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When listing your home, keep in mind that there are certain features home buyers perceive add more value to a house than others.

As always, location seems to be at the top of the list for what buyers perceive to be the most valuable aspect of any property, however that can’t be changed, so let’s focus on what can!

In the past, we’ve learned that replacing yard maintenance, fresh paint, and various other updates are proven ways to increase your home’s listing price, but it could also be well worth it to make renovations that buyers regard as value-boosting to enrich the sale.

Here are the top 4 renovations with the biggest perceived ROI:

Kitchen Reno

Whether it’s new appliances, flooring, cabinetry, or a full renovation, the kitchen will provide the highest ROI in the home.

A modern, spacious kitchen with ample cupboard space and long-lasting countertops and appliances is attractive to all buyers.

If your kitchen needs an update and you have the time and money to invest before selling, this is highly recommended, you could turn your investment into a $25,000+ profit. 

Open It Up

Open floor plans are the most popular layouts for buyers.

Taking down a wall to open up space between the kitchen, living room and dining room could increase the value of your home up to $10,000.

Be sure to have a professional do this work and apply for any permits required, in advance.

You may need to update flooring and painting once the wall has been removed, but these added costs will definitely pay off when it comes to sell! 

Enclosed Garage

Adding an enclosed garage not only keeps your vehicle safe but also adds additional storage space and bonus square footage to the home.

Increased storage space is a bonus for any home and is something buyers will appreciate and be on the lookout for. 

Resurface the Roof

Replacing a roof seems intimidating, but new shingles can affect the overall quality (and longevity) of your house.

You’ll definitely want to call in the pros for this job; a leaky or damaged roof can cause unimaginable damage and stress to any homeowner.

Additionally, a resurfaced roof will be much more aesthetically pleasing to buyers and tie in with your curb appeal. Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a first impression! 



If you’re thinking about selling your home and want to ensure you get the highest price possible, contact us to come take a look and we’ll give you some ideas on what can be done to increase the value.

While these are larger renovation projects, there are plenty of smaller and more affordable ones that can be done and we’d be more than happy to offer you some tips. 

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Selling your home can seem like an endless list of things to repair, replace, and clean, but you’d be surprised at what Buyers are willing to overlook when searching for their next home.


Cleaning, staging, and landscaping are top of the ‘must-do’ list when but there are a few things you can get away with that may even be more beneficial to the buyers if they aren’t completed.


And the best part is that you won’t feel like you’re trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the buyers.


Here are our top 4 things that you don’t need to fix when selling your home:

Cosmetic Flaws

The majority of Buyers expect to see some normal wear and tear in a home; the odd scuff or scratch mark on a wall or floor is not as big of a deal as you may think.


If you’re handy and have the time to fix these small flaws, then by all means, but, we don’t recommend spending a fortune to have them repaired, especially if they are outdated, as the Buyer will likely want to replace them altogether. 


Minor Electrical Issues

While this sounds extremely serious, we’re referring to things such as light fixtures that lead to nowhere or sockets that wiggle a little.


If you have exposed wires or something more serious, then it definitely needs to be fixed prior to listing your home, and for your own safety! 


Partial Room Upgrades

If you have a room or two that is fairly outdated and needs some minor repairs (leaky faucet, cracked countertop, scuffed flooring), you want to leave this as is, chances are the Buyer will want to renovate the entire room.


It could be a waste of your time and money to replace a faucet or countertop while leaving outdated flooring and cabinetry.


Remember, a partial remodel rarely looks good and many will view it thinking it requires a full remodel so it’s best to leave this to your Buyers to renovate as they wish. 


Old Appliances

Rather than removing old appliances and leaving empty spaces, you will need to replace them.


However, you don’t need to replace them with top-of-the-line new appliances. You can replace them with used appliances that are in good working and cosmetic conditions.


Most buyers would prefer to see clean, working appliances than none at all. 


If you’re thinking about selling your home and worried that you’ll have a long to-do list of projects to get it ready for market, don’t panic just yet, there are plenty of ways to maintain or increase the value of your home that won’t cost a fortune.


Contact us to come take a look and give you a few ideas on how you can ready your home for market in the fastest, most affordable way possible.

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Buying a home is the largest purchase many of us will make in our lifetime and it’s extremely important to make sure you’re making the right choice.

With so many different factors that come into play, such as location, size, age, etc., it can be extremely difficult to keep track of everything and know which home is best for you.

To help you choose the right home, we’ve put together a list of questions and why you should ask them.

How Old are the Appliances, Roof and other Significant Systems?

While things may look pretty on the outside, it’s crucial to consider the age of the house's essential systems, this could save you thousands of dollars!

The top five things to look for are roof, heating & cooling systems, solar panels, water heater and major appliances. 

Safety Hazards

Be sure to ask if there are or have been any issues in the past with mould, water damage, and the like.

These problems can be very expensive to repair and extremely harmful to the health and safety of your family.

Ask your agent to request documentation of past issues and repairs and be sure to keep these on file if you should this home, you may need them in the future. 

Why is the Owner Selling?

Learning why the owner is selling can help you discover how motivated they are and give you the opportunity to negotiate a better deal.

Also, be sure to ask about the owners preferred closing and possession dates and include these in your offer, this can make your offer much more attractive to them. 

How long has it been on the Market?

As we know, homes are sitting on the market for too long these days, but you may come across a few that have been listed for quite some time and these homes provide a great opportunity for negotiations.

The longer the home is on the market, the more motivated a seller often becomes, meaning they may be willing to negotiate on price, closing dates, inclusions, and more.

Major Renovations or Additions

Determine if the owner has made any big repairs or renovations while living in the home. These updates include any upgrades to the home’s appliances or systems.

Use the repair history to assess the house’s condition and gain a better understanding of the asking price (both of which can help during negotiations).

Inclusions and Exclusions

Typically fixtures, like cabinets, blinds, and faucets, all come with the house. But there are items that homebuyers often assume are included, like the washer, dryer, and refrigerator, that actually aren’t.

Be sure to ask ahead of time so you’re clear on what is and isn’t included in the sale price.

Neighbourhood

Explore the neighbourhood before making an offer, we can’t stress this one enough!

Test the commute from home to your workplace, speak with the neighbours, and check out the local parks and amenities and nearby schools if you have children.

You may even want to review the Official Community Plan to see what plans may be in the pipeline for the area.

Remember, when buying a home, you’re also buying the neighbourhood and the lifestyle it offers. 


Buying a home can be an extremely stressful process but having the right agent on your side can make all the difference.


Be sure to find an agent you trust who understands your wants and needs in your next home.


At JP Real Estate, we don’t simply want to be of service to you, we want to be of value and ensure you’re making the best decision for you, your family, and your future! 

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Renovating your home is an enormous undertaking, no matter how lavish or understated your vision. It takes plenty of time and money to bring your dreams to life when it comes to home remodelling.


If you’re planning to do some renovations to your home to improve its value or livability, be sure to avoid these common mistakes:

Choosing the Cheapest Contractor

Some things are too good to be true and the cheapest contractor's prices may be a reflection of their experience.


Be sure to get at least 3 estimates from various reputable, licensed, and insured contractors. Each estimate should include the project details, insurance, general contractor fees, and warranty info on the work. If the estimate isn’t thorough, it could be a sign that the contractor is inexperienced or merely guessing, hence not qualified to complete the work.


Prior to meeting your contactors, create a list of questions that you’ll ask each contactor, think of it as an interview. Be sure to ask if they are licensed, bonded, insured, and if they have previous experience with the type of work you require.


If you’re still unsure, ask to see some examples of previous work and contact any references they can provide.

Budget

Home renovations can be costly, and more often than not, something unexpected comes up that will likely cost you more than you had planned on spending.


For this reason, it’s always best to budget appropriately and leave room for error and additional costs. 

Measure and Measure Again

We’ve all heard the old saying, “measure twice, cut once” and this rings especially true when it comes to home renovations.


Supplies, materials and trades are expensive, and the time it takes for delivery and installation can be considerable. Therefore, it is important to always double- and triple-check your work before doing anything permanent.

Cheap Supplies

It may seem as though you’re getting a great deal, but cheap supplies updates and replacements sooner than expected.


It’s recommended not to skimp on supplies or materials but instead cut out things that won’t greatly impact the overall design.


For example, if you’re renovating your kitchen, it's best not to buy the cheapest cabinets, but instead, save costs on hardware and backsplashes which can be easily and affordably replaced. 

Too Trendy

While trends are significant, they are also fleeting, what’s in today is out tomorrow.


When making home renovations, steer clear of anything that is too trendy and try to focus on classic trends such as neutral colours, open spaces, and easy-to-maintain additions.


You may, however, not want to go as far as open spaces between bedrooms and bathrooms. While it looks nice, the lack of privacy isn’t for everyone. 

Too Much DIY

Do-It-Yourself projects have skyrocketed in recent years, especially with the trend of home renovation shows taking over the TV networks.


However, it is important to remember that while the DIY route might be fine for small aesthetic projects, when it comes to the structural integrity of your home, hiring a qualified professional can save you plenty of headaches and money in the long run.

Building Permits

Before making any structural changes to your home, be sure to check with your city or town to find out if your project requires any building permits.


Skipping this step could cost you thousands of dollars, especially if you violate a bylaw and need to remove the entire structure or addition.


It’s always best to be on the safe side and make the call or visit to your local municipality office to enquire prior to beginning any work. 


As you navigate the home renovation process, keep these tips in mind.


By hiring a qualified professional, setting a realistic budget, and using quality supplies, your home remodel can increase the value of your home drastically!


If you’d like to chat about which home renovations will add the most value to your home, contact us at jprealestateservices.com. We’d love to be of value to you! 


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When thinking of downsizing, many associate it with empty nesters and retirees, but smaller homes are quite popular with all age groups and lifestyles.


Whether you are looking to free up extra capital, lower monthly expenses, or reduce the amount of space in the home to fit your current needs, it’s important to remember that this is not a one size fits all project, and there are many downsizing solutions for everyone.


Here are a few ways that you can downsize your home:

SMALLER HOME

Smaller homes aren’t just for singles or first-time buyers anymore!


With many new technologies, it’s much easier to share a small space with others than it used to be. Multi-function rooms are much easier to create and with the right storage in place, they can make for great space-saving.


When planning to move into a smaller home, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your family's needs so you’re not sacrificing things that are crucial to your day-to-day life and that it can meet your lifestyle demands.


Think Murphy Beds or raised beds with desk space underneath or multifunctional rooms such as spare bed/office/workout/reading room. The more you can do in one room, the fewer rooms and space you’ll need. 


REDUCE COST OF LIVING

One of the reasons people are looking to downsize today is to cut down on the cost of housing.


Selling your home to move into a smaller or less expensive house means putting more into your down payment and lowering your monthly mortgage payments.


Depending on how far into your mortgage you are, and the cost of the home you choose to relocate to, you may even be able to pay in cash and rid yourself of a mortgage payment altogether.


RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

For those aged 50+, the option of a retirement community is another great way to downsize.


Not only will you have a smaller home, but you may also have access to things you didn’t have before, such as; a swimming pool, games rooms, entertainment, golf, and much more! 


CONDOMINIUM OR TOWNHOME

If you’re dreaming of a low-maintenance lifestyle, condos and townhomes are a great option.


These homes often offer a taste of luxury that single-family homes do not with amenities like swimming pools, saunas, theatres, gyms, security, and no yard work which give ‘home-time’ a whole new meaning.


Condos and Townhomes are also great for snowbirds or anyone who spends a lot of time travelling as your yard work is taken care of and security services are always on the lookout for any unwanted visitors. 


Whatever your reason for downsizing, there are plenty of options and excellent opportunities awaiting you. 



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Buying a home comes with more expenses than you may realize, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.


There are many costs to take into consideration that you may not have previously experienced, especially if you were renting.


When searching for your new home, keep in mind that there are more costs to factor in than just the monthly mortgage payment, such as:

Property Taxes

The amount you pay for property taxes depends on the city-assessed value of your home.


Example: A typical 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home sells for approximately 1.25M (or more) within the City of Victoria. As the assessed value is typically is much lower than the selling price, we will use $1,000,000 as the assessed value. At $1M assessed home will push you to a 0.509% property tax rate equally an annual property tax payment of $6,372.


Keep in mind this amount can change annually based on your assessed value and the rate at which property taxes are applied.


Home Insurance

This number will vary greatly depending on how much you own, your insurance claims history, and the policy you’ve chosen, but on average, you can expect to pay 100-$150 per month. 



Water, sewage and garbage/recycling

If you were previously renting, these costs may come as a surprise for you!


Water charges are based on usage and this amount may vary each month. Water rates within the City of Victoria are charged at $4.52 per unit with 1 unit being 623 gallons of water.


Garbage and recycling charges are based on the size of bins you are using. Most homes opt for an 80-litre bin which is charged at $66.82 every 4 months.


For the average home, sewage rates are approximately $560 per year, this is based on a rate of 188.8 cents per cubic metre of sewage. 


Hydro

Your Hydro bill will depend on usage with the average monthly bill in BC costing anywhere from $120 - $290 per month.


Rates are charged as follows:


Residential: $0.0884 per kWh for the first 1,350 kWh in an average two-month billing cycle, and $0.1326 per kWh for any additional consumption


Gas

Not all homes will have gas, however, if your new home does, you can expect a gas bill ranging anywhere from $100-150 per month.


Gas may be a better option for heating your home than Hydro as it's often more affordable, it heats faster and uses less energy. 


Repairs and Maintenance

This involves everything from having your ducts cleaned to the furnace serviced to cleaning the gutters and downspouts.


While this may not be applicable every year, you may also run into much larger costs with things such as roof replacements that cost upwards of $10,000 or upgrading appliances and small renovations.


Experts suggest you budget 1-3% of the value of your home every year to deal with repairs and maintenance.



While taking on the responsibility of owning a home can be overwhelming the benefits will pay off as you build equity and upgrade your home increasing its value over time! 


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Selling your home can be many things, emotional, stressful, exciting, frustrating, and often confusing.


Having a trusted agent on your side to go over every detail with you and explain things clearly while offering advice and helpful tips will make all the difference in the world.


While agents are required to be completely transparent with their clients about the transaction, there may be a few things that slip their minds when offering you assistance through the process.


Here are a few things that many people don’t know when they are selling their home and should be aware of: 


Why is there so much stuff?


You’ll be surprised by the amount of stuff you have! Whether you’re a minimalist or not, the amount of belongings you’ve collected over the years always surprises home sellers.


When preparing to market your home for sale, this is the perfect time to start cleaning out unwanted items. Think of it as pre-packing, you can donate, throw out or give away many items that you no longer need and this will relieve some of the burdens when moving day arrives.


Stager recommendations can be hurtful


Your home may be beautifully decorated and look perfect to you, but when the stager arrives, they will walk through your house, room by room, and tell you what needs to be done to improve the saleability of your house.


This can often be very hurtful, especially if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your personal decor. Try to remember that this is not a personal attack.


Professional stagers know what Buyers want to see and what catches their attention, online and in-person - trust the people you’ve hired. This will contribute to a faster sale, a higher price, or both.


Showings


Showings can be extremely stressful as many are last minute if you haven’t provided a showing schedule. Agents and/or their clients may be late which cuts into your plans and they may even be a little disrespectful in ways such as not taking off their shoes or saying unkind things about your home or decor.


Additionally, you’ll be left wondering after each showing if they liked your home, or if they will be putting in an offer. Have your agent ask for feedback from each showing and if your home isn’t selling quickly, this is a great way to understand what needs to be changed or improved to get it sold.


Insurance


As with life, things don’t always go as planned and sometimes the deal may not close on the scheduled closing date. In this case, you’ll want to ensure that your insurance will cover your home if anything were to happen.


Be sure to call your insurer and have your insurance extended until the sale is final and keys are handed over to the new owners.


Cancelled showings rarely get rebooked


Buyers are rarely concerned with what’s convenient for Sellers. They want to see your home at a time that works for them and if you don’t accept or cancel the booking, the changes of the rebooking drop by 50%.


Leave your home during showings


Yes, leaving your home every time there’s a showing can be very inconvenient but it definitely pays off!


Buyers want to comfortably look through your home and comment freely without feeling as though they may upset the Seller or harm their chances of securing the home. 



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One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your credit cards is to pay only the monthly minimum and a shocking 1 in 5 Canadians is doing just this. 


The minimum payment due on a credit card is the absolute lowest amount that your provider is willing to accept each month. 


Why is this bad? 


By paying only the minimum, you continue to carry a balance that triggers your card's APR and the longer you carry the balance, the more interest you'll be paying. 


Example: If you charge 6,000 to a credit card with a 20% APR and your credit card provider gives you a $120 minimum, by paying just the minimum it would take you 106 months to pay off the full $6,000.


The interest accrued in those 106 months would be $6,603 meaning you'd be paying $12,603 for a $6,000 charge. 


What to do if you can't afford more than the monthly minimum payment?



1. Cutting Costs


The first thing you should do is take an in-depth look at your financial situation and see where you can cut some costs to ensure that you're making more than the minimum monthly payment. 


Here are a few suggestions: 


- Cancel magazine or newspaper subscriptions

- Cut the cable and look into streaming services such as Netflix, Prime, Apple TV, etc. 

- Memberships you rarely use such as gym, Costco, etc. 

- Review your cell phone bill and look into more affordable providers

- Make your morning coffee at home rather than a daily trip to Tim's or Starbucks

- Take a lunch with you to work rather than eating out


While each of these ideas may only cut a few dollars each month, combined they will make for a substantially larger payment on your credit card debt. 


2. Balance Transfer Credit Cards


A balance-transfer credit card is a low-interest card designed to receive debt from a card with a high APR. The low interest is usually a promotion, which lasts anywhere from a few months to a year or longer.



The trick is to pay a majority of your credit card debt (or all of it) before the promotional APR period ends.


If you have multiple credit cards, you can try the debt roll-down method. With this strategy, you list your debts from highest to lowest interest rate, pay the minimum on all your debts, then make extra payments toward the debt with the highest rate. Once you pay off the debt with the highest rate, you “roll down” your extra payments to the debt with the second-highest rate. Continue with this method you'll save an exorbitant amount in interest.

 

3. Pay Cash When Possible 


Paying in cash will allow you to keep a tighter budget and you'll be much more aware of how much you're spending and on what. It's also a great way to avoid impulse purchases. 


If you have any questions about improving your credit score or how it can affect your ability to purchase a home, contact us at jprealestateservices.com. 





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Updating your home doesn't have to come at a huge expense and it can pay off in a big way! 


Below are the top 15 affordable home upgrades that will make the largest impact on the look and value of your home: 


1. Removable wallpaper that makes a statement - think bold, bright, and even textured.      So long as it comes off easily, it can appeal to the right buyers and for those that dislike it, they know it's an easy fix! 


2. Rain Shower Head - You don't need to upgrade your whole bathroom to give it that spa feel. These showerheads can be found for under $50 and are very easy to install. 


3. Real and faux Succulents throughout your home in blank spaces will give it a comfortable and homey feeling that many are looking for. 


4. Mirrors! Mirrors make all spaces look larger. If you have a room that feels a little crowded, find a central focal point to hang a mirror and see how much larger the room feels. 


5. Eucalyptus Spa - Hang it from your shower head and soon you’ll experience aromatherapy. The steam from the shower will activate the plant’s oils, allowing you to breathe them in and feel refreshed. 


6. Artsy lampshades will spruce up any room, with or without the light on as they add an extra pop of colour or texture. 


7. LED lights strips will brighten up any space with a light glow that will add to the ambiance of the space. They are great for stairs, behind mirrors, kitchen cabinets, under shelves, or inside closets.

 

8. Peel and Stick Tiles to spruce up your kitchen are a great way to give an appearance of an updated backsplash, fireplace backing, accent wall or even accessories such as mirrors or frames. 


9. Door hardware, while this may not seem like the most luxurious item, it will make your home look updated and well cared for. 


10. Updated dishtowels, clothes, and hand towels. These don't come at a large expense but will clean up any room in which they are placed and give the room a bright and crisp look! 


11. Kitchen hardware - by replacing the hardware on your cupboards and drawers, you will give the space a sleek modern look. 


12. Warm LED Lightbulbs are great for bedrooms and living rooms where you want to enhance a cozier vibe than the bright lights needed in the kitchen or bathroom. 


13. New outlet covers - A fresh white new outlet cover will make any room pop! If you really want to make a statement, try the outlet covers with built-in, motion-activated lights which are great for dark rooms and hallways. 


14. Woven Baskets are a great place to store blankets and extra pillows. Not only do they look stylish but they are extremely practical too. 


15. Updated pillow covers can add visual interest to any room. This year's trend is bright and colourful with patterns or textures. 


If you're thinking of updating your home and don't have a large budget, these tips should give your home the lift you're hoping for and will also increase the value to potential buyers. 




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When considering purchasing an investment property the question between multi-family and single-family investments usually arises. 


The majority of new investors jump to the thought of a single-family investment that they will rent out as this is much more straightforward, and often familiar to them. 


Multifamily, however, is an entirely different story. Few people have experience buying an apartment building, let alone being in charge of one. Furthermore, multifamily properties are usually much more expensive and can be a complicated purchase.


Pro: Income Reliability


While it may be hard to achieve 0% vacancy at all times, you are very unlikely to have 100% in a multi-family home. So long as you have some renters in the property, you will have assistance covering your expenses, making them a more stable investment. 


Pro: Forced Appreciation


Typically, the value of a multi-family building is directly proportional to the income it generates.


An apartment building can provide $1 million income annually, while a single-family home may only bring in $20,000 - $30,000. 


As a multifamily investor, you have the opportunity to force appreciation of a property to increase the income of the asset through operational efficiencies, renovations and marketing strategies to increase the value of the property. 


Pro: Economies of Scale


Investors will benefit from cost savings per unit when it comes to multifamily investing.


For example, there's a cost-savings per unit due to a larger size or quantity produced. When considering acquiring apartments, contracting out rehab projects, maintenance and cleaning companies will be less expensive due to the more considerable amount of units.



Con: Initial Investment


The downpayment and mortgage on a single-family property are much more achievable for most investors. 


A multi-family investment can mean a multi-million dollar mortgage and a hefty downpayment. 


On the plus side, there are ways to keep your initial costs down such as investing with a group of people or when done so through a real estate syndication. 



While all investments carry the risk of loss, on average, a multi-family investment is safer than a single-family where all your eggs are in one basket. That said, both are excellent investments and real estate has historically been one of the best ways to build wealth for investors. 


If you have any questions or concerns about investment properties, please do not hesitate to reach out. We have decades of experience in this area and would be more than happy to share our knowledge and be of value to you. 









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We received a lot of feedback on our recent emails and posts about the 13 municipalities in Greater Victoria and quite a few questions on how this came about and we wanted to give you some background information on this topic in hopes of answering your questions.


It’s extremely rare to see an area like Greater Victoria divided into 13 different municipalities and it brings about a lot of confusion and questions for its residents.


This is the history of how Greater Victoria became 13 municipalities: 


1862 - The City of Victoria was incorporated


1905-1911 - Sidney was incorporated, however, this area is now known as North Saanich. This municipality dissolved in 1911 as it was not viable.


1906 - Oak Bay and Saanich were incorporated. Before this time, these municipalities wanted to join the City of Victoria, however, Victoria was resistant due to fears of additional costs.


1912 - Esquimalt had a defined core and a different history with the creation of the Canadian Navy in 1910 and the transfer of the base from Great Britain to Canada. From 1912 to 1950 the region had four municipalities.


1950 - Central Saanich is incorporated. Formerly known as Ward 6, this farming community felt they were not being properly represented by Saanich and chose to become incorporated as their own municipality.


1952 - Sidney becomes incorporated again due to population growth resulting from the airport.


1956 - North Saanich comes into existence as a Fire Prevention District.


1965 - North Saanich is incorporated as a municipality.


1984 - Metchosin becomes incorporated as a municipality.


1985 - Colwood becomes incorporated as a municipality.


1988 - View Royal, sandwiched between Esquimalt, Saanich and Colwood is incorporated to become its own municipality.


1992 - After at least 3 separate votes before 1985, Lanford is finally incorporated.


1993 - With great resistance to Langford’s land development, the Highlands was incorporated.


1999 - Surprisingly, Sooke was the final municipality to be incorporated. While they could have incorporated sooner, due to the number of roads in this area, the incorporation may have been quite costly, hence the delay. 


All 13 municipalities fall under the regional governance of the Capital Regional District, in addition to 3 electoral areas; Salt Spring Island, Juan de Fuca, and the Southern Gulf Islands. 

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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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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.