Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven January 2017   

Hi Paul,

Happy New Year!

Wow it's almost half way into the first month of 2017.  We hope that you got to spend some great time with family and friends over the Christmas holidays and we wish you all the best for 2017 and thank you for being part of our lives.  The picture of the t-shirt made at one of the family events pretty well sums up our December holiday time.  We started on December 9th having early Christmas with our kids and grand children in Langley, then off to Toronto for 3 nights with family there and then to New Brunswick for 8 nights to visit my folks over Christmas and their birthdays.

As result we were not as in in touch with everyone like we wanted to during the holiday season.  You can be assured our best wishes were with you.

2017 is off to a frosty start weather wise though very picturesque when the sun is out and the wind is calm.  It sounds like January will be up and down temperature wise, guess it will just make us appreciate our normal winters that much more.

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Property Assessments Are Out! 
No doubt everyone who owns property in British columbia has received their new Property Assessment Notices.  In most cases there has been a considerable increase however this does not necessarily mean higher property taxes.  If your increase is equal to the average increase then taxes will be somewhat similar to last year, other than local increases.  If your property value increased by a higher percentage than the average then you will probably see higher taxes.  The same is true in reverse if your percentage was lower.

Are you aware that in BC there is the option of deferring your taxes if it is your principle residence?  The program was intiated so you did not have to sell because you could not afford to pay your increased property taxes.  Once your receive your property tax notice, you may be able to apply for a low interest loan to pay our current year property taxes on  your principal residence.  You still want to claim your applicable home owner grant so the loan amount is reduced.  You may qualify for this program if you are:

     *  55 years of age or older during the current year, or
     * a surviving spouse of any age, or
     * a person with disabilities

Some may ask why would you do this?  Well are you aware that the loan from the BC Government is simple interest only and the rate since October 2009 has been 1% or less, currently at 0.70%.  You may actually decide it would be prudent to invest the money rather than pay your taxes.  For more information check out the government site by clicking here.  Applicatins to defer your taxes will be available after mid May.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 
2016 was a banner year for Vancouver Island real estate.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that housing demand throughout 2016 was driven by a provincial economy that outperformed the rest of the country.  However, BCREA does expect the housing market to weaken somewhat this year.

“Although BCREA anticipates that less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints will slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent in 2017, unit sales should remain well above the 10-year average of 85,000,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  “Sales in the VIREB area this year will likely trend lower than in 2016 but this is merely the market returning to more normal levels from last year’s unprecedented sales activity.”

As she has stated in previous media releases, Margo Hoffman, 2016 VIREB President, reaffirms that housing sales in the VIREB area would be higher if there were more homes available.  Seasonal market conditions can account for some of December’s decreased sales, but there are still plenty of buyers, and multiple offers are the norm when listings hit the market.

“We’ve been in a sellers’ market for several months now, and buyers are snapping up available properties,” says Hoffman.  “But homeowners need to realize these market conditions won’t last forever, so if you’ve been thinking of selling, it’s a perfect time to do so.”

Surviving the Stress of a Home Renovation 
A bit of planning in advance will help keep you sane during a renovation.

If you're thinking about renovating your home, you’ll want to try and consider every little detail in advance.

Careful planning will not only allow you to hold onto your sanity during the upheaval but will also ensure you get the best bang for your buck!  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. No Surprises - Make sure you agree (in writing) on a completion date but keep in mind that renovations can sometimes be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.

  2. Be Flexible - Accept from the start that you’ll be dealing with a lack of privacy along with dust, noise, mess and disorganization but remember that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

  3. Kidding Around - Set aside some toys/games for the kids and schedule some playdates and local outings so you can escape the construction zone chaos.

  4. Plan Ahead - Pre-prep some freezer meals for quick and easy dinners.  Also, take this opportunity to donate unwanted items to charity so your newly renovated home won’t be full of clutter.

  5. Stay in the Loop - Misunderstandings between contractors (and spouses!) are one of the biggest causes of stress during a renovation.  Open communication is essential so schedule regular progress reports.

Watching your home transform into something new is a very exciting experience but it’s also a major inconvenience.  The secret to making sure everything goes smoothly is to remain calm throughout the process and plan ahead for surprises.  If you keep that in mind, your dream home will be a reality before you know it!

Avoiding the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide 
This odorless gas can poison or even kill with little or no warning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a serious threat that affects families every day.  Lower gas levels can cause headaches, fatigue and nausea while higher levels can be fatal.

Ensure exhaust gases are properly vented from the central home heating unit.  It’s also important to have your furnace, chimney and vents regularly inspected by a trained professional.

You should also install a CO detector on each floor of your home.  There are a variety of units available but it’s important to remember that a detector doesn't replace the need to maintain your furnace.  Please note that your detector needs to be replaced every 7 - 10 years.

Most cities offer environmental services that measure indoor air quality.  Prevention is key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning as this silent killer is difficult to detect so make sure your home’s properly protected.

The Trick to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions 
It’s important to have realistic goals as well as a flexible attitude.

The new year inspires us to start fresh but the possibility of failure sometimes stops us from even getting started.

There are a variety of smartphone apps to help you track your goals whether they be to quit smoking, build volunteer hours or lose weight.  Stride for iPhone and Resolutions for Android are both very popular options.

New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be set in stone so try to be strong yet flexible.  If you start realizing your goals aren't achievable, take a few moments to modify them.  Our lives are constantly changing so it’s important that our goals change as well.



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!

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 team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.