Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

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

There are few things more beautiful than cut flowers in a vase. They instantly brighten any room. That is, of course, until they wilt and die. So how do you make cut flowers last as long as possible? Here are some ideas:

 

• Cut the bottom of the stems before you put the flowers in the vase. An angled cut is best as this will enable the flower to draw in more water.


• Add a fertilizer to the water. Most flower shops include a pouch with the order. Follow the directions carefully. Don’t use too much.


• Make sure the vase is high enough to support the flowers. Too much strain on the stems will cause the flowers to die sooner.


• After a couple of days, re-snip the stems. This will add an additional day or two to the life of the flowers.


• Flowers last longer if you put them in the fridge (in water) overnight. That’s why florists store cut flowers in cool rooms.


Finally, watch the water level and top off as required. Older cut flowers will die quickly when starved of water — even for just a couple of hours.

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Do you ever wonder how most people find the homes they eventually buy? You might imagine them driving by a “For Sale” sign or seeing a home for sale in the newspaper and then calling to enquire.


Of course, many buyers find out about listed properties that way. But, according to research by the National Association of Realtors, there are many other — sometimes surprising — ways buyers find their next dream home.


For example:
• 88% of buyers find a home with the help of a real estate agent.
• 90% of buyers search online as part of the home buying process. (Such as viewing a property’s profile on the agent’s website.)
• 69% of buyers searching for a home using Google, use a specific local term, such as “Whitby-south homes for sale”.
• 29-46% of buyers attend an Open House as part of their home hunting activities.


Overall, the research shows that buyers are using a multitude of ways — combining online and offline methods — to find homes.


What does all this mean to you? If means that if you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to ensure your marketing plan takes into account all the ways buyers are finding properties — so you can be sure that they will find yours.

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A house-hunting checklist will help you keep track of the advantages and drawbacks of each home.  Ensure the checklist includes the basic information regarding location, asking price, annual property taxes, mortgage terms and any applicable zoning restrictions.


Exterior

Jot down your impressions of the exterior of the home, note the lot size and shape as well as the position of the home on the lot (facing north, south, east or west). Note the condition of the landscaping and whether or not the yard is fenced.


Check the condition of the siding and note if the home has an attached or detached garage. Take a good look at the roof and note its general condition and age. It's also important to examine the foundation of the home for any visible cracks or holes.


Interior

Note if the home has a separate front hallway. Check windows to ensure they open and close easily and note the general condition of the doors. The kitchen is an important room in any home, so pay attention to its size, the condition of its appliances, sink, cupboard space, counter tops, flooring, lighting and electrical outlets. Be sure to ask if any or all of the appliances are included in the sale.

It may be that a separate dining room, a family room or a fireplace is important to you. Note also the size of the bedrooms and closet space and whether or not there are any window coverings or adjoining bathrooms. Also make note of the flooring and room colours.


Make notes on the number and sizes of bathrooms and the conditions of the fixtures. Check all faucets and flush toilets to make sure they are in good working order and to see if there is adequate water pressure.


Basement

Check to see if the basement is full or partial, finished or unfinished, and if there is adequate room for walking about. Check the utility area and find out if the washer and dryer are included in the sale. It is also important to ask about the type of heating, water service, plumbing (copper or other), electrical amperage and insulation.


Your REALTOR® will be able to help you with questions you are unsure of. It is also a good idea to have a professional building inspector examine any home that you are considering buying.

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March 1, 2016 Victoria BC – The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on Multiple Listing Service® real estate activity in the Victoria area for the month of February 2016.


A total of 772 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, an increase of 42.4 percent compared to the 542 properties sold in the same month last year.


Inventory levels are lower than the previous year, with 2,562 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February, 26.4 per cent fewer than the 3,480 active listings at the end of February 2015.


“We continue to see the effect of supply and demand on the market,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “Areas near the downtown core have limited inventory, with less new product coming on to the market. As a result we see more pressure on pricing there, and we see multiple offers. The West Shore and outlying areas have new housing developments coming into the market. Sales are brisk everywhere, but less competition is created in areas like the West Shore because of the area’s ability to create supply to meet demand. We’ll likely see more first time home buyers look to make purchases in outlying areas. The West Shore benchmark for a single family home right now is $432,600, which makes the area more affordable than the Victoria core, where the benchmark value is $200,000 more for a single family home.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February, 2015 was $557,000. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2016 has increased by 14.7 per cent to $638,700.


“I’d highly recommend that sellers and buyers who are thinking of making a move in the future engage the services of a REALTOR®,” adds Nugent. “Your Realtor can help navigate the decision-making process and ensure you have access to information and advice based on current market conditions. In a busy market like we see now, your Realtor’s expertise can be the difference between a beautiful new home and a potentially frustrating and costly exercise.”


About VREB – Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of Realtors. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents over 1,200 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

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