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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven - TeamW July 2014   



Well we are half way through the summer and what weather we have had.  On Vancouver Island we have been very fortunate with the weather for June & July.  We are in need of rain and got some relieve earlier this week - to the point that the campfire ban has been lifted.

We hope that you have had time to take advantange of the great weather and maybe take in some of the great activities in the area:  International Sandcastle Competition, Kite Festival, abundance of Farmers' Markets, Street Markets, music fesitvals to name a few.

Trish & I are taking an unusual move this year by taking holidays during the summer and actually leaving our wonderful area.  We will visiting with my folks in New Brunswick and then going to explore a part of our wonderful country that both of us have always wanted to see - Newfoundland.  Maybe we will figure out a way to share our photos / experiences with you next month :)

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...
Vancouver Island Experiences Strongest June Sales Since 2007
Taking Advantage of the Mortgage Market
How Green Is Your Thumb?
I Just Can't Put My Finger On It

Vancouver Island Experiences Strongest June Sales Since 2007 

Sales activity is heating up across the Vancouver Island housing market area, with the Board reporting its strongest June on record since 2007.

A total of 470 single-family homes sold on the MLS® system in the VIREB coverage area in June 2014.  While this represents a slight dip over the 485 sales recorded last month, it marks a 23 per cent increase over sales activity this time last year.

Inventory levels continue to remain slightly lower than last year, which is in-line with the trend occurring over the past few months.  Active listings for the month of June were down 4.4 per cent over this time last year.

According to BCREA chief economist, Cameron Muir, the sales-to-active listing ratio is sitting around 14 per cent, which puts the Vancouver Island market in the upper boundaries of balanced market territory.  This is great news for buyers and sellers, and with home sales on the rise, he expects we will start to see market conditions “firm up” in the third quarter.

Within the greater Parksville - Qualicum Beach region the number of single family sales continues to be more than the same month in 2013, June was up 8%.  Also of interest is that the number of new listings for the same period is down 26% and the number of active listings is down by 18%.
 
Overall higher demand continues and there is a much smaller supply to choose from.
 
The price spread from list price to sale price seems to be remaining at 95% however our experience is that it is narrowing and we have seen several competitive bids during the last couple of weeks.
 
When asked about the slight uptick in prices across the Island, VIREB president, Blair Herbert, said that he was not surprised.  “With increased consumer demand and rising home sales, pricing should start to rise around the rate of inflation,” he said.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation, we welcome your inquiry and the opportunity to assist you in your decision making to determine if the timing is right for you to purchase or make a change in regards to real estate.


Taking Advantage of the Mortgage Market 

Deciding on a mortgage is a huge financial decision.

It’s critical to be organized and do plenty of research before arranging a new mortgage or adjusting one that’s already in place.  Here are some points to consider:

  1. Know Your Numbers - Examine your finances so you’ll know exactly what you can afford.  A budget will bring you confidence and peace of mind but the key is to stick to it so you don’t end up house poor.

  2. Get Advice - There are many different types of mortgages so it's critical to seek professional advice.  Interest rates are important but there are other considerations such as the type of mortgage (fixed/variable or open/closed) as well as the loan's duration.

  3. Be Aware - There are many programs that buyers can take advantage of but it’s important to plan in advance.  You’ll also want to be aware of the hidden costs associated with owning a home such as closing, inspection, legal, moving, taxes and maintenance costs.

  4. Get Pre-Approved - A mortgage pre-approval can save you thousands of dollars and eliminate countless hours of stress.  It can also prevent you from losing your dream home as you'll be in a stronger negotiating position at the time of purchase.

  5. Do the Math - Current homeowners can also explore mortgage refinancing options as even half a percentage point can save you thousands of dollars!  The profitability of refinancing however is affected by many variables so examine your individual situation.

No one can forecast the future but it’s a good time to investigate your options if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines.  Low interest rates present a huge opportunity for both first time buyers and existing homeowners but it’s critical to plan your budget, understand the risks of the current and future market and explore all your mortgage options.

How Green Is Your Thumb? 

Gardening is a great way to bring nature into your backyard.

Gardening brings you in tune with the environment so it makes sense to ensure your garden is a natural and eco-friendly space.  There are many ways to work with nature so dig in and consider these options:

  1. Water Wise - Using a rain barrel to collect water that runs off your roof is a great way to recycle water for lawns and gardens as well as washing cars.

  2. Grow Local - Local plants are a great garden choice as they’re hardier, use less water, attract birds and butterflies and are easy to maintain.

  3. Grow Your Own - Nothing beats the taste of home grown veggies and they’re easier to grow than you may think.  They can also be grown in containers which is perfect for smaller yards.

  4. The Dirt on Composting - Kitchen and garden waste can create a rich fertilizer which is often referred to as gardener’s gold!  Composting also significantly reduces garbage waste.

  5. Hug a Tree - Trees remove contaminants from the air while providing habitat for birds and wildlife.  They also save energy by keeping your home cool in the hot summer months.

Having an earth friendly garden grown without pesticides benefits your family, your community and the planet.  Small changes such as the ones above not only help the planet but can also translate into financial gains for the homeowner!

I Just Can't Put My Finger On It 

Laptops come with a variety of tools to help enhance user productivity but we often don’t know how to use them.  Here’s a simple tip for easier laptop browsing!

Rather than clicking and dragging the scrollbar to navigate a website or document, simply slide two fingers on the touchpad in the direction you want to scroll.

This simple trick will save you loads of time as it moves your entire page up and down much like a scroll wheel does on a mouse.  Go ahead and give it a go right now!


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

 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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TeamW
Home Office:250-468-1498
Toll Free:1-(888) 243-1071
TeamW-RE/MAX First Realty
#101-897 WEST ISLAND HIGHWAY PARKSVILLE
Parksville, BC
V9P 2E9 CA