Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven January 2011   

Hi Paul,

First impressions are critical in real estate so you’ll want to ensure your foyer feels spacious and inviting.  This month we share a few ideas that'll help revamp this often neglected space.

We’ve also included some tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions as well as a few inspirational quotes that'll motivate your success!

Thanks for checking out our newsletter.  Please 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!

Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Recovering Economy Reflects Real Estate Market Trends 
Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for December 2010 shows a decrease in the number of single family unit sales at 225 down from 297 in December 2009.  The average sale price of $333,710 is down 2% from December 2009 when the average sale price was $342,151.

However, as of December 2010, across the region there are currently 1,909 single family unit listings for sale and that is up from last year’s number of 1,615.  This speaks well for buyers and for those sellers who have priced their homes right.

Cliff Moberg, VIREB 2011 Past President says that “Steady job growth, an improving economy and low mortgage rates signify that the roller coaster is over and both buyers and sellers can expect a steady real estate market.  Local REALTORS® are the best resource when it comes to setting a realistic price for buying or selling real estate.  That price will vary from region to region and from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.”

Jim Stewart, VIREB 2011 President also sees a return to a market that is more predictable and stable.  “It appears the uncertainty of past years is gone.  For example, the arrival of the HST didn't have the dramatic impact everyone thought it would have on new construction.  New homes are still selling and that is because they are priced right.  This creates a market that is predictable because much of the uncertainty and apprehension have diminished.”

When comparing the 2010 average sales across VIREB's six zones to 2009 average sales the breakdown is as follows:  Campbell River $303,970 up 3% from $296,304, Comox Valley $323,914 down 5% from $339,584, Cowichan Valley $366,865 down 5% from $384,390, Nanaimo $357,101 down 5% from $376,330, Parksville/Qualicum $375,759 down 3% from $387,388 and Port Alberni/West 239,810 up 7% from $223,439.

Guy Bezeau, President Elect for 2011 agrees that the 2011 real estate market will show more stability with each region and specific neighbourhoods exhibiting their own anomalies.  “It all comes down to the knowledge and experience of your local REALTOR®.”

How to Make a Grand Entrance 
Your foyer's the first thing prospective buyers see when they step into your home so it's very important to properly showcase this severely underrated area.  Here are a few ways to create a great first impression:

  1. Clear Clutter - A chaotic looking hallway will turn buyers off so get rid of clothing that’s no longer in season.  Organize hats and scarves into baskets and stack footwear in an orderly fashion.

  2. Lighten Up - Foyers are usually quite dark so clean your light fixtures and use a brighter bulb to cast more light.  A mirror’s another great way to increase the feeling of space in this often cramped area.

  3. Add Some Style - Check out antique markets or yard sales for unique pieces of furniture.  A bench for guests to sit on while taking their shoes off works well for large areas.  A small table to catch keys is perfect for compact spaces.

  4. Spruce it Up - Breathe some life into your gloomy hallway by adding some plants or fresh flowers.  Don’t forget to replace the cluttered mass of family photos that creep up the stairway with a few neutral pictures.

It doesn't take much effort to transform your foyer from a dumping ground into a grand entrance.  A functional yet welcoming foyer will create an amazing first impression that'll maximize your home's appeal to potential buyers.

New Year, New Resolution? 
Making New Year’s resolutions is easy but keeping them is a different story!  There are a few things you can do though to dramatically increase your odds of success.

Setting goals instils a sense of discipline and self-control but it’s easy to become disillusioned when your goals aren’t achieved.  It's therefore important to set realistic goals and break them down into bite-size pieces.

Make sure to balance your resolutions by incorporating a mix of both family and career goals.  Once that's done, formulate a plan which sets out the steps you need to take in order to accomplish your goals.

Write down your goals, review them regularly and place them in a prominent place so you can visualize the end result.  If you keep your resolutions realistic and stick to the plan, you'll soon experience the unbelievable feeling of triumph!

Inspirational Quotes for 2011 
New Year's Day is every man's birthday. - Charles Lamb

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. - Abraham Lincoln

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate 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!
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