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British Columbia COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

by Bevony on October 20, 2021 No comments

Residents of British Columbia have a lot to look forward to with the news that restrictions are being lifted. Parties, weddings, funerals, sports events, and concerts will be allowed to operate at full capacity beginning October 24, 2021. 

The lifted restrictions won’t apply everywhere though, like those places with additional COVID-19 restrictions in place.  These include parts of Fraser East, Interior Health, and Northern Health. So some events will still remain at half capacity. But in Vancouver will be allowed to operate at full capacity. For example, the Vancouver Canucks game is scheduled for October 26th. This will be allowed to operate at full capacity in Vancouver, but the Abbotsford Canucks game will have to remain at a 50% capacity. 

Restriction Impacts

The restrictions have impacted all of us overall. However, they have had a greater impact on the event and tourism & hospitality sectors. These sectors are among the happiest about the lifts in these restrictions as now they can start recovering. 

The lift in restriction comes on the same date that it becomes mandatory for all individuals over the age of 12 years old to present a vaccine card. The card must be presented in order to access many services, businesses and events. These include concerts and sporting events. While people will still be required to wear a mask indoors, they will also be allowed to mingle in pubs and restaurants as long as they remain at their seats. No dancing will be allowed in these settings. 

Why Lift the Restrictions? 

Changes in Covid-19 infection rates are the driving factors behind the lifting of the restrictions. Infection rates in different age groups have fallen. This is especially true for those in the 5 to 8 and 9 to 11 year old age group. September started with a spike in cases. But since the start of October, we are seeing declining numbers. Not only is the infection rate declining, but hospital admission rates also declining in that age group. 

The seven day average case count is declining slowly and active hospitalizations and cases are remaining stable. The statistics at the time of putting this post together for vaccinated British Columbians over the age of 12 showed 83.5% of that population fully vaccinated. 

We look forward to business slowly going back to pre-pandemic viability but we know it will likely be a slow process. Here in the building market we are available to customers and potential customers looking to build their dream home. 

If you are ready to build your home, we are ready to help you make that step. Give us a call or send us a message through our contact us page. We want to hear from you.

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BevonyBritish Columbia COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

It’s the Perfect Time for Harvesting our Gardens

by Bevony on October 14, 2021 No comments

It’s the perfect time for harvesting from your garden, as a matter of fact you should have done some of your harvesting by now depending on what you planted. If you had potatoes in the ground they should be right about ready to be dug up. It is time to pull, to pick, to cut and to cook and savor the produce you were able to grow yourself. 

This time of year is always the perfect time to harvest that bounty of food that your land was able to give to you. It’s one of the benefits of being a homeowner and having space outdoors to garden.  

Your salad crops should be in their best shape now as well. What do you have? Whether it be Red Express leaf lettuce, Buttercrunch or Romaine they should be ripe and ready for the cutting. The last cucumbers should be all harvested by now. If you haven’t started yet you should get going if you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

While late tomatoes may still be green you should be able to harvest some cherry tomatoes. Your herb garden should be ready with cilantro, chives, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley great for flavoring all your dishes for the remainder of the year. 

Main Course Vegetables

Main course vegetables become ready this time of the year as well. If you have carrots, broccoli, or broccoli, these can be gathered. Red and green cabbages, as well as white, purple and orange cauliflowers, are also ready to add color to your meals for the next couple weeks if harvested in time.  

Leave turnips until after the frost for a more intense flavor and a more unique and rich taste. Beets are another one that can stay much longer in the garden. They will be fine if left out for the most of the winter. This goes for cylindrical beets, golden beets, the Bull’s Blood heirloom variety or the Chioggia beet heirloom variety. 

If you still have zucchinis, summer squash or scallopinis these won’t be as soft and supple as earlier in the season but they can still be enjoyed at the family table. Some vegetable spaghetti squash could be a great choice for impressing your guests with its unique flesh. It’s a nice surprise dish when baked and topped with a bit of tomato sauce. 

If you have winter squash these are great and will make a great mashed dish. You can use a multi colored variety or pure white acorn squash. If you have the Buttercup and Butternut varieties these are ideal for smaller servings. If you have grown the smaller Sweet Dumpling or Delicatas these are about ready for harvesting. 

Onions 

Your onions should have been stored by now except for white bunching onions and leeks. If you haven’t, then at least you know better for next year. Walla Walla onions, while very popular, do not hold up very well, so they may not be the best choice for your next crop. Try to get some Giant Kelsae onions or red onions. Riverside sweet Spanish onion is also a great option and it is ideal for use in a number of Christmas dishes. 

Berries 

If you have fresh cranberries these can be harvested and used for making tart sauces. You can also leave them and you will find they sweeten up after experiencing a couple of frosts. At that time they will be nice to eat fresh. 

Lingonberries will make for great garnishes as will Gaultheria Procumbens with their spearmint flavor. 

What About Dessert?

It’s the season for traditional pumpkin pie and for this most varieties work even though it is the smaller sugar pumpkins that are the original pumpkins used for pies. You can also bake up a sweet bread with some baking squash. 

An apple dessert is always well appreciated and apples still on the tree this late tend to be larger in size as well as full of flavor.  Depending on where you live you may have a different variety of apples available now. No matter what type of apple you have you will enjoy them fresh or in pies and salads. 

Late pears are also great for eating fresh or made into tasty desserts. 

Nuts

Not many people grow nuts in their gardens but if you are one of the few then your nuts should be ready for harvesting. Nuts such as Wepster, Sacajawea, Theta, or Jefferson are all blight-resistant. They are ideal for eating fresh or for use in baking. 

These are just a few of the foods you can harvest in the fall and well into winter. It’s best to plant a strategic crop so you have an abundant harvest  for your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. If you don’t have these for harvest this year you can plan so that next year around this time you will be well able to harvest your own fresh and healthy produce. 

Don’t have that home with the yard space just yet? Give us a call and let us help you build your dream home from the ground up. We are waiting to hear from you. 

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BevonyIt’s the Perfect Time for Harvesting our Gardens

How Much Mortgage Do You Need?

by Bevony on October 5, 2021 No comments

There are a lot of options out there to get a home loan, but you have to go into the market knowing that not all loans will be right for you. You really need to find the right mortgage for you and we can help you find the perfect fit. 

You may find that you qualify for a certain amount but that doesn’t mean you should take on that mortgage. It may not be the right fit for you and your family. A mortgage is a big deal and it comes with a lot of responsibility as well as will have a big impact on your current lifestyle as you know it. 

Lending Criteria

There are a broad range of factors that create the basis for lending criteria. Oftentimes these do not take into account the unique circumstances within your household. Your mortgage payments will make up the largest chunk of your housing costs but it is not the only fast. This has to be taken into consideration. 

Before diving into home ownership, you would want to take stock of all of your income and expenses. This will help you to stay within your comfort zone, knowing what you can afford and what will be off the table. 

There are a number of guidelines and policies in Canada that help home buyers to stay within a comfortable budget and I’m usually. Mortgage lenders will look carefully at your income and your debts when determining what type of mortgage you should receive. They do this to ensure that you don’t get in over your head.  

Ratios Lenders Use to Determine Your Mortgage

The two main comparisons that lenders use as ratios to determine if you can afford a mortgage are the Gross Debt Service (GDS)  or the Total Debt Service (TDS). 

The Gross Debt Service will compare your income and your mortgage expenses. The rule is that no more than 30% to 32% of your annual gross income should go to your mortgage. This includes all fees related to the mortgage to include HOA maintenance fees, property taxes, heating costs, your principal and of course your interest. 

The Total Debt Service compares all your existing debt and your gross annual income. This really takes the big picture into view. It will look at your personal loans, any car loans you may have, any leases and credit cards. The lender you choose to go with may allow your total debt payments to go as high as 40% of your gross annual income. So using this ratio could allow you to qualify for a higher mortgage with higher payments but remember that it is calculated against your gross income and not the income that you actually take home. 

If your ratio falls outside of any of the benchmarks there is no need to lose hope. You may just need to review your budget and see where you are spending money which could be going towards clearing up more of your debt. Once you can identify ways to use more money to clear up your debt, start doing that and then revisit the lender for another calculation after you have taken down your loans a bit. 

Tips to Put You In a Better Position to Qualify

Here are some more tips that can help put you in a better position for obtaining a mortgage: 

  1. Do you have any short term expenses you will be removing from your budget soon? For example, a student loan that will soon be paid off or any childcare costs that may soon change. 
  2. Can you consolidate your debt providing a lower interest rate and lower monthly payment?
  3. Have you considered a home that may allow you the opportunity to earn an income through a rental suite? This can help offset your out-of-pocket mortgage costs. 
  4. Have you considered looking at lower priced homes, homes further away from an urban center for example?
  5. Have you considered the option of building just the amount of house you need from the ground up instead of trying to buy something already on the market? 

If you have never considered building your home, you should get in touch with us. This is right up our alley, and you may be surprised at what you can do when you build. Yes, these benchmarks and rations can help you understand what home ownership can cost you. But you don’t have to overextend yourself. 

Give us a call, we are home builders with a team of experts in house as well as our partners. We can put you on to a mortgage specialist that can work with us to help you find the right numbers as we build you the perfect home. 

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BevonyHow Much Mortgage Do You Need?

Strata Councils Demanding Vaccine Disclosure

by Bevony on September 24, 2021 No comments

Condo residents are finding themselves in the conundrum of being asked to provide their vaccination status to their strata council. Councils requiring this information are insisting the information is needed as a safety measure. But there are concerns with privacy. Who will be seeing this information? What will they be doing with this information? How will this information be collected? What plans are put into place to ensure the information stays safe? 

Here at SilverBeam Homes, we cannot speak to the extent of your rights as a condo owner in a situation such as this. What we know is that based on the current trajectory of the pandemic, we will all be subject to new laws and regulations.  The only way for some of us to avoid this is to move out of condo spaces and into single family homes where there is no strata council.  

Owning a Single Family Home Vs Living in an Owned Condo

When you own your own home you may have restrictions according to where you live and according to your HomeOwners Association if there is one. But you don’t have the larger body of a strata council coming down on you. This is because you are not living in an arrangement with shared public spaces.

No one will be interested in seeing your BC vaccine card. Because you won’t be in a situation at home where you are in breach of any of the social distancing guidelines. For example, at an indoor organized event with more than 50 people, you would be required to show your vaccine card. But of course, you won’t be hosting such events in your backyard, so there would be no need. These types of events may be held at a condo. It is a common area, so we can understand why the council would talk about the safety issue.  

Staring into The Unknown 

There will be changes for those living in condos and other types of multi-housing communities. Eventually strata councils will make amendments to their privacy bylaws that may permit the collection of vaccine card information. If you don’t already own a condo, maybe you should reconsider your position. If you are concerned about your rights and safety. Consider working with us to build you the home of your dreams from the ground up. We are in the business of making your dream of owning a home a reality. We work with a team of experts and have a number of partners from every possible industry. With us, you make your transition into owning a home; a smooth one. 

Give us a call today and let’s talk about what we can accomplish together. 

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BevonyStrata Councils Demanding Vaccine Disclosure

Start Planning for Your Winter Plants Now

by Bevony on September 15, 2021 No comments

Now is a great time to start considering your summer displays while also assessing the weather. Tell me something, when do you typically start emptying your summer flower containers so you can replant them with cold hardy plants suitable for fall and winter seasons? 

I think once temperatures are no longer going above 20°C it is a great time to start transitioning from your summer plants to your fall and winter plants. Your summer flowers by this time have started to look bedraggled so why not start changing them out? It’s the best to do so now since plants will root well into a container during September and early October before the cold weather sets in.

What Type of Plants to Choose?

Violas and Pansies are great options because they offer a long season. They tend to be very easy to find almost everywhere now that plants are sold. They do best in a bowl shaped container approximately 30 cm wide. These containers are also ideal for use with petunias. 

What to Do with Mixed Winter Plantings

You can also opt for mixed winter plantings. For these you will need larger containers such as the patio tubs one uses for mixed summer flowers. Look for tubs that are 25 cm deep and 40 cm wide. You should be able to find suitable ones at your local garden center easily. 

For your mixed pots you can choose one slender evergreen that will create height and stand out of the pot. Think of a slender golden cypress, a red-twigged dogwood, an Irish yew, a broadleaf evergreen or an upright ornamental grass. 

Around this taller plant you can add winter flowering heathers, coral bells, skimmia and small ferns. If you want to create more focal depth you can choose plants that spill over the edges of the pot. Consider trailing plants such as Carex ornamental grasses, small leaved ivies, trailing euonymus or small ferns that cascade over and downward. 

What will you be planting this season and what are your favorites to see in other people’s gardens? 

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BevonyStart Planning for Your Winter Plants Now

Provincial Housing Market Activity Normalizing into 2022

by Bevony on September 9, 2021 No comments
Photo By: The British Columbia Real Estate Association

In August 2021, the British Columbia Real Estate Association released its third quarter housing report for 2021. The image here summarizes the report which represents unit sales by region. 

The predictions for the rest of the year into 2022 are interesting. But they are also welcome with many eager to have the market normalize. MLS sales for residential areas are expected to see a 26% increase in 2021. And we expect to see a 15% decrease in 2022. 

The Highs and Lows

In recent months we have seen the home sales pace slow though we had a record-breaking start to the year. There is a strong demand and mortgage rates are low. That plus a rebounding economy is good news as long as there will be adequate supply in the market. That, right now, is the only concern. 

Markets outside the Mainland are expected to struggle since they are already looking lackluster. This has caused some of these listings to incur double digit gains. Therefore, the forecast for the remainder of 2021 is an average price increase of 16.6%. In 2020, we are expecting a price increase of around 2.9%. 

We can trust this data from the BCREA because their focus has always been on the impact of real estate on the province. They work alongside the 10 real estate boards in the province and offer professional education, economic research, advocacy and standard forms that help realtors give their clients the best value for money. The association currently has approximately 23,000 realtors in British Columbia under their wings so we know the data they provide is of good value. 

What do you think of these market predictions? Do you have any predictions or estimations of your own?

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BevonyProvincial Housing Market Activity Normalizing into 2022

Rustic Scandinavian Meets Japanese – Enter Japandi Decor

by Bevony on September 2, 2021 No comments

Fusion decor is a thing, much like fusion cuisine. Japanid is one of the latest design trends being shared on Pinterest and more social networks. Japan and Scandinavia have distinctive esthetics. Scandinavian design tends to be more rustic with a love of white walls and cool color palettes. Japanese on the other hand like to have furniture low to the floor with minimal separation between outside and indoor areas. They also use warmer colors contracting with black accents. 

Even though they seem very different they do have similarities. For example, they both favor minimalist decor, natural finishes such as bamboo and wood and functional furniture. 

What is Japandi?

Japandi features the sleekness of Japanese design along with the rustic design you can expect from the Nordic side. Consider white walls and warm wooden furniture with touches of black. Sliding doors, seat cushions, modular sofa, windowsill benches and low daybeds all abound. The Japanese side brings in elegant greenery, lots of natural light. 

The aim of this decor fusion is to be warm and bring comfort. This allows people to be soothed by their surroundings and not overwhelmed by unnecessary clutter and loud colors. 

Home has been re-established as the center of the universe for so many of us now that we have to be spending most of our time at home. It is now a hub for working, schooling and so much more. So there is a lot of demand on your home to function in multiple ways not previously required of it. Garden centers are booming unlike most businesses as more people are becoming plant parents. 

Japandi is a representation of this new mindset. In our fast paced marketplace Japandi emphasizes people purchasing high quality pieces that are sustainable. The fusion appreciates things that are made by hand, especially those made with Bamboo since it is so sustainable and highly durable. 

Japandi is quite appealing for those who love eco-friendly products. 

How to Do Japandi

Pull for the coziness of Scandinavian design with softer pieces and warmer textures. Then pull for the elegance of Japanese decor. You want to choose pieces that will work with your decor for many years. Remember that Japandi is not so much about decoration but about functionality. So you will need to look at it as a longer term fix.You want to start with basics that can accept layering over time. 

Traditional Scandinavian and Japanese pieces are known to age well and even get better over time. Think of natural stone, wood and leather. 

What are your thoughts on this decor fusion? Let us know down in the comments if you will be incorporating Japandi elements into your home. 

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BevonyRustic Scandinavian Meets Japanese – Enter Japandi Decor

Make the Most of your Backyard Space

by Bevony on August 27, 2021 No comments

Owning a home nowadays means a lot more than it used to for many people. Now in 2021 in this global pandemic more people are staying at home and need their homes to do more for them. Those who can afford to spruce up their existing spaces are opting for backyard cottages and stylish sheds. With more people working from home, there are also backyard offices being built. Many homeowners are trying to implement that vacation at home feeling with a separate space in their backyard. 

Sounds like a good idea you think…. But I don’t own a home and with this market I don’t see how I can become a homeowner right now. What if we could help? And yes we can. Here at Silver Beam Homes we can build you a home from the ground up. This allows you the ability to create all the features that will work just right to meet the needs of your family and lifestyle. 

We know more people are working from home with many others with hybrid schedules and we can expect this to continue for some time to come. So you are not the only person with an increased interest in making better use of their homes’ living spaces. We all want to be comfortable at home and want to live in homes that are functional enough to accommodate our current lifestyles. 

Homes are now offices and classrooms, fitness centers, rehearsal spaces among other things. With so many things happening in the home it can become easily overwhelming. The backyard gives you a place to create your very own space for whatever task you need some quiet and solitude for. 

Ways to Improve Your Backyard Space

Add a Pergola 

Pergolas have become very popular this year. They are super easy and quite an affordable addition to your backyard. They create some amount of shade and can give you the feeling of an outdoor room. 

The pergola will frame the space and create a distinct architectural element in your backyard. It is a space where you can add furnishings suitable for outdoor use that can still serve you in terms of functionality. Add accent pillows, furnishings blankets and even a weather resistant area rug to create an outdoor living or working space that is comfortable and inviting. 

If you have an elevated deck and can take advantage of the added space underneath this may be able to serve you even better. Just be sure to have good drainage so you will always have a nice, dry area to work with. You can use the space for entertaining, working out or other day to day activities. 

Add a Pool/Spa Like Features

We also see where more people are demanding residential pools, water or spa like features for their backyards. This may be due to the many travel restrictions that have been placed on us. Now people want to bring that fun or relaxation into their backyards since they can not take trips. People are installing pools, ponds, hot tubs and other water features in their backyards to help create their own little solace at home. 

To make it more spa-like you can add plumped pillows, plush towels and modern deck railings to your outside water area if you choose to add one. Find inspiration from images of upscale restaurants and hotels to see how you can create a luxurious looking and feeling space. 

DIY Projects 

There are a lot of DIY projects that homeowners are attempting nowadays as well. With the help of sites like YouTube which offer ideas, before and after videos and how to videos, there are several projects you can undertake by yourself. Industry experts expect this DIY repair and home project trend to keep shifting upwards for the long term. 

Add a Deck 

Decking is always a good idea when you are looking to improve your home’s outdoor space. Not only does it improve your space but also increases the square footage of your home. Just remember to use the best materials when creating your decking. 

Start a Vegetable Garden 

If you are concerned about reducing your food bill you can start a vegetable garden. You can add some flowers too if you want to beautify the space. If you need to add some privacy you can even build a plant wall. This can include fresh herbs or flowers in planter boxes creating a vertical wall to keep intrusive eyes out. If it’s in the budget you can add a drip irrigation system so you can spend less time caring for the plants and more time enjoying your new space. 

Add Some Lattice Work 

Lattice work is another great option to help you create some privacy in your backyard or to create hidden storage areas. 

Other Considerations for Setting Up an Outdoor Space

Whatever you plan to do outside, you want to ensure that you have good lighting. This will ensure you can spend more time outside. Nowadays you don’t have to stick to just doing daylight hours outside. Thanks to many lighting options you can have lighting in your backyard that won’t do too much damage to your pockets. You can find a number of plug-and-play outdoor lighting solutions using energy efficient technology so you don’t have to worry about installation costs or high energy bills after the fact. 

Improving on What You Already Have

If you want to just accomplish the simple task of improving your home’s current curb appeal you can start by replacing deck railings. This is an easy task to help you elevate a look. Replace old wood deck railings with sophisticated aluminum railing options. 

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BevonyMake the Most of your Backyard Space

Active Outdoor Living – the New Focus of Housing Developers

by Bevony on August 20, 2021 No comments

Developers are finding new ways to make their developments more attractive to buyers. In our current situation with the pandemic which seems like it will be looming for a while, there is really no telling when life will go back to “normal”. In the meantime we all have to live our lives and try to do things we enjoy keeping our sanity. With many restrictions still in place we have to now be creative about how we spend our free time and what we can do to really “enjoy” ourselves while staying in the confinement of our homes, yards and towns. 

Developers have realized this and they are now implementing more outdoor spaces that embrace and encourage activity. Thinking about swimming pools and saunas? While those are not going away, they aren’t the only ones. We are looking at local farming, dog walking and biking to name a few. 

A number of development projects are currently underway with dedicated outside activities. Some include facilities dedicated to biking while others include studios for people who make TikTok videos, dog-washing stations, farmer’s market and on-site farms. 

Innovations Coming out of Pandemics

Like previous pandemics there are always changes in home design and build. For example, the 1918 flu pandemic initiated the introduction of separate powder rooms. So nowadays we see developers trying to entice buyers with common areas that will allow for more active outdoor living while also facilitating the needs for social distancing. 

Of course not all of these will appeal to everybody and so what if you don’t own a dog or you aren’t into biking?

The Silver Beam Homes Approach 

If your needs are more outside of the box, Silver Beam Homes can help you. We can create a tailored design and home for you that will meet your every need. If you have been looking for a home and haven’t been able to find one on the current market. Let’s talk! We can build your dream home from the ground up. 

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BevonyActive Outdoor Living – the New Focus of Housing Developers

Hope on the Horizon as Prices and Sales of Detached Homes Cool Down

by Bevony on August 13, 2021 No comments

As house prices and sales cool down in Metro Vancouver, analysts are left to wonder. Will the usual slow lull of summer along with market fatigue cause a rise in interest rates? It is good news for prices to be falling from the pandemic fueled highs we have been seeing. With housing prices peaking in June and then sliding in July this can be good news for some of the market. The questions on everyone’s mind right now are; how low will this dip go and how long will this lull last? 

Is There a Term for This?

Romana King who looks at market trends says we can consider this to be a seasonal correction. During this time the market is usually closed as many people are going on vacation and spending time with their children. People are traveling and so the real estate market is slowing down. So this is not an abnormal trend, nor is it unique to the pandemic situation. 

With the fact that there are still many restrictions around the world, we haven’t normalized yet. Once immigration restarts we will see an increase in demand. But with higher mortgage rates this may also cause a decrease in the demand soon afterwards. 

Bloomberg Mid-June Economic Rankings

Canada was ranked as one of the world’s top markets in mid June along with countries such as Sweden and New Zealand. The main factors affecting price according to the report were;

What We’ve Been Dealing With So Far

  • Limited inventory
  • Low interest rates
  • Buyers tapping into their savings
  • Everyone’s expectations for a strong recovery of the economy. 

We have seen Vancouver detached home listings falling to their lowest in 20 years. We are looking for a rebound in listings after the summer. But we are also seeing a trend of homeowners hoarding their properties in an aim to refinance them. They do this, so they can make down payments on other properties on the market. 

We can assume the average sales prices will fall next year by an average of 13% but that by 2023 interest rates could increase due to immigration and fear of missing out. 

What Can You Do? 

What do you want to do? Do you want to hope and wait it out? There is another option! Get us to build you your dream home. We are in the business of making your dream home a reality, and we can offer help and guidance along the way. If we ever hit a roadblock where we can’t directly help, we can direct you to a partner who can help you cross that hurdle as we all work together to bring you home. Contact us today, let’s help you become a homeowner!

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BevonyHope on the Horizon as Prices and Sales of Detached Homes Cool Down