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

Hi Paul,

Multigenerational living is making a comeback as it provides solutions to a variety of social and financial obstacles.  This month's article offers a few points to consider if you're thinking about sharing a home with extended family.

There are also some suggestions on how to plan a successful garage sale as well as tips on how to create a backyard sanctuary for birds and butterflies.

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Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Market Conditions Hold Steady on Vancouver Island 
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for June 2011 shows a 1% decline in single family unit sales compared to June 2010 and a 1.45% decrease from last month, but overall holding steady.
The average price of a single family home sold in June 2011 through the VIREB MLS® system was $343,422 down slightly at 1% from the $345,269 posted in June 2010 and down 3.6% from May‘s $356,403.
“We are experiencing marginal fluctuations in unit listings and sales numbers indicating a stabilizing market.  There have been some encouraging sales in other sectors such as water front and lots” says Jim Stewart, president of VIREB.  “While there has been minimal movement in mortgage rates they remain at very reasonable levels” he adds.
There were 892 single family homes listed in June, bringing the active single family homes available through the VIREB MLS® system to 3,192, up 3.3% from 3,089 this time last year.  The average price per unit sale across VIREB's six zones for the 12-month period from the end of June 2010 to June 2011 shows:
Campbell River down 4% to $287,086; the Comox Valley also down 4% to $348,858; Nanaimo up 2% to $370,322; Parksville/Qualicum was down 2% to $387,111; Port Alberni jumped 11% to $270,359; and the Cowichan Valley was up 1% to $352,853.
Stewart says “Larger spikes in unit sales experienced in some areas can be attributed to the number of properties in a specific price range influencing that average.  Relying on the advice of a REALTOR® is very important to be properly informed on how the market conditions might affect an individual situation”.

Tips on Sharing a Home with Extended Family 
Multigenerational living is a hot new housing trend that's sweeping the nation!  Many buyers are looking for homes to accommodate their extended family in order to save money and bring them closer together.
From a social perspective, feelings of isolation and loneliness are often alleviated when grandparents live with extended family.  It’s also much easier to care for an ailing family member when they’re under the same roof.
The shift has also been fueled by parents wishing to cut childcare costs.  It’s great having a babysitter on hand and the close relationship children build with their grandparents is a huge bonus!  Conflicts can arise though when relatives live in such close quarters so here are a few things to consider:

  • Know Your Needs - Garage apartments, in-law suites, refurbished basements and bungalows are very popular options.  Spacious rooms that can accommodate large family gatherings are also a huge plus.

  • Buffer Zone - Determine how much space you’re willing to share by discussing what constitutes privacy.  You don’t want to be constantly arguing about how your father-in-law hogs the bathroom each morning!

  • Be Clear - Agree in advance on each person’s obligations such as child care, cooking, cleaning, etc. so that everyone's clear from day one.  Regular house meetings will also help minimize disagreements.

Multigenerational family households are making a comeback because they provide solutions to a variety of social and financial obstacles.  The key to successfully living under the same roof is to always have an open line of communication.  If everyone's on the same page, you'll end up strengthening your family bond.

How to Host a Successful Garage Sale 
Selling your stuff online can be time consuming if you have numerous items to shift.  Garage sales on the other hand can be over and done with in just a few hours.  Here are a few tips that'll guarantee a successful sale:

  1. Read All About It! - Use community papers and websites to promote your garage sale.  Plenty of bright signs with balloons and ribbons will help attract attention.

  2. Street Smart - Try and involve other families on your street.  You’ll have fun creating community spirit and larger street sales attract more people.

  3. Involve the Kids - Your children will learn about recycling, handling money, negotiation, planning and organization.  They can even make a bit on the side selling drinks and home baked goods!

  4. Be Prepared - Start collecting plastic bags and boxes the week before and stockpile plenty of change.  Ensure everything's clean and in good working order.

  5. Lay It Out - Display your items in an organized and attractive manner.  Place similar items together but make sure they're not too crowded.  Hang clothing up and mark sizes clearly.

A garage sale isn't so much about making money.  It’s about creating memories with your kids, recycling items you no longer need, igniting community spirit and having fun!  If you have any items left over at the end of the day, consider donating them to charity.

A Quick Chat About the Birds & the Butterflies 
Creating a haven in your garden for birds and butterflies takes a little planning but it’s well worth the effort.  The following simple tips will help you turn your garden into a sanctuary:

  • install a bird bath -- it’ll also attract butterflies
  • avoid using pesticides as they’re harmful to birds & butterflies
  • butterflies like sunny locations that are sheltered from the wind
  • butterflies are attracted to pink, orange, yellow, red, purple & blue
  • birds love small fruits and berries such as chokecherries & elderberries

If you're looking to breathe new life into your garden, just rally up some winged wildlife!  Not only will you provide them a place to call home but you’ll also create an oasis that the whole family will enjoy.

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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