When selling your home, it is ALWAYS a good idea to be as prepared as possible for your open house! The funny picture here says a lot, but the reality is, preparation never can start TOO early!


Here are some great ideas from the HGTV blog on how to prepare for an Open House.


  1. Eliminate half of your belongings as clutter can cost a sale. Rent a storage unit or portable pod for extraneous pieces of furniture or knickknacks. Another idea is to ask a friend if you can borrow some space in his or her garage.
  2. Use "home wash" (hose attachment available at home improvement stores) to clean the outside of the house.
  3. Clean rain gutters as well as outside windows and screens.
  4. Make sure the front door is inviting. Paint the door if needed. Also, replace any outdated outdoor lighting fixtures.
  5. Buy new house numbers if the old ones are dated or faded. Be sure buyers can see the new ones from the curb.
  6. Buy a new welcome mat.
  7. Organize all closets and drawers. Buyers might look there.
  8. Make any necessary repairs so that buyers don't have to add that to their list of expenses.

For a more detailed list, along with some other goodies that you'll want to prepare for your Open House click here.


As a Realtor I've seen GREAT ones, and I've seen not so great ones. I'd love to help you prepare for your next Open House so feel free to get in touch with me any time.


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We are full into the swing of summer vacations this year. How wonderful it is to relax, refresh and refuel for the busy fall season that lies ahead.


Everybody does summer vacaction differently though; some stay close to home, some go on extravagent overseas holidays and still others enjoy the familiarity of a family campground that they've visited the last 10 (or more) years. 


I thought I would provide you with some ideas and information today on all of these types of summer vacations and activities.


For staying close to home there are always great local events to go to, most of which are family friendly! 


In Abbotsford there is the upcoming Agrifair and Rodeo or the ever popular Abbotsford Airshow 



In Langley there's the Vancouver Zoo or if your tastes are a little more grown up, there is Bard in the Valley which is currently playing till August 3rd.


As far as (extravagent) overseas holidays I read about this Canadian, local to Vancouver actually, family that has traveled the world over the last five years, and has blogged about it every step of the way. They are called the Traveling Canucks and you can read their blog here. It's really very interesting and fun how they've managed to pull it all off!


Some love the familiarity of a family campground! There are many in BC to enjoy! Here is a website for the BC Parks (Government campgrounds) and here is a resource for non-government campgrounds. GoCampingBC even has a mobile app to make things super easy! 

Whatever you end up doing for your summer vacation this year, enjoy yourself with your family, friends and loved ones, and stay safe!


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Most home sellers are eager to garner the highest possible price when they put their home on the market. To maximize profits, your home must be in the best possible condition so that buyers compare it favorably to a model home. At the same time, you should minimize the amount of cash you spend. A free and essential first step is to pack personal items and eliminate clutter.


1. Freshen Up Paint, Front Door and Hardware
One of the simplest and least expensive ways to give an instant lift to any room is to apply a coat of paint. Even if you choose not to paint your whole house, touch up the trim near your front door and windows, since buyers will notice those spaces first.


You may even want to replace your front door or at least paint it, since buyers stand outside waiting in that spot while their Realtor fetches the keys from the lockbox. First impressions have a lasting psychological impact. While you’re at it, look at your front doorknob. Shiny new knobs outside and inside can make your whole house seem newer, especially if you opt to switch your brass knobs for brushed nickel or a more contemporary shape. Replacing your switch plates and outlet covers so that they’re all fresh, clean and matching can also have a surprisingly big impact.

2. Let There Be Light
Buyers want homes to be light and bright, so spend a little money to add lamps if you can do so without cluttering your spaces. If more table and pole lamps aren’t an option, buy brighter lightbulbs up to the maximum recommended voltage.


If you have a stale-looking brass light fixture over your dining table, spend a couple hundred dollars or less at a hardware store or Target for a more modern fixture. If you have old ceiling fans that look rusty or outdated, replace those, too.


Clean your windows to make sure the maximum light shines through, and remove drapes and blinds if you can or replace them with lighter window treatments.


When your home is being shown, make sure all the lights are on and all the blinds are up.

3. Focus on the Bathrooms and Kitchen
Home buyers pay a lot of attention to whether the kitchen and bathrooms have been updated. If you can’t afford to replace your bathroom’s tile floor but it looks old, you can dig out the old grout and replace it to make your floor look nearly new. Caulk your shower and tub, too, since dirty or old-looking caulk reminds buyers that the bathroom has been used.


If your bathtub is scratched or chipped, you can have it reglazed for less than $500.


If you’re handy, you can replace your bathroom and kitchen faucets yourself, but you may need to hire a plumber for this quick fix. A new faucet can give an updated look to your kitchen without requiring you to spend much money.

4. Dig In for Curb Appeal

No matter what season it is when you’re selling, take the time to pull weeds, mulch and add colorful plants or flowers (or bushes with berries in winter) to impress potential buyers from the moment they see your property.


While you’re outside, patch your concrete sidewalk and steps and power-wash your deck or patio.


While you’ll definitely need to spend time on these simple fixes, they all cost less than $500. You’ll get back your time with a quick sale and recover your money with a higher sales price.





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BC Home Building Investment Up 12.3% Year Over Year: Report


Investment in new housing construction in BC in May fell 2.7 per cent compared with April – but increased 12.3 per cent year over year, according to Statistics Canada data released July 22.


$604.9 million was spent on home building in the province in May 2014, compared with $621.9 million in April and $538.5 million in May 2013.


Broken down by dwelling type, the biggest year-over-year increase was seen in townhomes, as investment in BC row housing construction rose 24.9 per cent to $61.2 million.


Investment in single-family homes was $278.4 million, up 14.2 per cent. For apartments, investment was up 10.7 per cent to $242.9 million.


The year-over-year increases in BC contrasted starkly with the national average statistics, in which investment in new home construction fell 4.2 per cent compared with May 2013, with increases in row housing and duplex investment being offset by drops in single-family home and condo construction.


British Columbia saw the country’s highest year-over-year investment increases, with Alberta the only other province to record a year-over-year rise in investment for combined dwelling types in May.


To see Statistics Canada’s interactive chart, click here.


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Has it always been your burning desire to live like a rock star? Well, now is your chance! The home of Chad Kroeger, from the band Nickelback, has recently gone up for sale.


Here is a short description from huffingtonpost.ca:

"If six bedrooms and nine bathrooms don't pique your interest, how about the grand spiral staircase, two-storey stone fireplace, personal theatre, "deluxe hip roof barn" (we didn't know barns could be hip), riding ring, and covered parking for up to 10 vehicles?


Guests can stay in the separate guest house, and when they get bored of the indoor pool, they can take a dip in the outdoor waterfall pool.


Befitting someone with $9 million to drop on an estate (plus $23,000 in annual taxes), the property promises "complete privacy nestled behind lush vegetation and hedges with two gates.""



Looks pretty rock star-ish (and dreamy) to me!


If this doesn't suite your taste (or budget) be sure to view my listings here. I'd love to work with you!


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According to Huffingtonpost.ca a winning Lotto Max ticket worth $50 million was purchased in the city four months ago and has yet to be claimed.

The ticket was drawn on March 14, meaning the winner has one year from that date to cash in. According to a Lotto Max press release, the winner loses potential interest with each passing day that their prize sits unclaimed.


There are no service fees or taxes on lottery prizes, reports News1130, so the winner would still be able to claim the whole amount.


The March 14 jackpot win ties with the largest ever won in B.C.


The winning numbers are: 3, 4, 5, 7, 31, 33, 40 and bonus 49.

Which one of my listings would you buy with that money?  Wink


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The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,989 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, up 24.9 per cent from June 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $5 billion, an increase of 30.5 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $556,977, up 4.5 per cent from the same month last year.


“Home sales finished the second quarter on an upward trend,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The increase in provincial housing demand was broad-based, with the largest year-over-year increases occurring in the Okanagan, the Kootenays and Chilliwack.”


Home sales climbed 46 per cent in the South Okanagan and nearly 30 per cent in the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board area. In addition, home sales rose 36 per cent in the Kootenays and 33 per cent in Chilliwack compared to the same month last year.


“Market conditions also continued to improve, with the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland even flirting with sellers’ market conditions,” added Muir.


During the half of the year, BC’s residential sales dollar volume was up nearly 26.8 per cent to $23.8 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 18.5 per cent to 41,883 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 7 per cent at $568,499.


For the complete news release, including detailed statistics, click here.

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For more information, please contact: 

Cameron Muir

Damian Stathonikos

Chief Economist

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Direct: 604.742.2780

Direct: 604.742.2793

Mobile: 778.229.1884

Mobile: 778.990.1320

Email: cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca

Email: dstathonikos@bcrea.bc.ca

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The Vancouver Sun reports: Another healthy jump in real estate sales across the Lower Mainland in June is putting some areas “on the cusp” of a seller’s market where demand outstrips supply and pushes prices higher, according to reports released by the region’s major real estate boards.

The most recent sales results fit with Central 1 Credit Union’s latest housing forecast, which estimates that the surprise cut in mortgage rates earlier this year will produce a modest, steady rise in housing demand even as interest rates move higher in coming years.

Read more here.



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It's a common occurance, you have a gap between your move in date and your move out date! Now what? Well, you can stay at your sisters place for a couple of weeks, but what about your stuff? Well, here's some great info for you if you need a place to temporarily store your stuff, from rew.ca.




Types of temporary storage


There are two main temporary storage options available: the traditional self-storage unit, where you go to it, and the portable, on-demand storage unit, where it comes to you.


Traditional self-storage is your own locked unit in a storage facility. It requires you to make trips back and forth from your home. The portable unit is a metal box that can be delivered to your home, provided you have room on site for it. You load it directly from your home. You can then keep it until you’re ready to unload, or the company takes it to a secure storage area. These are known commercially as PODS, Cubeit, Big Steel Box and U-Box.


There are advantages to either of these options.


“Both are convenient and safe methods to store your items,” says Robert Madsenpresident of both U-Lock Mini Storage and the Vancouver Island Self-Storage Association, and director of the Canadian Self Storage Association. ”Portable is an awesome solution for many people because it’s delivered right to your door, there’s no waiting for movers and when you are ready, the storage company will pick it up. They are also very affordable.”


“Traditional storage units come in many different sizes and you can rent them on a short- or long-term basis.”


Another great benefit is the fact that storage facilities are well ventilated and there is no temperature fluctuation.

What can go in temporary storage?


You can store just about anything you can think of — from sports equipment, household furniture, artwork, business or commercial items, even your collection of good wine if it’s a temperature-controlled facility.

What can’t go in temporary storage?


You can’t store anything perishable, flammable or illegal, including foodstuffs, gas, fuels, oils, toxic chemicals and prohibited drugs.


“Any hazardous or flammable materials are prohibited,” says Madsen. “In addition, the reason foodstuff, such as boxed food, are not permitted is that they can emit a smell and attract rodents.”

What about insurance?


Madsen says that is it the responsibility of the tenant to make sure the stored belongings are properly insured.


“We don’t know what our tenants are storing or what their items are worth,” he points out. “We encourage our customers to check with their home owner’s policy. Tenants should contact their insurance company to extend their household policy to cover their belongings in a storage facility or in the case of a portable unit, outside their home.

Space-saving tips

(Courtesy of U-Lock Mini Storage )


  • Consider creating a path down one side or through the centre of your unit so that you can see and access all your items.
  • Use adjustable shelving for easy and efficient access to boxes.
  • Leave a step stool in the unit so that you can always reach items on the top shelf.
  • Hang bikes or garment bags from the ceiling.
  • Store chesterfields and mattresses on end — boxes piled on top of them would damage their springs.
  • Clothes and fabrics should be cleaned before being stored and can be stored in drawers and wardrobes. But don’t cram them in — a little air circulation is a good thing.
  • If storing quality wood items for a long time, consider waxing or using a wood treatment before storing, then cover with a thick blanket so you can store other items on top without risk of scratching.
  • Label all boxes on the sides and top so that you can see the list of contents no matter how you place your boxes in the unit
  • Keep a thick marker on a string in your unit, when you change the contents of a box, change the label.
  • Remove oil and gasoline from all small engine equipment before it is stored (including lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc.)
  • Use the space under tables and inside appliances and cabinets.


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The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 1,668 sales in June, an increase of 26 per cent compared to the 1,327 sales in June of last year and 2 per cent higher than sales in May. In terms of historical comparison, last month’s sales finished 7 per cent below the 10-year average for June with the previous best June occurring in 2010.


Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “Recent news reports indicate that consumer optimism about real estate is at its highest level in a number of years and we’re experiencing that at the ground level.


“Over the last three months, we’ve seen a surge in demand specifically for single family homes and townhomes in most of our communities. Our number one buyer is families with children and they’re taking advantage of ultra-low interest rates combined with more affordable, stable prices in the Fraser Valley.”


In June, the benchmark price, as determined by the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI), of a ‘typical’ residential home – detached, townhouse and apartment combined – was 1.3 per cent higher than June of last year. For the single family detached home, the HPI benchmark price in June was $568,600, an increase of 3 per cent compared to June 2013 when it was $552,200. This is a record high benchmark price for detached homes since the MLS® HPI began in January 2005.


The HPI benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses decreased by 0.3 per cent; going from $298,700 in June 2013 to $297,800 in June 2014. The benchmark price of apartments was $197,000 last month, a decrease of 2.7 per cent compared to $202,500 in June of last year.


Werger adds, “We’re essentially seeing two markets right now, so it’s important to get advice dependent on what you’re listing or buying. Competitively priced, mid-range single family homes are being snapped up quickly, on average in a little over a month, whereas condos and higher-end, executive homes in our region are taking as long as three months on average to sell. Talk to your REALTOR® to find out where you fit.”


The Board’s MLS® received 13 per cent more new listings in June, 2,974 compared to the 2,625 new listings received during June of last year. The month finished with 9,853 active listings, a decrease of 6 per cent compared to the 10,515 active listings available during June of last year.


Find the June Statistics Package here.


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A message from the Township of Langley:


As a public health precaution, Township of Langley and the Fraser Health Authority remind residents in the Aldergrove area of the Township of Langley to boil their drinking water for at least one minute. This precautionary measure remains in effect and should be followed until further notice.


A low level of coliform bacteria was detected at a water sampling point in a local neighbourhood in Aldergrove. Regular updates will be available as further testing is done and until the precautionary boil water advisory is canceled. Two consecutive clear test results, 24 hours apart, must be obtained before consideration will be given to cancelling the advisory. The earliest possible test result date is Tuesday, July 8. Visit tol.ca for updates.


Residents are reminded to bring their water to a rapid, rolling boil for at least one minute prior to using it for domestic purposes, including drinking, making infant formula and juices, cooking, brushing teeth, washing raw foods and making ice. Alternatively, residents may use bottled water.


The precautionary boil water advisory applies to the municipal water supply for the Aldergrove area managed by the Township of Langley; and the boundaries of the area affected include:


  • East of 260 St and west of 276 St
  • North of 24 Ave and south of 36 Ave


This does not affect other water systems managed by the Township of Langley.


Health information about illnesses related to contaminated water is available at www.healthlinkbc.ca


Individuals concerned about their personal health can speak with a HealthLink BC nurse by calling 8-1-1, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


For media inquiries contact: Fraser Health Media pager 604.450.7881.


Area residents & businesses can contact the Township of Langley 604.532.7300 (8:30am-4:30pm daily until further notice).


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EXCELLENT revenue property or perfect for 1st time buyers!



LOFTY CONDO 2 bdrms with a potential 3rd bdrm in loft space.


Professionally managed complex where you can walk to all amenities including, Price-Smart Groceries, Starbucks, liquor store,dental and medical offices and assorted boutique shops.


Bus access at your door. Great commuter access via Fraser Hwy. Pets allowed (size restriction)


Click here for the full listing details and the NEW LOW PRICE!


We would love to work with you!


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I came across a "food for thought" type of article today from rew.ca on the (sometimes) challenging thought of owning your own home and found that some are considering co-ownership.



This may, or may not, be an alternative for you. Here's more:


Jeremy Wilson, 38, was frustrated with paying high strata fees and wanted a bigger back yard for his dog.

When he and his wife, Kim, started looking at single family homes, their frustration only grew.


“I work in Kitsilano and my wife in Richmond and we really wanted to stay in Richmond. However, what we could afford and what we wanted were miles apart,” says Wilson. “In our price range, the homes were either really small bungalows or in complete disrepair.”


The couple came up with an idea that is growing in popularity in cities across BC — co-ownership, whether it’s one or more roommates, co-workers, friends or family members buying and sharing a home together and splitting the expenses.


The couple approached Kim’s mother and asked if she wanted to purchase a home together. At the time, Kim’s mother, Jean, also owned a townhome and was fighting cancer. It seemed to be a win/win situation.


“We knew we could all live under the same roof and it gave Kim peace of mind that her mother was nearby,” says Wilson.


They ended up buying a 2,500-square-foot home in Steveston for nearly $900,000.


“We never could have bought this house on our own,” he says, adding Kim’s mother passed away and her half-share of the home was divided between Kim and her sister (who now lives in the lower part of the family home. “We split the expenses three ways and we’ve never had a problem.”

Here are some reasons why it may not be a good fit for you:


Randy Klarenbach, real estate lawyer at Richards Buell Sutton LLP, strongly cautions his clients against these types of arrangements.


“What happens if one owner loses their job or gets sick and can’t work, or moves out of town?” says Klarenbach. “A lender can’t foreclose on half a property.”


Or, he went on to say, one party simply can’t pay? It becomes the other person’s responsibility to make the mortgage payments or risk losing the house.


“Bottom line, it’s a huge financial risk,” he says, adding he’s seen co-ownership agreements as long as 500 pages, covering every conceivable eventuality.


“Even though some of these arrangements do work well, it is my job to think of everything that can go wrong and let my clients know.”


Colin Lawrence concedes that, as with any financial arrangement, there are drawbacks.


But if all parties come in with eyes wide open, with a workable plan, with expectations drawn up and good legal advice, co-ownership can work well.


“Everyone must be aware of all of the things that can go wrong and that’s why we provide our members with an agreement checklist,” adds Lawrence.


It’s been five years since Wilson entered into a co-ownership agreement and “it’s been fantastic … the only drawback is the lack of privacy.”

Please click here for the full article on rew.ca for all the pertinent information surrounding co-ownership.


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