May Connection

James is learning to read.

His mother has been teaching him his letters and numbers since he was 3 or 4.  Lately, he’s brought home small workbooks from kindergarten where he’s printed out several 3-letter words and “reads” them to Mommy and me.  

Now, many of you may think badly of me when I say I’m less than impressed with his abilities so far.  I’ve watched him work at letter printing for a couple of years and I have to tell you, progress is limited.  Sure, he can print upper and lower case letters now, and joining them together to make small words is a nifty trick.  But seriously, it really is just a trick.  The teacher shows him how to copy the letters and James, I’m sure, memorizes the words.  It’s not like he could actually read his own hand writing, because it’s horrible!  Honestly, it looks like a 5 year-old’s scrawl!  Okay, he actually is five years old, but my point is he can’t actually be reading the words.

 

Of course, I’m a grownup and a parent, aware of my responsibility to praise his efforts no matter how rudimentary.  So I hug him to my breast and tell him how clever he is, that he’s a fine speller and printer.  And I crow to my colleagues at work, forcing them to agree with me that my son is truly gifted.  And so the lie goes on.

 

This week brought a new twist.  James came home with a real BOOK.  No lengthy prose, mind you.  It was a six-page primer, three or four words to a sentence, with plenty of pictures providing ample clues as to the text below, and James was bubbling in his enthusiasm to read it to me.  I begged off until bedtime, when he could read it to me after I read him a story.

 

Now, James is a very clever boy.  He can somehow follow written instructions from on-line computer games without being able to actually “read” any of the words – a gift that completely dumbfounds me.  And Carolyn and I have read him some of his favourite books so often that he knows them by heart.  He reads Green Eggs and Ham aloud better than both his parents.  So I’ve seen this “reading through rote memorization” technique before and fully expected a similar performance when he read this school book.

 

Starting with the book cover, James reads out, “Dot and Mit.”  And again from the title page, “Dot and Mit.” 

Okay, it’s a stirring account of a girl and her cat.  Let’s get to the story.

“This is Dot.”  (next page)  “This is Mit.”

Alright, we’ve established the characters.  If James knows the rest of it by heart, we’ll breeze through this and I’ll be in front of the TV by 7:30.

But wait.  On the next page, James stumbles in his reading.  He’s stuck on a word!

“Dot…d…i…d… did nap.  Mit did n…o…t…not nap.”

Oh, my gosh!  My son is sounding out the letters, forming the words in the sentences.

HE’S READING!!!  He’s actually reading his book!

 

Soon, James reads, “The end.  Can I read it again Daddy?”

“Oh yes please James.  I’d like to hear you read that again.”

“Daddy, are you crying?”

“No, I’ve got something in my eye.”

“Are you sure you aren’t crying?”

“Yes, I’m sure.  Now, read this book to me one more time then get to sleep.”

“Okay but you’re hugging me too tight.”

“Hush.  Read the book.”

 

 

 

REAL ESTATE NEWS

 

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written to all of you.  My apologies.

If I based these e-mails solely on the amount of news to report about North Okanagan real estate, I still wouldn’t be sending this note.

Long and short, there ain’t a heck of a lot going on around these parts!  Total year-to-date sales to the end of April is 340 units, compared with 460 units for the same period in 2010.

 

As of today, May 21, there are 1815 active listings in the North Okanagan.  At the present monthly rate of sales, it would take roughly over 18 months to sell off our current inventory of properties.

All too often, sellers price their houses far over what they can reasonable expect from today’s market.  And if they do eventually decide to adjust their prices, the drops often aren’t enough to attract buyer attention and the sellers end up chasing a declining market. 

On the buyer’s side, have you ever bought a big ticket item like a TV or a car, only to see it go on sale less than a month afterward?  Well for buyers this market is the same, only we’re dealing with far more dollars.  I’ve been saying for over a year that “Now is a great time to buy!” and it’s been true.  But we don’t have any way of knowing what the bottom of the market is, and if you’re a buyer without any real imperative to buy a house (e.g. you need a roof over your head), there’s motivation to wait the market out to see how low some list prices will drop.

And so the standoff continues.

BUT I STILL MAINTAIN (pardon the shouting, I just have to be sure my message is heard), THIS IS AN EXCELLENT TIME TO BUY OR INVEST.  HOMES THAT DO SELL REPRESENT GREAT VALUE FOR THE INVESTOR.

 

Here’s an interesting statistic for real estate sale prices in Canada for 2010: 

House sale prices across Canada rose 8% in 2010.

BUT, if you take the Vancouver area out of the equation, house prices DROPPED 3%.

Hopefully, Vancouverites will start moving up here…

 

Here is a chart of our sales price distribution to the end of April:

 

North Okanagan Monthly Home Sales 2011 *

         
                     
 

Jan

Jan %

Feb

Feb %

March

March %

April

April %

TOTAL

TOTAL %

Under $100,000

2

3%

2

3%

6

6%

3

3%

13

4%

$101 - $200,000

14

21%

26

34%

21

21%

10

11%

71

21%

$201 - $300,000

18

27%

21

27%

16

16%

29

31%

84

25%

$301 - $400,000

17

25%

16

21%

35

35%

29

31%

97

29%

$401 - $500,000

10

15%

6

8%

12

12%

9

9%

37

11%

$501 - $600,000

2

3%

4

5%

5

5%

8

8%

19

6%

$601 - $700,000

2

3%

1

1%

3

3%

5

5%

11

3%

$701 - $800,000

1

1%

1

1%

1

1%

1

1%

4

1%

$801 - $900,000

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

$901,000 +

1

1%

0

0%

2

2%

1

1%

4

1%

Totals

67

 

77

 

101

 

95

 

340

 

 

* Statistics are gathered from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) and subject to verification.

Details of the search parameters are available from Ken Dickson

Ken Dickson

Ken Dickson

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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