Comox Valley Real Estate News Blog

May 14, 2021

3 Ways to Feel Confident Selling in a Hot Market

 

 

Many people are choosing to take advantage of the current sizzling seller’s market by listing their property for sale and capitalizing on the higher offers that can be generated in a multiple offer situation. When you’re thinking about selling your home, it often prompts the age-old debate of whether it’s better to sell your home first or purchase your next dream home ahead of time.  
 
With the Comox Valley real estate market as hot as it is, it can be intimidating to sell your home first because you’re concerned about what will happen on the buying side of the equation, if you’re not able to find another home within a compatible timeframe of your existing property closing. The last thing you want is to have to settle for a house that you’re not thrilled about or be left scrambling to find somewhere else to stay in between moves. 
 
Help ease your mind by considering the following three options, so you can feel more confident about selling your home ahead of time during a hot market. 
 
Utilize a 90 Day Completion 

One of the easiest ways to bide yourself some time is to let buyers know you prefer a longer completion date. For example, a typical closing date falls within the range of 45-60 days - but you can advise that a 90-day completion is more favorable. This essentially gives you an additional month to find a new property you love and doesn’t really cause any red flags for interested buyers. 
 
Include a Suitable Property Contingency 

There’s a contingency condition you can include when you list your home which advises potential buyers that their accepted offer on your property will be subject to you finding a suitable property within a specified time period. This helps reduce your anxiety and stress by avoiding a forced sale or legal repercussions. That being said, it should be noted that this can also reduce the number of interested buyers if they’re not able to wait for you to find another home.  
 
Suggest a Property Rent Back 

A third option for you is to suggest the idea to rent back the property until you find a new home. This effectively allows you to stay in your home for a negotiated amount of time, so you have an extended timeline to properly search for a great property. If the buyer is an investor, they may be completely happy with this arrangement, as it means they basically have an instant tenant without having to put in the time, effort, and money to find a renter right away. 
 
At the end of the day, you don’t want to be rushed or settling for real estate that’s only mediocre. You want to love your new house and be excited about the move! To discuss the above options further, and to determine your best approach for listing your Comox Valley home, connect with the Bryce Hansen Team today at 250.702.6493 or bryce@brycehansenteam.com. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 30, 2021

What to Expect When Listing Your Comox Valley Home

 

 

Many people don’t realize that listing your home for sale is not quite as simple as putting a for sale sign on your front lawn. There are several steps in the process, and if your circumstances allow, it can be a great idea to begin the undertaking a few months before you actually want your home to hit the Comox Valley real estate market. Here are some of the top things you can expect to do when considering listing your home for sale. 

 

Look for a Qualified Real Estate Professional 

Having a qualified real estate professional will make the entire process of selling your home much easier for you. Choose a trusted agent with in-depth local knowledge and a commitment to helping you achieve your unique real estate goals. You’ll want someone who is dedicated and driven to providing exceptional customer value, communicates well, and can confidently answer your questions. Your real estate professional will help walk you through the additional steps below. 

 

Prepare Your Property 

The current condition of your home will determine how much prep work is involved with getting your property ready to hit the Comox Valley market. You’ll want to focus on what will help add value to your home, so you can get a good return on your investment (ROI). According to the 2021 RE/MAX Renovation Investment Report, 59% of Canadians said they always consider the ROI that a renovation will have on their home’s overall market value. With that in mind, and depending on the renovation budget you have to work with, the top three home renovations that pay off on resale are 1) updating your kitchen, 2) overhauling your bathroom, and 3) adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls. 

 

Determine Your Listing Price 

Price is the number one factor that most home buyers use in determining which homes to view. There are a multitude of factors that determine the asking price of your home. A residential specialist has the tools necessary to compute the fair market value of your house quickly and accurately while allowing for personal considerations. Based upon the current real estate market and comparable properties that have recently sold in your area, your REALTOR® will help you consider a list price for your home. The listing price is simply an amount that lets potential buyers know what you’re looking to receive; they can choose to offer you less, or best case scenario, offer you more!  

 

Understand the Offer Process 

Your real estate sales representative will present you with any offers received for your home. From there, you have a few options; you can choose to accept the offer as is, you can counter back to negotiate the details, or you can decline the offer altogether. Your agent will help you work through the process and the terms of each offer, but ultimately, the decision is yours when considering what is best for you and your family.  

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg for what to expect when listing your home, so it’s important to have support along the way. A qualified real estate professional's goals should be the same as yours; to get you the most amount of money possible, to sell your home as quickly as you can, and to make selling your home a pleasant and profitable experience for you. When you want to list your Comox Valley home for sale, the Bryce Hansen Team is ready to help – connect with us today! 

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 27, 2021

New Courtenay Listing 797B Park Place

Be sure to check out this new listing located in the heart of Downtown Courtenay. This Rancher style, wheelchair-friendly, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home is a perfect home for retirees or a first-time homebuyer. This immaculately duplex is located within walking distance of the driftwood mall, Rialto theatre, and many other local amenities. This home is located within a 10-minute drive to CFB Comox, downtown Comox, Cumberland, and 2 minutes to the inland island highway. 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
April 15, 2021

The Difference Between Fixed and Variable Mortgages

 

 

If you’re not familiar with the mortgage industry (don’t sweat it, many people aren’t), then you likely won’t know the details of how a fixed mortgage differs from a variable mortgage - and that’s okay, because today we’re going to help unpack what each of these mortgage loan options mean to you.  

 

This is actually one of the financial industry’s most frequently asked questions from clients: What are the key differences between a fixed and variable mortgage? There are a few main features to consider to make sure you’re choosing the best mortgage product for YOUR individual real estate needs. Let's take a look at each option below. 

 

FIXED RATE MORTGAGE 

The main difference between the rates of fixed loans versus variable loans is that a fixed rate mortgage has a set interest rate and predetermined payments for the duration of your term, regardless of what’s going on in the economy and with the ever changing rates. With that being the case, fixed rates typically equate to less risk, as you generally know what to expect.  

 

As well, each of your mortgage payments get put towards paying off the principal loan amount and the interest combined. How this works is that although your monthly payment remains the same, the percentage of each payment that gets applied to the principal amount and the interest owing varies as you pay down your mortgage. In the earlier years of a fixed rate mortgage, more of the monthly payment is allotted to interest, so don’t feel frustrated if you feel you’re not making a dent in the balance of the loan in years 1, 2 and 3. 

 

Clear as mud, right? Think of it this way: the loan amount and the interest amount actually have an inverse relationship; the interest you pay each month will slowly decrease as the principal loan gets paid down. 

 

VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE 

Variable interest rate mortgages correspond with the bank's prime rate; meaning the mortgage rate will change when the Bank of Canada modifies the overnight lending rate. So what causes the Bank of Canada to revise the rate? Well, it's shaped by the cost of borrowing for the major financial institutions in Canada. 

 

The way this works is that banks take the overnight lending rate and then adjusts a percentage to it; this amount is set by each individual bank, which ultimately determines your variable interest rate. This is the reason why your monthly mortgage payment could fluctuate over the term of your mortgage, depending on what’s happening with the prime rate from the central bank and what’s happening within the economy. Historically, variable interest rate mortgages have been lower than fixed rates, but many unique factors need to be considered. 

 

WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU? 

When choosing the best mortgage for your Comox Valley home, it will come down to personal and economic variables. Your tolerance to risk, your budget, your plan for how long you’ll stay in the home and current interest rates, among other things, all play a role in your decision. 

 

Having experienced these unprecedented times over the last year, it's important that you discuss fixed versus variable mortgage rates with a professional mortgage broker. If you have any questions, email bryce@brycehansenteam.com or call 250.702.6493  I’d be happy to connect you with professionals in the Courtenay area lending industry, and beyond, who best suit your unique needs. 

Posted in Buying a Home
April 5, 2021

5 Tips to Get Your Comox Valley Home Ready to List

 

 

There is usually a long list of tasks you could tackle to get your home ready for the Comox Valley spring real estate market, so let’s explore five in particular that should be at the top of your list of priorities since they can help you get the most bang for your buck.

 

When you take some additional time to focus on the following five tips prior to listing your property, it can improve your chances of maximizing your return on investment - and the overall revenue from the sale of your home.

 

GET FRESH WITH YOUR PAINT

A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to transform the space. Traditionally, using a neutral paint colour throughout your home allows the potential buyer to envision themselves living there, without the distraction of any wild colours or bold patterned accent walls they feel they’ll need to revise. If painting the entire home isn’t an option, focus on freshening up your larger main spaces, like the living room or kitchen, so those key areas appeal to a broader spectrum of preferences.

 

INVEST IN A MINI RENO

If you have the means of investing in a small renovation, focus on your bathroom and kitchen. If the new homeowner feels like they don’t have to take on an expensive remodeling project for either of these main spaces in the home, it can make all the difference in their interest of bringing forward an offer. For the bathroom, switching to a more modern vanity or light fixture could do the trick to update the feel, while in the kitchen simply painting the existing cabinets could bring the overall look back into the 21st century.

 

UPGRADE YOUR HARDWARE

You may be surprised to learn that swapping out older cupboard handles can deliver a great wow factor during showings of your home. More modern hardware (especially when paired with painting the cabinets, as mentioned above) can bring new life to your kitchen storage spaces and provide a fresh perspective.

 

FOCUS ON FUNCTIONALITY

Making sure everything in your home works the way it’s supposed to helps eliminate any red flags for a potential buyer. If your roof is leaking, your furnace is old, or the appliances are at the end of their life cycle, consider having these bigger ticket items taken care of ahead of time, so it doesn’t deter a strong offer from being submitted. Test the functionality of smaller items too, such as sticking door locks, loose hinges, and faulty faucets.

 

KICK UP THE CURB APPEAL

Now that you’ve conquered the inside of your home, you can bring your attention to the outside. It’s crucial to make a great first impression as the potential new homeowner pulls up to the property. Take the time to mow the lawn, tend to the garden, and make the porch look inviting. Some potted plants with bright flowers, a small sitting area (if space allows), or even a fun welcome mat can give that “welcome home” feeling that makes them fall in love right from the beginning.

 

If you’d like to learn more about getting your home ready for us to list it together, turn to your Comox Valley real estate professionals; The Bryce Hansen Team.

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 18, 2021

106-2525 Fitzgerald Ave- NEW LISTING

106-2525 Fitzgerald Ave

Posted in Buying a Home
March 15, 2021

6 Simple Steps for Prepping Your Spring Garden

 

 

The first day of spring is officially on March 20th this year, so it’s the perfect time to get your garden ready for those bulbs, blooms, and blossoms. One of the best things you can do to boost the curb appeal of your Comox Valley home is to maintain a great garden and enhance your landscaping. Here are six tips to prepare your home garden, so you’re good to go this spring.

 

Inspect Your Inventory

First off, begin your garden prep by inspecting what you have to work with. Depending on how this past winter affected your garden, you’ll want to take a quick inventory of what’s left. Are there perennials that need to be replaced? How many annuals will you need to fill the empty spaces? Are you considering flowers, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, or a mixture of each? Make sure you’re choosing plants that coincide with your garden’s growing conditions.

 

Prune Back Your Branches

Do you have some shrub branches that grew out of control last year? Now’s the time to prune them back for a fresh start prior to the greenery and buds growing. Make sure you trim the low hanging branches to make room for new growth.

 

Strengthen the Soil

Now that the branches are out of the way, you have a better idea of what you’re working with in terms of the condition of your soil and what kind of weeding needs to take place. Has grass begun to grow where it shouldn’t; are there prickly plants you need to get rid of? Grab a pair of gloves and get pulling! Once your weeding is complete, invest in some nutrient-rich soil to strengthen your chances of success.

 

Prep Your Plants

If you started seedlings back in February, you get to reap the rewards of your efforts now by transplanting them into your garden. Otherwise, use your inventory list above to plan out which perennials and annuals you’re going to plant and nurture further this season.

 

Mulch It Up

After your plants have found their new home, apply a layer of mulch that's 2” - 3” deep. Mulch provides some added protection to reduce weeds from poking through as easily. Mulch also reduces the loss of moisture in the soil because it blocks out the sun and stops the water from evaporating quickly.

 

Wake Them Up with Water

Once your plants are plentiful in your garden, make sure they’re watered well. You’ll want to ensure there’s a water source that you can easily hook your hose up to, so you don’t need to fill up a watering can multiple times. As a bonus money saving tip, utilize a rain barrel to store water for your garden!

 

Just like real estate, a successful garden is all about location! If your current garden isn’t thriving, consider moving it to a place in your yard that allows at least six hours of sun daily, as that provides optimal growing conditions. And speaking of moving, if you’re considering upgrading to a Courtenay area home that offers larger landscaping opportunities, reach out to the Bryce Hansen Team today at 250.702.6493.

Posted in Home Tips
March 1, 2021

5 Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Professional

 

 

Ready to begin the search for your perfect piece of Comox Valley real estate? Before you dive into hours of scrolling through homes for sale in the area, make sure you’ve obtained a mortgage pre-approval, so you have a realistic budget on hand to base your search off of.

 

Beginning your mortgage pre-approval can be a relatively quick process – sometimes as simple as filling out a form online. The ease of the application may depend on your financial history and the details needed to determine whether you can afford a property you’re interested in, as well as the level of risk of lending money to you. I won’t go too deep into the process, as it’s best to chat with a trusted mortgage professional, so instead, I’ll offer you these questions that you can ask your mortgage professional to ensure you’re doing your due diligence in educating yourself.

 

Which lender is best for my financial situation?

A mortgage broker is a licensed professional who has access to a diverse pool of lenders to find you an advantageous mortgage product. This means they’ll be able to shop the current market for you and negotiate the best mortgage for your individual needs. Alternatively, mortgage lenders work with a specific bank or financial institution which may be a benefit to you if you’d like to work with a branch or location that you know and trust.

 

Should I secure a fixed or variable loan?

Historically, variable interest rate mortgages have been lower than fixed rates. But with us currently experiencing unprecedented times, you’ll want to thoroughly review all your rate options with your mortgage broker.

 

How much should my down payment be?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need 20% as a down payment. Your mortgage professional will help you determine the best plan of action for the down payment amount that makes the most sense for your financial circumstances. Be aware that if your down payment is less than 20%, you will be subject to Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation fees.

 

Do the mortgage services cost me anything?

Typically, there is no fee for you to use a mortgage broker, as the broker gets paid by the lender or financial institution who ends up providing you with the mortgage product you choose. However, you will still want to ask this question, just to make sure there is no other arrangement you would be responsible for paying.

 

Is there a penalty for pre-payment?

Sometimes there are “hidden” fees if you attempt to make additional payments on your mortgage, so 

make sure you read all the fine print and ask your mortgage professional any additional questions that you need clarity on. If there is a penalty or additional fees, determine how much the penalty will be, what the terms are for the prepayment, as well as whether you’ll be charged a penalty if you choose to refinanced your mortgage in the future.

 

Once your pre-approval is in hand, we can begin the exciting journey of finding you the home that checks all the boxes on your list of must-have features! Give me a call at 250.702.6493 or shoot over an email to bryce@brycehansenteam.com for us to get started together.

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 16, 2021

Your Moving Day Checklist: Pet Edition How to Keep Your Pets Safe During a Move Pet Safety During Moving Day

 

 

Moving day is definitely an exciting time – but it can also be pretty stressful. And not just for you, but for your pet as well. Between the chaos of strangers in your home, the front door being open the majority of the time, and the loud noises of last minute boxes being taped and shuffled around, it can cause a lot of anxiety for animals.

 

Whether you have furry, feathered, and scaly friends, there are some things to consider before the big move. It takes some patience and understanding on your part to help protect them, so use these tips as a way to prepare ahead of time, so your pets stay safe and content on moving day.

 

Crates and Confinement

 

If your furry friend will need to be crated or stay in a particular room of the home during your move, make sure you get them used to that space beforehand. A couple weeks before moving day, start preparing them. For example, if they’ll be in a crate, add their favourite toy or blanket for added comfort – both physically and mentally – and praise them for the time spent in the crate, so they get excited to be in there. You can do the same thing if they’ll be staying in a spare room; but to get them more used to the area behind a closed door, sit with them in the room at first, then eventually allow them to be in the room on their own. Reward them for being calm (this is when your patience comes in handy). The more relaxed they are, the less likely there will be any injuries or accidents the day of the move.

 

Conversations with Your Vet

 

If your pet is prone to being anxious, there are a variety of options that can help keep them safe and composed. Depending on your vet’s recommendation, there is everything available from highly cognitive toys that can work as a distraction, to behavioural training, to medication that can assist with calming them down. You want to make sure you’re doing what’s best – and healthy – for your pet, so ensure you’ve checked with your vet before administering any kind of medicinal treatments.

 

Consider Stretching It Out

 

If you don’t have to move everything all in one day, breaking it down into chunks of time can help alleviate some of the stress on the animals. It actually might even be easier for you too if it’s stretched out over a week or so; smaller boxes could be moved first, then leading up to the larger items. If you’re hiring a moving company, moving some of the little things ahead of time could actually save you some money in the long run.  

 

Of course, one of the best ways to help ease your peace of mind in knowing that your pet will be safe during the entire process of your move is to have a trusted pet sitter to take them to a comfortable and fun environment until you’re settled and ready to let them roam free in your new home!

 

Are you considering making a move into a home that suits you better? Give the Bryce Hansen Team a call today at 250.702.6493; from helping you find your perfect Comox Valley home, to recommending services to keep your pets safe, we’ll work together to make your move as smooth as it can be!

Feb. 1, 2021

Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Comox Valley Home

 

 

Spring weather will be here before we know it – what a breath of fresh air to think about! And as the season turns, there are really only two main areas to consider when planning your spring home maintenance; the interior of your home and the exterior of your home. 

 

But let’s get real; as a homeowner, you know it’s not quite as simple as that though, is it? Both of these areas encompass a variety of recommended tasks that should be completed to help manage the overall maintenance of your Comox Valley home. Get yourself organized with these top spring maintenance tips!

 

Inspect the Interior of Your Home

The best way to begin your interior inspection is to do a thorough spring cleaning. Yes, a lot of people dread this part of the season, but it’s important to be able to properly see what you’re examining. For example, it’s pretty hard to check out your plumbing if the pipes have cobwebs hanging off them! This is your time to shine – or at least to make your house shine. Conquer those forgotten chores, like your dusting your baseboards, behind your washer and dryer, and those tough to reach areas that you often overlook.

 

Once your house is spic and span, the interior investigation can commence. You’ll want to review spaces such as your attic and basement – especially to notice if there’s any moisture, drafts or temperature changes in any part of these areas, as this could mean you’re in need of repairs or extra insulation. You’ll also want to check items like your air conditioner, water tank, and plumbing for any leaks or cracks. We recommend taking a notepad or clipboard through the house with you, marking down tasks you notice during your full inspection.

 

Examine the Exterior of Your Home

When it comes to examining your home’s exterior, there are eight key zones you’ll want to keep a close eye on; 1) chimney/vents, 2) roof, 3) gutters, 4) siding, 5) walls, 6) foundation, 7) windows, and 8) doors. Getting a comprehensive analysis of these items will provide you with a good picture of how well your home is holding up to the outdoor Canadian elements. Aside from the physical attributes of your home, it’s also a good idea to scan your lawn, deck, patio furniture, and barbeque in case any issues have popped up during the winter.

 

You may want to call in the professionals to give your home a once-over as well, just to make sure you haven’t missed anything that their trained eye may pick up on. When it comes to the critical inner and outer workings of your property, you can never be too careful!

 

Now that your home is in tip top shape, it may have the wheels turning in your mind about what your house is worth on the Courtenay area real estate market. I’m happy to help you answer that question; contact me today for a free Comparative Market Analysis, where I’ll help you determine a listing price range to capitalize on the fair market value in your neighbourhood.

Posted in Home Tips