Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven April 2017   

Hi Paul,

It’s been a long time coming but spring is finally here so this month’s article takes a look at a few of the latest gardening trends that will be sprouting up!

There’s also some advice on what to do if you think your house may have a foundation problem as well as a few tips on how to give your home a good spring clean.

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!

Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update 
Low inventory continues to limit Vancouver Island buyers.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that in March 2017, 484 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 518 last March, a decrease of seven per cent.

Month over month, sales rose by 40 per cent from February 2017, which saw 346 sales.  Inventory of single-family homes declined by 36 per cent from March 2016, with 1,023 active listings available last month compared to 1,598 one year ago.

Low inventory continues to frustrate consumers and REALTORS® in the VIREB area. An additional 145 single-family properties came onto the market in March, but the increase was not significant enough to have a noticeable impact on inventory.  Sales would no doubt be much higher if there were more properties available, says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.

“Properly priced single-family homes between $500,000 and $600,000 rarely last longer than a day or two and generate multiple offers, with many selling above list price,” says Stromar.

Certainly, the VIREB area has been a sellers’ market for several months now.  Although some homeowners continue to be reluctant to put their home on the market fearing they will not find another house to buy, Stromar urges people to sell now.

“Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.  “When the market does correct itself – and it always does – it usually happens without warning.”

She adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market.  “This kind of market can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help clarify the situation,” says Stromar.  “We’re also equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help buyers formulate winning offers and ensure sellers receive maximum dollars for their home.”

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that strong economic fundamentals are fuelling housing demand throughout British Columbia, with the B.C. economy continuing to outpace the rest of Canada.  Increased interprovincial migration and strong job growth are significant forces driving the provincial housing market.

In March 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $410,400, up 17 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 12 per cent in Port Alberni to 23 per cent in Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment in March rose 26 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were seen in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, at 31 per cent.  The townhouse market also strengthened in March, posting a 19 per cent increase board-wide.

The March 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $323,100, an increase of 15 per cent over March 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $408,300, up 15 per cent from 2016.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $353,000, an increase of 14 per cent compared to March 2016. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 23 per cent to $452,900 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 18 per cent to $463,500.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni hit $217,800, up 12 per cent from one year ago.

The Latest Garden & Landscaping Trends 
Get the dirt on this year’s latest and greatest gardening trends!

It’s the time of year when many of us start coming up with ideas on how to jazz up our outdoor space.  If you’re the type who can’t wait to get your hands dirty, here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  1. Natural Materials - Wood and rocks are popular gardening materials as people are moving towards a more organic and authentic look.

  2. Cozy Comfort - The Danish concept of Hygge is about creating comfortable gathering areas for friends and family such as pillow chairs that surround an outdoor fireplace.

  3. Grow Local - Sprawling lawns are being replaced with edible landscapes so homeowners can organically grow their own fruits, vegetables and herbs.

  4. eGardening - Smartphone apps make it easy to plan and grow your garden based on your climate zone.  They can even alert you if a cold snap’s coming so you can cover your plants.

  5. Gardening Gadgets - Robot grass mowers and customizable sprinkler systems that monitor the weather and adjust watering schedules are helpful for those who love lush lawns.

  6. Polly Plants - Create an inviting garden by planting bright, nectar rich flowers that will attract a variety of pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds.

Gardening is a great way to get outside and get in touch with mother nature so it’s no surprise in this ever-connected digital world that taking a break to work on our gardens is growing in popularity.  Regardless of whether or not you follow the latest trends this spring, here’s to digging in and getting your hands dirty!

Cracking Up is No Laughing Matter 
The foundation is the home’s most important structural component.

A serious foundation problem can quickly turn into an expensive nightmare.  Buyers realize this and won't purchase a home until it's been properly repaired or worse, they’ll simply walk away.

If you notice cracks, bowing or anything else that looks suspicious, you should have the foundation inspected by a qualified professional to determine just how serious the problem is.

Indications of possible foundation problems include uneven floors, windows/doors that are hard to open/shut and diagonal cracks on walls around the corners of doors and windows.  It's important to keep in mind though that many homes have cracks and defects which are purely cosmetic.

Foundation cracks are caused by hydrostatic pressure from water that soaks into the earth around the base of the home.  The foundation sinks as water spills out from the gutters and puddles around the perimeter putting pressure against the foundation which causes cracks that make the house settle more than it should.

If you're selling a home with a foundation problem, it’s usually best to get it fixed beforehand as a questionable foundation problem can often squash a sale.  If you don't plan on fixing the issue, at least get a few quotes so that you're able to show the approximate cost of repairs.

Spring New Life into Your Home 
It’s finally that time of year to refresh and reorganize your home!

Spring has sprung which means fresh scents, chirping birds and new life in the garden!  It's time to bring that spring fresh feeling into your home so open the windows, let the fresh air in and:

  • create a spring cleaning checklist
  • focus on only one room at a time
  • throw out all expired items
  • vacuum and rotate your mattresses
  • clean under the beds

With a clean, fresh home under your belt, you'll be all set to focus on cleaning up your outdoor furniture so that you can enjoy the summer months that are just around the corner!



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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