Keeping you updated about what's happening in Real Estate and in the Fraser Valley!

Today's Most Desirable Home Features
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Housing trends and styles are changing constantly. Today, more than ever, buyers have a strong sense of what they want in a home.  

 

Today’s desirable home features depend greatly on the type of buyer.  Buyers can be divided into two main groups. The first group are first-time buyers which is pretty self-explanatory. The second group are the move up buyers, which are looking to move into a home that addresses the shortcomings of their existing home. They aren't necessarily second-time buyers but they are often people that have out grown their current home. Buyer age is also a main factor in deciding the desired home features.

 

This article focuses on what is hot in the housing market today. Whether you are planning on renovating, selling, or you are looking for a new home, this information will help you make choices that will contribute to both your real estate enjoyment and investment.

 

Home Exterior 

Today, stone and stucco are very popular choices. Brick is the standard material used with mass builders, but the more customized and trendy homebuilders are using stone and stucco on a more frequent basis.

 

Floor Layout   

Bungalows are hot nowadays. Excessive floor level changes are no longer popular as people desire to live on one or two levels.

 

Room Sizes 

Room sizes have been gradually increasing for a number of years. Buyers tend to place the most importance on three key rooms: the kitchen, family room and master bedroom. You can expect to see these three rooms continue to increase in size over the next 10 years while rooms such as the living and dining room are likely to get smaller or disappear altogether. Many new homes scrap the living room and instead incorporate that space into the family room or the 'Great' room.

Buyers still, ideally, desire four bedrooms in their home and would like, if possible, two living areas. One of the living areas can be the recreation room in the lower level (basement).
A master bedroom on the main floor is ranked very important for buyers 65 and older. A two-car garage with ample storage area and a main floor laundry area is desirable for move-up buyers.

 

Kitchen and Bathrooms 

The kitchen is becoming the hub of the house. The most desired features for the kitchen include: an abundance of counter space, a butler’s pantry, deep drawers and two sinks. Stainless steel appliances are also very popular today, and in the upper end market, appliances concealed as cabinetry are very chic.

Large kitchens with an island and counter tops made of granite or marble are very desirable for move up buyers. However, this must be matched with stylish kitchen cabinets.

Luxurious bathrooms with a separate tub and multiple shower heads; pedestal sinks and large mirrors; an overall spa like feeling; attached dressing rooms and a place to sit are all desirable features. Master suite soaker tubs and whirlpools are still desirable for many home buyers, but not as important as other features.

 

Energy Efficiency 

With the green movement becoming more popular, energy efficient appliances, high-efficiency insulation, eco-friendly treatments, and environmentally smart building plans are among the "green" features touted in homes.

 

Tech-readiness 

Satellite and internet wired along with multiple phone jacks are what people want in today’s technology world. With today’s busy lifestyles relaying heavily on technology, even a day or two without high speed internet could be a major inconvenience.

 

Home Office 

Today, many people would much rather have home office space than a formal dining room. Many employers are seeing the business advantages of allowing employees to work from home. As well, many people are using work from home opportunities to help supplement income because of work shortage or as an opportunity to make money online.

Outdoor Living Space 

The popularity of outdoor spaces continues to grow. Patios, deck, exterior lights, fenced yard and fire pit extend the outdoor living space at home and make a great extra feature.

 

Other Notables

Some other notable features that home buyers consider very important when buying a home include central air conditioning, recessed lighting, hardwood flooring, energy efficiency and the potential to turn a profit should they decide to sell their home in the near future.

Today’s buyers are looking for a little luxury and features and treatments that are the highest quality their price range will permit.

 
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Please visit our Open House at 2453 EAGLE MOUNTAIN DR in Abbotsford.
Open House on Sunday, October 26, 2014 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Discover a new level of luxury on prestigious Eagle Mountain. Over 6500 sqft on 3 sprawling levels. Situated on a 0.26 acre lot with breath taking southern valley & mountain views. The open concept, gourmet kitchen is an entertainers dreamw/the dining/great room boasting 20 ft ceilings & a wall of windows. Highest quality finishing throughout incl. granite & silestone counters, slate/hardwood flooring, white marble baths. 5 rooms & 5 baths; the master on the main has a luxurious ensuite w/makeup vanity. 2nd master up boasts its own spa like ensuite & patio. Bsmnt features a massive games room, wet bar, gym, recroom & theatre prewired for 7zone sound & so much more! Triple car garage w/outside parking for 8 more cars/RV/Boat.
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Home Maintenance Checklist for Fall and Winter
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As the winter season approaches and the air become crisp, it's time to start thinking about preparing your house for the season. The winter season means spending more time indoors, hence roofs need to shed rain and snow, windows and doors need to reject the cold, and the heating system needs to keep rooms comfortable. If any of these components don't hold up, you might be faced with scrambling around in the wet, cold and dark to fix them.

By handling these important yet reasonably easy tasks now, you can avoid considerable grief later.

Outdoor Preparation

  • Check the roof for cracked or missing shingles, bald spots on shingles, missing or damaged flashing, and other conditions that might allow leaks. Replace any roof shingles that are missing or damaged. Seal minor cracks or tears with roofing cement.
  • Check the gutters. If they are clogged with leaves and debris, clean them. Gutters prevent basement and foundation flooding and water damage to siding, windows and doors.
  • Check the siding for cracks or damage and seal any leaky spots with clear caulking compound.
  • Windows and doors. Make sure they are properly sealed with weather stripping and replace any damaged parts. Weather stripping prevents drafts and winter heat loss.
  • Trim trees and bushes away from the house.
  • Cover air conditioner and barbecue to prevent winter damage.
  • Store lawn and patio furniture in a shed or basement. If space is limited, weather-resistant covers can protect outdoor furnishings.
  • Close your pool before leaves start to fall, and night-time temperatures begin to drop and you risk an algae bloom.
  • Drain and shut off outdoor water faucets and remove and store garden hoses.
  • Store kids toys indoors or in an outdoor shed to prevent rusting and fading.
  • Check and repair exterior lighting before daylight fades.
  • Scrape peeling paint and apply touch up paint to your siding, trim and fences, and apply waterproofing sealer to your deck if necessary.
  • Examine driveways and walkways for cracks. Larger cracks should be sealed to keep out water.

Lawn and Garden

  • Prepare planting beds when the soil is relatively dry. By adding soil and mulch to your beds, you'll be a step ahead for spring planting.
  • Plant spring blooming bulbs and perennials.
  • Protect roses, saplings and small trees by sheltering them with a burlap screen.
  • Pull weeds to reduce the number of seedlings next spring.
  • Mow grass short for the final cut of the year by reducing the cutting height gradually to 3.5 cm (from 7.4 cm) until the grass stops growing.
  • Check ground grading around the house. All surfaces next to the walls should be sloped to shed water away from the house. This is most important on warm winter days, as melting snow runs quickly across the surface of frozen ground. If the grading is incorrect, water will potentially flow into the house, causing basement leakage. Now is the time to use a shovel to re-slope the grass, or call a paving contractor to correct a negatively sloped walkway or driveway.

Indoor Preparation

  • Bring container plants inside and make sure they are free of pests. Doing so may enable plants to survive the season and bloom again in spring.
  • Caulk around window and door casings to keep out air and water. If your house has wood siding with window frames that stand out from the siding, caulk the top and sides of the frame. Don't caulk under the sill as this space should be left open to allow moisture inside the wall to escape. If your house is brick or stone, with window frames that are set into the finish material, caulk all four edges of each frame where the brick mould meets the masonry.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters as needed. Check and clean dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans. Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from furniture and draperies.
  • Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Replace batteries as needed, or at least twice each year.
  • Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating/air-conditioning professional. Most furnace manufacturers recommend annual inspections.
  • Have your chimney(s) inspected by a chimney service and, if necessary, cleaned. Cleaning is generally recommended at least once a year for an active fireplace.
  • Store plenty of salt or rock salt, snow shovels, and any other items you will need during the winter.
  • Examine the basement floor and walls for cracks or leaks; seal as needed.

If you plan to reside elsewhere during the winter months, you may want to partially shutdown your home. In addition to the tips above, consider the following:

  • Leave the temperature at its lowest setting, usually between 5 to 7 degrees Celsius or install a low-heat thermostat to maintain the air temperature at approximately 5 degrees Celsius
  • Turn off and drain the water heater; leave a reminder to refill before restarting.
  • Keep the electricity on so lights will continue to function (put lights on timers).
  • Unplug the microwave, clothes dryer, televisions and other appliances not in use.
  • To avoid large repair bills and the hassle associated with breakdowns, take the time now to develop an action plan for the coming months. You'll feel secure in your warm home or while you're away from home.


Winter can be hard on a house, following the easy steps above will help preserve your investment and prevent any unnecessary chores or repairs that might be difficult to do during winter.

 

Article with compliments of Sam Hallak

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I have sold a property at 8 9270 BROADWAY ST in Chilliwack.
Barely two years young & still under warranty! Gorgeous end unit in "Kensington on Broadway". 3 Bdrms/3 baths w/a large rec room, master has a huge walk-in closet & spacious ensuite. Contemporary design w/high end finishing details throughout this townhome include a huge bay window & cultured stone fireplace in the livingroom, wainscotting & crown moulding throughout & quartz countertops in bathrooms & kitchen. The dining area flows nicely to the open kitchen that has a massive pantry, S/S appliances & an island/eating bar. Centrally located & close to everything! Dual zone forced air heat & A/C system will keep you cool all summer long. Priced under assessed value w/all the bells & whistles! Pets with restrictions allowed here!
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Ottawa, ON, October 15, 2014 - According to statistics[1] released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity in September 2014 was down from the previous month.

Highlights:


  • National home sales fell 1.4% from August to September.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 10.6% above September 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes declined by 1.6% from August to September.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.3% year-over-year in September.
  • The national average sale price rose 5.9% on a year-over-year basis in September.
Chart of Interest

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations fell by 1.4 per cent on a month-over-month basis in September 2014, marking the first monthly decline since January of this year.

 

Activity was down in about 60 per cent of all local housing markets in September, led by monthly declines in Calgary, Edmonton, Central Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London & St. Thomas, Windsor-Essex, and Ottawa. Home sales rose on a month-over-month basis in Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan region, Mississauga, Durham and York regions of the Greater Toronto Area, Sherbrooke, and the Northern region of Nova Scotia.

 

“Affordably priced single family homes are in short supply in some of Canada’s hottest housing markets, which contributed to the monthly decline in national sales activity in September,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “That said, there are other markets with ample supply but sellers there are holding firm on price. There is a lot of variation in housing market trends depending on the type of housing, neighbourhood and price segment. All real estate is local and your REALTOR® is your best source for information about how the housing market is shaping up where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

 

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in September stood 10.6 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. September sales were up from year-ago levels in about 80 per cent of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan region, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Montreal. The increase reflects activity in September 2013 that was handicapped by the occurrence of five Sundays, since that day is the lowest volume trading day for home sales.

 

Sales activity for the year-to-date in September was five per cent above where it stood in the first nine months of 2013, and remains broadly in line (+1.6 per cent) with the 10-year average for the period.

 

The number of newly listed homes declined by 1.6 per cent in September compared to August. New supply was down in just over half of all local markets, led by Calgary, Edmonton, Greater Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 55.7 per cent in September. With sales and new listings having fallen in tandem, it was little changed from its reading of 55.6 per cent the previous month. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is usually described as a balanced market.

 

Just over half of all local markets posted a sales-to-new listings ratio in this range in September. Two-thirds of the remainder posted readings above the 60 per cent threshold that marks the border between balanced and seller’s market territory, almost all of which are located in British Columbia, Alberta and Southern Ontario.

 

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

 

There were 5.9 months of inventory nationally at the end of September 2014, up slightly from 5.8 months in August and slightly below the 6.0 months reported in May, June and July.

 

Both the sales-to-new listings ratio and the number of months of inventory remain well within balanced market territory while pointing to a national market that has tightened since the beginning of the year.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is. Greater Moncton joins the MLS® HPI this month, bringing the total number of markets covered by the index to 11, representing more than half of sales activity across Canada.

Chart of Interest

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.28 per cent on a year-over-year basis in September. Price growth has been steady at about five to five-and-a-half per cent since the beginning of the year.

 

Year-over-year price growth accelerated slightly for two-storey single family homes and slowed further for apartment units. Price gains for one-storey single family homes and townhouse/row units were little changed compared to August.

 

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.52 per cent), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+5.51 per cent) and one-storey single family homes (+5.07 per cent). Price growth for apartment units remains comparatively more modest (+3.05 per cent).

 

Price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. As in recent months, the biggest gains were posted by Calgary (+10.11 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.82 per cent), and Greater Vancouver (+5.26 per cent). Price gains were fairly flat elsewhere, with only Vancouver Island having posted year-over-year gains greater than consumer price inflation.

 

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in September 2014 was $408,795, up 5.9 per cent from the same month last year.

 

The national average price continues to be skewed upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $325,406 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to 4.5 per cent.

 

“Sales activity and prices in the third quarter were up compared to the second quarter, although momentum going into the fourth quarter is showing tentative signs of waning,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The continuation of extraordinarily low mortgage rates has been and will continue to be the key support for home sales activity amid continuing price increases in some of Canada’s most active and expensive urban centres.”

 

1 All figures in this release except average price are seasonally adjusted. Removing normal seasonal variations enables meaningful analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends.

 


PLEASE NOTE:

The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 111,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.





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I have sold a property at 2733 SANDON DR in Abbotsford.
Why pay strata when you can own your own HOUSE! 4brm/2 bath, 2 storey 1/2 duplex. Beautifully updated w/ high quality materials used. Incl new roof, S/S appliances, engineered hand scraped floors, new windows & maple kitchen.Premier location! Walking distance to all levels of school, a huge sports complex/rec centre, park & field, shopping, dining & freeway access close by to speed up that commute! Very well laid out, super bright, open concept kitchen/family room with a bdrm/den on the main. Updated bathrooms & 3 beds up. Fully fenced, private yard, lot is 4384 sqft. Great for kids/pets! Secured RV parking, family oriented McMillan area. Zero lot line. You won't hear the neighbors w/ concrete demising wall!
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There are early indications that September appears to have been another strong month for Canadian home sales.

That is based on data that some local real estate boards have released in recent days about how their housing markets fared last month. The number of existing homes that changed hands in Toronto was up 10.9 per cent from a year earlier, in Calgary it was up almost 12 per cent, and in Vancouver 17.7 per cent. And that’s in comparison to a reasonably strong month: sales in September, 2013, were slightly above the 10-year average for that month.

 

A comprehensive picture won’t be available until the Canadian Real Estate Board, which represents realtors, compiles all of the local statistics and releases national September data on Oct. 15. Many cities have not released their numbers publicly yet, and the ones that have tend to be in some of the country’s stronger housing markets. Quebec and the Atlantic region, where more markets are struggling, are not represented below.

But the strength of Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver’s housing markets tends to pull up the national averages, and so the numbers here suggest that the national figures will point to a market that still has momentum.

 

VANCOUVER


-Sales were up 17.7 per cent from a year earlier, and 5.4 per cent from the prior month. September’s sales level was 16.1 per cent above the 10-year average for that month, making it the third-highest September in that period.

 

-The benchmark price of all types of properties in Metro Vancouver was $633,500, up 5.3 per cent from a year earlier. For detached homes it was $990,300, up 7.3 per cent, townhomes were $477,700, up 4.2 per cent, and apartments or condos were $378,700, up 3.3 per cent. Similar to the Toronto market, detached home prices are rising more quickly due to a shortage of land to build new ones on.

 

-Sales of detached homes were up 24.1 per cent, sales of apartments or condos were up 16.7 per cent, and sales of attached properties were up 5 per cent.

 

-“September was an active period for our housing market when we compare it against typical activity for the month,” Ray Harris, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, stated in a press release.

 

VICTORIA

-Sales were up 16 per cent from a year ago. “We haven’t seen sales like this in September since 2009,” Victoria Real Estate Board president Tim Ayres stated in a press release.

 

-The local real estate board surmises that buyers and sellers are feeling more comfortable about doing deals because prices are more stable and predictable now.

 

-The benchmark price of a house (the benchmark seeks to be a more apples-to-apples gauge than the average price) in central Victoria was $556,200, up from $550,900 a year earlier. For the entire Greater Victoria area it was $492,200, up from $484,800. The benchmark price of a condo in the Greater area was $287,100, up from $283,900. For a townhouse it was $401,500, up from $400,000.

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I have listed a new property at 34650 WALKER CREST in Abbotsford.
This huge 3140 sq ft, 5 bdrm home has a legal suite and sits on nearly a half acre! Nice, open kitchen, dining room and eating area. Laundry is on the main floor. The 4 bedrooms are situated on their own floor above the main and the 1 bdrmdaylight suite has its own entrance. The yard is an expansive 19,166 sq ft, fenced in the back and great for the kids and pets. There's a two bay garage in front with a third garage in the rear of the home which is easily accessable from the front/side which means plenty of space for all your toys, boat or RV! There's lots of house here with room for a large family, in-laws, plus a mortgage helper! Call today to book your personal viewing~ come and take a look for yourself!
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Please visit our Open House at 2453 EAGLE MOUNTAIN DR in Abbotsford.
Open House on Saturday, October 11, 2014 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Discover a new level of luxury on prestigious Eagle Mountain. Over 6500 sqft on 3 sprawling levels. Situated on a 0.26 acre lot with breath taking southern valley & mountain views. The open concept, gourmet kitchen is an entertainers dreamw/the dining/great room boasting 20 ft ceilings & a wall of windows. Highest quality finishing throughout incl. granite & silestone counters, slate/hardwood flooring, white marble baths. 5 rooms & 5 baths; the master on the main has a luxurious ensuite w/makeup vanity. 2nd master up boasts its own spa like ensuite & patio. Bsmnt features a massive games room, wet bar, gym, recroom & theatre prewired for 7zone sound & so much more! Triple car garage w/outside parking for 8 more cars/RV/Boat.
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I have listed a new property at 4535 UDY RD in Abbotsford.
City living in the country ! Here's your chance to own a gorgeous, custom built home on 5.705 serene acres. Built on a dead end road, this meticulously maintained property exudes privacy & boasts over 3150 sq ft of living space. Only 5 minsoutside of Auguston & all urban amenities. Step into the open concept kitchen, dining and family room with a custom wall to wall fire place mantle. The large Master bdrm has a full sized walk in closet & a soaker tub in the ensuite. Your in-laws will feel right at home in the 2 bdrm walk-out basement suite. Bring your toys to the oversized, 26'x25' garage & there's plenty of space for an RV/Boat. You have to see this home/property to fully appreciate everything it has to offer!
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I have listed a new property at 2453 EAGLE MOUNTAIN DR in Abbotsford.
Discover a new level of luxury on prestigious Eagle Mountain. Over 6500 sqft on 3 sprawling levels. Situated on a 0.26 acre lot with breath taking southern valley & mountain views. The open concept, gourmet kitchen is an entertainers dreamw/the dining/great room boasting 20 ft ceilings & a wall of windows. Highest quality finishing throughout incl. granite & silestone counters, slate/hardwood flooring, white marble baths. 5 rooms & 5 baths; the master on the main has a luxurious ensuite w/makeup vanity. 2nd master up boasts its own spa like ensuite & patio. Bsmnt features a massive games room, wet bar, gym, recroom & theatre prewired for 7zone sound & so much more! Triple car garage w/outside parking for 8 more cars/RV/Boat.
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I have listed a new property at 34868 GLENEAGLES PL in Abbotsford.
Come check out these gorgeous Mountain & Valley VIEWS! Excellent East Abbotsford Location! This 2910 sq ft, 2 storey home has 3 good sized bedrooms above the main with 2 more big rooms + a recroom in the fully finished, walk out basement. The open kitchen/eating area & family room leads to a separate dining area. Lots of natural light throughout, superbly maintained and cared for. Step onto to the deck just off the dining room and look out to the private backyard; fully fenced and surrounded in hedges with the stunning valley views as your backdrop. Plus a shed for extra storage! Roof is only 3 yrs young and comes with a 30 yr warranty. Check out realtor's website for more photos! Call today to book your personal showing.
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Please visit our Open House at 35220 MCKINLEY DR in Abbotsford.
Open House on Saturday, October 4, 2014 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
EXCELLENT location with a mortgage helper! Tastfully updated throughout & move in ready! New roof, hi efficiency furnace & AC, hot water tank, shed & aluminum patio cover w/ closed in storage underneath. With nearly 2400 sq ft of living space, this home offers 3 beds up, 1 down but the large, bright den could also be a 5th bdrm. Neutrally painted throughout in warm earth tones with gorgeous new flooring, tile, kitchen & bathroom updates & new ensuite w/ soaker tub! Your family will love living in this neighborhood that's close to parks & rec, shopping & all levels of private & public schools. The south facing, fenced backyard also has room for your RV/boat. All of this PLUS a 1 bdrm legal suite w/ an excellent long term tenant!
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I have listed a new property at 35427 MUNROE AVE in Abbotsford.
You'll love the majestic Mt Baker & valley views here!! Nicely situated in a secluded lane at the end of a cul de sac & surrounded in greenery. Excellent family house with over 3600 sq ft and 5 bdrms upstairs with a legal 2 bedroom suite inthe ground floor, daylight basement. The open concept kitchen, eating nook & formal living room is a bright & spacious place for the family to hang out. Great neighborhood in desirable East Abbotsford and only a 5 minute walk to Del Air park and sports field. Close to freeway access for quick commuting to loads of shopping & dining options. Personal viewing by appt only, call today to view.
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Keeping you updated about what's happening in Real Estate and in the Fraser Valley!