Your House Has Become More Than Just Home Base

Real Estate columnist Freddy Marks notes rural property demand is growing

Freddy Marks has been a professional realtor for more than 30 years. (Submitted photo)

Freddy Marks has been a professional realtor for more than 30 years. (Submitted photo)

By Freddy Marks

We have spent more time at home, in our houses, condos and apartments in the first five months of 2020 than any other time in history! Simultaneously around the globe in March, humanity was sent home to stay home. Home has become a workplace, a classroom, a workout studio/gym, a revolving gourmet restaurant, a dance hall and a salon/spa. Home has had to become multi-functional, and we have had a lot of time to stare at the walls around us, asking if the space we live in really suits the lifestyle we want to continue to have.

These months of confinement inside has people recreating existing spaces for many different tasks and daily needs. Canadian do-it-yourselfers are keeping the building supply industry afloat with renovations to reinvent and rejuvenate spaces so they suit all the activities we now perform in them. Clever storage ideas for the living room/office, soaker tubs for the bathroom spa, and decks and patios have become outdoor container garden sanctuaries. Some are not unhappy with their home layouts or indoor spaces, but it is the lack of private outdoor space that urban lots offer, that is fuelling the rural property market surge.

People are seeking a balance of modern construction with indoor convenience, combined with large, safe, private outdoor spaces. Rural subdivisions and remote acreages are in demand, and small communities from Hope to the Yukon border are now seen with envy for their wide open spaces. Rural land has become the pinnacle valuable asset, as its ownership offers freedom and safety that has disappeared from urban areas. Happy urban home owners are driving the market in inquiries about recreational property as well. Now more than ever, a rural escape rec-property that offers access to crown land and lakes and trails has so much appeal. There are spectacular recreational properties starting right here in Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs and many more within a 4-6 hour drive of the Lower Mainland.

Everyone’s definition of a great piece of land varies, for me, it’s a forested waterfront sanctuary, with a log cabin, fishing dock and gated access on no less than 10 acres. For others a flat, fenced, .5 acre lot with a bungalow, room to grow vegetables and let the kids play, would be heaven. Whatever you have decided, to remain in your existing home and renovate it, or make a move and change your location, now is the time to do both! Low Interest rates, warm weather and relaxed lock down measures offer the opportunity to make that move or renovate to suit.

If you planned on selling your home and retiring off the sales proceeds in spring of 2021 then it would be prudent advice to push up that plan and list now to avoid market fall that has begun to affect house prices in urban markets. The saying goes “make hay while the sun is shining,” as our precarious economic position and looming insolvencies is a dark cloud on the horizon. The last three months of 2020 are predicted to have another wave of virus along with a wave of insolvencies as government support programs will begin to run out. By putting off bankruptcy with deferrals and rental assistance, a lot of people have just accumulated more household debt and are no closer to financial recovery. More than a million Canadians lost their jobs in March and another two million more in April, the effects of those staggering numbers on the economy are yet to be felt at all levels and in all provinces.

A second pandemic viral wave is foretold for this fall, and we will more than likely be asked to shelter in place again to avoid viral spread. What you do over the next four months will decide what type of indoor/outdoor lifestyle you will be living as spring 2021 arrives and we wait to see what our “new normal” is like after a full year of global pandemic measures.

Sellers, start with a property evaluation along with collecting all of your homes documentation as the first steps. Then my advice is always hire a tech savvy, professional realtor with experience to properly price and then aggressively market your asset. Sellers, now is the time to showcase all the positives your property possesses and how functional your spaces are. Hard decisions and hard work now, is the key to positioning yourself exactly where you want you and your family to be, safe and happy in your space together with your real estate goals achieved.

Freddy Marks has been a realtor for 30+ years, and currently lives in Harrison Hot Springs.

AgassizColumnistHarrison Hot Springs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lauriente’s Clothing always made sure to have beautiful displays in the front window of their Rossland Avenue store. Photo: Trail Historical Society
Trail Blazers: Lauriente’s kept locals dressed in the finest fashion

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

Tim Schewe is a retired constable.
Drivesmart column: Passing on the right

If there is room for a driver or cyclist to squeeze through, they will do it.

Camp Koolaree’s wash house was crushed by a downed tree in last week’s windstorm. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay windstorm had trees crashing down on Camp Koolaree

To donate funds to help rebuild Camp Koolaree, residents can go to

Letters to the Editor can be emailed to Photo: File
Help available to obtain BC Recover Benefit at Trail FAIR Society

Letter from Naomi Bain, Poverty Law Advocate, Trail FAIR Society

Researchers Farhad Ahmadijokani and Mohammad Arjmand, from UBC’s Okanagan campus, have developed a cost-effective material that can help remove toxic chemicals, like cancer-treatment drugs, from water supplies. Photo: UBCO
New tool developed at UBC Okanagan removes chemotherapy drugs from water systems

Research collaboration with UBC, Sharif University of Technology and the Soniya College of Pharmacy

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns after searing report into workplace culture: reports

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

Most Read