You're stuck in your house for the umpteenth day and are running out of things to do. You've baked the bread in your Instant Pot, tried all the recipes from the trendy cookbook, painted a gazillion rocks, and gone on a ton of family walks, right?
You know what needs to be done and yet you keep putting it off, don't you?
It's the storage room (cue the Jaw-themed music)...or your kitchen cupboards/closet/underwear drawer.
Clutter causes chaos-it prevents us from attaining the order we desire and takes up mind space. I don't know about you but every time I go get toilet paper out of the storage room a little bit of my soul is sucked away into the depths of my overly burdened, overflowing, storage room and I chastise myself for it. Why not just tackle that space, get it organized and efficient, and release my mind from the stressor (and the condescending brain speak tone which frankly, I do not appreciate).
Because it's overwhelming!
Where do you start? What's the most effective way to deal with the items? Well, I've polled the storage experts read some articles and here are some steps to guide you from chaos to calm.
Step 1: Mindset
Yes, honestly this is the first step. You've got to get your mind right and prepare to get into the zone. Some of those boxes you open are going to bring a flood of memories and emotions. That first picture your baby drew? It's in there. Those champagne glasses that say Bride and Groom? They're in there too. Letters and cards from loved ones, old journals, photo albums --they're all going to vie for your attention and tug at your heart strings. Prepare yourself by knowing you may become emotional and don't let the walk down memory lane drain your energy and prevent you from completing the task at hand.
Step 2: Set a Time Limit
Give yourself a 30-60 minute window to work on decluttering, that way you'll be more focused and less likely to find yourself in the corner crying over Billy's box of Bakugans.
Step 3: Gather Supplies
Step 4: Sort Items Using the Four Box Method
Keep It | Donate It | Trash It | Store It
A. Keep It
This should be your smallest box and should include sentimental items and things you would use daily/weekly but somehow got misplaced.
B. Donate It
Fill with valuable items you no longer use
Consider the item's condition--is it in good shape? Remember donations become garbage if they're not clean, or in good shape. Be considerate.
C. Toss It
Just a note here--keep your 'purging energy' in check. Before you toss it, think about whether or not it's a donate-able item.
D. Store It
This box should include any items you cannot part with but don't need on a regular basis. Items like seasonal decor or seasonal clothing are examples.
Step 5: Re-Storing
Group like items and stick to broad categories like 'Memories' instead of birthday cards and love letters.
Step 6: Organize What's Left
Purchase transparent storage boxes, organizers and shelving units. Place the items that you've organized into groups into the transparent boxes and label them. You can itemize the labels to give you a better idea of contents:
Step 7: Clean the Storage Room/Closet/Cupboard
Wipe down the surfaces, vacuum, dust away cobwebs, spray some Febreze around. This is probably the worst part so turn the music up real loud and shake your booty while you shake your feather duster.
Step 8: Pack The Items Away
Pack away the containers with the bulky and heavy items on or close to the floor. Make sure you organize the space so that you only need to move one other item in order to access another. If you have to move boxes around like the pieces on that Traffic Jam game chances are you're either going to mess up the space again over time, or you're going to forget about what you have and just go buy another one. Don't do this--clutter causes chaos, remember?
Step 9: Donate
I hear you rolling your eyes-- 'this is not the time to donate' --but hear me out...
Once we find the new normal that awaits us your clutter will still need evicting so take those Donate It boxes, close them up with some packing tape, and put them on the floor of your garage so that they are ready to go when the time comes.
Or, you can list the items on a Buy Nothing group on Facebook.
Some precautions I've noticed people taking in light of COVID-19 are:
Step 10: Go do another room
Just kidding--go make another loaf of bread or if it's 7pm go bang on your pots and pans to thank a front line worker.
Once you've achieved your organizational zen, please feel free to send good energies my way as I have huge storage room that needs tackling too. I'll get to it right after I finish this loaf of bread...
Imagine you’ve dreamed of living in a particular neighbourhood, perhaps for years, and then, when you're finally ready to make a move, finding out that the area is competitive and buying there is definitely a challenge.
A disappointment? Not necessarily.
There is a lot you can do to buy into a popular neighbourhood, even in competitive offer situations.
Your first step is to start targeting that area now. Find out about property types, prices and trends. In particular, you’ll need to know what price range you should be thinking about, and making sure that it’s going to fit your budget. To do that, you might need to get a determination of the Fair Market Value of your current home.
Next, begin making preparations so you can get a jump on opportunities in that neighbourhood quickly. You don't want to see a great property come on the market and not be ready to make a move. So, get your current home in order so it’s ready for a quick listing.
If possible, make arrangements to get alerted to new listings as soon as they come on the market. Keep in mind that a new listing may not appear online for several days. By getting advance notice, you can be among the first buyers to see the home and have an early advantage over other buyers.
If it's likely there's going to be competing offers for the home you want, there are many strategies that can increase your chances of winning. These involve going in at the right price, minimizing conditions to the offer, presenting the offer appropriately, and negotiating effectively.
Is there a neighbourhood you want to get into? I can help make it happen. Call today.
Ideally, you would like buyers to wait until they’ve viewed your whole property before they judge it. However, the reality is, buyers start forming an impression of your home as soon as they see it from the curb. So, it pays to do everything you can to improve your property’s “curb appeal”.
Here are some ideas:
~You can improve the impact of your landscaping by trimming hedges, removing any unsightly weeds, and cutting the grass. Planting just a few fresh flowers can make a big impact.
~If your main entrance door is old, a fresh coat of paint will make it look like new. In some cases, the effect is significant.
~Remove any items that might distract the buyer from forming a good first impression. For example, garbage cans, stored items along the side of the property, etc.
~Make sure the curtains and blinds on your front windows are open during viewings. That will make your home look more friendly and appealing.
~If your driveway has grease stains and other blemishes, consider renting a power washer and giving the driveway a thorough cleaning.
~Clean your front windows. If possible, also clean the exterior panes.
~Finally, if possible, park your vehicles on the street and away from your home. Doing this will not only make your home look more inviting to buyers, it will give them a convenient place to park.
Most of these tips can be done in less than a day. Yet, they can make a big difference in your home’s curb appeal. They are worth the effort!
The weather has started to cool down, so now’s the time to start planning for the first frost and getting your garden ready for fall. Some things you should do to transition your garden into the fall season are listed below.
Clean out your garden.
Make sure your perennials are ready to come back swinging next year by trimming them down as they become dormant. This will save the root of the plant. You can also go ahead and remove any spent plants from the roots up. If your garden has a mix of perennials and annuals, keep track of your garden’s layout as you go to make it easier to plan your spring planting.
Plant cover crops.
A cover crop, also known as green manure, is an organic fertilizer. Cover crops maintain the richness of the soil and protect your soil through the winter, helping you create an even better garden come spring.
Organic fertilizers are becoming more and more popular. One of the best ways to get organic fertilizer is to create it yourself by composting. To compost, clean out your garden and add the plant debris to a compost pile, then mix it in with other compost material. Spread a good mix of compost over your garden in the fall to refurbish the soil and help protect the soil during the winter.
Now that the weather is cooling off, it’s a great time to spruce up your current home or to find a new house to make your own. Give me a call if you or someone you know has any questions about real estate!
There are many good reasons to put your property on the market. Some examples include a relocation, the kids leaving the nest, the need for something bigger or smaller, and the list goes on and on. However, there are also some less-than-obvious indicators that it may be time to sell. Consider the following:
1. Your Property is no longer a Good "Fit"
Your home may have been perfect for you when you bought it. But things change. Families grow. Needs evolve. For any number of reasons, your property may no longer be a good fit for you. If that's the case, it makes sense to at least take a look at what's available on the market. Who knows? Your next "perfect" home may be for sale right now — within your price range!
2. The Neighbourhood is Changing
You may have been in love with the neighbourhood when you first moved in. But, over time, the characteristics of any area can change. Those changes don’t necessarily mean the neighbourhood is getting worse. In fact, it may be changing in a positive way; perhaps becoming more urban. But, "more urban" may not be what you want. So take a look at the direction your neighbourhood is heading. Ask yourself, "Do I still want to be living here in two years?"
3. You're Ready for Your Dream Home
Remember when you purchased your current property? Did it have every feature you wanted? Was it your dream home? Or, did you have to compromise on a few things, such as the size of the kitchen? If you had to make some tough choices back then, it might be time for you to finally get the home of your dreams.
Those are just three indicators it may be time for you to make a move. Of course, there are many others. If you've been entertaining the idea of selling your property and finding your next dream home, give me a call. I can show you what's available on the market, and keep you informed of new listings that match what you're looking for. Contact me anytime AT 778.242.3616.
ENJOY THE DAY,
Property sales in the Fraser Valley remained strong in September, consistent with the near-record setting pace of the last six months.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,727 sales, an increase of 22 per cent compared to 1,419 sales during September of last year. Last month’s sales were on par with September 2005 and second to September’s all-time high for sales in 1992.
Jorda Maisey is the Board’s President. “Sales remain brisk depending on the property type and location. We’re continuing to see many family homes that are priced right receive multiple offers and sell in a matter of days. People actively looking for a home will already know that in some communities, selection is very tight.
“In Langley where I live and work, we have less than two months supply of single family homes and townhomes, which means buyers and their REALTORS® have to be informed, prepared and have a strategy.”
In September, the total number of active listings in the Fraser Valley was 7,122. This represents a 4 per cent decrease compared to August and a 22 per cent decrease compared to September of last year. For September, this is the lowest inventory levels have been since 2006.
Maisey adds, “Where we have the best selection currently is within our Fraser Valley condo market. That market is currently in balanced conditions. In most communities, buyers have a healthy choice of both new and resale units and steady sales over the last few months have led to modest increases in prices, which is good news for sellers.”
The MLS® Home Price Index benchmark price of a detached home in September was $639,500, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared to September of last year when it was $569,800. The MLS® HPI benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased 3.1 per cent going from $299,600 in September of last year to $308,900 last month. The benchmark price of apartments was $197,500, an increase of 2.0 per cent compared to $193,600 in September 2014.
Maisey adds, “Our market this year has reflected consumers’ confidence in the economy and in the Fraser Valley. We have amongst the most affordable real estate in the Lower Mainland in some of the fastest-growing, dynamic communities in BC. It’s a smart place to invest.”
The neighbor is doing it. Your friends are doing it. Lately it seems like everyone is doing it in Walnut Grove. Yes, it's true, many people are selling their homes for prices that exceed their asking price...and sometimes doing so before it even hits the market!
The statistics show that at the beginning of 2013 a three bedroom home between 2000-3800sqft sat on the market for an average of 101 days! Now, that very same home is selling on average in 6 days---so fast that ink on the listing contract isn't even dry yet!
What is going on in the Grove? Why are buyers competing and paying over $711,000.00 for a home in 2015 that they could have purchased for $544,000.00 in 2013? I believe there are a number of reasons--and it's not just because the people are nice (although they really are).
1. Public Schools--we're #1(...and 3, and 4)
According to the Fraser Institute, elementary schools in Walnut Grove occupy five out of the top ten spots! Alex Hope elementary school (located in the Forest Hills/ Manor Park area) holds the spot as the number one public elementary school in all of Langley! As a realtor who does much business in the Forest Hills/Manor Park area, I have had many buyers reveal that school ranking is one of their number one reasons for choosing a neighborhood.
2. Lot Size--typical lot sizes runs from 5000sqft to 8000sqft (although we do have some as larges as 10,000sqft and over!)
Who would have thought that a 5000sqft lot would be considered LARGE? Many new homes in neighboring areas are being built on lots of 3700sqft or less. If you're not outdoorsy, or don't have children or a large dog, then a smaller lot size might be absolutely perfect for you. If however you need room for a trampoline, or have a rambuctious canine or a child (or two) then the lot sizes in Walnut Grove are very appealing.
3. Walkability--leave the car at home
Walnut Grove is a well planned out community and most amenities are no more than a 15 minute walk away. Shopping, coffee shops, specialty food stores, indoor swimming pool, public library, meeting rooms, medical clinics and ice cream shops, parks, tennis courts and community gardens can all be found in Walnut Grove. And, if you're feeling especially enthusiastic, you can bike out to Derby Reach and sit by the Fraser River and watch the sun go down.
4. Proximity to Highway #1--Honey, start the car!
Walnut Grove is called a bedroom community. When I first read that I'll admit I was offended thinking that the article meant we were all sleepy! Not so, it means that the residents of this community typically commute to their jobs and then return to Walnut Grove to sleep (thus the term 'bedroom' community) so being only about five minutes to the highway is another appealing feature that is attracting buyers. Commuting into Vancouver is much quicker now since the new Port Mann bridge has been built and it's going to get even better with the recent announcement of a highway interchange from 216th. Details are sparse at this point as development and planning get underway but you can read a little about it here.
These are just a few of the things that make Walnut Grove a desirable place to live. There are also the benefits of cul de sacs; elements of privacy due to mature flora or creekbeds/forests; young families; and wonderful sports teams such as hockey, basketball, competitive swimming and soccer. It's a great place to call home and I feel such peace knowing that I've helped many people achieve their goals of home ownership in this community. Please have a look at the statistics below and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my blog...and please feel free to share it with someone who's looking for the perfect community to call HOME.
SURREY, BC – Sales on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May remained at strong levels – the highest since 2007 – however, they softened slightly compared to April.
There were 1,969 MLS® sales processed in May, a decrease of 2 per cent compared to April, however an increase of 21 per cent compared to the 1,633 sales processed in May of last year.
Jorda Maisey is the Board’s President. “Home sales in the Fraser Valley maintained a strong pace in May; however, we noticed a slight shift in the market. In certain areas, we saw interest in higher-end detached homes pick up while demand for attached homes, which typically appeal to first-time buyers, decreased.
“The result is that the selection of apartments in the Fraser Valley improved in the last month creating greater opportunities for buyers. Inventory of detached homes and townhomes remains tight, keeping the market elevated.”
In May, the total number of active listings on the MLS® was 8,512, an increase of 1.5 per cent compared to April and a decrease of 14 per cent compared to May 2014. The volume of new listings decreased 7 per cent compared to April, and was also down 7 per cent compared to May of last year.
Maisey continues, “It may help consumers to understand that over half the housing inventory in the Fraser Valley is attached homes, either condos or townhomes, while 60 per cent of all home sales are for single family detached.
“What buyers and sellers are experiencing is effectively two markets: a sellers’ market for detached homes and townhomes and a balanced or buyers’ market depending on the location, for apartments. In either situation, you can benefit a tremendous amount from the experience and advice of your local REALTOR®.”
In May, the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home was $603,100, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to May 2014 when it was $566,400.
The benchmark price of townhouses in May was $303,100, an increase of 2 per cent compared to $297,300 in May 2014. The benchmark price of apartments decreased year-over-year by 2.8 per cent, going from $198,100 in May 2014, to $192,500 last month.
Find the May Statistics Package here.
It's so hot it's like we're only a mile from the sun!
Look at these numbers--80% of the homes listed in the Walnut Grove area are selling! What this graph isn't showing you is that those homes are also selling for top dollar (average price is about $650K for a three bedroom home) and on average in about 21 days. That number, being that it's an average, is skewed due to some higher priced homes that typically take a little longer to sell. As REALTOR®s we are finding that a typical benchmark home...3 bedrooms, den or games room, 5700sqft lot, 2200sqft home....is selling in 7 days or less! Most of the time the home you want is sold before it even hits the market--REALTOR®s network with one another and often we get to preview a home before other REALTOR®s do thereby giving our buyers a tremendous advantage. If you're in the market to find a home in the Walnut Grove area, do yourself a favor and employ the services of a REALTOR® to help you. It doesn't cost you any money but it's an invaluable service!!
STRONG SALES VOLUMES CONTINUE THROUGH APRIL
(Surrey, BC) – Property sales in the Fraser Valley soared in April compared to one year ago increasing by 37 percent.
There were 2,009 sales processed on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, compared to 1,470 in April of last year. These volumes rank third highest of all time for the month with the next best April in 2004 and prior to that in 1991.
“April was a very active market,” says Jorda Maisey, Board President. “The low cost of borrowing continues to attract first-time buyers and families looking to either downsize or upsize as they take advantage of the equity they’ve built up in their existing homes.”
Though there was a 2 per cent increase in new listings processed in April, as compared to April 2014, the increase was not enough to balance out the market. Total active inventory on the MLS® at month’s end was 8,384 properties, the lowest for the month of April in eight years.
As Maisey explains, what sellers are most looking for is a single family detached home, “In some of our areas, sixty to seventy per cent of inventory is selling. Depending on the location, some detached homes are selling in a matter of days, not weeks, which is why if you’re a buyer it’s so important to work with a professional who knows your neighbourhood and is networked with other REALTORS®.”
With demand high and available product slim, the benchmark price of single family detached homes continues to increase in most areas. In April, the MLS® HPI benchmark price of a detached home was $595,600, an increase of 5.2 per cent compared to April 2014 when it was $566,000.
The benchmark price of townhouses in April was $300,400, an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to $298,700 in April 2014. The benchmark price of apartments decreased year-over-year by 2.6 per cent, going from $196,300 in April 2014, to $191,200 last month.
Maisey adds, “For apartment owners, take heart, the condominium market in the Fraser Valley is improving. We are starting to see more activity at open houses and an increase in the number of sales; however, that market remains firmly in balance with plenty of selection and prices still flat or declining in certain areas.”
Usually when you list your home you would prefer to sell it quickly. It's like being the first one served at a crowded gelato bar...it's satisfying!
However, sometimes there's more to it than that. There may be a truly urgent reason why you need to find a buyer for your property as soon as possible, such as a sudden job relocation.
If that's the case, it's important to explain your situation to your REALTOR®, who will be able to put together an action plan for selling your home quickly and for the best price possible.
During that conversation, ask what you can do to help the process along. For example, you may be able to:
When it comes to price, be prepared to be flexible. That doesn't mean you must settle for a price far below your home's market value. However, you do need to be prepared to accept a good offer rather than try to hold out for a great one.
Also be open to as many viewings and open houses as possible. Having many prospective buyers come through your home within a short period of time may be a little inconvenient, but the payoff might be an offer!
Finally, work with your REALTOR®. A good REALTOR® will know the local market well and have many ideas for selling your property fast.
Looking for a good REALTOR® like that? Call today.