The Shape of Things to Come

The Shape of Things to Come

I find it very interesting to have witnessed incredible changes in almost everything throughout my lifetime. Huge strides have been made in business, industry, medicine, technology, transportation and housing to name a few. It’s also interesting to see the positive and negative consequences that arise from these changes.  I remember saying to someone years ago that if you saw something in a sci-fi movie or an action comic book that you would probably be living in that reality in the years to come. Although The Jetsons was a far fetched animation show when I was young, these same concepts now appear to be in arms reach and maybe “beaming our bodies to far away places” like they did in Star Trek will be a means of transportation in the future

Industry as we knew it has all but disappeared and been replaced with a more automated version while being continually phased out to better (and hopefully cleaner ways) of doing things.

Medicine is in constant flux and while new medicines and procedures are being implemented, the next wave is already set to replace that which has just been implemented. New limbs, organ transplants, and body parts being grown in laboratories. Amazing stuff.  Transplants are needed at such a level today that the only viable alternative may become growing the parts to be able to keep up with the need. Bionics and the 6 Million Dollar Man may be the future.

Technology has grown at such a pace that it cannot keep up with the pace of inventions. As new devices and methods are produced, they are already obsolete and being immediately replaced with better options. Maybe it’s planned obsolescence as I have thought in the past, but I now think there are just so many brilliant minds thinking far into the future of better and more efficient ways to do things.

Transportation has been amazing. When I was a kid it was all about muscle cars with hot engines that could lay rubber for blocks and had a sound that has been cherished by car enthusiasts ever since.  Back then, in 1970 gas was 36 cents a gallon then 54 cents a GALLON in 1973, and we all know where prices for gas are today. The push has been to get away from fossil fuels, although so many other products are made from petroleum products that, at least in the near future, it may be a stretch to see happen. EV, or electric vehicles recently have been on a huge upward surge. The new Rivian truck offers so much storage you could sleep or maybe live in it (and with the price of them you may have to). It has a range of over 400 miles and up to 750 horse power and zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. The future is here, we just haven’t fully embraced it yet.

Business continues to change in leaps and bounds. When I got into this business 40 years ago, we were anything but automated. The Vancouver Real Estate Board would courier out all the new listings and sales to the offices because we were not computerized. Courier businesses in those days did very well because we had no other options. Contracts were hand written on carbon copied pages so clients could have a copy.  The only way to view a home was to hop into a Realtor’s car or visit an open house. Today, we use professional photographers, drone videos, computers and cell phones to sign contracts and receive them back in a minute or two from across the globe.

When I started in real estate cell phones didn’t exist, but we did have the coveted “pager”. Real estate has gone through momentous changes in British Columbia over the last year. Cities everywhere are moving towards densification to accommodate the influx of people from other countries moving to British Columbia and Canada. There is an incredible number of purpose-built rentals coming onto the market in Nanaimo and elsewhere (although they won’t be able to hit the perceived threshold that so many people want to see with affordable prices). The reason behind this comes down to the the cost of land, materials and building costs.   The long approval processes will make low rental rates a thing of the past.

The one trend that we are starting to see is the shift towards a smaller condominium and smaller living spaces which are more efficient, and therefore more affordable. This form of housing will suit a lot of people that are in the market including first time buyers’ students and older retirees who are looking to downsize but not ready to go into senior housing. The housing shift has begun and will continue. The multi-family projects that we are currently working on are now requiring a percentage of charging stations for electrical vehicles as well as roughed in stations for a further number of EV in the future as more people switch over to electric. Of course, this also increases the costs of construction as the building will now need more architectural, more mechanical engineering design, a larger electrical service etc. so you can see why costs keep going up.

My view is that monster homes and overly large spaces will give way to a smaller home with all the new ideas and energy saving features with lower maintenance, lower utilities and ultimately a more affordable way of life without really sacrificing the things we thought we needed before. In the future we should be able to skip the gas station and charge up at home like we do with our cell phones!  It will be more than interesting to see what the next 5 – 10 years brings, and I would bet that the changes in the next 5 years will eclipse the changes over the last 50-year period.

As you wrap up for the weekend, please take a drive by a truly stunning property that we just listed at 4321 Jingle Pot Road. If you want extra income, a beautiful home, an original bed and breakfast, lots of parking, a work shop and all on a stunning half acre Butchart Garden type property, then this may be your dream come true. Price $799,900.


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