September 27, 2015
Get Moon Struck Tonight. It's a Supermoon.
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!
December 31, 2014
The Continental Divide Trail - Finish Line Reached
My son, Jake Alleyne, and his best friend, Liam Harrap, are today completing their 5,500 kilometre hike along the Continental Divide from Jasper, Alberta to Mexico. A couple of days ago they "swan songed" the epic journey by climbing their 100th mountain peak then descending for their final push through the Gila National Forest to Mexico.
My wife, Janet, and I followed this eight month adventure through GPS pings and a phone call from time to time. We were also fortunate enough to meet them a couple of times along this epic trail, including at Yellowstone National Park.
This morning their story was front page in the Vancouver Sun, "Former UBC Students Nearly Finished Eight Month Hike from Jasper to Mexico". We are so proud of them, and so excited to see them soon.
Mike Alleyne604-785-7066Homelife Benchmark Realty, Surrey
Friends to Lead, Friends in "Deed"
September 20, 2014
The Last Day of Summer in White Rock
Woke up to an absolutely beautiful day and decided to head down to White Rock for eggs benedict at Jan's on the Beach and take a video of White Rock Beach and Pier. It's very windy, so the audio is a very difficult to hear but the beach and ocean views are spectacular. White Rock is a wonderful community to live in. If you would like to know more about the community or about South Surrey real estate or White Rock homes for sale, I'd be happy to help you. Please call me, Mike Alleyne, at 604-785-7066.
September 19, 2014
Realtors' Slo-Pitch Tournament in South Surrey, BC
This year I decided to play in the Surrey realtors Slo-Pitch Tournament. I play slo-pitch in a regular league and our season wraps up with a tournament in Cloverdale the second weekend of August. So it had been over a month since I'd played and I had "itchy cleats" to run the bases one more time (or maybe just needed new cleats). Our team was made up predominantly of realtors from the Homelife Benchmark Titus and Homelife Benchmark Cloverdale offices. There was also a home inspector from Richmond and a realtor from Homelife North Vancouver, who joined the team (ringers, I hope). The weather was confusingly sun and rain, so as realtors do, we huddled in the dugout and talked about South Surrey real estate trends.
We held a practice at Joe Brown Park in Panorama Ridge the night before the tournament. Although the team roster had 25 people, there were only 9 at the practice (rain, rain go away). It was a small group and a good opportunity to get to know the friends and family of the other Homelife Benchmark realtors. Given the park is walking distance from our home, my wife, Janet, and our dogs came to watch. It was such a fun group and we were all able to have a quick beer after the practice and get to know each other a little more.
The tournament was to be held at Softball City in South Surrey on September 19. On tournament day it was pouring rain and no time to allow for the sky of South Surrey to clear as our first game was a 9 am. When we arrived, we faced off against a team from ReMax Coquitlam Sabres Realty, who were outfitted in brand new white shirts. By the third inning, many of the Sabres looked like they'd rolled in mud (and some go-getters really did fall in the puddles). They would need to use the "by" they had between games to visit a laudromat. Really I'm just kidding, getting dirty is all part of the sport. I was just hoping no one got hurt because it was wet and slick out there. Most of the players were newbies to slo-pitch and didn't play enough to know how to avoid injury. Despite the obstacles of the weather and mudball, we actually won 10-0. Being soaked to the skin didn't dampen our team spirit. Our Homelife group was so excited ... a big win for our ragtag, barely practiced team.
I'm glad we relished our win, because our game against the ReMax Sabres was our one moment of glory. It was downhill from there. Our next game we lost in a squeaker 9-8, but we were still optimistic. Hey, we fought hard and only lost by one run. Our skill set continued to go in the wrong direction. Perhaps too much food and beer at lunch was our downfall, because we were taken down handily in our next game .... by ... wait for it, the Remax Coquitlam Sabres, the same team we had shut out first thing that morning. Karma had played a bad blow to our team.
The good news is that the sun broke though the clouds in the early afternoon (good old South Surrey weather). It was right about the time the sun came out that we were being polished off in our final game. When I say "polished off", I mean, done for, kaput, relegated to the bleachers. These tournaments are all about having fun and meetng people and that we did. So Janet and I and the rest of the Homelife team soaked up one of the last days of summer watching The Remax Treeland Team (the Treelanders) win the tournament. Apparently, they win every year - sigh. Congratulations, but watch out for Homelife Benchmark team next year. We'll be back!
December 31, 2013
Happy New Year!
Happy new year everyone!
I hope everyone had a good holiday season and all the best for 2014.
Be at war with your vices; at peace with
your neighbours, and let every new year
find you a better person.
December 1, 2013
Recycling an Old Fridge?
Buying a New Fridge During Black Friday Weekend? Home Depot's radio advertising today offered significant discounts on new fridges. I'm sure there are great deals all over town.
The downside of buying a new fridge is getting rid of the old one --- suddenly it's like an albatross. If your old refridgator is not saleable, remember to visit the Recycling Council of British Columbia. There is also a recycling hotline you can call at 1-800-667-4321.
If you can put off your new fridge purchase until Spring 2014, then BC Hydro's Fridge Buy-Back program will be back in operation. This is a great program that BC Hydro has in place as an incentive to get rid of old energy sucking fridges. Not only will they pick up your old operational fridge, they will recycle it, AND send you a cheque for $30.
November 16, 2013
Realtors Care Blanket Drive, Nov. 18-25, 2013
To meet a growing need in our community, and to get an earlier jump on the cold weather, the Realtors Care Blanket Drive is being held a week earlier this year. It starts this Monday, November 18.
The drive is geared towards helping the homeless fend off the cold. As realtors, we'd like to collect gently used blankets and sleeping bags. Clothing to fend off the cold is also accepted, in particular, gently used: coats, jeans, pants, sweaters, scarves, gloves, mitts, hats. New socks and underwear are also gratefully accepted.
There are currently over 400 homeless people in Surrey. It is rewarding to know that all donations collected in a community stay in that community. My office, Homelife Benchmark Realty in White Rock, located at #1 - 1920 152nd Street, White Rock, is one of the drop off locations. If that location is not convenient, a list of drop locations can be found at http://www.rebgv.org/blanket-drive-drop-locations-0
You can also pass any donations on to me and I'll ensure they are dropped off at my Homelife office. If there is another community you prefer to assist, I'm also happy to drop the blankets and clothing off in Langley, North Delta, South Delta, Richmond or New Westminster for you.
Mike Alleyne, 604-785-7066
August 9, 2012
Announcement of 25 year Maximum Amortization slows real estate sales
Financial analysts in Ottawa have been eyeing the hot condo market in Toronto and other Canadian cities with concern for some time.
To cool things down they made changes to amortization periods for government insured mortgages. The history of the changes to these mortgages are:
From maximim 40 years to 35 years in 2008
From maximum 35 years to 30 years in 2011
From maximum 30 years to 25 years effective July 9, 2012
Although this move provides longer term stability and reduces foreclosures http://business.financialpost.com/2012/06/21/ottawa-cuts-mortgage-amortizations-to-25-years it also has an effect on the housing market. In particular, hardest hit is the hottest moving condo markets such as Vancouver (and surrounding areas such as Surrey, South Surrey, Langley, North Vancouver, White Rock, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Ladner, Tsawwassen) and Toronto.
BC realtors are finding the summer of 2012 to be the quietist market since 2008.
August 7, 2012
Golf at Morgan Creek Golf Club
Attending ABC golf tournament hosted by Margaret Wong's at Morgan Creek Golf Club http://www.morgancreekgolf.com has been a treat or me the last couple of years. The Morgan Creek Golf Club in South Surrey is a fabulous course. The tournament is not only for corporate purposes but also supports the worthwhile charity of CHILD (for children with ileitis and colitis). The tournament was held in late July this year.
Before the tournament began I was able to warm up with a bucket of complimentary range. It was really peaceful and I was the only one on the practice range. My drives at the practice range were clean and straight. This is usually a bad sign as my on course drives are usually directly opposite to my range performance.
The golf course is nestle amongst South Surrey homes and the golf course. If you drive along Morgan Creek Way, the course seems to pop up out of blue. Once you are on the course, you almost forget that you are in a residential area. Well I almost forgot until I richoched a golf ball off the roof of one of the beautiful Morgan Creek homes. Before you mumble under your breath about me, I did go talk to the resident. He was working in his garden and good naturedly lead me to me ball (phew!!! - no damage). By the way the gardens around this course are also amazingly beautiful according to my wife. I don't tend to pay attention to flowers.
The fairways and greens are extremely well maintained and manicured and the backdrop of the coast mountains is amazing. I think I hit only two fairways but my steadfast golfing heart kept plugging along. Luckily I didn't throw in the towel because dispite my abysmal drives, I actually won closest to the pin. That's golf!
The tournament was followed up by thanks yous to and from Margaret and a wonderful wonderful banquet meal.
Thank you Margaret Wong and ABC for a wonderful day!
August 5, 2012
Spirit of the Sea Festival in White Rock BC
My wife and I woke up early to a beautiful sunny day, so we headed down to the Spirit of the Sea Festival in White Rock. OK my kids are all grown and I’m melancholy about the old days. At the beach there's an early morning buzz of activity as performance stages and the festival tents for the Boathouse, St. John’s Ambulance, DaVinci Bikes, Facepainting and so much more are just setting up.
One of the reasons we know about the festival is that Trevor Murray, a long term friend of mine (and talented country music performer) is performing at the East Stage the Spirit of the Sea. I reallly want to see his performance but I have an Open House today. My wife drew the long straw and will get to enjoy the entire day at the beach. I've asked her to post pictures of his performance as he really is a talented performer and songwriter. I'm hoping that the community of White Rock, BC, really comes out to support this talented hometown boy.
We started our day by having breakfast at Uli’s restaurant on Marine Drive. It’s so early and quiet, we are the only restaurant patrons sitting on the deck. The restaurant has a beautiful view and we have a perfect spot in the shade. We had wonderful service and it was truly was one of the best eggs benedict we had in a long time (I shouldn't be eating eggs benny, but I forgot about my expanding middle for a moment). After breakfast we walked along the White Rock beach promenade. In the time it took to have breakfast it seems like the entire City of White Rock has shown up for this beautiful day. There was so much to see -- a sandcastle booth, face painting, electric bicycles, Tim Hortons, clothing, jewelry and so much more.
This festival is one of the reasons that living in South Surrey is so desirable. Many White Rock homes are nestled down the hillside overlooking the sea. Many residents can just amble down walkways tapered down the hillside for the walkers of White Rock. The parking at White Rock beach can be a problem. It fills up quickly, it's expensive and violation tickets are handed out at warp speed. If you don't have a home in White Rock you can walk to the festival from, you can also park on a side road up the hillside (mindful of residents parking signs) and use the same path down to the festival.
The Spirit of the Sea Festival is a fantastic way to spend a day or weekend. There is magic and music in the air and a perfect way to enjoy the beaches of White Rock.
Mike Alleyne, Real Estate AgentHomeLife Benchmark604-785-7066
August 5, 2012
Trevor Murray Performs at Spirit of the Sea Festival
Early in Trevor Murray's www.trevor-murray.com music career, he gave us a CD with four songs he had written and performed with the Murray Band. Mike and I played the CD while driving home from a vacation in the interior. I had heard Trevor sing before, (as he often impromptu just picks up the guitar and sings at gatherings of friends) but listening to the lyrics of Speed up to Slow Down and Fireball Whisky made me realize that in addition to smooth country drall, he was also an amazing songwriter.
Trevor has recently travelled to Nashville to create his new album called "Leave it up to Me" and I was anxious to hear his new songs at the East Stage at the Spirit of the Sea Festival in White Rock. Although Trevor currently lives in the Brookswood area of Langley in his heart he thinks of White Rock as home. Many of us feel that same sentiment he feels for the home of our early years.
Trevor's White Rock east beach performance began with "Fireball Whiskey" which is likely his most well known song. We saw him perform that same song at a bar in Langley one night and the crowd went crazy. It is amazingly upbeat song and some of the little kids in the Festival of the Sea crowd immediately sprung up from their beach blankets and started dancing to the irresistable rythym.
Trevor took a moment between songs to talk to the crowd. He said he's a White Rock boy at heart and spoke about the carefree good years growing up in his White Rock home and going to Ray Shepherd Elementary School. He had moved to Langley and life had taken a few difficult turns. As an outlet, Trevor did what Trevors does best, he wrote a song called "Fightin' the Urge". It's a great song and I heard it for the first time sitting on the grass of White Rock beach with Trevor signing live and the beautiful bay as the background.
I'm a huge Bob Seger fan and was surprised with Trev's next song was "Turn the Page". I love that song and actually found a version of Trevor singing it on line from three years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pnonIfWHJQ. He did an amazing job -- love that song. I couldn't get a good angle of the photo from in front of the bandstand so went up to the railways tracks for a higher angle. While I'm looking both ways hoping not to get wiped out by a train, Trevor starting singing "Riding the Rails". It was too busy for him to see, but I half thought he was making fun of me.
Trevor wrapped up with a couple of original tracks including a great new song titled "Louise". It was an awesome live performance. I thought it couldn't have been a better day but at the end of the performance Trevor came over and gave me a copy of his new album. Mike and I sat out on our deck in Panorama Ridge later that evening and really enjoyed listening to the whole album. We had unexpected guests from Armstrong, BC and they loved the music too. I recommended the album to them and found it on iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/leave-it-up-to-me/id516467798
August 3, 2012
The Perfect Place for Outdoorsy Folks, Panorama Ridge!
For people who love the outdoors like me, Panorama Ridge in Surrey is a great location to consider for your new home. The laidback atmosphere offers a relaxing refuge after a long day at work. Whether you have a family of your own or you are living on your own, consider Panorama Ridge as a great location for your overall wellbeing and of course, comfortable living. Given Surrey is such a large city, there are many houses for sale in Surrey. It you are focused on a house for sale in Panorama Ridge, zoom in on the Surrey map www.alleyneteam.com/recip.html.
Things to enjoy at Panorama Ridge include the Joe Brown Park www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/2032.aspx wherein singles and families can both enjoy a gamut of outdoor activities starting with bike riding, playing slow pitch baseball, horseback riding, and hiking as it is close to the well-known Canada Trail.
Just imagine enjoying the clean air, the lush greens, and the friendly neighborhood setup, Panorama Ridge is definitely the perfect place for parents to raise their kids as well. Aside from recreational facilities such as the aforementioned Joe Brown Park, you can also find great educational institutions in Panorama Ridge such as Colebrook Elementary School and Ecole Panorama Ridge, an excellent high school in this community.
Given that this is a wonderful community, you can expect a lot of great, large-sized lots available here. Take your pick among the various options available! This is definitely the perfect place for those who are dreaming of either totally getting a break from hectic city life by relocating or at least having a great country house that offers various conveniences.
Panorama Ridge is part of a continuously developing city that never runs short of recreational facilities that encourages its residents to enjoy a more active and healthy lifestyle. Aside from those mentioned above, here you can also find art centers, batting cages, bike parks, dog off-leash areas, outdoor pools, pavilions, sports courts, skate parks, soccer fields, picnic shelters, and so much more.
Even if you are not the outdoorsy type, Panorama Ridge is sure to make one out of you.
As the city always espouses on promoting a healthy community, they also have this “Be Active Surrey” campaign which encourages people to, well, be active and look after of their health. But this change of pace is not just great for your health, as it will even help improve your overall mood, so how can you lose?
Having lived in Surrey, I can attest to the wonderful atmosphere that this place offers. The simple country life does have its perks, and Panorama Ridge in Surrey is no exception.
It is wonderful location wherein its residents live harmoniously and enjoy their diversity. In fact, diversity is much welcome in Surrey, assuring potential homeowners of being able to enjoy a peaceful, happy life with people that they can trust and in a neighborhood where they and their children can always feel safe.
Panorama Ridge has a very active community group call the Panorama Ridge Ratepayers Association www.panoramaridge.org. They send out regular newsletters, organize a crime watch, and take an active involvement in community development plans.
Should you wish to see the different properties available in Panorama Ridge, don’t hesitate to contact me!
August 1, 2012
South Surrey or White Rock, Which one is the Best Location for You?
Are you currently on the lookout for a new home? If you can’t decide on whether to live in South Surrey or in White Rock, BC, then let my checklist help you in making up your mind. Both White Rock real estate properties and Surrey real estate properties are highly sought after even in slower markets. Real estate decisions are long term. Take the time to do your research.
If you ever tried looking up “things to do in South Surrey”, you will be presented with an overflowing amount of suggestions! Whether it’s related to the outdoors or something that leans towards local dining, there’s one thing for sure, you will never get bored here! The City of Surrey is a good place to start and they provide a multitude of leisure suggestions at www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/1915.aspx
Remember, I do live in Surrey, so I have a good idea of what you can expect from this location. Let’s start with my favorite things to do in my spare time – outdoor fun!
In South Surrey, you will be able to have many outdoor experiences. You are only one hour to the mossy rainforests of Mount Baker, WA. Beautiful mountains, scenic coastlines and parks have made this location very popular. If you are the type who enjoys camping or you want to introduce your family to this fun outdoor activity, then you won’t have to drive far once you move to South Surrey! Having easy access to nature, you can now expose your children to learning about their environment and help them appreciate it more.
Another outdoor activity that is popular in Surrey is golf, something that I can definitely relate to. Having learned to play golf in recent years, it’s definitely a very challenging sport but also a lot of fun. Visit Campbell River beach area for off-leash dog walking or just having a picnic on the vast sandy beach when the tide’s out. Other outdoor activities include biking, hiking, fishing or sitting on the dock of the bay. A visit to Crescent Beach is also a must if you want to enjoy some peace and quiet or Softball City to engage in some more fun family-oriented activities.
Visiting the Surrey Arts Center or the Bell Centre for Performing Arts offers live theatre and shows.
If you just want to wine, dine, and relax, South Surrey also offers a great range of activities that you and your family can enjoy. There are spas where you can indulge in some well-deserved pampering as well as a great wealth of restaurants and wineries wherein you can sink your teeth into some local delicacies.
Life in South Surrey is definitely never boring!
If you and your family enjoy the water, then living in White Rock, BC might seem to be a very tempting option! The City of White Rock also has a very informative website about activities in their city at www.whiterockcity.ca/EN/main/community/leisure.html
With the beautiful Semiahmoo Bay as your backdrop, you can definitely expect picturesque scenery waiting for you at White Rock Beach. The White Rock Pier is a great start to enjoying your time in White Rock and an activity that I highly recommend is fishing and crabbing! Make the effort to get up early and try your luck at getting some fresh catch!
For some local history, do pay a visit to the White Rock Museum and Archives, which aim to preserve and promote local history and culture. This local attraction is located in the equally historic White Rock Train Station, so if you’re planning to move to White Rock with your kids, here’s another place that you can enjoy visiting with them.
There are also three libraries located in White Rock which are White Rock, Semiahmoo and Ocean Park Library, if you and your family love reading books then there definitely won’t be any shortage of that here!
For outdoorsy folks, there’s also the White Rock Beach and Promenade as well as the Centennial Park for you to enjoy fun walks, a bit of biking, a fun family barbecue, even a game of soccer. You will never run out of things to enjoy here!
So what will it be? South Surrey or White Rock? No matter which one you decide on, I can easily help you out in finding great properties for you to look at in these two popular locations! My name is Mike Alleyne from Homelife Benchmark www.homelifetitus.com.