From pumpkins to trick-or-treating to decorating for Christmas, fall is a great season for many reasons! We are lucky to live in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley of beautiful British Columbia which offer so many events and attractions for every season. Whether you're continuing old traditions or looking to add new ones, this list will keep you busy!


Pumpking Patches and Corn Mazes

Maan Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, Abbotsford | September 17 - November 1

Loft Country Farms, Langley | October 1-31

Southlands Farm Pumpkin Patch, Vancouver | October 1-31

Aldor Acres Family Farm, Langley | September 18 - October 31

Laity Pumpkin Patch, Maple Ridge | September 30 - Octoebr 31

Willow View Farms Pumpkin Patch, Abbotsford | October 1-31

Chilliwack Corn Maze, Chilliwack | October 1-31


Halloween 2021 Events

Fly Over Canada Halloween Edition at Canada Place

Fright Nights at the P.N.E.

Glow in the Garden at VanDusen Gardens

Pumpkin Train (Day Time) at Bear Creek Park

Scream Train (Night Time) at Bear Creek Park

Halloween in the Forest at at Surrey Nature Centre

Celebrate the Night at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge


Markets and Shows

Vancouver Fall Home Show | October 14-17

Westcoast Small Home Expo | October 18

The Vintage Barn Market | November 5-7

The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market | November 13-14

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There's yet another reason to pick that walkable community you've been thinking about for your next home. Walking is good for brain health and could contribute to keeping seniors more cognitively fit. 


That's according to new research by the BRAIN Lab at Colorado State University. It shows that aerobic exercise, particularly walking, positively affects – refreshes – the brain’s white matter. "White matter deterioration is associated with cognitive impairment in healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease," says the study.


Even if you've been inactive during the pandemic, putting on your walking shoes could improve your health. And living somewhere that allows for regular strolls and running errands on foot makes daily walks all the easier. Walkable communities also improve satisfaction, according to a pair of studies, the “Community and Transportation Preference Surveys,” conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® earlier this year.


Respondents who strongly agree that there are "lots of places to walk nearby" show an 8% increase in quality of life, for example. And older generations – Gen X and beyond – and those with higher incomes showed an increased interest in walkability. 


So, when you're scoping out a new neighbourhood, keep an eye out for the elements that make for a walkable community. 


According to Walkscore, they are: 


-A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.


-People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.


-Mixed-income, mixed-use: Affordable housing located near businesses.


-Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.


-Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street and parking lots are relegated to the back.


-Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.


-Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.



In 2020, Walkscore ranked Canada's most walkable cities and the top five are:

1. Vancouver (79.8 out of 100)
2. Montreal (65.4)
3. Toronto (61.0)
4. Hamilton (49.6)
5. Mississauga (48.9)



Additional Resources:

Learn more about walkable communities, how to incorporate walking into your day-to-day life, and where to find walking groups. 

Having read all that, there's only one question: Where will you walk today?
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Autumn brings with it a beautiful, soft exhale. This is the time to reflect on the summer and plan for the remaining months of the year. Now that you're back to schedules and the usual school/work grind, having a healthy routine will set you up for success each and every day.

When it comes to creating a routine, where do you start? What do you incorporate into your day to inspire positivity and confidence? Well, that depends a lot on your personality, likes and dislikes, and how much time you want to dedicate to your routine.

A FEW ROUTINE ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER:

- Start your morning with journaling or Morning Pages
- Incorporate a skincare routine using natural products that not only smell amazing but also have healing and uplifting properties
- Eat healthy
- Exercise
- Meditate
- Go for a walk
- Read
- Work on creative projects

The list could go on and on. Experiment with a variety of rituals to see which ones fill your soul and bring you joy.
Fall Routines
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As the season changes from summer to fall, it's a good time to go through an end-of-summer cleaning checklist. Here are four tips to get you started:


Clean Outdoor Furniture

Scrub all patio furniture and wash or wipe cushion covers. Cover outdoor furniture or store in a covered area to avoid rust and dirt accumulating over the winter.


Scrub the Grill

The BBQ's time to shine is coming to an end. Give it a thorough clean to remove grease and grime. Try this all-natural grill cleaner recipe:

1 tbsp baking soda

1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

1 tbsp natural/biodegradable cleaner

1 ball or sheet of aluminum foil

2 tbsp avocado oil spray (or similar high-heat oil)


Garage or Storage Sweep

Clear out your garage, shed, or storage locker and give it a thorough sweep. Brush away cobwebs and purge no-longer-needed items as you go. You can also oil your garage door and chain and all door hinges while you're in there.


Scrub Garden Tools

Scrub down garden tools to prevent rusting. Also, take advantage of end-of-summer sales to replenish your gardening supplies so you're ready to start fresh in the spring.

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This may seem hard to believe, but many people thoroughly enjoy their moving day and the time leading up to it. The secret? Being organized. Make sure you have the right tools, start early and work steadily. Make progress every day instead of leaving it all until the last minute.

Here are 14 tips for packing like a pro:

1. Develop a master “packing/to do” list so you won’t forget something critical.


2. Purge! Get rid of things you no longer want or need. Have a garage sale, donate to a charity, or recycle.


3. Before throwing something out, remember to ask yourself how frequently you use that item and how you would feel if you no longer had it.


4. Pack like items together. Put toys with toys and kitchen utensils with kitchen utensils.


5. Decide what, if anything, you plan to move yourself. Precious items, such as family photos, breakable valuables, or must-haves during the move should probably stay with you.


6. Use the right box for the item. Items packed loosely are more likely to be damaged.


7. Put heavy items in small boxes so they are easier to lift. Keep the weight under 50 lbs., if possible.


8. Do not over pack boxes, boxes that are packed comfortably will be less likely to break.


9. Wrap each fragile item separately and pad the bottom and sides of boxes.


10. Label every box on all sides. You never know how they will be stacked and you do not want to have to move other boxes aside to find out what is inside.


11. Use colour-coded labels to indicate which room each item should go in. Colour-code a floor plan for your new house to help your movers.


12. Keep your moving documents together, including phone numbers, the driver’s name, and van number.


13. Back up your computer files before moving your computer.


14. Inspect each box and all furniture for damage as soon as it arrives. Remember, most movers won’t take plants.


Moving boxes

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Green home upgrades like installing a heat pump, adding insulation, and putting in new windows, can reward you with greater comfort and lower energy bills. 

Still, such projects can get expensive. 

By tapping the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you may be able to defray some of the costs. 

The federal grant program, launched in June, provides up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,600 for energy efficiency upgrades to eligible homeowners. 

Given that buildings account for 18% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, the grant serves twin purposes: helping homeowners improve home performance and achieving the country's climate goals.

Eligible Retrofits are:

  • Home insulation - up to $5,000
  • Air-sealing - up to $1,000
  • Windows and doors - each window/door is eligible for either $125 or $250
  • Thermostats - up to $50 (must be combined with another retrofit)
  • Space and water heating - up to $5,000
  • Renewable energy - up to $5,000
  • Resiliency measures - up to $1000 (must be combined with another energy efficiency retrofit)

The program is restricted to primary homes, and properties eligible for the grants are:

  • Single and semi-detached houses
  • Row housing
  • Townhomes
  • All-season cottages
  • Mobile homes on a permanent foundation
  • Permanently moored floating homes
  • Small multi-unit residential buildings (three storeys or less with a footprint of 600 m2 or less), and mixed-use buildings (residential portion only).

Be sure to read the fine print to fully understand all the requirements (https://bit.ly/3xGgzos), mandatory pre-and post-project evaluations, and how reimbursement works.

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Having spent the last twenty, thirty, forty or more years in your home, your walls and shelves may have accumulated a lifetime’s worth of memories. From the dinnerware you received on your wedding day to the endless photo albums and picture frames of loved ones, the daunting task of sorting through all of your collectables may seem impossible.

Here are 5 things to consider when going through your belongings and how to make the process easier for you:


1.     Clean Up Photos. Photo albums are not only heavy, but they also take up a lot of space on shelves. When downsizing, space is limited. Thanks to technology, photographs can now be stored digitally on computers and in online cloud platforms. This also makes your photos accessible to family members who also don’t have space to store boxes of albums for you.


There are numerous apps you can download onto your phone that will scan images and store them online. Ask a friend or child or grandchild for help if you need it. A few examples of free apps include PhotoScan, Photo Scanner, and FamilySearch Memories.


2.     Selling Valuables. One of the most difficult parts of downsizing your belongings is realizing which items are valuable to you for sentimental reasons and which are valuable because they’re worth money. Items that are worth something can be sold at an estate sale or on Facebook Marketplace or a similar online selling platform, like eBay. If there are items that are sentimental to family members, pass those items on to them. Items that you will have no use or space for in your new home and have no market value can be donated.


3.     Minimize Collections. If you don’t want to get rid of your entire dinnerware set, take a subset of it and sell or donate the rest. For example, if you have a dinnerware set that serves 16 people, minimize it to just 3 or 4.


4.     Test Items. Before packing any electrical items, test them to make sure they work. If not, see if they can be fixed. If all it requires is new batteries or a new lightbulb then you need only to decide if it’s worth keeping or donating. If an item is not reparable, toss it.


5.     Give Yourself Time. Downsizing is never easy. There are a lot of emotions that might surface as you reflect on decades of memories and experiences. Give yourself lots of time to go through your belongings so you’re not rushed and can savour the sentiments of your belongings.

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                                               Let us help you

      

 

                                 www.RealEstateYouCanTrust.ca

                                           Ph: 778-355-6400

                                    info@RealEstateYouCanTrust

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What Home Inspectors See that You Can’t.

 

When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.

 

That being said, you might question whether you really need to invest the hundreds dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.”

 

However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement. 

 

But you won’t pick up all the issues a home inspector can.

 

A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mould. He or she will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code.

 

That’s not all.

 

Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components — and then report the findings to you.

 

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended — even for recently built homes.

 

A good REALTOR® can recommend a trusted home inspector for you.

 

Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a home? Call us today for our list of recommended inspectors.



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There is no way to keep your address off of Google Maps however, you can get Google to blur out your property so Google Maps users will not see it. Here’s the process to get your property, license plates or faces blurred:

- Go to Google Maps and type in your address
- Bring up the street view of your property
- Look to the bottom right hand corner of the screen you should see an Icon Labeled: “report a problem.”
- Click on “report a problem.”
- You will see a page labeled “report inappropriate street view.”
- Adjust the image so your house is inside the red box.
- Fill out the form
- Type/click the verification code at the bottom of the page into the box provided and click submit.
- Check back in a few days to see if the image has been blurred.

Link to find your address on Street View Maps: https://www.google.ca/maps

Judy Sehling
Keller Williams Black Diamond Realty 

 

Street View

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It’s shocking how much damage water can cause. Just a few gallons from a burst pipe or overflowing toilet can wreak havoc throughout your home and necessitate thousands of dollars in repairs. Ouch! What should be done at the first sign of water leakage? First, stop the source. Check under and around the sink, turn off the nearest water valve. If you can’t find it, turn off the main water valve to your home. If you do not know where the main water valve is located, check your home inspection report. Next, do everything you can to soak up as much water as possible. If necessary, lift carpeting. Borrow your neighbours Shop Vac. Pay particular attention to water settling next to walls or inside ductwork. Get these areas dry as quickly as possible. Containment is important. Do your best to prevent water from infiltrating other rooms. Once you’ve got the area as dry as possible, run fans in the room along with a high powered dehumidifier – for at least a full day – to draw in the remaining moisture.

If, despite your best efforts, you suspect that moisture remains inside the walls, floors or ceilings, call in the professionals. There are many companies that specialize in emergency water damage control.  Google “Restoration Services.” Also, consider contacting your insurance company… especially if the damage will cost more than your deductible to fix. They’re as motivated as you are to reduce the damage.

 

 

 

Judy Sehling

Keller Williams Realty

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When you are thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I buy a new home first or list my property first? Let’s take a look at both options. If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges. First, sellers may not take you seriously as a buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale yet. As far as they are concerned, you might merely be testing the market.

 Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If you have removed subjects on your new home and it has an early closing date, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells. This may make you feel desperate to sell for a lower price than you would have wanted.

 If, on the other hand, you list and put your property on the market before buying a new home, the sellers will know you are serious. That puts you in a better position when you want to make an offer. Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence. Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time. Solutions such as bridge financing are available to help if the closing dates on both your purchase and sale don’t match. A REALTOR® who has experience dealing with these situations on a regular basis will be able to guide you through the process.

 Judy and Forrest regularly help their clients right-size their lives and move into new homes that fit their current needs. They have an incredibly high success rate of negotiating closing dates to match up so that bridge financing doesn’t have to come into play. Whether you are downsizing or upsizing, Judy and Forrest can help. Call for more information.

 

written by: Judy Sehling

Keller Williams

Realty Real Estate You Can Trust

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Understand your insurance policies. An Ontario couple's home insurance claim is being denied after the pipes of their emergency fire sprinkler system froze and burst, causing major damage.

 Intact denied the claim, saying that under the policy, the water needed to be turned off and drained, including the fire sprinkler system, if the couple were away for more than a few days. "We've got the fire department on the one hand telling us we have to have a system and it's got to be maintained on at all times. We've got the city telling us we have to have the system it's a building code requirement. We got the insurance company telling us, you can't do that or you're not insured. It doesn't make any sense at all."

 "I put a question to our adjuster early on. I said, 'Supposing instead of a flood we had a fire, and we had turned off our fire system, what then?' Obviously I didn't get an answer, but I can guess what it would have been." ‪#‎Insurance

 By Rosa Marchitelli,

CBC News Full article here: CBC INSURANCE NEWS

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Rebate Tip! Many people are not aware that YOU must apply for this every year in order to qualify. Your bank or lender will not apply for it on your behalf. The BC Home Owner Grant Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,100,000. The basic grant gives home owners:

• a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts;

• an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war veterans of certain wars.

BC Home Owner Grant
Source: BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenuewww.rev.gov.bc.ca/hog or contact your municipal tax office.

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Effective May 30, anyone who has an insured mortgage will no longer be able to act as a co-borrower on another mortgage that CMHC insures.

What does that mean? If you currently own a home and your down payment was less than 20% (CMHC Insured), then you cannot purchase or cosign on another property with less than 20% down.

Similarly, parents who have a mortgage that’s insured will no longer be able to act as a co-borrower for their children on an insured mortgage.

 

Globe and Mail News Article

 

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* Update hardware, faucets, sinks, grout in kitchens & bathrooms.

* Paint throughout with neutral colours. A blank slate is best.
* Declutter & Depersonalize. Put excess furniture in storage.
* Add Fresh Flowers.
* Use double beds instead of queens and kings.
* Never cook a meal before a showing. 
* Increase wattage in lightbulbs. Brighten up your rooms. Add lamps to eliminate dark spaces. 
* Glass tables make rooms appear larger.


Sell your homes faster with these Real Estate tips. 

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Great news for First-Time Home Buyers!
 
The government has raised the Property Transfer Tax exemption threshold from $425,000 to $475,000.
 
Property Transfer Tax is calculated at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% of the remaining value of the purchase price. Qualifying first-time home buyers will not have to pay this tax if the price of the property is less than $475,000. That’s a tax savings of up to $7500!
 
This is perfect timing for many people wanting to get into the market. I will explain this in greater detail and many other tips at my real estate seminar for First-Time Home Buyers on March 15, 2014. Do you know anyone thinking about buying a property? If so, this 2 hour seminar is a must.
 
 
Just released from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, February 18, 2014:
 

Government reduces tax burden on first-time buyers

First-time home buyers received welcome news in today’s provincial budget. Any REALTORS® currently working with first-time buyers will want to share this news with them as soon as possible.

 

The government has announced, effective February 19, 2014, under the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000. The previous threshold was $425,000.

 

The partial exemption continues and will apply to homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.

With this change, the government estimates 1,700 additional first-time buyers will annually be eligible to save up to $7,500 in PTT when they buy their home.

 

The government estimates this measure will cost $8 million in lost tax revenue each year.

The Real Estate Board, together with BC Real Estate Association, has actively lobbied to make home ownership more affordable for first-time home buyers. This increase in the threshold clearly signals our efforts have paid off as in past years.

 

In 2008, as a result of industry lobbying, the provincial government increased the threshold to $425,000 from $375,000. 

 

In 2005, the government increased the threshold to $325,000 from $275,000.

 

The PTT is calculated at a rate of one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remaining value of the purchase price.

 

Here is a link to the Budget.: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/default.htm

 

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