Vancouver Sun: Ocean Park in South Surrey, Gibsons on Sunshine Coast top region’s Zen lists

I wanted to share a story with you from Vancouver Sun:

Getting out of the city and away from its crowds has always been a prescription for a calm mind, something that 80 per cent of residents in Ocean Park and Crescent Beach say they’ve found.

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Puppyhood 101

Happy Fall! Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful summer.

Despite my work having peaked these last few months I still made time to enjoy our fantastic summer. I managed to get over to Galiano for a few days, I watched my kids enjoying their classes at Crescent Beach Swim Club and even played a little tennis. But the highlight of the summer was our family’s new addition. I wrote this a few weeks ago but thought I’d share a little about our puppy Daisy in this addition of my Newsletter. Thankfully she now sleeps past 7am!

I am sitting in my backyard writing this blog at 6.04am. Yes, it is Sunday morning and yes, I had planned on sleeping in and starting work a little later today but that isn’t in the cards because my 12 week old puppy missed the notice that today was Sunday and that Sunday was a “sleep in” day! She decided to full on ‘puppy attack’ us with her sharp little teeth at 5.30am this morning. Knowing it was Colin or I that would have to take her I grabbed her and headed for downstairs and yes we were walking on the beach before 6am. She of course has now gone back to sleep, but I am afraid I am up for the day.

It’s been almost 3 years since are great old Weimaraner died and although I will admit it’s been nice to have one less logistic we decided it was time. After talking and researching breeds and reading about breeds and researching about breeds we have rolled the dice on a darling little mutt. She is Cavalier King Charles Crossed with a Miniature Australian Shepard. Besides the few early morning and a few spots on my carpet she’s been pretty good. The cat Bo is ecstatic to have a new friend and unlike the rest of us gets to play with her and isn’t required to do any of the clean-up.



August 2015

Hello Friends,
Thanks again for taking the time to read my newsletter.
It’s my 9th year in real Estate and by far this has been the busiest. By now I have become accustom to the life style. I am so much better at last minute than planning because things change in this industry every minute.
Appointments change, weather changes, homes sell, clients change their minds, mls systems change, markets change and systems change and these are all things I have dealt with this month! I am hoping this constant need to deal with change keeps me good at it!
The most rapid change is of course in the area of technology and this week I had the opportunity to have a home photographed with a drone. This Beautiful Elgin Wynd Home sits on a large half acre lot and backs on to a large 2 acre park. To realize this homes unique surroundings it was a perfect idea. The photo shoot took about a half an hour and the drone was so neat. It was able to take pictures of the cul-de-sac, the surrounding homes and the parkland. I can’t wait to see the pictures, I’ll post them on my site when they are available.
Have a great rest of your summer.

Spring Explosions!

In Ancient China Spiders were called “ximu” (meaning “happy insects”). Even in today’s folk culture, spiders are believed to bring happiness in the morning and wealth in the evening.

Last week I held an Open House in the beautiful neighbourhood of Ocean Bluff. The home was a great 3 level split that had been tastefully upgraded. I arrived at my “Open” about 1.30pm put out my signs, grabbed my flyers and went up to the front door. Like many families my sellers often came and went from the home through the garage so the front door wasn’t used much. As I approached the door I noticed one of those tiny balls of tiny baby spiders exploding from their tiny pouch. They were newly hatched and still in quit a small ball formation with the exception of maybe 6 who had begun to venture away from home base.
This tiny little pocket of spiders was situated right on the door beside the handle. It had to be relocated. I removed a flyer from my pile and slowly slid it under the pocket and carefully began to walk it across the garden to an area that would see much less traffic today. It was a very successful move. I managed to scoop up the 6 who had gone rogue and not a single tiny spider was squished.  SplitShire_RUEGLIO_3904

Like the spiders, I had an explosion of potential buyers through my “Open”. 32 groups came and went in just under 2 hours and by that evening I had an offer that would make my clients happy. It was wealth in the evening!
Family homes are the hot market especially those in great neighbourhoods and in great catchments.
Are you thinking to list? This is such a great time to sell especially if your downsizing, moving out of the area or making a big jump!
Enjoy your long weekend!

Quarterly Report for March 2015

Are you a numbers person? Have you ever wondered what factors determine whether it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? In the words of my great manager Len Dorey: “this is how and where we are!”

One of the key methods used in determining the status of a real estate market is the sales to listing ratio. The ratio is a percentage arrived at by dividing the total number of sales for a month by the number of active listings at the end of that month. If there were 10 sales in the month and 100 active listing at the end of the month, then the ratio would be 10%.

A 10 % ratio would be considered a buyer’s market. In March of 2014, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board used a ratio of 18% to 22% to describe a balanced market so anything 17% or lower was a buyer’s market and anything 23% or higher was a Seller’s market. Oddly the Vancouver Real Estate Board used a different ratio to define a balanced market, 13% to 20%. This year the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board adopted the Vancouver Board method for more continuity.

So back in March 2014, the sales to active listing ratio (S/A %) was 18.36% for detached homes in our area, nudging the seller’s market classification using the new percentage range. Well it is a year later and the ratio is now 35.7%, and the seller is in the driver’s seat again. The ratio for attached townhouses is currently 27% and apartments clock in at just over 20%. So it looks like we have certainly transitioned into a seller’s market, particularly with respect to detached homes.

Along with a rise in the S/A %, one can expect a corresponding increase in prices and as can be seen in the accompanying table that certainly is the case with detached houses and somewhat with the other two categories.

The 25% increases in median and average prices indicate that there is much activity in the higher end of the market. Nevertheless a Benchmark price of $959,700 for the “typical” peninsula home is nothing to sneeze at.

A median price of $1,050,000 indicates that half of the sales were under that amount and half were above it. To go further I calculated the number of sales in excess of exactly $1,000,000 at 96. Over two million there were 20 sales and 7 detached sales exceeded $3,000,000. No MLS sales in excess of $4,000,000 were documented in our area by the Multiple Listing Service.

Property Assessments have already been sent out to homeowners. We are getting to the point where half of our detached house owners will have assessments over one million dollars. I wonder how many of those owners realize they are getting close to losing their right to a homeowner grant which now starts to be clawed back at the rate of $5.00 for every $1000 your assessment exceeds $1.1 million, so at $1.214 million there is no grant for you. The limit where claw backs commenced, used to be $1.295 in 2013 and was reduced for the 2014 tax year. Very sneaky. As if the government doesn’t make enough money on the obscene Property Transfer Tax. Well that is a topic for another newsletter. Enjoy the spring!

Characteristics of a Good Time

For the last few weeks we have had a house guest. A very sweet respectful house guest. She is always happy to see us, very appreciative of attention and loves whatever I feed her. She is a 6 year old cocker spaniel named Ruby.
Sadly today we say good bye to our lovely house guest but I wanted to pass on a few things that make her such a “Good Time”.
1. Affection – Her’s knows no bounds. In fact one could say it’s relentless and reciprocation is expected.
2. Routines are non-negotiable. Is it her dinner time? walk time? Oh yea, she lets you know!
3. Her love of the outdoors is contagious. I have never spent so much time outdoors.
4. Adaptability – Don’t like cats, strange house, no problem she can make it work.
5. Enthusiasm – She looks forward to literally everything and she truly believes there is something good around every corner.
Speaking of Good Times, the market is hot! We are seeing house prices at an all time high and sales are up and continuing to grow. There are fewer townhomes on the market this year which could see some increase in demand in that section of the market!!
Happy Spring!


The Hare and the Tortoise – Part #2

So as it’s been said I am a huge animal lover and so using this poor guy to flog a house just wasn’t going to happen. Returning him to a safe place soon was the priority, and yes of course getting the house ready for the open. I ran to the backyard, deposited the turtle, threw my open house signs out and ran around the house rushing always rushing to flick all the lights on.

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