Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
There are simply no words to aptly describe the shock and grief that I felt this past week as hateful demonstrations and attacks on innocent civilians throughout the world seemed to fill the news. I watched and listened to a president of a country equate racists who spewed hateful slogans while carrying torches and promising violence, to people who stood up against hate and preached tolerance. There are simply no words to explain how someone could possibly put blame onto "both sides". Because of the violent action of one of theses hatemongers, a young woman died and several other innocent people were seriously injured.
TOMORROW! Starlight Movie Night 2! Come watch a FREE outdoor playing of Disney's movie "Moana" tomorrow night under the meteor shower at Country Club parking lot. We are anticipating one of the brightest meteor showers ever seen that will be happening while we project Moana onto a 44' tall movie screen. Our McCullough Team is proud to be one of the sponsors for this event being hosted by Oceanvale Mortgage & Finance. Come early for the live entertainment (entry begins at 6:30PM) as we will be having "The Eggmen" playing and there will be lots of fun activities. Our McCullough Team will be offering FREE cotton candy for all of the kids as we are one of many proud sponsors of this event! We will have complimentary Pepsi products, freezies, popcorn, and some BBQ snacks for the kids prepared by Montana’s Cookhouse! Entry is FREE and starts at 6:30pm with the movie beginning at dusk – approximately 9:00pm this year. Every attendee gets a raffle ticket and we will be giving away prizes throughout the evening before the show starts.
I recently read an article on some other social media outlets what the worst jobs people have ever had. When I began asking friends and family what their horrible previous jobs have been, the responses were overwhelming and I could not resist sharing them with you. I truly love assisting clients with their real estate needs and am passionate about what I do, so being a realtor has never been something that I woke up regretting my choice of career or thought of as a “job”. However, some of the stories that were personally shared with me show that many people have not felt this way once or twice in their lifetime.
Did you like my headline? If you watch the news, you are likely inundated with so many mixed messages about the real estate market. One day, the news reports that foreign ownership is the villain behind a busier real estate market. The next day, a news headline announces that it is low interest rates and first time home buyers who are responsible for this seemingly out of control market. How do you make sense of such fear-filled news reports and filter out the sensationalized headlines in an effort to be an informed home seller or buyer? There are 5 critical steps in order to achieve a positive real estate result.
Current Vancouver MLS stats indicate an average house price of $1,310,071 as of June 2017, so it may be a good time to stop and reflect on our own spending behavior with the economy, Canadian dollar and real estate seemingly sending mixed messages to all of us. Nanaimo has seen a rise in real estate prices although our average price for a residential home is still below $500k (based on the average sales for the past 12 months), while Victoria has begun to experience the push and pull effect of anxious buyers resulting in the average sale price rising to $829,600 in June, compared with $721,000 last year. It will be interesting to see if this type of market is sustainable, but I would caution young buyers to really consider what they can afford to buy, especially when interest rates rising, and the prospect of 25 years (or more) of borrowing that they take on when purchasing a home.
Well…many of us will celebrate the Canada Day festivities tomorrow, and I thought that I would share with you a few things that are totally reflective of our Canadian awesomeness that are not found anywhere else in the world typically. Did you know that the Crispy Crunch chocolate bar is only available in Canada? The colorful chewy "Swedish Fish" gummies are actually made in Ontario (even though their branding seems to suggest that they travel from Europe). Give thanks to the Hershey's milk chocolate bar that was launched in 2013 that was milkier and creamier than the American version. Apparently, Canadians prefer a more simple and refined chocolate than our counterparts in the US! Along with food items like the world-famous Nanaimo bar, poutine and maple syrup, Canada seems to offer a wide variety of unique treats only enjoyed in a country that also boasts close to 60% of ALL polar bears in the world!
I hope that you enjoy this week’s article which I dedicate to Father’s Day next Sunday about what the toughest SOB taught me about real life, and in turn, anything you do. “Muscles McCullough” as he was infamously known in our working class neighbourhood of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was not a tall man, maybe 6 ft, was head of the boxing club and school gymnastics and probably not the guy you would want to fight. He also happened to be my dad. He would walk on his hands for MILES down the street to school to prove how tough he was, and to build muscles that he used for boxing and gymnastics. Of this he was extremely proud.
This week as I was driving to an appointment with a client, I heard on the radio that it was possible to stop an argument in its tracks by using one simple word. Can you guess what word it is? According to Hal Runkel, a marriage and family therapist, couples who use the word "ouch" can communicate to the other person that whatever was said has hurt you and that you are showing your vulnerability. I thought about how this new piece of knowledge might assist clients with their real estate transactions and am still mulling over this. However, I have had home sellers in the past say just that - "ouch" when they received a lowball offer, or a time when a buyer received a counter offer much higher than what they were anticipating. We likely use this word more often than we realize. I honestly thought the word "ouch" was followed by a strong of swear words when you hit your head getting out of the shower, or when you stub your toe. I did not understand until this week how much power was in 4 little letters. According to psychologist John Gottman, HOW a couple argues is likely the biggest predictor in whether or not they will stay together. If disagreements are more to do with criticisms than actual complaints, Gottman believed that the relationship would not last. This is because you are generalizing about the person's overall character rather than about a specific action. Telling someone they are a lazy slob is a criticism, while saying that you are disappointed that they forgot to pick up milk on the way home from work is more of a complaint.
It’s funny how sometimes you can be driving in your car and suddenly notice a lemonade stand that seems to catch us a little off-guard. Maybe it is the homemade sign advertising the selection of drinks, or perhaps it is the plastic table with resin chairs complete with an umbrella that grabs our attention. I can still recall driving through town and coming across the time-honored tradition of the child’s lemonade stand. I felt compelled to stop and pulled over to the curb for a reason I could not explain. There were no children sitting in the chairs guiding customers to their stand when I parked, and it seemed that the lemonade stand had set business hours. Suddenly, two young children came bounding out of their front door excited to greet what was likely their very first customer of the day. Did I mention that it was 10am when I stopped to check out the lemonade stand?
Last week, Christie's International Real Estate released a report stating that Toronto and Victoria are now the world's "hottest" markets for real estate - both for home ownership and investors. In fact, luxury home sales in Canada increased by 44% compared to the UK which has seen a 67% decrease in luxury home sales. Canada's stable political climate and economy seems to be appealing to many buyers from other countries who are seeing unrest and major changes to the economies. Other features that appeal to foreign buyers include quality education, health care and human rights records. In April, Victoria did consider implementing a foreign non-resident buyer tax to their real estate transactions, although Victoria's city council voted the motion down at a meeting. Many real estate professionals in Victoria advise that it is NOT foreign buyers who are responsible for the increase in housing prices, but rather a shortage of available inventory. Most out of town buyers come from Vancouver or other parts of the BC mainland. A lack of homes available on the market has driven competition among buyers and resulted in multiple offers and aggressive bids (sometimes that are subject-free which I NEVER suggest to our clients). What about the Nanaimo market? Housing prices have increased from an average $380,000 in May 2015 to just over $470,000 as of April 2017. Thankfully, our real estate prices have not become as high as Victoria or Vancouver, and with low interest rates, home ownership is remaining more affordable for many. Rentals are extremely difficult to find presently, and tenants have seen skyrocketing rent prices in Nanaimo and area which means that being a home buyer or tenant it is difficult to find a place to live.