Tag Archive for: Houses for sale Comox Valley

comox real estate market

Great News! Fly Direct Between Kelowna and Comox!


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


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


Comox real estate market to benefit from direct flights to Kelowna

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


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


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


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


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

waterfront homes for sale in comox bc

 All About Buying Waterfront Property for Sale BC

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

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

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

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

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

Contact me Today!

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

purchase and sale agreement

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

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

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


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


Closing date:

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

Deposit:

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

Irrevocable date and time:

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

Chattels and fixtures:

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

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

Clauses and conditions:

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


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

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

Comox Valley Real Estate For Sale

Comox Valley Real Estate For Sale: New Transportation Paths

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

All About the New Transportation Paths in Comox Valley

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

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

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

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

Contact me About Comox Valley Real Estate for Sale!

If you are interested in learning more about new infrastructure near Comox Valley real estate for sale, contact me today! I’d be happy to help you stay informed about local developments! For more information about real estate in the area, stay tuned to my blog. And, check out my social media for the latest updates and more. I look forward to working with you soon.

kids and moving in comox

How to support your kids during a move to Comox

Moving can be a very exciting time for a family. The anticipation of new surroundings, opportunities and a fresh start can be quite enticing. It can also be quite daunting. It is a major life event that affects all children differently.

If you are a parent who is looking for ways to help your child handle the moving process and adjust to their new environment, read the following tips. These could help them cope with the transition.

Communicate

Communicating with your child about the move will help them feel supported. Share with them the reasons behind the move and how you’re feeling about it. Hear their thoughts about moving, good or bad, and empathize with their feelings. An open channel of communication can be one of the most impactful ways to help your child navigate through the changes surrounding a move.

Get the kids involved

Involve kids in the moving process with age-appropriate tasks. It will help them accept the permanent nature of moving out of their current home and into a new one. Having them help out also gives them a sense of responsibility and pride. Any positive emotion associated with moving is a plus.

Here are a few fun tasks to try:

● Gather special items and take photos around the old home for a
keepsake treasure box
● Start a Pinterest board to gather inspiration for their new room
● Have your little ones assist with decluttering by going through their
clothing and toys. Let them decide what to keep and what to pass
on to other children who need them
● Make packing fun by having them fill up a box of their things and
decorate it with stickers, markers, etc.

Create a plan to stay in touch with friends

For children, one of the hardest parts of moving away is leaving their friends and classmates behind. If this is the case for your child, create a plan to help them stay in touch with their closest friends. Technology makes it easier to keep in contact with video calling and messaging apps. You can take it a step further by planning to write letters back and forth. Plan a visit if you’re not too far away. Create a keepsake book full of pictures and memories of your child and their friends.

Explore the new neighbourhood together

To eliminate some of the apprehension that comes with living in a new place, it can help to explore the neighbourhood together beforehand. If possible, take your kids with you on a walk-through of your new home. This could help with knowing what to expect on the big day. You can also check out your child’s new school. Add to that local playgrounds and restaurants to get the kids excited and familiarized with their new environment. If physically traveling to your new neighbourhood isn’t possible, look for maps, videos, and pictures online. Encourage conversation like what they are excited about. When you do arrive in your new community, take breaks from unpacking to enjoy your new space together.

Check-in with yourself

Children can often sense when their parents are going through something difficult. Moving can be stressful. This is why it’s important to check in with yourself. Are you taking time to rest and nourish your body? Have you allotted sufficient time to complete moving tasks like preparing the home and packing?

Care for yourself and work through your emotions surrounding the move. It will put you in a better headspace to support your kids when they need you.

real estate in comox

Navigating Comox Valley Real Estate in 2024

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

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

What to Know About Buying Comox Valley Real Estate in 2024

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

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

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

Contact me Today!

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

I look forward to working with you in 2024!

Real Estate in Comox Valley

Blog Recap of Real Estate in Comox Valley!

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

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

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

home renovation roi janice leffler real estate comox

Jan – Moving from a Property in Comox!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking Back at Summer & Fall on My Blog

Courtenay Real estate

Jun – Signs That You Should Buy Comox Houses for Sale

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

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

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

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

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

Sept –  Buying New Comox Valley Houses: Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

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

Contact me Today!

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

Open House in Comox Valley

Pros and Cons of Hosting an Open House in Comox Valley

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

  • Pros:

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

  • Cons

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

Contact me Today About Selling Your House in Comox Valley!

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

comox valley condos for sale

Simple Ways to Update Your Home for Sale in Courtenay

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

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

  1. Update Hardware

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

  1. Repaint

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

  1. Create a Gallery Wall

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

Contact me Today

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

property in Comox Valley

Live in Your Home Before Renovating It

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

You’ll learn about your home and its pain points

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

You’ll have more time to plan your project

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

You’ll have a better grasp on your finances

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

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

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

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

You’ll need a break

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

comox valley homes for sale

Understanding Heating and Cooling Systems

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

The basics of HVAC systems

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

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

How HVAC systems work

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

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

Common heating and cooling systems

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

HVAC Maintenance

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

Maintenance checklist:

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

Signs your heating or cooling system needs to be replaced

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

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

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

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

homes for sale in Comox

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

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

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

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

How do you do that on a tight schedule?

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

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

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

Adjust as needed

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

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

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

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

buying a comox valley home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is buying a home as-is for you?

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

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

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

comox home selling tips

DIY Tips for Lawn and Garden Care for Comox Home Sellers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

single storey suite in comox for sale

Single-storey suite essential feature

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

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

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

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

Age in Place Renovations

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

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

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

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

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

Important considerations for Canadian home buyers

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

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

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

Survey highlights:


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

comox first time buyers

First-Time Buying Pitfalls to Avoid

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

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

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

Overlooking assistance programs and hidden costs of homeownership

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

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

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

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

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

Moving too fast or purchasing more than you can afford

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

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

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

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

Above all else be prepared

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

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

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

houses for sale in Comox

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

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

Ways to Avoid Purchasing a Faulty Home

  1. View the Home in Person

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

  1. Get a Home Inspection

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

  1. Check the Property Disclosure Statement

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

Contact me About Houses for Sale in Comox!

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

home sellers in comox

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

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

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

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

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


DO – Make the first impression count


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

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

DON’T – Forget about the little things


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

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

DO – Declutter and depersonalize


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

DON’T – Overspend on the upgrades


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


DO – Practice good showing etiquette


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


DON’T – Think in the past


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

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

foreign home buyers and comox real estate for sale

Foreign Buyer Ban and Comox Real Estate

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

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

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

The act defines a non-Canadian as:

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

Exceptions for buying Comox residential property under the Foreign Buyer ban

Include:

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

Residential property

Includes any real property or immovable that is:

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

Penalties

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

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

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

Regulations for Comox residential property under the Foreign Buyer ban

There will be future regulations on transactions deemed prohibited purchases.

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

home renovation roi janice leffler real estate comox

Planning to Renovate your Comox Home?

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

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

Highlights from the survey:

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

moving in comox valley janice leffler real estate

Moving from a Property in Comox!

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

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

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

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

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

mortgages in comox courtenay

Mortgage Renewals in Comox for 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look to a mortgage professional!

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

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

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

Contact me for more information!

home inspection comox

Value of a Home Inspection in Comox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reach out to me today!

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

comox real estate

Comox Real Estate Recap – 2022!

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

Spring & Summer.

Mar – Why Hire a REALTOR® in Comox Valley?

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

Apr – Advantages of Living in Comox Townhouses For Sale

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

May – Why Live in Courtenay Apartments for Sale?

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

June – Amenities of Courtenay Townhomes for Sale.

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

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

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

Aug – Apartments in Comox For Retirees!

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

Comox Real Estate – Fall & Winter Recap.

Sept –  Apartments in Courtenay For Empty Nesters!

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

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

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

Nov – Preparing Houses in Comox for Winter.

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

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

Houses in Comox

Preparing Houses in Comox for Winter

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

How to Prepare Houses in Comox for Winter?

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

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

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

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

real estate in comox janice leffler

Planning a winter vacation? Some tips before you go.

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

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

Here are a few tips to consider:

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

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

Real Estate in Comox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Especially, if you are just getting into real estate. A great REALTOR® can come in handy in various situations. Learn more about why you might consider hiring a real estate agent, in the article below!

Reasons to Hire a REALTOR ® in Comox Valley:

One of the biggest reasons why people choose to hire a real estate agent is their experience. This is an important asset given Canada’s current market conditions. Record high prices and short buying windows make for tricky transactions. However, with the help of a trusted real estate agent, things are known to progress a little smoother. Additionally, their superb negotiation skills provide you with less worry when it comes to closing the deal on your dream home. Moreover, their access to specific marketing resources makes selling your property a breeze. 

Another important factor to consider, is a real estate agent’s connections. Employing a REALTOR® in Comox Valley who is well-connected is essential. Oftentimes, real estate agents are in close contact with other agents, developers, city officials, contractors, inspectors, and more! This is extremely helpful when it comes to buying or selling your home. Instead of having to go out and search for someone, you can simply use one of their trusted contacts. 

If you are interested in learning more about me and my career as an agent, check out my biography. For more information about hiring a REALTOR® in Comox Valley, contact me today. For those with questions about real estate in the Comox area, feel free to reach out at any time. Continue to check back each month, for more information about buying and selling real estate in Comox, B.C. I look forward to being in touch with you soon!