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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!

Open House in Comox Valley

Pros and Cons of Hosting an Open House in Comox Valley

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

  • Pros:

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

  • Cons

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

Contact me Today About Selling Your House in Comox Valley!

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

courtenay mortgage

Ways to Pay Off Your Courtenay Mortgage Faster

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

Review Your Payment Schedule:

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

Increase Your Mortgage Payments*:

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

Extra Payments*:

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

Negotiate a Better Rate:

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

    Refinance to a Shorter Amortization Period:

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

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

    buying new home in comox

    Buying New Comox Valley Houses: Pros and Cons

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

    Pros and Cons of Buying a New Home

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

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

    Contact me Today About Comox Valley Houses!

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

    property in Comox Valley

    Live in Your Home Before Renovating It

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

    You’ll learn about your home and its pain points

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

    You’ll have more time to plan your project

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

    You’ll have a better grasp on your finances

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

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

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

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

    You’ll need a break

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

    comox valley homes for sale

    Understanding Heating and Cooling Systems

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

    The basics of HVAC systems

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

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

    How HVAC systems work

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

    1. Split systems: These are the most common systems – where there is one unit to heat air and another to cool it. The heating system is housed inside (usually in a basement) and the cooling system is placed outside. Hot and cold air is distributed throughout the home by ducts.
    1. Ductless systems: These systems have individual units that produce both hot and cold
      air for a specific room or zone. A unit is mounted indoors and is connected to an outdoor
      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.

    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!

    showing comox home short notice

    Showing your Home on Short Notice

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

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

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

    Consider these tips:

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

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

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

    single storey suite in comox for sale

    Single-storey suite essential feature

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

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

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

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

    Age in Place Renovations

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

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

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

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

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

    Important considerations for Canadian home buyers

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

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

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

    Survey highlights:


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

    spring cleaning real estate comox valley

    Preparing to Sell: Get your Spring Cleaning Done Faster

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

    Plan ahead for Spring Cleaning in Comox Homes

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

    Move without Injury!

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

    Donate what you Don’t Plan on Using

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

    Make a List

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

    Ask for Help!

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

    comox first time buyers

    First-Time Buying Pitfalls to Avoid

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

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

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

    Overlooking assistance programs and hidden costs of homeownership

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

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

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

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

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

    Moving too fast or purchasing more than you can afford

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

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

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

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

    Above all else be prepared

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

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

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

    houses for sale in Comox

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

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

    Ways to Avoid Purchasing a Faulty Home

    1. View the Home in Person

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

    1. Get a Home Inspection

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

    1. Check the Property Disclosure Statement

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

    Contact me About Houses for Sale in Comox!

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

    home sellers in comox

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

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

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

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

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


    DO – Make the first impression count


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

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

    DON’T – Forget about the little things


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

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

    DO – Declutter and depersonalize


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

    DON’T – Overspend on the upgrades


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


    DO – Practice good showing etiquette


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


    DON’T – Think in the past


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

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

    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!

    janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2022

    Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2022

    2022: The Bank of Canada works to curb inflation

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

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

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

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

    home inspection comox

    Value of a Home Inspection in Comox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reach out to me today!

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

    comox real estate

    Comox Real Estate Recap – 2022!

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

    Spring & Summer.

    Mar – Why Hire a REALTOR® in Comox Valley?

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

    Apr – Advantages of Living in Comox Townhouses For Sale

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

    May – Why Live in Courtenay Apartments for Sale?

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

    June – Amenities of Courtenay Townhomes for Sale.

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

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

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

    Aug – Apartments in Comox For Retirees!

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

    Comox Real Estate – Fall & Winter Recap.

    Sept –  Apartments in Courtenay For Empty Nesters!

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

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

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

    Nov – Preparing Houses in Comox for Winter.

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

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

    Houses in Comox

    Preparing Houses in Comox for Winter

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

    How to Prepare Houses in Comox for Winter?

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

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

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

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

    real estate in comox janice leffler

    Planning a winter vacation? Some tips before you go.

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

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

    Here are a few tips to consider:

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

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

    Real Estate in Comox

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

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

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

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

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

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

    apartments-in-comox-for-seniors

    Apartments in Comox For Retirees!

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

    Owning Apartments in Comox as a Retiree.

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

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

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

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

    Townhomes in Comox Valley For a First-Time Buyer

    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. Furthermore, a townhome will provide you with a great in-between option that is in the middle of buying a home and condo. For more information on why you should consider purchasing a townhome as a first-time buyer, read more below. 

    Buying Townhomes in Comox Valley as a First-Time Buyer.

    As a first-time buyer, it can be difficult to gather the cash to afford a traditional single-family house. However, a townhome is a more affordable option that still provides many of the same perks as owning a home. Townhouses are often larger and offer small yards to residents. Typically, townhouses are multiple stories that give homeowners the opportunity to spread out throughout the home. 

    In addition, townhomes usually have strata that take care of exterior maintenance like cutting grass, snow removal, and other general upkeep tasks. This is great for busy professionals or students. Although, living in a stratified community does come with an additional monthly cost. On the bright side, townhome communities can offer amenities such as a pool, proximity to stores, and transit!

    Contact Me Today!

    Living in Comox Valley is an incredible experience that you won’t want to pass up. There are a variety of perks to owning townhomes in Comox Valley as a first-time buyer. For more information on a townhome in Comox, be sure to contact me today! I’d be happy to help you find the perfect townhome for you.

    Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you in the near future.

    Amenities of Courtenay Townhomes for Sale.

    Courtenay townhomes for sale are close to an abundance of amenities. From beaches and parks to ski hills and camping. Courtenay is home to every outdoor activity imaginable. Purchasing a townhome in Courtenay allows you to gain access to one of the world’s greatest outdoor playgrounds. Learn more about the outdoor amenities of townhomes in Courtenay below. 

    Enjoy the Outdoors With Courtenay Townhomes for Sale.

    Courtenay townhomes for sale have easy access to some incredible outdoor activities. For instance, the Mount Washington Ski Resort. Enjoy over 1700 acres of skiable slopes during the winter. And, in the summer months, you can swap your skis for a mountain bike for a whole new experience. 

    Courtenay is also near various provincial parks. For instance, Strathcona Provincial Park and Miracle Beach Provincial Park. These parks are perfect for a weekend getaway camping or an afternoon of hiking. Residents can also swim and paddle around the coastline, taking in the incredible views of Vancouver Islands scenery. Many people visit from around the country to come and experience the gorgeous parks and beaches in the Comox Valley. Owning Courtney townhomes for sale allows you to visit these parks year-round. 

    Purchase Courtenay Townhomes for Sale Today!

    Living in Courtenay is a great way to get outdoors and experience all that Vancouver Island has to offer. There are a variety of amenities available when you purchase Courtenay townhomes for sale. For more information on a townhome in this area in Comox, be sure to contact me today! I’d be happy to help you find the perfect townhome for you and your family. Be sure to visit my social media page here for the latest updates and more. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you in the near future.

    Advantages of Living in Comox Townhouses For Sale

    Comox townhouses for sale can be an amazing investment. There are various factors that make townhomes desirable. If you’re looking to downsize or upsize, a townhome is the perfect middle ground. Follow along below to learn more about the advantages and perks of townhouse living in Comox, BC!

    Comox Townhouses For Sale Require Less Maintenance.

    Comox townhouses for sale

    Many townhouses are stratified, which means you don’t need to worry about mundane maintenance tasks. For instance, you won’t need to pull weeds, cut grass, take care of plants, or perform any landscaping tasks. However, you will still get the benefit of having a front and backyard. During the winter you may not even have to worry about shoveling walkways and sidewalks. Unless you move to a gated community, these perks are not available to owners of single-family homes. 

    Great Location and Sense of Community 

    Living in a townhouse provides homeowners with a community of people surrounding them. There is a unique pull to living in a townhome community. Having lots of people nearby makes it easier for kids and adults to make friends and foster a sense of community. Moreover, the circle of people you connect with can make sure that someone is always looking out for you and your home. Thus making a townhome more secure and safe.

    Furthermore, townhomes are often situated in great locations. Oftentimes, when living in a townhome, you won’t have to commute far to find shopping, dining, and entertainment! An awesome location will also help if you decide to put your home up for sale. 

    Contact Me About Real Estate For Sale in Comox!

    Comox townhouses for sale are the perfect investment for new families and older couples. Settle down in a quaint Comox townhouse now! Contact me today if you have any questions about living in Comox townhouses for sale. I look forward to working with you as your Comox REALTOR in the near future!

    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!

    janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2021

    Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2021

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

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

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

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