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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven December 2014   



If you’re finding it hard to save up for a down payment, you may have thought about purchasing a home with a friend or relative.  This month’s article offers some advice on co-ownership.

A few of the latest online holiday scams are also revealed as well as an amazing recipe that your holiday guests will rave about!

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.  Enjoy the holiday season!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi W.
In this issue...
Vancouver Island Housing Market Continues its Upward Trend
Co-ownership -- Will Your Friendship Survive?
Ho Ho Hoax
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Vancouver Island Housing Market Continues its Upward Trend 
Slow and steady growth in the housing market continues to be the prevailing theme throughout the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) coverage area.

Although unit sales dropped considerably from last month, they were up five per cent compared to November 2013, demonstrating that the market continues to improve overall.

The month-over-month dip in unit sales from this month to last month is attributed to an unusually strong October rather than being indicative of a weak November.

“There were no big surprises in November,” said VIREB President Blair Herbert.  “The steady growth we’re seeing in the Board area continues to reflect balanced market conditions, which has been a trend for some time now.”

A total of 299 single-family homes sold on the MLS® system in November 2014.  This represents a 25 per cent decrease from the 400 sales recorded last month and a five per cent increase from this time last year.  Inventory levels are down around seven per cent compared to November 2013.

Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, states that the housing market is improving and expects balanced market conditions to continue, with housing prices reflecting an inflation rate of approximately two per cent.

“2014 is shaping up to be the best year we’ve had for some time, and 2015 is looking even better,” says Muir.  “Although overall economic growth in 2015 likely won’t accelerate to 2006 levels, we’re certainly expecting housing sales to continue ratcheting upwards to a higher plateau.”

In November 2014, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $314,300, up 1.72 per cent from 2013.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area. The average price of a single-family home was $340,493, an increase of six percent over this time last year.

The benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $263,100, down 2.15 per cent over this time last year.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $314,200, which is relatively unchanged from 2013.  Duncan reports a benchmark price of $286,600, an increase of 2.71 per cent over the same month in 2013, while Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $341,200, up 4.81 per cent compared to last year.  The Parksville-Qualicum area posted a benchmark price of $358,600, which is a 2.69 per cent increase over last year.  The price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $178,700, dropping 3.65 per cent from last year.

Co-ownership -- Will Your Friendship Survive? 

Planning is key if you’re thinking of purchasing a property with a friend!

If you’re tired of renting but can’t quite come up with a down payment, you may need to get creative.  One option is to purchase a property with a friend or relative.

Co-ownership enables you to share the down payment and monthly expenses which makes buying a home so much easier.  Like everything in life though there are pros and cons and this is a partnership you don’t want to enter into lightly!

The pros are fairly obvious – it’s affordable and you’ll be able to start building up some equity instead of throwing it away on rent.  The drawbacks include lack of privacy and the potential loss of a valuable friendship.  You may like and trust each other now but things can change once you start living together.

Determine first whether your personality styles are a match.  If you’re a neat freak and your friend doesn’t know one end of a vacuum from the other then problems could arise.  Also, think about how you like to spend your leisure time.  If they’re a party animal and you prefer a quiet life, it may not be the partnership for you.

Once you've determined you're a good fit, visit a mortgage broker to get pre-approved.  Next, make a checklist of critical factors such as location and parking.  Seemingly small issues like who’s getting the master bedroom can create future tension so sort out details ahead of time.  A home inspection is also a good plan to help ensure you’re not on the hook for unexpected future repairs.

Finally, seek legal advice and draw up a contract so you’re prepared to deal with potential problems and maintenance issues.  This is a business deal so discuss worst case scenarios like death, job loss and relocation or how to proceed if one person wants to sell and the other doesn’t.
 
Building up your financial security through co-ownership can work well for both parties if you have an open line of detailed communication before, during and after you’ve bought a house together.  Having a legal contract will help eliminate future problems so you can enjoy the benefits of co-ownership while remaining good friends!

Ho Ho Hoax 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year -- especially for scammers!

Cyber criminals kick it up a notch during the festive season as busy, distracted shoppers are constantly online.  Here are a few of the most common seasonal scams to be aware of:

  1. Give & Take - Cybercriminals often impersonate charities with emotionally charged appeals taking advantage of recent disasters or outbreaks.

  2. The “Must Have” Gift - Beware of websites that tout fake deals on the hottest, hard to find holiday items.  This year’s hot products include the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.

  3. The Gift of Malware - Always download apps from legitimate sources.  Fake shopping apps can install dangerous malware to your smartphone or trick you into giving away personal details.

  4. Alo-hoax - People scrambling to escape to sunnier climates are easy prey.  Beware of scammers who set up fake travel websites offering incredible deals for non-existent holiday destinations.

Be especially vigilant when you’re online during the holidays and try to avoid shopping on public WiFi hotspots unless you’re certain they’re secure.  Remember to also keep your antivirus software up-to-date and use common sense – if a deal’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Bacon Wrapped Dates 

Everything tastes so much better with bacon -- even dates!

Here’s a simple, yet delicious appetizer that’s ideal for your holiday gathering.  These unique sweet crunchy bites are sure to tantalize the taste buds!  Here’s all you’ll need:

  • cream cheese
  • 18 pitted medjool dates
  • 6 slices of bacon (cut into thirds)


  1. Stuff each date with cream cheese.
  2. Wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  3. Arrange the dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan, bacon seam side down.
  4. Bake at 400F for 6 - 8 minutes, turn dates over and bake for another 6 - 8 minutes.

These tasty tidbits are a real crowd pleaser so you should probably create a double batch because your guests will definitely keep coming back for more!


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 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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