experts: real estate column Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Of Zen and the Gentle Art of 'Re-Nesting'

Of late, I have seen more and more (or maybe I am just more aware of them) who are planning for (or reacting to) the oft referred to "empty nest syndrome".

By Alan  Skinner

People buy and sell for a multiplicity of reasons. Over the years I have assisted many clients whose families were expanding and many whose families were contracting. Of late, I have seen more and more (or maybe I am just more aware of them) who are planning for (or reacting to) the oft referred to "empty nest syndrome". This proliferation has prompted me to develop a program tailored to address the exercise (and yes, it is an exercise that warrants much thought and careful planning). Simply put, it is the process of taking existing Real Estate and converting it into the desired next home (sometimes, retirement dwelling) and ideally, maximizing proceeds and minimizing outlay.

We hear the term "timing is everything" and I'm sure we believe it, but, alas, oft times we fail to make the effort to ensure that we take advantage of that "timing". In our busy, personal lives too, we often allow action-time to arrive, making these decisions in what is likely a less that optimal manner and moment. Think about the tax and estate planning we know we should be doing! This "shelter" part of the equation isn't rocket science and can actually be most enjoyable. Truth is, that with our "busyness" we often just don't really know where to start. To help in creating a "road map" I have developed a program incorporating some checklists designed to simplify the process and act as an aide memoir. Hopefully it enables us to get our ducks, kids, parents, pets, jobs etc in a row.

I have entitled the first part of the exercise "The When & Where Check List". This is really a memory jogger which highlights the many necessary considerations our present family position, financial situation, employment and so on, and enables a considered creation of the action plan (or plans) necessary. E-mail me at and I'll be only too happy to forward a copy to you (I have done this in "word" format for ease of customizing and printing). I will also attach the "New Home Checklist".

While many favour a "do it yourself" approach, I am totally happy to pop around and discuss the process with you over a cup of coffee [glass of wine ;)]. Some parts of the process are pretty standard but what I have learned is, that with our different situations, some "customization" is invariably necessary. Just call and set up a time.

Oh, and by the way, Pam and I are knee deep in our personal planning!

So, what of our North Shore? Number of N/Van detached sales unchanged year over year. Average prices +15% and inventory up 9% over last year. On the attached (t/hse) front, sales numbers down 9% while apt sales were down 12%. Average prices up 17% (t/hse) and up by 15% for apartments. "Leveling off" continues but all prices clearly up over last year. Inventory (t/hse) up from 05, by 8%, and (apt) up from '05 by 19%.

In W/Van, detached also unchanged on number of sales 05/06 YTD. Average price +19% YTD and inventory now stands at 16% higher than 2005. On the condo side attached (t/hses) sold are up 9% YTD over 2005; average price change up 3%. Active listings down 17% from last year. Apts reflect 13% fewer sold vs. 05; with average prices up 38% and active listings steady at 84 units. The NorthShore maintains strong demand and inventory not yet high enough to enjoy a balanced market.

Remember that is the place to visit for North Shore R/E information. This work in progress strives to be the "go to" site for North Shore Real Estate analysis. A jumping off point for FULL market listing information. Please use it and continue your valuable feedback.

To join the group subscribing to the e-mail version of this "update" - send a request now to and you'll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit

Questions regarding the market, decisions, contemplations, opinions of my musings, are welcomed via e-mail (or phone) hey, pop-in and say "Hi" to me at an open house I'd love to see you. Remember "e-nesters" call me!

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

Keeping Realtors Honest
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How well do we stack up?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Resistance to change and compliance delay
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Of urban planning and municipal wisdom
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yes, it's official - demand is rising
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

All articles by Alan  Skinner

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