Spring cleaning can seem like a great idea until you actually get started. Then it often turns out to be more work than expected!

The good news is, there are proven techniques to make the job easier so you can get it done faster.

• Before you begin the project, make sure you have everything you need: hammer, boxes, tape, garbage bags, etc. Think of the supplies you’ll need on hand and the tools that will make tasks easier. You don’t want to have to waste time on frequent trips to the store.

• Consider renting a small moving trolley (AKA hand truck.) That will make it much easier to move heavy objects, such as furniture, as you’re cleaning. Most local home improvement centres rent these.

• Plan how you’re going to dispose of waste and unwanted stuff. Find out where you can donate clothes, toys, furniture, and other items. Note the location of your local garbage disposal site and its hours of operation.

• Divide tasks into “Heavy work” and “Light work” and then do the heavy work first, such as moving furniture, reorganizing rooms, etc. Only after completing the heavy work should you dive into the “light work”, such as packing boxes and sweeping.

• Consider getting help. There are many services available that will assist with cleaning, painting, junk removal, repairs, and more. You can even hire a student to assist you for a weekend.

Spring cleaning can be a big project, but these tips can help make it a lot easier. And, keep in mind that if you’re thinking of selling this year, getting the spring cleaning done will be a big plus.
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When you set a budget for a new home, you’re obviously hoping — maybe even expecting — to find the ideal property within that price range.


But, it doesn’t always work out that way.


In fact, there are many circumstances in which you might have to rethink your budget and possibly even increase it, to get the home you want.


For example, you might find that properties in neighbourhoods you’re targeting are selling for more than you expected. In that circumstance, you might have to look for a home in a different area, or see if you can bump up your budget.


Another scenario that often comes up is changing wish lists. You may view a few homes for sale and realize that a particular feature is more important to you than you initially thought. For example, you might have budgeted for a three-bedroom home, but once you’ve seen a few properties with four, you think, “Okay, we definitely want four bedrooms!” That might result in a budget bump.


Finally, you might find that you view a property and fall in love with the place. It’s perfect. It has everything you need. You’ve got to have that home! But, its price is outside your budget.


In that case, you’ll need to weigh paying a bit more against getting a home that will have a significant and positive impact on your lifestyle and happiness.


As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when shopping for a home and trying to stay within a budget.




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Imagine you want to take the “trip of a lifetime” this fall. Would you leave it until the summer to start planning, booking dates, and generally getting ready?

Probably not. A trip like that is a big deal. You’d want to start making arrangements now, so by the time you’re ready to go to the airport, everything will be set for you and your family to have a great time.

The same is true when selling your home. If you intend on listing your property in the spring or summer, now is the time to start making plans.

Starting the process early in the year gives you four significant advantages:

1. Ample time to prepare your home. Starting now gives you time to declutter your property, get needed repairs done, and otherwise make your home ready to be seen by buyers.
2. Less stress. Unless you enjoy scrambling to get things done within a tight timeline, you want to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare for your home sale without the stress of a tight timeline. Starting early gives you that.
3. Listing date flexibility. Starting now means you’ll likely get your property prepared for the sale early in the year. Sure, your plan might be to list in the summer. But, if the market changes or some other opportunity presents itself, you’ll be able to list sooner. Your home will be ready.
4. More time to find your next home. If you’ll also be looking for a new home, starting the process now will give you more time to explore neighbourhoods, get financing arranged, and determine the ideal type of home for you.

As you can see, it pays to start the process now, even if you won’t be selling until spring or summer.

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When searching for a new home, many buyers will focus only on the list price and what they may need to offer to get the property. For example, a buyer might think, “We can get this house for $XX. That’s within our price range!”

Of course, the selling price plays the pivotal role in whether or not you can afford a particular home. But, carrying costs should also be considered.

Carrying costs include any regular expenses related to the property. The obvious ones are gas, hydro, water, garbage, and taxes. But there may be others. For example, a home may also have a subscription-based alarm system, high-speed internet, and hot water tank rental.

If there are common elements, such as a private street or some other neighbourhood feature, there may be an annual maintenance fee.

It’s also smart to factor in predicted maintenance and repair costs, especially when buying an older home. A property that hasn’t had its asphalt roof shingles replaced in 20 years may be due soon.

So, when shopping for a new home, consider what the carrying costs will be. That will help you make a more informed decision.

That being said, having to pay a little more in monthly costs may be worth it if you love the place and it (as well as the neighbourhood) has everything you want.

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A total of 474 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 26.6 per cent fewer than the 646 properties sold in January 2021 but an 8.2 per cent increase from December 2021. Sales of condominiums were down 13 per cent from January 2021 with 188 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 39.7 per cent from January 2021 with 179 sold.

"A cursory glance at our sales numbers could lead to the quick conclusion that our market is slowing down," says 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. "But what we must consider is not only the number of homes that have sold, but also the number of homes which were for available for sale within the month. To put our inventory into context, last year broke the record for lowest inventory for the month of January. This January broke that record nearly in half and that lack of supply in the market really impacts what our end sales numbers are. Had we seen more homes for sale, it's likely our result would have been many more sales."

There were 744 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2022, an increase of 14.1 per cent compared to the previous month of December and a 43.7 per cent decrease from the 1,321 active listings for sale at the end of January 2021.

"As it stands, our market will be slow to change until our inventory levels perk up," adds President Dinnie-Smyth. "This means we need to see supply added of all types of housing and we need to establish a sustainable source of supply into the upcoming years to meet growth. The reality of housing is that it takes years to add new numbers and until we are better able to meet demand, our market will be under pressure. With the constrained and fast paced market, it's an excellent time to use the services of an experienced REALTOR®, one who can help you identify a strategy and process for selling or buying - or selling and buying - a new home."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2021 was $932,200. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2022 increased by 24.6 per cent to $1,161,500, up from December's value of $1,144,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in January 2021 was $487,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in January 2022 increased by 20.5 per cent to $587,300, up from the December value of $570,600.

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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.