Cell 250-812-2589

Office 250-479-3333

Email: jpappy@uniserve.com

With many of us working from home these days, we are finding we have much more time on our hands and what better to do with that time than update our homes!

We want to get the most out of our homes, in terms of value and livability. There are a few renos that will give you the best return on your dollar, especially in times of a global pandemic. 


Kitchens

Updating your kitchen can bring you one of the highest returns, with up to $0.75-$1.00 return on each dollar that you spend. Simply adding a kitchen island can provide a 65% return. Keep in mind that potential buyers want to see neutral colours and plenty of natural light in kitchens. 


Energy efficiency 

Updating and installing energy-efficient appliances, furnaces, windows, etc., in your home can provide you up to $0.65 on each dollar you spend. And don't forget, these updates will also benefit you as you'll see immediate savings on your electric bills. 


Plumbing fixtures

By installing new plumbing fixtures and hardware, you will not only save dollars on your monthly water bill, you'll also turn a profit when it comes time to sell. Simple, modern fixtures are affordable and will immediately make your bathroom(s) and kitchen look crisp and clean. 


Painting

A fresh coat of paint, both on the interior and exterior, of the home, can provide up to $0.67 on each dollar invested! Keep the colours neutral, simple, and modern. Buyers can be easily turned off by bright colours that don't appeal to their style. 


Yard

We are all finding ourselves at home a lot more these days and are therefore are looking to our yards to expand our living space. Adding or updating your back deck is a sure-fire way to turn a profit on your investment. Building a firepit with a comfortable seating area will also give potential buyers the feeling of more living space. Buyers are almost always thrilled to see an outdoor cooking space, as well, having the extra space to bbq and prepare dinner in one area is always appreciated!


There are plenty of renovations that will appeal to many different buyers, however, the renos mentioned above will give you the best opportunity to make the highest return on your dollar. With the summer season coming to an end, this is the perfect time to get started on your home updates and increase its value, usability, and marketability.

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If you're thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time! Newly listed homes selling quickly, receiving numerous offers, and are often selling for over asking price. 


When selling your home, you have just a second to grab a potential buyer's attention and hold onto it. Most buyers are viewing homes online and can quickly skip over a listing if it doesn't "jump out at them". 

We've put together a few tips on how to make your yard and garden as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

 

Tidy up the Landscaping

A well-maintained lawn with plants and flowers is one of the top-selling features these days. Ensure the lawn is freshly mowed, the weeds have been taken out, trees are pruned, and fresh flowers or plants are situated throughout. This may seem like a large job, however, it can likely be finished in just one weekend of hard work.


Plant a tree

A well-matured tree can add thousands of dollars to the value of a home. If you have extra space, plant a couple of trees strategically placed around the property to offer shade in areas where homeowners may want to relax.

 

Clean up your entryway

We can stress this one enough, this is the first impression of the home that potential buyers see. Clean up the porch, add a fresh coat of paint to the door, a new doormat, and a few plants will add value to your home immediately, and be the perfect way to catch a buyer's attention. 


Outdoor lighting

Adding or updating your outdoor lighting will increase the value of your home substantially. New lighting at the front door will make the home welcoming and bright, and a well light pathway will offer a sense of safety and comfort. 


Spruce up the Outdoor Living Space

Adding a new deck or patio to your home can provide a 60-90% return on investment. Buyers want to see that they have more space than what's in the home, they want a space to entertain family and friends. Replacing your patio furniture cushions and adding a few colourful pillows is a great way to brighten the space up. We also suggest including some potted or hanging plants to add colour and life. 


Add a Firepit

Buyers want to envision themselves sitting in the backyard, around the fire, chatting with friends and family while enjoying their amazing new space. The ambiance that a firepit brings will have your potential buyers feeling right at home. You can build a firepit fairly cheap or simply purchase a portable one for about $100. 


Smart Sprinklers

Installing Smart Sprinklers will increase the homes value, relieve the buyers of home maintenance, and help to save the planet. These sprinklers will connect with your wifi and water your lawn or garden according to the local weather predictions. You can also set them to a timer so they only water in the evenings or early mornings. 


Preparing your home in advance will ensure its marketability, increase its value, and sell as quickly as possible. Remember, you have one chance to make a first impression and potential buyers are looking to make a decision quickly! 

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Buying your first home is such an exciting experience, but it can also be very stressful and confusing. There is a ton of legal paperwork, mortgage documents, and requirements from your lender that you will need to provide prior to having your mortgage funded. 


We understand how complicated this process can be and want to help, so we've put together a list of questions that first-time homebuyers should be asking before they submit an offer to purchase a home. 


Mortgages


How to does a mortgage work?

A mortgage is a secured loan that uses your new home as collateral. If you do not pay your mortgage, your lender can seize your home. After owning your home for a few years or increasing its value, you can also use your mortgage to borrow funds against the value of your property. 


How long does it take to get a mortgage?

From pre-approval to funding, it usually takes about 3-6 weeks. Keep in mind, this is dependant upon how quickly you can submit the required documents for the lenders' approval. 


Fixed-rate vs. adjustable rate

A fixed-rate loan is just that, fixed at the amount that you lock in for for the duration of the loan. An adjustable-rate will fluctuate with the market rates, meaning your mortgage payments can increase or decrease depending on the current rate. 


What do you need to get a mortgage:

  • Social Insurance Number
  • Tax returns from the previous 2 years
  • Payslips from your employer for the past 1-2 years
  • Evidence of any assets, stocks, bonds, etc. 
  • Credit card statements from the previous years
  • Bank statements for the previous 1-2 years
  • Any other documents required by your lender. 

What credit score do you need to get a mortgage?

This will depend on your bank, however, a score over 600 should make it fairly easy to obtain a mortgage. The higher the credit score, the easier it will be and the lower the interest rate you'll be offered. To calculate your debt-to


What is debt-to-income ratio?

Your debt to income ratio calculates how much of your gross income is spent on paying your monthly debts. Lenders use this amount to judge your ability to repay the loan and the amount you'll be able to pay, essentially deciding your approved mortgage amount. 


To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, divide your monthly debt payments by your gross income amount, example:


Debt amount (mortgage, car & credit card payments) - $1,800

Gross income amount - $5,000


1,800/5,000 = 36%


Each lender will have different amounts, however, 43% is typically the highest debt-to-income ration on which they will lend. 


How to choose a mortgage lender?

Shop around! We highly recommend chatting with a mortgage broker who will shop around for you and find you the best rates. Ask your broker to bring you 3-4 pre-approved lenders, review carefully, and choose the best one for you. The best part is that a mortgage broker is free to you, the lenders pay their fees, so it's no extra cost to you! 


What are closing costs and how expensive are they?

See our blog post "The costs of buying and selling a home" regarding closing costs to calculate how much you may need to purchase your first home. 


Should you get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Yes, by all means, get pre-approved. This will give you an idea of how much you can spend buying a new home. You don't want to be shopping for $600,000 homes when you've only been approved for $400,000. This will also show the sellers that you are motivated and serious about purchasing. 


Can a seller refuse to make repairs?

Yes, a seller can refuse to make repairs but don't let this scare you away. If a problem has been found during the home inspection and the seller refuses to make repairs, you can negotiate a discount upon closing with the seller to receive a credit for the amount that it will cost you to make the repairs. 


What happens at closing?

This is always an exciting day! This is the day the title to the property has been transferred into your name, funds have been transferred to the seller's lawyer, and you become legally responsible for the property. 


When can you move in?

It may sound as though 'closing day' is your move-in date, however, that is not always the case. When you first submitted the offer to purchase, you will have agreed to a closing date and a possession date. The possession date is when you will have access to the home and can begin to move in. 


What should you do before move-in?

Prior to move-in, you'll want to ensure all the utilities have been transferred to your name and are hooked up. You may also want to spend a day doing a thorough clean of the home before you start bringing your stuff over. If you plan to do any painting or repairs, doing this prior to moving in will make things much easier, however, it's not necessary. 


What should you do after move-in?

First and foremost, you'll want to secure your home, this means changing the locks and updating the security system code passwords. You'll also want to check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are correctly functioning and replace the batteries. Additionally, you should locate your circuit box and any emergency shut-offs in case of an emergency. 


Start unpacking, order a pizza, crack a well deserved cold one, and enjoy your new home! 


If you're thinking about taking the leap and purchasing your first home, we would be thrilled to chat with you and provide you with some insight on what you can expect through the process and tell you a little more about how we can help! 

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Prices are high, inventory is moving quickly, and buyers are offering over asking price without conditions, seems like the worst time to be buying right? Actually, it's the perfect time to buy your first home! 


When we look back over the last decade there's been one consistent trend in real estate and that has been the steady increase in the value of homes. Everyone wants a piece of the real estate market, it's a safe and reliable investment that will almost always provide a profit in the long run. 


If you're looking to purchase your first home, here are a few things we can do help you:


Access to all pertinent information online

We understand the next generation is virtual and we're completely on board with this. We can provide you with 3D virtual tours of homes you're interested in viewing, drone videos of the home and neighbouring area, and access to all documents online. Imagine buying your first home from your iPad! 


Assistance throughout the entire process

From the first discussion we have regarding what you're looking for in your new home right up to moving day when we hand you the keys, we will be there to guide and assist you. 


Is your bank not giving you a great mortgage rate? No problem, I have a mortgage broker who can help you! Need to have an inspection or appraisal done? Great, I can put you in touch with the most affordable and professional inspectors and appraisers right now! 


There's a lot of paperwork and tons of 'fine print' that goes along with buying a home and we will be here to explain it all to you easily and clearly so that you can make this decision with confidence. 


We are available to answer all your questions 24/7 via Text, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Messenger, Email, Phone, and of course by fax or pager ;) JK! 


Your Needs Come First

Buying your first home is a HUGE decision and one that should not be taken lightly. You have a list of things you want and need in your new home and you should also have a list of things you do not want. We can assure you that we will be listening to your needs. We aren't going to show you a condo when you've told us 5x that you want a townhome, we also aren't going to waste your time by showing you homes that are over your budget or in an area that you don't want. We understand how precious your time is and we aren't here to waste it, we are here to help you find the RIGHT home you! 


We, at JP Real Estate, are dedicated to helping first-time homebuyers get their foot in the door, literally and figuratively! 

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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.