Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven - teamW November 2011   

Hi Paul,

Hello, its been an interesting few weeks:  both Parksville & Qualicum Beach had gala fund raising events - fun had by all who attended;  Great weather for Rememberance Day Services - sun & mild and then a freak wind storm knocking out the power to a widespread area.  Gave us the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air the following days to do the clean up;  We are doing few modifications to our home - always seems to be something;  Plus preparing for the Christmas season which is quickly approaching - mind you there is Grey Cup in between - Go Lions Go!

On the real estate front there is still decent activity for the time of year and we look forward to a strong 2012.  Overall sales for single family homes are up 7% from the same time last year, while earlier the volume of sales was less than last year.  Indictions are a slight increase in sales and prices remaining constant for 2012.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please drop me a line with any questions or comments you have -- I'd love to hear from you!

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 greater Parksville - Qualicum Beach area for October 2011, shows that 47 single family units sold, an increase of 47% compared to October 2010 but down 13% from last month’s 53 units.

The average price of a single family home sold in October 2011 through the VIREB MLS® system was $366,226, up 6% from the $343,977 posted in October 2010 while the median sale price was $339,900. 

VIREB President Jim Stewart says; “We continue to see normal market conditions in the VIREB area and around the province.  There doesn’t seem to be much downward or upward pressure on prices,” he added. 

There were 79 single family homes listed in October, bringing the active single family homes available through the VIREB MLS® system to 397down 13% from the 454 available at the end of September.

“It’s a great time for consumers to buy, with a good selection of homes and stable pricing“, said VIREB President Elect Guy Bezeau.

Ho Ho Home Staging During the Holidays 
If your home’s on the market this holiday season, you’ll want to have a staging strategy in place.  It’s critical that buyers are able to imagine themselves living in your home so keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Deck the Halls (a little) - Too many decorations will make your home appear small and cluttered.  Decorating over an architectural selling feature such as a stained glass window or fireplace is a definite no-no!

  2. Curb Appeal - Forget about inflatable lawn ornaments this year!  A few outside lights and a tasteful wreath on the door will elegantly accent your home.  Display a few seasonal photos so buyers can see what your yard looks like in the summer.

  3. First Impressions - The buyer's first impression of your home is often formed in the foyer.  Hallways are usually quite cramped so remove any unnecessary items, ensure you have adequate lighting and keep decorations to a minimum.

  4. Bows and Bells - Put away all your wrapping paper, tape and ribbons before each showing.  Don’t just stuff everything in your closets though as serious buyers often peek in cupboards to see how spacious they are.

  5. Holiday Cheer - Offering seasonal treats such as apple cider and holiday cookies at showings will make your home feel warm and inviting.  It may even encourage buyers to stick around a little longer!

There are pros and cons to selling your home during the holidays.  Although there are fewer buyers, they're usually much more serious.  You’ll also be competing with fewer homes!  Just remember, buyers don’t want to be overwhelmed by decorations.  If you celebrate the season with simple elegance, your home will show beautifully!

Preserve the Past with a Family Time Capsule 
It's amazing how time flies!  There are so many precious family memories that fade as time goes by.   There is a way to turn back the clock though -- sort of.  It's called a time capsule and it's a fun and easy way to relive the past!

  1. Choose a Capsule - Decide what kind of container you’re going to use.  Although you have many options, a simple box decorated by your children or grandchildren is usually the best idea as they'll feel much more involved.

  2. Choose Your Treasure - Ask the whole family to contribute items such as photos, baby shoes, trinkets, letters, school papers, hair clippings or a stuffed animal.  Mark dates and descriptions so you can easily identify items when you open the time capsule.

  3. Choose Your Spot - Once you’ve filled the capsule, seal it up tight and decide where and for how long you’re going to hide it.  You'll also want to be sure that the box is well protected from the elements.  It's a good idea to completely seal your time capsule in thick plastic.

There are endless ways to make a family time capsule but the most important thing to remember is to have fun as every moment is a memory making opportunity!  This project is a simple, unique and effective way of preserving the past.  Don't put it off though -- the key to seeing the past in the future is to start today!

Roasted Garlic Buds and Brie 
It's not always easy to impress holiday guests but the delicate, mellow taste of roasted garlic paired with creamy Brie is sure to be a huge hit!  Here’s all you’ll need to spread some holiday cheer:

  • 2 - 3 whole garlic bulbs
  • 1 round of Brie cheese
  • olive oil
  • red pepper jelly
  • crackers

Slice the ends off the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap the cloves in foil, place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Bake the Brie for the last 10 minutes.  Transfer the Brie and garlic bulbs to a platter and serve with crackers and red pepper jelly.  Enjoy!

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 privileged to assist them!

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