Staging You Home Yourself? DIY Tips
Human beings are wired to have an emotional response to physical surroundings. There is a lot to be said for the ancient Chinese philosophical system of Feng Shui which makes a study of arranging environments to create or reinforce harmony and comfort. Even colours have a measurable effect on psychology, leading to that moment a buyer walks into your home and says, “It feels just right”!
A professional stager can help you feature your home in a way that can add thousands of dollars to your asking price, but if you feel you can do a good job staging your home on your own, I recommend these five simple staging ideas:
Remember Personality Doesn’t Sell
This is almost always the biggest mistake home sellers make, so if nothing else in today’s blog makes an impression, please understand this: The personal touches you love in your home are all about you and may not be universally appreciated.
The coveted collection and family photos are distracting clutter that takes the buyers attention away from the flow of the rooms, and any interesting architectural features. For the cost of a roll of tape, boxes and possibly renting a small storage space, get your treasures pre-packed. Doing so will depersonalize the space and automatically increase the perceived dimensions of your home. Prepacking is also a simple step towards emotionally preparing for your inevitable move.
Are you prepared to paint? Fabulous! You can’t go wrong with white or bright neutral palate. Hotels are well known for using white to demonstrate how clean everything is.
A simple coat of white or neutral paint elevates the perceived value of the property and creates a “move-in-ready” feel that buyers are willing to pay top dollar for. White signifies clean, fresh, and new.
Electricity isn’t free, but since you will be turning on the lights for photographs and showings anyway, I suggest you go the extra step by adding accent lights to really set the scene. It’s simple to place them strategically to add drama and to illuminate shadowy corners.
Completely retracting blinds or removing window coverings will let in as much as fifty percent more natural light.
A clear window will enhance the view, and create that sense of openness and space, so pack away any curtains or window-hangings, especially those dated ones, and let the window frame be the highlight.
In addition to a freshly mowed lawn, mulch adds instant curb appeal. Mulch is inexpensive, comes in a variety of lovely shades and textures, and adds cultivated freshness to scraggly, dry, or unkempt garden beds. Ordered by the load or purchased in bags, mulch is lightweight and perfect for a DIY, last minute staging.
These five simple staging tasks will show off your home’s very best features, add both real and perceived value, and maximize returns for you!
Thinking of Purchasing a Condominium?
If you are working to get into the real estate market for the first time, or you want to downsize after your kids have left the nest, a condominium lifestyle can offer freedoms and opportunities beyond the single detached dwelling worth considering at any age. Here are six reasons:
Living in a condominium is usually more affordable. It cost less to buy vs. a house, and your mortgage is typically lower. As of June, the benchmark average price of condos as per the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) is $416,281 That’s now less than half the benchmark average price of a single detached dwelling in Greater Victoria now pegged at $885,281. Selling your paid off family home to buy a condominium can provide you with a desirable nest egg in your retirement years. Or, if you’re just starting out, a condominium is certainly a less expensive way to get into the real estate market.
You Live in a Great Location
Condos are often built in densified areas of a city. That means entertainment, restaurants, and shopping are all close by, and you don’t usually need a car to get to your favourite event. If you’re a professional working in downtown Victoria, the time and money you will save walking to work from your condominium versus commuting from the home in your price range well outside of Victoria is certainly worth considering.
A condominium provides the additional security of a two-key system – one for the front door and one for your unit – which makes break and entry less likely. Your neighbours are a kind of built in block watch! It’s hard for a thief to remove large items from your home without being seen by someone.
Because you are living a maintenance-free lifestyle, you have more time to do what you enjoy doing. All those time-consuming tasks like cutting the lawn, weeding the gardens, and cleaning the gutters don’t exist when you live in a condominium. Instead, you contribute to a monthly fee that takes care of maintenance and repairs. Any large, future costs such as roof repairs or window replacements are usually less expensive in a condominium versus a house because everyone contributes to a contingency fund.
When you want to travel, you don’t have to make your plan around house maintenance considerations. Someone else is doing it for you. All you might need to do is ask one of your trustworthy neighbours to water your plants while you’re gone, and you can come and go as you please.
Condominium living offers great opportunities for a vibrant social life in a friendly, close-knit community. You’re going to meet at least one of your neighbours in the halls or by the mailbox every day. If you’re moving to Victoria from another city, being able to access a ready-made community
A condominium lifestyle might be the right choice for you for these and other reasons. If you’re thinking about purchasing a condo, I’d be pleased to guide you through all the factors you need to consider before making your decision and to help you find your perfect next home.
Sales Steady Throughout June
July 4, 2017 - "This year may feel a bit steady and less exciting when compared to last year's record-breaking market. People are getting used to this new tempo of brisk sales," says 2017 Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian.
"However, when we look at the longer-term numbers, we're in a very active market. This June we counted over one thousand properties sold, while the ten-year average for sales in the month of June is 798. If we remove 2016 sales, this June would have been the record-breaker."
A total of 1,008 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board Region this June - 14.1 per cent fewer than the 1,174 properties sold in June last year.
There were 1,915 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2017, an increase of one per cent compared to the month of May, but 16.3 per cent fewer than the 2,289 active listings for sale at the end of June 2016.
"The good news for buyers is that inventory is slowly starting to build.”
See more details on VREB’s website
Seniors Leaving Vancouver to Take Advantage of Housing Market
According to the Globe and Mail published Sunday, May 21st, Baby Boomers are cashing out with their real estate boon and leaving the Greater Vancouver region in high numbers. In the tides of people arriving in Vancouver and the tides of people leaving, there has been a net loss of around 3,385 Boomers according to an analysis by University of British Columbia sociology professor Nathanael Lauster.
“It means less people for volunteering, less people supporting arts-and-culture institutions,” says Penny Gurstein, director of UBC’s school of community and regional planning. “Look at the opera now in Vancouver: there just aren’t enough people in that cohort to support it.”
While young people are arriving in droves, the region is losing a lot of people with job, life, and community experience.
Read the full article HERE
Is the Victoria Real Estate Market Overheated?
CMHC Senior Market Analyst Eric Bond calls Victoria’s Real
Estate market “Overheated”. In his opinion, the city of is facing a housing
affordability crisis, with the average price of a home reaching $640,802 in
March, up 11.3 per cent compared to March 2016. Put another way, the first
quarter of 2017 saw the average price for a single-detached home increase by 19
per cent as compared to the same quarter last year.
The Victoria Real Estate Board reported the Multiple Listing
Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the
Victoria Core in March was $790,100 - a
19.1 per cent increase from March 2016.
Despite the presence of strong market fundamentals like
employment growth, increased population driven by younger demographics and low
mortgage rates, CMHC doesn’t think the market’s price acceleration can be
justified by these factors alone.
To assess the states of the housing markets, CMHC looks at
Real Estate Inventory in Victoria Edging Up... A Little
May 1, 2017 - “The numbers we saw in April are a further indication that the market is gradually moving towards a more balanced state compared to the record setting pace of 2016.” says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian.
A total of 885 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April*, 31.2 per cent fewer than the 1,286 properties sold in April last year. The ten year average for sales in April is 772 properties.
“We are starting to see hints of a more traditional spring market. Local agricultural production has been delayed due to the late spring, and so has the local real estate market,” adds President Balabanian, “More sellers listed their homes for sale over the month of April compared to the month previous.”
There were 1,690 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2017, an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to the month of March, but 34.8 per cent fewer than the 2,594 active listings for sale at the end of April 2016.
* Properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region includes the southern tip of Vancouver Island up to just south of Cowichan Bay, the Peninsula, the Western Communities along with Salt Spring, Pender, Saturna, Mayne and Gailiano Islands. See map.
If you are interested in reading the full VREB’s report online, CLICK HERE.
Thoughts on the Canadian Housing Bubble
On April 7th, MacLean’s ran an extensive article written by Joe Castaldo entitled, “How Canada completely lost its mind over real estate”. https://goo.gl/uzBvbf
Right now, Toronto’s list prices are largely meaningless because properties are routinely selling for well over asking price. In his article, Castaldo illustrates with details of the recent sale of a semi-detached home listed in the city’s west end for $699,000.
“To step inside (the home) was to travel back in time to the 1970s. The house was festooned with brown rugs, brown linoleum ﬂoor tiles and, in the basement, wall-to-wall wood paneling. After just ﬁve days on the market, it sold for $1.03 million in March—$331,000 more than the list price.”
There is an excessive amount of real estate speculation occurring in the city right now – not by foreigners, but by Torontonians! Many feel the party will not end – that housing prices will continue to rise, even though many experts are calling for caution in what many deem to be a housing bubble.
Does Toronto’s escalating prices have any bearing on real estate in Victoria BC? Well, some, but not in the same way. In British Columbia, real estate and related ﬁelds such as construction and ﬁnance make up an astounding 40 per cent of GDP! It’s a vital industry, yet in Victoria, there is a massive shortage of supply for the growing demand!
If you're in a position to sell your home, let's talk best strategy to maximize your profits.