Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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 email@example.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
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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).
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
ALMOST 3200 SQ FT! This is a wonderfully cared for level entry home and owned by the seller since new. You will enjoy the wide open living space with rich laminate floors through the majority of the home for easy care. Master bedroom is off the entrance with its own ensuite and large walk in closet. The living room/dining room area is bright and spacious with a natural gas fireplace for those cool winter nights. Adjoining this is the large kitchen with eating nook and family room with its own ensuite and large walk in closet. The living room/dining room area is bright and spacious with a natural gas fireplace for those cool winter nights. Adjoining this is the large kitchen with eating nook and family room with access to a huge wrap around deck and natural gas fireplace. Also on this level is a second bath and 2 more bedrooms. On the lower level is a huge games room with gas fireplace 4th bedroom & huge workshop area. This home has a heat pump, new roof, RV parking, sprinkler & vacuum system. ONLY $349,000. Visit http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Single_Family_Home/11.html
MY CONCERNS ABOUT "WET HOUSING" IN CENTRAL NANAIMO In response to the proposed wet house on Dufferin, Diane Brennan (former City Councillor) stated in the Nanaimo Daily News today the following: "If council decides to cancel the plan, they will almost certainly lose the next 100 units, not just the 35 planned for the area. If they break the deal they will suffer the wrath of Coleman, ...who holds the portfolio for housing & who, I am told, has a long political memory". The very thought that Nanaimo residents are being "blackmailed" into accepting this type of housing near schools is incredibly scary, with fear of reprisal by Mr. Coleman.Ms. Brennan then goes on to state "If council goes ahead with the plan, they will earn the wrath of an organized group of voters who sincerely believe this plan will make their neighbourhood less safe. With an election coming, council will be supersensitive to the political risk of offending a densely populated, highly organized neighbourhood that has clearly demonstrated they can mobilize their members. This is a bad thing for council." I truly believe that we need to take care of those who face addiction & mental health issues, but building high-density "low barrier" housing near schools such as Quarterway, etc without any guarantee for the safety of the children is not only dangerous, it fails to take the safety of a concerned community into consideration. Suffering the wrath of Mr.Coleman I can deal with by making my vote heard loud and clear in the next election. The thought of having children and hard working citizens placed at risk, I simply cannot live with. There needs to be more discussion with the community before this is undertaken as many who own businesses and property in the area have expressed legitimate concern for their property values, safety of children attending nearby schools, etc. I understand that after November 8th council meeting, the proposed location for a similar development will be announced for North Nanaimo as well as per Mr. Horn, the City of Nanaimo's social planner.
Email: email@example.com The Real Meaning of "Handyman Special" in Real Estate I thought that I would put my own humorous spin on "buzz" words usually found in real estate ads, and wanted to share them with my clients. Real estate ads are used to highlight the features of a home, so that buyers are able to visualize what the home might be like and decide to view it. Obviously, these are not the true meanings, but I think real estate buyers and investors can appreciate them as I recall showing a property to a client that was advertised as "ocean view", but unless you were standing on the roof line, I think the only view of any "water" was of the neighbor's kiddie pool. Enjoy and feel free to send me some of your own "definitions" that may be posted on our blog! MY DEFINITIONS:Handyman Special - you are not handy enough to tackle this project unless you are Mike Holmes, Shell Busey or Bob Villa.Cozy -- small, until the ex moves out and then home description is amended to read as "spacious and open"Unique -- not a style most would appreciateFamily room -- basement from the 1970'sImmaculate - you could eat off the floors, but why would you when you have a dining room?Wet bar -- basement has a sink (not to be confused with a toilet when the teenage son throws a party)In-law suite -- basement apartment for the college student who doesn't want to live at home, but doesn't want to pay rent either. County-like -- you will be mowing the lawn every day, and eventually give upWon't last -- it will be going to be condemned by the city soonLots of storage -- under height basementHalf bath -- you can wash your hands while on the toilet Landscaped - 4 garden gnomes and a rose bushSprinkler system - 4 garden gnomes and a garden hoseOld charmer -- Ugly (see above "won't last long")Historic -- something horrible happened in the 1800's thereSmall town feel -- high taxes (Nanaimo)Sweat Equity -- you will never get it done, until you decide to sell it!The market has picked up this past week and we are starting to see a marked increase in the number of higher end homes being sold. This indicates that buyers from outside Nanaimo are taking advantage of some excellent deals and sharply priced inventory is selling well. Once again, the main reason for the slip in sales has simply been a result of the overstock in listings. Simply put, there are too many properties out there for the number of active buyers, and of those large number of listings, many of them are not priced according to what the current market will bear.So far, during the month of October (as of Oct. 22/10), there have been 105 sales reported. Of these sales, we have seen 5 mobile homes sell that were priced under $75,000. On the other end of the spectrum, there have been 12 home sales for properties priced at $450,000 and upwards with the highest sale being $1,160,000 for a waterfront home on Fillinger. If you have any questions, or would like a current and accurate market evaluation of your home or property, please feel free to contact us anytime at 250-758-7653 or toll-free at 1-800-779-4966. You can also send us an email, visit us on twitter (mmshomes.com) or add us on Facebook. Wishing you a fantastic week!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).
Even as far back as 2006, I warned my clients about taking equity out of their homes to afford a "lifestyle" that they otherwise could not afford. I stated quite clearly that home equity should not be used for purchasing a boat, motorhome, or family vacations. Instead, I advised my clients that if they took equity from their primary residence, it was important to use those funds to "make more money" with it. For a home that needed major updating, or using the equity (which could be set up like a STEP account whereby your line of credit is based on 75% of the equity in your home), to purchase an investment property to create a pension for yourself at time of retirement. I remember seeing so many new boats and cars in the driveways of people who I knew had just purchased a home with little money down, and wondered if I was becoming jaded after 30 years in real estate. Honestly, I think the basic financial strategies are the ones tested true year after year - save something from every paycheque (in case of emergencies such as job loss, new roof, etc), live within your means, pay your credit cards off, and don't drown yourself in debt acquiring things that depreciate as soon as you purchase them. "This economic crisis doesn't represent a cycle. It represents a reset. It's an emotional, raw social, economic reset," said General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt. This great reset has caused noticeable differences in our approach to real estate today. Less than 5 years ago, buyers active in the market were seeking the newest, largest and nicest homes to purchase - and using that same home as their personal ATM Machine. Now, we are seeing the more affordable homes selling more quickly in this current market, and the more expensive executive homes taking longer to sell than before. With real estate prices increasing at an unbelievable rate since 2001, home owners soon thought that real estate was no longer cyclical (as decades have always proven it to be), but rather, never-ending in its climb upwards. In a newsletter that I sent out to my clients in October 2007, I stated "When clients are looking to get into the real estate market, I caution them to seek mortgage advice from a trusted professional. Be wary of "interest only payments" or ads proclaiming "100% financing options" as they may have hidden costs that do not insulate you from any minor change in market trends. Make sure you are comfortable with your payments and the length and terms of your mortgage. If you are buying your first residence and you are 45 years old, is it reasonable to want to have a long-term mortgage for perhaps 35 years since you would be 80 years old by the time you are mortgage-free? A good mortgage broker can help you make educated decisions." I received a LOT of criticism from my real estate peers, telling me that I was being a negative voice for the real estate industry, and at times I really questioned if I was correct in telling my clients to be so "old school", especially when the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board had just released statistics that showed that by 2007, real estate prices for a single family home had risen 144% since only 2001. (If you would like a copy of the October 2007 newsletter that was sent to my clients, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to email it to you.)Real estate is not dead, it is simply a "reset" in our mindset. Our primary home should not be our sole source of a pension and only savings. Certainly housing prices increase (as real estate is cyclical in nature) and the market will become very active, and cautious buyers will profit from this opportunity. However, we need to be vigilant about living within our financial means, and not taking on debt that cannot be repaid. This will allow us to be prosperous and worry less about interest rate fluctuations.Best Regards,Brian McCulloughBEST BUYS OF THE WEEK:Rancher on 1.17 acres in LIttle Qualicum River Village...$249,900 http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Single_Family_Home/9.htmlBreath-taking 2 bdrm condo with 2 underground parking stalls, stainless appliances, rentals ok, small pet ok (for owners), storage locker & 2 balconies...$259,900http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Condo_Strata/32.htmlWOW, WOW, WOW. Impeccable rancher in Diver Lake with NOTHING LEFT TO UPDATE. Just move in and enjoy this 2 bdrm home with family room and covered patio overlooking majestic and private rear yard $324,900http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Single_Family_Home/40.htmlWhat more could you want? Prestigious level entry with full basement home in Pleasant Valley with gleaming wood floors, heat pump, family room and landscaped yard...$369,900 http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Single_Family_Home/11.html Your Primary Home is Not Your Pension..or ATM Machine