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I have listed a new property at 1860 DEBORAH DRIVE in DUNCAN.
Here is perhaps the perfect family home in a well established and desirable neighbourhood. Function and style are at the top of the list for this 5 bdr, 3 bath home. The foyer is spacious and has a large closet and convenient storage cubbies. The main floor offers a great layout with a large, open concept living, dining and kitchen. There are plenty of cupboards and a huge island for meal prep and entertaining. The dining room has french doors out to the back deck and fully fenced back yard. Also on the main is a good sized master bedroom w/walk-in closet and 2 pce ensuite, 2 secondary bedrooms and a 4 pce main bath with heated tile floors. A beautiful fireplace, bamboo floors and tasteful updates throughout offer a move-in ready home. Downstairs has 2 additional bedrooms, family room, large laundry room and a 3pce bath. Suite potential is a definite possibility. There is ample storage, and parking for your RV or boat. This is a great home at a great price.
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I have listed a new property at 4 512 JIM CRAM DRIVE in LADYSMITH.
Modern condo unit in a quiet area of Ladysmith, at the end of a no thru street. This 2 bedroom + den home has bright open concept living. The kitchen has a large island and stainless steel appliances. The den opens onto the kitchen area and the living room has a lovely modern electric fireplace. The master bedroom is very spacious with a walk-in closet and ensuite. There is also a 2nd bedroom, 4 piece bathroom and an in-suite laundry/storage room. This condo has both a front and back balcony. All of this for only $259,900. Immediate possession is available.
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I have listed a new property at 1125 SHARP PLACE in LADYSMITH.
4 bedroom/3 bathroom split level family home in the heart of Ladysmith. This home has only had one owner and has been immaculately kept throughout the years. The front entrance opens onto a grand living room with 11ft ceilings and a new gas fireplace. The dining room has glass doors to the new back deck. The kitchen has oak cabinets and an eating nook with bay windows and also opens onto the large deck. It's just a few steps down to the spacious family room. This lower level also has a bedroom, 2 piece bathroom and large laundry/mud room that opens onto the double garage. The upstairs has 3 more bedrooms and a 4 piece bathroom. The master bedroom is massive with a giant walk-in closet and ensuite with jacuzzi soaker tub and separate shower. The roof was done in 2009 and a new hot water tank installed in 2015. There is a hatch to the crawl space that can accommodate tons of storage and there is an air exchanger and built-in vacuum. This home sits at the end of a cul-de-sac.
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I have listed a new property at 5061 MALAMOS ROAD in LADYSMITH.
Stunning 1.72 acre estate property with a large executive home and separate shop with legal suite just minutes outside of Ladysmith. This property is just steps from a public beach access and there are magnificent ocean and mountain views from almost every room on the main and upper floors. You have so many options here. This has been a bed and breakfast in the past and could easily be again. Each room upstairs has an ensuite and there is the suite above the garage that could be used with the B&B or rented out separately. The main house boasts 6 oversized bedrooms and a den as well as 6 bathrooms. There is a formal living room and dining room as well as a large family room and eating nook with the kitchen. The downstairs has a large rec room, 2 more bedrooms, a bathroom and a couple of storage rooms. The main house has a double garage and the carriage house also has a double garage with a 1 bedroom legal suite over it. This property is very private and has an above ground pool.
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I have listed a new property at 61 10980 WESTDOWNE ROAD in LADYSMITH.
This stunning home has been completely renovated from top to bottom. From the moment you walk up, you'll be impressed with all the updates that have been done. The front deck is a perfect area to sit and enjoy the morning sunrise. The first room you walk into is a gorgeous sunroom with pine woodwork on the walls. This opens onto the kitchen that has all new dark stained maple cabinets, tile countertops, new appliances and vinyl plank flooring. The living room is so bright and spacious and has new carpeting. The master bedroom fits a king sized bed. The 2nd bedroom has a built in murphy bed for guests. There is also tons of storage in this home. The list of other updates include drywall, doors, electrical, lighting, plumbing, paint, windows, storage shed, front and back decks, blinds, electric furnace, all new bathroom and more. Basically, this home is like new again. The outside area has gorgeous gardens, fruit trees and decks. The complex has a pool and clubhouse.
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I have listed a new property at 521 BALLOU PLACE in LADYSMITH.
Newer 1700sqft rancher...need I say more? This home is completely open plan in the main living area which makes it very flexible in how you configure the space. The great room area has hardwood floors and the kitchen has slate tiles, maple cabinets and a pantry. The master bedroom has an ensuite and walk-in closet. The other 2 bedrooms are spacious and there is a main 4 piece bathroom. This home sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a nice area of Ladysmith. The lot is completely flat and the back yard is fenced. There is also room for your RV. Everyone seems to be looking for a large rancher these days so don't wait to book a showing.
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I have listed a new property at 3612 GLEN OAKS DRIVE in NANAIMO.
A must see updated Oakridge 4 bdrm, 3 bath, 2 story home in a superb location. This house has an ideal floor plan which offers spacious rooms throughout and all 4 bdrms are upstairs. Master suite includes walk in closet with beautiful ensuite. Updates include interior doors, fixtures, and lighting. Superior floor plan with main level living. Out back you will find a very large, flat, fully fenced yard with custom rock garden, garden shed, and beautiful space for hosting outdoor BBQ's. Features include gas fireplace, built-in vac, large 2 car garage, lots of closet space, plenty of parking for a boat and RV. Located within a 10 minutes walk to beautiful Pipers Lagoon and few minutes drive to launch your boat at Charlaine boat launch, this home really ticks all the boxes.
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I have listed a new property at 184 ARBUTUS CRES in LADYSMITH.
This home has it all. A perfect combination of privacy and convenient location. Situated on a generous sized lot of almost 1/3 of an acre with parking for all your toys. The home is a classic split level style that is perfect for family living and entertaining. The large foyer is flanked by a family room and huge laundry with plenty of storage. The main level has vaulted ceilings, spacious living room with access to the front deck and a dining room that opens out to the back yard. The master bedroom has good sized closets and a 3pc ensuite. 2 secondary bedrooms, a workshop, garden shed and an easy care yard complete this pkg. Looking for that dream shop? There's plenty of room to build one.
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I have listed a new property at 286 HARWELL ROAD in NANAIMO.
This immaculate 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom split level home has it all. From the moment you walk in the door you will fall in love. On the main level, the spacious living room is bright and inviting with hardwood floors throughout. The newly renovated kitchen has maple shaker style cabinets. The dining room opens onto the back deck where you can appreciate the distant ocean views. The upstairs has 3 spacious bedrooms as well as a renovated 4 piece bathroom. The downstairs has a 4th bedroom or den, family room, 3 piece bathroom and laundry/storage room that also opens onto the back yard. The large back yard is level and fenced. This home sits in a quiet and desirable neighbourhood just a short walk from Westwood Lake yet just minutes from the Island Highway. The Aquatics Centre and Ice Rink facilities as well as Vancouver Island University are also within walking distance. This is the whole package. There is nothing to do but move in.
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I have listed a new property at 3700 GARDNER ROAD in LADYSMITH.
Panoramic ocean views in Sunny Saltair. The main level offers a large expanse of windows from the kitchen, dining and living room to enjoy gorgeous views of the Gulf Island and the Coastal Mountains beyond. From this level you can also access a very private back yard with beautiful patio area, garden shed and vegetable beds for the avid gardener. Downstairs are two secondary bedrooms, family room, plenty of storage and an oversized garage. The front yard is beautifully landscaped with easy maintenance shrubbery and there is extra parking for RV or boat. This is a very desirable area with established homes on larger lots on a no through road. You can enjoy tranquil living, beautiful views and convenient access to all amenities.
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I have listed a new property at 941 5TH AVE in LADYSMITH.
Completely renovated home with all the character and charm. This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home has so much to offer. The main level has a modern country kitchen complete with stainless steel appliances and a large centre island. The spacious living room has coved ceilings and parkay wood floors. The 4 piece bathroom has been completely renovated and the 2 bedrooms on the main are bright and spacious. There is also access to the attic that is currently being used for storage. The lower level has a family room, 3rd bedroom and 4 piece bathroom as well as a laundry room and large partially finished area. There are new windows throughout and a heat pump that contributes to reasonable heating costs and provides air conditioning. The exterior has a newer roof and hardy plank siding. This home sits on a corner lot in the middle of town. The Town of Ladysmith has given approval for a carriage house with alley access to be built. Build your dream shop with a mortgage helper.
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I have listed a new property at 649 SANDERSON ROAD in LADYSMITH.
***Check out our 3D tour*** Absolutely stunning 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom level entry home in a great new neighbourhood with mountain views. This home has it all. With hand scraped hardwood floors throughout, the living room, dining room and kitchen are open concept with large bright windows looking onto the back yard. The kitchen has gorgeous dark maple stained soft closing cabinets and granite countertops. There is a separate bonus room/family room that could also be used as a 5th bedroom. The 4th bedroom on the main is currently being used as a home gym. The laundry room and powder room completes the main level with access to the double garage with tons of extra space for a workshop and storage. The upstairs has 3 bedrooms and a main 4 piece bathroom. The master bedroom has a massive walk in closet and ensuite; it's luxury at it's finest. The level backyard with stamped concrete patio and garden shed is bright and open. There is tons of RV/boat parking.
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I have listed a new property at 21 711 MALONE ROAD in LADYSMITH.
Excellent value in this centrally located townhome. Close to all the important amenities including schools, trails, rec centre, shopping and bus routes. Main level entry with storage just off the carport and parking for two vehicles. A sliding door allows easy access to the rear yard and patio. Upstairs is a good sized master bedroom, two secondary bedrooms, laundry and a large walk-in storage closet in the hallway. The current owner recently installed tile flooring, all trim and baseboard, light fixtures and carpeting. There is a brand new washer and dryer. With low strata fees and a layout that appeals to all ages this is a great buy in today's market for under $200,000.
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I have listed a new property at 22 1150 WALKEM ROAD in LADYSMITH.
This is a beautiful main level entry patio home with a full basement. The main level has the master bedroom with 4 piece ensuite and walk-in closet. There is a 2nd bedroom, 4 piece bathroom and large laundry room on this floor as well. The living room is spacious with a cozy gas fireplace and opens onto the dining room. The kitchen has oak cabinets and the eating nook opens onto the covered back deck with a slider. The downstairs has a large family room which is currently being used as an artist studio. There is a slider that opens onto the back patio and fenced yard. The 3rd bedroom is downstairs with another 4 piece bathroom and a large storage room. You can park out front which is just a few steps from the front door or park in the garage around the back on the lower level. This is a 55+ complex that allows for 10% rentals as well as 2 cats or 2 dogs under 20lbs. This complex backs onto Rocky Creek and is within walking distance to many trails including Holland Creek Trail.
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Are you waiting to list your home until the "season" begins?  Because sales and prices tend to peak in the spring and summer, it's a common theory in many markets.

 

However, this year is different.  The conventional wisdom isn't correct this winter.

 

Here's why:  At the end of 2016, inventory levels plunged to multiyear lows.  Seller's are currently facing very little competition.

 

Mixed with that, buyer demand is abnormally strong for the off season.  The potential increase in mortgage rates and changes to mortgage policy has created a sense urgency among buyers.

 

Some buyer's are more in a rush to lock in a low rate sooner.  Plus, sellers may also worry about lending rates as well: an estimated 85% of sellers are planning to buy another home after they sell.

 

So here's the best tip for seller's.  If you are thinking of selling in 2017, the early bird may get the worm.  And the best new nest.

 

Lindy and Elaine Real Estate Team

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3 New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers in 2017

 


New Year’s resolution: Buy a home.


You've heard that plenty from your contacts. So, now how do they get there with their savings?
There are plenty of preparations would-be home buyers can make to put homeownership more within their reach in 2017. Here are three New Year’s resolutions to adopt to get on the path:


I will automate my down payment savings.


Buyers who are trying to save up the often-recommended 20 percent down payment will need to get savvy at saving, stat. First off, you often don’t really need 20 percent down but you do need to save. Here’s a way to commit: Automate your bank accounts so that you regularly set aside a small amount of your paycheck into a separate savings account dedicated as your “house fund.” Amassing enough for a down payment takes discipline and perseverance, but setting up automatic savings can make it easier, “If you never see the cash, you won’t spend it.”


I will clean up my credit.


Pay your bills on time. Keep up on credit card, car, and college loans. Mortgage lenders want to see that you aren’t sloppy with credit. You don’t need to avoid credit altogether, however. If you earn $200,000 a year but never pay your credit cards on you could be considered a credit risk. It’s also important to establish a credit history but try not to use more than 30 percent of your available credit.


I will budget wisely.


Downsize your budget now so you’ll be able to save more for your down payment and pay down any debts. Also, factor in added expenses that come with buying a new home, like furniture and accessories. If you know that a mortgage is going to take a bigger amount of your paycheck, create a budget that factors that in so you can get used to living on less disposable income.

 

Yes it takes commitment but we all know home ownership is investing in your future.

 

All the best in 2017!

 

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I have listed a new property at 6 5988 WATERTON DRIVE in NANAIMO.
This is a lovely level entry 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Parkwood. The living room, dining room and eating nook are all open concept and then there is a galley kitchen. The living room has a gas fireplace and there is a french door opening onto the back deck that even has some ocean views. The master bedroom has a 4 piece ensuite and then there is a 2nd bedroom, main bathroom and laundry room that complete the main level. There is a full basement with rec room and family room areas that could easily accommodate a 3rd bedroom. There is also a large storage area. The single car garage and driveway parking can accommodate 2 vehicles. This unit sits at the end of a no thru street with shopping and all levels of schools just steps away. This is a well run complex that allows buyers of all ages and pets.
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"True charity is anonymous".   This is a  phrase I heard often from my dad .  His point when saying it to myself and my siblings was to make us aware of the difference between someone doing something genuine or promoting themselves.

 

As realtors, marketing is a huge component of our business plan and there are various levels of it.  For example, Elaine and I love to give gifts to our buyer's when they take possession of their new home.  (Sometimes we forget so I'll appologize now if we've missed you.)  Another gift we like to give is on the one year anniversary.  These gifts we give for a number of reasons.  The obvious ones are that we appreciate the business and we are genuinely excited for you. In these two cases there is also a subliminal level of marketing even though that is not the intention.

 

Like so many other people we also give the gift of our time.  We chose charites or groups that are important to us as a way of giving back to the community we love.  We feel very strongly about this and we do it with sincerity.

 

The difference between marketing and promotion is that marketing is an overall plan to make potential clients aware of your service or product.  Promotion is a piece of the marketing strategy.  In real estate this could be in the form of an open house or posting on social media.

 

Then there's what I call "passive marketing".  This could be something offered that has a consequence of promotion.  An example of this could be when we offer our event tents for functions.  They are useful to the user but clearly a form of promotion as they have our business names plastered all over them.

 

Social media can be an amazing marketing tool.  It can also be grossly misused.  A good example of this is where an individual has done something for someone and feels compelled to share it publicly.  This turns a charitable action into shameful self promotion.  ("True charity is anonymous").

 

Another form of giving that is often misunderstood is the gift that is given with a business card attached to it.  Make no mistake,  this is pure promotion.  The giver needs to be honest with themselves about this and the recipient aware of it. There is nothing wrong with this but lets call it what it is.

 

We strive to be mindful of these differences and Promote ourselves professionally, Market with integrity and give from the heart.

 

 

"True charity is anonymous"

 

Lindy Skutnik

Lindy and Elaine Real Estate Team

 

 

 

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The change

Expanding a mortgage rate stress test to all insured mortgages.

What it is

As of Oct. 17, a stress test used for approving high-ratio mortgages will be applied to all new insured mortgages – including those where the buyer has more than 20 per cent for a down payment. The stress test is aimed at assuring the lender that the home buyer could still afford the mortgage if interest rates were to rise. The home buyer would need to qualify for a loan at the negotiated rate in the mortgage contract, but also at the Bank of Canada’s five-year fixed posted mortgage rate, which is an average of the posted rates of the big six banks in Canada. This rate is usually higher than what buyers can negotiate. As of Sept. 28, the posted rate was 4.64 per cent.

Other aspects of the stress test require that the home buyer will be spending no more than 39 per cent of income on home-carrying costs like mortgage payments, heat and taxes. Another measure called total debt service includes all other debt payments and the TDS ratio must not exceed 44 per cent.

Talk to your mortgage specialist to see what this means for you.

 

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WHY USE A REALTOR®?

 

REALTORS® are trained professionals who bring a wealth of experience and resources to their clients, whether that client is looking to buy their first home or is a seasoned seller. Expert knowledge of the communities in which they work, the ability to accurately price and market properties, and experience in negotiating buying and selling prices are just a few of the things you can expect from a licensed REALTOR®. 

 

Consider some of the advantages of using a REALTOR® when buying or selling: 

 

When Buying

 

•A REALTOR® has the knowledge, experience and resources to find properties in your price range and homes that match your individual needs.

•You can get information on schools, transportation and other services in different neighbourhoods, and access the MLS® service, which provides up-to- date details on a wide variety of properties in the markets you are exploring.

•A REALTOR® can help you understand property financing, taxes, insurance and the steps you'll have to take to complete a real estate transaction.

•You can save substantial time by allowing the REALTOR® to "preview" properties that fit your budget and expectations. This way, you may only have to visit a handful of homes to make a wise and informed selection.

•A REALTOR® will explain the various financing alternatives available and provide up-to-date information on interest rates and mortgage options.

•They will act as a mediator to off-set potential conflicts between you and a seller.

•A REALTOR® will draw up an offer to purchase and assist with all details required to make a successful transaction, including when to bring in other professionals (lawyer, lender, home inspector, insurance broker and others).

 

When Selling

 

•A REALTOR® is an expert in effective advertising and will cover all the costs as part of their service to you

•Your home will receive far-reaching market exposure through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®)

•You can depend on their support every step of the way.

•A REALTOR® will provide you with a full explanation of the selling process and what to expect from the beginning.

•A selling price will be established in consultation with you that will appeal to buyers interested in your type of home and neighbourhood.

•A REALTOR® will assess your home and provide you with tips on how to highlight its best features and make it more appealing.

•A marketing plan for your home will be developed to help it sell quickly at or near the asking price. In addition to MLS® listing and advertising in the newspapers and other media, most plans will include a number of open houses.

•A REALTOR® will save you time by separating the lookers from the buyers and ensuring that only serious buyers visit your home.

•When an offer is received, a REALTOR® will use their knowledge and experience to negotiate an agreement on your behalf and according to your instructions.

•If you accept an offer, the REALTOR® will participate in drawing up a legally binding contract that protects your interests, ensures any conditions to a binding agreement are fulfilled, and that all your questions and concerns are dealt with to your complete satisfaction.

 

 

HOW TO SELECT A REALTOR®?

 

Using the professional services of a REALTOR® is a smart business decision. Real estate transactions may be among the largest investment decisions you make. It's important to find the right REALTOR® to work with. 

 

There are 1000+ REALTORS® working north of the Malahat. Some are fresh new REALTORS®, looking to build a career and eager for clients. Others have been in the business for 20 years, or more, and are well established. Some REALTORS® specialize in a particular community or property type, such as townhouses or commercial properties. 

 

It's a good idea to meet with and interview several REALTORS®. You'll learn about how they do business, whether their personality is a good fit, and whether you have confidence in their ability to do the best job, for you. 

 

Before you enlist the help of a REALTOR®, you should have a clear set of objectives in mind. Be honest and open in discussing your financial situation and, if you're buying, carefully review the features you absolutely must have in a home, versus those features you'd merely like to have. 

 

Where to begin the search? Ask friends and colleagues for referrals. Check out REALTOR® websites. See who is actively listing similar properties. Visit a local real estate office, tell them what you're looking for, and let them help match you with a REALTOR®. 

 

Whomever you choose, be assured that REALTORS® abide by a Code of Ethics demanding high standards of professional conduct to protect the interests of their clients.

 

 

WHAT IS MLS®? 

 

The Multiple Listing Service® is a co-operative marketing system that maximizes exposure of properties for sale. It is a central registry of properties used by REALTORS® to match buyers with properties for sale. Most homes sold in Canada are sold via the MLS® systems operated by real estate boards across the country. 

 

The MLS® system includes a sophisticated computer database of properties indexed by price, location, type of home, number of bedrooms, amenities and so forth. 

 

The VIREB MLS® maintains information on between 4800-7000 active listings of property for sale on the Island, and typically receives 77 new listings every day. Listings range from undeveloped lots to business opportunities or special properties. Listings are updated throughout the day. 

 

 

Why does it work? 

 

The strength of the MLS® system rests in the quality and accuracy of the information. Government, economists, financial institutions, appraisers and others all rely on MLS® data. This is because REALTORS® who submit the listing information, and MLS® staff at real estate boards who conduct quality control, are trained and educated in the complexities of real estate. 

 

REALTORS® know how to describe a property accurately and what information must be disclosed in an MLS® listing. For instance, if there is a restriction on the use of a property, something called an easement, this information must appear in the MLS® listing. 

 

Also, the MLS® connects buyers and sellers. If the MLS® system did not exist, sellers would have to choose an individual real estate brokerage to list their home and only that brokerage would have the information about it and the ability to show and sell it. If the MLS® system did not exist, buyers would have to go from REALTOR® to REALTOR® to view the listings of each individual brokerage. 

 

Many alternate systems and services exist to buy and sell homes and they all compete for customers. The MLS® is the REALTOR® option. 

 

 

How does MLS® benefit consumers? 

 

A large part of the REALTORS® job lies in finding properties that meet a buyer's needs. Using the MLS®, a REALTOR® can search the database for homes that suit budgets, location preferences and family requirements, and quickly put together a short list of suitable homes. This way a buyer can decide what home they want to see, what their options are and what types of properties the market has to offer. 

 

For sellers, the MLS®,  matches your property with as many qualified, motivated buyers as possible. The MLS® exposes your property to people most likely to purchase it and makes sure you won't waste your time showing your home to those who are not truly interested. When you make the decision to sell ensure you ask your REALTOR® about an MLS® listing. The MLS® will ensure wide exposure of your home to a broad range of interested people. 

 

What about REALTOR.ca? 

 

The public website www.realtor.ca is not the MLS® system. Local MLS® systems are owned and operated by local real estate boards, for use by REALTORS®. Realtor.ca is an advertising vehicle that gives consumers direct access to information about MLS® listings. The website is provided by REALTORS® across Canada to help market properties on behalf of their clients. The home listing information on www.realtor.ca streams from the MLS® but does not contain the full collection of information on the system. 

 

 


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