Welcome to Nanaimo Real Estate Team's Blog

This blog will take a look into Nanaimo's real estate market, community news and events, and everything in between! We want to keep on top of things going on in this growing city, to help show our clients what Nanaimo has to offer. Take a seat, grab something to eat or drink, and have a read.

 

 

 

Sept. 16, 2020

9 Illusions Created by Home Buying Shows Which Simply Aren’t True

If only buying and selling houses were as easy “as seen on TV”!

It’s probably not all that shocking to you to find out that “reality” real estate shows are pretty far off from actual reality. But how they are different from reality may surprise you…

1. Buyers look at exactly three properties before making a decision

In reality, there is no set number of homes you need to see before making a decision. Some people find the perfect property right away, while others look at dozens before making an offer.

2. Decisions are made after a brief conversation

While there are people who can probably make big financial decisions after a thirty second chat over a few drinks and an appetizer, for most people, it takes at least a little more time and consideration before deciding on which house to buy.

 

3. Most couples in their 20s and 30s are buying expensive properties

The people you see on TV are the exception to the rule. Most young people start with starter homes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As badly as most twenty-somethings want a fabulous penthouse, it’s usually not in the cards (yet).

 

4. Sellers always get offers after an open house

In reality, an open house does not guarantee an offer, though it can help drum up interest. If you watch enough HGTV, though, you might think otherwise.

 

5. Every property is perfectly staged

Staging isn’t uncommon, but it’s usually dependent on the seller’s living situation, their budget, and the particulars of the property. However, not all homes for sale are perfectly staged with pristine mid-century modern kitsch, and some are completely empty.

 

6. Renovations are fast, easy, and cheap

TV makes it look like a full remodel can happen in less than half an hour. In reality, renovations can be time-consuming, complicated, and—with some exceptions—fairly expensive. That being said, in many cases they can be well worth it.

 

7. After an offer has been accepted, it’s smooth sailing through closing

In reality, there is plenty of work to be done after an accepted offer, including the purchase and sale agreement, financing, inspections, title search, and taking care of anything else that might go awry.

 

8. The weather is perfect during every open house

As much as we want to, we can’t control the weather, and if it happens to rain or snow or be gloomy during an open house, the show must still go on. If you’ve only seen open houses on TV, however, you’d never believe it.

 

9. The real estate agent doesn’t have to do much

Agents on home buying shows look like they do little except show houses and call with good news. In reality, there’s so much more they have to handle, and plenty of behind-the-scenes, and in front of screens, that agents do to get you to closing.

Sept. 9, 2020

Preparing For An Appraisal? Focus On These Projects

An appraisal is an important part of the home selling process; you want your appraisal to accurately reflect your home’s value and your listing price. But if your home appraisal comes in lower than expected, it could cause issues with your home sale and put the deal at risk.

Which is why, as a seller, you want to do everything you can to get your home ready for the appraisal. But what projects should you be focusing on?

recent article from Forbes covered the home projects sellers should tackle before their appraisal, including:

  • Curb appeal. You only get to make a first impression once—so your home’s curb appeal can go a long way in adding value and setting the tone for a great appraisal. Keep any trees, bushes, or shrubs pruned, make sure your grass is mowed and healthy, and, if you have the budget, consider adding flowers or other details to spruce up your outdoor space and add a pop of color.
  • Bathroom upgrades. Simple (and affordable!) bathroom upgrades, like repainting or updating fixtures, can have a major visual impact—and, as such, can have a major impact on your appraisal.
  • Kitchen cabinetry. New cabinets can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen—and, as such, can add serious value. Don’t have the budget for new cabinets? Swapping out the cabinet doors can create the same kind of impact (without the hefty price tag).

There’s no need to do an entire renovation on your house. Simply make sure that what you already have to work with shows in the best light possible. Just spending even a little time and money on things that will catch the eye and attention of an appraiser, should pay off.

Aug. 27, 2020

Staging Your Home? Focus On These Rooms

When you list your home, you want to stage it in a way that appeals to as many buyers as possible. But unless you have an unlimited budget for staging, you’ll likely need to focus on staging a few spaces within your home to make the biggest impact on buyers.

So, the question is—which rooms should you focus on?

A recent survey from home lender Ally (outlined in a recent article from REALTOR Magazine) asked Americans to name their favorite room in a house. According to the survey, these are the top choices:

  • Master bedroom (27 percent)
  • Family room (14 percent)
  • Kitchen (10 percent)
  • Master bathroom (9 percent)

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you may want to invest a bit of extra time and money in staging your master bedroom, family room, kitchen, and master bath. Because these rooms are the most popular, potential buyers are likely to give them a little extra attention—and if they’re staged well, it could be what pushes them towards buying the home (and getting to enjoy those rooms for themselves).

Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 19, 2020

Upgrade Your Bathroom With These Instagram Design Tips

If you’re thinking about remodeling your bathroom, you’ll want your design to feel timely and on-trend. And a great place to explore the newest interior design trends—including bathroom design?

Instagram.

recent article from realtor.com highlighted some of the Instagram’s biggest bathroom design trends, including:

  • Open shelving. Open shelving instantly makes a space feel larger, making it a great choice for creating the illusion of spaciousness in a small bathroom.
  • Gold hardware. Gold hardware—like a faucet, towel bar, or toilet paper holder—is not only on trend, but can add a sense of warmth to your bathroom space. Just make sure to tie in the gold with other design elements (like a gold-rimmed mirror) to create a cohesive look.
  • Floor-to-ceiling backsplash. If you want to embrace a bold Instagram design trend, try a floor-to-ceiling backsplash. This will not only add visual interest to your bathroom, but it can also make ceilings look higher—which will, in turn, can make your bathroom feel bigger.
Posted in Around the Home
Aug. 13, 2020

Selling Your Home? Watch Out For These Stressors

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to selling your home—and for many sellers, those moving parts can cause a good amount of stress.

But what are the most stressful parts of the home selling process? According to a recent survey from LendingTree, some of the top stressors for home sellers include:

  • Buying and selling a home at the same time. 29 percent of home sellers surveyed named trying to buy a new home at the same time as trying to sell their current home as the biggest stressor in the home selling process.
  • Making costly repairs or upgrades. Depending on the condition of your home, you may need to shell out some cash on repairs or upgrades before you list—a process that 16 percent of buyers said was the most stressful part of the home selling process.
  • Fearing the home won’t sell. Even though a lack of inventory is making the market more favorable for sellers, 15 percent of sellers surveyed said that the fear their home won’t sell was the most stressful part of the home selling process.
  • Balancing advice from multiple sources. Your friends, family, and neighbors might mean well when they share advice on what you should and shouldn’t do during the home selling process—but 13 percent of those surveyed said fielding advice from multiple sources was the most stressful part of selling their home.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re stressed out about selling your house, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s normal. But, the more you know about the potential stressors of the home selling process, the better prepared you can be to deal with those stressors—and the less stressful your home sale will be as a result.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 5, 2020

Top Reasons People Are Moving Right Now

Quarantine and shutdowns across the country gave people plenty of time to think about what they’re looking for in their next home—and now that a lot of restrictions have been lifted, a large percentage of those people are reentering the market, looking for homes, and getting ready to move.

But what, exactly, are the motivations behind those moves?

recent survey from HomeLight, which polled real estate agents seven times between April and June, examined the question “what are the top reasons motivating people to move currently?”

According to the survey, the most popular motivators driving people’s moves right now include needing more space (44 percent), a desire to buy a property instead of renting (41 percent), and getting out of the city and moving to the suburbs (37 percent).

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? The pandemic has given a lot of people clarity on their motivations to move and what they’re looking for in their next property—and if you’re one of those people, now is a great time to make a move and buy a home.

Posted in Buying a Home
July 30, 2020

Three Home Features Expected To Be In Demand After COVID-19

When COVID-related stay at home orders and restrictions hit the US in March, many buyers put their home search on hold. But as those orders and restrictions are being lifted, a good portion of those buyers are reentering the market.

Which brings up the question: what, exactly, are those buyers going to be looking for as we move through—and, eventually, out of—this pandemic?

recent survey from HomeLight, which polled real estate agents seven times between April and June, asked agents what they believed would be the most desirable or important features, characteristics, or amenities for buyers in the post-COVID-19 era—and, given what the country just went through in quarantine, the answers make sense. Some of the most popular responses include:

  • Designated home office (17 percent). COVID has pushed more companies towards a remote work model—which means more people than ever are working from home. Having a designated home office space is poised to be one of the most in-demand home features for buyers who are now working remotely.
  • Suburban or less dense location (16 percent). After a pandemic, expect many buyers to look to get out of the cities and into areas where it’s easier to get space—like the suburbs.
  • Private and spacious outdoor area (15 percent). COVID had many people stuck at home for months—and for many people without a yard, patio, or outdoor space, the lack of outdoor access made the experience more challenging. Expect even more demand moving forward for spacious (and private!) outdoor spaces, like fenced-in backyards.
Posted in Buying a Home
July 22, 2020

Video Touring a Home? Make Sure To Check These Outdoor Elements

Video tours are a great option for long-distance buyers and buyers who are hesitant to tour a property in person due to recent concerns. But if you’re planning a video tour and want to get a comprehensive feel for the property, you need to tour more than just the interior of the house—you need to take the video tour outdoors.

recent article from realtor.com outlined the key exterior elements you should explore on a video tour, including:

  • The neighbors’ homes. Privacy is important—and, as such, it’s important to know how far (or how close) the neighbors are to the property you’re considering. Ask your agent to show you (or potentially even measure) the distance to each neighbor’s home while you’re video touring the property.
  • Landscaping. You want to get a clear idea of the time, money, and energy it will take to maintain the outdoor space, so make sure your agent gives you a full tour of the front, back, and/or side yards; that way, you can get an idea of existing trees, flower beds, and landscaping needs.
  • The deck. It can be hard to see structural damages on a video tour, so make sure the agent zooms in on the deck area so you can identify any wear and tear.
  • Each side of the house. The front of the house may look like it’s in great shape—but what about the sides and the back? Make sure your agent shows you the exterior of the home from every angle so you can identify any potential damage or necessary repairs.
Posted in Buying a Home
July 15, 2020

Buyers Make Their Four-Legged Friends a Priority When Shopping For A New Home

There are plenty of things to consider when buying a home, from the size of the property to the location to the backyard. But for many buyers, it’s not just about what they’re looking for in a home; what their pets are looking for is just as important.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors and realtor.com (outlined in an article from REALTOR Magazine), a whopping 95% of pet-owning home buyers said their pet’s needs play into their home selection process. And if a home is otherwise perfect but doesn’t fit the needs of their four-legged friend? 68% of those buyers would pass on the property.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re searching for a home and “perfect for my pet” is on the top of your must-have list? You’re not alone. Factoring your pet’s priorities into your home search will help ensure you find the perfect home for your entire family—human and animal alike.

Posted in Buying a Home
July 8, 2020

6 Questions to Consider When Downsizing

If you’re considering moving into a smaller home, you may be eager to save money on mortgage payments and utilities. You might also be looking forward to spending less time and effort on interior and exterior home maintenance.

But before you begin packing up your belongings, here are a few things you might want to consider to help you choose the best one for the lifestyle you want.

1. Will this be your forever home?

Just because you’re downsizing, that does not mean you will only be considering a one-floor home. You could be looking at smaller homes with second floors, or lots of stairs.

You may still be in great health and shape, but as you age, steps often become the enemy, as climbing and descending a staircase causes pain in the back and legs. With that in mind, be realistic about the type of floor plan that best suits your future needs.

If you’re thinking this move will be your last and you’ll enjoy your retirement in this smaller space, you may want to look for a ranch, condo, or apartment that offers one-level living.

2. How much room will you need?

If you have children, even if they are in or out of college, that doesn’t mean they won’t be back to live with you at some point. Multi-generational living is on the rise. According to the Office of National Statistics, 32 percent of those in the 18 to 34 age range lived with their parents in 2017, compared with 25 percent in 1997. For men, that statistic is even higher at 37 percent. Though you may think your adult children have left the nest, they may boomerang their way back to you.

If you move to a popular destination, will you have frequent visitors? If so, do you want to open your home to them for a brief or extended stay?

These are just a couple of specific scenarios to get you thinking about the square footage you may need. If having room to accommodate adult children, grandkids, relatives, or friends is important to you, you may not want to scale back too substantially.

Of course, if you’re hoping to keep your home all to yourself, a significant downsizing should do the trick!

3. What are your storage options?

Keep in mind, if you’re downsizing, you will likely have to part with some belongings, so take an honest assessment of what you have and what of it you want to keep and bring with you.

Do you have heirloom furniture you’re not ready to part with, or large sporting equipment like jet skis or kayaks? If so, you’ll want to be sure that your next home offers a place for you to store these treasures. If it doesn’t, look into nearby storage facilities so you don’t have part with your prized possessions.

4. Will your pets be welcome?

Even if your goal is to go smaller, you’ll still want enough space to ensure your pets feel comfortable and safe.

If you have a cat or dog (or any other type of pet), you probably think of them as a four-legged family member. As you’re considering smaller spaces such as condos or apartments, make sure they’re pet-friendly. And, if your pet needs time in the great outdoors, make sure it’s allowed and that there is ample and desirable space to bring them outside.

5. Is there a sense of community?

Moving can be stressful — especially if you’re leaving behind friends, family, and neighbors you’ve known for years. Before putting down roots in a new locale, think about what your day-to-day life will be like without this close circle.

If you’re accustomed to an active social life, you’ll want to be sure your new enclave is brimming with opportunities to make new friends. Likewise, if you enjoy hobbies you’d prefer not to live without, do your due diligence so you can still enjoy the activities that bring you fulfillment.

6. What are your transportation options?

If part of your downsizing plan includes hanging up your car keys, you’ll want to explore your transportation options. From ride-sharing and community shuttles, to mass transit and air travel, know how easy or challenging it is to get around your potential new area before you move.

Taking the time to truly think about your preferences and what will make you most comfortable going forward can save you from the heartaches and headaches of having to move again.

Once you’ve made a list of must-haves, share them with your real estate agent so you’ll look at only those spaces that meet your criteria. This way your only regret will be that you didn’t downsize sooner.