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

Hi,


Hello & Welcome to summer!!

The weather is amazing and the garden is growing like topsy so all is good in the world!

We are hosting our annual Customer appreciation event on June 27th from 3:30 to 8:00 at our house and we would love to see you if you can make it.  We are hiring a caterer this year so if you would let us know if you are coming that would be great so we can provide them with numbers in advance.  If you can't RSVP in advance feel free to drop in anyway. . . there just might not be as much food, however you can always count on a refreshment or two!  To RSVP give us a call or send an email to team@teamw.ca .

We are also in the midst of all new regulations for real estate in BC so you will see us armed with many extra pieces of paper & lots more disclosure forms for all of you to sign and acknowledge.  Its all in the name of consumer protection which we are all in favour of, but in typical government fashion it is an over-regulation (in our opinion) and we are sad that it removed the buyer or sellers right to make certain choices in how you deal with a REALTOR.  We will sort it all out but we hope everyone can be patient with us as we work through the new regime of disclosures & paperwork.  Most REALTORS are good honest decent people but unfortunately a few "bad apples" can cause everyone more difficulty in doing the job.  We only want to do what is right for our clients so hopefully, once we get the process streamlined we will be able to explain it better to everyone.  If you have any questions as always just give us a call and we will do our best to answer, you also can visit the Real Estate Council of BC for details by clicking here .

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
Preparing a Home for Showing!
It Pays to Keep your financial affairs organized
De-Stress Your Home

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

There is a Shift Happening!

The 1st five months of the year have already come and gone, where did it go?  The latest statistics for real estate activity in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach is out as is the Second Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association).

 

The month of May, keep in mind only 1 month, resulted in a decrease in sales of 37% in comparison to May 2017.  When we look at the 1st 5 months of the year there has been a 21% decrease in the number of sales of Single Family Homes.  Interestingly enough the change in volume of sales varies throughout the region:  Qualicum Beach +3%, French Creek -30%, Parksville -30%, Nanoose Bay -17%.

 

With regards to average sale prices for May was up by 11% in comparison to May 2017.  The average sale price for Single Family Homes for the 1st five months of the year are up 19% versus the same time frame in 2017.  Across the region average sale prices are up though this percentage does vary from 12 to 34%, overall average sale price was $623,677.  The number of active listings at the end of May is up 20% in comparison to end of May 2017.

 

The 2nd Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA predicts that for the Province of BC we will see a decrease of 9% in the number of sales and yet an increase in the average sale price of 5.1% which seems to be somewhat consistent with the latest local stats.  If we look at the VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) region they are predicting that overall we will see a 12.4% decrease in number of sales and yet an increase in average sale prices by 4% for Single Family Homes for all of 2018.

 

The state that two factors mitigating a slowing provincial economy for the Vancouver Island-Coast housing market are it attractiveness to both retirees and the millennial generation.

 

If you would like to discuss your particular situation or would like additional details for your specific region or style of housing contact TeamW and we would be pleased assist.

In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.

“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “However, economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the long-term average this year.”

Housing demand in the VIREB area shifted lower in the first four months of 2018 as stricter mortgage qualifications for conventional borrowers took their toll on household purchasing power and affordability. Other economic headwinds that could dampen demand include higher interest rates and new provincial taxes, though we are exempt from the 'Speculation Tax'.  However, the attractiveness of Vancouver Island to retirees and millennials is expected to mitigate their impact somewhat.

Despite lower sales thus far in 2018, lack of inventory continues to tilt the market somewhat in favour of sellers and push prices upwards.  The pace of these increases could slow somewhat if demand keeps declining, but it is unlikely that prices will drop significatly until additional inventory enters the market by way of new construction.

If you would like to see the statistical summary click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREPARING A HOME FOR SHOWING! 

Have your home “show ready” at a moment’s notice!

When your home’s on the market, getting ready for showings can be a real challenge but it's even harder when you share your home with little ones or pets!

The trick to selling a house with  kids or pets is to try and make it appeal to buyers who have them as well as those who don’t. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home:

  1. Depersonalize - It's important that buyers are able to imagine themselves living in your home so clear the kids’ artwork off the fridge and take down, awards and remove dog/cat beds & smells.


  2. Play Time's Over - Keep just one small box of toys on hand and pack up the rest. Too many toys or other "stuff" looks messy and make rooms appear smaller.


  3. Clean Your Room! - Pack up stuffed animals, books and trophies in all the rooms. Any remaining items should be put out of sight instead of on the floor.


  4. Behind Closed Doors - Buyers can never get enough closet space so get rid of any clothes and shoes that are out-of-season or that your kids have outgrown. Less is always more when it comes to contents.


  5. Time to Grow Up - Buyers should be able to visualize your playroom as their rec room so get rid of clutter like arts and crafts so it’ll appear large enough for their media room or pool table.


  6. Curb Appeal - Don't leave toys, sidewalk chalk or bikes strewn outside your home as drive-by viewings can occur at any time.

  7. Ready to Go - Have your beds made & the kitchen tidy  in case you have to make a quick getaway for a last minute showing.


Selling your home is a great opportunity to declutter and by doing it now, you’ll have less to pack when it comes time to move. Showings can happen in an instant so make sure you have a system in place that enables you to vacate in a matter of minutes. Although keeping everything perfectly staged with kids or pets can be a challenge, it'll be well worth the effort!

IT PAYS TO KEEP YOUR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS ORGANIZED 

Keeping organized & getting out of debt can be tough, unless you have a plan.

Money management isn't a popular family topic but talking about it with your kids and loved ones can help them avoid a lifetime of financial woes. Here are a few of the basics:

  1. First Things First - Focus on getting things organized & paying off high interest, non-deductible debt first.


  2. Budget Crunch - List all income and fixed expenses such as house and car payments. Next, list variable expenses to see if anything can be reduced or eliminated.


  3. Consolidate - Monthly payments can likely be lowered by consolidating debt through a home equity loan as the interest rate will be much lower. Please ask us about this & we would be happy to explain it & or refer you to a banker who can help with this..


  4. Reach Out - Make sure your loved ones & or executor know where things are and create a list of bankers, investment advisors, insurance, & credit card info so if someone had to step into your role as bill payer that it wouldn't be an impossible task.  Let them know where your Power of Attorney and Will are located.

Managing money & debt may seem like a daunting task but it can help avoid a financial crisis that could devastate your credit rating and your ability to borrow money in the future at attractive rates. Unforeseen circumstances can happen to anyone at some point in their life but with a little planning, it can almost always be overcome.

DE-STRESS YOUR HOME 

Your home should be a refuge from all the stressors in your life!

Life can sometimes be stressful so ideally, your home should feel like a sanctuary for you to relax in. Here are three easy ways to de-stress your home:

  1. Meaningful Memories - Hang photos and artwork that remind you of happy times in your life. But not too much! .


  2. Mess Causes Stress - Studies show that clutter overloads our senses so take a few minutes each day to tidy & clean up.


  3. Natural Cure - Bring nature into your home with some fresh flowers or a few potted plants to help restore a sense of balance.


Life can sometimes be overwhelming but an organized and tidy home means you’ll have a relaxing space to unwind in at the end of a long day. Just a few little tweaks can make a huge difference!



PS Oh, by the way, we always appreciate your introductions. Your referrals are the highest compliment you can give us!  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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The 1st five months of the year have already come and gone, where did it go? The latest statistics for real estate activity in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach is out as is the Second Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association).

 

The month of May, keep in mind only 1 month, resulted in a crease in sales of 37% in comparison to May 2017. When we look at the 1st 5 months of the year there has been a 21% decrease in the number of sales of Single Family Homes. Interesting enough the change in volume of sales varies throughout the region: Qualicum Beach +3%, French Creek -30%, Parksville -305, Nanoose Bay -17%.

 

With regards to average sale prices for May was up by 11% in comparison to May 2017. The average sale price for Single Family Homes for the 1st five months of the year are up 19% versus the same time frame in 2017. Across the region average sale prices are up though this percentage does vary from 12 to 34%, overall average sale price was $623,677. The number of active listings at the end of May is up 20% in comparison to end of May 2017.

 

The 2nd Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA predicts that for the Province of BC we will see a decrease of 9% in the number of sales and yet an increase in the average sale price of 5.1% which seems to be somewhat consistent with the latest local stats. If we look at the VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) region they are predicting that overall we will see a 12.4% decrease in number of sales and yet an increase in average sale prices by 4% for Single Family Homes.

 

The state that two factors mitigating a slowing provincial economy for the Vancouver Island-Coast housing market are it attractiveness to both retirees and the millennial generation.

 

If you would like to discuss your particular situation or would like additional details for your specific region or style of housing contact TeamW and we would be pleased assist.


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The media has been reporting a change in the market and that there are considerably less sales of real estate this year than last year.  The statistics at the end of April certainly confirm this as in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area we have seen 15% less sales of Single Family Homes during the first 4 months of the year when compared to the same time in 2017.  However please note that sale prices remain strong and the average price of what has sold has increased by 22%.  Average sale price of homes that sold in the first 4 months is $628,294.  Interestingly enough the average number of sales in April were only down 3% compared to 2017 though the average sale price in April was $611,880 – less than the 4 month average and yet up 14% from April 2017.

 

Personally we have noted a ‘shift’ though unsure what the shift was.  However during the last couple of weeks the market has been more active and we are thinking the ‘shift’ was a pause.  This pause may have been a result of tightening mortgage rules as well as the Province’s announcement of Speculation Tax – now known not to be directly affecting the Parksville Qualicum Beach region.

 

We welcome any questions that you may have and would be pleased to discuss your situation or any questions that you may have.  Contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.


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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven May 2018   

Hi,

Hello summer!!

Well, it appears we skipped spring and ran headlong straight into summer! The market has been active especially since we were removed from the areas affected by the speculation tax!  Activity has returned to our new normal with lots of sales.  Fortunately, with the slight pause, there is a bit more inventory available.  Though most well priced homes are still selling the first few weeks.

Are you one of the more than 65% of British Columbians who own your own home and share concerns about recent and proposed changes along with the negative impact they have on consumer choice?  Join myself and other advocates of consumer freedom of choice at www.TheRealBC.ca

You will all be seeing big changes in Real Estate in the next little while as the government is again regulating our industry & making sweeping changes in how we are able to serve you.  We have received new forms as of today and they will be effective June 15/2018.  Watch for more information from us soon as we sort out what this means for you our clients.  We will send out the new forms to anyone who wants them and also try to explain the implications of all the changes as we learn more, all you can count on is change!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Beware of Buyer expectations
Tips On How to Guzzle Less Gas
Freshen up Your Home Decor for summer!
VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 
Sales holding steady amid rising house prices.

The media has been reporting a change in the market and that there are considerably less sales of real estate this year than last year.  The statistics at the end of April certainly confirm this as in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area we have seen 15% less sales of Single Family Homes during the first 4 months of the year when compared to the same time in 2017.  However please note that sale prices remain strong and the average price of what has sold has increased by 22%.  Average sale price of homes that sold in the first 4 months is $628,294.  Interestingly enough the average number of sales in April were only down 3% compared to 2017 though the average sale price in April was $611,880 – less than the 4 month average and yet up 14% from April 2017.

The number of active listings is up 11% from March however the number of sales were up 42% from March.

Personally we have noted a ‘shift’ though unsure what the shift was.  However during the last couple of weeks the market has been more active and we are thinking the ‘shift’ was a pause.  This pause may have been a result of tightening mortgage rules as well as the Province’s announcement of Speculation Tax – now known not to be directly affecting the Parksville Qualicum Beach region.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that housing sales in many B.C. jurisdictions are down compared to last year. Guideline B-20 and uncertainty surrounding new provincial taxes appear to be taking their toll on sales in some markets.

BCREA also expects the Bank of Canada to increase interest rates in the next couple of months, which introduces another risk factor into the housing market.

Janice Stromar, 2018 Past President, encourages sellers to take advantage of our current market conditions before any economic headwinds weaken demand. “Our market has favoured sellers for a long time now, but it won’t last forever,” says Stromar. “However, even in a sellers’ market, you need to price your home correctly because overpriced homes take longer to sell.”

We welcome any questions that you may have and would be pleased to discuss your situation or any questions that you may have.  Contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.

BEWARE OF BUYER EXPECTATIONS 

Address these common turn-offs so buyers don’t run for the door!

When you put your home on the market, it must appeal to a large cross-section of buyers in order to generate a frenzy of activity.

Buying a home is such an emotional decision that even a seemingly small issue can create a bad impression. Here are six of the top turn-offs you need to know:

  1. Get Out - Make yourself scarce during showings as nothing turns buyers off more than a stalking seller.

  2. Fido & Fluffy - Pets and their associated smells will put many buyers off so relocate them before showings and hide their bed, bones, toys, etc.

  3. Declutter & refresh - Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home but most can’t look past other people's "stuff". Remember they all want an HGTV ready house so less is more!

  4. Problems Down Below - If you have a crawlspace or basement, if so investigate any signs of moisture and correct anything necessary. Perhaps even maybe painting the basement floor could be an option.

  5. Grubby Grout - It's imperative that your entire home remains thoroughly cleaned right down to the inside of your microwave. Neglected personal spaces like bathrooms will have them running for the door!

  6. Forgo the Fish Fry - It's best not to cook fish, bacon or other strong smelling foods while your home's on the market. Always air out your home by opening the windows instead of using artificial scents as some people are allergic.

When you sell your home, your goal is to get the highest price in the shortest amount of time. Sometimes the best way to do that is by focusing on the small stuff. It's definitely worth the effort and the good news is that depersonalizing, decluttering and thoroughly cleaning your home doesn't cost a fortune.

TIPS ON HOW TO GUZZLE LESS GAS 
Modifying your driving habits can save you loads at the pump!

Maximizing your vehicle's fuel efficiency will not only save you money but you'll also be doing your bit for the environment! Here are a few tips that'll pay off at the pump:

  1. Turn it Off - Don't idle as it unnecessarily wastes fuel.

  2. Take it In - Regular tune-ups will increase your car's efficiency.

  3. Check & Inflate - Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure.

  4. Slow Down - Speeding increases fuel consumption by as much as 50%!

  5. Don't Brake Down - Don't constantly jam on your brakes and then rapidly accelerate.

  6. There's an App for That! - Download an app that tracks the cheapest local gas prices.

  7. Lighten Up - Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle as extra weight reduces fuel efficiency.

The best way to save on gas is to keep your car in the driveway, so next time you climb behind the wheel, ask yourself if you can walk there instead. Just a few small changes to your driving habits such as combining errands or carpooling to work will save you a small fortune over time.

FRESHEN UP YOUR HOME DECOR FOR SUMMER! 

Transform and refresh your home now that summer is here!

Summer is a time for bringing the outdoors in and for enjoying more of this amazing place we call home! so why not bring the season's vitality into your home by making some simple decorating changes. Here are a few ideas that'll help you create a fresh warm weather feel:

  • Swap out heavy curtains for blinds or sheers.

  • Bring nature inside with a few plants or some fresh cut flowers.

  • Switch your cushion covers to lighter shades such as yellows and purples.

Celebrate summer's arrival by bringing a breath of fresh air into your home. 
Just a few simple changes and a good spring clean can reflect the season’s sunny, fresh energy!



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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The latest real estate statistics for the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area are out and we feel that there has been an influence about what ‘was’ the proposed Speculation Tax by the Provincial Government. Please note that recently the Provincial Government has announced that the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area will not be included in the proposed Speculation Tax. Given the unknown details and who and what would be affected by the tax it appears that the market slowed down until people got more clarity.

 

In the area for the 1st three month of the year we have seen 7% less listings than the same time in 2017 and a decrease in the number of sales by 21% and 33% for the month of March. Yet average sale price for the month of March (53 sales) was $667,542 which is an increase of 28% from March 2017.

 

The active inventory at the end of March remains the same as last year at 121 single family homes.

 

For the City of Parksville sub-region the number of listings are down 30% while the number of sales were down 45% for the 1st 3 months of the year. Active inventory at the end of the month was down slightly from the end of March 2017, 31 vs 33. The average sale price in March for single family homes was up 15% from March 2017, average sale price of $527,350 vs $458,627.

 

Now that it is very clear that the Speculation Tax will not be applied to the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area we expect that the activity levels in the market will increase.

 

If you have any questions about your situation or statistics for different sub-regions in the area, or for different property style, do contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498 as we would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Make it a Great Day!


Rudi & Trish


Click Here To Download Market Stats Report


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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven March 2018   

Hi,

The clocks have sprung forward and spring has sprung with many days of sunshine & temperatures between 10 & 18 degrees.  Where does the time go?


We have had the pleasure of a continuing very interesting market as well as some down time, & family time. We enjoyed a week-long "staycation". We spent 3 wonderful nights in Tofino at Long Beach Lodge Resort, & did a wonderful flight over the west coast. We experienced Twin City Brewing Company in Port Alberni and enjoyed time at home for the balance of the week.  We also had the pleasure of having a Herring Fishery opening at our door step and then a 4 night visit from our daughter-in-law & 6 year old grandson with incredible weather and two kayak outings, & some beach walks.

In a couple of weeks it will be Easter and we are looking forward to the entire family coming for a visit.  We hope that you will also enjoy some special time with friends and family over the long weekend. 

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 -or any of the upcoming changes- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Change
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
For Pets Sake, Don't Soil Your Sale
Fast and Furious Decluttering

CHANGE 

"The only thing that is constant is change."  Heraclitus - greek philospher  535 to 475 BC  and even to this day he is correct.

We are seeing lots of changes in the rules for real estate transactions & taxes for real estate in B.C..  The Superintendent of Real Estate decided a need to make new rules for real estate licensees that will change the way a real estate professional can provide service to you, the consumer.   To see and follow the changes click here to see the information direct from the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.  We believe some of this is a knee-jerk reaction to a very small number of transactions.  The 2 % rule, (they create laws & rules for the 2% of bad actors that the media tends to focus on).  Some of this is good for the public and we are in favor of consumer protection, however, we find it offensive that the government thinks that you, the consumer, cannot make well-informed decisions. 

Plus the Provincial Government has decided to implement a new tax, "speculation tax", for real estate holdings other than principal residences - and yes there will be an implication to BC residents with more than one property.  It could even affect people with rental investment property, which of course will drive up rents and reduce supply.As we get to learn what the actual changes will be and what impact they may have, we will let you know.  At this time there is still lots of confusion and no clarity, even for the elected representatives.  Stay tuned as time progresses and we get some clarification on both changes.

If you have a challenge with any of the proposed changes we hope that you will let the legislators know that this is not necessarily what you want and make your voices heard. Please contact your MLAasap,  if the public doesn't voice their displeasure over this legislation the tax will go ahead.

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 
Buoyant Vancouver Island sellers’ market continues.

The statistics for market activity have been released by VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) and certainly continue to show lack of inventory and strong demand.

With regards to Single Family Homes so far this year, in comparison to same period in 2017, there have been 12% less listings and as a result 12% less sales.  The Active inventory at the end of February was 18% less than February 2018 and the Average Sales Price is up 26% ($616,128 vs $490,371).

With regards to Patio Homes there were 16% more listings (22 vs 19) and number of sales are up 13%.  Active inventory is down 10% and the Average Sales Price is up 25% ($446,218 vs $377,193) over the same time last year.  You can access the statisical summary report here

Also BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association) has released their updated Housing Forecast which is indicating that there will be 10.8% less residential sales on Vancouver Island (Malahat north) in comparison to 2017 and the average sale prices will increase by 7.6%.  Which indicates lack of supply and strong demand will continue throughout the year.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is still thriving due to the province’s strong economy.  However, BCREA forecasts some economic headwinds for 2018.  It appears that Guideline B-20 – also known as the mortgage stress test – lay behind December’s uptick in sales as buyers scrambled to purchase before its January 1 implementation.

Other risk factors include rising interest rates and new taxes introduced by the provincial government in the latest B.C. budget.  Broadening the scope of the Foreign Buyer Tax to include the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will not have a significant impact on the VIREB housing market.  Only 4.4 per cent of RDN residential real estate transactions in 2017 involved foreign buyers. More troubling is the new speculation tax, which targets homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C., including those who leave their homes empty but still contribute heftily to the economy.

Kaye Broens, VIREB President-Elect, believes the speculation tax is well-intended, but the government is focusing on the wrong side of the housing equation. “Instead of increasing supply, the B.C. government is concentrating on dampening demand,” says Broens. “Vancouver Island is a popular destination for retirees, many of whom come from Alberta, and the speculation tax could discourage many of those buyers.”

“My advice to prospective sellers is to contact a REALTOR® to list their home now and not wait until spring,” says Broens. “Prices are still rising, but that cannot continue indefinitely. At some point, buyers will begin bowing out of the market due to affordability issues.”
If you wish further details or wish to discuss your current real estate situation contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.

FOR PETS SAKE, DON'T SOIL YOUR SALE 

Make sure your pets don’t become a buyer’s pet peeve.

It's important to present a top-notch first impression when selling your home. If you share your home with pets though, you'll need to work extra hard to ensure it looks (and smells) its best!

Although you consider your pets part of the family, potential buyers will likely view them as a smelly nuisance. If you own pets, here are a few tips that will help when it comes time to sell your home:

  1. Deep Clean - Steam clean all carpets, rugs and couches and be sure to vacuum your home every day.

  2. Do the Doo Doo - Don't forget to clean up outside before showings as people exploring your garden will be turned off by seeing it or even worse, stepping in it.

  3. Gone to the Dogs - Most people don't want to be greeted by a barking dog when they enter a home. A whining dog in a crate is also a huge distraction so take Fido out for a walk if you're unable to make other arrangements.

  4. Creepy Critters - Some buyers may be too scared to tour a room that contains pets such as snakes,reptiles or rodents. They may even decide to leave your home altogether so try and remove any creepy creatures before putting your home on the market.

  5. Fur Real - Clean pet hair out from under the stove, tables, blinds and all crevices. Aside from its unsightly appearance, many people suffer from allergies and you don't want them sniffling and sneezing while they're viewing your home.

  6. Scratch the Surface - You're probably so used to your scratched and chewed up furniture that you don't even notice, but buyers will. Inspect your home thoroughly and repair scratched areas including window frames, doors, furniture and floors.


  7. Breathe Easy - Few smells are as offensive as those associated with animals. Buyers will be exploring the basement so make sure any litter trays are clean. Open up windows and simmer a few cinnamon sticks in water as buyers may be allergic to artificial scents.

It's also important to declutter your home before showings, so don't forget to clear away most pet beds, feeding bowls and toys from both inside and outside your home. Even animal lovers will be put off by the hair, smell and mess that pets can make so take these tips into account to ensure your furry friends don't soil your sale!

FAST AND FURIOUS DECLUTTERING 

Decluttering your home doesn’t have to take all day.


Research suggests that cluttered homes cause stress and anxiety. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start so here are 5 ways to conquer your clutter in less than 5 minutes!

  • Clutter Chaos- Grab 3 bins and walk through your home.1 is for donating to charity. 1 is for move to its "rightful spot", and 1 is for garbage.


  • The Junk Drawer - Throw out trash and then find a permanent home for everything else.

  • Medicine Cabinet - Check for expired items & dispose of them through your neighbourhood Pharmacy.


  • Tupperware Toss - Clear up space by going through your Tupperware drawer and recycle anything that doesn’t have a mate.

  • Linen closet- go through and get rid of old towels, sheets & bedding that don't match or you dont use & donate to your local SPCA.They always need bedding & sheets!

Try to always be on the lookout for items you no longer use. It will free up valuable space! Decluttering can make a huge impact on our lives because an uncluttered home will promote peace and calm plus if you decide to sell it will make the whole process easier.



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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The statistics for market activity have been released by VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) and certainly continue to show lack of inventory and strong demand.

 

With regards to Single Family Homes so far this year, in comparison to same period in 2017, there have been 12% less listings and as a result 12% less sales. The Active inventory at the end of February was 18% less than February 2018 and the Average Sales Price is up 26% ($616,128 vs $490,371).

 

With regards to Patio Homes there were 16% more listings (22 vs 19) and number of sales are up 13%. Active inventory is down 10% and the Average Sales Price is up 25% ($446,218 vs $377,193) over the same time last year.

 

Also BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association) has released their updated Housing Forecast which is indicating that there will be 10.8% less residential sales on Vancouver Island (Malahat north) in comparison to 2017 and the average sale prices will increase by 7.6%. Which indicates lack of supply and strong demand will continue throughout the year.

 

If you wish further details or wish to discuss your current real estate situation contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.

 

 

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

Hi,

It's important to be aware of the latest home trends, especially if you're looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers. This month’s article outlines some of the popular home trends for 2018.

There's also some great advice on how to maintain your smoke alarms as well as a website that will challenge your brain and donate to charity at the same time!

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
Hot Home Trends for 2018
Smoke Alarm Smarts
Educate and Donate

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Home sales return to seasonal norms in January.

Coming off the busiest December on record, sales in the VIREB area returned to seasonally normal levels in January.

Last month, 290 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 327 in December and 244 one year ago.

The number of apartments changing hands in January rose by 65 per cent while townhouse sales remained static from the previous year.

Inventory of single-family homes dropped to 749 in January, a 16 per cent decrease from one year ago and a new low for the VIREB area. The supply of apartments and townhouses dipped by 19 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is still thriving due to the province’s strong economy. However, some economic headwinds in the form of higher interest rates and Guideline B-20 – also known as the mortgage stress test – are forecast for 2018.

BCREA expects economic growth in the province to slow this year, expanding at a respectable 2.8 per cent, but lower than we have seen in some time. Rising interest rates will erode affordability for some home buyers, and Guideline B-20 could reduce the purchasing power of conventional mortgagors by up to 20 per cent.

However, demographics in the VIREB area could temper the effect of Guideline B-20 because many of our buyers are retirees who do not usually carry mortgages. Vancouver Island communities, particularly the Parksville-Qualicum area, have some of the highest concentrations of seniors in the province.

Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President, reports that the VIREB area remains a sellers’ market. Consumers are still highly motivated to buy a home, and multiple offers are commonplace, especially for properties in the $400,000 to $500,000 range.

He stresses that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market. 
“My advice to prospective sellers is to contact a REALTOR® to list their home now and not wait until spring,” says McClintock. “Prices are still rising, but that cannot continue indefinitely. At some point, buyers will begin bowing out of the market due to affordability issues.”

McClintock adds that new construction is underway throughout Vancouver Island, with some housing units expected to complete in 2018. This development is good news for prospective home buyers but could temper rising home prices and move the market toward more balanced conditions, which would impact sellers.

In January 2018, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $471,200, 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 $288,400, up 27 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $376,200, a 25 per cent increase from January 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $379,600, an increase of 22 per cent from the previous January. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $463,700, up 17 per cent from last year and down slightly from December 2017.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $418,600, an increase of 15 per cent compared to January 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 19 per cent to $514,400 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 14 per cent to $519,700 from one year ago and dip slightly from December 2017. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni reached $259,100, up 20 per cent from one year ago.

HOT HOME TRENDS FOR 2018 

Curious about what’s trending in homes and gardens this year?

It’s that time of year when homeowners are thinking about revamping and refreshing their space.  Here are a few of the latest trends and styles that are gaining steam:

  1. Ziggity Zag - Geometric patterns are making a comeback! It could be as simple as adding a few accent pillows or for a bolder statement, consider some patterned wallpaper.

  2. Concrete Ideas - This versatile material is becoming increasingly popular for sinks but can also be used in more unique ways such as furnishings, wallcoverings and tile.

  3. Sleep Easy - Embrace minimalist bedrooms this year with soothing neutrals and plain furniture pieces. Keeping the space simple will help you enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

  4. Full House - Multigenerational living is a major home design trend for 2018. Additional kitchens, basement renovations, and seperate entrances are just some of the ways homes are reflecting this trend.

  5. The Heart of the Home - Homeowners are injecting warmer, brighter tones on their kitchen walls and cabinets. Sinks made with materials like stone, copper, concrete or granite will also steal the spotlight in 2018.

If you're thinking about breathing some new life into your home with a new year’s makeover, be sure to take the latest trends into account during the planning stage. Hopefully these ideas have given you inspiration to inject some new style into your home!

SMOKE ALARM SMARTS 

Smoke detectors are important but they’re often overlooked.

Countless tragedies are prevented each year by smoke detectors. Here are a few tips to ensure your smoke detectors are in full working order:

  1. Test each alarm regularly by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.

  2. Blow the dust out of the alarm whenever you check or change the batteries.


  3. Don't "borrow" the batteries for the TV remote as you'll likely forget to replace them.

  4. Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every ten years to ensure proper working order.

  5. Don't install alarms near windows or doors as drafts could stop smoke from reaching the alarm system.

  6. There should be at least one alarm installed on each floor including the basement and preferably every bedroom.

Alarms can be hard wired, battery powered or preferably a combination of both. Interconnected smoke alarms are best because when one alarm goes off, they all do. If you have any questions, your local fire department will be more than happy to help.

EDUCATE AND DONATE 

Smarten up and end hunger, a few grains of rice at a time!

Next time your kids are on their devices, send them over to www.FreeRice.com where they can learn and donate at the same time!

Users answer multiple choice questions on a range of subjects including math, language, geography and science.  When a question is answered correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Program.

These questions aren’t just for kids; in fact, anyone can benefit from this game as you can adjust the difficulty level. The vocabulary section will definitely give you some mental stimulation so it’s a win-win!



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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Well it is hard to believe that we are into February already.  2018 is certainly continuing with the trend of low supply and high demand.  In the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area for single family homes the month of January saw 9% less listings than January 2017 and 9% more sales.  As a result at the end of January the active number of listings was down 23%, only 86 versus 111 a year ago.  The average sale price for January was 20% higher than January a year ago ($606,874 versus $506,159).

 

If we look at Patio Homes (Condo) in comparison, though the volume of numbers are considerably less, the number of listings in January were up 57% and the number of sales were down by 12% yet the average sale price was up 20% ($474,129 versus $396,250).  The number of active listings at the end of the month was very similar with 9 this year versus 8 last year.

 

If you would like any additional information for various styles or locations within the area contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or call us at 250-468-1498 and we would be pleased to supply additional details and discuss your particular situation if desired.


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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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2017 ended as forecasted, less sales than 2016 and yet increased average sale prices.  Overall in the greater Parksville – Qualicum Beach region reported sales for Single Family Dwellings decreased by 15% and yet average sale prices were up 9%.  Also there were 9% less listings for the year.

 

The lack of inventory continues along with high demand.  In the month of December, typically a slower time, there were 17% more sales than December 2016 and by the end of the year the active inventory was 15% less than at the end of 2016 for single family homes.

 

Keep in mind the above information is for the overall region and for single family homes.  If you would like more specific information for sub-regions within the area or for other types of property contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498 and we would be pleased to provide you with the details.

 

BCREA’s (British Columbia Real Estate Association) forecast for the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area for 2018 is that we will see approximately 8% less sales and values will continue to increase, forecasted currently at +2.6%.

 

We look forward to any comments or questions that you may have so you can make informed decisions about your personal situation.

 

Click to Download or View The Full Report

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

Hi,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Its hard to believe the Holiday Season is here and the year is almost over!  We thank you all for being part of our "real estate family" &  a special thank you to everyone who reached out after Rudi's fall in October, the expressions of concern & support were truly wonderful!.  2017 has been quite a year with fun family times, lots of business, Rudi's mishap, family & friend health issues and losing some very special people.  We are very grateful for where & how we get to live our lives & the amazing friends & family that we have.
 
We hope that you will spend some special time with family & friends during the Christmas & Holiday season.  We are on another family adventure, going east to visit family in Toronto & New Brunswick. This time the kids & all the grandkids are coming with us to Toronto for 4 nights of exploration & celebrating with family.  It will be busy with 25 for family dinner Saturday! We are excited!.

Thanks so much for being part of our 'real estate family", we appreciate your faith & confidence in us. 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...
Mortgage Changes - Act Now!
Setting the Stage for a Perfect Sale- First Impressions matter!
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Tired of Tossing and Turning?

MORTGAGE CHANGES - ACT NOW! 

Mortgage changes come into effectJanuary 1st.  Its important to give some thought to your long term plans!
 
Last month the Federal Governments Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) confirmed the implementation of a new minimum qualifying "stress test" for uninsured mortgagesGuideline B-20 now requires borrowers who have a down payment of 20% or more to qualify for mortgages at higher rates. Borrowers will have to be approved at either the five-year mortgage rate "published by the Bank of Canada", (currently 4.99%), OR the mortgage rate the federally-regulated financial institution offers + 2%, whichever is higher.

No matter how much money you put as a down payment, you will have to pass the "stress test".  The effect of the changes is signifigant, resulting in approximately a 20% decrease in affordability, or borrowing power.

This change is important to note;  If you are planning on purchasing real estate in 2018 & beyond; or If you are planning on placing financing on your current home as part of your future retirement planning process.

We believe everyone should consider having financing on their homes, even if you do not "forecast the need". Having the option in place is usually easier to do now than in the future, plus it impedes any future risk of fraud. Maybe you will use or need it for that "special holiday", a new vehicle, an unforeseen medical situation, or for extended life supplementing retirement plans. We know at least one financial institution, RBC, will give you pre-approval this month under current regulations & rates. You can qualify for 120 days to either "purchase & close" on a new property, or to place financing on your current home.

If you would like to explore this option speak to your financial advisor, or ask us team@teamw.ca as we would be pleased to explain it to you further. We can  put you in contact with a mortgage specialist. But don't delay as Dec 31is the deadline for application under the current rules!

SETTING THE STAGE FOR A PERFECT SALE- FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER! 

When you put your home on the market, our goal is the same! Sell it quickly & for top dollar. Proper staging of your home from day one will create an wonderful impression that should generate a huge buzz & quick sale!

Staging isn't as much an expense as it is an investment. Not only is your home likely to sell for a higher price but it will probably sell faster. This is important because homes that sit on the market longer tend to lose value, especially in this current market enviroment. Don"t forget Trish is an "accredited stager" & can help you with it! The process begins with cleanliness, de-cluttering, some de-personalizing & a neutral pallette. Buying a home is an emotional decision, buyers need be able to envision themselves living there. Thats why most photographs, trophies `& kids artwork need to go. Your are moviing anyway so pack it now!

Staging ensures your home is inviting to buyers by increasing functionality and the flow of rooms. Sometimes that includes removing & storing furniture so the house looks spacious. The use of lighting and other features can create a warm & cosy effect. A properly staged home usually generate more showings.

Start by cleaning up the front of the house & yard, & don’t forget the back too. Buyers can have a tough time ``visioning``. So turn your craft room back into a bedroom or transform a nook into a comfy reading spot. Great lighting creates a warm and welcoming ambience so make sure you update light fixtures, lamps & that light bulbs are working. Buyers will also look through cupboards & closets (storage space can be a factor in "downsizing") so don’t forget those areas as well. The garage matters too, but it can have some boxes etc.

A well staged home will make a great first impression and capture the hearts of homebuyers. Whether you pay a professional to stage your home or do the work yourself, staging is a worthwhile investment that will massively increase the odds of your home selling quickly and for top dollar.

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Lack of inventory continues to drive our market.

The year is almost over, which seems hard to believe! Looking at the latest statistics for the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area released by VIREB it has been an active year (though sales volumes were down from 2016 as predicted).  We did did see an increase in values as we predicted, due to lack of supply & continued strong demand.

Overall Single Family homes here has seen 8% fewer homes listed and 16% fewer sales.  However the average sale price increased by 14%.  The average "days on the market" is down by 23% to 26 days.  The overall current "active listings" November 2017 is down by 6% in comparison to November 2016.  Check out the summary report by clicking here.

Keep in mind the above numbers vary for different geographic areas. For example Parksville has seen a drop in the number of new listings by 9% and average sale price up by 10% while Fairwinds has seen an decrease of 23% in listings and a 18% increase in average sale price. If you would like more detailed information on particular geographic regions or different styles of properties contact us at team@teamw.ca .  Also none of these stats include waterfront homes as they skew the averages.

Also BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association) has released their Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast for the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area (Malahat north). The forecast is a contined drop in the number of single family home sales at  -7.9%, and a continuing increase in average sale prices by 2.4%.  Keep in mind January 2017 they forecast a 2% increase in average sale price and we ended with  an approximate 14.5% increase.  For the full details of the Forecast please drop us a note at team@teamw.ca and we would be pleased to supply it to you.

TIRED OF TOSSING AND TURNING? 

Healthy sleep habits can greatly improve your quality of life.

If all you’re dreaming of is a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. Lack of sleep can take a massive toll on our mental & physical health. The following tips may help you get your much needed sleep!

  1. It's a No-Glo - Hide all light no matter how faint and turn off your smartphone & computer screens at least 30 minutes before bed.

  2. Chill Out & Warm Up - Keep your bedroom temperature cool. You can wear socks to bed to help your body transfer heat even.

  3. Light Bright - Take in all the daylight you can as it changes the melatonin levels in your body which causes you to sleep better when darkness falls. Melatonin in pill form at bedtime helps some people.

  4. Keep Regular sleep Patterns - Try to go to bed & wake up about the same time daily. If you get poor sleep one night, don’t nap the next day, it will affect your internal clock. But naps as a regular thing are good for you (as long as they do`t affect your regular sleep pattern.

  5. Stay Fit - Exercising early & daily can help you sleep better. but avoid it later in the day. Instead, ease muscle tension with some light, relaxing stretches before hitting the sack.

  6. No Worries - Write a to-do list before going to bed in order stop your mind from turning. Keep a journal beside your bed just in case something pops in your head or to jot down concerns or things to remember. Then go back to sleep.

Lack of sleep can contribute to physical and emotional health problems so it's important to consistently practice positive sleep habits. The above suggestions can help you peacefully drift off to sleep each night so you'll be much more energetic and productive throughout the day. Sweet dreams!



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 us on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook! 

 
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The year is almost over, hard to believe.  In looking at the latest statistics for the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area released by VIREB it has been an active year though down from 2016 as predicted in # of sales.  However values did increase mainly due to lack of supply and strong demand.

 

Overall for Single Family homes there have been 8% less homes listed and 16% less sales however the average sale values have increased by 14%.  The average # of days on the market has gone down by 23% to 26 days.  The overall current number of active listings at the end of November are down by 6% in comparison to November 2016.

 

Keep in mind that the above numbers vary for different geographic areas.  As an example Parksville has seen a drop in the number of new listings by 9% and average sale prices up by 10% while Nanoose Bay has seen an increase of 3% in listings and a 16% increase in average sale prices.  If you would more detailed information on geographic regions or different styles of properties contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca .

 

Also BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association) has released their Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast and for the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area (Malahat north) they are forecasting a continuing drop in the number of single family home sale, -7.9%, and a continuing increase in average sale prices by 2.4%.  Keep in mind that in January of this year they forecasted a 2% increase in average sale prices and we are going to end up with approximately a 14.5% increase.  


All the best,


Rudi & Trish


Click Here To View or Download The Full Report




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

Hi Paul,


Hope everyone is doing well & we truly appreciate how many responses we got regarding Rud's crash & burn fall!  We are pleased to report the cast was removed yesterday & he is on his way to full use of his arm again!  I am extremely happy to not be full time driver anymore!  We have had some wonderful experiences through this process with people going out of their way to come to us or even offering to drive Rudi instead of him driving them to view homes!  A special thank you goes to Susie Mattner in our office who was particularly helpful, we are mentoring her & she's becoming a GREAT Realtor* and we feel will be part of our greater circle of support on a contining basis.  Susie will look after business when we are away in the future.
 
Its hard to believe the holdiay season is already upon us! 1 month tomrrow is Christmas Eve!
 
Please try not to let the stress of the coming season be your focus this month...remember Christmas & the Holiday Season is about sharing time & creating special memories!  Be kind to one another and donate to those less fortunate...the magis of the season is not about the biggest or best gift...its about sharing & caring for each other. 
 
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
Smart Home Security Made Simple
The Feng Shui Way
Building a Better Community

Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update 

High demand and low inventory driving brisk market.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that single-family home sales in October 2017 rose by 16 per cent from one year ago but dipped 10 per cent from September.

Last month, 460 properties sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 398 one year ago and 511 in September.

When looking at these sales figures, however, it is important to note that 2016 was a banner year for real estate.  We are not expecting a significant market change in direction in 2018, as sales activity in the VIREB area is still robust.

VIREB attributes most of the decline in sales numbers to ongoing lack of inventory challenges. Although the supply of single-family homes for sale has been rising each month since VIREB hit a historic low of 859 in December 2016, inventory in October was 1,138, down 2% from last year & 8% from September.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the housing market in B.C is strong, particularly in the southern half of the province. B.C.’s GDP is currently tracking at 4 % and is expected to average 3.7 % for 2017.

Government policy decisions, slightly higher interest rates & the new mortgage stress test, could affect the housing market in 2018, but it is too early to say how. These attempts to temper rising home prices are aimed mainly at overheated markets in Vancouver & Toronto. They will likely be countered by other factors, most baby boomers are entering their retirement years, millennials are purchasing first homes, plus interprovincial migration.

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, states that sales are still brisk throughout VIREB. “Looking purely at statistics, it appears that the market is cooling, but the opposite is true,” says Stromar.  “Lack of inventory is certainly tempering sales, but what is available sells faster & for more money.”

Stromar adds that multiple offers still occurr regularly, even on condos, townhouses, & mobile homes, which is unusual for VIREB. However, sellers still need to price their homes realistically.  “Although many properties are selling above list price, sellers must set a reasonable price because consumers are savvy & may not look at an overpriced home,” she said.

Connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market, adds Stromar.  “Our current market conditions can be confusing & chaotic for buyers & sellers. REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help streamline the process to ensure the best possible outcome while mitigating associated risks,” says Stromar.

In October, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area rose to $463,800, up 17 % from 2016. Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area. The benchmark price of an apartment condo rose to $272,300, up 28 % board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $360,100, a 22 % increase from 2016.
 
The October 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in Parksville Qualicum Beach was $524,900 up 17% from last year, Nanaimo's benchmark price broke the $500,000 mark up 14% to $501,400. Campbell River area was $366,800, an increase of 19 % over October 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $466,200, up 20 % from last year.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $409,500, an increase of 14 % from October 2016.
Port Alberni's  benchmark home was $253,600, up 18 % from one year ago.

Smart Home Security Made Simple 

A fully secure home will provide you with peace of mind.

Whether you’re at home sleeping or away on vacation, it’s important to know that your home is secure.  A secure home can be more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell.

Smart lighting, remote locks and wireless cameras can all make your home safer; however, the issue of cyber criminals hacking into smart home systems is a valid concern so homeowners shouldn’t forget about the basics.

Eliminate potential hiding spots by trimming down bushes that are around your windows and doors.  Most thieves are opportunists who see an open door or window and decide to take a chance and see what they can make off with.

Perhaps you want to install strike plates on your doors to help protect the deadbolt from crowbars or kick attacks. Thieves want to get into your home as quickly as possible, so if one forceful kick doesn't work, they’ll likely run.
Windows are also popular break in points so install heavy sash or keyed locks.  You can also get special window films installed so your windows are more difficult to break.

Give the impression your home is lived in while you're away on vacation by installing a dusk-to-dawn porch light.  Although technology allows you to control blinds and lights right from your smartphone, you'll still need to find someone to rake your leaves as there isn’t an app for that yet!
 Also if you are away for a period of time we have companies locally that do "home checks" and will do some clean ups to make the home appear lived in. Also make sure you check with your insurance company if you will be away for more than 2 weeks. Most now have specific requirements or you insurance can be invalidated, and they may not pay a claim.

When it comes to home security, paying attention to the little things can often make a huge difference so take time to follow up on details. Potential buyers prefer a secure home as it's one less thing for them to worry about, so you may as well do it sooner than later so that you can enjoy the benefits as well.

The Feng Shui Way 

Creating good feng shui around your home is easier than you think!

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that helps achieve a harmonious living environment in order to promote happiness and prosperity.  Here are a few ideas to enhance the energy flow around your home:


  1. De clutter! Clearing your home of clutter will introduce a smoother flow and make you feel better. Clutter is a sign of trapped energy so try and be ruthless and get rid of everything you dont need. Plus its the perfect time of year to help others less fortunate with donations!

  2. The Right Path - Place a few plants and wind chimes on your porch and make sure the path to your front door is unobstructed.


  3. Fire & Ice - Essential oils, crystals, candles and water features such as fountains and fish ponds or bowls will bring calm and balance into your home.

  4. Mirror, Mirror - The strategic placement of mirrors helps improve feng shui by drawing more sunlight into otherwise murky rooms and by expanding narrow areas such as hallways.

  5. Thiink outside the nest! Birds bring great energy to add a hummingbird feeder or a bird bath to your yard

Feng shui emphasizes that our physical surroundings have an impact on our emotional well-being so it’s important to be aware of how we arrange our space.  Buyers often feel certain vibes when they enter a home so a "harmonious feel" could be the difference between a quick sale and one that drags on.

Building a Better Community 

Getting to know the people living around you offers plenty of benefits!

Research shows that there are many physical and mental health benefits to enjoying a sense of belonging.  Here are a few ideas to help you build community spirit:
           Rags to Riches - Organize a street or neighbourhood garage sale or                       clothing swap in your ‘area.  It’s also a great way to get rid of clutter!



           Clean Green - Coordinate a beach or park clean-up and then enjoy drinks and snacks that could be donated by a local business. Or afterward offer the bottles to a local team or school fundraising project.

           Book Smart - Build a “Little Library” at your local park or on your front lawn and enjoy watching people gather to exchange books.


           Start a Block safety program- Create a list of "who has what" be that skills and or equipment for emergency situations in the area. Who has a first aid certificate? Who has a generator, or who needs mobility help with leaving their home?

Getting to know people who live close by will really improve your quality of life and foster a sense of belonging.  Social media can also help build a safe, connected, friendly place to live by providing a platform to share events and ideas.


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
 
Read full post


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




Hello Everyone! 


We hope all is well with all of you! We have been reminded to appreciate the "little things in life" in the last few weeks as Rudi had a pretty major run in with some stairs last week. He broke his wrist, 2 ribs, and had a great black eye with 6 stitches. I am the designated driver for the next 4 weeks or so & Rudi is trying to learn how to do everything "left and 1 handed". Even a shower was a chore the first few days and typing is certainly an issue. So if you happen to receive a cryptic message from him blame "SIRI" for not intrepreting his dictation, or left handed texting. We lost an old friend to cancer 2 weeks ago & a family member has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this week. We are counting our blessings & greatful that Rudis fall injuries weren't worse.

We are still keeping up with business, including 2 offers this week. We still have an extreme shortage of homes & condos for sale locally so it continues to be a sellers market, though not quite as brisk as in the spring & summer.

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 -- we' would love to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
The Lowdown on Being a Landlord
Picture Perfect Smartphone Snaps
Worm Juice Anyone?

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Housing market shows no signs of cooling down.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that single-family home sales dipped in a little in September, down to 511 from last year’s 527, (only 3 %).

However, VIREB attributes the slight decline in sales numbers to seasonal market conditions and inventory challenges.  We feel this is a combination of lack of inventory for sale and a minor seasonal change. There were only 1,233 single-family homes for sale in September, a decrease of 3% from 2016. So thats a direct relationship to sales.

Strong economic fundamentals are underpinning housing activity in British Columbia, particularly in the southern half of the province. The B.C. economy has expanded at above-trend growth for three plus years, with 2017 expected to be the fourth year of economic growth over 3%.

Current employment growth is about 7%, & consumer confidence is high, with retail sales in B.C. expected to climb close to 8% this year. The high level of interprovincial migration, combined with the supply of homes for sale dropping to its lowest level in over a decade, makes it is easy to see why home prices are rising and  a sellers’ markets thriving. These economic trends are expected to continue for the remainder of the year..

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, confirms that the VIREB area has been a sellers market for  months now.  “With a sales-to-active-listings ratio of around 32 per cent, the VIREB market is firmly in sellers’ territory," A housing market is  a "sellers market" when the ratio of home sales to active listings is above 20 per cent. We believe local area knowledge, relationships with other local realtors and experience are key in this sort of market.
"Our current market conditions can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS* have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help streamline the process to ensure the best possible outcome while mitigating associated risks," adds Stomar.

We are still seeing multiple offers, though not as often, even on condos, and some mobile homes. Although some properties are selling above list price, sellers still need to price their homes correctly because consumers are well informed and don't purchase overpriced homes. 
Preapproval for financing is key and this will really apply in the future with the changes in mortgage qualifications that are coming  in January 2018. Please call us if you have questions about the coming changes!

In September 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area rose to $462,500, up 18 per cent from one year ago. Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.
Parksville Qualicum's average price was $573,951 up 23 % from Sept 2016.

THE LOWDOWN ON BEING A LANDLORD 

Rental properties can be appealing but they’re not for everyone.


Purchasing a rental property that you yourself can also live in is a great way to get your foot in the door, so to speak.
It's much easier to afford a property if you have someone paying rent and the best part is you don't even have to put up with a roommate! Maintaining your investment property is easier if you're on site to cut the grass and perform other general repairs. You usually get a better tenant if they know their landlord is the neighbour too!
Finally, you’ll be able to write off a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc. come tax time.

The other option is to buy a rental investment and let someone else pay the mortgage while you take advantage of the marekt appreciation in the long term.

There are however a few points you’ll want to take into consideration as being a landlord can sometimes be challenging and you need to treat it like a business, to be successful. Also asking us about the Residentail Tenancy Act in B.C. is key as there are very specific rules which vary from province to province.

Also having an emergency fund is essential as you’ll be responsible for immediate problems such as a broken toilets, furnaces or leaky roof as well as overseeing ongoing maintenance.  It's also common to be in between tenants occasionally so you may have to budget for lost rent, although we currently have a .2% vacancy rate here. Insurance is available for loss of income due to repairs but it is also an added expense.
Even the most reliable tenants can be late with their rent which will turn you from investor to collector.  Dealing with disagreeable tenants can also be hard work.  If this is something you feel uncomfortable with, you may want to consider hiring a property manager.


As with any property purchase, it's important to seek professional advice from your real estate agent to ensure you buy the right property, at the right time, in the right location.  If you'd love to operate your own business and are able to plan for the unexpected, being a landlord might be a great fit for you!

PICTURE PERFECT SMARTPHONE SNAPS 

Fancy filters aren’t the only way to make your photos pop!

Smartphones now have digital cameras that are capable of almost anything!  Here are a few simple tips on how to take fantastic photos:

  1. Avoid the Zoom - The quality of your photos will be much better if you crop instead of zoom.


  2. Clear View - Clean your lens as the grime that collects will cause your images to turn out dark and hazy.


  3. Rule of Thirds - Create natural looking photos by positioning the focal point a little to one side instead of in the middle.

  4. Add an App - Android and iPhone devices have various apps that are loaded with great features to help make your pictures pop!

  5. Play with Perspective - Take photos from unique angles such as kneeling or lying down.  If you’re taking a selfie or a portrait of another person, hold the phone a little higher.

These tips will help you take professional looking photos that you’ll be proud to show off!  Just be sure to keep an eye on your storage space as there’s nothing more frustrating than getting the “insufficient storage” message when you’re trying to take the perfect shot.

WORM JUICE ANYONE? 

Mix up a ghoulish drink that your Halloween guests won’t forget!

Send chills and thrills to your Halloween guests this year by brewing up a batch of scary punch!  All you need for this spooktacular blood red drink is:

  • 4 10-oz. pkgs. of frozen strawberries, defrosted
  • 2 6-oz. cans of lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 bottle of lemon lime beverage
  • 1 bottle of cranberry or grape juice
  • ping pong eyeballs & plastic spiders
  • gummy worms & candy corn

Freeze some candy corn in ice cube trays.  Next, blend the lemonade concentrate and strawberries and transfer to a punch bowl with the lemon lime beverage, cranberry juice, candy corn ice and ping pong eyeballs.  Finally, garnish the punch bowl with gummy worms and plastic spiders.

Of course for the adults you could add some "libations" to the mix for some extra zip!



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

Read full post


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


Hi,

Does your home sometimes feel a little cramped?  If so, this month's article has some terrific space saving strategies that will help you get the most out of your square footage!


There's also some great advice on how to keep your plants lean and green as well as a reminder about the dangers of radon and how it can affect your family's health.

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
Thinking Big in Small Spaces
How to Keep your Houseplants Lean and Green
The Lowdown on Radon

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Vancouver Island housing market continues to sizzle!

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that single-family home sales dipped in August, down to 540 from last year's 622, a decrease of 13 per cent

Sales declined by three per cent from July, which saw 557 sales. However, although fewer units are moving, the board attributes it to lack of inventory, not a cooling market

There were only 1,349 single-family homes for sale in August compared to 1,395 last year, a decrease of three per cent.  Not enough supply is coming onto the market to keep up with demand, which results in homes selling faster and for more money.

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, confirms that the VIREB area has been a sellers' market for several months now.  "Our housing market shows no signs of slowing down, and there is little evidence of buyer fatigue," says Stromar.  "Multiple offers continue to be the norm, and we're now receiving them on condominiums and townhouses, which is virtually unprecedented for the VIREB area."

Stromar adds that many properties are selling above list price, but sellers still need to price their homes correctly because consumers are savvy and will not purchase an overpriced home. She offers the following advice for buyers.  "When you find a property you like, you need to act quickly, so make sure your financing is pre-approved," says Stromar.  "You should also decide beforehand on the price you're willing to pay if you find yourself in a multiple-offer situation."

Connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market, adds Stromar.  "Our current market conditions can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help streamline the process to ensure the best possible outcome while mitigating associated risks," says Stromar.

In August 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area rose to $457,500, up 18 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 in August rose 28 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the townhouse market also strengthened, up 27 per cent overall and hitting 51 per cent in Duncan.

The August 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $367,000, an increase of 21 per cent over August 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $454,900, up 21 per cent from last year.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $408,300, an increase of 15 per cent compared to August 2016.  Nanaimo's benchmark price rose 18 per cent to $492,900 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 15 per cent to $508,200.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $248,300, up 19 per cent from one year ago.

THINKING BIG IN SMALL SPACES 

With a little help, you can still live large in a small space!

If you live in a small space, it’s important that you don’t feel boxed in.  The following tips will help transform your cramped quarters into something more expansive:

  1. Shady Solutions - Painting walls a soft shade and the ceiling bright white will give the illusion of added height.

  2. Is That a Door In Your Pocket? - Installing pocket doors is an easy and inexpensive way to create lots of extra useable space.

  3. Lighten Up - Keep window areas clear of heavy drapes to expand wall area and let the sun shine in as it helps a space feel larger.

  4. Mirror Mirror - Strategically placed mirrors will create the illusion of added space and they’ll also reflect light into adjoining rooms.

  5. Cut a Rug - Having the same type of flooring throughout your home will make it feel more spacious so avoid using too many area rugs.

  6. Hide & Seek - Maximize every hidden space you have by using shelving pockets behind doors or bed risers for that all important under the bed storage.

  7. Cut the Clutter - Have a place for everything so that the surfaces in your home don’t get cluttered.  Storage baskets for example are great for hiding remotes & magazines.

  8. Open Up - Arrange your furniture so you can see as much of the floor as possible.  Rooms with blocked views can feel cramped so move furniture away from entrances.

Whether you're getting ready to put your home on the market or you just want to create more space for yourself, these easy and inexpensive tips will help give you a little extra breathing room.  By thinking big and getting creative, you can comfortably live large in even the smallest of spaces.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOUSEPLANTS LEAN AND GREEN 

A few houseplants will offer your home a breath of fresh air!

Houseplants are visually appealing and also improve our home's air quality by adding oxygen and removing harmful pollutants.  Here are a few hardy plants that will thrive in any environment:

  1. Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are great for beginners as they’re almost impossible to kill and they also look great in hanging baskets.

  2. Cast Iron Plants (Aspidistra elatior) are foolproof as they only require dim light and don’t need much water.

  3. The Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderana) simply stands in water and has been used by the Chinese for centuries in the art of feng shui to create harmony in the home.

Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for houseplants.  Water them thoroughly but make sure there are drainage holes so excess water can escape as you don’t want your plants to be sitting in water.

Improper lighting is another reason why promising young plants become statistics.  It's important to match the lighting needs of plants with the amount of light you have to offer.

Houseplants are a simple and cost-effective way to infuse natural, serene style into your home.  Better yet, research suggests they reduce stress and cold related illnesses and also increase our energy levels so go out today and outfit your home with some of nature's lean mean green machines!

THE LOWDOWN ON RADON 

Do you know if you and your family are protected against radon?

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks.

It doesn't present a concern outdoors but when radon becomes trapped inside a house, it can be very harmful to your health as it increases the risk of lung cancer.

Radon can seep into your home through gaps in floors, walls and foundations.  The only way to know if you have high radon levels is to purchase an inexpensive testing kit or to install a radon detector.

Radon concentrations vary from home to home so don't take any chances -- protect your family by testing your home for radon today.



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

 
Read full post

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

Hi,

The middle of August is here, where has this year gone?  We hope that you have had a chance to enjoy the wonderful summer weather we have had, and that you have not had to endure too much as a result of the numerous forest fires in the province.


We had the great pleasure of spending 4 nights on a 56' houseboat on Sproat Lake with the family - 5 grandchildren and 6 adults (full days for sure)!  It was a great time and such a wonderful lake to spend time on.  Fish and Duck Houseboats were great to deal with. We would certainly consider doing this again and highly recommend the experience.  Before the adventure our son Nick took Rudi golfing at Fairwinds,Nick shot 73 and we won't talk about Dad's score :)  Then the two boys jumped off a perfectly good bridge south of Nanaimo, yes we bungy jumped - what a hoot! (and yes we both hooted & hollared!) The grandson & girls were smart & just watched!

We hope you enjoy the balance of the summer and an expected great September as well.

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
Getting Ready for Fall
Preparing for the Real Estate Roller Coaster Ride
Do-It-Yourself Apps

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Low inventory and high demand creating brisk sellers’ market.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that single-family home sales dipped slightly in July, down to 558 from last year’s 605, a decrease of eight per cent.

Sales were also down by approximately 10 per cent from June, which saw 618 sales.  Despite fewer units moving, however, lack of inventory means homes are selling faster and for more money.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 13 per cent from July 2016, with 1,367 active listings available last month compared to 1,575 one year ago.  The number of single-family homes for sale has steadily increased each month since VIREB hit a historic low of 859 in December 2016, but demand continues to exceed supply.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the supply of homes for sale in the province has dropped to its lowest level in over a decade.  This dynamic has created significant upward pressure on home prices and created sellers’ markets in many areas, including Vancouver Island.

“Consumer demand is high, and buyers are snapping up well-priced properties quickly once they hit the market,” says McClintock of VIREB.  “Multiple offers are commonplace, which is frustrating for buyers and their agents. In fact, we’re now seeing multiple offers on condominiums and townhouses, which is virtually unprecedented for the VIREB area.”

Still, McClintock notes that even in this market, sellers need to price their homes correctly because overpriced homes can sit unsold for months.  He also has advice for buyers.

“When you find a property you like, you need to act quickly, so make sure your financing is pre-approved,” says McClintock.  “And, since many homes are selling above list price, you should decide beforehand on the price you’re willing to pay.”

Connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market, adds McClintock.  “Our current market conditions can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help streamline the process to ensure the best possible outcome while mitigating associated risks,” says McClintock.

You can view the summary of statistics for the Greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area by visiting our blog. 


Though the overall number of sales for the Greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area are down year to date for 2017 ( down 17%) the market continues to be active and challenging.  As of the end of July the number of  homes listed was down considerably as well,- 15%.  The active number of listings at the end of July was down 35% from the same time in 2016 – no doubt accounts for the lack of sales.

Overall sale values for single family homes year to date are up 10%.  Keep in mind these are the statistics for the greater area and the individual sub-zones can vary dramatically.  As an example: Fairwinds active listings are down 59% while French Creek is up by 17%.  The average sale price for waterfront homes in the greater area has increased by 21% while the active number of listings is down by 41%.

If you would like more detailed information for your specific area or certain style of  home please contact TeamW, team@teamw.ca, and we would be pleased to discuss with you.

GETTING READY FOR FALL 

Getting back to fall routines can be tough after the lazy days of summer.

Getting back into your regular routines can sometimes be a little hectic.  Here are a few tips that will help make it a little bit less stressful on everyone:

  1. Plan Plan & Plan again! - The first few weeks of fall can be very busy and unpredictable so be sure to schedule your time & budgeting as early as possible.

  2. Sleep Easy - Ease back into your routines by gradually adjusting sleep schedules a week or so before to help get back into the routine.

  3. School Areas - remember that the kids are all back at school.  So mind your speed in school zones and watch for children on the road at different times.

  4. Have a Hub - Hang a calendar in a central spot where everyone can write down their activities and attach a folder for notices so that everything is in one place.

  5. Be Positive - Fall is a time for new beginings, new schools, kids leaving home for college or just new adventures, so enjoy the time..

Getting back to a fall activities can be an exciting time (for you and for the kids) but it’s also a period of adjustment, so try and give yourself a break as much as possible during the first few weeks.  With just a little planning, getting back into your new routine can be a nice, smooth transition.

PREPARING FOR THE REAL ESTATE ROLLER COASTER RIDE 

Never wear your emotions on your sleeve during the real estate process.

Selling your home is a huge financial transaction that can trigger a roller coaster of emotions.  When you feel like you're being tossed around at every turn, let us help you to stay on track.

Although you likely have a strong connection to your home, try not to get offended if a potential buyer wants to change your kitchen or change paint colours or wood trims. Everyone has different taste.

Also, try not to take comments personally.  It’s natural for people to comment when they're interested in something so while criticisms may seem negative, they’re actually a sign that the buyer’s interested in your home.

If you receive a “low” offer, remember that it’s often just a starting point We can help to point out that there are many different tactics such as “low balling” where an attractive price is initially offered only to be adjusted at a later point on the basis that circumstances have changed.  Please ask us about these strategies so we can help you keep a balanced perspective.

If you are able to generate multiple offers, we will remind you to consider more than just the price. There’s nothing worse than accepting a conditional offer just because it's over the asking price, only to have it come apart later when you could have accepted a firm cash offer that was almost as good.

It’s completely natural for both buyers and sellers to experience a wide range of intense emotions as they navigate through the complex real estate process.  However, if you hop on the real estate roller coaster with TeamW by your side, we hope you’ll not only enjoy the ride but you'll look forward to doing it again someday!

DO-IT-YOURSELF APPS 

Your smartphone should be an essential part of your DIY toolkit!

If you're constantly procrastinating over household projects, you should check out a few home improvement apps for some inspiration!

You’ll soon become a DIY master with the thousands of how-to guides at WikiHow complete with illustrations and videos on every imaginable topic.

There’s also iHandy Level which will help keep you on the level if you’re hanging a picture or if you need to measure a precise angle.

I am sure there is a YouTube video available on how to do just about everything imaginable.

These are just a few examples of the many apps that are available.  From picking paint shades to renovating your home, a smartphone will be the lightest and most versatile tool you’ll ever own!




PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate all 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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Though the overall number of sales for the Greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area are down year to date for 2017 ( down 17%) the market continues to be active and challenging.  As of the end of July the number of  homes listed was down considerably as well,- 15%.  The active number of listings at the end of July was down 35% from the same time in 2016 – no doubt accounts for the lack of sales.

 

Overall sale values for single family homes year to date are up 10%.  Keep in mind these are the statistics for the greater area and the individual sub-zones can vary dramatically.  As an example: Fairwinds active listings are down 59% while French Creek is up by 17%.  The average sale price for waterfront homes in the greater area has increased by 21% while the active number of listings is down by 41%.

 

If you would like more detailed information for your specific area or certain style of  home please contact TeamW and we would be pleased to discuss with you.

 

Make it a great day!

 

Rudi & Trish

 

Click to view Market Stats Report

 

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

Hi,

If you're thinking about buying a condo, there are various personal and financial factors you'll want to consider.  This month’s article examines some of the con-dos and con-don'ts.

There are also a few tips on how to keep your Facebook profile safe from hackers as well as a deliciously simple BBQ dessert that your guests will love!

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
Condo Conundrum -- Freedom vs. Freedom
Friends, Foes and Facebook Woes
Delicious Grilled Skewered Fruit Recipe

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Still a seller's market despite modest inventory increases.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that in June 2017, 621 single-family properties sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 712 last June, a decrease of 13 per cent.

Month-over-month, sales decreased slightly from May, with 621 homes selling in June compared to 630 the previous month.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 20 per cent from June 2016, with 1,297 active listings available last month compared to 1,620 one year ago.

Active listings of single-family homes have steadily increased each month since VIREB hit its historic low of 859 in December 2016, but demand continues to exceed supply, with well-priced properties quickly selling once they hit the market.

“We’ve been in a seller's market for months now, and buyers are snapping up available properties,” says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.  “Multiple offers are commonplace, which is frustrating for buyers and their agents.  That said, sellers still need to price their home correctly because overpriced homes can sit unsold for months.”

Stromar adds that sellers are not immune to the frustration 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.  She 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.”

Connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market, adds Stromar.  “This kind of market can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help you make an informed decision,” says Stromar.

Economist Brendon Ogmundson of the British Columbia Real Estate Association affirms that strong economic fundamentals continue to fuel housing demand in the province.  “A healthy provincial job market, low interest rates, and consumer confidence are all contributing to robust housing demand throughout most of British Columbia,” says Ogmundson.  “BCREA expects the provincial economy to grow by 3.3 per cent this year, which will likely be the highest in Canada.”

In June 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area rose to $444,500, up 18 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 15 per cent in Parksville-Qualicum to 21 per cent in the Comox Valley.  The benchmark price of an apartment in June rose 28 per cent board-wide from the previous year, with Comox Valley posting an increase of 42 per cent.  The townhouse market strengthened again in June, registering a price increase of 24 per cent board-wide and hitting 40 per cent in the Comox Valley.

CONDO CONUNDRUM -- FREEDOM VS. FREEDOM 

Consider the pros and cons carefully before purchasing a condo.

Condos appeal to everyone from young urbanites who want to be in the heart of the action to seniors who just want to relax and enjoy their golden years playing tennis and relaxing by the pool.

Families are also starting to gravitate towards condos as they’re an affordable way to escape the suburbs and move to a vibrant downtown atmosphere where various amenities are only steps away.

Aside from being affordable, condos are low maintenance as you don't have to spend your weekends cutting the grass and cleaning the gutters.  They also offer enhanced security features which are perfect for those who like to travel.

Convenience however comes at a price in the form of condo fees which can be costly depending on the amenities offered by the complex.  That said, condos are often very affordable compared to single family homes, especially for those who are downsizing.

When you buy a condo, you don't own the land beneath you but instead share a common interest with others in the complex.  This means you'll be subject to rules and regulations that can dictate anything from the type of planters you’re allowed to display to the kinds of blinds you can hang.

Joint ownership also means you'll be in close contact with your fellow condo owners.  Some people love the sense of community offered by condos but for those who value their privacy, it can be a difficult adjustment.  Pets are another key consideration as Fido may not be welcome in some buildings.

If your real estate vision includes extensive renovations, condo living may not be for you as your options could be limited.  If however you'd rather spend your time chilling by the pool instead of painting shutters, the low maintenance factor may be just what you're after.  It's really a choice of freedom vs. freedom.

FRIENDS, FOES AND FACEBOOK WOES 

A few simple precautions can secure your page against hackers.

Imagine if someone hacked into your Facebook account, changed your password and started posting inappropriate content.  You'd be forced to sit and watch your reputation go down the drain.  Here are a few ways to avoid a hack:

  1. ix38wq%Pc - Make sure you have a strong password with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.

  2. Play Hard to Get - Visit the Privacy section under Settings to limit who's able to view your profile details.

  3. Catch a Hacker Early - Select Settings and then Security and Logins and turn on get alerts about unrecognized logins.

  4. Extra Security - Visit Two-Factor Authentication in the Security and Logins section to choose an extra layer of security.

  5. Best Friends - Designate a few friends under Your Trusted Contacts that can help you get back into your account if you get locked out.

Facebook has various security features but they usually have to be manually activated.  Once done though, it’ll be much harder for a hacker to gain access to your account and much easier for you to regain control in the event it does happen.

DELICIOUS GRILLED SKEWERED FRUIT RECIPE 

Mix things up on the grill with a healthy, tantalizing dessert!

The heat of the grill turns fruit into juicy, sweet goodness that’s a great finale to any meal.  Here’s what you’ll need to make this simple yet healthy, delicious dessert:

  • skewers
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • melted chocolate
  • an assortment of fruit (pineapple, peaches, mangos, etc)

Lightly oil the grill and preheat the BBQ to medium.  Cut up the fruit and thread onto skewers.  Grill for a couple of minutes per side.  Finally, pick your preference of the honey/cinnamon mixture or melted chocolate and drizzle over top just before serving.  Enjoy!



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

Read full post

 

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