Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |


 A total of 608 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, five per cent fewer than the 640 properties sold in March 2019 but eight per cent more than the previous month of February 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 9.2 per cent from March 2019 with 178 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 5.3 per cent from March 2019 with 305 sold.


 “Last month, we stated that we saw the spring market kicking off,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “The start of March continued that trend and we saw higher year over year sales for the first weeks of the month – spring had officially sprung with multiple offers, new listings and sales. And then the world changed. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we have tracked a predictable downturn of sales in our market. Moving forward it is hard to predict what our spring market will look like, but it will likely be very different than recent years as our entire community slows down to stay healthy.”


 There were 2,252 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2020, 7.5 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of March 2019 but a 5.9 per cent increase from the 2,127 active listings for sale at the end of February 2020.


“Right now, it is not business as usual,” adds Ayers. “Our REALTORS® are working to ensure that services for clients who need them are delivered in a healthy, safe and secure way. Our industry is working with government stakeholders to make sure that transactions that were underway before the pandemic was declared are protected and that homeowners are able to complete sales and purchases. This is a time to ensure our clients are safeguarded as well as to ensure that our community stays healthy. Many Realtors are leveraging new technologies including video home tours and virtual showings. Our message is – if you need us, we are here.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2019 was $836,100. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2020 increased by five per cent to $877,700, 1.1 per cent more than February’s value of $868,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2019 was $507,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2020 increased by 4.8 per cent to $531,900, 0.9 per cent more than the February value of $527,400

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There's a reason why there are "kitchen and bath" stores, and even design magazines devoted to these rooms. A well-staged kitchen and bathroom can make the entire home look better. So, it's no surprise that professional home stagers pay particular attention to these spaces.


What do these pros have to say about bathrooms?


Professional stagers advise that you start by taking a picture of the room. Looking at that picture will give you a better sense of how others see your bathroom and reveal what needs to be changed.


Then, de-personalize it. When you’re showing your home to buyers, you want the bathroom to resemble a guest bathroom. So, no shaving kits, toothbrushes, sticky notes to self on the mirror, etc.

Stagers also recommend that anything worn be replaced.  This will likely include the shower curtain and mats, which tend to wear and stain quickly.


Hang fresh new towels on the rack. (If you’re buying new towels for this purpose, choose white.) Put an unused bar of soap or hand cleaner next to the sink. Make it look like a freshly stocked hotel bathroom.


If required, paint the walls. Off-white colours, including beiges and light greys, work well.


As you can see, it doesn't take much to stage your bathroom and make it look its best for buyers.

Looking for more staging tips? Call today.

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If you're thinking of listing your property, one thing that might be holding you back is concern about preparing your home for sale. You may be wondering how much work there will be. Is it going to take a couple of months? A couple of weeks? A few days?


That, of course, depends on the state of your property.


However, regardless of how close your home is to “show time” ready, there is plenty you can do to reduce how long that preparation takes. Consider these ideas:


• Sell stuff online. The less cluttered your home seems to buyers, the better it will show. So, make a list of items you want to sell, and then list them on one of the many local online market websites. Price items fairly and, chances are, you'll get rid of everything in a day or two.


• Have a repair day. Go through your home and make a list of everything that needs to be fixed. Then, schedule repair people to all come on the same day. Voila! In one day, all needed repairs (or, at least, most of them) are done.


• Get staging advice. Instead of guessing at what changes you need to make around your home to make it look its best, get expert staging advice. You’ll find out exactly what the experts suggest you do, and you'll save a lot of time and money. (By the way, I can provide you with that advice too.)


• Ask before making big improvements. Are you planning to convert a wood burning fireplace into a gas unit to help sell your home? Before doing any big improvements or renovations like that, talk to me. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an unnecessary project.


• Hire help. You don't have to do everything on your own. Get the help you need. For example, hire a painter, a cleaner, and/or a junk removal service. Those will significantly shorten the time it takes to prepare your home for sale and save you a lot of work. Also, the costs of those professionals may

be off-set by the increase in the sale price of your home.


Bottomline: Preparing your home doesn't need to be overwhelming and time consuming. Contact me for more ideas to help get your home ready for sale, quickly.

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No matter what you think of snakes, you must agree that they have a unique way of dealing with worn-out skin. When the time comes, they simply shed it — like an old jacket — revealing a fresh new skin underneath.


Your home's roof doesn't have that advantage! So, when the shingles wear out or become damaged, you need to have them replaced.


Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine whether your shingles need replacement right away, or whether you can hold off for another year. Assuming your home has the most common type of shingles — asphalt —here's what to look for:


• Corners upturned on some shingles.

• Missing shingles.

• Shingles lifting during high winds and not settling back into place (flat) within a day or two.

• Heavy accumulation of shingle debris (particles) in the gutters.

• Shingle bits and pieces found on the ground around your home.

• Spots on your roof that still look wet a day or two after a rainfall. (This

could be a sign of water infiltration into the felt or even the roof deck.)


If you have any of these signs, be sure to have a roofing contractor take a closer look.


Before investing in a new roof, be sure to check with the retailer or contractor who supplied the original materials. Your shingles might still be under warranty.


Bottomline: Don't delay. You don't want to wait until you hear drip drip drip before taking action!

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Let's face it. Planning events, even exciting ones like an overseas vacation, be stressful. So, it's not surprising that some homeowners — even those thrilled about moving — can slip into "worry mode" when putting their property up for sale.


Unfortunately, this anxiety can make the process of selling an unpleasant experience. Who wants that? So here are some things you can do to reduce selling stress and enjoy the adventure.


• Understand the selling process. The more you know about the steps involved in selling your home, the less mysterious — and, therefore, less stressful — it will be.


• Give yourself the time you need. Feeling rushed and stressed comes from trying to do too much in too little time. Even if you're selling quickly, it's important to block off sufficient time in your calendar for the things you need to do.


• Take care of yourself. As television psychologist Dr. Phil often points out, you can't give what you don't have. When it comes to selling your home, that means you need to eat well and stay healthy, so you have the energy you need throughout the process.


• Make your home attractive to buyers. That not only means tidying up and doing a little home staging, it also means setting the right listing price. Nothing eliminates the stress of selling more than having flocks of qualified buyers interested in your home.


• Get the help you need. You don't have to do everything on your own. That's why working with me is so advantageous. I take care of the many details for my clients so that they can enjoy the journey.


Sure, there are going to be a few stressful moments. However, the process of listing and selling your property, while looking for your next dream home, can be an exciting experience.


Let me help you. Call today.

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 A total of 563 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 33.7 per cent more than the 421 properties sold in February 2019 and 37 per cent more than in January 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 35.7 per cent from February 2019 with 175 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 23.7 per cent from January 2020 with 271 sold.


“February brought the bloom of an early spring market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Sales numbers are up substantially from last year, which in part indicates that our spring market may have arrived a bit earlier than a lot of our local blossoms. Additionally, we need to consider that last year’s sales activity was quite weak until April and May. Despite a thirty plus percent increase in total sales over last year, our ten-year average for total sales in February is 537, so we are within less than five per cent of our long-term average for the month.”


There were 2,127 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2020, 4 properties fewer than the total available at the end of February 2019 and an 8.6 per cent increase from the 1,958 active listings for sale at the end of January 2020.


“One of the most prominent aspects of our market right now is this continued low inventory,” adds Ayers. “Our ten-year average active listings for the month of February is 3,007. We concluded this month with just over 2,000 active listings, which means a lot less choice for consumers, more pressure on pricing and multiple offers.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2019 was $838,800. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $868,100, 1.1 per cent more than January’s value of $858,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2019 was $503,600 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2020 increased by 4.7 per cent to $527,400, 1.2 per cent more than the January value of $521,000.

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Imagine you're looking for a new home. You have a list of all the features you want, just like you would have a grocery shopping list. However, when you explore the homes currently on the market, none meets all your criteria.


What do you do? You have a few good options


First, you can take a second look at your list. Does your new home need every single feature on it? Are there one or two features you can do without? For example, can you settle for a smaller kitchen assuming the property has everything else you want?


Often, buying a home that's close to perfect is perfect enough.


Second, consider what features you might be able to add to a home later, by way of a renovation or other improvement. If a property doesn't have a finished basement, for example, you might be able to get that done down the road. Indeed, there are probably many features you can add later to an otherwise desirable property.


Finally, consider the current level of activity in the local real estate market. Is it likely that a lot of new homes will be coming on the market soon? If so, your perfect home may come up on the market within the next few weeks. Maybe even tomorrow!


In that situation, make sure you arrange to get immediate alerts for newly listed homes that meet your criteria. You'll want to jump on each new opportunity before other buyers learn of the listing.


The good news is, in most cases you should be able to find and buy a great home, with most — if not all — of the features you want.

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Two of the biggest stressors for DIYers are projects that cost too much or take too long. Unfortunately, there’s no sure way to guarantee that one or the other (or both) won’t happen. But there is a lot you can do to minimize the probability.


When budgeting, a big mistake DIYers make is not considering the little things. For example, you might budget for drywall panels but neglect to include the cost of nails, tape and plaster. It's easy to overlook these small items thinking they won't add up to much of an expense. But often they do. In fact, for many renovation projects, the little things account for up to 20% of the cost.


Another expense that is often overlooked is taxes. When you find a bathtub you like for $399, be sure to budget for what you'll actually pay out-of-pocket. Also, don't forget possible delivery expenses.


A budgeting tip many experts recommend is to price everything you need and then add 10%. That gives you a buffer.


Regarding scheduling, consider whether or not you've done this type of project before. If you're laying hardwood floors for the first time, there's a learning curve. You'll likely take two or three times longer than you would if you were more experienced.


Even if you have experience with the type of project you’re undertaking, it's human nature to underestimate how long it will take. So, if you feel confident you can install that sink in an hour, give yourself two.


A lot of this, of course, is common sense. But if you take a common sense — rather than an optimistic — approach to budgeting and scheduling, you'll stand a much better chance of your DIY project going smoothly.

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A total of 411 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 24.9 per cent more than the 329 properties sold in January 2019 and 2.2 per cent more than in December 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 6.3 per cent from January 2019 with 118 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 31.6 per cent from January 2019 with 200 sold.


“Our new year is already showing a strong distinction from the year previous,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “We’ve returned to more traditional January sales numbers - which tend to be over 400 sales. Unfortunately, we have not seen a corresponding increase in listings alongside the demand, so buyers in the low- to mid-price segment of our market may find themselves in competition for desirable properties. Our market is challenging and at times like these the services of your local REALTOR® are invaluable.”


There were 1,958 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2020, 6 properties more than the total available at the end of December 2019 and a 4.8 per cent decrease from the 2,057 active listings for sale at the end of January 2019.


“Pressure on our market has been slowly returning,” adds Ayers. “With not enough inventory to satisfy demand, people occupying the middle rung of our property ladder have limited options – which means less movement to make room for those hoping to move or to buy their first homes. Eighteen months ago, the provincial and federal governments introduced demand side measures, which we can now see have not been successful in making homes more attainable in our community. Since demand side measures aren’t working, the Board hopes that all levels of government will turn their attention to supply. Our municipalities working with developers to cut red tape and reduce costs should help to introduce more housing opportunities and alleviate some pressure.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2019 was $846,900. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2020 increased by 1.4 per cent to $858,500, 0.4 per cent more than December’s value of $855,000. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in January 2019 was $500,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in January 2020 increased by 4.1 per cent to $521,100, slightly more than the December value of $520,700.

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A total of 402 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 7.2 per cent more than the 375 properties sold in December 2018 and a 30.3 per cent decrease from November 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 17.5 per cent from December 2018 with 121 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 13.8 per cent from December 2018 with 198 sold. A grand total of 7,255 properties sold over the course of 2019, 1.47 percent more than the 7,150 that sold in 2018. 2019 sales came in at slightly under the ten-year average of 7,413 properties sold.


“Overall, our market throughout 2019 can be characterized as still active, slow to grow and low in supply,” says 2019 Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Last year we saw many prospective buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for inventory to be added. As a result of this unmet demand, there was and continues to be a push from consumers to create townhomes and condos at accessible price points. We began 2019 discussing the potential impact of various taxes and lending rules introduced by the federal and provincial governments that were designed to calm housing market activity - although this activity had already begun to slow following our hyper-active market in 2016/17. The most impactful government change we saw was the tighter mortgage lending rules, which lowered consumer borrowing power and made many unable to qualify for the value of mortgages they had in the past, therefore compressing more demand into our mid- and lower-priced property market.”


There were 1,952 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2019, a decrease of 18.6 per cent compared to the month of November and a 1.8 per cent decrease from the 1,988 active listings for sale at the end of December 2018.


“Constant demand on this middle housing segment has put a moderate amount of pressure on pricing,” adds Woolley. “And although we did not see huge price increases though 2019 like we did in the run up through 2016, we do see buyers entering into multiple offer situations and competing for properties. The high end of the market – over $1.5 million – has been softer, which is nice for a very small percentage of buyers in our area, but difficult on sellers who have seen some equity erode. The theme heading into 2020 does for now appear to be the limited selection of single-family homes and growth in pressure for more condos and townhomes. What remains consistent is that in this complex market, buyers and sellers value the assistance of their REALTOR® to navigate one of the biggest purchases most will make in their lifetime."


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2018 was $860,400. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2019 decreased by 0.6 per cent to $855,000, slightly less than November’s value of $855,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2018 was $503,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2019 increased by 3.5 per cent to $520,700, slightly more than the November value of $517,000.

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As you can probably guess, when you're preparing to move, you'll need boxes and tape — and, perhaps some bubble-wrap or old newspapers to use as protective wrapping for delicate items.


But that may not be all you need. Take a look at this list and see if you'll want any of these on hand while you’re packing or on moving day.


• Colour markers for labelling boxes. (Tip: Colour coding boxes by room will make unpacking much easier.)

• Stretch wrap to protect larger items that can't fit into a box.

• Small plastic bags to store dis-assembled parts, such as sofa legs, cabinet hardware, etc. (You don't want to lose them!)

• Moving blankets to protect floors.

• A dolly or hand truck to move heavy items. (You can rent these.)

• Mattress moving bag. This helps prevent stains and tears during your move. You can also buy specialty bags for sofas and tables.

• Reusable foam furniture sliders, to protect floors when furniture needs to be pushed into place.

• Foam corner protectors. This prevents furniture with sharp corners from banging and damaging other items during a move.


Planning ahead and having the right packing materials on hand will makeyour move less stressful and, hopefully, damage-free!

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When buyers come to see your home, the first thing they notice is how your property looks from the curb. That first impression is powerful and lingering. If buyers don't like what they see, it can influence how they judge the rest of your property, regardless of how great it looks on the inside. You definitely want to do whatever you can to boost curb appeal. Here are six affordable ideas to consider:


1. Driveway sealing. This makes the pavement look darker and less faded. It also helps cover up some of the cracks. Sealing won't give you the "brand new" look of repaving, but it's close — and significantly less expensive.


2. Exterior window washing. Washing the front windows makes them look clean and bright. In fact, the effect can be stunning. There are window washing products that connect to your hose to make this job easier. Check your home improvement retailer.


3. Maintaining shrubs, hedges and flower beds. Trimming the hedges, shrubs and other evergreens can make a big difference in how your property looks from the street. It's like giving them all a haircut! Flowering plants can also brighten up the look.


4. Front door painting. From the curb, a buyer's eye is naturally drawn to your front door. If your entry system looks old and worn, consider a fresh coat of paint. It can make the entrance look almost new.


5. Garage door painting. This is a bigger project that can take a day or two, but the effort might be worth it. For many homes, the garage door is the biggest item in the curb appeal panorama. Making it look better will have a big impact.


6. Removing unsightly items. Look at your home from the street. Are there items in your field of vision that take away from the curb appeal? For example, are there garbage cans and other items stowed along the side of the property and visible from the road? If so, move them.


If you're selling your home, making the best first impression is crucial. You don't want buyers to drive by simply because they don't like what they see from the outside. Use these tips to boost your home's curb appeal.

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A total of 577 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 15.9 per cent more than the 498 properties sold in November 2018 and a 6.8 per cent decrease from October 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 5.9 per cent from November 2018 with 161 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 15.4 per cent from November 2018 with 308 sold.


“We continue to see low inventory and strong demand for low to mid priced properties in our area, which is pushing pricing up on condos and single family homes that fall within that segment," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “It is a challenging time for those shopping for properties in that price range as they can often find themselves in a competing offer situation.”


There were 2,397 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2019, a decrease of 9.3 per cent compared to the month of October, but a 2.3 per cent increase from the 2,343 active listings for sale at the end of November 2018.


“The market this year is behaving as we’d expected, in the wake of tighter mortgage requirements and after the rapid pace of price increases we saw two years ago,” adds Woolley. “Appropriate pricing and awareness of market trends are essential right now if you want to buy or sell a home in our area. That is why it is important to have a Realtor guide you through the process. It’s worth getting this professional help, for what likely will be the biggest purchase or sale of your lifetime."


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2018 was $865,800. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2019 decreased by 1.2 per cent to $855,400, slightly less than October’s value of $857,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in November 2018 was $501,300, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in November 2019 increased by 3.1 per cent to $517,000, slightly more than the October value of $511,600.

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If you have a home that is overdue for a renovation, you might be worried that it will be difficult to sell as a "fixer-upper". In fact, you might delay listing your property for that reason.


The good news is, you don’t need to fix up everything in your home to prepare it for sale. You can be selective and choose only those projects that are most likely to help your home show well and sell quickly.


Here are some projects to consider:


• Repairs. Few things stand out more during a viewing than something in obvious need of repair. That includes minor issues, like a dripping bathroom faucet, as well as major concerns, such as the central air

conditioning unit not working. Get these repairs done.


• Painting. Painting is one of the easiest and most affordable DIY projects you can do. Yet the impact it can have on your home is stunning. Some rooms are completely transformed by a fresh coat of paint.


• Kitchens & Bathrooms. Buyers love to see great looking kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, there are even magazines devoted just to those rooms! You don't necessarily need to do a major renovation of these spaces, but a makeover can be a good idea. Consider replacing sinks, countertops, and/or cabinet hardware.


• Floors. If the floors in any of your rooms have become worn and unsightly, look at options for refreshing them. Consider replacing carpeting, refinishing hardwood, and/or getting tiles professionally cleaned and polished.


• Outdoors. Sometimes you can compensate (a little) for a less-than-ideal interior by sprucing up the outdoor space. Explore ways to improve your deck or patio, walkways, and landscaping. Even if your home is older, you can make it more attractive to buyers with any one of these projects.


Want more ideas for finding eager buyers for your home? Call today.

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There are many storage options for your household items. For example, receipts and other paper records can be stored in a file box. Seasonal items, such as winter clothing, can be put in the basement. You can even rent a local storage unit to help with decluttering.


But what about stuff that exists electronically?


These days, many important records -- vacation pictures, tax receipts, home videos, school documents, etc. -- are in the form of PDFs, JPEGs, and other electronic formats. Having those reside entirely on your computer is risky. What if your computer crashes?


Someone smart once said, "A computer file isn't a file until it's in two places." So, the solution is to store your important electronic documents in a second place.


Here are the most common options:


• Portable storage. These are data storage devices that fit in the palm of your hand. For most homes, 1T (terabyte) of memory is plenty.


• Cloud storage. Box, DropBox, and iCloud are the biggest players here. The advantage of storing your documents "in the cloud" is that, unlike portable storage, you can't damage or lose it.


• Large backup units. These larger units continuously backup your files so you don't even have to think about it.


Whatever option you choose, the important thing is to have a duplicate or backup of your important files, so you never have to worry about losing them.

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Ideally, when you sell your home, you want the process to go smoothly and relatively stress-free. While things may happen that are outside your control, there is a lot you can do to ensure that the selling experience is a good one.


Consider these four steps to reduce worry and stress when listing your home:


Step 1: Learn the selling process.
Find out what to expect when the FOR SALE sign goes up. How will viewings be scheduled? Will an Open House be needed? What happens when there is an offer? The more you know, the less mysterious—and, therefore, less stressful—the experience will be.


Step 2: Schedule wisely.

Use a calendar to block out times for viewings and other selling-related activities. Be sure to schedule plenty of time to clean and declutter your home before a viewing or Open House. Try not to have a tight schedule during the sales period.


Step 3: Anticipate issues.
The more problems you can foresee, the better you'll be prepared to deal with them as they arise. For example, if you know you're going to have a busy week at work, start making plans now to deal with viewings and related matters during those days.


Step 4: Make decisions.
Things can move quickly in the real estate market. There might be a few days when there are no enquiries at all, and then suddenly two offers will come in. Be prepared to make some quick decisions. Fortunately, with sound advice from me as your real estate agent, making those decisions will be a lot easier.


So, follow these simple steps. They'll help make your sale less worrisome and even enjoyable!

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A total of 619 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 3.5 per cent more than the 598 properties sold in October 2018 and a 0.5 per cent increase from September 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 1.1 per cent from October 2018 with 178 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 10 per cent from October 2018 with 318 sold.


“This month’s overall numbers are very similar to the numbers we saw last year," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “It’s interesting that last month we saw a large uptick in condo sales, but this month is fairly flat when compared to last year. This shows that we are not yet seeing a trend in property types.”


There were 2,643 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2019, a decrease of 6.4 per cent compared to the month of September, but a 5.3 per cent increase from the 2,510 active listings for sale at the end of October 2018.


“There has been a slight increase in our inventory from October last year,” adds Woolley. “The current inventory is likely not enough for home buyers to feel they have a lot more to choose from - which in turn puts pressure on pricing for homes in desirable locations and price points. It’s not uncommon to see multiple offers in many of our market segments. Your local Realtor will be able to help you understand the intricacies of our current market and what you can expect at the time you decide to buy or sell a home."


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2018 was $878,900. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2019 decreased by 2.4 per cent to $857,700, slightly more than September’s value of $846,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in October 2018 was $503,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in October 2019 increased by 1.7 per cent to $511,600, the same as September’s value.

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Want to make your bathroom look fantastic without having to do a major renovation?


There are a lot of projects you can do yourself. In fact, there are some improvements you can get done in less than a day that will transform the look and feel of your bathroom. Check out these ideas:

Update the sink. 

If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a project you should be able to do on your own. A new sink can make the entire vanity look like new.

Buy new decor.

New shower curtains, towels, window coverings, mats, etc. can transform the look of a bathroom.

Install new hardware.

Replacing cabinet hardware may not seem like much of a change. However, it can have a surprisingly big impact. Shiny new hardware is like jewelry. It stands out.

Replace the vanity mirror.

Even if there are no scratches, an older mirror is like an old pair of glasses. It can become foggy. No amount of cleaning will make it any clearer. When ordering a replacement mirror, be sure that your measurements are exact.

Paint.

There's no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint makes any room look better.


These bathroom improvement projects can make a huge impact on the look of your bathroom. And, they can all be done affordably and in just a day or two.





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You've heard of the term "curb appeal". It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.


How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:


• Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You'll be amazed at the difference that can make.
• Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also, wash down the front door.
• If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
• Mow the lawn. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
• Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside. Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
• Place any trash bins out-of-sight. For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
• If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it. New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
• Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you're showing your home in the evening.
• Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
• Clean your mailbox. If it’s rusted, replace it.
• If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast. Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.


These one-hour improvements may seem minor, but anything that helps buyers form a more positive first impression of your home is worth the effort.

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Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and
strings of lightbulbs. These days, there's an exhaustive array of options
available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and
comfortable, particularly in the evenings.


Here are just a few ideas:


• Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.


• Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they're designed to sit on top of a standard 4x4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.


• Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to old fashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They're eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.


• Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.


• LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.


• Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.


Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any
room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a
good place to start.

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