teamW Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven March 2011   

Hi Paul,

We hope all is well with you.  We are so looking forward to spring weather and a chance to spend more time outdoors.

Searching for your dream home's supposed to be fun but it's an emotional process that can sometimes become overwhelming.  Our first article offers some great advice on how to prepare for your house hunting adventure.

We also discuss a few common grammatical errors that catch even the brightest of people off guard as well as some simple tips on how to increase your dishwasher's performance.

Thanks for checking out our newsletter.  Let us know if you have any comments regarding the articles or real estate in general.  Your feedback is always greatly appreciated!

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Report 
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for February 2011 shows a 3% decline in unit sales compared to February 2010 but a 36% increase over last month.

Likewise the average price of a single family home sold in February 2011 through the VIREB MLS® system was $338,882 down 1% from the $342,047 posted in February 2010 but up 5.4% from Januarys’ $321,489.  Jim Stewart, president of VIREB says; “We are seeing the market returning to normal conditions with sales and listings trending toward balanced conditions.  Homes that are properly priced are seeing quite a bit of action and selling in a reasonable length of time. Relying on the advice of a REALTOR® is very important to be properly informed on how the market conditions might affect an individual situation.”

There were 806 single family homes listed in February, bringing the active single family homes available through the VIREB MLS® system to 2,388 up almost 12% from this time last year.

For the 12-month period from the end of February 2010 to February 2011, average sale prices across VIREB's six zones saw: Campbell River drop 9% to $257,727, the Comox Valley slipped 1% to $336,411, Nanaimo was down 2% to $363,317, Parksville/Qualicum was up 3% to $401,132, Port Alberni jumped 13% to $218,746 and the Cowichan Valley was down 6% to $337,291.  (Keep in mind that the average price reflects what the average was of the homes sold, it does not indicate what has happened with market values.)

Guy Bezeau, VIREB’s President - elect says that “Although the consumer is getting used to these historically low interest rates, we are being told it is not a matter of if we will see them begin to rise but when.  With the amount of inventory available on the market now is a great time to invest on Vancouver Island,” he adds.

Cliff Moberg, VIREB’s Past President says, “We are seeing a vast improvement in the market as we move out of the holiday season.  We have to remember however when looking at the sales numbers on a monthly basis, that a small market such as Port Alberni which only had 12 reported sales in February, one higher priced sale can skew the numbers considerably as we are seeing this month with a 13% increase in the average price.

If you would like to view a graph of the average sale price history since 1982 please visit our new Blog site at: 

Finding Your Dream Home, the Easy Way 
House hunting is an exciting adventure but if you’re not properly prepared, it can become very aggravating.  Here are some things to consider before you start your search:

  1. Finance Forward - Get pre-qualified so you’re able to determine how much you can afford.  Figure out how much you’ll need for expenses such as legal fees and taxes.

  2. Know Your Needs - Make a list of the features your new home must have.  Think about how long you plan on living in the home and whether or not it has to be in move-in condition.

  3. Location, Location, Location - Determine whether the location of your home's more important than the home itself.  Investigate different areas to determine what amenities are available as well as the location of schools.

  4. The Bold & the Beautiful - Don’t be put off by the orange shag carpet or floral wallpaper.  On the other hand, don’t be wowed by their amazing furniture.  The key is to visualize the home with your own tastes.

  5. Old vs. New - Older homes have lots of character and enjoy prime locations but they're less efficient and require more maintenance.  Newer homes on the other hand are designed with functionality in mind but they’re often located in unestablished areas with ongoing construction.

  6. Get out There! - Get acquainted with the market by viewing listings that match your criteria.  Being familiar with a variety of different homes in different areas means you’ll be able to act quickly and with confidence when your dream home finally comes along.

House hunting can be a daunting task if you're not properly prepared.  To make things easier, let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll arrange to have listings which match your criteria automatically sent to you as soon as they hit the market!  You won't have to worry about missing out on the perfect home.  Just sit back, relax and enjoy the process!

Washing the Dishwasher 
Despite the fact they're continuously in cleaning mode, dishwashers get extremely dirty.  Here are some easy tips that'll help keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape:

  • Clean the filter each month to get rid of caked on food and other debris.

  • Run the kitchen tap until the water’s hot just before putting the dishwasher on.

  • Run a cup of vinegar through your dishwasher to clean things up.  It's inexpensive and biodegradable.

Your dishwasher needs to be properly taken care of in order for it to perform at its best.  If you follow these tips, your dishwasher will last longer and your dishes will sparkle!

Inspirational Thought 

"You have a clean slate every day you wake up. You have a chance every single morning to make that change and be the person you want to be. You just have to decide to do it. Decide today's the day. Say it; This is going to be my day."  -  Brendon Burchard

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!
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 at or give us a call:  250-468-1498

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