There is much talk these days about smaller spaces when it comes to real estate. We are more likely to be living and working in smaller spaces now than ever before they say. Creativity abounds and online sites such as Houzz https://www.houzz.com/  and House Beautiful https://www.housebeautiful.com/ provide endless kindling for our creative flames. 


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a tiny home or a much smaller space? Do you want to downsize and see it as part of a plan to simplify your life? I think about it personally and the first thing that comes to mind is anxiety! NO WAY!! I need my space, and my stuff!  However, being raised by a ranger leader, swim-teacher, nurse and widowed mother of 8, means resilience and change are sewn right into my DNA! I know if I had to, I could do it. But that is a far cry from wanting to!


When we turn our attention to homes, we see the trend there as well. Tiny homes called garden suites are becoming more visible and viable in more communities across Canada including right here in Victoria and Saanich. Manufactured Home Parks are examples of communities that are plentiful here on the Island.  And float home communities exist in many of the marinas on the Island as well, some of these small spaces are absolutely fascinating in design with features that are highly functional, multi-purpose and visually striking. Yes for many it is out of necessity, but for many still it is a clear and present lifestyle choice based on a way of life. Whatever the reason, if you choose to go that route, please make sure you take care to do your due diligence, all of the research required and of course I highly recommend that you work with an Agent to protect your best interests. Whether it’s a home with a price tag of $100K or $1M it’s a lot of money, your hard earned money, and it may be the largest investment you make in your lifetime. Act wisely to protect yourself during any transaction you are part of.


If you are currently in the market to make a purchase, or are considering making a purchase, there is quite a lot to choose from at the moment, and offers subject to inspection and/or finance are commonplace again, which makes it a much more practical experience. At this time there are:


  • Just over 1000 single family homes on market in the Victoria area including Victoria Core, Westshore and the Saanich Peninsula, 470 condos and 148 townhomes. 


  • And in the Cowichan area there are 460 single family homes on market, 46 townhomes and 27 condos available. 


  • There are also 135+ manufactured homes on the market in both these areas collectively.


From the $17M mansion overlooking Satellite Channel, to a darling little 377 square foot float home at Head St in Esquimalt, and literally everything in between, Victoria presently has a ton of great properties for sale. The news would have us believe that no one is buying or selling and that the market has grabbed a big blankie, tucked in and gone to sleep until spring 2023. I am here to tell you that it’s just not true! 


The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is the most advanced and accurate tool to gauge a heighbourhood’s home price levels and trends, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The graphic below shows that the HPI benchmark prices are up19% from 2021 on Vancouver Island, and also up 18.1% in Victoria specifically from 2021. 




There is uncertainty, inflation and rising interest rates and yet there will always be people who need to sell, move and buy. Why? A new job, a new school, a new life partner, aging parents, a death in the family, a growing family, a new pet, a family that wants to downsize…


If you are interested in speaking with me about the current market, buying or selling your home, or you have any real estate related questions or needs, I would love to connect with you at your earliest convenience. 


Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you have found some of this information useful!


Happy Fall to you and your family, from my home to yours,


Jacqueline


“To give real service, you must add something that can not be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”


In addition to being a previous business owner, Jacqueline has over 20 years of experience in B2B sales and retail sales, a Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology, and has raised a family. These roles have allowed her to hone her skills under pressure, and develop effective negotiation skills. Originally from Victoria, she was fortunate to have a stable upbringing  with time to play and explore the beaches and forests that the Island is known for. She is a volunteer for the Red Cross, and owns a home in the historic Village of Cowichan Bay with her husband John. She loves to sail, hike, swim, read and spend time with family. She has local knowledge of Greater Victoria, the Cowichan Valley, and the Nanoose/Parksville areas.


Vancouver Island is renowned for it's wild untamed beaches, hiking, camping and paddling, and of course it's lush vineyards. Let Jacqueline help you find your new home in the Mediterranean of the Pacific: Vancouver Island!

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I have listed a new property at 34 2587 Selwyn Rd in Langford. See details here

*No age restriction** Bright, modern, 2016 manufactured home in like new condition, in the heart of Langford. Delight in the experience of coming home every day into this private peaceful Community. Manicured grounds, quiet roads surrounded by green spaces and bordering Mill Hill Park. Take in the sunsets from the spacious deck overlooking the Park. Feature gas fireplace heats up the home in minutes. Primary bedroom with 4-piece ensuite and generous closets. Plenty of storage space throughout the home. Second bedroom and 2-piece bath. French doors, large windows and vaulted ceilings to bring in an abundance of light. Energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, plenty of passive energy (heat & light) from the 2 banks of 6 foot skylights. Level backyard perfect spot for greenhouse. 2 parking spaces in front of the home, additional guest parking, and private clubhouse. Langford is hopping with eateries, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, business and shopping centres.

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I have listed a new property at 119 1120 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd in Mill Bay.
Make your way along the private wooded lane into Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park and feel the stress fade away. This well maintained, friendly Park is known for its low pad fees and peaceful, natural setting. Experience affordable living in a spacious home. Some of the features of this absolute diamond in the rough include a fully fenced yard, a large wired and insulated workshop w/barn doors, 100 amp service, tons of storage, an outdoor covered deck for year round enjoyment, raised garden beds, a WETT certified wood stove, newer roof, and a new heat pump installed 2020. Exterior updates are complete. Monthly pad fee only $457 and includes garbage, water, sewer and road maintenance. A small furry friend is welcome. Covered parking for 2 vehicles; friendly on site Manager. Very close to Kerry Park Rec Center and Mill Bay. Short commute to Shawnigan Lake. Vendor financing may be possible. This opportunity will not last.
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Please visit our Open House at 6 6000 St. Anns Dr in Duncan.
Open House on Saturday, August 13, 2022 10:00AM - 1:00PM Come and view this beautiful spacious and private townhouse located in a very desirable area of Duncan. This is for you beautiful people who are not able to attend a weekend Open House due to work or other commitments. Refreshments provided and the Listing Agent will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the home itself and is happy to send you a full information package today.
Privacy and space. Beautiful end unit townhouse in a desirable and central area of Duncan. Main entrance is a private, natural oasis. Sparkling granite countertops and fully updated kitchen. Modern bamboo flooring, double sided gas fireplace in the kitchen and living areas. Well managed and maintained Strata, beautifully maintained grounds. Sunsets and mountain views from the kitchen deck. Large living spaces on the main and lower levels. Level entrance, attached double garage and laundry on the main. Spacious primary bedroom w/r piece en-suite, and full guest bathroom. Lower level has abundant storage and a peaceful vibe. Currently a games room with wet bar, another good sized bedroom, an office, an exercise room and bathroom on this level. Whatever your hobbies, you have space for them here. Heat pump, central vacuum, prime location close to town, hiking and biking trails, parks, lakes, beaches and marinas. Minimum age 25. Pride of ownership throughout. Excellent value.
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Please visit our Open House at 6 6000 St. Anns Dr in Duncan.
Open House on Thursday, August 11, 2022 4:00PM - 7:00PM Come and view this beautiful spacious and private townhouse located in a very desirable area of Duncan. This is for you beautiful people who are not able to attend a weekend Open House due to work or other commitments. Refreshments provided and the Listing Agent will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the home itself and is happy to send you a full information package today.
Privacy and space. Beautiful end unit townhouse in a desirable and central area of Duncan. Main entrance is a private, natural oasis. Sparkling granite countertops and fully updated kitchen. Modern bamboo flooring, double sided gas fireplace in the kitchen and living areas. Well managed and maintained Strata, beautifully maintained grounds. Sunsets and mountain views from the kitchen deck. Large living spaces on the main and lower levels. Level entrance, attached double garage and laundry on the main. Spacious primary bedroom w/r piece en-suite, and full guest bathroom. Lower level has abundant storage and a peaceful vibe. Currently a games room with wet bar, another good sized bedroom, an office, an exercise room and bathroom on this level. Whatever your hobbies, you have space for them here. Heat pump, central vacuum, prime location close to town, hiking and biking trails, parks, lakes, beaches and marinas. Minimum age 25. Pride of ownership throughout. Excellent value.
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Please visit our Open House at 181 Acacia Ave in Nanaimo.
Open House on Saturday, August 6, 2022 12:00PM - 3:00PM Come and see this solid 5 family home with in-law suite in the University District of Nanaimo. The Listing Agent will be on hand from noon until 3pm to answer all of your questions regarding this home and provide refreshments. We truly hope to see you there. If you are searching for a multi-generational home in a family oriented neighbourhood, this could be it. There is even room to park the RV.
Within walking distance to Vancouver Island University Campus, this 5 bedroom 3 bathroom home with in-law suite will suit a growing family, or Investors seeking a great rental property. Close to recreation, transit, shopping & all levels of schools. Large fully landscaped lot and plenty of space for your garden with established cherry, pear and plum trees, complete with a south facing deck. Throughout the home are numerous updates including a new roof in 2019, new gas furnace In 2020, 200 amp service and more. On the main enjoy 3 bedrooms including primary with 2 piece ensuite, 4 piece bathroom, a generous kitchen with SS appliances and adjacent dining room with french doors leading to a large living room with wood burning fireplace and big picture window to let in light. Lower level 2 bedroom suite with generously sized living room, another fireplace, and easy access to a shared laundry space. Paved driveway, carport, fenced yard, RV parking. Wonderful family neighbourhood.
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I have listed a new property at 6 6000 St. Anns Dr in Duncan.
Privacy and space. Beautiful end unit townhouse in a desirable and central area of Duncan. Main entrance is a private, natural oasis. Sparkling granite countertops and fully updated kitchen. Modern bamboo flooring, double sided gas fireplace in the kitchen and living areas. Well managed and maintained Strata, beautifully maintained grounds. Sunsets and mountain views from the kitchen deck. Large living spaces on the main and lower levels. Level entrance, attached double garage and laundry on the main. Spacious primary bedroom w/r piece en-suite, and full guest bathroom. Lower level has abundant storage and a peaceful vibe. Currently a games room with wet bar, another good sized bedroom, an office, an exercise room and bathroom on this level. Whatever your hobbies, you have space for them here. Heat pump, central vacuum, prime location close to town, hiking and biking trails, parks, lakes, beaches and marinas. Minimum age 25. Pride of ownership throughout. Excellent value.
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Stratas and Fees

Living in a community with strata fees definitely has some great benefits, and if you are considering downsizing, then you owe it to yourself to do some learning on this topic and familiarize yourself with all things strata. If you are done doing your own repairs, or are not a handyman yourself, and you are done with the burden of maintenance of your home, then strata fees are worth your while. Sometimes the initial sticker price of the fees is a shock. However, upon a thorough review of the fees and what is included, we often see that the owners in a strata are receiving a lot of benefits for a reasonable amount of money. The truth rests firmly on your home purchase goals as well as your personal financial position.

EVERYTHING ADDS UP

You’ve heard it before right? Everything adds up. Well what exactly is ‘everything’?! That’s fundamental to the equation and the very first thing you need to know is: what is included in the fees? Each building / community is different, and a proper review of the strata documentation is absolutely necessary. Your Realtor will review this documentation, and you (the buyer) need to take this very seriously and also review the documentation. If you feel that this is way out of your comfort zone, then there is actually a service you can pay for that will ease your mind greatly. This service is provided by a company called Condo Clear and you will find the link to their website below.


Strata fees include services that would cost typically much more if you were paying for it on your own such as if you owned a single family dwelling. Things like gardening, landscaping, snow and ice removal, gutter and roof cleaning, skylight repair and/or replacement, duct cleaning, tree trimming…the list goes on and on, and like I said already, it all depends on the strata. Within a strata the costs for maintenance and repairs are spread out amongst all the residents and are usually far lower compared to doing it all on your own.


Strata buildings can have gyms, pools, community rooms, guest rooms, barbeque areas, and more. These are often common areas that are available for use by all the residents, and the upkeep is covered by the strata fees. Obviously if you had your own indoor pool at your single family home, the cost to maintain it would be far greater. 


Stuff Gets Done


In a well run strata, the stuff that needs to get done, should get done. That does not mean that it actually IS getting done! Which is why a review of the Minutes is extremely important. This is how we see what is going on month to month, whether items are being dealt with or simply pushed off for sometime in the future. Remember the neighbour who doesn’t really like to do the lawn, or the garden, or…whatever?! Maybe a bunch of junk is in the yard or the house is getting really run down? In a strata, there is a process in place to ensure that the care and maintenance gets done. The management maintains the neighborhood and the owners are required to take care of any hazards that may exist.

Costs are Less

It’s safe to say that, overall, the costs to purchase a condo or strata unit are less than purchasing a single family home of the same overall size, location and age. The strata fees are typically going to cover costs such as trash removal, outside maintainance and so much more. This makes being a homeowner less daunting, the time you spend on upkeep is less and you don’t have to worry about suddenly having significant expenses come up that you alone are responsible for.

Typical Strata Fee Factors

Below is a list of common factors which apply to most properties that incur strata fees:

  • Available Amenities: The more amenities a building offers the higher your condo fees will be. Some buildings come with a pool, community rooms, a guest suite, a gym, party rooms, a security system...the list goes on and depends on the building. There are lots of other things that may be available for owners, and it’s paid for through strata fees. Strata fees cover the usage, operation, and upkeep of these amenities. 

  • Age of Building(s). Older buildings tend to cost more to maintain than new buildings. Generally speaking, older buildings break down easier and more often than newer buildings. That said, new buildings don’t always have the lowest strata fees. It depends on what is included in the cost. 

  • Utilities: Some or all water, heat and hydro. For older buildings heat may be centralized instead of controlled in each unit. In this case, the heat would likely be included in the strata fees. 

  • Repairs and Maintenance: Regular repairs and maintenance required for basic operation of your building’s common amenities are always included in your strata fees. A couple of examples include landscaping, snow removal, garbage disposal, and cleaning of common areas.

  • Size of Building: How large the building you live in will play an important role in how expensive your condo fees are. In general, larger strata developments tend to have lower condo fees, because the cost is split among all the owners. 

  • Reserve Fund: A portion of the strata fees is placed into a reserve fund each month. A reserve fund is mandatory for all stratas in Canada. In the event of an emergency within the strata building(s), the reserve fund is used to cover the cost of unexpected repairs.

  • Increase in Fees: Strata fees can increase at any time. The building’s board controls the strata fee and if they decide that it needs to be revised, they can do so. An increase in strata fees could be for an array of reasons. Please definitely consider this factor when determining the affordability of a potential strata home!

It can be discouraging and frustrating knowing that you need to pay strata fees on top of a mortgage and other housing costs. Remember, strata fees aren’t a bad thing, and there are benefits to paying strata fees: 

  • Either You Pay or They Pay:  Strata fees mainly pay for repairs and maintenance of the building. If you own a single family home, you will pay for and complete all the repairs and maintenance for your home. It is a benefit having someone else manage the repairs and maintenance for you.

  • Split Costs:  Repairs, maintenance and other costs of your building are split among all the residents. If you live on your own, you are responsible for these costs. This can be very hard on cash flow and your monthly budget.

  • Amenities at Your Disposal:  If you want a home security system, a pool, a gym, or countless other amenities, you will have to pay for them one way or another. If these kinds of amenities are included in your building, the costs are paid for by the strata fees. If you want these amenities while living in a single family home, you will pay someone else for them. Either way, you will pay someone for these perks!

Thanks for your interest in Warmland Blog. There are some links below for more information. 

From my home to yours, enjoy the summer! Please keep me in mind if you are considering making a move, buying or selling a home, or simply want information! I am delighted to be of service.



 


RESOURCES:

Budgeting / Strata Fees:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/strata-housing/operating-a-strata/finances-and-insurance/budgeting-and-strata-fees

Condo Clear Services

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=condoclea

British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) 

https://www.bcfsa.ca/industry-resources/real-estate-professional-resources/knowledge-base/strata-management-resources/working-with-strata-management-company?hits=strata,fees

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Please visit our Open House at 6 6000 St. Ann's Dr in Duncan.
Open House on Sunday, July 24, 2022 11:30AM - 2:00PM Seeing is believing with this 2800+ square foot executive townhouse. Come and explore the inside and outside of this beautifully maintained home and common grounds. Pride of ownership is evident throughout as you will see when you arrive. I look forward to showing you this spacious peaceful home in East Duncan. If you would like to book a private viewing please contact your Realtor. Thank you!
It's time to let someone else take care of the maintenance. This spacious end unit townhouse is set to impress and located in a quiet yet central area of Duncan. The home's main entrance is a private, natural oasis. Create meals in the sparkling bright updated kitchen and dining area with double sided gas fireplace, scenic mountain views and incredible sunsets. The main level offers a large formal living room, a spacious primary bedroom w/4 piece ensuite, a 3 piece bathroom, 2nd bedroom, laundry area & plenty of closet space. The lower level has endless possibilities; currently used as a games room with wet bar, another good sized bedroom, an office, and an exercise room. Whatever your hobbies, you have space for them here. Attached double garage, heat pump, loads of storage and a prime location close to town, hiking and bike trails, parks, lakes, beaches and marinas add to the convenience. Minimum age 25. Pets allowed. Seeing is believing, book your showing today.
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Please visit our Open House at 6 6000 St. Ann's Dr in Duncan.
Open House on Saturday, July 9, 2022 1:00PM - 4:00PM Seeing is believing with this 2800+ square foot executive townhouse. Come and explore the inside and outside of this beautifully maintained home and the common grounds. Bring your questions, your significant others and your smiling happy face. I look forward to showing you this spacious peaceful home in East Duncan. Reach out if you have questions or would like to book a private viewing.
Is it time to let someone else take care of the maintenance? This spacious end unit townhome is set to impress and located in a quiet yet central area of Duncan. The home's main entrance feels like a private, natural oasis. Create meals in the sparkling bright updated kitchen and dining area with double sided gas fireplace, scenic mountain views and incredible sunsets. The main level offers a large formal living room, a spacious primary bedroom w/4 piece ensuite, a 3 piece bathroom, 2nd bedroom, laundry room & plenty of closet space. The lower level has endless possibilities; currently used as a games room with wet bar, another good sized bedroom, an office, and an exercise room. Whatever your hobbies, you have space for them here. An attached double garage, heat pump, loads of storage and a prime location close to town, hiking and bike trails, parks, lakes, beaches and marinas add to the convenience. Minimum age 25. Pets allowed. Seeing is believing, book your showing today.
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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.