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Must-Ask Questions when Buying a Home

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.


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! 


7 Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

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.


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! 

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.