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Email: jpappy@uniserve.com

With the sky-rocketing price of homes these days, you may be wondering how property value is calculated.


Unfortunately, there’s no simple math calculation that you can punch into your calculator and find out. There’s a lot of factors and market research behind a home's valuation.


However, if you’re thinking “location, location, location”, you’re on the right path! When determining a properties value, the following are taken into consideration:

LOCATION

Location, as expected, is the number one factor in determining a property's value.


The location will be valued with regards to the property within the country, province, city, neighbourhood, and right down to the exact street it sits on. It factors in views, the surrounding area, proximity to amenities, schools, parks, beaches, and more.


For example, BC has some of the highest-priced homes in the county, as does the Greater Victoria area. However, a home in Oak Bay, which is a highly desired area in the Capital will have a much higher value than a similar property in Port Renfew, which is also near the ocean but quite far from the city and all amenities. 


CURRENT MARKET

As you know, Victoria and the majority of Vancouver Island are experiencing a red-hot real estate market right now and have been for some time.


Interest rates are low, buyers are in extremely high-demand, and our inventory is experiencing record lows. All these combined drives the price of homes up as buyers are willing to pay more simply to get into the market.

AGE & CONDITION

The age and condition of your property will have a great impact on the value.


An older home in need of substantial repairs will be valued at much less than one in immaculate condition. That said, the condition of your home may have a greater effect on the value than the age…depending on the location.


For example, a character home in a great location may have a much higher value than a new-build in a less desirable location.

IMPROVEMENTS

A new roof, landscaped yard, and upgraded HVAC will all have an effect on the value of your property.


Keep in mind, when making improvements to your property, that potential buyers want a home that is move-in ready and suits their needs, not your preferences. For example, a third bathroom or extra closet space may be much more desirable to the masses than a huge ensuite that takes up a substantial amount of space.


When determining the value of your home, it’s always best to utilize the expertise of a professional who is familiar with the current market in your area. 

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When preparing your home for sale, you may find yourself with a long to-do list of painting, touch-ups, and small repairs that will improve the immediate look of your home, however, some of the larger, less glamourous projects are where you will find the best return on your investment.


If you are planning to do some major home upgrades, these 3 home projects, that you can do this winter, will bring you up to 1000% ROI:

FLOORING

Hardwood flooring is number one on most buyers' wish lists and can offer a huge ROI. 


Not only are hardwood floors less expensive than tile, but they are also durable, elegant, and affordable. These floors are easy to clean, do not collect dust or bacteria and look great with all furnishings and décor.


One thing to keep in mind with hardwood floors is that they are prone to scratching and require special care to keep clean. For an affordable and durable alternative, you may want to consider installing laminate or vinyl lookalikes.

HVAC

HVAC systems are one of the longest-lasting appliances in your home, with many lasting up to 25 years.


An upgraded HVAC system will offer the following benefits to you, and any potential buyers:


  • Decreased electricity bills
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Upgraded safety
  • Improved comfort
  • Proficient airflow
  • Quiet operation
  • Programmable thermostats

WATER HEATER

There are a few options when it comes to upgrading your hot water heating system.


Replacing a hot water tank will immediately save you up to one-third in electrical costs. The average lifespan of a hot water tank is 8—12 years, however, upgrading early can save you money and problems in the future.


Installing tankless hot water heaters, which will last twice as long as a hot water tank, will save you money each month on your energy bill and offer you endless hot water. The tankless hot water systems require less maintenance and save ample amounts of space in your home. They can be installed under the counter, in the shower, or anywhere you see fit.


While not as popular in Canada yet, tankless water heaters are seen more frequently than hot water thanks throughout many parts of Europe and Asia. 


When preparing your home for sale, think of the upgrades that will appeal to potential buyers. While almost all upgrades will increase the value of your home, some will provide a much higher ROI than others. 

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If you’re purchasing a rural home, you may find yourself inheriting a septic system.


While most people understand how a conventional septic system works, depending on how new your home is and the lay of the land the system may be different and require more maintenance than expected.


Our first, and most important, tip when buying a hope with a septic system is to have it inspected to ensure it’s in good working order and learn to use the system properly while being on the lookout for any warning signs or possible problems.

Every Septic System has a Tank

Do make note that the manhole cover must always be accessible so do not build a deck or lay concrete over this area. We suggest covering the manhole with turf as it’s easy to cut away and replace after the tank is pumped. You may even want to put a potted plant or another type of moveable landscape over the manhole, which will also serve as a great reminder of its location.


If you’re purchasing an older home with a wood or metal septic tank, be aware that this must be replaced. Fiberglass, polyethylene, and concrete are the only allowable materials for these tanks now. We suggest speaking to your agent about negotiating the costs of this replacement with the sellers prior to finalizing the deal.

Tank to the Field Drain

In a gravity-fed system, the liquid is released through an outlet port on the opposite side of the tank to a drain field. The drain field is also known as an absorption field because it absorbs pollutants and decontaminates the water through natural soil percolation.


If the tank is at a lower elevation than the drain field, the system must include a lift pump. This pump may be located in the septic tank or in a separate chamber on the outflow side of the tank.


It is imperative to maintain this piece of equipment to avoid soil contamination.

Maintenance

With regular use, you should only need to pump your septic tank once every 3-5 years.


Fortunately, the drain field doesn't require a lot of maintenance. However, you do need to keep an eye on it and what may be growing on it. The roots of trees and large bushes can infiltrate the drain pipes and cause a clog, therefore must be removed as soon as possible. If you happen to notice an accumulation of surface water on the drain field during periods of heavy rain, you might have to install a drainage system to divert water away.

Proper Use

For the most part, you won’t have many worries as most septic systems are anaerobic, meaning they process waste without oxygen, but to ensure its best used, follow these tips:

  • Flush only bodily waste in the toilet — no chemicals, food waste, diapers, or paper products other than toilet paper should be flushed into the system.
  • Do not install or use a garbage disposal system in the home as ground-up food waste can disturb the ecological balance inside the tank.
  • Do not pour oil or grease down the drain.
  • Limit your water use.
  • Turn off faucets when you're soaping up in the shower or washing dishes.
  • Take shorter showers
  • Equip your home with leak-free, low-flow toilets.
  • Don't use septic system cleaning additives. A septic system works best when it only has to digest waste from the human body.
  • Use septic-safe drain-cleaning chemicals.
  • Use phosphate-free laundry soap and dish soap.

System Backups

Never open the tank and try to find the problem yourself, always hire a professional.


The gasses within the tank are highly toxic and can be lethal.


Immediately stop using all water and contact a professional. Be sure to check your drain field as well, it may be too saturated and require you to establish a new one. 

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The holidays are officially here and it’s time to get ourselves and our homes ready to enjoy the best of the season!


For many, this time of year can be very stressful and feel like a lot of extra work, but with a little preparation and organization, it can be very relaxing and manageable.


Follow these last-minute tips to guide you on the right path to a stress-free holiday season:

Decorate the Main Spaces

You don’t need to have holiday decorations in every nook and cranny throughout your home.

Focusing on the main areas of your home that guests will see is more than enough, we recommend the following:


  • Front Porch
  • Entryway
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Guest Bedrooms


And remember “less is more”. Going over the top with decorations is a thing of the past, your guests want to feel comfortable and relaxed. 


Seasonal Scents

Holiday scented candles or stovetop scents are a fantastic way to bring that cozy, seasonal feeling into your home.


A real Christmas tree will also add the scent of fresh pine and nothing smells better than this during the holidays! 


Set the Table

Bring out the fancy dishes and tabletop decorations, get the Christmas crackers ready, and new candles placed.


Whether you’re serving a plated dinner or buffet style, having the table set in advance will make life much easier when mealtime arrives. 


Clean the Oven and Fridge

If you plan on cooking a holiday feast, it’s best to clean both the oven and the fridge in advance.


There’s nothing worse than pre-heating the oven to find that it has spillage from a previous meal burning and causing an unpleasant smell throughout the home.


Cleaning the fridge in advance will ensure you have plenty of space for all the yummy leftovers and festive beverages. 


Pro-tip: Plan ahead and prepare some of the dishes in advance, such as pies or casseroles. These can often be frozen or stored in the fridge and simply transferred to the oven for reheating just before the big meal. 


Prepare for Houseguests

It’s inevitable that people are going to pop by during the holidays or maybe you have family coming to stay with you for a few days.


Make your guests feel welcomed and loved by taking the time to tidy up the guest room,  and have spare towels, toiletries, blankets, and pillows ready for them. 


Additionally, keep a few blank holiday cards and a wrapped generic gift or two on hand. You don’t want to be empty-handed when someone drops by unexpectedly to offer you a gift and a card. 


Prepare for Children

If you don’t have children or maybe yours are grown, chances are a friend or family member will have a small child that may be stopping by.


Take a few extra minutes to ensure your home is baby-proof and safe for children of all ages, this could save a lot of stress later.


If you know you have numerous children coming for the holidays, a trip to the local supermarket to grab a few child-friendly snacks or setting up a play area in the home will be greatly appreciated by the parents. 


Relax, Enjoy, and Don’t Overthink it!

It’s called “the Holidays” for a reason…you’re meant to enjoy yourself!


You may not have everything perfect and that’s ok, make the best of your time with your loved ones and don’t overthink it. 


Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, from all of us at JP Real Estate. 


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Selling a luxury home requires a level of expertise that not every agent can offer. It is extremely important to ensure property steps are taken to have the home sold in a timely manner at a fair, market value price. 
 
When selling your luxury home, be sure to take the following tips into consideration: 
 

Is the price right?


It is extremely important that a luxury home is priced competitively from the start, to attract buyers from the first marketing campaign. 

An in-depth comparative market analysis must be completed on the home in order to determine the price. This includes an agent spending several hours analyzing data, touring comparable homes, and speaking with other brokers in the luxury market. 

While there may be a similar home in a different neighborhood, it may have fewer amenities, or be located near the beach, these aspects will be taken into consideration when pricing your home competitively. 

Effective Marketing is Vital


Be sure that your agent has effective marketing skills and is using the internet to best market your home. An Agent must have a comprehensive market plan in place, you do not want a "post and pray" agent who simply posts it and then waits hoping it sells. 

Social media, MLS, their brokerage website, and personal website, in addition to print and mail marketing, are extremely effective in getting your home in front of the right buyers. 

An estimated 95% of buyers are searching for their next home on the internet, it's important to know how it will be marketed online and how frequently. 

Photographs, Videos, and Virtual Tours are a must! 


When selling a luxury home, a professionally created video or virtual tour can be the difference in whether or not the luxury home sells.  
 
While most local MLS’s have a limited number of photos that can be updated, they also allow videos to be uploaded. These videos give your potential buyers a feeling of a walk-through without leaving the comfort of their homes.
 

Time is Everything! 

 
Timing plays a huge part in marketing your home.

For example, listing a waterfront home during hurricane season will not be the best time to attract luxury buyers to the area. However, listing it during warm, hot months will appeal to buyers looking for a place to spend their summer months. 
 
Deciding if an open house is necessary
While selling a modest home, an open house is a must-have, however, when selling a luxury home, they often tend to bring in only lookers who want to see "how the rich and famous" live, rather than potential buyers. 

That said, broker open houses are a great way to market the property to agents who are searching for their luxury home buyers and this may be exactly what's needed to find the right purchaser. 

Lifestyle and Location


Luxury homes are often considered luxurious due to their location and lifestyle. 

It is extremely important to showcase the location and lifestyle offered in the home and area. Portraying these incorrectly could be the difference between an offer and a looker! 

Staging is key!

 
Staging a will assist in maximizing price, showcasing the home's attributes, and minimizing its time on the market. 
 
Declutter, depersonalize, and disengage from the home while marketing your home. Remove personal photographs, ensure closets and storage areas are organized, and that it's ready for a showing at all times. 
 
Be sure to showcase all amenities, such as; waterfront or yard, bbq area, swimming pool, indoor fitness facilities, formal dining rooms, and such by ensuring there the table is properly set with a fine place setting or welcoming beach chairs with cushions. 
 
Remember, potential buyers, want to envision themselves living in your home with their belongings. 

 Patience is a must


Selling a luxury home often takes longer than a modest home. 

There aren't as many buyers who can afford million-dollar homes entering the market on a daily basis, making the buying pool much smaller than that of a standard home.

However, if you have the right agent and have followed all the tips above, your luxury home should sell quickly! 
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According to the latest affordability report by the National Bank of Canada, it can take up to 36 years to save for a down payment on a non-condo home in an expensive market.


Canadian hoping to buy a home on a median income need to save for approximately 104 months (9 years) for a non-condo home in an affordable market. Since 2000, the average has only been 49 months (4 years).


In Vancouver, one of the lease affordable markets, it takes a median household 431 months (36 years) to save for a down payment as of Q3 2021. This is a large increase from the previous quarter when the average was 410 months. And a staggering increase since 200 when it was approximately 147 months (12 years).


Surprisingly in Toronto, Canada’s least affordable city, it takes a household 330 months (28 years) to save a down payment as of Q3 2021. This is up from 318 in the previous quarter and astoundingly from 2000 where it took just 64 months (5 years).


Here in Victoria, the estimated time to save a down payment is 350 months (29 years), whereas in 2000 it was just 68 months (6 years).


Financial experts are now advising parents on how they save money to assist their children with a down payment for their first home.


JP Real Estate understands the difficulties and frustrations many buyers are facing in the current market and we want to help. Give us a call to talk about how we can assist you with buying a home. 

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Given the current strength of the real estate market, this winter is a great time to sell your home.


There is a commonly held belief that waiting out the winter to sell in spring will bring higher prices for your home, however, with the lack of inventory, record-low mortgage rates, and the influx in buyers, this winter is the perfect time to sell your home.


Real Estate professionals predict the strong market to continue through spring of 2022, however, we are also seeing interest rates slowly increasing which means less purchasing power for buyers, in turn, decreasing the pool of potential buyers who are desperately seeking to get into the housing market.


While we do expect another brisk spring market, today’s sellers have a lot of flexibility as demand continues to outweigh supply.


If you’re planning to sell this coming spring, you may want to think about speeding up the process and selling this winter, if possible.


Give us a call to chat about how we can help you prepare your home for sale and offer you guidance through the selling process. 

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The month of November is Financial Literacy Month and is dedicated to helping people be smarter about and with their money.


Financial literacy is among the top life skills. Money may not bring happiness, but misadventures with money are a leading cause of unhappiness.


Throughout the month, you'll likely see many big banks putting out videos, polls, interviews, and other information to associate their brands with empowering Canadians to make smarter financial decisions.


However, we need to keep in mind that the top priority of big banks is to raise profits and increase revenue.


You’ll likely see many banks offering budgeting tips that are actually meant to distract us from their true goal which is pushing debt on customers via credit lines and other borrowing products. Keep this in mind with homeownership as well, as banks are often more than happy to mortgage you to the full extent of your financial means. 


There are a few things that an extremely honest banker would tell you to keep an eye on throughout your financial decisions, as follows:

Savings Accounts

Billions of dollars are currently being saved in big bank savings accounts that pay just 0.05 to 0.5 percent interest rates.


Keeping your savings in these accounts is like renting your money for almost nothing for banks to then lend it out at rates of 3, 4, 5 percent, and more.


We suggest looking into alternative banks which can pay as much as 1.35 percent on savings, with deposit insurance, handy apps for your smartphone, and easy transfers to other institutions.

Paying out a Mortgage before Maturity

If you need to break a mortgage before it matures, you’ll find banks often charge staggeringly high penalties that exceed those of alternative lenders. Compare rates, compare breakage penalties.


Having a trusting mortgage broker on your side from the get-go will ensure you’re aware of any and all penalties and charges that may be applicable to you if you happen to sell your home before your mortgage matures.

Mortgage Affordability

Banks assess affordability by comparing your income to your housing costs and total debt.


They do not, however, include an assessment of other costs such as child daycare, savings, food, car insurance, and other costs associated with your daily life.


If you land on the right side of their requirements, it simply means that you are not considered a default risk, it in no way means that it’s affordable. Be sure to calculate all your expenses so you have a clear understanding of your financial situation. 

Question your ‘advisor

Assume the term ‘adviser’ means nothing in many big branches unless shown otherwise.


More often than not, the person you're talking to for financial advice at the bank has little to no financial planning background.


Always request an appointment with a certified financial planning (CFP) designation or a personal financial planner (PFP) to ensure you’re receiving the best advice from a qualified advisor. 

Home Equity Lines of Credit

These Lines of Credit are designed to keep you in debt.


A standard loan will require a payment each month that covers both interest and principal, however, a home equity line of credit often allows payment of interest only.


If making the minimal interest payments, you could easily carry this debit through your working years right into your retirement without paying anything but the interest. 

Market-linked GICs

Market-linked guaranteed investment certificates offer returns connected to stocks or stock indexes with no risk of losing money.


What you may not realize though is that they are engineered to produce profit for the bank mores than yourself.


While they may pay investors returns, they are more often than not less profitable than a regular GIC. 


If you have any questions about your finances, JP Real Estate would be more than happy to assist you. Not only are we a real estate company, but we are also long-term investors with a great knowledge of the financial markets across our country.  

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The Canadian housing market is on fire and financial experts are expressing their concerns as prices continue to rise.


The Bank of Canada has recently stated that a risky mortgage is 450% or more than your average annual income.


In this short video, Business journalist Daniel Tencer takes a quick dive into the surge of highly indebted borrowers piling into Canadian real estate, and why bank regulators are increasingly becoming concerned.




With the lack of increased incomes and the rise in inflation and home prices, we are being warned of these risks and how they may affect us going forward.


JP Real Estate not only prides themselves on being leaders in the local real estate market but can confidently offer you the information you need to make informed real estate and borrowing decisions. 


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If you’re new to the world of homeownership, you may find yourself very overwhelmed with the seemingly never-ending tasks of seasonal maintenance.


Even long-term homeowners can find themselves inundated with these reoccurring tasks.


However long the list may be, there’s definitely one thing that stands out the most as being your home's worst enemy…water damage!


Not only will water damage scare away buyers, but it can also cause significant harm to your home.


As the fall rains have now arrived and we’re preparing for a few months of rain ahead, it’s a great time to take a look around your home to ensure that water damage will not be an issue this rainy season. 


Here are a few tips to help prevent water damage from harming your home: 

Downspout Extenders

Downspout extenders ensure that water runs down and away from your home rather than simply pouring down the side or pooling along the side of your home and foundation. These gadgets can be found at your local hardware store and cost just $20 to $30. Be sure to grab one for each separate downspout around your house.

Gutter Cleaning

Cleaning your gutters regularly will prevent water from spilling over the top of your gutter and pooling around your foundations.


When it starts to rain, head outside and do a perimeter check to see if you can spot any gutter or downspout issues, then fix as needed. 

Check Yard and Concrete Slopes

Prevent water from pooling around your foundation by replacing or leveling any concrete slabs that slope towards your home.


Check the slope of your yard as well, if you find the ground is sloping towards your home and foundation, you can easily fix this with some direct and a little hard work. 

Inside Your Home

Keep moisture from lingering anywhere for too long, since it can lead to mold, mildew, cracking, discoloration, bowing, and other issues. This means turning on the bathroom fan whenever you shower, regularly checking for leaks, and, depending on where you live, investing in a sump pump to keep your basement nice and dry.


If you have any questions about season maintenance for your home, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to be of value to you! 






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Canada is planning to increase the maximum that can be borrowed on a high ratio mortgage.


High ratio mortgages are those where the buyer puts down less than 20% on the purchase price.


If the proposed changes go through, this will increase by 25% from $1 million to $1.25 million.


While this may sound beneficial to the average home buyer, particularly in the Greater Victoria area where home prices over $1 million dollars are more common than not, for buyers to take advantage of this increase they would need a household income of at least $155,000 per year and a minimum down payment of $250,000.


Furthermore, when the government is offering up to 25% more funds, the seller is now obligated to extract these additional funds. The increased credit gets capitalized into the home price and, in turn, pushes prices even higher.


A large portion of home buyers are first-time home buyers and this will affect them negatively as it pushes the cost of affordable housing up. 


Housing affordability is already out of reach for many homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, in Canada and this increased borrowing may not work in our favour. 


You can learn more about this proposed increase at: https://betterdwelling.com/canada-plans-to-foster-its-real-estate-bubble-by-raising-the-maximum-mortgage-size/?utm_source=Better+Dwelling+Website+Signup&utm_campaign=f1bc874b58-fras_jan_112018-3094981_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bde8feedee-f1bc874b58-309114821



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This is the final part of our series covering the last 5 municipalities, including the Capital City.

Esquimalt

Esquimalt, home to Canada’s naval presence on the West Coast, is within walking distance to the City of Victoria and is centrally located in the Greater Victoria area. 


Visit local restaurants and cafés, peruse art galleries and unique shops, and sip from breweries that all call this fantastic municipality home.


Stunning seafronts, incomparable parks, urban-design waterways, and down-to-earth friendly residents welcome you to Esquimalt - rich in history but contemporary in outlook. 

Victoria - The Capital City

Victoria, the Capital City of British Columbia, is home to a dynamic, thriving economy and vibrant arts and culture scene, with an unparalleled natural environment enjoyed by residents and visitors.


Victoria has a wealth of natural and man-made riches, including stunning heritage architecture, ocean views, and mountain vistas. It is this rare juxtaposition of heritage charm, scenic backdrop, and modern city-scape that makes Victoria one of the most uniquely special places in Canada. Millions visit our city every year and enjoy the natural beauty, temperate climate, and heritage charm Victoria offers its citizens every day.


Home to the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, The Legislative Building, Craigdarroch Castle, Beacon Hill Park, and countless attractions, this city has everything you could want, and much, much more. 

Oak Bay

Oak Bay is a picturesque suburban community located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, bordering the City of Victoria.


Affluent Oak Bay is popular for its tree-lined namesake avenue, filled with smart boutiques and art galleries, fancy delis, and lively cafes. Casual spots for serving brunch and fish & chips, along with upscale wine bars and friendly neighbourhood pubs.


Home to the Oak Bay Marina, you’ll find excellent sights, eats, and even opportunities to feed the local seals here.

Oak Bay is also home to the Uplands golf course, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, and the ritzy uplands neighbourhood where you’ll spot everything from century-old character homes to modern mansions. 

Sooke

Sooke is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, just 38 kilometres from Victoria.


The Town’s motto of “Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea” speaks to the environmental riches of the area. Here you will find stunning west coast sights through the various local, regional, and provincial parks


The area is famous for its access to the amazing west coast of Canada including countless beaches, the West Coast Trail, Juan De Fuca Marine Trail, Botanical Beach, Avatar Grove, and countless attractions that only this area can offer. 

Metchosin

Metchosin is a rural community of wide-open spaces, pastoral countryside, and bountiful farmlands.


In this area, you will see cultivated acreages, small forests, rocky headlands, small farms, and secluded seaside homes. The area is home to numerous parks, trails, beaches, and a wildlife sanctuary.


Driving through Metchosin you’ll find countless street-side farm stands selling fruit and vegetables that were cultivated right here.


The municipality of Metchosin has imposed a minimum one and two-acre lot size bylaw to preserve the area’s rural lifestyle. If you’re looking for a slower pace of life surrounded by nature, this is definitely the area for you! 


We hope this series has helped you to understand the Greater Victoria area and will help you in selecting a neighbourhood for your next home. 




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In this 3 part blog and email series, we’re learning about the 13 municipalities in the Greater Victoria area and their best attributes.


Be sure to scroll down to read the first part which focuses on North Saanich, Sidney, Central Saanich, and Juan De Fuca, and stay tuned for part 3 which will review the remaining municipalities. 

Highlands

The stunningly beautiful rural residential area of the Highlands sits just northwest of Victoria.


More than 1/3 of the Highlands is protected as municipal, regional, and provincial parkland, ensuring its residents are surrounded by nature.


Highlanders take great pride in the stewardship of their environment by ensuring that new developments include conservation covenants limiting human encroachment and protecting their land. 


This area is great for hiking, biking, bird watching, and countless outdoor activities. 

View Royal

A gateway between Victoria’s urban core and the growing West Shore municipalities, View Royal is a vibrant community that still offers a small-town feel.


The Town of View Royal is home to 71 parks, over 27km of trails, and regional lakes such as McKenzie, Pike, Prior, and the locally famous Thetis Lake.


View Royal is home to numerous annual festivals and is a larger supporter of performing arts, general arts, and visual arts throughout the Capital Regional District. 

Saanich

Saanich blends both the rural and urban on southern Vancouver Island with countless entrepreneurs, artists, community-builders, farmers, and families.


More than 114,000 people live in Saanich, making it the largest population on the island.


This area is home to over 170 parks with over 100km of trails, 37 beach accesses, 62 sports fields, and 56 playgrounds. This area has everything a family could ever want and much more.


Additionally, Saanich offers all the amenities a community needs, schools for students of all ages, including universities, and numerous shopping centres. 

Langford

Langford is the fastest growing community in British Columbia, attracting new residents from all over Greater Victoria, the Lower Mainland, and Alberta due to new housing developments, a strong real estate market and affordability, a desirable temperate climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, ample amenities as the commercial centre of West Shore, and year-long recreational activities.


The area offers year-round events, such as parades, a seasonal farmer's market, the Summer Festival, and Luxton Fair. Rugby Canada’s headquarters are located in Langford and they also offer a new $30 million YMCA/YWCA Aquatic Centre.


The area is perfect for those looking to keep active, live near amenities, parks, schools, lakes, trails, and stay just a few minutes drive from the Capital City. 

Colwood

Set amongst some of the most beautiful parks and trails on Southern Vancouver Island, this area prides itself by claiming the statement “There’s no better to place to live, work and play, than Colwood.”


With significant growth and change through this area, it’s home to new waterfront communities such as Royal Bay and Royal Beach where new homes, schools, shopping, dining, and businesses are currently being built on nearly 500 acres of land set along the ocean.


The community has a strong vision that will ensure it maintains its natural, historical, family-friendly feel as it enjoys the benefits that growth will bring.


With this unique combination of community, nature, and growth, home buyers and businesses are taking a fresh look at Colwood.

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Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be writing about the 13 municipalities in the Greater Victoria area and their best attributes.


While many refer to the entire area as Victoria, we are actually broken up into 13 unique and beautiful municipalities, each with its own characteristics and communities. 


North Saanich


The District of North Saanich is located at the north end of the Saanich Peninsula approximately 25 kilometers north of Victoria.


North Saanich exists within the Traditional Territories of Coast Salish peoples. Specifically, the Pauquachin First Nation and Tseycum First Nation are an active and vital part of our community


Local neighbourhoods which include Ardmore, Deep Cove, Curteis Point, Cloake Hill/Green Park, Dean Park, and the South East Quadrant are on the periphery of a rich agricultural interior which is protected by the Provincial Agricultural Land Reserve. Agriculture is very important to the municipality, as evidenced in the number of farms, and roadside produce and flower stands.


Sidney


Nicknamed “Sidney by the sea”, the picturesque town of Sidney is situated within the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ People on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The community is located along the shores of the Salish Sea on the Saanich Peninsula, amidst the Gulf Islands with Mount Baker standing in the distance.


Sidney boasts many attractions and amenities including a scenic 3.6 kilometer waterfront walkway, a historical museum, the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea Aquarium, enchanting street statues and murals, a 420 ft. Fishing Pier with a thriving marine life Artificial Reef, a vibrant downtown boutique shopping district, and much more. Sidney's waterfront location allows for many other water-related activities such as boating, sailing, kayaking, diving, and fishing.


Central Saanich


Central Saanich is a friendly and active community spanning the middle of the Saanich Peninsula and is home to the Tsartlip and Tsawout First Nations.


From Island View Beach on the east to the Saanich Inlet on the west, the region includes fantastic parks, beaches, and amenities. Central Saanich has the highest concentration of agricultural production in the region and is dedicated to celebrating and preserving our agricultural roots and the bounty of green spaces.


Juan de Fuca


The Juan de Fuca (JdF) Electoral Area encompasses the southwest coast of Vancouver Island from the community of Otter Point to Port Renfrew and includes the geographically separate communities of East Sooke, Malahat, and Willis Point.


It also includes the Chatham and Discovery Islands, which lie off the east coast of Victoria, near Oak Bay.

Juan de Fuca is home to countless parks, hiking trails, beaches, and excellent shopping and amenities. 


If looking for the perfect location for your next home, Greater Victoria and one of its many municipalities will definitely have what you’re looking for! 




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As they say in real estate “location, location, location!”.


When choosing your next home, location is an extremely important factor to take into consideration.


The Victoria area has everything you could want and much, much more! Here are a few of the top reasons to choose this area for your next home: 

Weather

Victoria has one of the best climates in the country!


The area regularly enjoys temperatures in the twenty-degree centigrade range in the summer and hardly dips below freezing in the winter. You’ll rarely see snow in this area and when it does make an appearance, it’s very short lived before temperatures warm up again and melt it away.


Shockingly, Victoria has an annual rainfall that is half of what the City of Vancouver receives, due to its location in the rain shadow of the US Olympic Mountains. 

Lifestyle

Whatever your interest may be, Victoria and the surrounding area are sure to have it.


Within the Capital Regional District, you’ll find countless beaches, parks, gardens, hiking opportunities, shopping, and it's one of the worlds most bike friendly cities with bike lanes throughout.


Just a few hours north of Victoria you’ll find Mt. Washington where you can spend your winter months skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. 

Travel

With the Victoria International Airport just 25 minutes from downtown Victoria, you’ll have easy access to worldwide destinations.


Within the downtown area, you can find floatplanes and helicopter access that will take you to downtown Vancouver and other nearby destinations within minutes.


There are numerous ferry terminals in the area, offering access to downtown Seattle, the mainland of British Columbia, and even harbour ferries that will shuttle you between local hotspots right here in Victoria. 

Education

Victoria is home to some of Canada’s best educational institutes.


With the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, and Camosun College are all in the Victoria area it’s no surprise that nearly 72% of the population has some tertiary level of education behind them.


Just one hour north of Victoria, you’ll find Vancouver Island University which hosts campuses in both the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo. 

Sociable and fun city

Victoria is a leading artistic, cultural and historic centre.


It’s home to countless annual festivals that vary from cultural to musical to artistic.


The city has museums, golf clubs, yacht clubs, marinas, fitness centres, ice rinks, tennis courts, stadiums, arenas, and more – proving you’ll never be bored living in Victoria.


Victoria has the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America, second only to San Francisco. You definitely won’t go hungry here, but you may have trouble deciding which delicious restaurant to try next! 


If looking for the perfect location for your next home, look no further!







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When touring potential homes, buyers often want to ask plenty of questions and tend to make numerous comments about their likes and dislikes in each home.


Having personal opinions on each property about your preferences is, of course, completely expected and normal.


However, this could work against you throughout the purchasing process. 


Nearly 1 in 3 vendors across North America are now setting up cameras in their homes and can see how you react to every feature and hear all your comments.


This rarely works in the favour of buyers, particularly when it comes to negotiations.


If a seller is aware that you absolutely love their home, they may be inclined to play ‘hard ball’ during the offer process and may not be as flexible with requested repairs and such.


On the opposite end, sellers will also be aware of anything you do not like about their home and could feel offended or hurt by your comments, in turn, making them less likely to cooperate with you throughout the negotiation process. 


Buying and selling a home can be extremely emotional for many people. While many feel this is simply a business transaction, for others it’s much more. Selling your home can bring up many memories and leave sellers feeling guilt or even sellers remorse, whereas for buyers may be envisioning creating special moments for years to come, these feelings tend to deter people from making logical decisions.


For these reasons, it’s best to save your questions and comments until after the tour and speak to your agent about any concerns you have once you’ve left the home.


We suggest taking notes in your phone or bring a pen and paper so you can keep track of any questions or comments you may have.


Once you’ve left the property, you can freely ask your agent about any of your concerns and speak to your partner/co-buyer openly about your thoughts on each home.


Asking general questions is always encouraged, however, we recommend taking the conversation outside when it comes to specifics about the home and your preferences. 

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Curb appeal is the first thing buyers will notice when driving up to your home so you want to make sure it looks its best.


There are countless ways to improve the curb appeal of your home without spending thousands of dollars and I’ve put together a few ideas below to help you out: 

Create a Front Porch Seating Area

Nothing says comfort and home like seeing a rocking chair or swing on the front porch.


Buyers want to envision themselves living in your home and by adding a seat on the front porch, buyers will be able to picture themselves sitting here while enjoying their morning coffee.


Cost estimate: $0 - $500 

New House Numbers

New house numbers are an excellent and affordable way to boost curb appeal because it’s something buyers will look for when trying to find the listing.


Installing stylish house numbers also shows that you pay attention to detail, which can only boost their confidence.


Estimated cost: $20 – $75

Paint or Stain the Front Door

Bringing some attention to your front door will appeal to the majority of buyers.


Traditionally doors have been painted darker colours, try experimenting with a brighter colour to draw attention and appear more inviting.


Estimated cost: $50 – $100

Update the Exterior Lighting

Updating the exterior lighting with modern fixtures will improve not only the look of your home but the safety.


Buyers want to feel safe and secure when envisioning themselves in their new home.


Estimated cost: $150 - $500

Power Wash Driveway and Walkways

Removing the built-up dirt and grime that collects with time is a great way to improve your curb appeal.


Buyers will notice how well kept your home is and appreciate that you’ve taken such great care of it.

This also appeals to buyers as they will know there’s less work for them in the future.


Estimated cost: $50 – $350

Repaint or Restain the Porch

Similar to repainting or restaining your front door, this will improve the look of the front of your home greatly and appeal to all buyers.


Choose your colours carefully to ensure they bring out the best in your home and appeal to the masses.

A fresh coat of paint will also hide any imperfections in the wood.


Estimated cost:$50 – $200

Upgrade the Hardware

Replacing cheap door knockers or door handles is another fun way to make a great first impression.


Since the hardware is the focal point of most doors, cheap hardware can make even the nicest door look ugly.


Estimated cost:$75 – $250

Have the Roof Cleaned

Since we don’t spend much time up there, it’s easy to forget about, but having your roof professionally cleaned to remove moss and any other debris will improve the look of your home greatly!


This is a job for the professionals though, we don’t recommend cleaning your roof without the proper safety gear and procedures in place.


Estimated cost: $200 - $500


Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression!


Making sure your home’s curb appeal looks great will increase the value of your home, appeal to the masses, and improve your chances of getting an offer quickly! 

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We are always honest with you about your transaction, but there are a few things that some agents hold back from their clients. 


Let’s cut right to the chase and talk about them…


Selling Your Home Requires Cash


Selling your home will have some out-of-pocket expenses, it’s not just money in the bank.


As a seller, you may find yourself paying costs such as; curb appeal improvements, minor updates/painting, professional cleaning, closing fees, and of course, moving expenses. 


Buying a Home also Requires Cash


Your mortgage will not cover everything, unfortunately.


On top of a hefty deposit, you’ll be required to pay costs such as; closing fees, inspection, appraisal, insurance, utilities, moving expenses, and more.


A savvy buyer will have an additional small percentage (1-2%) of their home’s purchase price in cash savings to cover these expenses. 


Every Home Needs Staging


Unless you are a professional home stager by trade, your home requires some form of staging.


There’s a very big difference between having your home decorated to live in and decorated to sell.


Commonly used furnishing and décor strategies that are designed to maximize space and flow serve to give potential buyers a better window into what it would be like to have their stuff in the home.

Do Not Change your Spending/Financial Habits after Mortgage Approval

Once you’ve been approved for a mortgage be aware that it is approved based on your current financial situation.


The worst thing a buyer can do between approval and purchase is changing their financial situation. Moving the needle (in the wrong direction) on the debt-to-income ratio by doing major credit card shopping, getting a small personal loan, or even buying a vehicle can completely tank your mortgage funding.

Home Ownership Isn’t for Everyone

Being a homeowner is a lot of responsibility, and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.


As a homeowner, you’ll no longer have a landlord to call for upkeep, regular maintenance, improvements, or when something in the home breaks…this will all fall on your shoulders.


You’ll also need to prepare yourself for the additional bills that you may not be aware of, such as; property taxes, insurance, garbage, water, internet, cable, electricity, and more.


The fact of the matter is that some buyers simply aren’t aware of what is included with homeownership and the costs associated. 

Read Every Single Word of Any Contract You Sign

Always read any contract you are signing!


If there is anything you’re unsure about, ask your agent to explain it to you thoroughly.


As an Agent, it is our fiduciary duty to put your best interests front and center, and that includes ensuring you know what you have a clear understanding of what you’re signing. 


Having the right agent on your side will make the home buying or selling process much easier and less worrisome.


They will discuss all the positives and negatives that you may come across throughout the transaction and how they plan to overcome them.


At JP Real Estate, we pride ourselves on being upfront, honest, and transparent with all our clients. We are here to make your transaction as seamless as possible and be of value to you throughout all stages of the process. 


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Your home is your castle, your safe haven, and the place where you and your family should always feel safe and secure. 


Increasing your home security will give you, your family, and your neighbours a greater sense of safety and comfort.


While installing a moat and a drawbridge may not be possible, there are still many easy and affordable ways to improve the security of your home.


Here are a few security tips to improve the safety of your home: 

Exterior Lighting

Adequate exterior lighting will deter the majority of burglars and thieves.


A well-lit home, with extra lighting focusing around doors, windows, garages, and dark areas are high-risk for criminals as they can be easily spotted.


Motion-activated lighting throughout the property is another great way to keep crime at bay and alert yourself and neighbours that something devious may be happening on your property. 

Window Locks

All windows, on every floor of your home, should have locking mechanisms in place.


If they do not, there’s no need to replace the windows, you can simply place a heavy-duty rod between the sliding window and frame to prevent it from opening.


It’s also suggested to keep screens in your windows. While they may not offer much protection, they are another barrier between your home and its exterior. 

Security Doors

Surprisingly, front doors are often quite fragile and can be easily breached.


Replacing your doors with a heavy-duty security door will offer much more security as they are stronger, thicker, and even their frames are generally made with steel or a similar product of equal strength.


Security doors also feature multiple locking bolts that securely lock the door to the steel frame, making them nearly impossible to break open. 

Alarm System and Security Cameras

Alarm systems and cameras are an excellent deterrent for and potential burgers, however, they can be expensive.


Not only will cameras catch video and photos of any criminal activity and help with identifying the suspects, they can also catch any suspicious activity in the area, including ‘porch pirates’, vandals, and much more.


Alarm systems, when triggered, will either let out an ear-piercing sound drawing an abundance of attention to your home or immediately put a call out to your security company which will send a guard to your home to inspect the premises.


Either way, it will be more than enough to scare off any would-be burglars. 

Home Automation

Home automation can make it look like someone is home, even when you’re not.


It can be scheduled to turn lights on and off in various rooms throughout the time, turn the tv or speakers on too, and even regulate your heat so windows don’t freeze giving anyone the idea that you might not be there. 


While all these suggestions can help protect your home, you should also be aware of the smaller things; have someone collect your mail or newspapers when you’re away, automated sprinklers to turn on in the evenings to water your gardens and lawns, or even asking a neighbour to park in your driveway occasionally to give the appearance of someone at the home.


We can never be too safe when it comes to our homes and our families, our most precious things. 

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Planning to sell your home soon?


Every seller wants their home to sell as fast as possible for the highest value, however, many sellers make one big mistake when they are planning to sell. 


The most common mistake sellers make is renovating their home with their needs in mind, not those of potential buyers.


Often sellers put money in places that are important to them but aren’t necessarily important to a buyer, which can equate to wasted dollars and a lack of interested buyers. 


While a brightly coloured kitchen, an oversized garden fountain, or removing a bedroom to expand your master ensuite may be on your dream home list, they likely won’t appeal to the majority of buyers.


When preparing your home to sell, try to think of a blank canvas and remove your personal styles and preference from the equation.


Your home may be perfect for you, chances are, a new owner has some plans to make a few changes when they move in.


While adding in some personal touches probably won’t deter your home from being purchased, it could extend the amount of time it spends listed on the market.


Additionally, you also don’t want to waste money, time, and energy by adding design elements that will probably be changed.


Preparing your home for sale in advance will ensure it sells for the highest value and by keeping your updates as neutral as possible, it will be sure to appeal to the masses. 


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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.