Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
I think that sometimes we can all feel overwhelmed. There is so much information coming at us from all different directions, that you can feel like a deer standing in the middle of the road looking into the oncoming headlights and not know which way to go. Simplicity can sometimes put the whole picture into a more condensed and easier to implement plan. J. Paul Getty’s “8 Secrets To Wealth” offers some excellent rules to achieve financial success.
It has been 99 years since the official end of the World War I. On November 11, 1918, the world watched as the call for peace echoed throughout Europe where Canadian troops valiantly supported the Allied forces. The poppy symbolizes remembrance and is worn on Nov. 11 in honor of a poem written by John McCare, a Canadian doctor in the military. The poem is titled "In Flanders Fields" and speaks of the poppies that grew in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried. As many of you are aware, Myles and I love real estate. We enjoy helping buyers, sellers and investors with buying their first home, downsizing, selling a rental property, land redevelopment, or simply providing advice to clients about the real estate process in general. If truth be told, I spend most of my time either working in real estate, reading publications about real estate or studying real estate. I truly love how "tangible" real estate is as an investment – especially when you can live in it, touch it, and enjoy it (unlike stocks and bonds). However, on Saturday, November 11th, I would ask that Realtors not hold open houses, and that for the entire hour of 11am on the 11th month of the 11th day of 2017, that we refrain from discussing real estate at all and instead, maintain a 2 minute period of silence to commemorate the lives of those Canadians who have given their lives.
There is actually a term to describe the “condition” that many misinformed home buyers can experience that is deemed a “cognitive bias”. Buyer’s Stockholm Syndrome is also known as post-purchase rationalization according to Wikipedia, and is described as being a cognitive bias “whereby someone who has purchased an expensive product or service overlooks any faults or defects in order to justify their purchase”. This sounds like many people who find and marry their partner after a few match.com emails or a home buyer who is so desperate to own that they fail to ensure that they can afford their purchase or that they perform the necessary inspections on the home to avoid facing thousands of dollars in repairs later on.
The new mortgage regulations have been released that will take effect as of Jan. 1, 2018 and impact new homebuyers and homeowners considering renewing their existing mortgages. All borrowers, including those who have 20% or more and do not require mortgage insurance, will now need to qualify for a mortgage at the posted rate which can be much higher (as high as double the rate they will end up securing). One of the interesting things to emerge is the way in which banking is federally regulated, and yet provincially regulated credit unions may not require home buyers to pass this “stress test”. The Fraser Institute published a report stating that these new rules are in response to the 2008 recession, and may result in higher mortgage rates and lower the ability for a home buyer to access a mortgage. Homeowners who are renewing their mortgage with the same bank as their existing mortgage will not need this qualification to obtain a renewal. However, it is still not clear if a home owner who is wanting to switch lenders when their mortgage comes due for renewal will need to pass this “stress test”.
With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I thought about old traditions that seem to continue each year, and thought about the importance of the pumpkin during the month of October. I find it ironic to think that we consume pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving as a holiday treat, and only a few weeks later, we carve faces and spooky cats into its flesh and stick it outside our home with a light inside. What other fruit or vegetable can you think of that is held indoors in reverence, only to be cast outside as a holiday ornament later that same month? I thought that I would do a little research into the beloved pumpkin and share it with you. Feel free to share these pumpkin tidbits with your friends and family during Thanksgiving dinner!
I thought that it might be of interest to release for our McCullough Team's own “Nanaimo Real Estate Awards” for our area. Have you ever wondered what the biggest house for sale is, or the smallest house for that matter? Our team has combed through the MLS carefully and thought that we would share some of our own “awards” that we have created with you. We hope that you enjoy these “Nanaimo Real Estate Awards” listed below! Maybe one might be perfect as your next home. AWARD FOR “CHEAPEST HOUSE CURRENTLY LISTED FOR SALE”: This 712 sq ft home doesn't get as much attention as the 1.22 acre lot it includes and the listing agent advertises the home as " as is, where is" and is listed for sale for $229,900 at 1559 Hill Avenue.
June Saruwatari, author of “Behind the Clutter” believes that there are many factors behind our rationale to keep those college text books from 1993, the sombrero that you bought in Mexico as a child, or the box of 102 CDs containing music that you already have downloaded onto your Iphone. Saruwatari says that we hang onto objects that we do not need based on hope. The dress that you wore to a friend’s wedding that no longer zips up is kept because you may hope that one day lose some weight and once again fit the dress (even though it may not even be in fashion now). We also can justify holding onto to “things” longer because we tell ourselves that we might one day use them again. The sombrero is a good example of this theory as it was brought to a Mexican-themed party after sitting gathering dust for 25+ years this summer, only to be so uncomfortable that no one at the party would wear it. We stash things in closets, totes, storage rooms and try to ignore that these items may no longer serve a purpose in our lives. We literally are paralyzed by fear or indecisiveness as to what the loss of this item might represent in our life – for no good reason.
Have you ever wondered what it must feel like to be a cat or dog when selling your home? In the mind of a cat, it might go something like this…I awaken to faces peering at me as I try and catch some much deserved rest after protecting the house from any rodents and other cats who are lurking near my house. These weird people talk about “resale value” and “updated” and how small my bedroom seems to them. As a cat, the room is sufficient and they are simply being greedy. They continue to natter back and forth. “Oh…don’t you just love the drapes – they would match our bedroom set”. They try to pet me (I am NOT a mid-morning pet kind of cat) and then try to figure out the background of my parents. Why does it matter if my mom was a manx and my dad was a calico?
“Tiny” and “micro” homes have garnered a lot of media attention, but “micro condos” are becoming a hot new trend as well. Our McCullough Team is marketing a new commercial and residential mix complex on Dufferin Road that offers a wide range of options for home owners and investors. The condos vary in size from a micro unit, 1 bedroom units and a 2 bedroom unit. Many buyers are a bit taken back when introduced to the notion of a 410 square foot condo that offers all of the amenities such as stainless steel appliances and stacking washer/dryer, with less space than a traditional condo. Micro condos are often referred to as “micro apartments”, bachelor condos. For big-city dwellers, smaller living spaces are very common. In San Francisco you can live in a condo as small as 220 square feet. In Vancouver, one developer is marketing a development of “nano-lofts” which will be between 175 and 275 square feet. To those homeowners, 410 square feet would seem extremely spacious! Why a micro-condo? Tiny homes and smaller living spaces seem to be a social movement in which people choose to downsize for a variety of reasons. Some believe that these types of homes create a smaller carbon footprint, while others want the financial freedom of owning a home, but not having a large mortgage to pay each month.
Many of us refer to Labour Day as “the weekend before kids return to school” and this is the case this year for BC families. The tradition of celebrating Labour Day weekend continues as many hotels on the island are already fully booked After Labour Day, trailers and boats are parked back beside houses and lakeside cottages are once again empty. However, most of us do not know the origin of the Labor Day and I thought that I would share it with you.