TGIF: REALTORsaurus? Not us! Staying adaptable in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

REALTORsaurus eh? Not us – at least not intentionally! Yesterday we spent a terrifying day studying “Trends & Issues in Real Estateā€ reviewing past experience as life’s lessons and reflecting on the future external forces, dynamics and exponential progress of technology that will affect real estate.

“Affordability” is today’s buzz word – did you know that real estate was equally unaffordable in the 1980s when interest rates rose to 21% and home prices were a fraction of today’s? Payments were similar to now with wages considerably lower. When interest rates rise, our mortgage payments will double or triple, bringing a whole new meaning to unaffordable. Takeaway from this is ‘be prepared’. In an era where lifestyle is more important than paying down our mortgage, doing everything we can to pay down our mortgage while interest rates are low will prevent foreclosures (1980s epidemic) & future hardship.

Did you know that many Vancouverites have moved to Vancouver Island and still commute for work? The $100 price of a flight from Nanaimo to Vancouver is more than offset by the significantly lower price of real estate. Our harbour is the busiest in North America for floatplanes. And as we tax foreign buyers with vacant homes, should we tax the many Vancouverites who move to the Okanagan, spend winters in Palm Springs, leaving their home vacant half the year? Interesting question when the real estate disrupters come from different places, both near & far, with the same result – rising prices & vacant homes.

And, of course we all know that the provincial budget balanced as a result of the property transfer tax!
Did you know that there are 50 billion tweets a day along with 31 billion Google searches every minute? And that speech is only the 2nd form of communication for a millennial? Texting is first. What this means is that the greatest exposure of real estate internationally is on Facebook – a community as large as China or India.

In our location, we are especially vulnerable to global events – the threat of war, declining or increasing currency elsewhere and politics, both here and abroad. With worldwide communication, we know immediately when there is a crisis or significant world event, so that our real estate market, as well as other markets, can change in an instant without warning.

There are just so many factors that can affect the real estate market, so it is good to think ahead to possibilities and how we handle them. This course had huge content, so we shall be looking at big ideas to be ready for future digitization and adaptability to serve you into a hyper changing future.

Sunshades are more useful than umbrellas today – and as always, we have you covered.
Sheila and Michelle.

TGIF! Happy Easter from the Hawthorne & Francis Team

Happy Easter everyone – to those celebrating Good Friday and Easter Sunday and to those enjoying a family long weekend. This is a time when we all feel gratitude for our lives and loves and consider how we can give something back to our community and neighbours (specially if we gave up something for Lent!). As a team, one of our embedded commitments is to always work to make a difference in the lives of others, both within our real estate business with our clients and within our greater community.

The two certainties in life are death and taxes! With regard to end of life care, we take it for granted that Crossroads Hospice will be there for us if we need it. This will only be true if we support it as a community – Fraser Health pays only 1/3 of required funding. After 14 years of serving us, the hospice must replace its beds this year with new ones, specially designed to monitor movement, setting off an alarm to prevent the almost inevitable falls which happen currently. We cannot believe how much crowd funding is required to keep our valued hospice open. Let’s all spring into action and at least contribute to the Easter bed fund. It would be great to move into Crossroads 15th year with all the beds in, paid for & a surplus for other necessary maintenance. For more information on how you can help personally, as a business, organisation or private group, get in touch with Anna Wilczewski (development & fundraising officer) – anna@crossroadshospice.org 604-945-0606.

Have a great weekend – you won’t need your umbrellas this sunny Easter Sunday, but we always have you covered.
Sheila and Michelle

TGIF: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Lest we forget ….. And Canadians will not forget, as demonstrated by the numbers of young cadets, military personnel and students going from here to Vimy Ridge for this weekend’s celebrations of 100 years since the Canadians captured Vimy Ridge. For the few remaining veterans and their families, it is reassuring that their colleagues and loved ones will still be remembered by the next generation in that cautionary history of war. Michelle’s father, Ted Hawthorne, honorary Colonel of The British Columbia Regiment, will be there alongside many other British Columbians and Canadians of all ages to honor the fallen.

April 9,1917, was Easter Monday , and the first occasion on which all 4 divisions of the Canadian Corps attacked as a formation. Their surprising achievement was meticulously planned, prepared & executed & paved the way for the British advances. The cost in young lives was huge – 3,598 dead in that one attack. If you want to have some sense of what warfare was like in 1917, visit the Port Moody Museum on Murray Street, especially this weekend as it has tours of exhibits, actual trenches, a plane & train similar to those instrumental in the First World War. History on our doorstep.

So…on Sunday, we shall be feeling gratitude & sparing thoughts for the astounding courage of those young men and women 100 years ago.

Sheila and Michelle