Mid-Island Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings and travel and home decor to recipes. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to chat!

Feb. 12, 2021

2932 Dolphin Drive, Nanoose Bay

Welcome to the island, Troy and Nina. I hope you love living in Nanoose Bay as much as I do!

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Feb. 5, 2021

Five Steps For Organizing Your Garage

For many people the garage is the place you mindlessly store stuff just to get it out of the way, and before you know it, you’ve got a cluttered mess on your hands. Here are five steps toward organizing your garage for good.

  1. Make a plan: What do you want you garage to be? Is it a workshop, a storage space, or a nightly place to park your car? Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, decide on a plan for your garage’s primary use, and prioritize around that goal.
  2. Be vigilant with clutter: There might be items in your garage that you haven’t touched in years—you’ve probably even forgotten they’re in there. It’s easy to justify keeping items when you’re in the moment, but look a the big picture. If you can’t remember the last time you used an item, it’s probably ready to be thrown out, recycled, donated, or sold.
  3. Make use of vertical space: Garages often have space in the ceiling where you can hang your gear or even store some boxes. Store the rarely used items—like holiday decorations—higher up and out of the way.
  4. Keep common items accessible: On the other hand, you don’t want it to be a hassle to get to the things you use often. Create a specific place for each item that is easy to reach.
  5. Stay vigilant: Now that you garage is properly organized, be more mindful of what you’re adding to it. If there’s something new that’s important, choose a specific place for it. If it’s just junk, go through the extra effort to just get rid of it!
Jan. 29, 2021

Before You Fall in Love With a Home, Analyze the Little Things

It’s easy to be wowed by a house. You’re anxious to discover your dream home and accomplish a big goal. You can’t wait to cook in the brand new kitchen or relax in the spa-style tub. All that excitement can also make it easy to dismiss some minor issues that can become major annoyances down the road. Rather than letting your excitement get the best of you, take the time to analyze smaller details properly.

Don’t dismiss the location

Let’s say you find a perfect home that’s an extra 20 minutes each way from work. Those 40 total minutes don’t seem like a big deal at first glance, but consider that you’ll be dealing with that extra commute day after day, year after year for as long as you live in the house. Is that an inconvenience you’re willing to deal with? Make an educated decision—do a test run of the actual commute and see whether it’s tolerable, or would eventually drive you crazy.

Stressing location also means committing to a neighborhood. Does the potential neighborhood align with your priorities? Make sure you’re choosing a location that makes it easy to do the things you love most, whether that’s enjoying city nightlife or escaping to quiet home away from it all.

Working order

Shiny new appliances and an open-concept living space may be on your list of must-haves, but don’t let the aesthetics distract from the basics.

Are the basement and attic in good shape? Problems like mold and water damage can turn an otherwise perfect home into a nightmare, and a poorly insulated attic can cause your bills to skyrocket.

None of these issues should necessarily remove a home from consideration—you just have to be aware of the total package.

 

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Jan. 22, 2021

11-606 Farrell Road, Ladysmith, BC

Congratulations to my Buyer!!

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Jan. 22, 2021

From Decorating to Staging

There is a difference between the two—here’s how to get your home ready to sell. Once you’ve decided to put your home on the market, you’re looking to sell quickly for the best possible price. One tactic that can help sell your home faster is staging.

At first, staging may seem like a real estate term that doesn’t actually mean anything. Isn’t staging just decorating? Well, not exactly …

Appeal to the masses

Your home is likely decorated to your tastes. It could be colorful and eclectic, or rugged and industrial. But when you’re staging your home, rather than appealing to a specific decorating sense, you want to furnish your home in a way that appeals to everyone—and more importantly, doesn’t turn anyone off who just isn’t into your personal style.

Tone down the personal flourishes

Buyers want to be able see themselves in a home and imagine how they’d make it their own. Unfortunately, that means less of your own style as you’re preparing for your move. Cut down on family photos, bold artwork, and unusual furniture. Do some major decluttering so the buyer can see all the space and storage opportunities. It may be sad to start removing the items that make your house a home, but it’s an important part of the process.

Mass appeal doesn’t mean “boring”

Your staged home can still be colorful, just stay away from extremes. If you paint, stick to whites, grays, or neutrals. Add flourishes of color with window treatments or accent furniture, but try to choose items that will appeal to both genders.

Call a pro

There are likely several staging companies in your area. If you need a recommendation, reach out to your trusted real estate professional.

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Jan. 15, 2021

What Affects Property Values?

Some the features that increase property values are obvious—like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.

  1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
  2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
  3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
  4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.
  5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers—many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.
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Jan. 13, 2021

Real Estate Now Magazine Jan/Feb 2021

 

 

 

 

Jan. 8, 2021

Avoid These Two Big Mortgage Mistakes

We all know that searching for and viewing potential homes is the fun part of the home-buying process. The not-so-fun part? The mortgage.

But if you don’t pay attention to the details, your mortgage can end up dragging down the enjoyment of your new home and cause some major regrets. Here are a few mistakes to avoid to ensure that you love your mortgage terms as much as your hew home.

Don’t find your home first: Shopping around for the best mortgage rate should be the first step in the home buying process. You may even want to talk to a mortgage broker a full year before you plan to buy. It’ll give you time to get your affairs in order to qualify for the best rate, could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and you won’t feel rushed to accept an unattractive loan because you’re worried you’ll miss out on your dream home.

Don’t forget your real budget: There’s often a big difference between what a lender says you can afford and what you can actually afford. Your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t include the money you spend on hobbies, or the cost of commuting to work, or maintenance and utility costs.

Really sit down and examine your spending before committing to the loan amount the lender is offering. You won’t enjoy your home nearly as much if it’s eating into your favorite hobbies.

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Jan. 4, 2021

2021 RDN Proposed Tax Hikes

It's that time of year again... to see the complete list of proposed RDN tax increases and decreases, click here!

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Jan. 4, 2021

Create Your Dream Man Cave

Sometimes, the man or men of the house just need a little space to d their thing. That's why, if your home layout allows, a man cave is a great addition. Now that you have the space picked out, how should you fill it? Check out these tips to get you started!

  1. Mini fridge and bar. Every good man cave ha a stockpile of drinks and food. Purchase a mini a fridge and fill it with your favourite alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. Then, don't forget to fill a basket with easy-to-grab snacks.
  2. Ample seating. You'll likely be spending a large chunk of time in your man cave watching tv, relaxing, playing games and more, so choosing the right couch or recliners is crucial. Plus, if you plan to have the guys over, you'll want to make sure you choose furniture that can seat everyone comfortably and have back-up folding chairs in case you need more spots.
  3. Favourite decor. Whether you're a big movie buff, die-hard sports fan, or dedicated concert goer, your man cave is the perfect place to let your interests shine by displaying your favourite memorabilia, posters, jerseys and more.
  4. TV. The centerpiece of your man cave is your TV. You should purchase one that is large enough to see clearly from any spot in the room and comes equipped with streaming services to ensure you can catch the game or newest movie release with a click of a button.
  5. Games. Video games, card games, board games and more. Fill your man cave with all your favourites to keep you and your guests entertained with some friendly competition.
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