December 2020

All posts from December 2020

Home Thoughts & Trends for 2021

by Bevony on December 30, 2020 No comments
Image by Anja🤗#helpinghands #solidarity#stays healthy🙏 from Pixabay

We had a very rough year in 2020. As we look to 2021 we are entering a new year with COVID-19. Vaccines are now available, but right away a new strain of the virus emerged. Our future is very unpredictable. Our new normal is sanitizing, mask-wearing, and social distancing. What we do know is that COVID-19 will have a long-lasting effect on how we design our houses, neighborhoods, and cities. 

Previous Pandemics/Epidemics and House Design 

If we think of the tuberculosis epidemic in the 19th and 20th centuries. In a time before antibiotics, people started spending more time outside. This was because the best known cure was fresh air and sunlight. Designers introduced sleeping porches on the upper floors of Victorian style houses so people could get fresher air and sunlight. This is no longer seen in our current homes, but we do have decks and balconies. 

The flu pandemic of 1918 introduced “powder rooms” into houses so that guests would not have to use the main bathrooms. This was also a time of transformation for the main bathrooms. White toilet seats replaced wooden ones and more built-in bathtubs and white tiles replaced those of the previous era. All this was done to minimize the spread of germs.

Le Corbusier, a French-Swiss architect, urged residents to get rid of clutter. He urged people to get rid of heavy furniture, and carpets. This while urging them to keep their walls and floors clear to eliminate dark and dirty corners. 

Design Before the COVID-19 Pandemic

Before the onset of COVID-19, several developments in the Metro Vancouver area offered clean white interiors and exteriors. When we look at single-family homes, on the other hand, they are designed for another era. 

Many people have started to work from home and so homeowners are revamping their homes to include dedicated office space. Now we are seeing the need for more dedicated office spaces that are quieter and away from your family. Because these types of set-ups are more conducive to work. A separate home office is the most ideal scenario, but smaller apartments will prove difficult to make this a reality. The aim would then be to modify the layout of a living room to offer a space for work. 

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

Previous epidemics and pandemics have transformed our built environments. The Cholera pandemic of the 19th century caused urban parks around the world to incorporate tree-lined boulevards. Central Park was created in the 1850s by the New York City’s Board of Health. This was the first public park in the United States. 

Vancouver Changes

Years ago Vancouver established a requirement for 2.75 acres of park space for every 1,000 residents. This seems to be forgotten, but we expect in the coming year that many municipalities will start to create more public open spaces, plazas, and parks. 

We may see road space reallocated to allow for wider footpaths which would reduce driving lanes for vehicular traffic. Like major European cities, we may even find some streets converted into pedestrian zones. 

Historical data shows that with the increases in the prices of lower mainland homes, commuting times have also increased. For potential homeowners to find something they can afford they would have to drive further. 

We find many households moving away from the lower mainland to Pemberton and Squamish which are smaller communities. We even see households moving away from Victoria on Vancouver Island.  

The use of video conferencing tools has increased during the pandemic. As such, more and more families are realizing there is no need for them to live physically close to their jobs. We expect in the coming years to see many communities’ housing prices become more affordable. 

COVID-19 and Urban Density

There are questions about how COVID-19 will affect urban density and apartment living. We think many residents will prefer to opt for ground housing over apartments that are accessed by elevators. But these high-density developments won’t become obsolete in the near or distant future.  

There is talk about “the 15-minute city”. This refers to living in an area where residents can get to work, leisure activities, and shopping whether by walk or a short bike ride. 

2020 was an awful year for many of us. But happily the pandemic has changed our focus. Now we all want healthier homes and communities in 2021 and beyond. 

On a positive note, the team here at Silver Beam wishes you a Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2021. 

Image by monicore from Pixabay
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BevonyHome Thoughts & Trends for 2021

Detached Home Sales Up from Outside Markets

by Bevony on December 16, 2020 No comments
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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The BC real estate market has seen a lot of momentum lately, but we are seeing that these sales are coming from outside of Vancouver. Most of the demand is coming from the Okanagan and the Fraser Valley. Buyers are looking more and more for detached homes and Vancouver has them to offer. 

Around this time of year we would be seeing a seasonal slowing but not this year. The sale of detached homes has been on the rise for the past couple months. With more people working from home and staying at home, people need more space for offices and in their yards. 

How Much Did the Sales Rise for November 2020?

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

MLS’s service posted a 42% increase over November 2019 with the highest recorded home sales coming in at 2,173. This is the highest the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board has recorded for almost a century!

The Okanagan saw a rise of 74% in home sales including the Shuswap and Central North. The Metro Vancouver area saw a modest increase of around 23%. Land seems to be the premium with buyers looking to get more land in the entry level price ranges. 

What House Prices Are Looking Like

In Abbotsford, detached homes are priced above $620,000 on average. Buyers seem to be looking for older homes that may be later rebuilt. A Lot of properties are getting multiple offers as a bit of a frenzy seemingly ensues. 

There’s not as much demand for luxury homes  with Fraser Valley townhouse sales rising about just 51% with apartment sales on a slow rise of 15% over sales in November 2019. The highest demand in Fraser VAlley is being seen for properties that are less expensive and that have more land.  

Many realtors find themselves going back to listing strategies and procedures used in 2016 and 2017. They are listing the home and making a set time and date for multiple offers. This is due to the specificity in the demand. So listings are dwindling but buyer demand is still there. The demand is being fueled by historically low interest rates as well. 

What About the Condo Market?

The condo market on the other hand is going the other way. There are lots of condos listed with more than 2000 for sale in Metro Vancouver for the month of November. It is expected that once the economy settles and people return to their in person classes and in office jobs, buyers and investors will return for the condos. 

Are you in the market for a detached home but can’t seem to find one? Let us help you. Here, at Silver Beam Homes, custom homes are our specialty. Let us know what your needs are, and we can provide you with just what fulfills them better than any home already on the market for sale. Contact us today.

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BevonyDetached Home Sales Up from Outside Markets

Tips to Knock out The Holiday Blues This Holiday Season

by Bevony on December 12, 2020 No comments

2020 has been a year that has filled us with fear, anxiety and grief. For most of us, the holiday season is not one to look forward to. We have lost loved ones, lost income and are being restricted from traveling and having large gatherings. With social distancing rules all across the globe, many will not get to have that intimate time they would usually have with their loved ones as they would normally. 

As our American neighbors brace for an increase in COVID-19 cases, it is expected to be a dark winter. The Gallup 2020 Global Emotions Report shows that Mericans are sadder than they have been in previous years, with 27% of participants reporting that they experienced a lot of sadness the day before participating in the survey. Even mental health and other “happiness” experts are struggling with their emotions, said Neil Pasricha of The Institute for Global Happiness in Toronto. The consensus is that everybody is feeling this way. 

Holiday blues are not new, but this year we combine the coronavirus crisis and all its related stress with the seasonal affective disorder that typical surfaces during the season and what you have is a bad combination for those at risk for mental health problems. But here are a couple things you can do to help yourself feel less anxious, to boost your mood and to feel happier this holiday season. 

Two Minute Morning

Begin every morning by indicating the things you will let go of. 

Today I will let go of ….”  You can list as many things as you want to let go for the day and your list can be the same every day or it may change as your circumstances change. 

Today I am grateful for….” think of all the things, people, places and events that you can be thankful for. It can be the little things, your dog, your child, your spouse, your coffee maker, your favorite socks. Whatever it is that you are thankful for, be specific about it, specify the name of your spouse etc and you can even go as far as listing why you are thankful for them.   

Right now, I will focus on…” think of that one task on your to do list that has been sitting there for a while and focus on getting that one done before the others today. The feeling of accomplishment you experience will give you a rush of feel good chemicals and your blues will be lifted. 

Do Some Yoga

Yoga can help you to feel better as it helps you to feel more centered. The great thing is that you can find a lot of free videos online so you don’t have to pay for anything and you don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of your home. 

Make a List

Make a list of all the things you need to get done for the day or the week. As you go through and complete these tasks, cross each one off. This will help to keep you focused and accomplishing these small tasks will boost your body’s release of feel good hormones that can help boost your mood. 

Go Outside Safely

Nature is a great healer, spending a little time in nature every day that can boost your physical well-being and your mental wellbeing. With a visit outside you can increase your happiness, reduce your stress and strengthen your immune system. You can spend some time in your backyard if you have one or take a walk in your neighborhood  or in a park if there is one nearby. While outside, ensure you are practicing social distancing to keep yourself safe. 

What are some of the things you do to boost your mood and relieve stress? Please share, your comment could be helpful for someone.  

OV. 19, 202005:16

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BevonyTips to Knock out The Holiday Blues This Holiday Season

Tips for Gathering Safely This Holiday Season

by Bevony on December 2, 2020 No comments

For many, this will be the first holiday in a long time that they will have no in person gathering or just a very small one.  This can be hard especially if you moved into your own home this year and were really looking forward to hosting. To limit your risk of infection and protect your family and friends you have put together this piece with some tips for gathering safely this holiday season. 

There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and your guests at an in person gathering this holiday. We’ll break them down for you. 

Pre-Celebratory Tips

Try to minimize the number of invitees as much as possible. For those that you do invite, you will need to provide them with some guidelines and restrict unwanted guests. So for example, if you are inviting your sister and she is having her in-laws over for the holidays you may want to respectfully decline having her in-laws over. Especially if they had to travel via public transportation (plane, train or bus) to get there. 

Provide your guests with a list of supplies that they should bring to the event to promote safety. You will also want to have some of these items on hand as well just in case anyone greets. Think items like: 

  • Disposable masks
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Sanitizing Wipes
  • Pouch for storing masks between use

During Your Celebration

You will want to ensure you and your guests are following safety guidelines for the COVID-19 virus as much as possible. Keep the following in mind: 

  • Safe Distancing – While it may be impossible to follow the 6 feet rule you can try to avoid, as best as possible, close contact with your guests and among guests. Have multiple options for seating arrangements so you don’t have to all be gathered around the table.  You can possibly rent tables and move some of your furniture to accommodate spacing around the tables. 

If there is not adequate space, encourage persons to not sing, or talk loudly. 

  • Clear the way to high traffic areas – you may want to move out any furniture that may be in the way enroute to the restroom so it is easy for persons to get around without bumping into each other. 
  • Encourage your guests to keep their masks on when they are not actively eating or drinking. 
  • Have hand sanitizer stations to encourage proper hygiene. Ensure you provide single use towels in your bathrooms and kitchen for the event. 
  • Limit persons in the area where the food is being prepared or served. If possible you can ask your guests to prepare and bring food for their group. This way you can greatly reduce the risk of contamination through food.

Try not to offer self serve options and instead have one person sharing each food item. Each server should of course be wearing a mask and food safe gloves. 

  • Opt for disposable plates, cups and utensils instead of reusable ones.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces often and as much as possible between each use. Always wear disposable gloves and toss these after each use. 
  • Don’t allow your pet to interact with anyone outside of the household. 

Post Celebration Tips

AFter the event, take extra precautions for the first 14 days following the event date. If you can quarantine entirely for that time, do so. If not, stay home as much as possible for you and your family members. Get a COVID-19 test and stay home while you wait on the results of the test. 

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms or if you test positive for the virus you should immediately inform your guests, so they can get tested and isolated to reduce the spread of the virus. 

The 2020 holidays will be different from every year before it. If you feel you must have a gathering for your mental health, do it safely. Use the tips above to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Stay safe this holiday season, and well wishes from the SilverBeam Homes Family. 

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BevonyTips for Gathering Safely This Holiday Season