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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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I have listed a new property at 231 BELAIRE STREET in LADYSMITH.
There are so many possibilities for this affordable home. The location is perfect. Within walking distance to downtown and all levels of schools as well as the Rec Centre. There is a bus stop and a park right across the street. The main level has a spacious living room that is open to the dining room and kitchen that has an eating bar, large pantry, stainless steel appliances and a french door out to the deck. The master bedroom has an abundance of closet space and an ensuite with soaker tub and walk in shower. Completing the main is a 2nd bedroom and den. The downstairs has a large rec room and 3rd bedroom as well as a separate one bedroom in-law suite. The yard is fully fenced with a great little playhouse and there is also a 2 bay detached shop with 220amp service, steel cabinets and a workbench. There is plenty of parking for all of your toys including RVs and boats. Everything you could want for a great price.
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I have listed a new property at 1137 CLOKE ROAD in LADYSMITH.
Lovely 3 bedroom 2 bathroom rancher on a large flat lot and close to all Ladysmith amenities. This home has been beautifully renovated with new maple cabinets in the kitchen as well as hardwood floors and a woodstove in the living room. The master bedroom has a beautifully renovated ensuite and the main bathroom has also been renovated. The heating is very efficient hot water radiant baseboards. The lot is large, flat and fully fenced with built in sprinklers and access to the backyard for RV parking or perhaps to build a shop. This home is walking distance to the Health Centre, Recreation Centre, all levels of schools and downtown.
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At a recent 460 Sales meeting, we brainstormed ideas to help buyer's in an unccertain market. We believe that drawing upon everyone's knowledge and experience will better serve our client's in this market. That being said, we created a great list of tips to help buyer's in this unbalanced market. 

 

  1. Ensure you have solid financing in place
  2. Secure a temporary place to live in order to keep dates as flexible as possible
  3. Understand that your choices may be limited as we to what is currently available on the market
  4. Agree to work with one Realtor and ensure they are also committed to working for you
  5. Have your deposit money ready and easy to access
  6. Learn about the local market you're buying in, discuss the sales statistics with your Realtor to understand how to make a quick decision
  7. Work closely with your Realtor, follow through on contacting your home inspector, insurance and financing, do your homework!
  8. Be sure your Realtor will be available quickly to show you properties, if they're unable to then develop a plan for who they will have in their place to show you
  9. You also need to be available to view properties as soon as possible, on your lunch break, or after work
  10. Discuss listing price with your Realtor, understand that right now listing price may not always reflect true value of the home
  11. Be prepared for a multiple offer situation and understand how a multiple offer situation will play out
  12. Be prepared to write a clean offer, have financing secured, some buyers bring a building inspector with them when viewing so they don't have to have that as a subject in the contract
  13. If you are on the PCS (Private Client Services) then check it often (3 times a day) and on weekends and if you're not on the PCS then have your Realtor set you up on it!
  14. Make sure your Realtor will follow up on pending offers in case the other deal collapses 
  15. Be open to writing a back up offer
  16. Include your personal story with your offer, even a photo, this can make a difference if a seller is wanting someone who will be good to the neighborhood or raise a family in the home they raised their family in  

 

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I have listed a new property at 415 HAMBROOK STREET in LADYSMITH.
Looking for an affordable rancher in one of the quietest neighbourhoods in Ladysmith? Here we have a 1300 sq ft, level entry home on an oversized level lot. Nicely updated, large eat-in kitchen, great appliances, bright spacious living room and 3 bedrooms. There is a good sized laundry room with extra storage and a wood stove for those cool winter days. The easy care yard includes fruit trees, a grape arbour, a lovely patio area and the bonus is the 20' X 16'4" detached shop. You can walk to beautiful downtown Ladysmith in minutes and area also within walking distance to all schools, rec centre, beach and all shopping. This is an excellent starter, retirement or investment property.
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I have listed a new property at 9 25 MAKI ROAD in NANAIMO.
This is an immaculate home located in a quiet mobile home park in Chase River. The living is a generous size and opens onto the dining room and kitchen which has an abundance of oak cabinetry, an island and a large pantry. The open concept layout makes it so bright and spacious. The master bedroom and 2nd bedroom are also bright and spacious and the 4 piece bathroom is modern. There is also a laundry room that opens onto the back yard that is fully fenced and has a garden shed. This home is close to all the amenities that Chase River has to offer and is close to the Parkway as well as downtown Nanaimo. All you need to do is move in and enjoy.
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I have listed a new property at 326 WHITE STREET in LADYSMITH.
Here's a lovely home right in the heart of Ladysmith. So much potential in t.his little gem. A welcoming front porch, 11 foot ceilings, large lot with alley access, detached shop with new roof, and an ocean view! An excellent option for getting into the market or as an investment property.
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