teamW Real Estate Word -- where does the time go? November 2010   

Hi Paul,

Well it is hard to believe it is the middle of November already.  Thanksgiving & Rememberance Day have already been & gone.  We hope everyone was able to take a moment to give thanks and remember everyone who has paid the ultimate price or served so that we can enjoy this great country and life we have.

Thank you to all attended our Client Appreciation Event in October.  Congratulations to Jane & Carol for winning the 50/50 draw and thank you for donating all of the proceeds to Children's Miracle Network - so generous!

The real estate market is quite different than years in the past.  There was a sharp increase in activity in the spring and everyone thought the trend would continue through out the year.  In highsight it appears it was pent up demand after the winter.  There seems to be uncertainity in the market place - thank you global media.  The last number of months have seen decent activity in viewings however little activity in actual sales.  The month of October was down 49% in single family home sales in the Oceansdie area (33 compared to last year's 65).  As a result prices have been lower than expected.  A seller needs to be priced aggressively if wanting or needing a sale in a reasonable period of time.  It is certainly a buyer's market and a great time for 1st time buyers, investors or a move up to a larger or higher end home.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation please do contact me.  Also let us know if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles or real estate in general -- we'd love to hear from you!

In this issue...
Making ˘ents of Your Down Payment 
Saving for a down payment can often feel like a never ending battle.  To make things easier, you'll want to create a budget.  Once you’ve properly structured your finances, you'll be less likely to overspend.

First off, calculate how much you need for your down payment and then open a "home savings account" in order to keep funds separate from your main account.  Next, make a list of your monthly expenses and eliminate unnecessary purchases.  Here are a few ideas that’ll help you reach your goal:

  1. Consolidate Debts - If you carry a credit card balance, consolidate to a line of credit that offers a lower interest rate.

  2. Bring Your Own - Buying lunch even a few times a week costs thousands of dollars a year!  Try to bring your own coffee in a thermos and pack a homemade lunch.

  3. Plan Ahead - You’ll be less likely to order take out or waste money at the corner shop if you plan weekly menus.  Cutting coupons and buying in bulk will also help reduce grocery bills.

  4. Dim it Down - Shut off appliances when they’re not in use, turn down your thermostat a few degrees and switch off the lights when you leave a room.

  5. Dream It - Tape a picture of your dream home in a prominent place next to your financial goals.  Visualisation combined with good old fashioned willpower will help turn your dreams into reality.

For the most part, real estate prices are very affordable & interest rates are low so it’s a great time to purchase a home!  If you or someone you know requires some help, let me know -- I love to help make dreams come true!  The minimum down payment is still 5% of the purchase price and there is still some relief from the Land Transfer Tax for 1st time buyers.

How to Survive the Holiday Season 
It’s easy to get stressed out during the holiday season but with a little advance planning, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself!  Here are a few ideas that'll help relieve some of the seasonal stress:

  1. Keep it Together - Keep your wrapping paper, tags, tape, scissors, cards and stamps organized in one station so you’re able to take care of things efficiently.

  2. Expect the Unexpected - Have a few pre-wrapped "stand-by gifts" for those unexpected occasions where a gift's immediately needed.

  3. Shop Early & Locally - Do your shopping early to avoid the huge line ups & shop locally to safe travel time and support your local economy.  (I picked up some stocking items in Parksville yesterday - & 60% off)

  4. Make & Bake - People really appreciate the thought that goes into home baked treats!  To save time, make your cookie dough now and freeze it in batches.

Although the holiday season is full of joy and laughter, it also comes with increased demands that can weigh heavily on us.  Don't worry though -- if you manage the pressures by planning ahead, you'll be able to enjoy the season instead of just surviving it.

Tortilla Pinwheels – The Perfect Party Appetizer 
If you’re looking for a simple yet delicious appetizer to serve your guests this holiday season, you’ll love our recipe for tortilla pinwheels!  All you need is:

  • 4 tortilla wraps
  • 1/2 cup of salsa
  • 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Spread the cream cheese evenly over the tortillas, spread salsa over the cream cheese and then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.  Tightly roll up the tortillas, cover and place in the fridge for a few hours.  Once they’re chilled, slice into ½ inch pinwheels and serve.  You can vary the taste by using different cream cheeses and adding meats or vegetables -- just don’t expect any leftovers!

Inspirational Thought: 

"Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire." - Napoleon Hill

PS Oh by the way, I am never too busy for any of your referrals.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from my services please contact me with their name and number and let them know that I will be in touch.  It would be my privilege 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 (visit and click on the Automatic Home Search tab) to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.