Tag Archive for: Comox Valley Real Estate

real estate in the comox valley

Real Estate Trends and Tips for Buying or Selling This Summer/Fall in Comox Valley

Welcome to the vibrant Comox Valley real estate market! I’m Janice Leffler, a seasoned REALTOR dedicated to helping clients navigate their real estate journeys. As we move through the summer and into the fall of 2024, it’s an excellent time for buying and selling homes. Understanding the current market trends and preparing accordingly can significantly impact your success.

Market Trends for Summer/Fall 2024

This summer and fall, the Comox Valley market is bustling with activity. Lower mortgage rates have spurred increased buyer interest, creating a competitive environment. Inventory levels are moderate, with a high demand for single-family homes and townhouses. Seasonal factors, such as families relocating before the new school year and the pleasant weather, are contributing to the market’s demand.

Tips for Buyers of Comox Valley Real Estate

1. Get Pre-Approved: Secure a mortgage pre-approval to strengthen your offer and expedite the buying process.

2. Act Quickly: With high demand, be prepared to make swift decisions when you find a property you love.

3. Explore Popular Neighborhoods: Areas like Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland offer excellent amenities, schools, and lifestyle benefits. Research and visit these neighborhoods to find your ideal home.

4. Work with a REALTOR®: Partnering with an experienced REALTOR® like myself ensures you have expert guidance, access to the latest listings, and support throughout the buying process.

Tips for Sellers

1. Enhance Curb Appeal: First impressions matter. Invest in landscaping, painting, and minor repairs to attract buyers.

2. Stage Your Home: Staging helps potential buyers envision themselves living in the space. Declutter, depersonalize and arrange furniture to showcase your home’s best features.

3. Price Strategically: Conduct a market analysis to set a competitive price. Pricing too high can deter buyers, while pricing too low may undervalue your property.

4. Market Effectively: Utilize online listings, social media, and professional photography to reach a broader audience. Virtual and in-person open houses can also attract more potential buyers.

The Role of a REALTOR® in Your Comox Valley Real Estate Journey

As your REALTOR®, I offer personalized service and extensive knowledge of the Comox Valley market. My professional network and resources ensure you have the best opportunities, whether buying or selling. Success stories from satisfied clients highlight my commitment to achieving excellent results.

Buying and selling in the Comox Valley real estate market this summer and fall requires strategic planning and expert guidance. Whether you’re buying or selling, I’m here to help you every step of the way. Contact me today to start your real estate journey in Comox Valley!

interest rate cuts

Half of sidelined homebuyers waiting for interest rate cuts to resume their purchase plans

Many Canadians put their home-buying plans on hold for the last two years. Of those who did, 51% say they will return to the market when the Bank of Canada reduces the key lending rate.

Over the past two years, there has been a huge increase in the cost of borrowing. This has forced millions of Canadians to reconsider or readjust their plans to purchase a home.

The Bank of Canada began raising its key lending rate in March of 2022.

Since then 27% of the country’s adult population has been active in the market. However, a recent Royal LePage survey, conducted by Leger, found that many have had to put their search on hold. In total, 56% say they have been forced to postpone their property search because of rising interest rates.

Lower interest rates are a welcome relief for variable-rate mortgage holders. They also help those who have been forced to put off their home-buying plans. However, the 25 basis point decrease announced in June is not enough for most. Among those who have had to postpone a purchase, 18% say they are waiting for a cut of 50 to 100 basis points. Another 23% say they need to see a cut of more than 100 basis points before they will consider resuming their search.

“Following the first-rate hold by the Bank of Canada in March of last year, we saw an immediate surge of activity in the market as consumer confidence strengthened. I expect a similar wave of buyer demand at the first indication that highly-anticipated cuts by the central bank are on the horizon,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, of Royal LePage. “Buyer behaviour is strongly linked to their confidence that the home they want to buy today will not be less expensive tomorrow.

A full 20% of sidelined buyers say they no longer plan to purchase a home. If the BoC’s key lending rate remains unchanged another 12% say they are ready to jump in again.

The most popular mortgage type and term in Canada is a four or five-year fixed-rate mortgage. That’s what almost 45% of prospective buyers intend to do. Just 22% of respondents say they will choose a variable-rate mortgage and 12% say they will opt for a short-term fixed-rate mortgage.

Of those who have postponed their home-buying plans, many are still browsing listings. This gives them a bit of a respite and more time to save for a down payment and apply for pre-approval for a mortgage. Less than 10% have obtained a mortgage pre-approval. Some have completely abandoned their home-buying plans for the time being.

The Bank of Canada’s overnight lending rate currently sits at 4.75%. The next interest rate announcement is scheduled for July 24th.

Royal LePage commissioned Leger to conduct an online survey among 1579 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, via Leger’s online panel, LEO. The data was collected from January 26 to 28, 2024. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e. a web panel in this case). For comparative purposes, though, a probability sample of 1579 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Get in touch with Janice to learn more!

tenant to homeowner janice leffler comox

From tenant to homeowner: A complete guide to home ownership in a competitive real estate market

Transitioning from tenant to homeowner can seem daunting. Today’s competitive real estate market with higher interest rates and rising prices accentuates that. However, with careful planning and an understanding of the key steps, the dream can become a reality. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process:

Hire the right professionals

The best way to succeed in entering the real estate market is to be well-prepared. Surround yourself with professionals, such as a real estate broker, a mortgage specialist, and a financial advisor. These experts will be able to advise you at different stages of the home-buying process. They can help you define your budget and the type of property you can afford.

Working with a Royal LePage real estate professional offers many advantages throughout this buying process. Your realtor will give you the right goods. She will guide and advise you every step of the way. She can also give you names of other key players, such as building inspectors, and legal and financial advisors. Her expertise and network can be crucial to your success.

Assess your financial situation

Analyze your borrowing capacity start by assessing your current financial situation. Calculate your income, expenses, and debts to figure out how much you can afford to borrow. Use online mortgage calculators to get an idea of your monthly payments under various scenarios.

Mortgage pre-qualification

Mortgage pre-qualification is a crucial step. It gives you a clear idea of how much you can borrow and shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer. Contact a few financial institutions or mortgage brokers to compare offers. This will help you find your best option.

Gather your down payment

Amount required

The minimum down payment in Canada is generally 5% of the purchase price for a property under $500,000. For properties between $500,000 and $1,000,000, you’ll need 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% on the remainder. For properties over $1,000,000, a minimum down payment of 20% is required.

Mortgage loan insurance

If your down payment is less than 20%, you’ll need to take out mortgage loan insurance with Sagen, the Canada Mortgage and HousingCorporation (CMHC) or Canada Guaranty. There is a premium for this insurance. It can add up to 4% of your mortgage amount and can be added to your mortgage.

Funding sources

Your down payment can come from a number of sources, including personal savings or a gift from family. There are a couple of federal programs available to help you raise this amount too. They are the HomeBuyers’ Plan (HBP) and the First Home Savings Account (FHSA).

Keep reading for more information on them.

Plan for additional costs

Land transfer taxes

Land transfer taxes vary by province and municipality and can add up. Be sure to include this calculation in your budget.

The tax is calculated on the basis of the purchase price of the property. Progressive rates are applied according to different price brackets.

For example, in BC, the property transfer tax is 1% up to $200,000, 2%between $200,000 and $2,000,000, and 3% between $2M and $3M. For over$3,000,000 there is a further 2% tax. In some jurisdictions, there are additional municipal taxes.

Transaction costs

Allow approximately 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price for transaction costs. These include closing costs, legal fees, building inspection, and prepaid adjustments, to name a few of the more common ones.

Consider homeownership assistance programs

The federal government offers some financial programs to help Canadians enter the real estate market.

● First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC): First-time homebuyers acquiring a qualifying home can claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,500. The value of the HBTC is calculated by multiplying$10,000 by the lowest personal income tax rate. This credit can be claimed at the time of income tax filing following the purchase of your first property.
● Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP): The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows you to withdraw from your Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)to buy or build a qualifying home. In its 2024 budget, the government announced an increase to the withdrawal limit from $35,000 to$60,000.
● First Home Savings Account (FHSA): Launched in April 2023, this program allows you to save up to $40,000 tax-free for the purchase of your first home. The FHSA combines elements of a Tax-FreeSavings Account (TFSA) and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan(RRSP). It allows users to make tax-deductible contributions and tax-free withdrawals from the account.

Find your dream home

Research and visits

These days, everyone can do their own property searches online. Your realtor has more precise research tools and a thorough knowledge of their local market. This gives you an advantage. She can match your needs to the right neighbourhood, and to the ideal property for you. During showings, she will be able to point out some things about the property’s
condition and possibly spot some potential problems. Most buyers will want to have a home inspection before committing to the purchase.

Make an offer

Once you’ve identified your ideal home, your realtor will prepare a competitive offer that takes into account your deadlines, budget, financing, or inspection conditions. She will represent you to the sellers and advise you on negotiating and presenting a counteroffer, if necessary.

Finalize your first home purchase

Home inspection

A thorough inspection of the property by a professional can reveal issues not visible to the naked eye. These could be structural problems, water damage, or electrical or plumbing concerns, amongst other things. Knowing about these issues in advance allows you to make an informed decision. The inspection is not intended to be a negotiating tool but to further inform you about the property you want to purchase. Depending on what is discovered, your realtor can help with further investigation.

Obtaining final financing

To obtain a mortgage, your lender will need detailed financial documentation. This includes bank statements, pay stubs, notices of assessment, and any other information on your debts and asse

Buying a home requires preparation and perseverance. By following these key steps, you can move from renter to homeowner with confidence. Consult Janice, a real estate professional, to guide you through it.

Good Luck on your path to homeownership!

retiring in the comox valley how to downsize

A Guide to Real Estate in the Comox Valley for Retirees

As a retiree, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your retirement home. As with any major life change, easing into your retirement doesn’t come without its challenges. From handling your finances to choosing where to live, there’s a lot to take care of. A common practice during retirement is to downsize to a smaller home. This allows you more freedom and flexibility during your golden years. To help you choose the right home for your retirement, I will be going over some of my top tips for finding real estate in the Comox Valley as a retiree. Follow along below to learn more!

What to Know About Real Estate in the Comox Valley: Retirement Edition

The first thing that I always urge clients to consider when they choose a retirement home is how the property will age with them. As you think forward into your future, can you imagine the property being suitable for you in your 80’s or even 90’s? Or, do you see yourself moving into assisted living? This question is an important one to ponder as you search for the right home. If you can’t picture yourself being able to do yard work, basic maintenance, or climbing stairs, finding a home that meets your long-term needs is essential. Look for properties that offer single-level living or a building with an elevator, maintenance that is taken care of by strata, and amenities that support aging in place. 

Another question to answer as you work towards finding the perfect retirement home, is what do you plan to do during your retirement? For some retirees, the dream is to travel the world. For others, staying at home and enjoying time with family and friends is more their speed. If you’re more the world traveller type, a smaller property like an apartment is probably an ideal option. Especially, if you’re going to be gone for most days of the year. On the other hand, for the homebody, a larger condo could be favourable. 

When searching for your dream retirement home, it’s also important to consider the amenities and location of the property. Whether we want to admit it or not, getting older often means more visits to the doctor. As such, a home near the hospital or health care services is never a bad idea. You may also find it worthwhile to have on-site amenities like pools, fitness centers, and social gathering spaces. The more opportunities for hobbies and social engagement, the better. 

Contact me Today!

If you are ready to start looking at real estate in the Comox Valley for your retirement, I encourage you to contact me today! Moreover, if you have any questions about a property in the area, be sure to reach out to me! I am excited to get your golden years on track. A home in the Comox Valley is a great asset to have. Be sure to check out my social media, and return next month for more real estate-related content! I look forward to working with you in the near future.

zoning changes british columbia

Zoning Changes Coming to British Columbia

In 2023 the British Columbia government announced there will be changes to zoning laws. It was decided municipalities will have to revise their bylaws by June 2024. These changes are intended to create more options for both homeowners and prospective buyers.

The looming changes mandate that every municipality of over 5,000 people throughout BC allow at minimum, four plexes up to three stories tall on lots currently zoned for single-family or duplex use. For larger lots or those within 400 meters of a frequent transit network, six units can be built. The province
estimates that these changes could result in over 130,000 new small-scale multi-homes over the next decade. The zoning changes are expected to prioritize the development of affordable housing units. This could involve incentives for developers to include affordable housing in their projects. It could involve requirements for a certain percentage of units in new developments to be affordable for low- and medium-income earners.

Mandating affordability measures or overstepping?

By mandating affordability measures, the government is hoping to ensure that housing remains accessible to more people, particularly in high-demand areas. Another aspect of the zoning changes is the promotion of transit-oriented development. This involves concentrating new housing and commercial spaces around public transit hubs, such as subway stations or bus terminals. By encouraging dense development near transit, the goal is to reduce car dependence, ease traffic congestion, and promote sustainable urban growth. This approach not only benefits residents by providing them with convenient access to transportation options. It also contributes to environmental sustainability goals.

Overall, these zoning changes represent a significant shift in how land use is regulated in British Columbia. By prioritizing mixed-use development, affordable housing, and transit-oriented planning, the government aims to create more vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable communities across the province. It remains to be seen how successful these initiatives will be.

The question is, is the government becoming too involved in the personal property rights of BC owners and investors?

Reach out to me to learn more!

comox real estate market

Great News! Fly Direct Between Kelowna and Comox!

Exciting news is on the horizon for both buyers and sellers in the picturesque town of Comox, British Columbia! Pacific Coastal Airlines has recently unveiled plans to introduce direct flights between Kelowna and Comox, starting June 25. This development enhances regional connectivity and also presents a myriad of benefits for people in the real estate market.

For prospective Comox Valley homebuyers, the introduction of direct flights provides newfound convenience and accessibility. Kelowna serves as a bustling hub in the heart of the Okanagan Valley. It is renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and thriving real estate market. With seamless air travel now available between Kelowna and Comox, those exploring real estate for sale in Comox can easily hop on a short flight to visit the area. This expedites their search process and facilitates informed decision-making.

Comox real estate market to benefit from direct flights to Kelowna

The addition of direct flights signifies heightened exposure and potential buyer interest for sellers in the Comox real estate market. Some Kelowna residents seek out Vancouver Island as a preferred destination for both business and leisure. Now accessibility to explore real estate opportunities in Comox will be increased greatly. This increased accessibility translates into a broader pool of potential buyers. Ultimately this could benefit both buyers and sellers by increasing real estate sales.

The sentiments echoed by Kelowna’s Sam Samaddar, YLW’s chief executive officer, underscore the significance of this development. Sam Samaddar highlights the enduring appeal of Vancouver Island for Okanagan residents. This further emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between these two picturesque locales.

Pacific Coastal Airlines, a respected regional airline in British Columbia, adds another feather to its cap with this expansion. With a commitment to providing efficient and seamless travel options, the airline continues to improve connectivity across the province. The benefit to residents, visitors, and businesses alike is apparent.

The introduction of direct flights between Kelowna and Comox marks a significant milestone. One that buyers and sellers in the Comox real estate market will appreciate and reap the rewards of. As accessibility improves and regional connectivity strengthens, the stage is set for a flourishing real estate market. This will help to increase opportunities and enrich community engagement.

If you’re visiting us from Kelowna, and are interested in learning more about the local Vancouver Island real estate market, please get in touch with me today!

waterfront homes for sale in comox bc

 All About Buying Waterfront Property for Sale BC

Buying waterfront property for sale BC in the beautiful Comox Valley is an investment you won’t regret. Properties in the province that are located on a body of water come with numerous perks that other real estate simply cannot offer. From higher ROIs to health benefits, living on the water is where it’s at! No matter if you are a homeowner or an eager investor, buying real estate on the BC waterfront is sure to be a sound investment. To help you understand why purchasing a waterfront home in the Comox Valley is so desirable, I put together a list of reasons. Follow along below to learn more!

Why Invest in Waterfront Property for Sale BC in the Comox Valley?

One of the most invaluable aspects of owning a waterfront property is the desirability that your real estate holds. There are finite numbers of waterfront homes available in British Columbia and across the world. Moreover, waterfront homes are globally recognized as one-of-a-kind investments. With more cities placing strict zoning requirements in effect to protect waterfront areas, the availability of homes on the water is scarce. This fact alone is enough to maintain home value in the most challenging market conditions. If/when the day arrives that you decide to put your home on the market, you can feel confident in knowing that there exists a buyer eager to pounce on your listing. This is even more true for those who have kept up with regular home maintenance or turned their property into a lucrative business. 

Besides great ROI and demand, a waterfront home comes with lots of opportunities for its use. Given their heightened desirability, a property on the water makes a perfect candidate for a rental home or vacation residence. Additionally, depending on the zoning of the land, you may be able to operate a business out of your home that plays into the epic oceanfront backdrop. 

If you’re not convinced that a waterfront property is a good investment, we invite you to take a look at some of the health benefits that stem from living on the water. For example, increased lifespan, reduction in stress, and improved sleep quality. Living near or on the water also encourages individuals to be more active and spend more time outdoors. In addition to this, the air quality when living near large bodies of water is generally better due to fewer air pollutants. 

Contact me Today!

If you are curious about investing in a waterfront property in BC, I encourage you to contact me today! Moreover, if you have any questions about real estate for sale in the area, be sure to reach out to me! I am excited to get your aspirations on track. A waterfront home in the Comox Valley is a great asset to have. Be sure to check out my social media, and return next month for more real estate-related content! I look forward to working with you in the near future.

purchase and sale agreement

Understanding the terminology: 5 important terms in your Comox purchase and sale agreement that you should know!

Buying a home in the Comox Valley is an exciting time. It can also be stressful and even confusing. There is legal documentation, bank information, and administrative procedures to coordinate when buying a property. With all of that, you are likely to come across a few words you may not understand.

Before you sign on the dotted line, review these five important terms that every buyer and seller should know.

Note: Purchase and sale agreement terminology and practices may vary by region.

Closing date:

The closing date is also referred to as the completion date. It is the day the buyer officially becomes the new owner of a property. At this time all necessary legal and financial parts of the transaction are completed. Typically a couple of days before the closing date, there are a couple of things that take place. The buyer will sign their mortgage loan and property title documents. The buyer will also provide the balance of funds to their lawyer to complete the purchase. The closing date is often the day before the possession date. Sometimes the closing and possession dates are the same, but that will vary depending on circumstances. The possession date is the day the new owner (buyer) receives the keys to the home.


When a buyer submits an offer, they include a deposit. The deposit is taken at the time of the offer or within a certain number of days after an accepted offer. The amount varies in different areas. A deposit demonstrates that the offer is made in good faith by the buyer. The deposit is provided to the buyer’s real estate brokerage upon acceptance of the offer and is held in trust until the closing date. The deposit is applied toward the total purchase price.

Irrevocable date and time:

When submitting an offer to purchase, there is a limited amount of time for which that offer remains open. This is known as the irrevocable date and time. By this specific day and time, both the buying and selling parties are required to agree to the terms and conditions of the offer or sign off on it. If this does not happen, the offer becomes null and void. An irrevocable date can vary depending on the urgency of the transaction. As well, it is often dependent on the availability of all parties and how much time is deemed appropriate for the contents of the offer to be reviewed. Usually, it can vary from a short couple of hours or up to 48 to 72 hours from the time the agreement is submitted.

Chattels and fixtures:

When buying a home, how do you know if the curtain rods, stove, or garage door opener is included in the sale? The chattels and fixtures section of the purchase and sale agreement will tell
you. Chattels are any items that are considered removable from the property, such as kitchen appliances, curtains and the washer and dryer. A fixture, on the other hand, is permanently attached to the property, such as a built-in microwave, cabinets, a security system or a built-in dishwasher. When the buying party has an offer drafted by their realtor, it’s important to clearly state what they wish to have included in the sale. If items are not included and agreed upon, it’s presumed that the previous owner will take any and all chattels with them.

Anything the sellers do not want to include should be specified in the listing. Some things, such as built-ins, outdoor plants and special light fixtures, can fall into a gray area. It can be time-consuming and stressful if there are disputes between buyers and sellers over what stays and what goes. The best way to avoid this is to get it in writing.

Clauses and conditions:

Each purchase and sale agreement includes a list of assurances that the seller and/or buyer sign off on, which are known as clauses. Some clauses are not as important as others, such as acknowledgment that square footage is approximate. Conditions, however, are very important and must be completed within a specific time frame for the home to be officially sold. For instance, a conditional sale can rely on a professional inspection of the property within a certain number of days of the offer’s acceptance. This means the inspection would need to be completed, approved, and signed off on by the buyer for the sale to go ahead.

It is best to review any terminology that you do not understand in the Contract of Purchase and Sale with your REALTOR – Get in touch with Janice to learn more!

Note: Purchase and sale agreement terminology and practices may vary by region.

before you go

Sold your Comox Valley home? Don’t forget these 4 important steps before you leave!

After staging your property, hosting showings and entertaining offers, selling your home feels like a huge accomplishment. Even after you’ve found the perfect buyers, there’s still plenty to do on the countdown to moving day. Your focus will likely be on packing and making arrangements for your new home. Important tasks should not go overlooked, however.

Before you officially hand over keys and say goodbye to your former abode, consider completing these four important tasks.

Update your utilities, accounts and subscriptions

Don’t forget to disconnect before you leave!

Call your cable, internet and phone providers. Notify them of your move and disable service when you depart. On closing day, have your hydro and gas metres read. This will ensure that you will pay your share of utilities. The new occupants will take over those expenses once they take possession..

If you have any newspaper deliveries or maintenance services for your yard or pool, be sure to give them a heads up too. Talk to your local post office to have your mail forwarded to your new address. You don’t want to miss any important packages, bills or letters.

When it comes to insurance, don’t cancel your policy until the sale has closed. If you are leaving your home vacant for a period of time before the new owners move in, let your insurer know. Maintain your policy as long as you own the property. Ensure you are covered in the event anything happens while the property is empty.

Leave behind important items for the new owners

Figuring out how to work a new appliance can be a hassle. Make life a little easier for the new homebuyers by leaving instruction manuals out in plain sight for them to find. This should include any pamphlets for heating and cooling systems, the fridge, stove, washing machine and dryer, plus any warranties.

Gather all keys to sheds, gates, storage cabinets and mailboxes. Leave them in a spot that is easy to find, such as the kitchen counter. Along with the keys, leave behind any remote controls, the garage door opener and any fobs.

Be mindful of items you are obligated to leave behind for the new owners that may not seem obvious. Light fixtures and curtain rods are considered to be “fixed”. If you’re removing them or other items attached to the wall, they should be replaced unless other arrangements have been agreed upon. Consult your realtor and your purchase agreement to confirm what has been included as part of the sale.

Give the home a wipe-down

After a long moving day, your buyers will appreciate coming into a home that has been prepared for their arrival.

Most purchase agreements require that the home be left in a ‘broom swept condition,’ at the very least . Loosely this translates to a surface-level clean. It would include removing all personal possessions, vacuuming the floors and disposing of all garbage.

Some buyers expect the seller to have a professional cleaning performed. If necessary, have this clarified in advance. While cleaning out your home, don’t forget about your attic, crawlspace, closets, outdoor shed, garden beds, fridge, freezer and other easily overlooked areas.

Do a final walk-through

We’ve all had that moment of leaving home and feeling like we’ve forgotten something important. On moving day, erase any possible doubts by doing one last walk around. Include the inside and outside of the property to ensure you haven’t missed anything important.

Before you lock up, set the temperature appropriately for the time of year. It may be wise to shut off the main water valve. The home may be empty for a prolonged period of time.

While doing your final tour, be sure the home is fully secure. Check that all windows and doors are closed and locked, including garden sheds, garages and patio doors.

Comox Valley Real Estate For Sale

Comox Valley Real Estate For Sale: New Transportation Paths

Comox Valley real estate for sale is about to experience a boost in value! The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is planning on building two new active transportation paths to connect communities in the Comox Valley. This new development could alter property values, neighbourhood dynamics and more! In a place like Comox Valley, transportation paths can help increase accessibility and connectivity for both residents and businesses. In this article, I will go over this new infrastructure anticipated to be put into place in the near future. Follow along below to learn more!

All About the New Transportation Paths in Comox Valley

The new transportation paths announced to be built in Comox Valley will A)  link the Village of Cumberland to the City of Courtenay. And, B) extend the existing path from Royston Road so that it runs up from the Waterfront Seaside Trail, where it will turn onto Livingston Road in the direction of the elementary school. 

Both of these projects are still being planned and officials are waiting on a grant from the provincial government. The total cost of the Royston Road project is estimated to be somewhere between $600,000 and $2.2 million to complete. Whereas, the Cumberland project is estimated to cost roughly $5.2 million to $7.8 million. The goal of undertaking these projects is to help improve methods of active transportation in the valley. 

Active transportation is any self-propelled mode of transportation like biking, walking or jogging. Both the Cumberland and Royston Road projects intend to be suitable for everything from bikes to wheelchairs and rollerblades. The CVRD is focused on ensuring that these pathways are centred around commuting as opposed to recreation. 

If grant applications are successful, the CVRD plans to begin construction later this year. 

Contact me About Comox Valley Real Estate for Sale!

If you are interested in learning more about new infrastructure near Comox Valley real estate for sale, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you stay informed about local developments! 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.

home staging in comox

The dos and don’ts of staging your Comox home for sale

When it comes to selling your home, making a positive first impression on a potential buyer is a crucial part of the process. Many sellers opt to stage their home, either through professional services or their own efforts. The goal is to make their space look more appealing to buyers, both in person and online. Staging is a popular real estate marketing strategy. It is effective at attracting purchaser interest, garnering offers at higher prices and selling homes quicker. If you’re preparing to list your property on the market soon, here are the dos and don’ts of staging your home for sale.

DO – Depersonalize your space

Buyers want to visualize themselves living in their potential new home. This can be hard to conceptualize in a space that is decked out with the seller’s belongings. To help buyers build an attachment to a property, it’s important to depersonalize. This means removing family photos, collectables, diplomas and other personal items. Consider depersonalizing your walls and furniture too. Busy accent walls, bold wallpaper and quirky fixtures speak to the specific tastes of the owner. Softening your home with neutral colours and fabrics can help make a potential buyer feel more at home. It is important though not to strip your space completely of personality. When staging, stick with basic accent pieces, such as a vase of flowers or simple throw pillows, to liven up the room.

DON’T – Overlook unfavourable smells

When buyers enter your home, they aren’t just judging your property with their eyes. All senses are engaged, including smell. Unappealing odours due to mould, pets and garbage can quickly turn off a potential purchaser. Be sure to tackle them before you welcome any showings. Take out the trash and scoop the litter box regularly. If the smell of mildew is present, give your showers and tubs a thorough clean. You could also schedule a visit from a contractor to rule out any mould-spawning water leaks. Don’t fill the room with artificial air fresheners either. Add subtle natural scents such as fresh linen, baked goods or potted herbs to entice the senses.

DO – Improve the lighting

Dark interiors can make spaces feel cramped and uninviting. Introduce an abundance of light into your home. When staging for photographs or showings, open all of the blinds and drapes, turn on lights. Move obstructions away from windows to let in as much natural light as possible. You can also boost the amount of lighting in the home with a layered approach. In addition to ceiling lights, use a mix of floor lamps, wall sconces, undermount lighting, and table lamps. This will brighten your space for potential purchasers.

DON’T – Forget about curb appeal

Buyers can easily make a snap judgment about your property from the minute they arrive on the street. Get things off to a good start by staging your home’s exterior too. Begin with a simple clean up. Mow the grass, power wash the siding and walkways, and free the lawn and eavestroughs of any fallen leaves or branches. Be sure to repair any broken porch lights or wonky house numbers. Complete your property’s refreshed façade with a clean doormat and some inviting potted plants or hanging baskets on the front porch. And don’t underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint on the front door!

DO – Rearrange your furniture

It is possible to have too much furniture. Overstuffed rooms can give the illusion that there is a lack of spaciousness. When staging your home for sale, don’t be afraid to put some items in storage. You could swap furniture out to achieve an appealing layout that buyer’s can easily walk through. If space permits, pull furniture away from the walls to allow for more movement and reduce any dead space in the centre of the room.

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!

janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2023

Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2023

In the past year, there have been many changes in real estate and the Comox Valley real estate market itself. It was, well you could say, an interesting year overall. High inflation, rising interest rates, prices in flux, and still more buyers than sellers were contributing factors. The year started off reasonably strong and that continued, to the surprise of some, into the fall market.

The last quarter of the year saw a marked reduction in sales. Buyers were worried about the federal government continuing down the path of elevating the cost of borrowing. On top of that, the provincial government was in the process of making changes to various things real estate-related. For example, rental and age restrictions in all strata developments were outlawed. Any strata bylaws that did not allow rentals were out the window. The only age restriction that held up was for strata complexes that had a minimum age of 55 years.

New taxes and Legislation affecting the Real Estate Market in Comox Valley

Add to this a speculation and vacancy tax, an extension to the foreign buyer ban, and other measures, some good, some not. Home Buyer Rescission Period and Federal Housing Tax Changes, including a tax credit for multigenerational home renovations and taxes imposed on homes purchased and sold in a short period of time (house flipping) were also instituted. All changed the landscape for real estate. Investors began thinking about getting out of the landlord game and that is an ongoing concern. Yes, there is a lack of housing, but if people are not willing to own property and rent to tenants, how does that benefit people who rent and do not want, or are not able, to buy?

Housing was and remains to be a top priority even though some of the proposed and implemented solutions are not panning out the way they were intended.

Residential sales in 2023 peaked in May and declined for the remainder of the year.

The number of homes on the market did not improve either though, and this affected prices. Of note, at the end of December 2023, there were just 121 single-family homes on the market. That is less than the 135 on the market in December 2022. However, the average sale price at the end of 2023 was just under $825,000 as compared to $786,000 in December 2022.

  • A total of 635 sales occurred in 2023 which isn’t far off the 674 that changed hands overall in 2022
  • The strata property market wasn’t much different with just 59 active listings of apartment-style condominiums at the end of 2023 instead of 50 in 2022
  • There were just 35 townhouses for sale in December 2023. December 2022 saw 50 offered for sale
  • Land only, with no buildings, shows similar trends with a mere 49 lots on the market in December 2023 as opposed to 64 in 2022
  • Interesting to note that the lower-priced strata apartments were selling in 2023 at an average sale price of $245,000, down from $416,600 the previous year, but in the townhouse segment of the market, the price in 2023 was up to $557,000 from $512,000 in 2022

Comox Valley Neighbourhoods In Demand

Another thing buyers and sellers may be interested in knowing is that, when it comes to areas, there are consistent preferences. Comox easily leads the way annually with Courtenay City and Courtenay East following in that order.

The next choice is Cumberland, though it trails by quite a bit. The balance of the Comox Valley follows well behind these top choices and includes Comox Peninsula, Courtenay North, Courtenay South, Courtenay West, Crown Isle, Merville/Black Creek, Mt. Washington, and Union Bay/Fanny Bay.

New Construction in the Comox Valley Real Estate Market

There has been a lot of construction going on in the Comox Valley over the past several years. Single-family and condominiums, both townhouses and apartments, have led the way. Now there seems to be, in addition to houses and strata buildings, a lot of rental apartments being built to assist with the housing shortage. Builders are taking advantage of some of the incentives the federal government has put in place. Keep in mind that plans for new construction begin long before it is approved and actually available. The permit process is a slow one. Land availability has an impact on that as well.

So far in 2024, pricing, interest rates, and property available to buyers seem to be following the trends we have seen taking shape over the past couple of years. It sounds as though we may start seeing interest rate relief sometime this year, but that remains to be seen.

In all segments of the market, there is information that can be deduced. It is not the same from one type of property to another, nor from one price range to another. If you would like further insight, please feel free to contact Janice. She is always available to help!

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!

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.

    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
    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!


    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

    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


    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 interest rate hikes

    Effect of Latest Interest Rate Hike: Housing market activity will soften, but home prices are not likely to go down

    Canadians continue to grapple with the increased cost of living. The Bank
    of Canada’s latest hike to interest rates on July 12 will add more pressure to
    variable rate mortgage holders. It will also make it more difficult for those
    looking to qualify for lending.

    Buyers who have secured a rate hold are anxious to make a purchase
    before it expires.

    Some sellers have hit the pause button on listing their
    homes until economic conditions stabilize. This will further contribute to a
    lack of available inventory. Additional demand pressures will ensure that
    home prices remain stable through an expected decline in sales activity in
    the coming months.

    “The Canadian real estate market has been in a steady state of recovery
    since the start of the year. While these additional interest rate hikes, and
    those potentially to come, will likely put a damper on activity and sales
    volumes, demand for housing remains very strong,” said Phil Soper,
    president and CEO of Royal LePage. ”We expect the rate of appreciation to
    moderate through the second half of 2023, causing home prices to level
    off or increase marginally.”

    What do the experts say?

    Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Canada
    will increase 8.5% in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to the same
    quarter last year. The previous forecast has been revised upward to reflect
    strong activity and price appreciation in the first half of the year.

    According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released in mid July,
    the aggregate price of a home in Canada decreased modestly by 0.7%
    year-over-year to $809,200 in the second quarter of 2023. The indication
    here is that nationally, the real estate market is close to the point where it
    will have recovered fully from 2022’s post-pandemic market correction.

    Aggregate price of a home in Canada rose 4.0% in Q2

    On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the aggregate price of a home in Canada
    rose 4.0% in Q2. This was the second consecutive quarter to show
    positive growth. As a result of the Bank of Canada’s aggressive interest
    rate hike campaign, there has been a decline in prices over the last year.
    Interest rates began rising in March of 2022.

    “The Bank of Canada’s prolonged series of interest rate hikes has changed
    where and how people live. It has pushed some buyer hopefuls to choose
    less expensive housing types or neighbourhoods. Others have chosen to
    relocate to more affordable markets across their province or across the

    And, some buyers have been pushed to the sidelines indefinitely,”
    Soper continued. “Economic uncertainty has caused some potential
    sellers to reevaluate their plans as well. The worry that they will be unable
    to find the move-up home they need in today’s tight market is a major concern.

    Further, there are those who secured fixed-rate mortgages at
    generational lows of two percent or even less, who are understandably
    reluctant to wade back into a market with substantially higher borrowing
    costs. Fewer sellers mean fewer listings, which adds further pressure to
    our chronic shortage of inventory. Access to affordable housing in Canada
    will continue to be a major social issue.”

    Second quarter press release highlights:

    ● Aggregate price of a home in Canada in Q2 2023 sits at just 5.6%
    below the peak reached in Q1 of last year
    ● 94% of regions in the report posted quarterly aggregate home price
    ● Chronic shortage of housing supply, due in part to sellers’ hesitancy
    to list, continues to put upward pressure on home prices
    ● Royal LePage urges officials to quickly increase support for more
    development, including affordable, purpose-built rental buildings

    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

    ● 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.

    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.


    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.

    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!

    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!

    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.

    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
    • an outdoor wheelchair ramp, 6% essential, 46% desirable, 48% not

    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!

    foreign home buyers and comox real estate for sale

    Foreign Buyer Ban and Comox Real Estate

    The federal government’s ban on new foreign ownership of residential property became law on January 1, 2023. It prohibits any non-Canadian citizen or permanent resident from buying residential real estate for two years. The federal government plans to work with provinces and municipalities during the two-year ban. Their aim is to develop a framework to better regulate the role of foreign buyers in the housing market. The goal is to ensure housing is available for and used by Canadians.

    The government wants to make the market fairer for Canadians. The rationale is that it will prevent foreign buyers from parking their money in Canada by buying up homes. Houses being used as homes, rather than as commodities to be traded is how they described the changes.

    Who can’t buy Comox residential property under the Foreign Buyer ban?

    The act defines a non-Canadian as:

    1. an individual who is neither a Canadian citizen nor a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act nor a permanent resident;
    2. a corporation that is incorporated otherwise than under the laws of Canada or a province;
    3. a corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province whose shares are not listed on a stock exchange in Canada for which a designation under section 262 of the Income Tax Act is in effect and is controlled by a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); and
    4. a prescribed person or entity.

    Exceptions for buying Comox residential property under the Foreign Buyer ban


    1. A temporary resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; or
    2. A non-Canadian who buys residential property with a Canadian spouse. A common-law partner if the spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. A person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.

    Residential property

    Includes any real property or immovable that is:

    1. a detached house or similar building, containing not more than three dwelling units;
    2. a semi-detached house, rowhouse unit, residential condominium unit or other similar premises, vacant land, where the land has been zoned for residential use or mixed-use and is within a Census Metropolitan Area (having a population of at least 100,000) or Census Agglomeration (having a population of at least 10,000);
    3. any prescribed real property or immovable.


    Non-Canadians found guilty of contravening the act are subject to a fine of not more than $10,000. If the federal government orders the sale of the property, the non-Canadian buyer won’t receive more than the amount paid for the property.

    Property Purchased by a Non-Canadian Before January 1, 2023

    The ban doesn’t apply if the agreement of purchase and sale of the residential property involving a non-Canadian is dated before January 1, 2023.

    Regulations for Comox residential property under the Foreign Buyer ban

    There will be future regulations on transactions deemed prohibited purchases.

    Contact me for more information on how the new Foreign Buyer Policies affect homeownership in the Comox Valley. I would love to hear from you today! Follow along for more updates on Google Business!

    home renovation roi janice leffler real estate comox

    Planning to Renovate your Comox Home?

    Are you working on a home improvement project? Homeowners in Comox, Courtenay and the area do things to their homes to enjoy themselves. Others do them in preparation to put the property on the market. If this is you, you may be interested to know which renovations will give you the most bang for your buck. This applies to homes and condominiums, townhouses, apartments, and patio homes.

    A kitchen renovation is the most worthwhile home improvement. It has the potential to increase the value of your property by 20%, according to a recent survey by Royal LePage. A kitchen is perceived as the gathering place and the heart of the home. The one thing that will stand out to a potential buyer is what the kitchen looked and felt like. That first impression is really important. They may not remember the size of the bedrooms or the color of the walls. They will remember the kitchen.

    Highlights from the survey:

    Get in touch with me if you want to learn more about adding value to your Comox home before you sell!

    moving in comox valley janice leffler real estate

    Moving from a Property in Comox!

    Moving can be one of the most stressful parts of selling your home. Packing, planning, and budgeting make moving a serious hassle. However, there are ways to make moving less daunting. From creating a checklist to hiring a professional there are lots of ways that you can ease the stress of moving to a property in Comox. On this page, you’ll find tips and resources to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible. Continue reading below to learn more about how to have a stress-free moving experience!

    How to Have a Stress-Free Move From Your Property in Comox?

    Moving can be difficult. However, getting yourself and your family organized will take the stress out of the day. It will also allow you to focus on the fun stuff! Like the fact that you’re moving into a great new home! In order to remove some of the stress from moving, it is important to prepare wisely. Some of the steps that you should take prior to moving day are listed below:

    1. Make a moving checklist that keeps you on track – It’s best to have three lists: one for leading up to moving day, one for moving day, and one for when you move into your new home.
    2. Make a moving budget – If you are looking to save money or simply keep costs low, a moving budget is critical.
    3. Make sure everyone gets involved – Whoever is living in your home should have tasks delegated to them so that the moving process is quicker and everyone feels part of the process.
    4. If possible, use a moving service – Moving services are expensive, but if you can afford one we recommend taking this route.
    5. Use your agent to your advantage
    6. Give yourself time – Try to avoid moving into your new home on the same day that the previous owners are moving out. Wait if you can, and do some cleaning or painting prior to moving in.

    Contact me today if you are interested in selling your property in Comox. I’d be happy to help you find the right buyer for your home. I look forward to working with you in the near future!

    mortgages in comox courtenay

    Mortgage Renewals in Comox for 2023

    Given the rise in interest rates, it should be no surprise housing market activity in the Comox Valley has declined. Along with that, asking prices have come down. The Bank of Canada continues to combat inflation with rate hikes that are affecting the cost of borrowing. 

    CIBC’s deputy chief economist, Benjamin Tal, describes it as necessary. It is an adjustment because of record high activity levels experienced when interest rates were extremely low.

    A recent survey indicates more than 50% of Canadian mortgage borrowers are concerned about higher mortgage payments at renewal time. Another rate increase is expected at the next Bank of Canada announcement this month. Some borrowers with variable-rate mortgages have had to increase their monthly payments to cover the rising interest portion of their payment. 

    Compared to the previous December, house sales were down 23% in Courtenay/Comox

    The Courtenay/Comox real estate market saw a couple of interesting developments in December 2022. Compared to the previous December, house sales were down 23%. The average sale price was off by just 5%. The apartment and townhouse sale markets were slightly different. Sales were less at 45% to 50%. There was more on the market and it took them longer to sell. Of note is that the average sale price was up!

    If your mortgage is coming up for renewal soon, the best move you can make is to speak with a mortgage professional. It is important to review your situation. Find out if remaining with your current lender is still the best option for you. Assess the impact rising mortgage payments will have on your budget. 

    Look to a mortgage professional!

    Your mortgage professional can advise you on the best mortgage strategy to implement. He or she will look at your specific needs. They may be able to show you solutions to help reduce your new monthly payment at renewal. Is cash flow an issue? Would you like to save the most in interest costs?

    To avoid financial stress in 2023 now is a great time to review your financial situation and your mortgage.  In the long run, by making the right moves today you can put a plan in place. 

    Despite the challenges caused by higher interest rates, homeownership remains strong!

    Contact me for more information!

    janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2022

    Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2022

    2022: The Bank of Canada works to curb inflation

    Another year that began a bit slowly, as is wont to happen. Once the first couple of months passed, we were back into a busy real estate trend. June and July things began to change again. The government decided to try to curb inflation so the Bank of Canada began raising interest rates and looking at other regulations to cool the hot markets across the country. It is working!

    Unprecedented price increases, growing numbers of offers, dwindling supply since 2020, have now (August) been replaced by leveling prices, properties remaining on the market longer, some price reductions, and increased numbers of active listings.

    The government is still talking about other measures to come so we will see what that brings.

    In the meantime, it looks like some of the changes are having the desired effect.

    home inspection comox

    Value of a Home Inspection in Comox

    This article will address the key points of getting a home inspection in Comox and why it’s essential. The housing market has changed since earlier this year. It is cooling. Home sales are slowing down and prices are leveling rather than increasing or “crashing”. 

    The Comox Valley includes Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, and the area. These areas saw a decline in the number of single-family homes and condominium/apartment sales. Compared to November 2021 in November 2022 sales were down about one-third. Townhouse sales were down a bit more than that. This is partly due to the number and type of properties on the market. Generally, inventory is up, but still low compared to pre-COVID.  

    Sale prices are off approximately 8% in the single-family market where the average price has dipped to just over $788,000. The unchanged townhouse and condominium/apartment market remains to have average sale prices of $605,000 and $387,000 respectively.

    While home and condominium/apartment/townhouse prices may not have experienced a significant drop, bidding wars aren’t as prevalent. There are many factors contributing to the decline in some segments. These factors include the time of year, less demand, and an increase in interest rates. All appear to be having a slowing effect in most segments of the market. 

    If you are considering selling your home, it’s important to consider this new more balanced market reality.

    Prior to listing, a pre-inspection completed by your home inspector can help set your property apart from others. When looking at those in your neighbourhood it will highlight the sound investment buyers can expect when purchasing your property.

    Through the advice of a trained professional, the pre-inspection will offer you a list detailing any future work to be done. Inspectors provide a written report with photos that outlines the condition of your home and possible areas of concern. Their time is spent looking at the interior and exterior components of the house including the roof, attic, crawl space, windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical. In some cases, they may suggest you have a plumber, electrician, or roofer (for example) further evaluate. 

    This can empower you to make some changes yourself prior to listing. It can also help equip you with information to show potential buyers that only minor repairs/upgrades are required. It also takes the guesswork out of waiting for a home inspection after a potential buyer makes a conditional offer. Not to mention it boosts confidence in your property!

    Reach out to me today!

    If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Comox Valley or learning more about real estate in Comox, Courtenay, and the area, feel free to contact me. In addition, don’t hesitate to message me with any other questions you have about real estate in the area. Continue to check back.

    comox real estate

    Comox Real Estate Recap – 2022!

    2022 was a bumpy year for real estate. However, everything seemed to balance out by the end! Over the course of the past year, I wrote several blog posts to keep everyone up-to-date with Comox real estate. Now that 2022 is coming to an end, I thought it would be best to write a year-end recap for all of the blog posts written in 2022. This way we can all look back and reflect upon the year. Follow along below to check out my 2022 Comox real estate blog summary! 

    Spring & Summer.

    Mar – Why Hire a REALTOR® in Comox Valley?

    There are many reasons why people choose to hire a REALTOR® in Comox Valley. The expertise and know-how of an agent, are certainly comforting when it comes to purchasing a home. Learn more about why you might consider hiring a real estate agent, in this article!

    Apr – Advantages of Living in Comox Townhouses For Sale

    There are various factors that make townhomes desirable. If you’re looking to downsize or upsize, a townhome is the perfect middle ground. Check out this post to learn more about the advantages and perks of townhouse living in Comox, BC!

    May – Why Live in Courtenay Apartments for Sale?

    Purchasing Courtenay apartments for sale can be a great way to save money! However, it is important to get all of the information before you make the move. In this article, I went through some of the perks of moving into a Courtenay apartment. 

    June – Amenities of Courtenay Townhomes for Sale.

    Purchasing Courtenay townhomes for sale allows you to gain access to one of the world’s greatest outdoor playgrounds. By reading this article, you can learn more about the outdoor amenities of Courtenay townhomes for sale. 

    July – Townhomes in Comox Valley For a First-Time Buyer.

    Living in townhomes in Comox Valley is a great option for first-time buyers. Townhomes are a great choice for buyers who can’t or don’t want to commit to owning a traditional single-family home. Check out this article to learn more.

    Aug – Apartments in Comox For Retirees!

    Downsizing can be beneficial for retirees. Moving into a smaller place can help you make time for the things you love. For instance, travelling, getting outside, relaxing, or picking up a new hobby. Learn more about the benefits of owning an apartment in Comox as a retiree!

    Comox Real Estate – Fall & Winter Recap.

    Sept –  Apartments in Courtenay For Empty Nesters!

    Owning an apartment as an empty nester can be a great way to save money and better spend your time. Once your kids head off to college or move out, you have the chance to downsize. This opportunity can provide you with all sorts of freedoms that a single-family home may be hindering.

    Oct – Real Estate in Comox to be Affected by New Mortgage Broker Rules.

    New laws were proposed surrounding the Mortgage Brokers Act in British Columbia in October. These new laws will likely affect those purchasing real estate in Comox and other cities across the province. According to the government’s statement, the soonest that these laws would be implemented is late 2023. Be sure to check this article out if you haven’t already. 

    Nov – Preparing Houses in Comox for Winter.

    Preparing houses in Comox for winter is a crucial task. Although Vancouver Island doesn’t receive much snow, there is a lot of rain. Cold winds and lots of water can cause destruction to your home if you aren’t careful. In this article, I went over the ways that you can prepare your home for Winter in Comox.

    Contact me today if you have any questions about buying or selling Comox real estate. Thanks to everyone for another awesome year! I look forward to working with you again in 2023. Be sure to check back next month for more blog content. Happy holidays everybody!

    Houses in Comox

    Preparing Houses in Comox for Winter

    Preparing houses in Comox for winter is a crucial task. Although Vancouver Island doesn’t receive much snow, there is a lot of rain. Cold winds and lots of water can cause destruction to your home if you aren’t careful. By taking the time to prepare your home, you can avoid any damage or unforeseen costs. In this article, I will be going over the ways that you can prepare your home for Winter in Comox. Follow along below to learn more about this topic.

    How to Prepare Houses in Comox for Winter?

    When you begin preparing your home for winter, make sure you check that your windows and doors are secure. This means ensuring that the caulking is intact/none of the weather strips are broken. If you notice any damage to the seal around your windows or doors, grab some caulk from your local hardware store. It is important to take care of this task so that cold air and moisture don’t seep into your home. 

    Moreover, in a place as wet as Comox, you’ll want to make sure that the land around your home is sloping away from the foundation. During this time, you can also check for any cracks, chips, or crumbling in your foundation. If you suspect a problem, make sure you call an expert right away! 

    Next, take a good look at your roof. Comox is known to get a substantial amount of rain and having a good roof is key. Make sure that there are no damaged or missing shingles on your roof. You should also be mindful of any holes that could cause leaks during rainy months. 

    If you are interested in learning more about how to prepare houses in Comox for the winter months, contact me today. For more information about buying or selling a home in Comox Valley, feel free to reach out. Don’t hesitate to message me with any other questions that you have about real estate in the area. Continue to check back each month, for more info about buying and selling properties in Comox, B.C. I look forward to being in touch with you soon!

    real estate in comox janice leffler

    Planning a winter vacation? Some tips before you go.

    Many people plan to spend winter months in sunnier southern locations. To make sure your home is safe during that time away, there are some things you should plan to do before heading out on that short or longer vacation. 

    To minimize the risk of damage or break-ins, there are some simple things you can do.

    Here are a few tips to consider:

    • Be sure all doors, windows, and garage doors are properly closed and locked. Don’t forget about the basement.
    • Rather than leaving spare keys hidden on the property, consider asking a friend, neighbour, or family member to check on the property while you are away. Leave them a key so they can collect mail, water plants, and watch for potential problems. This will also show some activity and give the idea someone is home.
    • Set timers on lights inside and out similar to your home routine. This will ensure an appearance of life rather than leaving a dark, empty home or having lights on all day and night.
    • Shut off the water if you are going to be away for an extended period of time and unplug all electronics.
    • If you don’t have them already, consider installing an alarm system and security cameras. Cameras at exterior doors will often connect to an app on your smartphone so you will know when someone is at your door when you are not.
    • Do not leave any valuables in sight. A good idea is to secure jewelry, cash, keys, or any other important items in a home safe or safety deposit box.
    • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked prior to your departure to make sure the batteries work and function as intended.
    • In winter, so it looks like someone is home, have a friend or neighbour drive on or clear off your driveway. When it snows, a sure sign you are away is no tire tracks or footprints in the snow.
    • And a last important tip: wait until you get home to share your photos and experiences on social media. Nothing spells vacated home more than shouting it to the world before and during your trip.

    If you are interested in learning more about real estate in Comox, Courtenay, and the area or about buying or selling a home in Comox Valley, feel free to reach out. Additionally, don’t hesitate to message me with any other questions you have about real estate in the area. Continue to check back.

    Real Estate in Comox

    Real Estate in Comox to be Affected by New Mortgage Broker Rules.

    The Mortgage Brokers Act in British Columbia has recently changed. These new laws are likely to affect those purchasing real estate in Comox and other cities across the province. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presented changes to the bill on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 by. The claim of the bill is to provide consumers with more transparency and protection when dealing with the mortgage broking industry. In this article, I will be going over the proposed bill and how this will affect those looking to purchase real estate. Follow along below to learn more. 

    How Will Real Estate in Comox be Impacted by the New Mortgage Broker Rules?

    New mortgage broker rules have been proposed with the assertion that they will provide more safety to homebuyers. Moreover, according to a recent article by CBC, “the new act will give the B.C. Financial Services Authority the ability to make rules for the industry, as non-traditional lenders emerge and more people turn to brokers and online technology to arrange residential mortgages”. This is said to help minimize/address issues surrounding B.C.’s money laundering investigation. 

    Fines for mortgage brokers who violate the rules (pending approval) have increased to a maximum penalty of $500,000. Further to this, those with more than one offence could garner fines of up to $2.5 million. According to the government’s statement, the soonest that these laws would be implemented is late 2023. 

    If you are interested in learning more about how your purchase of real estate in Comox will be impacted by new mortgage broker rules, contact me today. For more information about buying or selling a home in Comox Valley, feel free to reach out. Additionally, don’t hesitate to message me with any other questions that you have about real estate in the area. Continue to check back each

    apartments in courtenay

    Apartments in Courtenay For Empty Nesters

    Owning an apartment as an empty nester can be a great way to save money and better spend your time. Once your kids head off to college or move out, you have the chance to downsize. This opportunity can provide you with all sorts of freedoms that a single-family home may be hindering. Moreover, the additional costs of owning and maintaining a single-family home can be entirely eliminated by moving to an apartment. In this article, we will be going over the benefits of moving into apartments in Courtenay as an empty nester.

    Follow along below to learn more.

    Owning Apartments in Courtenay as an Empty Nester.

    In general, living in a smaller space will save you more money. For instance, your apartment will require less use of electricity, gas, and water. Therefore, helping you cut down your monthly utility bills. Furthermore, you won’t need to spend as much money on repairs or maintenance because most of these things are covered within your strata fee. And, since you’ll be downsizing you won’t need to worry about buying new furniture. Instead, you can sell the extra furnishings you own and make a bit of extra cash. 

    In addition to lower costs and fewer belongings, you’ll have a lot more free time. Instead of being chained to landscaping your home, or cleaning every room, you can get outside and enjoy the world around you. Spend your weekends with apartments in Courtenay strolling around the harbour, or visiting a local winery or brewery. 

    Enjoy the flexibility and newfound freedom of owning apartments in Courtenay as an empty nester. Forget the drone of doing Sunday chores and weeding your backyard with a smaller living space. For more information on owning apartments in Courtenay as an empty nester, contact me today. I’d be happy to help you find the perfect place to call home in Courtenay. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns that you may have about a property in the area.

    I look forward to working with you in the near future!


    Apartments in Comox For Retirees!

    Downsizing can be beneficial for retirees. Especially for those looking to move to apartments in Comox. Moving into a smaller place can help you make time for the things you love. For instance, traveling, getting outside, relaxing, or picking up a new hobby. Furthermore, using the money from selling your single-family home can help you achieve all of your retirement goals. Follow along below to learn more about the benefits of owning an apartment in Comox as a retiree!

    Owning Apartments in Comox as a Retiree.

    Apartments in Comox can provide retirees with relief from housework and tiring maintenance. Most apartments require minimal upkeep and most other major tasks are taken care of by the strata. Saying goodbye to the maintenance a single-family home provides can be an amazing choice for retirees. 

    Ditching the lawnmower can allow you to fulfill your retirement goals. Whether that be golfing in the mornings or visiting somewhere tropical for months at a time. Having the freedom to do what you want, when you want is a wonderful thing. However, it requires some financial planning. If you’ve already paid off your mortgage and the maintenance of your house isn’t too taxing, it might be smarter to stay where you are at. Alternatively, if the cost of an apartment will allow you more expendable income, then it may be worth looking into. 

    Determining if owning an apartment in Comox is right for you, will come down to the lifestyle you plan on living during your golden years. That coupled with how it will affect you financially. It is important to consider your future plans and choose a living situation that best suits those goals. 

    For more information on owning apartments in Comox as a senior, contact me today. I’d be happy to help you find the perfect place to call home in Comox Valley. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns that you may have about a property in the area. I look forward to working with you in the near future!