Alleyne Team 

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Friends to Lead, Friends in "Deed"

 

Are you affected by the moon? Get a little crazy? If so, go to bed early and pull the covers over your head.

 

Not me, I love living in South Surrey with all the quiet and beauty that the community and nature has to offer including the hiding spots to enjoy the big skies.

If you enjoy the night skies and the majesty of the moon, tonight will be exceptional because of a supermoon. Did you take in the White Rock moon festival this weekend? If not, you still have your chance because tonight is super special in lunar history. To emphasize the uniqueness of tonight, the last supermoon eclipse happened in 1982 and after tonight, the next one will not happen until 2033.

As southern BC residents, I know your next question. What about the cloud cover?  No worries, the skies over White Rock and South Surrey are predicted to be clear. Timing is delicate because as the moon rises at 6:57 pm through the setting sun. The eclipse will start just 14 minutes later at 7:11 pm. The most spectacular time will be from 7:47 pm to 8:23 pm.


If you live in the Delta, Surrey or White Rock area, I recommend that you plan your evening to capture the maximum experience. It would be well worth it to pack up the family and head to either Centenial Beach in Tsawwassen or Pt. Roberts, Washington (if you have a passport). The view east across the bay is bound to be spectacular.  Other excellent locations are where there is not too much city lights and a clear view to the east. Mud Bay Park in Surrey would work nicely. Also, Blackie Spit area of Crescent Beach would be a great viewing area. The White Rock pier is well lit, but would still provide a beautiful view across the bay. The pier would be particularly special because of the lanterns hanging on the pier remaining from the moon festival.

Have fun and get moon struck!



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City of Surrey Town Hall meeting The White Rock Chamber of Commerce as hosts, together with the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board as sponsors, are holding a Federal all-candidates forum on October 13. The full details are:


     When:     Tuesday, Oct 13, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

     Where:    South Ridge School, 2656 160th St, South Surrey (Map)
 

     Based on other recent forums, subjects may include:  

                      Plans to support business and industry

                      Crime 

                      Transportation

                      International trade

                      Social Policy

                      Environment

                      Arts

                      Health

On September 20, I posted a blog about how the tree canopy over White Rock and South Surrey homes continues to deteriorate. This is an issue we as a community need to think about. How do we manage development with caring for the environment?

Do you want to know where the candidates stand on the environment? Are you are interested in having your voice heard about trees, new property developments or other issues? If so, October 13 is your chance.

 

Federal candidates from the Conservatives, Greens, Liberals and NDP of all five Surrey ridings will answer questions from the public and business community.

 

 

 

 


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South Surrey tree canopyAs a South Surrey realtor I can see both sides of the ongoing tree preservation debates. Another windstorm is predicted today and I look outside at the beautiful trees and an inside voice wants to chop down a few troublesome trees in my own yard. Lucky it's not easily permitted in Surrey because in a day or two I'll be back to enjoying their majesty.

 

Long term residents of Grandview Heights, Sunnyside Heights, Royal Heights and adjacent areas are getting calls and door knocks from both South Surrey realtors and developers from other areas. Developers are eyeing the one to five acre parcels, often with old bungalows, with a vision to knock down the existing homestead and much of the landscaping and build townhomes. These developments haven't eased off with the fall market, the buyers are still coming, according to South Surrey realtors.

 

The increasing prices of downtown Vancouver and the ever more unaffordable local single family homes are making townhome living more desirable. These South Surrey townhomes offer more carefree living and also often have positive lifestyle options such as amenities rooms, pools, suites for out of towners, communal gardens, childrens' playgrounds and more. The difficulty is building all these amenities while still allowing for either preservation of existing trees, or the planting of new trees that will not interfere with the use of the property.

Residents of these old homesteads are worried that the "character is being erased" according to Kelly Sinoski of the Vancouver Sun . While many are concerned about the rapidly changing neighbourhoods, others are concerned that the current infrastructure of schools and transit is not sufficient. It's a difficult adjustment to see a townhome complex with minimal landscaping where once were mature gardens and mature. There will also need to be more development to expand the infrastructure. This development must be well planned for the ongoing care of the environment, including air quality?


One of the main problems with this rapid development is the deteriorization of the tree canopy, which has already dropped more than 5% in the last 12 years. It is anticipated to drop another 7% in the next 50 years if the canopy is not properly managed.  An environmentally friendly city should have a recommended tree canopy of 40%. In 50 years the tree canopy could be down to 21% in South Surrey, that's just a smidge better than 50% of what is ideal.

Both Surrey and White Rock are trying to maintain the tree canopies by planting two trees for every one harvested. However; the falling tree canopy percentage, shows that these efforts have not been as successful as hoped. It's a difficult balance says Councillor Bruce Hayne of South Surrey. Although it's nice for people to have 1/4 or 1/2 acres lots, but "it doesn't make a sustainable community", according to Hayne.

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South Surrey home for SaleSurrey, South Surrey, Langley and White Rock traditional single family homes are in sellers' markets, particularly in certain price ranges and locations. What does this mean for buyers? Well, in a balanced market there are enough houses for buyers and these homes generally take up to six months to sell, depending on price point.  More specifically, in a balanced market there is generally six months of inventory across all home types.  

In a seller's market, supply of homes is low and there are often many suitors for the same property -- resulting in multiple offers.  Often homes sell even before they hit the MLS, through word of mouth, through realtors learning of upcoming listings, or because the real estate agent's lawn sign goes up before te MLS posting.

Currently, in the Lower Mainland single family homes with strongest buyer interest, the "sweet spot", so to speak are:

          Surrey Houses:  Priced under $700,000
          Langley Houses:  Priced under $800,000
          South Surrey Houses:  Priced under $1,000,000
          White Rock Houses:  Priced under $1,200,000

Being a buyer in a seller's hot market is often a knot in your stomach, nail biting, lose in the bottom of the ninth home purchase experience. So, what do buyers need to know to up their odds of successfully buying the home they desire.

10 Tips for Home Buyers in a Seller's Market10 tips for home purchasers in the seller's market

  1. Engage a trusted and experienced real estate agent. In fast moving markets you need a experienced guide. Ask your realtor if they have experience with multiple offer situations. Unique circumstances often require out of the box thinking.
     
  2. Don't fixate on the BC Assessment value. The assessed value is very often out of date in a seller's market.

  3. Don't expect to get a smoking deal. Often buyers don't adjust to the hot market and make an offer to purchase that is completely out of sync with the market. The seller may come back at asking price (losing valuable time) or, even worse, not even respond to the offer. In these situations your realtor may have to "eat crow" and schmooze the seller's realtor to get back into the game.

  4. Don't sweat the small imperfections.  No home is perfect. I have never once had a home inspector say, "everything is perfect, you have a gem here". There is always a list of items to address even in new home purchases.

  5. Write in a "smart" inspection clause.  Don't waive the inspection, but write in the contract a threshold dollar amount of deficiencies that you can live with. That is, depending on the value of the purchase, write in an amount that you will promise the seller to not fuss over.  For example, on an $500,000 purchase, state in the contract that you will not ask for consideration for inspection shortfalls accumulating less that say $400 to $1,000 (buyer to decide) in value.

  6. Could favourable closing dates sweeten your offer?  Have your realtor ask the seller's realtor if they prefer a fast or long closing timeline? Does the seller want to rent back to have more time?  This intel could make your offer preferable in the case of close offers.

  7. Be careful with a "Subject to Sale" clause.  First, making an offer Subject to Sale without having even listed your home for sale is likely a deathnail to your offer. Every seller's realtor worth their salt is going to ask for the MLS number for the potential purchasers home. In the case of multiple offers, a subject to sale of any form, is hamstringed compared to others.   Read my earlier blog "Should You Sell Your House Before You Buy" for more information.

  8. Have all your paperwork in order   You may be up against "all cash" offers, and those are very strong competitors. Have preapproved financing and provide evidence of that with your offer.  Sit down with your lender to determine how to speed up final approval, do everything they ask, and shorten up your subject removal date accordingly.

  9. Timing is critical  If you love a particular home, make your best offer as soon as possible. Ensure this offer is supported by a solid downpayment to show you are serious.

  10. Don't get caught up in winning at "all costs"   Don't panic and don't settle for a home you don't love. There's always a compromise, because most homes don't have all the features you desire. Make sure the home is what you are truly seeking. If not, take stock, breath deeply, and step away from that home.

This spring and summer the competition for single family homes rose quickly and prices increased accordingly, catching even seasoned market analysts off guard. The 10 recommendations for buyers that I outlined above is not an exhaustive list, just some best practices.  The key to remember is that on homes in the sweet spot, you will have competition, strategy is of outmost importance, so put a good offer together, one that shines against competition.

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Please visit our Open House at 6102 131A ST in Surrey.
Open House on Saturday, September 12, 2015 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
RARE RANCHER very nicely updated on a beautiful tree lined street waiting for you to move in to this wonderful home in a great neighbourhood. Large almost 8,000 sq foot lot offers many options. Come check out this 3 bed, 2 bath with large 16' x 11' family room. Quick access to Hwy 10, 91 & 99. Walk to both elementary and high schools.
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Please visit our Open House at 12858 69A AVE in Surrey.
Open House on Sunday, September 13, 2015 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
WOW, what a great family home on quiet street but close to everything. Walk to school, parks, tennis courts and soccer fields. Almost 8,000 sq foot LUC lot with well cared for 3 bedroom, 3 bath 2 storey gem. Large covered deck off back toenjoy your warm summer evenings. View early as this won't last long.
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South Surrey Condo This is a follow up to yesterday's blog in which I showed the correlation between offshore buyers and White Rock and South Surrey's single family housing market.

Today, the Globe and Mail followed up with another article entitled Competition rising for multi-family housing developers in the Lower Mainland. The author, Frances Bula, stated that "fierce competition for a limited number of properties is wreaking havoc in Lower Mainland's single-family-house market".  To every yin there's a yang, and that is so true in real estate. The boom in high end home sales is having a trickle down effect all over the lower mainland.

Bula goes on to state that the competition, that is the buyer(s) losing in the bidding wars, are moving onto the larger, muilti-family sites. Now personally, I'm not seeing the boom in the higher end condo market yet, but as day must follow night, it makes sense.

Although there are approximately the same number of developer property transactions in the Lower Mainland in the first six months of 2015 versus 2014, the value of the purchases is up 63%.  In the Surrey condo market, the purchase of development properties was $34,000,000 for the first half of 2015.  

Kirk Kuester, who is Colliers executive managing director, was quoted extensively in the article. One key statement was “It’s a function of low interest rates and a lot of consumer demand for product,” he said. As single-family-house prices have soared, it’s pushed buyers to the condo, townhouse and rowhouse market in increasing numbers.

If this trend continues, the somewhat stable prices in the South Surrey and White Rock condo market will be on the upswing.

 

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A week ago the Globe and Mail reported that Greater Vancouver house prices jump 20 per cent to average $1.47 million.

This is just one of a number of aticles on the much debated issue of whether offshore buyers are causing the price of houses to go up in Vancouver and other areas of the Lower Mainland. Many communities are experiencing single family home price increases such as South Surrey and Whtie Rock.

Moving to White RockDarcy McLeod, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver was quoted as saying that concerns about offshore buyers are overstated because foreign purchasers focus on higher end detached properties over $3 million. Now, while that is true, it's only part of the picture.  The Globe and Mail also report the day before that article came out that there were 570 homes sold over $3 million in the first seven months of the year, up close to 80%. So, to think that housing prices are not being driven up by this activity is to think that those sellers just vaporize ... oh, I don't know ... move to Toronto or Montreal, my home town. No they don't. Most have lived a lifetime in Vancouver, and this is their home and where they feel comfortable. They will move a little ways to capitalize on their winfall, but they are likely not going far.

So, I will tell you what many of them are doing. They are being smart, taking their money and running ... and running where do you ask. They are running south and buying White Rock and South Surrey homes, a beautiful seaside community.  Smart move I'd say. 

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White Rock Condo Sale proponedA White Rock condo resident’s court challenge that his rights were infringed by his strata council was dismissed in BC Supreme Court on August 25, 2015.  The basis of the court's decision was that Canadian Charter of Rights infringement only applies to government bodies and a strata council is neither a government body nor an extension of a government body.

So, Justice Trevor Armstrong dismissed strata owner Roderick Louis’s petition against the strata council for the Kent Heritage Condo located at Martin and Thrift in White Rock.  

This dismissal does not quite bring closure to the long standing disagreements. The judge also ordered the strata to provide Mr. Louis with Strata Meeting Minutes and Notices of Strata Meetings.  The judge also stayed the sale of the White Rock condo that Mr. Louis resides in until there is a vote and three quarters of the owners vote in favour of continuing the petition for the sale of the Martin Street condo.  

The disagreements have been longstanding between Mr. Louis and the strata.  The Peace Arch News previously reported on a incident in which another resident of the condo feared for her safety and a peace bond was imposed.

Mr. Louis e-mailed Peace Arch News to state that “Today’s court decision unfortunately falls far short of what I strongly feel is required to remedy the many blatant defects in B.C.’s strata property act,” Louis said.

 

 

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Please visit our Open House at 6102 131A ST in Surrey.
Open House on Sunday, September 6, 2015 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
RARE RANCHER very nicely updated on a beautiful tree lined street waiting for you to move in to this wonderful home in a great neighbourhood. Large almost 8,000 sq foot lot offers many options. Come check out this 3 bed, 2 bath with large 16' x 11' family room. Quick access to Hwy 10, 91 & 99. Walk to both elementary and high schools.
Read Full Story
Please visit our Open House at 12858 69A AVE in Surrey.
Open House on Sunday, September 6, 2015 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
WOW, what a great family home on quiet street but close to everything. Walk to school, parks, tennis courts and soccer fields. Almost 8,000 sq foot LUC lot with well cared for 3 bedroom, 3 bath 2 storey gem. Large covered deck off back toenjoy your warm summer evenings. View early as this won't last long.
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