Sunday, June 27, 2010

Picture of the Week - Chilliwack's lands on Monopoly Game Board!


Chilliwack lands Monopoly Spot
Chilliwack has landed a spot on Monopoly the 2010 Canada Edition game board! A passionate campaign to ensure votes for Chilliwack was spearheaded earlier this year by Chilliwack Major Sharon Gaetz - way to go Sharon!  It looks like Chilliwack is headed for an orange position on the board.  The other 21 Canadian communities selected are to be positioned as follows:

• Dark Blue: Chatham-Kent, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu
• Green: Calgary, Sarnia, Edmonton
• Yellow: Windsor, Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres
• Red: Medicine Hat, Gatineau, Shawinigan
• Orange: Kawartha Lakes, Chilliwack, Montreal
• Magenta: Kelowna, North Bay, St. John's
• Light Blue: Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver
• Brown: Beauceville, Banff

Thanks to everyone that took the time to vote for this well deserved spot on the board.

Oh by the way, if you are interested in buying real - real estate - in Chilliwack, don't leave your luck to "chance" give me a call.

Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 29 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) for experience, local knowledge, friendly service that is usually on time; you’ll be happy you did.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Real Estate Institute of BC Golf Tournament - Into the Blue






Sweet joy of youth!  It's the 16th hole, the Win-A-Car, the KP hole, and, my 4 iron has just delivered the shot of the day; at least for me.  Firmly hit, the ball takes off soaring into the blue sky tracking the hole, like an Osprey after a Koi.  Still the hole is a full 172 yards away and tucked into a very difficult spot in the back of the green. Yes, there is a nasty wind blowing into our faces. But there is always a chance. Isn't there?

Golfers will understand this - this is the type of shot that brings you back to the game, that, one golden moment when perfection seems to unfold. It's much like the feeling you get when you find the absolute perfect real estate property for your people.

Okay I wind up short of the pin some 18 feet away from replacing a 1999 Toyota Corolla and a foot short of winning the KP but what a time.  Enough to bring me back.

The event was the 17th annual Real Estate Institute of British Columbia (REIBC) golf tournament and fund raiser that has contributed over $320,000 to charities such as the "Make-A-Wish Foundation" and the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. Held this Wednesday at the Northview Golf and Country Club it's a Who's-Who of real estate professionals converging in a misguided but noble attempt to master this challenging course.  It is certainly not lost on anyone who attends, that the fun, networking and golf would not happen without a committed  Golf Committee and the terrific REIBC staff.  This is a tournament that seems to get better each year.  All I can say is thanks for the memories and too bad about the car.

The Real Estate Institute of British Columbia is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  If you need a real estate professional look for the initials RI or REI(BC) behind their names they indicate a professional designation backed by university education and extensive experience.




Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 29 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) for experience, local knowledge, friendly service that is usually on time; you’ll be happy you did.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Picture of the Week - The Mission Barn


 
The roof line of this "Mission" BC barn stretches upward in a steep pitch like some sort of farmland cathedral or hands in prayer.  It's working days long gone it now provides shelter for small creatures, swallows and squirrels.

Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 29 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) for experience, local knowledge, friendly service that is usually on time; you’ll be happy you did.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Morgan Crossing Lifestyle Centre: A Better Way To Develop

What is new in commercial / residential development in BC?  What is a lifestyle centre?  Perhaps the answer is as close as South Surrey's Morgan Crossing lifestyle centre. I take a walk with Bill Roberts a member of the creative team and leave wishing that all city councils and band elders could come here and have a look.  This post will be of interest to people interested in community planning and the rest of us would just like development to look and live better.

From a Chilliwack BC real estate perspective I was curious what a density mix of commercial/residential might look like considering Chilliwack's Downtown Land Use and Development Plans seems to be heading in this direction.  Plans and artist renderings are never as good as seeing the real thing.  

Also I wondered how the 54 acres comprising Chilliwack's Eagle Landing  power centre (where the Walmart is being built) currently underway just off the Evans Road in Chilliwack, BC and discussed in a previous posting stacked up against Morgan Crossing.

I met Bill Roberts, Vice President Shopping Centres, Maple Leaf Property Management, a number of years ago when the award winning Village at Park Royal was just opening as Canada's first lifestyle centre on land owned by the Squamish Indian band.  In that design a pedestrian friendly "Main Street" promenade is lined with retail shops like a village near the seashore.. Since that introduction I have viewed Bill Roberts and Andrew Feola of F+A Architects as pretty much representing the leading creative edge in BC for commercial life centre development.  People, our councils should be talking to, with actual "on the ground" experience.

As I drive past endless ugly strip malls I ask myself isn't there a better way to develop?

That sets the stage, I arrived a few minutes early and so started snapping off a few pictures of the project from a distance.  Three differences just jump out the main one being the attractive residences above the shops, an entry that takes you off a main artery and into a much quieter almost town centre environment and a successful open parking solution to what must have been a taunting problem Hydro Transmission Lines. 

These 28 acres were slated to be cut up in a piece meal manner and we know what sort of jumbled up mess that type of development leads to - consider Vedder Road or the Fraser Highway.
The Jumble of Vedder Road, Chilliwack BC
Instead, Morgan Crossing is home to 400,000 square feet of commercial space and 497 residential units which someday will house nearly a 1,000 people. The site is shown below with major anchors London Drugs, Golf Town and a keyhole walkway giving entry to a huge 39,000 square foot Steve Nash Sports Club in the yellow area.  A frame built residential apartment complex is above.
Morgan Crossing Layout

Water Feature a Steve Nash Sports Club

Thrifty foods in the forest green area with Winners in blue nearby.  To the far end of the street is Best Buy in lime green. Placing anchors at opposing ends of the development encourages foot traffic throughout. The buildings in the middle row are wrapped with continuous retail on all sides to enhance the shopping experience.  By time the official grand opening takes place fashion retailers Roots, The Gap and Banana Republic will have opened their spots.

Morgan Creek like the Village at Park Royal draws inspiration from the Steveston Fishing Village south of Vancouver and is reflected in a number of design elements like the metal exterior siding, water features and outlooks.  Everywhere young trees are planted and the sidewalks are wide for causal shopping and strolling.

Thrifty Foods Sidewalk Display
Places to Meet or Rest

Building Textures add interest


The big difference between Morgan Crossing and other developments is the addition of residences above the retail shopping areas.  With a lot of discussion surrounding the density of our older downtown cores it was reassuring to see how attractive the results could be. All parking for the residences, 1 1/2 stalls per unit, is underground.



How does Morgan Crossing stack up against Chilliwack's Eagle Landing?   Well Morgan Crossing is a lot denser than the Eagle Landing development. Eagle Landing has no residences and the commercial space takes approximately 40% more land per acre than Morgan Crossing. Draw your own conclusions.


If you enjoyed reading this article, why not Subscribe to be notified of the next one? Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

All pictures and content are copyright June 15, 2010 to Stephen Mullock RI.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Picture of the Week - Taking the Trail beside the Fraser River

I realized last week that the my masthead for this, the Chilliwack BC Real Estate, blog needed a picture that was a bit more in season.  Where possible I like to incorporate Mount Cheam and the Fraser River into the masthead photograph as the web address is after all FraserCheam.  The good news was that yesterday was a terrific day so I took to a trail on the north bank of the Fraser River and snapped off a few pictures.



I was surprised to find all sorts of flowers in bloom.  Perhaps one of our readers can tell what this flower is? My guess is "foxglove" or "purple flower".  Both Mount Cheam, the Fraser River and the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge are in the background.

Just off the trail was this picture of Mount Cheam just waiting to be taken.



Heading back in the car from the corner of my eye I saw this scene and did the right thing, stopped the car and took the shot.


The Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs area of the Fraser Cheam offer great walking trails in a variety of settings.  Truly, one of the best ways to enjoy this area is on foot.

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not Subscribe to be notified of the next one? Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

OPEN HOUSE - #5 7354 Morrow Road



OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, June 12, 2010
1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.

#5 7354 Morrow Road, Agassiz B.C.

Join me at this exciting Agassiz address and have a look at what I think is Agassiz's best buy in adult community living at $259,900.



This updated, detached 3 bedroom rancher is situated in small 21-unit Adult Park (age 55+) in the beautiful small town of Agassiz is ready for quick possession. The downtown core of the quiet farming community of Agassiz is only a 10 minute walk along flat sidewalks (no hills). People like living here.

The house was built in the early 1990s but has always been cared for. A new roof was installed only a few years ago as were new vinyl windows.

It is a house for all seasons - a natural fireplace in the living room adds additional comfort in winter and central air conditioning combats the summer heat.


There are three bedrooms so there is room for a guest, the computer/hobby and of course a master suite; which features an ensuite.

The kitchen deserves a word or two as shown in the pictures it has extensive cabinets and a huge island work space ideal for the baker in the family, or for a friend to cozy up to.



A reasonable $75 a month strata fee covers grass cutting etc.

So please come out and say hello this Saturday.


If you enjoyed reading this article, why not Subscribe to be notified of the next one? Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Picture of the Week - "Between the Bridges" Dewdney General Store and Post Office

Dewdney General Store and Post Office
I found this wonderful old general store and post office building just east of the railway tracks in the small community of Dewdney BC. Its' red piping on white and simple upper storey detailing make this a structure of historical interest.

The drive between the Mission and Agassiz bridges is full of interesting natural and historic sites.  Check this blogs for entrees entitled "between the bridges".

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not Subscribe to be notified of the next one? Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Real Estate Analysis and Review - Chilliwack May 2010

Single Family Housing


A review and analysis of the May 2010 sales of single family detached houses showed a continuing seasonal strengthening of the market with 171 sales as compared to the 148 sales in April 2010. Looking at these 171 sales in May and comparing them to a 10-year May single family detached sale average of 188 we see a market improving but still down 10% from where it should be. There however are more and more bright spots appearing, in particular, the absorption of newly built single family detached housing.  CMHC reports in the May 2010 Housing Information Monthly that unabsorbed units of new single family houses have declined from 105 in April 2009 to 28 in April 2010.

Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Housing Sales Report - May 2010
MONTHSalesAverage Sale PriceDays on MarketActive Listings
May 2010171$366,000621052
April 2010148$367,000551099
May 2009173$342,00068n/a


Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Listings: June 1, 2010 - $368,800

Fraser Valley sales west of Chilliwack have also seen a successful month with 854 single family sales reported for the month of May 2010. An average sale price of $566,000 being achieved, this amount is $200,000 more than the Chilliwack housing average!  Retirement options in Chilliwack should be considered; that is a nice price differential to be captured and enjoyed.  I offer meaningful local insights and extensive experience for seniors sizing up Chilliwack as a retirement home - give me a call.



STRATA



Chilliwack* Strata Housing (apartments, townhouses) Sales Report - May 2010
MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
May 2010 75 $222,000 59 553
April 2010 84 $228,000 99 547
May 2009 86 $205,000 107 n/a

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings: May 1, 2010 - $214,900*   

In contrast to the slowly improving Chilliwack real estate market for single family houses the strata market, which includes apartments and townhouses, continues to struggle. The number of sales for strata in May actually went down over the April 2010 numbers! In our previous market analysis posting of May 1, 2010 a worry that the new lending requirements would slow the market was expressed, particularly in the strata market, as a large number of these are purchased by first time buyers.  Normally we would expect about a 9% pickup in the sale numbers May over April, so as this April had 84 sales we should have seen 90 or more sales and not the 75 sales reported.

The Chilliwack Strata real estate market remains in BUYERS territory and that is a great time to make a purchase.  The purchase and sale of strata properties has become increasingly complex the use of a real estate agent with local knowledge is essential.  It pays to be represented no matter what side of the transaction you are on.

The analysis above is based on my interpretation of information provided by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board and does not take into account private sales.  The term "Chilliwack" is used here quite loosely to refer to an area serviced by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board which includes communities such as Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Yale and Boston Bar. The Fraser Valley West area embraces the entire Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area which extends from Abbotsford to Delta.


If you enjoyed reading this article, why not Subscribe to be notified of the next one? Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

Copyright June 1, 2010 Stephen Mullock