We are thrilled to be the title sponsors for the second year in a row for the YANA Valley Vonka and the Hot Chocolate Factory fundraiser. YANA or You Are Note Alone is a local non-profit society that helps families with children under 19 and pregnant mothers receive funding and accommodations when travelling outside of their community for medical care. 


YANA was founded in 1986 by Sandra Williams, a mother who faced both emotional and financial devastation while caring for her sick child who needed treatment at BC Children’s Hospital. YANA works to ensure families are supported in their time of need and help provide financial support so the families can stay focused on their child’s wellbeing.


In 2018 we were able to raise $8,000 for YANA, this year we have raised our goal to $10,000 and we’re sure we can reach this goal within our wonderful community! Starting the first week of April there will be 2,000 locally made Hot Chocolate chocolate bars for sale. We have not set a price for the chocolate bars, but if everyone could contribute at least $5, we know we’ll meet our $10,000 goal in no time. 


Now here’s the most exciting part… Hidden inside 5 of these chocolate bar wrappers there will be a golden ticket and an amazing prize! Prizes range in value from $700 to $3,500. Prizes include a family pass to Mount Washington, a family spa day at the Old House Resort & Spa followed by dinner at Locals, a family getaway to Black Rock in Ucluelet, a $1,000 gift certificate to the Kingfisher Resort or a two VIP passes to the Landmark Cinema for a year! 


We hope you’ll all take part in the Valley Vonka fundraiser this year! Good luck, and thank you to everyone for supporting such an incredible cause with us!

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The beautiful Mount Washington Alpine Resort in the Comox Valley is the perfect recreation spot for everyone in the family. The mountain boasts over 3 metres of snow on 1,700 acres of terrain including 505 metres of vertical terrain! The mountain offers activities like ski school, a tube park and even night skiing. 


Whether you’re worn out after a long day of outdoor activity or just starting your day, there are plenty of food options available. Start at the Raven Lodge, Alpine Lodge Café or Eagle View Bistro for breakfast and coffee, you can even return in the afternoon for a quick snack or lunch. If you’re looking to spend as much time on the slopes as possible, hit the Marmot Express for a speedy lunch right on the lower level of the Alpine Lodge. When you’re finished for the day and looking to unwind, visit Ted’s Bar & Grill. Ted’s offers craft beer on tap, cocktails and casual pub food. On weekends Ted’s is open late with their house band and DJ keeping everyone entertained and dancing with music starting at 9:30pm. 


If you’re in need of some new gear or if you’re staying on the mountain and need some grocery items, there are various shops to ensure you have everything you need to have a comfortable stay. The Corner Store carries all the day-to-day essentials like produce, snacks, frozen foods and of course… beer and wine! If you’re in the market for skiing equipment check out Outdoor Elements or Raven Retail. These retailers offer top of the line gear and accessories!

 

In addition to downhill skiing and tubing, there are also 55 kilometres of cross-country ski trails, 25 kilometres of snowshoeing trails and even the new Fat Bike… that’s right, bike riding in the snow! Not a fan of the snow? That’s okay! Mount Washington is now operating on a 4-season model. The mountain biking park is being re-vamped, a 2.3 kilometre zip line is being installed and finally, trampoline bungee jumping. We can’t wait to see what summer 2019 brings to Mount Washington Resort! 

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When working with clients who are searching for the home of their dreams in the Comox Valley we like to set them up for the Private Client Service, most commonly known as the PCS. We’d like to outline the amazing benefits that the PCS offers to clients and realtors alike and show you how this tool could have an immense impact on your home buying experience.


Once a client has expressed interest in buying a home we like to get them set up on the PCS. We take all of our client’s criteria and enter it into the PCS. We can filter through homes based on price, location, size, type of home, etc. We are also able to adjust the criteria as needed throughout the buying process! Now that the client has a profile on the PCS they will start to receive notifications of new listings that fit their exact criteria. Clients can choose to receive an email each time a new home has been listed or they can log in and check on their own terms. They are also able to see every price change, sale (and sale price) and re-listing that fits within their search criteria. By using the PCS you ensure that you are seeing new listings before they are publicly listed on the MLS. This gives our clients an advantage over others who are relying on viewing listings on real estate websites that may be delayed by a day or two. 


We encourage our clients to sort the properties they have viewed on the PCS so we can be aware of which homes are of interest to them. Clients can sort the listings into “favourites” or “removed” folders on the PCS. This allows us to see which homes you have interest in so we can arrange showings, look for similar homes or just keep our ears open for any updates that we may hear regarding that property. Once we have found you your dream home you will likely have no interest in viewing properties that fit your search criteria any longer. If that is the case all you have to do to remove yourself from receiving PCS updates is hit “unsubscribe”.  


It really is a no-brainer; the PCS is an incredible tool to use throughout your home buying experience. And for extra peace of mind, you can be assured that all of your personal information and search criteria is kept 100% confidential. We hope this has helped you gain a better understanding of the benefits of the Private Client Service. If you’d like to begin your home buying journey with us, give us a call! We’d love to help you find your new home in the Comox Valley.

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Crown Isle is an 831-acre residential golf community in Courtenay on Vancouver Island. This resort and golf community was established in the early 1990’s and offers a family-friendly environment and year round outdoor enjoyment. The community is built around an 18-hole championship golf course that is open year round for golfers of every skill level. Crown Isle has something for everyone, offering condominiums, patio homes, single family ranchers and fairway estates. In addition to residential properties, Crown Isle is home to commercial complexes including Costco and the Thrifty’s Shopping Plaza. The Crown Isle community is conveniently located near all the amenities that Comox Valley has to offer, such as kayaking, fishing, hiking and skiing – just to name a few.


On top of the variety of new turn-key and re-sale homes on the property, there are now over 150 new residential real estate lots available, both on and off the fairway. Homes by Crown Isle is a premier home builder in the area. Their team can design and construct new homes as well as manage renovation projects at your existing home. The West Coast style building guidelines of the community ensures consistency and quality while keeping within the overall Crown Isle vision and maintaining property values. Furthermore, the resort facility offers an array of amenities including an 88-room hotel, The Pro Shop, a fitness centre, The Timber Room Bar & Grill, as well as banquet rooms and meeting spaces. 


On top of providing an incredible environment for retirees and young families alike, Crown Isle is committed to having a positive impact on their community. The Resort has contributed to many local organizations with in-kind donations and charity events. These organizations include Comox Valley Food Bank, PGA Golfathon for ALG and Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, for a full list of organizations click here.


Are you interested in living in this picturesque resort community? We would love to help you pursue your dreams and find you that perfect plot of land or the home you’ve always wanted at Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community. Give us a call or send us an email if you’d like to discuss buying or selling, or if you’d like more information on this stunning resort community.

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Many buyers are interested in obtaining a property with a suite so they can take advantage of the rental income potential. Though it may seem like a no-brainer, there are some factors to consider before purchasing a home with an income-producing suite. We had the pleasure of sitting down with John Hudey, a mortgage specialist with RBC. John was able to answer some of our questions surrounding rental suites, allowing us to better assist our clients.


An advantage of purchasing a home that has potential to produce rental income is you can often use that rental suite income to offset the cost of qualifying for the property. A maximum of 50% of the suite income can be used to help clients offset the additional costs of the home. In order to include the rental income in your mortgage approval, the bank will require a full appraisal so they can verify the rental value that will be used in the calculation of the offset. Another important thing to consider when seeking out a home with a rental suite is that the suite must be legal in order to use the rental income in your mortgage application. Having an illegal suite in your home can cause issues down the road. If bylaw officials are notified of an illegal suite they can have your suite decommissioned, leaving you without the additional income that was used to acquire your mortgage.


On top of rental income and mortgage applications, we recommend that our clients consider the other implications of becoming a landlord in British Columbia. There are many rules and regulations put in place for landlords to follow. If these rules are not abided by you could end up having to compensate your tenants for up to 12 months of rent. In order to avoid any potential issues, we encourage you to read through the BC Tenancy Laws and Rental Agreements. This will help you understand the full scope of what being a landlord in British Columbia entails. 


If you are looking to purchase an income-producing property or are still weighing out your options – give us a call! We’d love to assist in this exciting new endeavour in your life. 

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When looking at a property, there are two notations that you might notice on title. One is a right of way and the second is an easement, both of which are terms often used interchangeably. However these two terms have different meanings when it comes to the use of your property.


Most properties in town have right of ways registered on title. This allows the installation of services like water, gas and cable on your property and neighbouring properties. These access points can be found anywhere on the property, but are usually found along the front of the property closest to the street. On the title of said property you will see exactly where the right of way is found and what the restrictions involved are. Having a right of way on your land is generally not an issue and will not limit the use or enjoyment you have of your property. That being said, it is good to be aware of the right of way restrictions, especially when it comes to building a shop or another building on your property – these may encroach on the right of way.


Easements are the second most common note found on title of homes in urban areas. An easement gives someone the right to cross your property for access. This is commonly seen when properties have a shared driveway. Again, easements are not detrimental to the use of your property; however there may be restrictions that you should be aware of before making your purchase. 


There is no need to panic when an easement or right of way is listed on the title of a property. It’s important to review the title and any accompanying documents to ensure you are making an informed decision about buying a property with an easement or right of way. Of course we are always happy to guide you through this process and help you make the best choice for you and your family! 


If you are looking for real estate professionals to assist you in finding your dream home or selling your current home we are here to help! With our combined experience and expertise we make it our goal to make your home buying and selling experience as seamless and stress-free as possible! We’d love to hear from you, give us a call or visit the contact us page of our website for more details!

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Michele Courtney began her real estate career in the Cariboo region of British Columbia in 2005. As a former teacher, Michele immediately developed a passion for working in real estate. Michele believes that many of the traits that helped her succeed as a teacher also help her maintain her top performer status in the real estate industry. Her compassion and strong communication skills help her empathize and understand her clients, allowing her to develop a strong bond with everyone she works with.


In 2010 Michele moved back to the Island where she was born and raised and quickly began achieving top levels of sales achievements with the RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty team. Michele has since achieved the designation of Seniors Real Estate Specialist. She enjoys working closely with families to help make leaving the family home as easy of a transition as possible. She is also a member of Brookfield Global Relocation Service Providers, helping clients with tight and challenging timelines find homes that will fit their family’s needs.


Bill Anglin retired after a 25-year career with the Canadian Air Force. Due to Bill’s military experience, he is extremely familiar with the challenges families face when relocating, especially from a distance with very short timelines. Bill is passionate about his community, taking on a leadership role as a Councilor for the City of Courtenay as well as a Comox Valley Regional District Director. In addition, Bill has served Vice Chair of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce. Bill’s in depth knowledge of the local real estate market, zoning bylaws and land use rules make him a great asset to his team and an amazing resource for his clients.


In addition to his work in real estate, Bill is an extremely active volunteer in his community. Bill is the Vice President of the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, Director of the United Way Central & North Vancouver Island, a board member of the Sid William's Theatre Society and also Chairs the Comox Valley Destination Marketing Committee. 


As a pair, Michele and Bill are able to offer their clients an exceptional real estate buying and selling experience. Their clients love that they always have two realtors at the ready to assist them. Regardless of the time of day or season, Michele and Bill’s clients will always have their real estate needs met. When listing a property Michele and Bill prepare separate market evaluations, this allows the two to compare their results and settle on the best price for their client. Bill’s thrives working with numbers and analyzing data while Michele uses her communication skills to better understand their clients needs and explain the buying and selling process. These differing skill sets make Michele and Bill a perfect and well rounded team, always striving to exceed their client’s expectations.


Now that you know a bit about The Courtney and Anglin Real Estate Group, they’d love to get to know you. Please reach out through email or phone if you are looking to buy or sell or if you have any questions regarding local real estate!



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We recently took a look at the Comox Valley real estate market in an episode of Real Estate TV, the numbers are in! It can be useful to look at market updates to help us understand what’s going on with housing. It can also be confusing if you’ve never looked at one before. So, what does the Comox Valley real estate market have to say?


The Comox Valley real estate market is well into the buyers end of things, with our latest update showing about 7.3 months of single family home inventory. You may be wondering what that last part means. In real estate, we use single family home inventory to give us an idea of what the market Is trending towards. It’s a measure of how many listings are available. More months of inventory means the market is trending towards buyers, and fewer months of inventory means the market is trending towards sellers. In other words, fewer listings means sellers will have more buyers making offers, and more listings means buyers have lots of choice.


As it turns out, listings tell us a lot more than just whether the market is favouring buyers or sellers. Taking a look at our listings can tell us the home prices selling most often, how long they’re taking to sell and how many are selling in total. In 2018, the homes that sold the most were the ones in the 501-700k range. In December, homes were selling slower compared to the previous month and to the same month in 2017. This makes sense, as December is generally a slower month, and buyers now have more options to choose from.


We can also take a look at different listing categories to see what the market is up to.  For example, attached town homes in December were averaging a sale price of $378,500, up from November as well as December 2017. On the other hand, the selling price of detached homes was averaging $516,100, down from the previous month as well as in December 2017. The HPI benchmark price in December was $508,100.


If you’re wondering what an HPI (Home Price Index) benchmark price is in real estate, look no further. Based on MLS® listings, the MLS® HPI benchmark price in real estate is the price for a typical property in that market. It’s a little bit more accurate than a basic average, but it’s not intended to predict the value of any one specific property. It does, however, provide a pretty good picture of prices in a particular area, such as the Comox Valley. Fun fact: 35 years ago, in 1983, the average sales price of the same kind of home was $58,300 and took 95 days to sell. In 2018, the average was $539,900 and took only 35 days to sell!


Market updates are a useful tool in real estate, and Comox Valley real estate is no different. It’s always helpful to see where the market is going. Want to know how we can sell your home? Looking to buy a property in the Comox Valley? We’d be thrilled to talk with you.  Call us today!

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Now that it’s January, many people are starting to think about purchasing a home. Whether you buy this month, next month, or a few months down the road, there’s a few things you may want to consider before you start your home search. We sat down recently with John Hudey, an RBC mortgage specialist, to get the inside story on mortgage preapprovals.


Being pre-approved is commonly heard in real estate, but what’s the big deal? And what does it mean? Being pre-approved for a mortgage means that the bank or lender that you’re working with has checked out your credit history, along with looking at your income and the size of your down payment. Because of these things, your lender has said that you may be a good fit for a mortgage. While this may sound the same as pre-qualification, make sure not to get the two mixed up. Pre-approval takes it a step farther, since your lender has checked out actual documentation regarding your finances, rather than a brief screening. Though being pre-approved is not providing a guaranteed mortgage, it does help you in a number of ways.


The pre-approval process usually comes with an approximate amount for how much of a mortgage is affordable, given your current circumstances. This gives you a great starting point for what homes you should be looking at, as it narrows down your purchase point. It’s one of the most important reasons to get pre-approved before you start shopping, since it saves you time while preventing you from falling in love with a property out of your price range. Being pre-approved also helps you plan your finances, as it will give you an estimate of what your mortgage payments may look like.


Sometimes pre-approval can also give you better chances when submitting an offer to a seller. It helps to show them that you are serious about buying, as well as having the means to follow through on the offer you put in. In the event of multiple offers, pre-approved buyers have the advantage compared to buyers with no pre-approval. Given the choice between a buyer with no obvious way to follow through on an offer and a buyer who’s had a lender look into their finances, most sellers will choose the latter.


So what do you need to do to get pre-approved? After you’ve made an appointment with a mortgage specialist, you’ll need to bring your tax returns for the two most recent years, as well as income verification. Bring your most recent paystubs, and documentation verifying the amount of your down payment too. If you’re self employed, you may need to bring your full 2-year tax history and you may be asked to provide your corporate tax returns as well.


Going through the pre-approval process can help you speed up your home buying journey. You can show buyers you’re ready to make the purchase and it helps you narrow down what houses you can afford. Are you ready to make a purchase? Just finished your pre-approval process? We’d love to help you find your perfect home. Call us today!

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Fireplaces seem to be an iconic part of the winter season. They’re one of the coziest ways to warm up in the winter time, and they’re a sentimental part of many holiday memories too.  This makes them particularly attractive in real estate. Whether you’re looking at a home with a wood stove or a natural gas fireplace, here are a few things to consider for insurance and safety purposes.


While fireplaces are generally sought after, they carry extra risk for home safety. If you are successful in purchasing a property with a fireplace, you will need to inform your insurance provider that the home has a fireplace installed. You may have to pay extra to insure a home with a fireplace, so it’s something you’ll want to ask about when you’re shopping for home insurance.


Most insurance companies will require a WETT inspection, which stands for Wood Energy Technology Transfer. WETT inspections are designed to promote safe use of fireplaces. There are different levels of inspection, so check with your insurance provider to make sure you’re getting the right level of inspection for their coverage.

The inspection itself will check for dents, obstructions, and anything else that will prevent your fireplace from operating safely. Home inspectors are not required to look for defects in the chimney, so you will need to hire a qualified chimney inspector separately unless your home inspector has their WETT certification. If you already own a home and are thinking about having a fireplace installed, you should also notify your insurance provider and get your fireplace properly inspected. Failing to do so can void your coverage, should anything happen to your property as a result of the fireplace.


Another thing to think about when you’re looking at a property with a fireplace is yearly maintenance. Depending on your insurance provider, you may need a yearly inspection to continue insuring your property, but even if your provider doesn’t, it’s still a good idea. Fireplaces, especially wood burning ones, can easily build up creosote, which is a main cause of chimney fires. A yearly inspection can catch build up before it becomes a hazard.

Some insurance companies may also require carbon monoxide or smoke detectors to be installed in your home as well. Plan to install these in your home and check the batteries regularly, whether your insurance company requires it or not. Carbon monoxide has no taste, smell, or colour, and it’s deadly, so having detectors in your home can save your life if your fireplace malfunctions. 


Having a fireplace can make a wonderful, charming addition to a property, provided you take the right steps to protect your investment. Making sure that your fireplace is properly inspected and insured will allow you to enjoy it safely when you need to cozy up. Following yearly maintenance will help keep your property safe for years to come. Interested to know what your home is worth? Looking to buy in the Comox Valley? We’d love to help you find your dream home. Contact us today!


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During our Christmas Cash Contest, we asked you what you would like to see in future episodes of Real Estate TV. Our participants had some wonderful suggestions! Thank you to all our entrants, and congratulations to our winners! We hope that you had enjoyed spending your extra Christmas Cash! The winning entries requested information on home inspections, regulatory changes in the BC Real Estate market, and rights-of-way and easements on titles.

It has been our pleasure to show you some of what we do as real estate agents, as well as some of our favourite places in the Comox Valley. This year we have covered a wide variety of topics in our Real Estate TV episodes. The real estate industry is host to many legislative requirements and it’s also subject to regulations and bylaws that may vary depending on the location of the property. Buying a house, or selling one, involves plenty of ins-and-outs that we’ve enjoyed discussing on our episodes.


One of the topics we’ve discussed was insurance for various situations, including while you’re away for extended vacations and the different types of insurance needed for condos. We’ve also looked at regulations for properties adjacent to sensitive fish habitat, what to check for when building a shop, and even the details on stigmatized properties. Another thing we enjoyed doing with this year’s episodes was showing you our favourite places in the Valley and touring some of our properties with you. It’s been a fun year sharing these episodes with you and we’re excited to continue with Real Estate TV in 2019.


The real estate market itself has been an interesting one in 2018. The housing market has been hot in recent years, and 2018 started off this way. It was expected to moderate itself this year, and we’ve started to see that happen. Some of this is due a result of the extreme expansion we’ve seen. That level of growth is unsustainable long-term, so the market will balance itself to a certain point. Some of the cooling is also because of government intervention. We’ve seen several policies put in place to help slow it down a bit, including new taxes for foreign buyers, and new mortgage regulations.  However, on the whole, prices compared to last year are still up across Vancouver Island.

In 2019, the real estate market is expected to continue correcting itself. According to real estate predictions, prices are not expected to drop, but overall sales are expected to slow down, compared to previous years. This may present an opportunity for buyers, as there will be less competition for properties.


 If you’re planning to sell your house in 2019, one of the best things you can do is make sure your home is for sale at the right price. Pricing is an important part of any property for sale, but with lower demand expected, it will be even more important. Want to see what your home is worth? Thinking of buying in the Comox Valley?  Give us a call!

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The Family Film Series, hosted by the Sid Williams Theatre Society, is a great way to chase away the winter blues! We are pleased to sponsor this fun family event for another year! Truly family friendly, the two remaining films include an intermission. This means that you don’t have to worry about your kids getting the wiggles half way through the movie. The afternoon is guaranteed fun for everyone. In fact, there may even be some characters from the film at the theatre! Admission is pay what you can by donation, so it’s affordable too. Both of the remaining screenings for the season are during the afternoon, so there’s also plenty of time to get home for dinner when you’re done! If you missed the first film in the series, The Polar Express, don’t worry! There are two more great films headed your way!


The next film in the series is The Lorax. If this will be your first time seeing it, you’re in for a treat! This wonderfully adapted Dr. Seuss classic tells a tale about a creature called the Lorax, who speaks for the trees. Filled with wonderful songs, vivid and playful visual effects, charming characters, and even a little romance, it’s sure to be a pleaser. Come join us on Sunday, January 20 at 2:00pm for this quirky and delightful movie. The movie is long enough to include an intermission, so the full event will run for about 2 hours, still leaving you plenty of time to get home for dinner. If you need a sneak peek, the trailer’s pretty cute too.


The last film in the Family Film Series is Horton Hears A Who. This much-loved story follows an elephant named Horton. Having discovered a tiny city called Who-Ville on a little speck of dust, he sets out to save the town. The classic Dr. Seuss tale sends a clear message about the importance of being a person, regardless of size, and is loved by young and old alike. This movie also has an intermission and should run approximately 2 hours. Before you join us, check out the trailer! This movie will be shown on Sunday, February 3, at 2:00pm. Bring your kids, bring your friends, and get ready for a great afternoon!


Whether your kids are almost grown up or still little, come join us for these two great movies! For more specifics, check out the Sid Williams Theatre Society’s website, or follow our Facebook or Instagram page for a timely reminder! This event is just one of the many great opportunities the Comox Valley has to offer. If you are thinking of moving to the Comox Valley, give us a call! We would love to help you find the right place to call home in our beautiful community. If you are already a part of the Comox Valley, but want to know what your home is worth in this busy market, give us a shout. Contact us today!

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Christmas Cash Contest


It’s been almost a year since we started our Real Estate TV episodes, and in celebration, we’re hosting a Christmas Cash Contest! Christmas is one of those times where everyone could use a little extra cash, so we’re giving away FOUR $100 Visa® Gift cards. That’s right, four! Even better, we’ve got more than one way to win those gift cards! We’ll get to the details, but before we do, make sure you’re following our Facebook page. A complete set of rules, terms, and conditions is available on our Facebook page in the info section. The contest ends at 11:59pm on Thursday, November 29, 2018!


We’ve got two ways for you to win that Christmas Cash!


Christmas Cash Contest: Chance #1!

Our first chance for you to win is by liking and sharing our contest video. You’ll then be entered to win a $100 Visa® Gift card. At the end of the contest, the winner will be selected randomly from our participants. Spread the word!


Christmas Cash Contest: Chance #2

Our second chance for you to win is by telling us what you want to see featured on a Real Estate TV episode in 2019! You can send us your idea for an episode via Facebook Messenger on the Courtney & Anglin Facebook page, or by email to info@courtneyanglin.com. If you have more than one idea, submit them separately to increase your chances of winning! We’ll pick our favourites, and the top three ideas will each win a $100 Visa® Gift card! If more than one of your ideas wins, you’ll receive one gift card for each winning entry.


We have had a great time making and sharing our videos with you. Our episodes have featured a wide variety of topics! Some episodes have focused on the amazing place we call home and the wonderful things we can do here, like riding the chair lift on Mount Washington!

Other episodes have featured the legal aspects of owning a home, like how to comply with regulations when you have sensitive fish habitat on your land or how to legally build that dream shop. We’ve answered a couple of real estate questions too, like why many houses don’t have basements, or why you might want to build on an urban lot.

We’ve even thrown in some Comox Valley history in our episode on the E&N Railway and we’ve also dealt with a haunted house in our episode on stigmatized properties.

It’s been wonderful to share the amazing Comox Valley with you and give you a little insight into what we do! We’re looking forward to creating more episodes in 2019, and we’re particularly excited for your ideas! We can’t wait to hear about what you’d like to see in a future episode. The Comox Valley has something for just about everyone. Whether you’re thinking of buying a property here, or you’re selling one, we’d love to hear from you. We love our jobs, and we can’t wait to help you find your dream home. Give us a call today.

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Recently, we featured one of our newest show homes from the Ridge on an episode of Real Estate TV. The Ridge is in a great location and is a great representation of the beauty of the Comox Valley. It’s a new development, and there are many benefits to purchasing a newly constructed home. As part of the process, show homes are a great way to find out if new construction is what you’re really after in a home. They can also tell you if the neighbourhood is right for you.


What is The Ridge?

The Ridge is a fabulous neighbourhood in the Comox Valley. It’s a quiet area with walking trails, great views, and it’s close to everything the Comox Valley has to offer. The Ridge is a new residential area and is currently in Phase 2, with Phase 3 on the way soon! Our featured show home is built with the Denman floor plan. This show home features Whirlpool® appliances, quartz countertops, and a beautiful natural gas fireplace. The master bedroom boasts a 4pc ensuite bathroom with a fantastic fully tiled, glass enclosed shower and a pair of his and hers sinks with quartz countertops as well. Upstairs, the home has 2 large bedrooms and a huge family room with beautiful views.


What are the benefits of looking at a show home?

Show homes are a great tool for you, as a potential buyer. They give you the opportunity to view the floor plan in detail, instead of as a blueprint. This is particularly useful if you’ve been looking at the floor plan utilized in the show home, since you can get a feel for how the space might work for you. Show homes are also a great way for you to familiarize yourself with the builders. If you haven’t decided on a floor plan or a builder, this is a great opportunity to see what’s available. When visiting a show home, you can also get a feel for the neighbourhood and the area nearby, such as how long it takes to get there, what coffee shops or stores might be nearby, and what parks or walking trails are near the neighbourhood.


Why should I buy in a new residential area?

Purchasing in a new residential area has many advantages. The houses are custom built and brand new. New houses are built to the latest specifications and codes, so renovations and updates aren’t required. They’re also significantly more energy efficient up front, with no retrofits needed. With new developments, there’s plenty of choice. This means you’ll likely get a say in floor plans, lot locations, finishes, and exteriors. Some developments have a few guildelines, such as varied or uniform exteriors, which may direct your choices. Be sure to read up on the development’s guidelines, to make sure it’s the right fit for you and your family.


It’s a good idea to visit at least one show home when you’re looking at buying a house. They offer lots of possibilities that aren’t available in an older home and they might just be the perfect fit! If you’d like to visit the show home featured on our episode, we’re on location Saturdays from 12pm – 2pm. If you’re thinking about purchasing new construction, give us a call!

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It’s not often that you come across a home with as many selling features as this one. Located at 4826 Kilmarnock Drive, this home features direct access to the beach via a 30’ panhandle. If that weren’t exciting enough, this 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home sits on a third of an acre with stunning views and many updated features throughout the space. Selling features like these helps attract buyers to your home. Identifying these features can really make a listing stand out. So, what parts of your home classify as selling features?


Selling Features: Kitchen and Bathroom Updates!

If you browse through a couple of listings, you’ll see that many of the selling features include updates. There’s a good reason for that. Properly completed updates send a message to the buyer that they won’t need to do a bunch of maintenance on these areas as soon as they buy it. Some of the most common updates are kitchens and bathrooms, which see a lot of use and require regular upkeep to keep them in good shape. In our new listing, the owners updated the kitchen to include a granite countertop and island. The kitchen also features stainless steel appliances, a luxury to any home cook.


Selling Features: It’s All About Location!

Location is often advertised as a selling feature. This is somewhat buyer dependant, as each person has their own idea of what makes the perfect place for a home. For young families, this could be a home situated close to schools or parks. For a professional couple working long hours, a quiet location might be their preference. Other considerations could include proximity to shopping or a location with a view. In our new listing, the home’s selling features include walk-on access to the beach and beautiful ocean views from many places in the home. Talk about a great location!


Selling Features: Comforts and Luxuries.

If being situated on a beach with a fully updated kitchen isn’t enough for you, there’s more selling features to consider! Many people look for comfort and luxuries in home purchases. This is entirely personal preference, as each person has their own understanding of what luxury or comfort is to them. For some, it’s extra rooms, a large master bedroom, or an ensuite master bathroom. For others, it’s outside entertaining space, hardwood floors, or walk-in closets. Still others value hot tubs and fireplaces as the ultimate in luxury. The possibilities are endless. Our new listing has multiple selling features in this area. It features a natural gas fireplace in the living room and a newer deck that’s accessible from the master bedroom via sliding doors.


Each of these selling features contribute to attracting a buyer. Whether you’ve got a couple of selling features or many, they’ll be a big consideration for any potential buyers looking at your property.  If you’d like to take a look at 4826 Kilmarnock Drive, give us a call! If you’d like to see what your home and its selling features are worth, we’d be delighted to hear from you! Don’t wait, contact us today!

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The end of October is a spooky time of year and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn about stigmatized properties! What does that mean? Should you buy stigmatized properties? What if you like haunted houses? These are all great questions. Stigma is hard to define, especially on a property. Preferences are individual too, adding to the complication. While this may seem mysterious, have no fear! We’re going to walk you through it. Let’s start with taking a look at what it means.


What are stigmatized properties?


Simply put, they are properties that have psychological events surrounding them. Sound spooky? For some people it can be! One example is a home that has been the site of a tragic event like a sudden death or homicide on the property. Other examples could be criminal in nature. For instance, the home could have suspected ties to a member of organized crime, or perhaps it has been the previous target of a break-and-enter or vandalism. This idea can also include sexual offenders living in the vicinity. And, maybe you guessed it, this also includes reports of a property being haunted.


Can I tell what listings are stigmatized properties?


Disclosure of stigmatized properties is not required in British Columbia. Since stigma isn’t considered a defect on the property legally, these types of situations rely on the idea of “buyer beware”. This simply means that buyers are responsible for making sure the property is suitable for what they’d like to use it for.  Sellers have the option to either answer questions about potentially stigmatized properties directly, or they can refuse to answer and get the buyer to do their own research.  The good news is that if you feel uncomfortable with any of these events, your Realtor® can help out! They can look into what happened to a property you are interested in.


Should I buy stigmatized properties?


There are a few things to consider before you make a decision to buy a home where a pyschological event has taken place. Firstly, these events bring up different reactions depending on how old you are, your gender, your religion, and your family. Secondly, there can also be more to the story. For instance, a death on the property could refer to something tragic, but it could also refer to a loved one passing on with family nearby. It could have happened recently, or a long time ago. Having your questions answered is the best way to decide how you feel about what has taken place, and to know if the stigma affects your own perception.


In the end, stigma is really a matter of perspective. The best thing you can do is think carefully about what would bother you and what wouldn’t. Make sure to define your concerns as specifically as possible. As you’ve seen, the concern of a death on the property gets more complicated when you start asking questions, and for many people, some of the answers to those questions can actually reduce the stigma surrounding the event. Whatever you decide, talk to your Realtor® about any concerns, as they can find out what has happened to a property you are looking at. They can also steer you to different properties if there are known events surrounding specific properties ahead of time. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Comox Valley, whether you want a haunted, spooky home or a regular one, give us a call! If you want to know what your home is worth in this busy market, we do that too. Contact us today!

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In our last post, we talked condo insurance, and this time, we’re discussing home insurance. With fall in the air, many people heading down south for the winter. We took the opportunity to visit Neesja again to discuss the impact an extended vacation has on your home insurance. Many people want to know what an extended vacation does to their home insurance policy while they’re away. What do you need to do for your coverage to be valid? We have some answers.


Before figuring out what needs to be done, we need to distinguish two important terms in home insurance. The first is the term unoccupied. With home insurance, unoccupied refers to a home that is empty for an extended period of time, and where there is intention to return. In simple terms, that means the occupants have gone on an extended holiday, but they’ll be back. The second term is vacant. Home insurance policies consider vacant as a reference to an empty home where there is no intention to return. For example, a home can be considered vacant when the owner of the house no longer lives there, but the next occupants haven’t moved in yet. These two home insurance terms are important, because your trip south renders your house unoccupied, not vacant. Unoccupied properties have different requirements in your home insurance policy than vacant ones, so it’s a good idea to check your home insurance and make sure you’ve done what’s needed for coverage while you’re away.


What needs to be done while you’re away? Are you covered during the winter? How long can you be gone? Each of these questions have answers that are unique to your policy. The best way to make sure you have the facts is by talking with your insurance broker. Different home insurance policies will have different requirements on things like turning off the heat or shutting off the water. If you haven’t discussed extended vacations with your broker, many insurance providers also offer specific coverage on home insurance for extended holidays, so make sure your policy is up to date.


One of the biggest issues for unoccupied homes is the increased risk of damage or theft. More specifically, damages from things like broken water pipes can go on for several weeks before discovery, increasing your risk of significant damage. Once your policy is up to date and you’ve looked after the details needed to keep your home insurance policy current, you should ensure that someone is checking your property during your time away. This will help to reduce your risk of damage, as well as making sure that your home looks occupied. Some of the things this person should look after are yard maintenance, such as lawn mowing, and collecting your mail. If you receive the newspaper, you can request to be excluded from deliveries for a specified period of time. This will keep things from piling up on your doorstep. If you don’t have anyone close by who can do these things for you, the Comox Valley is home to Valley Home Check, a company that offers regular monitoring for homes that are unoccupied. They offer multiple services, including indoor pet care, and will email you regular reports while you’re away.


When it’s time to head south, make sure you check with your broker about what’s required for your home insurance. In any case, you should make sure that someone stops by your home regularly to make certain your home is in good condition while you’re gone, and to prevent theft. If you’re thinking of calling the Comox Valley home for all of the year, or part of it, we’d love to chat with you! If you’re curious about what your Comox Valley home is worth, give us a call today!

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We recently visited with Neesja at Waypoint Insurance in Courtenay to discuss the differences between strata and condo insurance policies. During our visit, we found out why it’s necessary to carry condo insurance in addition to strata insurance. Strata insurance and condo insurance policies each cover separate things, so you actually need both to be covered in an emergency. There’s also a few things you should be aware of if you are renting in a strata building or if you own a duplex.


Strata insurance policies are half of the equation. By law, strata corporations are required to maintain a minimum level of insurance. However, there are several conditions that aren’t part of the minimum coverage requirements, like earthquakes or overland flooding. Check your strata’s insurance information to find out what’s in their individual policy. Overall, strata insurance policies cover the exterior of the building, as well as the interior of your condo with its original finishes. This includes anything physically attached to the building, such as countertops and toilets, but excludes things like stoves and dishwashers. It also means that any upgrades, such as adding hardwood flooring or installing new countertops, will not be covered. Additionally, strata insurance policies do not cover your belongings, so you’ll need separate coverage to handle this, in the form of a condo insurance policy.


Seeing that there are many gaps in coverage without it, the condo insurance policy is worth adding in. Condo insurance covers what strata insurance does not. Holding a condo insurance policy means that betterments and improvements made to your property are covered in an emergency. This policy also covers the contents of your unit, as well as liability. The condo insurance policy actually has a lot of customization available to it, as well. You can talk to your insurance broker about additional coverage above the strata’s policy or adding insurance for significant upgrades beyond betterments. You can also be eligible for coverage regarding situations where you may be responsible for damage to another unit or earthquake coverage. Before you discuss condo insurance or earthquake coverage, be sure to check the cost of the deductible for your strata corporation and what’s in the strata’s policy, so you can get the right coverage for your unit.


Did you know? Duplexes are treated the same way as condos for insurance purposes. Duplexes require a separate insurance policy for the building, as well as a condo insurance policy for the contents, just like a strata unit. Another good thing to know about condo insurance is that insurance carried by a landlord or a strata does not cover renters. This means that tenants renting in a strata building need to carry their own insurance as well to be compensated in the event of an emergency.


Insurance in a strata is different than a regular house and you should definitely purchase condo insurance to make sure you’re properly covered in an emergency. Be sure to bring your questions, as well as information about your strata’s coverage, to meetings with your insurance broker. This will help to prevent you from missing important details and get you the right coverage. If you’re thinking of buying a strata unit, or if you’re curious about what your home might be worth in this market, give us a call!

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An accessory building, also known as your dream shop, can be valuable when it’s done properly. Now that you’ve finally received permission to build it, there’s a few things you need to be aware of before you start!


First, what is an accessory building? It’s defined as ancillary and subordinate to a permitted principal use or building on the same lot. That basically means that they’re an accessory to the main building on the lot and are not meant to be another principal building. Examples of an accessory building can include a shop, greenhouse, shed, boathouse, storage building, or a private studio, among others. Any of these structures will have a specific set of guidelines to adhere to, as an accessory building. Now that you know what your dream shop really is, it’s time to go to city hall to start the permit process. In the Comox Valley, you’ll need to head to the CVRD Planning Department.


During the planning and permit process, you’ll find out the limits on your new building. Accessory buildings are limited to specific heights. In the Comox Valley, an accessory building are generally limited to 6m, measured from the average natural grade of the peak of the roof, depending on where the building is located on the land. An accessory building is also limited by setbacks on property lines. Property setbacks for the Comox Valley area can be found by using the CVRD’s iMap2.1 tool. You should then confirm the property setbacks with the planning department. You’ll also find out about your maximum lot coverage, which is a percentage stated on your zoning bylaw. Maximum lot coverage is basically just a measure of how much impervious space you can have on your lot. All of these restrictions will be important when submitting the paperwork for your accessory building, so make sure you’ve done your research and have planned accordingly. Be thorough! You don’t want your permit to be denied because of a technicality. If you need clarification, contact the planning department to confirm.


Once you’ve got the details sorted out and you’ve submitted your paperwork, you can expect approximately 3 – 5 weeks before your plan may be approved. Then you can put your plan in action and start building that shop! Accessory buildings can add really add value to your property when you sell, especially when they’re done right and permitted properly. They can also be something to consider when you’re buying too! If you aren’t buying a home with an accessory building already in place, all of these limits should be questions to think about. It will be important later if you decide to build. If you do want to construct a shop or other building on the lot later, all this information can be found during the buying process. Having this info ahead of time will prevent you from ending up with an accessory building the size of a doghouse when you do go to build it.


Have fun building your dream shop! If you are thinking about buying real estate in the Comox Valley, and you’d like to build on the lot in the future, we can help you get the information you need. If you’d like to know what your property is worth and you’re thinking of selling, we can help with that too! Contact us today!

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