Comox Valley Real Estate News Blog

Jan. 20, 2022

7 Things to do in Comox Valley in February

 

Wondering what activities you can get out and do this February?  Look no further! Comox Valley has a ton of different activities that you can enjoy with your family —  there’s something for everyone. 

 

Here are our top recommendations for activities to check out in Comox Valley! 

 

Hit the slopes

Get out on the hill and enjoy the powder! Head over Mount Washington and enjoy some skiing or snowboarding.  If you’re not a fan of either, they have a great tubing park, snowshoeing, and fat bike trails that you can enjoy with the whole family! Check out their site to get real-time weather updates and snow conditions.

 

Grab some local food 

Try something new! There is a large selection of amazing restaurants in Comox Valley.   Treat yourself and your family to a meal out or bring something special home to enjoy together.  

 

Check out the many restaurants here

 

Enjoy a spa day

Treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa treatment. There’s nothing quite like tuning the world out for a day and focusing inwards on yourself. Pamper your mind, body, and soul at one of the many local spas in Comox Valley!

 

Browse the local shops 

Find hidden and unique gems when you shop the local shops in Comox Valley. Take a stroll and browse the windows or head on inside and support some of the amazing local retailers we have here. 

 

Practice your swing and play a round

Even though it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t play a round of golf! Comox Valley has 6 year-round golf courses you can enjoy! Grab a friend or the whole family and practice your game. 

 

Check out the list of golf courses here.

 

Head to a museum 

Check out one of the many museums in Comox Valley.  With a selection of museums, art galleries, and heritage walking trails, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to do first! Browse the complete listings of museums here.

 

Enjoy the trails

Check out one of Comox Valley's many trails! Take a snowshoe out into nature and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

 

Check out a list of some great trails here

 

 

Regardless of the season, Comox Valley offers a wide variety of activities for you to participate in.  Let us know your favourite Comox Valley activity below!

 

 

Posted in Community News
Jan. 14, 2022

6 Red Flags to Watch out for When Buying a Home

Buying a new home is an exciting time for you and your family.  New memories, new beginnings and so much more. But, when you are on the hunt for a new home, it can feel like you have a lot on your to-do list and that list seems to grow by the minute. Meaning some important factors may go overlooked.

 

One of those things can often be potential red flags. Things that may not be obvious during a first walk-through or browsing online. It’s important as a buyer to remember to do your own due diligence and make sure you are on the lookout for all potential issues and problems. 

 

In this blog, we are going to take one thing off your to-do list and arm you with a checklist of potential issues you want to watch out for.

Here are 6 flags to look out for when buying a new home

Avoid listings that have fewer photos

When looking at listings you want to be sure you are looking at listings that have adequate photos of the house, not only inside but outside as well. Think about if you were selling your home — you’d want to make sure that it was as appealing on the market as possible and in many cases that involves lots of photos. You want to make sure that you have a clear picture of what you are going to see and ensure the homeowners are not hiding anything.


Prices are too good to be true 

You know the saying “if it’s good to be true, it probably is”?  That definitely applies in real estate as well. If you’re looking at homes and you see one that has a price dramatically different from other homes in the area, beware. The possibilities of potential issues here are vast. The buyers could be looking to sell quickly before word gets out that there is a fault within the house, the listing agents could be trying to cause a bidding war, and the list can go on and on. 

 

Protect yourself, your finances, and your sanity by steering clear of these.  

 

Smells a little….off? 

Walk into your dream home only to have a foul smell meet you at the door? 

 

Yes, this is a red flag. If you notice a musty smell in the air during a walkthrough, then there might be mold somewhere in the house. This can be especially worrying as prolonged mold exposures can cause an array of health problems, such as headaches, nausea, coughing, and other illnesses. This may have been caused by a prior or current issue within the house. 

 

On the opposite side of the musty smell, is walking into a home that has an overwhelming smell of air freshener. You may also see these plugged into multiple outlets, candles lit in every room or air fresheners hanging in multiple rooms. This too may be a red flag. This could indicate the homeowner is trying to cover up a foul odor. 

 

Always check the foundation 

 

Foundation repair is a bill you DO NOT want to take on, especially if you are a new homeowner. The repairs are expensive and the mess from the repairs is expansive — think diggers tearing up the property around your house!

 

Check around the home to ensure the structural integrity isn’t compromised and if you are unsure of whether you are able to determine this on your own, get a home inspector (we recommend always getting one). 

 

Pests

The last thing you want to deal with after you’ve purchased your home is an infestation of some type of pests.  Pests such as mice, rats, and cockroaches can carry health risks that can harm you and your family, other pests like carpenter ants, rodents, and wildlife can cause expensive damage to your home. It’s important to be on the lookout for a potential pest infestation. 

 

Some things you can watch out for:

- Mice or rat droppings 

- Check for signs of rodents in cabinets, on countertops and behind appliances

- Chewed wiring 

- Ant mounds outside 

 

It may also be worthwhile to consider getting a proper inspection done by a professional.  Taking the time now to have a proper inspection could save you money down the road. 

Stains on walls or ceilings

Seeing a lot of stains on walls or ceilings as you are doing a walkthrough of a potential home? This could be a cause for concern. 

 

Did the stains come from a leak in the roof? Was there an issue with the plumbing? Maybe, the stains were from a problem that has since been fixed.

 

Either way, it’s important to take note of these things and ensure you are asking questions to figure out the cause. 

 

While it may seem like an added expense that you aren’t sure you need, getting the proper inspections done by an expert can save you time, money, and headaches down the line. Purchasing a home is one of the most exciting times in your life and a purchase that will help you make memories for years to come. Take your time, enjoy the process and remember, you don’t have to buy the first home you see. When you find the right home, you will know. 

 

Looking for extra help in your search to ensure you find the right home for your family? 

 

Reach out to us at Comox Valley Real Estate and we will be happy to help you find your forever home.

 

Send us an email or call 250-702-6493

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 24, 2021

Comox Valley Outdoor Winter Bucket List!

With winter upon us, it does not mean the fun needs to stop or even slow! So here is a list of must-do winter activities in The Comox Valley for this year! 

 

Fat Bike

No, you did not hear or read that weird… They are bikes with fat tires on them so that you can bike through the snow! How fun, right? You can give it a try this winter too, up at Mount Washington! 

 

Ice Skating

 Although we do not get weather cold enough to freeze a rink out here, the arena does! 

 

Shred the Gnar

Ski or snowboard up at Mount Washington. 

 

Day on The Town

Spend a day shopping downtown Courtenay and make sure to stop at Hot Chocolates to get Hot Chocolate, of course! 

 

Snowshoeing 

Strap on the snowshoes and take it where the snow falls! 

 

Rent Sleds

Not toboggan sleds, snowmobiles! It’s a fun day out in the snow and feeds that adrenaline junkie side to you! 

 

Tobogganing

No one is ever too old for tobogganing, especially if it becomes beer-bogganing! Make it a fun day with friends out in the woods! 

 

Cross Country Skiing 

There are so many unique places to explore in the woods with a set of skis! So go and do it! Rain or shine! 

 

Tubbing 

Go for a day of tubbing! It does not matter how old you are to enjoy a day of tubing! 

 

Ice Fishing

Head up to some mountain lakes for a day of ice fishing! Make sure to pack your warm woollies and bear spray. 

 

Indoor Farmers Market 

It’s all year round and a whole lot of wholesome! Check it out on a rainy day! 

 

Winter Beach Fire

Pro Tip: if you face the mainland, you may be lucky enough to see northern lights at certain times of the year! 

 

Winter Scuba Dive

Did you know the visibility is the best in the wintertime? So it’s the best time of year to dive! All those critters that generally need to go deeper to stay cooler are more out and about to see! 

 

Year-Round Golf

Yup, here in the Valley, we have year-round golf! So go for a game on a nice sunny day to soak up some vitamin D! 

 

Heli to the Glacier 

Go check out those peaks from a different perspective! It is well worth it! 

 

 

Spend the season outside and enjoy all the Comox Valley has to offer. Remember always to bring protection against the wild creatures stirring about and respect nature itself. Please clean up after yourself and try not to do any more damage than we already have! 

Posted in Vancouver Island
Nov. 10, 2021

6 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Winter

 

There aren’t too many people in this world who genuinely enjoy viewing homes in single-digit temperatures. But here are a couple of reasons why you should learn to love checking out houses in the cold! 

There is a Lot Less Competition

 There are not many who like to check out homes in the winter. Believe it or not, in the months of May to August makeup 40% of all home sales in a year! So 1/4 of the year makes up for 40% of the market! Additionally, January to February only consists of 6% of total annual sales! So there are fewer buyers to compete with, making it a great time to buy, especially if you are not an all-cash, zero condition buyer! 

 

Motivated Sellers 

Usually, when someone lists their home in the winter, there is a bit of a driving force. So they are likely working with a timeline. When making your offer, keep it in mind, and if you can, try and accommodate the sellers' timeline to guarantee them picking your offer. 

If a home is on the market for a long time, talk to your Realtor about maybe giving a lower offer! 

 

Detective Work 

Typically, winter is the most stressful time of year on a home's “weaknesses.” You’ll be able to feel the drafts, not-so-insulated walls, and possible leak locations! You’ll be able to judge how well a furnace works, baseboard heaters or their central air. Signs of a warm home with no fireplace on is always a good thing! 

 

Movers Aren't as Busy

Finding movers for your date is a whole lot easier because they are not as busy! 

 

Last-Minute Tax Savings 

Depending on timing, first-time homebuyers can usually save a couple of extra bucks off their potential tax deductions! 

 

Faster Closing 

During busy months, mortgage brokers re usually backup a bit. So you may have a faster closing in the winter months when they aren’t as busy!

 

You’ll be in that new place in no time, and it will seem stressless and as seamless as never before! 

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 4, 2021

How To Stage Your Home Like a Pro

 

 

When selling your home, you want it to look the absolute best and the most attractive to potential buyers. 

Home Staging is a method of interior design to highlight your home and its most impressive features. 

According to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Staging Stats Report:

  • 77% say that staged homes make it easier for buyers to visualize themselves owning the home. 
  • 21% report staging increases the home’s value by 6%-10% 
  • 39% report it dramatically decreases the amount of time a house sits on the market for.

 

To maximize the benefits of home staging, check out the tips below! 

 

De-Personalize the Space

This is number one for a reason. Takedown family pictures, dad’s old hockey jersey, dance trophies off the shelves, posters in your teenagers’ room etc. When your home is full of your personal collectibles and items, it can make it harder for potential buyers to envision themselves living there. 

 Keep clothes tucked away neatly and out of sight. People do check closets so ensure they are clean, but feel free to cram stuff into dresser drawers as prospective purchasers won’t be opening those!

 Clear off ALL personal items from bathroom shelves. ALL OF IT. 

 Remove items of “hot discussion topic” from your home. Controversial items falling into categories such as religion, politics, hunting etc., can sometimes turn off prospective buyers. We want the home to feel neutral and allow people to envision their own lives there.

Staging does make the home feel a bit empty and odd to live in, but it really helps for a quick and efficient sale of a home! 

 

Get Rid of All Clutter

 Clutter takes away from the space in your home, and space is what sells! One of the main goals of staging is to make your home look bigger and more spacious. So cut items back to just the very basics. Remember, you are not getting rid of these things forever; you’re just packing them up prematurely to get more value for your home! 

Front Closet: empty out all off-season clothes and garments. De-clutter the shoes, the dog leashes, the sports gear, whatever is in there! People will likely be opening closets to check for storage space. If yours is empty and makes it look like there is lots of space. If it’s jammed full, they will likely not even bother taking the time to look and will quickly start to lose interest. 

Decor: keep a couple of small key feature pieces that are minimalistic. The rest should be stashed. Too much decor can make a space seem smaller than it is, so the more that can be packed up, the better. 

Office Spaces: PACK UP ALL THE PAPER. Any clutter and visible office supplies. In today’s day and age, the home office has become more critical than ever before. It is crucial that your home office looks beautiful and spacious to satisfy work-from-home professionals.

Kitchen & Bathroom: Absolutely everything off any surface spaces! There should ideally be nothing but a bathroom soap dispenser, that is it! 

Kids & Pet Stuff: Pack up as much as you can. Non-pet owners and people without or who do not want children are very quickly deterred from homes with kids and pets because it is harder for them to envision living there. People with kids and pets always see that opportunity, but it is a deterrent the other way around. So, to really open up for your potential buyers stash as much stuff as you can. 

All in all, less stuff = more space = more money! 

 

Fix-It! 

 If it’s broken, fix it, if it needs patching, patch and paint it. The more work someone must do on your home walking into it, the more the value of the home decreases. Simple fixes and repairs can make the world of difference to your overall home value. When people see these simple fixes being neglected, they often wonder what else has been overlooked, and it strikes fear and distrust. 

 

Keep It As Natural As Possible! 

Think about painting over any bright coloured walls with something more natural. Sometimes, buyers find them unappealing or distracting. Additionally, very bright or very dark colours can be intimidating, often giving the perception of having to hire and pay for a professional to colour correct them. 

 

Curb Appeal… Yes… It’s Still a Thing, and It Still Matters. 

You have probably already heard it before, and you will again… curb appeal matters…. a lot! Make sure to take down all seasonal decor and de-clutter the gardens and yard. Take the time to weed and maybe put in some fresh mulch! It will make the yard look 100x better and significantly increase the chances of selling quicker. --Also, think about applying a fresh coat of paint to the front and garage door if they are looking older and out of date. Power washing concrete and house siding is another great way to make your house picture perfect! 

 

Fresh Greengage 

A little bit of fresh greengage can go a long way! Make sure not to pollute areas with greengage. A little plant here and there while keeping them off windowsills goes a long way! 

Make sure to use different lights to add some complexity to the room. Fresh flowers that won’t take away too much from the room to can always be an excellent idea! They go perfectly in either the living room or dining room.

 

Light!! 

The more lights, the better! The more natural light, even better!! Open all curtains and shades. Think about painting dark rooms a lighter tone so more light can come in and bounce off the walls! If you have anything obstructing light from coming into your home that you have control over and can fix, try and do so! Rearrange outdoor furniture so they aren’t blocking windows, clean the windows if they are stopping light, whatever it may be. 

 

Rearrange Furniture 

 The goal is to make the place look huge, even if it is tiny. The more walkable space in a room, the better. Focus on removing extraneous, damaged, and unmatched furniture away into storage and rearranging the rest to flow nicely.

 

Clean! 

Clean like never before. Everything should be spotless, and all odours should be removed, carpets professionally (or rent a machine to DIY) cleaned, windows cleaned, decks power washed, EVERYTHING. This is crucial to selling your home. If it’s dirty, people will just turn around and walk out. 

 

Prepping the sale of your home can be hard work. But your hard work will pay off with a big fat check! So hop to it! 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 27, 2021

How Weddings (both attending and hosting) Affects What Kind of Home You Can Afford to Buy!

 

Getting married? How exciting, congratulations! Looking to buy a home? How exciting, congratulations! 

However, those are two massive expenses! How deep are your pockets? 

 

A report has found that millennials who take destination bachelor trips spend up to 35% of the down payment on the median-priced homes! 

That’s insane!

 

Let’s be real, we would all love to go party our faces off instead of being an adult 24/7 and worrying about saving and buying a home, and responsibilities, and our RRSP’s, etc.… 

But let’s also remember how important it is to buy a home. 

 

Destination bachelor and bachelorette parties have become the norm. Whether you are attending or hosting, it adds up fast. Never mind the rest of the wedding expenses again, whether attending or hosting. 

 

 

Dipping Into Savings 

You have worked so hard for so long to create that little nest egg for your first home. Your home is an investment; your wedding events are not. Sorry, hate to break it to you so cut and dry, but it’s the truth, and lenders see it that way too. 

Keep your home savings as home savings. If you are planning a wedding, plan for additional savings and save up for the event, do not dip into pre-existing accounts. 

 

Running Up the Credit Cards 

Also, not a good idea. Depending on your credit, your lender will look into your credit history and when it was at its highest and if it was fully paid off. So again, make sure you have savings for these events. 

 Running up credit cards is never a good idea. So deciding to do a non-financially planned, significant expense event means setting yourself up for trouble. 

 

 

Set a Real Budget 

Set a budget to save for this event, what you will have for expenses, and blend it with your regular budget to see where you can make cuts and add to where you want to be for this event. Having a true, honest and realistic budget will be a lifesaver. 

 

 

You may not be able to control how wild you get for your big event, but you can be in control of your finances. It is not worth throwing away that first home you’ve been dreaming of to only be able to get into a little you-know-what box. So as exciting as it is, keep your long-term investment safe. 

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 13, 2021

14 Fall Decor Ideas To Make Your Home or Income Property a Seasonal Escape!

 

It's getting into that time of year again! Fall! Leave changing, weather cooling, and days are getting shorter. 

 

Check out these great tips to cozy up up your home or rental for this season! 

 

SURPRISE GUEST WITH MORE BLANKETS 

A little extra cozy blanket in the room or on the bed as a throw never hurts! 

 

PATTERNS

Pumpkins don't always have to be orange. Buy some white pumpkins and use decoupage techniques to get them to match your home interior! 

 

USE TABLE CLOTHS

Get some lovely flannel table covers and cloths to spruce up your dining space this fall season. 

 

USE DISPLAY GOURDS IN YOUR KITCHEN

Use gourds for kitchen displays. Swap your suit bowl for a gourd bowl. 

 

ADD THROW PILLOWS 

Add some lovely flannel throw pillows wherever butts may be planted! 

 

FALL FLOWER DISPLAYS

Use those warm fall flowers as displays wherever you see as fit in your home! 

 

HANG WREATHS

Above mantles, or windows or doors. Wherever you see fit! But try not to overdo it. 

 

 DECK OUT THE FRONT DOOR 

Deck it out with nice fall decor like mums, on pumpkins, and fall foliage. 

 

ADD FOLIAGE TO PUMPKINS 

Add foliage to pumpkins instead of carving pumpkins. Make for beautiful decor. 

 

COZY UP WITH THROWS 

Throws everywhere! Everyone likes to be able to grab a blank and cozy up wherever convenient. 

 

MAKE TREE BRANCH COASTERS 

Find a tree branch that's fallen or been chopped and make some natural wood coasters! 

 

MAKE A COZY OUTDOOR SPACE

Whether it's the patio or a fire pit, cozy it up for those cool nights with blankets, cautions, throw pillows! 

 

HANG SEASONAL PLANTS 

Why not hang them instead of displaying them from the ground? 

 

CHUNKY KNITS

Yes, get those chunky knits out! They never seem to go out of style and certainly will not be out of style this year! 

 

Fall is such a fun time of year, so embrace it!! Enjoy the colours, the cool air and the sunshine! Have fun with decor and embrace all the fun and family time it can bring! 

Posted in Home Tips
Oct. 7, 2021

21 Factors That Affect Your Home Value!

 

Do you want to make sure you are getting top dollar for the sale of your home? Or maybe you are looking to buy a home that needs little to no work and will have a fantastic return on investment as it! Here are a couple of things to look for when upgrading or buying a home today! 

 

#1 Curb Appeal 

 You have probably heard this one before, but we will repeat it. Curb appeal really matters! Spending a little bit of extra cheddar on your landscaping can go a long way to get top dollar for your home. Be sure to invest in some beautiful perennials, and be sure to weed the garden before the photographer is arranged to come! 

 

#2 Energy Efficiency 

 Being on Vancouver Island in the beautiful Comox Valley, we are blessed with the weather we get throughout the year. As a result, we require minimal heating and cooling compared to many of our neighbouring provinces. However, when we do need heating and A/C, is it best when it is efficient. Replace your baseboard heaters with a high-efficiency central air system that heats and cools. It goes a long way when buying and selling! 

 

#3 Local Food & Beverage Amenities 

Yes, that's right, the local scene will affect the value of your home! Do you live near dive bars or five stars? It can affect the value of your home based on the judgement of what kind of neighbourhood it's in.

 

#4 Internet Access

Since the global pandemic in 2020, this factor has become more critical than ever before. People need to have access to 24/7 high-speed internet. So, what kind of internet setup can be crucial to some buyers. 

 

#5 Home Office Space

Internet and home office space goes a bit hand in hand. With the crazy new demand for home office spaces, don't be afraid to stage a spare room as a home office to show potential buyers the opportunity to see its functionality in your area. 

 

#6 Schools 

 Did you know parents are willing to spend larger than the budgeted amount to ensure their children will be in a good area or the required area for top schools? This alone can be a huge seller's advantage and buyer's advantage in the future for their investment. 

 

#7 Water Front or Walking Distance 

As we get closer to the water, the more a value of a home increases. In the Comox Valley, we are surrounded by beautiful beaches and lakes, allowing for many options when buying and selling. 

 

#8 Community & Culture 

Living close to sports centers, the downtown, parks, community centers, etc., can significantly affect the price! Community matters and what communities offer are essential to people in a community. So, the culture will make a massive difference in the value of the communities you are starting your home search in. 

#9 Weeds

Weeds can significantly decrease the value of your home. In short, the more work someone else has to do when moving in, the less valuable your home is. On the other hand, spending an afternoon weeding before the photographer comes can add a lot of value to your house quickly. 

 

#10 Unpleasant History & Crime

Bad history such as murders, robberies, and hauntings can put a buyer off purchasing. A high amount of crime in a neighbourhood can too. 

 

#11 Security Systems 

Due to #10, security systems add lots of value to your home! Whether you are on a pleasant side of town or not-so-friendly side of town, buyers always appreciate feeling safe in their new home, and sellers can have the peace of mind that someone is willing to pay more for a security system. 

 

#12 Nuisance Neighbours 

 Yes, your noisy, messy, loud neighbours can significantly affect the value of your home, especially during a showing. 

 

#13 Air & Noise Pollution 

Busy streets, railways, and airports can add noise and unwanted air pollution, lowering your home's value. 

 

#14 Improvements Without Permission 

"Improvements" made to the property without the town's permission can actually be hindering instead of helping! Make sure sellers; you are getting permits and all the documentation in doing so to add value to your home. No paperwork = a lot less money. Buyers, make sure to ask for the paperwork before you end up on the line for the previous owner's neglect. 

 

#15 Niche Improvements 

 Niche improvements such as a gothic theme, or a superman cave, or a 70's throwback, can significantly affect the sale of a home and its asking price! Therefore, it is essential to stay current with home trends and ensure you are styling your home so that others will find it attractive when buying and that you love. 

 

#16 Structural or Water Damage 

Cracks, leaks and any other structural damage on a property can put buyers off from buying.

 

#17 Poor Property Maintenance and Clutter 

Ever heard someone decides whether they like you or not in the first 10 seconds of meeting you? It's the same with a house and takes about 10 seconds for someone to decide whether they like the look of your home. If it is dirty, full of mess, has bad smells, has too many personal items, and is poorly maintained, it can very quickly put a buyer off. 

 

#18 Demographics 

 The types of buyers currently in or interested in a neighbourhood can affect the selling price. 

 

#19 Street Trees 

 Let's be honest; we all love a nicely landscaped neighbourhood with lovely trees. It definitely helps with neighbourhood appeal. 

 

#20 Public Transport & Bike Access 

 Public transport can be a significant determining factor in house purchase. So can the ability to ride a bike around town. 

 

 

#21 Storage Space

Storage is huge. Being able to store things efficiently can be a huge selling point in a home. Pay the extra little bit for closet organizers, pantry organization, laundry room shelves, and the home's value will go way up! If you can't visually see how a storage space can be organized, hire a professional organizer! They will get the job done right! Or Pinterest, because who doesn't love a good DIY. 

 

 

 

There are many more factors that can affect the value of your home. But don't stress!!! Each buyer is different, and something on this list that may matter a lot to you may not to someone else! During your homeownership time, it is crucial to understand how to preserve and grow your home value, but don't go overboard. Not everything on this list matters to everyone. Pick five that you can make a change in and make it happen before listing your home. The value-added will be beyond worth it! 

Posted in Home Tips
Sept. 29, 2021

5 Ways To Make Your Home Office Space Work! (Even If It’s Not an Office!)

In today’s day and age, there is a lot of us who are working from home, and not all of us are fortunate enough to have a new room to dedicate to an office space. Here are some tips to make your any-space a decent home office space! 

 

  1. Lighting

    Lighting is really important in a home office space. For more reasons than one. It can greatly affect your mood and attitude in your working environment, it can affect how productive you are, how much people trust you and how “professional” it makes you look on a zoom call, etc. There is a lot that light alone can affect! So if you are in a dark space, get on Amazon and buy a ring or studio light to go behind your laptop or desktop so customers and employers can see you better! Get some night lighting for around you as well! Or if you do have natural light, make sure you are facing it. It will improve your mood and light up your work meeting! Literally!!!

  2. Commit To Your Space

    Don’t move office spaces every day. Pick one, make it functional, have an easy setup/tear down (if needed). Committing to your space ensures proper lighting, proper working routine (mentally and physically), comfortable seating, etc. It is better for your mental well-being to be in a similar “working” spot daily.

  3. Declutter & Re-organize

    Yes that’s right, you’ve probably thought it, but here is your sign to ACTUALLY do it! Get rid of all that sh*t you don’t need. All those silly papers you’ve been holding onto. All those stray pens put them in a decorative cup. Tape all your cords down. Etc, etc, etc. You will feel so much better, and your day will be so much more productive!

  4. Check What Your Background Looks Like

    Those dirty wine glasses and the bowl of dog food behind you takes away from your professionalism in team meetings or when dealing with clients. Make sure what’s behind you is not a big bright window (because people won’t be able to see you), and that it is nicely staged! Pinterest can be your absolute best friend when looking at home office staging. Get some pin-spo-ration for your home office space today!

  5. Set Up Your Space… for You!

    When we all used to work at offices, our meetings and workspaces were always set up with the client primarily in mind. Now you have the chance to cater it to you! Set up some scented candles or some aromatherapy, to create an enjoyable workspace for yourself! Have your soda stream nearby with your favourite flavouring, and your favourite coffee pre-ground and ready to go! Get a piece of art you don’t mind staring at behind your computer all day and invest in a comfortable chair! Get some mood-lifting greengage nearby, you do you and build your happiest home office space. 

 

The moral of the story, make our space comfortable, functional, and personal! Have fun with it and enjoy making a space your own with no one to tell you what you can and can’t do! Only what you should do! 

Posted in Home Tips
Sept. 22, 2021

How To Actually Afford to Buy a Home in Canada

Buying a home today faces new challenges than ever before. Housing prices are higher than ever, living costs are crazy, and rentals payments are as large as mortgage payments nowadays. 

So how does one afford to buy a home? 

 

Here is what you need to know about actually affording a home in Canada today. 

 

What Are Your Options? 

 

First thing is first. You need to find out from a mortgage professional what you can afford. Don't ballpark it, don't guesstimate, get pre-approved. This will determine whether or not a lender will consider you as a potential lendee because they may not depend on several of your financial factors. 

 

If you are a first-time homebuyer, there are many other options for you. So make sure the first thing you do is talk to a mortgage professional and a realtor to help get you on the right path. 

 

 

What's Your Credit Score?

 

Yes, your credit score affects what you get a mortgage for and the rate you can get. Talk to a professional on how to keep your credit score high. Talk to a professional about what you can do personally to raise your score. 

 

 

 

Make Enough Money to Save

 

Making enough to save for a home can be difficult. After all the expenses, and let's be honest, some funny money, it isn't easy to have room to save unless you are a two-income home. With high living expenses, too, it can make it even more challenging. 

For saving tips and our first-time homebuyer guide, please email us at brycehansenremax@gmail.com for your free guide. 

Ensure you have enough saved up for closing costs, the down payment, and six months' living expenses before buying a home. 

 

 

 

20% is Not Necessary 

 

"Brain Blows Up"… What? Really? Yes really. Although it is preferred, it is not required. When you do not put above 20% down, you do end up paying mortgage insurance. Witch is something you may need to do in order to get into the market. Once you are in the market, it only becomes easier. So if you need to pay a bit extra for mortgage insurance, so be it. 

 

 

 

Know Your Needs and Deal Breakers, But Remain Adaptable 

 

You may need to downsize, and you may need to locate further away from work and commute, you may need to move closer to the south side of town, etc. Know what your boundaries are and where you might be accepting to save a buck or two. 

All in all, be flexible. You might not get exactly what you want, but you can always work for it. 

 

 

As mentioned above, buying a home today, whether you are already in the market or not, can be challenging. Talk to your realtor or moorage professional to make plans to work towards your dream home or even just a home to meet your financial needs. 

Posted in Buying a Home