Friday, December 21, 2012

Peace, Love & Understanding

  I came upon this old loading dock door with a peace sign spray-painted on it, not once, but twice in emphasis.  I'd like to wish peace, love and understanding to you now and in the year ahead.
 
 
Happy New Year!
all the best to you in 2013      
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chilliwack Cat Charity Calendar 2013

Looking for a great locally produced calendar?  The Book Man has recently launched the sale of its second annual Community for Cats Charity 2013 Calendar featuring six fine felines of Chilliwack commerce.    
 If you have ever spent time in Chilliwack's Book Man, Video Tonite, Minter Country Gardens, Dargatz Glass or the Cottonwood Veterinary office then likely you have seen these stars of the cat walk - Pepper, Gatsby, Martin, Cotton, Darcat and Nietzsche.  Most days they appear aloof, like they own the place, if you are lucky they will let you pet them. They have attitude alright, plenty of it. They are, after all, much like the "pin-up" girls of WWII, they are Chilliwack's calendar cats. The 2013 Community for Cats Charity calendar is available at the Book Man, Dargatz Glass and Minter Country Garden for $16.99 with profits to support the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven Society.  You can also order the calendor, bookmarks and ready for framing prints online at Community for Cats Charity 2013 Calendar.

Out takes - exclusive!

 I have been able to secure several "out takes" from the "Martin"  Video Tonite shoot from one of the calendar photographers, Chilliwack Realtor® Ian Meissner as an exclusive to our readers.  These pictures were not used in the calendar and are online for the first time! 
Martin "The Artist"


Martin's favourite movie "The Sound of Mewsic "


Please buy a calendar and help support the the Community for Cats Charity. All pictures © by Ian Meissner.


The people of Chilliwack love their pets.

Imagine living here....


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chilliwack* Real Estate Market Conditions and Sales Analysis - November 2012

Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Houses for November 2012

November was a good month for the sale of single family detached houses in the Chilliwack* real estate board area which includes the outlying communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and parts of the Regional District.  With a market strength indicator clocking in at 91% this was, comparatively, the best month the Chilliwack* single family detached housing market has seen in 2012. The market strength measure is derived by taking the number of sales in November 2012 (100) and dividing it by the 10-year average for November (110).  Chilliwack* real estate has seen a nice uptick in activity since an August slump, 54%, that was precipitated by new Federal government mortgage restrictions.  It looks like the market has worked its way through this interference as it usually does.


Single Family Bird Nest


There were 100 sales of single family detached houses in Chilliwack* in November down from the 117 in October but strong when seasonal factors are considered.  The lowest sale price was $11,000 and the highest $840,000. 

The average selling price of a Chilliwack* single family detached house in November 2012 was $354,000 very similar to the $353,000 in October.

The median sale price was $317,000 and quite a bit lower than the $329,500 of a month earlier.  This suggests that more inexpensive houses were bought than might normally be the case.  I note that the highest sale of $840,000 is quite a bit lower than we would usually see.

The list to sale ratio of 13% is stronger than the 12% of a month ago as well.

It is expected that the fall and winter Chilliwack* real estate markets will see a normal seasonal slowing. A competitive advantage for Buyers is present given a healthy inventory of 837 Chilliwack single family homes available on December 1, 2012. It is expected that inventory levels will decline as owners elect to take properties off the market until spring.

Please remember to use the services of a REIBC real estate professional or a Realtor© to maximize your chances for a successful purchase or sale. Give me a call if you are looking for professional service in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent or Harrison Hot Springs areas.




Sales
Average Sale Price / Days on Market / Active Listings
Nov 2012 100 $354,000 74 877
Oct 2012 117 $353,000 88 918
Nov 2011 89 $307,000 71 n/a






Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • November 2012 - $317,000
  • October 2012 - $329,500
  • September 2012 - $326,500
  • August 2012 - $309,500
  • July 2012 - $344,000
  • June 2012 - $343,500
  • May 2012 - $328,500
  • April 2012 - $327,500
  • March 2012 - $340,500
  • February 2012 - $332,500


Median LISTING Price of active  Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Homes :
  • December 1, 2012 $363,500
  • November 1, 2012 $369,500
  • October 2, 2012 $369,900
  • September 3, 2012 $369,900
  • August 8, 2012 - $369,900
  • July 1, 2012 - $369,900
  • June 1, 2012 - $374,900
  • May 1, 2012 - $368,500
  • April 2, 2012 - $365,000
  • March 2, 2012 - $369,900

2012 - 2011 Market Strength

Single Family House Monthly Unit Sales as % of a 10-Year Monthly Sales Average

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2012 81% 67% 77% 77% 83% 70% 88% 54% 70% 88% 91%
2011 85% 91% 75% 70% 68% 93% 74% 86% 86% 70% 86% 92%

Chilliwack* STRATA HOMES for November 2012

The sale of Chilliwack* Strata Homes, apartments, townhouses had a strong monthly performance with 65 sales in November.  Market strength which measures sales against a 10-year average was for November a whopping 114%!  Hooray.

The lowest sale was $54,000 and the highest $467,000.

The average selling price of a Chilliwack* Strata Homes in November 2012 was $188,000 down sharply from a month ago. While average prices were down from where they were a month ago they were very similar to values found a year ago in November 2011. This drop from October to November may reflect a seasonal factor - fewer new projects, with higher unit costs, come on stream in the fall and winter months.

The median sale price was $188,500 and quite a bit lower than the $239,500 of a month earlier. 

The list to sale ratio of 13% is an improving value, but, the sale of townhouses and apartments in the Chilliwack* real estate market remains very competitive with the advantage given to the Buyer. Sellers should pay attention to their Realtor® recommendations and ask for market comparison updates on a bi-monthly basis.

Please remember to use the services of a REIBC real estate professional or a Realtor© to maximize your chances for a successful sale. Give me a call if you are looking for professional service in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent or Harrison Hot Springs areas.


MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
Nov 2012 65 $188,000 101 484
Oct 2012 51 $234,000 89 531
Nov 2011 39 $193,000 63 n/a

Median Sale Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:


  • November 2012 - $188,500
  • October 2012 - $239,500
  • September 2012 - $199,000
  • August 2012 - $232,500
  • July 2012 - $219,000
  • June 2012 - $224,500
  • May 2012 - $230,000
  • April - $230,500
  • March - $210,500
  • February - $204,000

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:


  • December 1, 2012 - $212,000
  • November 1, 2012 - $209,900
  • October 2, 2012 - $189,900
  • September 3, 2012 - $209,900
  • August 8, 2012 - $209,900
  • July 1, 2012 - $214,900
  • June 1, 2012 - $220,000
  • May 1, 2012 - $220,000
  • April 2, 2012 - $218,900
  • March 2, 2012 - $216,000


2012 - 2011 Strata Market Strength

Strata Home Monthly Unit Sales as % of a 10-Year Monthly Sales Average

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2012 93% 78% 96% 70% 87% 85% 97% 67% 89% 76% 114%
2011 100% 105% 85% 86% 84% 66% 66% 91%


Imagine living here ....then call Steve.



The analysis is based on my sole interpretation of multiple listing information gleaned from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board and does not take into account private sales. It is up to you to decide on the validity of these results and if necessary seek further information.



Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Friday, November 23, 2012

House Energy Audit - Getting Started

The energy efficiency of appliances with an ENERGY STAR® rating is something that Canadians have grown use to - but how would your home stack up to an energy audit?  I decided to find out, as it seemed like a logical way to organize the work needed to upgrade our house of 20 years. 
 Turns out that an energy audit for your home can be easily arranged, but time, is quickly disappearing under these incentive programs and all work must be completed by March 31, 2013. I kind of screwed up a little, I was in an impulsive mood and lured by the possibilities of receiving up to $7,000 in government grants by one of the ads I found on the internet and didn't do enough research before making the call.  Still, done is done; I have an appointment in early December and just have to hope that everything will work out fine. 
These are the steps I would suggest you take and I should have taken.
 
1.  Check out the incentive and rebate programs at the LiveSmart BC site.
 
2.  Check out other incentive and rebate programs at:
 
FORTIS
BC HYDRO  
3.  Find an energy auditor in your area.  Arrange an appointment but, make sure that you have enough time to upgrade the house before the program ends on March 31, 2013.
 
4.  Decide on the work to be completed and hire a contractor.
 
5.  Make sure that your second audit is done before March 31, 2013 the energy auditor will send in the documents necessary for any incentives or rebates.
 
Yes, I plan to write a follow-up post if the experience is not too painful.  
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bald Eagle Festival Harrison

 
Harrison River © Stephen Mullock

The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival is on this weekend November 17th and 18th bringing people, young and old, to the beautiful Harrison River.  I captured the picture above on Thursday and quite like the colours it in.  Click on the photograph to have a better look. The bald eagles are following the salmon up stream to their spawning grounds and that is really where the drama is. There is a flurry of activity in the ponds and backwaters beside the river as wild salmon cruise then splash about laying the eggs for the next generation.  The water here is clear and cool perfect for the task.  Oh, there are plenty of dead salmon as well; their empty eye sockets looking skyward, a grim reminder that all journeys come to an end.   I would recommend taking  a trip to this special area of the Fraser Valley - it is truly a spectacular and spiritual place. 
Salmon spawning© Stephen Mullock
Eagles Harrison River © Stephen Mullock


Imagine living here....
 
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hazelwood Grove Adult +55 Community Chilliwack B.C.

In the past 25 years there has been a continual push to provide "gated" adult communities in the eastern Fraser Valley. Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs offer some of the most affordable adult housing in the Valley offering close proximity to Vancouver and the US border. Of these the Hazelwood Grove Adult +55 Community in Chilliwack, BC is one of the best. 



  Situated on a former hazelnut grove this property is insulated by a row of buildings from road noise.  As you can see, in the picture above, the attractive gates are a long ways away from the street.  Gates play an interesting role; providing protection and give a dramatic touch to arrival and departure. Construction of this mixed density development began in 1993 when a row of detached single family houses were built. Since then a variety of single family detached dwellings, ground oriented duplexes, attached units and apartment buildings have constructed; in total 150 homes and two apartment buildings. There are a number of important elements that make the Hazelwood Grove +55 Retirement Community stand out from other offerings in the Chilliwack area. This may seem like a minor point but with 50 visitor parking stalls and a large Recreation Vehicle (RV) storage area there is plenty of parking. With land at a premium, this amount of parking space is not found in other adult communities.
  The Clubhouse is a luxury that can be afforded and features a library, meeting hall, billiards area, swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and a guest suite complete with a small kitchen.

 
 
  The design of the houses many over 1500 square feet on the main floor are sensibly sized for one or two people even though they usually have 3 bedrooms.  This gives space for a guest suite and computer/den area. I was very impressed by the level of care and attention to the landscape and talked briefly with one person about the maintenance of the complex.  It would seem that they have a deep contingency fund and an appropriate attitude towards the ongoing issues of care that arise with age.   There are a number of listing in this complex ranging in value from $209,900 for a two bedroom apartment to $295,000 for a 1526 square foot, 3 bedroom detached house I have just listed.  Details on these properties can be found by clicking here .  This link will disappear with time so if you want an update of available real estate properties please send me an email or give me a telephone call 604-378-9000. The property I have been fortunate to list for sale is a rancher and as pictures seem to tell the story here are a few of this beautiful house.










If you are considering a move or purchase in this area please give me a call.

Imagine living here....


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Can You Spot Her?


 Can you spot her? We were out for a morning walk on Promontory, Chilliwack B.C. when a buck and a doe crossed the road in front of us.  I only had my Blackberry telephone camera but got this picture. I was amazed at how well she blends into the background.   The Chilliwack area offers a rich natural world, spectacular scenery and affordable housing. Imagine living here...
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Steller's Jay and the tragic Bering Landing

The Steller's Jay is often incorrectly called a Blue Jay in British Columbia after all it is mainly blue except for its coal black head and neck.  It is not a Blue Jay.  It is a rather feisty, squawky, fleet flyer and the provincial bird of the province of British Columbia  since 1987.  Common to the Chilliwack* Fraser Cheam area Steller's Jay loves to scold and heckle; the one pictures above was taken in my backyard Norwegian Maple Tree caught here in full fall colour.  I recall that it had a lot to say. I thought for a time this bird was called a "Stellar" Jay.  I reasoned that as the stratosphere goes from dark blue into the blackness of space this was a fine and proper name for such a bird whose plumage follows a similar pattern.  Wrong.  Turns out this name has a much more remarkable story attached to it. Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709 - 1746) was a German born naturalist and part of Vitus Bering's original crew; the first Europeans to winter on the North Pacific Coast of North America.  Bering, a Danish born Russian explorer had been encouraged to explore the northern Pacific by Tsar Peter the Great. Having crossed what we now call the Bering Sea he sighted North American soil on July 17, 1741 and was congratulated by his men.  He told Georg Steller, "We think now we have accomplished everything, and may go about greatly inflated, but they do not consider where we have reached land, how far we are from home, and what may yet happen. Who knows but that perhaps trade winds may arise that may prevent us from returning? We do not know this country, nor are supplied with provisions to keep us through the winter."  Prophetic words.... What of Georg Wilhelm Steller?  Like a scene from Master and Commander he had to beg Bering to give him a frantic ten hour period so that he could go ashore and catalogue an array of creatures never known to Europeans before then. One of these was Steller's Jay. Months passed, summer became fall, July, August, September, October with the hardships of winter in a new land fast approaching and scarce resources on board. Vitus Bering, became ill turning over command to his second in command Sven Waxell.  A perilous situation far from home, Waxell wrote, "By now so many of our people were ill that I had, so to speak, no one to steer the ship.  Our sails, too, had worn so thin that I expected them to fly off at any moment.  When it came to a man's turn at the helm, he was dragged to it by two other of the invalids who were still able to walk a little, and set down at the wheel.  There he had to sit and steer as well as he could, and when he could sit no more, he had to be replaced by another in no better case than he...Our ship was like a piece of dead wood, with no one to direct it. We had to drift hither and thither at the whim of the winds and waves.  I tried to instill courage into the men, appealing to them; for there was no question of exerting authority in such a situation, where desperation already held sway."   It was decided on November 4, 1741 to anchor at what they thought was Russian territory but was actually some 175 km away.  Unable to anchor properly due to the harsh conditions of wind and surf the ship was eventually destroyed and the crew forced onto an island. Waxell wrote "Our plight was so wretched that the dead had to lie for a considerable time among the living, for there was none able to drag the corpses away, nor were those who lived capable of moving away from the dead.  They had to remain lying all mixed up together in a ring with a little fire in the centre."  The death toll mounted with the blue foxes eating the hands and feet of the corpses before they could be moved away. Commander Vitus Jonassen Bering passed away December 8, 1741 on this isalnd today called Bering Island fulfilling his deepest fears.
  From the wreckage of the ships the crew built a fragile craft and 14 months later returned to the Kamchatka mainland of Russia.  It is noted that Georg Steller's care and ability to locate greens and animals necessary for the remaining crew helped them survive the winter.   The naming of the Steller's Jay has quite a history and comes with a tale of great distress, hardship, courage and perseverance along the Bering Sea. Source: First Invaders The Literary Origins of British Columbia by Alan Twigg 2004 Ronsdale  Imagine living here....
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chilliwack* Real Estate Market Conditions and Sales Analysis - October 2012

Chilliwack* SINGLE FAMILY HOMES - October 2012

 October was a good month for the sale of single family detached housing in the Chilliwack* real estate market our analysis shows.  With a list to sale ratio of 12% October was one of the strongest month that Chilliwack* has seen this year.  Now, the market is still below what might be considered as being a balanced market between sellers and buyers but it is far better that September or August.  As mentioned in an earlier post, Federal mortgage restrictions had a lot to do with the downturn in the local housing market but these effects have now been adjusted for in the Chilliwack* real estate market. 


An Autumn Moment in Chilliwack © Stephen Mullock



There were 117 sales of single family homes in the month of October up from 95 in September. The value of these homes varied from a high of $1,100,000 to a low of $13,500. The average price of housing is $353,000 very similar to prices of a year ago.  The median selling price was $329,500 similar to the value of September 2012.

It is expected that the fall and winter Chilliwack* real estate markets will see a normal seasonal slowing. A competitive advantage for Buyers is present given a healthy inventory of 918 Chilliwack single family homes available on November 1, 2012. It is expected that inventory levels will decline as owners elect to take properties off the market until spring.

Please remember to use the services of a REIBC real estate professional or a Realtor© to maximize your chances for a successful purchase or sale. Give me a call if you are looking for professional service in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent or Harrison Hot Springs areas.




Sales
Average Sale Price / Days on Market / Active Listings
Oct 2012 117 $353,000 88 918
Sep 2012 95 $368,000 87 1017
Oct 2011 95 $357,000 87 n/a






Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • October 2012 - $329,500
  • September 2012 - $326,500
  • August 2012 - $309,500
  • July 2012 - $344,000
  • June 2012 - $343,500
  • May 2012 - $328,500
  • April 2012 - $327,500
  • March 2012 - $340,500
  • February 2012 - $332,500


Median LISTING Price of active (1093) Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Homes :
  • November 1, 2012 $369,500
  • October 2, 2012 $369,900
  • September 3, 2012 $369,900
  • August 8, 2012 - $369,900
  • July 1, 2012 - $369,900
  • June 1, 2012 - $374,900
  • May 1, 2012 - $368,500
  • April 2, 2012 - $365,000
  • March 2, 2012 - $369,900

2012 - 2011 Market Strength

Single Family House Monthly Unit Sales as % of a 10-Year Monthly Sales Average

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2012 81% 67% 77% 77% 83% 70% 88% 54% 70% 88%
2011 85% 91% 75% 70% 68% 93% 74% 86% 86% 70% 86% 92%
  

Chilliwack* STRATA HOMES for October 2012


The sale of Chilliwack* Strata Homes, apartments, townhouses performed somewhat weaker than the more expensive Chilliwack* single family home market with 51 sales in the month of October compared to a 10-year average of 67 for the month. The monthly average price took a swing upward and likely reflects newer projects selling well in this month, but, in general average prices have a tendency to oscillate somewhat.  It is still critical for sellers of townhouses and apartments in the Chilliwack* area to price competitively as a list to sale ratio is less than 1 in 10. 

The sale of townhouses and apartments in the Chilliwack* real estate market remains very competitive with the advantage given to the Buyer. Sellers should pay attention to their Realtor® recommendations and ask for market comparison updates on an bi-monthly basis.

Please remember to use the services of a REIBC real estate professional or a Realtor© to maximize your chances for a successful sale. Give me a call if you are looking for professional service in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent or Harrison Hot Springs areas. 
MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
Oct 2012 51 $234,000 89 531
Sep 2012 56 $198,000 86 547
Oct 2011 64 $204,000 66 n/a

Median Sale Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:


  • October 2012 - $239,500
  • September 2012 - $199,000
  • August 2012 - $232,500
  • July 2012 - $219,000
  • June 2012 - $224,500
  • May 2012 - $230,000
  • April - $230,500
  • March - $210,500
  • February - $204,000

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:


  • November 1, 2012 - $209,900
  • October 2, 2012 - $189,900
  • September 3, 2012 - $209,900
  • August 8, 2012 - $209,900
  • July 1, 2012 - $214,900
  • June 1, 2012 - $220,000
  • May 1, 2012 - $220,000
  • April 2, 2012 - $218,900
  • March 2, 2012 - $216,000


2012 - 2011 Strata Market Strength

Strata Home Monthly Unit Sales as % of a 10-Year Monthly Sales Average

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2012 93% 78% 96% 70% 87% 85% 97% 67% 89% 76%
2011 100% 105% 85% 86% 84% 66% 66% 91%


Imagine living here ....then call Steve.



The analysis is based on my sole interpretation of multiple listing information gleaned from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board it does not take into account private sales. It is up to you to decide on the validity of these results and if necessary seek further information.



Stephen Mullock RI
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ed Begley Jr. and Me



I look pretty excited in this Linda Mackie photograph of Ed Begley Jr. and myself at the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. Land Awards last Friday. I was. Ed Begley Jr., well known actor and environmentalist, was the guest speaker. Taking a "you can make a difference to sustainable living right at home" stance he fuelled the imaginations, in a sustainable way, the audience and me alike with his thoughtful remarks.
 
I had some wonderful duties that evening as well, with ex-Governor Barry Brown-John we presented the Land Champion Award to Richard Hankin a man who was a driving force in the creation of the 29,000 acres of parkland Metro Vancouver enjoy today. For all the great projects nominated in B.C. and the finalist check out http://www.realestatefoundation.com/node/438 .
 
Ed Begley Jr., shown above autographing my copy, has an interesting book as well "Guide to Sustainable Living" - it is worth a read.
  Imagine living here...
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Harrison Mills B.C. Old Mill in the Forest

 
 
In the Forest © Stephen Mullock
 
I came across this lonely old building in the woods close to the Kilby Museum in Harrison Mills B.C. this week and was curious about its past.  I have been told that it was an Old Mill but I am still awaiting clarification about this. Abandoned and broken, at one time, its builders took care to provide gentle arches to the door and window frames and thick cement walls constructed to withstand the tests of time. 
 
Today, more than a 100 years later the interior walls have been tagged by modern artists/vandals and the site is overgrown as it returns once again to nature.
 

 



 
This building was connected to the Harrison River and these old pylons still stand like a forest of totems bearing witness.
 Up until 1906, when a railway was built through Chilliwack, the Harrison River served as a major water route from Chilliwack to the Canadian Pacific Railway located here in Harrison Mills.  Agricultural goods would be shipped daily from the farms in Chilliwack to Vancouver.  Passengers would disembark and board the CPR train for comfortable passage.   There is plenty of magic still left over from that time period in Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison. 
  Imagine living here...   All pictures©Stephen Mullock  
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Federales Cool Real Estate Market

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), in an October 15th press release, placed the recent downturn in B.C. residential sales strongly, okay moderately firmly, all right maybe they implied it, on the shoulders of the Federal Government who imposed tighter mortgage restrictions on July 9th, 2012.  To avoid a lot of  "econo - talk" these actions have meant, in a nutshell, that people can't borrow enough money to pay the prices out there; so they have stopped buying.  They are sitting on the sidelines, somewhere out there, waiting.  Guess what? The result was a province wide 28.5% dollar volume drop in sales during September compared to the same month a year ago.  

  Quoting from the press release:  "Stricter high-ratio mortgage regulation further exacerbated a moderating trend in consumer demand," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Reducing the maximum amortization from 30 to 25 years had the equivalent impact to affordability as a 100 basis point increase in mortgage interest rates."

Is this the end of the world or the "real estate world" at least?  As reported in this blog in June 2012, we have seen Federal restrictions hurt the real estate market in the past.  They have a record of sorts, in February 2011, the Feds rolled back mortgage borrowing limits and while initially there was a strengthening of market for a month, with consumers getting in before the changes could take place, the Chilliwack* real estate market then suddenly cooled.  The good news was that the market resumed strength three months later, seemingly, having adjusted to Federal tinkering.

My prediction about the real estate market in Chilliwack, quite different from that in Vancouver, is that October will be stronger than September and August.  November may wobble again but then the market will continue to strengthen, that is, until those "Federales" come after the market again.

Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Chilliwack Annual Rotary Book Sale - Double Win

Ian Meissner

The Chilliwack Rotary Annual Book Sale is underway and runs from October 14 to 20th at the Chilliwack Mall.  If you are looking to stock up a fall and winter store of reading material now is this time.

One of Chilliwack's best Realtors® Ian Meissner of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty and Rotarian volunteer is shown here, hard at work, encouraging me to buy more.  I was persuaded and leaving the sale with a couple of bags of books, DVDs and CDs.  It was a great time, a lot of fun, and I will be heading back to the Chilliwack Mall for more.

Monies raised by this annual event have been used to help build the Rotary Trail, the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, the Chilliwack Hospital Expansion and every year $32,000 in scholarships and bursaries are awarded to Chilliwack students to mention just a few of the good causes supported through this sale.

The real benefit is literacy you  can afford; most of these books sell for $1 - $3.  So why not curl up this fall/winter with a good book bought from the Rotary Book Sale, you'll be helping the community and yourself as well - a  win-win situation.  It is on all this week at the Chilliwack Mall (click for map).


Imagine living here...



Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Night Stuart McLean Came to Chilliwack

Non Magnum Sed Parvi
There is an art form in the telling a story well.  A skill to be learned from hearing proper narration.  Chilliwack was treated last evening to a master of both; Stuart McLean visited the Chilliwack Cultural Centre to a packed house of the young and old.  I had seen Stuart, oh a couple of years earlier, in Vancouver, it was his Christmas show.  My daughter had bought the tickets but at the last moment was unable to attend.  Did we want to go?  Were we interested?  As if she thought these die hard Vinyl Cafe fans could not say no.

That Christmas Show was such a nice event, McLean, folksy and wise with a gentle humour advancing thoughts on the foibles of people, how much we are alike, how fragile we are, how love is the way of strength - all poignant and beautifully delivered. Would his visit to Chilliwack be as good?

We had never attended a show at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre until this Wednesday.  This was to be first for us.  .

This picture is here only because...© Stephen Mullock
The Chilliwack Cultural Centre building is very simple in style, unadorned which suits the people of Chilliwack* just fine. Let Art have the stage here. It does have a very comfortable 596 person tiered theatre. 

My wife, Gail, had arranged for seats centre of the stage and we were soon bumping our way down the aisle to our assigned seats.  We noticed that it was an older crowd for the most part, long time CBC listeners, but here and there were a sprinkling of kids and teenagers.   

Suspended from the stage ceiling was the banner above. I wondered what "non magnum sed parvi" meant.  I thought, guessed that is, that maybe it meant "don't be full of yourself" but I googled it later and I'd like to believe it means "no small magic is unimportant".  It is probably explained at the Vinyl Cafe website but I am not going to look for it now that I have thought of my own explanation. 

The "1994" I later learned was the year the Vinyl Cafe first went on the road - its first show being in Picton, Ontario.

The lights went down and after a brief introduction we listened to the magic of Stuart's first story, casting a spell of images and wise cracks in that "Jimmy Stewart" style of voice.  There is no stutter like the one actor Jimmy Stewart sometimes had, but, there are voice inflection similarities; long on the pause after a character comment but rapid fire on the description.  My sister calls him Jimmy Stewart McLean.  Whatever you want to call him it is a way of speaking that is as endearing and interesting as his stories.

The musical guest of the evening was none other than Harry Manx a talented guitar, banjo, mohan veena and lap slide guitar player.  His bar room voice intoning better days with assistance of a crack backup band.  I have a couple of CDs from Harry Manx and Kevin Breit and recommend "In God We Trust" and "Jubilee".

The evening evaporated only too quickly what a treat to have a Cultural Centre like this in Chilliwack that exceptional talents like Stuart McLean and Harry Manx can perform in.  To check out other productions at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre click here.

Stuart McLean and Harry Manx are both worth seeing and have a number of concert dates in British Columbia I would suggest you see them soon.

Imagine living here...


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Direction Home

 
The Direction Home©Stephen Mullock
 Mornings of late have awakened to thick banks of fog hugging the ground, transforming what is known, into a much more surreal and mysterious world.   Landmarks such as Mount Cheam (pronounced She-am) and Lady Peak (locally known as Dog Face) once provided navigational guidance to early explorers and the First Nation people, and today, many Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison residents use them much the same way.   We look for the Cheam's pyramid head and the Dog Face as we travel the Fraser Valley.  When we see them, even if it is only a glimpse through the fog, in that instance, we know where our home is. Imagine living here...  
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist 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) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.