Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coast, Cascade or Rocky Mountain Range? - Confused?

I realized one Fall day during an English class at UBC that being ignorant about your geography can be the source of amusement for others - especially when it comes to mountain ranges.  Not, that they were laughing at me, albeit, I mix up facts with fantasy often enough.

As I recall, we were reading "Under The Volcano" by Malcolm Lowry, a famous writer, who lived for a time in Vancouver, or as he wrote, under the shadows of the Rockies.

That of course would need to be an awfully tall shadow as the Rocky mountains are hundreds of miles away.  Still the lesson stuck with me, get to know your geography.  What do you call those mountains north of Vancouver?

I admit, I have been confused by the Coast and the Cascade Mountain Ranges.  The eastern end of the Fraser Valley and the communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison are surrounded by mountains.

Which ones are the Coast and which one are the Cascade mountains?

Why aren't they all called the same thing? It turns out that these ranges are named according to where and when they were created.  Some are the result of volcanic eruptions.  Others form by plate tectonics, continental drift and piece of islands latching onto one another.The Cascade mountains are much younger than the Coast mountains.


According to an excellent source pdf document by Dr. John E. Armstrong called Vancouver Geology (Cordilleran Section Geological Association of Canada 1990) The map below shows the mountain range divisions.



It is all Coastal mountains if you are looking north from either Vancouver or the Fraser.  Notable peaks from Vancouver include the "Lions" and Mount Seymour. As you travel eastward from Vancouver through the Fraser Valley and all the way to Hope B.C. they are north, from there the course changes. Along the Fraser Canyon along the Fraser river up to Lytton, they are to the west.  The Coast Mountain range is very long reaching all the way up into southeastern Yukon Territory and the Alaska Panhandle.

Coast Mountains north of Vancouver BC ©


The Cascade Mountains are south of the Fraser Valley and then an arm extends up the Fraser Canyon on its east side.  Notable peaks include "Mt. Cheam" and "Mount Baker".  The range runs from northern California through Oregon and Washington and into our piece here in British Columbia.

The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, with volcanos such as Mount Baker, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens (erupted 2005)


Cascade Mountains ©



There are plenty of interesting things to learn from our beautiful mountains and volcanos, they grace our skylines and from them we witness the seasons on their wild and still largely undeveloped slopes.  It seems appropriate that we should know their names.


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.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Four Essential Apps for buying Canadian Real Estate - the What, Where, When and How


If you are looking to buy a Canadian house, apartment, acreage or townhouse a few well chosen apps will help you with the task.

This post looks at apps ideally selected to answer the What, Where, When and How of a real estate property purchase.

These choices are as follows:

1.  WHAT - Royal LePage Canada Real Estate Listings -  FREE
2.  WHERE - Google Maps - FREE
3.  WHEN - Buy or Rent? - FREE
4.  HOW -  The CMHC Mobile Kit - FREE


I should mention, as great as these Apple apps are, nothing, beats the services of a local, knowledgeable, seasoned real estate agent. That may seem a little self serving as I am a licensed and working real estate agent in British Columbia but I believe it too be true.

In particular, buyers should look for real estate agents that are bound to a code of conduct either through the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia or as a Realtor ©. 

Let's have some fun - it's app time.





WHAT - Royal LePage Canada Real Estate Listings -  FREE



It is fun looking for a place to buy and this job has been getting easier and easier thanks to Canada's Royal LePage.   You could proceed right to the App Store but I would suggest a visit to Royal LePage  to check out the many benefits of this app.


The new Royal LePage iPhone/iPad app will help you find "what" you are looking for.  This app works coast - to - coast just like the 15,000 real estate agent in Royal LePage.  Does that mean this app will only show Royal LePage listings?  No.  This beauty provides pictures and information on real estate properties from all multiple listing services country wide.





WHERE - Google Maps - FREE

If you are looking to drive by by a property you need to know where it is.  Here the obvious and best choice is Google maps.  It will even give you driving instructions.  The map below shows the Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison communities that I am most actively working in - contact me for these areas.







WHEN - Buy or Rent? - FREE

There are a lot of good reasons for buying real estate that are not financial in nature. Nor should they be. Most material goods are bought not expecting a return but real estate unique in that it is a tangible asset that can appreciate in value with time.  (My recommendation is that most buyers should purchase real estate only if they have steady incomes and plan to be in that house for at least 5 years.)  

I found this great app that looks at the Buy or Rent decision called "Buy or Rent?" by AppEngineers Inc.

Couple of things to keep in mind when you use this fairly sophisticated app, if you are buying a property to be your principal Canadian residence:

             A. Capital Gains will not apply on a principal residence, except in special                            circumstances - check with your accountant to be sure
             B. Rents and Housing Prices vary from area to area. 

The Royal LePage tool will certainly help you determine the costs of buying a home but rents will have to be determined elsewhere. I would suggest you scour the local newspaper rental ads or look on Craigslist.







HOW - The CMHC Mobile Kit - FREE

Money, money, money.... if you need a mortgage most likely the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation will be involved with their insurance products.  While their app is designed with the mortgage broker in mind it offers plenty of content and calculators for buyers of real estate.  With these calculators you can calculate how much you can afford and what that cost will be.  Going through this exercise you will need to know what the current mortgage rates are. Such rates are competitive and a good mortgage broker can help find you a great deal.




TIPS:  1.  Mortgage terms can be confusing, TD Canada Trust has an excellent glossary of mortgage lingo online.

If you have an app to suggest drop me a line.


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, March 18, 2014

Finding Vintage


Like a lot of fathers I have had the good fortune of receiving many wonderful homemade birthday cards, and even though my daughters are grown and now young ladies, this year was not an exception.

My "girls" have always produced amazing cards and I marvel at their creativity.  The cards get proudly displayed on the dining room sideboard, then after a time, they get tucked into a special drawer with my other art treasures.



This year a beautiful pop-up card depicting a Polaroid instant camera was made. The outside of the card had these words "You're Not Old" and inside "You're Vintage". From the picture tray at the bottom of the pop-up, a photograph could be pulled out. Along with "Happy
Birthday" wishes was an image of a much younger me. On the back, "You've developed quite nicely! Lots of love".  Lovely, the pop-up camera stirred something inside of me.

I do remember those Polaroid Cameras and actually used one when I was appraising real estate in the 1980s. Then, these cameras provided the quick turn around in film processing that the appraisal field demanded. The photographs would be glued to the last page of the report for quick reference by the mortgage broker. On chilly days, you would take the picture and hold it against your chest so that the heat might help with the development process.

Each picture was a one of a kind, there was no negative, no digital file from which a copy could be made. They developed right there in front of your eyes like magic...like children.

Vintage.






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, March 3, 2014

Chilliwack* Real Estate Review and Analysis February 2014


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 108 sales of single family houses and 46 sales of strata homes such as townhouses, and apartments in February 2014. A total of 154 residential properties.  There was a nice uptick in the sale of single family homes in part brought on by pending changes in CMHC lending requirements but the fine weather we experienced also made people more mobile.  The strata market continued on course but was a little weaker than anticipated, I expect the March Chilliwack strata home numbers to be up as there is often a lag with such sales.


Moment for area appreciation:

Chilliwack, February Light © Stephen Mullock


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 108 sales of single family houses in February  2014.

The 108, Chilliwack* real estate board single family detached, sales were more than the January 2014 total of 73 - but traditionally, we expect fewer sales in January. I had noticed the last week in January showing a large increase in real estate inquiry and this continued into February.
  
A list to sale ratio of 14 % is up from 10% a month earlier indicating a competitive balanced market 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.

MONTHSales/Average Sale Price/Days on Market/Active Listings
Feb  2014104$333,00074768
Jan 201473$344,00096747
Feb 201377$359,00068n/a




Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • February 2014 - $339,000
  • January 2014 - $348,000
  • December 2013 - $334,500
  • November  2013 - $334,000
  • October 2013 - $321,000
  • 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

       
    Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Homes:
    • March 3, 2014 - $354,900
    • February 1, 2014 - $349,900
    • December 3, 2013 - $359,900
    • November 1, 2013 - $359,000
    • 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


      2013 - 2011 Market Strength for Chilliwack* Single Family Houses

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

      MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
      201494%100%









      201397%68%60%75%82%83%82%87%105%79%83%80%
      201281%67%77%77%83%70%88%54%70%88%91%80%
      201185%91%75%70%68%93%74%86%86%70%86%92%



      Sales of Strata Homes (Apartments, Townhouses etc.)

      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 46 sales of strata homes (apartments, townhouses) in February 2014.

      The 46, Chilliwack* real estate board strata sales were similar to the January 2014 total of 42 but, was less than the 70 sales that would usually be expected.
        
      A list to sale ratio of 11% indicates a Buyer's Market for Chilliwack* strata homes.

      Once again, 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.


      
      MONTHSales/Average Sale Price/Days on Market/Active Listings
      Feb  2014 46$230,00078442
      Jan  2014 42$222,00088404
      Feb  2013 56$208,00078n/a


      Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:
      • February 2014 - $239,000
      • January 2014 - $216,000
      • December 2013 - $232,500
      • November 2013 - $202,000
      • October 2013 - $199,500
      • 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



        Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:
        • March 3, 2014 - $219,900
        • February 1, 2014 - $219,900
        • January 2, 2014 - $212,500
        • December 3, 2013 - $214,900
        • November 1, 2013 - $214,900
        • 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


        2011 - 2013 Strata Market Strength

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

        MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
        201490%66%









        2013100%81%89%73%87%99%84%85%79%108%68%90%
        201293%78%96%70%87%85%97%67%89%76%114%82%
        2011100%105%85%86%84%66%66%91%


        The information contained in this post has been prepared by the author Stephen Mullock, using information from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board.  The information has been drawn from sources deemed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.

        In providing this information, neither Stephen Mullock nor the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board assumes any responsibility or liability.

        Copyright © 2014 Stephen Mullock. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission.


        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.