house, landscaped yard

Curb appeal is one of those real estate catch phrases that does, in fact, have some substance to it. Appearance may be the first step in getting potential buyers through your front door. With crisp air and rainier days descending on Vancouver, keeping up those appearances can be difficult.

The first and most important step in winterizing your lawn is knowing if you have cool-season grass or warm-season grass. Cool season grasses will need a winterizing fertilizer that’s higher in potassium to fortify roots in time for cooler temperatures while warm season grasses go dormant in the winter and therefore would have required an earlier dose of fertilizer. Your best bet in deciding how to proceed is taking a soil test for acidity levels as well as checking with your local greenhouse as to what type of lawn you have.

Don’t ditch the rake just yet: giving the lawn a good once-over will remove the last layer of dead turfgrass tissue otherwise known as “thatch”, and allow all-important water and nutrients (and possibly your fertilizer) to reach the grassroots. Raking leaves does this double-duty, while using a leaf-blower may de-clutter your yard, it won’t get down to the nitty-gritty.

Lastly, remove any weeds, cover plant beds with insulating topsoil or burlap, and repot small plants indoors. If you haven’t already, blowing out the irrigation system and removing debris from drains will keep things moving smoothly through the winter, as well as prevent your pipes from freezing.

Gardening may not be your forte, but everyone enjoys a well-groomed one to look at; whether they’re buying or selling. Consult with your local garden center on maintenance crews for hire, or share here if you’ve had a good experience with one.


4831 ELM Street sold for over $700,000 asking price
In what other city can you attract over 200 people to an Open House on a rain-soaked Saturday, for an old Lot Value house priced at almost $3 million dollars? Got to love the Vancouver real estate market. I'm not sure there really is anywhere else, but if there is, I'd love to know.

But back to our rainy Saturday Open House in the Dunbar neighbourhood. The jam-packed affair even surprised us, and just proves that Vancouver's busy market is relentless.

Our market continues to reach new heights, with 33 foot Lot Value homes now selling well above the $2 million mark. One, in fact, just sold for $2.5 million; $ 500,000 over asking price! 50 foot lots with older homes are now selling at or over $3 million. Looking at a home with a view? Prices are substantially higher yet. In Point Grey, the numbers are even loftier.

It's quite a time here in Vancouver. Home prices have reached stratospheric levels with no pull back in sight. Many of the buyers are “cash buyers" and therefore higher interest rates (when they finally arrive) will have minimal impact on them.

For locals looking to purchase on Vancouver’s West Side, it's looking bleak unless they already own on the West Side, or have the Bank of Mom and Dad helping out with very deep pockets. Home prices make no sense relative to income levels here in Vancouver, unfortunately. It's increasingly a market driven by immigrant buyers with loads of purchasing power.

The majority of these West Side homes that are Lot Value sell with multiple offers where the buyers bring unconditional offers to the table. Gone are the days of 1 week subject to finance or inspection. If you want to be the buyer who gets the property, you almost always have to write a clean offer.

It all amounts to being quite the year (or two!) in our very busy real estate market here in Vancouver. The bright side is, if you’re selling, prices have never been higher or the demand stronger.
What are your thoughts on this crazy market? Do you see the bubble bursting any time soon? Please share your thoughts in the comments, we'd love to know! 
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