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Nanaimo Real Estate Blog


Apr
29
             Home Design Trends for 2011 & The Most Expensive                                        Ones in the World 2011 home design trends are a fusion of classic design details, inexpensive flooring, and breath-taking bathrooms.  One of the interesting things that we are seeing in new home details in Nanaimo is the combination of two-tone kitchen cabinets, or cabinets with an oversized island with different colored cabinets underneath.  Granite has become more affordable as the selection of granite carriers on the Island has grown in recent years.  A pantry is also a "throwback" to the character homes of yesteryear, and is gaining popularity in new home construction.  What is the most expensive kitchen cabinets in the world?  There are not many brands more costly than Kraftmaid or any other Masco made product for cabinets. You want to go higher you can go and order Poggenpohl cabinets for your kitchen is the most expensive cabinet in the world. Side by side your $10,000 Kraftmaid kitchen becomes $140,000 in Poggenpohl. Bathrooms...the thrones of a king and queen.  Bathrooms are now described as "spa-like retreats", "serenity rooms" or "contemporary bath suite".  Soothing color schemes, high-end countertops that rival those found in 4 star hotels, and oversized shower heads are becoming the standard for new bathrooms.  Additional storage is being offered in unique vanities, and floating cabinets mounted to the wall are offered in many designs and colors.  Where is the most expensive bathroom in the world? Hong Kong.  The washroom features a solid gold toilet, gold toilet paper dispenser, gold basin, gold waste bin and air-conditioning cabinet.  The entire washroom required 380 kg of pure gold and 6,200 gemstones. In 2001, it cost $38 million and is now worth over $80 million. The company's owners stipulated that if the price of gold reaches $1,000 per ounce, one ton (32,000 ounces) of the tourist attraction will be melted into bullion and sold, allowing the company to gross a cool $32 million, and the owners would net about $17.6 million.  This company can honestly say that their investments are "down the drain".   So, as you make your way to a home hardware centre or nursery to improve your home's curb appeal and ambiance, just imagine the money you are saving my passing on that gold toilet! Best Regards,Brian McCullough                    
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Apr
07
Corn Flakes, Enemas & The History of Real Estate Did you know that a lot of our most popular items such as beverages, cereal and real estate in the modern age have come from some very interesting backgrounds?  For instance, Dr. Pepper, the popular American soft drink, actually originated in Waco, Texas and is regarded as being the first major soft drink in North America.  It was invented in 1885 by a pharmacist named Charles Alderton, who made a concoction of fruit extracts that he poured from the drugstore soda fountain. It was originally known as "Doc Alderton's drink", but the owner of the pharmacy renamed it "Dr Pepper" - after his own friend, Dr. Charles Pepper.Many people have heard the story of three friends - Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegel who started a small coffee store in Seattle named "Starbucks".  However, Starbucks became what it is today AFTER it was acquired by a man named Howard Schultz (who had become the director of marketing and operations for Starbucks in 1982).  He actually was able to purchase the business for $3.8 million dollars and rapidly expanded the Starbucks stores everywhere.  Did you know what the "story behind the story" is about Starbucks?  The original 3 owners did NOT want to include espresso in their coffee repertoire and Schultz was so convinced that this would be a pivotal marketing tool to allow Starbucks to succeed.  He was so committed to the power of the espresso that he actually started up his own coffee-bar business called Il Giornale which was extremely successful, and then purchased Starbucks one year later. What do corn flakes have to do with enemas?  Everything.  Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was a Seventh-Day Adventist who opened a well-known health retreat/ hospital called the Battlecreek Sanitarium" for very wealthy clients.  Kellogg wanted his patients to have a high fiber grain-based food that would be nutritious and tasty for his clients.  His clients included Thomas Edison and even Henry Ford.  Dr. Kellogg ended up inventing the modern-day corn flake in the 1890's and it became an instant hit with the patients.  In addition to consuming healthy bowls of corn flakes, his patients also received up to 5 enemas a day AND electroshock therapy.  This really made me enjoy my fruit smoothie even more this morning I must admit! Real estate is also a result of a transformation of our society.  The earliest records of real estate date back to the first monarchies whereby royal families shared their wealth to increase their power, by signing away titles and deeds to lands to their powerful friends, allowing the holder to collect rent (I know the original "slum lord" may also have some merit during this time as well) from the peasants living there.  However, peasants were able to trade with other kingdoms and eventually, houses (but not the land since that would have been held by the person with the title or deed at the time) were bought and sold and rented among the commoners, rather than the royal class.  This also created the concept of "land leased properties" that is still sometimes seen even today. So, as you have your breakfast cereal, and wash it down with an espresso or even a Dr. Pepper, while reading the latest real estate publication, you can feel comforted by the fact that we certainly have come a long way... If you are considering selling your home or property, please contact me today at 250-758-7653 or email me at [email protected] and I would be pleased to provide you with a current market evaluation that includes the current value of your home, staging tips, current real estate market trends, and properties that are similar to yours that have recently sold or been listed.  I look forward to hearing from you. For buyers, you can receive daily email updates the SAME time that other realtors are notified about new listings that hit the market FREE and without ANY OBLIGATION.  Just email me your price range, areas you are interested in, bedrooms, etc and I would be happy to set you up on our VIP Buyer Program.  This email system has assisted 8 of our clients recently to put in offers on properties right away and avoid multiple offer situations (which can cost buyers thousands of dollars more). Best Regards,Brian
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Apr
01
 What Does Men's Plastic Surgery Have to Do with Home Renovations?                                     Forget landscaping for the modern man.  Today's male is moving in the direction of "manscaping" - yes, it is actually a word. Recent studies show that men between 40-54 years of age are the fastest growing segment of the male population to embrace plastic surgery - accounting for 48% of the total procedures in the entire year.  In the US, surgeons are seeing men having plastic surgery to appear youthful and compete with younger men also vying for the shortened supply of jobs.  What are the top 4 procedures men are having these days?  The most popular surgery for men was nose reshaping, or rhinoplasty, with 63,585 such operations performed in 2010. Next was eyelid surgery (31,476), followed by liposuction (23,899).  Breast reduction (18,280) and hair transplants (13,217) ranked fourth and fifth.  Men are still overshadowed by women who account for 91% of plastic surgery procedures.  Geographically, the most prominent regions in the US for men to have a procedure are California (home of one of the worst real estate meltdowns in history),Texas (everything is bigger in Texas as the saying goes), and Florida (another area where real estate saw huge drops). Some of the trends we are seeing in home renovation are similar to those plastic surgery procedure that are increasing for men.  Instead of focusing on complete full-scale renovation of a home, owners are instead, focusing on "tweaking" some smaller areas in their home.  Rather than redo an entire kitchen, owners are deciding to focus on a kitchen backsplash (perhaps selecting a more expensive glass mosaic tile), or designer track lighting - spending more money on smaller areas.  This is similar to plastic surgery trends, as men are focusing their procedures on smaller areas as well - such as the nose or eyelids.  Another trend in home renovation is improving the air quality in a home.  Since rhinoplasty is so popular, I wonder if breathing properly is now becoming a priority for men - whether it be from old sports injuries, allergies, etc.  This trend has continued into their homes as improved heating systems such as heat pumps, and HVAC units are becoming more popular. The resurgence in colorful appliances pays homage to the 1970's where almond, lavender, and light green bathroom fixtures were popular. Many appliance makers are now selling bright red or blue to dress up the washer, dryer, and even fridges.  In the 1970's, long hair was a fashion statement by men that I recall with some affection as rock bands personified "coolness" with their flowing locks.  Hair transplants are once again popular and fit nicely into the bygone era of hair being very important to a man's appearance. More hair and colorful appliances - quite the combination.  And lastly, the vast majority of home renovations are being done today with the goal of simply making their home more valuable.  A lot of men, especially those downsized in recent years, are finding themselves competing with younger men for their next job.  To improve their self-esteem and wanting to project a youthful image to a prospective employer, many men are now choosing plastic surgery in hopes that the money they spent to "enhance" their appearance will pay off with a better job, higher income. And now you know..what male plastic surgery trends have to do with home renovation trends.  I wonder if my wife will start making a list for me...of what updates she would like to see around our house! Best Regards,Brian McCullough 
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Mar
18
  Email: [email protected]    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: [email protected]                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 [email protected]  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: [email protected]                   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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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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