Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
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.
Home owners received a shocking letter from BC Assessment earlier this week, as some home values in Nanaimo jumped $100,000 or more since last year! BC Assessment says that increased values don't necessarily mean that you will face a property tax increase as taxes are affected by the assessment changes compared to the average change in a community. Many home owners in Vancouver and other parts of the Mainland saw their assessments increase 20-50% compared to 2015 as property values are based on assessments up to July 2016, which was prior to the 15% foreign buyer tax being implemented there. Any sales that took place in your neighborhood after July 1, 2016 will be factored into the 2018 assessments. Lululemon founder, Chip Wilson, topped the list of highest assessed homes in BC this year - a position held by his mansion since 2014. His assessment increased by $12 MILLION to a staggering $78,821,000 in 2016!
A man named Robert L. May, who was dealing with a wife battling cancer and struggling to raise their young daughter, can be credited for giving us Rudolph. Back in the 1930's, the US-based Montgomery Ward department store hired outside agencies to create Christmas books to give away to children while parents shopped at their store. In 1939, May was a copywriter for Montgomery Ward and given the task of writing a Christmas book. This was on the heels of the Great Depression and while May's wife was losing her battle to cancer.
Have you ever noticed how quick most of us are during the Christmas holidays to greet each other with a smile, donate time or money to organizations or even spend time with family and friends baking? Why does this holiday bring out the generous spirit in us? The word “generosity” dates back to its Latin translation “noble birth” and has transformed through the times into its present meaning of “liberality in giving”. Researchers have found that most people are generous during the holidays because it is the time of year that we connect with others socially – whether it is a Christmas party with co-workers, family returning home, or spending time with friends. When we feel connected to others, it increases our sense of empathy towards others – whether or not we know them.
As many of you know, I am a die-hard John Lennon fan and have enjoyed his music and his perspective on life. Yesterday marked 36 years to the day since he was killed, and yet somehow his legacy and relevance continues today. Did you know that the Beatles actually played 270 live gigs in the 18 months before actually hitting the charts? John Lennon once estimated that he practiced every day for at least 8 hours, 7 days a week.
Imagine our hunter-gatherer ancestors whose lifestyle transitioned into an “agragarian” society between 30,000 BC to 15,000 BC. Fertile land made harvesting food and shelter materials much easier, and this land was quickly staked by the very earliest of real estate “owners”. This land was critical to the survival of tribes, so a tribal leadership including leadership and military was established to protect it. A feudal system of tribal ruling was set into place whereby leaders would require a payment of some kind to the tribal leader in return for land disbursement and dispute resolutions – which were often in favor of the feudal leaders. Hierarchies within feudal “governments” were born to ensure that there were enough labour and protection for the land. This led to communities being born as larger groups of families were now settling together, rather than leading a more nomadic lifestyle. As feudalism transitioned from a ruling class land ownership to an even more capitalistic one, large parcels of land were broken into pieces and sold off to merchants or aristocrats. Peasants were still the earliest “tenants” and continued to hold little or no real estate for some time to come.
As many of you are aware, our MMS Homes Team loves real estate. Myles, Kiel and I 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, we spend most of our time either working in real estate, reading publications about real estate or studying real estate. We 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 Friday, 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 2016, 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. With the US election earlier this week, it seems as though this Remembrance Day is even more significant than ever before. The election has reminded each of us that we can only counter hatred and ignorance with love and respect all of our differences. We have never been more proud to be a Canadian than today.