During the past three years, we have seen one of the most heated and fast paced markets in the past two and a half decades. It seems that no matter where you are, whether in your car listening to the radio or sipping a latte in Starbucks…Everyone is talking about real estate. Will it go up? Will it go down? Is it a bubble? Is it not a bubble?


The most common thread that I am finding is that there is come dissonance between what people are reading in newspapers and how they actually feel about the market.  Many times consumers are leary of articles written about real estate as they are commonly written by realtors.


Having always been a huge fan of people doing their own research, I just thought I would put together a few suggestions as to the ways consumers can stay in touch with the local market.  A lot of what you read or what people say is opinion.  I feel it is important to look to a diverse array of sources when gathering info and forming an opinion.

I prefer not to make predictions about the market.


I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future. While I don’t offer ‘predictions’, I will say that I believe real estate is cyclical. Once you learn about the cycles of real estate and what causes them, it will be easier for you to determine the likelihood of the market going up or down.


SOURCES OF MEDIA THAT CAN HELP YOU IN STAYING IN TOUCH WITH THE VICTORIA, BC REAL ESTATE MARKET

THE LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

I know! I just said don’t trust everything that you read! That being said, it is important to read articles as they are often predictors of what regulations will be coming into play, what mortgage rates are doing, etc… Take everything with a grain of salt and remember to look to different sources and voices to either supplement or contradict these articles.


YOUTUBE

Ok, so YouTube is full of cute cat videos and old ice bucket challenge videos but it is also full of valuable contributors. I personally have 20-30 channels that I follow that pertain to real estate markets, global finance and current events.  I watch everything from what’s going on in the US, London, Australian and Canadian markets.  When you have a sense of what’s going on around outside Vancouver Island, it can give insight into the effects of regulations and rules being implemented in other markets.


BOOKS, BOOKS & MORE BOOKS

Put down the fiction once in a while and settle down with a cup of tea and a real estate book. A simple search around amazon will present you with many options that touch on topics such as real estate investing (these will talk about cycles), how to purchase real estate or books on the economy at large as this plays a huge role as well.


TALK TO A REALTOR… ER, ONE YOU TRUST

I hear ya, before I was a realtor I saw many Realtors driving around in their flashy sports cars looking like overpaid salesmen. I get it. It doesn’t exactly ignite the desire to sit down and get an honest discussion about real estate. On the otherhand, there are other realtors (myself included) that are in the business for the long run and have the desire to help people. Once you find a realtor who shoots from the hip and isn’t afraid of having honest discussions about the market…Hold onto them! Make friends with them and go for coffee periodically. Realtors love talking about real estate and many of them are social creatures as well.

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For those of you lucky enough to walk in after work to a perfectly climate controlled home, keep moving. This article is for those of you suffering from the summer heat that seems to seep into every corner of your house.

With a few simple hacks, you can enjoy a moderately cooler space from the beginning to end of your day.

IN THE MORNING

If you are a relatively early riser, start by modifying your routine. Take advantage of the cool morning temperatures by opening as many windows as possible. In extremely hot climates, you may want to amp this up by placing small fans by large windows or open sliding glass doors. The idea is to push as much cold air into your place as you can before you leave for your workday.

Before you leave for work, take a moment to go shut all windows and draw all blinds.  The goal is to lock in the cold air and block out that hot sun.  This will help a great deal with keeping the offending heat out as much as possible.

WHEN YOU GET HOME

Once your back for the evening, turn on your ceiling fans and pour yourself a cool drink. The best way to beat the heat without the pleasure of air conditioning is to control your temperature internally. Eat cooling foods and beverages such as salads and icy cold drinks.

Take the time to inspect your ceiling fan. Most fans have settings to operate the fan counter clock-wise. Not many people do this but it will assist in drawing the hot air up and out of your space.

WHEN YOU COOK DINNER

Make sure you turn all your kitchen fans on high and also if your space is a condo or smaller in size, turn on your bathroom fans. You want to do everything to draw the heat out of your home.

Take to the grill! Instead of bringing more heat into your house with the stove or oven, crank up the barbeque and cook al fresco.

BEFORE BED

As you get ready to sleep take a moment to open all the windows in your house strategically to create a breezeway. Most houses (not so many condos) will have windows on the hot and cool side of the house. If you have these windows running parallel in the direction you can open the front and back to create a current that pulls the hot air out and the cold air in.

It will also be advantageous to look at what type of bedding you are using. Ditch anything heavy such as flannel or satin. If you gravitate towards a cool cotton or linen, you will find that you will sleep cooler throughout the night. Additionally, a buckwheat pillow is amazing at keeping the heat away as well.

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