Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven - teamW October 2012   

Hi Paul,

Happy belated Thanksgiving!  We hope that you had some time with family, turkey and a chance to give thanks.  We sure did, turkey on Monday and a new healthy grandson on Tuesday morning.  Samuel Iain MacLean at 8lbs 6 oz..  Mom, baby and family are all doing well.  Certainly lots for us to be Thankful for.

Our stretch of extended summer weather is over and now it is time to do the fall yard clean up, clean the gutters, put away most of the outdoor furniture and get ready for our winter season.

The market continues to have great opportunities to move up or acquire investment property.  This month there is an article that outlines the various pros and cons of this real life monopoly game.
Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it would be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Housing Sales Update 
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island declined 18 per cent last month compared to last year, while average sale prices dipped 5 per cent.

Across VIREB’s coverage area in September sales prices dropped in every area when compared to September 2011, with the exception of the Port Alberni / West Coast region which recorded a 79 per cent increase in sales activity when compared to the same month last year.

The number of reported unit sales was down last month when compared to a year ago.  In September 2011 there were 318 single family homes sold, in comparison 262 unit sales were recorded in September 2012.  The dollar value of properties sold last month across the VIREB coverage area when compared to September 2011 was down 22 per cent.

“The general cooling of sales activity over the summer months in Victoria and across Vancouver Island will likely continue this fall,” explained Cameron Muir, Chief Economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).  “Moderate sales activity is largely the result of tighter credit conditions and a more tepid economic growth.  However I do expect some increase in consumer demand in the 2013 corresponding with stronger labour market conditions.”

As of the end of September 2012 there were 409 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service® within the greater Parksville-Qualicum Beach area, down 10% from the 453 homes in the system at the end of September 2011.

“It has to be recognized that while the monthly sales figures were down from a year ago the actual sales prices of the homes sold, as compared to the average price of a year ago are only within five percent,” explained VIREB President Guy Bezeau.  “The buying public are benefiting from historically low interest rates and a terrific inventory of available properties.  I am optimistic that the fall season, traditionally one of the busiest for real estate sales, will be a very active one.  Now more than ever the public should rely on the personal knowledge and local experience of a professional REALTOR® when making what is likely to be the largest purchase of their lives.”

The Lowdown on Being a Landlord 
Investing in rental properties is an appealing idea but taking on the role of landlord isn't for everyone.  You'll want to thoroughly explore the good, the bad and the ugly before taking the plunge.

Having someone else pay your mortgage while your property appreciates is a very financially rewarding experience!  There are also various tax advantages as you can write off mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

With today's prices and low interest rates it is a great time to acquire an investment property as an investor or 1st time buyer (house with a suite).  Currently there are 37 homes in Parksville under $300,000.

Being a landlord isn't always easy though.  Even the most reliable tenants can be late with their rent which will turn you from investor to collection agent.  Dealing with disagreeable tenants can be hard work so make sure it’s the right fit for your personality.  If not, you may want to hire a property manager.

Cash flow's an important consideration as you’ll be responsible for overseeing the ongoing maintenance of your building.  An emergency fund is essential for taking care of immediate problems such as a broken furnace or leaky roof.  It's also common to be in between tenants from time to time so you'll have to budget for lost rent.

Purchasing a property to live in with a rental included is a great way to get your foot in the door, so to speak.  It's much easier to afford a property if you have someone paying rent and the best part is that you don't even have to put up with a roommate!  It's also easier to maintain the property if you're on site to cut the grass and do other general types of repairs.

As with any property purchase, it's important to seek professional advice from your real estate agent to ensure you buy the right building in the right location so that it'll be a profitable investment you won't regret.  If you'd love to operate your own business and are able to plan for the unexpected, being a landlord might be right for you!  Give us a call to discuss our experiences as a landlord so you can decide it is for you.

Worm Juice Anyone? 
Send chills and thrills to your Halloween guests this year by brewing up a batch of scary punch!  All you need for this spooktacular blood red drink is:

  • 4 10-oz. pkgs. of frozen strawberries, defrosted
  • 2 6-oz. cans of lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 bottle of lemon lime beverage
  • 1 bottle of cranberry or grape juice
  • ping pong eyeballs & plastic spiders
  • gummy worms & candy corn

Freeze some candy corn in ice cube trays overnight.  Mix the strawberries and lemonade concentrate in a blender.  Transfer to a punch bowl and add the lemon lime beverage, cranberry juice, candy corn ice and ping pong eyeballs.  Finally, garnish the punch bowl with the gummy worms and plastic spiders!

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 priveleged to assist them!

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