Tag Archive for: Courtenay Real Estate

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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!

2023 Fall Economic Statement

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

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

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

These include:

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

New funds for affordable housing


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

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

Incentives for apartment builders


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

Tax limitations on short-term rentals

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

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

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

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Common Reasons Courtenay Home Sales Fall Through

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

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

The Home Inspection exposes major issues


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

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

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

    Documents reveal red flags


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

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

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

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

      Small Details can cause big problems

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

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

        Buyers get Cold Feet


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

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

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

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

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          Ways to Pay Off Your Courtenay Mortgage Faster

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

          Review Your Payment Schedule:

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

          Increase Your Mortgage Payments*:

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

          Extra Payments*:

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

          Negotiate a Better Rate:

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

            Refinance to a Shorter Amortization Period:

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

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

            house in courtenay bc

            A Pet-Friendly Home in Courtenay, BC

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

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


            Avoid carpet flooring

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

            Get washable, wipeable furnishings for your home in Courtenay


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

            Design a ‘pet pad’


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

            Safety-proof your yard


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

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

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

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

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

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

            Buying your new home first

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

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

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

            Selling your current home first

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

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

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

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

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

            How your Courtenay Real Estate Agent can help

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

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

            fall decor tips janice leffler courtenay homes for sale

            Four home decor trends for Courtenay Real Estate

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

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

            Earthy tones


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


            Rustic touches

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


            Layered textures

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

            Fruits and flowers

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

            Bonus tip: Give attention to outdoor spaces

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

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            Simple Ways to Update Your Home for Sale in Courtenay

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

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

            1. Update Hardware

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

            1. Repaint

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

            1. Create a Gallery Wall

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

            Contact me Today

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

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            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.

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            Understanding Heating and Cooling Systems

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

            The basics of HVAC systems

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

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

            How HVAC systems work

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

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

            Common heating and cooling systems

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

            HVAC Maintenance

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

            Maintenance checklist:

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

            Signs your heating or cooling system needs to be replaced

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

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

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

            courtenay-houses-for-sale

            Prepping Courtenay Houses for Sale for an Open House

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

            How to Get Courtenay Houses for Sale Open House Ready?

            1. Fix the Red Flags

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

            1. Clean + Declutter

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

            1. Stay Away From the Property (Pets Too)

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

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

            home for sale in Comox Valley

            Credit Scores: What Are They and What Affects Them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            What factors determine my credit score?

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

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

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

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

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

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

            How can I improve my credit score?

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

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

            suite in Comox Valley

            Oh, So Suite

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

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

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

            Legal or Not Legal, That Is The Question

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

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

            The Serious Implications of Legality

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

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

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

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

            Claims Against REALTORS®

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

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

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

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

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

            A special note regarding co-ownership

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

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

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

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

            comox valley property

            7 WAYS TO SET UP YOUR YARD FOR SENSATIONAL SUMMER FUN

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

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

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

            ● Give your yard a facelift.

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

            ● List all the fun you want to have outside.

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

            ● Bring learning outdoors.

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

            ● Don’t forget Fido.

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

            ● Make the outdoors as inviting as the indoors.

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

            ● Consider the good you’re doing.

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

            ● Put safety first.

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

            real estate in Comox Valley

            The Difference Between Being Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved

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

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

            What is a mortgage pre-qualification?

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

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

            What is a mortgage pre-approval?

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

            Which option is right for you?

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

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

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

            comox 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
            country.

            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
            appreciation
            ● 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

            courtenay real estate

            Should I Get a Home Inspection When Buying Courtenay Real Estate

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

            Why Get a Home Inspection?

            1. So That You Can Back Out

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

            1. For Safety 

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

            1. As a Tool for Negotiation

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

            Contact me About Courtenay Real Estate!

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

            apartments for sale in courtenay

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Contact me for more details on Courtenay condos for sale!

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

            Courtenay Homes for Sale

            Make Your Kitchen Stand Out in Courtenay Homes for Sale

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

            How to Make Your Kitchen More Attractive?

            1. Tidy and Deep Clean

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

            1. Update Cabinetry

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

            1. New Counters and/or Backsplash

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

            Contact me About Courtenay Homes for Sale

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

            Homes for Sale in Courtenay

            Up Your Chances of Selling Homes for Sale in Courtenay

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

            Preparing to Sell Homes for Sale in Courtenay!

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

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

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

            Contact Me Today!

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

            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!

            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.

            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!

            Comox-apartments-for-sale

            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 will be going through some of the perks of moving into a Courtenay apartment. This way, you are better able to make the decision of whether an apartment is right for you! Follow along belong to learn more about Courtenay Apartments for sale.

            The Pros and Cons of Living in Courtenay Apartments.

            courtenay apartments for sale

            The pros and cons of living in an apartment are extensive. Apartments are a great way to downsize and save money. Moreover, most apartments are stratified, which means you pay a monthly fee to have basic maintenance tasks fulfilled. This means no more exterior repairs, gardening, mowing the lawn, or painting!

            Furthermore, most modern apartments in Comox provide amenities like game rooms, swimming pools, and gyms. Additionally, there is better security and lower cost for an apartment. Lastly, living in an apartment is a great short-term option for those who move around lots. 

            Despite the various pros, you may discover that the rules of the strata aren’t suited to your lifestyle. For instance, most apartment buildings have a zero-tolerance policy on smoking, noise levels, and pets. Additionally, you do not have much control over when building maintenance is done. Further to that, residents are still required to maintain the appliances and everything inside of their unit. These repairs can include, broken light fixtures, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, etc.

            There can also be less privacy in an apartment, simply because of the number of people living in the building. Conversations can be overheard and noise can travel from unit to unit. Although, concrete and steel buildings tend to have limited noise infiltration. 

            There are a variety of pros and cons to buying Courtenay apartments for sale. Living in Comox is a blast! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns about a property. For more information on an apartment in this area in Comox, be sure to contact me today! I’d be happy to help you find the perfect apartment for you and your family. Be sure to visit my social media here.

            janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2021

            Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2021

            2021 is still a good time to invest in Comox Valley Real Estate

            With historically low-interest rates still anticipated to be around for a while and prices relative to many other locations still reasonable, it remains to be a good time for buyers to take advantage and invest in real estate in 2021 if you have a down payment and consistent income. You have to live somewhere and it doesn’t seem best for you to pay the landlord when you can invest in yourself. Also, buyers who have been waiting for prices to drop could simply remain out of the market longer since it doesn’t seem likely that will happen in the next while.

            Sellers in some price ranges still have to be patient, but with the number of active listings declining it looks like it will continue to be a sellers’ market. It is always important for people with their property on the market to do what they can to make it stand out from the masses, which includes being price-conscious.

            If you are considering selling or buying a home/investment in 2021, wondering about the current market, or just want to talk to me about your real estate, I’d love to hear from you! I will provide you with professionalism, integrity, honest, accurate information, local market expertise, and keep you current which are all valuable insights that I can offer as your real estate agent.

            janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2020

            Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2020

            2020: The year of COVID-19

            The year began as many do with a slow start, picking up as February and March roll around. This was a different year though, as we came to realize. COVID-19 reared it’s head and by mid-March businesses and employees were becoming affected in ways no one expected. As March, April and May progressed, real estate was almost at a standstill. Then came June and what a change. The flood gates opened! We all know what happened next. Lots of buyers, not as many sellers, more than one offer at a time, waiting to entertain offers because there was so much interest.

            This carried on into 2021 and, if it is possible, became increasingly evident. There were fewer listings than we had ever seen and people wanted to move closer to relatives, out of the city, to lower priced markets and so on.

            Important information about Comox Valley real estate:

            The following information is from end-of-year 2020 statistics and supports the overall decline in sales numbers as a result of fewer people selling and, therefore less available to purchase. It also reflects a general reduction in activity due to government strategies aimed at cooling the real estate market – from the B-20 stress test for financing, foreign buyer’s tax which is not applicable in this area yet but does have some impact, constant threats of increased interest rates along with other measures.

            • This past year in real estate (2020) ended much as it began with more buyers than sellers. It is very different from anything I remember over the life of my 33-year real estate career. We saw fewer listings, taking less time to sell, more people wanting to buy, multiple offers on most properties, and rising prices.
            • The average price of single-family homes was on the rise in 2019 and that trend continued throughout 2020, beginning at about $580,000 in January and finishing out the year at $632,000. Total number of single-family sales in all price ranges was down from just 850 to 778 between 2019 and 2020.
            • By far the most active price ranges for homes are between $450,000 and $800,000, accounting for 78% of the total market with $400,000 to $450,000 and $800,000 to $1,000,000 encompassing another 17% of the sales;

            Infill, subdivision, and new construction in Courtenay

            • As usual, the majority of all single-family sales in our area occur in Comox, but there has been a shift with the City of Courtenay now moving ahead of East Courtenay (which has historically been second to Comox). Sales in Comox, at just over 26% of the total market, amounted to 204 in total for the year, up from a 20% market share in 2019. With infill, subdivision, and new construction in Courtenay City, sales sat at 22% with 172 of total area sales and East Courtenay moving down slightly from 2019 at 16.9% or 132 sales.
            • Due to new homes being built and more lots coming on the market in Cumberland, it has picked up 1% of that market change now sitting at just under 9% of the total number of sales with 70 in 2020. Also of interest is that Cumberland prices are now in line with the rest of the municipalities in the Comox Valley as far as sale prices with the majority of them between $450,000 and $700,000. With home sales in Crown Isle at 72 in 2020, that is double what they were in 2019 and it looks like what has happened there is that all other areas have caught up to Crown Isle pricing where the bulk of the market was between $600,000 and $900,000  There is a wide range of sales numbers and prices in all other areas that has, interestingly, decreased from the previous year to almost 15% of the local sales market from 30% in 2019. It appears that buyers preferred to live in town in 2020 by quite a wide margin which would account for the bigger numbers in urban areas.

            Rural areas in Comox Valley Real Estate

            • In the rural areas – outside Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland – there was quite a change last year with the number of sales on the Comox Peninsula and Courtenay North, Courtenay South, Courtenay West, and Union Bay/Fanny Bay tallying just half the sales of the previous year. Two other notable mentions are Merville/Black Creek and Mt. Washington. In the case of Merville/Black Creek, sales dropped last year by more than 30% and Mt. Washington sales figures increased by over 40%.
            • Interestingly in 2019, 66% of what was listed was sold, and in 2020 that increased to 88% which is similar to the 2017 market and still much better than other previous years. At this moment it is very much a sellers’ market because of low inventory and huge demand – in part because of COVID-19, it seems.
            • As always, buyers are particular about what they will buy and what they are prepared to pay for it, but they will pay based on their experience which has elevated sales prices much to some buyers’ consternation.

            Apartments and Condos in Comox Valley

            • The Comox Valley condominium market remains strong with most listings being apartment-style, but the best prices realized are for patio or townhomes. Of note is that there were almost as many patio and townhome sales in 2020 as in 2019 and of apartment-style condos too, along with increased prices. All are being built even though the time from inception to realization is still of concern to developers and there are more rental apartments under construction now too. Townhouse sales have been good and they, along with the single-family market, have seen considerable increases in sale prices. They continue to be a preference for certain buyers because of the built-in maintenance and affordability while providing good living space in comparison to the single-family home price, age, and size.
            • The lot market has picked up with some subdivisions taking place in Courtenay, Cumberland, and Crown Isle primarily. While there were 175 active listings, up only a little from 163 in 2019, there were twice the sales over the past year with the average price at about $334,000. The lack of affordable development property is a factor and has led to the majority of subdivisions being bought up by builders. The increase in initial price, infrastructure, and building costs has pushed up the cost of new construction as well.
            • To summarize, the most active price ranges up to the end of December are now $450,000 to $800,000. There were a significant number of people, 604 or almost 78% of total sales, who sold their homes between $450,000 and $800,000, and only 85 sales over $800,000. That includes less sales than in 2019 over $1M down from 41 to 26.