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Email: jpappy@uniserve.com

Summer is officially here!

 
Covid-19 has definitely put a damper on things over the last few months, however, we live on the most beautiful island which is full of adventure and life that can be experienced safely while remaining socially distanced. If you're looking to get out of the house and explore some of this island, here are a few tips and ideas of things you can do this summer. 
 
Head to the beach
The Capital Regional District has countless beaches that can make for a great day trip or picnic spot. Find one locally that you walk to from home, or get adventurous and head out towards Jordan River or Port Renfrew to experience the true West Coast beaches.  
 
If you're looking for something new, take a drive up island, Parksville, Ucluelet, Tofino, and so many other great locations have miles upon miles of beaches to be explored where you can surely keep your distance from others. 
 
Camping
Get online and book your campsite now! This is a great way to keep your distance from others while enjoying the outdoors. Many campsites are still accepting reservations and there's even a few right in 'our backyard' such as Goldstream Provincial Campground if you'd prefer to stay close to home. 
 
Go for a hike
One of the best parts of Vancouver Island is having the great outdoors right at your fingertips. You'll find beautiful hikes nearby such as Mount Douglas or get a bit more adventurous and head out to Goldstream Park and hike up to the trestle or the top of Mount Finlayson. 
 
Float on the lake
Grab an inner tube or air mattress and head to one of the local lakes to soak it all in. A great way to spend a day relaxing in the sun and having the lake to cool off in. There are countless lakes in the area where you can easily set up a small spot and spend the day floating and swimming. 
 
Whale Watching
While being stuck on a boat with strangers may not seem like the ideal place to be during a pandemic, the local whale watching companies in Victoria have taken great measures to ensure their customer's safety and social distancing. A day on the ocean taking in the sights and seeing some whales is a day well spent! 
 
Goats on the roof
Take a drive up to Coombs for the day, grab some lunch, and see the famous goats on a roof! This area has plenty of outdoor space for you to explore and the stores, shops, and restaurants have all take appropriate measures to ensure your safety. 
 
We hope these suggestions help you and your family get outside and explore the wondrous sights this place we call home has to offer!
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Buying and selling your home isn't just a simple "sales" transaction, there are a lot of costs associated with the process. These costs can add up quickly and be a surprise to many buyers, particularly first time home buyers. Below we've put together a sample of these costs based on the price of an average home in Victoria, B.C. for both sales and purchases. Please note that these prices can vary depending on the value of your home and it's condition.   


Buying a new home:


Price $850,000


Property Transfer Tax

This paid to the government on the purchase of every home. This tax is calculated at 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder. Therefore, for this home, the transfer tax would be as follows:


$200,000 x 1% = $2,000

$650,000 (the remaining balance above $200,000) x 2% = $13,000

TOTAL = $15,000


Lawyer

You will require a lawyer or notary to prepare and file the mortgage (if required) and transfer documents. Expect to pay about $1,500. 


Realtor

Fortunately, as a buyer, you will not need to pay realtor fees, this fee is taken care of by the seller 


Appraisal

If you are borrowing funds from the bank, you may need to have an appraisal completed prior to securing the mortgage. An appraisal is always recommended, however, it is not mandatory when purchasing a home, unless your lender has required this. An appraisal will cost approximately $500


Building/Property Inspection

We would always recommend having an inspection done prior to buying a new home. An inspection will catch anything that may be wrong with the home, roof, foundation, etc. that can't be seen with the naked eye and could save you thousands of dollars later! If you've applied for a mortgage, you will be required to have an inspection completed. The cost of an inspection is approximately $500 and worth every penny! 


Moving costs

Moving is never cheap, it's just one of those things that always has a way of finding extra costs. If you plan to hire movers, rent boxes, etc. you can expect to pay about $3,000. This may be cheaper if you have access to large trucks and a small army of friends who are able to help you, however, the costs of pizza, beers, and possibly broken furniture will quickly add up! 


Hookup fees

Now that you're in your new home, wouldn't it be great to sit back and watch a movie...oh wait, you forgot to tell the cable company you were moving. Well, unfortunately, there's a cost associated with that too, and all your other utilities such as internet, phone, etc. Hookup fees can be as high as $2,500 depending on each companies costs and the various utilities you require. 


Septic

Now not all homes will require a septic system, although if yours does, you can expect to pay about $800 to have this job completed. 


GST on a new home

If you've purchased a new home, you are also subject to GST. The GST payable on a new home is 5%, therefore in this scenario, the buyer would be required to pay $42,500. 


Your new $850,000 home will now cost you $916,300 ($873,800 if the home is not new). The buyer needs to have these funds available, on top of the deposit, in order to purchase their home. Fortunately, many lenders will include the GST amount in the mortgage to ease the financial burden for buyers, but you will need to speak with your lender about these terms in advance. 


Now, if we are the seller of this home, our costs are a bit different, let's take a look:


Selling a home:


Price $850,000


Property Transfer Tax

This is only paid by the purchaser, zero cost to the buyer (you've already paid this when you purchased the home).


Lawyer

As a seller, you will require a lawyer or notary to complete the sales transaction, mortgage payout, and any liens or interests on the property, this should cost you approximately $1,500


Building/Property Inspection

We would always recommend having a pre-inspection done prior to selling your home. This will identify any issues, obvious and hidden that could affect your selling price. This gives you the opportunity to address these issues prior to marketing your home to guarantee you get the highest amount possible. A pre-inspection will cost approximately $500.


Realtor

Selling commissions are split 50/50 between the seller's realtor and the purchaser's realtor, however, the entire cost is the responsibility of the seller. The majority of realtors charged the same commission of 6% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the remainder, therefore the realtor fees for this home would be as follows:


$100,000 x 6% = $6,000

$750,000 (the remaining balance above $100,000) x 3% = $22,500

TOTAL = $28,500



GST on Realtor Commission


The seller is also responsible to pay GST (5%) on the full commission payable to the realtor, in this case, that amount would be $28,500 x 5% = $1,425 GST payable.



Mortgage Payout Penalty

If you are selling your home before it's paid in full, you likely have a payout penalty clause in the mortgage. Be sure to read through your mortgage and be prepared to pay the bank. This cost will vary depending on the rate you've agreed to and the amount remaining on your mortgage. To be safe, let's say $5,000.


Appraisal

Seller does not need to provide an appraisal for the property. 


Moving costs

Moving costs for the seller as the same as for a buyer, this will run you approximately $3,000.


The total cost of selling your home is approximately $39,925. The lawyer will pay out the remaining balance of your mortgage, realtor fees, any liens or interests that have been filed against your home, taxes, their own invoice, and any other applicable charges prior to releasing the sale proceeds to the seller. 


As you can see, buying and selling your home is not as simple as one may think and it's definitely not cheap! If you have any questions about the buying, selling, or the real estate market, please feel free to contact me at your convenience, I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you. 

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Buying a home is often one of the biggest and most expensive decisions we will ever make. Everyone has their own particular wants and needs for their new home and we want to help you make your decisions as easy as possible. The list below covers a few things we should all consider when purchasing a new home. 


Size - Is the home big enough for your family to grow into? Will you need to add on additional space? And if so, is the yard space big enough for a home addition? If you're looking forward to retirement or the children moving out soon, then you want to think about the opposite, will the home be too big for you to manage on your own? Do you need all the extra space? Always consider the future and how your life may change in the coming years when buying a home. 


Decor - While it may be hard to see passed the floral drapes and colourful wallpaper, keep in mind that these are simple and quite affordable fixes. Try to envision your family and belongings in the space rather than the current decor. Do not get distracted by the seller's personal style and instead imagine each room styled to your taste. 


Location & neighbourhood - Is the area safe? Is it walkable? Are there schools, shopping, amenities, etc. nearby? If there's a large highway or airport nearby there will be a lot of noise. Be sure to drive around the neighbourhood and ensure that this location works for you and your family's lifestyle.


Yard - Are you outdoorsy? If you want to have a garden, bbq area, or even a swimming pool, you want to ensure that the yard has the space for this. On the other hand, if you're not outdoorsy, maybe a small, easily manageable yard is better for you. 


Community Plan - Review the community plan with your local government for this area. What are the plans for this area? You want to make sure the Community Plan is in line with your plan for your new home and lifestyle.  


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5 Tips for Getting back to Business

The challenges of reopening your business


With many companies recently reopening their doors and many about to in the near future, we want to share a few ideas that help you reopen your business and how to get through the challenges of running your business in the midst of a global pandemic. 


1. Cutting costs


Review your costs carefully and be sure to cut your costs wisely. Any costs you choose to cut will, in turn, cut your ability to generate revenue and keep your business going. Do not cut costs on your customer service, marketing, and most importantly, on the quality of your product or service. 


2. Bring your employees back


Having your employees return to work, even part-time, will bring the business back to life. They can find a job anywhere, but they've chosen to work with you, and you've chosen to work with them, you have an investment in each other and your company. Remember that they want to be there and you want them there!


Also, not bringing your employees back can cost you extra, you may still be paying extended healthcare costs or other benefits for them.   


3. Reinvest in your business model 


It's probably the last thing you want to do right now but it's also the thing that's most likely to keep you in business! Ask yourself the following questions to rework and reinvest in your business:

  • What should your business model be when you come out of this?
  • Is your current business model viable during a global pandemic? If not, how can you adjust it to run your business until things are normal again?
  • Are there ways to put all your expertise into a stronger revenue stream?
  • What do you sell? Is there still a need for this?
  • How do you sell it? Reevaluate your marketing and customer service 
  • How do you deliver your product to your buyers? Is there a way to provide your product while maintaining social distancing or no-contact?

4. Consider new vendors


Just because your business has opened does not mean that all your vendors have. You may need to look at new vendors who offer safer options to provide your products and service. You also have plenty of reason to shop around for the best-priced vendors at this time. 


5. Take advantage of local programs


There are plenty of Federal, Provincial, and Local programs available to assist businesses in reopening. Speak to your Landlord and discuss a rental discount, ask your Electrical provider if there's a discount offered to businesses. Do your research and see what's available to you, there is no shame in taking a helping during a crisis! 

JP Real Estate is rooting for you and your business to return and be better than ever! 


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the reopening of your business, the current economy, real estate market, or anything else, please reach out to us at your convenience. 


We look forward to connecting you with greatness! 

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The Importance of Home Staging


When selling your home, you want it to appeal to as many buyers as possible. While your home may be decorated perfectly for you and your family, potential buyers are trying to imagine themselves and their belongings in the space, this is where Home Staging comes in. 

 
What is Home Staging?
 
Home staging is preparing your home for sale. The main goal of home staging is to ensure your home appeals to the highest number of potential buyers, therefore ensuring a quick sale at the highest value possible. 
 
What needs to be done?
 
1. Declutter
 
Clutter does two things for your home - it gives the idea that there is not enough storage space and it distracts buyers from the home's features. By decluttering, you will help to keep potential buyers focused on the important features of your home and give the idea of extra space throughout the home. 
 
2. Depersonalize
 
This one may be a bit hard for some sellers. This has been your home for a long time and your family has created many memories here. However, the potential buyers are trying to envision their family in the home and making new memories. You don't need to take down every single photo of your family, but you definitely don't need a fridge or a wall full of photos that will distract the buyers. 
 
3. Remove odors
 
You may not even realize it, but your home has an odor, every home does. Whether it be pets, kids, or even what you cooled for dinner last night, there will be an odor that is noticeable to anyone who doesn't live there.  Open windows to air the home out prior to a potential buyer coming to view and place some lightly scented air fresheners throughout. 
 
4. Wallpaper and paint
 
Chances are, any potential buyer is going to want to take down that wallpaper right away, do yourself a favour and take it down before selling and have it painted a nice neutral colour.  The same goes for brightly coloured rooms. Maybe your son or daughter has a neon green or bright purple bedroom; this will definitely put most buyers off. We know your child may not be happy about repainting, but rest assured, they can paint their new room at the house a fun new colour, this is only temporary! 
 
5. Lighting
 
Before a potential buyer arrives to your home, open all curtains, turn on lights, and create a warm welcoming feel. No one, especially a potential, in an unfamiliar home, wants to be walking around dimly light hallways and dark rooms. Another great tip is to change your light switch covers, this is a cheap and extremely easy update that will be noticed and appreciated. 
 
6. Exterior
 
Be sure that your lawn is freshly mowed, the hedges are trimmed, and gardens are weeded. This is a buyer's first impression of your home so you want it to look it's best.  A fresh coat of paint on the door, a shiny new door handle, or even some new exterior lighting can go a long way! 
 
7. Final touches
 
Add some fresh flowers throughout the home or a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen countertop. This will add a homey feeling while keeping it personalized. 
 
Home Staging helps potential buyers envision themselves living in your home. It will have them thinking about where they'd like to put their future and which picture they'd like on the walls. It's all about creating a vision for the buyer! 
 
If you have any questions about Home Staging or would like to discuss the current real estate market, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.
 
JP Real Estate more than a Real Estate company, we are community and we are here to help you. We look forward to connecting you with greatness!   
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The easiest way to increase the value of your home is to complete some home improvements, however, not all improvements will increase the value. If you’re thinking of selling your home, be aware that there are a few improvements that may actually decrease the value of your home. You want to be very careful when choosing which updates to make and which to avoid.


Below, I have put together a few home improvements that should be avoided:


1. Chef Quality/Gourmet Kitchen


High-quality kitchen upgrades may be great for you...however, they aren’t for everyone. Spending tens of thousands of dollars on marble countertops, custom cabinetry, and top quality appliances may not make its way back in your pocket. Simple upgrades are best for resale value, fresh paint or a new backsplash in neutral colours will increase the value much more than expected. Upgraded appliances are a great idea but they don’t need to be the most expensive appliances on the market, Granite countertops look just as nice without the added cost and cabinets can often be upgraded with a coat of paint and some new hardware.


2. DIY Painting


Yes, a fresh coat of paint will clean up any room, however, a job done poorly will decrease the value of the room quickly. Chipped and streaky paint jobs or bright colours will often trigger buyers to think of repainting and with that thought comes the thought of extra dollars spent. Always hire a professional to take of painting for you and be sure to choose neutral colours which will appeal to the majority of potential buyers.


3. The Extravagant Master Suite


Of course, we all want an extravagant master suite, although the costs associated with this luxury will hardly pay off. Fancy seating areas, the additional square footage that’s been ‘stolen’ from another bedroom or closet, and added plumbing costs in the bathroom can all add up quickly. A home that’s gone from 5 bedrooms to 4 bedrooms or a bedroom without a closet will immediately decrease the value of the home, regardless of how fancy that new bedroom is.


4. Wall to Wall Carpeting


Carpeting a room or a home wall-to-wall is a thing of the past. People want to see rooms that are easy to clean and can be quickly cared for. Adding a flooring that can be easily swept and mopped, in a neutral colour is what people are looking for. There are plenty of options for flooring that will give the look of real hardwood flooring and will increase the value of your home immediately. 


5. Swimming Pool or Hot Tub


Who doesn't want a swimming pool or hot tub? Most buyers do not want either of these! With these amenities comes a lot of additional costs, responsibility and upkeep. Keep in mind that if your property has space for these amenities, it can be easily marketed as such, which gives buyers the option of adding a pool or hot tub at a later date. 


These suggestions are not for every home and do not apply to every potential buyer, they are simply suggestions for you to keep in mind when planning to sell your home. If you'd like to discuss these improvements or any others that may increase or decrease the value of your home, please contact me directly as I would be happy to assist you. 


As always, JP Real Estate would like to remind you that we are more than a real estate company, we are a community and we are in this together. We look forward to speaking with you and connecting greatness!


 
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The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected Canada’s economy across the country, including the housing market. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has forecast a 9%-18% decrease in housing prices in the next year. Due to this prediction, CMHC has reviewed and updated its underwriting policies for insured mortgages in an attempt to reduce risk and protect future home buyers, as well as taxpayers.


CMHC has announced that effective July 1, 2020, the following changes will be made to their underwriting policies, these will affect all new applicants with regards to transactional and portfolio mortgage insurance:


  • Limiting the Gross/Total Debt Servicing (GDS/TDS) ratios to the standard requirements of 35/42;
  • Establish a minimum credit score of 680 for at least one borrower; and
  • Non-traditional sources of down payment that increase indebtedness will no longer be treated as equity for insurance purposes.

Refinancing for multi-unit mortgages have also been suspended, aside from those where the funds are used for repairs or reinvesting purposes, in an attempt to further mitigate risk. CMHC has already begun the process of repositioning its multi-unit mortgage insurance products.


How will this affect you, as a first-time buyer?


You will need to ensure your credit is in good standing and over maintain a credit score over 680.

Evidence by one of Canada’s largest financial institutions suggests that a large portion of first time home buyers, up to 30%, currently rely on borrowed funds for their down payments. These funds will now be hard to replace and significantly harder in our current economic environment. 


The Upside


The upside is that the impact of these latest changes to the debt service ratios on mortgage requirements will be partially mitigated by lower interest rates on various credit products.


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about CMHC’s upcoming amendments, the real estate market, the economy, or anything else, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.


JP Real Estate would like to remind you that we are more than a real estate company, we are a community and we are in this together. We look forward to speaking with you and connecting greatness!

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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.