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Market Prices 2019

Market Prices 2019

Written by admin
on April 18, 2019

cooling real estate market for 2019


Real estate sales dropped in January as the market continued to cool. For every month in 2018, sales numbers fell below the same month the previous year. The year ended with a 20 per cent decline in the number of sales compared with 2017.

The pattern of lower sales numbers continued in the first month of this year.

Buyers are holding off for a number of reasons including the introduction of the mortgage stress test this year and higher mortgage rates. Tougher mortgage lending rules have reduced the size of a loan buyers can qualify for by up to 25 per cent. So people have held off buying as they watch for prices to flatten.

great time to buy

Some buyers are re-evaluating their expectations and looking at condos and townhomes rather than single-family homes or just the opposite further outside the downtown core.  Everyone is watching the market to see what conditions are like in spring.

In the region’s core, where prices are typically higher, the benchmark price was $847,800 last month. It was also down from December, which was $858,600. January’s benchmark was up by 0.9 per cent from January 2018, when it was $840,000.

Over the past few years, demand in Greater Victoria has outstripped supply, putting upward pressure on pricing.

This could signal a great time to buy.



The 2019 Victoria Housing Market Outlook suggests modest price increases are expected in 2019 and estimates the average sales price to increase by 1.7 %.

Canadians said higher interest rates have not affected their ability to get an affordable mortgage thus far. However, this is expected to change in 2019. Reduced foreign buyer activity has opened up more opportunity for local buyers in Greater Vancouver’s and Victoria’s condo market.

If sellers of older properties (5yrs or more) don’t alter their selling price the property may sit on the market for months at a time. The market is now swinging toward a “buyers” market with slow moving inventory – go ahead, make your offer.

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Luxury Prices

Luxury Prices

Written by admin
on February 19, 2019


Add a level of elegance, charm or luxury to your furnished property with a few select details.
Your executive guests will appreciate the styling efforts put into the property which translates into care and value. It can affect the price you can charge for something not “run of the mill”.
Instead of artwork (or too much of it) try gorgeous mirrors. Strategically placed, mirrors can provide a “soul” into the property enhancing the illusion of space and/or reflecting an inspiring view.


Add some “bling” to either a dining area (chandelier), bedroom or bath (ceiling light fixture) or new fixtures to replace boring ceiling pendants. The preferred spot is over the dining table but I have seen bathrooms and bedrooms come alive with this addition. The new fixture should beautifully capture and reflect light, creating a perfect ambiance anywhere you put it. This blingy bright spot need not be an expensive crystal chandelier – a simpler style with a bit of bling will certainly do. The example shows a drum chandelier with shade.


Add a padded and upholstered headboard to your bed set-up. This will be far more comfortable for your guests than trying to prop up pillows so one can sit in bed and read or watch TV.
Again, this need not be expensive. Something practical and colour coordinated with your existing scheme will work well and add that extra touch of luxury that beds without will lack.


This element is one of the most important features of your rental home and should not be overlooked especially in the living room.  A big bonus to your property is adequate lighting. Unless your space is unusually large, ditch the old fashioned lamps on end tables that you may be using now, especially if your space is compact. A decent floor lamp, with arching tree-like branches or
arms will provide everything the room will need while embracing modern trends. Choose a fixture that provides ambient and task lighting to eliminate the need for additional lamp fixtures.


If you have chosen light, grey or neutral colours as part of your living room scheme try adding a pop of colour with select decorator cushions. Not too many though, like one or two (matching) in total.
Colour brings a little life into the picture and it shows your guests you have put some thought and care into enhancing their environment. If your colors are dark you might go for a contrasting balance when choosing your decorator cushions.


Less is more, especially in tight spaces.
By using a floor lamp that doubles as both ambient and task lighting in the living room, you can save on buy additional lamps and keep the room simple and decluttered.
Avoid fur or faux fur pillows. Cute at first but hard to keep clean and eventually they look
“ratty” like an unkempt pet. Male tenants tend to hate them.
Bedding is key in making the impression that your rental is clean and modern. Follow the hotel standard ~ duvet with washable cover or quilted coverlet. Avoid “bed-in-bag” bedquilts as they are often too hot and  hard to keep clean. Solid colors are best as they look classier than patterns in the selection of your  bedding. Try microfiber sheets for a soft, silk effect and sheets that don’t wrinkle..
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Let There Be Light!

Let There Be Light!

Written by admin
on February 11, 2019


or how to make a small space larger & brighter

To attract renters and generate the best rental rate, make sure your property looks it’s best at all times. Small spaces that lack good lighting can be challenging, making them look and feel smaller than actuality. As the property owner, you can consider these small upgrades to improve the lighting so the space feels larger and more welcoming for your tenants.
Utilizing natural light and colors will help illuminate and lift the mood of your apartment. Add function and visual appeal with lighting layers and the proper fixtures. The right effect cannot be created without the right bulbs. Combining all these factors together will help transform your small, dark apartment into a warm, comfortable space you can come home to at the end of the day.


Make use of any natural light you have to eliminate shadows and open up the apartment. Stay away from thick curtains, instead, choose light colors, thin fabrics, and adjustable shades. If privacy is a concern, go for light colored honeycomb shades.

Enhance natural light by placing mirrors across from windows to reflect light. The space will look like it has more windows, making it seem bigger. We recommend you also put them above furniture and entryways.

The colors in a room also have a huge impact on brightness and size. Light colors should be used instead of dark. Take a dark wall and paint it a bright color, such as white or tan. If painting your walls isn’t an option, then use these colors for your fabrics and decor. Go for lighter shades of furniture instead of dark. Shiny surfaces are best for reflecting light, increasing brightness.

Light colored lamp shades give off more light. If you want to flood light into a dark room, then glass or mesh shades will do the trick. Or choose fixtures that have exposed bulbs as another way to flood light or arched floor lamps to illuminate a larger space. Avoid dark shades unless you want to contain light to above and below fixtures.


Combining the three lighting layers – ambient, task, and accent – will add function and decorative elements. General lighting is a layer that usually uses an overhead fixture to provide ambience. This fixture, however, offers minimal a amount of lighting, insufficient for performing tasks, such as preparing food, working on the computer or reading. Supplement overall lighting by mounting tap lights under your kitchen counter. Aside from its easy installation, it is a cheap way to add a task lighting layer. Shed some lighting on a desk for reading or any work you do with a desk lamp. 3-way arched lamps can offer all three layers in one. Full bright for tasks, dimmer for lower lighting and dimest for accent lighting. You can also give your apartment “dimension” with accent lighting. Highlight artwork, plants, and other objects to make the walls seem like they are fading, making the room feel bigger

The right fixture is required to achieve your lighting purpose and should match the look of your apartment. Increase the size of the space by focusing on the height of your ceiling. Large bold ceiling fixtures, such as stylish hanging pendants or chandeliers, distract from the small square footage and add drama. Instead, your eyes will be diverted towards the fixtures and give the illusion that the area is larger. Use larger pendants as a focal point in your dining room, bedrooms, or hallways. Chandeliers work well in living rooms, hallways, and bedrooms. Since one fixture won’t provide enough light, supplement them with extra fixtures.

Combine various fixtures that serve different purposes in your apartment. Evenly spread lighting throughout the room with wall lights and eliminate dark corners.

Most apartment bathrooms come with overhead illumination which is not ideal because it produces harsh overhead lighting. Worse, you’re left with dim lighting around your vanity, making your bathroom feel smaller. Improve the lighting in your bathroom by supplementing your overhead lighting with a slim sconce on the wall next to your vanity. It opens up the room by removing the harsh lighting and illuminating the vanity. Sconces are also useful in small bedrooms and hallways.

Sometimes simply clearing surfaces and tidying up any clutter will make your apartment look bigger. Replace that clutter with a vertical floor lamp which won’t use much floor space. Get a floor lamp that can provide multiple layers. Eliminate dark corners by using the fixture for task lighting. Floor lamps are fit for narrow spaces, too.

Another way to get rid of dark corners is to install recessed spotlights in the ceiling. They don’t take up any space and creates accent lighting for the appearance of a larger room. Place them in a reading corner or beside a sofa in your living room. Adding recessed lighting will ensure you have enough illumination.

If you prefer fixtures with easy installation, track lights in the ceiling will keep your apartment clutter-free. They have multiple directional fixtures that let you reposition them towards dark corners as a spotlight. Reflect light off the ceiling and walls to brighten the space and avoid harsh light. These fixtures should be used in kitchens and hallways. Track lighting tends to be an eyesore so add elegance and style by suspending pendants from it to distract from the fixture.


Bulbs affect the color and brightness of a home or apartment. Wattage measures brightness, while Kelvins measure color temperature. The more wattage it has, the more light it will emit.To brightly illuminate the space, increase the wattage of the bulbs to the maximum amount the overhead lighting can handle using cooler color temperature bulbs.

If you’re looking to save energy and money on your utility bill, go for LEDs. They emit the same amount of light as lower wattage bulbs using less energy. And while they are pricier upfront, their lifespan exceeds incandescent bulbs, eliminating the inconvenience of having to replace them. Bright white color temperature bulbs should be used in your kitchen and bathrooms. This color is between the white and blue range on the Kelvin scale. Place soft white bulbs, which produce a yellowish color, in bedrooms and living rooms for a warmer vibe. For reading corners, it’s best to go for the bluish color temperature of daylight. Note that the correct bulb will not only provide adequate lighting, but it will set the tone of the space


Dimmers control light intensity and instantly change an apartments atmosphere regardless of the time of day. High and low switches or 3-way bulbs are available options. Not to mention, they are easy to install.


Implement all the factors we discussed to give your apartment a warmer feel. Disperse light throughout the room with multiple adjustable mirrors and repaint walls with muted pastels to increase brightness. You might want to consider using a darker paint in a bedroom if it is small, darkly lit to give it a cozy, intimate vibe. Avoid using vibrant colors throughout because they can make the space look dated and dull. Bedrooms and living rooms should use soft white bulbs in the 2700-3000K range. Place bulbs with 4000-5000K in kitchens, bathrooms, and other bright spaces for a warm white color. Don’t stray from these suggested color temperatures.

Using these techniques, you can enhance the ambiance of your apartment, without too much hassle or expense.

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Furnished or ?

Furnished or ?

Written by admin
on January 15, 2019
Outfitting your property with all the furnishings can be a major expense. It’s completely up to you whether you offer it with nothing but bare walls and floorboards, or every possible kind of furniture, appliance, tools, kitchenware, bathroom scales and magic lanterns.

Pros/Cons about furnishing a property:

Access to a larger market; global & international executives and professionals who are looking for temporary housing; Real Estate Transitions; relocations; Insurance Displacements and holiday renters
Higher rent rates because of all the includes in the property rental as well as the above sector will expect to pay premium rates for short and mid-term rentals. Access to the larger market which includes better qualified tenants who are or have been homeowners themselves and may have a higher respect for home ownership
Higher investment costs but you can deduct a percentage of the cost of the goods from your tax liability. Deductible expenses include both the cost of the replacement item and costs of disposal of the old item.

Pros/Cons regarding an unfurnished property:

Tenants who buy their own furniture may stay for longer, since they have made an investment and moving could be complex and expensive. Tenants may be happier with their own furniture and less problematic for you. You have no concerns over wear and tear if the property is unfurnished
Your will be limited to just the local market which means your tenants have to be fully vetted as with new RTB rules, a bad tenant is difficult to get rid of.
A third option is to let a property part-furnished, which is a term completely open to your interpretation.
You could put in everything except beds (since many tenants have their own beds), or you could show the property to potential tenants, offering them the choice of whether to have additional furniture or not.
Lettings agents favour this option, since it gives the greatest flexibility and makes it easier to find tenants.
Ideally, there should be enough furniture that the property looks ‘lived in’ and functional, but not so much that the place is cluttered. Having too much of a landlord’s furniture crammed into a property is off putting.
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3 Pricing Strategies

3 Pricing Strategies

Written by admin
on February 28, 2018

3 Pricing Strategies

Your pricing strategy will determine the annual return on your rental property. Mark it up too high and you may have to wait for a qualified renter. Mark it too low and you leave money on the table.
Three main strategies come to mind when discussing pricing of furnished housing.
“Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined. The wise young man or wage earner of today invests his money in real estate.”
1.  Quick Price: this price point refers to a mark-down from market value. The advantage is that the place will rent quickly and you as an owner or property agent will have several prospects who may want to rent it so you can be choosy. Often this strategy will provide the most consistent annual yield with little or no un-rented time and more often a long term lease.
2.  Market Price: this price point is what the market will commonly pay for comparable property. The advantage is the property is not under or over priced and should rent within the 30 days after being showcased to the market unless of course there is too much inventory in the rental pool.
3. Select Price: this price point is at the highest-end of the scale. There are many reasons why a homeowner may choose this strategy. If an owner has recently done a lot of upgrading, has high quality furnishings and amenities or the property is especially beautiful even waterfront the owner will feel the place is worth the higher price. The disadvantage here is that there will be fewer prospects and the property is likely to sit for 60 days or more. Any takers it does attract may want only a very short-term rental – like summer holidays shrinking the annual return. Use this strategy only if you will not be adversely affected financially while the property sits waiting for a renter.
The best strategy of course is “correct pricing” which the market will see as fair and full of value. While at first it may not be apparent what the correct price is – the market will soon tell you. If you have begun marketing your suite and there are only a few calls your price may be high. If you have had 2-3 viewings and no one has decided to take it that is usually a red flag that your property is priced too high for what is offered.
A property that is offering good value and priced right rents after the first or second showing.

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A Picture =1000 Words

Getting ready for your photo session may take some planning. There are a few staging rules you should apply before taking pictures of your property – remember,a picture is worth 1000 words

  • Always set the table – place settings with napkins, candles and wine glasses tell the viewer they can entertain with style and that your place is complete and refined
  • GET RID OF THE CLUTTER: Make sure the kitchen counters and any shelving or bookcases are thoroughly de-cluttered. Uncluttered space looks larger in pictures and much more inviting.
  • Your personal belongings, family photos etc should be put away for the shoot. Straighten up! Crooked window shades and curtains, lamp shades, picture frames, throw rugs, sofa pillows — all can show up glaringly in a photograph. Remove excess furniture so the room isn’t crowded.
  • Add as many pillows as is reasonable to beds, turning down the quilts/comforters a la Euro style.
  • TV’s should actually be turned on as they show better in a photo than just a black screen.
  • Add some flowers to the dining and or living rooms – this adds a nice focal point
  • In the kitchen a nice bowl of fruit will really set it off
  • Of course a clean home does shine through so hire a professional team to put some sparkle ‘n shine into it – if paint touch ups are needed get them done too
  • Find the most flattering angle of the room – walk around until you see a configuration that includes most of the features or highlights the main feature – take several angles. Often a corner of the room is best to shoot from.
  • Sunny days are probably best for outdoor photos – blue skies make your location appealing but overcast days are best for indoor photos where you can avoid the “light blast” coming in from windows. Close the blinds and use your flash for an even balance of light.
  • If you have a furnished patio/balcony two tall drinks, coffee cups and towel or other props shows how the space can be utilized
  • Many people suggest turning on all the lights – set your flash to auto so it fires when necessary
  • Use a step stool to rise a bit higher in the room and take a long shot
  • Pros use a tripod – no more shaky photos from a hand held


For best results consider hiring a professional photographer. Not only do they provide the technical and artistic skills as well as post-production skills. Your photos will be edited to check size, colour balance and contrast and will be suitable for online publishing.