Low volume in sales in the last two months has created wild swings in other stats in the real estate market recently. Both December and January showed a marked decline in home sales in Powell River and as a result, unrealistic average home prices have shown up. Average home price was up 52% in December and back down 29% in January. As I’ve said before, these average prices are greatly affected by the number of sales. When sales are low, one or two high or low priced sales can have quite an effect on the average. New listings were low in December at 14, but have jumped back up to a healthier 43 in January. We’re seeing more activity in the office in the first few days of February, so I think buyers are coming back out of their annual hibernation!
Buying A Newer Home?
Homes built since 1999 will come under the Homeowner Protection Act which requires that all builders must be registered and provide a warranty on homes built or substantially reconstructed. As a buyer, you can make an inspection of the claims history report a condition of sale. You can also look up a home on the HPO’s New Homes Registry to see whether the home has a policy of home warranty insurance, the name of the warranty provider or whether the home was built by an owner builder. Make sure you obtain the policy documents, maintenance manual and other manuals from manufacturers and warranties for appliances, etc.
The policy is on the home, not the owner, so the warranty transfers to the new buyer. Owner-built homes do not carry the same warranty insurance, but the owner-builder is obligated to purchasers against defects for the first 10 years.
Owner Builder Disaster!
It’s illegal to sell an owner-built home (built since 1999) without making the proper owner-builder disclosure statement upon listing the home for sale. Recently a couple purchased a home on Passage Island in Howe Sound (not part of the Powell River sales area) and found out after the fact that proper disclosures and, even worse, building permits had not been made in its construction. Now the title on the property is tagged with “illegal dwelling”, the sellers have left the country and the current owners will have much work to do to bring the home up to standard. On any real estate purchase, it pays to do your homework – work with a REALTOR you trust, have a home inspection done and bring any legal concerns to a lawyer! The fees you pay at time of sale are usually minimal compared to costs of reparation after the fact.
Decluttering is often the first conversation I have with people who are considering selling their house. You’re not alone! There seem to be two types of people in the world: those who collect and hang onto things and those who like clear empty spaces. My wife and I are opposites, so it seems we strike a good balance. When selling, a home shows best in a decluttered state. Many of us gather a lot of stuff in our lives and when it’s time to move, that’s the best time to start getting rid of the valuable things we haven’t used for many years.
I’m not in the book-selling business, but a friend recently showed me a book called “Good Riddance: Showing Clutter the Door”. She recommended it and the reviews online are good. It’s a humorous way to take action. I’ve ordered one through Breakwater Books on Marine for about $15.
Powell River – Did You Know?
The first settlers in the Townsite area occupied an area called Lutzville in what became the ‘old golf course’. It began as a railway camp, presumably building the line which later ran from Powell lake through the main intersection in Townsite and then down to Michigan Landing (now Willingdon Beach) via Lutzville.
A logging company later took over the site, but didn’t own it and subsequently had to be removed by order of Premier McBride to make way for the future mill site. Apparently there is no trace of these former activities on the site today.
All this good information comes from House Histories and Heritage: Vol. 1 written by local historian, Karen Southern.
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