Victoria Real Estate and Community News

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.


Click Here to Contact Us!

Posted in Buying a Home
April 9, 2019

Get to Know Benji


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
Nov. 30, 2018

What Does an Artist’s Home Look Like?

Jessica Freedman is one of my favorite local artists. I recently sat down with her for a great discussion in her beautiful home, and I’m excited to share it with you today.


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Welcome back to our “Meet the Artist” series. Today I’m extremely excited to be joined by the lovely Jessica Freedman at her fantastic condo to see the artist in her natural habitat. We went through her lovely home and were able to see exactly what she’s done with it and how she has incorporated her art into the process. Here’s an outline of our discussion, with timestamps so you can skip around to the part(s) that interest you most:


0:50- Jessica’s journey to find the right home in Victoria.

1:40- What I love the most about what Jessica has done with the space she has in her home.

2:45- How the right vision led to Jessica and her family purchasing their downtown condo.

3:30- Jessica’s favorite parts of her home.

4:23- A closer look at Jessica’s artwork and how she’s been able to create and use it in her home.

6:15- Jessica’s favorite piece of art that she’s created.

7:40- A word of caution about renovating a space like Jessica’s.


Thanks so much to Jessica for joining us today. If you’d like to learn more about Jessica or check out some of her art, head on over to her website. In the meantime, if you have any real estate questions or needs that I can assist with, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email today. I would love to hear from you.

Posted in Meet the Artist
Sept. 11, 2018

Thank You for Making Taco Day a Blast

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Taco Day was incredible! Funny photos were taken, smiling faces were painted, and being in your presence reinvigorated me! I am feeling freshly inspired and ready for the fall season to begin. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me. I hope you had as much fun as I did!

I wish you an amazing fall season filled with success and happiness. See you next time!

Posted in Community News
Aug. 14, 2018

3 Home Renovations to Avoid

Not all home renovations are wise. Here are a few that you need to avoid before selling your home.

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Today I want to talk about the “don'ts” of home renovations and what you should avoid when upgrading your home.


In the past, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about the best renovations to make to your home, but today we’re going in the opposite direction. Here is my list of “don’ts”:


1. Over-the-top improvements. Before your minor upgrade turns into a home improvement bender, ask yourself whether potential buyers in your area are likely to pony up the cash for posh upgrades. Unless you plan on staying in your home for a long time, or you know that your neighbourhood is in a location where prospective buyers can easily afford it, stay away from the steam shower and the carved marble countertops.


"You want to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers."


2. Home office overhauls. Home offices generally don’t pay off during resales. Nobody understands more than I do that if you’re working from home, they’re an absolute must. However, you want to keep the structure of the space that you’re using so you can easily stage it or put the room back to its original purpose when it’s time to re-sell.


3. Specialized spaces. They can be so hit-or-miss. Not everyone is going to live in your space the same way you do. There is a limit to the audience that certain upgrades (wine cellars, butler’s kitchens, a rock wall, etc.) can make. Trust me, I have seen some very, very particular designs and it’s fun to be creative with your space, but when selling it's important that you appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers out there.


If your space is really unique and you’re not sure how it will look on the open market, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email and we’ll help you get it ready and accent it in the perfect way.


If you have any other questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 25, 2018

3 Steps to Buying and Selling at the Same Time

If you want to buy and sell a house at the same time, there are three steps you need to take. 

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How can you buy a new home and sell your current one without ending up temporarily homeless?


Many people want to take advantage of the equity in their homes by either moving up or downsizing in our market. Just like you, though, they are worried that their current home will sell and they will have nowhere to move. 


Here are three killer steps you need to take in order to sell your current home and buy a new one at the same time:


1. Have a real estate agent give you a value estimate for what your home is truly worth. This will lay the foundation for what kind of equity you have to work with and help you determine whether you can buy your next home before you sell the one you are living in. 


"These steps will help you pull off a polished move that really pays off."


2. Talk to a trusted mortgage advisor to determine your financing options. Can you bridge financing or does your closing date need to be the exact same on the buy side as it is on the sell side? 


3. Examine your options. Is buying first OK with your bank? If so, you can start shopping. If not, you will need to sell your existing place first and then consider running a long possession to give you enough time to find your next home. 


These steps may seem simple, but when they are done right with all of the correct information, you will have a polished move that really pays off. 


If you have any more questions about buying and selling at the same time or you have any other real estate needs, please feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you. 

Posted in Buying a Home