Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Preparing Your Home for the Fall Real Estate Market


What sort of preparation should be done around the house to get it ready for an autumn real estate market?




1.  Curb Appeal 

First impressions are crucial. Many buyers will drive by your house first before calling their real estate agent to arrange an appointment.  If they see an unkempt, poorly cared for property they just might keep driving.




  • House numbers have to be easy to be see from the street.
  • Check your exterior light fixtures if they are rusting or looking dated have them replaced.
  • Turn on lights for evening and late in the day showings.
  • The placement of a seasonal potted plant like a huge chrysanthemum near the front entry makes the right statement.
  • The front entry door and railing should be freshly painted or in good repair.
  • Buy a new door mat.
  • The driveway should be free of debris and extra vehicles that you might own.
  • Raking up leaves will ensure that your property does not appear neglected.  Grass needs oxygen and sunlight for proper growth. Leaf removal will also ensure that garden pests will not find refuge in the decaying plant materials affecting the health of the next year's yard. 
  • The application of a fall fertilizer rich in nitrogen will help your yard recover from summer's stress and green it up nicely for presentation.
  • Put small leaves you've raked to work by placing them into a compost box or directly into garden beds.
  • While you are out in the yard get your hedges in shape and prune back dead and diseased branches
2.  Interior 

Once through the main entry this is what they should see:



  • All interior lights on - spend the money on the electricity a dark, gloomy house impresses no one.
  • Avoid bulbs with a cool colour spectrum - you want your house to glow.
  • Clean and neat
  • Windows shades up and curtains pulled back to maximize natural light.  
    • Poor views are still best shielded from sight.
  • On chilly days, natural gas fireplaces should be on.  As the buyer moves into this room, they will enjoy that extra warmth and the benefits of the fireplace will be demonstrated.
  • Wood Fireplaces can be decorated either with candles or logs.  
    • I do not wish to recommend that wood fires be left unattended.  
    • Do not use scented candles many people have allergies
  • Fresh baking smells from the kitchen can be made in a number of ways.  A drop or two of vanilla extract on a stove burner is one of the easiest ways to achieve this, but, real baking can not be beat.
  • Bathrooms
    • Invest in some big fluffy towels and use them as a prop
    • A new shower curtain is also a cheap upgrade
    • Keep toilet lids down
    • Make sure that all the bulbs in the light fixture are working and or proper wattage

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Spring communities of the Fraser Valley.  Mountains surrounding our lovely valley turn to majestic colour as the days get shorter and temperatures drop.

Imagine living here.....  


©Stephen Mullock 2014



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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


OPEN HOUSE
Saturday, September, 20th
1- 4 p.m.
1536 Canterbury Drive, Agassiz B.C.




Close to a community park and in a quiet section of the town of Agassiz this 3 bedroom house is the right combination of space and location for the discerning buyer. Have a look this Saturday!


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, September 9, 2014

Eaton Lake, B.C. Hike


This Sunday, I hiked up to Eaton lake with 4 of my hiking buddies and once again was struck by the beauty of this lake and our province of British Columbia.  I think it very fortunate that this is a day trip for the people of the Fraser Valley. One of the many advantages of living here.

The blues& greens of Eaton Lake © Stephen Mullock

Easy to reach simply leave Highway 1 at exit #168 and take Silver Skagit Road 16+ km to the Eaton Creek Recreation Site sign on the left side of the road. Turn here to park, the trail head is about 300m away.

This hike has quite a steep grade - you climb 915 m over a 6km distance so this is a hike not suited to everyone.  To put it in some sort of perspective the Empire State Building in New York is 443m in height - so twice that height. 

You will also want to watch out for wet days there are a couple of "log" bridges that can be fairly slick after a rain.  

There are a number of beautiful waterfalls on Eaton Creek, one about a third of the way up which is worth a look. Even in September, the water was thundering down Eaton Creek. Take a few minutes to enjoy the view and catch your breath.

Eaton Creek and Devil Club ©


The environment changes quite a bit with elevation.  Douglas Fir and Cedars everywhere of course, but, it starts with a forest surrounded by moss beds, then woods with ferns and finally berried plants and trees.  There are of course all sorts of exotic mushrooms and fungus to admire as well.

Strange Forest Growth ©

The trail switches back and forth and picking your footsteps is essential as the trail has a lot of tree roots crossing it.  About half way up you cross a bridge and there is a little bench beside a mountain stream.  Take another break and snap a picture or two.

The trail is steep for a while after this until you get into a pond and boulder section and a pond.  There is another log jam to cross and some balance is needed but it is easy enough.

Crossing the log jam ©

After this point, the hiking is easy and the lake is not far away. We were lucky in that both blueberries and huckleberries were ripe and plentiful. Yum.

Wild Blueberries soon to be picked ©

The lake provides some primitive campsites and we could see trout swimming in it. There are generally not many people around - no one in fact while we were there.  On a good day, the whiskey jacks will eat from your hand - so bring a few nuts for them.  We were out of luck this time but last year I feed some.

Feeling alright © Stephen Mullock


A beautiful day at Eaton Lake.

Imagine living here....

For more of my hiking experiences - type "hiking" into the "Search this blog" on the left side.

Helpful Links with Maps and Directions:

Club Tread.com - Eaton Lake
Trail Peak.com   - Eaton Lake 



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, September 2, 2014

Chilliwack* Real Estate Sales Review and Analysis August 2014


2014 continues to be a good year for the sale and purchase of real estate in the Chilliwack Real Estate Board.  The sale of single family houses remained strong and the strata market returned to form this month after some slippage in the sale of strata homes in July.  Prices are for the most part are unchanged this year and still very competitive.  Low mortgage rates and a recovery in the economy are the driving forces behind the strength in the market. Inventory levels are currently dropping due to demand and seasonal factors. 

Some of the best buys can be found in the Agassiz community a 20 minute drive from Chilliwack.

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 163 sales of single family houses and 65 sales of strata homes such as townhouses, and apartments in July 2014.  

So far, the first 8 months of 2014 have been the best real estate market conditions we have seen in since 2007, and, indications are that this trend will continue.

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.


Click Picture for Detail Sheet

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 163 sales of single family houses in August 2014. This was down a little from the July total of 166 sales of Chilliwack single family homes but we anticipate fewer sales in August compared to July.  Based on a 10-year average for August we should expect about 140 sales - so it was well above the "norm".
  
A list to sale ratio of 16.7% is down from the 19.4% of two months ago but it is still indicating that there is 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
Aug 2014163$334,00063956
Jul 2014166$358,00061998
Aug 2013124$330,00066n/a




As "average sale prices" can be impacted in a disproportionate manner by the sale of high-end properties the "median" is often considered a better measure of where values are, as follows:  


Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • August 2014 - $339,500
  • July 2014 - $346,000
  • June 2014 - $337,500
  • 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:
    • September 2, 2014 - $358,500
    • August 1, 2014 - $359,900
    • July 1, 2014 - $359,900
    • 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
      2014 - %94%1008295100110104116



      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.)


      Harrison 3 bedroom Beach Front Condo


      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 65 sales of strata homes (apartments, townhouses) in August 2014.

      The 65, Chilliwack* real estate board strata sales were very similar to July's total when 69 sales were recorded. Based on a 10-year average for August we should expect about 67 sales.
        
      A list to sale ratio of 12.9% indicates that the market remains in Balanced territory calming fears that it was moving into a Seller's 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
      Aug  2014 65$231,00084489
      Jul  2014 69$226,00063522
      Aug  2013 57$212,00094n/a


      Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes
      • August 2014 - $234,500
      • July 2014 - $234,000
      • June 2014 - $219,500
      • 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:
        • September 2, 2014 - $216,900
        • Aug 1, 2014 - $214,900
        • July 1, 2014 - $219,000
        • 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
        2014 - %90%66721061051348697



        2013100%81%89%73%87%99%84%85%79%10868%90%
        201293%78%96%70%87%85%97%67%89%76%11482%
        2011100%10585%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.