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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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Are you thinking about making an offer on a home?


The real estate market is more competitive than ever as buyers prioritize space and privacy, turning single-family homes into extremely hot commodities. 


While compromises and quick decisions are an inevitable part of the home buying process, it can be very easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and make some unfavorable decisions. 



The pressure to act quickly can easily cloud your better judgment and you could make some decisions that you may later regret.


Working with a trusted agent who has your best interests in mind is one of the best ways to ensure you are making sound, confident, and educated decisions about your home purchase.


However, there are a few other things you can do to help yourself and your agent through the process, such as:

Mortgage Pre-Approval 

Being aware of how much you can spend will ensure you’re not searching for homes that are beyond your budget.


Once you’ve found the right home, you can now make an offer that is within your budget, and possibly even leave a little wiggle room for a bidding war or counter offer.


Furthermore, making an offer without a mortgage approval clause will prove to sellers that you’re a serious buyer and your offer will be much more attractive. 

Recalibrate Your Offer to Match Your Location

As a home buyer, there’s nothing more deflating than being outbid over and over again.


If you’re interested in a specific area, do some research and find out how much homes in the area are being listed and sold for.


For example, if homes are continuously selling for 10% over asking price in your desired area, you may want to look for a home that is listed at 10-15% below your maximum budget. This will allow you to write a strong offer, within your budget, and beat out the competition. 

Consider Waiving Contingencies

When making an offer, it is important to come in as strong as possible and an offer with little to no contingencies will always be more attractive to a seller.


While there is some risk with waiving contingencies, it can also be what wins you the home.


If you are not comfortable waiving contingencies altogether, an offer with shorter contingency periods can also help you win the bid.


You may need to have easy access to your property inspector or appraiser to make this happen, but if you’ve spoken to them in advance and advised that you’ll need their services in a short time period, you can make this work.


The days of 3-4 week contingency periods are a thing of the past, try to keep them down to a few days and your offer will be taken much more seriously. 


Being as prepared as possible when making your offer will give you the best chance of winning the bid and owning your ideal home! 


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In a red-hot real estate market, the opportunity to have an inspection completed prior to purchasing a home is extremely rare.


When sellers are receiving multiple offers, over asking price, the chance of them accepting an offer that is subject to a home inspection is slim to none.


Home inspectors in Ontario are pushing for legislation to regulate the industry in an attempt to protect homeowners


In today's frenzied market, buyers have a better chance of getting a house without any conditions, including getting an inspection, adding to the pressure of the market, and the rush to make a purchase is forcing people to make poor decisions.


Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases many of us will make throughout our lives, and we need to take care of our investments, our finances, and our families.


Inspectors are finding more and more new home buyers, having a post-purchase inspection completed where they find numerous unexpected, potentially hazardous, and expensive issues brought to their attention.


If you’ve put all your savings into your new home, it could be very problematic to find out that you now need to invest more money into it.


Whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth investment property, speak with your agent about the risks of not having a home inspection done and how they can assist with this process.


A skilled agent will have plenty of great suggestions for you!


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In a quick and unexpected twist, the Federal Government suddenly announced that the new mortgage stress test rules will now apply to all borrowers, not only those with more than 20% down payment.


Effective June 1, 2021, the new calculation of the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages will be set at either the mortgage contract rate plus 2% or 5.25% — whichever is greater.


The hard reality of this is that the majority of lenders are offering 5-year variable-rate mortgages as low as 1.5% with some are even offering rates as low as 0.99%, dependent on conditions. 


While you will not be required to pay stress test rates, you do need to prove that you can afford to pay this amount should there be a sharp increase in rates. 


These new stress test rules are expected to reduce buying power by approximately 4-5% across the country.


What does this mean for our current real estate market? The government has predicted this will help to cool down our currently red hot market, however, only time will tell.


We do know that given the extremely rapid rise in prices, these new rules will likely disqualify many home buyers, as they simply won’t be able to meet these requirements. 


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If the last year has taught us anything it's that creating a home where you truly love to spend time is more than worth the effort. 


After more than a year of social distancing, closed business, and far too much time indoors, the promise of summer has people excited to host warm-weather gatherings and enjoy their outdoor space.


The top home improvements over the last year have actually been outside of the home, improving and expanding outdoor living space. 


This is the ideal time to turn your home into the ultimate summer sanctuary to share with family and friends or prepare for sale. 


Here are the top 4 outdoor home improvements projects: 


Landscaping

Having your lawn and yard professionally landscaped and designed will improve its functionality, ease of care, and enjoyment of use.


Lawn maintenance, flower beds, hedges, and greenery—landscaping is the first thing anyone notices (including you) when they arrive. 


Fence and Gate installation

Installing a new fence and gate in your yard will improve not only the look of your property but also the privacy and security of your home.


Wood fences are lockable gates are highly popular and will substantially increase the value of your home, especially if new or kept in excellent condition.


They’re also a great way to keep small children and pets within the safety of your home. 


Exterior painting


There’s likely no need to repaint your entire home, however, touching up the trim around doors, windows, and repainting any areas in need will have your home looking fresh and updated immediately.


These touchups can be done by yourself or a professional very easily and affordably and will increase the value of your home much more than expected! 


Deck and porch remodel


Whether it’s building an entirely new deck or simply updating and staining your current one, the aesthetic appeal will be greatly improved. 


Having a clean, comfortable area to set out your patio furniture and enjoy a wonderful barbeque dinner will be will improve your outdoor living space and be much more attractive to potential buyers. 


Whatever your plans might this summer, improving your outdoor living space will make a large impact on your home and yard. Not only will it improve the value of your home, but it will also improve its livability and your enjoyment while spending time in your yard. 


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A seller’s dream is an all-cash, unconditional offer, however, the majority of us are not in a position to make this offer.


In a recent study conducted across North America where over 400 agents were questioned, the top tips were compiled and some of them may surprise you!


Increased Deposit


Many agents have seen success in closing deals for buyers who are willing to offer a larger down payment.


With a larger down payment, the buyers will feel secure knowing that you are serious and will be doing everything possible to ensure the deal closes in a timely fashion. 


Unconditional Offers


Making an unconditional offer on a home can be risky but it’s guaranteed to be preferred by a seller over an offer with numerous conditions.


The first step to making an unconditional offer is to get pre-approved by your mortgage lender. This will not only help you with your home search but will also ensure that any offers you do make are within your budget.


Additionally, in a seller’s market, many sellers don’t want to wait for appraisals, inspections, and other conditions to be met as they are essentially holding up the sale of their home if the buyer chooses not to complete the purchase. 


Escalation Clause

Fairly unseen in our local market until recently, the escalation clause is used in an attempt to win a bidding war.


An escalation clause increases the buyer’s offer by a certain dollar amount to ensure they aren’t outbid. In order to prevent things from getting out of hand, those who implement an escalation clause typically include a price cap to avoid spending beyond their means.


Leaseback Agreement


Your seller may also be having a hard time finding a new home and could be hoping to stay a little longer than expected. Offering them a Leaseback Agreement could be a huge benefit for them and be exactly what helps you to win the bid. 


Personal Touches

Sending the sellers a handwritten note or offering to help them move with your might be very appreciated. 


While we can’t promise personal touches will win you the bit, it definitely doesn’t hurt.

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The warm days are upon us and we can finally enjoy our outdoor space and the fresh air! 


Having a checklist to prepare your home and yard for the warm summer months will ensure you make the most of these long sunny days and enjoy as much time outside as possible.


Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the next few months:

 

Prepare Garden and Plant Beds


Spring is the best time to weed your gardens and start planting new flowers, plants, vegetables, and shrubs to bloom and grow through the summer months.


This is also a great time to tackle any plants that may not have survived the winter or that need a clean-up before the weather warms up.


Lawn Care

This is the ideal time to start caring for your lawn, raking, mowing, weeding, and aerating it will pay off in a few weeks when you have a lush green lawn to enjoy your afternoons in.

 

Wash Your Windows & Screens

It’s time to take the screens off windows and clean them thoroughly, as well as the windows.


A lot of gunk and dirt can build up over the winter months. This annual task will give you a great view of your yard and all the hard work you’ve put in!


Pay attention while you’re cleaning your windows and look for signs of dry rot and water damage from the winter months. Also, re-caulk or replace damaged weather stripping to help control the temperature in your home.


Flip your shed

It’s time to put away the winter tools and bring out the summer ones!


Goodbye to your snowblower, shovels, and salt – it’s time to bring forward your summer sports gear, lawnmower, fertilizer, hose, sprinkler, and garden tools. Have them upfront, organized, and easily accessible, so you won’t be rummaging through the remnants of winter to access your outdoor summer needs.


Yard and Patio Furniture

It’s time to dust off the patio furniture, wash their covers, and find a great spot in the yard to place them.


It’s also the perfect time to have your propane or gas firepit serviced to be sure it’s in great working correctly.


If you plan to put your patio furniture out early, purchasing a cover or a tarp to keep them dry on rainy days will ensure longevity and prevent water damage.


Power Washing

Power washing the deck, the exterior of your home, walkways, and driveway will not only bring them back to life but it will make them appear near new again. And it’s cheaper than a coat of paint or repaving/rebuilding them!


You can also power wash your patio furniture if it’s durable and will hold up to the strength of the spray, this will save you a few hours when compared to cleaning them by hand.


Spring is here and summer is right around the corner, and we want you to enjoy your outdoor space as much as possible.



If you’re planning to sell your home this summer, these tips will also help to make your home look its best for potential buyers.

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The home purchasing process is complicated and overwhelming, even the most prepared buyers can overlook something that may affect their new home or lifestyle later.


Below you’ll find a list of the top things buyers wish they hadn’t overlooked when purchasing their new home:

Future Development

If you purchase a new home in a developing area, you can expect to hear construction nose for years to come. This also applies if you live near a highway or in an older neighbourhood that’s on the verge of regentrification.


Always review the Official Community Plan for your area, this will give you a good idea of what’s expected over the next 10+ years.

Skipping the Final Walk-through

While most purchasers will leave their homes in excellent condition for the buyers, there are a few that may not. This is extremely important if you’re purchasing a home that was being rented and disgruntled tenants are being forced to move out sooner than they had hoped.


Your final walk-through is a great way to see the home near empty, ensure no last-minute damage was done, and start planning any updates you’d like to complete prior to move-in.

Commute

If you’ve viewed the home on a quiet Sunday afternoon, you may find yourself extremely surprised on Monday morning stuck in traffic while trying to get to work.


Be sure to research the route and be aware of any regular problems which may cause holdups or traffic jams that may take away from your valuable time with your time. 


Size

Nearly 20% of buyers have regrets about the size of the home they purchased.

Generation X and Millennials often regret not buying a larger home. As their families grow, they wish they had more space, bedrooms, and a larger yard.


Whereas the older generations tend to wish they had purchased something smaller. Their children have left home and they don’t require the extra space any longer, nor do they want or require the huge yards that take up so much time and effort. 


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Real Estate investing is much more than simply buying a home and renting it to a tenant. There are countless factors that need to be taken into account that may affect your finances and investment in the short and long term. 


While each investment is different, there are a few simple guidelines that you can follow to ensure you are making a sound investment that will be profitable to you in the future. 


Comparable Sales


The best way to find the market value of a property is to compare the recent sales of comparable properties in the neighbourhood. 


Comparables can tell you what properties were selling for one year ago and what they are selling for now, giving you a clear understanding of how much prices have risen and what you can expect when you plan to sell. 


Associated Costs


You need to be aware of all costs associated with owning the property, this included operating expenses, loan payments, vacancy costs, taxes, immediate and future repair costs, etc. 


Knowing the financials inside and out will help you decide if this is a worthy investment and how much you can expect to pay if/when the property is not fully tenanted. 


Find Your Speciality


Do you enjoy flipping houses, fixer-uppers, small apartments, or single-tenant units? Focus on one type of specialty until you've mastered this and are ready to take on another investment type. If it's your first investment property, you may want to look at a single-tenant unit where rents will cover the mortgage and all associated costs, however, if you've got extra time and love doing renovations then a fixer-upper might be your niche. 


Tenants


Where are your tenants coming from and how do you get the best ones? If you're not planning to hire a property manager, this is information that you need to know. You also need to be aware of allowances for background and credit checks. Researching where tenants are coming from and what type of tenants are looking to rent homes will ensure you a smooth tenancy application process. 


Taxes


Educate yourself on the current tax laws surrounding investment properties and how they may affect you. Also try to stay abreast of any upcoming changes, as these may affect your finances and tax returns.


Insurance


Research insurance coverages ahead of time to guarantee you get the best coverage and at an excellent rate. Don't be afraid to shop around and ask for quotes from numerous providers. You want to ensure your investment is covered for all possible situations that may arise. 


Utilities


Contact your local utility companies to obtain estimates of utility costs. You will also need to decide if utilities will be included in the rent or if your tenants will be responsible for these costs themselves. 


Property Inspection


Having a property inspection done will give you peace of mind that money can't buy. it will give you an idea of any problems the home is having now and it can also predict issues that may arise in the near future. For example, if the roof hasn't been replaced in 25 years, the inspector will make note of this and advise you that it may need to be replaced in the foreseeable future. 


Whether you're a long-time investor with numerous properties or looking to purchase your first investment property, there's plenty of information to be aware of and lots of research to be done. 


What are you waiting for? Let's start building your investment portfolio today! 

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Thinking about doing some home renovations to increase the value of your home? We’ve researched the most profitable home renovations that will provide you the best return on your dollar invested. 


Several renovations will actually pay for themselves when it comes to resale value. They might seem like intangibles, but painting, updating fixtures, and putting in a garden can all add up when it comes to a home’s final sale price.


Bigger ticket items can also deliver payback to homeowners, but it’s important to stick to a budget to try to recover these costs when selling.


Below are a few quick fixes that will increase your home's value: 


Painting


This low-cost improvement will significantly add to the appeal of your home.


Research shows that painting the kitchen and kitchen cabinets will provide the highest return on investment.


A cost of approximately $500-$1,000 can easily be turned into a profit of $5,000 - $10,000 while instantly brightening your home and updating the interior.  


Landscaping

Landscaping is considered one of the best investments you can make.


By spending $500 to $2000 on landscaping, the value of your home can increase an estimated $5,000 to $15,000.


Not only will your updated yard appeal to the masses, but it will also be a wonderful place for you to enjoy prior to selling. 


Updating Bathroom Fixtures

A simple change of hardware in the bathroom can improve its look from old and dated to new and modern.


Replacing the taps, towel racks, showerheads, etc. can cost around $500 to $750 but will add about $5,000 in value to your home. 


A few of the larger fixes you may want to budget for and carefully think over are:

Hardwood Flooring

New floors have a massive impact on how your home is perceived, instantly upping the wow factor.


Installing new floors is a large project and will be expensive, however, the return on investment is usually 100-150% depending on the type of flooring you choose.


While hardwood floors will be at the top of the ROI, a beautiful laminate that’s been professionally installed will also provide you with an excellent profit.

Basement updates

Updating the basement is much more than just painting and making it look nice, it often includes a good subflooring product to lift the floor off the concrete, creating an air pocket that will both insulate and protect the floor from moisture and mold issues, additional insulation, updated electrical and internet connections.


This may be one of the more expensive updates, however, the expanded living space will be extremely appealing to all buyers and prove to be a worthy investment at the time of resale. 


When updating your home, be sure to research the latest trends and always try to choose bright neutral colors to attract the most buyers.


We also suggest preparing a budget and sticking to it, this will ensure you the most profit on your investment at the time of resale. 




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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.