Great news for the Greater Victoria real estate market as we experienced our strongest third quarter since 2009. Sales this quarter were 15% higher over last year, as we transitioned from our best summer with the highest property sales in 5 years. We are showing a stable outlook, as we move into a more balanced market. High property sales is moving inventory but prices are staying flat.
Interest rates are on the rise again, BCREA forecasts the five-year posted mortgage rate to be 50 basis points higher a year from now. The impact on consumer demand is expected to be largely offset by stronger economic conditions and the associated employment growth.
The website has many features which enhance the experience for my clients. Sign up and create your own custom Virtual Office Website and receive up to date listings with 333% more information than Realtor.ca. Also try my new Draw & Search Google Maps to search listings in a fun and easy way. The newest feature that greatly enhances the buying process for my clients is the IPhone MLS Search Tool – free with iPhones and Android Phones. Simply sign up online to be sent the downloadable App for your phone. Search listings on the go via your phones GPS, rate and add the listings to your account to view later, message me directly from the listing for more information and much more.
6 Must Dos to Ready Your Yard for Winter
Tend to the Lawn
After a summer of caring for your lawn, you might be looking for a break, but make sure you don’t stop mowing too soon. Lawns should be mowed well into fall and at least 3 inches high, clippings should be raked up and bagged on the last mowing of the season to prevent roots being smothered over the winter. If leaf cover is not heavy, use your mower to chop up the leaves and allow them to remain on the lawn to nurture next year’s grass.
Prune the Bushes
Prune trees, bushes and shrubbery back once they have gone dormant. Apply anti-desiccant spray to broadleaf evergreen shrubs and trees to prevent winterkill. If you plan to add trees and shrubs for next year, now is a good time to select and plant those that flower early in spring such as lilacs, dogwoods and fruit trees.
Start making small changes to make your yard more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Rake the lawn instead of using a leaf blower. Build a compost bin for next year and get started by adding your kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and leaves. Use native plants that do not require heavy watering and fertilizers to survive the climate.
Clean the Deck Area
Just as you would rake the leaves from the lawn, sweep the leaves, needles and branches from the deck and remove all smaller debris from between deck boards as proper drainage is important to avoiding moisture build up. You can also use a deck cleaner and power washer to eliminate build-up. If you have a treated-wood deck, make sure you seal or stain the deck to keep water from getting in. Firewood should also be stored away from your house as it can become a home for mice. Wood furniture needs to be treated and covered with a protective, waterproof cover.
Get the Kids Involved
Fall is a great time to be active with your kids outdoors. Let them help with lawn clean-up by raking leaves into jumping piles!
Plan for Next Year
Document your existing site through plans, photos, and notes. Reflect on the aspects you enjoyed this year and those you would like to change for next year. Over the winter, create a plan that lays out new structures, bed lines, focal points, seating areas and plantings to implement in the spring. Perhaps it’s time for a new deck, a water feature or playhouse for the kids. You’ll have time for thoughtful consideration, creating designs and even project costs, as the saying goes, “Why wait for spring?”
Grandma's Pumpkin Pie
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk Whipped cream (optional)
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
The United Way of Greater Victoria has launched their 2013 Community Campaign to raise $6 Million, with a goal of improving lives and building community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. To donate you can visit www.uwgv.ca or contact me for more details on how you can get involved.
For the fifth year YES brings you the Evening to Inspire 2013, a gala raising money for the BC Children's Hospital. This year is centralized around "change your thoughts, change your life". Come enjoy a live silent auction, champagne reception, and 5 star meal at the Marriott Inner Harbour Hotel. To attend this inspirational evening on Friday, October 18th click here.
Victoria is one of the most haunted cities in the Pacific Northwest, and from October 19th-31st take part in one of the Halloween walking tours running hourly between 6:30pm-9:30pm. For details on where to meet and prices click here.