We want to thank the Real Estate Buyer's Council  (REBAC) for forwarding us this great list!  For all potential home buyer's seeking a new home, be sure to go over this list to ensure everything meets your requirements.

Step One: The Home

Here is everything you will want to look over and ask about for each house that you look at:

  1. Square footage
  2. Number of bedrooms
  3. Number of full baths
  4. Number of half-baths
  5. Condition of walls (interior)
  6. Closet/storage space
  7. Kitchen storage space
  8. Basement – well kept? any strange odors? no mildrew or mold?
  9. Fireplace
  10. Cable TV/Internet
  11. Exterior appearance (condition of outdoor walls, overall appearance)
  12. Front and back lawn areas
  13. Deck/porch/patio?
  14. Fence
  15. Garage
  16. Windows/screens
  17. Age and condition of roof

Step Two: The Neighborhood

Here is everything you’ll want to ask about, look into, and research about the neighborhood you move into:

  1. Appearance/condition of neighboring homes
  2. Safety
  3. Noise level
  4. Traffic issues
  5. Kid-friendly? Average number of children per residence?
  6. Parking
  7. Police
  8. Fire Protection
  9. Pet restrictions
  10. Parks/recreational facilities
  11. Trash removal

Step Three: Schools

If you have children or are looking to start a family in the next few years, here are the things you’ll want to check for in relation to education:

  1. Age/condition of schools and buildings
  2. Reputation of school district
  3. Test scores of current students
  4. Quality of teachers and educators
  5. Private school locations (if you’d prefer private school)
  6. Play areas/playgrounds
  7. Class sizes
  8. Curriculum
  9. School safety

Step Four: Community

It’s important to live in an area where you not only love your house, but you feel at home in the community. Here are some things you’ll want to ask about:

  1. Schools
  2. Religious community centers (churches/synagogues/etc)
  3. Shopping centers/grocery stories
  4. Proximity to your place of employment
  5. Hospitals
  6. Doctor and dentist locations/quality
  7. Parks and recreation
  8. Restaurants
  9. Entertainment (movie theaters, shopping malls, etc)
  10. Airport
  11. Proximity to highways
  12. Public transportation – bus? metro?

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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As an Island community, we depend on the ferry system to engage in our daily lives. There are some important changes happening with the BC Ferries Corporation. Follow the link below for more information.

BC Coastal Ferries Community Engagement Fall 2013

There will be an open house held at the Bowen Island Community School on November 21st, from 5-8pm.

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Barry Thomas Living Bowen Contact info

November 2013 Market Update

October was a good month. The sun was shining, the Canucks had their best 7-game road trip in franchise history, and the housing market was strong. So far this fall, it seems as though house prices and sales have moved into a healthy balanced market in most parts of the province. Well-priced product sells while overpriced product sits. It's the way a market should be.

Moving into November, a few things from the past month have been interesting vis-à-vis the BC housing market. Firstly, the US government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis had a negligible effect on both the BC housing market and financial markets in general. It seems as though most people have already priced US government dysfunction into their decision-making process. So, barring a black-swan event, it seems as though these US crises' are unlikely to significantly swing the housing market in BC one way or another.

Secondly, the Bank of Canada has eased its language on raising rates and is now taking a more neutral stance, stating that the market will decide when the bank should raise interest rates. For the past year or so, most analysts had predicted that rates would be rising sooner rather than later. This sentiment has resulted in increased sales as buyers moved into the market ahead of an expected rate increase. With rates now stable, buyers will take their time, but will also still be in the market for a longer period.

Thirdly, while the US economy has had an anemic recovery from the 2008 recession, things are still improving. This is being led by the US real estate market, which is finally recovering from its 35-month peak-to-trough period which started in 2006. With an improving economy, comes improved consumer confidence, as Canadians hear more and more about positive trends south of the border.

While we likely won't see the exponential growth in prices that we experienced from 2009-2010, the factors described above imply that BC's real estate market should remain relatively stable for the foreseeable future.

Finally, on another note, Macdonald Realty has been producing a great quarterly magazine showcasing BC's finest real estate. If you're interested in having your home profiled in this publication, please contact me at the address below. You can find a link to the first 3 digital editions of the magazine here:http://www.macrealty.com/luxurymagazine

Home Price Index Graph

*This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement.

*Although this information has been received from sources deemed reliable, we assume no responsibility for its accuracy, and without offering advice, make this submission to prior sale or lease, change in price or terms, and withdrawal without notice.
**Should you not wish to receive this communication, please reply to this email with "Please Unsubscribe" in the subject line.


Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Licensed Real Estate Broker

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We are excited to be attending the 2013 Realtors Conference & Expo in San Francisco, CA on November 8th-11th.

This is an exciting opportunity to network with Realtors and investors on a global scale. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates and photos!

 

REALTORS CONFERENCE & EXPO

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

 

 

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Its almost the end of the month, but we have had such a beautiful fall, that most of these tips still apply.

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Licensed Bowen Island Realtor

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Well Summer is officially over, and it was a great run. Now it's time to clean up that garden and prepare it for Fall.

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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http://eepurl.com/ESp8H

 

As a licensed REALTOR®,  providing a professional, customer focused approach, I am ready to work for you. Whether buying or selling, I am committed to understanding your real estate needs.

Offering strength in strategic marketing, advertising, promotion and negotiations, I would be pleased with the opportunity to market and sell your home. 
Looking to buy? You are in good hands. Keenly interested to represent you with integrity, trust and care, in sourcing the home of your dreams.


Living Bowen is a lifestyle offering many rewards and benefits. Giving back to our community is paramount. As your designated agent, upon the successful listing and sale of your property or home purchase, I will donate $1500 in your name to a Bowen Island cause or a charity of your choice. Offer valid to March 31, 2014.

 

 
Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen
Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist
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Welcome to September!


All corners of the province have experienced unbelievably good weather through the summer, but it looks like we can't escape the wet stuff forever.


For the real estate market, last year's relatively sluggish summer has rebounded strongly this year. It looks like we've entered a period of relative stability, with many areas in balanced market conditions, rather than buyer or seller's.Moving forward, it looks to be a relatively busy Fall market, as interest rates have begun climbing and buyers with pre-approved mortgages look to take advantage of more favourable rates. We anticipate a solid next few months as this wave of buyers ripples through the market. Expect to see things taper off closer to Christmas.Given this, for those of you thinking about selling, it is important to realize how vital the Art of Pricing is to the sale of your home.All sellers want the highest price possible for their homes, but the strategies to get there are not always intuitive. In certain circumstances, pricing low can be more effective than pricing high, while in others, pricing above market value can be a winning strategy. In most cases, however, the optimum pricing strategy is to price within 10% of market value and let the market decide. After all, the 'list price' comes with a caveat: Or Best Offer!


Top Reasons for NOT Pricing High:

  1. You lose out on potential buyers who put a price cap on their property searches.
  2. Serious buyers question the motivation of a seller with an overpriced listing.
  3. You provide a strong comparable for your neighbours who are properly priced. You are effectively selling other people's well-priced homes.
  4. Buyers assume that properties which remain on the market for long periods of time have something inherently wrong with them.
  5. Other agents will be more hesitant to show your home.

In a quickly rising market, pricing strategies tend to matter less, as underpriced listings are bid up to market value and overpriced listings simply wait until the market catches up to them. However, in flat or falling markets, pricing plays a pivotal role in how much you may ultimately sell your house for.In a flat market, buyers have more time to analyze the market and therefore become more educated about value. Houses that are overpriced will simply sit on the market, as well-priced new listings come on to replace well-priced recently sold listings.In a falling market, the optimal pricing strategy is actually to price BELOW market value. A simple exercise that pricing experts like to use in this situation is to visualize catching a fly ball. The ball represents the market and your glove represents your pricing strategy. If you price too high, the glove will simply swing across where the ball was. If you price at market, there's a good chance you will miss it. But if you price just below market value, there's a greater likelihood of catching the ball. After all, it's better to take a little bit less than to risk having the ball drop in for a double.

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen
Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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I have listed a new property at 1745 Cape Drive in Bowen Island.
This world class, very private, ocean view estate is only a 20 minute ferry ride from West Vancouver. Bowen Island is a friendly community rich in culture, history and natural splendor. This stunning, one of a kind, 10 acre property is located on the Southwesterly corner of Bowen Island. It offers spectacular views overlooking the ocean sunsets and islands to the West, Sunshine Coast and Mt. Gardner. A grand private driveway leads through a lush, mossy forest, to a bright building site that has been prepared for you to create the estate of your dreams. A short walk from the property will take you to some of the best beaches and hiking trails that Bowen Island has to offer. Don't miss the opportunity to create your own seaside island escape in pristine natural forest.
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Here is a great infrographic from our friends LGI Homes.

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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http://youtu.be/qHYwNKWYFgM

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Bowfest 2013 is coming up quick! Bowen's premier Summer festival is gearing up and we have all the links and info you need. This years this is appropriatly titled "Island Paradise".


"Bowfest 2013 will be on the traditional Saturday prior to the Labour Day weekend, on August 24th"


"The Bowfest Parade kicks off the morning of Saturday August 24th beginning at 10:30 am, coming down Government Road starting at the BICS parking lot.  
The festival field in Crippen Park will open at 11:00 am, with rides and games, food and fun, featuring musical performances throughout the day on stage.  
The upper Field will feature: Cinemazoo reptiles and petting zoo, exhibitions and presentations, displays, activities, and more!"


Find out more info at the official Bowfest website!


Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist


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Here are some great Summer gardening tips to help keep your garden looking great through the heat! Keep those green thumbs green!

Ps. Remember to follow your local watering guides!

Take care for now,

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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The market is proving to rebound, and it is showing to be a great time to consider selling your home.

 

 "The average price of a home in Vancouver has gone up, as the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley resale housing markets recorded some gains last month."


Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Metro+Vancouver+resale+market+makes+gains+Conference+Board+Canada+report/8696468/story.html#ixzz2ZuJZoEIG


Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Summer is offically here!  Check the link below for some important and interesting updates in the current Real Estate Market.

July's Realty Market Update

 

I hope you find this helpful! Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

 

Barry Thomas

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

 

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The home selling process can be confusing or stressful for some, but it really doesn't need to be. Here is a wonderful infor-graphic which breaks down the complete home selling process.

You are more than welcome to call me at any time if you have any further questions, or would like to book a consultation.

 

Barry Thomas

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

 

Living Bowen ~ Pleasant by Nature

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Bowen Island may be a small town, but for a small town, it sure is sophisticated! 

 

"Left Bank is very much a French style bistro, charmingly French country. Funky chandeliers, Provençal colours, paintings by an artist friend, a 100-year-old baking table are welcoming sights but it’s Dawson that adds the most warmth. Black Dayton boots peeked out from her long black skirt in line with the restaurant’s funky elegance."


Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Restaurant+review+Bowen+Island+Left+Bank+offers+French+bistro+charm/8582912/story.html#ixzz2XTnOgKcD


Ps. The Crème brûlée is to die for!

 

Barry Thomas

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

 

 

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Good news for home owners in the Metro Vancouver area including Bowen Island!


“Values might be up a little bit in some markets but for the most part, things are pretty steady and not going in a big direction either way,” Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president Ron Todson said in an interview. “There’s no obvious reason to expect a quick jolt either way.”


Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Metro+Vancouver+home+resale+market+makes+gains/8586743/story.html#ixzz2XTqlJHiL


Barry Thomas

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist


Living Bowen ~ Pleasant by Nature



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It's that time of year again!  B.I.G. (Bowen Island Gives) is looking for donations for their annual charity hike to the top of Mt. Gardner!


"This 2nd annual fundraising event is organized by Bowen Island Gives (BIG!). Our goal is to raise $10,000 in support of youth leadership training on Bowen Island that will encourage young people to become actively engaged citizens, both locally and globally. This youth leadership training is delivered through“Me to We”. Register to participate in the hike, or make a donation in support of a hiker and/or the cause!"


I'll be volunteering along with my Living Bowen team. We hope to see you there as well, or at the after party, which was one of the Summer's biggest parties.

Visit their website to pledge and donate! http://www.bowenislandgives.com

 

We hope to see you there,

Barry Thomas

 

Living Bowen

Pleasant by Nature

 

 

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