Tag Archive for: Vancouver Island Real Estate

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Navigating Comox Valley Real Estate in 2024

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

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

What to Know About Buying Comox Valley Real Estate in 2024

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

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

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

Contact me Today!

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

I look forward to working with you in 2024!

2023 Fall Economic Statement

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

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

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

These include:

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

New funds for affordable housing


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

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

Incentives for apartment builders


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

Tax limitations on short-term rentals

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

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

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

Real Estate in Comox Valley

Blog Recap of Real Estate in Comox Valley!

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

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

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

home renovation roi janice leffler real estate comox

Jan – Moving from a Property in Comox!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking Back at Summer & Fall on My Blog

Courtenay Real estate

Jun – Signs That You Should Buy Comox Houses for Sale

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

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

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

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

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

Sept –  Buying New Comox Valley Houses: Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

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

Contact me Today!

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

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Simple Ways to Update Your Home for Sale in Courtenay

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

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

  1. Update Hardware

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

  1. Repaint

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

  1. Create a Gallery Wall

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

Contact me Today

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

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Live in Your Home Before Renovating It

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

You’ll learn about your home and its pain points

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

You’ll have more time to plan your project

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

You’ll have a better grasp on your finances

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

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

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

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

You’ll need a break

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

comox valley homes for sale

Understanding Heating and Cooling Systems

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

The basics of HVAC systems

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

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

How HVAC systems work

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

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

Common heating and cooling systems

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

HVAC Maintenance

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

Maintenance checklist:

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

Signs your heating or cooling system needs to be replaced

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

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

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

home for sale in Comox Valley

Credit Scores: What Are They and What Affects Them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What factors determine my credit score?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can I improve my credit score?

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

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

suite in Comox Valley

Oh, So Suite

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

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

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

Legal or Not Legal, That Is The Question

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

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

The Serious Implications of Legality

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

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

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

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

Claims Against REALTORS®

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

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

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

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

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

A special note regarding co-ownership

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

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

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

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

comox valley property

7 WAYS TO SET UP YOUR YARD FOR SENSATIONAL SUMMER FUN

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

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

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

● Give your yard a facelift.

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

● List all the fun you want to have outside.

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

● Bring learning outdoors.

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

● Don’t forget Fido.

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

● Make the outdoors as inviting as the indoors.

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

● Consider the good you’re doing.

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

● Put safety first.

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

real estate in Comox Valley

The Difference Between Being Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved

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

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

What is a mortgage pre-qualification?

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

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

What is a mortgage pre-approval?

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

Which option is right for you?

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

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

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

comox interest rate hikes

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

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

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

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

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

What do the experts say?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second quarter press release highlights:

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

5 Kitchen Items Homebuyers Never Regret

You’re searching for a new home and would like an amazing kitchen. You are putting together
a wish list of features you want in the house and in this space.

You may worry that you are being a bit too particular but don’t. According to some, the two
rooms most scrutinized by buyers are the kitchen and the ensuite in the primary bedroom.

This makes sense because the kitchen is usually considered the heart of the home. From
family dinners to the place where people congregate at a party, this room will get a ton of use.
It’s not uncommon for people to purchase a home and begin a kitchen renovation right away.
However, that may not be a project you want to take on. This makes sense. Buying a home is
expensive and a major kitchen remodel can also be expensive.

You may be willing to pay extra for a home with a kitchen that already has many of the things
on your list. Instead of settling for a good kitchen that’s not your dream and having to budget
and plan for future upgrades, you’d like to move right into pure luxury.

Here are five items you would like to have in your ideal kitchen and you may not regret adding
them to your list.

Smart Refrigerators

While they can be expensive, smart refrigerators can serve as the ultimate
convenience.

These fridges come with features like voice control and sensors that detect when food
needs to be replaced. They also have temperature monitors so you can make sure your
food is always stored safely. Smart refrigerators also come with different types of
storage options, such as deep freezer drawers, adjustable shelves and more.

Farmhouse Sinks

Farmhouse sinks are a stylish addition to any kitchen and they come in a variety of
styles and materials.

Since they’re larger than traditional sinks, you’re able to fit more dishes into the basin.
That is a bonus if you don’t want to have to wash each dirty dish immediately.

They also come with a style that adds character to your kitchen. Not only that, but
farmhouse sinks are usually deeper than regular sinks and have more rounded corners
for easier clean-up.

High-End Appliances

Refrigerators with dual cooling systems, induction ranges and ovens that have Wi-Fi
connectivity, these high-end appliances can really bring your kitchen into the 21st
century. They can also add a sense of luxury and sophistication to the kitchen. This
makes it the perfect place to entertain guests and family alike.

Chic and savvy, high-end appliances can essentially upgrade a kitchen without
remodelling the entire space. It’s possible you’ll find houses with newer high-end kitchen
appliances though the space is a bit on the older side.

Built-In Storage

A great way to maximize your kitchen space, built-in storage is a major win.

Having shelves and drawers that are integrated into the cabinetry makes it easy to
organize everything from ingredients to cookware. Not only does built-in storage add
convenience, but it also looks great. It can really enhance your kitchen’s overall
aesthetic.

Kitchen Island

There’s no such thing as having too much space in a kitchen. An island is something
worth putting on your must-have list.

With an island, you can keep all of your ingredients organized in one place. You can
also have a designated spot for prep work. Kitchen islands come in different styles and
finishes so you can find one that looks perfect.

It’s easy to get caught up in an otherwise great home with a mediocre kitchen. Just
remember, this is a space you’re going to be spending a lot of time in for years to come.

You won’t regret holding out for a home that has at least some of these five items. They
will enhance your home. You’ll never wish your kitchen was a little less great. You may
regret saving a few bucks by settling and then feel you need to upgrade.

homes for sale in Comox

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

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

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

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

How do you do that on a tight schedule?

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

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

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

Adjust as needed

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

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

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

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

buying a comox valley home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is buying a home as-is for you?

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

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

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

comox home selling tips

DIY Tips for Lawn and Garden Care for Comox Home Sellers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

single storey suite in comox for sale

Single-storey suite essential feature

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

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

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

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

Age in Place Renovations

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

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

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

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

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

Important considerations for Canadian home buyers

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

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

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

Survey highlights:


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

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. 

Homes for Sale in Courtenay

Up Your Chances of Selling Homes for Sale in Courtenay

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

Preparing to Sell Homes for Sale in Courtenay!

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

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

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

Contact Me Today!

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

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.

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!

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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.

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.

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Why Live in Courtenay Apartments for Sale?

Purchasing Courtenay apartments for sale can be a great way to save money! However, it is important to get all of the information before you make the move. In this article, I will be going through some of the perks of moving into a Courtenay apartment. This way, you are better able to make the decision of whether an apartment is right for you! Follow along belong to learn more about Courtenay Apartments for sale.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Courtenay Apartments.

courtenay apartments for sale

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

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

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

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

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

janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2021

Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2021

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

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

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

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

janice leffler comox valley real estate market update 2020

Comox Valley Real Estate Market Update – 2020

2020: The year of COVID-19

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

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

Important information about Comox Valley real estate:

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

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

Infill, subdivision, and new construction in Courtenay

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

Rural areas in Comox Valley Real Estate

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

Apartments and Condos in Comox Valley

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