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Parksville/Qualicum Beach Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven January 2018

Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven January 2018   

Hi,

One of the biggest decisions house hunters have to make is whether to go old or new. This month's article will hopefully help make the decision a little easier.


There are also some tips on what to do if you hear strange noises coming from your home as well as the lowdown on geocaching which is a fun and healthy way to enjoy the great outdoors this winter!

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
Old or New; What's Best for You?
Things that go Bump in the Night
GeoCaching -- High Tech Hide and Seek
VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 
Home sales post the strongest December on record.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the board had its busiest December on record, with 667 housing units changing hands last month.

Sales of single-family homes increased by 35 per cent from December 2016. Annually, 5,612 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in 2017 compared to 6,059 the previous year, a decrease of seven per cent. However, this reduction reflects the market returning to more normal levels from the unprecedented sales activity generated in 2016.

Inventory of single-family homes dropped to 762 in December, the lowest recorded since VIREB began tracking inventory in 1999. The supply of apartments and townhouses dipped by 13 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. Diminishing housing supply and high consumer demand are driving rising benchmark prices of single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses in all markets.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is thriving due to strong economic fundamentals, such as robust retail sales, job growth, and population growth. BCREA’s Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast states that the provincial economy is on track to expand by 3.8 per cent in 2017, the fourth consecutive year of three per cent or more real GDP growth. The cumulative effect has fuelled employment growth to its strongest performance in almost 20 years, with the provincial jobless rate at its lowest level in nearly a decade.

However, while provincial economic conditions appear to be on a sound footing, BCREA expects economic growth to slow in 2018, expanding at a respectable 2.8 per cent, but lower than we have seen in some time. The province’s housing market will face additional economic headwinds in 2018, with rising interest rates eroding affordability and Guideline B-20 making it harder for some buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, notes that VIREB’S record December shows that consumers are still highly motivated to buy a home, but she encourages sellers to list their property now before mitigating economic factors have an impact on housing activity.

“My advice to prospective sellers is not to delay listing their home until the spring,” says Stromar. “The VIREB area has been a sellers’ market for a long time, but we know that it cannot continue indefinitely.”

That said, since the current VIREB market still favours sellers, connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market. “REALTORS have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help streamline the buying and selling process to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients,” says Stromar.

In December 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $466,400, up 17 per cent from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month rose to $284,400, up 28 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $370,700, a 23 per cent increase from December 2016. 

OLD OR NEW; WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU? 

There are various pros and cons with newer and older homes.

Home buyers face countless decisions when purchasing a home. One of the first things to figure out is whether you prefer a newer home or an older home.
 
Comparing newer and older homes can be tricky as it depends on individual preferences as well as family priorities. Here are a few advantages of older homes:

  1. Solid as a Rock - The craftsmanship that went into building homes years ago was usually second to none.



  2. Old World Charm - Older homes usually boast unique architectural features such as crown moulding and stained glass windows.

  3. Location - Older homes are often located in well established communities with mature trees. They're also usually close to popular downtown amenities.

  4. Outdoor Space - Older homes usually have larger lots which is important if you value your privacy or wish to possibly extend your home in the future.

Newer homes on the other hand have their own unique set of advantages. Here are just a few points to consider:

  1. Customizable - You can customize a brand new home to your own tastes with options like heated floors or granite countertops.

  2. Functional - Newer homes are laid out with functional features such as attached garages, larger storage areas and ensuite bathrooms.

  3. Low Maintenance - You're not likely to encounter any serious issues as everything's brand new. The home's exterior will also be much easier to maintain.

  4. Energy Efficient - Better windows, insulation and appliances mean newer homes are more energy efficient which translates into lower monthly utility bills.

Newer homes are usually more functional but older homes offer a level of character that new homes can't match. You may already have a good idea of what you prefer but keep an open mind as you become more familiar with the pros and cons of each. This is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make so do your research before signing on the dotted line!

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT 

Are your home’s strange sounds keeping you up at night?

Part of settling into a new home is figuring out what noises are normal. Most are nothing to worry about but some could signal a deeper issue. Here are a few that you should pay attention to:

  1. Furnace Noises - A humming noise is normal but loud pops, scraping, grinding or squealing sounds should be checked out professionally.



  2. Scratching Sounds - The dreaded sound of scratching likely means you have rodents that are making themselves at home so take notice before it gets out of hand.



  3. Running Water - Check for leaks and water damage around the home. If you can’t figure it out quickly, call a plumber as it could mean a broken pipe.

  4. Gurgling Toilet - Gurgling noises coming from the toilet could signal a blockage in the toilet or drain, a blockage in the vent stack or a main sewer drain blockage.



  5. Noisy Fridge - Some whirring and clicking is normal but if your fridge is cracking or popping, it could be a compressor or a temperature regulation issue.

You can expect to hear some noises coming from your home as the various building materials will contract and expand. Just keep an ear out for anything unusual and don’t hesitate to call a professional if in doubt!  

GEOCACHING -- HIGH TECH HIDE AND SEEK 

If your New Year’s Resolution was to get active, consider geocaching!

Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt where a GPS app is used to locate various hidden caches. It's a great way to get active with your family while exploring the great outdoors!

Geocaches are hidden stashes that contain small treasures along with a logbook. Once you find a geocache, you replace the treasure with something of your own, log in your details and then check-in online.

Exploring hometown hiking trails takes on a whole new meaning when geocaching and the best part is it doesn't cost a cent! Instead of searching around for the remote this Sunday afternoon, head outdoors for a real life treasure hunt!




 
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