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Month: March 2008

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Two Easy Vancouver Home Improvements For a Faster Sale

Paint is your best improvement investment for getting a greater return on your money

  • Paint makes the whole property smell clean and neat.
  • If your house has chips, exposed wood or looks faded, it is time to paint.
  • If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated or an unusual colour, you may need to seriously consider replacing it.
  • Many houses do not sell because of this problem.
  • Don’t think that buyers have more money than you have to replace it.
  • They don’t…they simply buy elsewhere!!

Think of prospective buyers as your guests and prepare your home’s interior accordingly. Keep these points in mind…

*fresh paint
*clean up clutter
*clean kitchen
*make bathrooms sparkle
*clear out closets
*clean the fireplace
*roll out the welcome mat
*add special accents to make your house appear comfortable and inviting. Think of prospective buyers as your guests and prepare your home’s interior accordingly.

Clean Facts – Most people are turned off by even the smallest amount of dirt or odour when buying a resale home!

  • Sellers lose thousands of dollars when they sell because they do not adequately CLEAN! The perception in the buyer’s mind…lots and lots of work which translates into money!
  • If your house is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your house faster and net hundreds, or thousands, of dollars more. If you are planning on moving, why not get rid of that old junk now, so that your house will appear larger? Make more space. Odours must be eliminated, especially if you have animals, or smoke. You may not notice the smell, buy buyers do!
  • Most realtors have a difficult time communicating to their sellers about odour. By employing me to get the most amount of money for my sellers, do not take offense if I must confront you about odour problems.
  • Freshen your kitchen by sending a lemon through your blender or garburator. Sweeten your fridge with a box of baking soda. Add some fresh flowers to the living room. Spray the bathrooms with lavender!
  • If this is too much for you to do, hire a staging company.
  • A clean home is a saleable home!

Weigh in! What improvements work best for you?

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Lions Gate Bridge Plunged into Darkness for Earth Hour

The Aussies are basking in the success of Earth Hour, which was started in Sydney in 2007.

This year it started in Christchurch, New Zealand on Saturday, to raise awareness that generating electricity from coal and oil that produce greenhouse gases which are contributing to climate change.

The lights shut down over 14 time zones and 25 countries, the last being North America’s west coast. 1000,000 Canadians signed up.

In Vancouver the Science World went dark.

Do you think Canada should go nuclear for its electricity? BC Hydro has announced it will be raising our hydro costs 7% per year going forward, in order to build more infrastructure, rather than buying the shortfall.

What were the Canadian results? 

Want to weigh in? Did you participate? Do you think Earth Hour was    a success? How big will it grow next year and what will be the overall impact on the environment? Will it spin off to other things?

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Six Pre-Closing Expenses To Remember

Closing costs are a big part of the condo buyer’s budget but many buyers forget the pre-closing costs, which add up.

  1. Are you hiring a mover? Most people do! Do you select a national company or the local hood guy? Or rent a truck and do it yourself
  2. What insurance does the moving company carry? If you rent a vehicle does your home insurance cover you should your belongs get stolen along the way
  3. More often than not the seller moves out before 12 noon and the buyer moves in after 12 noon and because everyone usually runs late the buyer is trying to move in before the seller is finally out! Sound familiar? Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Earth Hour In Vancouver

On March 29, 2008 at 8pm join millions of people around the world by making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund.

All the City of Vancouver, B.C. Hydro and Vancity buildings have already committed to powering down for Earth Hour and BC Hydro will measure the drop of activity use for the hour.

Sign up for Earth Hour 2008, get involved, reduce your impact, create your own event, tell a friend.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

What You Should Know About the New FINTRAC Regulations

Starting June 23, 2008, changes to the federal Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act impact how Realtors and their brokers conduct business.

FINTRAC The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, is the Federal Government Agency created to provide suspicious transaction information to police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

FINTRAC collects and analyses reports from accountants, banks, casinos, insurance companies, real estate professionals and trust companies as part of Canada’s push to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Should I Sell First And Then Buy? Or Vice-Versa?

It’s a first time sellers dilemma for Vancouver home owners.

A client called me last month and told me they’d had a baby and wished to move up to a larger condo. When I met her at a place she wished to view, we had an extensive conversation about the best way for her to get from A to B.

When she left the rental market and bought her first condo it was easy. Now she must figure out how to get her equity out of one condo so that she can purchase another one. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Here’s a Quick Way to Improve Vancouver’s Water Quality

North Vancouver’s Capilano Creek was dammed in 1888.

This was two years after Vancouver was founded. “Former CPR surveyor George Alexander Keefer (1836-1912) (Keefer Street in Tinseltown) and his partners incorporated the Vancouver Waterworks Company. His nephew, George Henry Keefer, hiked up into the mountains of the North Shore looking for a suitable water source. He found is in a creek named Capilano, after the famous Squamish warrior.

Read the full story about Vancouver’s Waterworks Company. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Downtown Statistics for February 2008

Current Listings: 457 .  Average Price $676,942

Least Expensive  $218,000 for 365 sq. ft. studio. Most expensive $5,900,000 for 5000 sq.ft. at the Wall Centre.

265 listed under $500K, almost 60%.  29 listed over $1 million.  Of those listed, 97 have had a price reduction and 10 a price increase.

Solds 137. Average Price $424,157. Days of Market 29. 3.3 months of inventory.

22 of those sold had a price reduction and 2 had a price increase. 107 sold under $500,000 and only 6 sold over $750,000 and none over one million dollars.

Reflections as with False Creek North, the market over a million dollars is soft.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Kitsilano Statistics for February 2007

Current Listings 117. Average Price $556,381

37 listings have had a price reduction and 2 have had a price increase.

59 are listed under $500,000. 45 are listed between $500,00 and $750,000 and 8 listed over $1 million

SOLDS 44. Average price $488,505. Average Days on market 19.  2 1/2 months of inventory

28 sold under $500,000. 13 sold between $500,000 and $750,000 and 3 sold over $1 million. 3 had list price reduced and one had list price increased.

10 sold over list price and 4 at list price – roughly one third of sales selling at or above list.

Reflections the Kits condo market remains very tight, with only two and a half months of supply and many still selling at or above list price. A Seller’s Market.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

False Creek North Statistics for February 2008

Current Listings 153.   Average price $1,147,037. Only 14 listed under $500,000. 59 listed over $1 million.

February Solds 36. Average Price $919,278. Days on Market 46. Just over 4 months of supply.

5 of those sales had List Price reduced and 2 had an increase.

5 sold under $500,000 and 7 sold over $1 million and 1 sold over $4 million.

Least expensive was a 384 sq.ft. studio for $339,000. Most expensive was

Reflections 59 listed over $1 million and only 2 sales, leaving 29 1/2 months supply. Sellers need to be priced sharp in order to achieve a sale in this price range.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

If You Don’t Buy Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Vancouver’s market has falling interest rates, economic growth and job creation.

Robyn Adamache at CMHC says we have no real estate bubble in Vancouver. The following is a summary of her presentation that I just attended, courtesy of RBC.

Interest rates will be falling slightly in ’08 and rise slightly(up to 0 .75%) in ’09, remaining flat to 2012-13. B.C.’s economy remains strong with 3% economic growth – same as last year – which is above the Canadian average and will fall slightly in ’08. Our economy created 30,000 new jobs last year and has 4% unemployment. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver’s Interior Design Show West

Vancouver’s Home for Design on the West Coast

March 20th-22nd for the general public, held at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. This is the West Coast’s premiere platform for contemporary residential design, featuring local and international furnishings, fixtures and accessories for the home.

View the schedule and exhibitors.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver’s St. Patrick’s Day Events

This is Vancouver’s 5th anniversary for Celtic celebrations.

The Edgewater Casino, from March 12th-16th, will bring visitors and locals together for some Celtic fun, featuring national and international artists. 

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, whose population is around 4 million and the shamrock is its floral emblem.  March 17th is the anniversary of the saint’s death in the 5th century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years.

During the 10th century Ireland was invaded by the Vikings and in the 12th century Pope Adrian IV granted over-lordship of Ireland to King Henry II, igniting a conflict that lasted more than 800 years.

Some parts of Ireland get as much as 90 inches of rain a year, accounting for the brilliantly green grass that earned it is nickname “emerald isle”

“Erin go Bragh” Ireland Forever!

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Can We Improve the Air We Breathe?

Yes! The amount of greenhouse gases in the air we breathe has risen steadily for 200 years.

In Vancouver we have pretty clean air, but we can always improve. A practical solution is to go carbon neutral by planting trees.

Tree Canada can help – people, companies and organizations. Their website says, on average, 98 trees capture and store one tonne of airborne carbon dioxide every year. If you visit their website, you can use their carbon calculator and learn how many trees must be planted to offset the carbon dioxide you produce.

Tree Canada is a charitable organization that partners with local volunteers to improve our quality of life by planting and caring for trees in our neighbourhoods and schoolyards. Let’s plant a tree!

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

West End Stats February 2008

172 Current Listings

108 listed under $500,000. 38 listed between $500,00 and $1 million. 16 between $1 million and $2 million. 10 listed over $2 million.

The least expensive listing is $152,000 for a studion in a 99 year leasehold building. The least expensive studio in a strata building is $279,000.  The least expensive 2 bedroom is at 1232 Harwood for $449,000.

Only 70 of these listings permit rentals.

February Solds: 49. Three and a half months of inventory…pretty tight market.

Of those solds 37 were under $500,000. 11 between $500,000 and a million and one sold over $1 million. Of those solds, 4 were studios, 27 were one bedrooms, 17 were two bedrooms and the most expensive sale was a 3 bedroom at 909 Burrarrd, 1775 sq.ft. selling at $1,050,000. Only 4 of them had a List Price Reduction.

The least expensive sale for the month was a studio in a leasehold building selling at $200,000 for 480 sq.ft. (nearly the size of l bedrooms Downtown!!). the same in a strata building sold for $270.000

9 sold at list price and 9 sold over list price. Of those selling at or over list price 13 were between the price range of $388,000 to $655,000. 40% of all sales selling at list or above. In a Vancouver market that is not experiencing as much multiple offer situations as in the past, indicates value in the West End condo market.

Median $ pr sq ft is $584. Median days on the market was 16. Median price $395,000.

Happenings  1550 Barclay is a rental building that has been converted to condos. It has underground parking and is rental friendly. 600 sq. ft. l bedroom selling around $350,000.

Appreciation West End condos have risen 16.2% over the last year and 108.9% over the last 5 years.

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