When shopping for their new house, buyers in the Greater Victoria area are typically sold on two things: the kitchen and the bathroom(s).  Whether you own a small bungalow in Fernwood or a mansion along Dallas road, the presence of an inviting bathroom is critical. 


If you are thinking of selling your home, it is worth taking a look at whether a bathroom reno would invite a more qualified buyers and sellers. Typically a standard bathroom remodel from the studs will run you between $14,000-$20,000. 


So where should you focus your funds and efforts to maximize your remodel?


KEEP IT NEUTRAL

It may be tempting to customize the bathroom with colourful paint and patterned tile to match. Unless you are remodelling for the longterm where you do not plan on selling for a number of years, it is best to stick to a neutral design.  Keep the colours a to a friendly and widely likeable palette. Avoid bright patterns or colours on the floors as well. Instead add personal accents by installing a shower curtain, artwork, towels and accents that reflect your style.


STORAGE AND SPACE

Although there are some styles in magazines these days that show sleek and minimal countertops, you are best to err on the side of traditionalism.  Opt for a clean and spacious look with ample counter space and cabinet space below. A double sink is especially enticing to buyers should the space and budget allow it.


LUXURIOUS TOUCHES

There are some ways you can cut costs, but the one spot to avoid cheaping out on is the hardware. The feeling of rickety and cheap fixtures (think wobbly faucet handles) immediately sets buyer's minds into a tizzy. It makes them wonder what other corners have been cut. Everyone knows the difference between the feeling of sturdy and well built fixtures. Spend a little extra and reap the extra perceived value from buyers.


HIRE PROFESSIONALS

Nothing is as much of a turn off to prospective buyers than the look of a cabinet that has been cut to the wrong size or poorly installed. When it comes to plumbing and electrical, always seek the advice and service of a professional.  When dealing with water, it is best to avoid suffering the consequences of faulty installation. There are so many fantastic service providers in Victoria, BC, that there really is no excuse.


REMODEL TO THE ERA OF THE HOUSE

Always make sure that the design and look of the bathroom is consistent with the design of the rest of the house. For instance, a ultra modern and sleek bathroom likely won't jive with a character home that features hardwood flooring and classic design. Likewise, it would be bizarre to place a vintage style clawfoot tub into a modern build that holds no heritage features.


KNOW YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC

If you live in a youthful neighbourhood and building, then perhaps you could get away with a bathroom that looks like it could be from a New York loft. If you live in an area with a middle aged population, you are likely going to want to install a conservative and sensible bathroom with solid and classic finishings. On the other hand, if you live in an area where more seniors reside, you will find that installing items that are easy to use and keep clean are of a higher value than something that requires high maintenance levels and is not comfortable. Function over fashion.  It is important to know your demographic of who lives in your neighbourhood. Victoria, BC has many different neighbourhoods where the age ranges of buyers and residents wild vary.

Read full post

During the past three years, we have seen one of the most heated and fast paced markets in the past two and a half decades. It seems that no matter where you are, whether in your car listening to the radio or sipping a latte in Starbucks…Everyone is talking about real estate. Will it go up? Will it go down? Is it a bubble? Is it not a bubble?


The most common thread that I am finding is that there is come dissonance between what people are reading in newspapers and how they actually feel about the market.  Many times consumers are leary of articles written about real estate as they are commonly written by realtors.


Having always been a huge fan of people doing their own research, I just thought I would put together a few suggestions as to the ways consumers can stay in touch with the local market.  A lot of what you read or what people say is opinion.  I feel it is important to look to a diverse array of sources when gathering info and forming an opinion.

I prefer not to make predictions about the market.


I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future. While I don’t offer ‘predictions’, I will say that I believe real estate is cyclical. Once you learn about the cycles of real estate and what causes them, it will be easier for you to determine the likelihood of the market going up or down.


SOURCES OF MEDIA THAT CAN HELP YOU IN STAYING IN TOUCH WITH THE VICTORIA, BC REAL ESTATE MARKET

THE LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

I know! I just said don’t trust everything that you read! That being said, it is important to read articles as they are often predictors of what regulations will be coming into play, what mortgage rates are doing, etc… Take everything with a grain of salt and remember to look to different sources and voices to either supplement or contradict these articles.


YOUTUBE

Ok, so YouTube is full of cute cat videos and old ice bucket challenge videos but it is also full of valuable contributors. I personally have 20-30 channels that I follow that pertain to real estate markets, global finance and current events.  I watch everything from what’s going on in the US, London, Australian and Canadian markets.  When you have a sense of what’s going on around outside Vancouver Island, it can give insight into the effects of regulations and rules being implemented in other markets.


BOOKS, BOOKS & MORE BOOKS

Put down the fiction once in a while and settle down with a cup of tea and a real estate book. A simple search around amazon will present you with many options that touch on topics such as real estate investing (these will talk about cycles), how to purchase real estate or books on the economy at large as this plays a huge role as well.


TALK TO A REALTOR… ER, ONE YOU TRUST

I hear ya, before I was a realtor I saw many Realtors driving around in their flashy sports cars looking like overpaid salesmen. I get it. It doesn’t exactly ignite the desire to sit down and get an honest discussion about real estate. On the otherhand, there are other realtors (myself included) that are in the business for the long run and have the desire to help people. Once you find a realtor who shoots from the hip and isn’t afraid of having honest discussions about the market…Hold onto them! Make friends with them and go for coffee periodically. Realtors love talking about real estate and many of them are social creatures as well.

Read full post

Roof Issues

Sometimes issues with the roof are visible from the ground to prospective buyers, but some things are only uncovered by a professional inspection. Issues that can arise include brittle shingles or improperly installed, missing or damaged flashings.

Problems with the Foundation

Cracks, slopes, and sticking doors and windows are all issues that can be discovered that relate to the foundation. Many issues can be fixed with caulk and epoxy but it is always best to leave the diagnosis to a professional.

Improper Wiring

Overloaded panels, outdated wiring (for example aluminum wiring) and amperage mismatches are examples of issues that can occur with an inspection of the electrical system. There is always a fix for issues, but never underestimate the importance of the electrical system being up to code. If an electrical system is not up to code, it could be a fire hazard and render the property uninsurable.

Faulty gutters 

The best step to keeping your roof long lasting and your foundation dry is by having gutters in good working order. If you have gutters that leak, do not drain properly or are not channeled properly away from the house, you will have issues in the future. They're not too expensive to repair when you consider saving the health of your foundation. So if you do uncover issues, don't skimp and put it off.

Shabby Interior Details

The most common thing that inspector note is the general condition of the carpet, paint, and walls. These are mostly aesthetic things, but it is important that these details are brought up to modern day expectations of style and cleanliness to preserve the highest value of the property possible.

Plumbing annoyances

Poor water pressure, slow draining drains, water stains on ceilings and loose fixtures such as faucets and handles.  These are normally not expensive issues to fix and with a little know how can typically be remedied by the homeowner.

Read full post
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.