More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room. Those fires can be expensive; since even a minor incident, with no injuries, can result in significant damage. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the latest in fire prevention.

The most recent research tells us:             

1. Never leave cooking food unattended. Doing so is the number one cause of kitchen fires.

2. Make sure cooking appliances, especially deep fryers, are safety certified by the appropriate government agency.

3. When using oil in a frying pan, always heat slowly at no more than a medium heat setting.

4. Always turn off stove burners and other cooking appliances immediately after cooking.


5. Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Use baking soda or a fire extinguisher.


6. Never remove or cover up a smoke detector due to nuisance alarms. The one alarm that isn’t a nuisance may save your life.


Finally, experts say that if you can’t put out a fire immediately, get everyone out of the home and call emergency services.




As you’re probably aware, the list price you set for your property has an impact on how quickly it sells — and how much you earn on the sale.


What you may not realize is just how significant an impact it has. Consider the following examples.


Example 1:

You price your property well above its current market value. As a result, many buyers don’t bother to see it because it’s outside of their price range. Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be suspicious.) They may wonder, “What’s going on?”


In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to re-ignite interest.


Example 2:

You price your property just a couple of percentage points lower than what is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points matter?


Those points matter a lot.


On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That’s a serious amount of money!


So, as you can see, pricing your home right is serious business. Fortunately, a good REALTOR® knows how to set the right price.


It’s been a busy 2015 and our markets have been characterized by an increased demand from Buyers with a decreased amount of properties available on the open markets. This has created an imbalance with the markets which are generally favouring Sellers currently. The trickledown effect of these conditions is that property values are increasing. In fact, overall, the Victoria market values are up by nearly 10% over this time last year.


For Sellers this means that it’s a great time to get your property listed. For Buyers this means that there are a larger quantity of other Buyers out there that are potentially competing with you for the fewer amount of properties that are available. Due to this, we are seeing multiple offer scenarios coming back into our markets.


Many of the specific conditions will be dictated by the geographic area you are working in, the type of housing (single family, townhouse, duplex, condo), and the price point you are working within.


If you are thinking about making a purchase this spring, I recommend you consider these following suggestions before beginning your house hunt. These points will help you to avoid disappointment while setting you up for success.


Get a jump on the new listings: Good properties sell quickly in these market conditions. If you are getting ready to buy something soon, ask your Realtor to change your MLS settings to notify you immediately when a new property that fits your criteria is listed. If you like the looks of it, get in touch with your Realtor quickly and view it as soon as possible.


Be prepared: Have your financing in order so if you see the “one” you will be in a position to move on it. Make sure you are qualified at the price point you are shopping in.


Talk to your Realtor about the possibility of finding yourself in a multiple offer situation: Discuss how you can position yourself strategically. The fewer conditions on the offer, the better. Don’t ask for chattels (furniture, personal possessions of the Seller) or for favours from the Sellers. If possible, try to offer the Seller the closing dates they are looking for and remove your conditions as quickly as possible. Remember you only get one chance to impress the Seller in a multiple offer situation. We recommend that you put your best offer forward, you may not have a chance to negotiate. A short note to the Seller about your family and what you like about the home can also sometimes sway a Seller in your favour.


Price: Think about your upper limit to price. Often in multiple offers, the minimum offer is the list price and sometimes Buyers must go above the list price to secure the property. In a multiple offer scenario the highest price is usually the offer that is considered. Make sure you are comfortable at this elevated price and that you are qualified for it.


Consider a larger deposit: Typically we see deposits in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. If you are in a position to offer a higher deposit at the time of condition removal, your offer will appear stronger. The deposit money forms part of the purchase price upon closing.


If you would like more information or assistance with negotiating the current market conditions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time. Ask me for further details on your market area and I will be happy to update you on your own personal situation.




February 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 January 2016. 2016 started with the busiest month of sales in January since 2002. A total of 539 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, an increase of 53.6 per cent compared to the 351 properties sold in the same month last year.

Inventory levels are lower than the previous year, with 2,471 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January, 24.7 per cent fewer than the 3,283 active listings at the end of January 2015.

“Though the ongoing count of properties for sale is low, the number of new listings entering the market is close to what we saw last year,” notes Wendy Moreton, 2016 president of the board. “The recent month of January saw 934 new listings, where last year we saw 1,027. The good news for buyers is that there are new properties for sale every day. The good news for sellers is that there appears to be more buyers in the market, so well-priced properties in high demand areas (like the Victoria core) are swift sellers.”

“Last year we saw the traditionally busy spring market start early as sales picked up over February and March,” adds Moreton. “This year that spring market may be starting even earlier, as our sales numbers for January are close to the numbers we saw last February. We’ll watch this trend over the next few months. This busy market is the perfect time to enlist the help of your local REALTOR®. Realtors have access to up-to-date trends for all the different markets across the Greater Victoria area and can best assist buyers and sellers to navigate this exciting market.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January, 2015 was $561,600. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2016 has increased by 10.2 per cent to $618,600. 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.

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.