Well spring hasn't even sprung yet but we are seeing the market take off already. Sales are up, average prices are up and inventory remains low. Despite all the white stuff that we have had to contend with this winter it hasn't seemed to slow down business. Areas of most activity continue to be the north end of Nanaimo but the south end has quicky caught fire. In January, South Nanaimo outsold all other sub areas in single family homes. Being one of the last affordable neighbourhoods in Nanaimo we have seen continual growth over the past 18 months. Average prices have now surpassed $400,000 which marks history for the area that used to be called Scarewood! With neighbourhoods turning over, new business moving in and many amenities nearby, buyers are starting to see the value.  New construction has now crossed over the $500,000 threshhold which is leaving buyers scrambling to try and find the last remaining deals in Nanaimo. I have helped several buyers over the past couple months get into homes without having to break the bank but these opportunities are starting to become more and more scarce. If you have intererst in becoming a home owner while prices are still somewhat affordable then contact me today. I'm always happy to help and almost always available. Feel free to contact me anytime.

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Well it's been almost 2 weeks since I made the last post where I spoke about the spring market and how it shows up earlier than people think. The most recent listing of mine that hit the market last Thursday had immediate requests. To date we have had approximately 20 showings. I will be presenting all offers from those showings this evening to my clients. The primary reason this has occurred is because my client's home was one of very few available in all of Nanaimo for under $350,000. Once March and April show up that simply won't be the case anymore. Taking advantage of this opportunity is going to pay immediate dividends to anyone interested. If you would like your home to generate this same kind of attention then don't wait months. Contact me today for more information and a free appraisal. 

 

Richard

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It's been a long time since I've blogged on here. It's amazing how work and life get in the way! Today I wanted to speak about the spring market for a moment. Every year when speaking with sellers I get the same story. "We are going to wait until March or April before listing." Let me tell you for a moment why that isn't always the best outlook.

 

First off, there are always buyers in the market. Due to job relocation, growing families, death and divorce, there are always people looking. Add investors and foreign buyers into this mix and you can see how quickly the market can be congested. Now everyone seems to think that you have to wait for the flowers to bloom and the grass to be freshly cut in order to get the most money for their home. In reality though this isn't true.

 

I looked on the local MLS system just the other day for any homes in Nanaimo under $425,000 that had 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Now we know that the market has been booming but most buyers are still looking in this price range. I found a total of 15 homes in all of Nanaimo that met these needs. This list of homes stretched as far north as Lantzville and as far south as Cassidy.

 

If you were to put your home online tomorrow you might only have 1-2 comparable homes to yours in all of Nanaimo! Come spring time you will have considerably more competition. This translates into your house having to stand out over the competition in order to sell faster. Get the idea? Supply and demand is what drives prices. 

 

If you still wish to wait until the flowers bloom then so be it but if anything of what I just said made sense then please feel free to contact me today for a free assessment of your situation. I belive in educating people so that they have a better understanding of the market and how it can affect them.

 

I hope to hear from you and as always, Have a great day!

 

Richard

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Did you know that there are still ways available to buy a home without having the 5% down payment needed? If you are tired of paying someone else's mortgage then contact me today for free information about this unique opportunity. As with anything there are conditions and stipulations that apply but it's free to find out if this scenario may work for you. Call direct at 250-739-1730 or email at rlhomes@shaw.ca.

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After a lot of hours worth of tinkering the new website is finally up and running. I think you will find the new site easier to navigate through while offering more pertinent information. Please stop by and have a look when you have a moment and as always, touchbase with me if you have any questions. 

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The list has been updated again. I have new clients coming in all the time so please have a look through the list to see if there is something on there that may match your home. I like to try and save clients time and money by offering this service so please let me know if I can help.

 

***** http://www.rlhomes.ca/wanted-list.html *****

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I just wanted to say Thank You to everyone who supported or assisted me this past year. With your help I have managed to gain a top 10 position within my office in just my first full year! I am very proud of this and have all of my supporting clients, friends, and family to thank. 

 

It looks like the market is picking up here in the Nanaimo area. Last year we saw more homes sold than in 2012. I predict a stronger outlook for this coming year although property values likely will remain in the same range. 

 

If you wish to know more information about the market and how it may affect you then please contact me today. 

 

Once again, thanks, and take care!

 

Richard

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The spring market is here! Over the past month I have seen many new homes hit the hot sheets. It looks like the bottom of the market may also be upon us as I have seen homes sell for more than asking price as well. Don't let the nay sayers get you down, there are many buyers out there. If you don't believe me then simply look at my wanted list page - http://www.rlhomes.ca/wanted-list.html - These are my most prominent buyers but not all are even on there. If there are over 300 realtors in town and each one of them has say 5 buyers then we are talking of more than 1500 buyers in the market. Homes have been coming online and selling within hours of being listed. Either the market is starting to shift in a positive way or sellers are simply pricing their homes right. In either instance, it is allowing for a hotter market. Don't feel that "sitting on the fence" is going to be the best home buying or selling strategy anymore. I have witnessed that method cost a few of my buyers a great home recently. Some properties are being sold without even needing to be listed. Word of mouth among Realtor's goes a long way. Perhaps your ideal home will be sold before it hits the market. If you are tired of seeing great homes go on, get sold and come off the market before you can get through them then it's time you contacted me to get onto the hot list. For more information about the hot list and what it can mean to you please contact me today.


Richard

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Introducing a new page to my website. The following page: http://rlhomes.ca/wanted-list.html offers a link to help my buyers out. Here you will find a list of homes that I am currently looking for in and around the Nanaimo area. Please contact me today if you or someone you know of has anything that may match the list.

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Hello All!

 

The time is quickly approaching for the 2nd Annual VIREB REALTOR® Charity Hockey Game. It was a great time last year, and they managed to raise some money for Nanaimo Hospice ($756.00). The date is now set for March 15, 2013 at 6:15pm at the Nanaimo Ice Center Rink 1. I will be participating this year in the game. Admission is by donation and all proceeds after paying for the ice slot will be given directly to Nanaimo Hospice. This is your opportunity to come watch a fun and exciting game while helping a noble cause.

 

Please contact me for more information.

 

Richard

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I am excited to announce that through hard work and dedication last year I managed to get top honours within my Royal Lepage office here in Nanaimo. I managed to close 9 deals in a 6 month period of time which I considered to be strong considering I had never sold real estate before. This coming year my goal is to double that number. I wish to thank all of my friends, family, associates, and customers for all the referrals and help along the way.

 

Here's to another strong year. The market in Nanaimo is looking to move upwards this year. If you wish to know why I feel that way then please contact me for more information.

 

Cheers!

 

Richard

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Watching the Nanaimo market everyday, I get the opportunity to see some great properties come available. With new foreclosures coming onto the market almost daily, the opportunity to pick up an investment property becomes more and more easily available. 

 

Before taking the plunge into being a landlord there are some things that you should be aware of when purchasing a property. 

 

First and most important is location. Certain features like oceanview and lot size should not have as much importance in value. Instead you want to look for factors that would influence a renter's decision. Location in proximity to transit, shopping, and recreation should have more value placed on them. A property's Walk Score should be something to look at. You can go to www.walkscore.com and enter in the address of any property to obtain its Walk Score. The higher the score the better. 

 

Next, you should note the big ticket items like roof, windows, exterior walls, etc. These are the items that will cost large amounts of money down the road. Most first time investors don't think about the long term costs of a rental home/unit. This big items will quickly drain any contingency fund you have put aside. 

 

Third, the units need to be kept up if you wish to get the most value. Offering in-suite laundry and updated interiors are big motivating features for renters. With all the new rental units being built in Nanaimo, there is more selection available to renters. You want to make sure that you stand out amongst the competition. 

 

Typically in Nanaimo you can assume certain rental values based on the number of bedrooms and location of the property. This is where a qualified realtor comes into play. Determining the income of a property versus the cost is key if you wish to have long-term prosperity.

 

If you are considering the idea of an investment property then send me an email or give me a call. I would be happy to help you through the process and my services don't cost you anything as a buyer. My expertise can be of big assistance in assuring that you get the best value for your dollar.

 

Richard

 

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Here in Nanaimo, I feel that the spring market is in full swing. I have been meeting with many clients that wish to list their home in the spring market but simply think it's too early. I ask everyone I speak with - "When do you think the spring market begins?" I constantly get the same answer. They say "Richard, the spring market happens at the end or March or early April." Now I understand that officially that's when spring hits, but let me tell you this.... there are buyers in the air!

 

Since the second week of January I simply have not been able to sit down. Within the last week I have sold two of my listings. The first one was a foreclosure that was on the market for 142 days which is typical. During that time on the market I had over 60 showings of the home. The property ended up getting 3 offers in at the same time! The other listing was online for only 32 days, generated 21 showings and got an accepted offer for almost full asking price.

 

What I'm getting at here is that there is a lot of pent up demand out there and at this given time there aren't a lot of quality single family homes for sale in Nanaimo.

 

I have found that many buyers who left the market for the holiday season are back. This is coupled with new buyers getting into the market. Bottom line is that if you were thinking of getting your home online for the spring market you may want to get it ready sooner than later. 

 

People that wait until April will likely miss the bulk of the buyers. With a limited amount of homes currently for sale in Nanaimo, a well kept home that is priced right will move quickly. I have seen homes last on the market for mere days, some even getting multiple offers. The bottom line is if you wish to sell your home this spring don't wait. You will likely realize more money and a shorter time to sell now versus later.

 

If you would like more information about the current market and how it affects you then please email me or call me direct at 250-739-1730.

 

Richard

 

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I found the following article on CMHC's website and felt that I should pass it onto anyone who may wish to read it:

 

Getting Your House Ready to Sell

When getting your home ready to sell, you need to look at your house in a new way. Think of your house as a product about to go on the market where it is probably competing with brand new housing. It needs to show well – which means clutter-free and well kept.

Today’s homebuyers lead busy lives and may not be interested in taking on major repairs or improvements upon moving in. You need to make your house a “10”. This document will help you spot what is right and what is not so good about your "product". It will give you the opportunity to take corrective action to ensure your house looks fresh, clean and well maintained when the “For Sale” sign goes up.

Fix It First

If you need to make improvements to your home, do the work before it goes on the market. Potential buyers are not interested in hearing about your good intentions to look after defects before a transfer of ownership takes place. Even if fix-up work is underway, buyers may not be able to visualize what your home will look like when the work is finished. They will just remember it being in a state of disrepair.

Professional Inspection: Yes or No?

A serious buyer may want to have a professional home inspector check your house from top to bottom before making an offer. Even though this guide will help you identify problems on your own, the option of hiring a professional home inspector is open to you as well. If you can afford it, an inspection in advance of putting your home on the market is a good idea. It is your best way of finding and taking care of serious deficiencies before an inspector hired by a potential buyer discovers them.

CMHC's Homeowner’s Inspection Checklist

This practical, easy-to-follow guide for homeowners will help you identify common house problems and deal with them. In it, you will find illustrated how-to tips offering effective solutions for every room of your house. Use the ordering instructions on the back page of this fact sheet.

Let’s Begin Outside

Check Your House’s Curb Appeal

How does your house look from the street? That is where prospective buyers will be when they first see your home; and, that is where they will form that all-important first impression. Stand at the curb in front of your house and note what you see.

Remove any clutter in your yard.
Repair cracked or uneven driveway or walkway surfaces.
If your lawn has bald spots, apply some top dressing and re-seed. Prune trees and shrubs of dead wood. Weed and mulch flower beds, if you have them. If it is the right time of year, consider buying some flower-filled planters to enhance the eye appeal of your property. Make sure your lawn is mowed regularly. Ensure that the composter area is tidy.
Are your windows and walls clean?
Does your front door need paint?
Ensure your eaves and downspouts are clear of debris and in good repair.
Are your backyard deck and walkways clean? If not, use a power washer and do any necessary painting, staining or sealing.
If you have a swimming pool, are the deck and pool clean (when in season)?
Do all outside lights work? Replace any burned out bulbs, and clean fixtures of dirt and cobwebs.
Is there a shed? Does it look presentable?
Do windows and exterior doors need recaulking? Even at 6-7 years of age, the caulking may be dried out and in need of replacement.
Do you have decorative wooden poles on the porch? Is the wood at the bottom in good condition? Overall, does it need a new coat of paint?
If you have a gate, is it well oiled?

When you have completed the curb appeal inspection, carefully check the rest of your home’s exterior.

Will Your Roof and Chimney Pass Inspection?

If you are uneasy about climbing onto your roof, you can inspect most items from the ground using binoculars. Otherwise, be careful when working or moving about on your roof. Unless roof repair is a simple matter of applying new caulking, you will probably need the services of a professional.

Check the general condition of your roof. Sagging sections, curled shingles, pooled water on flat roofs and corrosion on metal roofing mean it is time for repair or replacement.
Both masonry and metal chimneys need to be straight and structurally sound, have proper capping on top and watertight flashing where they penetrate the roof.
All roofs undergo stress from snow and rain loads, so a truss or rafter may become damaged, resulting in a noticeable small depression. A professional should do this inexpensive repair.


Examine Your Walls

The condition of your exterior walls directly affects the look and curb appeal of your home.

Replace old caulking. You may have to cut or scrape away old caulking to get a good seal. Do not seal drainage or ventilation gaps.
Is your exterior paint looking good? If you see faded colours and cracked or peeling surfaces, you need to repaint. Be sure to get competitive bids if you hire professional painters.
You can clean vinyl siding but defects or damage to it and to metal siding usually means replacement.
Stucco can be repaired but some skill is required to blend patches with existing stucco.

Now, Let’s Go Indoors

A prospective buyer will usually enter through your front door; so, that is where you should begin your interior inspection. You want your buyer to see a neat, clean, well-lit interior. Get clutter out of sight; ensure that carpets are clean and floors are scrubbed and polished; and that walls and trim show fresh paint (preferably neutral or light colours).

Take a sniff. Are there any unpleasant odours in your home? If so, track them down and eliminate them. Ensure all your lights work and are free of cobwebs. You want your home to look spacious, bright and fresh.

If you have considerable family memorabilia, consider thinning it out. Your objective is to help potential buyers feel as if they could live in your home. That mental leap becomes more difficult for them if your house resembles a shrine your family.

Professional realtors and decorators say the most important areas of your home to upgrade and modernize are the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers also want to see new or recently installed floor coverings throughout.

General Interior

Check stairs for loose boards, ripped carpeting, and missing or loose handrails and guards.
Most problems with interior walls are cosmetic and can be repaired with spackling compound and paint.
Ensure doors open and shut properly. Minor sticking is normal but excessive binding indicates possible structural problems.
Open and close all windows to ensure they work properly. Fogging between the panes of a sealed window indicates the seal is broken and the unit needs to be replaced.
Keep furniture to a minimum so rooms do not appear smaller than they are. Ensure that traffic can flow in or through rooms unimpeded. If they contain bookshelves or cabinets overflowing with books, magazines and knick-knacks, remove some of these items.
Ensure closets look spacious, organized and uncluttered. Create space by getting rid of old clothes and junk.
Remove or lock away valuables such as jewellery, coins, currency, cameras and compact discs.


Kitchen and Bathrooms

People splash water around in the kitchen and bathrooms so check around sinks, tubs and toilets for rotting countertops and floors. Problems could be due to poor caulking or plumbing leaks. Fogged windows, molds and sweating toilet tanks indicate high humidity levels, which you can remedy with exhaust fans.
In the kitchen, clean all appliances, including your oven. Clean or replace your greasy stove hood filter. Clean your cabinets inside and out, as well as your countertops and backsplashes. Repair dripping faucets.
Remove anything stored on top of your fridge and remove artwork and magnets.
Remove any items stored on countertops.
Remove items stored under the sink.
In bathrooms, scrub sinks, tubs and toilets, taking care to remove any rust stains. Remove mildew from showers and bathtubs. Fix dripping faucets or trickling toilets, and vacuum your fan grill.
Clean mirrors, light switch plates and cupboard handles.
Consider installing new 6-litre toilets if you currently have water-guzzlers.
If you have ceramic tile in either your kitchen or bathroom, ensure grouting is intact and clean.


Basement

The condition of the foundation and main structural members in the basement are critical to the fitness of any house. The purpose of your inspection is to make sure these are sound and durable.

Look for cracks, water seepage, efflorescence (white powder-like substance), crumbling mortar or concrete, and rotting wood. If any of these problems are present, you need to do further research to learn about causes and possible solutions.
If your basement is damp or musty, consider using a dehumidifier.
Like all other areas of your home, your basement should be organized and clutter-free.
Change the filters in the furnace and have it cleaned–this is the number one item purchasers want done after a home inspection.
If you have a pet with a litterbox, ensure the litterbox is clean.


Garage

Get rid of the broken tools, old car parts, discarded bicycles, empty paint cans and the hundreds of other useless items that accumulate in garages. Again, you want a clutter-free zone.
Use cleaning solutions to remove oil stains from the floor.

When It’s Showtime!

You have inspected your house and taken care of problems. Now you are ready for showings. You will need a plan of action that assigns duties to each family member so the place can quickly be whipped into shape.

Open all drapes, blinds, etc. and turn on lights to make the house bright.
Air out the house to get rid of cooking, pet odours, and so on.
Have fresh flowers in view.
Pick up clutter, and empty garbage.
Make sure everything is spotless.
Set your thermostat at a comfortable level.
Remove pets from the house or put them outside.
If you have an agent, leave when the house is being shown. If you are selling it yourself, you need to strike a balance between being helpful and crowding the buyer.
In poor weather, provide a place for boots, overshoes and umbrellas.
Display photos of the house in summer to show landscaping if selling in the winter months.
Leave out heating and hydro bills.

For those on a septic system and/or well, leave out inspection and maintenance information.

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You will want to make the process of shopping for a home as productive
and enjoyable as possible. After all, you'll be on a quest to find your next
dream home. That's why it's important to take the right things with you:


• A digital camera, so you can take pictures of the features you like in
the properties you see.
• A notepad, so you can take notes.
• Measurements of your largest pieces of furniture, so you can confirm
they'll fit in the rooms of properties you like.
• A measuring tape.
• Some healthy snacks and beverages, (especially important if you're
taking the kids along).
• A map of the area, so you can check out local parks and other
neighbourhood features.
• Clear driving directions to each of the properties you want to see.

 

One of the best ways to shop for a home, and actually enjoy the experience,
is to work with a great REALTOR®.

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When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks
and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a
lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.
One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn't
need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting
should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.
Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and
open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your
home.

Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for
areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery like a cedar
hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.
Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back
door.

Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed
with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the
early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.
Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas.
The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes
onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they
see a light turn on.

 

Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No
matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the
common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it
in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar
finds the box, he still won't be able to open it and access the key.

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These days, most people want to do their bit to help the environment.
Unfortunately, not everyone is willing, or able, to install solar panels on their
roof or implement an in-ground heat recovery system.
Luckily, there are many smaller things you can do that can make a big
difference. Here are some ideas that can help you "go green" easily and
inexpensively.
Get a recycling bin and learn how to use it. Most jurisdictions have a
recycling program. You may be able to get a rebate on your recycling bin or
even get it for free. Keep a list of items that can be recycled on your fridge
door, so that everyone in the family can participate.
Get a kitchen compost bin. Find out if your jurisdiction has a compost
pick-up program. If they do, get a kitchen compost bin. Composting can
reduce landfill waste by as much as 32%.
Use energy-saving light bulbs. Low energy light bulbs have come a long
way in recent years. Their consistent glow and brightness now rival their
incandescent counterparts. By replacing regular 40-watt bulbs with energysaving
8-watt bulbs, you could save nearly 50% of the electricity you used
for lighting. Results may vary by brand.
Shop for local produce. Many grocery stores and supermarkets offer
produce – fruits, vegetables, – that are grown within a 100 mile radius. The
short transportation distance, means significantly less fossil fuel is required
to get the produce delivered to your local store. Keep in mind that some
non-local produce, such as apples in the off-season, often need to be
transported thousands of miles.
Let nature do the work. As an alternative to air conditioning, open windows
and block out the passive heat gain from the sun with curtains. Do the
opposite in winter. Strategically using curtains and windows can lower your
energy bill by as much as 20%.
As you can see, you don't have to do much to have a "greener" home. Just
a few little changes can make a big difference.

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If you're shopping for a new home, you're probably aware that there will be
some costs over and above the purchase price. It makes sense to budget
for these costs so you're not surprised – and unprepared – when you get
the bill.
Most of these costs fall into a category that the real estate industry calls
"closing costs." The most common types include land transfer tax, lawyer’s
fees and disbursements, sales taxes, and for newly-built homes, utility hookups.
You should also consider other expenses you will incur, such as home
insurance and moving expenses.
Of course, if your new home is a condominium, you’ll also have to account
for the monthly condo fees.
Closing costs can vary depending on the type and location of your new
home. A good REALTOR® can help you determine the costs you will incur.

 

If you have questions about this or any other topic, please contact me today.

 

Richard

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Now that the dog days of summer are upon us, the real estate market has started to pick up. This is the last month before school's back in and buyer's are starting to feel the pressure to get into their new home. There are currently many homes that are priced well for the market place. These homes are lasting on the market mere days before being swiped up by a diligent eye. 

 

I believe strongly in keeping on top of the everyday new listings to ensure that my clients are receiving the most up-to-date information as possible. Through this effort I can keep my buyers in the loop about the best deals available.

 

If you believe that you deserve this kind of treatment in your home search then please contact me today via any of the listed methods on the website or simply send me an email at leischvost@shaw.ca

 

Take care for now. 

 

Richard

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