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Walkability: How Does It Work? Tag: real estate tips

A senior couple walking down a park road with their arms around each other.

If you're searching for a new home, odds are you've come across the term "walkability" when it comes to desireable property features. An important concept in sustainable urban design, walkability is measure of how walking-friendly an area is to a resident.

More and more studies are revealing the ways walkability results in important benefits to our health, the environment, the economy, and our communities. It makes sense — before cars and bicycles came around, walking was the only way to get from place to place over land without help from animals like horses or sled dogs. Humans have evolved to walk over thousands of years, and it's a natural activity.

But how do developers create walkability, and how is it scored? Let's take a look.

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Tips For First Time Home Buyers in BC Tag: real estate tips

An agent going over documents with a young woman

Buying a home can be stressful even for seasoned property owners. Purchasing your first home can be downright anxiety-inducing when you don't know where to start. I've met plenty of first-time buyers who were full of questions: Who do I contact first? What do I need to have ready? Can I even do this?

Trust a couple of real estate agents when we say: You can do it. Buying a home is a big deal, but like any other large project, it can be broken down into manageable chunks. Even if it turns out you can't purchase just yet — maybe you need to save up a bit more than you thought, or pay off some debt — you can put yourself in a position to be ready to go as soon as you have what you need.

I've taken the most common advice and answers we've given to first time home buyers in Victoria, and put them together into this series of tips. Whether you just need an idea of how the home buying process works, or want to get started right away, this should be a good springboard to get you going. If you have more detailed questions, feel free to contact us, and David and I will be happy to answer them.

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Introducing Pets To Your (New) Home Tag: real estate tips

Two labrador retrievers in the bed of a pickup truck. Photo credit @MikeBaird on Flickr.

Pets are an important part of many people's lives, offering unconditional love and acceptance. When moving, homeowners often wouldn't consider leaving their furry family members behind any more than they would their own kids.

But there's no escaping the fact that pets don't understand moving the way that humans do. Packing and travelling can be frightening and stressful to them, and telling them that it's “only for a few days” doesn't work very well.

Just like moving with kids, if you're moving house with pets you'll want to take special steps to make the process as comfortable as possible — for them and for yourself. So try out some of these tips, and share any pet travelling stories of your own in the comments!

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Suite-ing A Home In Victoria Tag: real estate tips

Often known as "in-law suites" or "granny suites", secondary suites have long been used to house family members in an independent space that's still close at hand. A simple one-bedroom suite can be comfortable and private accommodation for teenagers, university students, or seniors. Aside from benefiting family, secondary suites can provide additional income in the form of rentals, or be converted into a home office or business.

So how do you know if adding a suite to your property is the right move, and how do you get started?

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Open House Checklist Tag: real estate tips

Open house sign on a quiet street. Photo credit to Agover on Pixabay.

It's the right seasonyou've gotten a real estate agentyou've added some value to your home and you're ready to go and host some open houses! But hold on — while open houses are a great tool for showcasing properties, there are some standard steps to follow to make sure that your property is looking its best... and that your belongings remain secure.

In this post I'll be going over a checklist of items that most homeowners will want to follow before hosting an open house. Work together with your real estate agent to complete them and you should have a fantastic event.

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The Home Selling Process Tag: real estate tips

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland

You've been thinking it over carefully for a while. You've looked at your financial situation, considered your options, and have an idea of when you want to move forward. Are you ready to sell your home? Absolutely!

But what does selling your property involve?

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Septic Tanks 101: Maintenance & Repair Tag: real estate tips

Schematic of a standard septic tank. Credit to Tilley, E., Ulrich, L., Lüthi, C., Reymond, Ph., and Zurbrügg, C.

Safe disposal of human waste is a concern of any town or city. Wastewater can contain dangerous pathogens like bacteria and viruses (such as hepatitis, salmonella, E. coli, and cholera), and elements like nitrogen and phosphates which can harm wildlife and local water quality.

Municipal sewer systems and water treatment facilities have a number of ways to counteract these dangers, but what about houses that are off the sewage grid? In the Greater Victoria area, houses without sewer service typically have a septic tank system on their property — which the homeowners are responsible for.

In this post I'll be going over the general workings of a septic tank system, and what you as a homeowner might need to know to keep your tank safe and maintained.

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Moving Day: What To Remember Tag: real estate tips

A stylish kitchen filled with packed moving boxes. Credit to Thad Zajdowicz on Flickr.

When it's time to move, it always feels like there's a million things to do and not enough time to keep track of them, much less get them done. But if you start the process early enough, keep yourself organized, and have a checklist of items to follow, the process becomes much less overwhelming.

Here is a list of important items to cover before and during a move, including links to change of address forms and tips on how to pack.

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The Bones Of A House: What Makes A Good Home Tag: real estate tips

The wood frame of a house under construction. Credit to Jaksmata on Wikimedia.

As one of the biggest investments one can make in a lifetime, homeowners want and expect their homes to last a long time. But not all buildings — or building materials — are made equal.

Homes of a certain age in BC are more prone to some issues than others. Condos built in the 1990s often have leaking issues, while those built in the 70s can have poor plumbing and elevators. Homes built from the 1960s all the way up until the early 90s can contain harmful asbestos. Buildings constructed prior to the 1950s, the start of official building codes, can have everything from poor foundations to faulty wiring.

Everything is fixable for a price, but many home buyers may not have the budget to replace or upgrade the core "bones" of a house. I'll be reviewing some of the warning signs to watch out for when touring a home, as well as what kind of systems and materials are preferred.

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