Greater Vancouver Real Estate News from The Pearce Team October 2017   

 
Purchasing a rental property can be a wise investment decision but being a landlord isn’t for everyone.  This month's article outlines the various pros and cons of this real-life monopoly game.


There are also a few tips on how to take great photos with your smartphone as well as an amazing recipe for a ghoulish Halloween punch that your guests will never forget!

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 buyer demand continues to differ based on housing type.

Apartment and townhome activity is outpacing the detached home market across Metro Vancouver.  This activity helped push total residential sales above the historical average in September.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totaled 2,821 in September 2017, a 25.2 per cent increase from the 2,253 sales recorded in September 2016, and a 7.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2017 when 3,043 homes sold.  Last month’s sales were 13.1 per cent above the 10-year September sales average.

“Our detached homes market is balanced today, while apartment and townhome sales remain in sellers' market territory,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said.  “If you’re looking to enter the market, as either a buyer or seller, it’s important to understand these trends and use this information to set realistic expectations.”

There were 5,375 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2017.  This represents a 12 per cent increase compared to the 4,799 homes listed in September 2016 and a 26.6 per cent increase compared to August 2017 when 4,245 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,466, a 1.2 per cent increase compared to September 2016 (9,354) and a 7.5 per cent increase compared to August 2017 (8,807).
 
“Detached homes made up 30 per cent of all sales in September and represented 62 per cent of all the homes listed for sale on the MLS®,” said Oudil.  “This dynamic has slowed the pace of upward pressure that we’ve seen on detached home prices in our market over the last few years.”

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2017 is 29.8 per cent.  By property type, the ratio is 14.6 per cent for detached homes, 42.3 per cent for townhomes, and 60.4 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 September were 122 which is a 54% increase over last September while the number of houses for sale decreased by 3%. The average price for the month of September  was $892,508 compared to last years September of $735,946. This represents the average price increase this September of  21%  over last September. Average sale price year to date is $832,209 which is 9% higher than last years $758,435.  

Sales of  townhouses for September were 45 which is an 32% increase over  last September while the number of townhouses for sale is 45 which is a decrease of 41% over last year. The average price for September was $512,413 compared to last years September of $421,970. This represents an average price increase of 21% over the last  12 months. Average sale price year to date is $473,001 which is an incease over last years by 18%
  
Sales of condos for September were 24 which is a 14% decrease over last September while the number of condos for sale is 34 which is a decrease of 55% over last year. The average price  this September was $360,687 compared to last years September of $230,288. This represents an average price increase of 56% .  Average sale price year to date is $301,944 which is an incease over last years by 26%
   


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!


It's also easier to maintain your investment property if you're on site to cut the grass and perform other general repairs.

 

Finally, you’ll be able to write off a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc. come tax time.

 

There are however a few points you’ll want to take into consideration as being a landlord can sometimes be challenging and if you don’t treat it like a business, it won’t be a success.


For instance, having an emergency fund is essential as you’ll be responsible for immediate problems such as a broken furnace or leaky roof as well as overseeing ongoing maintenance.  It's also common to be in between tenants from time to time so you'll have to budget for lost rent.


Furthermore, 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.

Power of Attorney 

What is a  power of attorney?

Every year I have clients who require a Power of Attorney and often do not have one. A power of attorney can be a single which allows an individual to sign on your behalf or joint which requires two or more individuals to sign on your behalf. I often see adult children that have joint ( requires 2 or more to sign) Power of attorney for their aging parents.  It can be drawn up by a lawyer or a notary and is not expensive.

 

A power of  attorney is a legal document that authorizes one person to act for another  person. A grant of power of attorney allows the attorney to sign legal  documents and to make contracts according to the powers granted within the  power of attorney. Historically a power of attorney ceased upon mental  incapacity (these can still be made), but under the present British Columbia  legislation, the power of attorney can be enduring if you wish; in this case it  continues to operate even if the person granting the power of attorney has  become mentally incapable. Of course, the grantor of the power of attorney had  to be mentally competent at the time the power of attorney was signed. Your  power of attorney ceases to be effective upon death. Your Will then comes into  force.

What can a  power of attorney be used for?

Most legal  authority can be granted to an attorney. The most usual use of a power of  attorney is for signing real estate documents when the grantor of the power of  attorney is out of the province, unable to sign the documents, or mentally  incapable. For example, even though you own property as a joint tenant with  your spouse, if your spouse became mentally incapable, you need a power of  attorney to sell your home.

What is a  general power of attorney?

The most  common form of power of attorney is the general power of attorney, which allows  the attorney to do almost all acts that the grantor of the power of attorney  could do. The general power of attorney usually allows the attorney to act  after mental infirmity and also could be used in the Land Title Office for  greater than three years. In order for the power of attorney to continue past  mental incapacity, the power of attorney must expressly say that it is an  enduring power of attorney.

 

 

Do I need a power of Attorney?

 

 It is a often convenient for a person and their spouse to have an enduring power of attorney on each other. In that case if one becomes sick or is mentally incapacitated then the other can sign documents on the behalf of the other. It is not an expensive to do and can help avoid a lot of issues if ones spouse is not available or has a accident or sudden illness.

Smoke detectors - This artical could save your life! 
Fire Prevention Canada reports that an average of six people a week are killed in residential fires in Canada.

If there is a fire in your home, smoke detectors are your family's first line of defence. They give you an early warning that danger is present, and could give your family time to reach safety.

All homes should have smoke detectors. Many newer homes have smoke detectors wired directly into the electrical system. There are also many different models of portable smoke detectors on the market that are battery-operated and easy to install.

There is a date printed on the backs of smoke alarms. Firefighters say if your smoke detector is more than 10 years old or you can't decipher the date, you need to get a new one.

Even if you test your alarm and it goes off, it's only telling you that there is power to your alarm. It is telling you the electricity is good to your home or you have a good battery inside of it. But it does not tell you if that sensing mechanism inside is working. Over 10 years, that sensing mechanism just wears out.

Firefighters recommend looking at the date every time you change your batteries in the smoke detector. They recommend doing that when you change the time on your clocks in the fall and spring.

It is also a good idea to develop a "family escape plan" in case of fire in your home. Practice the plan and make sure your children understand what they should do if they hear warning sounds from smoke detectors. The escape plan should include a meeting point outside the home.

For more details on all aspects of fire prevention follow this link to
www.fiprecan.ca Keep your family safe!


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.



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 more 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 delay on all 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.