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Victoria Community Blog

Renting To Your Kids

A photo of a finished laneway house next to several more under development in Vancouver. Photo by Matthew Blackett, feat. by Spacing Magazine on Flickr.

A couple of months ago I posted an entry addressing the benefits and complications of co-owning a home with a friend. While most of those tips also apply to family members entering co-ownership, they don't address the particular nuances of renting to family, especially when sharing the same home.

Renting to relatives can be a great way to help provide for them if you have the space and the funds. You know them personally and have an idea of how they'll take care of your property. But there are rules to be aware of when you take on the role of landlord, even if it's to your kids or a parent.

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What To Do In A Bidding War

Sotheby's auctioneer Adrian Biddell takes bids for Eamonn McCabe's 'Herbie Hancock' at the FT & Sightsavers Seasonal Appeal Photography Auction at Getty Images Gallery, London.

In a hot real estate market, emotions often run high and tough situations are common. And more often than not, you'll find a bidding war at the heart of those situations. Bidding wars can be high-stress for both the buyers and the seller, and contrary to popular belief, they aren't always the way to get the best price for your home.

With that in mind, there are ways to minimize the stress and increase your chances of getting the home you really want.

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Co-Ownership: Home Buying With A Friend

Two young hands with chipped nail polish locked in a pinky swear in front of a brick wall.

In today's competitive west coast real estate market, many solo young adults and students are having difficulty getting the funds for a down payment on a home, forcing them to rent or otherwise settle for less. Sometimes parents won't or can't assist their children with co-signs or payments. Sometimes those in casual relationships don't like the idea of sharing property value with someone they might not be together with in a few years.

Whatever the reason, more and more people are considering co-buying with good friends or family members. Unlike co-operatives, where buyers purchase shares in a corporation that owns the building, co-ownership lets buyers purchase a percentage of the property title and become "owners in common" of the same home.

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8 Spring Home Improvements

A photo of a clean, sunlit room with a couch and pillow, potted plants, and out-of-focus bottles.

As spring approaches, so does the ideal home selling season. The period right after the cold starts to wane and before the market starts to pick up is the perfect opportunity to prepare your home for staging, as well as add some value to your property.

Starting on the outside and moving in, I'll help you take a look at the top 8 ways to spruce up your home this spring.

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2017 Family Day Events in Victoria

A family of two parents and two children building a snowman in the woods

Family Day is coming up quick, and it's time again to start planning those family activities! Organize a family outing and check out the wide variety of free and paid events taking place around Greater Victoria.

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2017 Victoria Housing Market Forecast

Total Area Sales for Victoria in 2016 from Macdonald Realty

In 2016, the Victoria real estate market broke records across the board: over 10,000 transactions took place, the most ever since the Board began tracking the number in 1990. Real estate values for single family homes increased 20% overall, with increases ranging as high as 37% in the Victoria core.

The Canadian Housing Market Association (HMA) has warned of the problems arising from real estate price increases and overbuilding across the country, but predictions are hopeful that the market will slow and stabilize by 2018.

I'll be taking a detailed look at the real estate market forecast for Victoria in 2017, as predicted by a number of leaders in the industry.

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Home Emergency Preparedness

Ocean waves crashing high onto a breakwater in a Victoria neighbourhood on a cloudy, stormy day.

This year we've already seen an incredible amount of rainfall in Victoria BC, thanks in part to Hurricane Matthew. Some areas in Sooke even received instructions and supplies for sandbagging their homes against potential floods. When facing conditions like this, it's easy to see that sometimes winterizing your home isn't enough on its own.

How can you ensure the safety of your home and family when mother nature is at its worst? We can't prevent every disaster, but there are things you can do when looking for a new home, or as a home owner readying for the winter, to better your chances.

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2016 Halloween Events in Victoria

Small toy electric jack o' lantern and plastic cauldron with spiderweb backdrop

Halloween is always a big event in Victoria with plenty to do. Check out local kids activities, ghost tours, haunted houses, bonfires, festivals and events taking place during the 2016 season of the pumpkin. And make sure to share your experiences using the hashtag #VictoriaBOO!

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Homebuying With Kids

Navy family members relax on their front lawn while movers deliver household goods to their new home on Ford Island. Credit US Navy.

Deciding on a new home can be a huge, frustrating project when you're new parents or your family has recently grown. How do you tell when your current home is too small for your kids? What will your kids need in a new home or neighbourhood, and how can you make it fit your budget? How do you tour houses when you have an infant or a toddler and no way to get a babysitter?

Psychologists say that involving kids of any age in the house selection and moving process will help them adjust to their new home better, faster, and happier — but it's not easy. As a real estate agent with children of my own, I've been around the block (literally) on both sides of the issue, and I've learned some tricks over the years that I hope will help other young families searching for a home in Victoria.

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Blackberry Bounty In Victoria BC

Himalayan blackberry, rubus armeniacus

Thanks to an unseasonably dry winter and hot summer, berries have been ripening early up and down Vancouver Island — including a local favourite, the wild blackberry. Blackberry picking can be a great activity with friends or family, or solo as you hike a trail or walk your dog in the morning. To help your gathering be the best it can be, I've collected some tips on where, how, and what kind to pick.

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