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George Best, Licensed Realtor®
Direct Line:250-305-7034
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Landscaping on a budget can be a challenge but with a good plan and a little ingenuity, you can create a stunningly landscaped yard that will make the neighbors (and buyers) stop to take it all in. Here are some tips for keeping within your budget.

Have A Plan

The first step to creating a great landscape design is a well thought out plan. If you're stuck for ideas, the best inspiration is to take a walk around your neighborhood and admire other yards that you like.  Even going online to do a google search can give you great ideas. Then take the time to analyze your yard. Take into account shaded areas, sunny areas, slopes and any other characteristics of your property that will affect what you can build and plant. Having a completed design on paper will help you come up with your wish list, so you can get a good idea of your budget before you even get started.

More Bang for Your Buck

There are lots of ways to make your landscaping dollars stretch. Buying young plants can be fairly inexpensive, but  keep in mind that it may take a few seasons to grow to their full potential. Perennials are a good investment because they come back every year.  Plant sales, especially toward the end of a season may not give you immediate results but it will work towards the long term goal of your design. Find out what plants thrive in your zone and if you need a lot of mulch, it may ultimately be cheaper to get it delivered by the truckload rather than hauling home individual bags.

Shopping in Stages

Unless you hire a landscaping team, it makes sense to buy plants and supplies in phases. This method will also help you make the best use of your budget. Landscaping is a process so you may not be able to fill in all the empty spaces immediately. Individual planter boxes or pots can temporarily help in filling in gaps. 



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With the grass starting to green up, our thoughts turn to our backyards and our plans for the summer. When selling your home, the outdoor space can be a key factor for a buyer putting in an offer. All buyers look at properties differently as some prefer as little maintenance as possible while others can't wait to plant a garden or mow the lawn to perfection.  When selling, you want to make sure your yard is always looking its best but you also have to remember to enjoy it as well and to make the most of your backyard while you have the chance. 


Some of the key factors to having your yard show well and still enjoying what it has to offer are:

1. Enjoy the scenery

Sprucing up your yard with a little lawn and garden care can make a big difference in your backyard’s atmosphere. All it takes is some fertilizer and grass seed to bring out the lush, green lawn you’ve always wanted. Even planting a patch of flowers or vegetables can make the visual impact you are looking for. Setting up a sprinkler system is a great way to tend to your yard and also attracts buyers that are looking for a beautiful yard that is setup for easier maintenance. What is great is that you can enjoy the beauty of it yourself as well as the vegetables when they are ready. 

2. Sit back and relax

Furnish your patio or deck with waterproof chairs and table, an umbrella, or even a gazebo. The right patio collection can be the perfect place to unwind after a long day and will make it inviting not only for your company but for buyers as well making them feel right at home. 


3. Grill out 

Nothing beats the smell of a BBQ in the summer. It is an ideal way to not only enjoy the outdoors but to try some amazing recipes that only an outdoor grill can perfect. For buyers who enjoy the outdoors, having an area designed as the "outdoor kitchen" can be exactly what they are looking for.  It can be a simple as a BBQ with a patio set to the ultimate cooking space with state of the art setup. Click on the link to see a few samples of how creative homeowners have become over the years. With the seasonal changes that we experience here, it can be a little more difficult to put in that extensive of a setup and expect to get back the costs when you sell so that is something to keep in mind when you start creating. Most homeowners do it for the pure enjoyment it brings for them and their families. 


4. Create a playground paradise

The backyard is great place for kids to enjoy the outdoors by swinging, climbing and jumping around. A new play set or designate games area can turn your yard into an adventure in family fun. This is a great way to enjoy your backyard as well as entice buyers to see how their family can also enjoy the space. When selling, remove any old structures that are hazardous or an eye sore to make your backyard as visually pleasing as possible. 


So as the sun continues to warm up our backyards, I hope you get the chance to get out and enjoy yours. If you are looking to list but aren't sure what you can do to make the most of your space, give me a call & I would be happy to talk to you about your options as we move forward into the listing market. 

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I have listed a new property at 1079 LOOMIS CREST in Williams Lake.
Recreation awaits you! This spacious 4 bedroom log home is your escape to recreation paradise. Whether you're looking for a weekend retreat or the ideal place to retire, this home offers you all the comfort you'll need. The bright open floor plan is perfect for entertaining plus you have over 1100 sq ft outdoor deck where you can relax and enjoy the view of Nimpo Lake. The lower level offers plenty of space for a large rec room or the ultimate workshop. With incredible fishing and recreational opportunities right at your door, you'll wonder why you didn't move here sooner. All this at this price. Wow!
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I have listed a new property at 4363 LIKELY RD in Williams Lake.
Looking for a rural life and being able to create an income at the same time? Here it is... 167 acres with 120 acres in good producing hay averaging 400 round bales per year. There is even a second home that can be rented $600 per month. There is 2 large 20x40 sheds for housing machinery or animals and another 20x40 shelter for hay. A great place for horses or livestock with 38 acres of good pasture and water rights from Goose Lake. Beautiful piece of property with view of Big Lake from the large deck and sun room. The store and elementary school are just 3 km away in this great community, Polly Mine is nearby and you are just 40 minutes away from Williams Lake. GST applicable. Come live the dream!
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As you can tell by the new listings this week, the listing are coming out fast & furiously. With more options to choose from on the market, you would think the buyer would have the upper hand but this is not necessarily true. 


There are many buyers out there that are ready and have been awaiting the influx of spring listings. They know what they want and when they see it, they jump on it. This can frustrating for buyers that aren't quite sure what their checklist all consists of and before they have a chance to decide if they are willing to put in their offer, another offer is put onto the table.


So what can you do so that your offer is the accepted offer by the seller? Here are 5 tips to help you in your quest: 


1.) JUMP!

It can be tough to make a decision when you are weighing all the pros & cons of a home. This is why it is ideal to make a list of what you are looking for in a home and what it a "must", "acceptable" and "not an option " in that list. As your agent, I will discuss all your requirements with you and can set you up in a search that will target your needs for a home. This will keep you on top of all the new listings that come available and will give you the opportunity to "jump" on the one that fits the bill. 


2.) Your agent

This can be the difference in seeing properties to actually purchasing a property. As a Realtor, my job is to help you find the best possible home for you for the best price. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and am dedicated to giving my clients the best service & advise I can.  


3.) Financing

When you are competing for a property, it is important to have the strongest financing available. Meet with a loan officer or mortgage broker prior to starting your property search so that you can be pre-approved for a mortgage. Not only with this assist you when putting in an offer and releasing the subjects, but it will also give you a realistic evaluation of what is affordable for you. It can be devastating to find the home of your dreams and then find out you cannot get the mortgage to puchase it.


4.) Details, details! 

During the house hunting process, learn as much as you can about the homes you are interested in. Ask for any reports that may already be on file from property taxes to previous well tests to maps. With this information in hand, it will assist you in making the right decision for you and your family. 


5.)  Patience is key!

As much as a buyer can be ready to jump, I also advise that the process can still be overwhelming if the sense of urgency to have an offer accepted outweighs the comfortable feeling of consideration and value. The real estate process almost always has some stress involved for new and experienced buyers. The more knowledge you have about a particular neighborhood market and home, the better the offer strategy will be and the more likely it will gain the seller’s nod of approval. It may take several attempts, but the right home and the right deal will come along.


If you would like to talk about strategies to find the right home for you, do not hesitate to give me a call. I pride myself on going above and beyond to meet your real estate goals and would love the opportunity to work with you!

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I have listed a new property at 3064 BIG LAKE RD in Williams Lake.
10 beautiful treed acres. Private forest of aspen, fir, spruce, pine and more. The driveway is in and there is a cleared building spot for that dream home or recreation cottage or just park the RV. Power and phone at paved road at front oflot. Just 35 minutes to Williams Lake and 3 minutes to the Big Lake boat launch, general store and gas station on the Likely Road. Great community with school, fire department and community hall. Great property for country privacy yet accessible to the city.
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I have listed a new property at 4268 RIMROCK RD in Williams Lake.
Hello recreation. Beautiful waterfront 2.27 acre lot with 300 ft of low bank waterfront on a quiet bay on Cuisson Lake. Just 35 minutes from Williams Lake is this cozy 2 bedroom recreation cottage with an open floor plan for kitchen, diningand living and a wood stove to keep it all warm. Bring your toys as there is a 30 ft dock for your boat a good sized storage/generator shed with lean to for firewood. Enjoy having the option of float plane access as well. Check out this 20x40 converted garage/workshop that has been partially converted into a large second home. You will love the peaceful solitude from your screened in porch or relax on the lawn chair just feet from the lake. This is as close as you get to "On Golden Pond".
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I have listed a new property at 721 MCDOUGAL ST in Williams Lake.
Home sweet home! Check out this updated 4 bedroom 3 bath family home in this great location close to schools and amenities. The newly updated family size kitchen has tons of cupboards and informal dining area. Welcome into the spaciousliving room with a walkout onto a large entertaining deck overlooking the city. Then there is the large master suite with ensuite and 2 more bedrooms to boot. The large lower level media/family room has a certified wood stove and walkout doors to the covered patio. The home has an energy efficient rating with newer doors & windows, hot water tank and high-efficiency furnace. Then there's the beautiful fenced yard with garden, play area and 10 x 20 shed for the toys. The wait's over!
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I have listed a new property at 11410 CHILCOTIN 20 HWY in Williams Lake.
The ultimate in rural living on this 11.5 acre hobby ranch near Puntzi Lake in the majestic Chilcotins. This property has it all with a high end country home, a massive shop/coverall for motor home, toys, or the mechanic enthusiast and numerous outbuildings and fenced paddocks for the domestic animals. You're just 5 minutes from world renowned fishing at Puntzi Lake or endless trails to your outdoor adventure and with Crown Land bordering your property "you can ride into the sunset". The great community of Tatla Lake is just 30 minutes with many amenities. Enjoy a fabulous view of the Coast Mountains from your porch swing with the tranquility that only rural can bring. Come call this home.
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I have listed a new property at 0 COLWELL RD in Williams Lake.
Have you been looking for that affordable recreation property! You've found it! This 10 acre privacy property on the Kleena Kleene River has a 2 bedroom log home and a large 2 vehicle log carport and wood shed. There is hydro and water is pumped up from the river. This 3 season recreation home is the perfect getaway for the entire family or your summer home. Fly fish for your dinner of rainbow trout on this "river runs through it". It's your time...
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We have reached the end of the 1st quarter of 2013 in the real estate market. It has been a great start for our Williams Lake & area market and is looking like a great year is ahead of us. As of March 31, the year to date sales have equalled $6,182,400 for our area in the single housing market. A total of 25 sales took place since January with the average sale at $247,296. The 1st quarter saw 44 new listings selling at an average of 55.5 days. In comparison to last year at this same time, the total number of sales were down slightly but the average sale of a home was up approximately 6%. 


In March, we saw 13 properties sell which is right in line with last year which saw 14 sales in March. The average property selling though compared to March 2011 was substantially up from $226,242 to $277,184 in March 2013. Interesting enough though, the average days to sell was within 0.7 of a day from 2012 to 2013. 


As many folks are starting to think "lake properties", last year didn't see any properties purchased at this point where this year we have already seen a purchase in the market. The interest is definitely growing again for recreational properties so we may see an increase in sales in our Chilcotin market. 


Manufactured properties has seen a substantial increase in the average sale price compared to last year during March. This year the average sale price is $45,450 where as 2012 was $36,942. The interest in manufactured properties seems to be rising again as the average days on the market this year was 64.3 where last year was significantly longer at 194.7 days. 


Many buyers look to purchase a manufactured home on land. This market can fluctuate but has almost doubled in sales for this quarter in comparision to last year's 1st quarter.  Strangely though, the average days on the market this year is longer at 125.5 days than last year which saw an 80 day turnover. 


I am excited to see where our 2nd quarter will take the Cariboo/Chilcotin market. There are many factors that can influence the market in different ways so time will tell how we will fair in the BC market. I know our area has plenty to offer buyers and I look forward to discussing all the reasons why to buy in the Cariboo/Chilcotin.


If you are looking to add to the market statistics by buying or selling, do not hesitate to contact me to get started in your real estate venture. 

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