Fraser Valley Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 11, 2019

February Market Update

Wow, changes are happening here at the IMPACT Real Estate Group. Frank and I have some exciting news we want to share with all of you this month.

After 16 years in Frank's case and almost 7 years in my case we have made the decision to move our business from RE/MAX to a new company called eXp Realty. This new company is a company full of technological advantages and all of their tools will allow us to serve you better. Isn't that awesome?

Now let's talk a bit about the market as well. The Fraser Valley Board has processed only 784 sales, which represents a whopping 35.2 % decrease over January of 2018. For the first time in history, apartments outsold single family homes. 

Our Inventory levels have increased to almost 6000 homes at the end of the month, which is a 51.3 % higher count than in January of 2018.

With a sales to active ratio of 14.3% boardwide (Abbotsford 14.4, Mission 12.3, Chilliwack Board 9.9%) we can safely speak of a buyer's market, which continues to put pressure on pricing. The HPI for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board sits currently at $821.000.-, a far cry from the peak of almost $900.000.- in early 2018.

As always, when you have any questions or want a more specific approach to what these numbers mean for you specifically, please feel free to contact us anytime.

Sherry Heitzer (Reimer)

eXp Realty

txt/cell: 778-982-4663




Should You Move or Renovate?





Determining whether you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama, they make reality TV shows about it!

So, if you’re wondering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider:


1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?

If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, given the layout of your house, it might not be possible to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cozy fireplace, then a renovation could make that happen.

Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.

2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home?

It’s important to get accurate estimates of both the cost to renovate, and the cost of a new home, so you can make an informed decision. 

Renovations often have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. Remember, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.

3. Beware of compromising versus settling.

Whichever decision you make - to renovate or to sell - you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.

For example, consider the impact of adding an extension to your house. It would be a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home that already includes the space you need?

It can be a tough decision. If you’re in the midst of making it, call today to get the facts you need to make the best choice.



Low-Cost Storage Hacks for Creating More Space





Comedian George Carlin’s most memorable routine was, “A place for my stuff.” In it, he talked about dealing with the increasing quantity of items we accumulate throughout life.

George was funny. The problem is not. Here are some low-cost ideas for quickly creating storage space for your stuff.


  • Attach a cloth pouch or thin plastic basket to the inside of cupboard doors. This is a great way to store Tupperware lids, cosmetics, etc.
  • Install hooks inside the foyer closet for loose items such as hats and scarfs.
  • Use egg cartons to make effective storage inserts in drawers.
  • Fashion stores often put purchases in stiff, high-quality boxes. Placed on their sides, these make effective storage compartments. (Shoeboxes are especially effective.)
  • Consider using suitcases for out-of-season clothing. In addition to storage, they also provide protection.
  • Never throw out an old wine rack. There are numerous ways these can be used for storage. (For example: tools)

By thinking creatively, you can probably come up with many other simple ideas for creating more storage. The reward is a home that looks neater and more spacious.


Posted in Recent Blog Posts
Jan. 9, 2019

January Market Update

Happy new year to you and your loved ones. Isn't it great that the kids are out of the house and back to school again? 😉 We thought so.

Frank and I are getting back into the groove of helping you, your friends and family buy and sell real estate. Before we do that, let's just review what happened last year, before we look ahead.

2018 started out very strong with the prices increasing in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the early stages of a slow down started to emerge.This was largely due to the changes in the mortgage rules and the last of the pre-approved buyers had either found their home or had to get pre-approved again under the new rules. The third quarter continued a further downtrend, however, it wasn't until the fourth quarter where we saw some significant decreases. In the end, we saw house prices for single family homes recede to late 2017 prices and all gains from the early quarter evaporate. The tune for condos and townhouses wasn't quite as dramatic and are still slightly higher at the start of 2019 then they were at the end of 2017.

The Fraser Valley real estate board has reported the following benchmark prices: Abbotsford $ 792,600, Mission $ 651,900.

The Chilliwack board only reports average sales prices and the average sales price for December was: $ 485,350.

Here at the IMPACT Real Estate group, we strongly believe that the year 2019, will bring a diverse real estate market. There are a high number of motivated buyers looking for homes, however, they have become very cautious with what they buy, and are especially analyzing how much they are willing to spend when they take the step into the market. Although we believe there is some potential for slight upswings again in the early spring market, overall we believe the prices to be stable throughout the year with only minor price increases or decreases, depending on the area and type of home being sold.

If you have any questions or know of someone, who is thinking about buying or selling real estate, we would love to hear from you.


4 Ways to Make the Home Hunting Process Easier

Shopping for a new home can be intimidating. With so many things to do and think about, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some good tips for making the home hunting process a lot easier and much less stressful.

1. Get your mortgage arranged in advance.
You don’t want to find the ideal home on the market, only to face problems arranging a suitable mortgage. You might end up losing the opportunity. So, make mortgage arrangements in advance by getting “pre-approved”. With that pre-approval, you can shop for a new home with confidence.

2. Clearly define the kind of home you want, and the neighbourhood you want to live in.
You can’t view every home that’s on the market. If you try, you’ll burn yourself out! So, write down a clear description of the kind of home you want. How many bedrooms? Big kitchen? Pool? 

Don’t forget to include the neighbourhood. Upscale? Close to downtown? Lots of trees and parks? Urban and close to shopping and theatres?

With this information, we can quickly create a shortlist of properties that meet your criteria.

3. Take good notes.
After viewing a few homes, you may easily start to forget the details. Was it the first property that had the large elm tree in the backyard or was that the fourth property you saw? If you take good notes, you’ll be better able to make decisions later on about which homes to shortlist.

4. Take care of yourself, and your family.
Eat right. Pace yourself. Don’t try to view too many homes in one evening or on one Saturday afternoon.

Want more ideas for finding the perfect home? Call today!


Light Your Way to a Faster Sale

Remember the last time you visited an upscale furniture showroom? The furniture and fixtures on display probably looked great. The colours and textures jumped out at you. It was a feast for the eyes!

There is a good reason why: Lighting.

Of course, the quality of the products has a lot to do with how appealing they look when on display. But smart retailers know that proper lighting is key to making those products look their best. In fact, some retailers even hire lighting consultants!

What does this have to do with selling your home quickly, and for the best price?

Obviously, when showing your property to potential buyers, you want your home to look its very best. Proper lighting can be a big help.

When preparing your home for sale, review the lighting in each room and make sure the space is sufficiently well lit. You want the lighting to be strong enough to prevent dark or shadowy areas, yet not so strong that it’s uncomfortable for the eyes.

Pay particular attention to traditionally dark areas, such as the garage and closets. Make sure those areas are bright too.

If you have a viewing scheduled during the day, take advantage of natural light through windows. Open the curtains!

Finally, one of the most important areas is the foyer. Always make sure the entrance has sufficient lighting. 

Want more ideas for preparing your home for sale? Call today.


Posted in Recent Blog Posts
Dec. 5, 2018

December Market Update

Wow, December is here and another year went by super fast. And what a whirlwind it has been for me and my love. We got married, traveled to Germany, started working together in the business we love. I tell you, I can't wait to see what 2019 is bringing our way. But before we look ahead, let's look back of what the market did last month:

In the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board we only recorded 1028 sales. That is a 41% decrease from last November and to be honest, even last November was already slower than the one in 2016. Yikes. 😲

Prices have come down as well, obviously not as quickly as some buyers on the fence would like it to see, but single family houses dropped by 1.1%, town-houses by 1% and apartments saw the biggest decline with 2.4%.

Overall our market is still up in prices compared to last year, however, the downward pressure is eroding the gains slowly but surely. What these numbers mean for you when thinking about buying, selling or investing in real estate in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Langley and/or Maple Ridge, still is strongly dependent on personal circumstances and therefore should be discussed in person over a cup of coffee or tea. 😉

For now Frank and I are wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a great start into a happy new year 2019.

Posted in Recent Blog Posts
Nov. 7, 2018

November Market Update

🚬🚬 Legal weed and other insights

Yes, it is true, since the 17th of October weed is legal in Canada. It came with a bang and news about a possible shortage has emerged in recent days.

What do we make of this change in the real estate world? Beware and behave, as the impacts of recreational marijuana, or better said, the growth of such in your home is legal now, however, we strongly advise against it. Why you ask? Well, the consequences and amplifications especially with banks and insurance companies are still in place.

When you get flagged as a grow operation you might just throw money right in the drain, as the remediation of such and the laws for that are still in place and there is no signs, that this will change anytime soon.

The Market minute

Real Estate numbers also need to be addressed. Last month the Fraser Valley board processed 1155 sales. This number constitutes a decrease of 35.8% compared to the same month last year.

These numbers are in line with the activity we saw in the years 2013 to 2015.

The benchmark price for Single Family detached homes only increased by 1.1% compared to the same month last year, which actually shows, that the increased from the beginning of the year were already being eaten up from downward pressure through higher levels of inventory and a lack of demand in the current market place.

If you want to know more about all the numbers or are interested to learn more about the real estate market of the Fraser Valley as well as local markets of Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack or Mission, please feel free to contact the IMPACT Real Estate Group anytime.




The ABC’s of Fire Safety





When it comes to home fire safety, a little preparation and precaution go a long way toward ensuring your family, your home, and your valuables are protected.  Consider the following important information about preventing, fighting and escaping residential fires.


Fires and Fire Extinguishers
Fires are classified into different types, depending on the material burning. Fire extinguishers are similarly classified according to the type of burning materials they are designed to extinguish: A type for paper, wood and natural fabric; B type for grease, oil and combustible fuels; and C type for electrical fires. Since residential fires can involve any type of material, every home should have at least one multi-purpose ABC fire extinguisher that is easy to use. In addition, if you store chemicals, you should have an extinguisher designed for that specific chemical in order to ensure that no adverse reaction is caused by the mixture of the burning chemical with the fire extinguisher solution. For example, a poisonous gas is produced when chlorine comes in contact with ammonia, yet ammonia is found in most Class A extinguishers. Remember that your fire extinguishers should be positioned near (but not too close to) cooking areas, fireplaces and other likely sources of fire, and should be inspected and/or replaced according to safety guidelines.

Smoke Detectors
There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor of your home, as well as outside each bedroom in larger homes. If any resident is hearing-impaired, consider strobe-light alarms. To avoid false alarms, only use smoke detectors designed for specific areas. For example, ionization types are best for bedroom areas, and less sensitive photo-electric detectors are better for the kitchen. Some building and safety codes require hard-wired detectors that are permanently connected to AC power, with back-up battery power. Keep all smoke detectors dust-free, and don’t paint them. Remember to test and replace the batteries regularly, and note the units’ expiry dates.

Security Precautions, Prevention and Protection
It is wise to do whatever you can to protect your family and valuables by preventing fires, rather than only reacting to them. For instance, experts urge all homeowners to discourage smoking indoors, especially in bedrooms, and to be wary of purchasing flammable fabrics and furnishings, or unsafe, unapproved building materials. It’s also recommended that you ensure that your priceless valuables and critical financial records are kept in a fire-proof safe, preferably away from home, or that you keep copies of critical documents elsewhere. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.



Selecting the Right Mover





The last thing you want on moving day is a problem with the moving company. Ideally, you want them to show up on time, handle your possessions with care, and act professionally. Here are some tips that will help you choose the best mover for your needs.


  1. Get a recommendation from someone you trust. That could be a friend, family member or colleague. As your real estate agent, I can also recommend some reputable movers.
  2. Get everything in writing. Make sure you understand exactly what you’ll be paying. Ask about circumstances where extra charges may be applied.
  3. Ask if the moving company is certified.
  4. Reputable moving companies are fully insured. Ask to see the company’s certificate of insurance or some other proof of coverage.
  5. Avoid part-time movers who work weekends. Usually, they’re not professionals. You may save some money, but you’ll be taking a risk.

Have questions about making your moving day go smoothly? Call today.


Posted in Recent Blog Posts
Oct. 9, 2018

October Market Update

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Market dropped dead, almost!?

In addition to telling you everything about the real estate market, we want to use this chance, to tell you about the exciting news in our lives.

On August 18, 2018 (8/18/18) Sherry Driedger Reimer married Frank Heitzer and became Mrs. Sherry Heitzer. We are sooo happy and can't express how grateful we are for the support and love we were given by our families and friends, who made not only this day, but also are making our lives so much more enjoyable. We also were able to join forces in business and have created a new team, which will be known as IMPACT Real Estate Group going forward.

Now before we get off topic too much here, let's talk real estate.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,035 sales in September, a decrease of 36.1 per cent compared to the 1,619 sales in September of last year, and a 10.4 per cent decrease compared to sales in August 2018.

376 were detached homes, 250 were townhomes, and 274 were condos

Active listing inventory in the Fraser Valley finished Sept. at 7,647 listings, increasing 4.2 per cent month-over-month and 30.6 per cent year-over-year. We have not seen numbers like this since the middle of 2015. 

A total of 2,946 new listings were received by the Board,a 14.4 per cent increase from that received in August 2018, and a 3.4 per cent increase compared to September 2017’s intake.

"Proper pricing and understanding of market dynamics becomes increasingly important for a successful sale of ones home" said Sherry Reimer, acting CEO of the IMPACT Real Estate Group.

Overall the activity seems to have dropped significantly and it takes 39 days these days to sell single family detached homes.

If you want to know more or are wondering what all these numbers mean for your specific circumstances, then contact the great people at the IMPACT Real Estate Group. They can give you all real estate related answers you are looking for.

Posted in Recent Blog Posts
Sept. 5, 2018

September Market Update

Interesting Real Estate Talk and Shifting Markets

Well, this fall market seems to be anything but a routine. Sales activity has dropped significantly and prices are bound to follow sooner rather than later. Take a look at the latest statistics and see for yourself what happened since the beginning of summer:

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,155 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August, a decrease of 38.5 per cent compared to the 1,879 sales in August of last year, and a 10.5 per cent decrease compared to the 1,290 sales in July 2018.Sales of attached homes continued to represent over fifty per cent of all activity in the Fraser Valley this month, with 294 townhouses and 318 apartments selling in August.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley in July finished at 7,339 listings, decreasing 0.8 per cent month-over-month and increasing 28.5 per cent year-over-year. 2,575 new listings were received by the Board in August, an 11.8 per cent decrease from July 2018’s 2,921 new listings, and a 2.2 per cent decrease compared to August 2017’s intake. For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment and a townhome in August was 27. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 35 days before selling.

What these numbers and stats don't show is, that in 2008, the most recent significant downturn, the indicators were the same. Even though the indicators are not quite all doom and gloom as they were in 2008, however, they sure are a sign of weakening markets. So if you are thinking about buying, selling or investing, let's have an open and honest conversation on whether it makes financial sense for you.

We pride ourselves on the fact, that the IMPACT Real Estate Group can help buyers, sellers and investors in the Fraser Valley real estate market with honest advice. No matter if you are thinking of a condo a townhome or a house, we know the market and are happy to help you buy and sell with expert advice.

Posted in Recent Blog Posts
Aug. 2, 2018

August Market Update


The real estate market is an ever changing construct with many variables. Today, more than ever, the ups and downs are driven by readily available information, which might just too often be wrongly interpreted.

The IMPACT Real Estate Group strives to make this construct more easily readable and provides market insides for interested parties. Let's take a look at last month:

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,290 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, a decrease of 33.4 per cent compared to the 1,937 sales in July of last year, and a 11.2 per cent decrease compared to the 1,452 sales in June 2018.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley in July finished at 7,399 listings, increasing 3.6 per cent month-over-month and 23.9 per cent year-over-year.

2,921 new listings were received by the Board in July, a 7 per cent decrease from June 2018’s 3,140 new listings, and a 11.5 per cent decrease compared to July 2017’s intake.

We are currently experiencing a so called balanced market, in which supply and demand are fairly stable. This is an excellent opportunity for buyers, who were hoping to buy after the craziness is over. This time is now. Sellers still get good value for their homes, if the homes are good properties is great areas.

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment in July was 21, and 24 for town-homes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 31 days before selling.

All of the above is good news for people, who see housing as a means of putting a roof over the heads of their family. The time for speculators and crazy investors is more or less over, for now. 

If you want to buy or sell a home in Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission or Maple Ridge, let us help you in this new market environment to make your dreams come true.


How to Decide If You Should Replace Your Windows

One of the most prominent features of any home is the windows. If they are well maintained, they will have a positive impact on the impression potential buyers have of your property. Of course, the opposite occurs when your windows look old and worn.

So, does that mean you should replace your windows?

That depends on a number of factors. Window replacement can be an expensive renovation. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision.

Do you see water infiltration or mildew on the interior sides of any of the window sills? This means that moisture is creeping in from the outside, and you need to get those windows repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

If your windows are double-paned - (two panes of glass) - check for any signs of moisture in between the glass panes. Moisture indicates that the thermal seal is broken and, at a minimum, the glass will need to be replaced.

Take a look at your windows from the outside. Is the trim rotted or cracked anywhere? Are there dark spots or any signs of rotting on the wood frames? Repairs or replacement may be required.

Check the operation of your windows. Do they open and close easily? Some windows, such as those in bedrooms, are often designed to be big enough to use as an exit in case of a fire. It’s important to make sure those work properly.

Finally, are you happy with how your windows look? Do you feel that your property will look significantly better with new windows?

Although they are expensive, replacing windows can have a lot of advantages. Depending on the efficiency of your current windows, replacing them could cut your energy costs by 10-20%. In addition, new windows block out more exterior noise, making your home quieter.

Want more tips on increasing the value, and enjoyment, of your property? Call me today.


Eco-friendly Choices for Household Floors

Choosing new or replacement eco-friendly flooring is one of the emerging trends among house and condo owners. Eco-friendly flooring is generally identified as being made from and with more sustainable resources; materials that don’t deplete or permanently damage the environment (such as toxic laminates); or, material that is easy to reuse or recycle after its intended purpose. Here are some examples:

Renewable/Sustainable: Bamboo and cork are popular natural resources that renew relatively quickly. It should be noted that traditional woods are also renewable, as long as they are managed through sustainable practices. Before you buy natural flooring products, ask if the harvesting methods are verified through an accredited authority.

Repurposed/Reclaimed: Flooring made from old building structures (e.g. posts, beams, walls and planks) is a viable alternative option to grown and harvested resources. Likewise, recycled glass, plastic and rubber provide ample raw materials for creative flooring effects. Using them also reduces landfill. These products can be found through decorative flooring dealers.

Reusable/Recyclable: When purchasing any product, whether natural, synthetic and/or manufactured, it is important to know that the product can be easily recycled when it is beyond its usefulness, without causing environmental detriment in a landfill. 



Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden 

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller 

“Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.” Alan Alda 

Posted in Recent Blog Posts
May 22, 2018

The market is still moving along

Leveling off is the current state

In the past few weeks the questions regarding the current state of the market have become louder and people started to realize, that real estate is not selling as fast anymore or at least not all real estate. This is especially true for the luxury market and some grossly overpriced or extremely poor maintained homes.

On the other hand, well priced properties, rare homes and well maintained homes are still going strong, when we look at the sales data for the past four weeks. I have been in two multiple offer situations with both properties still selling over list, because these two properties were great homes in very desirable neighborhoods. 

I would describe our current market as moving along with moderate growth in prices and moderate numbers of sales. This is a market, which we would like to see for the foreseeable future. Only a balanced market will allow for everyone to catch a breath and most importantly catch up with what the markets were encountering for the past three years.

If you are thinking about your home and want to know whether it would be advisable to buy, sell or invest, please feel free to call or text anytime. We will look at your situation to give you honest and sound advice on whether your individual situation warrants a sale or purchase of real estate at this moment.

Posted in Recent Blog Posts
April 28, 2018

Market Changes

Is the market shifting? Is it?

Recently I was asked by one of my long time clients: Is the market shifting? Well, as you can imagine, there is no clear cut answer to that questions. Sure we have seen a few price drops here and there and yes, even condos and townhomes have recently had to endure a declining asking price. Is that enough evidence to say the market is shifting?

Yes it is, at least to a certain extend. Let's look at the facts. The price drops currently seen in the Fraser Valley are some of the homes, which might not have been priced properly in the first place. Condos and townhomes, which have been priced over and above what the last sale in the complex was, might just have to be adjusted, because buyers are getting a little more cautious for one and then, there is also the effect of the new mortgage rules. Aha, new mortgage rules.

These new mortgage rules have affected the market more than we originally thought, however, because of the loss in purchasing power from the old rules to the new rules and the fact, that a ton of pre-approvals from last year have run out, if the person didn't buy yet and now these people have to be approved under the new rules is taking a big chunk of market capacity out of certain price points.

Now, how all of this affects you, when you are thinking about buying or selling, can easily be explained, so please feel free to contact the IMPACT - Real Estate Group via text, call, email, whatsapp or facebook. We are here to help make sense of it all.

Posted in Recent Blog Posts
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Recent Blog Posts