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Nanaimo Real Estate Blog


Nov
04
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.
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Oct
28
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 info@mmshomes.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!
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Oct
21
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!
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Oct
14
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!
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Oct
07
With Thanksgiving this weekend, it was interesting to watch shoppers in grocery stores put a pumpkin into their carts along with their turkeys and fixings in preparation for family feasts. Does anyone really know the history of this orange vegetable/fruit and its significance culturally? The history of a pumpkin (often called a jack-o-lantern when carved during the Halloween season), dates back all the way to early Greece. In fact, the word “pumpkin” got its name from the Greek word “pepon” meaning large melon! The early pumpkins were not round and resembled a large turnip in shape. In fact, pumpkins and other squash types were often grown along riverbanks with beans and sunflowers long before corn was cultivated. A pumpkin is not considered a vegetable, but a fruit because of its seeds, although when it is cooked, it is often referred to as a vegetable
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Sep
30
Have you ever viewed a home that was listed for sale and tried to figure out what the odd aroma emanating from the property was? By the end of the tour, you have convinced yourself that the seller just might be a serial killer or a secret hoarder who has rotting food tucked away for the next zombie apocalypse. A smelly home can be one of the first things that buyers notice and can immediately turn someone off making an offer. People who have pets such as cats or dogs may not even notice that Muffy might be the cause of an odor. On the flip side, if you enter a home and notice an abundance of air fresheners plugged into every outlet, this may also cause a buyer to RUN, not walk away from a property. I always tell clients that too many air fresheners can be a bit of a red flag as it is usually a sign that the owners are trying to hide a particular smell. Natural scents are the most appealing to buyers. Having fresh cinnamon rolls or freshly baked cookies can really create an inviting and pleasing first impression for buyers.
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Sep
23
Although it seemed as though Summer was going to last forever, the cooler nights and rain appear to indicate that it may be a bittersweet memory. Today, our weather resembles a monsoon season, so a good idea is to shake the dust off that old umbrella! As the leaves change color, and we move inside our homes to entertain friends and family, there are several things that home sellers need to pay careful attention to when selling their home in Fall. Often times, there is less inventory compared to the summer months, and those buyers looking to buy are usually serious buyers during the last few months of the year. Ensuring that your home is in top condition is the #1 priority for a home seller. Feel free to browse our website: www.mmshomes.com for more articles and helpful tips for buying and selling.
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Sep
16
Why does Switzerland have one of the lowest rates of home ownership? This seems unfathomable as the Swiss are ranked as the wealthiest country in the world per capita (per Wikipedia), yet have a home ownership rate of only 44%. The Swiss tend to have a high household savings rate compared to North Americans. According to several studies, retirements savings are woefully inadequate for most North Americans, and that people nearing retirement claim that their wealth is achieved solely through the equity in their home. The mindset becomes one of selling your family home and using the equity to provide financially in the later years. This is quite a different perspective compared to the Swiss. They tend to have a very high rate of savings per household and seem to prepare for retirement during their working years more steadfastly than North Americans. There is no social stigma attributed to renting, and real estate speculation in Switzerland have not seen the meteoric rise as in the US (nor the “housing bubble burst” in the late 2000’s). Swiss profit from real estate is minimal and homes can sit on the market for years without an offer.
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Sep
09
It is hard to believe that it has been 15 years since the tragedy of 9/11. For most of us, we were shaken to our core as the world held its breath and silently wondered if any of us would survive unscathed. However, for others, their personal loss during 9/11 has been something that they could not have imagined as they sent their loved ones onto a plane or off to work that day. Each year, I do try to share my personal story of 9/11 in hopes of showing respect for those men and women who did not survive and for all of the first responders who acted heroically during those harrowing hours and days while New York City was covered with ash and rubble.
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Sep
02
Many of us refer to Labour Day as “the weekend before kids return to school” and this is the case this year for BC families. The tradition of celebrating Labour Day weekend continues as many hotels on the Island are already fully booked After Labour Day, trailers and boats are parked back beside the house and lakeside cottages are once again empty. What about the tradition of not wearing white after Labour Day? It seems that this fashion rule was born in the late 1800's by wealthy high society who had an appetite for snobbery. The thought was that white was worn for summer weddings and resort outfits, while Fall parties required darker colored attire. By the 1950's, many magazines seem to pander to middle class families that Labour Day was the last weekend to enjoy your white clothing. One person who was celebrated by the fashion world, but proudly wore white year-round, was Coco Chanel, who is considered one of the great fashionistas of all time. You can blame your hesitation to don your white pants next week on a bunch of snobby millionaires who lived 100 years ago before television was even created!
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