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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

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