Vancouver Island Real Estate News Rudi & Trish July 2015   

Hi Paul,

Moving to a new home is an exciting life change but it can also be stressful.  One of this month’s articles outlines some strategies that'll help things go smoothly.

There’s also some important advice on how to prevent a clothes dryer fire as well as a few apps that’ll come in handy if you’re planning on renovating or decorating your home.

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!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Summer Island Style! 
We have had an incredible summer so far with amazing weather and very little rain.  Mount Arrowsmith has no snow and we are being very careful about water use personally. Its amazing what you can conserve and reuse if you put a little bit of thought into it!.

There has been no summer slow down in terms of the real estate market. This has been a bit of a challenge this year because of low inventory levels. We are extremely low on rancher style homes for sale, especially in the middle of the market. The $300,000 to $500,000 home, if competetativelyl priced for its condition and  age seems to be gone in the blink of an eye!

There are still some places that have been overlooked so don't despair, but the great values are dissappearing quickly. There ae still some good buys for folks willing to do some updating and cosmetic upgrades, as the market place seems to want " move in ready" product. Trish calls it the " HGTV Effect", or perhaps we have all gotten tired of doing the work and want someone else to have done it for us! It is definately an opportunity for those willing to take on a "project" plus you get the added benefit of making it your own!

We are pleased to give recommendations for renovators, plumbers, electricians, flooring specialists etc. Sometimes our advice is more who "not to hire" with our over 30 years here. We love to help with  that, so please don't hesitate to call! Its one of Trish's special joys of the profession. 

It is an excellent time to sell,  especially if you are going to a different lifestyle, or leaving the area. Though we dislike folks leaving the area, we understand it is necessary at times!  The condo market has not seen the same level of activity as the single family rancher style homes have, so there is more options in that market place.

If you are thinking about making any changes to your current home either for yourselves or for future resale, please give us a call as we would be happy to help in any way we can.

Robust Housing Market Shows No Signs of Slowing Down 
A robust provincial economy and bolstered consumer confidence are fuelling home sales in the VIREB area, with a strong spring sales market showing no signs of slowing as we head into summer.

In June 2015, 636 single-family homes sold on the MLS® system compared to 527 last month, an increase of 20 per cent.

Year-over-year, sales rose 36 per cent over last June.  Inventory levels continue to decline in our area, with active listings down approximately 13 per cent since June 2014.

BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir reports that British Columbia’s economy is leading Canada, with 2.4 per cent growth expected this year.  Low interest rates, confident consumers, and limited inventory in many areas are driving B.C.’s strong housing market.

 “Consumers are out buying in a big way, and there is lots of competition for available listings.” Muir stated.  Muir stressed that using a REALTOR® is even more vital in an active housing market to ensure you are receiving expert advice.

“When there is a finite supply of homes and high demand, a local REALTOR® has the insight and knowledge to help you make the best pricing decision when buying or selling a home,” said Muir.

VIREB President Jason Finlayson confirms that although the summer months are traditionally quieter, activity in our area shows no signs of slowing down.  Even with declining inventory levels, however, the benchmark price is up just a little over four per cent from last year.

“Despite healthy sales and declining inventory throughout our area, our market is still balanced,” says Finlayson.  “We see occasional multiple offers, but homes still need to be competitively priced to sell.  However, if inventory levels continue dropping, we could begin to see sellers’ markets in some areas.”

Finlayson reiterates that the VIREB area offers tremendous value for buyers in comparison to many larger urban Canadian centres.

In June 2015, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $335,400, up 4.24 per cent from last year.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The average price was up four per cent, with a single-family home selling for $359,970 compared to $346,713 in June 2014.

June 2015 benchmark price of a single-family home June 2014 to June 2015
Parksville-Qualicum area        $369,800    up   4.02 %       
Nanaimo area                         $350,200    up    3.51 %
Comox Valley   area               $334,000    up     2.89 % 
Campbell River area               $283,300    up    6.51 %
Duncan  area                          $298,300    up    6.42 %
Port Alberni area                    $190,600  down   6.36 %.

How to Organize a Smooth Move 
It's important to be organized when moving to a new home.

Moving can be stressful so planning is key.  The more organized you are, the less stress you'll endure and the more fun you’ll have!  The best way to ensure a smooth move is to write out a plan of action so make a checklist and timeline that clearly states what needs to be done when.

Start by packing non-essential items like pictures and books. This is the perfect time to ruthlessly edit your “stuff” and donate or sell items you no longer need. 
Here are a few packing tips for the rest of your things:

  • unscrew light bulbs from lamps and tape parts to lamps to the bases.
  • water plants a couple of days before the move
  • take a photo of how your electronics are connected & label all cords
  • lay towels between pictures before bundling them up
  • label the sides of boxes so they can be read when stacked with up- arrows too!

Pack and label a box of essential items (sheets, towels, toilet paper, coffee, dish cloths, garbage bags,cleaning supplies etc.) to see you through the first few days in your new home and get your kids to add a few stuffed toys and books.  You’ll also want to:

  • disconnect and reconnect utilities a couple of weeks ahead of the move.
  • submit your change of address to the post office with an 6 month extention after
  • ensure your insurance policy covers you & your contents during the move
  • transport small valuables and other personal items/documents yourself

  If you follow these tips, you’ll have fond memories of the last day in your old home – just don’t forget to take one last family photo before you leave.

Your Home’s Hidden Fire Hazard 
Dryers are responsible for over 15,000 fires each year.

Few people are aware of the danger that clothes dryers can pose which is one of the reasons that dryer maintenance is so often overlooked.

Fires can occur when lint (a highly combustible material) builds up in the dryer or more commonly, in the dryer’s exhaust duct.  This blockage causes excessive heat to build-up in the dryer.

Some warning signs that your dryer vent may be blocked are excessive heat in the laundry room, a musty smell, clothes that are still damp after a cycle and large amounts of lint and debris.  If you notice any of these signs, it’s important that you take steps to clear your vent right away.

You’ll first want to unplug your dryer and then pull it out from the wall.  Next, disconnect the exhaust hose and remove the lint with a brush or vacuum.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself or if the vent isn’t accessible then have your dryer inspected and cleaned by a qualified service technician.

Properly maintaining your clothes dryer is more important than most people think.  If you regularly clean out your dryer’s exhaust vent, you’ll not only significantly reduce a common fire hazard but you’ll also save money as your dryer will last longer and run much more efficiently.

Handy Home Help 
The first tool you need to pick up is your smartphone!

Inspiration is often the first thing you need before tackling a home improvement project.  Here are a few smartphone apps to help you on your journey:

  1. Houzz - This home design website/app has everything you need for your next remodeling or decorating project.

  2. Eden Garden Designer - Allows you to customize your own garden and test out different designs before you start digging.

  3. Behr ColorSmart - This app makes it easy to pick the perfect shade of paint and also includes a paint calculator so you can figure out exactly how many gallons of paint you’ll need.

Smartphone apps definitely help make the entire redecorating and renovation process easier and much more fun.  From simple tasks like measuring spaces to full on renovation advice, the app stores have do-it-yourselfers covered!



PS  Oh by the way, we are never too busy for 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 or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071 - team@teamw.ca

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