Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
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.
Well, the banks have taken action as they had been threatening for several weeks. This week, TD Bank announced an increase in the prime mortgage rate to 2.85% from 2.7%, which was the first change in 15 months. TD Canada has been the first bank to announce that they will be upping their mortgage rates and the effect of this will largely impact those homeowners with variable rate mortgages. To put it into perspective, borrowers will now be spending an extra $19 approximately in interest each month on a mortgage of $250,000. We have seen 15 months of the lowest borrowing rates that I can recall, and although the media would like to portray this bump in lending rates as dramatically affecting the real estate market, many people would disagree. Back in the 1980's when we faced a full economic recession, the banks were charging mortgage rates of 18.4% in 1981! Keep in mind that the amount you will pay in MORTGAGE INTEREST is an important factor to consider when purchasing a property. Take for example, you purchase a home with a mortgage of $200,000 today and lock in at an interest rate of 4.69% (which is close to the Bank of Canada’s fixed 5 year posted rate), with an amortization period of 20 years. What will the interest charges be? Approximately $107,385 over the course of borrowing for 20 years. Now imagine, purchasing a home with a mortgage of $200,000 in 1981 with a mortgage rate of 18.4%. How much interest would you have ended up paying? $200,000? $300,000? $400,000? Not even close! You would have paid $528,264 in INTEREST ALONE for that mortgage in 1981.
HALLOWEEN is one of McCullough Marketing Team’s favorite holidays, and we are pleased to announce our Pumpkin Carving Contest. This is a perfect reason to use this pumpkin and carve up something amazing! The rules are quite simple. Carve up your best jack-o-lantern, take a picture and submit it to email@example.com or upload it directly to our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/mmshomes THE WINNING ENTRY WILL RECEIVE A $50 VISA GIFT CARD!!! All entries must be submitted by Monday, October 31st and will all be posted on our Facebook fan page, https://www.facebook.com/mmshomes for your viewing pleasure so check back often! No fine print!
With creepy clown sightings reported in the local news, I wondered if people are as terrified of clowns as they are of seeing strangers posing in latex body suits. I must confess that I find a grown adult in a bright pink skintight onesie showing off the stainless steel stove in a house listing a tad disturbing. The question then presents itself. Is this a timely marketing decision or something that possibly detracts from the home in the eyes of home buyers? What are your thoughts? Would you be OK with this photo being used to sell your home online? This photo is actually of a home listed for sale in Nanaimo currently on MLS!
The island nation of Nauru boasts just under 10,000 citizens and is located near Papua New Guinea. At one time, this small island boasted the world's highest income per capita due to the massive exporting of phosphate. Naurans were so wealthy that some residents would have luxury cars such as Lamborghinis sent over to the island - with nowhere to drive them! As Nauru's phosphate amounts rapidly declined, substantial amounts of phosphate income were invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru's economic future. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government faces virtual bankruptcy. Australia has twice used Nauru as a remote site for the “offshore processing” of people who seek asylum. In 2016, Australia's government policy has been "no person who arrives in the country by boat seeking asylum (plane arrivals are not subject to “mandatory detention”) is ever settled in Australia". Instead, they are sent to Nauru to be "processed" even though no resettlement takes place. According to The Guardian newspaper, as of June 2016, "there are 442 asylum seekers and refugees living in the Nauru “regional processing centre”, including 49 children. Several hundred more live 'in the community' of Nauru". Although this doesn't seem like a lot of people, the entire population for Nauru is 10,084 (as per Wikipedia) - meaning that almost 10% of the country's residents are asylum seekers trying to reach Australia!