Blog › January 2013
CMHC Housing Market Outlook-Housing market intelligence you can count on
British Columbia Region Highlights
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The first thing homebuyers will look at when they arrive at your home is your front yard. The color of your home, the landscaping, walkways, and if the home is attractive from the outside, will be all that is on their minds. Regardless of the fact that you just put new appliances in the kitchen, or you have gorgeous hardwood floors, if the curb appeal is not attractive, many homeowners will never make it inside your home. Ensure that your home is appealing from the curb, with these 10 ideas to attract your future homebuyers.
1.) Color of your exterior home: Before you start on the yard, start on your physical exterior of your home. Look at neighboring homes, and drive through the neighborhood to get the general aesthetic, and color palette of other homes. While your house doesn’t have to be the same color, it should be within the same historic or aesthetic color palette as neighboring homes. Consider repainting your home, or pressure washing siding or brick.
2.) Accentuate the accents of your home: Whether you have shutters that adorn the sides of your exterior windows, or columns that greet potential homebuyers on the front porch, ensure they are all immaculate in restoration, upkeep and they are in good condition. Ensure that low planters, brick walls, fences, exterior lighting, and garage entryways are free of debris and all damaged areas have been repaired.
3.) Interior finishes don’t hinder the outside appeal: For many homeowners the thought of standing outside their home and looking back at the house isn’t considered. Interior finishes such as window treatments; window hanging decorations, and window obstructions, such as furniture in front of windows can be seen from the curb. Ensure furniture, window treatments, and other interior elements cannot be seen from the street, or they are in complimenting colors to the outside of the home.
4.) Walkway and entry areas: The next area homebuyers will look at are the entryways to get into your home. Consider the driveway, sidewalk, stairs, and stepping stone pathways around your home and clear these of weeds, debris, and pressure wash concrete, brick, and pavers to give a clean appeal to your stepping areas. If preventable, try not to park cars in the driveway, especially if they leek oil and leave unsightly stains on the concrete.
5.) Bring in unsightly items: Curb appeal is also associated with how your family lives on a day-to-day basis while your home is up for sale. Ensure toys, garbage cans, yard debris filled trash bags, and garden tools are picked up immediately after using them. Items left out for days on end, gives your home an unkept look, and forms opinions in homebuyers minds about the upkeep of your home.
6.) Manicured grounds are ideal: Take a look at your lawn area and determine the condition of the grass and surrounding plant beds. While a newly cut and trimmed lawn is ideal, so is healthy landscaping. If you have dead spots, weeds, and unsightly poor areas of your lawn, consider hiring a lawn service or landscaping professional to get your lawn looking ideal as possible.
7.) Year-round beauty is essential: Homebuyers purchase homes year-round, which means your foliage and grounds shouldn’t have an excuse to not look attractive. From colorful foliage in the warmer months, to well manicured structure and form of trees and evergreen plants in the colder months. Shake off the excuse that the season has to dictate how well you keep up your curb appeal!
8.) Replace welcoming elements: Believe it or not, elements such as the mailbox, house numbers and door hardware can make a big impression on homebuyers. If you’ve lived in your home for a while, consider buying new elements and replace the old ones. These small elements can send a welcoming impression and are relatively inexpensive to replace.
9.) Spruce up outdoor furniture: Whether you have garden furniture on your front porch, or you have outdoor lounging furniture on your back patio, spruce up their appearance with fresh cushions, throw pillows, and newly painted or pressure washed surfaces. Similarly, to the furniture inside your home, leisure areas are always appealing to homebuyers.
10.) Add instant color: If you want to bring instant color to your curb appeal, consider planters with seasonal plants at your front door, positioned throughout your yard, and at the sides of your garage entry. Potted plants will add instant color to the overall appearance of your home, and will make homebuyers happy to come see more inside.
Curb appeal of your home doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact many homeowners feel sprucing up the exterior is easier than the interior! Use these 10 tips to welcome homebuyers and make them want to venture to the inside of your home. Many a Realtor has mentioned that homebuyers make up their mind about your home within15 seconds of seeing your home. Make them want to spend countless minutes in your home with appealing curb appeal.
Freshome reader’s do you have any curb appeal advice that has worked for you? We’d love to hear it.
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The Tri-Cities is somewhat of a bright spot for property values compared with the rest of the Metro Vancouver, according to rolls released this week.
From Tri-cities News
BC Assessment reports the North Fraser region, which includes the Tri-Cities, showed combined increases for all residential properties at:
• 5.59% in Coquitlam
• 3.04% in Port Moody
• 2.21% in Anmore
and 1.69% in Port Coquitlam.
However, Belcarra property owners saw an average drop of 4.85% in their values.
The biggest land rise was for a single-family house — built 29 years ago in Central Coquitlam; it jumped about $60,000 to $800,000. As well, a detached home on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam went up $40,000 from last year, according to the roll.
But a two-bedroom suite in a Coquitlam strata low-rise, built in 1990, dropped $16,000 while a Citadel Heights townhome in Port Coquitlam, built in 1994, sunk $15,000 — largely due to an oversupply, said deputy assessor Zina Weston who called this year relatively "status quo" for land values in the Tri-Cities.
Meanwhile, Tri-City commercial and industrial land values went up as much as 20% in neighbourhoods such as Burquitlam and Moody Centre — in part because of official community plan and zoning changes, and the upcoming Evergreen Line that is due to be built by the summer of 2016 from Lougheed to Coquitlam town centres.
In addition, strata offices and retail properties along St. Johns Street in Port Moody and in downtown Port Coquitlam rose, Weston said.
By comparison, Metro Vancouver homes values dropped modestly, with White Rock showing from negative 10% to plus 5%. Significant decreases were also more common in Whistler, Pemberton, the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island.
Many homes on Vancouver's west side and in Richmond are also down slightly, after gains of as much as 30% a year earlier. "For the first time in many years a significant number of properties in the region are actually decreasing in value," assessor Jason Gratl said of Vancouver Sea-to-Sky region changes.
Assessments are based on the real estate market as of July 1, 2012, and are the basis for municipal property taxes.
Owners can check their assessments online at bcassessment.ca (click on e-ValueBC) and compare with others in their neighbourhood to decide if they wish to file an appeal by Jan. 31. Appeal requests go to independent property assessment review panels that convene next month. For more information, call 1-866-825-8322.
In related news, the provincial government is increasing the Home Owner Grant threshold by $10,000 to $1.295 million to keep pace with rising property values, the finance ministry announced on Wednesday.
The grant is worth $570 for homeowners in the Victoria, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts.