One of the reasons Abbotsford always looks so neat and tidy is because of their unique volunteer staff. This doe drops by unannounced to enjoy eating the roadside clippings. I do not thing she is paid a lot so she usually has her two offspring accompanying her. It is a reminder that we are not that far from the days when Abbotsford had lots of nature’s animals patrolling the community
The full FVREB report for March 2012 can be found by clicking here, but here is a "Coles Notes" version:
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,412 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 22 per cent compared to March of last year, however only 13 per cent less than the 10-year average of 1,626 sales for same month.
Scott Olson, president of FVREB, says, “It was quieter than usual for March, but still steady with an increase in demand for more affordable properties, in particular detached homes for less than $500,000 and townhomes.
“Compared to last March, every community in Fraser Valley experienced a decrease in the sales of single family detached homes especially those priced at the higher-end; however Abbotsford, Langley and North Surrey all saw increases in the sale of townhomes.”
Olson adds, “Last year, single family homes represented 63 per cent of our residential market. This March, it dropped to 56 per cent, so we’re seeing demand for more affordable options. This is in contrast to last year when we saw elevated sales of higher-end homes in areas such as North Delta, South Surrey and White Rock.”
In March 2012 in Fraser Valley, the sale of detached homes with a value greater than half a million dollars decreased by 33 per cent compared to last year, explaining why average prices, which can be skewed by the dollar volume of high or low end sales*, are showing decreases year-over-year, while benchmark prices – homes with typical characteristics for the neighbourhood – are showing increases compared to 2011.
If you are looking for fairly priced housing please don't hesitate to contact me. I would love to help you into the most affordable option available.
Now that you have got to know me a little bit last week, it's time to get into Real Estate!
I have been involved intermittently in the Real Estate industry since 2002, and have had some great life experiences along the way. You can learn a lot more about me here.
One aspect of success that is very important to me is to Get the Right Training! My favorite trainer is Mike Ferry. Mike has a universal proven track record in the business of real estate training. He has this to say:
For more information on how Mike can better transform your Real Estate business, please visit his website at www.mikeferry.com.
We all have various forms of hobbies; some like to read, some like sports, some like real estate and politics, some like gardening and working with mother nature. .For me I like them all!
For you to get to know me a little bit better I thought I would tell you about a few of the hobbies that I have acquired to enjoy my extra time. My main goal is self improvement. The days of working from dawn to dusk have passed. Reading has got to be one of my top favorite things to do. I enjoy reading everything from personal development, to humour. and history, as well as the basics of business.
I not only exercise my mind with reading, but also, I like to exercise! At 5:30 AM every week day I am swiimming lengths. The Abbotsford Rec Center has a wonderful staff that offers help to those in need. We all have our ways of staying fit and active. This is mine! I have been doing it for years and do not see any end in sight. I really enjoy the people I meet at the pool and have made some very nice acquaintences.
Another one of my favorite things to do is participate in Toastmasters. If you don't know what Toastmasters is, here is a small description:
Toastmasster's vision is"Toastmasters International empowers people to achieve their full pottential and realize their dreams. Through our member clubs, people throughout the world can improve their communication and leadership skills, and find the courage to change.
In getting to know me better you may be more comfortable either by helping me selll your current home, or perhaps you are looking for a property to invest in. I would be happy to assist you in any of these areas. Please feel free to contact me at 604-855-0800 or email me at email@example.com.
Have you been a renter for as long as you can remember? I know some people who have. The chart below will paint a new picture in your mind for just what is possible. If you are that renter, then this is the payment for home ownership!
Get Renters Into HOME OWNERSHIP!
Check out below how much of a mortgage your clients rent payment is equivalent to!
Get your clients pre-approved at today's LOW rates before they rise!
Check out below how much your clients could be paying on their mortgage, instead of rent!
$800/month rent = $185,000 mortgage*
$900/month rent = $210,000 mortgage*
$1,000/month rent = $235,000 mortgage*
$1,100/month rent = $255,000 mortgage*
$1,200/month rent = $280,000 mortgage*
$1,300/month rent = $305,000 mortgage*
$1,400/month rent = $325,000 mortgage*
$1,500/month rent = $350,000 mortgage*
*Keep in mind, and this is very important, that all of the above is based on 3.19% and a 30yr amortization. Subject to qualification, rates can change at any time.
When you're ready to STOP RENTING give me a call and let's get you into YOUR VERY OWN home!
Thanks to our Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website I am sharing the following information for you:
"The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) recorded 1,269 sales in February, an increase of 59 per cent compared to January and a 1 per cent decrease compared to the 1,279 sales during February of last year.
In terms of new listings, the Board received 2,846 in February, an increase of 3 per cent compared to January and a 6 per cent decrease compared to the 3,038 listings received last February, taking the total number of active listings to 9,037, an increase of 4 per cent compared to those available in February 2011.
As Board President Scott Olson explains, a seasonal increase in sales is typical for February; however this increase was not as robust as in years past. February’s sales finished at 4 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for that month.
“Although our market has picked up, it’s still favouring buyers. In terms of our clients, we’re seeing more caution and deliberation when house hunting.
“This could mean using a home inspection as part of negotiations, or asking for extras to be thrown in, or the client walking away if terms are not met. The other side is that selection at certain price points is limited depending on location, so if the buyer finds the right home, they act, which is keeping prices stable.”
To see the article in its entirety, please visit this link.
Are there some things that you long for? For me the Azalea blossoming in my garden is much like a returning family member.
Every year I long for it because it flowers before all the other shrubs and flowers wake up. Nature is telling me that winter is over and this is her first beautiful sign of spring.
I have watched my azalea standing idly in the snow and buffered against a strong nor-easter, but as the buds appeared, the winds softened and the snow gradually melted into the earth. Once the blossoms appeared it almost sealed the end of another season. But as we all know, the season never ends with the first flowers and this year it is true again.
Every winter since I planted this beautiful flowering shrub, I just knew there would be one more brief snow squall and every year this has been true. I smiled knowingly because once again nature has sprinkled snow lightly on its leaves and flowers. After looking at the start of the new spring’s blossoms, I think about the early beauty of our West Coast Marine climate. Like the early flower, we can enjoy our early season before everyone else. Do you have similar thoughts?
Every day in real estate we meet people who want to buy a cheap, solid, house that needs some repair. Is this what you are looking for? Yesterday in my travels, I found one! The house was structurally sound with a new roof and the upstairs windows had been updated. However, the inside was a mess. The dry wall had to be repaired and painted, the floors had to be replaced, not to mention the need for new appliances, light fixtures, and some cleanup. On the bright side, the situation was the same in the basement, which did offer the potential for a suite. It answered all the questions either an investor or new home buyer might want.
Well this started off the mental calculator. The price was low because the owner had met his match and wanted to get out of it. This figure, along with repairs, indicated a very profitable investment either in the rental of two suites or a very comfortable saleable family home. Where is this gem?
This is one of the reasons, I like marketing real estate. One never knows what is next in this industry.
Carol S. Dweck, PhD has written a most informative book titled “mindset – THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS”. As each of pass through this wonderful life we lead, it is helpful to us when we get some guidance along the way. Dr. Dweck offers direction to the reader with a choice of mindsets, which each of us have. Do you want to have either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?
Most of us generally note the state of mind of others. Now the author exposes the mindset to the reader, as well as the variety of people the reader knows or deals with. A fixed mindset only serves people well when they are comfortable in their individual situation. This ranges from a student learning, an athlete competing, people making decisions, to developing contacts with other people. In each situation when stress occurs, the fixed mindset will evolve into blaming others. It is a “not my fault situation”. Obviously a person is hampered with this attitude and very little progress is made.
But if a person has a growth mindset then there is a myriad of possibilities to handle the situation. This attitude opens the possibility of solutions in our everyday life. The author examines and compares these two mindsets in parenting, business, schools, and relationships. The reader gets more involved in the subject because they experience reading about situations and circumstances they are familiar with and possibly, getting a view of themselves. This is a book we should all examine!
Sixty four single Seniors will have a new “micro suite” home on Braun Avenue in Abbotsford BC. There are some unique and interesting points about this project. The first part is the housing location, the second is the new housing dynamic, and finally the cultural changes as they exist in the area.
The project was designed to accommodate people who either walk or use transit to satisfy their needsin all areas of living, such as; health care, food, recreation, and education. As this type of housing develops it is expected that there will be a greater concentration of services available.This type of housing change will allow people to live independently even though their space is modest in size. This is balanced by the affordability of the home and by the many modern features inthe kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and living area.
The next expected change will occur in very culture of the area. As new developments enter an area ittypically does not take long before further developments happen. The socio-economic factors will also change the area makeup of people living there and in the area. Are you up for this type ofsocial housing?
Have you ever wanted to become a competent public speaker? Are you deathly afraid of standing up before an audience to deliver a message? Apparently most North Americans rank this public speaking task very close to dying! You have no self confidence, your tongue is dry and dysfunctional, and your thoughts become irrelevant and disheveled. Well the good news is this doesn’t have to be you.
Abbotsford’s Rise and Shine Toastmasters has converted many people from absolute ineptness into fully capable speakers. They now have the confidence in speaking publically, performing as an MC, and handling any type of speaking situation. How does this happen? Is this really possible?
Toastmasters have a mentoring program, where experienced members can take a personal interest in new members. Mentors more or less serve as role models for those people seeking to learn the means of public speaking. Mentors help new members assisting them in learning the speaking manual(s), exhibiting the standards, procedures and customs of Toastmasters, and demonstrating various types of speaking. Very quickly, a new member will soon watch their level of self-belief rise, they will participate more in the meeting activities, and they will soon switch from being an introvert into a very confident person.
All this will happen within the environment of willing and positive support from all club members. If you don’t believe me, then stop by the UFV boardroom at 7:20 AM Friday morning to watch the process take place. For this, there is no charge and you are most welcome.
Sometimes we must look up for the answer. This happened in the recent Abbotsford election of local politicians and a significant water referendum. Voters had to decide on whether or not Abbotsford needs to develop a new water supply from Stave Lake. There were many of us opposed to the proposal for a variety of reasons.These ranged from the “apparent” water consumption levels of Abbotsford users to the huge expense of the project.
On one side, the City of Abbotsford supported the proposal by spending large amounts of money to advertise the benefits of the system. On the opposite side were the electors and groups of people opposed to the grand proposition. Their means appeared to be small by comparison, using only small signs and word of mouth. Many voters were torn between deciding on which position to support - either the position of most of their elected representatives and the written material circulated to all taxpayers or the position of those opposed to the project. Some decided by looking in the sky! The final result was a three to one rejection of the referendum.
Vote “NO” on the Abbotsford Stave Lake water project referendum. I am certainly not impressed with City’s reasons for the electorate to approve this massive unwarranted project. We are told that our current water system is grossly inadequate for the future. What is this based on? Obviously this based on the interpretation of Abbotsford consumption figures. The problem does set in with how the figures are used. It seems that the exchange is between City staff, an outside professional firm, and the City council. Suddenly, from this closeted calculation the electorate is asked to approve a referendum of several hundred million dollars! Wow!!
What are the problems with our current system? The Norrish Creek system was put in place with extra capacity. Why hasn’t this been mentioned? Instead, we are told that the system is subject to failure due to environmental erosion factors. There was no talk of this when we approved the system. Help!
Now our aquifer seems to be inadequate and short term. No one should tell the Clearbrook Water District, which produces and distributes the finest water nature makes. We do know that Abbotsford sits on top of a very large water acquifer and there does not appear to be any valid reasons why it should not be utilized.
The federal government is offering 65 million dollars for the Stave Lake P3 project. This should not be part of the decision because it has nothing to with the Abbotsford water system.
Wow it looks like the Abbotsford 2011 election will be influenced by the use of social media. I think this is exciting with the new communication links. I can put my thoughts down in the form of my blog and get the feedback on what other people think.Like most people, I have a list of requirements of the candidate(s) that I will support on the November 19th election. Do you have similar thoughts on what you expect? Is social media useful?
I think a person with business experience is important. The reason is simple because they are responsible for a very large number of civic employees, as well as, large building projects. It always feels better when the dog is wagging the tail and not the other way around. People with a business background tend to be more frugal with our tax dollars than people with limited knowledge of this big business.
I support people who have taken the time to not only understand Abbotsford’s municipal history but are also knowledgeable about our Official Community Plan. This is important because of future planned areas of residential growth, new commercial developments, recreation, traffic, and other areas.Some of us will be involved in new developments, so it is important that they be cognizant of the new dynamics in Abbotsford.Do you think this is reasonable?
Do you ever want to know what your neighbors think about your new area development? One of the best ways is to have a public information meeting about the pending change in area dynamics. The meeting meets the demands of the City council and the resulting comments will be used by council in determining whether or not the proposal will go forward to building stage.
The first step was to notify all the area residents advising them of this meeting. It was our expectation that after the rezoning signs were erected, there would be sizable attendance at our meeting. The “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) response is usually typical when change comes along.
The next step is the presentation of the proposal. This illustrates both the project drawings as the buildings will be and the written rational for erecting the buildings. At our hearing there was both City council planning staff and a few area people who expressed their thoughts and feelings about the pending area change.
The meeting went well. The local residents knew that the area would one day switch from single family dwellings into a type of multifamily development. In the proposal presented, the units are approximately 300 square feet designed for low income, single, and senior accommodation. Do you have any thoughts about this changing lifestyle in Abbotsford?
As we progress through the journey of rezoning, yesterday another station passed. The first part came last week when we received the results of the City of Abbotsford’s staff thoughts on our application. In order to make this application there are a series of steps the applicant must go through. The project has to comply with the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP), which was one of our major reasons for purchasing the property. The proposal must comply with the objectives of Abbotsford in fitting in with other developments along McCallum Road, a major traffic artery from the freeway to downtown Abbotsford. In other words, the project will fit in with both the existing commercial and residential developments.
From this general compliance, next is the review from a number of important local departments. The first is traffic movement and the number of vehicles on site. As stated in previous blogs, this is a senior’s project with a very limited number of automobiles. Most of the traffic will be on foot to local transit ports and businesses. Simultaneously, there must be adequate parking for vehicles entering and servicing the site. Along with this City review are the concerns of the Police department, Fire department, health services, School District, ADBA, and the Recreation Commission. Local area residents may be concerned about these areas and they will be dealt with at the upcoming public hearing. Do you have any thoughts about the process, as the City of Abbotsford is looking after your interests and business?
If the City of Abbotsford staff accepts all the project requirements, then it is up to the Council to advance the project to a public hearing. The project was approved yesterday and now will be placed before all area residents and other interested parties. Do you have any thoughts about the process?
Well once the building site has proven clear of all environmental factors, what comes next? One of the most important tests of a project is the area review. We will hold a public meeting not only for all the people moving into the new type of housing but equally important is the local people who live in the area. Our program has three parts.
The first part identifies all the details pertaining to the housing project. The presentation is designed is to move from the general to the specific. This site was chosen because of its location.We are entering the era where there will be a much greater focus on personal traffic and public transit versus the use of an automobile. Access to multiple services must be within walking distance and handy access to local buses. The area map will show the availability of schools, shopping, recreation, medical services, and other important commercial facilities.
The second part is the drawing of the new building proposal. This is important because it represents a change for the area. People will have the opportunity to express their views on the project. We expect a wide variety of comments, which is typical of most new developments. Why is it in my area? Will it affect the value of my property? Most people do not like change because they are affected in many ways; at least, that is what their thinking is. What do you think about changes that affect you?
The final part is the detailed interior drawing of the project. This will represent a change for the people living there. The design is a micro unit with many modern facilities but in a more confined living space. This will be interesting. People will place themselves in the new setting and comment accordingly. All the comments will be recorded and given to the Abbotsford Council. Cherish our freedom.
Ah, the technician at work. After shipping off the soil samples to the Environmental Laboratory, the next step is the water samples. I like this modern phenomenon because today’s technology uncovers all the sins of previous owners and businesses. It is sort of a look into the earth! On our development site, water is tested at two levels. The first piezometer is at 10 feet, which is in a seam of sand above a large clay seam. Water is abundant and is very clear from any discoloring contaminants. The second piezometer is placed to a depth of 35 feet. It is placed above what appears to be water carrying clay. The first water pumped to the surface is slightly off color from sitting there for a week, but clears up when more water is pumped. Samples are taken from all 6 sites and then taken to the lab.
What are the expectations from the tests and what are they looking for?The primary test is the pH test which determines the measure of acidity or basicity in both water and soil. Most of us think it is a soil test for growing plants where it is important to be close to the 7 or in equal balance. Any great deviance from this would lead to further testing. However, the real reason for these water tests is to determine whether or not there are any contaminants present. The test will show any level of hydrocarbons, which can be detrimental to human health. For example, benzene, an oil derivative is a carcinogen. It is important to know that all the tests will be done on all water samples. It is very important that all development sites be free from these contaminants.
Do you think it is important to do all these tests? I do. The cost of doing these tests is expensive, but it is a lot cheaper than paying later. Your thoughts are important, so feel free to comment.
Environmental factors are extremely important in new developments. There are a number of important details that all developers should be aware of before developing a property. The first item is the history of the area. Has there been any gas stations, dry cleaners, underground oil tanks, and other businesses that may affect your property? Most financial institutions ask for environmental clearance from engineering firms before they consider lending any funds. In our particular case, there was an adjacent old dry cleaner on McCallum road.
Our next task was to hire an Environmental engineering firm to do the first step of a Level 1 environmental inspection. This covers a physical scan of the property and the building(s) along with an area view. This is followed by an historical study of the buildings use and businesses in the area and their activities. The approximate cost of this study is $2,500.00. Generally this will suffice but in our case the presence of a possible environmental area contamination there is a requirement for a Level 2 inspection. The cost of this examination will be at least $25,000.00 with possible extra cleanup costs.
The required testing has a drilling machine to bore a series of holes on the property to draw core soil samples to suitable depths and discover the water tables. Every 5 foot sample is visually examined, sniff tested, and samples are taken to be tested and reviewed by a government certified environmental laboratory. This usually takes about a week. Next, is the installation of piezometers. They are set at water levels to measure the amount of water and allow water samples to be taken over a short period of time. The lab will test the samples for quality and any possible contaminants. The water testing is more important than the soils test because the water spreads through the whole area. Are you comforted by the fact that this testing is done before you buy a unit of this building?
When the study is complete, the environmental report will cover every detail from the general description of the property to the finite details of the soil material and its contents as well as the underground water and its contents. Before any more work is done, the property must be environmentally approved. This should cause you to think about our environment in a different way when buying properties. What are your thoughts?
For over the past twenty years, I have enjoyed the benefits of being a member of the Rise and Shine Toastmasters Club. We meet weekly at the University of the Fraser Valley. Those benefits are captivated in the Toastmasters International mission statement. “The mission of our Toastmasters' club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.” The positive learning environment cannot be overemphasized, especially after realizing that the only fear greater than public speaking is dying.
There are two main parts of public speaking as well as a personal benefit everyone gains over time. The first part is the art of speaking in public. Initially the task seems overwhelming and insurmountable. Why am I here, what do I say, who do I look at besides the floor and the ceiling, where is the hole I can dive into, and why am I so alone? Fortunately, you are in a body of supporters. After a short period of a few meetings, a new member will learn to stand confidently and speak with ease to the audience. During that period the supporting group will offer numerous helpful tips on your speaking ability, your body language and its importance, along with speech writing and organization. What do you think about this being you?
The second aspect of public speaking is the ability to listen to the speaker. Almost immediately, a new member recognizes both the negatives and the positives of speaking. The Grammarian of the meeting points out the “uhms and ahs” and other poor speaking habits that people use to fill the space. This is balanced by the correct use of the language, which is equally highlighted. We soon learn to emphasize the positive aspects of public speaking during our speeches. Are there any public figures you listen to that need some training?
I did promise a personal benefit you will obtain after spending a period of time participating at Toastmasters. Over the past two decades, I witnessed many people join the club and commence the art of public speaking. In every case, I watched their level of self confidence blossom with their ability to speak in public. They can now stand confidently before an audience in a very relaxed manner and deliver the message that a few weeks ago was impossible. Your fear has been replaced with personal self confidence. If you have any thoughts about becoming a better speaker, then I strongly suggest you take the time to attend a Toastmaster’s meeting.
Link to Rise and Shine Toastmasters- http://abbytoastmasters.com/