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.