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George Best, Licensed Realtor®
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Have you felt it yet? That first chill in the air that whispers of the coming of fall? Autumn is just around the corner, and now is a great time to start planning and preparing your garden for fall, and eventually our Cariboo/Chilcotin winter.


Here are 10 tips from several avid gardeners for ensuring your garden’s ready for fall and the cooler temperatures:

  1. Plant your spring bulbs, including tulips and daffodils. Ideally, this should be done by mid-October for best results, and before the ground begins to freeze.
  2. Trim back perennials that have gone dormant (once the leaves and stems have turned yellow or brown). If the plant still has green leafy growth late in the fall, it’s best to leave it until spring to see if it needs to be cut back. Also, some plants produce seedheads that are attractive to overwintering birds and these can be left standing until early spring, at which time they can be pruned back.
  3. Get rid of any diseased foliage from infected plants. If left alone or composted they can harbour a new outbreak next year.
  4. Divide dormant perennials that have become too large or numerous. These can be shared with friends or planted in other areas of the garden. Make sure new plants are well mulched to minimize frost heave.
  5. Fall is a great time to plant, so continue adding to your garden. In early fall the ground is still warm and many plants are still actively growing roots.
  6. Water needle-leaved conifers (like pines, firs, spruces and cedars) and broad-leaved evergreens (such as rhododendrons) well into the fall. This ensures that they will be well hydrated before the ground freezes.
  7. Rake up and compost tree leaves. Do not rake freshly fallen leaves onto gardens as they can smother young plants. It is best to let them compost first. 
  8. Stake young and newly planted trees. Fall can produce some blustery weather and staking will help prevent damage from high winds or heavy wet snow, which can occur later in the season.
  9. Mulch garden beds to retain moisture and to protect your plants from rapid fluctuations in temperature. Fall is a good time to spread compost over the vegetable garden so that it is ready to be dug in come spring.
  10. Don’t forget to fill up the birdfeeder. Fall is migration time and you never know what feathered visitor may stop by!
I hope this has made you excited for the start of fall as it is also an exciting time in the real estate business. Many new listings come into bloom while older listings sometimes need some pruning before their potential is reached. And like any great gardener, I as your real estate agent, work hard to achieve those final results which in my market, would be for my buyer or seller to receive a sold sign. Call me if you'd like to dig into our Fall market.  
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I have sold a property at 5115 CARIBOO HWY 97 HWY N in Williams Lake.
Come check out this 5.2 acres of privacy! This 3 bedroom home has over 2000 sq ft of living space. Home was substantially renovated in 2006. The remodeled kitchen has plenty of counter space with a built in oven. The living room is spaciousand you'll enjoy the beauty of the hardwood flooring and a large family room in lower level. Relax outdoors on your private 225 sq ft patio with its glass covered roof. The 32x48 insulated shop has 14' doors, cement floors and a pellet stove. Beautiful yard with fruit trees and garden ares. A creek borders the property as well as Crown Land with miles of trails ready to use. Perfect location with just 15 minutes to Gibraltar mine or to Williams Lake. It is ready for you to enjoy.
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I have sold a property at 3286 EAGLE WAY in 150 Mile House.
Post and beam perfection located in sought after Borland Valley Estates. An easy 15 minute drive to city center you'll enjoy all that country living has to offer. Vaulted ceilings and intricate roof lines add to the architectural interest while embracing the concept of an open spacious floor plan perfect for family and friends. Escape to the wonderful master bedroom with luxurious ensuite and room for quaint reading area or home gym. 4 nicely appointed bedrooms plus three full baths all of which have been completely re-done. This wonderful gourmet kitchen has been fully updated and renovated with high end cabinets and appliances, plus steps out onto the new back yard deck. Private and peaceful this 2.47 acres. Come check it out.
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I have listed a new property at 85 770 11TH AVE N in Williams Lake.
Ready to move right in to this recently updated home in a great park! All new carpets and paint throughout. This gorgeous 2 bedroom home features a large 5 piece bathroom with soaker tub, separate shower & 2 sinks and you have access from both master bedroom and main hall. Check out the large sunken living room with vaulted ceilings and cathedral windows. Nice open plan kitchen, dining & living room for entertaining friends and family. Excellent for a first time buyer or for down-sizing. Central location with short walk to all levels of schools, hospital or University. On Gibraltar Mine bus route and cost less than renting. It is super nice and priced to sell!
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You can feel it in the air...the new school year is coming! With the start of school, families face new organization challenges. Early morning starts, streams of homework and handouts take over the kitchen table, shorter days yet the calendar filled to the brim with sports, activites and events. So how can you prepare your family and home for the busy days ahead? Here are some tips from the experts on how to keep it all together: 


Ease the family into a school year schedule


The first day of school is no time for a drastic adjustment of household sleep schedules. Instead, ease children back into a school year routine gradually. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they'll need to rise when school begins. Younger children, in particular, need to adapt to new meal routines before the school day demands it of them. Plan meals and snacks to accustom little ones to rituals of the school day before the school year begins.

Create Calendar Central

Each school year floats on a sea of schedules from school functions to lunch menus to music lessons. Nothing calms school year chaos like Calendar Central: a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules. You'll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work. Add specialized calendars and schedules, and you have it: a one-stop shop for family time management.

Form is less important than function. From a paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily to pre-printed white board calendars are easy to revise when necessary, choose a calendar format that works for your family. Color-coding entries by family member helps keep busy lives straight.

 

Post the family event calendar in a central place either using magnets to attach the calendar to the refrigerator, or tack it to a bulletin board.


Plan before you shop


An informed shopper is a savvy shopper, so prepare before you shop. Take an afternoon and assess each child's clothing needs. Empty drawers and closets of outgrown or worn-out clothing, and either store or donate the discards.

 

Develop a wardrobe needs list for each child. Check for possible hand-me-downs from older siblings as you make your list. If you discuss the needs list and the family budget with your children before you shop, you'll avoid in-the-store tantrums.

 

Similarly, ask the school for classroom supply lists before shopping for school supplies. 

 

Take aim on morning madness

How are school mornings in your home? Crazed and chaotic, or calm and cheerful? Plan ahead to send your school children out the door in a happy frame of mind.

 

Each evening, think ahead to the following morning; where can you lighten the load? Set the breakfast table as you clear the dinner dishes, and make sure breakfast foods are easy to reach. Lay out children's clothing the night before. Scan backpacks for missing homework, projects or library books. Make sure musical instruments or sports bags are packed and ready to go.

 

Do "bathroom wars" break out daily? Multi-child households may need a bathroom schedule so that everyone gets equal time before the mirror.

 

What do you do about books and papers, lunch money and permission slips? Create a dedicated space for every family member.

Make a practice run

How will children get to school? The first day of school is no time to find out it takes ten minutes, not five, to walk to the nearest bus stop!

 

Before school begins, make a practice run to get children to the school on time. If they'll walk, help them learn the route they'll take and note the needed time. Car-pooling? Make sure the dry run accounts for early-morning traffic!  Bus riders will need to be familiar with the location of the bus stop; print and post the bus schedule to prevent a missed bus.

So I hope a few of these tips help you start off the school year on a great note. And if back to school means back to house hunting, just give me a call and we can start up where you left off and find you a great family home. 

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I have sold a property at 742 WESTERN AVE in Williams Lake.
Adorable, affordable, easy living close to all levels of school and university plus walking distance to town. Top to bottom tidy and so well cared for this one owner home has been showered with love - updated windows, roof, furnace, hot water tank, and so much more. Owner states original hardwood floors under carpet! Level backyard with alley access, plus detached 21 x 13 single bay garage. 3 bedrooms on the main with potential for 2 more in the basement plus 2 full baths. This little gem is just waiting for a new family to make her sparkle! Come check it out!
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I have listed a new property at 3075 HEINIE PL in Williams Lake.
You've found it! A great 3 bedroom home you've been waiting for on 2 private acres in 150 Mile area. Step into the open kitchen with lots of skylights and natural light. Relax in the spacious living room or enjoy your large covered deckwith views of the beautifully treed property that surrounds you. The property is completely fenced with treated posts & rails and is a very private setting near the end of a short cul-de-sac. Circle driveway and tons of parking for the largest RV. Enjoy outdoor BBQs on the extremely large covered deck or by the firepit and picnic table. Monkey wrncher's dream with a large 24x24 insulated garage & a place for all the toys with numerous sheds. Don't wait as there can only be one buyer.
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Moving can be stressful at the best of  times but moving with children in tow is a whole other story. Children are often wary of change, so it's best to be well prepared. I researched 10 steps that can help make the moving process as stress-free as possible for the whole family. 

 

1. Breaking the News 

Breaking the news of the move can be one of the most crucial steps of the entire process. First, explain to your kids how you think the move will benefit the whole family. If you have more than one child, it is good to address each of them later in private once they've had some time to let it all sink in. Let them know that you'll need their assistance as part of the process and they’re more likely to step up and help out. Be as open as possible about what moving entails. With young children, don’t assume that they'll understand what it all means right away.


2. Communication is key

Take the time to talk to your kids about the move during the process.  Use these conversations as an opportunity to explain the things you think they'll like about the neighbourhood you’re moving to, the house, the property, etc. Sometimes children just wants to know that they've been heard, even if they can’t have their way.

 

 3. Out with the old

Getting rid of old stuff can be a painful process or it can be a fun family activity. It can be tedious and time consuming to try to go through your child’s things, having to ask them piece by piece what they want to keep or give away, but if you get the kids excited with the prospect of a garage sale, then the kids will do a better job sorting than you ever could. 


4. Timing is key

If you can, try to time the move around the more stable periods in your kids’ lives. Moving during the school year can be disruptive and make integration into the new community and school environment much more difficult. 

5. Take advantage of relatives and friends

If you have friends or family available to take care of your young children, that will definitely make the moving process that much easier. If your kids are a bit older, this can be the opportununity for them to hang out with their neighborhood friends and say their goodbyes. This will also allow you to space out the packing process.

6. Pack small boxes of the kids' special things last

Don’t make the mistake of packing a favourite toy, book, or video games too soon. Go through the contents of these special last minute boxes with your kids and label them well. When you arrive at the new place, you likely won’t have the luxury of friends and family that can entertain the kids while you sort through your new life, so you’ll want to have the kids entertain themselves for a time while you get to sorting through the other boxes. 

 

7. Saying Goodbye

You’re likely leaving a lot of people behind that you and your children had relationships with. A goodbye party can be a great way to end your time at the old place but if you can, have a friend or family member host the event. This can double as a goodbye present and will also save you the nightmare of planning while packing.

 

8. Familiarize your family with the new neighbourhood

Research and show your children the opportunities and activities around the area. It may be tough at first for your kids to want to take part but be patient as they adjust to their new surroundings. 

 

9. Keep the familiar that worked

Routine can be very comforting in new environments and can help children deal with separation anxiety. Do your best to keep important family times and activities the same as soon as you can after arriving at the new house. Modifying old traditions in this way can also allow you to bridge the gap between the old and new and make the new place feel like home a lot quicker.


10. Remember your own needs

You’re doing a lot of work to make your kids comfortable with the move and to make the process as painless as possible for them. You know it will work out in the long run, but sometimes that still won’t mean they understand right away. In all of this, remember to treat yourself with as much consideration as the rest of the family. Moving is a stressful business but the rewards are worth it once you settle in to your new home. 


If you need help finding that new family home, give me a call and I will help your family with their search and the process of moving forward. If you're family has grown to the point where you need to sell, let me help you navigate through the process and help make it a pleasant experience for your family. 

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I have listed a new property at 3064 KELDON RD in Lac La Hache.
Just 25 minutes to Williams Lake is this amazing private 4.3 acres horse paradise. There are 2 horse barns for up to 7 horses with tack and feed rooms and 6 separate paddocks. The property is well treed, fenced and cross fenced and has a riding ring and full riding arena. There is a 24 x 48 insulated building that can be used for a hobby or workshop. The 1998 home has a nice open feel with a large master suite with ensuite with walk-in and huge addition with entertainment area & bedroom. Add on an outdoor greenhouse, numerous storage sheds and a deck for your country style living. Your not going to find a nicer horse property at this price, best saddle up and come have a look.
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I have sold a property at 4 350 PEARKES DR in Williams Lake.
Unique, affordable easy living in super Sunridge Gardens. Spotless, clean and wonderfully decorated, this prime end unit has amazing unobstructed views and additional windows that allow for added natural sunshine & privacy. The ONLY unitin the entire complex that offers a separate 3 piece ensuite to the master bedroom. Built in air conditioning is sure to be a dream you'll enjoy during the hot summer heat. Another added bonus is the extra parking - single car garage. 2 outside spots and close to visitor parking lot. This home has it all. Come check it out!
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I have sold a property at 1431 FLETT RD in Williams Lake.
Stop the car! Beautifully kept acreage just 15 minutes from town and at such a great price. This over 5 acre property is set up for horses with a fenced area. The back of the property is nicely treed and leads onto endless trails for riding. The large lawn and huge sundeck is perfect for entertaining the whole family and all your friends to a summer barbeque. This country style home could be a downsizer or with the 2 extra bedrooms downstairs is perfect for a growing family. The lower area is ready for a 2nd washroom and includes all fixtures and there is a large CSA Blaze King wood stove that can keep the whole house warm. Large 2 bay carport and 2 extra storage sheds for outdoor toys. You've been waiting..Wait no more!
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Well the numbers are in and it is time to compare. The July 2013 real estate market statistics have been finalized for our area so let's see how our summer started off. 

 

Everyone wants to know how the single family homes looked for the month and how they compared to last year. I am happy to report that the number of listings was dead on to last year with 25 new listings in this category for July. The number of sales increased by 23% but the average days on the market also increased from 53.2 days last year to 76.8 days this year. The average sale price was down substantially from last year but did settle in at $233,838 in July. 

 

Another area I would like to look at is manufactured homes as we did see some good increases in this area. The number of listings increased from 1 last year in July to 5 this year. The interesting thing to note was that when you look at the year to date totals they are right in line with last year so it appears that homeowners were putting their manufactured homes into the market earlier in the season last year.

 

When we jump over to the manufactured homes that were on land, we see a big difference this year with the sales as opposed to last year in July. Five properties sold in July this year while only 1 last year. Interestingly enough though, the year to date totals for both years have only a difference of 1 property. 

 

And of course, with us in the middle of a heat wave, we cannot forget to look at the recreational properties that hopefully many of you are enjoying this year. The number of listings remained the same as last year for July and there was only 1 additional property that sold in July compared to 2012. The big difference lies in the year to date comparison where 6 properties have already sold this year where only 1 had at this point last year. 

 

So overall, we you look at the big picture that includes everything in the market from agriculture to acreages to residential housing, the July market stayed right on track to last year in July with the number of listings. The area total for sales did increase for the month which is exactly what we like to see. If you would like more details on a specific area of our market, do not hesitate to contact me for the details. If you are ready to market your home for the Fall market, give me a call and we can get it listing and online so you can be a part of the next statistics. 

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I have sold a property at 3041 GLEASON CREST in Williams Lake.
Nice 2005 3 bedroom mobile on 4.99 acres in Big Lake. Minutes to Big Lake general store, pub, volunteer fire hall and close to Elementary school. Nice open floor plan with a CSA wood heater in living room to keep the cost of heating to a minimal! New water softener and pressure tank. Enjoy the quiet life of country living with recreation at your finger tips.
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