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 talk with you!

May 7, 2020

9 Costs to Consider When Buying a Home

Buying a home is the largest purchase you’ll likely make. 
But the cost doesn’t end there. 

1. Mortgage Payments

Know your payment possibilities for the various amortization periods, terms and payment options. 

 

Be prepared for an interest adjustment charge which is the amount of interest accrued between your closing day and the first day your mortgage payment comes out. 

2. Home Inspection

A home inspection will help you identify any major issues with a house before you buy it. Your Realtor will typically makes this one of the conditions of purchase. 

3. Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is mandatory with 5% down and usually required with 20% or less. Typically the insurance premium is added to the principal borrowed and will increase your payments. Check out CMHC’s table of premiums. 

4. Title Insurance

You will be charged for this lender policy as part of your closing costs and it typically costs about $250. Title insurance protects you against things such as fraud, survey errors, encroachment issues, existing undisclosed liens, as well as any other issues that prevent you from having clear ownership of your property.

5. Property Appraisal

This may be required by your lender to determine how much they are prepared to lend to you. Remember the amount isn’t the same as the purchase price so don’t be surprised if the figure is less than you expect. Some lenders will include this as part of the mortgage package. 

6. Home Insurance

This is often overlooked when calculating monthly payments. Be sure to get at least 2 estimates and make sure you inquire about the need for separate riders for jewelery, high performance bicycles, art, antiques, etc.

7. Land Transfer Tax

The tax is based on the home’s purchase price. Most provinces charge provincial land tax, but some cities charge their own municipal land transfer tax, too. Taxes vary by province and first-time home buyers often qualify for a rebate for part of the cost.

8. Closing Costs

Vendor Reimbursements
The seller may have prepaid property taxes, utility bills or condo fees before you take ownership of the property. You reimburse the seller for the portion of the costs from the closing date forward.

Legal Costs and Disbursements
Legal costs vary, so it’s a good idea to ask your lawyer for an estimate beforehand. Disbursements are expenses incurred by your lawyer on your behalf and can include court fees, courier charges and photocopying costs.

9. Moving Day

Unless you have friends who adore you and own trucks, get a least two estimates from moving companies. 

 

Posted in Real Estate
May 1, 2020

743 Cadogan Street, Nanaimo

Completely renovated mid-century modern home in Central Nanaimo has it all... including a 250 sq ft shop!

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Posted in Real Estate
April 27, 2020

Indian Inspired

FLAVORFUL, SPICE-CENTRIC DISHES

RECIPES AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY KARISTA BENNETT

When cooking Indian food, the inviting aroma of spices fills the air. The pairing of fresh ingredients and traditional flavors creates a meal that excites the senses. Each recipe in this menu uses a delicious blend of spices, including mace—the ground-up covering of the nutmeg seed. (Traditional nutmeg spice is derived from the seed itself.) Mace was once commonly used for dishes such as apple pie, pudding, and custard. It has a bit of a cinnamon and pepper flavor and can be used in sweet or savory recipes. Today, nutmeg is more popular than mace; however, mace is still used in many Indian recipes and can be found in most major markets. If your local market doesn’t carry it, turn to specialty suppliers or online retailers. Some of the following recipes can be made last minute and others are a bit more time-consuming. Regardless, all of these recipes are prepared to please with sweet and spicy fragrances, jewel-tone colors, and delicious flavors.

Get The Recipes!

Posted in Recipes
April 18, 2020

March Housing Market Update

Brendon Ogmundson, Chief Economist for BCREA, shares the effect of COVID-19 on the March housing market around the province.

April 17, 2020

Nest Building

written by Ronda Swaney
photography by Dustin Halleck

Renovating with Family and Architectural History in Mind

Lots of beige, lots of brown, plus ketchup red and mustard yellow thrown in for good measure: that’s what greeted the new owners of this circa-1910 Wrigleyville, Illinois residence, who realized their converted two-flat was in dire need of a makeover. Enter Guinevere Johnson, owner of Chicago/NYC-based Third Coast Interiors, a full service interior architecture and design studio. “This home needed a complete renovation,” says Johnson. “The structure was sound, so we didn’t knock down walls or rearrange rooms, but we changed every finish and fixture in the home.”

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Posted in Home Decor
April 10, 2020

Contemporary Cool

written by Lauren Dunex Hoang
photography by Mikiko Kikuyama

In Brooklyn, Three Stories Tell a New One

When a couple purchased this early 1900s fixer-upper in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, they were able to look past the dark rooms and general disrepair to see the potential of the space. The creative professionals quickly amassed a long wish list. At the top? Update the top two floors of the home where they planned to open the layout to allow for plenty of natural light. The ground floor would be turned into a rental. But the three-story building’s long, narrow footprint and dated floor plan did not make this easy.

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Posted in Home Decor
April 3, 2020

Just Beachy

written by Blake Miller

Sea Island, Georgia

There’s something so calming about the water gently lapping on the shore and a cool breeze brushing the tall oak trees strewn with Spanish moss. Maybe that’s why the moment you set foot on Sea Island, Georgia you feel a calm come over you. That’s what has drawn generations of families and couples alike to the resort for decades. Encompassing two private islands, the Forbes Five-Star Resort features The Cloister and The Lodge at Sea Island.

Posted in Travel
March 27, 2020

Brain Games

written by Maresa Giovannini

Working on Your Mental Fitness

In the world of health, there is a lot of emphasis on physical fitness. You know you’re supposed to eat right, get thirty minutes of exercise at least three times a week, see your doctor annually, and avoid all the vices. But you don’t get as many regular reminders about keeping your brain as fit as your body. As the societal norm moves away from a foundation of community, the simple interactions that once kept people’s minds engaged are waning. Whether you want to improve your memory or be proactive so you can stay sharp as a tack for the long run, consider adding some of these activities to your to-do list today.

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Posted in General Interest
March 20, 2020

Float On

written by Blake Miller

The Health Benefits of Float Therapy

When Alonna Bailey was surprised by her friend with a free float therapy session at Float Carolina in Waxhaw, North Carolina, just outside Charlotte, the thirty-one year old didn’t know what to expect. After all, all Bailey knew was that she would be floating for sixty minutes in a “pod” filled with warm water and 1,000 pounds of salt . . . in total darkness. Though she was skeptical, she gave it a try. “I’ll tell you this,” she says, “it was the best surprise I’ve ever received.”

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Posted in General Interest
March 15, 2020

3825 Creekside Drive, Bowser, BC

You’ll love this beautiful “Arts and Crafts” styled custom-built rancher in exclusive Nile Landing, a short walk to the beach and only minutes away from Qualicum Bay restaurants and services. The top-quality materials and finishes found throughout this three-year-old home are evident from the moment you walk in the front door. Beautiful hardwood flooring throughout is complemented by ceramic tile in all bathrooms. The living room boasts vaulted ceilings and a stunning river rock propane fireplace. In the kitchen you'll find high-end appliances including a propane stove and counter-height, top loading, built-in microwave. The expansive master suite presents a tray ceiling, a fireplace, patio access and an opulent ensuite with a soaking tub, double sinks and separate glass shower. The home is fitted with an energy efficient electric heat pump and HRV system. Outside on the spacious property, you’ll find a covered patio, RV parking with full hookups and electrical rough-ins for your hot tub. This better than new home is not subject to GST and is still covered by the new home warranty.

Posted in Real Estate