Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven - teamW January 2013   

Hi Paul,

Happy New Year Everyone!  The chapter of 2012 in The Book of Life has closed and the chapter of 2013 has just begun.  A whole new year of opportunities in your life - personal, professional, travel, relationships, let your mind be the dream board and don't rule anything out.  We wish you a great year of opportunities.

On January 1st we flew to New Brunswick to see my folks and had uneventful travel, thank you Air Canada, and a great visit with my folks and my brother.  We gasped for our breath as we got off the plane at -23 and very windy but it did not snow while we were there and the last 3 or 4 days were above 0.  We accomplished the intended wallpaper stripping and painting, and then some.  We were so grateful for being able to make the trip and see how well they were doing.

Next week we are blessed to be able to travel with our children & spouses to Oahu and spend some time in the sun.  It will be fun with 6 adults and 5 grand children.  Have no fear, business will be carried on as if I am here, so don't hesitate to call.
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'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Sales Down - Prices Up as 2012 Ends 
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for December released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island dropped 17 percent compared to last year, while average prices of homes that sold increased 4 percent.

However in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area the number of single family home sales for the entire year dropped 16% and the average price of homes that sold also dropped, 2%.  Throughout the sub-areas in the region there is quite a range of % changes in 2012 versus 2011 (from +24% to -78%).  The median price of all single family homes sold in the area was $360,000 while in Parksville itself it was $310,000.  If you would like the detailed statistics on the various sub-areas as well as the various style of properties contact me directly or visit the following link to our Blog to access the report:

Forecasts for 2013 appears to be cautiously optimistic with the expectation of an increase in the volume of sales which would result in price stability.  With low prices and interest rates there is great opportunity for investment or moving up in real estate.  Give me a call to discuss what you think you might like to do to take advantage of the market this spring so you have all pieces of the puzzle, I can bring a different persepective on how or what you may wish to do.

Securing Furniture - Safety for the little ones 
Over the holiday season a read a very emotional posting by a mother who had lost a child and wanted to help prevent it from happening to someone else.  In short what happened is their young child was up earlier than they wanted to be on a Saturday morning and therefore was encouraged to play in her room.  Later they found her crushed under a dresser that fell on her as she tried to climb it - a terrible, heart wrenching situation without question.

She was pointing out that such a tragedy can be easily prevented by securing such furniture to the wall quite simply with a small strap to secure it to a stud.  Given we have 5 grand children it was placed as a priority in my To Do List once home. It was simple as screwing a piece of nylon strapping to the furniture and to a wall stud, or using a zap strap and eyelets.

If you need more encouragement read the details of this tragedy and let your emotions convince you at:

A Text Message Tutorial 4 U!! 
The language of texting is constantly evolving.  You're probably up on many of the standard texting abbreviations but here are a few that you may not be aware of:

  • YOLO = you only live once
  • KK = kewl kewl (aka: ok)
  • JK = just kidding
  • NBD = no big deal
  • ILBL8 = I’ll be late
  • SMH = shaking my head
  • ISO = in search of
  • MWOS - Mom watching over shoulder
  • BFN = bye for now

It’s important to familiarize yourself with this new language, especially if you have kids or office colleagues who are communicating in short form.  TTYL :-)

Old or New: What's Best for You? 
Home buyers face countless decisions when purchasing a home.  One of the first things to establish is whether you prefer a newer or older home.

Comparing newer and older homes can be like comparing apples and oranges.  It really depends on your individual preferences and family priorities.  Here are a few advantages each type of home offers:

Pros of Older Homes
Old World Charm - Older homes usually boast unique architectural features such as stained glass windows and crown moulding.

Location - Older homes are often located in well established communities with mature trees and developed landscaping.  They're also usually close to popular downtown amenities.

Solid as a Rock - The craftsmanship that went into building homes years ago was usually second to none which means they're built to last.

Outdoor Space - Older homes usually have larger lots which is an important consideration if you value your privacy or wish to extend your home in the future.

Pros of Newer Homes
Customizable - A brand new home allows you to customize to your own tastes with options such as heated floors, granite countertops or even simple items like fixtures.

Low Maintenance - You're not likely to encounter any serious problems as everything's brand new.  The home's exterior will also be much easier to maintain.

Functional - Newer homes are laid out with functional features such as open concept rooms, attached garages, larger storage areas and ensuite bathrooms.

Energy Efficient - Better windows, insulation and appliances mean newer homes are more energy efficient which translates into lower monthly bills for homeowners.

Newer homes are usually more functional but existing homes offer a level of character that new homes can't match.  You may have a fixed idea of what you prefer but keep an open mind and make sure you're familiar with the pros and cons of each.  This is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make so do your research before signing on the dotted line.

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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