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Tips for Real Estate Investing

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

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

Comparable Sales

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

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

Associated Costs

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

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

Find Your Speciality

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


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


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


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


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

Property Inspection

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

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

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


Home Renovation Projects that Pay for Themselves

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Updating Bathroom Fixtures

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

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

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

Hardwood Flooring

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

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

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

Basement updates

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

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

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

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


Red Flags Every Homebuyer Should Look Out For

Buying a home is a very exciting experience, we start thinking of how we will decorate, entertaining friends and family, and all the memories to be made.

With all this excitement, it’s easy to have our judgment clouded and miss some important things that we otherwise wouldn’t have. 

Every seller knows the flaws of their home and we can only hope and trust that they are being completely honest with us about the condition of their home, however, that’s not always the case.

And rather than find yourself in a lengthy legal battle with the sellers, it’s best to keep an eye out for any red flags before you make an offer.

A few things buyers should be on the lookout for when purchasing a home are:  

The Trim Doesn’t Match Up

If the trim doesn’t match up this can be a sign that due care wasn’t taken when updating the home.

This may also mean that renovations were done without a permit or that the owner didn’t hire a licensed professional to complete them.

If a homeowner is cutting corners with visible parts of the home, you need to think about areas you can’t easily see such as electrical, insulation, plumbing, and much more. 

All curtains are closed

When selling a home you want to open the windows and coverings to allow as much light in as possible to showcase each room. Bright natural light also makes rooms appear larger.

If you see a home where the sellers have kept all window coverings closed, you need to open them and see what’s behind.

The seller could be hiding mold or mildew around the windows, leaky windows that are allowing water to seep into the home or between the panes, or simply a poor view.

Sold “As Is”

A home that is being sold ‘as is’ often means there’s work to be done that the seller does not want to complete before selling.

This may or may not be a bad thing. If they simply don’t want to repaint the walls or redo the floors and you were already planning to do that then it’s no problem.

However, if it’s something major such as structural damage or a leaking roof you may find yourself in over your head with repairs and renovations.

In cases of purchasing a home “as is” always have a property inspection done to properly assess the condition of the home. 

It has “great bones”

Unless you’re looking for a project and planning to do major renovations, avoid any home that is listed with the term “great bones”.

This often means the structure and foundation are in good condition but the home requires extensive updates.

These can range from simple updates such as repainting or updating the hardware to full renovations with electrical and plumbing upgrades. 

It may seem near impossible to be on the lookout for everything when purchasing a home and for that reason, you need to hire an agent you trust who has your best interests in mind at all times.

A trustworthy agent will notice the above-mentioned possible flaws as well as any others and bring them to your attention immediately. 


Bringing Your Home Into the Future

To say technology is not a huge part of our lives would be a great understatement. We use technology in our workplace, our homes, and our daily lives.

Keeping your home up-to-date with the latest technology will greatly improve your home's value and make it much more appealing to buyers. 

There are plenty of different innovative ways to bring your home into the future, some of which are very affordable and simple to install.

These top innovations will bring your home into the future without breaking the bank: 

Control4 System

While this one is on the pricier side, it literally does it all!

A Control4 System manages your heating, security, lighting, televisions, sound systems, and much more, all with the click of a button! Additionally, you can sync this system to your phone, so you will have control of everything in your home, even when you’re away! 

Frame TV

The new Samsung Frame TV is perfect for disguising your television as artwork.

You have the option of choosing from thousands of artists, including portraits from Van Gogh to artists featured by Saatchi Art

Portraits can be changed easily depending on the season, your décor, or even your mood. 

Sophisticated Lighting

Smart light switches are a great place to start. They have advanced control options on the switches themselves but can also be controlled from your phone.

They can be scheduled to go on and off at specific times and you can even turn them off remotely from your phone if you realize you may have left the kitchen light on while you’re out shopping!

We suggest swapping the older trims on recessed ceiling lights to smaller gimbal LED lights. These new lights create a beautiful gallery feel throughout the home, highlighting details in a softer way.

There are also options to change the colour of the lighting with some brands, which is perfect for movie nights or creating a relaxing ambiance. 

Bifold Doors and Windows

Your yard is an extension of your home and should be utilized as such, especially with the warmer months upon us.

What was once a wall is now a door or window that leads into your extended living space will give the feeling of more space, as well provide exceptional natural light into your home. 

Filtration Systems

Installing systems that will improve your health are a benefit to everyone in your home and any potential future buyers.

Air purifiers are extremely popular, especially for those who struggle with allergens, pet dander, or dust.

They will come in especially handy in the late summer months when there tends to be more forest fires in the area and the air becomes extremely smokey.

Water filtration systems are also very popular and a great way to ensure lead has been removed from your drinking water.

Yes, we know that here on the island we have some of the best drinking water in the world, but a little extra care never hurts! 

Whether you're hoping to sell your home in the near future or planning to stay in it for years to come, these innovations will improve your quality of life in various ways. Now we just need to figure out a self-cleaning option! 


The 3 Most Enticing Home Features

Every purchaser has their own specific must-haves when they begin searching for a home such as location, size, number of bedrooms, etc. all of which will vary with each buyer and their needs.

On the opposite side, all buyers will also a list of deal-breakers, maybe they don’t want a home that requires renovations or a lot of yard maintenance. 

However, there are a few things that the majority of buyers do agree on and would like to see in their new homes.

Below are the top 3 most enticing features that buyers want to see when they are purchasing a new home: 

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors look phenomenal in nearly any home!

The days of wall-to-wall carpeting are gone, buyers want flooring that looks great and is easy to clean. Wood flooring is simple to maintain and doesn’t collect dust or bacteria, meaning the home offers more breathable air and cleanliness. 

Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are a win in any home!

Not only do they look absolutely fantastic, but they are also easy to clean, durable, and resistant to dirt and bacteria. Granite countertops are an earth-friendly material that is perfectly flat and easy to repair, making them the ideal countertop for any home.

While they may be the most expensive countertops they will outlast all other fixtures and appliances in your home, making them more of an investment than an expense. 

Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances are extremely popular with buyers in all styles of homes.

These appliances are not only long-lasting and durable, but they are also extremely easy to clean and resistant to germs and bacteria.

Stainless steel appliances will match with any décor and are extremely easy to coordinate with. You can easily find smaller stainless steel appliances such as coffee makers, kettles, and toaster ovens to match your large ones.

Additionally, you can now find stainless steel appliances in a variety of shades from the ‘original’ light steel shade all the way to a dark, near-black shade. 

If you’re planning to sell your home in the future and want to ensure it appeals to the majority of buyers, you may want to make a few of these updates. Not only will they increase the value of your home, but they will also make it much more enjoyable for you prior to listing it for sale. 

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.