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Nanaimo Real Estate Blog


Mar
18
  Email: brian@mmshomes.com    Japan Represents the Best in Humanity & Why I Rented My Closet Out                                   As most of you know, I really try to infuse humor into my weekly newsletters, but after the tragic events that occurred in Japan, I really wanted to simply acknowledge the grace with which the Japanese people have shown.  It is amazing to me to watch the calmness of the people who quietly wait in lines that surpass a mile in length to obtain a small ball of rice to be shared amongst two people, or to get a small cup of water.  There is no looting being reported, and there is no violence breaking out.  This has really shown me the very best that humanity has to offer and challenged me to be a more grateful and gracious person to others.  I really want to make sense of the events in Japan, and try to make the world a better place in whatever small way that I can.  In the weeks and months ahead, I hope that all of us will try to recognize the courage of the Japanese and that we can take from this the ability to act more peacefully to our neighbors, our friends, our family, our co-workers, and people that we do not even care for.  I am fortunate.  The family of our Coast Realty staff as well as the family members of our McCullough Marketing team that were in Japan during the earthquake, have all been located and are safe.  I am not professing to "have all of the answers" or to preach to others, I just really feel as if we need challenge ourselves to be grateful for what we have, as our lives are probably a lot less stressful than those in Japan right now. Perhaps, because I am reflecting upon how I want to really be accountable for my positive thoughts and actions, I wanted to share with you another funny story about how our perception can be changed when we look through life through the eyes of others.  When I was a young man, without money or direction, I lived in Thunder Bay with several of my buddies.  Trust me  - when I honestly admit that no good actions or thoughts took place in this house with poor choices made at every corner!  One day, a good buddy of mine contacted me in need of a place to stay.  With little money, and no rooms available in the house to rent to him, I came up with a great idea to let him stay in my closet!  I did not charge him any rent to stay there.  Looking back, I can state unequivocally that I would have gone to a local thrift store and purchased a cheap cot and let him stay in the living room if I could do this over.  That is where age and wisdom come into play - I had my youth, but very little wisdom.  So, for the next few months, as I laid my head down at night, my buddy would climb into his closet (which I think is called a loft in New York City these days and sells for $850,000), and sleep the night away.  I have to say that it was a walk-in closet so he did have some room to enjoy some privacy, although his dating seemed to dry up due to his "location".  He was so grateful to have a place to live and exhibited such grace under fire, with not knowing what his next steps in life would be.  Looking back, it really is a matter of perspective of how we look at life.  I really thought that I was helping a buddy out, and I thought that my plan was brilliant.  Clearly, as we have seen real estate change through the years and the emergence of "studio" condos that offer less than 400 square feet and free-standing houses that measure 12' x 12', I may have been a little before my time.  My buddy (who I am still good friends with) also thought that this was a great idea as he was able to save some money and then move into a place of his own.  Needless to say, I would not recommend anyone with a home to offer a walk-in closet to "suite" it and rent it out! I saw this quote yesterday "Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." (author unknown).  I really felt that this aptly described how the lessons that I have learned in life have allowed me the opportunity to do better, and to be a better person.  It is also a good reminder of how we can lose our perspective, and yet reclaim it and use it to see the world in a more positive manner.  Both my friend in the closet, and the people of Japan, represent the humility and grace to believe in a better tomorrow. Best Regards,Brian McCulloughFeatured Home of the Week Instead of putting a home of the week to be featured here, I wanted to share with you some links to charitable organizations working to assist the people of Japan.  If you would like to donate money or contribute in some way, here are a list of organizations that you may be interested in:Red Cross: www.redcross.caDoctors Without Borders: http://www.msf.ca/World Vision: www.worldvision.caSalvation Army: www.SalvationArmy.ca/japanTo put the Japanese tragedy into perspective, here is a link that shows aerial photos taken by Google before the earthquake and afterwards - it is truly incredible to see landscaped forever changed. Move your cursor from left to right:http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).         This is not intended to solicit any property already listed .    
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Mar
14
Email: brian@mmshomes.com                Our Thoughts and Prayers Are With the People of Japan When I awoke last Friday morning, the world had changed overnight.  Because of the devastation that Japan is facing, I wanted to acknowledge the present situation and send my thoughts and prayers to those affteced by this tragedy.  Our office at Coast Realty has friends and family members currently in Japan, and it certainly hits close to home for all of us.   Please make sure that you tell your spouse and children that you love them tonight, as you never know what tomorrow brings.  We are thinking of those who we know over in Japan, as well as those we have yet to meet, today in our prayers. The Negative Side of Owning a Million Dollar Home Featured in a Twilight Movie   How many times have my clients called me to lament the fact that their million dollar home was featured in the new Twilight movie?  Wait for it...wait...wait..NONE!  That's right.  None of my clients have EVER had this happen.  Well, this was the sad situation facing a West Vancouver homeowner who was trying to sell their home a while ago.  To give you some idea of the intense media and public fascination that this home received, the listing got 180,000 hits on the realtor's website the FIRST WEEK it was listed for sale!  Many politicians would love to have that much online publicity.When the movie was released, the website nearly crashed as it received 50,000 hits within 2 hours.  The question that comes to mind is - what was this famous home like?  The West Vancouver "home" (or as most people with common sense would say - "mansion") was listed for a very reasonable price (keeping in mind that the average sale price of a home in Richmond hit $1 million last week due to the influx of Chinese investors), at only $3.2 million dollars.  It offered a spacious layout with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. So, what was the problem?  Lots of activity - check.  Exposure to potential buyers - check.  The problem resulted from hoards of "twi-hards" (otherwise known to most people over 18 years of age as "Twilight-aholics") swarming the outside of the home to take photos and basically just gawk at the home.  Some reports indicated that fans were trying to camp outside the property - which I am sure was not well-received in the British Properties where this home is located. This story of "over-exposure" can also occur for properties that are listed for sale, especially when they offer a great deal of nostalgia for people - whether it be positive or negative.  Even though the home can be well-priced, if there is a story behind the home, often times people will shy away from purchasing it.  An example of this would be a home in which the owner committed suicide inside the home.  The surviving partner did disclose this to potential buyers, and it took a long time before someone would actually purchase the home.  Another situation that I have seen is a homeowner who attempted to sell their home (which was quite beautiful and had nice views of the city and was located in a well-established neighborhood in Nanaimo).  The problem with this home was the neighboring home beside it.  The people next door had decided to paint their exterior a variety of rainbow colors and had covered the windows with boards to make some sort of political statement (which I am still unclear about).  Nonetheless, this home had everything a buyer could ask for, but simply languished on the market because of the house beside it. When considering buying a home, it is always a good idea to take a drive by the neighborhood during the day, on a busy weekend, and during the night to see if there are any concerns about it.  Certainly, if I had taken clients to view the Twilight home, I am certain that most buyers would have called 911 as we drove past whilst dozens of people paid homage to their favorite movie outside the home.  As well, buying a home is an emotional experience, and I really encourage my clients to share how they "feel" inside a home.  Often times, our gut reaction is the right one.  If you recall buying your first home, you will remember the feeling of "falling in love" with it since your brain is hardwired to respond to the gut reaction of instant attraction.  How many of us have "fallen in love" in high school, only to learn (painfully) that they were not the right person for us.  This is why I always encourage buyers to get a building inspection done on the property, to help remove some of the emotion since buying a home is one of the largest investments you will ever make. When selling your home, there are a lot of things that you can do to show your home in its best light.  I have compiled a booklet that offers 90 Tips to get your home ready for sale.  I would be happy to send it to you by email - just contact me today at brian@mmshomes.com.  If you want to get your home SOLD, it is critical to price your home correctly.  Call me at 250-758-7653 for a free home evaluation or email me and I would be happy to meet with you without any obligation or fee. Best Regards,Brian McCullough   Featured Home of the Week - JUST LISTED!!!!!!!!!!4934 Hartwig - $434,900This most sought after location is a jewel for sure! The house is located in prestigious Rocky Point which is close to 3 schools, Frank Ney, Hammond Bay French Immersion and Montessori which puts your children in the best educational position for learning. The classic character residence itself is an approx. 2289 sq. ft., 2 storey design with all the main living areas on the main level and 4 bedrooms above. The stamped stone driveway gives an inviting curb appeal. The interior is bright & cheery and offers lots of light and soothing colors. The main level has an intimate living room off the entrance with a ledgerock fireplace for those cozy winter nights. Through this area is the open kitchen with maple wood cabinetry and dining area which also has access to the private fenced and sprinkled back yard which has an abundance of fruit trees offering cherry, apple, pear, plum and walnut trees. The cedar shed offers added yard storage.www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).              
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Feb
04
  Email: brian@mmshomes.com                   Real Estate in Nanaimo Sees Stronger Start in 2011                                                         We have seen buyers starting to actively look at investment and home ownership opportunities in Nanaimo since 2011 began only a month ago.  Buyers are still hesitant about making offers on higher priced properties, but lower-end condos and starter homes have seen a rise in sales.  The stats indicate that buyers are more weary than last January, but it is important to note that 2010 saw a leap in the first quarter and then dropped significantly in the second quarter.  2011 seems to be moving towards a more balanced market as I predicted some time ago. Another good sign is a resurgence of buyers from outside our city - from Alberta, Victoria and Vancouver which typically affects the more expensive home market positively.  Click here to view the latest January 2011 graph stats for Nanaimo: http://www.realtorlink.ca/portal/server.pt/document/3259944/01-jan_11_nanaimo_graphstats We are excited to see our upcoming project ONESixhundred really take shape.  This exciting condo development will boast 29 condos with a Yaletown-inspired interior, stainless steel appliances and a wonderful central location near the hospital and Malaspina University.  This project will be launched early Spring this year. Another project that will be coming soon is WestRIDGE, a collection of new homes near Westwood Lake that will feature an architectural design, high-end finishings, and legal suite.  These homes are set to begin construction in March/April. We have been marketing Amblewood Estates, located on the former Rutherford Golf Course.  This development offers a beautiful mix of townhomes and duplex style homes to fit all budgets and tastes.  Nestled on a quiet neighborhood, residents can walk to Long Lake, Rutherford Mall easily. Looking for a quiet area to call home?  We have 2 breath-taking homes and 1 half-duplex now finished construction in Southridge Estates in Chase River.  Offering level entry designs (including a legal suite in one, and an unfinished basement in the other), theses homes boast a tranquil setting while only minutes to all amenities and elementary school.Building lot sales at Hawthorne (in Phase 3) have been busy with builders and home buyers having a well-rounded selection of lots to select from.  Hawthorne has been recognized as a destination development, with its proximity to the college, Aquatic Centre, Ice Rink, and vibrant downtown.As you can see, McCullough Marketing is actively involved in residential real estate, new developments and revenue properties in the Nanaimo area.  If you are thinking about making a move in 2011, please give us a call as we have a unique in-depth knowledge of the real estate market in this area.  Visit us at www.mmshomes.com or email me today at brian@mmshomes.com. Best Regards,Brian McCullough  www.mmshomes.com   McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).
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Jan
28
                               Mortgage Debt Tops $1 Trillion in CanadaAccording to the Canadian Association of Mortgage Professionals, Canada's residential mortgage market surpassed $1 trillion dollars!  What does 1 trillion dollars actually look like?  I have attached an interesting breakdown of what this sum of money really represents.  As well, I have included some statistics about Canadian mortgage holdersSome interesting Canadian mortgage facts:  Overall home equity is at 72% of the total value of housing in Canada  84% of Canadians with mortgages are able to afford a $300 increase in their monthly payments  There are 5.65 million mortgage holders in Canada  35% of Canadian mortgage holders paid more than their minimum requirements - 12% made lump sum payments, 16% increased their monthly payments, and 7% did both. It certainly shows that Canadians have been wiser than their neighbors to the South in terms of being more conservative with their borrowing powers.  However, it is really fascinating to put into perspective how much a trillion dollar debt load can actually look like. If you are interested in learning what the current value of your home or property is, please feel free to contact me anytime at brian@mmshomes.com or call 250-758-7653.  If you are considering purchasing a home or investment property, I would be happy to meet with you and provide you with a Private Client Services that will email you anytime a new listing matching your criteria is listed for sale.  It is just another benefit of hiring Coast Realty's #1 Realtor - experience the highest level of service each and every time. I look forward to hearing from you. $100 We'll start with a $100 dollar bill. Today, one hundred dollars will buy you and yours an appie and cocktail each at a local restaurant and a movie plus popcorn.  For some SUV’s, that might just fill up your empty gas tank (as long as you don't used premium gas)!  $1 Million Believe it or not, this next little pile is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). It is amazing to think that you could actually fit this amount of money into a backpack or swim bag! Or, to put it into perspective, if you had one million dollars, you could put down 5% on your next home in Whistler (list price for the home shown below for sale in Whistler was $20 million dollars). $100 Million $100 million is a little more sizeable. It does, however, fit neatly on a pallet. Or, you could lift that pallet all the way to Windermere, Florida and purchase this home below for $100 million dollars.  Not sure you want to spend ALL of your millions on the home?  That's okay because the seller is willing to let the house go for a reasonable $75 million dollars "as is"!  With 90,000 square feet, you and your entire family could comfortably live here while you complete the renovations yourself.  You will still have $25 million dollars for a Home Depot credit card, so no worries!    $1 Billion And $1 BILLION dollars... now you might need a friend to help you move your money.  What could 1 billion dollars buy?  According to CNN: -- A lifetime supply -- 30 months on average, till the kid is toilet trained -- of disposable diapers for 666,000 children. -- Six days and five nights at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for personal golf lessons, rounds of play, and morn-till-night schmoozing with 50 top professional golfers, including Tom Kite and Fuzzy Zoeller, along with dinner at such expense-account joints as the Palm, Spago, and Caesars Bacchanal; custom-made golf clubs and bag; and a videotape of the whole extravaganza. Oh, and you could also pick up the tab for 39,999 of your dearest friends. -- One year's food for 5,000,000 cats and dogs. -- A before and after transformation: complete body makeover for 72,992 needy folks, including a face-lift; liposuction of the hips, thighs, stomach, and knees; and a nose job -- Two round-trip missions on the space shuttle with $182 million left over for gas and tolls.  $1 Trillion Next we'll look at ONE TRILLION dollars.  What is a trillion dollars? Well, it's a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros. It's pretty surprising... I give you $1 trillion dollars...
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Jan
10
       ARE B.C. BABY BOOMERS BUSTING?             Are you a baby boomer?  Are your parents boomers?  If so, a recent article in the Vancouver Sun reports that B.C. boomers are facing some sobering news when it comes to their retirement plans, compared to other Canadian boomers.  TD surveyed 1,000 BC boomers and 57% reported that they were unprepared for retirement (compared to the national average of only 42%), and only 32% B.C. boomers stated that they have a financial plan in place.  In fact, 46% of BC boomers feel that they will need to continue working past the age of 65.  Although I found the Vancouver Sun article very interesting, it really did not take into account the changing roles facing a baby boomer.  Often times, baby boomers are caretaking their elderly parents (which comes with additional costs), and many others are seeing their adult children either remaining or returning to live in the family home (as parents know - having children of ANY age live at home is extremely expensive).The three key indicators of financial security that TD advises boomers to adhere to are: to start saving earlier for retirement, invest in an RRSP or some type of investment and pay off your home's mortgage quicker.  It is always amazing to me to have clients in their late 60's purchasing a home and being comfortable with taking on a large mortgage, when it seems to be exactly the opposite of what a secure financial plan would propose.  One of the things that I like to have my boomer clients do is to meet with a lender who can assist them with money planning to ensure that they are not drowning in debt.  It has been proven that people who have a financial plan are more happy than boomers without a plan and this just seems like common sense.An interesting trend that we saw in the lending market last year was the continuation of mortgage brokers increasing their involvement with new mortgages - capturing 40% of the share in 2010 alone.  Banks are starting to see that home buyers and investors have access to lower rates often offered by brokers (since they can offer mortgages from a sea of banks and private lending institutions), so look for the "Big 5" banks to step up their aggressive marketing efforts for real estate lending this year.The market is changing, and if you are considering selling your home or investment property, it is imperative that you receive sound advise and a pricing strategy that reflects the current real estate market trends.  Gone are the days of simply having a seller figure out what they wanted to get from the sale of the home, adding on legal and real estate costs and...voila - there would be your listing price for the property.  Now, more than ever, with a lot of stale inventory, it is important to look at mortgage rate volatility (as this impacts the buying power for buyers), home sale volumes in your "subarea" (or neighbourhood), current trends in your price range as well as any factors that may negatively affect your home sale (i.e. - home is too cluttered, deck is rotten, etc.).  After 30+ years in real estate, I can assure you that information continues to be a property owner's best weapon when taking the leap into home selling.  If you would like a FREE, No-Obligation market evaluation of your home, lot, or investment property, please contact me today at brian@mmshomes.com or call me at my office at 250-758-7653.  I cannot stress how important it is to have all of the facts when buying or selling, and because of this, I have been a guest speaker for Ozzie Jurock's real estate seminars in 2010 as well as a featured real estate expert at a recent Richard Robbins event in Eastern Canada.  Get an expert working for you. Best Wishes,Brian McCullough   
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Dec
10
                       The Most Expensive Addresses in Nanaimo The Nanaimo area is described as being a classic West Coast community, with boundless natural beauty and unlimited recreational activities for any age.  With one of the longest shorelines in Canada, Nanaimo boasts a breath-taking backdrop of mountains and overlooks the majestic Pacific Ocean.  Because of this, Nanaimo has become a destination for the affluent, as well as families and active retirees. With the average sale price of a single family home in Nanaimo being $346,608 for November, it is always fascinating to see where the most expensive addresses in Nanaimo are.  To view more of our latest VIREB stats, click the link here: http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-selling-services/current-market-trends/ With Christmas on the way, here are a few properties that you might want to ask Santa (and the Lotto 6/49) for as they are being offered for sale on MLS: UPPER LANTZVILLE - $3.5 millionWith almost 10,000 square feet of living area, this home is certainly deserving of a page in the "Robb Report" or "Better Homes and Garden" magazines.  This home offers a granite fireplace with waterfall, theatre room with 106" screen, wine cellar, master bedroom with wet bar & 2 fireplaces and Infinity jetted tub.  The backyard has a salt water pool, poolhouse, catina and bar.CEDAR - $2.9 millionThis 3.5 Acre Estate boasts 280 degrees of tranquil waterfront with beautiful turquoise waters and private bay.  The 3977 sq ft house has a floor-to-ceiling fireplace and every bedroom has its own bathroom.  There is a in-home spa and a guest cottage for friends and family.   JINGLEPOT - $2.3 millionThis 1 year old home has 3 fully finished levels & over 10,000 sq ft of living area in addition to a separate carriage home ideal for guests and nanny quarters.  Unique features of this home include: an elevator, 9 person theatre room with wet bar and separate prayer room, conference area and 2 family rooms.  There is a total of 8 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms in this distinctive residence.
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Dec
02
              Real Estate Tips for the Holidays and How NOT                  to Decorate Your Home When Trying to Sell ItHow many of you would think that the holiday season is the wrong time to list your home for sale?  This is a common misconception that we see among home owners, and I wanted to provide you the top 10 reasons why listing during December is a smart move.  If you are committed to selling your home, it can be an excellent time.  Most buyers that will be looking at your property during the holidays are often pre-approved by their lender, and tend to be more serious buyers that we see other times.  The reason behind this comes down to motivation.  Buyers during December often have a different motivation like using vacation time to search for property.  They're doing that because they have to buy, rather than want to buy.  Time is of the essence to these types of buyers, rather than someone who is thinking about buying but may not have a definite timeframe for their purchase.One of the most important things for a seller is to ensure that their Realtor is still working and available to deal with offers that are written during the holiday season.  Both Myles and I enjoy time with our families during this time, but always make sure that we are able to properly represent the needs of our clients - even on Christmas Day!      Showing your home during the holiday season should be a pleasant experience, but do decorate modestly! Ensure that your decorations do not overpower the rooms.  For sellers, it is important that your decorations do not hide or detract from selling features in your home.  If you have a floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplace, I would encourage you not to place the Christmas tree in front of the fireplace. Keep it simple.  Decorate your tree, but if you find that the tree actually makes your home look smaller, maybe select a smaller tree this season to free up the space.  Placing a small amount of decorations such as candles or centerpiece inside, or a simple wreath or swag on your front door will welcome potential buyers and create a positive first impression.  As the photo under the title of this article indicates - less is more with the exterior decorations!!If you are serious about selling your home, and want a FREE comprehensive market evaluation of your property, contact me today at 250-758-7653 or email me at brian@mmshomes.com I look forward to speaking with you.  Visit my website at www.mmshomes.com. Best Regards,Brian McCullough PROPERTY OF THE WEEK     431 Heron Place - $129,900         Incredible Building Lot with Ocean Views       Located in fabulous Long Lake Heights, this level entry lot has panoramic ocean and mountain views toward Vancouver as well as being located on a quiet cul-de-sac. Long Lake Heights is an exclusive subdivision with winding picturesque roads, lots of Arbutus and fir trees and homes that would fit well in Whistler. The lot will accommodate a level entry style home with a basement and possibly a partial level for storage. This is one of the only level entry lots left in Long Lake Heights so don't snooze or it will be someone else's.  View details at http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Lot_Acreage/47.html
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Nov
19
  Email: brian@mmshomes.com    Taking Advantage of Outstanding Real Estate   Deals in Nanaimo   Warren Buffet once coined the phrase "be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful".  It applies very aptly to the real estate market in Nanaimo.  There are some excellent deals out there right now as motivated sellers are encouraging buyers to select their property over others - whether it be by setting a competitive price, including appliances, or offering updates or upgrades at no cost to the buyer.  I thought that I would share some of McCullough Marketing's client stories from the past 2 weeks to illustrate these points. We listed a beautiful home for sale in Nanaimo, and the home consistently had showings each week, but resulted in no offers.  When we sat down with the client, we encouraged them to price the home as sharply as possible to attract the highest number of buyers possible.  Once the seller agreed to this, it resulted in not ONE but TWO offers on the home, creating a multiple offer situation (which has been uncommon in recent months).  The home sold for ABOVE asking price last Friday, with a backup offer in place that was also over the asking price.  Needless to say, this seller benefited from a strong marketing program and consistent communication about the market and honest feedback from showings.Just last week, we negotiated a deal for a client whereby they were able to use the equity in their existing home and purchase an investment property in Central Nanaimo with a suite and ocean view that has POSITIVE CASH FLOW of $300 per month after all expenses are paid.  Six months ago, this would not have been the case.  With the assistance of Greg Nowik of Universal Mortgage Architects, our client was able to obtain an excellent rate of his mortgage and have the peace of mind that his rate is secured for many years so that he can enjoy the benefit of earning money on his investment. As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, we had another client (who is looking for a fixer upper in Nanaimo under $300k) who retired a couple of years ago whose RRSP portfolio dropped by 35-50% with the stock market crash.  He did not know how he would be able to recoup his loss, especially now he was no longer employed.  With our guidance and expertise, we were able to find him an ideal investment property in central Nanaimo that needed paint, flooring and minor updating.  His plan was to fix it up and sell it, but he ended up securing a long-term tenant for the home and actually has a positive cash flow each month.  He also built a legal suite in the home to garner additional revenue.   Recently, the client advised that he has built over $200,000 in equity in the course of 18 months - through simple sweat equity, and professional assistance from our team. I cannot stress how important it is to be financially prudent in this day and age.  The clients that we recommend using the equity in their existing homes are clients who would have a larger amount of equity tied up in their home, tend to be fiscally responsible, and want a long-term investment rather than a "buy and flip" mentality.   It is also important for buyers AND sellers to recognize that although housing prices have pulled back a bit in the past year, buyers who purchased prior to 2007 are still seeing excellent gains on their real estate purchases.  For those who purchased after 2007, home owners have seen their house prices remain steady and for investors, rents have increased with demand and have ensured a secure investment is realized for investors.  It is untrue to simply buy into the "housing bubble bursting" theory for Nanaimo as the average single family home has not dropped from $800,000 to $300,000 as we have seen in parts of the US.  Once again, the slight pricing adjustment that our market has seen has stabilized the market, making it more balanced.  If you purchased a home for $195,000 in 2002, it is probably worth $375,000 today - making your real estate investment for your home still $180,000!   There are several ways to look at the real estate market.  A lot of people are quick to state that home prices have dropped off dramatically, while still others see the opportunity in locking into a mortgage at a rate that even the most savvy of investors would never have predicted.  I think that life really is what you make it, and how you see yourself as being part of a larger whole.  Real estate prices will ebb and flow, interest rates will rise, yet if you position yourself right, you can benefit from these cycles.  Ask yourself this - why do so many people invest in the stock market when it goes up and down repeatedly yet the stock market is still seen as the place to trust your pension or retirement savings for later in life?  It is all in how you look at things. For a comprehensive market evaluation of your home or property, please feel free to contact me anytime at 250-758-7653 or email me at brian@mmshomes.com. Best Regards,Brian McCulloughDEAL OF THE WEEK  - $299,500 JUST LISTED -  PL05 - 38 Front Street - 2 Bedroom & 2 Bath Condo in Pacifica  NO HST.  Located on the inner harbor in downtown Nanaimo. Above the court yard, you will fall in love with this exceptional suite with all the luxury that you would expect on the ocean front PLUS an oversized balcony ideal for entertaining. The kitchen has granite counter tops, stainless appliances, natural gas stove and eating bar. The expansive great room is tranquil with gas fireplace and has separate areas for TV. This area also has access to the court yard garden patio and a few steps down to the ocean promenade. Off the great room is the master suite with tiled bath, double sinks, and large glass encased shower plus laundry area with stacking washer & drier and double closet area. The 2nd bedroom has its own walk-in closet and is adjacent to the main bath room. The suite has forced air electric heat to warm quickly and air conditioning for those warm summer nights. Underground secure parking and storage is included. www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).      
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Nov
15
  I wanted to take a moment today and let everyone know that the world lost a wonderful person this weekend.  Malcolm Johnson, a fellow Coast Realty Realtor, was killed in a gas explosion at the resort he was staying at in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. He was there to celebrate his wedding to his new bride Heather, and was joined by their 1 year old daughter, family and friends. Sometimes it is easy to pass through weeks, months or even years, without telling your children, spouse or friends how much they mean to you.  The loss of Malcolm is a sad and painful reminder that it is so important to take each day and live as if it might be your last.  Don't wait until tomorrow to hug your child or tell your wife how much you love her.  Don't wait until it is too late to share a laugh with a friend.  I would like to tell my family and friends today how much they are loved by me.  I am thankful for the opportunity to work alongside my son Myles, and I am thankful to have the love of my life, Johanna, as my wonderful wife and best friend.  I am thankful for all of my exceptional and inspiring friends and clients whom I have had the privilege to know.  I just did not want to wait until tomorrow to say to them how important they are to me. My heart and thoughts go out to Heather and Malcolm's family during this difficult time.  Malcolm was a passionate about our community and volunteered time to the Nanaimo City Center Association, the DNPS Business and Development Committee and was the Chair of the partnerships Housing, Design and Development Committee. We forever are in debited to you Malcolm, for your service, dedication to your profession, and love for your.  You are forever in my heart. Brian McCullough  
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Nov
04
Customer Referrals...Redefined LOYALTY.Brian & Myles McCullough are proud that over 70% of their business each year comes from past clients asking Brian and Myles to assist them, a friend, family member or co-worker with their real estate needs. Success in real estate is based on listening to and meeting the needs of each client.  That is why working with Brian and Myles is like working with close friends.  It is also why Brian has been awarded the “Most Professional Realtor Award” by his real  estate peers more than any other Coast Realtor.  Brian & Myles’ reputation and experience produce results; their integrity and creative approach guarantee your satisfaction.  McCullough Marketing would not be the success it is today without the loyal support of our wonderful clients.  We appreciate our loyal clients and want to "pay it forward" to you now.REWARDS.In appreciation of our existing clients, we would like to offer you the opportunity to receive $250 cash for simply referring a new client to the McCullough Marketing Team.  If they purchase or sell a property through Brian & Myles, you will receive $250 when their sale completes.  It is that simple.STAY CONNECTED.Today's consumers stay connected with friends, family and colleagues by sharing information in person, by phone, and the social web that includes Twitter and Facebook.  You can now share your experience about working with the McCullough Marketing Team with others AND have the opportunity to earn money. ADAPTABILITY.With over 35 years of real estate experience, Brian & Myles understand the changing needs of their clients and strive to provide the highest level of service each and every time.  We understand that in today's changing times, it is critical to adapt, and ensure that our clients know how important they are.CONTACT US.For more information about our Customer Referral Program and the rules, please feel free to contact us anytime at 250-758-7653 or email us at brian@mmshomes.com  
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