Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven April 2016   

Hi Paul,

An unexpected repair bill is the last thing you want when you move into your dream home.  This month’s feature article highlights the importance of getting a home inspection so you can move in with confidence.

There are also some ideas on how to affordably update your bathroom as well as an introduction to Slack which is a powerful instant messaging tool that’s taking the online world by storm!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 
Buyer demand outpacing supply on Vancouver Island.

The Vancouver Island real estate market set a brisk pace in March, with buyer demand outpacing supply in most areas.

In March 2016, 520 single-family homes sold compared to 420 last March, an increase of 24 per cent. Month over month, sales were up by 29 per cent from the 406 sales processed in February 2016.  Last month’s active listings totalled 1,599, down 26 per cent from the 2,167 reported in March 2015.

BCREA Economist Brendon Ogmundson states that the robust market conditions occurring throughout the province are reflective of British Columbia’s vibrant economy.  The provincial economy is the strongest in Canada, with GDP growth expected to be around three per cent this year.  Extremely strong construction activity, surging retail sales, and the highest job growth in three years are key economic drivers fueling the bustling real estate market.

“Although we’ve been saying that the housing market can’t continue at this pace indefinitely, there are no signs that point to a slowdown,” says Ogmundson.

Ogmundson notes that although single-family homes are still the most popular property type, changing demographics could shift that trend in the next decade.

“Over the next ten years, there will be around 200,000 people between the ages of 20 and 49 in the province, so we expect that demand for townhouses and condominiums will increase,” says Ogmundson.

VIREB President Margo Hoffman reports that it has been several years since REALTORS® have been this busy, but low inventory continues to be a major challenge for REALTORS® and home buyers in the VIREB area.  Multiple offers, particularly on single-family homes, are common occurrences.

“Our market is in definite seller’s territory, and we just don’t have enough inventory,” says Hoffman.  “Homeowners may be reluctant to sell because they love their home and where they live.  However, if you’ve been thinking of selling, it’s a perfect time to put your home on the market.”

Despite rising prices, Hoffman notes that the VIREB housing market is still very affordable compared to Victoria and Lower Mainland communities.  Whether you are a buyer or seller, Hoffman also notes that a REALTOR® is a vital partner in the sales process to ensure you price your home appropriately for selling and pay the right price when buying.

In March 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $350,400, up seven per cent from one year ago.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The benchmark price of townhouses and apartments also increased in nearly every market.  The average MLS® price of a single-family home in March was $397,375, a 13 per cent increase from March 2015.

The March 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $281,800, a 2.61 per cent increase over 2015.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $354,100, up 9.39 per cent from 2015. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $310,700, an increase of 8.23 per cent over the same month in 2015.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 5.95 per cent to $367,000 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 8.66 per cent to $391,400.  The price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $193,900, an increase of 3.36 per cent over March 2015.

Avoid Headaches and Heartache with a Home Inspection 
Buying a home can be emotional, especially if it's love at first sight!

Imagine that you’ve finally found your dream home and you’re feeling on top of the world!

Now think how you’d feel once you’re all moved in only to discover it’s nothing but a money pit.  Hidden surprises are the last thing you want to deal with.

It’s easy to overlook potential problems when you find a home you love as you tend to focus all your attention on the positive features.

Your mind’s made up and you just want to put in an offer as quickly as possible so you don’t lose it to another buyer.  However, taking the time to have the home professionally inspected will help you see the full picture.

Home inspections help identify both existing and future problems.  There's no such thing as a perfect house so don't be alarmed when minor issues arise.  Look at it more as a valuable learning experience as most inspectors will discuss the home’s systems and offer advice on how they should be maintained.

Home inspections aren’t just for buyers.  Sellers often have inspections completed before they put their property on the market so they're not caught off guard and forced into a vulnerable position.  Knowing your product is key when it comes to sales so it's important to be fully aware of any existing problems beforehand so they can be dealt with accordingly.

Not everyone chooses to have a home inspection but if you want to avoid buying a home riddled with problems, it’s a worthwhile investment.  Choose a certified home inspector who comes highly recommended and ensure the cost includes a written report.  The knowledge and peace of mind you'll gain is well worth the expense.

Bathroom Makeovers that won’t Break the Bank 
Updating your bathroom doesn't have to be a pricey project.

There are various ways to refresh a tired looking bathroom on a budget.  Here are a few simple and inexpensive bathroom makeover ideas that’ll add value to your home without breaking the bank:

  1. De-Clutter - Your bathroom will look cleaner and larger if you remove clutter.  Throw out anything that’s expired and place items you rarely use in drawers.

  2. Simple Spa - Create a room you can unwind in by rolling up plush towels in wicker baskets and adding some aromatic candles to create a natural, spa like atmosphere.

  3. Upcycling - Add some creative charm with reclaimed wood and revamped furniture.  An old wooden ladder for example makes a great towel holder.

  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.

  5. Accessorize - It's easy to make an impact with small details so add some pizzazz by updating the shower curtain, drawer handles and towel racks.

It’s easy to update your bathroom without committing to a full on renovation and hopefully the ideas above will help inspire you.  Don’t forget about the power of paint coupled with a beautiful, unique piece of art as this is another powerful yet simple way to freshen up a blah bathroom!

The New Way for Teams to Communicate 
The rapid growth of this hot new messaging app is insane!

Slack is a hugely successful messaging app that was built to help workplace teams share files and communicate with one another.

Slack is also a great communication tool for families.  It’s like having your own private social network!  You can use it to update grocery lists, co-ordinate calendars, schedule appointments and to privately share photos and videos.

Whether it be for business or pleasure, this hot new app is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a productive way to communicate and share information with a specific group of people.  Let me know what you think!



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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