A New View of The Moon features Overstreet parking his telescope at the cross-section of various LA sidewalks to give spontaneous glimpses of the moon to interested passersby.

Over the course of 18 months the pair brought the telescope to as many diverse locations across the city as possible, making sure not to focus on any specific neighborhood or landmark. Despite the range of individuals that snuck a peek at the orbiting astronomical body, each had the same reaction— complete awe.

Five New Landscaping Trends for Spring

With spring well under way, many of us are itching to get outside and fix up the yard. We all want to spend a little more time outside, basking in the sun after a cold winter. Update your yard this year with these five trends that are on the rise:

  1. Maximize Functionality: It will take a lot of planning and consideration, but maximizing your yard’s functionality will also maximize its space. Take a good look at the systems and features your yard or garden has. Can any of these systems or features multitask? Maybe you have a stone walkway through your garden – can you widen it to accommodate a patio set? Or if you have sprinklers, you can integrate a water feature into the irrigation system, doubling the function of this feature.
  2. Implement the Four Seasons: When you’re planning your garden this year, consider using a variety of plants that will keep it looking beautiful all year long. Bright blooms are perfect for spring and summer, but adding deciduous shrubs and trees will add a pop of colour in the fall when the flowers start to die off. Plus, you can decorate the trees with Christmas lights in winter!
  3. Creative Fencing: Instead of the traditional white picket fence, consider using some more scenic alternatives this year. Bamboo or trees are a creative and decorative alternative to traditional fences. Lacy-leafed leaves trees such as dogwoods or Japanese maples are big enough to create a border but don’t overwhelm. Keep in mind, however, that these foliage fences won’t do much to keep pets or children secure or keep out trespassers.
  4. Go Authentic: Artisanal, handcrafted products are always in style. Instead of picking up a bench from Canadian Tire, hire a local artisan instead. The result will be a beautiful, unique addition to your garden that will stand the test of time.
  5. Outdoor Dining: Fully equipped outdoor kitchens and dining areas have been one of the hottest trends for the past couple years. What’s different about this year is that the dining area is a bit more removed. Creating a unique alcove in the back of your yard or in the middle of your garden will create a much more intimate dining experience.

Which of these five trends will you try this year?


Slow Market Activity for the First Quarter of 2018

The first quarter of the year has seen slow sales activity from home buyers and sellers in Metro Vancouver. Statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reveal that residential home sales in the region fell to 2,517, 14 percent fewer than February 2018 when 2,207 homes sold, and a whopping 29.7 percent decrease from last year’s 3,579. This number also puts this March’s sales 23 percent below the month’s 10-year average.

Additionally, the region saw its lowest first-quarter sales total since 2003. There were 6,542 home sales on Metro Vancouver’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in the first quarter of 2018, down 13.1 percent from the 7,527 sales recorded last year over the same period.

This decline in sales activity is not altogether surprising, considering that January and February of this year also saw sales slump, and sales are typically relatively slow during the first few months of the year anyway. But we’re seeing huge declines and 10 year lows this quarter. What’s causing this decline?

According to REBGV president Phil Moore, “High prices, new tax announcements, rising interest rates, and stricter mortgage requirements are among the factors affecting home buyer and seller activity today.”

There were about 12,469 homes listed for sale in Metro Vancouver during the first quarter of the year, a slight 0.8 percent decrease from the 12,568 listings over the same period last year. This represents the lowest first-quarter new listings total since 2013.

Will this alleviate some of the pressure on home prices?

“Even with lower demand, upward pressure on prices will continue as long as the supply of homes for sale remains low,” Moore continues. “Last month was the quietest March for new home listings since 2009 and the total inventory, particularly in the condo and townhome segments, of homes for sale remains well below historical norms.”

With busy season still ahead of us, it will be interesting to see how the effects of these statistics play out later in the year.