Moving can be extremely stressful if you don't plan out the details ahead of time. This month's article offers a pre-move checklist that will help you prepare for the big day!
There's also some advice on how to create a fire escape plan for your home as well as a few tips on how to help get the kids back into the school sleep routine.
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!
The Pearce Team
Vancouver Real Estate Market Update
Housing supply up but demand down across the city.
July’s residential housing sales in Metro Vancouver reached their lowest levels for that month since the year 2000.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,070 in July 2018.
This was a 30.1 per cent decrease from the 2,960 sales recorded in July 2017, and a decrease of 14.6 per cent compared to June 2018 when 2,425 homes sold. Last month’s sales were 29.3 per cent below the 10-year July sales average.
“With fewer buyers active in today’s market, we’re seeing less upward pressure on home prices across the region,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said.
"This is most pronounced in the detached home market, but demand in the townhome and apartment markets is also relenting from the more frenetic pace experienced over the last few years.”
“Summer is traditionally a quieter time of year in real estate. This is particularly true this year,” Moore said. “With increased mortgage rates and stricter lending requirements, buyers and sellers are opting to take a wait-and-see approach for the time being.”
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2018 is 17.1 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 9.9 per cent for detached homes, 20.2 per cent for townhomes, and 27.3 per cent for condominiums.
Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
Locally in Maple Ridge
Sales of detached houses for July were 71 which is a 39% decrease over last July which was 118 while the number of houses for sale increased by 1%. The average price for the month of July was $928,596 compared to last years June of $829,908. This represents the average price increase of 11% over last year. Average sale price year to date is $957,546.
Sales of townhouses for July were 35 which is an 32% decrease over last July which was 52, while the number of townhouses for sale is 112 which is a increase of 202% over last year. The average price for July was $555,673 compared to last years July of $488,653. This represents an average price increase of 13% over the last 12 months. Average sale price year to date is $566,585.
Sales of condos for July were 24 which is a 36% decrease over last July while the number of condos for sale is 111 which is a increase of 296% over last year. The average price this July was $393,299 compared to last years July of $310,231. This represents an average price increase of 26% . Average sale price year to date is $382,256
Overview of the local market:
We are in a "traditional" quiet summer market with sales slowing substantially and that slowing compounded by government policies at both the provincial and federal levels along with tighter borrowing restrictions by the major banks with the implementation of "Stress Tests" on all mortgages. We may see at 10 - 15% percent decline in prices from peak in the March - April market.
Planning a Family Fire Escape Plan
It’s important to be prepared in the event of a fire.
Planning for a house fire isn't something most people want to think about but if such an event occurred, you’d need to act fast. Having a fire escape plan is critical so here are a few points to consider:
- Floor It - Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows at least two ways out of each room.
- Keep it Clear - Ensure there aren’t any obstacles in front of windows, doors and escape routes.
- Practice Makes Perfect - Crawl through escape routes with your family during annual practice drills.
- Window of Opportunity - Family members need to know how to open all windows and remove screens.
- Climb on Down - Make sure escape ladders are accessible and not buried in the back of closets.
- Rendezvous - Designate a special meeting place for all family members once you've evacuated.
- Get Out & Stay Out! - Remind children never to re-enter a burning home under any circumstances.
If you live in a condo or apartment building, ensure you know the evacuation plan and do a few practice drills. Knowing what to expect and how to act is key in any emergency situation so practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
Ideas for "Empty Nesters"
When your children finally leave home, you'll be presented with a variety of unexpected challenges. It's easy though to spin this major life change into a positive growth experience.
Many empty nesters opt to sell their homes and buy smaller properties in order to free up capital and reduce maintenance costs. There are however some important points to keep in mind. Here are a few tips for homeowners wishing to downsize:
- condos are great for travelers as there's very little maintenance
- consider living downtown if you'd like to be "part of the action"
- plan ahead for the years when stairs will become a challenge
- be sure your new abode has room for future grandchildren!
If you're not quite ready to sell up and move on, consider transforming an old bedroom into your very own personal retreat. Select the room with the best outdoor view, remove the bed, paint the room a relaxing shade and bring in a few comfortable chairs. Now you’ll have a spot to call your own where you can do whatever you please!
Empty nesters tend to travel often so you'll want to consider updating your security features. Make sure the locks on all your doors and windows are working and that the outside doors are hinged from the inside. Finally, ask a friend or the person next door to park in your driveway and collect the mail while you’re away.
It's a big adjustment when the kids leave home so take your time and don't make any rash decisions. You may find it difficult at first but it’s a great opportunity to pursue new hobbies! Just make sure you turn your new found freedom into a positive experience by viewing it as an opportunity to focus on yourself
Cut the Stress with a Moving Checklist
The key to keeping calm during a move is to plan in advance.
Moving to a new home is an exciting life change but it can also be very stressful if you're not properly prepared.
It's important to create a detailed checklist a few months ahead of time in order to ensure things go smoothly. Here are some points to help get you started:
Two Months Before
- Itemize all of the major items you'll be moving.
- Get estimates and book the movers or a rental truck.
- Have a garage sale or donate items to charity to get rid of excess clutter.
- Start sucking up to friends and family for help!
One Month Before
- Switch your insurance, medical and school records to your new location.
- Arrange to disconnect and reconnect utilities and phone/internet services.
- Notify any other important parties of your new address.
- Start stockpiling various sizes of boxes.
Two Weeks Before
- Start packing up room by room.
- Plan meals so food in your fridge and freezer gets used up.
- Arrange for someone to look after your pets on moving day.
- Return library materials and other rental items.
The Final Week
- Water your plants a few days before you move.
- Put together a small bag of clothes and toiletries for the first few days.
- Gather valuable items such as legal documents and family photos so you can transport them yourself.
- Pack a box with essentials such as cleaning supplies, chargers, light bulbs, soap, garbage bags, etc. for the first week in your new home.
Day of the Move
- Make sure you have your new keys.
- Double check the movers have your new address and cell phone number.
- Have lots of refreshments on hand for your busy helpers!
Moving can cause a wide range of emotions from sadness to extreme excitement. Although moving can be stressful at times, a little bit of planning will provide you with some very valuable peace of mind. With the help of this checklist, you can now breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy this exciting new phase of your life!
Back to School Sleep Tips
Ditching the lazy days of summer doesn’t have to be a drag.
As summer winds down, we need to start getting the kids back into the school time routine, starting with bedtime. Here are a few tips to help them adjust:
- Screens Out - Don’t let your kids play video games before bedtime as screens can affect their sleep.
- Get Moving - Exercise improves sleep considerably so try and sneak in extra activities throughout the day but avoid it two hours before bed.
- Gradually Adjust Bedtime - Don’t wait until the night before school. Instead, gradually take it back 10 - 15 minutes early until you reach the desired time and get up at the same time each morning.
Being sleep deprived will affect both your kids and your own ability to focus and learn. It’s therefore important to adopt good sleep habits to help increase your energy levels during the day which will in turn help you sleep better at night.