Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven - TeamW September 2011   

Hi Paul,

Well the summer season has come to a close, however the weather continues to allow us to enjoy the outdoors - yeah!  It is still a buyer's market however activity in August was up and we are hoping for the trend to continue for the next few of months.  Great mortgage rates, good selection certainly makes it an attractive time to invest in our real estate market.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and we want to remind you to take time to spend with family and friends and give extra thanks for being able to experience another day along with all that you have.  The RE/MAX Canadian Conference is in Quebec City mid October and therefore I will be taking the opportunity to visit my folks in New Brunswick for Thanksgiving, and perhaps have a chance to see the wonderful colors in the east.

Thanks for checking out this month's newsletter and your continuing support.  Please consider clicking the "Share on Facebook" button so your friends and family can check it out too!         -         Rudi W

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 August 2011 shows a 13% increase in single family unit sales compared to August 2010 and 6% more unit sales than last month.  Comparing the last 12 months to the previous 12 months in the Parksville - Qualicum area overall # of sales of single family homes is down 9%.

The average price of a single family home sold in the Parksville - Qualicum are in August 2011 through the VIREB MLS® system was $398,358, up 2% from the $391,839 posted in August 2010.

VIREB President Jim Stewart says, “We continue to see stability in the real estate market with mortgage rates remaining low.  Vancouver Island continues to be a great place to invest.”

There were 125 single family homes listed the Parksville - Qualicum area in August bringing the active single family homes available through the VIREB MLS® system to 474, up from 414 this time last year and down slightly from the 492 available at the end of July.

"As inventory levels allow buyer’s to be selective, it is important that sellers price their home competitively and consult a REALTOR® for current market conditions in their area“, Stewart adds.

For the 12-month period from the end of August 2010 to August 2011, average sale prices across VIREB's six zones saw: Campbell River down 3% to $278,696; the Comox Valley up 7% to $347,383; Nanaimo was up 5% to $365,537; Parksville/Qualicum was up 2% to $398,358; Port Alberni/West Coast slipped 2% to $262,032 and the Cowichan Valley was down 8% to $336,414.

The Importance of Using a 3rd Party Negotiator 
Successful negotiating skills aren't just for the business world; they're for everyday situations.  Whether you're renting a car, asking for a raise or trying to get your kids to clean up their room, negotiating skills are essential.

Negotiating is a life skill that can be easily learned and eventually perfected.  Your success isn't based on how well you can argue but how well you're prepared.  The best thing you can do before entering negotiations is to do your homework.  Listening skills and a positive attitude are also very important.

A home purchase is a huge investment that's fraught with emotions.  If you negotiate with someone directly in such an emotionally charged situation, chances are that negative personal feelings will get in the way.  It's hard to recover once that happens and often times, the home of your dreams will be lost due to ego, pride and principle.

The home buying process comes with a very steep learning curve so it's best to use an agent to ensure there are no regrets.  Buyer's remorse is no fun, especially when it comes to real estate.  In order to successfully negotiate, you need to know as much as possible about the house itself, the motivations of the buyer/seller, the local market conditions and so on.

Real estate agents can also point you in the right direction when it comes to financing to ensure you receive a mortgage that satisfies the conditions of your offer.  Mortgage brokers negotiate with several banks at once to create a bidding war for your business.  They can then arrange financing quickly and at the best possible rates and terms which translates into thousands of dollars in savings.

Emotions run very high when it comes to buying or selling a home which is why it's important to have a real estate agent represent you as a 3rd party negotiator.  Professionals are able to see things through to the end by remaining calm and not letting their emotions get in the way.  If you're thinking about a move, please get in touch so we can discuss your options.

Closets Bursting at the Seams? Host a Clothing Swap! 
If your closet’s overflowing with clothes you no longer wear, you might want to think about hosting a clothing swap.  Here's what you'll need:

  • a few full length mirrors with decent lighting
  • space for a few private change rooms
  • clothing should be organized by size
  • items must be clean and in good condition
  • refreshments, appetizers and music are a nice touch

If you're looking to clear out the clutter in your closets and meet some new people in the process, a clothing swap's a great idea.  If you donate any remaining items to charity, everyone will be a winner!

Helping Your Kids Adjust to a New School 
Switching to a new school can cause children considerable stress and anxiety.  If your child has just started at a new school, the following tips will help make the transition a little smoother:

  1. Be Positive - Discuss your children's fears while encouraging a confident approach to making new friends.

  2. Fear Not - Chances are, you'll be a little nervous too.  Be careful not to transfer your anxieties over to them.

  3. Join Up - Encourage your children to join school clubs/teams and participate in after-school activities in order to meet new friends and have fun.

  4. Stay in Touch - Make sure your kids know they’re still able to be in touch with their old friends.  Help your children keep in touch by encouraging them to invite old friends a for visit or use skype.

  5. Do Your Part - Parent/teacher groups are a great way for you to connect with the school community.  Attending field trips is another great way to get involved.

Moving to a new school can be a difficult transition so try and emphasize the positive when discussing the challenges and opportunities your children face.  If you encourage them to share their feelings with you, it'll be much easier for them to adjust to their new surroundings.

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.  It would be my privilege to assit 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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