Monday, October 14, 2013

Autumn in the Coastal BC Forest

Autumn comes like a small town parade to the coastal British Columbia forest in an eruption of colour and season end growth that marks its' decline into winter's slumber. Joyous and brief, mushrooms of all sizes and descriptions emerge in colonies or by themselves. Outrageous deciduous fall tree colours, contrast against the more stoic evergreens.Here are some of the pictures, I'd like to share with you, from my walks in the forests near Agassiz and Yale BC this past week.


A Walk in the Woods ©

Still plenty of green in the woods that hangs above our group but it is on the verge on of change.  The air is a little cooler, soon we will want to wear gloves, as we take a walk on Green Mountain, Agassiz BC.

Green Mountain Gold © Stephen Mullock

 That dab of light on the trail above seemed to beckon me.


A Quiet Moment in the Woods © Stephen Mullock
 A more heavily forested area near Yale BC provides the locale for the above shot and the next two pictures.  I was attracted to the light on the Douglas fir tree bark in the foreground and also liked the downward hanging boughs of the tree to the right.  Light was shining through its' moss. The autumn colours beyond reflect on the forest floor adding unity. I was happy to spend some time here.

Colony and Treed Impressionism © Stephen Mullock
 With a Impressionistic background a community of mushrooms looks like so many raised umbrellas.

Red Caps, Green Face © Stephen Mullock
This striking group of vividly coloured, small and delicate mushrooms were found at a tree base. The forest moss in the upper right hand corner reminds me of an old man's eye, nose and mouth - perhaps looking over them.

The Fraser Valley east is a wonderful place to call home.   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 10, 2013

10 Great Songs about Home and Hometowns since 2004

There are a lot of great classic songs about Home and Hometowns; "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel, "Our House" by CSN&Y to mention a couple of fine songs now sadly overplayed, but what about newer songs?   Looking back the last 10 years there have been some fantastic songs, not all have become famous, that are worth checking out.

Here are 10 of my home and hometown song favourites from the year 2004 and onward.

Back Home on the Farm © Stephen Mullock


1.  "Beautiful House"

     by Leeroy Stagger (2005)
     from the album "Beautiful House"

Foundation: Leeroy Stagger is a Canadian Alternative - Singer Songwriter from rural B.C.  I don't know a lot about Leeroy Stagger, I found this song on an CD EP from A&B sound in Vancouver, BC by far the best song on it, and, it has been a favourite ever since.  I enjoy this unflinching, earthy humour and gentle vibe to this Leeroy Stagger mini song drama, "Beautiful House". Couldn't find a good video of this song on YouTube (lots of lousy stuff) I would recommend checking out iTunes.

You and me in a little house
The kids are watching mickey mouse
Sitting, waiting for me patiently
And the porch wraps around the whole damn thing
The sun beats off your wedding ring
You're watching the waves crash from our backyard

And this is our house
Beautiful House
This is our house
Beautiful House
This beautiful house

And the driveway floods cause it cant not rain
The door creaks driving you insane
The neighbors dog keeps you up on most nights
The record room smells of pot smoke
Your crazy uncle ruined the joke
Your mother laughs and lights a cigarette


2.  "Welcome Home"

      by Dave Dobbyn (2005)
      from the album "Available Light"

Foundation: Dave Dobbyn singer song writer from New Zealand with this song he extends his arms in welcome to new comers to New Zealand with the reassurance "so welcome home, see I made a place for you".  Lovely.  YouTube video.


3.  "Home"

     by Phillip Phillips (2012)
     from the album "The World From The Side Of The Moon"

Foundation: Phillip Phillips comes from Georgia, USA and was the 11th season winner of American Idol in 2012.  The song "Home" was a massive international hit from this his first album. YouTube video.


4.  "The House that Built Me"

     by Miranda Lambert (2009)
     from the album "Revolution"

Foundation: Miranda Lambert was born in Texas and is married to Blake Shelton.  With this award winning song Miranda explores a return to a family home and a maelstrom of thoughts and feelings - such beautiful melancholy.  If the walls could talk. YouTube video.


5.  "Home"

     by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (2010)
     from the album "Up from Below"

Foundation: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros  are large 12+/- member indie band that was formed in Los Angeles.  Wonderful uplifting "hippie" type energy with endearing duets between a strong male and female singer.  I would suggest that the album "Up from Below" and "Here" be explored first. YouTube video.


6.  "Going Home"

     by Leonard Cohen (2012)
     from the album "Old Ideas"

Foundation: Celebrated Leonard Cohen, born in Montreal has been one of my favourite singer-songwriters since my youth.  This weary "winding up a career" song of returning home still shows the 78 year old Cohen as being in full mastery of his considerable writing talents.  Recommended albums: "I'm Your Man (1988)" "Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)" "The Future (1992)" and of course any "Best Of" recordings you can find.  Jennifer Warren's "Famous Blue Raincoat" is a beautiful tribute album and is also recommended.  YouTube video.
   

7.  "Mushaboom"

     by Feist
     from the album "Let It Die" (2004)

Foundation: Canadian singer-songwriter Leslie Feist has a distinct sound and an expansive imagination. This playful song is about a longing to leave a second storey apartment behind for a family and a little house in the woods. Mushaboom is a rural community located in Nova Scotia, Canada the province in which Feist was born. YouTube video.

Old dirt road
Knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done

How many acres how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbours and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map


8.  "To Build A Home" (featuring Patrick Watson)

     by The Cinematic Orchestra (2007)
     from the album "Ma Fleur"

Foundation: The Cinematic Orchestra is a British jazz-electronic group that last recorded in 2007. The song "To Build A Home" features the vocals of Canadian Patrick Watson and it has been used in both television and film. YouTube video.

Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree that's old as me
Branches were sewn by the colour of green
Ground had arose and passed its knees

By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held onto me
I held on as tightly as you held onto me


9.  "Home"

     by Jack Johnson (2013)
     from the album "From Here to Now to You"

Foundation: Jack Johnson a surfer dude and mega talent has softly rocked into world promenience and once again recorded a solid album of good material. The song "Home" stands out with its gentle observations of house and home - makes you feel like you are right there with him, in a jungle paradise like Hawaii. YouTube video.


10. "Death to My Hometown"

      by Bruce Springsteen (2012)
      from the album "Wrecking Ball"

      Foundation:  International rock and roll star Bruce Springsteen pulled no punches when he recorded his last album "Wrecking Ball " in 2012.  The show that he gave in Vancouver was phenomenal although I do wish that he had played "Thunder Road".  This song "Death to My Hometown" pins the distress many American and other cities in the World have suffered since the financial meltdown in 2008.  No one has gone to jail.  This song is a cautionary tale and a call to arms that the danger to our hometowns come not with soldiers and war but rather with financiers and commerce. Strong stuff indeed.  YouTube video.

If you have a favourite song about Home, House or Hometowns from this century 2000 + let me know.

Here are some other suggestions from my friends - thank you all.  (some recorded before 2000):
  • Feels like Home by Randy Newman
  • Small Town and Big Dreams by Paul Brandt
  • Who Says You Can't Go Home by Bon Jovi
  • I Love this Town by Bon Jovi
  • Home by Blake Shelton
  • I'm Coming Home by Michael Buble
  • The Long Way Home by Norah Jones 
  • Grandma's Feather Bed by John Denver
  • Our House by Madness

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 1, 2013

Chilliwack* Real Estate Market Conditions and Sales Analysis - September 2013

 The Chilliwack* September  2013 real estate market had 193 residential real estate sales that include single family houses, bare land sales, multifamily properties and strata homes such as apartments and townhouses.

September 2013 was a SUPER month for sales of single family homes in the Chilliwack* real estate board with positive gains against all measures.  It was the first time in many years that the 10-year average monthly sales strength measure for single family detached homes has been exceeded. It was all good news for single family homes.

The strata home, (apartments, townhouses, duplexes) real estate market did not enjoy similar success and in fact showed less strength than a month ago.  Not bad news, but,still definitely well away from a balanced market. 


The real estate analysis of the Chilliwack* market below will focus on the two largest areas: single family houses and strata homes. First, a view of our beautiful valley from the Mount Cheam peak taken this past September.

Mount Cheam View of Fraser Valley©
 

Sales of Single Family Detached Houses

The Chilliwack* real estate board area (CADREB) which includes the outlying communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and parts of the Fraser Cascade Regional District recorded a total of 142 sales of single family houses in September 2013.

The question I always ask about sale figures is, "is this good news, bad or indifferent"? I find it all depends on how you look at the numbers.  In this case however, for a change, it is all good news.

The 142, Chilliwack* real estate board single family detached, sales were more than the August 2013 total of 125 - and usually we would expect fewer sales in September than August.  This is the reversal, perhaps, in part due to people nervous about mortgage interest rate increases.

142 sales is a HUGE improvement over last September, 2012, when only 94 sales of single family detached houses were reported, but then, 2012 was truly a horrible year.
So far, we have an improvement over that previous month and a gigantic move up from a year ago, how about we look at the ten-year average for the month of September to get a proper measure of the market.  September data for the ten year period gives us an expectation that the Chilliwack* single family detached housing market in September should get about 135 sales. We saw 142 sales about 105% of that expected 135. This is SUPER month and the first time since we began our monthly 10 year average calculations

 February operated at about 68% of its 10-year average, March dropped to 60%, April was 77% , May 82%, June is 83% , July at 82%,  August at 87% and now September 105%.  The Chilliwack* real estate market that had been improving steadily since April took a huge leaf forward in September.



The median listing price of a Chilliwack* single family house which dropped from $359,900 in June 2013 to $349,900 in July, increased to $358,000 in August is $364,900 in September.  
 
Inventory levels have dropped in the last month from 960 to 911 Chilliwack* single family houses being available as of this date.
The lowest sale price in September is $13,500 and the highest $825,000; an incredible range, demonstrating that Chilliwack* has flexible housing options for every Buyer.

The average selling price of a Chilliwack* single family detached house in September 2013 was $335,000 up from $333,500 in August 2013.

The median sale price of $336,000 was down sharply from $309,500 a month earlier. As mentioned August seems to suffer a strange dip in prices and we predicted that they would bounce back up this month - which they have.

A list to sale ratio of almost 15.5 % is up from 12.5% a month earlier moving us into a Balanced Market for Chilliwack* single family detached homes.

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.

MONTH Sales/ Average Sale Price/ Days on Market/ Active Listings
Sept 2013 125 $335,000 75 911
Aug 2013 125 $333,500 65 960
Aug 2012 80 $328,000 94 n/a






Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • September 2013 - $336,000
  • August 2013 - $309,500
  • July 2013 - $347,500
  • June 2013 - $349,500
  • May 2013 - $339,500
  • April 2013 - $338,000
  • March 2013 - $364,000
  • February 2013 - $315,000
  • January 2013 - $329,500
  • December 2012 - $349,500
  • 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



Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Homes :
  • October 1, 2013 - $364,900
  • September 3, 2014 - $358,000
  • August 1, 2013 - $349,900
  • July 2, 2013 $359,900
  • June 4, 2013 $365,000
  • May 2, 2013 $369,900
  • April 1, 2013 $359,900
  • March 1, 2013 $369,900
  • February 1, 2013 $359,900
  • January 3, 2013 $369,500
  • 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


2013 - 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
2013 97% 68% 60% 75% 82% 83% 82% 87% 105%
2012 81% 67% 77% 77% 83% 70% 88% 54% 70% 88% 91% 80%
2011 85% 91% 75% 70% 68% 93% 74% 86% 86% 70% 86% 92%
 

Chilliwack* STRATA HOMES for September 2013



Mount Thom view of Promontory©




What a disappointment when I tabulated the sale results  of Chilliwack* Strata Homes, apartments, townhouses that they did not follow the same upward path of Chilliwack* single family houses.  Instead, they dropped off slightly in September, as expected with seasonal change, to 51 sales compared to 57 a month earlier. Compared to the 10-year average sales are repectable but less than hoped for.

The lowest sale was $52,500 and the highest $475,000.


The average selling price of a Chilliwack* Strata Homes in September 2013 was $203,000 down from the August 2013 $212,000 average sale price.

September's median sale price was $212,500 up from $209,900 in August.

The list to sale ratio of 9 % was down from August's 10%; a BUYER's sale advantage in townhouses and apartments in the Chilliwack* real estate market remains.

Sellers should pay attention to their Realtor® recommendations and ask for market comparison updates on a 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
Sept  2013 87 $203,000 87 534
Aug 2013 57 $212,000 94 550
Sept 2012 86 $200,000 86 n/a

Median Sale Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:


  • September 2013 - $212,500
  • August 2013 - $209,900
  • July 2013 - $231,500
  • June 2013 - $211,000
  • May 2013 - $211,000
  • April 2013 - $204,000
  • March 2013 - $229,000
  • February 2013 - $208,000
  • January 2013 - $198,500
  • December 2012 - $200,000
  • 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


Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:


  • October 1, 2013 - $214,900
  • September 3, 2013 - $194,500
  • August 1, 2013 - $212,000
  • July 2, 2013 - $213,900
  • June 4, 2013 - $214,900
  • May 2, 2013 - $210,000
  • April 1, 2013 - $212,500
  • March 1, 2013 - $209,900
  • February 1, 2013 - $217,500
  • January 3, 2012 - $198,000
  • 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


2011 - 2013 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
2013 100% 81% 89% 73% 87% 99% 84% 85% 79%
2012 93% 78% 96% 70% 87% 85% 97% 67% 89% 76% 114% 82%
2011 100% 105% 85% 86% 84% 66% 66% 91%



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.