Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
Happy Canada Day to all of you! While you enjoy the holiday to mark the start of summer, I hope that you read a book, spend time with family or get out and explore our beautiful city. If you are going to read over this long weekend, I have a book selection that I would like to share with you. I read a fascinating book entitled "Decisive" by Chip Heath & Dan Heath. Psychology research has shown that it is "hair trigger" or "short term emotions" that really do affect our decisions in life. In the blink of an eye, our brains literally scan our biases, irrational fears, beliefs and replay past experiences to create the catalyst for our decisions. With the internet now a source for everything, most of us actually use it to reaffirm the beliefs that we already hold, and simply ignore or downplay any information which we deem not in alignment with our beliefs. A good example of this (which can also be quite dangerous without seeking the professional advice of a doctor) is when you have a rash suddenly appear on your arm. A quick search of this condition on the internet, and you can easily confirm that the rash appears to be similar in nature to that of a heat rash, or if you are a little more pessimistic, you can find another website that will confirm that you are indeed dying of a rare disease.
Canadians are avoiding a record high household debt SOLELY due to the increased home values seen across many parts of Canada. Stats Canada reports that for every $1.00 of disposable income, Canadian households possess $1.65 in total household credit market debt. What is household credit market debt? This type of debt includes consumer credit (all types of credit cards including stores), mortgage and non-mortgage loans. It really means that many of us are adding to our debt to maintain a standard of living that is simply not aligned with our earning ability. What has changed? For many Canadians, we are buying into the notion that our credit cards REWARD us for our thrifty actions. A lot of consumers use credit cards like debit cards – whether it is to buy a coffee at Tim Horton's or groceries. If we use our credit cards, we earn "reward points" that can be used for things that we often want (but likely don't need). What most people don't realize is that UNLESS you diligently pay off your credit card in full each month, the potential "reward" from using your credit card is overshadowed by the excessive interest charges that continue to accrue. Credit card companies market a lifestyle to consumers that is false and can be dangerous to your finances and relationships.
I hope that you enjoy this week’s article which I dedicate to Father’s Day this coming Sunday about what the toughest SOB taught me about real life, and in turn, anything you do. “Muscles McCullough” as he was infamously known in our working class neighbourhood of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was not a tall man, maybe 6 ft, was head of the boxing club and school gymnastics and probably not the guy you would want to fight. He also happened to be my dad.
It’s official. The Playboy mansion, owned by Hugh Hefner, has finally been sold. At 90 years of age, Hefner had added a clause to the listing that would require any owner to allow Hefner to occupy the property for the balance of his life AND keep the famous Hefner bedroom untouched until after his death. Originally listed for $200 million, the selling price has not yet been revealed, although the name of the buyer has. It turns out that the next door neighbor, Daren Metropoulos, who is only 32 years old, purchased the Playboy Mansion because he wants to reconnect the 2 estates which was the original concept of the architect and original owner. The Metropoulos family has owned Pabst Brewing Company and co-owner of the Hostess Brands (company who makes Twinkies) and an investment company. Did you know? The first owner of the “Playboy Mansion” was Louis D. Statham, a celebrated chess player who worked for NASA as an engineer.
It can be an overwhelming decision to purchase a home, regardless if it is your first home or your last one (you hope). Over the years, buyers have shared with our McCullough Team members some of their greatest fears when buying and we thought it might be a good idea to share with you and see if any match your concerns. 1. The "Stalker" Home Seller. Without question, having a seller present during a showing can create a huge sense of unease for a buyer. There is the type of home owner who will take the realtor and buyer through the empty home and point out each of the non-furnished bedrooms and tell you that the mold on the windows is "nothing". There is also the type of home owner whose initial greeting is to tell you that they have priced the home at market value and won't take a penny less. For many buyers, dealing face-to face with a seller can be a huge fear, especially if they don't really like the home!
You are cordially invited to our RE/MAX Customer Appreciation Celebration to be held on Saturday, June 11th from 11:30-3:30pm at RE/MAX of Nanaimo (1-5140 Metral Drive). There will be lots of FREE entertainment and FREE food for the whole family including a BBQ, petting zoo, amusement rides, face painting, rock climbing, games, and balloons for everyone. Everything is FREE and it is a great way to enjoy the sunshine with your family! Please stop by and say “hi” to us, enjoy some lunch and help us welcome Kiel Lukaniuk, the newest member of our McCullough Team! For more information, please feel free to give us a call at 250-751-1223 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . We are truly thrilled to be part of such a great RE/MAX organization and each time our McCullough Marketing Team sells a property or home, a donation is made to the Children’s Miracle Network as well as local charities and youth organizations. As a result of contributions like ours, the hospital was able to provide family-centred care, life saving equipment and research for children and families throughout BC. Almost 500 local children in our area were assisted last year alone. To date, our RE/MAX of Nanaimo office has contributed over $550,000 to this worthwhile cause! Looking forward to seeing you Saturday, June 11th!
Over the past 36+ years in real estate, I have prided myself on the exceptional clients that I have had the opportunity to work with. Many of my clients have become great friends, and I have had the privilege of helping their children and even some grandchildren with their real estate needs. Over the years, there have also been a few of the “unreasonable” clients that I simply wanted to have disappear into the Bermuda Triangle and never return. I thought that you might enjoy a story or two of the worst real estate clients I have ever had, as I think that that many of us have met a CHEATER, LIAR or a simply INTOLERABLE character throughout our lives.
Earlier this week, the BC government outlined changes that will take place beginning May 16, 2016 that are targeted towards stopping the rampant “shadow flipping” that was prevalent in Metro Vancouver recently. It does appear that the government had no choice but to intervene in the matter following a scathing article published in March by the Globe and Mail detailing the shady real estate transaction. However, it won’t be enough to slow down the insatiable thirst for home ownership that has prices skyrocketing in Vancouver and even parts of Victoria.
Markets: We are seeing a steady real estate market recovery taking place, but not an unmanageable "boom" like Vancouver. PRICES 1. In Nanaimo, single family home prices have risen slightly in the past 12 months (average sale price was $398,053 compared to $375,884 – up 6% over past 12 months). 2. For the month of March 2016, the average sale price for a home was $427,786 - up 5% over March 2015 ($408,070). 3. Sale prices are 2% lower over the past 12 months for patio strata homes prices, although March 2015 saw the average price increase by 6% compared to March 2015 with the average patio home selling at $313,246 compared to $296,488. Townhome prices stayed relatively the same compared to last March and overall the average price has slipped by 1% over the past 12 months. Condos rose slightly by 6% in price during this same time. In all likelihood, the price point for condos is an attractive feature for first-time home buyers and those downsizing from family homes as the average sale price over the past 12 months for a condo is $224,807. 4. Lot sale prices saw an increase of only 1% over the past 12 months. Sale prices saw an increase in March by 13% compared to March 2015. The average lot sale price last month was $174,988 compared to $154,646 for the same month last year – up 13%, although inventory cannot keep up with demand for new housing.
Do you ever watch those HGTV real estate shows and wonder if the show is staged? It turns out that those vapid home buyers whose budget is $150,000 and who cannot live without granite counters and separate double sinks in an ensuite might not be real after all. People Magazine reported earlier this week that the "Love It or List It" TV show on HGTV is being sued by a North Carolina couple who allege that the renovations done to their rental home while appearing as guests on the show left it "irreparably damaged". The lawsuit claims that the show hired a contractor whom they had not given consent to do the work and that the entire show was staged. The house that they were shown to them to consider purchasing wasn't even for sale and that designers were actually actors. The renovations were completed shabbily and the general contractor was not even licensed in the state. It seems that these type of shows are entertaining for viewers, but not an accurate reflection of how the real estate process goes. Once again, it is so critical when considering buying or selling a home, that you get the experience of a real estate professional with the expertise of a team who can ensure that your interests are always protected.