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House hunting can be very overwhelming, especially after you’ve viewed multiple properties and not found the right one. But you must remain vigilant because many small signs can mean big problems with a home. 

Here are a few key red flags to look out for when house shopping.


Before even attending a home showing, red flags can be noticed in online listings. A limited number of photographs in the listing could suggest intentionally omitting specific rooms or sections of the house.

When a listing lacks an adequate representation through high-quality images, prospective buyers should inquire about the reasons behind this omission. In cases where certain rooms have been deliberately excluded from the listing, it is important to ask for an explanation.

The absence of visual representation leaves potential buyers with minimal information and raises questions about what may be hidden or undisclosed about certain aspects of the house.


Roof, attic, and shingle problems can be identified by carefully examining indicators such as missing or damaged shingles, curling edges, cracks, exposed nail heads, and inadequate ventilation.

These issues are red flags during property viewings and should not be overlooked. By recognizing these warning signs, prospective homeowners can make informed decisions and potentially avoid costly repairs in the future.


Foggy or stuck windows can indicate potential issues with insulation and installation, compromising energy efficiency and overall comfort within the dwelling.

When windows exhibit a foggy appearance, it signifies a seal failure, which can lead to escalated utility expenses and thermal imbalances within the home.

Fog between the glass panes indicates the deterioration of the window’s seals, allowing moisture-laden air from outside to infiltrate and condense on interior surfaces. This not only creates an unsightly appearance but also reduces energy efficiency.


Water damage can lead to significant structural and aesthetic issues if not addressed promptly. It is crucial to identify signs of water damage during property viewings to avoid potential complications in the future.

Here are three water-related red flags to look for during showings and what they mean:

A) Water Stains 

Extensive water staining on floors, ceilings, or walls can result in discoloured paint, surface irregularities, and rough textures. These issues affect the property’s visual appeal and raise concerns about its structural soundness. Additionally, multiple water stains throughout the property indicate a higher probability of underlying problems.

B) Bubbles Beneath the Surface

Bubbles underneath exterior surfaces, such as vinyl siding, suggest insufficient sealing or the need for replacement. Internally, these bubbles might indicate leaky roofs or pipes that require attention.

C) Musty Odour 

Even without visible standing water, a musty odour can indicate water damage and possibly mould or mildew issues. This could suggest flooding resulting from leaks or burst pipes that may have caused concealed internal damage. 


When assessing a house’s foundation, it is imperative to conduct a meticulous examination of any signs of damage. Cracks that exceed one-third of an inch in width are considered “structural” cracks and may signify structural issues with the house. These cracks are commonly observed in concrete walls and can compromise the home’s stability, leading to leaning or tilting if left unresolved.

Houses often exhibit hairline cracks as they naturally settle over time. However, significant gaps signal more substantial concerns with the home’s foundation. Other indicators of foundation issues include doors or windows that stick, visible cracks above window frames, and uneven floors, which can be assessed by placing a marble or golf ball on them to see if it rolls in any particular direction.


Cracked foundations can indicate underlying property issues, such as water intrusion and moisture problems. These conditions can create an environment conducive to mould growth.

Although not always toxic, mould can adversely affect human health when its spores are inhaled. Therefore, prospective homebuyers need to remain attentive to any signs of mould during property viewings.

If you have any questions or would like more tips or assistance on what to look for when touring potential homes, please reach out to us at jprealestateservices.com. We would love to be of value to you! 


Commercial Real Estate can vary from a multi-family property, such as a duplex, all the way to a large office tower or industrial site.

While the classifications can vary from agent to agent; generally, commercial real estate can be broken down into eight major categories.

Here are the 8 types of commercial real estate and a brief description of each:  

Multi-family properties are the go-between for residential and commercial real estate.

While they can serve primarily as a residency, the general purpose for the property type is for investment (owner-occupied or not).

The multifamily asset class includes everything from a duplex to a multi-hundred-unit apartment building.

Like multifamily properties, office buildings are also designated to low, mid, and high rise based on their size.

Office buildings are usually loosely grouped into one of three categories: Class A, Class B, or Class C.

These classifications are all relative and largely depend on context—i.e., the location of the building and health of its surrounding market.

Class A buildings are considered the best of the best in terms of construction and location.

Class B properties might have high-quality construction but with a less desirable location.

Class C are those that might be fairly dilapidated and in an unfavorable location.

Industrial properties can also vary quite a bit in size, depending on their specific use cases.

Heavy Manufacturing industrial properties are a special-use category that most large manufacturers would fall under.

These types of properties are heavily customized with machinery for the end user, and usually require substantial renovation to re-purpose for another tenant.

Light Assembly properties are much simpler than heavy manufacturing properties and usually can be easily reconfigured.

Typical uses include storage, product assembly, and office space.

Flex warehouse space is an industrial property that can be easily converted and normally includes a mix of both industrial and office space.

Flex space can also be considered mixed-use, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Bulk warehouse properties are very large, normally in the range of 50,000-1,000,000 square feet.

Often these properties are used for regional distribution of products and require easy access by trucks entering and exiting highway systems.

Retail properties can broken down into a few categories, as follows:

Strip centers are smaller retail properties that may or may not contain anchor tenants.

An anchor tenant is simply a larger retail tenant which usually serves to draw customers into the property.

Examples of anchor tenants are Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, or Home Depot.

Strip centers typical contain a mix of small retail stores like Chinese restaurants, dry cleaners, nail salons, and so on.

Community retail centers are normally in the range of 150,000-350,000 square feet.

Multiple anchors occupy community centers, such as grocery stores and drug stores. Additionally, it is common to find one or more restaurants located in a community retail center.

Power center generally have several smaller, inline retail stores, but is distinguished by the presence of a few major box retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Staples, Best Buy, etc.

Each big box retailer usually occupies between 30,000-200,000 square feet, and these retail centers typically contain several out parcels.

Regional Malls range from 400,000-2,000,000 square feet and generally have a handful of anchor tenants such as department stores or large retailers like Old Navy or Sports Chek.  

Stand-Alone retailers which are parcels of land set aside for individual tenants such as fast-food restaurants or banks.

Hotels tend to fall under three different categories; full service, limited service and extended stay.

Full-service hotels are usually located in central business districts or tourist areas and include big-name flags like Marriott, Four Seasons, or Hilton.

Limited-service hotels are usually boutique properties. These hotels are smaller and don’t normally provide amenities such as room service, on-site restaurants, or convention space.

Extended-stay hotels offer larger rooms, often with kitchenettes, and are designed for people staying one week or more.

Mixed-Use properties, while their own distinction, can actually be a combination of any of the aforementioned types of commercial property.

The most common form of mixed-use properties, especially in cities, are retail/restaurant properties with offices or residences sitting atop.

Think of your general downtown high-rise building, and there’s a good chance that the asset is considered mixed-use.

Typically, mixed-use properties are some combination of office, residential/multifamily, retail, and/or industrial.

Agricultural land refers to undeveloped lands such as a farm or pasture.

Within this bucket would be different types of agricultural land as well, like orchards, animal farms, ranches, and more.

Infill land is located in a city that has already been developed but is now vacant. Infill is strictly associated with the development of real estate in urban locations.

Special purpose property is more or less the miscellaneous classification of CRE.

Examples of special-purpose properties include amusement parks, bowling alleys, parking lots, stadiums, theaters, zoos, and much, much more.


4 Things That Immediately Give Buyers “The Ick”

You have likely heard the term “The Ick”. If not, this is what the younger generation calls a sudden turnoff, often caused by something obscure.

Case in point: You fall in love with a cute rancher while scrolling MLS, and then you go to tour the home, and there’s a lingering smell, or it’s much smaller than the photos make it appear.

Here are the top 4 things that immediately give buyers “The Ick” feeling:


You may see this when a home has been flipped by investors who haven’t lived in it or homeowners who focus on trends more than functionality.

Some prime examples of this are; a walk-in shower without enough slope for proper drainage, or kitchen drawers and cupboards that block others from opening. 

You may even find a beautifully updated kitchen, but it is overshadowed by the lack of storage space or an oddly placed sink.

When updating your home, be sure to keep functionality top of mind, a lack of functionality is a major turnoff to many buyers. 


Also known as “Real Estate Catfishing”.

Photos with wide angles make properties look much larger than actually are which can leave buyers extremely disappointed when they see the property in person. Of course, we want our listings to look as great as possible online, but they also need them to look like the actual property.

Fooling a buyer into thinking a property is bigger than it actually is will leave a bad impression on them and they may wonder what else you’re trying to slide under the radar.

Instead, we suggest staging and removing clutter and personal items to show your home at its best. Another great tip is to remove 50% of items from closets and storage rooms to all buyers to see just how much space their actually is. 


Strong scents will turn off almost any buyer, from scented plug-ins to food and pets.

There’s nothing worse than an overpowering perfumed scent that hits you in the face as soon as you walk in and is so strong that it takes your attention away from home itself. It also raises the question: is the seller trying to cover something up such as mould problem?

If you have pets or cook often in your home, be sure to clean carpets, wash floors, and open windows to let fresh air in.

Remember, what might smell welcoming and wonderful to you could be overbearing or cause headaches for others.


People indeed want to work and be around successful folks, but there is a thin line between authentically sharing your life online and creating a character for clout.

Of course, you want to see photos of the agent you may be working with, but they don’t need to be dripping in diamonds or posing with luxury cars.

Like you and I, buyers want to work with trustworthy, honest, and respectable agents. Someone they feel comfortable discussing their finances with without judgment or pressure.


2023 Home Trends

Over this year, we can expect to see an interesting mix of new and returning trends.

Some of the most popular interior design trends for 2023 include the return of bold colour, natural stone surfaces, closed floor plans, mixed metal finishes, luxe living, statement lighting, and 60s and 70s influences — particularly in furniture design.

Pantone Colour of the Year

One of the most popular trends we can expect to see this year is colour! Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2023 is Viva Magenta.

Viva Magenta vibrates with vim and vigour. It is a shade rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength. It is brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.

Except to see accent walls, furnishings, kitchenware, and much more in this powerful and empowering colour. 

Natural Stone Surfaces

Natural stone tiles and surfaces are a great way to add colour, texture and high-end finishes to any room in your home and even the exterior living spaces. Too often, homeowners forget about the uses for natural stone tile and surfaces throughout the home and think of it only for the kitchen and bathroom floors.

Here are the top 4 ways to incorporate natural stone into your home:

Kitchen - This may be the most popular place for natural stone surfaces in the home. Countertops and backsplashes made of engineered stone, granite, limestone, marble, recycled glass, semi-precious stone and soapstone are often found in the kitchen. Natural stone in the kitchen allows homeowners to choose a countertop and backsplash that complements their style and design aesthetic.

Bathroom - Bathrooms are a great place to add natural stone tiles and surfaces—not only are they clean but they also make spaces feel more sophisticated and inviting. Natural stone can be used on vanity tops, tub surrounds and shower tiles to make a statement in a commonly forgettable room. Choosing the right type of natural stone for your bathroom project can help the surface to withstand the test of time and frequent use.

Living Room - replaces are often considered the heart of the home and serve as a focal point in interior design. One of the best ways to make your fireplace into a statement piece is to add natural stone to the hearth and exterior of the fireplace. This design feature can add sophistication and class to this living room gathering place.

Floors - Natural stone tiles can be found throughout homes and in entryways. They are durable and easy to clean and care for. The variety of natural stone tile types, shapes and colours allow homeowners to customize their home interiors with tile that matches their home décor.

Closed Floor Plans

For nearly three decades, residential remodelers have been taking down walls as homeowners embraced the concept of open floor plans.

However, the pandemic exposed the fatal flaw of the open floor plan – the lack of privacy – once everyone was living, working and schooling at home. A soundless space for video calls or a quiet sitting room for reading became more desirable than ever.

As home buyers and homeowners seek out privacy, calm and quiet, expect the closed floor plan to return to style in 2023.

Closed floor plans create cosy, comfortable, enclosed spaces within a home. We may even see homeowners who have open floor plans will look to compartmentalize their space through furniture layout and design to create private nooks and corners.

Whether you’re building a new home, renovating your current home, or searching for a new home, these are a few design trends you can expect to see this year. 


New Year, New Brokerage, New Regulations

Happy New Year! I hope that 2023 is off to a great start and I wish you a very successful, prosperous, and healthy year ahead!

As we enter this year, there are plenty of changes in the real estate industry, and in my personal business. 


After much consideration and careful thought, I am extremely pleased to announce that I have decided to move to a new brokerage.

Effective immediately, I am now licenced with eXp Realty.

All contact info will remain the same and you can expect to receive the same excellent service and value that I bring you with all your real estate needs.


The HBRP, commonly known as a "rescission period," gives buyers the right to withdraw from a purchase agreement within a specified period of time after an offer is accepted. Without a rescission period, if a buyer wishes to terminate an unconditional contract, they would need to negotiate with the seller and would typically face significant financial penalties or legal ramifications.

Buyers who exercise their right to rescind will have to pay a fee of 0.25% of the purchase price. For a $1,000,000 home, this would result in a $2,500 fee paid to the seller.

For more in-depth information regarding the HBRP, please see the following BCFSA links:

If you have any questions or concerns about the HBRP, please reach out to us at your convenience. We’d be happy to review and clarify the new regulations with you. 


As of January 2023, non-Canadians will be banned from buying homes across Canada, through the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act. This Act prohibits non-citizens and non-permanent residents from purchasing residential property in Canada for two years.

The Act restricts non-Canadians from avoiding the ban by using corporations or other entities to purchase residential property. Both the non-Canadian purchaser of prohibited property and any person or entity that knowingly assists in the purchase can be fined up to $10,000 and the property may be forced to be sold.

“Residential property” includes detached houses or similar buildings of one to three dwelling units, as well as parts of buildings such as semi-detached houses, strata units or other similar premises.

For more information on this, please contact me directly, I’d be happy to assist. 


Why Selling Your Home in Winter is Actually a Good Idea!

We’ve been taught to believe that buying and selling a home is best in the spring and summer, but the truth is, people are buying and selling all year round.

So, if you’re wondering if you should put off buying or selling a home until spring, why wait? You may be surprised to learn that there are actually advantages to buying or selling while the snow is falling and the temperatures are cool.

Less Competition

As the majority of buyers and sellers are not house shopping or marketing their homes for sale in the winter, there is much less competition.

Less competition can work for you in various ways; more negotiation power, speedier inspections and appraisals, as well as more flexibility with closing dates.

Furthermore, you, your agents, potential buyers, mortgage brokers, etc. will have much more time for showings, paperwork, and the like. 

Buyers and Sellers Mean Business

If a buyer is trudging around in freezing weather or breaking away from their holiday schedule to look at your home, they must be serious. That’s because many winter buyers are working against a deadline, whether it’s an expiring lease, relocation or a contract on their current home.

The same goes for sellers, if they are marketing their home for sale in the winter, chances are they are motivated to move and would like it sold in the very near future.

One of the biggest months for corporate relocation is January, meaning that those buyers and sellers have a limited time to get their families moved.

The Internet is Always Hot

You probably already know that most buyers go online to search for homes, no matter what the temperature is outside. In fact, nearly all buyers (95%) used the internet during their home search in 2022. This instant access to property listings has had an impact on the typical seasons buyers look for homes.

Serious home buyers are always on the lookout—checking the latest listings on their tablet before bed or while waiting for their kid’s hockey game to end. So even though the weather may be changing, it won’t stop home buyers from shopping.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in spring, why wait? Reach out to us today and let’s get started! 


Managing Your Investment Property as Interest Rates Rise

Basement Renovation Ideas

The basement is the perfect place to expand your living space and is often the unsung hero of taking your home to the next level!

When finishing your basement, it’s essential to consider the various options and choose which will suit your family and lifestyle best!

Additional bedrooms and bathrooms will always increase the value of your home, however, it may not be what your family needs.

Here are a few ideas on what you can do with your basement and have it ready to enjoy in time for winter!

Rental Suite

If you don’t need the space and would like the extra income, adding a rental suite is a great way to get a solid return on your investment.

Not only can this help pay for your mortgage, but it’s also a great selling feature!

This will be one of the more costly renovations, however, the return will be well worth it.

Be sure to check with your local municipality to ensure you are allowed a rental suite and obtain the correct permits before you start knocking down or building up walls. 

Games Room

Adding a pool table, dart board, arcade machine, ping pong table or whatever else fits your style and budget and is a great way to spruce up the basement.

This won’t take much in terms of renovations, however, depending on the games you decide to purchase they can become rather expensive.

A games room is sure to deliver laughter and plenty of fun for the whole family! 

Theatre Room

Get the popcorn ready! A home theatre is a great way to immerse yourself in movies, cheer on your favourite sports team, or binge-watch the latest series.

A theatre room could be as simple as a sofa and a big-screen tv, or you could go all out and decorate it from top to bottom with luxury upgrades, memorabilia, and recliner seats. 

Indoor Gym

A home gym can carry great functional purposes while potentially saving you money.

Gym memberships, personal trainers, and fitness classes can get extremely expensive over time. By having your own home gym, you only pay for the equipment you want or need.

No need to go all out from the beginning, start with a few weights and a bench, then purchase more as required. 

Storage Space

We always need extra storage space!

Installing some shelves and organizers to keep your belongings dry and organized will save you plenty of headaches when it comes time to pull out the camping gear or holiday decorations.

Additional storage space is always a plus when it comes time to sell your home too! 

When deciding how to renovate your basement choose an option that suits your family best! 


Why You Should Never Sell Your Home Without an Agent

You’ve finally made the decision to sell your beloved home and, of course, want top dollar for it, but you’re on the fence about hiring an agent to assist you with the sale.

While you may be considering not hiring an agent to keep those extra funds in hand, there are some significant reads why you should always hire a qualified, trusted agent to assist in the sale of your home.


Agents typically have experience dealing with challenging buyers, bidding wars, and difficult market conditions. That experience may pay off, helping to assure you don't leave money on the table and guaranteeing you don't fall victim to costly contingencies or inspection failures that cost you more capital in the long term.


Agents typically have impressive connections within the community as well as with attorneys, brokers, and inspectors — all of whom may play a role in your selling process. They're well-connected to other agents, too, who may have buyers interested in your home. Because of this, you want to be sure to choose a real estate agent that's well-connected and has a solid reputation in your area to ensure you get the best benefits.


Agents do a lot of behind-the-scenes work to support you in the home sale process, including helping you determine how much you should price your property based on market conditions. They also tend to be pros at knowing how to manage marketing both online and in person.

These professionals help you navigate the legal requirements of selling a house as well, such as completing (and understanding) complex legal paperwork, and reducing your risk.

Selling your home doesn’t start with putting up a sign, there’s a lot of research and preparation that goes into it before your home goes to market. An experienced agent will be with you every step of the way to assist in the preparation, pricing, staging, marketing, and much more! 


5 Items You Should Hide Before Showing Your Home

Selling a home can be a stressful process, but selling it while it's still occupied brings it up another level.

You want to show the house as a clean, spacious, and attractive place for buyers to potentially call home and make an offer. At the same time, a property that is still occupied is filled with things that make it a home.

Getting your place ready to sell entails decluttering and cleaning to make it feel as big as possible.

We've put together a list of items that you should put away prior to listing your home, or at least hide during showings: 

Family Photos 

This one is easy, as the first rule of preparing a house for a showing is to make it as de-personalized as possible. The goal is to have the potential homebuyer imagine themselves in the home, especially if it's a family looking for a starter home.

While those pictures of last summer's trip to Disneyland or camping in Tofino are memorable to you, they aren't helping buyers envision themselves living in your home. So instead, put up pictures of beautiful landscapes or sunsets to create a sense of tranquillity and warmth.

Kid's Items

Children's toys can take up a lot of space, become distracting and make a room look "too lived in" to potential buyers who want to imagine themselves in the home with their belongings. The same goes for items such as bottle drying racks, activity mats, and the like. 

You'll be amazed at how clean the place looks after the toys are removed, and as a bonus, it allows your family to go through the items and see which ones need to be donated, thrown out, or kept.

We suggest having a secret storage spot under the bed that can hide clutter, as interested buyers will open all the doors but rarely look under the bed.

Valuables and Medication 

Jewellery, watches, and even electronics can go missing during house showings, given that homebuyers are walking around every room, sometimes with the owner away or unattended by the agent. So, put it all away in a secure spot that you know visitors won't easily find or lock in a safe. 

Leaving medications out in the open can be dangerous, not only for security purposes but also because they could be stolen. This includes drugs for children and pets. Instead, have a medicine bag that you can pack them all in and keep in one place until the house sells.

Cleaning Supplies

This is all part of staging your home to make it look as clean and clutter-free as possible. Cleaning is also not everyone's favourite part of owning a place, so anything that reminds the buyer of that should be avoided as it can be distracting.

While a broom shouldn't be left in the corner of the kitchen, most homes have certain spaces to keep such items such as closets, garages, or even a shed, so long as it's not cluttered. This is also a great way to give potential buyers a good idea of where cleaning supplies can be stored. 

Religious or Political Decor

Any kind of religious or political décor, which includes photos with political figures, or décor showing support for a particular party, should be avoided. The last thing you want to do is to turn off a buyer because of a difference in political opinion.

The same idea goes for religion, although this can get a bit tricky when it comes around to holiday time. Decorating a bit during the holidays, such as Christmas, can actually give the buyer an inside look at what the home would look like during that time of the year; just remember to keep it secular and minimal. 


Tips for Riding Out a Recession

Experts have drawn parallels between the high inflation of the 70s and 80s and what’s happening today.

Back in the mid-80s, homeowners dreamt of a day they would see mortgage rates below 10 percent.

We’ve been extremely fortunate over the last few decades to see our interest rates at record lows, however, we are now seeing them climb again and it’s causing some panic for owners and buyers.

Here are a few tips on how to ride out a recession:

Pay Down Debt

One of the most important things you can do during times of high-interest rates is to pay down debt, starting with the debt that holds the highest rate.

While this will take a lot of discipline, it will save you countless dollars in unnecessary interest payments.

There are still plenty of options for consolidating debt with lower interest rates and may be a great option for you if you’ve got debt spread across various credit cards, loans, etc. 

Stay Invested

As tempting as it may be to take money out of your investment accounts, especially as you watch numbers take a dive, we highly advise against this.

We recommend that people remain invested, maintain their asset allocation that was designed in order to achieve their goals and objectives in the timeframes that they have set for themselves and continue to add to their investment portfolio through their retirement account savings.

Dollar-cost averaging is one of the most trusted strategies. It’s investing the same amount of money at regular intervals, regardless of what the market is doing.

By taking advantage of lower valuations you’re effectively buying more shares at a lower price. This is a great opportunity for younger generations to invest at a lower price. 

Save, Save Save

This can be extremely difficult when every trip to the grocery store is costing you more and the price of fuel, along with everything else is going up, but saving is always extremely important.

As interest rates continue to rise, we will being to see interest rates higher in our savings accounts, and newly fixed income securities.

Saving your money in a high-interest savings account during this time, you are going to see growth faster than you would have a few months ago. While it may not keep pace with current inflation, it’s sure to help build a safety net. 

Settle in for the Long Haul

The 1980s was a long decade. There were two recessions and it was years before inflation was under control and interest rates began to drop. And although our current situation is a little different, if there’s anything to be learned from the past, it’s that inflation and higher interest rates will be here for a while yet.

Throughout this time, try to work as hard as you can, make as much money as you can, and be as frugal as you can.

You have to be prudent, you need to pull back and watch your spending. 


10 Home Renovations That Can Actually Decrease the Value of Your Home  Part 2 of 2

Further to our blog post last week, we are following up with the top ten renovations that actually decrease the value of your home.

Here are the final 5:

Bedroom Conversions

Anytime you remove a bedroom from your home you decrease the value.

Whether it’s permanently converting a bedroom into an office, closet, or combining two bedrooms into one, the loss of one bedroom will cost you.

Adding a bedroom in your can increase the value of your home by $15,000 - $25,000 so you can safely assume that is the approximate amount you’re losing by removing a bedroom. 

Removing Closets

Closets and storage space in general are key motivators for homebuyers.

Using that square footage to expand a nearby bathroom or bedroom seems like an easy decision, especially if you’re not really using that closet, to begin with. However, it comes at a cost to your home’s value.

Similarly to bedrooms and bathrooms, the more closets, the better. Closets and storage space may not get front-line treatment in the listing, but buyers definitely notice when they’re lacking.

Inflexible Rooms

An overly specific room, such as a home gym or theatre, can be seen as a renovation bill to potential buyers.

While some buyers may love this feature, others may not have the same interests and want to convert the room to something more useful to their lifestyle, such as a bedroom or additional storage space.

That said, the value a home theatre brings to your house depends a lot on the size of your home and whether comparable homes in your neighbourhood have them.

But if you’ve used precious square footage in a modest home for one and no other homes in your area have a theatre, the people looking to buy may not be wowed by this and see it as a renovation expense they will need to take on. 

Pool and Hot Tub

We all dream of having a pool and hot tub in our backyard…or do we?

Yes, these are excellent features but they are extremely expensive and time-consuming to upkeep.

Many buyers actually see pools and hot tubs as something they will need to pay for or remove.

If your home is located in an area where these are common, then yes, they may increase the value, but there are no comparables in your area, your chances of this increasing the value of your are actually quite slim. 

Textured Ceilings and Walls

Adding texture to your walls or ceilings is an incredibly personal choice and unfortunately, they are often associated with cheaper housing.

Buyers are definitely not looking to purchase a home where they will need to scrape the texture of the ceiling before moving in, which can be an extremely messy and expensive procedure. 


10 Home Renovations That Can Actually Decrease the Value of Your Home - Part 1 of 2

When doing home renovations we generally assume that they will increase the value of our home. Whether it be a new kitchen or a lightly touched-up guest bedroom, for the most part, it works in our favour.

However, there are a few renovations that don’t always pay off the way we had hoped, here are the first 5 of 10: 


Regardless of how trendy the pattern is, the majority of buyers see this as a project.

Most buyers will do a quick calculation of how much it will cost them to have the wallpaper removed and the walls repainted.

Remember, just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it appeals to everyone! 

Built-In Electronics

A “smart home” can feel very modern while offering real benefits in terms of efficiency and control over your environment.

The problem is that potential buyers may not have the same needs as you, and built-in electronics might be wasted on them or might become outdated over time, becoming not just an eyesore, but an eyesore that doesn’t work well.

Potential buyers may see these as future bills because they immediately estimate how much it will cost them to remove and/or upgrade them.

Garage Conversions

Converting your garage to an extra bedroom, additional storage, or even a home gym or theatre room can give you plenty of extra living space and square footage.

When you convert your garage you’re not just gaining more square footage—you’re also losing a valuable aspect of the home that buyers want.

Worse, the buyers may not care as much about the extra room, since they’re coming in fresh. The impact is brutal—it’s estimated a garage conversion can reduce your home’s value by as much as 25%. 


Yes, carpeting is comfy, cozy, and warm and many people do love it!

However, unless carpeting is brand new, it tends to scare off some buyers as it is also known to collect bacteria and dust and can be difficult to clean.

Buyers want to see flooring that is easy to clean, fresh, and preferably stain resistant, especially if you or they have children and pets. 

Overly Personal Design Choices

Of course, you have the best taste in home design!

However, your style may not be the same as your potential buyers and this can negatively impact the value of your home.

Bright colours, textured wallpaper, and funky fixtures make your home unique and show your personality, and it’s natural to want to showcase that in your home.

But if you go to far, it can send buyers running in the other direction as they see these designs as projects that need to be fixed and updated…in other words, costing them extra money. 


The No. 1 Mistake Homebuyers Make

Owning a home is a lifelong dream for many and likely the largest purchase most people will ever make. It’s also an excellent tool for building wealth!

However, like any tool, if it’s misused, it can have negative impacts.

The number one mistake that homebuyers make is moving too often!

Buying and selling too often plays into the bank’s hands, not yours when it comes to finances.

The average mortgage is 25-30 years meaning 300-360 monthly payments until you own your property outright. What many people don't realize is that banks front-load their profits on the loan, known as your mortgage's interest. The payments in your early mortgage years go primarily toward interest, with little money going toward the principal of the loan.

For example, the monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage for $200,000 at an interest rate of 5% would be $1,073.64. On that first payment, $833.33 is towards interest, and just $240.31 goes toward that $200,000 principal balance. The scale slowly tips every month, and the tables eventually turn; your monthly payments will be almost all principal and little interest by the end of your 30-year journey.

That said, the average homeowner only stays in their home for 13 years, at that time the monthly payment would be $613.94 towards interest and $459.70 towards principal. You’ve actually paid the bank more over those 13 years than you have towards your principal.

We understand that people need to move and life changes, however, when searching for your first or next home, we do suggest thinking about the long term. Will you grow your family? Are children heading off to university soon? Will you retire and downsize in a few years? There are plenty of questions you should ask yourself when searching for your next home.

Here are the most common reasons for people to move:

  1. Move closer to family and friends

  2. Need a larger/smaller home

  3. Neighbourhood is changing

  4. Want to move from a starter home to a forever home

The answer to the majority of these questions can usually be figured out before you buy a new home if you take the time to really think about your future and yourself the questions that you need to.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future and would like some guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to offer our advice and some tips on how to find the right home for you, and for the future! 


Common Mistakes when Renovating Your Basement

Your basement is much more than a storage room, it offers untapped potential square footage that you can use for extra living space.

Some of the most common basement renovations include in-law suites, media rooms, home gyms, or extra bedrooms. All of these are fantastic ways to utilize the space…if it’s done properly.

Be sure to do it right the first time by avoiding these basement remodeling mistakes:


A floor plan can give you a rough idea of the layout and what things will look like once they're finished. But proceed with caution. Because when adding the spaces you want in your basement, you don't want to create a choppy or maze-like floor plan that makes the space unusable.

Try to follow the same design tenants as the rest of the home to avoid having a basement with an awkward layout. In an effort to create function, you don't want to build walls and forget about room placement.


The majority of basements are already lacking in natural light and forgetting to add enough lighting can make it feel like a cave.

One of the most popular types of basement lighting is recessed ceiling can lights because they maximize the lighting without taking up a ton of space. They're great for low ceilings when pendant lights might get in the way.

You can also choose bright lighting that will supplement natural light. Think about layering your lighting by adding table lamps or wall sconces to provide a softer or warmer ambiance.


Imagine having the most amazing family room but being unable to enjoy it because it’s just too cold in the winter months.

The proper insulation not only makes a space more livable but can also help save money on energy bills as it helps regulate the temperature in your home.

Additionally, if you don't want to hear movies or video games blasting in the middle of the night or hear footsteps from upstairs, be sure to include soundproofing when completing your renovation.

Soundproofing will come in extra handy if you if you're going to use any part of the space as an office or bedroom as it can provide a much-needed serene area to get work done or relax.

If renovating your basement is on your to-do list be sure to take these tips into consideration and if you have any questions, please reach out to us. 


Canada’s Inflation Hits A 39-Year High

The June Consumer Price Index (CPI) from Statistics Canada showed the highest annual growth since 1983.

While it was less than expected it is accelerating and is way above target.

Canada’s CPI ripped higher, largely due to the price of gasoline. Annual growth came in at 8.1% in June, the largest annual growth since January 1983. Despite markets expecting higher inflation and this being a “relief,” it was 0.4 points higher than May. Price growth isn’t just high but still accelerating.

Global prices for commodities and oil means inflation is near the peak. Economists are expecting the CPI’s growth to peak soon, however, the annual rate of growth is still 4x the target rate, eroding purchasing power at a very fast rate.

Economist are also suggesting that we may see the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate hike to 3.25% by October and for that to push the economy into a moderate contraction next year.

The first sign of inflation problems resolving will be CPI’s annual growth peaking. Then CPI needs to fall back to the target rate, without triggering a recession… then it needs to stabilize in the target range. Canada isn’t even at the point where it’s no longer rising, so the challenge isn’t close to over. It’s arguable the Bank of Canada has hardly started to tackle the problem.


Low-Maintenance Yard Alternative

Thinking of using rocks instead of mulch in your garden? This technique is amongst the most effective ways to control weeds and improve drainage, and its natural aesthetic will accentuate almost all spaces instantly.

Here's what the experts want you to know before bringing this organic material into your exteriors:


In a garden, garden rock creates a sharp, clean look. It contrasts nicely with the rich textures of the plants, unlike mulch.

Each variety type of stone has different benefits that can improve your yard and garden – whether you choose pebbles or crushed gravel.

Crushed gravel is a popular choice for paths because it has a natural feel. It can also be used to create a natural border across walks and garden beds. 


While mulch will degrade over time, rocks will stand the test of time. With a little elbow grease and a good scrub to remove built-up dirt or moss, they will look as good as new a lifetime later!

Not only do they look great but they can also withstand the seasons; rain, wind, storms, and dry hot summers are no challenge for them. 


In many instances, using rocks instead of mulch can promote better drainage in your garden and control weeds.

Mulch retains excess water, resulting in unattractive puddles that can lead to root disease and plant death. While in the summer months, the liquid evaporates quickly, producing too dry conditions, whereas rocks are hardly affected by these weather changes.

Rocks can helps drainage by preventing extra water from being absorbed by the ground beneath it, while also providing shade on hotter days to keep the soil moist.

Whatever your reasons for using rocks instead of mulch, this alternative has benefits that will work in every garden – and we expect it will stay in style for many more seasons to come.


4 Renovations with the Biggest Perceived ROI

When listing your home, keep in mind that there are certain features home buyers perceive add more value to a house than others.

As always, location seems to be at the top of the list for what buyers perceive to be the most valuable aspect of any property, however that can’t be changed, so let’s focus on what can!

In the past, we’ve learned that replacing yard maintenance, fresh paint, and various other updates are proven ways to increase your home’s listing price, but it could also be well worth it to make renovations that buyers regard as value-boosting to enrich the sale.

Here are the top 4 renovations with the biggest perceived ROI:

Kitchen Reno

Whether it’s new appliances, flooring, cabinetry, or a full renovation, the kitchen will provide the highest ROI in the home.

A modern, spacious kitchen with ample cupboard space and long-lasting countertops and appliances is attractive to all buyers.

If your kitchen needs an update and you have the time and money to invest before selling, this is highly recommended, you could turn your investment into a $25,000+ profit. 

Open It Up

Open floor plans are the most popular layouts for buyers.

Taking down a wall to open up space between the kitchen, living room and dining room could increase the value of your home up to $10,000.

Be sure to have a professional do this work and apply for any permits required, in advance.

You may need to update flooring and painting once the wall has been removed, but these added costs will definitely pay off when it comes to sell! 

Enclosed Garage

Adding an enclosed garage not only keeps your vehicle safe but also adds additional storage space and bonus square footage to the home.

Increased storage space is a bonus for any home and is something buyers will appreciate and be on the lookout for. 

Resurface the Roof

Replacing a roof seems intimidating, but new shingles can affect the overall quality (and longevity) of your house.

You’ll definitely want to call in the pros for this job; a leaky or damaged roof can cause unimaginable damage and stress to any homeowner.

Additionally, a resurfaced roof will be much more aesthetically pleasing to buyers and tie in with your curb appeal. Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a first impression! 

If you’re thinking about selling your home and want to ensure you get the highest price possible, contact us to come take a look and we’ll give you some ideas on what can be done to increase the value.

While these are larger renovation projects, there are plenty of smaller and more affordable ones that can be done and we’d be more than happy to offer you some tips. 


4 Things You Don't Need to Fix when Selling Your Home

Selling your home can seem like an endless list of things to repair, replace, and clean, but you’d be surprised at what Buyers are willing to overlook when searching for their next home.

Cleaning, staging, and landscaping are top of the ‘must-do’ list when but there are a few things you can get away with that may even be more beneficial to the buyers if they aren’t completed.

And the best part is that you won’t feel like you’re trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the buyers.

Here are our top 4 things that you don’t need to fix when selling your home:

Cosmetic Flaws

The majority of Buyers expect to see some normal wear and tear in a home; the odd scuff or scratch mark on a wall or floor is not as big of a deal as you may think.

If you’re handy and have the time to fix these small flaws, then by all means, but, we don’t recommend spending a fortune to have them repaired, especially if they are outdated, as the Buyer will likely want to replace them altogether. 

Minor Electrical Issues

While this sounds extremely serious, we’re referring to things such as light fixtures that lead to nowhere or sockets that wiggle a little.

If you have exposed wires or something more serious, then it definitely needs to be fixed prior to listing your home, and for your own safety! 

Partial Room Upgrades

If you have a room or two that is fairly outdated and needs some minor repairs (leaky faucet, cracked countertop, scuffed flooring), you want to leave this as is, chances are the Buyer will want to renovate the entire room.

It could be a waste of your time and money to replace a faucet or countertop while leaving outdated flooring and cabinetry.

Remember, a partial remodel rarely looks good and many will view it thinking it requires a full remodel so it’s best to leave this to your Buyers to renovate as they wish. 

Old Appliances

Rather than removing old appliances and leaving empty spaces, you will need to replace them.

However, you don’t need to replace them with top-of-the-line new appliances. You can replace them with used appliances that are in good working and cosmetic conditions.

Most buyers would prefer to see clean, working appliances than none at all. 

If you’re thinking about selling your home and worried that you’ll have a long to-do list of projects to get it ready for market, don’t panic just yet, there are plenty of ways to maintain or increase the value of your home that won’t cost a fortune.

Contact us to come take a look and give you a few ideas on how you can ready your home for market in the fastest, most affordable way possible.


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! 

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.