Newsletter

Market Update for Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Poco and Coquitlam

Here is the latest chart from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Each chart covers those four communities and covers the type of property listed. This allows you to track price over time, but to also compare prices from community to community. If your community is not represented or you would like info for your particular neighbourhood, please email me at markstevens54@gmail.com and I’ll get you the info!

Detached

Click here for the full report

Apartments

Click here for the full report

Townhouses

Click here for the full report

November Updates & Events

50 Donation Milestone!

I decided a number of years ago to start giving blood at the local blood clinic.  I recently hit the 50 donation mark.  The Canadian Blood Services claims that each donation saves 3 lives.  I’m not saying this in order to get pats on the back, but to encourage you to start giving blood, if you don’t already.  It takes about an hour and a half out of your day once every couple of months.  You can set up an appointment at a clinic near you by logging on to https://www.blood.ca/en.  Go ahead, save some lives!

Blanket Drive

It is the 25th Annual Blanket Drive!  This is a REALTOR® sponsored event with the goal or providing warm clothing and blankets to those in need.  Please click on the “Events” tab above to find out how and where you can donate.  Give me a call or text at 604-306-5478 and I will stop by and pick it up.  The blanket drives runs from November 18 – 25.

Family Skate

Our office has rented ice at the Pitt Meadows Arena for a pre-Christmas family skate on Sunday, December 22 from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.  If you are reading this newsletter, you and your family are invited!  Free skate rentals included, as well as free coffee, hot chocolate and cookies!  SANTA will there on his own blades!  Door prizes!  Concession will be open as well.  RSVP to me at 604-306-5478 or markstevens54@gmail.com, so we can plan for the amount of hot chocolate, etc. that we’re going to need. 

Free Home Show Tickets

The Vancouver Fall Home Show will be in full swing from October 24 to October 27, 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Center. I have ordered 50 tickets.   I am offering them first to the readers of this newsletter.  I only pay for tickets that get redeemed at the homeshow, so let me know if you would like some.  Please text me at 604-306-5478 with your name and # of tickets you would like!  First come, first served!

Market Update:

One of the best ways to judge what is happening with the market is tracking the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s Housing Price Index.  (HPI)  It is a calculated value using a sophisticated algorithm using data from that month.  It won’t tell you what your home is worth, but it will give you a good idea of how the market is changing over time, so that you have an accurate gauge of the change in values over time.  Check out your area and type of property:

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, and Coquitlam:

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/RDcW-uif  Detached

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/RDNB-Fj6 Apartments

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/RDNl-AJB Townhouses

Mission, Langley and Abbotsford

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/RDNr-vb4 Detached

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/RDN6-hXt Apartments

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/RDNI-wgh Townhouses

The board also provides information for zones within each community:  E.g., If you live in Pitt Meadows and live in Bonson’s Landing, you can get the HPI for South Meadows.

If you want more specific info for your area or would like to know the value of your home in today’s market, call me at 604-306-5478 or email me at markstevens54@gmail.com.

Where to Put Your Money In Your House: Top 5 RENO’s For Optimal Resale Returns

(As adapted from an article in Westcoast Condo and Homes April/May 2019.  Author: Homebuilder’s Association Vancouver. (pg 37/38))

I’m often asked, “Where is the best place to put your money, if you are getting ready to sell your home.”  Besides the obvious things such as performing deferred maintenance, cleaning up the landscaping, decluttering and depersonalizing, and deep cleaning, the following provide the best returns.

  1. Paint!   Give everything a fresh coat:  Doors, walls, trim and the inside of the closets.  They can be a giveaway as to how the house was treated.  Choose light tones such as Revere Pewter (a warm grey) with cloud white or oxford white for the trim, closets and ceilings.
  2. Mouldings!  Before you paint, consider replacing damaged mouldings, especially in high traffic areas.  If you decide to change all mouldings, consider trims and doors that are simple.
  3. Bathrooms!  If your fixtures are dated or the room is just run down, consider a bathroom renovation.  The least expensive is just to remove and replace the old fixtures with new ones including vanities, sinks, faucets, tubs and toilets.  Updating the flooring and lighting are also highly recommended. Stay with neutral finishes and white for the tub, sink and toilet.
  4. Flooring!  If your hardwood, tile or laminate is dated or in rough shape, new beautiful flooring can make your home feel more expansive, warm and welcoming.
  5. Kitchens!   Last, but certainly not the least expensive, a kitchen reno can significantly increase the value of your home.  However, it can also be the most intrusive and may even put you out of your home for awhile.

And unless you are a skilled craftsperson, get professionals to do the work.  Do It Yourselfer’s, without the requisite skillset, do subpar work that is easily spotted and a turn off to potential buyers. Get it done right, to get the best return.

Here is a plug for the writers of the article.  The Homebuilders Association of Vancouver (HAVAN) represents the residential construction industry in the Metro Vancouver Area.  They have a website where you can search for a professional for the job you need done. Go to havan.ca.

To Paint or Not to Paint: That is the Question (for the kitchen cabinets)

The trend in kitchen cabinets has been to white for a couple of years now.  Some people have gone to the expense of completely removing the old cabinets and purchasing new white maple cabinets.  My wife and I had that priced out for our kitchen and between new IKEA cabinets, appliances and site prep ($38,000) the total came to just over $60,000.  We are still thinking about it. 

However, a number of people have chosen to paint their old wooden cabinets white, to good effect.  I was recently showing this couple some houses in Mission and out of 6 homes, 5 had painted the old cabinets white.  You can tell they were painted because of the style of the cabinet.  With new brushed nickel hardware, they looked good and certainly brightened up the kitchen. 

Should you decide to go this route, you have a couple of options.  There are companies and painters out there that will take over the project and do it for you, or, you can do it yourself.  Personally, I would need to hire someone.  However, for those do it yourselfers out there (DIY’s) I have included a couple of articles I found on the subject.  The first is about what is the best kind of paint to use and the second article is about the best kind of primer.  Having never tried either product, this is NOT a personal endorsement, so do your homework.

I checked out both the Benjamin Moore Advance Paint and the INSL-X Prime Lock (primer) and both are available locally. 

Mark Stevens, July 2019

The Best Kind of Paint for Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Lisa Freedman

Feb 27, 2018

Walk down a paint aisle in even the smallest hardware store and the number of options is overwhelming. Do you want oil-based paint? What kind of finish? What is it that makes this paint by X company different than this other paint by the same company? Which can is the best?

Of course, the answers depend on the job. If you’re painting wooden kitchen cabinets, there’s one can that many pros swear by: Benjamin Moore Advance

“For starters, it’s an alkyd paint,” say professional painters Chris and Lexi Dowding, of SwatchOut in Michigan. “Which means it dries very hard and can stand up to lots of abuse without chipping or scratching.” They also love this particular paint because it levels out well (no weird bumps or ripples!), covers dark wood with just two (or sometimes three) coats, is low VOC (a fancy way of saying it won’t stink up the room), and is almost $20 cheaper per can compared to competitive brands. Plus, they say other professionals swear by the same stuff — a claim our reporters were able to back up.

Chris and Lexi prefer to use the satin finish, saying, “It usually goes well with other trims, and anything shinier would show scratches and imperfections too easily.” It also has a nice glow, they add.

We watched them use Benjamin Moore Advance in a real-life kitchen and can confirm everything they’ve said. It goes on like an oil paint (smooth and leveling), and cleans up like a latex paint (with just soap and water — or even just water — instead of paint thinner or mineral spirits).

We went with the basic can right off the shelf — because who doesn’t love a crisp, white paint job?

The Best Primer for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Ayn-Monique Klahre

Sep 6, 2017

Painting your kitchen cabinets is easy — it’s all the prep that goes into it that’s hard. Removing the doors (and getting everything labeled so you can put them back up!), taping off your edges, covering the floors, cleaning the wood, filling in the random scratches … by the time you’re ready to start painting, you’ve done hours of work. So much work that you may be tempted to skip the primer and go straight to the paint — but definitely don’t do that!

Professional painters Chris and Lexi Dowding, of SwatchOut in Michigan, say that primer is key. You need it to create a full barrier between the previous surface and your new one, so that the old color doesn’t show or seep through. Primer also provides a surface that your new paint can stick to, so it stays right where you’ve put it for years to come.

Which primer should you use, though?

According to the Dowdings, the best primer is INSL-X Prime Lock.

“This resin-based primer is a sealer as well, so nothing bleeds through. Plus, it’s easy to handle, and it’s a good bonding primer for paint to go onto,” says Chris. “I consider it our insurance policy — I go heavy-duty on the primer so I don’t run into something later on that I’m regretting.”

While priming can add a day to the process, because you have to wait for it to dry before you can paint, the step is totally necessary. “Skipping primer is not an option,” says Lexi. After priming, they typically sand the primer layer before painting the wood in order rough up the surface even more so that the new coat has something to really grip onto. And even when they’re panting first or second coat of paint, if any dark spots in the wood start to show through during the drying process, they’ll use a little paint brush and dab the spot with a little more primer before the next coat. “It’s all about the prep work!” says Chris.

 

What’s Happening in Your Market!

All real estate markets a local, changing from community to community and even within communities.  After a slow start to 2019, our traditional Spring market is in full bloom.  Many indicators at the local level are up. Properties that are selling are spending less time on the market and sellers are not having to give away the farm in order to get sold.  Properties are moving.

Click on the graphs below to see that the downward trend has, for the time being, stopped and prices are remaining even or up slightly over last month’s values.

Housing Price Index

The Housing Price Index (HPI), is a calculated value of what a typical property’s value would be on any given month.  The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has a complicated algorithm it uses to calculate these values, and it is the Board’s best indicator in the change in value over time and is not subject to changes caused by a single property sale as can the average selling price.  Check out your city and property type below: 

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Poco and Coquitlam

Detached Homes

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/EQai-Mdl

Apartments

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/EQaG-s4p

Townhouses

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/EQMf-f8c

Langley, Mission, Abbotsford

Detached Homes

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/EQLp-0Rq

Apartments

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/EQLV-m8c

Townhouses

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/EQaQ-au5

Market Update:

You can click on the links below to check out and compare what has been happening with prices in the six areas mentioned.  I have done comparative graphs for detached homes, townhouses and apartments.

The graphs are for the Housing Price Index (HPI) which is a calculated value for a typical home in that area.  It is best used to track the changes in price and the overall trend in the market.  Use your mouse to check out prices for different months!

Mostly, housing prices continue to trend lower.  Langley, however, is bucking the trend with slight upticks in the market over the past 3 months, in all three types of housing.

Again, with the price gaps narrowing, it is a great time to move up in the market!  Call me if you want to know the value of your property and/or need assistance determining what you can afford!

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/FaQg-2W4    Detached

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/FabP-Hys    Townhouses

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/Fabu-S1R   Apartments

Langley, Mission

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/Fabq-Aa5    Detached

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/Faby-Zgj     Townhouses

https://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/Fabe-S8r    Apartments

7 Reasons a Seller Should Get a Pre-inspection

Contrary to what might be depicted on television or what many real estate agents think, when a contract is executed is not the time to begin celebrating. It marks the beginning of an uncertain process to a potential closing. There are almost always inspections to go through as well as an appraisal, if the buyer is getting financing. Much can go wrong with so many hands in the pot, and the fear of the unknown is real. Murphy’s Law is alive and well in real estate, and if the other shoe can drop, it will find a way.

The best way to increase your chance as a seller of crossing the finish line is to have a prelisting inspection done before ever coming on the market. Here are seven reasons why: Continue reading