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I have been asked quite a few times over the last couple of weeks, “why change brokerages?”  It certainly wasn’t about the wonderful friendships and relationships made, or the successful start to a great new career.  In the end, it comes down to what feeds your inner heart; and I Dare to be Different! The last couple of weeks at Engel & Volkers has confirmed that this was a good decision, for my career and for my spirit.

 

Their attention to detail leaves...

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My sister and I are ahead of the Spring clean-up! We have both been inspired to upgrade our furniture, refresh our paint, put in floors, buy new appliances, clean out garages, etc. We have gone back and forth to each other’s houses to assist in the individual projects. It’s been a lot of fun sharing chores and design ideas. Many hands make light work!

What is it about this time of year that inspires us to clean out the closets, wash the windows and do all those annual jobs that we have...

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Where do we live?  We have these great homes that encompass our possessions and our way of life; but where do we really live.  Where is the control center of the home?  I think it’s the kitchen!  The kitchen is where we prepare meals to share with family and friends, and life revolves around food and drink! Have you ever thrown a party where half the crowd takes over the kitchen and as host you push past the guests to pass around drinks...

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The reason I ask is because I have some advice to share. It’s about staging your home. The idea, of course, of having multitudes of people walk through your home is to sell it! As a Realtor®, I am in and out of homes on a regular basis, and it is quite rare to walk into a home and see one that is staged to sell.

 

 

I get it. I love the way my home is arranged and think it is fabulous. If visitors don't care for my furniture and accessory arrangements, well, they don't have to...

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It is already nearing the end of February! We seem to have survived the winter snows, although perhaps I should hold my tongue and see what March brings. Hopefully, it will be buds, greenery, sunshine and archways of pink blossoms. Ever the eternal optimist!



 

January brought mixed reports from across the nation on the real estate industry. Prices are up, oh wait, they are down here! The mean sale price is this, oh wait, let’s take these cities out and the mean price is this! Mortgage...
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The curious and entertaining quirk to Victoria (albeit occasionally frustrating) is that no one street seems to keep the same name as it travels through the district!  Check out Fort Street which turns into Cadboro Bay Road which turns into Telegraph Road.  My favourite, though, is Dallas Road, which turns into Hollywood Crescent, which turns into Crescent Road, becomes King George Terrace, into Beach Drive which eventually turns into Cadboro Bay Road!

 

As quirky and charming...

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As I lay in bed last night, luxuriating in the feeling of comfort around me, it occurred to me that when it comes to going to bed, we are strange creatures!  I just added a sheepskin mattress cover to my bed, followed by crisp, cotton sheets and the absolute necessity of my feather pillows.  I need to be able to smoosh them up to fit around my neck.  Ahhhh, comfort!  


We all seem to have habits and conditions that suit our individuality to create just the right atmosphere...

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If you have been thinking about selling your home, perhaps you have been toying with the idea of trying to sell it yourself to save paying a commission to a REALTOR®. However, when you consider the amount of time needed to market your home along with the costs of advertising and other incidentals, you may be surprised to discover that not only are you unlikely to save much, it will also likely take much longer to sell your home privately.


There is also the chance that you may not get as...

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As an independent contractor working in the real estate industry, I chose to work with the Re/Max Camosun group. When you look at their local statistics they are continually above the rest, just like the balloon says! Globally, Re/Max has more representation than any other real estate group. What all this means to my clients is that they have access to a wider audience and more resources available to them whether they are buying or selling.


It is a challenge being a real estate professional. In a...

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It's Not Just an Asset! As realtors, we want to look at a person’s house as a product. We come in, walk around, review the value with other, similar houses in the neighbourhood and declare a listing price. We are, after all, sales people, and our task is to sell your home. Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder!

 

Sellers of houses have a different value system for their homes. This is where they have loved, raised a family, grown a garden, celebrated, commiserated, and LIVED!...

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I grew up in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kerrisdale. It’s a community of quiet, tree-lined streets; an easy walk to the shops or the community center. It always felt like a Goldilocks kind of place; it was JUST RIGHT!

 

Coming to Victoria twenty five years ago was a big change for our young family. And then I found Oak Bay and fell in love! It felt so much like home to wander the tree-lined streets with their eclectic mix of architecture. The twisted limbs of the Gary Oaks created...

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Arghh! You’ve just bought your first house and you sit down with your notary or your lawyer and they bring out the statement of adjustments. What? What’s this cost? Why do I have to pay that cost? Alright, maybe many of you haven’t experienced this, but these were the words that came out of my mouth during the transaction on my first home. I had no idea of the extra costs involved!

 

Yes, you can call it naivety or inexperience, but I call it poor guidance on the part...

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One of the great envies of my life is the long-time homeowner. When I speak to owners who have lived in their homes for over twenty years, I tend to feel a clench in my heart. I think of the stories their homes have experienced; the joys, the sorrows, the fun……..the continuity!

 

I think of my friends who grew up in the same house and had that childhood experience of HOME; this is where I live, this is what I can count on, this is where we keep the cereal, this is where the dog...

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None of us can afford to gamble with what has probably been the largest single investment we make, our homes. However, it is surprising that some people are willing to take that chance. Selling a home without the help of a REALTOR® is not as easy as it may appear to the uninitiated.


Ask yourself the following: 


  • Do I know my home’s true market value? 
  •  Am I aware of the legal “ins and outs”? 
  •  Can I arrange suitable financing? 
  • Can I qualify a potential...
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2016 was quite a ride in the real estate industry! This year I am hoping for smooth sailing rather than the roller coaster ride of the last year.

I just opened my letter from BC Assessment and the assessed value of my condo has gone up $50,000. Is that good news or bad news? Is the assessment a true reflection of market value? Last year’s stats suggest that assessed value hasn’t much bearing on what a property is selling for. Market value is whatever the market is willing to pay for a ...

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When you work in an industry you develop a blind side. You develop a wealth of knowledge that is particular to that industry and that's where we tend to go wrong! We assume that those outside the industry have much the same working knowledge that we do and often forget to pass on the basic information.

 

This truly came to light the other night when Lisa and I were doing an information session on buying and selling your home. The things that we take for granted that everyone knows is where...

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BC Home Partnership Loans to help first time home buyers Premier Christy Clark this morning announced a new program designed to support first time homebuyers.

 

Meeting the press today, Clark referred to the difficulty first time home buyers experience saving up a down payment. While many first time home buyers qualify for a mortgage, they can't assemble funds required for their initial down payment.

 

The BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program...

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Now usually, snow can instill feelings of excitement and generate a sense of anticipation of holidays to come; however this year it signifies all the things I CANT do!  Let it rain!  Cancelled parties, cancelled visits to friends outside the city, cancelled showings for clients, the list goes on! I am becoming the Grinch of Snow!

 

Please, don't even get me started on the drivers here in Victoria when it comes to snow, and I am just as bad as everyone else!  No snow tires,...

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Boy, oh boy! Real estate professionals have really been taking a beating over the last few months. I am sure in some cases it is warranted; there are poor professionals in every industry. We have heard about the malpractice of dentists, doctors, home care workers, nurses, and financiers overstepping their boundaries, making mistakes, causing bodily harm and financial ruin. Maybe it is just our turn to be on the chopping block.

 

The latest CBC Marketplace segment has caused a great deal...

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October 3 2016, Victoria, BC


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A total of 781 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared to the 704 properties sold in September last year. Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,061 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 3,478 active listings at the end of September 2015.

 

"This is the lowest level...

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