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.

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!

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.

          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.

            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.

            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.

            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.

            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. 

            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!

            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.

            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!