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August 20, 2010

Ledgeview Golf Course

It is always interesting to find out about people you know and their passions. 

Lance Lundy has been a RE/MAX Realtor since the 1980’s and before that was a professional PGA golfer for over 20 years. Lance now plays under amateur status.  Recently, he participated  in the BC Senior Men’s Amateur Golf Championships at Ledgeview Golf and Country Club in Abbotsford, and finished tied for 13th!  The PGA has honoured his success with an invitation to the Canadian Senior Men’s National Championships to be held August 30 to September 3 at the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club in St. Thomas, Ontario.


Lance is consistantly a top 100 performer in the RE/MAX Western Canada Group of Realtors and is always one of Whistler’s Top Realtors with RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate Whistler .   He is a member of the Big Sky Golf and Country Club where he was the Pro for several years. His continued success as a golfer is no surprise  and we wish him the best of luck in St. Thomas.

Lance’s personal website is located at


Real Estate in Whistler is like a roller coaster!

August 20, 2010

The ride of your life

Now we completely expected the market in Whistler to cool during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic period of February and March. We also expected that January would be slow due to infrastructure that still needed to be realized; and of course April to start cleaning up after the party…  May and June are known as the shoulder months so a slight slow down was also expected during this period. That would bring us right through to the third quarter 2010.

However looking at the number of sales year to date we can clearly surmise that January – May & June have been consistant in terms of sales. By the end of June it appeared Whistler was well on its way to a great summer in real estate. Then July finished and our balloon had a slow leak… No pun in tended. Trying to figure out why was not hard….


We could not blame it on tourism, because the tourist were definitely in town our village was full,  our walk-in traffic known as floor duty was busy…. The real estate community was out showing properties and in many cases writing offers… the offers however were not coming together and if they did it seemed like a battle to bring the two sides to an agreement.

Sitting on the fence

The majority of buyers for Whistler have not gone away, in fact they’ll tell you they still want to buy here…. the problem being they have no sense of urgency… nothing is propelling them to finish what they started and get on with life. They have the money, financing and in most cases the ability to pull the trigger… but it seems the state of the world economy is affecting their judgment, the media’s message is still unstable and spending a large sum of money isn’t really popular…. but who is it not popular with? The ones that lost their portfolio’s in 2007 – 2009 or the Govt because of their gross debt… If you want a roller coaster ride just look at the stock market…. There is no shortage of people reinventing themselves and coming back up the social ladder.. Everyone is a little more conservative today and without a doubt are expecting a good return on their investment – what I mean by that is VALUE for their hard-earned or saved dollars…. Our buyer is still present, we just need to spend more time with them then we did in the past… Build a base of a trusted advisor or liaison between the parties… Stick to the fight when hardest hit, find the gem they are looking for….as a seller you need to be the gem in the market place by having VALUE attached to your listing… a gem is shiny too… can you outshine the competition?

Sales: Jan – 39 Feb – 22 March – 21 April – 37

 May – 47  June – 54 July – 31 Aug – 20

Remember you need to pull the trigger to have a smoking gun…As for August we are back in the game with over 20 sales in the first two weeks… thank our lucky stars or better yet the team of realtors out there in the market place making it happen and not on the beach somewhere else with their family enjoying this gorgeous weather. Real estate is and has always been a unique opportunity when your decision is based on a lifestyle choice and not your primary residence. It is a choice one makes based on family and dreams; but it is also one that is calculated from a strategy stand point and when the media tells you it is a buyers market…. that is what you’re expecting when you hit the negotiating table…don’t give up, a purchase in Whistler will be one you won’t be disappointed with…

Happy Negotiating!

‘Foodworx’ for the Whistler Food Bank

August 16, 2010
Foodworx - Whistler

Ann and Deborah fill the Foodworx Cart!

Whistler Community Services proffered a Challenge to Whistler Businesses to get involved and support the Food Bank!  The Whistler Food bank has served over 1288 individuals and families this year and is experiencing higher than usual use and is in need of regular help.  Crankworx, an International Bike Festival held annually in Whistler, provided a great opportunity to introduce Foodworx to the Community.

The results will be announced Saturday Aug 14th on the main stage of Kokanee Crankworx where we hear that the Chateau Whistler will be appreciated for supplying two vehicles loaded with food to the Food Bank!  Great community effort from the staff and management of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

The REMAX TEAM jumped to the challenge and sent almost 300 pounds of yummy goods to the food bank.  We encourage everyone to continue to drop off food at the food bank; or at the local grocery stores bins, so we can have a healthy community.

300 lbs of food for the food bank!

300 lbs of food for the food bank!

When Do You Seal the Deal in Real Estate?

August 12, 2010

In a slower market like most of North America is experiencing, when is the right time to make a purchase?  I think it comes down to the question: Is it a residential personal property or a resort property purchase?


If it’s a residential property the main focus for the property is not investment but instead shelter and forced savings.  Whether the market is declining or stable we all need a roof over our heads and thus not so dependant on timing.  The important factors are interest rates and income that will factor into the mortgage and affordability.


If it’s a resort property, your purchase could be for two reasons – as an investment or a lifestyle choice.  As an investment, using an accountant and having a look at the revenue statements together with purchase price will decide your ROI (rate of return on investment) thus helping you make your decision.

As a lifestyle choice, it’s mostly based on emotion – where you are at in your life and personal enjoyment.  Because we can take our computers and work with us on vacation it is making more sense today to pack up the family and have a place to go to on a more regular basis.  Making a lifestyle choice purchase comes down to having a tangible asset opposed to having your money tied up in something you cannot touch like the stock market.


A very important part in purchasing a resort property is timing due to a number of factors.

  • seasonality (ski season, summer season, holidays, low rental season, school, personal holidays)
  • mortgage rates
  • exchange rates
  • economic stability
  • weather patterns
  • your tax year
  • purchase price

We’ve decided to touch on a couple of the above points that relate to Whistler.  First and far most: our ski season.  Most people choose to purchase prior to ski season to maximize their rental revenues during the peak season… i.e. Christmas/New Years is a popular time to bring families together.  Historically this time of year has had phenomenal snow by mid December.  For our American friends, their Thanksgiving falls in late November and this has typically been a popular time to take possession of a property.  For both our local community and investors great consideration needs to be paid to homes with tenants.  There are strict regulations under the BC Tenancy Act in regards to dealing with homes involving tenants… 60 days notice or are the tenants under a locked in lease?  More detailed information can be found at:         



Typically a property takes anywhere from 30 -90 days to complete.  Although closings can happen earlier and if the property is under construction it could take a lot longer.  If the property is owned from someone other than a Canadian, a clearance certificate is required and could take up to 8 weeks or longer.  Completion for a quarter share property can be orchestrated towards the next months owner’s usage.


When it comes to purchasing real estate (especially in a resort) working with a local licensed real estate representative will always be your best choice. Start your search for a home with the end dates in mind, be pre-approved for the financing and make sure your deposit can be liquified within a one week time frame.

Special thank you to Carolyn who help write today’s blog while aboard the BC ferry – Women of Whistler fishing derby!

Happy Negotiating!

Let’s get this party started – Artwalk 2010

July 17, 2010


I love this event, and over the years it has truly grown to become a local’s favorite. Friday July 09th starting at 6pm, Marketplace Whistler began to buzz – within 15 minutes the area was well over 100 strong and the music, food, cocktails and artists were all rhythmically celebrating their long-awaited local artist appreciation night… the opening of Artwalk.

Whistler TV shooting

Mingling together with the tourists, our community of locals was out showing all our artists and artisans how much they are appreciated in Whistler… Did I mention talented as well? The works of so many new artist in the corridor are emerging and some of them we’ve rubbed shoulders with for years – take Susie Cipolla and Matt Walker – out of the blue talent arrives… or was it always deep down within their souls.. Alison Hodson’s art, on display at Pasta Lupino, was tempting you to touch with 3-D mixed media. Thankfully helpful signs reminded you to keep your hands off. – Matt Walker Susie Cipolla Alison Hodson

Pasta Lupino

Did we have enough talent?

From Lions Bay to Lillooet our Sea to Sky corridor is loaded with talent and not just artistic, but musicians too – Stone Soup Marimba – Dr. Dave – Brother Twang. This party went from Marketplace to Function Junction where they took it to the streets with food vendors, live art, street hockey and music…. It was a gorgeous evening of 25 degrees celsius and plenty of water and refreshments at most venues. We served up cheese plates and veggies, fresh fruit, dips, crackers and Pellegrino with lemon twists… I smiled all evening as friends just poured in the door one after another… It was fabulous!

Live Artists

Stone Soup

One artist I have loved for years is Joan Baron who has been inspired to paint through a family of artists. Joan’s incredible work of transcended realism with vibrant blended colors can be viewed at Mountain Galleries in the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler… Joan is an absolute pleasure… don’t miss her work!

 by Joan Baron

Another amazingly talented woman in Whistler is Leanna RathKelly who’s paintings and photography are inspired by her philosophy in life… Leanna is truly a beautiful person…

“My inspirations are real people and real light: I photograph life, and my goal is to invoke an identifiable emotion in all my images. I shoot the way I like to live – with joy, happiness and awareness. I have the same philosophy of photography as I do in my life – show the beauty of living, be nice to people, and enjoy the ride.”

Leanna Rathkelly

I chatted with Vincent and Cheryl Massey two long time locals and good friends who have their own gallery behind their home in Alpine Meadows… Vincent a potter and Cheryl a basket weaver… Vincent’s works of pottery can be found throughout Whistler in local shops and classy restaurants… A real fun couple that are involved with USANA Health and Wealness – Whistler Search and Rescue…

 Chili Thom had two venues Sushi Village and his own gallery in Function Junction . Our very own local charm Ali Milner was set up singing her beautiful music with Van Gruen at The Lift Coffee Co.

44 host galleries this year and 52 regional artists and artisans… too many to see in one night, especially when the after party starts at 9pm in the Westin Hotel at the Firerock Lounge. No worries this incredible event of 7 years goes on until August 31… so be sure to pick up a brochure or go on-line to The Whistler Arts Council.

Please help support our local artists and adorn your home here or where ever home may be with a little piece of Whistler… Most of these artist donate constantly to our local fund-raisers year round and never ask for anything in return…. I know they would appreciate your business and I also believe they certainly deserve it.


Disasters of not pricing it right the first time!

July 12, 2010

Reasons for pricing it right

From the second you sign a listing contract your agent can begin the selling process. Your property is the hottest the minute it hits the market. In Whistler selling homes is a little different, while your new home listing is hot when it comes up for sale, the buyer in most cases does not live in Whistler and needs to be contacted, the buyer will probably want to view the home in person, and if it is a buyers market the urgency will not be there.

If however you price your property bang on and perhaps aggressively, you instill a different type of motivation in the realtor. The agent takes the listing back to their office and shares the excitement with their team, the listing is then put through the listing system and this is where your property hits the open market – the other agents then pass the “Hot Listing” onto their potential buyer. The professional realtor knows a well priced property. This is why in any market homes will sell, motivation determines how fast. Sometimes it does take a little longer, but real estate always sells in any market. We also need to realize certain properties like Phase II here in Whistler are taking much longer to sell, and different methods of marketing and price need to be considered. A well priced, sometimes staged property will breed curiosity.

In each agents data base there are purchasers waiting for the right property to come  onto the market. For every dollar you go above the suggested list price, the funnel of buyers or pool of buyers becomes smaller.

How do we know this

As Whistler BC is the market I am active in I will use the Whistler Listing System Statistics to prove.

If we have had less than 10% of our sales above $2,000,000 that would mean 90% of our market is under that price point – or if we have had 214 sales to date in 2010 and 17 have been over $2,000,000 than less than 10% of your buyers are in this price category. If your property’s value was established at $1,750,000 and you want to test the waters at $2,000,000 you potentially could be missing valuable buyers for two reasons.

1. If I can spend $2,000,000 I will look at properties from $1,750,000 – $2,250,000 perhaps – If I view your property along with the other homes at $2,000,000 I will be determining value for my money right there. If your home is not of the Caliber of the competition in that price range you could be creating a negative outcome.

2. If my purchase price is only $1,600,000 – I would still look up to about $1,900,000 thus missing your property all together.

It only makes good business sense to listen to your professionals advice on pricing, we can all list our homes at any price, but only recent sales find market value. I know people who are in other fields of business that are very real estate savvy – builders of course are always keeping their finger on the pulse of real estate. Everyone loves to talk about real estate.

If you want to sell

Price it right from the day you get started. Clean it up so it sparkles. Make sure there is a marketing plan in place. Stay in touch with your agent and work together. There are really only two reasons a home does not sell, pricing and lack of exposure.                                          What is the disaster I mentioned in the headline…

Following a slow market downward! Agents could use your home as an example of poor pricing techniques.

What alternatives do you have?

OK – you just can’t sign the contract at that lower price – why not make a deal with your agent, and sign in advance a 30 day price reduction. This makes it a win win situation for your agent as well. Make sure you keep informed of all new listings, price reductions and sales around you… when you know a sale has happened find out why the buyer didn’t buy your home, or even worse never looked at your property. But do not forget timing is everything – new listings are the hottest when Just Listed. If you miss the busy tourist season and reduce in late Sept/Oct you very well could have missed your only buyer!

It might be wise to decide the best-selling 1/4 for your particular property while you’re at it.


I can honestly tell you Whistler is not predictable, we have seen a stronger market 3rd and 4th quarters for many of the documented years and yet in many cases 1st quarter has been strong too. Why you ask – good question. Whistler statistics on sales data have been collected since 1998 I have found that each years quarter sales to be all over the board – no particular pattern could be found. The number of sales range from 434 to 1300 a year.  In those numbers are pre-construction hotel sales… Pan Pacific, Four Seasons Whistler, First Tracks Lodge and a few others… These properties are recorded when the deals went firm not when the money traded hands. Some of the hotels have hundreds of rooms documented in the data. As the Managing Broker for RE/MAX Sea to Sky Whistler I count every sale – hotel sales whether phase one or two are real people buying real estate in Whistler…. – Pan Pacific Whistler

Sales History Year over Year

1998 – 434                                                                                            

1999 – 781                                                                                              

2000 – 973                                                                                               

2001 – 878                                                                                               

2002 – 1300                                                                                          

2003 – 729                                                                                              

2004 – 696                                                                                             

2005 – 528                                                                                              

2006 – 644                                                                                               

2007 – 942                                                                                               

2008 – 519                                                                                             

2009 – 465                                                                                             

2010 – 214 year to date

 Happy Negotiating!


Whistler’s Q2 Real Estate Stats are out!

July 2, 2010


It is really nice to share numbers that are not all doom and gloom… The market in Whistler is still kicking – as with any statistical survey the person running the numbers has all the power to share with the world their view. In this case I will break the numbers up; this approach allows you to view the segments of the market that are relevent to you.

The Numbers per quarter

Total Sales  1st Quarter 2009 –    65 Total Sales 1st Quarter 2010 – 81

Total Sales 2nd Quarter – 2009  – 107 Total Sales 2nd Quarter 2010 – 123

Looking only at the quarterly sales for 2010 we can see an overall increase in sales of 51.8% from quarter one to quarter two. What is more important than the increase in numbers would be the increase in dollar volume.

1st Quarter 2010 – $66,627,000

2nd Quarter 2010 – $103,520,833

This would be an increase of 55.4% . We found the increase being mostly due to the sales in townhomes and vacant land.

2010 1st Quarter                               2010 2nd Quarter

Chalets – 19                                           Chalets – 21

Condos – 20                                         Condos – 23

Townhomes – 21                                  Townhomes – 40

Shared Owner – 13                             Shared Owner – 7

Duplex – 2                                            Duplex – 5

Vacant Land – 3                                 Vacant Land – 22

  • To clarify the number of Vacant land sales we should mention 15 were in Baxter Creek during their launch phase.

The summer is now here and the village is buzzing, real estate agents are hosting open houses and tourists are making their way back up the Olympic Highway.

Walking through the village yesterday I met a charming couple from Montreal – it was their first visit to Whistler – I asked them what brought them here – they said they saw how beautiful Whistler was while watching the Olympics on TV and have decided to move here! We have found most of our buyers this year have been Canadian and primarily from the lower mainland.


The RE/MAX Office is located in Marketplace near IGA and Rogers Video, They are open 9am-5pm.

Happy Negotiating!