Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Shadows


Spring Shadows © Stephen Mullock
I thought this simple composition of yellow flowers and the shadows of tree limbs, still bare, told the story of an annual miracle, a new growing season has begun.

Imagine living here...

Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 30 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 and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Great Rooms - The Geography We Call Home



The term "Great Room" has worked its way into everyday real estate chatter and has had a significant impact on Chilliwack* residential design. The "Great Room", in a sense, is a hybrid of function calling on design from the Medieval Halls of ancient times to the family rooms of the 1950s.  They are places where the private lives of the house meet and engage the public. Owners love them but the question a purchaser has to ask themselves is "Is this layout design the right one for my family"?  .

The rationale of the Great Room is to enlarge the "living" area of the house by avoiding duplication in other parts.  For instance gone is the separate and infrequently used dining room.  Also, often missing is the formal living room.  Instead, a Great Room - part kitchen, part dining and living room combines these spaces creating a wonderful flexibility in the home.  For this reason Great Rooms are gaining in popularity in new residential designs.  For an example of flexibility, in a Great Room design, even the largest holiday feast can be accommodated comfortably.

Above, we see the 800 square foot "Great Room" of Todd and Sylvia Richard, a house located in Harrison Hot Springs. B.C.  Todd Richard, T/R, is a rising country artist with a new CD soon to be released so it is little surprise to see a room that reflects his connection to music and the outdoors.  A wood decked vaulted ceiling turns this room into a cathedral where voice and guitar can mix their magic.  A massive river rock fireplace casts a warm glow and serves as the room's focal point, hearth and home, a half moon window illuminating the scene from above.  These rooms can be easily themed to echo the owners interests it is not difficult to imagine this same room full of antiques, modern furniture or featuring a stately grand piano.


To one side of the room the kitchen and dining area are positioned, once again, B.C. finest product "wood" is prominently used adding warmth and beauty.  Saddle up to the kitchen eating bar and share a glass of wine, tell a joke or two, then, move across the room to a more comfortable seating area. The environment of the Great Room encouraging and enhancing many ways people can meet, mingle and talk.


When shopping for a home Buyers should consider whether they need a more formal arrangement of rooms or are looking for an expansive Great Room experience.  At times that is determined by your furniture, perhaps you have a formal dining room set that you can not part with, or, you simply are looking for a little more separation of function, then, a more conventional layout will be better.  If however, you are looking for a large space to host family and friends a Great Room is a wise choice for the geography we call home.

At the time of writing the above property 241 Balsam Ave. Harrison Hot Springs, B.C. is available for sale through Stephen Mullock at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty if you would like more details please contact me.

Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 30 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 and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sky Magic - Sun Dogs, Rainbows and Fog bows

The sky is a constantly changing feature of the eastern Fraser Valley from bright blue skies to threatening wind and rain storms. The Chilliwack Fraser Cheam sky is a lively place and many times a lovely one as well, as previously shown in the former picture of the week Aerial Ballet. All you have to do is look up to see the magic, here are some recent apparitions.


Sun Dogs © Stephen Mullock
Sun Dogs, Mock Suns, Parhelia
Driving home earlier this month I noticed two bright spots horizontal to the sun and stopped the car to take this picture.  I used a camera feature that allows me to take shots of sunsets and the result is as shown to the side.  Information on Sun Dogs.







Rainbow Agassiz ©Stephen Mullock
Rainbows
There was once a marketing push to refer to the Fraser Cheam area as "rainbow country" given their frequency here.  Rumours say that at the end of a rainbow is a pot of gold; apparently everywhere in the Chilliwack Fraser Cheam area.







Fogbow Morning ©Stephen Mullock
Fogbow
I took a walk on a foggy morning in early March and was surprised to see this "fogbow" suspended above the road.  No pots of gold at the end though just a fog Bank. Information about fog bows.




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Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 30 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 and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chilliwack* Real Estate Market Review & Analysis:April 3, 2011


SINGLE FAMILY HOMES 

Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Housing Sales Report for March 2011

MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
March       2011  115 $326,000 76 949
February   2011  104 $331,000 80 847
March      2010  134 $349,000 49 n/a

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Listings: April 3, 2011 - $378,000

The past month was a bit of a disappointment, after a reinvigorated February, we were expecting a continuing return to what we would consider normal market strength. While sales of Chilliwack* single family houses increased from 104 in February to 115 this past month the 115 sales were quite a bit lower than the 10 year average March monthly sale expectation of 159.  One way of putting it is that the Chilliwack* single family market is running at about 75% of full market conditions.  Fortunately, the strata housing market is faring much better as you will read below.

Average sale prices of Chilliwack* single family houses moved downward slightly in March to $326,000 from the $331,000 February average.  Generally, we would normally see average prices strengthening over the next quarter but this lack of sales suggests that prices may continue to adjust downward.  A year ago the average selling price of a Chilliwack* single family was $349,000 (March 2010) last month it was $326,000 (March 2011) a loss of value of approximately 7.5 percent.

It might be useful to compare the Chilliwack* experience with that of the adjoining Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVRB) area that extends west from Abbotsford (the Vedder Canal) to Delta; after all, misery loves company, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, the Fraser Valley sales are not good company at all, the 1,117 March 2011 single family house sales solidly outperforming the 10 year March monthly average of 957.  Good news indeed.  The average selling price of a FVRB single family house this past March is $654,118, an increase from the $561,418 average sale price in March 2010 of 16.5 percent.

Looks like the Sellers in the western part of the Fraser Valley & Vancouver have a great price advantage over the Chilliwack market and with a move into Chilliwack a chance to recapture substantial equity from their Fraser Valley & Vancouver property.  Who would not mind traveling a bit more in retirement?

There has been a build up of inventory of Chilliwack* single family houses this past month which is quite normal for the time of year.


STRATA HOMES

Chilliwack* Strata Housing Sales Report for March 2011
MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
Mar     2011  73 $212,000 67 479
Feb     2011  68 $207,000 96 440
Mar    2010  65 $221,000 75 n/a

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings: April 3, 2011 - $219,900

The Chilliwack* strata home market is performing at the 10 year average sales rate of 73 March monthly sales and this is the second month of solid sales.  There is still considerable inventory, choice and very affordable prices the median list price currently at $219,900.

Notes:
This review and analysis looks at the residential markets in the Chilliwack* British Columbia area for the month of March 2011.  It is divided into two sections: single family houses and strata homes (apartments and townhouses) and is based upon my armchair analysis work.  Use it at your own discretion

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.

Copyright April 4, 2011 by Stephen Mullock.
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 30 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 and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.