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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS Secrets that will help sell your home .............................. 6 Easy ways to boost home value ...................................... 8 Bank appraisals ............................................................ 12 Find the right real estate agent .................................... 12 Mortgage options ........................................................ 13 Curb appeal .................................................................. 14 Closing costs ................................................................. 18 Clutter-free living ......................................................... 20 Plant right .................................................................... 22 Moving ......................................................................... 25 Advertiser listings ........................................................ 30

The Key to Real Estate Resource Directory is a special supplement to The Parksville Qualicum Beach News. The News is distributed to over 15,500 homes in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose, Arrowsmith and Lighthouse Country, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

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Few beaches compare with the beach at Parksville Bay and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.

Quality of Life

Parksville Qualicum Beach a popular retirement destination The natural beauty, affordable housing and quality of life in Parksville Qualicum Beach is no longer one of the world's best-kept secrets. Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre was walking on a beach in Mexico recently when he was asked where he was from by someone from Colorado. When Lefebvre said Parksville, the American tourist didn't delay in his glowing response about the region's beaches and beauty. "Needless to say, being away makes it easy to tell you why we chose Parksville as home," said Lefebvre. "The 360 degree views of the ocean, forests, mountains — all of which are constantly reminding us of our natural beauty and surroundings. The changing weather, sun, clouds and liquid sunshine which keeps everything green and clean. You can participate in a multitude of outdoor activities, relaxing or strenuous, and lastly the great people in all walks of life. Bottom line, while I enjoy the heat and warm water (when on holidays), I look forward to going home and being home with all it has to offer." And the offers are good these days. Clinton Miller is the owner of Royal

LePage in Parksville Qualicum Beach. He agrees the region amenities, natural and otherwise, "makes us one of the major retirement destinations for Western Canada." So does the cost of homes. People coming from places like Victoria, Vancouver or Alberta may get a similar-sized home to the one they currently reside for hundreds of thousands dollars less in Parksville Qualicum Beach. "Prices, when compared to those in our feeder markets, are relatively affordable," said Miller. The product is proving popular. There was a nine per cent increase in sales (the number of homes sold, or volume) in 2014 when compared to 2013. Miller expects that trend to continue. "I think we are going to see an increase this year (2014 over 2014)," he said. "If it's priced right, it will sell." Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce CEO Evelyn Clark also talks about the natural beauty of the area, but she adds other features to the list. "We are a safe community with easy access for all," said Clark. "(Parksville Qualicum Beach) offers fine school-

ing opportunities, sports for kids and many kid-centric events throughout the year. While nature is just on the doorstep, there are also city refinements within an hour of home — the best of both worlds." Said Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek: “My vision has always been to put the needs of our residents first, as we preserve and enhance our small town atmosphere that makes Qualicum Beach an award-winning healthy and prosperous community, and with its richness of facilities, parks and trails, one of the best places in the world to live, for people of all ages." Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association CEO Blain Sepos may concentrate on getting tourists to the region, but he knows those trips are often a precursor to residency. "Parksville Qualicum Beach is unique in that much of our visitor accommodation is made up of waterfront condominium and cottage properties," said Sepos. "Because most people visit before deciding to move here, a condo or cottage lets them relax with all the comforts of home while they experience the region as locals."

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Secrets to sell 15 secrets that will help your home sell


here are some quick and inexpensive ways to make your home shine. As anyone in the real estate industry will tell you, it's important to make your home look its best when it comes time to show it. That first impression is everything and even if you are in a great market, its still key to tidy up your home and prove that its worth every penny you are asking for. If done well, these steps

will make a remarkable difference, and do not cost a fortune. 1. Stay on top of your lawn mowing and front landscaping. 2. Embellish your front door area with potted plants, a welcome mat and a fresh coat of paint on the door and trim. 3. Move all toys, bicycles etc. away, and keep them away from the front of the house. 4. Clean your windows and fireplace. 5. Check and roof and repair or replace any loose shingles or gutters. 6. Remove all the clutter. Make sure kitchen and bathroom counter tops are as clear as possible, keep toys organized and contained, remove excess collectables and the family photo "wall of fame". 7. Hang fresh colour coordinated towels in the bathrooms. 8. Vacuum everyday and clean the carpets. 9. Make sure all your facets are dripfree and replace all burnt out light

bulbs. 10. Clean all your appliances thoroughly including the inside of your oven and microwave. Yes, buyers will look in there. 11. Place a decorative arrangement in the center of your table. 12. Eliminate odors using odor neutralizing products, do not try and mask smells with another smell, it will only compound the problem. 13. Let the light shine in. Open all blinds and curtains when the house is being shown. 14. If your rooms are filled with oversized, or simply too much furniture to move around freely, place some of it in storage. 15. Add a few final touches like fresh flowers, or potted plants in decorative containers, they can do wonders. Just remember that everyone has their own style and you are not trying to impress buyers with your decor. Rather, you goal is to present a clean and attractive home, oozing with potential for your homes next owners.

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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

Today’s seniors Real Estate for today’s seniors

If the kids are gone, and the nest is feeling decidedly empty, you might be thinking of a new home. But before you do, there are a couple of important things to consider. First of all, you’re not alone. More than half of the baby boomers responding to a recent survey said they plan to relocate when they retire. They represent a growing and influential demographic that is reshaping retirement living. Downsizing does not mean downgrading. It’s estimated that one-fourth of homebuyers aged 50 and older are paying more for the home of their golden years than for their previous house. They want to live in residences that are both comfortable and elegant, allowing them to maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle with dignity. Still, it is a big decision. Getting professional guidance can help ensure the home you buy meets your needs today and tomorrow. Location is an important factor. Finding a home close to shopping, leisure activities and medical services can reduce driving and transportation costs (maybe even eliminate the need for second vehicle).

If you are thinking of a single family home, think long term. With a little remodeling, a house can be modified to meet your needs and keep you at home as long as possible during your retirement years. For example, you might want to consider ensuring the master bedroom and bathroom are on the ground floor of a house, and at least one entrance does not have steps. Building additional space into the home design, such as extra-wide hallways and doors, allows those with wheelchairs, walkers or crutches to get around more easily. You might also want to consider extra large bathrooms with safety features such as grab bars that help prevent falls, lever door handles that are easier to operate, and electrical switches and thermostats that are positioned lower than usual. Many newer multi-unit complexes are integrating more “aging in place” features. These properties often require less maintenance and are better geared toward an older demographic. Your Realtor® can help narrow your choices.

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Boost value

Easy ways to boost your home’s value


egardless of the current housing market, if you have decided to sell, there are always buyers out there looking for a place to call their own. There are easy ways to boost your home's value and some minor changes to a home can add to your asking price. The following tasks might not take much effort, but they pay dividends.

way to catch a prospective buyer's eye. When a home boasts a lush l awn and well-manicured trees, it's hard to ignore that For Sale sign out front. If landscaping has proven an Achilles' heel in the past, make an effort to take better care of your property in the months ahead. It doesn't take long for even the most neglected lawn to rebound from disrepair. REPLACE THE CARPET A clean carpet might make a world of difference to those living in your home, but a new carpet will be even more appealing to prospective buyers. Choose a neutral-toned carpet that will boast a more universal appeal.

if they walk into a home and see outdated appliances. Some might even see older appliances and begin to wonder if there are any additional areas that might have been neglected around the house. Stainless steel appliances in the kitchen and even new fixtures in the bathroom are aesthetically appealing and tend to excite buyers. PAINT THE HOME A fresh coat of paint or new siding is always attractive to prospective buyers. Many buyers judge a book by its cover, and you want your home's exterior to be as attractive as possible. You can also paint rooms inside the home to give it a fresh and welcoming feel.

WORK ON THE YARD An appealing lawn is still a great

UPGRADE APPLIANCES Prospective buyers won't be thrilled

CLEAN UP AROUND THE HOUSE A cluttered house will almost certainly repel buyers. Buyers want a home that's roomy and well kept, but clutter creates the opposite impression. Organize the closets to make them appear more roomy and clean up any areas that have become cluttered -- consider temporarily renting a storage unit to house your excess belongings. The less clutter a home has, the more spacious it will appear and the more money you can likely demand for your home.

Home value

resale value. If the exterior paint is out of the ordinary, then it might be wise to choose a more traditional or conservative colour before erecting the “For Sale” sign out front. The same goes for your home’s interior. A more traditional interior decor might help your home sell faster.

LOCATION Your home’s location is arguably its best or worst selling point. A home in a great location won’t be as difficult to sell as a home in a less desirable neighbourhood.

SIZE AND STYLE Another thing to consider when selling your home is its size and style. A home that stands out on the block might be an attention-grabber, but that’s not always attractive to prospective buyers. For instance, a colonial sitting in the middle of a street filled with contemporary homes will stand out, but likely for all the wrong reasons. It will likely appear dated and out of place, which is something buyers might not want.

NON-CONFORMITY When selling your home, conformity could make the difference between it selling quickly or remaining on the market for months and months. For instance, if you are trying to sell a two bedroom rancher in a neighbourhood filled with three plus bedroom two storey homes, you might notice your home’s value is not as high as that of surrounding homes, regardless of the neighbourhood or how similar your home’s exterior is to the surrounding homes.

Factors that might hurt your home’s value

APPEARANCE Your home’s appearance is another obvious variable that might affect its 8

AGE Older homes might have character and a sense of nostalgia, but appraisers take age into consideration when determining a home’s value. Your REALTOR® will consider all factors of your home, both positive and negative when preparing your market evaluation.

The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

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What a bank appraisal means to your purchase


any sellers think that the price they can get for their home is determined solely by the amount they are willing to accept and the buyers are willing to pay. There is one more variable that can influence the sale of a home – the lender’s appraisal. To protect their investors, mortgage lenders may hire an appraiser to give an independent, objective evaluation of what the property is worth. Predominant value, facilities and improvements are all considered in the appraisal of a property. They may also use electronic appraisals from CMHC (Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation) called Emili. Buyers and sellers look at a property as a home, or an investment, but lenders see the same real estate in different terms. To a lender, the property is security in the event that a borrower fails to repay a mortgage. If you get a $280,000 loan secured by your $300,000 home, the lender


does not want to find out later that the house is worth only $250,000. To limit their risks, lenders want a precise, but conservative, estimate of value before making a loan. So lenders get an appraisal to make an objective evaluation of the property’s worth. The appraisal provides to the lender several key pieces of information in addition to a replacement cost estimate and market analysis. If an appraiser is used, their job is to come up with an objective opinion of the property’s value. The principal tools used in an appraisal are recently sold comparable properties in the same area. After inspecting the “comparables”, the appraiser adjusts the value of the house, by evaluating the condition of the property, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot, and any unique features. Lenders use the appraisal to cap the loan amount, and they rarely lend more than appraised value.

DID YOU KNOW? LAND TRANSFER TAX The land transfer tax or Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is a one time tax levied by your province when you purchase a property. The tax is based on a percentage of the purchase price of the property, and varies from province to province. In BC the transfer tax rate is 1% of the first $200,000 and 2% on the remaining balance of the purchase price. This tax applies to all homes purchased, both new and used. If you are a first time buyer, check with your lender, you may be exempt from this tax. HOME INSPECTION A home inspector assesses a property’s condition and can tell you if something is not working properly, needs to be changed, or is unsafe. When purchasing properties such as acreages or farms, they frequently are serviced with wells and septic systems. Inspection of these services is advisable and is often required by lenders.


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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

In shape to sell? Take a look around your house. If you were a prospective buyer, would you be interested? A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will compare your home to similar homes that have recently sold in your neighbourhood in order to calculate your homes value in your market. However, the shape your home is in, will also help determine its value in the eyes of prospective buyers. It's sometimes difficult, but you must see your home through a buyers eyes and address the imperfections. Before you embark on significant renovations, your REALTOR® will help you answer these two questions: Will this make my home more desirable to buyers? Will this increase the value of my home more than it costs to do it? Some repairs are absolutely vital. It's against the law to knowingly sell your home with a material latent defect and not disclose it to the buyer. However, it is not against the law to leave a visible defect un-repaired; it just may not be smart. But how do you know which home improvements will make your homes value jump, and which won't? It’s well documented that the best return on your remodeling dollar is in the kitchen, bathrooms and landscaping the front yard. Basements and bedrooms can be a waste of time and money.


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Right agent How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent Buying a home is often a difficult thing to do. The stress of making such a big financial commitment is a struggle for many home buyers, whether you have purchased a home in the past or are doing so for the first time. One way to make the process a lot less anxiety-ridden is to work with a real


estate agent you can trust. If you are in the market for a real estate agent to help navigate the home buying process, you should consider the following tips. AGENT FIRST, THEN A PROPERTY This allows you to choose your agent based on their merit and not due to the houses he or she may have listed. A TRACK RECORD When interviewing real estate agents, inquire about their history in the business. A more experienced agent will make things far less stressful and easier, and a long career indicates they are good at what they do. AGENCY SIZE Don't place too much emphasis on

agency size. Real estate agencies come in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to ability, the size of the agency should not factor in. A smaller independent agency can be just as qualified and reliable as one of the major franchise agencies. Buyers who find someone they trust should go with that person, regardless of how big or small their agency is. GET A REFERRAL. Friends and family members who have been through the buying process before are great resources. If you are relocating because of work, you should ask your company to refer an agent or ask to be referred by your hometown REALTOR®.

Any home with floor drains or plumbing fixtures below street level can flood, and this can be due to inclement weather, such as heavy rain, local sewer system backup, or groundwater swelling. While homeowners won't be able to control the weather, they can take steps to flood proof their home. If the ground around your home's foundation slopes toward the house, make some grading changes so that the ground slopes away from the home. Clean gutters and downspouts in the spring and late fall of all debris, to ensure water is effectively being diverted away from the home. Inspect your home's foundation, chimney, etc for cracks at least once a year.

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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

Mortgage options


mortgage is a loan, generally used to buy a property. How much you pay depends on how much you borrow (the principal), the loans interest rate, and how long you take to pay it back (the amortization period). Fixed rate mortgages: Your interest rate is locked in for a specified period called a term. Your payments stay the same for the mortgage's term so you will not pay more if interest rates increase over time. Variable rate mortgages: The mortgage rate of interest you pay will change if the rates go up or down. Conventional mortgages: Require a down payment of more than 20% of the property's value. You are not required to get mortgage default insurance with a conventional mortgage. Closed mortgages: The mortgage cannot be paid off early during its term, without paying a penalty.


Open mortgages: A mortgage that can be paid off at any time during the term, without having to pay a penalty. The interest rate for an open mortgage may be higher than a closed mortgage with the same term. Portable mortgages: If you sell your existing home, you can transfer your mortgage to your new home while keeping your existing interest rate. You may be able to avoid prepayment charges (penalties) by porting your mortgage. Prepayment privileges: You can make lump-sum prepayments or increase your monthly payments without having to pay a charge. This can help you pay off your mortgage quicker and save on interest charges. By switching from monthly payments to accelerated weekly or bi-weekly payments, you can pay off your mortgage much quicker. Explore all your options for mortgage payments with your lender and see just how much interest you could save. - Courtesy of CREA & the Financial Consumer Agency


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SMALLER HOMES From the early 1990s to the beginning of this century, "bigger is better" certainly was the mantra of the home-building industry. But according to new data, home buyers are seeking less space today, but more in green amenities. Research by the Canadian Home Builders' Association has found that many people now desire smaller homes with multipurpose rooms and energy saving features. Family rooms have grown larger, as well as kitchens. Other rooms in new homes are disappearing, including the living room and the formal dining room. Energy efficient homes are now a priority for buyers. Although the homes may be smaller, they come with a host of amenities today, that will make the smaller size barely noticeable.

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Curb appeal


hen selling a home, you can employ a number of tactics to improve your home’s curb appeal. Curb appeal is dressing your home up to make a strong first impression on prospective buyers. Many buyers will form an opinion about your property before they even get out of their car. A home with strong curb appeal can entice buyers who are likely to believe that a home with a well-maintained exterior is likely to have an equally impressive interior.

The most effective way to improve curb appeal is to clean up the property. Remove toys and other items from the yard before showing your home. Make sure all hedges are trimmed and remove weeds, from any flower beds and lay fresh mulch. Make sure all plants, are living. Dehydrated or dead plants and flowers are eyesores, and they will give buyers the impression that you didn’t pay much attention to your property. Add pots with colourful seasonal flowers by the front door. Edging is another easy and effective way to improve curb appeal. Edge your lawn and gardens around driveways, sidewalks and other walkways on the property. Many homeowners grow accustomed to overgrown trees around

their property and may not notice that low-hanging branches are hiding the home from view. Buyers want to see the house, so trim any branches that hang too low or obscure your home. Clean the gutters thoroughly before putting your home up for sale and keep them clean throughout the selling process and pressure wash your walkways and deck. Many homeowners enter their home through a side door or through their garage. If you fall into this category, keep in mind that prospective buyers will be entering through the front door, so make this area accessible and appealing. Make the entry sparkle and be sure to put out the welcome mat to greet potential buyers.

For each mortgage payment you make, the money is first used to pay the interest on your mortgage loan. The remaining portion of your payment is then used to reduce the principal, which is the amount that you borrowed from the lender. In the first years of the mortgage, most of the payment is usually required to cover INTEREST VS PRINCIPLE interest costs. As a result, the principal, or the amount that you owe, may decrease by only a very small amount. As the mortgage balance decreases over the years, more of your payment is used to pay off the principal.


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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

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Home renos

reconvert the space, but they would to make a room bigger may be fine if consider the costs of such a conversion you are staying put, but can be a turn when making their offer on your home. off for prospective buyers.

Some renovations can make your home less appealing Home improvements are typically made to improve the functionality and look of a home, but renovations also can increase the value of a home. Certain changes to a home can make it more attractive to prospective buyers, while other renovations may make a home less appealing. For example, a complete overhaul of an outdated kitchen is often a smart financial move, while installing a pool or hot tub may not be worth the cost to homeowners. Separating the good from the bad renovations makes smart financial sense, and homeowners looking to improve their homes resale values may want to avoid the following projects.

STYLIZED COLOURS Painting over unappealing colours is a project many homeowners can handle. However, some may be discouraged by a home that has too many bright colours or textures on the walls and trim. Buyers often want homes that are move in ready, meaning they can get settled in before taking on large projects. Dark colours do not easily disappear, and taping off and painting trim work or changing it entirely can be equally time consuming. Stick with neutral colors when selling your home, even if this means giving your rooms a new coat of paint before putting it on the market.

TOO MANY FEATURES Some homeowners over improve their home to the point that it outshines all others on the street. Homeowners may struggle to sell a home that is disproportionate to other homes in the area. Practice moderation when making improvements to attract more buyers. Making informed choices before renovating can help homeowners recoup the largest share of their investments. So if resale value is on your mind, consult with your REALTORÂŽ before starting a project.

OUTDOOR HOT TUBS AND INDOOR SPA TUBS Many people find soaking in a bubbling brew of hot water quite inviting. But buyers often do not want to inherit a used hot tub. Although hot tubs are cleaned and maintained with sanitizing chemicals, some people still view them as unsanitary. Removing a hot BEDROOM/GARAGE tub can be labour intensive. And much CONVERSIONS like a pool, a hot tub may not be apChanging a rooms traditional func- pealing to buyers with young children. tion often turns off buyers. For example, turning a garage into a home gym REMOVING CLOSETS Closet space is often high on a buymight seem like a great idea for you, but it may not be so appealing to pro- ers priority list. Turning closet space spective buyers. Buyers can certainly into an office or removing a closet



Colour is the most important tool in the toolbox, and one of the most inexpensive ways to infuse the home with colour is with paint. Although staying neutral is a good idea when selling your home, if you have just purchased a home, you may want to add some of your personality to it. Start small with paint or decor accents that are inexpensive. This way, you can always change your mind if you feel you made a mistake.

When you are planning to buy a home with less than a 20% down payment, the mortgage needs to be insured against default. This type of insurance protects the mortgage lender in case you are not able to make your mortgage payments. It does not protect you. If you are planning to purchase a property with less than a 20% downpayment, you will require mortgage default insurance. This generally adds a premium to the cost of borrowing, based on the percentage of your homes’ value that you need to finance.


This premium can be added to your mortgage balance. Mortgage default insurance enables you to purchase a home with a minimum downpayment of 5% with interest rates comparable to those of a conventional mortgage. Major providers of mortgage default insurance include Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth Financial Canada, and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company.

The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

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Closing costs

Additional expenses to be included in the budget


losing costs are the legal, administrative and disbursement fees associated with buying a home. Understanding these fees will help you budget more accurately. Remember, these are additional costs over and above the price of the home.

HAVE YOU BUDGETED FOR THE ASSOCIATED LEGAL COSTS? Legal costs are your lawyer or notary fees. These may include: • Reviewing the terms of the offer • Conducting a title search on the property • Registering a new title • Obtaining relevant documents, such as surveys and evidence of liens on the property

• Checking the statement of adjustments for taxes, utility and fuel bills, and other costs that have been pre-paid by the seller at the date of closing.

WHAT OTHER COSTS CAN YOU EXPECT? • Interest adjustments between date of closing and the first mortgage payment • GST on a new home or a home that’s been extensively renovated • Land Transfer Tax • Service charges from utility companies for hook-ups on electricity, gas, internet and telephone services • Appraisal fees • Home Inspection • Title insurance • Property and content insurance • Moving costs • Storage costs if you must leave your current residence before you are able to move into your new home • Furniture and appliances • Real estate commissions if you are the seller While purchasing real estate has a variety of costs associated with it, home ownership is a secure investment that appreciates in value over the long-term. - Courtesy of CREA & the Financial Consumer Agency

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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015







1 2

best price 3 Get the best price when selling your home in 5 steps With sellers hoping to get the most possible for a home and buyers interested in spending the least, it’s sometimes a battle of wills when it comes to hashing out a confirmed price in the world of real estate.

4 5


It's difficult to change first impressions. Individuals do judge a book by its cover, which means that effort should be put into making your home's exterior as appealing as possible. Landscaping should be neat and lush. Items that look in disrepair should be mended. Curb appeal does matter.


A real estate agent is schooled in the process of negotiating the price of an offered home. Furthermore, agents know the average sale prices of similar homes and can help a seller price and market a property correctly. This may add up to a faster sale (and a better offer).


Some sellers think the higher they price their home the more money they'll get for it. The fact is, the longer an overpriced home sits on the market, the less appealing it will appear to buyers. Individuals looking for a home may repeatedly see the listing and wonder what's wrong with the home.


Buyers often prefer updated kitchens and bathrooms. Most buyers are not looking for "handyman specials." Home shoppers may be more inclined to go closer to asking price if some of the bigger-ticket items are already completed.


If a buyer knows that time is of the essence or the home is "priced to sell," they may sense that desperation, almost guaranteeing a low-ball offer. Do not make it seem like you will be in dire straights if your home doesn't sell quickly. Selling a home under duress is not likely to cause prospective buyers to pony up.

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Clutter free living De-cluttering will actually change your life Who hasn’t heard of de-cluttering? In preparing a home for sale, de-cluttering is one of the recommendations suggested by realtors and stagers. But what about de-cluttering if you are not selling your home? Did you know de-cluttering will actually change your life? Let me define clutter. Clutter is something that’s tucked away in our closet (or in the back of our mind), that silently weighs on us and takes up space that could be used for

something else. Either way, our physical, emotional, and mental clutter drains our time and energy, takes up space, keeps us stuck in the past, and blocks new things and opportunities from coming into our lives. People are always wondering why they are tired. Well, besides our society not getting enough sleep, the other culprit to look at is clutter. When you walk into a cluttered room or a disorganized closet, your heart gets heavy. This clutter is, in fact, negativity breeding in your home. It is making you tired and draining your energy. So, why don’t you get a handle on clutter? Wouldn’t you want more energy and joy in your life? If you are like a lot of people, you’ve spent a lot of money and you can’t stand the idea of wasting it. But think about it—if you aren’t using it, it is a greater “waste” to keep it when someone else could use it! Unwanted gifts can be particularly challenging for many people to let go of. Just remember, you can appreciate the thought and effort and also value

the person regardless of whether you keep the material representation of their thoughtfulness. You do not need an abundance of objects to remind you of a meaningful time in your life. If the time in question is that special, you will always remember and be able to recapture those feelings just by thinking about those memories. You can take a picture of the object rather than keep the object itself. Now, let’s take a moment to check in with the objects in your home. When you look at them or use them, do they make you feel good, neutral, or bad? Do you love it? If you don’t love it, release it. Clutter is being surrounded by things you don’t love or don’t need. Even if you aren’t sure why you don’t like something—trust your intuition and let it go. Just think less clutter means less dusting! - Courtesy of Vicki Lerch, Sold On Staging. If you have questions about home staging or redesign, send to

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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

Island Solar Films provide the best in window film products and window film installation services on Vancouver Island.

and Window Coverings Window films are a great investment. Window films are bonded to window glass to help make the glass stronger. Window films reduce heat and glare from the sun. They block damaging ultraviolet rays and reduce heat loss.

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They help to keep us warm in winter, cool in summer and window films keep glass together to reduce or eliminate shards of flying glass if the window glass is broken. Graffiti films can reduce and minimize the damage that vandals can leave behind if they attack windows with acid or paint or leave graffiti on the glass. Window films reduce the sun’s harsh glare by up to 90%. Heat, generated by the sun’s infrared rays, is reduced by up to 97% which in turn can reduce your air conditioning costs by up to 30%. Reduce and slow the damage caused by UV rays. Island Solar window films reduce up to 99% of UV rays that cause fading and other damage to floors, carpets, wood, drapes, furnishings, paintings and wall coverings.

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Plant right

Save water and money Many communities endure drysummers characterized by warm temperatures and infrequent rainfall. In such locales, local governments typically institute water restrictions on local landowners. These restrictions limit the amount of water homeowners can use to maintain their properties, and some homeowners choose to install new irrigation systems in an effort to help their lawns and garden survive the potentially harsh summer weather. While new irrigation systems can be effective, homeowners looking for alternatives to such systems can find ways to save both water and money. Planting right is a great way to conserve water and save money.

Learn about native plants and grasses. The most beautiful lawns and gardens in the dog days of summer are not necessarily those owned by the most obsessive homeowners. Instead, these homeowners might just have chosen grass and plants native to the local climate and therefore more capable of handling the ups and downs of that climate. When choosing grass and plants for your lawn, consult with a local lawn care professional if you’re hesitant to choose your own grass and plants. For example, if your home is located in a region where summer drought is commonplace, then grass and plants that do not need much water might be your best option. Aerate the soil. Healthy soil can help to protect grass and plants forced to cope with harsh conditions. Aeration is a process by which soil is punctured with spikes or cores of soil are removed from the ground to improve drainage and water penetration. Operating an aerator in the yard can be challenging, so it’s often best to leave

such a project to the professionals. But when planting in a garden, homeowners can turn and cultivate the soil to improve its moisture retention with a goal toward growing healthier plants. Choose the right season to plant. Some plants thrive when planted during certain times of the year, but many plants should not be planted during the summertime. When planted in the summer, plants typically need more water to establish themselves because the temperatures are hotter. Spring or fall tend to be the best seasons to plant, but homeowners can consult a local lawn and garden professional to determine the best time to plant in their specific region. Lay mulch around bushes, plants, shrubs and trees. Many homeowners find laying mulch around their property adds to the property’s visual appeal. But mulch also is practical, helping soil to retain its moisture and reduce evaporation. In addition, mulch helps curtail the growth of weeds, which compete with existing plants for water.

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250-248-4191 • 22

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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

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family 1 5 tips for relocating your family

2 3 4 5



Moving is a decision to be discussed with the whole family, even with young children who may not fully understand the process. Kids who are involved in looking at new homes in a new neighborhood will feel empowered.


Finding a new residence is not entirely about buying a home that fits the family and its needs. It also is about finding a desirable neighbourhood. A good school district is an important factor, as is proximity to recreation, local culture and transportation. Drive around a neighbourhood during different times of the day to gauge how active it is.


A real estate agent who is familiar with the community is a great asset. In addition, the agent will handle many of the tasks that may be overwhelming if you were doing them on your own, such as scouring available listings, waiting for inspections or filling out pertinent paperwork. With a real estate agent handling these tasks, families can remove some of the stress from the moving process.


Young children who see favorite items disappearing into bubble wrapping and boxes may start to feel anxious. Maintain a sense of normalcy in the home as long as possible. Begin by packing nonessential items, only packing kids’ items when your moving date is right around the corner.


Take advantage of any programs schools offer to acclimate kids to their new environment. The faster they get back to a normal routine, the better it will be for them. Schools are where children will make new friends and participate in social occasions, so learn about special programs that may make a move less stressful for youngsters.



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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

Moving Essential packing tips for self-movers


ot all of us can afford to hire professional movers and it can be hard to justify if your move is local. However, there are some things that will make moving day much less stressful and easier on your back. One investment that is worth it’s weight in gold is the rental of a storage locker. Once you decide to list your home you can begin your packing and start moving seldom used items to the storage locker right away. This will take a lot of pressure off of the moving day as you can get moved in first, and only empty the storage unit when things are more organized in your new home. Think seasonally. If it is summer pack up your winter clothes, Christmas décor, snow shovels and put them at the back of the

storage unit. Also box up most of your books, record collections, and seldom used tools and small appliances. These are some of the heavier items that you can move over to the locker just a few at a time. Think first in, last out. This has the added bonus of making your home less cluttered and easier to keep in order once potential buyers start coming through. Remembering what is where, is also a big unpacking challenge. Nothing is as frustrating as having to tear open 10 boxes just to find a can opener. This might seem a bit nerdy but if you put big numbers on all sides of the boxes and keep a notebook with what is in each box you will be able to find those items quickly as you unpack. Also it adds a layer of security if you are hiring help for moving as the box contents i.e. coin collection, aren’t labelled on the outside making valuables easy to identify. If you have pets find a friend or family member who can take your pets for moving day and perhaps the day

after. Moving can be very stressful for them and keeping track of them with all the in and out of house and yard is difficult.

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What is ® MLS ?

Registry matchs buyers with properties 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 Is-

land. 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. 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. When you make the decision to sell ensure you ask your REALTOR® about an MLS® listing. - This article was prepared by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. -“An Association of REALTORS”, for the information and benefit of consumers.


Home Buying / Home Selling Upsizing / Downsizing First Time Buyers / Lifestyle Transitions Cell: 250-937-WILK (9455)

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The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

Home insurance Tips for making sure you’re covered

When you are in the process of purchasing a home, your mortgage lender will require proof of insurance before your mortgage funds are disbursed. Home insurance coverage can vary from one company to another and from one policy to another so it pays to ask questions. What does my home policy cover? Some policies cover only 'named perils' - in other words, if the cause of the damage isn't listed in your policy, it isn't covered. This is generally referred to as a 'standard' policy. Other policies cover 'all risks' on the buildings and named perils on the contents of your home. This is generally referred to as a 'broad form' policy. There are policies which cover all risks on both the building and its contents, but are subject to some exclusions. These are

generally referred to as 'comprehensive' or 'special' policies. Is there specific insurance for the type of home I live in? Yes. If you own a house, homeowner's insurance is available to protect your property and liability of you (policy-holder), your spouse/partner and your children. If you own a condominium, there are specific types of coverage you can purchase in addition to liability and contents coverage. If you rent, tenant's insurance can help you replace your belongings after an insured loss. Is optional coverage available for perils not normally included? Yes. For example, you might consider buying optional earthquake coverage. If you are worried about water damage from rainstorms, you might want sewer back up coverage. What things could happen to my property that won't be covered? Here's one example: damage arising from the freezing of indoor plumbing is seen as preventable. So, if you are away from home for more than three consecu-


tive days (be sure to verify your insurer's stipulations) during the normal heating season, you must drain the plumbing or arrange to have your home checked daily to ensure that heat is maintained. What are some items that might require additional insurance? The standard dollar limits to replace stolen cash, garden tractors, watercraft , etc are relatively small, so you may want to buy additional coverage. Limits may also apply if the following items are stolen: bicycles, jewelry, watches, furs, coin, stamp and card collections. What is the difference between replacement cost and cash value? Most claims on home insurance policies are paid on a replacement cost basis, meaning that the insurance covers the cost of replacing a damaged or lost item with a new one that is as close to the original as possible in functionality and quality. If you choose not to replace a damaged item, your insurer will pay only the actual cash value of that item - that is, the replacement cost less any depreciation in the value of the item.


Over 35 years in the construction industry, having specialized experience in fire and flood remediation for major insurance companies and their clients.


We use specialized moisture detection and infrared technology to track hidden moisture and possible mold.


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“For a better home inspection.” • STEVE KLASSEN • 250-248-3654 A Special Supplement to the Parksville Qualicum Beach News


Inspecting the home inspector Tips for choosing a home inspector Although home inspectors mustnow must be licensed by the province of B.C in order to operate, there is no guarantee that the inspector you choose will be a good one. Here is a list of tips and/or questions to ask when choosing a home inspection professional. 1 - NEVER USE PRICE AS A DETERMINING FACTOR There are varying levels of experience in the home inspection field. You should be looking for an inspector with a strong trade background. A strong construction and general contracting background is beneficial to the buyer and proves practical field experience regarding buildings and building design. 2 - ASK FRIENDS, ASSOCIATES, OR FAMILY MEMBERS THAT HAVE PURCHASED HOMES ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES GOOD OR BAD. 3 - DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH It is the buyer’s responsibility to perform research on all available inspectors in the area and choose the inspector that best suits their needs. Don’t rely on others to choose for you 4 - HOW LONG HAS THE INSPECTOR BEEN IN BUSINESS? 5 - HOW MANY INSPECTIONS HAS HE OR SHE PERFORMED? 6 - CAN I ATTEND THE INSPECTION? 28

Client participation is encouraged, however it’s important that you check with your realtor as there may be some restrictions. An inspector that doesn’t want you attending the inspection might raise a red flag. 7 - WHAT TYPE OF REPORT DOES THE INSPECTOR PROVIDE? There is little doubt that an electronic or web base reporting system is the best way to go. Electronic reports are easiest to understand, easy to print or fax, and can be emailed to wherever the client chooses. 8 - DOES THE INSPECTOR HAVE REFERENCES? Good home inspectors will gladly provide plenty of references 9 - IS THE INSPECTOR LICENSED AND INSURED? Although this is now the law in British Columbia, it is still a relevant question. Having a friend or family member who’s a building contractor or trades person perform your home inspection is not a good idea. Although most good builders understand structure, they often lack knowledge on many of the other systems and components in a home, and they are not trained on how to perform a home inspection properly. Most importantly they do not carry insurance in case something significant is missed. Licensed inspectors are required to carry professional liability insurance as part of their agreement with the province. No one wants to sue their

friend or family member. You are making a significant investment, and the inspection process is the worst place to try and save money. Even new homes require a proper home inspection. 10 - DOES THE INSPECTOR PROVIDE OTHER SPECIALIZED INSPECTION SERVICES? Some inspectors offer more than just standard home inspections and specialize in other services including but not limited to, thermal imaging (infrared camera inspections), mold inspections and/or air quality services, or WETT inspections (wood burning systems). Although it is always helpful to hire an inspector that has other talents, please make sure that the basics are in place before doing so. 11- WHAT IS THE INSPECTORS CHARGE FOR A HOME INSPECTION? Most detached home inspections in the mid Vancouver Island average between $400 and $600, depending on the size and age of the home.

The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

Steve Klassen All In One Home Inspections Inc “for a better home inspection” 1-877-248-3654 B.C licensed home inspector (BPCPA # 47159) C.A.H.P.I Registered Home Inspector (RHI) # 200 IICRC certified water damage and mold remediation specialist Certified NAMRI Mold Inspector (CMI) # 414264 Certified Level 1 Thermographer

Mortgage freedom The fast track to mortgage freedom


low interest rate is often seen as the best way to save money on a mortgage and the quickest route to becoming mortgage-free. But that’s only one part of an effective strategy. It is equally important to look for a mortgage with flexible terms. The average Canadian homeowner will pay his or her mortgage off in approximately 25 years. Less than half (42 per cent) of homeowners are taking advantage of options that allow them to shave years off their mortgage and save on interest costs. Here are three tips to get you on your way to mortgage freedom:

1. ADOPT A BI-WEEKLY PAYMENT SCHEDULE A bi-weekly payment is often the easiest adjustment you can do to help you save on mortgage interest - especially if you line it up with your pay cheque. You end up making 26 smaller bi-weekly payments a year, versus 12 large monthly payments resulting in interest cost savings as you pay down your principal faster. Bi-weekly payments will shave years off your mortgage. 2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PREPAYMENT PRIVILEGES A flexible mortgage may include

features such as doubling up a payment or putting down a lump sum at the end of the year. These additional payments are applied directly to your mortgage principal and will reduce your amortization period. 3. ROUND UP YOUR PAYMENT You can chip away at your mortgage without missing a beat by rounding-up your payment amount. For example, if your bi-weekly mortgage payment is $557, by rounding up your payment to $600, you could put an additional $1,000 per year towards the principal and be mortgage-free faster.

Oceanside Home Repair


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ADVERTISER’S DIRECTORY All in One Home Inspections • 250-248-3654

Over 30 years in construction and remediation. A registered, licenced home inspector. See ad on page 27.

Ambiance Window Fashions 250-594-8920 / 250-240-8775

Michelle Genereux Compass Mortgage Group #101-200 West First Avenue, Qualicum Beach 250-951-3662

Professional real estate financing from a mortgage advisor with access to over 40 lenders. See ad on page 22.

Team Susan Forrest

Offering a complete selection of custom made blinds and draperies.

See ad on page 9.

Arrowsmith Moving and Storage 850 Allsbrook Road, Parksville 250-248-5021, 1-888-910-1122

Royal LePage Parksville Qualicum Beach Realty 131 Alberni Highway, Parksville 250-947-9900 • www.propertiesvancouverislandcom. Professional friendly service! Oceanside’s top selling real estate team! See ad on page 2.

Island Cleaning Supply and Vacuum

Providing professional and dependable moving and storage services throughout Vancouver Island and North America.

See ad on page 14.

BLOCK, a Drafting & Design Company 1086 Middlegate Road, Errington 250-240-2980 •

1A-1209 East Island Highway, Parksville 250-954-3211 •

Your local Beam and Electrolux Dealer for over 19 years. Licenced Central Vacuum Installer, Green and Regular cleaning supplies.

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Island Solar Films and Window Coverings

Residential Interior Design, kitchen and bath design, custom cabinetry design, space planning and more. See ad on page10.

Castle Carpet One

1163 Franklins Gull Road, Parksville 250-248-8200 • Supplying quality flooring and service to Parksville and surrounding area. Visit the showroom! See ad on page 11.

Captivating Details

6615 Valley View Drive, Nanaimo 250-714-9895 •

Vancouver Island’s providers of safety, security, solar films and window coverings. See ad on page 21.

Jorgensen Osmond Ltd.

177 Weld Street, Parksville 250-248-7227 • Unique building and home designer with over 30 years of experience. See ad on page 245.

#3-133 Second Avenue, Qualicum Beach 250-594-9099 • Captivating Details is a retail furniture, accessories and giftware store. We have a full time interior designer on staff.

See ad on page 26.

Coast Glass and Coast Closets

1002-B Herring Gull Way, Parksville 250-248-4191• Proudly providing unmatched service to fill all your custom glass and custom closet needs.

See ad on page 22.

Ken Dor Garden Centre

845 Qualicum Road, Qualicum Beach 250-594-1117 • Retail Garden Centre and Nursery, where they grow their own stock.

See ad on page 23.

Kari Knutson Royal LePage Realty 679 Memorial Road, Qualicum Beach 250-937-1100 •

Local real estate expert, helping make your real estate dreams come true. See ad on page 15.

Dominion Lending Centres Oceanside

McLane and MacAulay Notaries Public

New purchases, refinance, second mortgages, renewals, free mortgage checkups and consultation.

We provide professional and personalized advice and service to local families and small business. See ad on page 13.

Joanne Ferreiro Real Estate Services

Deborah Nicol Realtor© MacDonald Realty

#7-205 Jensen Avenue, Parksville 250-248-4022 •

See ad on page 19.

Coast Realty, 314 East Island Hwy, Parksville 250-228-4231 or 1-888-954-4433

The perfect touch of expert advice to ensure a great real estate experience. See ad on page 23.


#1-141 Memorial Avenue, Parksville 250-248-5775 •

668 Memorial Avenue, Qualicum Beach 250-607-7038 • Residential and commercial real estate, new home sales, 20 years experience helping people with all their real estate needs.

The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

See ad on page 13.

ADVERTISER’S DIRECTORY Brenda Nicolls Personal Real Estate Corporation 314 East Island Highway, Parksville 250-248-8371 •

Cindy Riera Realtor© RE/MAX Anchor Realty

113 West Second Avenue, Qualicum Beach 250-951-1386, 250-752-2466 •

Let my 40+ years as an active Oceanside resident work for you!

See ad on page 10.

M & N Mattress

Successfully serving our Oceanside communities for over 20 years. Honest and reliable, for all your real estate needs.

See ad on page 22.

291 East Island Highway, Parksville 250-248-7133 • Specialing in BC made mattresses and furniture since 2000. Award winning store offers the latest and best in sleep technology.

See ad on page 15.

Edie McPhedran

Royal LePage Parksville Qualicum Beach Realty 131 Alberni Highway, Parksville 250-937-9379 • Local real estate knowledge and cutting edge tools to seamlessly sell your current home and and buy your new home!

See ad on page 3.

North Pacific Window and Glass

148 Fern Road East, Qualicum Beach 250-752-5312, 1-877-752-5312 • Full glass and window shop, locally owned and operated. Serving Vancouver Island for over 25 years. See ad on page 18.

Oceanside Home Repair

Dale Rumming Personal Real Estate Corporation Coast Realty, 314 East Island Hwy, Parksville 250-248-8371 •

No obligation, no pressure, no cost. Just sound information and advice. See ad on page 19.

Setter and Associates RE/MAX First Realty

101-897 West Island Highway, Parksville 250-951-4078 • Assisting folks like you, buy or sell real estate.

See ad on page 17.

Glenda Sweet Personal Real Estate Corporation 689 Memorial Drive, Qualicum Beach 250-228-4224 •

Helping people buy and sell homes in a polite and professional manner. See ad on page 6.

835 View Road, Qualicum Beach 250-248-0459

A local family business with 30 years of experience in all aspects of residential and commercial building maintenance.

See ad on page 29.

Ohs Marketing Team at Royal LePage 679 Memorial Avenue, Qualicum Beach 250-752-7653 • www.ohsmarketing.cca

Timeless Stone and Granite

#43-1135 Industrial Way, Parksville 250-947-9620• Granite and Quartz services, project scheduling, project design, bathroom renovations and more. See ad on page 20.

Jill Tuggle Realtor© Coast Realty

Contact the Ohs Team to see how the Platinum Marketing System can work for you. See ad on page 32.

314 East Island Highway, Parksville 250-927-2385, 1-888-954-4433 •

Carol Plaiser Invis

Committed results with 25 years of dedication. See ad on page 18.

174 Morrison Avenue West, Parksville 250-248-5997 •

Weatherwise Cedar Products

Expert, impartial mortgage advice. Purchases, refinances, transfers and lines of credit. See ad on page 7.

Raines Custom Furniture and Cabinets 436 Martindale Road, Parksville 250-248-2984 •

Quality furniture, cabinets and millwork to meet your taste, needs and budget. Imagine it, Raines will design and build it.

See ad on page 25.


1283 Alberni Highway, Parksville 250-248-9261 •

Your one stop shop for everything cedar. From fence panels to stain, Weatherwise has it all! See ad on page 17.

Katherine Wilk RE/MAX Anchor Realty 113 West Second Avenue, Qualicum Beach 250-937-9455 •

Helping you buy or sell real estate with sincerity and confidence.

See ad on page 26.

Wrightway Interlock & Landscape Ltd.

1209 Island Highway, Parksville 250-586-1555 • Building high quality, long lasting, beautiful bathrooms, while making the remodelling process stress free and easy.

1154 Smithers Road, Parksville 250-240-4824 •

Septic systems, design, install, repair, mini excavation, drainage. Paving stone driveways, patios. See ad on page 19.

See ad on page 12. A Special Supplement to the Parksville Qualicum Beach News


Systems That Get Results

Our Platinum Marketing System showcases your property to the right Buyers. The unparalleled exposure and presentation of your home will make it stand out from the crowd.

Our full service Buyers Program keeps our clients informed of inventory and market changes in real time. We help you from the beginning of your search to the delivery of your keys.

The Platinum Collection of fine properties will appeal to the most discerning of Buyers.

Thank you to our amazing clients! We just received the Royal LePage highest honor, the National Chairman’s Club placing Rob Ohs in the Top 1% of Realtors across Canada


The KEY to Real ESTATE Resource Guide - February 2015

February 24, 2015  

Section Z of the February 24, 2015 edition of the Parksville Qualicum Beach News

February 24, 2015  

Section Z of the February 24, 2015 edition of the Parksville Qualicum Beach News