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Congratulations Tammy!

Mackenzie Heights


JUST SOLD September 17th! 2907 35TH Ave W, Vancouver West


Great tree lined street in popular Mackenzie Heights area!  2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on  the main floor plus 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on the lower level.  Kerrisdale Elementary & Point Grey High School Encatchment.  A fantastic location and neighbourhood for Tammy and her husband to build their dream home and raise their family!


 

View this recently sold House or see all my home sales

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I am proud to announce that this Saturday, September 29th, 3:00PM to 5:00PM I will be hosting an Open House at 12180 Mellis Drive in the East Cambie neighbourhood in Richmond. This is the perfect opportunity to visit this gorgeous House!


mellis study

Please come with any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this East Cambie House for sale.


Alisa Sakamoto

RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate


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Come by and visit me this weekend on Saturday, September 29th from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at 12438 BRUNSWICK Place in Steveston, Richmond. This is a fabulous opportunity to visit this excellent Townhouse for sale in beautiful Steveston South.


Brunswick

Please come with any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this Steveston South Townhouse for sale.


Alisa Sakamoto

RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate

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If you are in Steveston this weekend, pop by for a visit!  I'll be doing an Open House this Sunday, Sept 30th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at 13400 PRINCESS Street in the Steveston South neighborhood.  Come by and check out this fabulous detached townhome.


princess 

Please come with any questions you may have.  As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this Steveston South Townhouse for sale.

 

Alisa Sakamoto
RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate

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“You never get a second chance at a first impression.”  We’ve all heard this expression before.  And now, while you are preparing your house to sell, it should not be far from your mind. 

 

While logical factors such as price and location narrow the pool of houses a potential buyer will look at, the ultimate decision to buy a particular house is fuelled by a mixture of logic and emotion.  And emotion often wins out.  The same might be said for the process of selling a home.  For this reason, Real Estate Agents, when they talk to you about buying real estate, will refer to your purchase as a “home.”  When discussing the sale of your current home, however, an agent will refer to it as the “house.”  This is a conscious choice.  The agent knows that buying a house is often an emotional decision, while, when selling a house, emotion should be separated from the process. 

 

Buyers are searching for a “home”—a place in which they will feel comfortable, secure, and happy, a place in which they can imagine settling down and raising their family.  As a seller, your goal is to cultivate these feelings through the property you’re selling.  Look at your house as a marketable commodity.  A buyer’s emotional response is triggered early, so you want to ensure you have done everything you can to encourage a positive response to your house from the outset.  Within minutes—even seconds—of pulling into your driveway, buyers have formed an impression that they will carry with them through the rest of the showing, and beyond.  Keep in mind, this impression will not only influence whether or not they make an offer, but also what they consider to be the value of the property.     

 

If you’ve ever visited model homes, you’re familiar with effective presentation styles.  Have you ever walked into one of these homes and immediately begun taking stock, planning how to get your home to look that good?  Well, now is the time to take some of these steps.  Of course, there are ways to achieve the same effect in your own home without incurring model home costs.   

 

When homes create this immediate type of emotional appeal, they tend to sell quickly—and for more money.  Use the following step-by-step guide to get your house into selling shape before you put the property on the market, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful sale!

 
1.     Outside the House

 

Work your way from the outside in.  It is essential that your home possess a certain “drive-up appeal.”  Remember, a potential buyer’s first impression of your house is formed while s/he is still sitting in the realtor’s car.  So, first you need to view your house from this perspective.  Go stand on the opposite curb and observe your property.  Compare it to surrounding properties.  Concentrate on the following four areas:

 

Landscaping:

How does your landscaping measure up compared to the rest of the neighbourhood?  If you guess it would rate below-average, make a few adjustments.  You might want to consider buying some bushes and planting them around the property.  Do not buy trees, however—mature trees are expensive, so you will not see a return on your investment.  And immature trees don’t tend to significantly improve the immediate appearance of your home. 

 

If the problem with your yard isn’t a case of too little greenery, but rather too much, get out the pruning shears.  The purpose of landscaping is to complement the home, not hide it.  Overgrown shrubs should be sheared to a height near the bottom of the windows.  Remove any ivy clinging to the side of the house.  Tree limbs should be high enough that you’re able to walk beneath.  Trim any branches that bar the way.

 

Your lawn should be freshly cut and watered, and an even colour.  If there are brown spots, make sure you begin to remedy this well in advance of putting the house on the market.  You may want to re-sod areas, and you need to make sure these spots are given enough time to grow, so they will match the existing lawn.  Also, if you decide to use fertilizer, you’ll want to allow enough time for it to take effect.  Rake up any leaves or grass cuttings.

 

Planting a few flowers is an easy way to add colour and vibrancy to your yard, enhancing the first impression of your home.  Invest in a full flat of mature, colourful flowers, such as petunias or periwinkles, which last the length of the growing season.  Do not buy bulbs or seeds—they won’t necessarily grow enough by the time you begin showing to achieve the desired effect.  If you don’t have an area in which to plant flowers, consider purchasing a few flower pots for your porch and planting flowers or blooming plants.

 

If you have a pool, keep it sparkling and leaf-free.

 

House Exterior:

When you view your house from across the street, does it appear weathered or faded?  If so, it’s probably time to treat it to a fresh coat of paint.  This is usually a sound investment; new paint can do wonders to increase a home’s perceived value.

 

Stay away from unusual or loud colours.  The new colour should fit in with surrounding houses, and complement the style and structure of your house.

 

Examine the roof closely.  Old or leaking roofs should be replaced.  If there are leaks, you’ll have to disclose this detail to the homebuyer anyway, and they will want it replaced.  If there isn’t any apparent damage, however, wait for word from the home inspector before making repairs.

 

The Front Door and Porch:

The front door and surrounding area should look particularly fresh and welcoming, as this will be the buyer’s first up-close impression as they enter the house.  If you paint nothing else, at least give the door a new coat.  Replace the doorbell if it is broken and polish the door fixture until it gleams.  Wash the mail box.  Keep the porch swept and buy a new plush door mat.  All of these little things will contribute to the overall effect of a well cared-for and welcoming home.

 

Ensure the lock works smoothly and the key fits properly.  When a homebuyer visits your house, the Realtor will open the front door with a key.  You don’t want the buyers’ first experience to be of waiting on the doorstep while the Realtor fumbles with the lock.

 
2.     Depersonalize.

 

This should be one of your first steps when you begin preparing your house to sell.  Over the years, a home inevitably becomes tattooed with the owners’ lives, covered with touches that have made it that special place for you.  At this point, however, you want buyers to recognize it as a property they could make into their unique place.  When a homebuyer walks into a room and sees these personalizing touches—such as photos on the walls or trophy collections—their ability to picture their own lives in this room is jarred, impairing a positive emotional response.  So, your first step will be to remove all the family photos, the trophies, collectible items, and souvenirs.  Pack them all together, so you’ll have everything you need at your disposal when it comes time to personalize your new home. For the time being, rent a storage space and keep these items there.  Do not simply transfer these items to another place in your house.  Do not hoard them away in a closet, basement, attic, or garage, as the next step in preparing your home is to minimize clutter—and these areas of your house will all be targeted.


 3.     Remove all clutter.

 

The next step on the list is to purge your house of the excess items that have accumulated over the years.  This is the hardest part for many people, as they have an emotional investment in many of these things.  When you have lived in a house for several years, a build-up of personal effects occurs that is often so gradual that you don’t notice the space is becoming cluttered.  If you need to, bring in an objective friend to help point out areas that could stand to be cleared.  Try to stand back yourself and see your house as a buyer might.  Survey shelves, countertops, drawers, closets, the basement—all places where clutter often accumulates—to determine what needs to go.  Use a system to help you decide:  get rid of all items, for example, you haven’t used in the past five years, and pack up everything that you haven’t used in the past year.  Although getting rid of some things might be hard, try to do it without conscience or remorse.  You’ll be forced to go through this process anyway when you move, and with each box you eliminate, your storage space—and the room in general—begins to look larger.  We’ve broken down the process into specific areas of your house to help you concentrate your efforts:

 

Kitchen:

The kitchen is an ideal place to begin, as it’s easy to spot and eliminate the type of clutter that tends to accumulate here.  Homebuyers will open your drawers and cabinets as they’ll want to check if there will be enough room for their own belongings.  If the drawers appear cluttered and crowded, this will give them the impression there is not enough space.  

 

  • First of all, remove everything from the counters, even the toaster (the toaster can be stored in a cabinet, and brought out when needed).
  • Clean out all the cabinets and drawers.  Put aside all of the dishes, pots and pans that you rarely use, then box them and put them in the storage unit you have rented (again, not in the basement or a closet).
  • If you, like many people, have a “junk drawer,” clear this out.
  • Get rid of the food items in the pantry that you don’t use.  Begin to use up existing food—let what you have on your shelves dictate your menus from now on.
  • Remove all extra cleaning supplies from the shelves beneath the sink.  Make sure this area is as empty as possible.  You should thoroughly clean this spot as well, and check for any water stains that might indicate leaking pipes.  Buyers will look in most cabinets, and will notice any telltale signs of damage.

 

Closets:

  • Go through all clothes and shoes.  If you don’t wear something anymore, get rid of it.  We all have those clothes, too, that we wear only once in awhile, but can’t bear to give away.  Box these items and keep them in the storage unit for a few months. 
  • Go through all other personal items in the closet.  Be ruthless.  Weed out everything you don’t absolutely need.
  • Remove any unsightly boxes from the back of the closet.  Put them in storage if need be.  Get everything off the floor.  Closets should look as though they have enough room to hold additional items.

 

Furniture:

  • You may want to tour a few model homes in order to gauge the type of

furniture chosen by design teams to create a spacious, yet comfortable atmosphere.  Note how that furniture is arranged to cultivate a certain feeling.

  • After having armed yourself with some ideas, stand back and look at each

of your rooms.  What will you need to remove?  Remember, most homes contain too much furniture for showings.  These are items that you’ve grown comfortable with and that have become incorporated into your everyday routine.  However, each room should offer a sense of spaciousness, so some furniture will likely need to be placed in storage.

 

Storage Areas:

  • Basements, garages, attics, and sheds:  these are the “junkyard” areas of

any given home.  It is possible to arrange simple clutter into a certain order, but junk is sent packing to these often-hidden rooms.  First, determine which of these boxes and items you actually need.  Can some of it be sent to the dump once and for all?

  • Hold a Garage Sale.  You’ve heard the saying, “One person’s trash is

another’s treasure.”  Let these items go to a better home.

  • Transfer some items to the rental storage unit.  You’ll want to clear the

storage areas in your house as much as possible, in order for them to appear spacious to potential home-buyers.  Buyers want the reassurance that their own excess belongings will find places for storage in their new home.

 
4.     Inside the House

 

Once you’ve cleared the house of excess items, you’ll have room to work on other areas.

 

Walls and Ceiling:

Examine all the ceilings and walls for water stains or dirt.  We don’t often look closely at the walls that surround us, so be careful—there could be residual stains from leaks that have long been fixed, or an accumulation of dirt in an area you hadn’t noticed.

 

Painting the walls may be the best investment you can make when preparing your home to sell.  You can do it yourself, and relatively inexpensively.  Remember, the colours you choose should appeal to the widest range of buyers, not just to your own personal taste.  A shade of off-white is the best bet for most rooms, as it makes the space appear larger and bright.

 

Carpet and Flooring:

Does your carpet appear old, or worn in areas?  Is it an outdated colour or pattern?  If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you should consider replacing it.  You can find replacement carpeting that is relatively inexpensive.  And always opt for neutral colours.

 

Any visibly broken floor tiles should be replaced.  But make sure you don’t spend too much on these replacements.  The goal isn’t to re-vamp the entire home, but, rather, to avoid causing any negative impressions due to noticeable damage or wear around the house.

 

Doors and Windows:

Check the entire house for any cracked or chipped window panes.  If they are damaged in any way, replace them.  Test all windows, as well, to ensure they open and close easily.  Try spraying WD40 on any with which you’re having trouble.  This should loosen them up.   

 

The same can be done with sticking or creaking doors.  A shot of WD40 on the hinges should make the creak disappear.  Check to make sure each door knob turns smoothly and polish it to gleaming.

 

Odour Check:

Begin by airing out the house.  Chances are, you’d be the last person to notice any strange or unpleasant smell that may be immediately apparent to visitors.

 

If you smoke indoors, you’ll want to minimize the smell before you show your home.  Take your cigarettes outside for a period of time before you begin showing.  Ozone sprays also help eliminate those lingering odours without leaving a masking, perfumed smell.

 

Be careful if you have a pet.  You may have become used to the particular smell of your cat or dog.  Make sure litter boxes are kept clean.  Keep your dog outdoors as much as possible.  You may want to intermittently sprinkle your carpets with carpet freshener as well. 

 

Plumbing and Fixtures:

All sink fixtures should look shiny and fresh.  Buy new ones if scrubbing fails to get them into shape.  Replacing them can be done fairly easily and inexpensively.  Check to make sure all hot and cold faucets are easy to turn and that none of the faucets leaks.  If you do find a leaking faucet, change the washer.  Again, this is an easy and inexpensive procedure. 

 

Finally, check the water pressure of each faucet, and look for any stains on the porcelain of the sinks or tubs.

  

Once you’ve covered all these bases, your house will be in prime shape for its time on the market.  Congratulations, you’re ready to begin showing!

 

 

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If you are in Steveston this weekend, pop by for a visit!  I'll be doing an Open House this Saturday, Sept 22nd from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at 13400 PRINCESS Street in the Steveston South neighborhood.  Come by and check out this fabulous detached townhome.


Princess Living Room 

Please come with any questions you may have.  As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this Steveston South Townhouse for sale.

 

Alisa Sakamoto
RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate

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I am proud to announce that this Sunday, September 23rd, 3:00PM to 5:00PM I will be hosting an Open House at 12180 Mellis Drive in the East Cambie neighbourhood in Richmond. This is the perfect opportunity to visit this gorgeous House!


Mellis Drive Kitchen

Please come with any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this East Cambie House for sale.


Alisa Sakamoto

RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate


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Come by and visit me this weekend on Saturday, September 22nd from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at 12438 BRUNSWICK Place in Steveston, Richmond. This is a fabulous opportunity to visit this excellent Townhouse for sale in beautiful Steveston South.


brunswick 2

Please come with any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this Steveston South Townhouse for sale.


Alisa Sakamoto

RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate


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Having a beautiful, well-decorated home will help improve your mental and spiritual health, and create a haven for you and your family. Best yet, you can update your home in just a few quick and easy steps.

painting

THE BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY HOME DECORATING TIPS

1Focus on high-traffic rooms

If you don't have the time or the budget to give your entire home a makeover, simply redecorate the high-traffic rooms. Focus on the rooms that people are in the most. The family room, kitchen, and front bathroom are good places to start when switching your home from drab to fab.

>> 3 Kitchen makeovers for $300 or less

2Painting: A low-cost way to give a room a new look

Giving rooms in your home an update is as close as a paintbrush and can of paint. Painting a room is one of the cheapest ways to create an entirely new look. Use bright colors to make the room unique, or if color makes you nervous, [try neutral colors] and go for more experimental home accessories.

>> How to paint stripes on a wall

3Choose inexpensive home accessories that create interest

After you paint, add inexpensive home accessories such as picture frames, mirrors, throw pillows and lamps to create an easy new look. Use colorful seasonal throw pillows to add personality to both the room and the furniture. Adding mirrors to rooms adds glamor, twinkle and brightness, while opening a room up at the same time.

>> Budget-friendly home accessories

4White Open Wall Frame from Pier1Frames are a money-saving way to update your wall art

When is the last time you changed your wall art -- or even really noticed it? There's no need to spend a fortune on pricey framed prints. Change the artwork on your walls by putting picture frames on your wall and simply switching out the photos each season.

>> How-to create the best picture wall

5Update the little details

Refurnishing, new carpeting, and other larger DIY home improvements can seem overwhelming, not to mention expensive. Instead of focusing on drastic home makeovers, update the little details to renew the feel of your home. For example, switch light and plug-in covers in any room to give walls a facelift; you can even change their look with spray paint.

>> Sassy switch plates

THE BENEFITS OF A WELL-DECORATED HOME

You won't truly realize the benefits of a well-decorated home until you start updating your home style. Having a beautiful home is everyone's dream (and owning one is a proud accomplishment) Home is a safe haven, a basic need in life, that affects our physical, mental, social and spiritual health. Think about it: Home is where we spend most of our time and plan the future for ourselves and our families.

>> Get more ideas! Live large, but spend small

Giving your home a makeover, perhaps by making small aesthetic changes in each room to start, will enliven your mood, create a sense of pride and further reinforce that your home is where your family's heart is.

Source: Home & Garden Magazine "She Knows"
 

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The August stats are here!  Take a read below and please let me know if you have any questions or would like more information.
Thanks, Alisa 
 

Home Sellers Continue to Outnumber Buyers in
Greater Vancouver’s Summer Housing Market


Home sale activity remained below long-term averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market in August.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 1,649 in August, a 30.7 per cent decline compared to the 2,378 sales in August 2011 and a 21.4 per cent decline compared to the 2,098 sales in July 2012.

August sales were the second lowest total for the month in the region since 1998 and 39.2 per cent below the 10-year August sales average of 2,711.

“Home sales this summer have been lower than we’ve seen for most of the past ten years, yet we continue to see relative stability when it comes to prices,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,044 in August. This represents a 13.7 per cent decline compared to August 2011 when 4,685 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 15.8 per cent decline compared to the 4,802 new listings in July 2012.

“For sellers it’s critical to work with your REALTOR® to understand today’s market and to develop the best strategy for selling your home,” Klein said. “On average it’s taking about two months for a home to sell on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver today.”

At 17,567, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 13.8 per cent from this time last year and declined 2.8 per cent compared to July 2012.

“Today, our sales-to-active-listings ratio sits at 9 per cent, which puts us in a buyer’s market. This ratio has been declining in our market since March when it was 19 per cent,” Klein said.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is $609,500. This represents a decline of 0.5% compared to this time last year and a decline of 1.1% compared to last month.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in August 2012 reached 624, a decrease of 38.8 per cent from the 1,020 detached sales recorded in August 2011, and a 30.1 per cent decrease from the 893 units sold in August 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 0.2 per cent from August 2011 to $942,100.

Sales of apartment properties reached 725 in August 2012, a 24.1 per cent decrease compared to the 955 sales in August 2011, and a decrease of 22.5 per cent compared to the 935 sales in August 2010. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 0.9 per cent from August 2011 to $370,100.

Attached property sales in August 2012 totalled 300, a 25.6 per cent decrease compared to the 403 sales in August 2011, and a 19.8 per cent decrease from the 374 attached properties sold in August 2010. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 1.9 per cent between August 2011 and 2012 to $462,300.


Courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver 

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I just finished uploading this House for sale, 3391 Scratchley Crescent, Richmond, BC

mellis study 

This expertly appointed 3 bedroom, 3-1/2 bathroom home boasts 9 ft ceilings with crown mouldings and over-height baseboards throughout - One of eight brand new luxury homes on a quiet street in a great location. Enjoy the comfort of hot water radiant in-floor heating on both floors, and a kitchen you'll love to host in, finished with granite and quartz, attractive tile backsplash, soft close cabinets and featuring Bosch appliances including gas range, double door fridge and dishwasher. This home also offers you central air conditioning, HRV and steam shower for your enjoyment. ***Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-2pm***

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I just finished uploading this House for sale, 3371 Scratchley Crescent, Richmond, BC

living room Mellis 

This expertly appointed 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom home boasts 9 ft ceilings with crown mouldings and over-height baseboards throughout - One of eight brand new luxury homes on a quiet street in a great location. Enjoy the comfort of hot water radiant in-floor heating on both floors, and a kitchen you'll love to host in, finished with granite and quartz, attractive tile backsplash, soft close cabinets and featuring Bosch appliances including gas range, double door fridge and dishwasher. This home also offers you central air conditioning, HRV and steam shower for your enjoyment. Measurements taken from building plans and should be verified by buyer if deemed important. ***Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-2pm***

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