Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
It is difficult to conceive of a world without the internet, but in 2005, slow and cumbersome dial-up internet was a reality for most North Americans. Newly constructed homes included additional plugs for technology and the home served as a centre for family gatherings and activities. Larger homes included separate offices, grand foyers intended to impress visitors, formal dining room, and games room. As technology evolved, high-speed internet made dial-up obsolete, and individuals could access information 24/7 on their Smart Phones - including social media which was in its infancy in 2005. One's ability to connect immediately with others eliminated the need for formal spaces within a home, as friends could send a quick text or post a note of encouragement on a friend's social media feed instead of "just stopping by".
I see the beauty in my city. I see the struggle of a downtown core that is in the process of gentrification, as more people return to live, shop and eat in small independent stores and restaurants. I recognize the disheartened faces of those suffering from addiction and health issues. I cannot close my eyes to the reality that my city is changing, redefining itself and that the process is not always painless. However, I see the heart of the city, like so many others, and appreciate the natural beauty and opportunity that exists in this spectacular area of the world. With new developments poised to define our city's neighbourhoods, and a strong desire to preserve the integrity of our Old City heritage homes, Nanaimo is melding the best of our past with the best of what is yet to come.
Have you ever wondered how come there are so many odd and wacky street names in Nanaimo? Many people say that it was Frank Ney himself who chose some of the more colorful street names. Streets such as Bergen-Op-Zoom, Twiggly Wiggly, and Dingle Bingle are certainly not common streets that you might find elsewhere. In Nanaimo, Bergen-op-zoom is in a subdivision with names such as Amsterdam, Tulip and Arnhem Terrace. Frank Ney served in the RAF and RCAF as a pilot during World War II. The naming of those streets was in memory of the Canadian involvement in Holland during the war. Jingle Pot was the name of a mine in that same area during the early days in Nanaimo. Panorama View Drive was given the name as the street offered panoramic ocean and city views at that time.
As the legalization of marijuana continues to move forward in Canada, it is important to consider the implications for real estate in Nanaimo and throughout Canada. How will property values be impacted by "pot shops" in a neighbourhood? Will landlords be able to prohibit the use of marijuana in their properties? What other changes will potentially impact homeowners and tenants? According to a U.S. study that included professors from Wisconsin, Georgia and California, home prices in Colorado actually increased by 8 percent in 2014 - the same year the state legalized marijuana. John Andrew, a real estate professor at Queen's University, feels that legal cannabis stores may drive more traffic to nearby retailers and boost interest in the surrounding neighbourhoods. However, it is not prudent to align the rising home prices in Colorado simply because of the legalization of cannabis, given that most real estate markets in North America have seen similar housing prices increase.
With BC Family Day taking place this Monday, February 11th, I thought that you might enjoy sharing with your family some interesting facts about real estate. I must admit, that I was surprised to learn a few new things, and hope that you enjoy becoming "enlightened". If nothing else, hopefully one fact will appear on Jeopardy and you will astound your friends and family!
I couldn't help myself. When I saw the ads for the next "50 Shades of Grey" movie, I knew I had to write a newsletter about it - even if it pertains to real estate. An article in the Guardian publication called the color grey a controversial color and labeled it “the drabbest color in the palette”. Karen Haller, an interior designer, commented that the color grey “draws no attention to itself, it keeps its distance, remaining separate”. In fact, wearing grey clothing is often seen as the color to wear when you DON’T want to be seen. This may be why the color grey is often worn to funerals as an alternative to wearing black. It is viewed as “cloaking the personality” and being very serious in nature. Dark grey walls can cause a room to look smaller than they are, and neutral colors that are warm create an inviting and spacious ambiance for a home buyer. For this reason, light grey is quickly becoming a popular neutral color since it looks good with almost any color. In color psychology, grey can represent peace and balance, and Christian Dior once said that “tones of grey, pale turquoise and pink will prevail”.
Recently, I listened to a fascinating Ted Talks segment and the discussion was whether or not our English language is to blame for why North Americans save less money on average than other countries such as China. The English language includes a past, present and future tense in how we speak. The example that the interviewer gave was the concept of rain. We commonly say “it will rain”, “it’s raining” or “it rained” depending on the timeframe of the event. Interestingly, the Chinese language refers to both present and future events in much the same way. In Chinese, one would say (loosely translated) “now it rain” (present), “tomorrow it rain (future) and “yesterday it rain” (past tense).
Assessed value is calculated by a number of factors including age, size, types of construction materials and lot size and sale prices for properties up to July 1, 2017. Sales that take place after this day that same year are not calculated in the assessment. Once this has been determined, property taxes are charged to the owner based upon a set percentage rate. Simply put, the assessed value of your home determines tax value. Market value is the price that your home will likely sell for within a specific time frame that is reasonable. It is calculated by the current average sale and list prices of similar homes in that neighborhood and are established with the methodology of what a typical buyer would pay for your home. The market value means what an average buyer will pay, not a specific buyer who is willing to pay more simply because they have fallen in love with it and want to ensure they are able to purchase it. We do see this occur with unique style homes, or sometimes homes that offer features such as an in-ground pool (which many buyers do not want), detached shop, and other amenities. Without the sage advice of a real estate professional, it can be difficult to determine the market value of a home as it can be challenging to determine a value of a similar home with a view compared to one that backs onto parkland on the same street.
As we settle down with our family this holiday season, I wanted to share with you a cautionary Christmas tale that recently happened which is too funny not to share. My wife, Johanna, and i recently gave ourselves an early Christmas present and traveled to Costa Rica, a county we have visited many time before. As I relaxed beside the pool, basking in the warmth of the sun and listening to Christmas carols on my headphones, I suddenly realized that my flesh was being torn apart. My brain froze and I thought about the end of the world scenario, a possible Zombie outbreak, or even a violent burglar! As my eyes quickly opened, my shock turned to horror as a 4 foot iguana chomped his sharp, dinosaur-like teeth into my arm. Blood was everywhere and I was under attack! I jumped up from my seat and grabbed a weapon, as my primitive caveman brain directed me to fight to the death to protect my pool and my wife. Unfortunately, when I grabbed the pool net, I realized that it was too small to capture this descendant of a T-Rex. This wild beast jumped over the cement wall and I walked briskly back inside the home, waiting for my mortal enemy to return. Within minutes, I caught sight of this inglorious reptile attacking my bright orange frozen beer mug with renewed energy.
the numerous elves that work so hard to build toys for children, stables (for the reindeer, of course), and a gourmet kitchen to ensure that all of those cookies and hot chocolate are made to keep Santa in “Christmas shape” for the holidays? Well, if you look at some of the listings in the North Pole (referred to in MLS as Fairbanks, Alaska), it seems that Santa has been smart to set up his Christmas base in an area of reasonably priced homes and lots.