Greater Vancouver Real Estate News from The Pearce Team January 2019   

 
Pursuing a job opportunity in a new city can evoke a variety of emotions. If you're thinking about relocating, this month's article offers some great advice that’ll help make the transition go smoothly.

There are also a few handy home hacks that will help make your life a little easier as well as some great reasons why you should switch your phone to airplane mode every once in a while.

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

In this issue...
Vancouver Real Estate Market Update 
Home sales decline below historical averages in 2018.

REBGV reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,072 in December 2018, a 46.8 per cent decrease from the 2,016 sales recorded in December 2017, and a 33.3 per cent decrease from November 2018 when 1,608 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 43.3 per cent below the 10-year December sales average.

There were 1,407 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver in December 2018. This represents a 25.6 per cent decrease compared to the 1,891 homes listed in December 2017 and a 59.3 per cent decrease compared to November 2018 when 3,461 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,275, a 47.7 per cent increase compared to December 2017 (6,958) and a 16.5 per cent decrease compared to November 2018 (12,307).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for December 2018 is 10.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 7.1 per cent for detached homes, 12 per cent for townhomes, and 14.2 per cent for apartments.

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  December were 46 which is a 35% decrease over last December which was 71 while the number of houses for sale increased by 30%. The average price for the month of December was $980,174 compared to last years December of $939,622. This represents the average price increase of 4% over last year. Average sale price year to date is $939,454.       

Sales of townhomes for December were 8 which is a decrease of 74% over last December which was 31, while the number of townhouses for sale is 116  which is a increase of 96% over last year. The average price for December was $507,412 compared to last years December of $546,364. This represents an average price decrease of 7% over the last  12 months. Average sale price year to date is $556,525.

    

Sales of condos for December were 18 which is a 25% decrease over last December while the number of condos for sale is 98 which is a increase of 55% over last year. The average price  this December was $367,427 compared to last years December of $311,075. This represents an average price increase of 18% . Average sale price year to date is $379,188.    

  

Overview of the local market:   

The level of activity is down substantially from the peak in April. For detached, townhomes and condo's the average selling price dropped approximately 5-7%. This market shift makes it an ideal time for the townhome or condo owner to move up to a detached home. Call us today to review the benefits of moving up in a softer market.
  

I expect the market to remain quiet through until late January / February, A steady market allows time to choose properties and move with less stress.

Property Taxes 2019 - Too high? Should I appeal?? 

You will have now received your property tax assessment for 2019 and you only have until January 31st  2019 to appeal the assessment for taxes that will be due July 2019. If you do not do it now then it will be one year from now before your can appeal or change your tax assessment value.

 

If you think your property is assessed too high then call us now at 604-466-4549 and we will do an evaluation to establish the correct value of your property.  Remember, the value on your assessment notice is the probable sale price had you sold your property on or around July 1st 2018. If you are assessed too high then we will assist you in preparing a letter to B.C assessment showing sales of properties comparable to yours and request to have the assessment reduced. If they will not alter the assessment then we will also put together a presentation for the appeal board and attend the hearing with you. If your assessment is too high you will pay too much tax. This is a service that we provide at no charge to our past and potential clients, and their friends and family. So do not hesitate to call or pass on our number to your friends and family. We look forward to hearing from you and being of assistance.

 

FREE - Tax Fighters Guide -  Read on line or print - Just click on the link below.

 

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AgB3uG6HTuvpgr1N__KV6lEhoD74CQ

 

 

Power of Attorney, Representation Agreements and Wills 
It is highly recommended that everyone have all three of these documents and most lawyers will prepare all three for a reduced cost as opposed to doing one at a time. All three deal with different aspects of life. Some of the excuses for not having them are: We don't have a lot of things, we're not that old, cost, etc. It is not expensive to have them done compared to the costs and issues that arise when they are not in place. The requirement for any of the three can happen to anyone at any time.  

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is the chief planning document used for giving another person (called your “attorney”) the legal authority to take care of your financial affairs for you if you are not available to sign documents or if you end up needing help (unable due to illness) in this area. There are different types of powers of attorney, however an “enduring” power of attorney is the type that is used for prior planning for incapability. It continues in effect – or endures – if you become mentally incapable. However a power of attorney gives your attorney the authority to take care of only your financial and legal affairs. It does not enable him or her to make decisions about your personal and health care. For example, a power of attorney would not allow your attorney to consent to health care on your behalf or to make decisions about where or with whom you will live.

Under BC laws, if you want to ensure that the person or persons of your choice are able to make decisions about your personal and health care if you become mentally incapable at some point in the future, you need to make a representation agreement.

Representation agreement

A representation agreement is a legal planning document that allows you to choose the person or persons who will make important decisions for you, or assist you in making decisions, if you become incapable of making decisions on your own. The person you so choose is called your “representative.”
As noted above, in a representation agreement you can give your representative(s) the authority to handle personal and health care matters, as well as your legal and routine financial affairs. Under current BC laws representation agreements can also cover significant financial matters such as the purchase or sale of real estate. You can specify in your representation agreement what your representative is to consider when making decisions on your behalf, and also when, and under what circumstances, the agreement is to take effect.

Wills

What is a will? A will is a document that says what you want done with your property when you die. Examples of property that wills deal with include real estate, money, investments, and personal and household belongings that you own. You can change your will at any time. A will has no legal effect until you die.

Why should you make a will? Every adult who owns assets or has a spouse or young children should have a will. But surprisingly, many people don’t. The few hours that you spend with a lawyer planning your estate could save your spouse, children, and other beneficiaries much time, effort, and money. If you don’t have a will, you lose control over who gets how much of your estate and when. You also give up the right to appoint a guardian for any young children you have. And the costs to administer your estate will be much higher.

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation 
Relocating to a new city can be an exciting yet overwhelming time.

The prospect of a work relocation means you'll need to be well organized as there’s usually not much time to get acquainted with your new area.

First off, determine what the cost of living will be in the new location. There's no point in relocating for a higher salary if the extra income will be eaten up by increased living expenses.

Make sure to also consider factors such as workload, expense accounts, travel expectations, job opportunities for your spouse and schools for the kids. Here are a few other points to keep in mind:

  1. Time is Money - Create a budget and a detailed timeline to help you stay on track.

  2. Recon Mission - Plan a trip to familiarize yourself with the local area or check out a few community websites if it's too far to preview in person.

  3. Check Yourself - A detailed checklist will help ensure everything goes smoothly which will reduce the stress that’s associated with a major move.

  4. Smooth Move - Select a real estate agent to sell your home and ask them to refer you to an agent in your new city who can help familiarize you with the local market.

  5. Take the Credit - Employers often provide relocation packages to help offset expenses such as temporary housing and moving costs. There may also be certain tax credits available.

Deciding whether or not to relocate can be very stressful. Not only are you trying to negotiate a career move but you'll also be starting a new life in an unfamiliar place. However, if you approach this process by paying close attention to all the details, you'll enjoy a much more positive relocation experience. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or need any real estate advice!

Handy Home Hacks 
These simple yet genius tricks will make your life so much easier!

Hacks are uncommon yet creative solutions for everyday problems. Here are five simple hacks for the home that will help make your life a whole lot easier:

  1. Towel Tip - Adding a dry towel to a load of wet laundry significantly reduces drying time which also cuts down on energy use.


  2. Sharpie Stain - If your child has decorated your hardwood floors with a magic marker, apply a bit of toothpaste with a damp cloth and watch it disappear!


  3. Blend Away - To remove stubborn stains from your blender, mix lemon juice and warm water with a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid and then blend for a minute.


  4. Watch Your Step - We all know that sinking feeling when a glass shatters leaving tiny shards everywhere. To make sure you get every last sliver, press a slice of bread over the entire area.

  5. Silence Squeaks - If your creaky wooden floors make you feel like you’re living in a haunted house, just sprinkle some baby powder between any open seams to lubricate the wood and stop the squeaking.

We all want an easier life and home hacks are a great way to accomplish that as they allow you to bypass and overcome some of life’s little problems. There are literally thousands of hacks out there so watch this space for cleaning, organizing and other life hacks that we’ll be sharing in future newsletters!

Switching to Airplane Mode 
If you think airplane mode is only for flying, then think again!

Airplane mode blocks your connection to cellular networks when you take to the skies but there are many other lesser known benefits to this often ignored feature.

Airplane mode also saves battery life, charges a phone quicker and it will even stop those annoying ads from displaying when you’re playing Candy Crush!

Smartphones can also be extremely distracting so if you’re down to the wire on a project, simply switch over to airplane mode for a quick notification detox so you can focus and get your work done.

Finally, if you’re concerned about electromagnetic field radiation, set your phone to airplane mode when your smartphone’s not being used for wireless transmissions as it will completely cut off any form of radiation.



PS

 

 We have ALL the MLS listings on our site, no need to go anywhere else.   Sit back, relax and let us do the work for you! Just visit www.ThePearceTeam.com and use our preset searches in $50,000 increments for Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows. If you want to be more specific use the "other communities feature". Either way, save your search and whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. Go to www.ThePearceTeam.com  to get started. Our site is a virtual office so if you sign up as a member (no obligation)  then the MLS information you receive will be current to the minute with twice the detail ( room sizes, time on market, previous prices, etc). SEE IT FIRST ON OUR SITE!! Sites like realtor.ca and mls.ca have a built in 24 to 48 hour delay on all their listings. Use our Google maps interface to get a  "birds eye" view of the listing and of the neighborhood. Check out the amenities in the area with the "walk to" score. If English is not your first language then use the translate feature on the home page. Want a feature that is not there, give us a call or email and we will see if we can add the feature. We look forward to hearing from you.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.