Victoria Real Estate and Community News

May 29, 2020

Has COVID-19 affected Mortgage lending?

 

Today I want to talk about Whether or not Covid has been affecting lending practices!

We've been getting the question a lot so I’ve asked my good friend McKay Wood who  is a mortgage broker extraordinaire to join us and let us know what's happening in the great world of lending and mortgage funding during everything that's going on.

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Patricia: Mckay I am really excited to talk to you about Covid and I'm not Covid but about mortgages and just how that's been affected 

Mckay: The after Covid Dilemma

Patricia : After CovidWhere Do We Go From Here? what do things even look like, Do Banks  have any money left you know... All that kind of stuff

McKay: The Economy is tanking we know that

Patricia: Sure

McKay: to get into talking about a little bit but you know what, what I found is that banks are pretty hungry!  They’re not meeting their quotas, business is way down,Banks typically earmark money and probably a lot of money has been earmarked to be lent out, and guess what: not as many people are buying or looking. Maybe people are just scared or nervous. So, many banks, lender, financial institutions, credit unions, they want the money to flow, they want to lend.

Patricia: Isn’t that interesting. 50% less inventory maybe closer to one-third less inventory in the market  so also a lot of that slow down from our end has been supply side and not as I mean demand, you know maybe if we had more Supply but certainly the Slowdown is more supply side driven which is pretty unusual. I've never actually seen a slow down due to such an extreme lack of inventory.

McKay:Do you find the motivation of your buyers that are currently really interested is different than when it was before?

Patricia  I think people are still moving if they need to move so relocations you know and I'm not sure if it's because of where we are in the country as well and you might have more insight into larger centers across Canada kind of issues than I do. For us I'm finding the people that need to move still have pretty legitimate reasons; regular stuff: jobs/families/structures changing all that kind of stuff jobs changing People relocating. We still get the military transfers and stuff like that too. So we’re still seeing that  but again the  inventory is so low that it's if there is a kind of drop off in demand we have so few homes right now that we aren't’ feeling it on that side yet.

McKay:Interesting, Parlaying into that, do you find that the people that are selling or at least a good portion of them are motivated sellers because they need to sell because of relocation. Are you finding that?

Patricia  Yes, The people that need to sell are definitely motivated because anybody that doesn't need to sell is just sitting tight. I really don't see them fire selling though.  I really want to separate “motivation” from other measures - I’m not seeing a tonne of foreclosures or anything like that like I think a lot of people thought we were going to see like 30% dip in prices and then all the sudden everybody was going to get foreclosed on.

I think the banks have some pretty strong measures in place to help out people who can't make payments for it for at least the next short-term period.  I don't know if we're going to see if you know people that just can't afford their payments anymore, for now the banks have actually done a pretty good job of bridging that and made it pretty easy to access that pause in payments.

McKay:I was ready to pull out some money if you said “Fire Sale” Where do I put it?

Patricia: I know right? Where should it go? it's not there yet - let’s put it that way. I don't know what the next 6 months is going to look like but we're definitely not there right now.

McKay:  That’s one of the big questions that I get constantly from people I talk to is what's going to happen? Do I  go into a fixed or variable rate mortgage?

Patricia  Right

McKay: tell me the next 6 months Mr. Wood!  such a big Question Mark In many ways.

Patricia: So,  I know McKay you've helped our clients in so many different scenarios,  you've helped them on the private side that's something that we've done quite a bit with you over the past few Quarters at least. and then you also do a great job placing them in really good quality A mortgages  as well. What are you seeing?  you said Banks want to lend what are you seeing out there  In terms of mortgages good rates good products?

McKay: Well,  let me highlight. I wrote down a couple of notes to keep this interesting and fun... there's a couple products that popped up recently that were very fascinating. there is interest free for 3: 

Patricia OK

McKay: what that means is there's a lenders that’s come forward and said you know what we want people to come into our mortgage,  this particular one is a high ratio mortgage Maybe,  a good rate very competitive they will cover/ waive  the interest portion for 3 months... how about that that's pretty appealing.  in fact, let me pull up a couple numbers.  I did some math for people that are listening:  this particular mortgage let's say you buy a place for 500,000, you get a 2.54 rate, that's competitive there might be slightly lower rates out there versus maybe 2.39. but ultimately you pay a pinch higher in the rate, but given the circumstances the interest payment that you would save  is about $1052/month

Patricia: Wow

McKay: So that equates to $3150, just here you go thanks for being our buddies and coming to our lender.  so that particular lender wants to get the money out the door  And they're willing to give incentives.  That's a cool initiative.  I don't know if you've ever heard of that one before?

Patricia: no that's new

McKay: there's another cash back programs where they're willing to give some cash back They can tweak the rare a little so instead of the rate being slightly lower they’lll tweak it a little bit - it might be slightly higher they give you some cash back in your hand. You know two or three thousand dollars.

Patricia:  okay. This used to be popular like a few years ago these cashback mortgages wasn't it like 8 years ago or something like that?

McKay:  You know what they've actually been there.  They’ve never changed, there are still a few groups that have it in their offerings.  now they're kind of pulling it out holding it up and showing it to people. oh hey look at this…

Patricia: remember this thing that we do…

McKay: I think it does stem back to the challenges of the Covid environment and people maybe not having a cash-flow like they used to; Reduction in wages even some lost wages. those were a couple of cool programs I thought. 

 are you finding, just in your own network,  are you finding people are losing jobs?

Patricia:  We have had a few people drop off. Absolutely. March-ish  the end of March there was really this separation  of people that were able to continue moving forward  and people that had to get on the fence. Either they had lost their jobs/ been laid off, and as you know, now can no longer provide pay stubs other documents they need,  even though these people are likely going to have jobs to go back to in some form we hope.  yes, there has been a portion of people who we just had to park it for now.  percentage-wise I'm not sure

McKay: you and I have done a bunch of different unique files,  you talked about the private Lending... this is an interesting current opportunity,   for some people who can't make mortgage payments  they can do mortgage deferral.   You deal with your lender,  they helped you you have a plan but ultimately you have to pay back

Patricia: Right

McKay: it's still going to come out of your pocket

Patricia:  actually I have a question about that McKay.  does that get tacked on to the end of the term or the end of your amortization?

McKay: it's based on different lenders,  on how they structure it. they all want it back so the question is how does it come back. I don't know the logistics of each lender and how they do it but different lenders do different things.  you're still under the gun to repay it

Patricia:  eventually that's what's going to happen some way

McKay: in the end everything is tallied up so if it never came... it would come in end. The good thing about the deferral programs is they don't penalize you  on your credit bureau

Patricia: totally

McKay: going back to private lenders. there's some people that are really struggling. But they have a lot of equity. this comes back to maybe the retirement demographic the people were winding up are jobs.  the ones with very little income but a lot of equity in their home.  there is a mortgage called the reverse mortgage.  you may have heard that but it takes the equity and pays you from your equity and you don't have to put out anything it's just literally takes your own equity and pays you to live.  your Equity slowly goes down but that's just how the system works.  with other people who have lost their jobs maybe they're not in that same demographic, they’re still young ambitious good looking  -  whatever they are -  they could potentially go to a private lending mortgage temporarily until their situation changed. 

 let's say they have a mortgage $250,000 on a $500,000 property. perhaps they lost their job I don't have a lot of savings whatever it is maybe they're just in a weird spot..

Patricia:  well, a lot of people look at their home as that large savings portion…

McKay:  which it is. So for those people you can tack on a second mortgage.  let's say you need... if I had $30,000 that would get me to the next place oh, I know where that next place is my work is you know queueing it up  but it may not be for the next 4-5 months and quite frankly I've used all my deferral component... it is a fix, it does cost money,  but it can be a very stress-free solution for those kind of people

Patricia:  that's very interesting I never really thought to use the private mortgage that way. food for thought for sure.

McKay: It literally, you would process it,  it would be money in the bank suddenly, there's an extra $30,000 sitting there certainly budget still be smart…

Patricia:  don't spend it all in one place right?

McKay: But it gives them the flexibility if you have a lot of equity.  something to consider

Patricia:  that's really great to know thank you

        are we seeing longer timelines? is it taking longer for approvals?  I know you tee us up when we're writing contacts  and give us an idea of how long you'll need for financing.  we are always putting you under the gun and saying can you get this done in 4 days because you know you don't have a life you can do mortgages all night and day.  what are the time frames longer now?

McKay: When covid initially hit,  let's back up a month, when that initially hit,  a lot of these lenders they were going to obey the laws of the land and try to protect people so they started 

Transitioning to home.

Patricia: you mean work from home?

McKay: Yeah work from home, for example typically when we would send a file into a lender the underwriter the underwriter manager would be there they could see the file they could coordinate together troubleshoot if there's a problem or concern it's not quite like that as much now. I find a lot of these Underwriters and processing:  they are from home.  I don't want to read between the lines here but I have a feeling that they scrutinize things a pinch more because there is nobody looking over their shoulder like right there. So processing times have been  delayed significantly  As they made that transition.  you remember the early days there were a few files where we were just pulling our hair out at the delay. 

Patricia:  I remember being asked for an extension or two and it's like okay everybody breathe it's okay we got this. Because even eight months ago you just couldn't do extensions there were people waiting

McKay: so processing times has changed a little bit overall it is slightly slower.  maybe the way it's being processed maybe there's been some people who have been let go.  there's a few lenders out there that drastically reduced.  it just depends, we get really smart on where we go and the timelines we have in place then we weigh out rates and the mortgage itself.  that's a great question,  I don't even know we are rolling into summer here soon and once we get totally open I wonder what will happen to processing times.

Patricia: I think you bring up a really good point,  this is something I talk to when I'm talking to people about the difference between someone like yourself who is a broker and literally has access to hundreds I'm institutions in the country some that we don't even know about  certainly you open up the whole world a private lending to help some of the clients we had last year.  so you're able to know how different lenders work what strengths and weaknesses they have and how that's going to help the client.  I've always been really impressed by your ability to talk to someone understand their life,  understand what they are forecasting for the next year for the next five years for where they want to be financially and helping them understand what product is going to get them there.  it's not all about 5 year fixed rates.  it was posted rates just aren't everything!  we talked about this especially for clients who may be are in the military you need to move at the drop of a hat or peoples whose situations are changing you have to look past some of that stuff and I think when you're talking about knowing some of the lenders just made me think of how well you know the landscape of Lending.

McKay:  thanks for that. I find it interesting, a lot of the people we don't actually meet with,  and of course in our current situation we can't meet with them.  every now and then we might get on a zoom or Skype or something like that.  the trust that these people put in us is huge.  we look at these pieces of paper and these conversations   which really lays out these individuals we know them really well.  it's a very weird dynamic.  further to what you said, a mortgage broker has access to lots and lots of different lenders and that is their strength.  yes it's rates you want the best rate at the best time,  it's going for the extended ratios because something may not work anywhere except at a specific place and then location is another component.  it's learning all the time you know how it is.  Its funny,  when I became a mortgage broker,  I'm still many years in and I just think do I even know anything it's a learning process with new Solutions new puzzles.  I think that's what keeps it exciting if you can get your head around the timelines and the stress.  and you're marvellous

Patricia: Right. No losing anyone their dream home and you're good.

McKay:  I know Patricia that you are a very strong mentor you've actually mentored me a lot in different ways in business.  just your disposition super happy;  positive which is a big part of your success I think.  how have you found that impact on your business I know you work with some really strong Realtors, your team,  how is that really benefited during these times?

Patricia:  A lot of it has been keeping a clear head and a clear Focus.  I think there was a lot of panic in the beginning.  like we said there were clients who thought they were in a very strong position and there were very strong numbers leading into the spring Market. I think everyone thought we would have a far far stronger Market this spring in 2020, and then all of a sudden this thing we got hit with this giant and Global issue.  so I think staying clear minded staying focussed,  remembering to keep the things that are within our control at the Forefront what we do everyday.  that was probably the biggest thing, and just remembering,  I think there was this energy at first that okay there is covid-19 everything will be a little off until further notice I think there was a lot of that out there and then it was NO  we are not off we're going to work harder because that's going to determine  what coming out of this is going to look like.   so we reached out to our entire database we checked in with everybody and see how they were doing.  from that we were getting feedback from clients,  everybody was in different stages with their work with how shocked they were how they were impacted.  we just made it our mission to be the steady ship.  we're actually doubled efforts in some areas as opposed to calling it in.

McKay: in speaking to you and some of your agents and some of my agents as well,  it was turning out to be the best year yet at the beginning. 

Patricia:  totally, February was awesome

McKay:  it really has been an adjustment.  if we work as hard as we normally do and I mean this for everyone reading or listening we can build the momentum.  even the pipeline scenario preparation for when the lights come on crushing through everything in the end.

Patricia:  Totally. I think to the interesting thing for us was we had already spent the last two years with our company moving towards more virtual tools.  so we didn't have a hiccup as well we were able to keep operating the way we were operating . obviously we all miss each other and it would be nice  to have a Friday meeting where we can all hang out.  there is a bit of that Dynamic that's lost  but we are finding it more and more through Zoom.  we meet in Zoom often and we work in Zoom together. even if you're muted accountability is there and you can see everybody's face and you know everybody's working right along with you.  I think having some camaraderie alongside you is important.  just having the right people around you is awesome.

McKay:Yeah you are a very FaceTime individual and as a realtor you have to be on.  I have to say I'm a little spoiled because I can look call greasy and grumbly back here and no one knows.  I just need to sounds good. the reality is in our system we have done very little differently then what we were already doing.  the only hiccup was a bit of a down-tick but everything else was the same. it'll be interesting to see how it pans out in the next while.

Patricia:  well you always look good whenever we see you MacKay.  I don't know what you're talking about.

I'm going to actually post a couple extra notes about what we've been discussing here is there anything else before we wrap mortgage wise?  you actually pointed out some great rates:  like you said oh 2.54 that's not a big deal but remembering how cheap money is right now still it's just a good reminder

McKay: yeah the times of sub 2%... we can see them. 2.20 is there; it's ready for people who have less than 20% down let's go get it it's a variable but I'm curious to see how the economy goes the disposition of lenders.  I've read some articles lately that’ve said we should be sub 2% even on the fixed side. what lenders are a little hesitant managing your profitability, they all make lots of money we know that.  it'll be interesting to see how that process is in a little while.

Patricia:  thanks so much for watching some really great information from Mckay thank you very much Mckay, please get in touch if you have any questions.  If you have questions about specific lending products let us know we're always happy to help and answer anything that we can. Reach out if you're wondering how this can affect you directly have a great day 

 

Dec. 17, 2019

5 Repairs to Make Before You Go Through a Home Inspection

There are five key repairs you’ll want to make in order to impress a home inspector and, in turn, the buyer who hired that inspector. Learn more here.

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Most buyers won't commit to purchasing a place until there's been a thorough home inspection. Here are the top five most common items that an inspector will find when going through your home and what you should do about them up front:

1. Take a look at your attic. When was the last time you were in your attic? I know, nobody wants to go up there, but you do need to check for pests; squirrels and other rodents tend to freak people out! But as unwanted of a job as this is, pests can be easily caught either by you or a pest control specialist. Both of these options are cheaper than having a freaked-out buyer negotiate thousands off your home after the inspection. The easiest way to tell if you have pests is to take a look at the topside or around your attic hatch opening. This is the warmest place for rodents to stop and huddle around the heat escaping from the house. Just by looking in that area, you will be able to tell if there are droppings or tunnels through the insulation which would indicate that something is living up there.

2. Clean your windows. Condensation can lead to discoloration around the bottom tracks of your windows and window sills. This is especially true for older aluminum windows, but it includes uncapped vinyl, too. Also, think about repainting your window sills after cleaning them. Some inspectors may describe this discoloration as “mold,” but a lot of the discoloration is just debris from around the home that settles on the condensation. Nonetheless, it looks really bad and not all inspectors take the time to explain this, so people might leave the inspection thinking your home has a real mold problem when it doesn’t. So clean it up!

"One ubiquitous form of asbestos is in the white tape that connects the furnace ducts throughout your home."

 

3. Check for any asbestos tape on your ducts. Asbestos, that terrible a-word, is a deal-breaker! Asbestos is more likely to be present in any home built prior to 1990, and one ubiquitous form of asbestos is in the white tape that connects the furnace ducts throughout your home. That tape contains the a-word and should be removed properly and replaced with aluminum foil tape. Obviously, asbestos needs to be handled carefully, so please reach out if you’ve got questions on how to do this properly.

4. Remove vegetation from the siding of your house. All those lovely green creeping vines can do a lot of damage to your siding, especially against vinyl. More importantly, this can serve as a “rat highway” to get into openings in your attic. Even if your attic is clean and nothing’s living up there, any good inspector is going to call this out every time.

5. Clean your furnace area and change your furnace filters. I know it’s unsexy, but when the inspector comes through, you want them to say things like, “You can tell the owners take good care of their house” or “you can tell there is pride of ownership here.” I’ve found one of the best ways to do this is to have a clean utility furnace area and to have a shiny new furnace filter smiling up at the inspector.

Use these tips and your home sale will survive the scrutiny of the fussiest of home inspectors. Your curb appeal and staging will captivate your buyers hook, line, and sinker. But for now, it’s time to woo the person that’s looking at the guts of your home.

If you’re not sure how to tune-up your home prior to listing, give us a call and we’d be happy to stop by and help you.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Nov. 8, 2019

What Do You Do if You Get a Lowball Offer?

There are three ways you can respond to a lowball offer and still sell close to your list price.

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If you put your home on the market and get a lowball offer, there are three ways you can respond to it. 

 

First, you can counter the offer but stay close to the list price. Lowball offers can make people angry, and I understand the temptation of turning your back on one completely, but doing this will send a message that you’re a tough negotiator but you’re ready to talk. You’ll also be able to see how high the buyer is willing to go and whether they’re actually serious about buying. 

 

Keep in mind that you don’t know what’s driving the buyer’s decision to make a low offer, and you stand to gain a lot by finding out. I’ve seen many transactions start with a lowball offer and end with a sale close to list price, so keep your cool. 

 

You can also test the market. If you listed your home at $750,000 and you get an offer for $720,000, it might be a good idea to drop the price and make it more available to the general public and everyone else who previously visited your home instead of trying to hash it out with one buyer who’s unwilling to raise their offer.

"I’ve seen many transactions start with a lowball offer and end with a sale close to list price, so keep your cool."

 

This new, lower list price can bring your home into a range that appeals to more than one buyer. Just like that, you’ll find yourself in a multiple-offer situation with bids coming in higher than list price. 

 

Lastly, you can politely decline the offer. Even though I’m a strong advocate of countering back, every once in a while, you get an offer so low that you can’t even consider it. In this case, tell the buyer you appreciate their interest, but the numbers just don’t work. 

 

Again, you must resist the urge to turn your back completely. Leave the back door open in case they come to grips with the fact that their offer was unrealistic. I’ve seen many deals come together once the buyer better understands property values. You never know—they may love your home enough to come back with another offer if you don’t burn that bridge. 

 

There will always be buyers who are just fishing for a good deal, but it’s your agent’s job to isolate those buyers and engage the ones who are serious enough to make the type of offer you want. 

 

If you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic or you’re curious about how my team and I can put more money in your pocket when selling your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 17, 2019

4 Tips to Help Buyers in a Tight Housing Market

Buying in this kind of market can be a bit more challenging than normal. Here are four tips to help you get started on the right foot.

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If you’re planning on buying a home in this tight housing market, here are four tips that should help you immensely:

 

1. Determine and stick to a budget. We all know that a pre-approval is necessary to see what mortgage amount lenders will qualify you for. Just because you can borrow it, it doesn't mean you should spend it all. Before you start house hunting, think about the other costs of ownership such as taxes, utilities, and insurance to determine a final budget that you can afford comfortably. Bidding wars still happen, and they can really drive prices up in the heat of the moment. If the price surpasses your budget, be prepared to walk away.


2. Separate your wants from your needs. When housing inventory is tight, you might need to make some compromises. Certain wants, such as stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors, can be added later. Things such as a home’s location and backyard size can not be addressed later, so don’t lose sight of those must-haves in your home search. If you’re willing to see past some of a property’s drawbacks, you will eliminate some of your competition and get a better deal on a home.

"If a price surpasses your budget, be prepared to walk away."

 

3. Be ready to make a decision quickly. We’re back to pre-government-regulation sales levels right now. If you're not sure what I’m talking about, message me and I’ll fill you in. Essentially, the market has adjusted to government regs and has bounced back. Homes are not staying on the market as long as they were last year. When the right house comes along, you need to be ready to make an offer quickly or you might risk losing out on it.

 

4. Bid competitively and limit contingencies. It’s always tempting to submit a low offer and try to negotiate with the seller. However, in a market like this, you might only get one chance to get your best foot forward. Offering the highest price does often win the property, but having a strong contingency removal strategy can help you even more. Being flexible with inspections and moving dates can make a big impact on a seller’s decision.

 

If you have any questions for me about any of these tips or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 27, 2019

Check Out This Saxe Point Listing to See How to Upgrade on a Budget

We recently renovated a Saxe Point home before putting it on the market, and I’m excited to show you the results.

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Today I want to give you a quick tour of a renovation we recently completed for a Saxe Point home. I wanted to renovate this midcentury-style home before putting it on the market so I could showcase what could be done with this type of property to make it look fresh and modern. 

 

If something about a home looks “tired,” you can upgrade at a much better price, so everything we could do to this home was extremely inexpensive.

 

"If something about a home looks “tired,” you can upgrade at a much better price, so everything we could do to this home was extremely inexpensive."

 

First, we removed two walls from the top floor interior that separated the living room and dining room from the kitchen, which opened up the space and made the area resemble more of a trendy condo. As you can see, there are now two big windows facing each other from the east and west ends that bring in a ton of crossing sunlight. 

 

The kitchen is an area people assume is very expensive to upgrade, but we used an IKEA kitchen model here that allowed us to maintain our budget and add some neat details like a farmhouse sink and a free-standing hood fan. We also added a nice quartz countertop. 

 

Here are some other things I love about this house: 

 

  • We switched out the light fixture in the dining room, which, again, opened up space and gave it a more modern look. 

 

  • You always hear me talk about how magical paint is, and I love the color we went with in the living room. I was worried that it was too dark, but it fit well and the space looks really bright.

 

  • We changed the look of the fireplace. I really wanted to add some cool black accents to this project, so I’m pleased with how this addition turned out.  

 

  • The gallery wall in the living room has a lot of hanging items that are personal to my husband and me. You usually hear about people depersonalizing a home when staging it, but I think the right personal touches give a home character and make it look less generic. 

 

Feel free to use these ideas when renovating your home for the market. If you have any questions about home renovation or any other real estate topics, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Real Estate News
June 13, 2019

The Janion: For Those Who Believe Life Is Bigger Than 4 Walls

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I'm blessed to live in one of the most gorgeous places on the planet, and just like you, I need to remember to take some time to enjoy it.

There's a way of life that’s unique to Victoria, but only if you get out there and experience it. As anyone who’s spent time in Victoria knows, life is better here. I love selling beautiful homes to wonderful people, and I love making some of Victoria's aging homes beautiful again, but the best part of selling these homes and condos is that they’re right here in a Canadian paradise. 

I've lived in the prairies and stayed virtually locked in my house for four months out of the year while old man winter rolls in, but not anymore. I want to be free. I want to live outdoors and out loud, and the Janion is not where you bunker down for the winter. This is HQ for your lifestyle design.

 

"There's a way of life that’s unique to Victoria, but only if you get out there and experience it."

 

This collection of waterfront micro-lofts is something Victoria has never seen before. They’re fresh and beautifully designed to cut whatever’s not important out of your life. Are you on an adventure? Would maximum efficiency help you focus? These lofts spark a feeling that anything is possible and NOTHING is tying you down.

Whether you want to travel the world or walk to a coffee shop, the micro-loft lifestyle allows you to focus on the essentials. Your amenities are all of Victoria’s inner harbour, including:

  • The Parliament Buildings
  • Shared office spaces
  • Tectoria
  • Local organic bakeries, wine bars, and breweries
  • Expansive bike lanes
  • Food trucks
  • Direct ferries to downtown Vancouver and Seattle

Surround yourself with only the things that you really love and are essential to your happiness and fulfillment. Whether you’re looking to live here full-time or you just need a place to explore Victoria from, the Janion is the Marie Kondo lifestyle you’ve been looking for. 

If you’re interested in buying a home in the Janion, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’d love to be your real estate guide.

Posted in Real Estate News
May 16, 2019

What You Will Love (and Hate) About Buying a Home?

The process of buying a home doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Here are some of the things you’ll love (and hate) about the entire process.

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Welcome to the best and worst time to buy a home. This spring, we’re seeing a balanced market in Victoria real estate, which is making things a bit confusing. Some homes are on the market for over 60 days, while others are going quick with multiple offers. 

Knowing what to expect is half the battle and can help you use the highs and lows to your advantage. Consider this an essential prep course on what you'll love and what you’ll hate about this market.

First off, you’ll love all the inventory. One of the best things about buying a house right now is that you have a lot more options to choose from. New listings are hitting the market every day, but you’ll want to make sure to stick to your search parameters to avoid getting overwhelmed.

One thing you’ll hate is all the competition. If you're looking for a hot buy at a great price, you’re not alone. Housing demand is still high and the hot listings are really hot. To get that great deal, you have to act fast when it pops up on the market.

Another thing you’ll love is all the open houses. More homes on the market mean more open houses. Visiting them is a great way to get a better feel of neighborhoods and allows you to look with intent. 

"You’ll hate the higher prices if you wait."

 

Here’s a pro tip: Plot your open house tours using the open house Victoria link. It makes it easy to see all the open houses in the city and will make your open house tour much more efficient.

You’ll also hate the time-related pressure. Great listings get snatched up quickly and a lot of people underestimate how emotional they’ll be when they find a home they love. Even as a Realtor, it’s hard to suppress those feelings and I see dozens of homes every week. You have to be prepared fast because indecision can cost you your dream home, but you still need to make a smart financial play by zeroing in on your home buying strategy before you start seriously looking.

Here’s another pro tip: If you need some help getting ready for your home purchase, click below to book a free, no-obligation consultation with us.

Finally, you will hate higher prices. Homebuyers generally have more wiggle room to negotiate in slower seasons since there is less competition and less inventory. You’re far more likely to find that perfect place this time of year with all the options, but you’ll be in a fight if you do.

Buying a home this spring has its pros and cons. But I guarantee you’ll love the feeling when you get your dream home. 

If you have any questions for me in the meantime or if I can help you out in any way, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

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Posted in Buying a Home
April 9, 2019

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Posted in Real Estate News
March 12, 2019

3 Mistakes Home Sellers Should Avoid

Today I want to tackle the biggest mistakes home sellers will make in 2019.

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There are many things that home sellers might be doing—unwittingly or not—that could hurt their chances of successfully selling their homes. Here’s a list of some of these mistakes for you to review so that you can avoid making them yourself:

 

1. Pricing your home too high. In the roaring home market that lasted from 2015 to basically the summer of 2018, it wasn’t as apparent how detrimental this pricing strategy can be, since the market typically caught up to overpriced homes fairly quickly. In 2019, however, pricing a home above market value in the hopes that a buyer will come along will lead to your home sitting on the market for a very long time. This can actually put you at risk of selling your home for up to 10% below market value.

 

2. Not making home improvements before listing. I often speak about staging your home in order to put your home’s best foot forward. In our more balanced market this year, only the best homes will be able to command the top price that you deserve. This year is going to be far more competitive than we’ve seen in a while, and deferred maintenance will stand out like a sore thumb, serving as a tool for buyers to knock thousands of dollars off of your asking price. For top dollar this year, make your home shine.

 

"In our more balanced market this year, only the best homes will be able to command the top price that you deserve."

 

3. Being present for showings. Whether it’s you or your tenants, walking through a home with occupants present is uncomfortable and it creates an uneasy feeling. Homebuyers tend not to express their honest opinions if they know that the occupants of the home are listening in. This, in turn, creates missed opportunities for Realtors to handle objects and have candid conversations about solutions to any concerns that they may have about your property. In the end, this might mean that they’ll move on to the next property that doesn’t have this barrier and your home will be glossed over.

 

I know it’s tough to pack up the family and the pets each time someone wants to view your home, but it ultimately will make your sale much more profitable. 

 

If you have any questions about this or suggestions for future topics, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be glad to hear from you.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 5, 2019

Why We’re Now in a Balanced Market

We’re now in a balanced market, but how did we get here? Let’s look at the factors that caused the shift.

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As our real estate market continues shifting in 2019, now is a great time to look back at what happened in the 2018 market that led us here. Last year, there were four main things that caused us to shift away from a seller’s market:

 

  1. The finalization of the speculation tax law
  2. The aftermath of the stress test
  3. Interest rate hikes
  4. Increased home inventory

 

If you’re a seller, don’t worry—you’ll still be able to get a great price for your home. You’ll just need to make sure your home stands out to buyers.

 

"I want to help you take advantage of the many opportunities available in our balanced 2019 market."

 

Buyers, there’s no need to fear paying too much on a home. There are great ways for you to avoid costly mistakes, and I’ll be covering these tactics for you in the future. 

 

I want to help you take advantage of the many opportunities available in our balanced 2019 market. If you’d like to get started on your buying or selling journey, have any questions, or need further information, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to helping you soon.

 

Posted in Market Update