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


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


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


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


Here are the top 4 outdoor home improvements projects: 


Landscaping

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


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


Fence and Gate installation

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


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


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


Exterior painting


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


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


Deck and porch remodel


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


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


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


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


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


Increased Deposit


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


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


Unconditional Offers


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


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


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


Escalation Clause

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


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


Leaseback Agreement


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


Personal Touches

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


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

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


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


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

 

Prepare Garden and Plant Beds


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


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


Lawn Care

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

 

Wash Your Windows & Screens

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


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


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


Flip your shed

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


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


Yard and Patio Furniture

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


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


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


Power Washing

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


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


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



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

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


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

Future Development

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


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

Skipping the Final Walk-through

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


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

Commute

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


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


Size

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

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


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


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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.