Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
Interesting trends are emerging in real estate and millenials are definitely having an impact. There is a trend towards smaller homes on smaller lots. According to one study, environmentally sensitive home construction is considered important, and 75% of potential buyers want to live in a walk-able community. There is a demand for urban settings and baby boomers are beginning to realize that urban living allows for ease of commute, and amenities are usually within a short walk or drive. It is expected that most suburbs in larger cities will become urbanized within the next 10-15 years.
Recently, I was shocked to see palatial "shopping mall-sized" homes on blueberry farms and agriculturally zoned properties in Surrey and Richmond (many still under construction). Some of these residences were in excess of 20,000 square feet! The Globe and Mail investigated mega-mansions on farm land in January and discovered the lucrative tax breaks that were being taken advantage of which had been intended to assist those who actually farmed on their property. Metro Vancouver now estimates that 50% of its agricultural land is no longer being farmed. Some of these residences were in excess of 20,000 square feet! Agricultural land in Vancouver has become more desirable for overseas investors as it is not subject to the 15% real estate foreign buyer tax. A few short years ago, it seemed that the average size of a North American house was increasing to almost supersized proportions. Aptly, these new gigantic spec homes were dubbed "McMansions" or mega-mansions and averaged 5,000 or more square feet. As we watched the US foreclosure crisis, these McMansions saw prices plummet at a rate that was simply jaw-dropping.
It seems as though people are truly fascinated by real estate. I believe that TV channels such as HGTV and others have created an “image” or stereotype of a successful realtor, and showcase marketing techniques guaranteed to sell your palatial home – like renting a Rolls-Royce to park outside a home, to outlandishly themed parties that might include a tiger. In fact, Toronto’s “The Star” newspaper reported that several high-end homes (that are not foreclosures) were being auctioned off, rather than simply being advertised on MLS. Interestingly, it was not until the end of the article that it briefly mentioned that one property was soon to have its second auction as the original deal fell through and failed to complete. Recently, the Province newspaper reported that a company was planning on having an auction sale for Vancouver properties even though they have not had success in BC previously with this style of marketing real estate.
What happens when war or famine occurs and destroys the plants and land in a country? Without seeds to rebuild the food sources for countries devastated, life cannot exist. I wanted to share with you how a seed vault in the most northern town in the world has been vital to the agricultural survival of a country like Syria. 1300 kilometers beyond the Arctic Circle in Svalbard, Norway, exists the Global Seed Vault which contains the world's largest collection of crop seeds. The purpose of the Seed Vault is to "provide insurance against both incremental and catastrophic loss of crop diversity held in traditional seed banks in the world". It is also referred to as the "Doomsday Vault" by many.
Real estate is a result of a transformation of our society. The earliest records of real estate date back to the first monarchies whereby royal families shared their wealth to increase their power, by signing away titles and deeds to lands to their powerful friends, allowing the holder to collect rent (I know the original "slum lord" may also have some merit during this time as well) from the peasants living there. However, peasants were able to trade with other kingdoms and eventually, houses (but not the land since that would have been held by the person with the title or deed at the time) were bought and sold and rented among the commoners, rather than the royal class. This also created the concept of "land leased properties" that is still sometimes seen even today.
As Realtors with a combined 50 years of experience, Myles and I are constantly amazed at the stories clients share with us about past real estate experiences. We thought that we would share with you the 5 most common complaints that buyers and sellers have when it comes to dealing with “the dreaded house pimps”.
With the amazing snowfall recently that seemed never-ending, I realized that I had never looked so forward to a forecast of rain in a long time! It reminded me of those bitterly cold winters in Thunder Bay, and one of the reasons that I am so happy to live on the West Coast. This past week, our team was busy canceling and trying to rebook showings for our listings to avoid some nasty road conditions and incredible snowfall. The weather in Nanaimo was colder than the reception that Melissa McCarthy will receive if she ever meets Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, in person after her skit on SNL last weekend!
Why is it that when you are unpacking after a move, the very essential items that you need on a daily basis (such as your box of belts) seem to get moved to impossible-to-reach location? I think that this situation is much like the sock monster that seems to lurk in every family’s dryer. You are positive that a full set of socks were washed and dried, only to begin folding laundry and find one sock without a mate. I truly believe that there is a Sock Monster who hides inside the dryer and grabs one sock when it least expects it and survives solely on the cotton diet known as the “white tube sock”, while a fancier sock, such as a dress sock is considered a delicacy.
Can you imagine being able to afford a home in Nanaimo that is move-in ready for LESS than $135,000? With the increasing popularity of tiny homes in North America, this charming bungalow might just be the perfect fit for a person wanting to de-clutter their life. The downside? The home is only 233 square feet and sits on a 2,409 square foot lot. If you are interested in viewing, please contact our McCullough Team at 250-751-1223. Since today marks the “huge” inauguration of President Donald Trump, I thought it might be interesting to look at a lifestyle that is not grandiose or filled with controversy. However, even Mr. Trump is an advocate of tiny homes as he was quoted as saying in an interview with Playboy Magazine in 1990 that he “could be happy living in a studio apartment” which is likely the equivalent size of this tiny home listing in Nanaimo!
How many times do you receive a prompt while viewing Facebook that your “friend” wants you to help them find online jewels for some online game or share a post to support a GoFundMe page so that someone's pet can get surgery? I have come to realize that helping my Facebook friends answer quirky questionnaires about the meaning of my name, or looking at photos of what someone had for dinner last night just isn’t my cup of tea. Social media is a double-edged sword. It can serve as a vast resource in real estate – for immediate access to new listings, concise and condensed information about real estate trends, and yet it can also create an online “persona” for real estate professionals.