Category: Blog (18)

Have you ever wanted to dig deeper into Abbotsford’s rich agricultural community and learn more about farm life in the “City in the Country”? Are you looking for a day trip to keep your kids’ interest in the summer months, or a unique date idea that doesn’t involve dinner and a movie?

If so, Abbotsford’s Circle Farm Tour would be perfect for you!

CircleFarmTour Flexible and easy to plan, Circle Farm Tours are customizable to your taste You can take a whole day to visit each one of the sites listed, or choose one or two options to see in an afternoon. The tours are self-guided, so you can travel on your own and at your own pace.

Circle Farm Tour’s website lays out everything you need to know. You’ll find a list of five different areas where the tours are available: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz/Harrison, Langley and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

Once you select your city, you’ll see a list of specialty farm-gate vendors, open air markets, heritage sites, restaurants and other notable events that you can mix and match in order to create your personalized tour. All of the destinations are related to the area’s agricultural community and farming heritage.

As you create your unique Circle Farm Tour, you can download and print out a city-specific brochure that lists the suggested tour stops, and maps for each point on your journey. They’ve also included a helpful guide to indicate which places have wheelchair access, bus parking, admission feed and guided tours. Lists of where to stay, eat and enjoy the city over and above what’s included on the tour are available as well.

Abbotsford’s Circle Farm Tour has 14 available stops, including notable “City in the Country” landmarks like Birchwood Dairy, Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery, Neufeld Farms, Lepp Farm Market and more! If you’re looking to fill a few summer days, make sure to check out the special seasonal events included on the tour, such as the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market, Sparkes Corn Barn and the Abbotsford Agrifair and Mighty Fraser Rodeo! (Available dates and times can be viewed here.)

If you’re a resident, or you’re passing through beautiful British Columbia on vacation this summer, make sure to check out Abbotsford’s unique farm-fresh experience. Plan your Circle Farm Tour today!


One of the easiest ways to get a taste of Abbotsford’s vibrant agricultural community is by visiting the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market.

Established in 2003, the weekly market is operated by the non-profit Abbotsford Farm & Market Country Society and is sponsored by notable groups like The Abbotsford News, Tourism Abbotsford, Country 107.1, Vancity and more. The market’s motto –“Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Fun.” – captures the wholesome simplicity of the shopping experience.

According to its website, the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market combines the best of a modern market experience with a traditional “make, bake or grow” principle for its juried vendors. As a result, the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market showcases the best in locally grown and produced products along with the creative talents of both artisans and entertainers. (Source)

Shopping at the Abbotsford Farm & Country market is a great way to support local farmers and food producers – the majority of whom are from the Abbotsford area – and to learn more about what you’re eating.

Buying local food also contributes to a healthier environment, economy and community. By minimizing food packaging and transportation, fewer greenhouse gasses are released in to the atmosphere. Getting groceries from a farmers’ market contributes to the financial well-being of the community and strengthens local producers. Plus, it’s an easy way to find and enjoy fresh, wholesome food!

During the summer, the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market is open twice a week: once on Saturday and once on Wednesday. On Saturdays, the market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Montrose Avenue at George Ferguson Way. (Fun fact: Unlike other farm markets that end to close in late summer/early fall, this Saturday market continues until December 21, 2013.)

The Wednesday market runs from June 12 to September 25, 2013. It’s open between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Thunderbird Civic Plaza behind Abbotsford City Hall.

You can learn more about the fresh local produce, international award-winning jams, fresh-cut flowers (and more) available at the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market by visiting their website. While you’re there, be sure to take a look at their weekly newsletter which has tasty looking recipes that feature farm-fresh ingredients straight from the market.

Make sure to set a date to visit the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market this summer. (And don’t forget your shopping bag!)


Living in Abbotsford has a little something for country and city dwellers alike. If you’re looking to move to the Fraser Valley, there’s a new development that will be sure to catch the interest of the urbanite in your family.

Promising to be the Fraser Valley’s “favourite new place for shopping, dining and entertainment,” the Highstreet complex is located right off the Mt. Lehman exit on Hwy 1. According to its website, Highstreet’s  “diverse collection of shops will take care of all your needs and wants and the high quality environment with exceptional architecture, beautifully landscaped streets and plazas and large children’s play area will make it a great community place to meet friends and family.”

Right now, the Walmart SuperCentre, London Drugs and Marshalls are open. Other notable shops that will be in Highstreet (and, thus, make their first appearance in the Fraser Valley) include a Cineplex VIP theatre, Pinkberry, Bouclair Home, Cupcakes and H&M. (You can view the most up-to-date list of shops and restaurants here.)

More shops and restaurants will open gradually throughout 2013.

Strawberries Sale in AbbotsfordLooking for a way to satisfy your craving for sweet summer fruit? Interested in giving back to the local community too?

Right now, the Abbotsford-Sumas rotary is hosting their 17th annual Strawberry Sale. Sold in 11 pound ($35.00) or 30 pound ($59.00) pails, these fresh strawberries are washed, sliced and ready to use. Time is running out to purchase your pail – orders will only be accepted until June 9, 2013.

If you don’t live in Abbotsford but want to score some strawberries for yourself, you can place your order and pick up your strawberries in a location closer to you. This year, you can pick up your pail in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Langley, White Rock or Burnaby.

All of the money raised in this sale goes toward community projects. This year, the rotary club will provide playgrounds for young children in Abbotsford. (You can view photos of the past playgrounds they’ve built too.) It’s a great way to give back to our city.

Visit the rotary’s website for more details and order your strawberries soon. Time is running out!

Time for another gift card giveaway!

Just be sure to like my facebook page on the left of the screen, or follow the link.  Extra entry for sharing the photo from my page with your family and friends!

Thanks to all my past and current clients.  If you’re curious about getting into the Real Estate market, I’d love to chat!  Don’t forget to check out my MLS search.  Faster, with more detail and easier to use than!

Boston Pizza Giveaway - Justin Hawkes

How I can help you search for your Dream Home!

When it’s time to start searching for your Dream Home, you want to be sure you are on top of all the information Buyers need to get the best home and the best deal.  There are many ways to search for homes, especially today on the internet, the problem is most Buyers are doing it wrong!  Take a few minutes to read through this, and you’ll see quickly how important it is that we talk to help you search for your next Dream Home.

How most Buyers search for a new home:

With the internet today,  searching for a new home is easy and fun.  Being able to search through a list of potential homes, from the comfort of your home is amazing.  Even I would prefer to go over potential listings with my wife before needing to contact a Realtor to take me around to see them from the inside.  The problem is if you are using the wrong method to search for that home, you are severely hurting your chances of getting to those great new homes first!

Search MLS Large

This search result is a prime example of how the majority of Buyers are currently searching for their new home.  This isn’t a bad thing for you, because after you finish this read you’ll be far ahead of the competition when it comes to your search for your new home!

The information provided is decent, it will give a Buyer an idea of what they’re looking at, but it’s actually more advantageous for the Realtor than you as the Buyer.  It shows you how to contact me, the listing agent, how to find my website and how to contact me for more information.

The search function isn’t bad, but we can do better.  Let’s take a look at how my clients look for homes, and what keeps them ahead of the curve in their search for their Dream Home.


How Buyers should search for a new home:

As I mentioned earlier, the ability to look through potential listings without talking or meeting with a Realtor is great.  Often you just want to see what’s on the market, compare to what you may be selling before you move or are just bored and love seeing into other people’s homes.  Using the search function on provides a much more user friendly search, with more Buyer directed information.

Search Justin Hawkes

This is the same search result as above, but from search.  The information is similar, however it’s more Buyer oriented.  Pictures are HUGE when you search for your new home.  There is no searching around for details on the home and using the map functions are built directly into the listing.

Being able to search through potential new homes from a simple search with increased information is great, but we want your search to be even better.  This is only the beginning of how Buyers that I work with are able to stay ahead of other Buyers in the search for their new home.



Once you’ve had some fun checking out the homes that are out there, you’ll want to start getting serious about your search for your Dream Home.  My Buyers love to use to search for new homes, but they want an advantage over the majority of Buyers on the market.  With my Buyers system, you get even more information on potential new homes, but you get them long before other Buyers.

Search My BuyersThis is the same search result, but what my Buyers receive directly from my system.  Once we’ve been able to nail down what is important to you in your search for your new home, we can direct listings that precisely match to you.

What’s better than having all the information, is having all this information long before other Buyers.




Getting the information first, is it important?

As a test, I wanted to see how much faster my Buyers had access to the potential homes for them, before other Buyers using the top search method.  I found a listing that was 7 days old.  Using the search method mentioned at the top of this article, this 7 days old listing wasn’t even available yet.  On my search function at, the listing was available to view with all the information and pictures.

For Buyers that are ready to buy, even this isn’t fast enough.  My Buyers that receive the detailed information on listings, are getting that information within an hour of it going live!  That means for my Buyers, while other Buyers are waiting over a week to actually see a new listing, they see it within an hour of the board receiving the listing from the Selling Realtor.  This is incredibly important when you are dealing with that perfectly priced dream home!  Being able to have access to that listing over a week before others puts your Dream Home search miles ahead of the competition.

The home search function on is a fun tool.  I love that my clients, and even those who haven’t made a decision on a Realtor yet, can have access to up to date home listings with detailed pictures and information.  For those Buyers that are getting serious about your new home search, contact me anytime to be setup on a system that gets your search results faster than your competition, other Buyers!