teamW Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven February 2011   

Hi Paul,

Well 2011 is here and the 2nd month is already half gone.  Hope you had a terrific holiday and took some time this month on the 14th to remember your loved one.

We have been busy improving the exposure of our listed properties by enhancing our web site and its ranking on the internet.  Make sure you check out the new look at .  We are excited abut the new teamW - Xposure Engine and though work is still in progress it is showing results already.  Our goal is to give our clients maximum exposure in order to sell their home for the best price in the shortest time.  85-90% of Buyers are starting their research on the internet and therefore it is important to rank in the forefront.
Once you have had a chance to check it out please do send us your comments, good or bad, as constructive criticism is always appreciated.

In order to go 'greener' you may be receiving the newsletter by email rather than by snail mail.  If you would still prefer the alternate method please do let us know and we will gladly make the change.

Rudi & Trish

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Sales Summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for the year ending December 2010 for the Parksville / Qualicum area shows a 7% decrease in single family unit sales (581 compared to the 627 units sold in 2009).

The total single family current active listings (as of January 31, 2011) is 254 units -- up from 235 units the same time last year, (+8%).

The average sale price across Parksville / Qualicum area for the 2010 twelve month period was $389,523, up 5% from the average 2009 sale price of $369,476.  We must keep in mind the average price is reflecting the average of what homes have sold, it does not reflect what individual market value has done.

Jim Stewart, VIREB 2011 President says “Overall in the markets we’re seeing normalization and stability.  On a local level, however, we clearly show some big swings and these spikes and troughs reflect the different perspectives within our own specific areas.  The sales numbers are small in these smaller markets and a high sale can dramatically impact what happens to the average local price on a monthly snapshot.  If you look at the market over the longer term you get better perspective of what the market is doing.  The last two years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for the real estate market.  However, sales over the past six months have definitely shown a trend toward stability.  We think that’s good news for home buyers and sellers” he added.

VIREB cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate the actual prices in centers comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas.

Home Inspections -- Getting to Know Your Home 
You’ve finally found the home of your dreams and are feeling on top of the world!  Think of how you'd feel though after you moved in to find out that your new home was nothing more than a money pit.

Buying a home can be very emotional, especially if it's love at first sight.  It’s easy to overlook potential problems when all your attention's focused on the features you love.  Having the home professionally inspected will help you see the full picture.

Home inspections help identify both existing and potential problems.  There's no such thing as a perfect house so don't be alarmed when issues arise but at least you'll know what to expect.  It’s also a valuable learning experience as many inspectors will discuss the home’s systems with you and advise on how they should be maintained.

Home inspections aren’t just for buyers.  Sellers often have inspections completed before they put their property on the market so they're not caught off guard and forced into a vulnerable position.  In sales, knowing your product is key so it's important to be fully aware of any existing problems beforehand so they can be dealt with accordingly.

Not everyone chooses to have a home inspection but it makes sense if you want to avoid nasty surprises.  Make sure to choose a certified home inspector who comes highly recommended and ensure the cost includes a written report.  Most experts agree the knowledge and peace of mind you'll gain is well worth the expense.

Too Much Humidity? Put a Damper on Dampness! 
Mold and mildew are common household problems caused by too much moisture.  Damp homes can cause serious health issues as well as peeling paint, wood rot and structural damage.

It's important to deal with dampness right away because the longer it's put off, the worse things will get.  Here are a few things you can do to get started:

  • inspect your attic and basement for signs of moisture
  • fix leaks by repairing cracks and plugging holes
  • install exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms
  • set up a dehumidifier and remember to empty it regularly
  • make sure your dryer vents outside

We spend so much time relaxing at home but surprisingly we don’t think much about our home's air quality.  If you take steps to eliminate the dampness in your home, you’ll significantly reduce the chance of respiratory illnesses making your home a much more comfortable place to live.

Creative Cleaning: The Magic of Baking Soda! 
Everyone knows baking soda helps keep the inside of your fridge smelling fresh, but did you know it’s also an amazing environmentally friendly cleaner?  Here are a few other things you can use it for:

  • use as a dry cleanser to clean tubs, tiles and toilets
  • wash your hands with it to eliminate the smell of onions or garlic
  • sprinkle on your carpet then vacuum after 15 minutes to eliminate bad smells
  • pour a bit down the sink followed by some vinegar to clear partially clogged drains

Once you’ve finished cleaning your home, you'll want to enjoy a relaxing soak in the tub.  Before you climb in, add half a cup of baking soda to the water to soften your skin

Inspirational Thought 
"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.  If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.  On the contrary if I shal have the belief that I can do it.  I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning."  - Mahatma Gandhi 

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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