teamW's Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven April 2011   

Hi Paul,

Well if we look at the calendar we know spring is here, however if we look at the temperature we certainly question the fact.  However, still better than the Prairies or tornado country in USA. 

If your home no longer meets your family’s needs, you'll have to decide whether to move or renovate.  Our first article weighs up the pros and cons of each option.

We also discuss a few simple and inexpensive ways to update your bathroom.

Thanks for checking out our newsletter.  Let us know if you have any comments regarding the articles or real estate in general.  If you like what you see, please click the "Share on Facebook" button so your friends can check it out!                   - Go Canucks Go!

In this issue...
March 2011 brings balanced market conditions 
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for the Parksville - Qualicum Beach market in March 2011 shows a 21% decline in unit sales compared to March 2010 but a 67% increase over February.

The average price of a single family home sold in March 2011 through the entire VIREB MLS® system was $347,522, up 1% from the $345,500 posted in March 2010 and up 2.5% over February’s $338,911.

There were 151 single family homes listed in the Parksville - Qualicum area in March, bringing the active single family homes available to 374, up 12.6% from this time last year.

For the 12-month period from the end of March 2010 to March 2011, average sale prices across VIREB’s six zones saw:  Campbell River staying the same at $302,033; Comox Valley slipping 7% to $349,070; Nanaimo also remaining steady at $368, 354; Parksville/Qualicum up 3% to $391,888; Port Alberni dropping 5% to $217,248; and the Cowichan Valley up 8% to $366,055.

Cliff Moberg, VIREB Past President says, “It appears we are continuing with a balanced market, prices remain stable as does inventory levels.  Sales are picking up as we approach spring and I believe we will continue with this stability throughout the spring/summer.  Interest rates remain low however may increase toward the end of the year depending on outside influences.

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? 
When your home is no longer the castle of your dreams, you face the choice of remodelling or moving.  You need to consider several factors in order to determine which option is best for you.

If you love your current home, you will likely want to consider renovations; however, they can be expensive and inconvenient.  Living in a construction site is very stressful and it is not uncommon to have projects go over budget or take longer than expected.  Not that this should deter you, you just need to be aware and prepared for this.

Start by getting a few quotes to determine whether renovations are feasible.  Just don't over improve your home to the point where it becomes the most expensive house on the street as it will be very difficult to recover the cost of your improvements.

If you and your family are looking to start an exciting new chapter of your life, it might make more sense to pack-up and sell.  Moving into a new home is very exciting especially when you find exactly what you are looking for!  Take into account though that moving can be stressful if you're not properly prepared.

To help make your decision please feel free to contact me and we can diss the options and respective implications.  We can look at your home's current value compared to what it would be worth after the renovations as well as examine the current housing market.  Finally, consider the time and disruption that each option presents.

There's no right or wrong answer to "Should I stay or should I go?" as everyone’s situation & desire is unique.  Your choice is a personal one but make sure you consult various professionals so they can help you  weigh up the pros and cons of each scenario.

Bathroom Makeovers that Won't Break the Bank 
Updating your bathroom doesn't have to be a pricey project!  Here are a few simple and inexpensive bathroom makeover ideas:

  1. De-Clutter - Your bathroom will look cleaner, brighter and bigger if you put away items that aren't used that often.  While you're at it, throw out anything that's expired.

  2. Simple Spa - Create a room you can unwind in by purchasing some plush towels.  Roll up a few and place them in a wicker basket for a natural, spa like atmosphere.

  3. Accessorize - Add some pizzazz by updating the shower curtain, drawer handles or toilet seat.  It's easy to make an impact without spending a fortune!

  4. Tropical Paradise - Breathe some life into your bathroom by adding a few plants.  It'll create an oasis like feel and they'll love the humidity.  Consider a hanging basket if space is tight.

Updating your bathroom doesn’t have to break the bank.  A fresh coat of paint and a decorative mirror can go a long way!  These types of simple updates are well worth the effort.

Yard Sale for the Cure - May 28th 

Help create a future without breast cancer by shopping this year's Yard Sale for the Cure.  Since its inception in 2005, thanks to the passion and generosity of thousand of participants, Yard Sale for the Cure has raised over $725,000.  This year, with your help, we hope to raise even more.

On May 28th at RE/MAX First Realty at Wembley Mall, please don't miss out on this opportunity to help create a future without breast cancer.  You can donate items in advance for the sale and / or come and shop for those treasures on the day of.  Just give us a call to arrange donations.

Inspirational Thought 
"What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity?  Our attitude toward it.  Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity."  -  J. Sidlow Baxter, 1903-1999, Author and Theologian

PS Oh by the way, I am never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from my help please contact me with their name and number and let them know that I will be in touch.  I would be pleased to assist them.

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