Monday, June 23, 2014

Making the Smart Retirement Move - Go East, Snowbird!

"Go West, young man" may be fine in the movies but for retirement going east may be the ticket to a rich retirement.  A move from Vancouver & western parts of the Fraser Valley to its eastern sections can be a source of additional funds needed for trips, adventures and day to day living.

Where to live can be a complicated question. At times, it is dependent upon where you're working. Other times it is reliant on a specific community, a set of amenities, or family considerations. If you are planning to make a move into retirement then at least the first concern, working for a living, will fall away but a new one may arise that is financial in nature. Canadians are living longer and longer and so access to ample funds as we age is becoming a greater concern.

One way to find additional monies is to sell your property in Vancouver or the western part of the Fraser Valley and move eastward. What sort of price differential can you expect?  The following chart compares the average prices of a single family house in the three real estate boards that make up Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack Average Single Family Sale Prices (2005-2014)

As you can see there is a growing spread between Vancouver and properties in the Fraser Valley Real Estate and Chilliwack Board areas making a relocation purchase even more attractive.  According to this chart, as of June 17, 2014 the average sale price of a single family house in each board area is:

  • Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver     $1,225,684        Taxes about  $5,600
  • Fraser Valley Real Estate Board                     $535,672         Taxes about $3,100
  • Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board       $344,554        Taxes about $2,500


This means that an average Vancouver single family home owner could sell and pocket almost $900,000 to use for retirement and good times with a purchase in Chilliwack.  The average Fraser Valley Board area single family owner could tuck about $190,000 into the bank.  Not bad money. There is also a significant property tax advantage as you head east.

So what can be bought at these prices? Here are some recent sale examples.

Vancouver Sold $1,220,000 - May 2014 MLS# V1049604 - 6797 BUTLER ST, Vancouver East V5S 3L1


Fraser Valley Sold $532,500 - May 2014 - MLS# F1403554 - 6711 137A ST, Surrey V3W 5E8


Chilliwack Sold  $347,000 - May 2014 - MLS# H1304386 - 45886 FOXRIDGE CR, Chilliwack


The pictures almost speak for themselves. The Chilliwack house was built in 2010 and is situated within a gated community.  What a great place to enjoy retirement!

If you are considering a move, I can put you in touch with a quality Royal LePage agent that specializes in your Vancouver or Fraser Valley neighbourhood.  I will be pleased to be able to personally help you in Chilliwack. Just give me a call at 604-378-9000 or send me an email at smullock@smartt.com

Imagine living here....

 Stephen Mullock
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, June 17, 2014

6th Annual Royal LePage National Garage Sale for Shelter a Huge Success

The numbers are in and by all the accounts our Royal LePage 6th Annual National Garage Sale for Shelter was a huge success.  This event, held on the Mother's Day weekend each year, helps to fund 200 women's shelters and over 30,000 women and children seeking to escape abuse each year.  

By the end of the day I was wishing this chair had not been sold!

Royal LePage, a Canadian owned and operated company, held garage sales in over 115 locations coast to coast raising over $315,000 in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.  Over the course of the 6 years since its' inception, through events like this and other funding raising efforts, we have generated over 2 million dollars.

I took part in my second garage sale this year. It was a busy day for everyone involved, and, while my back was complaining the next day from some awkward lifting, I am planning on volunteering next year as well.  Locally we raised over $4,300 in this our 6th Annual Garage Sale with sale proceeds going to the Shelter Foundation and the Chilliwack  Ann Davis Transition House.  

Our governments can only do so much, so, I am pleased that my company is prepared to fund raise for such a worthy cause.  It makes me proud to say that I am a Royal LePage real estate agent.  

Imagine living here...





Stephen Mullock
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, June 10, 2014

Day Trips from Chilliwack - The Fraser Canyon

Summer is fast approaching and the question of what to do with the kids could involve a day trip or two. A journey up the Fraser Canyon to Yale, the Alexandra Bridge and Hell's Gate is a great way to see our province, learn some history and otherwise amuse oneself.  There are three locations on this day trip but feel free to explore them individually.  All can be easily covered in a day, and, if you leave early enough from Chilliwack (say 10 am), you can be back home before supper.

Yale BC and Black Powder ©



HELL'S GATE
( 90 minutes, 120 km from Chilliwack)

Ever wondered what is beyond Hope?  The answer is Hell's Gate. 

In 1808, British explorer Simon Fraser gave this area it's colourful name.  I would assume that Simon Fraser was pretty sick of the temperamental, wild, raging namesake river and looked on the "gates" as just another lousy hurtle to conquer or die trying.  He said of this narrow passage that " it is a place where no human should venture, for surely these are the gates of Hell." 

Poor Simon had been sent on a journey in the wilderness to find a nice calm river from which the fur traders would be able to send their beaver pelts and furs down to the coast. What he found was a beast of a river - the Fraser.  A river that no boat could go further inland than present day Yale.  Still he named the river after his family's name and today, to boot, we have a major university named after him as well.  Speaking of names, he decided to call this new territory "New Caledonia". The Roman name for Scotland being Caledonia.

We took the aerial tram over the Fraser River, this takes just a few minutes and offers some very views of the canyon and the river.  We were informed that as of this date 170' of water was gushing through the gates. The highest recorded water level is 205' which took place in 1948, a major flooding event for the province.

Across the water is a professional series of buildings offering background on the fisheries, history and exciting adventures that are offered today in the form of white water rafting.  There is also a large souvenir/gift shop and several eateries.  The waffle ice cream cones look great.  We chanced upon some live music as it was the weekend and listened to a beautiful rendition of  Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" by our favourite local band The Earth Men.

Hell's Gate is a good way to ease into the day's adventure as it starts with an aerial ride.  It is the furthest destination so afterwards you are working your way back to the Fraser Valley, all the major driving has been done.




Riding High over the Fraser River©


ALEXANDRA BRIDGE
( 70 minutes from Chilliwack)
(20 minutes from Hell's Gate)

There have been 3 Alexandra bridges, one you will use to cross the Fraser River, another long since destroyed and a pretty little walking bridge built in 1925 that is your next stop.  A 10 minute walk through the forest, over a rail line is all that is needed to get here.  No washrooms so be sure to use the outhouses near the park entrance, or, better yet the one's at Hell's Gate.

The concrete arches and the bow of the metal decks are quite lovely and remind us of a time when more pride was shown in road works.  The large metal embossed circular shields have been removed you'll find one of these at the next stop the Yale museum.

 Meanwhile, this is a great place to have a sandwich, sit down and watch the river flow.


Alexandra Bridge©

Alexandra Bridge©

Stephen Mullock©


YALE, BC
(55 minutes from Chilliwack)
(15 minutes from the Alexandra Bridge)



The Fraser Canyon is a fascinating place with a rich first nation and settler history.  It was along this stretch of water that the Fraser Canyon Wars occurred, with atrocities committed on both sides.  In reaction, the colony of British Columbia is created, (the name New Caledonia was scraped as it was already being used in another part of the world), added protections were given to the First Nation peoples and peace made.

The conflict was fuelled by gold and the adventurers that sought a quick fortune on the banks of the Fraser River and points further north.  The HBC Fort of Yale was soon overrun by prospectors and the population swelled to over 15,000 people, mainly Americans.  Lawless behaviour caused a lot of friction and for a time Yale was known as "the wickedest little settlement in British Columbia" and a "veritable Sodom and Gomorrah".   Hard to imagine when you look at it today.  As to those gold prospectors - the gold rush died out in this area very quickly but the Cariboo Gold Rush extended interest until 1867.   As to the prospectors?   Some became rich but for most, those that made it out alive, it was an adventure to remember and perhaps best forgotten.

Yale offers a number of nice views along the river as well as a Museum and St. John the Divine Anglican Church the one of the oldest remaining churches on the mainland.  A large garage sale takes place along the side of the highway, there you can buy some fresh bannock - a local First Nation bread. - it is like a scone.

We happened to arrive during a strawberry shortcake party at the Museum. So good.  Afterwards, I wandered over to the black powder people who were demonstrating musketry!  Bang! 



Yale BC ©

Home Sweet Tent ©

Yale BC © 
St. John the Divine, Yale BC ©

St. John the Divine Interior ©


This is where your day trip ends.  Just think on this day trip you go past Hope to the Gates of Hell, or Hell's Gate and back - now that is a type of adventure you can brag about.

BE SURE to print out the website ticket discount coupons at the following sites:

Information about the Yale Museum can be found at  http://historicyale.ca/.  
Hell's Gate specific information is at http://www.hellsgateairtram.com/


Alexandra Bridge is free more informations is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Bridge_Provincial_Park



Imagine living here... then call Steve.






Stephen Mullock
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, June 4, 2014

Garrison Crossing Chilliwack Hopscotch - Making the Move

©Stephen Mullock


I was here to deliver some happy news and the documents of their home's sale.  I walked past a chalked outline of a hopscotch course drawn on the sidewalk and was welcomed inside.  The H family was in the middle of a weekend breakfast party and Dad (amended to R and her friend under the watchful eye of Mom) had just baked some fresh scones.  Is there anything better than the smell of fresh baking in a kitchen?  Needless to say I was pleased when I was offered a scone and then a second.  I shouldn't....homemade blackberry jam?  Yes please.....

I looked around at their two kids and a sleepover pal and thought how resilient children are about moving.  Much better than adults I think. I had grown up on this the former CFB Chilliwack, now called Garrison Crossing, and had faced a swirl of new friends and families as "transfers" "hellos and good-byes" were just part of military life. Sure there was always the sadness of farewell, but there was also the excitement of meeting a new buddy at school or at some team sport.  Sometimes, your next best friend just moves in next door.

In hopscotch, you have to hop forward on one foot and that seems hard at first, but, keep your balance, rest when needed, be brave, have faith and focus on the next move, home is just up ahead and never far away.

START

Hop

Hop

Hop        Hop

Hop

Hop        Hop

Hop

HOME


Imagine living here....then call Steve Mullock


Stephen Mullock
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, June 2, 2014

Chilliwack* Real Estate Review and Analysis May 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 184 sales of single family houses and 93 sales of strata homes such as townhouses, and apartments in May 2014. A total of 277 residential properties representing a 17% increase in sales volume over April.  Very nice, since April was a very good month as well for the sale of Chilliwack* homes.  

So far, the first 5 months of 2014 have been the best real estate market conditions we have seen in some time, and, indications are that this trend will last for some time.


This report divides Chilliwack* residential properties into two classifications; single family detached and strata.  There is often a significant difference in market vigour between the two classifications and for this reason I like to view them separately.


Stephen Mullock sells Garrison Crossing




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 184 sales of single family houses in May 2014.

Agassiz Rancher $329,900 click picture for more details
The 184, Chilliwack* real estate board single family detached, sales were more than the April 2014 total of 151 - but in part this reflects a seasonal effect. 
  
A list to sale ratio of 19.6% is up from 17% a month earlier indicating a balanced competitive market for Chilliwack* single family detached homes.

Please remember to use the services of 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
May 2014184$358,00053970
Apr 2014151$346,00059907
May 2013151$337,00062n/a




Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • May 2014 - $349,000
  • April 2014 - $341,500
  • March 2014 - $347,500
  • 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:
    • June 2, 2014 - $359,900
    • May 2, 2014 - $364,900
    • April 8, 2014 - $359,900
    • 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


      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%82%95%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 93 sales of strata homes (apartments, townhouses) in May 2014.


      Townhouses in Garrison Crossing



      The 93, Chilliwack* real estate board strata sales were comparable in strength to the April 2014 total of 86.  93 sales beat the 89 sales that would usually be expected for May based on a 10-year average.
        
      A list to sale ratio of 18% indicates that the market is still moving from a Buyer's to a Balanced market for Chilliwack* strata homes. 

      Once again, please remember to use the services of 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
      May  2014 93$208,00078537
      Apr  2014 86$218,00067512
      May 2013 76$211,00084n/a


      Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:
      • May 2014 - $220,500
      • April 2014 - $220,500
      • March 2014 - $243,000
      • 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



        Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:
        • June 2, 2014 - $219,900
        • May 2, 2014 - $214,900
        • April 8, 2014 - $219,000
        • 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


        2011 - 2013 Strata Market Strength

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

        MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
        201490%66%72%106%105%






        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 presented 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 are 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
        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.