condo storage space in comox

How to maximize storage space in your Comox condo

Condo living in Comox can have its perks. There are often on-site amenities to enjoy and building maintenance is taken care of. With those perks looked after, you can experience the full benefits of a bustling urban lifestyle. However, one of the common complaints of condominium and apartment living is limited storage options. That can make it tricky to store your things. Luckily, there are a few solutions you can try to make the most out of your space. Wanting to tuck away your holiday decorations, suitcases or off-season clothing?

Try some of these storage solutions in your condo today.

Opt for furniture with integrated storage


Double up on your storage options by investing in multi-functional furniture that has built-in storage space. There are a variety of ottomans, coffee tables, sofas and beds out there that provide hidden storage units and drawers. This can make storing your belongings easy and discreet. Similarly, you could opt to use bins and containers that can fit underneath your furniture. In this way, extra items can be stored out of sight.

Bonus tip: Opt for furniture pieces that are lightweight or have wheels on the base. They can be easily moved around depending on the needs of your space. You can also invest in convertible furniture like a sofa that turns into a bed or a work desk that can be folded up against a wall. This allows for more efficient use of your limited square footage.


Make the most of vertical space


When it comes to condo storage, blank and tall walls are your best friend. If your unit has limited floor space, utilize your walls. This can be as simple as installing a few extra wall hooks for hanging coats, bags, and kitchen utensils. Or you could invest in some bookshelves for displaying your favourite collectibles, artwork, and framed photos. Think of unconventional vertical space too, such as doors or the insides of cupboards. Caddies and over-door organizers can be hung there.

Introduce built-ins on the wall

Sometimes adding a wall hook or two isn’t enough to offer the extra storage space that you really need. Opting for a more customized approach through the use of built-in wall compartments and shelves can provide storage options. These would be specific to your condo’s unique size and layout, while improving overall functionality. Think wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling built-ins in your living room, entryway and bedroom. Take full advantage of useful wall space in this way. It will introduce seamless and integrated storage options into any room.


Use smart containers

When every inch of storage space counts, there’s literally no room to carelessly tidy away your things. Strategically choosing the right containers or bins allows you to get the most storage space you can out of your condo. For example, stackable containers can more effectively utilize vertical space in your kitchen cupboards and bathroom vanities. Vacuum sealed bags are great for storing coats, bedding and other bulky linens in small spaces. Clear containers are also convenient for easily finding your supplies without having to open every lid or box. If the bins are not transparent, stick labels on the outside.


Bonus Tip: When in doubt, consider off-site storage


Maybe you’ve decluttered and reorganized to your heart’s content, but still can’t find enough space for everything in your condo. Don’t underestimate off-site storage as an option. Sometimes we simply can’t find a solution to storing awkwardly-sized or heavy items. On-site condo lockers or paid storage units are a great alternative. Lock away large belongings that aren’t used on a regular basis, such as off-season sports gear, balcony furniture, large tools and bicycles.

comox valley realtor

Why Hire a Comox Valley REALTOR® in 2024?

Hiring a Comox Valley REALTOR® to help you during the purchase or sale of real estate is highly recommended. Especially, if you have minimal experience with buying/selling homes. A REALTOR® provides you with industry expertise, a Rolodex of useful contacts, and insights about the local market. When deciding to buy or sell, you want to ensure that everything goes smoothly. After all, these are the two largest transactions that most people make in their lifetime. In this article, I will be going over some of the main reasons why you should consider hiring an agent to represent you on either side of the transaction. Follow along below to learn more!

Get Help From a Comox Valley REALTOR® When You Buy/Sell in 2024

  • Why Hire an Agent During the Buying Process?

Buying a property is no easy feat. There are several moving parts when it comes to purchasing any sort of home. One of the biggest challenges that buyers face when buying without an agent, is the lack of available listings. Real estate agents have access to the MLS®, which is a database of homes for sale that are only accessible to agents. During market conditions when inventory is low, this can limit your options. Thus, preventing you from uncovering your dream home! Furthermore, if you’re a first-time buyer or you have little experience buying/selling real estate, hiring an agent is in your best interest. Without the help of a REALTOR®, you could be missing out on key market knowledge. Real estate agents have a strong grasp of the local market. This expertise is critical when it comes to spotting opportunities, negotiating and finding your dream home. 

  • Why Hire an Agent During the Selling Process?

In today’s climate, having a trusted REALTOR® to rely on when selling your home is ideal. As marketing your listing becomes increasingly more important, a real estate agent can help ensure that your property doesn’t go stale on the market. A seller’s agent has all of the tools and resources to make your home stand out amongst others. Not only this, but, they will handle the often stressful planning of open houses, scheduling showings, providing tours and answering questions about the property. When a prospective buyer makes an offer, they’ll be able to negotiate the terms and advise you on the merit of their offer. Once the deal is ready to be finalized, a seller’s agent will be there to help with paperwork and ensure a smooth closing process. 

Contact me Today!

If you are interested in learning more about why you should hire a Comox Valley REALTOR®, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you make sure that you buy/sell in accordance with your real estate goals! For more information about real estate in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

moving day in courtenay comox

Tips for a Seamless Moving Day in Comox Valley!

Moving into a new home should be an exciting time. Without proper planning and organization, the whole experience can quickly turn into an overwhelming ordeal.


To help ease the anxieties of moving day, here’s a handy to-do list to keep you organized and on-track:

Plan ahead

This may seem obvious, but many people find themselves rushing to hire movers and pack their belongings in the final frantic days leading up to

their big move. To avoid the stress this can cause, and to ensure moving day flows smoothly, be sure to start packing at least one month in advance. Focus on one room or closet at a time, and use this as an opportunity to purge items you no longer need. Moving into a new place means starting fresh. Donate, rehome or recycle those belongings that won’t serve a purpose in your new home. Remember, the first and last days of the month are popular moving days. Don’t put off booking your professional movers in advance.

Optimize your packing process


For safe travels and storage, pack your belongings in durable moving boxes, ideally new or ones that have little wear-and-tear. There’s also the option to rent reusable moving crates that can be returned once your move is complete. You can even hire professional packers to do it for you! To avoid sensitive items getting wet or damaged, use plastic, sealable bags and bins to protect clothing, books and important documents. Be sure to bubble wrap glassware and fragile items to keep them from shattering in transit.

Label and organize your boxes


Label each moving box with the room it belongs in (ie. kitchen, bathroom, bedroom #1). Take it a step further by numbering each box and creating a tracking document to specify which boxes should go in each room. This not only makes it easier for your movers to know where to place your items, but it also helps you to keep track of all your boxes.

Make those small repairs before moving in


If time allows, paint the walls, deep clean the appliances, and complete any minor repairs before moving into your new place. Unsurprisingly, it is a lot better to have a fully-functioning home before you start to unpack and assemble furniture. If this is not an option for you there are a couple of other things you could do. Consider placing all your items in the garage or basement at first, or simply in the centre of a room. This will allow you a few days to clean thoroughly and complete any small jobs necessary before settling into your new space.

Update your services and accounts


It can take time for some utilities to get up and running. Set a reminder to take your name off your current utility bills and set up accounts for services at your new place in advance of moving in. Remember to also change the mailing address on your subscriptions, delivery services. Most importantly, don’t forget to make changes for government and banking documents.

Make a plan for your first night


Moving day can be a long and tiring process, so you’ll want to plan ahead for that first night. You may not have the time or energy to set up your bedroom right away. Perhaps you are having a new mattress delivered in the coming week. Book a hotel or arrange to stay with family or friends until you are ready to sleep comfortably in your new home.

kitchen packing tips comox valley

Advice on Packing your Comox Valley Kitchen!

Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen might be the most daunting one to pack up. When it’s time to move, follow these four important steps to make packing your kitchen easy and stress-free!

Get organized.

Before you start packing mugs and bowls into boxes, take inventory of each cupboard and drawer in your kitchen. Use this opportunity to purge or donate any items you do not intend to take with you. Next, gather all the packing materials you will need. Packing paper or bubble wrap, strong tape, boxes in various sizes, and a marker should all be on hand.

Set aside your essentials.

You can’t leave everything to the last minute. You’ll want to pack up the vast majority of your kitchen ahead of time. Leave out only a few essential items to be used in the final days and weeks leading up to your move. Keep out one dish, bowl, mug, glass and set of cutlery per person, along with any small appliances used daily (i.e. a coffee maker). You may also need to hold back one multi-purpose pot or pan. On moving day, carefully pack all these items into one box and label it ‘essentials’.

Pack it in.

Place similar items together. Organize your kitchen contents by size and fragility. For example, all flat plates should be packed together with a few sheets of packing paper in between each one. The same goes for bowls. Remember, most of these items are heavy and breakable. Be sure to use strong boxes or bins with snap-tight lids, and fill in any empty space with extra paper or bubble wrap.

Tips for boxing breakables:


○ Double-tape the bottom of any cardboard boxes to support heavy items. Place a dish towel or some scrunched up packing paper at the bottom of each box. It will provide extra support for heavy dishes.
○ Clearly label each box or bin. Identify not only the room it belongs to (kitchen), but also the contents of the box (pots and pans, mixing bowls, cutlery, etc.). You’ll be glad you did when you’re looking for your favourite coffee mug.
○ Use special glass dividers that can be inserted into packing boxes to transport your stemware safely.

○ Fill the empty space inside the boxes with dish towels and other linens. This will keep items from shifting and potentially getting damaged. They have to be packed anyway!
○ Wrap your entire cutlery tray in packing paper or a table cloth and place it flat inside a box.
○ Always wrap knives separately in paper or bubble wrap first and then in a dish towel. Place them on their side inside the box, never pointing up. And, be sure to clearly label this box.

Reduce food waste.

Before you move, take stock of the contents of your fridge, freezer and pantry. In an effort to minimize waste, try to think of easy recipes you can make to use up as many of these items as possible. On moving day, put the remaining items in a cooler with cold packs. These items should be packed last before you leave, and unpacked first when you get to your new place.

real estate in comox

Navigating Comox Valley Real Estate in 2024

Happy New Year! If you’re looking to invest in Comox Valley real estate, 2024 is looking ripe with opportunities. National trends and new assessment data from BC Assessments are showing signs of a shift toward a buyer’s market in many of Canada’s major cities. In this article, I will be going over some of the 2024 market insights to pay mind to in the months to come.

Follow along below to learn more about what to expect from Comox Valley real estate in the New Year!

What to Know About Buying Comox Valley Real Estate in 2024

The first thing that buyers should be aware of going into 2024, is the current status of interest rates. The Bank of Canada has been steadily increasing the policy rate since 2022 in an effort to curb economic growth, discourage spending, and minimize demand. Over the past few months, the BOC has not raised the key lending rate any further. Many experts predict that rates will remain stable for the first half of 2024. After this, Canadians can expect to see modest cuts made. 

According to BC Assessments, property values on Vancouver Island have increased from $385 billion to over $386 billion. Despite this, most cities/towns on the Island experienced slight decreases in value. For instance, in the North Island region, Courtenay and Comox property values diminished by 4%. Additionally, in Cumberland, the average home worth plummeted 7%. 

Homeowners should keep in mind that although values dropped in 2023, they are predicted to rebound in the new year. Experts are hopeful that the national average property value will go up by 4.7% in most primary markets. 

Contact me Today!

If you are interested in learning more about buying Comox Valley real estate, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you make sure that you buy the right home for your family! For more information about real estate in the area, stay tuned to my real estate blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more.

I look forward to working with you in 2024!

creating a welcome entry selling comox valley homes

Creating a Welcoming Environment when Selling your Courtenay Home

When buyers view your home, you want them to feel welcomed, of course! You do not want them to feel like they’re intruders or a nuisance. How do you create that impression? Here are a few proven ideas to create a welcoming environment.

The foyer


This is where buyers first set foot in your home. It’s where they form their first impressions. Make sure the foyer is tidy and feels spacious. Ensure the doormat (if you have one) is clean or new. If you anticipate wet weather during a showing, have a convenient place for buyers to put their footwear.

Lighting


Does a dark space or poorly lit room make you feel welcomed? Likely not! So, go through your home and check that the lighting is sufficient and pleasant. If possible, have three light sources in each room, including passive light from windows.

Interior doors


Nothing says “You’re not welcome” more than a closed door. Wherever possible, have interior doors open. You want buyers to feel comfortable exploring your home without questioning whether they can enter a particular space. There may be exceptions, of course, such as the door to a storage room.

Personal items


In most cases, buyers are walking through a stranger’s house. (Yours!) For some, that means there may be a sense of discomfort. For example, if buyers see a family portrait on the wall, they might feel like intruders. To put buyers at ease, remove as many personal items as possible. By creating a “blank slate”, you’ll help them visualize themselves living there.


The more welcomed you can make buyers feel when they view your home, the more interest you’ll get.

home appraisals comox

Comox Valley Home Appraisals Explained

Have you ever wondered how much your property’s value has changed since you purchased it?


Home appraisals can play a big role. Following is a breakdown of the appraisal process – what it means, when it happens, and other important factors you need to know.

What is a home appraisal?


An appraisal is a process to determine how much money a property is worth. It sounds simple in theory, but a lot goes into determining the appraised value of a piece of real estate. Valid appraisals must be conducted by a licensed appraiser. This is a third-party professional who is unbiased towards the sale. Typically, the appraisal is ordered by your bank or mortgage lender.


The first step of any appraisal process is making an appointment for an inspection. The appraiser will look at several factors including the property, current real estate market, and location of the home.


The property itself


Your appraiser will want to look inside and outside your home to determine what amenities are available and the condition of the property. They’ll note the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas. They will look at what kind of appliances are in the home, as well as the finishes and materials used to build the home. They’ll also consider the exterior of the home. For this they will note the size and condition of front and back yards, the number of parking spaces, and the health of the windows, siding, and roofing.


The current real estate market

The value of properties fluctuates over time, so overall market conditions also play a role in real estate appraisal. Your appraiser will look at the value of similar properties nearby to get a better idea of trends more specific to your local market.


Your home’s location

The value of a home isn’t just about the structure itself. It is also influenced by what’s around the home and how the property fits with the surrounding structures. For example, nearby parks, schools, retailers, and other amenities can affect property value.

When do I need an appraisal?


You can hire an appraiser to look at your property any time if you’re curious about its value. However, there are two main reasons someone would want their home to be appraised.

  1. When buying or selling a home
    Purchasing a home is one of the top reasons appraisals happen. The value of your home will affect your property tax and mortgage. Banks and mortgage lenders often require appraisals as part of their due diligence. They are taking a risk by lending you money so they want to verify the value of a home before approving a mortgage. If you purchase a home for a price much higher than what the home appraisal comes in at, lenders are unlikely to finance it or may require you to make a larger down payment. Typically they will only lend on the appraised value of the home, not on the purchase price. While it’s often the bank or lender that orders an appraisal, the cost may fall on the buyers. Typically, the cost of a home appraisal in Canada is between $300 and $600. The price of an appraisal depends on how large the property is, where it’s located and whether it’s considered a luxury home. Luxury homes are typically very large homes with high-quality finishes.If your appraiser has to spend more time travelling to your home or assessing its value on location, that can add to the cost.

Pro tip: Larger banks and brokers sometimes cover appraisal costs, so don’t be afraid to ask about this possibility!


If you’re looking to sell your home, it’s best to speak with your REALTOR®. She/he can provide you with insights into the current market conditions that may affect the value of your home.

  1. When refinancing your mortgage
    Refinancing your mortgage can be beneficial if you would like to secure a better interest rate. Some refinances require a home appraisal to determine if the current balance of your mortgage is more than the property’s value. Your bank or lender may call for an appraisal in order to ensure its worth is enough to secure your new loan. Not all refinances require an appraisal, so make sure to talk to your bank or lender to see if it’s necessary.

What’s the difference between appraised value and market value?


Market value is typically determined through a comparative market analysis (CMA). It is the estimated value of a home. It is based on an analysis of comparable recent sales in your market and what buyers are willing to pay for the property. A home appraisal is based strictly on the physical features of your home or property. CMAs usually happen at the beginning of the selling process and are conducted by your REALTOR®. As well as looking at current listings and sales, your REALTOR will look at many of the other details as the appraiser. An appraisal usually happens as part of the closing process and is conducted by a licensed appraiser.


Remember, these values are not always the property listing price. The appraised value is based on the objective assessment of a licensed professional. The market value is what buyers are willing to pay and sellers are willing to sell for. If you are selling, your REALTOR® can provide you with a CMA to help you determine a listing price. They also have access to the MLS Home Price Index (HPI). This is the most advanced and accurate tool available to gauge a neighbourhood’s home price levels and trends. It is exclusive to REALTORS®.


The information discussed in this article should not be taken as financial or legal advice. This article is for informational purposes only.

saving money for a home

Savings Strategies to Help Achieve Homeownership in Courtenay

Affordability has been a major concern for many potential homebuyers this year thanks to rising interest rates, high inflation and housing supply issues. Fortunately there are several savings accounts, incentives and rebate programs available. These will help you save for a down payment and other housing costs by building a homeownership strategy.

This is a guide to help you prepare for the biggest financial transaction(s) of your life.

Three savings accounts available for Canadians to help with down payment and other homeownership costs include:

● Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)
● Tax-free savings account (TFSA)
● First home savings account (FHSA)

Established more than 30 years ago, the Home Buyers’ Plan enables first-time homebuyers to access funds accumulated in their RRSPs. These funds can be used to help finance the purchase of your first home tax-free. The borrowed funds must be repaid.

The Tax Free Savings Account was first introduced in 2009. This registered investment account represents a flexible, all-purpose savings tool. It allows account holders to contribute and withdraw from a tax-sheltered account easily and without penalty. Tax-free withdrawals can be made at any time for any purpose. There are no withdrawal limits, and there’s no payback requirement. The account holder can use savings as needed and replenish as desired (within the annual contribution amount). Contributions are not tax deductible.

The First Home Savings Account is brand new for 2023. It combines the benefits of both an RRSP and TFSA. It is tax-deductible, and withdrawals are non-taxable. Since the savings are meant specifically for buying a first home, any amount withdrawn for another purpose will be taxed. The FHSA must be closed within a year from when the first withdrawal is made. If the funds aren’t used for a first home purchase within 15 years of opening an account, it must be closed. At this time the funds must then be transferred to an RRSP/registered retirement income fund or withdrawn as taxable income.

Start early, start now

Early saving and investing for the future is key for you when looking to become a homeowner. It is equally as important as making sure you have a full team of experts on your side. In addition to a Realtor, you should have a mortgage broker/agent, financial advisor/planner and real estate lawyer or notary. Your Realtor may also want to be in contact with these other professionals to help during the process. This will allow everyone to save time, and will also streamline the entire real estate process. It will lead to an easier, more seamless transaction.

Plans you set up today will help down the road.

Don’t rely on your parents to learn about the homebuying and mortgage processes. They may be a good sounding board, but everything has changed. Even if they bought within the past five to 10 years, the qualifying rate and required documentation are different. It’s important to have conversations about financing essentials, including credit, qualification and down payment. This information at the onset can save you a lot of future stress. Since an FHSA can be opened as early as age 18, it’s a great way for Canadians to start planning for homeownership early.

Getting clear on financial goals

It is also important for you to speak to someone about financing long before moving forward with a purchase. In this way you can be more confident about how to achieve your financial goals.

Homeownership really needs to be a top priority if it’s going to happen. Some sacrifices may be necessary. In some cases drastic changes, such as a career change, may be in order. Just don’t decide to change your job or career within two years of trying to qualify for a mortgage. You have to have two years of employment history on your income to qualify. It demonstrates stability and reliability to your lender.

Four recommended financial strategies include:

  1. Clearly track all expenses. This raises awareness, which enables you to compare your actions with your goals.
  2. Avoid unnecessary bank fees. Research banks that don’t charge fees.
  3. Automate savings. Start small and ramp up. Every little bit helps.
  4. Automate investments. If you have the time horizon (at least two years) and the risk tolerance, this works well. The more you can take willpower out of the equation, the better.

The goal of homeownership has become much longer for many Canadians. Meet with the right professionals early. It can make a world of difference if you do this as soon as you have started saving for your first home. Set yourself up for success!

mortgage application

THE 5 C’S OF CREDIT – These 5 factors are used to evaluate your mortgage application.

THE 5 C’S OF CREDIT

These 5 factors are used to evaluate your mortgage application.

Lenders analyze five different factors when reviewing your mortgage application. They are often referred to as the 5 C’s of credit. When applied to your application, the lender determines their risk level in providing you the funds. It helps them in their decision to approve or decline your request.

CAPACITY

Can you afford the payments along with other living and credit expenses? The lender wants to know if you can handle the debt and be able to repay the mortgage loan. Your income is reviewed and the lender will crunch some numbers to determine your Total Debt Service Ratio.

CHARACTER

As past behaviours predict future tendencies, lenders put weight on your past payment responsibilities. They will look at how long you have been employed, and how long you have lived at your present address. The lender is looking for clients who show stability and reliability.

COLLATERAL

It is a pledge of property or other assets you are borrowing against. How marketable is the property you are financing? How much money are you putting down? The property provides a means of at least partial recovery if you were to default on a mortgage loan. If the lender finds a weakness in one of the C’s of credit but everything else is fine, they may ask for more money to be put down on the property. That strengthens their collateral.

CREDIT

This is where your credit report is reviewed including your beacon or credit score. Have you had difficulty meeting payments in the past? Are your credit trades at the credit limit or do you pay them in full each month? How long have you managed credit? All of these are factors in determining if you are likely to pay your mortgage payments as agreed.

CAPITAL

This is your net worth: assets minus liabilities. Are you in a positive position? Will you have access to any funds should you incur any unforeseen circumstances.

Not all the five C’s have to be perfect. Not many are. Lenders will mitigate a weaker C’s with emphasis on a strong one if possible. As an example, your capital or net worth may be in a negative position. This could be due to student loans and a new degree in your field of study. This would be emphasized to the lender.

Another example may be bruised credit when you were ill or going through a divorce. However, everything has been paid as agreed for the last year. You have good job stability (character) and are putting 10% down (collateral). These factors may mitigate the bruised credit.

Perhaps your capacity or affordability is right at the maximum ratios and you are fairly new on your job but your credit is A1. We would rationalize that you always prioritize your debt repayment each month.

There are the 5 C’s that lenders analyze when reviewing a mortgage application.

Are you looking for more information about mortgages or the best people to consult in this regard? I can help you with that. Call on me for assistance.

credit reports

CREDIT REPORTS: GDS AND TDS – What does it mean to be “qualified”?

The word “qualified” gets tossed around a lot when people talk about financing. What exactly does it mean to be qualified in a financial sense? How do lenders make that
determination?

The primary calculations that lenders use are Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS) and Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS).

These are calculations that determine what percentage of your annual income you will be devoting to paying (or “servicing”) your debts. This includes the debt you’re applying for. These are useful and surprisingly simple budgeting tools that you can use for yourself. They will help keep your financial obligations at a reasonable level.

The calculations look like this:

GDSR = Annual mortgage payments + property taxes + heat / gross family income


TDSR = Annual mortgage payments + property taxes + heat + other debt payments /
gross family income

Most lenders will allow these ratios to go up to 39% GDS and 44% TDS. If you have recorded credit trouble on your credit report (for example, if your score is below 680), they may look for lower percentages, ie 5% GDS and 42% TDS.

In order to determine these numbers the lender needs more information. This is where the credit check comes in. The score is only one component. What also matters are the other payments you are obligated to make each month. A person can have income that results in a reasonable GDS. If there is also a line of credit, car loan, and large credit card balance this could push the TDS way out of line.

Another factor that lenders look at on a credit report is your repayment history.

Most credit sources are “revolving,” meaning the balance can increase or decrease with use.

On the credit report these appear with an R next to them and a number from 1-9 indicating the repayment history. 1 is the best rating, while 9 refers to a debt that’s gone to a collection agency.

Unless your account has been sent to collection, things like cell phone or cable bills will not show up on your credit report and so will not be included in the debt servicing calculation.

It is possible to go into a lot more detail about how credit scores are generated and what all the information on the report means. This is not intended to go into more detail. It is to show how important it is for you and your broker to have a look at your credit even at the pre-approval stage. The information is essential to the process of qualifying you for a purchase since it’s used to calculate your debt servicing ratios.

You will find more information about credit scoring on the Government of Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs website.

Janice can help put you in touch with a reliable, experienced mortgage broker or you can contact your current financial institution or advisor.

2023 Fall Economic Statement

Federal Government pledges more funding for affordable housing. What does it mean for the average Canadian?

The Canadian government unveiled its 2023 Fall Economic Statement on November 21. It is an annual fiscal report that provides an update on the state of the Canadian economy. It also outlines the government’s plans for future spending. The report focused on Canada’s housing affordability and supply crisis. In it, the government announced new funding for the creation of more affordable housing and purpose-built rental units. New rules regarding the mortgage stress test were also unveiled.

The initiatives will lead to the creation of more housing in some of the country’s most expensive regions. It is aimed toward those who plan to buy a home or rent a property in the near future. Here’s what you need to know about the 2023 Fall Economic Statement: The Canadian Mortgage Charter Since interest rates started to rise in early 2022, many variable-rate mortgage holders have faced fast-rising monthly payments. In some cases, negative amortization is the result as interest payments outpace mortgage principal. Thousands will also have to renew their mortgage at much higher interest rates in the next two years compared to the ultra-low rates offered during the pandemic. To provide Canadians with mortgage relief options, the federal government has adopted new measures for financial institutions.

These include:

  • Permitting temporary extensions of mortgage amortizations
  • Waiving fees that would have previously applied for relief measures
  • Dropping the requirement for insured mortgage holders to requalify under the insured minimum qualifying rate (stress test) when switching lenders at the time of their mortgage renewal
  • Requiring lenders to contact homeowners four to six months prior to their mortgage renewal to inform them of their financial options
  • Giving homeowners at risk the ability to make lump sum payments to avoid negative amortization, or sell their principal residence without any prepayment penalties
  • Waiving interest on interest in the event that mortgage relief measures result in a temporary period of negative amortization

New funds for affordable housing


In an effort to encourage more homes built faster, billions of dollars in spending have been pledged towards the creation of affordable and purpose-built rental housing. For non-profit, co-op, and public housing providers an additional $1 billion will be allocated over three years.

Through the Affordable Housing Fund this is intended to have more than 7,000 new homes built by 2028. The Co-operative Housing Development Program will also receive nearly $310 million in new funding.

Incentives for apartment builders


To encourage the creation of much-needed rental housing, the Economic Statement outlines new funding for home builders. Starting in 2025-2026, the federal government says it has committed an additional $15 billion in funding for the Apartment Construction Loan Program. This provides low-cost financing to builders and developers. This top-up will support the creation of more than 30,000 additional new homes across the country. It will bring the government’s total goal to 101,000 new homes by 2031-2032.

Tax limitations on short-term rentals

With the demand for long-term housing options so high across Canada, the federal government is placing stricter measures on short-term rentals. It is hoped this will encourage property owners to list their homes for sale or to lease for longer periods. The Economic Statement introduced $50 million in funding over three years to support municipal enforcement of restrictions on short-term rentals. In addition, for provinces and municipalities that ban short-term rentals, there will be another change. Income tax deductions for expenses incurred on short-term rental income will be denied. This will also apply to short-term rental owners who are not compliant with provincial or municipal licensing, permitting, or registration requirements.

If you want to know more about the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, read the full report here.

As always, if you have any questions about real estate in Courtenay and the Comox Valley, be sure to contact me directly.

Real Estate in Comox Valley

Blog Recap of Real Estate in Comox Valley!

2023 is quickly coming to an end. As the New Year approaches, I thought that now would be a good time to do a year-end blog recap. This way all of my readers have the opportunity to catch up on missed posts and see this year’s real estate blog highlights. In this article, I will be going over a recap of my favourite posts from each month.

Follow along below to see what was written about real estate in Comox Valley in 2023! Don’t forget to stay tuned to this space in 2024! I’ll bringing more valuable content your way, so that you can make the most informed real estate decisions!

What Was Happening With Real Estate in Comox Valley During the Winter & Spring?

home renovation roi janice leffler real estate comox

Jan – Moving from a Property in Comox!

Moving can be one of the most stressful parts of selling your home. On this page, you’ll find tips and resources to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Feb – Up Your Chances of Selling Homes for Sale in Courtenay

Before you sell your home, there are a couple of things you can do to attract buyers and return a better profit. In this article, I went over some of the best tips and tricks for sellers! These tried and tested methods are certain to help you as you work towards selling your home. 

Mar – How to Find Possible Issues With Houses for Sale in Comox?

When it comes time to purchase houses for sale in Comox, it’s important to be wary of potential issues with the property. With housing prices and interest rates the way they are, the last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on home repairs. To avoid this, I put together a list of ways to help you uncover potential problems in a home. 

Apr – Make Your Kitchen Stand Out in Courtenay Homes for Sale!

Your kitchen is one of the most valuable areas in your home. In this article, I show you how to prepare your kitchen so that it looks its best for potential buyers! 

May – Should I Get a Home Inspection When Buying Courtenay Real Estate?

Getting a home inspection before you purchase a new home may seem like a no-brainer. However, given the right market conditions, you’d be surprised how many buyers neglect to have one done. In this post, I go over all of the reasons why you should get a home inspection before sealing the deal! 

Looking Back at Summer & Fall on My Blog

Courtenay Real estate

Jun – Signs That You Should Buy Comox Houses for Sale

Knowing when to look at purchasing a home is almost as important as having the finances to do it. In this article, I wrote about all of the reasons that you should invest in Comox houses for sale. 

Jul – How to Reduce Humidity in Houses in Courtenay During The Summer?

During the summer, our homes can become a lot more humid than in cooler seasons like winter and fall. To help you keep humidity within a normal range, I shared my top tips for keeping your home less humid. 

Aug – Prepping Courtenay Houses for Sale for an Open House!

Open houses are a great way to attract buyers to your listing. In this article, I go through some of my top tips for preparing Courtenay houses for sale for an open house.

Sept –  Buying New Comox Valley Houses: Pros and Cons

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases that most Canadians will make in their lifetime. Because of this, buyers must make the right decision about what kind of house to purchase. To help you decide, I went over the benefits and drawbacks of buying new. 

Oct – Simple Ways to Update Your Home for Sale in Courtenay

One of the best ways to update your home on a budget is by taking on a small DIY project. In this article, I go over some of my favourite ways that homeowners can modernize outdated living areas.

Nov – Pros and Cons of Hosting an Open House in Comox Valley

Open houses remain heavily debated in the real estate industry. To decide what the best choice is for you, I put together a list of the advantages and disadvantages of open houses. 

Contact me Today!

Contact me today if you have any questions about buying or selling real estate in Comox Valley. Thanks to everyone for another awesome year! I look forward to working with you again in 2024. Be sure to check back in January for more blog content. Happy holidays everybody!

home inspection courtenay

Common Reasons Courtenay Home Sales Fall Through

Wouldn’t it be great if every home sale breezed through without a hitch? The offer is made, and accepted, and you’re moved in within 30 days—perfect! Well, that’s sometimes not the case.

Home sales can fall through for a number of reasons, which is why having a REALTOR® on your side is crucial to help you navigate them. Following are five common reasons home sales can fall through.

The Home Inspection exposes major issues


Whether you’re purchasing a brand new build or an older property, getting a home inspection helps uncover defects or repairs that need doing. Minor issues can usually be solved between the buyer and seller. If an inspector finds large cracks in the foundation or a leaky roof, that could be problematic. That can definitely kill a deal or bring it back to the table for further negotiations. It may also require more exploratory work involving what was discovered.

    Sellers can potentially avoid those problems by having their home pre-inspected before putting it on the market. In this way, you can fix minor issues. If you come across a major one, it will give you time to think about how to tackle it when it comes up later.

    The seller’s REALTOR® might suggest disclosing a major issue in the listing and pricing the home accordingly, for example.

    Documents reveal red flags


    If you’re purchasing a condominium, you and your REALTOR® should first review documents pertaining to the building(s). Documents include depreciation reports, meeting minutes, engineering reports, and financial summaries. For example, if you’re looking at a condo in a 10-unit building, you could find out the roof soon needs replacing at a cost of $100,000. You could also find the building’s funding reserve is low. That means to get the roof replaced, everybody would owe $10,000. Depreciation reports can show other expensive items that need replacing, like windows or elevators. This can kill a deal if the costs become too onerous and the strata corporation has not planned for them.

    Financing isn’t approved or a Home Appraisal doesn’t match the sale price

    If you’re not pre-approved for a mortgage, you may not get financing in place which could tank the sale. Even if you’ve been pre-approved, your bank will need to appraise the home you’re buying before finalizing your mortgage. In competitive offer situations, people’s emotions might get the best of them. The price gets higher and the bank might disagree with the value. That means there may be a shortfall from the agreed purchase/sale price. You can still finance a large portion of it, but to make this sale work now, you’d have to bring more money to the table.

      Buyers unable to afford a larger down payment would not be able to secure financing so may back out of the deal.

      Small Details can cause big problems

      Sometimes, buyers and sellers agree on a purchase price but then get bogged down on other points. They can’t agree on occupancy dates or what’s included with the home, for example. A buyer may want to move into the home quickly, but the seller needs more time.

      Usually there’s a creative solution to make it work. The seller could do a rent back for a month or longer, say. It can still spill over to other facets of the negotiation and sour the whole deal though. Sometimes buyers want the seller to include a lot of items. It is usually best to leave that alone and reach terms everyone can agree upon. Then, after the deal is done, the buyers can make them an offer for extras, but keep it separate from the real estate (the home).

        Buyers get Cold Feet


        Until all conditions are met a deal is not done and buyers can walk away if they have a reason for doing so. Conditions to be met may include a home appraisal, inspection, and approval of financing. There could be other conditions as well. It is important for the buyers to pay their deposit too.

          In order for a successful sale to occur, all of the foregoing must be satisfied and signed off on in a timely manner. Get peace of mind by working with a REALTOR® With so many steps involved, working with a REALTOR® is extremely beneficial.

          If you’re working on your own, you don’t have representation to protect and guide you. A REALTOR® looks out for your best interests. I will follow through on all due diligence. This allows buyers and sellers to understand exactly what they are getting involved in. It also lays out the costs and the process so you can feel 100% comfortable with every decision you’re making.

          If you’re buying or selling your home soon, connect with Janice, a local REALTOR® in Courtenay, BC. She will ensure you’re taken care of through the entire process from the expected highs to the unexpected lows.

          Open House in Comox Valley

          Pros and Cons of Hosting an Open House in Comox Valley

          Are you planning on selling your house in Comox Valley? If you are, you may be considering whether or not you should host an open house. Open houses remain heavily debated in the real estate industry. This age-old debate has brought forward a number of pros and cons. In order to decide what the best choice is for you, we have put together a list of the advantages and disadvantages of open houses. Follow along below to learn more!

          • Pros:

          One of the benefits of hosting an open house is that you attract unexpected buyers. Oftentimes, open houses will draw in potential buyers who happen to pass by the event or those who are just beginning the buying process. In addition, hosting an open house can mean increased awareness from those in your area. Thus, generating a buzz around your property which can in turn attract more serious buyers! Finally, an open house provides you with the unique opportunity to get immediate feedback about your home. This can be extremely beneficial when it comes to assessing the market’s response to your property. 

          • Cons

          For some sellers, hosting an open house can bring up concerns about security and privacy. Since numerous guests can walk through the property, it’s hard to eliminate all of the risks. For instance, theft or visitors accessing off-limits areas. Additionally, many sellers worry that open houses will only attract unqualified buyers or nosy neighbours. Another cause for concern is that the property may become damaged in hosting an open house. Whether accidental or intentional, the risk remains. 

          Contact me Today About Selling Your House in Comox Valley!

          If you are interested in learning more about how to market your house in Comox Valley, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you make sure that you sell your home in a timely manner! For more information about real estate in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon.

          courtenay mortgage

          Ways to Pay Off Your Courtenay Mortgage Faster

          When it comes to homeownership, many of us dream of the day we will be mortgage-free. While most mortgages operate on a 25-year amortization schedule, there are some ways you can pay off your mortgage more quickly!

          Review Your Payment Schedule:

          An easy way to start paying down your mortgage faster could be to look at your payment schedule. You may want to move to an accelerated bi-weekly payment schedule. While this will lead to slightly higher monthly payments, the overall result is approximately one extra payment on your mortgage per calendar year. This can reduce the total amortization by multiple years, which is an effective way to whittle down your amortization faster.

          Increase Your Mortgage Payments*:

          This is another fairly simple change you can execute today to start having more of an impact on your mortgage. Most lenders offer some sort of pre-payment privilege that allows you to increase your payment amount without penalty. This payment increase allowance can range from 10% to 20% increase from the original payment amount. If you have earned a raise at work, or have come into some money, consider putting those funds right onto your mortgage. That will help reduce your mortgage balance feeling like you have to change your spending habits.

          Extra Payments*:

          For those of you who have pre-payment privileges on your mortgage, this is a great option for paying it down faster. The extra payment option allows you to do an annual lump-sum payment of 10-20% of the original loan amount to help reduce your loan! Some mortgages will allow you to increase your payment by this pre-payment privilege percentage amount as well. This is another great way to utilize any extra money you may have earned, such as from a bonus at work or an inheritance.

          Negotiate a Better Rate:

          Depending on whether you have a variable or a fixed-rate mortgage, you may want to consider looking into getting a better rate. This would reduce your overall mortgage payments and the amount that goes to interest. This is ideally done when your mortgage term is up for renewal. When rates start to come back down, it could be a great opportunity to adjust your mortgage and save! This may be done with your existing lender OR by moving to a new lender who is offering a lower rate (known as a switch and transfer).

            Refinance to a Shorter Amortization Period:

            Last, consider the term of your mortgage. If your mortgage is coming up for renewal, this is a great time to look at refinancing to a shorter amortization period. While this will lead to higher monthly payments, you will be paying less interest over the life of the loan. Knowing what you can afford and how quickly you want to be mortgage-free can help you determine the best new amortization schedule.

            *These options are only available for some mortgage products. Check your mortgage package or reach out to your lender. He or she will be able to ensure these options are available to you and that you avoid any potential penalties. If you’re looking to pay your mortgage off quicker, don’t hesitate to reach out to your mortgage broker or banker today! He or she can help you review the above options and assist in choosing the most effective course of action for your situation.

            house in courtenay bc

            A Pet-Friendly Home in Courtenay, BC

            When renovating a Courtenay home, the major concerns are often making the space more functional, stylish, and cozy. When you have a pet or are planning to get one, some of those design considerations may change to best suit your four-legged family member’s needs.

            Here are a few tips to help make your home in Courtenay more pet-friendly:


            Avoid carpet flooring

            Carpets can gather dirt and stains like no other. Many pets shed, and some may feel the occasional need to relieve themselves in the wrong place. Plus, animals can easily tip over glasses and plates with their tails while exploring tabletops. Avoid a time-consuming and potentially expensive clean-up. Opt for durable and easy-to-clean flooring like laminate, vinyl, stone, or ceramic.

            Get washable, wipeable furnishings for your home in Courtenay


            When it comes to your couch and other furniture, choose fabrics and textures that are less of a magnet for pet fur. If necessary, somewhat claw-resistant fabrics are a good idea as well. Consider certain types of synthetic fibres that can be more resistant to damage. You may also want to apply a protective layer of wipeable paint… just in case you end up with paw prints on your walls.

            Design a ‘pet pad’


            As a way to minimize mess and not give the impression that you have a Tasmanian devil for a pet, consider setting up a designated play area for your furry friend. Retrofit a small portion of your home with a comfy bed, bowls for food and water, a storage bin for toys, and scratch pads. If they feel like they have their own space, it may keep your pets from spreading toys around the house and taking things from other rooms. This can also help contain any potential messes in one area of your home… preferably one that has durable floors.

            Safety-proof your yard


            Outside of your home in Courtenay, plant only pet-friendly flowers and plants in your garden. Avoid toxic vegetation like tulips, lilies, and certain kinds of mulch. Provide your pet with an outdoor shelter and some shade for hot summer days. Ensure you build a sturdy fence around the yard to help keep them from running away. This should also prevent skunks, raccoons, and other critters, including your neighbors’ pets, from setting up shop on your property and harming or disturbing your four-legged friend.

            Get in touch with me if you’re looking for more real estate-related advice in Courtenay, BC!

            courtenay real estate agent

            Should you buy or sell your home first? Here’s help from a Courtenay Real Estate Agent to decide.

            If you’re a homeowner who’s thinking about moving, then you’ve probably pondered the age-old question. Should I sell my home before I buy a new one, or buy my next property first?

            Whichever option you choose, it’s an intensely personal decision. It should take into account individual finances, risk tolerance, and current market conditions. Some homeowners who have a strict timeline or budget may take comfort in selling their current residence first. Others who have more flexibility will opt to buy their next home before selling.

            If you’re on the fence about which option works best for you, here are a few insights that can help you make this crucial decision.

            Buying your new home first

            For homebuyers who are looking for a specific property and want certainty on their moving timeline, buying their new home first may be the best option. Buying your next home before selling your current one allows you to take your time searching for a property. This is especially beneficial to buyers who want to be in a particular neighbourhood, or school district, or desire specific features in a home. Once you’ve bought your new home, you’ll know exactly when your closing date will be. This will help with coordinating the sale of your existing residence.

            While the major advantage of buying first is a pre-determined timeline, this can force a short period for preparing your current home for sale. That means updating, staging, and marketing your property will need to happen within a defined time frame. It quite possibly may be a short one. The risk: if you are unsuccessful in selling your property quickly, you could be stuck with paying two concurrent mortgages. Bridge financing can be used as a temporary solution to cover the payments of your new and current home. However, it is expensive and is not applicable in cases where your property hasn’t sold yet.

            Buying a new property first is best suited to a seller’s market, where demand is higher than the number of homes available. Your property then has a better chance of selling quickly. Purchasing before selling is not recommended for anyone who is working with a strict budget and is relying on the sale of their existing home to determine how much they can afford to buy. Carefully weigh this option with advice from your Courtenay Real Estate Agent.

            Selling your current home first

            If you are someone who prefers certainty, selling your home before buying a new one may be best. This is best suited for those who want to be sure of their finances and the sale of their home before making any big real estate decisions.

            The obvious benefit to selling your home first is gaining a clear financial picture before your next property purchase. Once you sell your home, you’ll know how much you can afford to spend on a new place. You will also know exactly when your closing date is.

            If you’re relying on the capital from the sale of your current property, or you’re not in a position to financially bridge the gap between the two homes, then selling first may be the best choice for you.

            On the flip side, selling first can create pressure to quickly buy a new home. This can be especially tough in markets with low inventory. Homeowners may feel rushed to snap up whatever property is available.

            For those who are looking for a very specific property that may require more time to find, selling their current home before buying may not be the best. However, if you feel more comfortable selling first, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in place in the event that you can’t find a new home quickly. Consider living with family or friends temporarily, securing a short-term rental, or taking a vacation.

            How your Courtenay Real Estate Agent can help

            Whether you decide to buy or sell first, your real estate agent is a great resource. I will be able to help you make this important decision by outlining each scenario. In this way, you can determine which option is right for you based on the current market and your unique situation. My expertise in local Courtenay market trends will help you determine whether buying or selling first is best for you.

            Want to speak with me, a Royal LePage agent in your Courtenay, BC community? Reach out. “Helping you is what we do!

            fall decor tips janice leffler courtenay homes for sale

            Four home decor trends for Courtenay Real Estate

            The season of pumpkin spice is once again upon us, and so are fall decorating traditions. The transition from summer to fall is a nostalgic time to break out the spooky decor. If dressing up the house with orange pumpkins and burlap year after year is getting stale, there’s no harm in shaking up your fall decorating choices this season.

            Here are four new 2023 fall decor trends you can try in your home:

            Earthy tones


            Fall colours are traditionally defined by shades of orange, red and brown. This year, more earth-like tones are making their way into home, including varieties of sage green, warm beige and caramel, rustic brick red and earthy terracotta. There are many ways you can achieve this softer, more muted fall look. Think coloured glassware, cushion covers, ceramics, blankets and other housewares. They are easy to swap out when the seasons change. If you want to add a contrasting statement piece to your interior this fall, try introducing an eye-catching accent colour with a hint of black, indigo or copper.


            Rustic touches

            Rustic furniture is a staple in fall design this year. Building off the theme of warm and earth-inspired interiors, distressed or vintage finds will bring a touch of charm to your home. The most economical and environmentally-friendly way to pull off this look is with the help of your local thrift store or online marketplaces. You’re likely to find an array of second-hand furniture, rugs and trinkets. You don’t need to spend a lot to add a ton of character to your space.


            Layered textures

            As the temperature drops, we tend to layer up with different fabrics to keep our bodies warm; it’s no different for our homes. This fall, mix and match different layers of textures and fabrics for an extra cozy feel. Whether it’s your bedding, accent cushions or rugs, get creative with different textiles, such as wool, knit, velvet, satin and cashmere. If your interior tastes are more neutral, you can still achieve this trend with a monochromatic colour palette to elevate your home.

            Fruits and flowers

            Move aside pumpkins, fruits are all the rage this year. Instead of opting for your typical array of white and orange gourds, fruits are taking centre stage in 2023. Seasonal fruits, such as apples, figs and pears can be repurposed as place cards. Or arrange them in bowls for a less expected fall centrepiece. Alternatively, you can showcase fruits through decorative flatware and table textiles, such as fabric napkins. If fruits aren’t really your thing, opt for dried florals instead. Pampas grass, sunflowers or wheat stalks will add a touch of ‘cottage’ to your living space.

            Bonus tip: Give attention to outdoor spaces

            Mild weather is known to last well into fall in this part of the country. This means we can use our beloved outdoor spaces for longer periods of time. Show your balcony, patio or backyard some fall decor love too by dressing it up with lanterns, wreaths and seasonal flowers, such as chrysanthemums or hydrangeas. Add a touch of coziness around your outdoor fireplace or sitting area with water-resistant pillows and blankets in your favourite fall colours and patterns. Property for sale in Courtenay, BC is available year-round because of our temperate climate. Be sure to check back to see what other advice my articles contain.

            comox valley condos for sale

            Simple Ways to Update Your Home for Sale in Courtenay

            No matter where you live, there will likely be an area of your home that you want to update. However, it’s not always possible to tear down the walls and splurge on renovations. Sometimes, you need to rely on your own skillset to turn the space into a room you love. One of the best ways to do this is by taking on a small DIY project. Updating your space on your own is a great way to save money while still achieving your renovation goals. In this article, I will be going over some of my favourite ways that homeowners can modernize outdated living areas. Follow along below to learn more!

            3 Projects to Breathe New Life in Your Home for Sale in Courtenay!

            1. Update Hardware

            Updating the hardware of your cabinets and tables is a great way to refresh the space you’re living in. While the change may seem subtle, it can actually make a big difference. This is also a good tip for those who want to make their rented space feel more like their own. Besides, it only takes a few minutes to complete! Try switching out your hardware for a quick DIY renovation.

            1. Repaint

            Repainting is one of the easiest ways to completely transform a space. The colour/shade you choose can drastically impact the feel of the room. Grab a few cans of paint and watch your once-outdated space become a thing of the past. Be sure to use drop sheets so as to prevent wrecking your floors and furniture.  

            1. Create a Gallery Wall

            Another simple project that you can take on to update a space, is creating a gallery wall. Gallery walls are a great way to spice up a boring room with images you love. Show off your favourite artwork, posters, family photos, jerseys, or whatever makes you smile. Before you start hanging your gallery wall, make sure you work out what layout you’d like. You can do this by laying your pictures on the ground and taking a photo of the arrangement you like best. Then, simply hang the images according to that layout. 

            Contact me Today

            If you are interested in learning more about how to update your home for sale in Courtenay, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you make sure that you love the space where you live! For more information about real estate in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon.

            buying new home in comox

            Buying New Comox Valley Houses: Pros and Cons

            Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases that most Canadians will make in their lifetime. Because of this, it is important that buyers make the right decision about what kind of house to purchase. Choosing whether to buy new or old Comox Valley houses can seriously impact your satisfaction. By understanding the pros and cons of both options, you can make the most informed choice about what kind of house you want to buy. In this article, we will be going over the benefits and drawbacks of buying new. Follow along below to learn more!

            Pros and Cons of Buying a New Home

            Buying a new home comes with a number of benefits. For instance, buying a new home can sometimes afford you the option to customize certain features. This is true in many cases for those who are purchasing, pre-sale homes. In addition to this, newer houses tend to be more energy efficient which can result in more savings over time. They also often come with modern amenities and they are lower maintenance. 

            Despite these benefits, newer homes do come at a higher cost compared to older properties. In addition, if you are buying a pre-sale home, there can be construction delays due to weather, supply chain issues, permitting, or other reasons. Furthermore, most new homes are located in unestablished neighbourhoods. This can mean dealing with ongoing construction or moving into a neighbourhood that doesn’t have a good sense of community. Finally, when moving into a new house you may need to pay for finishing costs. For example, completing the landscaping, finishing your basement, or paving your driveway. 

            Contact me Today About Comox Valley Houses!

            If you are interested in learning more about the pros and cons of buying new Comox Valley houses, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you make sure that you invest in the right property! For more information about real estate in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

            property in Comox Valley

            Live in Your Home Before Renovating It

            Buying a new home is exciting. Depending on where you are on the property ladder, you may not be getting a move-in-ready property. Although it can be tempting to jump right in to transform your space, it’s not always a good idea to rip down walls as soon as you close the sale. Here are some reasons you should put down that sledgehammer and take your time instead.

            You’ll learn about your home and its pain points

            Whether you buy a total fixer-upper, an older home that needs minor updates, or a newly built place you want to personalize, it’s smart to play the waiting game before embarking on major renovations. It’s a good idea to live in the house for 12 months before starting renovations. This way you get to know the house and the property inside-out. It’s like buying a car: you always test drive a car to see if you like it. After living in your home and seeing how it functions during all four seasons, you’ll figure out your priorities. Maybe you’ll notice you need more lighting or realize you have plenty of storage and don’t need custom-made built-ins.

            You’ll have more time to plan your project

            The key to making smart home improvements is in the planning. Allow yourself the chance to meet with several architects, designers, and contractors without the rush to complete a project before you move in.
            More planning also helps you stick to a budget. You can ask questions, compare quotes, speak to references, and figure out what you really need. Working too quickly can lead to poor decision-making and doing things over. That can also mean you end up paying more.

            You’ll have a better grasp on your finances

            Living in your house before ripping it apart also lets you see what you can afford and what you can’t. You’ve been paying your mortgage and expenses for a while and getting used to homeownership. After paying out cash for your down payment, closing costs and moving expenses, it’s wise to get back on your feet financially before committing to anything else.

            Getting all the work done before you move in comes with huge costs. You could end up having to rent somewhere if there are delays in your renovations. Doing things slowly gives you and your savings account some breathing room.

            You’ll probably change your mind (a few times)

            You may have thought gutting the kitchen was your top priority when you first bought the house. Once you’ve lived in it, you might end up liking the older wood cabinets and decide to paint them instead of demolishing them. Or, you might see that having a finished basement with a family room and guest suite has become more important to you than redoing the bathroom. Your perspective will shift once you move into your home. Until you actually live there, it’s hard to know how your family will use each space. While test-driving your house, take note of which rooms you spend the most time in. See whether there’s something you want to do but can’t, such as entertaining outside or working out in a home gym.

            You’ll need a break

            Buying a home can take its toll. You’ve just gone from qualifying for a mortgage to house
            hunting, negotiating with sellers, and managing closing costs. The journey can be a stressful,
            exhausting one. You’ve also just finished packing and moving. You don’t need the headaches that can
            accompany a major remodelling project. Taking time to revive yourselves after purchasing your property can help you think more clearly. Then, when you’re ready, you can make the next set of big decisions such as picking what to renovate. Your REALTOR® can help guide you through these decisions and more, as you enjoy your new home.

            comox valley homes for sale

            Understanding Heating and Cooling Systems

            For most, the extent of our heating and cooling system knowledge is pretty basic. When it’s cold out, turn on the heat and when it’s hot, turn on the air conditioning. However, as homeowners, it’s important to know how these systems work, what maintenance is required, and when it’s time to look at updating your system.

            The basics of HVAC systems

            Your home’s temperature control system typically includes three basic components:

            1. a source of warm or cool air such as an air conditioner or furnace;
            2. a means of distributing the air throughout your home such as ducts or vents and
            3. a way to regulate the temperature, such as a thermostat. Fuel or energy is used to make the system run, everything from electricity to natural gas to propane. The whole system, including the air conditioner, heat pump, furnace, ductwork, filter, air quality products, etc., is also known as a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.

            How HVAC systems work

            With most heating systems, fuel or energy, such as electricity, gas, oil, or wood, is used to produce heat. This heat is distributed through your home via ducts or pipes depending on your system. Some systems (like a ductless heat pump) distribute the heated (or cooled) air directly. Traditional air conditioners have two components: an indoor coil and an outdoor condenser. These components absorb heat and humidity from within your home and move it outside to an outdoor unit. Refrigerant in your cooling system is key to this process. The refrigerant undergoes a transition from a gas to a liquid state, cooling warm when it comes into contact with the coils. Ventilation refers to things like air distribution (ductwork), exhaust, filtering, energy recovery, and the like. Most systems fall into one of these categories:

            1. Split systems: These are the most common systems – where there is one unit to heat air and another to cool it. The heating system is housed inside (usually in a basement) and the cooling system is placed outside. Hot and cold air is distributed throughout the home by ducts.
            1. Ductless systems: These systems have individual units that produce both hot and cold
              air for a specific room or zone. A unit is mounted indoors and is connected to an outdoor
              compressor.
            2. Hybrid systems: These systems are set up and function similarly to a split system. The
              the difference is they can switch between fuel sources (typically gas and electricity) to help
              maximize efficiency.

            Common heating and cooling systems

            1. Forced-air systems: These systems blow heated or cooled air through your home. A forced air system distributes heat produced by the furnace or the coolness produced by a central air conditioner through an electrically powered fan, called a blower. The blower forces the air through a system of ducts throughout your home. As the warm air from the furnace flows into the rooms, colder air in the rooms flows down through another set of ducts (the cold air return system), to the furnace to be warmed. Central air conditioning systems use the same forced-air system, including the blower, to distribute cool air and bring warmer air back to be cooled.
            2. Heat Pumps: A fuel-burning furnace is different from a heat pump in that it requires fuel to produce heat. A heat pump takes heat out of the air (even when it’s really cold), compresses it, and moves it to another location. In the winter, that means moving heat inside, and the reverse in the summer. Heat pumps can be used in a split system (and ducted) or there are ductless options.
            3. Geothermal heat pump: Where a traditional heat pump uses the outside air, a geothermal system uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth to transfer heat to and from your home through buried pipes (ground loops) to a heat pump.
            4. Boilers: A boiler heats water which is then distributed through the home through pipes via radiators or a coil in your ductwork. That is then distributed by an air handler. Boilers send cold water, hot water, or steam through pipes that run throughout your home.
            5. Radiant systems: Radiant systems are run by a boiler and distribute heat using a radiator. Water is heated up by the furnace and heat is distributed through pipes that are embedded in the walls, floors, or ceilings. Radiant systems can only be used for heating.

            HVAC Maintenance

            No matter what HVAC system you have, like most things in your home, they require regular maintenance. taking care of your system can reduce your energy bills, resulting in the need for fewer costly repairs, better air quality, and fewer system breakdowns. While it’s best to leave the maintenance of these systems to the pros, there are some things you can do to help extend their life:

            Maintenance checklist:

            ● replace air filters regularly (every 30 to 90 days);
            ● check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly
            ● inspect ducts for dust, mould, or debris and consider having them cleaned (especially if you have pets or after a reno);
            ● during and after a heavy snowfall, make sure your furnace’s exhaust vent isn’t obstructed;
            ● remove any debris from around your outside HVAC unit and clutter from the indoor unit;
            ● ensure your outdoor HVAC unit is level;
            ● ensure your thermostat is calibrated to your comfort preferences and monitor your energy bills accordingly;
            ● check the batteries in your thermostat at least once a year; and
            ● Schedule regular HVAC maintenance with a trusted professional.

            Signs your heating or cooling system needs to be replaced

            The average lifespan of an HVAC system varies – typically anywhere from 10 to 25 years. Some
            symptoms that may suggest it’s time for a replacement include:

            • It’s unreliable and needs frequent repairs;
            • it’s old;
            • it runs constantly;
            • some rooms or zones in your home are not heating or cooling properly;
            • air quality in your home is noticeably poor, such as excessive dust, high humidity, or the presence of a mouldy odour; and/or your energy bills have been increasing unexpectedly;

            An outdated heating or cooling system won’t be as effective or energy efficient and can cost you more money compared to the cost of a new system. The cost of a new HVAC system depends on many factors, including the type of unit you’re installing if new ducts are required, labour requirements, the size of your home, the number of floors and bedrooms and bathrooms, and weather. Understanding the heating and cooling system you have, as well as how to maintain it, is a key component of homeownership. After all, an HVAC system that runs smoothly means comfort no matter the season!

            courtenay-houses-for-sale

            Prepping Courtenay Houses for Sale for an Open House

            Open houses are a great way to attract buyers to your listing. Many agents use an open house as part of their selling strategy to draw attention to your property. But, before you host an open house, it is essential to prepare your home. In today’s market, buyers expect that Courtenay houses for sale are as close to perfect as sellers can make them. Unfortunately, prepping for an open house is not an overnight task. Instead, you’ll want to begin at least one month in advance to ensure the best results and the least amount of stress. In this article, I will be going over some of my top tips for preparing Courtenay houses for sale. 

            How to Get Courtenay Houses for Sale Open House Ready?

            1. Fix the Red Flags

            In order to have the most successful open house, it is important that your home is in working order. A broken HVAC unit, leaky faucets, mould problems and other red flags can quickly deter potential buyers. In addition to fixing your home’s problems, you will want to ensure that your home is ready to be toured. This means adding a fresh coat of paint where needed, fixing holes in the wall, cutting the grass, tidying the yard, etc. 

            1. Clean + Declutter

            Just like preparing for listing photos or showing it is crucial that you clean and declutter before hosting an open house. Make sure your counters are empty, try and minimize what’s in your closet, and deep clean every crack and crevice in your home.  

            1. Stay Away From the Property (Pets Too)

            Come open house day, it is very important that you stay away from the property. The last thing buyers want is to meet the seller when they are trying to get an objective opinion on the house. You’ll also want to ensure that you take your pets with you. Not everyone likes animals and having them can be a red flag for some folks.  

            If you are looking for more ways to prepare Courtenay houses for sale for an open house, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you make sure that your home is as ready as can be! For more information about properties in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

            home for sale in Comox Valley

            Credit Scores: What Are They and What Affects Them?

            Much like your income and down payment, your individual credit score is a major financial component of qualifying for a mortgage.

            Your credit score will be one of the main criteria lenders will examine when you apply for a mortgage. It’s important to ensure your score is in good standing before embarking on the home purchase process. But what exactly is a credit score, and what sets a good score apart from a bad one?

            Frances Hinojosa, CEO, co-founder, and principal mortgage broker at Tribe Financial Group, explains what you should know about credit scores and what factors influence them.

            What is a credit score, and why is it important?

            In simple terms, a credit score is an evaluation of how you maintain and utilize credit. This includes how you handle credit cards, loans, mortgages, and other credit facilities.

            Hinojosa says many people don’t realize their credit score is one of the biggest indicators when it comes to the mortgage qualification process. It could impact the interest rate you receive for your mortgage.

            “That’s one of the very first things a bank or a mortgage broker would consider or would look at,”
            she explains. “It’s equally as important as your income or affordability of paying a mortgage.”

            A score of 680 and above is the sweet spot that will give you access to most products. Anything
            less than this might limit your options. If you have a score of 600 or less, you may be looking at higher risk-based pricing on your mortgage and interest rate offerings. Your credit score is determined by a number of factors: your credit payment history, the amount of credit you have available, and how long you’ve had it. Having a healthy credit score demonstrates to a lender you can meet your payment commitments over time.

            “It shows the consumer is responsible and has a track record of owning up to their obligations
            and paying as agreed,” said Hinojosa. “That also plays into risk-based pricing on the actual
            mortgages, as well.”

            What factors determine my credit score?

            There are a handful of indicators that play a role in shaping your credit score, according to Hinojosa. One of the most influential factors is your payment history, which includes making sure you pay your debts on time. Thirty-five percent of your credit score is based on payment history. If you can’t pay off your credit card in full, Hinojosa recommends making at least the minimum payment by the due date to keep your score in good shape. Having a public record of being in collections or bankruptcy may also impact your credit score.

            Another factor is how you use your credit. You’ll want to avoid charging up to the maximum amount or upper limits of your credit card. Hinojosa suggests keeping your credit charges to around 30% of your limit each month.

            Thirdly, your credit score is influenced by how much credit you have available. Occasionally,
            Hinojosa sees consumers who don’t have any credit, or those who believe using credit is a bad
            thing. However, having a history of varied credit use, such as a couple of credit cards and a car
            loan, proves you have a history of making payments. How long you’ve had access to credit is also important. The more time you’ve had a credit history, the better. Hinojosa compared this to car insurance.

            “Usually when you’re a new driver, it’s a bit more expensive. Whereas if you have a good driving
            history, the longer the good driving history, the lower your insurance premium,” she explained. “It’s very much the same when it comes to credit. The longer you show a history of repeating
            good credit, the better it will be for your credit score.”

            Finally, making an inquiry on your credit accounts for 10% of your overall score. Some
            consumers tend to get concerned when they’re shopping for a mortgage that they’re going to
            take a hit on their credit score. Hinojosa says consumers shouldn’t be overly concerned if a
            lender is making an inquiry as part of the mortgage process. On the other hand, you may not want to apply for many types of credit all at once, as this will result in multiple back-to-back inquiries.

            “If you already have excellent credit, let’s say 720, [at] 10% of that, it’s only going to impact your
            score by seven points,” she said. “It’s not going to put you from an excellent category to a bad
            category. It’s probably the least of the indicators to worry about in the overall impact of your
            credit score.”

            How can I improve my credit score?

            If you’re planning to buy a home in the future, but aren’t sure how your credit score stacks up, making inquiries in advance with a mortgage professional can be helpful. This way you can find solutions for tweaking your credit score. Home buyers may need to address items in collections, pay down their credit limits, or make other changes to bump up their scores. There are always solutions to every situation. If you’re thinking about financing a home, don’t be afraid to have a conversation and start the process. It’s all about sitting down with a mortgage professional who can map it out for you. It can take time to improve your credit.

            Hinojosa explains credit is reported on a month-by-month basis. It may take a few cycles or more to get your score where you want it to be. In cases where a home buyer needs to secure a mortgage quickly with their current credit score, a mortgage professional can explore different options. If you don’t have time to tweak that credit score, you may have to look at an alternative type of lender which might come with a slightly higher interest rate. It would still be affordable with your cash flow. It’s a stepping stone that will get you over to a traditional bank in a year or two.

            suite in Comox Valley

            Oh, So Suite

            Housing prices are near record levels and interest rates are on the rise. It is hardly surprising many buyers have and will continue to turn to “mortgage helpers” or secondary suites. This is a way to supplement their income or increase their purchasing power.

            According to a May 2023 article from Statistics Canada1, British Columbia has, by far, the most “investor-occupants” in comparison with other provinces. This is a term which refers to a homeowner
            who rents out a unit on a property that is also their primary residence. Many buyers will include a mortgage helper on their must-have list alongside an open-concept kitchen.

            Properties with income potential likely enjoy a distinct advantage in the marketplace. REALTORS® and their clients should keep in mind that the legality of any secondary suite can present unique challenges and risks for both.

            Legal or Not Legal, That Is The Question

            A secondary suite is a self-contained dwelling unit with its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping accommodation. Typically it is within a larger single-family home. Sometimes it is an auxiliary self-contained building, such as a carriage house.

            While bylaws differ from municipality to municipality, a secondary suite is only “legal” if it was created with a building permit. It must meet all zoning, health and safety, electrical, and fire standards.

            The Serious Implications of Legality

            There is a shortage of official statistics as to what percentage of all secondary suites in British Columbia are legal. The reality is that illegal suites are common and are often tenanted without serious
            incident.

            And while enforcement policies against illegal suites vary, many municipalities take a largely complaint-driven approach. They do not actively seek out illegal suites. Yet, if a municipality receives a complaint and discovers the operation of an illegal suite they may act on it.

            The potential consequences can be both expensive and time-consuming for homeowners. In addition to hefty fines, municipalities can require homeowners to bring the secondary suite into compliance with all applicable bylaws and standards. They can also require the owner to remove the secondary suite altogether.

            Municipalities also have the power to file a Notice on Title for an illegal secondary suite. This would alert potential buyers of a breach of government by-laws or regulations.

            Claims Against REALTORS®

            With such significant potential consequences for homeowners, it is not surprising that the legality of secondary suites is a consistent hotspot. Indeed, there are many regulatory and court decisions
            regarding illegal secondary suites.

            Buyers, sellers and realtors should be careful when dealing with suites. An illegal suite can help reduce mortgage payments for a buyer but could create a host of other issues in some instances. A buyer may be relying on that unauthorized accommodation for income.

            Sellers should not imply a secondary suite is legal and can be rented legally unless they know it is. This means it has permits and meets all other requirements.

            Do not make assumptions. If there is any doubt, confirm with the relevant municipality the legality of any secondary suite.

            The risks are equally present for REALTORS®. A buyer relying on unauthorized accommodation for rental income could be extremely problematic. The buyer should know the potential consequences. Along with the loss of income in discontinuing the rental, this could affect the ability to make mortgage payments.

            A special note regarding co-ownership

            According to Statistics Canada, there is a high prevalence of buyers who seek to purchase real property in groups of three or more in British Columbia.

            Buyers wishing to enter into a collective-housing arrangement should get independent legal and financing advice.

            When it comes to secondary suites, however, if a group of buyers intend to occupy an illegal suite as part of a collective-housing arrangement, they should know of the associated risks. This includes the risk that the municipality may require the illegal suite to be removed. Similarly, they should know some municipalities may have bylaws restricting the number of maximum occupants in any given property.

            Where necessary, it may be prudent to confirm with the appropriate authorities that their intended living arrangements comply with the applicable bylaws and regulations.

            comox valley property

            7 WAYS TO SET UP YOUR YARD FOR SENSATIONAL SUMMER FUN

            Your family backyard is the ideal location to create a summer full of memories for you, your family, and your community. Easy to access? Check. Affordable? You bet. Able to accommodate all sorts of activities? Absolutely.

            Your backyard’s potential is really only limited by your imagination and willingness to roll up your sleeves to create a sensational space for summer enjoyment. We’ve all been taking our indoor lives out into the green space around us over the past few years. Now is a great time to turn your yard into the ideal outdoor summer room. Many homeowners who have a yard say the family yard space is one of the most important parts of their home.

            Here are seven ideas to turn an ordinary yard into a summer oasis for fun and relaxation:

            ● Give your yard a facelift.

            The first step to establishing a summer fun zone is to work with what you have. Clean out flower beds, clear the yard of debris, spread a fresh layer of mulch around trees and bushes, and keep the grass mowed. See what trees, shrubs and plants might be good to add. Use outdoor power equipment to make even big jobs easier. Use a pole trimmer for pruning trees, a leaf blower to tidy your flower beds, a riding mower for big lawns, or a hedge trimmer for your bushes.

            ● List all the fun you want to have outside.

            Identify activity zones for games, entertainment and relaxation. Can your lawn lure your kids away from their screens and into the great outdoors? Consider things like soccer, bocce ball, croquet, or a giant checkers board game. Do you have a patio table or deck where family game nights can be held? Have a swimming pool where you can plan a “dive in” movie night? Invite your neighbours to bring their favourite pool float. You can even plan a memorable family staycation in your own backyard with camping, parties and more. Get your children to buy in by involving them in the planning.

            ● Bring learning outdoors.

            Just because school is out doesn’t mean learning should end. Avoid the “summer slide” by setting up an area for outdoor learning. Create a space under a shade tree where your kids can read. Create games and do experiments outdoors. Teach kids that the activities can be so fun they will never know they’re learning.

            ● Don’t forget Fido.

            Pets are part of the family, too. Think about what backyard improvements you can make to ensure they fully enjoy the dog days of summer. Add a water feature for them to cool off. Plant some bushes for napping in the shade. Use a row of hedges to separate their “business” spot from the rest of the backyard activity areas. Just remember when planting to check a list of toxic and non-toxic plants.

            ● Make the outdoors as inviting as the indoors.

            Think about ways to make your outdoor living area just as comfortable as your indoor spaces. String lights add a warm glow. A fire pit is great for toasting marshmallows. A new deck or hardscaping could be just the thing to take your backyard oasis from boring to brilliant.

            ● Consider the good you’re doing.

            Whether putting in a vegetable garden, planting pollinator-supporting shrubs and flowers, or creating activity zones, your family yard can do a lot. A grassy area is not only a field for play. It’s also an excellent carbon-capturing and oxygen-producing space. Planting shrubs and flowering plants feeds our birds, bees, and butterflies. A leafy tree is a perfect perch for a relaxing swing in a hammock. It provides shade to combat the heat, produces oxygen and captures carbon. A garden where you can grow some of the food your family will enjoy this summer gets you digging in the dirt. This is proven to be good for our immune systems and happiness.

            ● Put safety first.

            When working outdoors, always remember not to have children or pets around while operating outdoor power equipment.

            real estate in Comox Valley

            The Difference Between Being Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved

            After eight successive rate hikes, the Bank of Canada held its benchmark policy rate steady to 4.5% in March 2023. Since then there has been another increase and might be more. As a result, some Canadians may be ready to reassess their home-buying plans. This might require some mortgage shopping.

            Pre-qualification and pre-approval are common terms you’ll hear in the mortgage space. Both options can be a helpful first step toward securing a mortgage loan. There are some distinctions between mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval that are critical for borrowers to note.

            What is a mortgage pre-qualification?

            Pre-qualification can be a preemptive step in the home-buying process. It is meant to help borrowers get a feel for the loan amount they might be able to secure. It’s typically a brief process that involves going over the borrower’s financial situation.

            Pre-qualification is a very casual calculation. It is usually verbal. There is no application, and no third party is checking it. The lender may perform what’s called a “soft credit inquiry”, which does not affect the borrower’s credit score. Since it’s simply a rough estimate, pre-qualification doesn’t guarantee the borrower will be approved for the loan amount quoted down the line.

            What is a mortgage pre-approval?

            Pre-approval is a much more formal and lengthy process. It requires a comprehensive review of income, debts, and assets. Unlike pre-qualification, it calls for a “hard credit inquiry,” so it can temporarily lower your credit score. It’s a full-fledged mortgage application. You will be taking in to your bank all your documentation, ie pay stubs, and savings account statements. The bank will pre-approve you for a loan amount. The approval is usually good for three or four months.

            Which option is right for you?

            Generally speaking, it’s best to go the pre-approval route if you are serious about your home-buying plans. Getting pre-approved can give buyers an advantage in a competitive housing market. As well, it allows borrowers to lock in a more desirable loan amount in an uncertain rate environment. That said, there are circumstances in which pre-qualification is the better option:

            ● If the borrower is simply sizing up their options
            ● If the borrower isn’t planning to purchase for a number of months, or
            ● If the borrower has concerns about their credit score.

            In any case, whether you opt for pre-qualification or pre-approval, prospective home buyers should work with an expert to assess which option—pre-qualification or pre-approval—is right for them. On a cautionary note, borrowers shouldn’t hold information back when dealing with a mortgage broker. Buying a home is a big transaction. It is important to give as much information as you can to your lender. In the end, it will give you a better result.

            comox valley houses

            Ready to Sell? My Home is Priceless

            After years of taking care of your home, you are ready to sell. You may have made some minor home improvements. Maybe you even completed a major renovation. The trouble is, you think your home is worth more than the experts are saying. According to a company that establishes residential and commercial property values, many homeowners overestimate its value. RPS Real Property Solutions says a full 26% of homeowners think their property is worth more than it really is. In addition, they expect to achieve more than 10% of the actual appraised value. It is understandable. You may be watching home prices go up in your neighbourhood. Everyone wants to get the most for their largest asset. Something else that happens is you have an emotional bias toward your own property. Many homeowners think their house is worth more than it is.

            Why is the appraised value lower than expected?

            Many of us convert the sentimental value of cherished memories in our homes into monetary value. The pride we feel for our homes does not translate to actual dollar value. The charm of a cozy kitchen spent sharing meals with loved ones can be seen as too small or too dark for prospective homebuyers.

            What is the post-renovation value of my home?

            Another reason for overestimating a home’s price point is the value homeowners attribute to renovations they have made. You may have watched the end of a home makeover show on TV. The homeowner often
            finds that their home is worth more than the pre-renovation value and the cost of the renovation combined. That is not always the case. It’s true that your investment does increase the value of your home, but it may not be as much as you think.

            Where does that leave home sellers?

            Caution and preparation are recommended approaches to take for anyone looking to sell and buy. Often, home sellers rely on the value of the home they are selling to support financing the home they are looking to buy. In such cases, if the home you are selling will not sell for the amount you thought, you will have a financing gap. Before you are left scrambling, work closely with your real estate agent and your lender or mortgage professional. Explore different scenarios and your options to achieve the desired outcome.

            houses-in-courtenay

            How to Reduce Humidity in Houses in Courtenay During The Summer?

            During the summer, our homes can become a lot more humid than in cooler seasons like winter and fall. This is because hot air holds more moisture. If your home has high humidity, you can start to notice all sorts of problems. For instance, trouble sleeping, musty odours, sticky surfaces, and in the worst-case scenario, mould. In order to keep humidity within a normal range, there are a few things you can do. In this article, I will be sharing my top tips for keeping your home less humid. Follow along below to learn more!

            Combat Humdity in Houses in Courtenay With These Tips!

            1. Use Your A/C

            Although air conditioners can be expensive to use, they work wonders for getting rid of humidity. Air conditioning units help reduce humid air indoors by replacing the warm air with cooler air. You can keep your home less humid by turning on your air conditioner every now and then during the summer. 

            1. Don’t Forget to Turn on the Fan!

            There is a reason why bathrooms and kitchens have ventilation fans. If you want to keep your home from getting overly moist, it is important that you use these fans when showering or cooking. You can even keep them on a little longer to help reduce indoor humidity. 

            1. Invest in a Dehumidifier

            Another great way to say goodbye to humid air is by using a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are specially designed to fight moisture. They are also a great way to help reduce cooling costs during the summer since they do such a good job of keeping humidity levels low. 

            Contact me Today

            Keeping cool during the summer is a must. Especially when you are living in a place that is naturally humid. If you are looking for more ways to reduce humidity in houses in Courtenay, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you make sure that your home is as comfortable as can be! For more information about properties in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

            comox valley real estate

            Strata Depreciation Reports

            More than 1.5 million British Columbians currently live in strata housing. There are commercial, industrial and mixed-use stratas in BC. It’s important to understand a tool in assessing the condition of a strata property: the depreciation report.

            What is a Strata Depreciation Report?

            A strata depreciation report is a 30-year projection. It consists of thorough written and illustrated physical assessments of the condition of all components of a strata property. Sometimes called a Reserve Fund Study, it identifies current and future issues that need to be addressed and their associated cost estimates. Even though it is improbable to accurately assess costs in the future, it provides a road map for strata corporations to follow.

            According to provincial regulations, a depreciation report must include an inventory and evaluation of the building:

            ● structure,
            ● exterior (such as roofs, roof decks, doors, windows and
            skylights),
            ● systems (such as electrical, heating, plumbing, fire
            protection and security),
            ● common amenities (such as fitness room, pool, bike lockers
            etc).

            Collectively, the items listed above are known as common property. They are parts of the strata that are shared by all owners of individual units.

            Why is a Strata Depreciation Report important?

            A strata depreciation report helps strata corporations plan for repair, replacement and renewal of common property and assets. It is especially important for those that require a considerable outlay of
            money, such as roofs, windows, elevators, roads or utilities.

            They are also an important part of a buyer’s due diligence. They provide insight into future repair and maintenance needs and associated costs. Buyers should thoroughly review strata depreciation reports. If warranted, they could seek legal or other expert advice before making a buying decision.

            Buyers should also understand that the depreciation report covers common property. It does not cover the owners’ individual units. Buyers should still have an inspection for the specific unit being considered.

            What isn’t covered in a Strata Depreciation Report?

            Depreciation reports don’t normally cover every item in/on the common property or routine repairs and maintenance. Buyers should still do their own due diligence. This can be done by having the property inspected. Other strata documents to request for additional information: bylaws, rules, regulations, meeting minutes, strata plans, and summary of insurance coverages. These are in addition to the depreciation report.

            Are Strata Depreciation Reports mandatory in BC?

            Under British Columbia’s Strata Property Act and Regulations, strata corporations must obtain a depreciation report unless the strata consists of fewer than five strata lots. The Regulations also require the report to be updated every three years.

            Can Strata Corporations opt out?

            Strata corporations in BC can waive the requirement to obtain one or defer the renewal of one. To do this, three-quarters of the owners must pass an annual vote in favour. Voting to waive a depreciation report could be a mistake over time. Long-term costs of unanticipated repairs and maintenance needs can serve to outweigh short-term savings gained from opting out. In addition, prospective buyers may be reluctant to invest in stratas that don’t have a long-range maintenance plan in place. Another possibility is that lenders and insurers may consider stratas without depreciation reports greater risks.

            real estate in Comox Valley

            When to Increase Your Buying Budget

            When you set a budget for a new home, you’re hoping to find the ideal property within that price range. You may even be expecting to be able to purchase within that range. But, it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, there are many circumstances in which you might have to rethink or possibly increase your budget to get the home you want.

            For example, you might find that properties in neighbourhoods you’re targeting are selling for more than you expected. If that is the case, you might have to look for a home in a different area. You also may have to see if you can bump up your budget. Another scenario that often comes up is a changing wish list. You may view a few homes for sale and realize that a particular feature is more important to you than you initially thought. You might have budgeted for a three-bedroom home. Once you’ve seen a few properties with four, you think you definitely want four bedrooms! To get that fourth bedroom, you may have to increase what you spend.

            Finally, you might find that you view a property and fall in love with the place. It’s perfect. It has everything you need. You’ve got to have that home! The problem is, its price is outside your budget. If this happens, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons. Is it worth paying a bit more to get a home that will have a significant and positive impact on your lifestyle and happiness? As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when shopping for a home and trying to stay within a budget. Let me help you navigate through the process.

            Painting Tips: Get the Job Done Faster

            Unless painting a room is a passion, you probably want to finish the task as soon as
            possible. You still want to do a quality job though and you want to be efficient.
            Here are some tips for doing just that:

            ● One-coat paints. Having to do a second coat is time-consuming. Fortunately,
            there are several “one coat” paints that can get the job done. They don’t work for
            every type of project. But, if your walls are in good condition and you’re not
            dramatically changing the underlying colour, a one-coat paint is worth
            considering.

            ● Leverage various-sized rollers. Most people use rollers for the main wall surface
            and switch to brushes for the tight areas. Instead of a brush, try a smaller roller.
            That can speed up the painting considerably.

            ● Use quality brushes and rollers. Cheap brushes tend to not hold paint evenly and
            can also shed fibres. Then you have to pick them off the painted surface. Good
            quality brushes and rollers may cost a little more, but the paint will be applied
            more smoothly and evenly. This will save you time.

            ● Wear your painter’s tape. When running painter’s tape to prep a room, wear the
            roll on your wrist. That way, you won’t constantly be reaching for it.

            ● Wrap rollers and brushes in plastic. For longer painting jobs, wrap rollers and
            brushes that are not in use in plastic wrap or baggies. Not a special type of
            plastic, just wrap or a baggy you use every day That will keep the brushes and
            rollers wet while you take a break.

            ● Start in the middle. Most people start at the end of a wall and work their way to
            the center. You’ll paint faster if you do the opposite. In addition, you’ll avoid
            applying too much paint in the corners. People are apt to use too much when
            they start there.

            Want more tips for preparing your home for sale? Call me.

            Courtenay Real estate

            Signs That You Should Buy Comox Houses for Sale

            Knowing when to look at purchasing a home is almost as important as having the finances to do it. Especially, given the current cost of living in Canada. There are so many different reasons that people choose to buy Comox houses for sale—whether you’re a first-time buyer or simply looking to downsize. When it comes to timing, there is no such thing as perfect. However, there are some signs that might tip you off that it’s time to buy a new home. In this article, I will be going over all of the reasons that you should invest in Comox houses for sale. Follow along below to learn more!

            Comox Houses for Sale: Signs to Buy

            1. Say Goodbye to Rent

            If you’re eager to stop paying rent and start putting money towards a mortgage of your own, this is usually a good sign that it is time to buy. Many people begin by renting a home because it is easier, usually cheaper, and requires less time. If you have the financial freedom to buy a home, this is a good sign to start working towards purchasing. 

            1. Growing Pains

            Another reason that people choose to buy a home, is because they have kids on the way. If your starter home is beginning to feel a little cramped, it might be time to upsize to accommodate your growing family. A bigger property and house will provide your family with the space they need to grow. Be sure to factor in how your children will impact your financial stability as you work towards buying a new home.

            1. Your Kids Have Fled the Nest

            Finally, if your children are all moved out and off to college, it might be a good time to start thinking about downsizing. An empty home can be a lot of work without your kids around to help with daily chores and maintenance. Besides, as you grow older the hassle of maintaining your home will likely grow. Because of this, it is ideal to consider buying something smaller like an apartment or condo. 

            Contact me Today!

            Knowing when to buy a home is incredibly important in achieving your real estate goals. After all, it can save you from investing in a home when you aren’t ready yet. If you are looking for more signs to buy Comox houses for sale, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you during the buying process. For more information about properties in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

            Should You Worry about Competing Listings?

            Imagine, you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sell your home. You’re finally ready
            to pull the trigger and list it. Just as you’re about to put up the sign, you notice that a few
            other FOR SALE signs have unexpectedly popped up in the neighbourhood.

            Oh no! Now there are competing listings. Does that mean you should put your plan to
            sell your property on hold? Not necessarily.

            Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Competing Listings

            Just because comparable homes are for sale in the area doesn’t mean it’s not a good
            time to make your move. In fact, even if there is a sharp increase in local listings, active
            buyers might still outnumber properties available. In that scenario, you’d likely get
            several interested buyers.

            Even in the case of a buyer’s market, now might still be the ideal time to sell. Don’t
            forget, your home might have desirable features that some buyers are eagerly looking
            for. That would give your home an advantage over others on the market.

            In addition, a large part of a successful sale is in how a property is marketed and
            promoted. With effective marketing, your home is more likely to be noticed by the right
            type of buyers. That means buyers who are actively looking for a property like yours.
            You never know when they will come along. If you are not on the market, they will not
            see what you have to offer.

            So waiting for the perfect moment to sell your home rarely makes sense. In most cases,
            the best time to list is when you are ready. That probably means now if you have been
            thinking about it and trying to time it right.

            That being said, it is helpful to find out exactly what to expect should you list your
            property in today’s market. To find that out, call today.

            How to Pack for a Move

            You never thought you owned a lot of stuff before. Now you have to move and you’re
            not sure where to begin. It probably feels like too daunting a task to get everything done
            by your completion date.

            How are you supposed to pack it all up in time?

            Take a deep breath. With the right packing tips, you can have everything out before the
            deadline and keep your sanity.

            This guide will show you how to pack for a move when you don’t have a lot of time to
            spare, so keep reading.

            Rent a Moveable Storage Container

            Packing for a move is much easier if you can take the boxes out of your house and load
            them up in a storage container as you go. This will help you save precious time.
            You won’t have to rent a truck or a moving team to transport all your belongings to a
            self-storage facility. In this way, you’re cutting out travel time to and from the unit. That
            can take up a lot of time.

            A portable storage container will also take all your belongings to your doorstep. This
            means you won’t have to make several more trips to unload everything from storage
            when you get to your new home.

            While this isn’t the right fit for everyone during a move, it can make the entire process
            less overwhelming.

            Don’t Do It Alone

            Trying to pack up your entire house on your own is a massive chore, especially if you’re
            in a time crunch. Everything will be much more manageable if you have help.
            Hiring a moving team is a smart choice for many homeowners. However, you won’t
            have to if you can call on your friends and family and ask them for a favour. Set up a
            packing day where you treat them to a meal after a day of work. You can always return
            the favour when they need it.

            Write a To-Do List (And Stick to It!)

            Thinking about all the chores you have to do to prepare for a move can be
            overwhelming. It’s easy to get distracted and overthink it. Then you may end up not
            able to finish anything on time.

            Don’t let yourself get carried away.

            Instead, write a to-do list that includes everything you need to get done before you
            leave. Focus on one step at a time. Tackling small tasks one at a time will keep you on
            track and speed up the process.

            Sort as You Pack

            Keeping things you don’t need will take up space in your storage container or moving
            truck. This means you’ll have to pay extra money for more space and spend more time
            moving useless boxes.

            You should try to get rid of as many items as possible while you’re packing.
            Don’t let go of anything you’ll regret though.

            Saving space and money is important, but it’s not worth losing precious keepsakes. If
            you’re having trouble deciding whether or not you should let something go, keep it for
            now. You can always get rid of it later when you have more time to think about it.

            Throwing things away too quickly could bring about a lot of heartache. It will defeat the
            purpose if you have to buy new replacements later.

            Label EVERYTHING

            Do your best to write a list of everything you put inside a box. Tape this list to the
            outside so you know where to find things when you’re unpacking. If you can, label every
            box with a room, such as “kitchen,” “bathroom,” “primary bedroom,” “laundry room,” etc.
            This will make it easier to put every box in the right room. It will also reduce your risk of
            losing anything during the move.

            If you need to be out of your house quickly, you might not have time for such organized
            packing. In this case, do your best to just get everything in a box. Though it will be
            harder, you can sort it all out again later.

            Pack a To-Go Bag

            As you pack for a move, you should always load a to-go bag with some basic
            essentials. Keep it with you during your travels. The storage container you rented might
            get delayed (unlikely). The moving team might not show up at your new home on the
            same day as you. A to-go bag will ensure you have enough with you to survive a day or
            two without your belongings.

            Here’s what you should pack in your bag:

            ● Wallet
            ● Keys
            ● Medications
            ● Important paperwork (such as your SSN, birth certificate, passport, etc.)
            ● Phone charger
            ● Toiletries
            ● Change of clothes
            ● Roll of toilet paper
            ● Food and water
            ● Pet supplies (if necessary)
            ● Kid supplies (if necessary)
            ● Bedding (if you have space)
            If you have any expensive jewelry or other belongings, you should keep these with you.
            It’s a good idea to pack valuables in your to-go bag to ensure they don’t get lost or
            damaged during the move.

            How to Pack for a Move When You Have No Time

            There are a lot of steps involved with a move. Figuring out how to pack up your home is
            one of the hardest. It takes up a lot of time. If you aren’t careful you could end up losing
            or breaking things along the way.

            5 Kitchen Items Homebuyers Never Regret

            You’re searching for a new home and would like an amazing kitchen. You are putting together
            a wish list of features you want in the house and in this space.

            You may worry that you are being a bit too particular but don’t. According to some, the two
            rooms most scrutinized by buyers are the kitchen and the ensuite in the primary bedroom.

            This makes sense because the kitchen is usually considered the heart of the home. From
            family dinners to the place where people congregate at a party, this room will get a ton of use.
            It’s not uncommon for people to purchase a home and begin a kitchen renovation right away.
            However, that may not be a project you want to take on. This makes sense. Buying a home is
            expensive and a major kitchen remodel can also be expensive.

            You may be willing to pay extra for a home with a kitchen that already has many of the things
            on your list. Instead of settling for a good kitchen that’s not your dream and having to budget
            and plan for future upgrades, you’d like to move right into pure luxury.

            Here are five items you would like to have in your ideal kitchen and you may not regret adding
            them to your list.

            Smart Refrigerators

            While they can be expensive, smart refrigerators can serve as the ultimate
            convenience.

            These fridges come with features like voice control and sensors that detect when food
            needs to be replaced. They also have temperature monitors so you can make sure your
            food is always stored safely. Smart refrigerators also come with different types of
            storage options, such as deep freezer drawers, adjustable shelves and more.

            Farmhouse Sinks

            Farmhouse sinks are a stylish addition to any kitchen and they come in a variety of
            styles and materials.

            Since they’re larger than traditional sinks, you’re able to fit more dishes into the basin.
            That is a bonus if you don’t want to have to wash each dirty dish immediately.

            They also come with a style that adds character to your kitchen. Not only that, but
            farmhouse sinks are usually deeper than regular sinks and have more rounded corners
            for easier clean-up.

            High-End Appliances

            Refrigerators with dual cooling systems, induction ranges and ovens that have Wi-Fi
            connectivity, these high-end appliances can really bring your kitchen into the 21st
            century. They can also add a sense of luxury and sophistication to the kitchen. This
            makes it the perfect place to entertain guests and family alike.

            Chic and savvy, high-end appliances can essentially upgrade a kitchen without
            remodelling the entire space. It’s possible you’ll find houses with newer high-end kitchen
            appliances though the space is a bit on the older side.

            Built-In Storage

            A great way to maximize your kitchen space, built-in storage is a major win.

            Having shelves and drawers that are integrated into the cabinetry makes it easy to
            organize everything from ingredients to cookware. Not only does built-in storage add
            convenience, but it also looks great. It can really enhance your kitchen’s overall
            aesthetic.

            Kitchen Island

            There’s no such thing as having too much space in a kitchen. An island is something
            worth putting on your must-have list.

            With an island, you can keep all of your ingredients organized in one place. You can
            also have a designated spot for prep work. Kitchen islands come in different styles and
            finishes so you can find one that looks perfect.

            It’s easy to get caught up in an otherwise great home with a mediocre kitchen. Just
            remember, this is a space you’re going to be spending a lot of time in for years to come.

            You won’t regret holding out for a home that has at least some of these five items. They
            will enhance your home. You’ll never wish your kitchen was a little less great. You may
            regret saving a few bucks by settling and then feel you need to upgrade.

            homes for sale in Comox

            Viewing Homes When You Have Little Time to View Homes For Sale in Comox

            Have you ever had to go last-minute gift shopping? If so, you know what that can be like.

            You don’t have time to amble casually through numerous stores hoping to come across something suitable. The clock is ticking. You need to find the right gift, now!

            A similar thing can sometimes happen when shopping for a new home for sale in Comox. You may not have a lot of time available in your schedule. Yet, you need to view properties and find the right home, quickly.

            How do you do that on a tight schedule?

            One way is to be very clear on the type of home you want. The more narrow your search parameters, the more likely you are to view properties that are strong candidates.

            Create a profile of your dream home in the Comox Valley. Include property type, number of bedrooms, features, and other details. Be clear on the kind of neighbourhood you’d like to live in too. Find out what these types of homes are currently selling for.

            It is really important to shop in the correct price range. You won’t want to be disappointed by looking at property that is outside your capability to purchase. Talk to your bank or mortgage broker to determine your affordability. Shop within that range.

            Adjust as needed

            If you discover your budget is lower than your ideal homes are selling for, adjust either your budget or your property expectations. If you can’t increase your budget, don’t panic. Chances are, you can still get a great home that meets your budgetary requirements.

            When scheduling appointments to view, see as many homes as you can on each trip. That way, you’ll make the most of your viewing time. When seeing properties, make notes right away. When you are looking at several homes for sale in Comox, it’s easy to get them mixed up.

            Try to narrow your list even further. For your favourites, you will want to get as much information as possible to make a decision. You may want to refresh your memory and quickly schedule a second viewing before making an offer.

            Want to find the ideal home faster? Call today! Check out my Google Business page for more information!

            courtenay real estate

            Should I Get a Home Inspection When Buying Courtenay Real Estate

            Getting a home inspection before you purchase a new home may seem like a no-brainer. However, given the right market conditions, you’d be surprised how many buyers neglect to have one done. When buying Courtenay real estate, it is crucial that you take the time to arrange for an inspector to visit your potential new home. Although you may think the property is something out of your dreams, it could be riddled with hidden defects. To avoid purchasing a home with costly problems, buyers must have a home inspection done. In this article, I will be going over all of the reasons why you should get a home inspection before sealing the deal! Follow along below to learn more. 

            Why Get a Home Inspection?

            1. So That You Can Back Out

            One of the main reasons that buyers should consider getting a home inspection done, is so that they have an “out” in case the home has defects. A good home inspection will reveal information about the condition of the property that could change a buyer’s mind about whether or not they want to buy the home. Especially, if there are major repairs that need to be done right away. 

            1. For Safety 

            The last thing you want is to move into a home that poses safety risks to you and your family. Things like radon, mould, asbestos, and carbon monoxide can easily go undetected without an inspection. Having one done will help you sleep better knowing that the property is up to code. 

            1. As a Tool for Negotiation

            If your home inspection reveals a ton of defects, you can use this information to negotiate a better price. Some buyers even negotiate for repairs from the seller. Ask your agent about how you can use your home inspection results to negotiate a deal.

            Contact me About Courtenay Real Estate!

            Home inspections are an important part of buying any new home. After all, they can save you from investing in a home that needs thousands of dollars in repairs. If you are looking for more reasons to get a home inspection when buying Courtenay real estate, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you during the buying process. For more information about properties in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

            buying a comox valley home

            Pros and Cons of Buying a Comox Valley Home As-Is

            Buying a home as-is can be enticing. If you have been struggling to get into the Comox Valley market, the price point can be more affordable. For others looking to buy it can be a viable option to explore. Housing supply is low in Courtenay and Comox now. It may be your avenue in.

            However, it is important to bear in mind the decision to buy a home as-is works for some, but
            not for all. Buying “as-is” means the homeowner is selling the home in its current condition. The seller will make no repairs or improvements. What you see is what you get, but what you don’t see is also what you get.

            With the correct steps taken, buying a home this way could be a calculated and worthwhile risk that pays off. Not everyone will have the same experience. The seller isn’t warranting anything about the home and they are not going to be making any fixes or repairs.

            Buying a home as-is comes with its own unique set of benefits and challenges, some of which are outlined below.

            When buying as-is in Comox could be a good idea

            There are several reasons why the property may be sold as-is.

            Homes sold in as-is condition don’t necessarily mean they’re faulty. Sellers may want to sell this way because they want a smoother transaction with less hassle. They may be a beneficiary who has never even lived in the home. It may be an estate sale and they are in no position to warrant anything.

            Other situations where buying as-is could be the best move would include when a buyer is in a multiple-offer situation and they really want to win. Knowing they plan to gut and fully renovate the property means it doesn’t matter if there is work to be done. Having the seller warrant any repairs or guarantee everything is in working condition is unnecessary in a case like this.

            There are specific instances when an as-is sale is advantageous, but knowing exactly what’s being bought is crucial. The only way for the buyer to be sure they know what they are buying is to have a home inspection done. This will reduce any major avoidable surprises down the line.

            When Buying a Comox fixer-upper might not be a good fit

            It’s wise to have a home inspection done so there’s a clear understanding of exactly what the buyer is getting into. Knowing what repairs are required upfront, as well as the cost, is a must. As-is properties tend to be attractively priced. That doesn’t mean potential buyers should blindly launch themselves at the opportunity. Refurbishments can add up and become costly, especially if they have to be made at a structural level.

            It cannot be stressed enough. Not having the property inspected and purchasing the property only to find out there are an array of deficiencies and major issues would be a mistake. The responsibility would fall on the new owner to fix any defects. The mindset and skills of the buyer are also very important. If they’re not handy, tackling DIY projects could end up costing more money in the long run. If or when professionals need to be brought in to rectify the problem there will be a further expense.

            Is buying a home as-is for you?

            As is said, there’s a home for everyone, but not every home is the right one. Despite the compelling price point, buying a home as-is can become a financial burden. It’s certainly not all doom and gloom when it comes to these types of properties. Secure an inspection and build a clear understanding of the work and costs required.

            Work with your REALTOR® to find out your personal boundaries when it comes to taking risks. If you find an as-is property you’re interested in, have them research why the seller has it listed that way. For some, it may be worth the potential payoff. For others, the stress and headache could be big deterrents.

            Your Comox Valley REALTOR® can help determine what’s best for your situation and make sure you land in a home you love. Don’t forget to visit my Google Business page here!

            comox home selling tips

            DIY Tips for Lawn and Garden Care for Comox Home Sellers

            Keeping your lawn, flowerbeds, and shrubs looking great enhances the curb appeal of your
            property. However, it can also be a lot of work!

            Residents of Courtenay, Comox, and the area have a longer growing season than many
            Canadians. Many have taken steps to simplify their landscaping to reduce water usage and time
            for upkeep.

            You can make these tasks easier and less time-consuming by doing a few things.

            Add mulch around trees and shrubs so you won’t have to cut grass in those areas. You’ll avoid
            the need to use shears or a trimmer to do the job properly too.

            Adjust lawn mower blades to the optimal height for short, well-groomed grass. That way, you
            won’t have to mow as often.

            Use tools that don’t require you to bend over or work on your knees. Ones with long handles will
            help. That will greatly reduce fatigue.

            Apply mulch in flower beds to cut down on weed growth. It will also help retain moisture so you
            won’t have to water as often.

            Avoid high-maintenance plants that require strict watering and tending regiments. Talk to
            someone at your local garden centre about no-fuss plants. There are several nurseries in and
            around the Comox Valley.

            Consider the use of a soaker hose. It has holes all along the tubing that gently release water.
            Simply snake the hose through flowerbeds and shrubs or around trees. Turn on the water and
            the hose does the rest.

            Some or all of these suggestions will allow you to enjoy your garden but not be a slave to it.

            Call today with any questions about the timing to sell your property. Don’t forget to visit my Google Business page!

            apartments for sale in courtenay

            Condominiums to outperform single-family segment in Canada this year as buyers seek entry-level housing

            Demand for condos in Comox is expected to outpace that of the single-family residential segment this year. It is anticipated homebuyers will be in search of more affordable housing options. They may have been sitting on the sidelines amid higher interest rates and increased day-to-day living costs.

            What will happen to the median price of condos in Comox?

            According to the 2023 Market Survey Forecast, Royal LePage predicts the median price of a condominium will increase slightly year-over-year. The median price of an apartment-style condo in the Comox Valley at the end of 2022 was $409,000. For a townhouse median sale price was $469,000.

            The median price of a single-family detached property is projected to decrease a bit from $727,000 during the same period. With the exception of a couple of larger centres in Alberta and Saskatchewan, condominium prices are expected to outperform single-family detached home prices in all major markets next year.

            Despite activity and price declines in many locations over the last six to eight months, buyers are expected to return to the market in 2023. Many of them will be looking for more affordable properties. Some areas that are experiencing a shortage of available inventory, as we are in the Comox Valley, could see condominium prices increase more. Lack of supply continues to be a challenge in many markets.

            Contact me for more details on Courtenay condos for sale!

            Get in touch with me today if you want to learn more about the real estate market in Courtenay or Comox Valley. I would love to help you buy or sell real estate here! Visit my Google Business page and learn more about condos in Comox!

            showing comox home short notice

            Showing your Home on Short Notice

            Unless you’re selling in a strong sellers’ market, you should take advantage of every opportunity to show your home.

            Say, for example, an interested buyer would like to see your property tomorrow evening. If you say no, they might see another listing in the meantime — and make an offer!

            Being prepared to show your home at the drop of a hat is important. That doesn’t mean you should agree to be inconvenienced constantly. However, if you can put up with some disruptions in your plans now and then, you’ll increase your chances of selling your property.

            Consider these tips:

            1. Avoid restricting showings to a particular weekday, such as Monday evening and Saturday afternoon. What if an interested buyer isn’t available on those days?
            2. Try to keep your home clean and tidy. That way, you can accommodate a short-notice request to see your listing more easily. You may even want to consider temporarily hiring a cleaner.
            3. Make a list of places you can take your family on short notice. Include your pets as some people are afraid or don’t care for your furry friends. For example, a park, a movie, the beach, for ice cream.

            In the Comox Valley, we are not experiencing the frantic market we have lived through since 2020. Prices are not increasing as they were and it is taking longer for some properties to sell. It is a more balanced market even though we are not seeing a big increase in available homes for sale.

            You do not want to miss the opportunity to have potential buyers see your home. You never know when or which person is going to be the one to make that offer! Discussions about showing, how to best present your property, and other tips gained from experience are well worth having. If you have any questions about these or other things, call today.

            Courtenay Homes for Sale

            Make Your Kitchen Stand Out in Courtenay Homes for Sale

            Your kitchen is one of the most valuable areas in your home. In fact, many buyers will avoid putting in an offer on homes with poor kitchens. If you are planning on selling Courtenay homes for sale this spring, it is important to focus on making your kitchen stand out! Whether you are having listing photos taken or an in-person showing, your kitchen needs to look its best. However, this is not to say that you need to do any major renovations. In this article, I will show you how to prepare your kitchen so that it looks its best for potential buyers! Follow along below to learn more.

            How to Make Your Kitchen More Attractive?

            1. Tidy and Deep Clean

            When preparing your home for listing photos or viewings, it is important that your kitchen is spotless. This means removing everything from your countertops and taking time to clean all cracks and crevices. During a showing, garbage and recycling cans should be empty. Moreover, buyers will likely open cabinets, so it’s important that all shelves are tidy.

            1. Update Cabinetry

            Another way to make your kitchen stand out is by updating the cabinetry. This can be done by adding a fresh coat of paint in a neutral colour or adding new hardware to cabinet doors. This simple improvement project can be done in a weekend’s time and for a relatively low cost. 

            1. New Counters and/or Backsplash

            If you have some extra cash to spend, you may want to consider replacing your countertops or backsplash. These improvements can be worth the additional cost if your current counters/backsplash are outdated or worn. 

            Contact me About Courtenay Homes for Sale

            Kitchens are a major selling point in any home. This is why it is so important that your kitchen looks the best it can while you work towards finding a buyer. If you are looking for more ways to improve Courtenay homes for sale, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you during the selling process. For more information about properties in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

            single storey suite in comox for sale

            Single-storey suite essential feature

            Canadians who wish to age in place consider a main floor that is or can be converted to a single-story unit is essential. This means if the home is not one level, it must be able to accommodate a bedroom, full bathroom, laundry and kitchen all on one floor.

            A Royal LePage survey discovered 43 per cent of respondents categorized this feature as essential, while 54 per cent marked it as desirable.

            As Canadians age their housing priorities often change and no one size fits all. Not all seniors are looking for the same home features. What they do have in common is the desire to choose where and how they live. They do not want to have that decision made for them.

            In addition, they are thinking about their long term needs much earlier than previous generations. Even before retirement, many buyers are thinking about the features of a home that will help them transition into old age with ease.

            Age in Place Renovations

            When renovating or shopping for a new home this demographic has some specific needs. Of great importance are entrances to the front and rear of the property without steps. A walk-in tub or shower with a wide entrance and non-slip flooring are also considered to be of great value.

            Safety and comfort are key considerations. Although they may not need a walker or a wheelchair now, they might someday. If the plan is to stay in their current home longer, it will need to accommodate these potential eventualities.

            As happens, many middle-aged people surveyed have seen their elderly parents go through such a transition. That has encouraged them to consider their own needs for the future.

            The lowest on the priority list for buyers at the time of purchase are:

            • a whirlpool tub, 16% desirable, 84% not necessary
            • lowered countertops and cabinets, 3% essential, 46% desirable, 51% not
              necessary
            • an outdoor wheelchair ramp, 6% essential, 46% desirable, 48% not
              necessary.

            Important considerations for Canadian home buyers

            Another very important consideration made by older Canadians looking for a home they can live in longer is buying close to family. In fact, for 94%, buying close to family is top of mind for this demographic. Also top of mind for 88% is buying close to a hospital and community services. Being able to walk to near-by stores and restaurants counts for 86%. The benefits of living in a condominium stands out for 84%. When asked if buying with family is an important factor, nearly two-thirds of those asked say no (65%). More and more, Canadians are choosing to make the right choices rather than down-size as they age.

            Some mature buyers are looking for a turn-key condominium. They can spend less time on maintenance and more time traveling after retirement. Others may choose to move from a two-storey home to a rancher to avoid stairs as they age. Or yet others will opt for a multi-generational property that offers the ability to live with family. Another choice is to renovate their existing properties to accommodate their changing needs. As many as 52 per cent of Canadian boomers would prefer to renovate their current homes rather than move, according to the consumer survey.

            Seventy-four per cent of respondents say older Canadians are increasingly interested in aging in place. This is due to concerns over the high financial cost of living in senior care facilities. Meanwhile, 59 per cent say the reason is in part due to concerns over the safety of senior care facilities, highlighted during the pandemic.

            Survey highlights:


            ● 43% of survey respondents say a fully-equipped main-floor living space is
            essential for seniors planning to age in place
            ● 42% of respondents say a front and rear entrance with no steps and a walk-in
            tub are essential
            ● Almost all surveyed (94%) say purchasing a home close to family is top of
            mind for this buyer demographic
            ● Canadians are more concerned about the high financial cost of living in senior
            care facilities than safety

            spring cleaning real estate comox valley

            Preparing to Sell: Get your Spring Cleaning Done Faster

            Spring cleaning your home or condominium in the Comox Valley can seem like a great idea until you actually get started. Then it often turns out to be more work than expected! The good news is, there are proven techniques to make the job easier so you can get it done faster.

            Plan ahead for Spring Cleaning in Comox Homes

            Before you begin the project, make sure you have everything you need: hammers, boxes, tape, garbage bags, etc. Think of the supplies you’ll need and the tools that will make tasks easier. You don’t want to waste time on frequent trips to the store.

            Move without Injury!

            Consider renting a small moving trolley (AKA hand truck.) That will make it much easier to move heavy objects, such as furniture, as you’re cleaning. You can probably rent one from a local home improvement centre.

            Donate what you Don’t Plan on Using

            Plan how you’re going to dispose of waste and unwanted stuff. Find out where you can donate clothes, toys, furniture, and other items. There are many places to do this in Courtenay and Comox. Note the location of your local garbage disposal in Cumberland and its hours of operation.

            Make a List

            Divide tasks into “heavy work” and “light work” and then do the heavy work first, such as moving furniture, reorganizing rooms, etc. Only after completing the heavy work should you dive into the “light work”, such as packing boxes and sweeping.

            Ask for Help!

            Consider getting help. There are many services available that will assist with cleaning, painting, junk removal, repairs, and more. You can even hire a student to assist you for a weekend.

            comox first time buyers

            First-Time Buying Pitfalls to Avoid

            Buying your first home is a major life milestone. It is possibly one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. It is a major financial and long-term commitment. It is not possible or realistic to be ready for every possible outcome. However, it is possible to prepare for potential pitfalls you may run into during the home-buying process whether it is a house or a condominium in the Comox Valley or any other jurisdiction. Attempting to manage without professional assistance

            The buying process starts with the expert assistance of a REALTOR® and mortgage broker. REALTORS® have responsibilities of confidentiality, the utmost care, and loyalty, and are bound by a Code of Ethics. They will inform you regarding essential facts which affect current market conditions. They will also protect and promote your interests. They will discover facts pertaining to a property in order to avoid error or misrepresentation. They will ensure transaction agreements are presented in writing in clear and understandable language.

            Experienced professionals will inform you of all the expenses directly related to the real estate transaction. Mortgage brokers will help you get pre-approved and depending on your credit rating and down payment they will design a home-buying timeline. It could take a bit longer to realize your dream if you have bills and loans to pay off or don’t have enough saved for a downpayment.

            Overlooking assistance programs and hidden costs of homeownership

            As a first-time buyer, it’s definitely worth looking into assistance programs available for first-time home buyers in Canada. In a bid to make homeownership more affordable, the Government of Canada has several federal programs. These include the Home Buyers’ Amount Tax Credit (HBA) the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), and the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.

            Provincial governments also offer first-time buyers land transfer tax refunds. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers mortgage loan insurance. Each assistance program isn’t applicable to all buyers. Taking the time to learn about them to see if you qualify and what could work for you is worthwhile.

            Your mortgage isn’t the only cost you’ll need to take into account when buying a home. When it comes to closing costs, it’s best to have more funds available than not. Those costs will vary depending on your particular circumstances. They could amount to 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price.

            Another often overlooked expense is moving costs when budgeting for a first home. As well, there are home inspection fees, legal or notarial costs, and fees associated with different taxes and interest.

            It’s important to factor in these expenses when figuring out how much you need to save. First-time home buyers should also remember about expenses associated with purchasing appliances, furniture, and window coverings as not all homes come with all of them included. All of these costs add up…

            Moving too fast or purchasing more than you can afford

            Hastily charging forward can and likely will cost you in the long run. It’s strongly recommended that you have a home-buying timeline mapped out with your REALTOR® and mortgage broker well in advance. This will enable you to work through any potential credit report issues that may prevent you from being pre-approved for a mortgage.

            The Canadian Real Estate Association has a Homebuyers’ Road Map to help guide you through the journey along with your REALTOR®.

            Another related pitfall is buying more than what is actually affordable. It’s tempting to want to step even just slightly outside of your budget when you feel you’ve found that “unicorn” house. Unfortunately, as with moving too quickly to the purchasing finish line, overextending yourself can cause problems. In the event of falling upon financially tough times in the future, it can prove to be insurmountable. Finding a home that meets all of your wants and needs is next to impossible. Be honest with your budget, taking into account lifestyle expenses like dining out, travel, and weekend getaways. These all add up. If you’re already at your maximum budget, look for a more affordable option. This will allow you to still have a life and build equity. You can upsize or change when the time is right.

            It’s a good idea to think about a realistically affordable monthly payment. Rather than looking at the maximum mortgage you’re eligible for, scale it back a bit. That way you will be able to maintain other important financial obligations. You’ll also have some wiggle room in the event of an emergency.

            Above all else be prepared

            Making the decision to buy your first home isn’t something to take lightly. Even with all of your research, it can still be overwhelming. There will likely be lots of tips, tricks, and anecdotes from family, friends, and colleagues about their buying experiences too. Your REALTOR® can help you navigate the process and answer any questions you have. Their expertise will be invaluable along your home-buying journey.

            Your REALTOR® can also help along the way by recommending other professionals if necessary. They are there to provide guidance throughout and help make it a smooth process. Ensuring you have trusted professionals to answer your questions accurately and provide sound advice is the foundation to build upon when searching for your first home.

            Remember, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to reach out to a REALTOR®. Working with a professional from the beginning of your home-buying journey can help you feel more prepared.

            houses for sale in Comox

            How to Spot Potential Issues With Houses for Sale in Comox?

            When it comes time to purchase houses for sale in Comox, it’s important to be wary of potential issues with the property. Oftentimes, it can be easy to get distracted by all of the features you love. For instance, the high ceilings, large windows, or gorgeous views. Because of this, potential issues like cracks in the walls, broken climate control, and numerous other problems can go amiss. Before you buy a home, it is crucial that you understand what you’re getting into. With housing prices and interest rates the way they are, the last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on home repairs. In order to avoid this, we have put together a list of ways to help you uncover potential problems in a home. Follow along below to learn more!

            Ways to Avoid Purchasing a Faulty Home

            1. View the Home in Person

            It can be tempting to choose a home based on the pictures and videos posted online. However, images can be deceiving. It’s hard to get a good feel for the home and uncover potential issues solely by viewing a home online. In order to get a thorough sense of the property, visiting in person is a must. During the in-person showing, be sure to ask questions about potential issues. For example, if you notice the roof is in poor condition, ask when it was last redone. Or, if the utilities don’t appear to be working properly ask about when they were installed. Generally, if you notice something that looks like it could be a problem, there’s a good chance that you’re right. 

            1. Get a Home Inspection

            One of the best ways to avoid buying a home with lots of repairs is to have a home inspection done. Avoiding a home inspection is one of the worst mistakes a buyer can make. Home inspectors will be able to detect “hidden” issues and assess the overall condition of the property. Before you make any final decisions, this step is highly recommended. 

            1. Check the Property Disclosure Statement

            Sellers in British Columbia are obligated to provide a property disclosure statement to the buyer. This statement includes details about any existing issues with the home. Furthermore, it explains what needs to be done in order to fix the issues (if any). Property disclosure statements are legally binding and intended to protect both the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. 

            Contact me About Houses for Sale in Comox!

            If you are looking for houses for sale in Comox, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you find the right home to buy. For more information about properties in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon. 

            home sellers in comox

            How home sellers in Comox can be successful in a cooling market

            It’s no secret that Canada’s real estate market has undergone a notable shift for home sellers this year. Homeowners in the Comox Valley also face that reality. Those listing their property now might experience an increase in comparable inventory. It may take more days on the market and there will likely be fewer offers, compared to 2021 and early 2022.

            As an example, in Comox and Courtenay, the number of condominium apartments for sale at the end of 2022 was 50 compared to 13 ending 2021.

            The length of time to sell had almost tripled in the same time period from 26 to 70 days. Likewise, in the townhouse market, the number of listings went from 23 to 50, and the days to sell from 16 to 62. Although the market has changed, sellers still have every opportunity to stand out. When putting their home up for sale, take the extra time to prepare.

            Here are some dos and don’ts for sellers to consider in order to be successful in today’s cooling housing market:


            DO – Make the first impression count


            You only get to make a first impression once. Ensure that your property stands out. It should have inviting curb appeal so buyers fall in love before they even open the front door. You can achieve this by freshening up the outside appearance with a thorough cleaning and decluttering. Tidy up the exterior.

            Make any small repairs to doors, light fixtures, and paving. Touch up any paint where needed. Don’t forget to mow the lawn or shovel the snow. Clean out your eavestroughs, spruce up the front door, and landscaping to create an inviting entryway.

            DON’T – Forget about the little things


            Buyers will be analyzing your home from every angle when they visit for a showing. It’s important to not overlook seemingly insignificant fixes. See a lightbulb that has gone out? Replace it with a bulb that is the same colour as the others in the room.

            Got a door that squeaks loudly, or a drawer that doesn’t open properly? Be sure to repair them. Potential purchasers like to see consistency. Try to manifest this in your home while you’re in the process of selling it.

            DO – Declutter and depersonalize


            Buyers want to envision themselves in the home. Remove any personal items such as family photos, trophies, or diplomas. This also means putting valuables or seasonal items in storage. Your listing agent may be able to provide you with some references for advice on how to prepare your home for showings.

            DON’T – Overspend on the upgrades


            While it might be tempting to overhaul your home ahead of listing it, it’s important not to go overboard on the budget. You’re not staging your home for an HGTV shoot. Minor repairs and low cost, but effective updates will be enough to get buyers through the door. Chances are, last-minute big bucks sunk into the home won’t be gained back.


            DO – Practice good showing etiquette


            It’s important to be prepared for and accommodate showings. Get the selling process off on the right foot. Demonstrate good showing manners by being flexible with visitation times. Remove pets from the premises if possible. Give buyers their space by leaving the property during the appointment. Don’t forget to set the mood for showings, too. Create an inviting environment. You could play soft instrumental music in the background. Keep all lights on for good visibility and add a subtle, pleasant scent like vanilla or fresh linen.


            DON’T – Think in the past


            2021 was an unusually strong seller’s market. It saw red-hot prices and pent-up purchaser demand. Today, housing markets across the country have noticeably cooled. It’s important for sellers to keep their expectations aligned with current circumstances. As a seller, be open-minded to buyer feedback. Keep the changed market conditions in perspective when it comes to offers and showings.

            Please contact me to learn more about selling your home in Comox in this market. I would love to hear your concerns and answer any questions. Follow along on Google for more updates!

            winter blues in Comox

            How to beat the (work from home) winter blues

            Working nine-to-five in winter can be a struggle. Whether you do your job at the office or from the comfort of your home there are challenges. Remote working certainly has its perks. No need for an umbrella or to shovel the driveway early in the morning. It can also present unique problems during the winter months.

            Many people who never worked from their Comox townhouse, apartment, or house began doing so in 2020. And many of those continue to perform their jobs from a home office rather than heading to the office. Lack of sunlight, cool temperatures, and shorter days can make your at-home workday feel unproductive and stagnant. Working and living within the same four walls can seem like the days blur together. There is no break in the routine. A few minor adjustments to your townhouse, apartment, or home office space can help. You can stave off that sluggish winter feeling.

            Here are a few great ways to help you beat those winter blues when working from home:

            Feed your brain images of joy and motivation


            Your workspace should spark creativity and energy. Promote an uplifting environment with bright decorative items, inspiring artwork, and images of loved ones. Make the space feel productive in the winter. Add desk organizers, your favourite stationary, or a whiteboard calendar.

            Brighten your space to make it your happy place

            Your daily dose of sun is a great way to get a boost of vitamin D and serotonin. There are fewer daylight hours during the winter months. That can make it harder to get the rise in serotonin levels required. You can change that by placing your desk in a sunny spot in your townhouse or apartment. If there is a lack of light, mimic natural sunlight by investing in a desk sun lamp.

            Add plant-power


            Bring some life into your workspace with the addition of house plants. Whether you prefer fiddle-leaf fig trees or tiny succulents, a collection of indoor shrubs can help to lift your spirits. Plants are not just pretty to look at. Many of them provide stress-reducing and air-cleaning qualities, such as aloe vera, snake plant, and lavender.

            Enjoy a little aromatherapy

            There’s nothing like the smell of freshly brewed coffee to get you up and running. Introduce scents into your at-home office to make the space feel inviting and invigorating. Use a diffuser with your favourite essential oils. Burn a candle to take in your preferred aromas. Certain smells are known to promote concentration and alertness, such as citrus, vetiver, and peppermint.

            Bonus Tip

            It’s important to take breaks. Even when temperatures are really cold, getting outside can be beneficial to your mood and mental health. Throw on your warm coat and enjoy a blast of fresh air, even for a few minutes, to boost your energy levels. Step out of the comfort of your condo to recharge.

            Contact me if you’re looking for a home with a great work-from-home setup! I would love to help you find real estate in the Comox Valley! Please follow along on Google Business to learn more!

            Homes for Sale in Courtenay

            Up Your Chances of Selling Homes for Sale in Courtenay

            Selling homes for sale in Courtenay is a big decision. In order to get the most out of your investment, it is important that you take the necessary steps to prepare. Before you sell your home, there are a couple of things you can do to attract buyers and return a better profit. In this article, I will be going over some of the best tips and tricks for sellers! These tried and tested methods are certain to help you as you work towards selling your home. Follow along below to learn more about this topic.

            Preparing to Sell Homes for Sale in Courtenay!

            One of the first tasks that you should consider when selling your home is to repaint the walls in high-visibility rooms. For instance, the kitchen, living areas, and bathrooms. Moreover, it is important to choose neutral colours so that the buyer can imagine their belongings in the house. Next, be sure to repair or replace loose or old hardware on cabinets. Further to this, you may consider replacing worn countertops in the kitchen with new, neutral-coloured ones. As well as, replacing broken, dirty or old blinds and curtains. 

            Before you list your home for sale, check to see that all appliances are clean and in working order. If you have wood floors that need refinishing, take the time to get this done. New or good-as-new flooring is a big selling point! You should also think about replacing old or worn linoleum. Along with this point, consider having the carpets professionally cleaned or consider replacing them with a neutral colour (if you have carpet). 

            Before you show your home, make sure all light bulbs are bright and in working order. Good lighting makes a huge difference in the way that buyers see your home. It would be best if you also fixed leaks in ceilings and walls, as this is often a big red flag for buyers. Decluttering is another key step to take before showing or having your home photographed. This means putting away personal items like bills and papers, taking down family photos, and tucking away any children’s toys. In doing so, you will make it easier for the buyer to imagine themselves in your space, and make the home look bigger. 

            Contact Me Today!

            If you are looking for some help selling your property in Courtenay, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you sell your home. For more information about selling homes for sale in Courtenay, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon.