Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven October 2014   

Hi Paul,

Setting your price is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make when selling your home.  Our first article discusses a service that estimates your home’s current market value.

There’s also some advice on how to keep your furnace in tip-top shape as well as a simple trick that’ll save you from incurring unnecessary data charges when you’re on Facebook.

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...
September Sales Activity Reflects Increased Consumer Confidence 
Sales activity throughout the Vancouver Island housing market area rose in September, indicating increased consumer confidence and paving the way for strong fall sales.

However, since sales in September 2013 were relatively weak, the higher numbers posted last month don’t represent a hotbed of robust activity.  Rather, they indicate that the market continues to be balanced for both buyers and sellers in the VIREB coverage area.

A total of 409 single-family homes sold on the MLS® system in September 2014.  This represents a 13.3 per cent increase over the 361 sales recorded last month and a 22 per cent increase from this time last year.

Inventory levels continue to remain slightly lower than last year, with active listings down approximately five per cent.  BCREA’s chief economist, Cameron Muir, reports that the VIREB coverage area saw its strongest summer since 2009 and expects that upward trajectory to continue.

“The retail sector has seen a boost in activity, indicating increased consumer confidence, which is certainly reflected in the housing numbers,” said Muir.  He doesn’t expect interest rates to rise any time soon, noting that they continue to echo the reality of Canada’s overall housing demand.

The numbers don’t surprise VIREB President Blair Herbert, who anticipates healthy sales activity to continue throughout the fall.  “September is traditionally busier for most real estate markets, and we don’t expect that to change in the coming months,” states Herbert. “Our REALTORS® are busy, and there is a lot of business in the works.”  However, Herbert notes that the overall snapshot of market activity isn’t always an accurate picture of the motion occurring in a particular community.

“It can even vary by neighbourhood, which is why it’s important to contact a local REALTOR® for a better idea of what’s happening in your area,” says Herbert.  “In strong sales markets, consulting a REALTOR® is vital to ensure that you have up-to-date information on house prices for your specific location.”

In September 2014, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $317,900.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The average price of a single-family home was $352,179, an increase of nine per cent over this time last year.

The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $272,200, up 6.43 per cent from September 2013; in the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $320,700, marking an increase of 1.32 per cent per cent over last year; Duncan reports a benchmark price of $281,800, which is nearly the same as one year ago; Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $338,800, up 3.70 per cent from last year; Parksville/Qualicum has a benchmark price of $363,600, which is 4.32 per cent higher than this time last year; and the price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni is listed at $187,200, dropping slightly by 1.17 per cent from last year.

Receive an Evaluation...On the House 
Your home's a huge asset so you need to keep tabs on its value.

A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a report that estimates your home's value by comparing it to similar properties that have recently sold.
 
 Online home evaluations are quick and easy but they aren't very accurate as they don't take the finer details into account.  It's better to have an agent do a quick walkthrough so they can see your home firsthand.
 
 The CMA report, which is usually complimentary and comes with no obligation, is essential to setting a competitive asking price.  The right price is crucial to achieving a successful sale and is also helpful during negotiations as concrete facts will help justify your asking price.
 
In addition to homes that have recently sold in your area, your agent will research current homes on the market as well as homes that didn’t sell.  It’s important to compare homes that are similar in style, square footage, etc. and to adjust for factors such as finished basements, double car garages and overall condition.
 
You don’t have to necessarily be ready to sell your home to receive a CMA.  If you’re thinking about renovating your home for instance, your agent can provide you with an idea of how much value certain renovations will add to your home so that you can confidently move forward knowing the facts.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in a CMA to help give you a better idea of what your home’s currently worth. This will in turn help you get top dollar should you decide to sell as incorrectly pricing your home is a mistake that could end up costing you thousands of dollars and months of frustration.

Furnace Tune Ups Not Just a Bunch of Hot Air 
Check your furnace now to save on costly repair bills in the future!

When we're poking around in the basement, we usually pass the furnace without giving it a second thought -- until the weather changes and it’s time to fire it up!

The last thing you want is your heat failing on the coldest night of the year when service calls cost a fortune.  Here are some tips that’ll keep you warm and cozy:

  1. All Clear - Keep the area around the furnace clear of dust and obstructions and never store any kind of flammable material nearby.

  2. Go Pro - An annual check-up by a licensed technician who inspects the motor, fan, burner, heat exchanger and thermostat will help you avoid costly repairs.

  3. Second Glance - Give it a visual inspection from time to time and make sure you clean or replace filters regularly as dirty air filters block air flow causing the system to work overtime.

  4. Seal & Save - In addition to furnace maintenance, seal up air leaks with caulk or weather strips and always open your drapes on sunny days and close them at night to keep the heat in.

Regular furnace maintenance will increase efficiency, reduce energy use and prevent general wear and tear.  Having your furnace serviced on a regular basis is an investment rather than an expense as it'll help you avoid having to deal with massive, unexpected repairs down the road.

Beware of Facebook Video Autoplay 
Have you been racking up excessive data charges lately?

Facebook’s default video autoplay function could cause you to incur extra data charges when you accidently hover over videos in your newsfeed.  Here’s how to turn it off:

  1. iPhone:  Phone Settings -> Facebook -> Settings -> Video

  2. Android:  Facebook Settings -> App Settings -> Video Auto-play

  3. Computer:  Facebook Settings -> Videos -> Auto-Play Videos

Facebook is taking advantage of video’s rapid rise by selling video ads and the more they’re viewed, the more money they make.  It’s therefore important for you to always keep an eye on your settings.



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

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