one year ago.  The benchmark price of an apartment rose by 6.53 per cent to hit $202,600 while the benchmark price of a townhouse increased to $275,200, up 10.56 per cent from one year ago.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The average price of a single-family home last month was $410,259, up 14 per cent from June 2015.

The June 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $291,900, a three per cent increase over 2015.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $364,400, up nine per cent from 2015.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $325,400, an increase of nine per cent over the same month in 2015.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose approximately 15 per cent to $402,100 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 16 per cent to $433,400.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $201,800, up just under six per cent from one year ago.

Sharing a Home with Extended Family 

Multigenerational living is a trend that continues to gain popularity!

A growing number of buyers are looking for homes that will accommodate extended family in order to reduce costs and bring them closer together.

A primary reason is that debt saddled millennials oftentimes can’t afford their own place.  This is especially true given the rising price of homes.

From a social perspective, feelings of isolation and loneliness are often alleviated when grandparents live with extended family plus it’s much easier to care for an ailing parent when you’re living under the same roof.
 
The shift has also been fueled by parents wishing to cut childcare costs.  Having a live-in babysitter is extremely helpful and the close relationship children build with extended family is a huge bonus.  Conflicts can however arise when relatives live in close quarters so here are a few things to consider:

  1. Know Your Needs - Think about the type of home that will best suit your situation.  Garage apartments, in-law suites and refurbished basements are all popular options.  Spacious rooms to accommodate large family gatherings are also a huge plus.

  2. Buffer Zone - Determine how much space you’re willing to share and discuss boundaries and what exactly constitutes privacy.  You don’t want to constantly be arguing about how your father-in-law hogs the bathroom every morning!

  3. Be Clear - Agree on each family member’s obligations in advance such as childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc. so that everyone’s clear from day one.  Regular house meetings will also help minimize disagreements.

Multigenerational living is definitely becoming more and more popular.  The key to successfully living under the same roof is being able to compromise, to have mutual respect for one another and to have an open line of communication.  If this can be achieved, living with extended family can be a true joy!

A Quick Chat About the Birds and the Butterflies 

Your garden will spring to life with the addition of birds and butterflies!

Creating a haven in your garden for birds and butterflies takes a little planning but it’s well worth the effort.  The following simple tips will help you turn your garden into a sanctuary:

  1. Go Natural - Avoid using pesticides as they’re harmful to both birds and butterflies.

  2. Water Works - Install a bird bath or fountain for your feathered friends to bathe and drink from.

  3. Food & Shelter - Trees and shrubs that bear fruit, nuts and berries not only provide food but also offer shelter.

  4. Bloom Boom - Butterflies are attracted to pink, orange, yellow, red, purple & blue shades while butterfly larvae feed on dill, fennel and milkweed.

  5. Sun Seekers - Butterflies like sunny locations that are sheltered from the wind.  A few flat stones will give them a place to rest while warming in the sun.

If you're looking to breathe some new life into your garden, just take a few steps to rally up some winged wildlife!  Not only will you provide a place for them to call home but you’ll also create an oasis that the whole family will enjoy.

A Complete Waste of Space 

Storage space sells so don’t forget to clean out your closets!

When selling your home, it’s often the small things that make a huge difference.  Storage can be a critical factor for buyers so here are two simple tips that will make your home seem larger:

  • Remove at least half of all items from closets and cupboards so they appear larger and get rid of anything on the floor.  Use the same hangers (no wire!) throughout.

  • Organize the remaining items so your closets and cupboards look tidier.  Make sure to neatly fold up towels and linens and use attractive bins and boxes to organize any loose items.

The points above may seem obvious but they’re often overlooked.  Remember that storage space sells and if buyers see your closets bursting at the seams, they’ll assume your home isn’t big enough for you…or for them.


PS  Oh by the way, we are never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071team@teamw.ca

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven
June 2016   




Welcome to Summer and Happy Canada Day! 


Please come to our Customer Appreciation Party(July 3rd - details on page 2) as we want to thank you for your faith in us & your ongoing support.

We have some incredible weather this spring and we believe we are in for a wonderful summer - we truly do live in "Paradise"!

The real estate market is very active and very different than it has been in the past.  There continues to be a significant shortage of supply and the demand continues to increase.  Have a look at the info below for additional details.

Trish is having some incredible improvements in her health, especially her swollen feet, she can actually see her ankles again - amazing what wearing the right shoes all the time does.  She would be pleased to explain when you see her at the celebration.  It is amazing what the right referrals do!

Don't forget to take in the Canada Day parade and activities in Parksville on Canada Day - it is a wonderful country that we live in!  Watch for us, especially "Captain Canada"!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you, and we look forward to seeing you on July 3rd.

Warmest Regards, 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Invitation to Come and Celebrate!
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Buying a Home Away from Home
Never Lose your Keys Again

INVITATION TO COME AND CELEBRATE! 

Gratitude Celebration and Canada's Birthday Party!
July 3rd, 2 - 6pm

We are grateful for your continued business and support of our business.  We would like to invite your to our Appreciation Event to be held on the July long weekend.  We will celebrate the birthday of our wonderful country as well - 149 years young plus 27 years in real estate.


Details:

  • When - Sunday, July 3rd - drop in any time between the hours of 2pm to 6pm;

  • Where -  We welcome you to our home at 1478 Madrona Drive, Nanoose Bay (just around the corner from Pacific Shores Nature Resort);

  • What  - Summer BBQ of Burgers & Dogs, salads, veggies & fruit and of course a variety of refreshments.  (Maybe even some cake) 

  • Who - All of you that have so kindly supported our business now and in the past.  If you have visitors visiting that weekend feel free to bring them along.

If you can RSVP we would really appreicate it!  Drop us a note at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.  Come anyway even if you did not RSVP.  We like an idea of numbers in advance so we plan properly.


We look forward to seeing you and expressing our thanks for your continuing support.  If you are unable to attend due to other committments we understand and still thank you!

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT 

Hot housing market puts home sellers in the driver's seat!

Home sellers are in the driver’s seat throughout the VIREB area as buyers compete for available listings.

The month of May continued with increased demand and decreased supply.  Compared to last May 2015, 34% more single family homes (123 versus 92).  The # of listings was down 22%.  At the end of the month the active inventory for single family homes was 188 versus 345 at the end of May 2015, down 45%.

We continue to see a lack of supply and increased demand during the 1st 5 months of 2016.  Year to Date statistics for single family home shows that the number of new listings is down by 10% while the number of sales are up by 38%.

As a result it is critical for buyers to have familiarity with our market in advance of making a decision.  We want you to really 'know' when the right home comes available that you are comfortable in making a decision.  Also you need to be able to act quickly when the right home comes available as it is likely there is someone else that will like the home as well.  We are seeing lots of 'mulitple offers' of late.

In May 2016, 771 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 527 last May, an increase of 46 per cent.

Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, states that retail sales growth in the double digits reflects high levels of consumer confidence, which is spilling over into real estate.  Tourism on Vancouver Island also posted a huge spike recently, which aids local economic conditions. However, although housing demand is extraordinarily high, its foundation is solidly based on a healthy GDP and rising population growth.

“British Columbia’s GDP is at three per cent, and employment growth rose around 3.5 per cent in the first four months of 2016,” says Muir.  “Real estate is benefiting from that growth, with sales in the entire southern half of the province at record or near-record levels.”

Janice Stromar, VIREB 2016 President-Elect, confirms that VIREB is recording record sales in many areas.  Multiple offers, particularly on single-family homes, are the norm rather than the exception.  Low inventory levels are still a major challenge for REALTORS® and buyers for a variety of reasons.

“This is a fantastic time to sell, but some homeowners have been holding back because they love their home or are worried they won’t find another property to buy,” says Stromar.  “More houses are now coming onto the market, but buyers snap them up so quickly, we still don’t have enough inventory to satisfy the demand.”

Despite increases in both the benchmark and average prices over the past year, the Vancouver Island housing market is still an affordable alternative to Victoria and Lower Mainland communities.

Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The May 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 14.31 per cent to $417,900 over 2015.  

We are here to assist you with your research and comfort level in advance.  Also if you would like more in depth statistics for different style of real estate or specific local areas please do let us know.

BUYING A HOME AWAY FROM HOME 

There’s something special about owning your own little getaway.


Owning a vacation property is a dream come true for most of us!  Here are a few points to consider if you’re considering your own little piece of paradise:

  1. Motives - Are you looking for a spot to enjoy with family, an investment property or a retirement retreat.

  2. Income - Renting out the property when you’re not using it can make great financial sense.  Location is critical so make sure it’s in a high demand or up-and-coming area.

  3. Location - Figure out how far you’re prepared to travel.  Spend some time here before you commit.

  4. Numbers - Looking for a vacation home is exciting but it shouldn't be an impulse decision.  You need to go over all the financials, and don’t forget to include maintenance costs.

  5. Co-Ownership - Purchasing your new getaway with friends or family means you can share the upkeep and expenses.  Just make sure you agree on everything in writing from day one.  Approach it like a business so you can spend your time relaxing instead of arguing.

  6. Fixer Uppers - Renovating a “diamond in the rough” is a great option.  You to add your own personal touch.  Major renovations often require permits so we will help you be familiar with local zoning rules and regulations.

Buying a home away from home is a huge decision, let us help you to the research.  Also talk to your banker and financial adviser in advance. 

If you’re considering a few different locations or have questions please give us a call.


NEVER LOSE YOUR KEYS AGAIN 

A Bluetooth tracker can quickly & easily help you recover lost items.

You know that feeling of rushing out the door only to realize you can’t find your keys!  Instead of wasting valuable time frantically tearing the place apart, you’re now able to track them digitally.

Tile allows you to simply stick a tag on your keys or remote for example so you can keep track of their whereabouts through the Bluetooth functionality on your phone.  If your phone goes missing, you can use the tracker to ring it even if it’s on vibrate!

Tile really comes through if the missing item is out of range as it’ll automatically connect with other users who are close by.  If someone else's phone finds it, you'll be privately notified of its location.  It’s like a community-based electronic lost and found!



PS We are never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071team@teamw.ca 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

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The month of May continued with increased demand and decreased supply. In comparison to May 2015, this year 34% more single family homes sold versus May 2015 (123 versus 92). While the number of listings that came to market were down 22%, at the end of the month, the active inventory for single family homes was 188 versus 345 at the end of May 2015, a decrease of 45%.


May only seems to enhance the lack of supply and increased demand that we have seen for the 1st 5 months of the year. Year to date statistics for single family home shows that the number of new listings that have come to market is down by 10% while the number of sales are up by 38%.


As a result it is critical for buyers to have familiarity with the market in advance of making a decision so that when the right home for them comes available they are comfortable in making the decision. Also they need to be able to act quickly when the right home for them becomes available as it is likely there is someone else that will like the home as well.

 

We are here to assist you with your research and comfort level in advance. Also if you would like more in depth statistics for different style of real estate or specific local areas please do let us know.


Rudi & Trish


Read or download the May 2016 Market Report



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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven May 2016   

Hi,

Major home repairs are the last thing you want to deal with when the nice weather hits.  Our feature article offers an easy to follow spring maintenance checklist that'll help keep your home in tip-top shape.

There are also some great ideas on how to start your own vegetable/herb garden as well as a few tips on how to spring clean your smartphone.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Top 10 Spring Home Maintenance Tips
A Guide for Growing Your Own Veggies
Smart Cleaning for Smartphones

Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Buyer demand continues to outpace supply!

The VIREB housing market is firmly in seller’s territory, with buyer demand continuing to outpace supply in most areas.

In April 2016, 662 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 449 last April, an increase of 47 per cent.

Month over month, sales were up by 27 per cent from the 520 sales processed in March 2016.  Last month’s active listings totalled 1,697, down 26 per cent from the 2,305 reported in April 2015.

Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, states that the hot housing market continues to be fueled by strong consumer demand.  Buyers are aggressively pursuing home purchases, with multiple offers the norm rather than the exception throughout British Columbia.

Real estate boards in the Lower Mainland, Chilliwack, Kamloops, the Okanagan, Victoria, and Vancouver Island are all reporting robust market conditions, with some areas posting record-breaking sales.  Underpinning B.C.’s vibrant economy and strong demand for housing is employment growth of three per cent, the highest in Canada.

“Although these market conditions cannot continue indefinitely, there is just no sign of any slowdown,” says Muir.  “Whether we’ll be reporting the same level of housing activity come September remains to be seen.”

VIREB President Margo Hoffman says that REALTORS® are busier than they have been in years, and multiple offers – particularly on single-family homes – are everyday occurrences.  As stated in previous media releases, lack of inventory continues to be the major challenge for REALTORS® and buyers.

“The thing to remember about busy markets like we’re seeing is that they never last forever,” says Hoffman.  “If homeowners are thinking of selling, this is an ideal time to do so.”

Although the benchmark and average prices have risen over the past year, Hoffman notes that the VIREB market is still very affordable compared to Victoria and Lower Mainland communities.  Whether you are a buyer or seller, Hoffman also adds that a REALTOR® is a vital partner in the sales process to ensure you price your home appropriately for selling and pay the right price when buying.

In April 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $356,700, up 8.36 per cent from one year ago.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The benchmark price of townhouses and apartments also increased in nearly every market.  The average MLS® price of a single-family home in April was $396,165, a nine per cent increase from April 2015.

The April 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $284,600, a 4.09 per cent increase over 2015.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $357,700, up 10.34 per cent from 2015.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $313,400, an increase of 6.65 per cent over the same month in 2015.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 9.08 per cent to $379,300 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 10.69 per cent to $399,500.  The price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $191,600, an increase of 1.42 per cent over April 2015.

Top 10 Spring Home Maintenance Tips 

Spring's the perfect time for taking care of outdoor maintenance!

The arrival of warm weather signals fun in the backyard with friends and family.  The last thing you want to deal with are unexpected home repairs so here’s a list to help keep you on track:

  1. Clear away debris and dead foliage from flowerbeds.

  2. Inspect hose connections to ensure there aren’t any leaks.

  3. Replace damaged window screens and weather stripping.

  4. Clean your fireplace and/or wood-burning stove and flue.

  5. Make sure your lawn mower, weed wacker and other tools are in good working order.

  6. Clean and repair your patio furniture and inspect your deck for loose or rotten boards.

  7. Trim back shrubs and vines that are growing near your air conditioning unit and dryer vent.

  8. Inspect and clean your gutters and make sure downspouts drain away from your foundation.

  9. Patch up any cracks you find around your foundation and driveway before they spread further.

  10. Inspect your roof for cracked or missing shingles and trim branches that hang over top of your roof.

Proactive home maintenance helps prevent small issues from getting out of hand.  Your home is a huge investment and minimizing repair bills will help you realize your highest rate of return.  When you're done, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer knowing that everything's been taken care of!
A Guide for Growing Your Own Veggies 
Eating local doesn't get any closer than your own backyard!

There’s nothing more delicious than a summer meal made from sun ripened vegetables and herbs from your own garden.  Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're thinking about growing your own veggies this year:

  1. Small & Sunny - Start with a small area if it’s your first year.  Make sure it’s a sunny spot and if you’re really short on space, use pots or window boxes.

  2. Planned Planting - Plan your garden according to your family size.  Food prices are on the rise so it makes cents to grow produce that’s expensive to purchase at the store.

  3. Go Organic - Growing your own produce is the best way to ensure your vegetables aren't full of chemicals.  It's also less expensive, more convenient and very rewarding.

  4. Succession Success - If you stagger planting times for a single crop or plant a different crop after one has harvested, you'll enjoy a continuous supply of fresh vegetables throughout the season.

  5. Child's Play - Gardening with your kids is a fun learning experience that will inspire them to try new veggies.  Pumpkins are great as they can decorate their very own jack-o-lantern at Halloween!

Not only is gardening cost effective and fun but it’s also an excellent stress reliever.  Your local nursery will have a variety of seeds, plants and other tools to help you get started.  If this is your first year gardening, make sure you keep notes on which vegetables do well so you can plan ahead for next year.

Smart Cleaning for Smartphones 

Most of us forget to clean up after of our most trusted companion!

Studies have shown that a smartphone is actually more contaminated with germs than a public toilet seat!  Gross, right?

Cleaning every day with a microfiber cloth will reduce dirt, grime and bacteria.  There’s some debate on whether a homemade solution of alcohol and water is safe as some “experts” say it may harm your phone while others say it’s fine.

To be on the safe side, you can purchase a cleaning solution made specifically for smartphones that will remove all the nasty germs.  For the serious germophobes, there are chargers that will completely sanitize your phone while it charges!


PS  Oh by the way, we are never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071team@teamw.ca

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
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The lack of supply and the increased demand certainly continued in the month of April.

 

For single family homes the number of listings compared to last April was up by 4% however the number of sales in comparison was up 30%. The result being that the Active Inventory at the end of April was down 32% in comparison to April 2015 (197 versus 290).


In addition the Day on Market has declined dramatically to an average of 25 versus 57 last year. A good percentage of the listings have an offer within days of coming on the market.


As everyone expects, this results in increased prices. The average sale price of homes sold this April was $479,214 versus $429,458 in April 2015.


What does this mean for Buyers?

 

  •  It is best to know what you are looking for and be familiar with market values so that you are ready to act as soon as something comes on the market
  • Ensure that you are on Preferred Client Services so you are getting notifications of new listings that meet your criteria as soon as they are in the Real Estate Board system (this is always in advance of realtor.ca) so you know about it immediately. This way you may be aware even before your agent is aware, depending who is viewing their computer 1st
  • Financing certainly needs to have been arranged, may still be conditional on bank approval of the property, and be ready to make immediate decisions
  • Be prepared that there may be competing offers and therefore know how you may approach such a situation
  • Be prepared that though you may view and write immediately the seller may wait a few days before considering an offer in order to give their home some exposure to the market. On most occasions they are not willing to entertain the 1st offer if there has not been time for additional showings

 We welcome your inquiries to discuss your specific situation and assist you in making the right decisions for you. Keep in mind the above statistics are with a broad brush and if you would like more specific details (specific sub-regions or specific style of housing) contact us.


Rudi & Trish

 

View April 2016 Market Stats Report

 

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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven April 2016   



An unexpected repair bill is the last thing you want when you move into your dream home.  This month’s feature article highlights the importance of getting a home inspection so you can move in with confidence.

There are also some ideas on how to affordably update your bathroom as well as an introduction to Slack which is a powerful instant messaging tool that’s taking the online world by storm!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Avoid Headaches and Heartache with a Home Inspection
Bathroom Makeovers that won’t Break the Bank
The New Way for Teams to Communicate

Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Buyer demand outpacing supply on Vancouver Island.

The Vancouver Island real estate market set a brisk pace in March, with buyer demand outpacing supply in most areas.

In March 2016, 520 single-family homes sold compared to 420 last March, an increase of 24 per cent. Month over month, sales were up by 29 per cent from the 406 sales processed in February 2016.  Last month’s active listings totalled 1,599, down 26 per cent from the 2,167 reported in March 2015.

BCREA Economist Brendon Ogmundson states that the robust market conditions occurring throughout the province are reflective of British Columbia’s vibrant economy.  The provincial economy is the strongest in Canada, with GDP growth expected to be around three per cent this year.  Extremely strong construction activity, surging retail sales, and the highest job growth in three years are key economic drivers fueling the bustling real estate market.

“Although we’ve been saying that the housing market can’t continue at this pace indefinitely, there are no signs that point to a slowdown,” says Ogmundson.

Ogmundson notes that although single-family homes are still the most popular property type, changing demographics could shift that trend in the next decade.

“Over the next ten years, there will be around 200,000 people between the ages of 20 and 49 in the province, so we expect that demand for townhouses and condominiums will increase,” says Ogmundson.

VIREB President Margo Hoffman reports that it has been several years since REALTORS® have been this busy, but low inventory continues to be a major challenge for REALTORS® and home buyers in the VIREB area.  Multiple offers, particularly on single-family homes, are common occurrences.

“Our market is in definite seller’s territory, and we just don’t have enough inventory,” says Hoffman.  “Homeowners may be reluctant to sell because they love their home and where they live.  However, if you’ve been thinking of selling, it’s a perfect time to put your home on the market.”

Despite rising prices, Hoffman notes that the VIREB housing market is still very affordable compared to Victoria and Lower Mainland communities.  Whether you are a buyer or seller, Hoffman also notes that a REALTOR® is a vital partner in the sales process to ensure you price your home appropriately for selling and pay the right price when buying.

In March 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $350,400, up seven per cent from one year ago.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The benchmark price of townhouses and apartments also increased in nearly every market.  The average MLS® price of a single-family home in March was $397,375, a 13 per cent increase from March 2015.

The March 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $281,800, a 2.61 per cent increase over 2015.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $354,100, up 9.39 per cent from 2015. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $310,700, an increase of 8.23 per cent over the same month in 2015.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 5.95 per cent to $367,000 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 8.66 per cent to $391,400.  The price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $193,900, an increase of 3.36 per cent over March 2015.

Avoid Headaches and Heartache with a Home Inspection 

Buying a home can be emotional, especially if it's love at first sight!

Imagine that you’ve finally found your dream home and you’re feeling on top of the world!

Now think how you’d feel once you’re all moved in only to discover it’s nothing but a money pit.  Hidden surprises are the last thing you want to deal with.

It’s easy to overlook potential problems when you find a home you love as you tend to focus all your attention on the positive features.

Your mind’s made up and you just want to put in an offer as quickly as possible so you don’t lose it to another buyer.  However, taking the time to have the home professionally inspected will help you see the full picture.

Home inspections help identify both existing and future problems.  There's no such thing as a perfect house so don't be alarmed when minor issues arise.  Look at it more as a valuable learning experience as most inspectors will discuss the home’s systems and offer advice on how they should be maintained.

Home inspections aren’t just for buyers.  Sellers often have inspections completed before they put their property on the market so they're not caught off guard and forced into a vulnerable position.  Knowing your product is key when it comes to sales so it's important to be fully aware of any existing problems beforehand so they can be dealt with accordingly.

Not everyone chooses to have a home inspection but if you want to avoid buying a home riddled with problems, it’s a worthwhile investment.  Choose a certified home inspector who comes highly recommended and ensure the cost includes a written report.  The knowledge and peace of mind you'll gain is well worth the expense.
Bathroom Makeovers that won’t Break the Bank 
Updating your bathroom doesn't have to be a pricey project.

There are various ways to refresh a tired looking bathroom on a budget.  Here are a few simple and inexpensive bathroom makeover ideas that’ll add value to your home without breaking the bank:

  1. De-Clutter - Your bathroom will look cleaner and larger if you remove clutter.  Throw out anything that’s expired and place items you rarely use in drawers.

  2. Simple Spa - Create a room you can unwind in by rolling up plush towels in wicker baskets and adding some aromatic candles to create a natural, spa like atmosphere.

  3. Upcycling - Add some creative charm with reclaimed wood and revamped furniture.  An old wooden ladder for example makes a great towel holder.

  4. Tropical Paradise - Breathe some life into your bathroom by adding a few plants.  It'll create an oasis like feel and they'll love the humidity.  Consider a hanging basket if space is tight.

  5. Accessorize - It's easy to make an impact with small details so add some pizzazz by updating the shower curtain, drawer handles and towel racks.

It’s easy to update your bathroom without committing to a full on renovation and hopefully the ideas above will help inspire you.  Don’t forget about the power of paint coupled with a beautiful, unique piece of art as this is another powerful yet simple way to freshen up a blah bathroom!

The New Way for Teams to Communicate 

The rapid growth of this hot new messaging app is insane!

Slack is a hugely successful messaging app that was built to help workplace teams share files and communicate with one another.

Slack is also a great communication tool for families.  It’s like having your own private social network!  You can use it to update grocery lists, co-ordinate calendars, schedule appointments and to privately share photos and videos.

Whether it be for business or pleasure, this hot new app is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a productive way to communicate and share information with a specific group of people.  Let me know what you think!


PS  Oh by the way, we are never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071 - team@teamw.ca

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
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Well the market continues to be challenging as inventory remains low and demand higher than the same time last year!

 

At the end of March the number of Active listings was down 26% (201 versus 272) while demand was up 24%.


Therefore it is critical for Buyers to understand the market & market value and be in a position to make a strong offer when a desired property comes to market.


Though the average number of days on the market is 46 a good percentage of the new listings have an offer within a week if not days.


For Sellers it still remains critical to be priced at an acceptable price because otherwise it sits longer on the market and the Buyers then wonder what may be wrong with it.


The average ‘sale’ price of homes that have sold has increased by 19%.


If you would like additional market information (different styled of real estate or specific areas) please contact us and we would be pleased to assist you.


Rudi & Trish

 

Download March 2016 Market Conditions

 

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