July 2, 2013
New Restaurant to open at New West Station.
Hub coming to New Westminster
A successful Yaletown restaurant is opening a new location in Downtown New Westminster.
The Hub plans to open a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge in the Shops at New Westminster by Dec. 1, according to co-owner Jennifer Marsh. It will be on the same level as the SkyTrain station, above Safeway.
Marsh said the New West restaurant will be twice the size of their Yaletown location, which started out as a Browns Socialhouse franchise before the Hub concept was developed in 2009. A second location on Denman Street in Vancouver’s West End is set to open this week.
“We’ve been looking at several spaces in New West. We’ve wanted to put a restaurant there for quite some time,” said Marsh.
“I really believe in that neighbourhood.”
Marsh said she has family living in New Westminster, and has noticed a different demographic is starting to live in the city, but the eating options for them are limited.
Hub’s menu concept is West Coast comfort food, said Marsh.
“When you’re talking about comfort food you’re talking about meat loaf and meat and potatoes.
“The West Coast is so diverse that comfort food can mean a rice bowl to somebody or seafood to somebody else.”
She added the restaurant has a “huge focus” on craft beer and wine from B.C., Washington and Oregon and they hire knowledgeable staff.
The Denman facility will have 24 taps, 16 with west coast wine and eight for craft beer. “That’s what sets us apart.”
Although the Yaletown location emphasizes eight television screens for sports fans, Marsh said they will adapt for a different demographic at Denman where, although they might show Canucks games they won’t be showing mixed martial arts like they would in Yaletown.
The New Westminster location, she said, will be big enough to accommodate both the dining and sports bar crowds.
It will also have a large patio looking out toward the Fraser River.
“We believe it’s going to be the best patio in New Westminster when you see the view,” said Marsh.
She said construction is expected to commence in August.
June 26, 2013
Food Carts Storm New West on August 10th
While many of Vancouver’s food trucks are congregating at Food Cart Fest every Sunday until the end of September, up to 20 food carts will be heading to New Westminster for the city’s inaugural Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest on August 10.
Organized by the City of New Westminster, Downtown New Westminster BIA, and real estate development project Trapp + Holbrook, the event will feature street food, a beer garden, and live entertainment on Columbia Street between 4th and 6th streets.
Confirmed food trucks that will be attending include Aussie Pie Guy, Beljam’s Waffles, Caslinga Carts, Holy Perogy, Guanaco Truck, JJ’s Trucketeria, and Kaboom Box.
The Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest takes places between 3 and 9 p.m. and admission is free.
June 25, 2013
Concerts at the Quay for Canada Day long weekend.
ARTICLE SOURCE: hyack.bc.ca
Concerts on the Quay presented by River Market
Westminster Quay Boardwalk – New Westminster, BC
Monday, July 1, Saturday, July 13 & Saturday, August 3
5:00pm – 9:00pm
Concerts on the Quay returns to the Westminster Quay boardwalk featuring top national and international recording artists. The series kicks off on July 1st with live performances plus a spectacular Canada Day fireworks display over the Fraser River at dusk.
Check out performances by this year’s headliners:
Monday, July 1 – WiL
Vancouver Island based musician WiL has lately become recognized with his original song “Roam”, flagship anthem to Travel Alberta’s internationally acclaimed media campaign, ‘Remember To Breathe’. With 4 albums to his credit and a gift for composing for film and television, his music captures vivid imagery through inspiring lyrics and catchy arrangements.
Whether performing solo or with his band, WiL’s live show is a roller coaster of emotion delivered with mind bending guitar chops, powerful vocals and impassioned story telling. A recent live show review states “As each chord came and went, and every lyric transitioned to another, it made me want to love something half as much as WIL loves music. His songs are stories not written for fame, and his sound is authentic, not manipulated to follow trend. Wil plays music because he would die if he didn’t.”
Saturday, July 13 – Ray Bonneville
Music fans familiar with Red House recording artist Ray Bonneville know that he is a hard-driving, blues influenced original. Ray’s vibe is loose and souful. With cool and economical guitar licks, horn-like harmonica phrasing and smoky vocal style, he will immediately rivet any audience.
Ray is based in New Orleans and performs more than 150 shows per year across the US, Canada and Europe. His song about the resilience of New Orleans, “I Am the Big Easy” won Song of the Year at Folk Alliance in Memphis in 2009, the same city where he took first place in the International Blues Challenge in 2012.
Ray Bonneville was 41 when he started writing his own songs and making records. When asked why it took so long, he replied “it’s hard to say, but I only spoke French until I was 12 years old when my family suddenly moved us from Quebec to Boston, so maybe it took me that long to really feel the nuance of the English language.”
Saturday, August 3 – Hans Theesssink & Terry Evans
Hans Theessink and Terry Evans are two vastly experienced and respected musicians who may be from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean but they work together beautifully. The Dutch-born Theessink is a roots and blues institution in Europe with a rich baritone voice and unmistakable guitar work. Evans hails from Vicksburg, Mississippi in the heart of delta blues country and may be best known for his long working relationship as a backing vocalist with the legendary Ry Cooder.
Timeless blues, gospel and soul come alive in the capable hands of these two masters. With just two guitars and two remarkable voices, they bring forth a stripped-down and unhurried vibe that is contagious and soulful. Their new release – DELTA TIME – was recorded in Los Angeles and is receiving widespread acclaim.
For full stage schedules and the complete list of concert performances, visit www.hyack.bc.ca
October 25, 2012
Pier Park Gains Recognition
SOURCE: Original Article
Pier Park gets international recognition
New Westminster's Pier Park just missed making the short list of top six completed urban regeneration projects in the World Architecture News Awards. But it did get special mention from judge Martyn Evans, the marketing and creative director for Cathedral Group, a leading public private partnership development company in the UK, who said the park had come "a hell of a long way," from its previous incarnation as derelict industrial property.
Another judge, Kent Jackson, the design director of architecture and design firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, commended the park "in terms of sustainability it is excellent, extremely commendable."
The Pier Park was up against some heady competition, including a linear park built over an expressway in Madrid, Spain, a redesign of Leicester Square in London, England and a rehabilitated industrial waterfront in Aukland, New Zealand.
The Pier Park is still in the running for an ECOWAN Award for sustainable architecture, which will be announced in 2013.
The World Architecture News Awards is the largest architectural awards program in the world with more than 800 entries from 51 countries.
October 3, 2012
Lower Mainland Stats Article
Metro's hot property zones giving up gains: expert
Sagging demand from home buyers is putting downward pressure on Lower Mainland real estate prices, but mainly in areas where prices had shot up faster than the rest of the region.
September home sales in Metro Vancouver were down eight per cent from August and have plunged 32.5 per cent from a year ago, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
And a composite benchmark price that tracks all residential property movement in the area is down 2.3 per cent in the past three months, or down 0.8 per cent from a year ago.
That decline has been a more modest 1.8 per cent over three months and 0.1 per cent from a year ago over the entire Lower Mainland – which includes the Fraser Valley, where values have held up better.
"In some areas and neighbourhoods we're seeing price declines, especially in the areas that ran up the most," said Tsur Somerville, director of UBC's Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate at the Sauder School of Business.
"There is a noticeable difference between this West Vancouver-Vancouver west side-Richmond grouping and everywhere else," he said.
Prices in the three oceanfront cities that had soared in 2010 and 2011 have dropped five to seven per cent from their recent peaks, he noted.
The priciest district remains Vancouver's west side, where benchmark detached houses typically cost close to $2.1 million. That's down 6.5 per cent from a year ago but still up almost 40 per cent over the past five years.
It's a completely different story in Maple Ridge, where a detached house typically changes hands at $468,000 – the same price as five years ago and up just over one per cent from a year ago.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, which also covers Surrey, White Rock and North Delta, said residential property as a whole declined 0.4 per cent in the past three months, but is up 2.1 per cent year-over-year.
Detached houses are up three per cent from a year ago at $549,000 while townhouses are down 1.7 per cent to $305,700 and apartments have gained 4.1 per cent to $198,800.
"The Fraser Valley is much more stable than other areas of the Lower Mainland," Somerville said.
Demand for higher end homes has fallen off the fastest in both Metro Vancouver and the Valley.
Greater Vancouver real estate board president Eugen Klein said Ottawa's elimination of 30-year government-insured mortgages earlier this year has led to a "clear reduction in buyer demand" because the measure intended to rein in Canadian debt loads has made homes less affordable here.
But Somerville doesn't think the federal government's tightening of mortgage rules is playing a major role.
"That only applies on mortgages with a down payment of 25 per cent or less," he said. "Nobody's out buying a high-end home with a three per cent down payment."
Somerville said a slowdown in Lower Mainland residential market demand has been underway since last December and is being matched by flattening prices.
He doesn't detect anything likely to trigger a much deeper drop in the market.
"To have some dramatic radical change you need to have something dramatically and radically change and I don't see what that is."
Market psychology is also playing a role and a recent survey found many Metro residents think prices will continue down, a belief that could extend the trend if many would-be buyers decide to keep waiting.
August 15, 2012
New Westminster to get a Rona satellite shop.
Rona to open 'satellite' shop in New Westminster
Rona has chosen New Westminster as the location for its first “satellite” store in British Columbia.
In an effort to keep pace in the highly competitive home improvement business, Rona Canada recently announced a strategy of establishing satellite and “proximity” stores.
A sign has been put up on a storefront in the Columbia Square Plaza that formerly held a women’s fitness centre, saying Rona was coming, and work has already begun on the conversion. It will be the only hardware store in the mainland portion of New Westminster.
A satellite store is about 5,000 to 10,000 square feet in a densely populated area that is connected to one of its big box stores, which in New Westminster’s case will be the one on Grandview Highway in Vancouver, said Dave Carr, Rona vice-president of retail for Western Canada.
“It’s an interesting location for us. That community is well served with the density of housing there. It’s an area we can come to and have a presence in. It gets us closer to the customer, one click away, and a smaller store format allows us to do that in that area,” said Carr.
He said the store is targeted to open Oct. 17.
The first satellite store to be opened in Western Canada will be in Calgary. Carr pointed out satellite store customers will still have access to everything Rona sells because it can be delivered from the Grandview Highway outlet.
“You’re not going to see the depth of product you’re going to see in the big box, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be available to you,” said Carr. “We’re excited about this one, we’re excited about this solution.”
The satellite will concentrate on products like hardware convenience items, paint, cleaning supplies, electrical supplies and plumbing.
Carr said Rona will also be introducing “proximity” stores, which will be medium sized (about 35,000 square feet), the first of which opened in Edmonton on Aug. 8.
Carr said that’s a similar size to the Rona store at Kingsway and Edmonds in Burnaby. With a new development being proposed across the street, there are rumours the Rona property will be converted into residential development as well. Carr said the site is under review but nothing has been decided.
SOURCE: NEWWESTNEWSLEADER.COM Article
August 8, 2012
Concerts at the Quay coming to New Westminster waterfront
A new summer series, Concerts on the Quay, is being launched by the Hyack Festival Association in partnership with River Market.
The concerts will be free and take place between 2 and 5 p.m. each Sunday.
Two dates have been confirmed, Aug. 12 with Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson, and Aug. 26 with Steve Dawson. The main stage will be on the boardwalk between the River Market and the Fraser River Discovery Centre.
“We are delighted to introduce an on-going music series that helps attract both a local and regional audience to showcase our beautiful waterfront area,” said Hyack executive director Douglas Smith in a press release.
He said the plan in 2013 is to have the series grow to eight to 10 weeks.
“Concerts on the Quay is a great complement to the on-going music we are showcasing,” said River Market president Mark Shieh.
“We often schedule local musicians to set up and perform on the boardwalk so the new music series will help establish the boardwalk as a ‘go-to’ area for high quality live music during the summer months.”
Bentall is the son of Canadian rocker Barney Bentall, and will be performing with his partner, Victoria violinist Kendel Carson.
Dawson is a two-time Juno Award winning producer, musician and songwriter who has produced albums by artists Jim Byrnes, Kelly Joe Phelps and The Sojourners.
LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE
July 24, 2012
Great Globe and Mail Article regarding New Westminster Real Estate
LINK: The Lower Mainland has a new neighbourhood darling
At the New Westminster Quay Market, a photographic silk-screened montage by artist Ed Pien depicts idyllic scenes from the banks of the adjacent Fraser River. Billowing elegantly over the top of an escalator, the work is called New Paradise.
While that may be an ambitious moniker for the city of 66,000 at the geographic centre of the Lower Mainland, it is certainly becoming the region’s new real estate darling.
Affordability is a huge factor, as homes here are often $200 less per square foot than in Vancouver, and $100 less per square foot than in Burnaby – where Metrotown development has accelerated residential real estate prices. And at only 15 square kilometres, with an intact, largely Edwardian downtown, it’s not only cheaper than many neighbouring suburbs, it’s also much more attractive.
“My friends were a little hesitant about visiting me when we bought a house here last month” confides 30-year-old Michael Kaisaris, of his hipster friends from his old hood – the Main and Broadway epicentre of Vancouver cool, “but now a lot of them are moving out here too. The other day I even saw a guy on a “Fixie” [a fixed-gear bike] on the riverwalk.”
But for Mr. Kaisaris and his wife, a sommelier at Gastown hotspot Jules expecting the couple’s first child, the decision to move to New Westminster seemed like a natural progression. “Where else could we buy an 1,800-square-foot heritage home with a garden for $450,000?”
And with his new Re-up BBQ restaurant opening at the recently refurbished River Market on the Quay, his commute is a mere 10-minute walk. Mr. Kaisaris and his wife are typical of a new breed of young buyers – many of them cultural creatives who are rediscovering the city’s charms. They’re also part of the 25- to 39-year-old demographic – 24 per cent of the city’s population – that’s helped make New Westminster the most rapidly densifying area in the GVRD. Some say the young entrepreneurial energy of the 153-year-old city – B.C.’s first urban centre – dates back to its status as the pre-Confederation capital of the colony of British Columbia.
“New Westminster was always a commercial hub,” says Lisa Spitale, director of development services at the city. And it was a distinctly Canadian one, with a business-minded population that hailed from the Great Lakes regions and the Maritimes. This was in contrast to the more British and bureaucratic tone of Victoria, that usurped the coveted capital status from the young town when Vancouver Island was incorporated into the colony.
But New Westminster’s heyday was in the post-Second World War era, when its downtown core – known as the “golden mile” – was a regional retail hub and manufacturing, railway, forest products and fishing industries flourished. It fell on hard times in the 1970s, when shopping malls in nearby suburbs and new freeways killed the historic downtown, and traditional industries slumped.
When a provincial government backed Expo 86 initiative helped develop the waterfront – still a working river – and saw a new SkyTrain station built and Douglas College opened, the city enjoyed a mini-renaissance. The nineties era of suburban expansion largely bypassed New Westminster, partly because it was much cheaper to build tract housing and strip malls on vacant farmland and industrial sites rather than in a pre-existing community. Thanks to this as well as the city’s preservation oriented policies, much of New Westminster’s heritage architecture was saved.
Developer Robert Fung recognized the city’s potential in the 2000s, purchasing two historic buildings on Columbia Street in 2005. “You can’t really call this place a suburb,” says Mr. Fung, “it has a real urban grain to it, and a strong sense of place."
But his plans to redevelop the late 19th-century Trapp and Holbrook buildings were put on hold by the 2008 global economic slump, and he ended up leasing them to a local non-profit society that assists homeless women and children. Now, finally, the moment is right. The development, consisting of a new concrete 20-storey building above an existing heritage podium level, is slated for completion in 2014. Designed by the IBI Group, it features a revitalized façade from the Trapp building paired with sleek modern interiors by Cristina Oberti. Enthusiastic presales have already begun.
“Of the 800 people who signed up in the first few weeks,” says Mr. Fung, “most are young professionals in their 30s and 40s.” They are of course attracted to the relatively low price point – with roomy, 750-square-foot two bedrooms with high, loft inspired ceilings and water views, starting at $339,000 – but also to the convenience of local transit hubs. With five sky-train stations in New Westminster, the city is only a 22-minute ride away from downtown Vancouver.
For an increasingly carless generation of “Y’s,” this is a huge selling point. “My friends from Vancouver are only coming in to see me tonight because of the SkyTrain,” notes Mr. Kaisaris of his 30th birthday celebration at his new home, complete with artisanal beer kegs and local foodie friends who have opened shops and cafés along the old “golden mile. None of them own vehicles.”
Easy transit access has also made New Westminster popular with businesses like the Lowe’s Company – which recently located its first Home Improvement Warehouse in B.C. here – and a plethora of developers equally welcomed by the city’s “open for business” attitude.
With plans to attract 21,000 new downtown residents by 2031, as well as investors and conferences, the city has embarked on ambitious new development plans. The $25-million, 3.8 hectare Westminster Pier Park opened this summer, and with it more pedestrian access to the waterfront. A $35-million, multi-use civic facility that will include a convention centre, 350-seat theatre, restaurant and museum, will be completed in 2014. Phase one of Wesbrook Properties $600-million redevelopment of the Brewery District at the old Labatt’s site will feature a mix of office, retail, residential and health-care facilities.
And the Plaza 88 project, developed by Degelder Construction as a series of towers built on top of a SkyTrain station with adjacent retail, will soon include a fourth residential tower, bringing the total number of condos to more than 1,000 units.
But it’s the Salient Group’s new Trapp and Holbrook project that seems the best metaphor for a city whose historical roots are being tapped by a whole new generation.
Mr. Fung’s usual high standards and commitment to heritage conversions have meant that even though he will have to gut the two buildings – vacant since 1976 – the original terracotta façade will be taken down and painstakingly refurbished and reassembled. And as construction begins along the former “golden mile,” every effort will be made to preserve the area’s retail sensibility – with ground-floor space featuring large wood-framed picture windows that engage with the streetscape. While the site is currently flanked on one side by the Art-Deco Paramount – a former cinema specializing in Disney flicks transformed into a strip bar – and a plethora of bridal shops on the other, there are signs of a sea-change – or at the very least a fresh riverine breeze – afoot.
There are now vegan cafés, mid-century furniture shops and yoga studios in the area that co-exist peacefully with the Army and Navy, comedy clubs and mom-and-pop retailers. The comparisons to Mr. Fung’s historic Flack Block conversion in Gastown are evident. But New Westminster holds its own, insists Mr. Fung.
“There’s such a strong sense of community here,” he says,” it’s the glue that holds it all together. Without it, all this,” he gestures to the several blocks of Columbia Street that take in heritage buildings, new storefronts and young mums with strollers who walk past smiling old-timers, “would not be possible.”
June 25, 2012
Duplex Price Reduction
Well today I was surfing through listing updates and noticed this duplex was lowered 50k to 635k. Looks like each side is about a 1500 sq. ft. 3 bedroom with a rec room in the basement. It's on a busy street and needs some renovations, but I believe with 20% down this property could possibly cover (depending on final sale price).
I am thinking about 1500$ per side per month and and have the renters pay the utilities. This would make 3000$ a month which could cover $500k in mortgage at today's rates plus roughly the property tax and insurance.
All that said I've not been inside the property yet and am not sure what level of work it requires, but it is a legal duplex on over 9000 sq ft. of RT-1 zoned land. You don't usually see these so cheap. The location is likely to blame, but often in the investment property game busy streets take the purchase price of the property down more than it takes the rent down.
Food for thought.
June 3, 2012
Stats Release by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
Spring activity remains balanced in the Greater Vancouver housing market
Monday, June 4, 2012
VANCOUVER, BC - The number of properties listed for sale continued to increase in the Greater Vancouver housing market in May. The number of sales decreased year over year, but remained relatively constant compared to recent months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,853 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2012. This represents a 15.5 per cent decline compared to the 3,377 sales recorded in May 2011.
May sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2001 and 21.1 per cent below the 10-year May sales average of 3,617. However, sales have been constant throughout the spring months, with 2,874 sales in March and 2,799 sales in April.
“Home sellers have outpaced buyers in recent months, however, there continues to be an overall balance between supply and demand in our marketplace,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 6,927 in May 2012. This represents a 16.8 per cent increase compared to May 2011 when 5,931 homes were listed for sale and a 14.4 per cent increase compared to April 2012 when 6,056 homes were listed for sale on the region’s MLS®.
Last month’s new listing total was 15.3 per cent above the 10-year average for listings in Greater Vancouver for May.
At 17,835, the total number of homes listed for sale on the region’s MLS® increased 7.9 per cent in May compared to last month and increased 21 per cent from this time last year.
“Our sales-to-active-listing ratio sits at 16 per cent, which is indicative of balanced market conditions,” Klein said. “As a result of this stability, home prices at the regional level have seen little fluctuation over the last six month.”
The MLS® HPI benchmark price* for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver currently sits at $625,100, up 3.3 per cent compared to May 2011 and up 2.4 per cent over the last three months. The benchmark price for all residential properties in the Lower Mainland** is $558,300, which is a 3 per cent increase compared to May 2011 and a 2.3 per cent increase compared to three months ago.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in May 2012 reached 1,180, a decline of 24.8 per cent from the 1,570 detached sales recorded in May 2011, and a 6.1 per cent decrease from the 1,256 units sold in May 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 5.1 per cent from May 2011 to $967,500.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,156 in May 2012, a decline of 5.9 per cent compared to the 1,228 sales in May 2011, and a decrease of 14.6 per cent compared to the 1,354 sales in May 2010.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 1.7 per cent from May 2011 to $379,700.
Townhome property sales in May 2012 totalled 517, a decline of 10.7 per cent compared to the 579 sales in May 2011, and a 5.3 per cent decrease from the 546 townhome properties sold in May 2010. The benchmark price of a townhome unit increased 0.9 per cent between May 2011 and 2012 to $470,000.
*Editor’s Note: Benchmark prices underwent a re-calculation this month in order to more accurately reflect trends measured by the MLS® Home Price Index. There were no changes to the calculation of index values.
This re-calculation involved aggregating benchmark prices using the sales weighted approach for the reference period (i.e. January 2005) and thereafter linking movements in aggregate benchmark prices to their corresponding MLS® HPI.
The methodology, available at www.homepriceindex.ca, will be updated later this week.
**Lower Mainland: Includes areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.
Spotlight on Greater Vancouver home prices:
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May 28, 2012
Mortgage Rate Update: Tues. May 29th 2012
Mortgage rates are holding fairly steady these days and are still quite affordable. It's looking like the best rate you can find on a 5 year fixed mortgage is around 3.19% which would put a monthly payment at $484.15 per $100,000.00 of lending on a 25 year mortgage amortization.
For Example, if you bought a condo for $300,000.00 and put 20% down (60k) the mortgage would be roughly $240,000.00 and the monthly payment would be 2.4 x $484.15 equalling $1161.96 per month.
I personally expect these to slowly creep up as the year progresses due to evidence of economic growth.
If you want more information on current rates visit Stephen Ewen's site. He is a mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres.
August 9, 2011
WELCOME to the new site!
I've just started it up and it's under constant construction right now because I want there too be plenty of useful content for all the would be home buyers and sellers.
Please be patient with the site content, but the site itself is already a very usable tool and I already have the knowledge I plan on imparting so feel more than free to contact me by phone, email, or smoke signals and I'll handle any questions or concerns you have personally.
I'd also take suggestions on what sort of information people would find valuable in relations to treating all real estate like an investment. My goal is to have people aware of the numbers side of things including how to analyse their properties to see how well they pay off. It doesn't matter whether it's a primary residence or a rental property, you can always compare what the cost to rent is versus what the cost to own is. Even if it's against what it may cost you to rent elsewhere if you didn't own the property you plan to buy or sell.
Important aspects are mortgage cost, taxes, utilities, property value trends, closing costs, etc. When you add up these numbers they tell the tale of where you're at with your investment and if you give me time I'll add resources to this site to help you get to and look at these numbers effectively.
I do already have a really nice mortgage calculator on the site that is easy to use and shows a little graph of where your money is going over the time that you carry the mortgage.
The site also has a plethora of listing search tools that I recommend as well as one you can use on your smart phone (iphone, android, etc) that uses your gps to show you all available listings in your immediate vicinity. It's very simple and very cool. It displays on a map with pins that you can touch to see the listing information.
Again, if you want or need help NOW, don't hesitate to contact me as I can help you analyse immediately.
Michael Sheldrake B.Sc