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I am trying to stay out of political debate. It isn’t that I don’t have opinions, I do, it’s that I am tired of regurgitating the same lines time after time.  There is a debate in every corner of our lives right now and I am finding it increasingly demoralizing.

Squirrel! (Read Shiney Object Syndrome)  There goes the Hop-on Hop-off bus by my office window!  It’s another harbinger of spring. Downtown has been really busy this week with visitors and locals alike...

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There is so much going on in the Real Estate Industry right now that I thought I might give you an overview of some of the changes coming our way. I will TRY to give it to you straight, without forcing my opinion upon you (maybe just a bit!). Some of the changes are good, some irritating, and some are downright ridiculous. I do love a good exchange of ideas so if you feel like getting together to have a hash-out, give me a call and we’ll go for coffee!

 

  • As you probably already know...
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Aging at home…more and more clients are calling with the desire to improve their quality of life and to create ease of access and mobility while maintaining their independence, in their homes. Here are a few tips and design ideas to consider if you or a loved one is aging at home.

 

Mobility:

 

When addressing the interior of a space, function is at the top of the list. When I am called in to consult with a client on aging at home, I look to minimize how many steps it...

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Tabby Disclaimer

A Short Disclaimer of Tabitha THE CAT (Don’t call me Tabby)

 


I’m the Supervisor of the woodworking shop that has the Guy With The Opposable Thumbs who does all the work while I get the credit. That’s a very Catly arrangement. I also write the occasional snippet for my buddy Aileen. Well, I don’t actually write, I wait until the Guy’s not around and I use his computer.

 

Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge because I have to use two paws...

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Two of the basics that are required for every real estate transaction


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  I was doing an information session on buying and selling

 

 ...

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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 buyer?

  • Can I negotiate...

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It’s the season of love and as I am writing this we have had four days in a row of sunshine! What’s not to love in this beautiful place when the sun is shining. Okay, I don’t really mind the rain, it just seems that we had such a continuous amount of it in January that I was ready to buy a boat. It's time to shift away from that gloomy month and move on to better things, or thinks! Spring is in the air, even if it is still a month away, and it seems that everyone has a renewed...

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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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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...

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As an independent contractor working in the real estate industry, I have chosen to work with the Engel & Volkers Vancouver Island, a brokerage with an international presence. What 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 their most important financial asset.


It is a challenge being a real estate professional. In a great way! You run your own business and that entails all aspects of a co...

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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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We talk a lot about “Concierge Services”. I like to think that what I offer to my clients is just that, a concierge service. Concierge used to refer to the caretaker of an apartment who would direct traffic visitors, mail, etc. and then segued into the person who takes care of guests’ special requests in some high-end hotels.

 

In the real estate industry, concierge usually refers to representatives that offer a full roster of services to their clients. For me, concierge...

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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 and food?   It’s actually...

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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...

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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...

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My daughters are at that delicate age; ready to buy their first home! In Victoria this year, it isn’t an easy task. Prices are rising and the demand for properties far outweighs the supply.

 

As you can imagine, I’m working on it! As a first time buyer, there are things you can do to make the task a little easier. Make like a scout and be prepared!

 

The first priority is to get your financing in order. There isn’t any point in looking at properties that are...

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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...

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I was hosting an open house the other day and had an interesting chat with a customer from Calgary.

When I asked him if he was working with a realtor he responded by asking, “Are you one of those realtors that just send me lists of what’s new? I can’t keep up with looking at them!” What this customer is talking about is the auto-email process.

 

The realtor can enter your search parameters and when a new listing pops up that fits that criteria, you get an email!...

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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 contributes to the amount...

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The New Year’s always brings that challenge of a new beginning.  I am not sure whether to embrace or ignore a “new” me!  Life is good. My children are healthy, my grandbaby turns one this month, and we live in the sweetest place on the planet! And, the icing on the cake, I have the best job in the world!

Every day I get to work with people who want to change their living arrangements, and its my job to facilitate that change! Whether it’s upsizing to make room for...

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