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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Eagle Rising - Cross Border Shopping & the Fraser Valley

Sky Eagle © Stephen Mullock
 Last night I was driving my daughter to the bus depot when we spotted the wonderful cloud formation shown in the above photograph. It reminded us of a large eagle rising above Sumas Mountain with wings outstretched as if in flight.  One important advantage of Chilliwack* life is the close proximity of the USA border and the shopping and outdoor opportunities Washington State offers.  The Sumas border crossing is an easy 30 minute drive from Chilliwack.  My prediction is that the tolls on the new Post Mann Bridge will send more and more Valley shoppers south to the selection and bargains found in nearby Bellingham.  The eagle does indeed rise over the Valley.  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, October 2, 2012

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

Sold by Steve!

Chilliwack* SINGLE FAMILY HOMES - September 2012


September failed to revive the downward turn felt in August Chilliwack* real estate statistics recording only 95 sales of single family homes in the month.  The value of these homes varied from a high of $1,750,000 to a low of $20,000. The average price of housing appears to have spiked up sharply from $328,000 in August to $368,000 in September but this is misleading being due to the small sample size and several large sales.  A better reflection of prices in this market is the Median Sale Price also shown below.  The median sale price for a Chilliwack* single family detached home in September 2012 was $326,500.

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 1017 Chilliwack single family homes available on October 2, 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 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
Sep 2012 95 $368,000 87 1017
Aug 2012 80 $328,000 94 1097
Sep 2011 116 $333,000 77 n/a






Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • 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 :
  • 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%
2011 85% 91% 75% 70% 68% 93% 74% 86% 86% 70% 86% 92%


Chilliwack* STRATA HOMES for September 2012


The sale of Chilliwack* Strata Homes, apartments, townhouses performed somewhat stronger than the more expensive Chilliwack* single family home market with 56 sales in the month of September compared to a 10-year average of 63 for the month. The monthly average price took a swing downward and this is supported by a drop in the Median Sale Price number for the month.

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.

Only $129,900!  More Details


MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
Sept 2012 56 $198,000 86 547
Aug 2012 44 $226,000 89 570
Sept 2011 61 $222,000 61 n/a

Median Sale Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:


  • 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:


  • 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%
2011 100% 105% 85% 86% 84% 66% 66% 91%


Imagine living here ....then call Steve.


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.