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.
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:
- Avoid the Zoom - The quality of your photos will be much better if you crop instead of zoom.
- Clear View - Clean your lens as the grime that collects will cause your images to turn out dark and hazy.
- Rule of Thirds - Create natural looking photos by positioning the focal point a little to one side instead of in the middle.
- Add an App - Android and iPhone devices have various apps that are loaded with great features to help make your pictures pop!
- 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!