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SOLD 2158 McKean Rd in VICTORIA.
Welcome to your perfect move in ready family home in a prime location walking distance to schools and parks! The moment you walk in you feel right at home with the cozy living room, large open concept kitchen/dining with stainless steel appliances and newer 500 sq ft cedar deck off the dining area creating year round indoor/outdoor living. The main level has 4 bedrooms and 2 upgraded bathrooms including an ensuite. Downstairs has a media room, rec room/gym and den for extra room or potential suite. This freshly painted home features large windows and skylights throughout, huge crawl space for storage, garage, newer flooring, roof and more! Enjoy the easy to maintain private and tranquil oasis on .5 acres. Don't wait on this home, it's the perfect layout!
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SOLD 202 720 Vancouver St in VICTORIA.
TOTALLY RENOVATED. Situated in the heart of Fairfield just short walk away from the Cook Street Village. This two bedroom 2 bathroom corner unit offers over 1200 sq. ft. of open living space, wood fireplace, ample insuite storage, insuite laundry and secure parking. Bonus large wrap around deck with two patio doors leading to outside! Charming 11 unit well maintained building. All this on beautiful Vancouver St. within easy walking distance of downtown, Cook St. Village, Beacon Hill Park and the ocean.
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SOLD 2304 Ravenhill Rd in SIDNEY.
This 4 bed 3 bath main level entry rancher sits on a .22 acre corner lot in the desirable Shawnigan Lake Beach Estates. The master bedroom has a walk in closet and ensuite and there are 3 other bedrooms one of which also has a 2 pc ensuite and there's a nice soaker tub in the main bathroom. There have been lots of updates to the home including a new roof, windows, woodstove and hot water tank in 2008 and also all new bamboo flooring in 2013. Sound proof insulation was also added to the wall between the master bedroom and living room. The outdoor space is wonderful and the lovely private backyard has a new sundeck (June 2017), easy care landscaping, a fire pit and lots of room for the children. Only minutes away from public beach access, close to schools, shopping and within commuting distance of Victoria.
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Whether you’re prepping your house to go on the market or looking for ways to maximize its long-term appreciation, these nine home improvement projects are great ways to add function, beauty, and real value to your home.


The best part is, once you’ve secured the materials, most of these renovations can be completed over the course of a weekend. And they don’t require a lot of specialized skills or experience. So grab your toolbox, then get ready to boost your home’s appeal AND investment potential!



1. Spruce Up Your Landscaping


Landscaping improvements can increase a home’s value by 10-12%.1 But which outdoor features do buyers care about most? According to a survey of Realtors, a healthy lawn is at the top of their list. If your lawn is lacking, overseeding or laying new sod can be a worthwhile investment—with an expected return of 417% and 143% respectively.1


Planting flowers is another great way to enhance your home’s curb appeal. And if you choose a perennial variety, your blooms should return year after year. For an even longer-term impact, consider planting a tree. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can add up to $10,000 to the value of your home.2



2. Clean The Exterior


When it comes to making your house shine, a sparkling facade can be just as important as a clean interior. Real estate professionals estimate that washing the outside of a house can add as much as $15,000 to its sales price.3


A rented pressure washer from your local home improvement store can help you remove built-up dirt and grime from your home’s exterior, walkway, and driveway. Just be sure to read the instructions carefully—and only use it on surfaces that can withstand the intensity. When in doubt, a scrub brush and bucket of sudsy water will often do the trick.


 

3. Add A Fresh Coat Of Paint


New paint can have a big impact on both the appearance and value of a property. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to revitalize a home’s exterior, update its interior, and make it appear larger and brighter. The best part? Painting is relatively easy and inexpensive!


To get the maximum return at resale, stick with a modern but neutral color palette that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. According to a recent survey of home design experts, cool neutrals are a safe bet when it comes to interior paint. And respondents chose white and gray as the best exterior paint colors to use when selling a home.4 However, it’s important to consider a property’s architecture, existing fixtures, and regional design preferences, as well.  



4. Install Smart Home Technology


In a recent survey, 78% of real estate professionals said their buyer clients were willing to pay more for a home with smart technology features.5 The most requested smart devices? Thermostats (77%), smoke detectors (75%), home security cameras (66%), and locks (63%).6


The good news is, many of these gadgets are fairly easy to install. And some of them, including smart thermostats and light bulbs, will pay for themselves over time by making your home more energy efficient. In fact, many manufacturers report that smart thermostats can cut back on heating and cooling costs by 10-20%.7  


If you already own a smart speaker, like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, choose devices that will pair with your existing technology. This will enable you to create a truly integrated (and in many cases voice-activated) smart home experience.



5. Modernize Your Window Treatments


Smart—or motorized—blinds are also growing in popularity, and several manufacturers make models you can order and install on your own. But they’re not the only way to modernize your window treatments.


If you have old aluminum blinds, consider replacing them with plantation shutters, which are energy efficient, durable, and have strong buyer appeal.8 Roman and roller shades are another stylish alternative, and they come in a variety of colors and fabrics, which you can personalize to meet your design and privacy preferences.


Fortunately, upgrading your blinds has gotten easier and less expensive in recent years. There are a number of retailers that specialize in affordable window coverings that are simple to measure and hang yourself.



6. Replace Outdated Fixtures


Drastically transform the look and feel of your home by swapping out dingy and dated fixtures for contemporary alternatives. Start by assessing your current light fixtures, faucets, cabinet hardware, door knobs, and even switch plates. Then prioritize replacing those that are particularly outdated or in highly-visible areas, such as your entryway or kitchen.


Even if your home is fairly new, consider trading your builder-grade fixtures for higher-end options to give it a more upscale appearance. And forget the old rule about sticking to one metal tone throughout your property. According to designers, mixing metal finishes can add interest and character to a space.9

  


7. Upgrade Your Bathroom Mirror


A minor bathroom remodel offers one of the best returns on investment, with a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1 you spend.10 We’ve already explored several improvements you can make to your bathroom: new paint, fixtures, and hardware. Now complete the look by upgrading your vanity’s mirror.


Before you purchase a new mirror, examine your existing one to see how it is attached to the wall. Some vanity mirrors are glued to the wall and difficult to remove without shattering the glass or damaging the sheetrock behind it.11


If you prefer to keep your existing mirror, you can paint the frame—or add one if it’s currently frameless. There are several online retailers that will send you the frame components cut to your specifications, which you can assemble and mount yourself. Much like a work of art, your vanity mirror serves as a focal point for your bathroom, so let your creativity shine through!


 

8. Shampoo Your Carpet


Carpet is notorious for trapping dust, dirt, and allergens. It’s one of the reasons that most buyers prefer hard surface flooring.12 But if you love your carpet, or you’re not ready to invest in an alternative, make an effort to keep it clean and odor-free.


To properly maintain your carpet, you should vacuum it weekly. Experts also recommend a deep shampoo at least every two years.13 Fortunately, this is a cheap and easy DIY project you can knock out in about 20 minutes per room. According to Consumer Reports, you can rent a machine and purchase cleaning fluid and supplies for around $90. With an average return on your investment of 169%, it’s well worth the effort and expense.14



9. Customize Your Closet


Real estate professionals estimate that a closet remodel can add $2500 to a home’s selling price.And while a professional renovation can cost upwards of $6000, there are many high-quality DIY closet systems you can customize and install yourself.15


Experts recommend taking a thorough inventory of your wardrobe and accessories before you get started. Make sure frequently-worn pieces are easy to reach, and store seasonal and seldom-used items on high shelves. Place shoe racks near the closet entrance so they are easy to access.16 A little planning can go a long way toward building a closet that you (and your future buyers!) will love.



GET A COMPLIMENTARY ANALYSIS OF YOUR PROJECT

 

We’ve been talking averages. But the truth is, the actual impact of a home improvement project will vary depending on your particular home and neighborhood. Before you get started, contact us to schedule a free virtual consultation. We can help you determine which upgrades will offer the greatest return on your effort and investment.




Sources:

  1. HomeLight -
    https://www.homelight.com/blog/improve-curb-appeal-landscaping/
  2. National Association of Realtors -
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/landscape-renovations-that-pay-off/
  3. HouseLogic.com - https://www.houselogic.com/save-money-add-value/add-value-to-your-home/adding-curb-appeal-value-to-home/
  4. Fixr -
    https://www.fixr.com/blog/2020/01/14/paint-color-trends-in-2020/
  5. T3 Sixty -
    https://blog.coldwellbanker.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CES2018-Smart-Homes-An-Emerging-Real-Estate-Opportunity.pdf
  6. Consumer Reports -
    https://www.consumerreports.org/smart-home/smart-home-tech-upgrades-to-help-sell-your-house/
  7. American Council for Energy Efficient Economy
    https://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1801.pdf
  8. Forbes - https://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2016/07/05/10-upgrades-under-1000-that-increase-home-values-2/#47b0d3162e60
  9. Insider -
    https://www.insider.com/home-design-rules-you-should-be-breaking-2020-1
  10. Zillow -
    https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/roi-for-bathroom-remodel/
  11. Lowes -
    https://www.lowes.com/n/how-to/remove-a-bathroom-mirror
  12. HomeLight -
    https://www.homelight.com/blog/what-flooring-increases-home-value/
  13. Angie’s List -
    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-often-should-i-clean-my-carpets.htm
  14. HomeLight -
    https://www.homelight.com/blog/projects-that-increase-home-value/
  15. National Association of Realtors - https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/remodeling-impact
  16. EasyClosets -
    https://www.easyclosets.com/tips-ideas/2016/10/02/how-to-plan-your-walk-in-closet/
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SOLD 1553 Marcola PL in VICTORIA.
Priced to sell! Gorgeous 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom rancher in Saanich East! With a double car garage and only 4 steps in the entry, this rancher is a must see. Sunny and warm South facing solarium accessible from living room and bedrooms. Very large master bedroom and ensuite features a large walk-in shower. The spacious kitchen has a cozy breakfast nook and separate formal dining area. Private south facing backyard. Situated at the top of very nice quiet cul-de-sac, close to shopping, buses, schools & Mt. Doug walking trails.
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SOLD 206 7 Gorge RD W in VICTORIA.
Welcome to your bright south west facing corner suite located in the back of the building. You'll feel right at home the moment you walk in. Enjoy a master suite big enough for a king size bed, with a walk in closet and full bathroom. The second bedroom is separated, great for privacy. The spacious living area features a gas fireplace (included in strata fees) and dining area. The kitchen offers plenty of counter space and cupboards with a large picture window over the sink overlooking greenery. You'll fall in love with your own large laundry room with shelving for extra storage. Other features include laminate flooring, brand new upside down blinds throughout (black out in bedrooms), updated main bathroom and freshly painted master bathroom. This suite is quiet, listen to the birds on your balcony, walk to the gorge waterway or ride your bike downtown in 10 minutes. Secure parking, storage locker and bike room.
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Hot off the press from the Victoria Real Estate Board, July 2, 2020 


A total of 808 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 9.2 per cent more than the 740 properties sold in June 2019 and 76.8 per cent more than the previous month of May 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 3.2 per cent from June 2019 with 209 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 16.8 per cent from June 2019 with 460 sold.


"This June we saw competing factors from all different sides of the real estate equation," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "If all we do is look at numbers, we see a fairly normal June, in the midst of a very not normal world. The impact of COVID-19 on our entire economy continues. And while some buyers and sellers are slow to emerge from isolation, others have been highly active since the start of Phase 2 of BC's Restart Plan. Because of the pandemic, an eviction order that prohibited a landlord from ending a tenancy was introduced. The order may have kept some homes from going to market. The portion of this order that prevented a seller from providing vacant possession of a tenanted home was lifted late this month, which may bring some listings to market that had been stalled. Due to the pandemic alone, we have multiple factors influencing the inventory and sales in our market."

There were 2,698 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2020, 11.3 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of June 2019 but a 6.1 per cent increase from the 2,544 active listings for sale at the end of May 2020.

"Additionally, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced changes that start July 1 which will reduce the borrowing power of some buyers who insure through CMHC," adds Ayers. "This may have pushed some demand forward - although there are alternate suppliers of mortgage insurance. Ongoing low inventory levels also mean that we are seeing a fair number of multiple offers. The condo market is slightly softer in terms of sales numbers. This may be in part due to the recent strata insurance issues which caused concern for owners and sellers. The government promised this month to begin to address the insurance issue, so there may be some relief on the horizon. These are not normal days for local real estate, nor is this month a signal of a return to normal, regardless of the numbers. That said, buyers and sellers are successfully navigating our market with the help of local REALTORS®, who know how to implement health and safety protocols and understand the complexities of our current market. As always, I recommend you consult your Realtor to understand what is happening in the moment."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in June 2019 was $861,800. The benchmark value for the same home in June 2020 increased by 4 per cent to $896,200, 1.2 per cent more than May's value of $885,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in June 2019 was $519,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in June 2020 increased by 1.3 per cent to $525,600, 1.6 per cent less than the May value of $534,300.

About the Victoria Real Estate Board - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of Realtors. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,374 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

View our press release and summary here.
View our complete statistical package here.

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SOLD 112 90 Regatta LANDING in VICTORIA.
OH SAT 2-4pm. A vibrant community awaits you at Regatta Landing! This bright & airy garden level suite offers 1 bed & 1 bath with an open concept floorplan & cheater ensuite. The outdoor patio is surrounded by lush landscaping for privacy & convenient street-level entry gives a townhouse feel. Gleaming concrete floors will greet your guests as they enter. Cozy up next to your gas fireplace or entertain along the striking custom live edge breakfast bar in your kitchen. In-suite laundry, secured underground parking & storage locker; this condo has it all. Regatta Landing is a well-run, sought-after strata that is family, pet and rental friendly! Ideal as a revenue property, your own pied-a-terre or for first-time buyers looking to get into Victoria's booming market. The RailYards waterfront community offers easy access to amenities at Westside Village & a scenic 15 minute walk to downtown. With direct access to the Galloping Goose, bring your active lifestyle to this West Coast paradise.
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SOLD 3 1035 Oliphant AVE in VICTORIA.
Here's your chance to own a piece of Cook Street Village. This bright 2 bed, 2 full bath townhouse located at the back of a 4 unit character conversion marries the conveniece of urban living, with amenities at your door step, with the quiet residential feel you want in a home. When you step inside you'll be impressed with the high ceilings, laminate floors, gas fireplace, functional kitchen with eating bar, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, bathrooms with heated tile floors, and full size washer and dryer. There's no shortage of storage + an additional 5x12 shed pefect for your bikes an gear. You'll love BBQ'ing on the south facing deck and the planter offers privacy from the neighboring building. The fully fenced yard with small grass patch is perfect for your pooch. Easy going strata is all ages, allows pet and rentals. Steps to Beacon Hill Park and Dallas Rd. Please view the virtual tour and floor plan before booking a showing. COVID19 showing procedures in place.
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SOLD 13 934 CRAIGFLOWER RD in VICTORIA.
Quiet end unit in the back of this lovely townhome development. Featuring 9' ceilings and laminate flooring in the main living area. The open kitchen, living and dining area create a great room with fireplace that opens to a private balcony. Quality finishing throughout this 3 bedroom, 2 bath home include granite countertops in kitchen and baths, stainless steel appliances. Rentals, pets and BBQ’s are welcome! BONUS! 2 parking spaces (single garage and one outside parking stall). Built in 2012 the townhouse complex is in a fantastic location across from Gorge Vale Golf Course & a block from Kinsmen Gorge Park! Easily bike or bus to downtown, shopping & groceries. Call today to view this home!
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SOLD 103 1028 Balmoral RD in VICTORIA.
Welcome to your one of a kind 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom corner unit close to downtown. This quiet garden suite offers an abundance of natural light with numerous brand new windows throughout, greenery in all directions and utmost privacy. Located in the back of the building, there's only one other garden suite and no balconies above you. Enjoy a spacious living room with a dining area and partial open concept kitchen with a newer stove. The spacious bedroom fits a king bed, dresser with double closets. Interior features include laminate flooring throughout, freshly painted bedroom, in-suite laundry and plenty of pantry space! Create your own little garden oasis with herbs and flowers on your patio. This unit comes with a secure underground parking stall and storage locker. The building allows rentals, pets, children and BBQ's. Walk to everything and enjoy a brand new grocery store around the corner. You won't want to miss this one. Check out our 3D tour and book your showing today!
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SOLD 919 Garthland PL W in VICTORIA.
OPEN HOUSE FEB. 29TH 1-3:00. Incredible, quality custom built, 3 Br., 2 Bath West Coast style home with gorgeous views overlooking the Gorge Waterway. Tucked away at the end of a private cul de sac special features include: split entry w/ vaulted ceilings, loads of windows to soak in the sunshine & views, 7 skylights, lovely kitchen with maple cabinets, granite counter tops and river rock masonry fireplace with pizza oven & stainless steel appliances w/ water filter system. Beautiful cherry wood floors & pot lights throughout w/ sunken dining & living room, 2 amazing spa like baths with slate tile floors, claw foot tub/shower, glass block & double shower/vanity in master. Bright family room with attic storage & library/den area. 2 decks, heat pump/HRV system, easy access full 3' crawl, garage, 200amp, new H/W tank in '16. Exceptionally gracious & elegantly appointed home for entertaining family & friends while taking in the captivating and scenic views bestowed before you.
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SOLD 3 773 Central Spur RD.
Like new, 2 storey townhouse with expansive views of the Gorge Waterway! Located minutes away from DT & Vic West amenities like shopping, cafes & breweries. In the ideal entertaining space, you'll love hosting from your open concept kitchen/living/dining room with gorgeous wood floors throughout, leading to your private patio overlooking the water. Warm up beside your elctr F/P with gorgeous marble mosaic tile surround. Enjoy cooking in your spacious gourmet kitchen featuring S/S appliances & quartz countertops with bar seating. Upstairs you'll find two bedrooms, each with their own ensuite and private balcony, plus the perfect office nook/reading area on the landing. With carport parking for two cars, two additional storage rooms, large closets and laundry room, plus a separate bike storage, you'll have plenty of space for your awesome outdoor lifestyle equipment. Steps to the Galloping Goose trail and access to kayaking & paddling, this location CAN'T BE BEAT!
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SOLD 916 Garthland PL W in VICTORIA.
Open House: Saturday (Feb. 8) 2-4 PM. Spacious and private Family Home, flooded with natural light, offering expansive views. This home is ideal for families looking for a bright, well-maintained home with an income suite close to downtown and all of Victoria’s outdoor spaces. Inside you will find a move-in-ready home with nice separation between bedrooms and the rest of the space. Off the kitchen and living area is a highly functional deck offering fantastic sweeping views and excellent outdoor living space. Downstairs is an income suite which would also be perfect for family members looking for some independence from the main portion of the home. The suite has a separate entrance, own laundry, and its own deck. The lower level also has lots of available storage room. Outside you will find a large and private property to enjoy. The home is in a quiet cul-de-sac and nicely placed above its neighbours.
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Starting a vegetable garden is one of the top new things people are trying this year given the circumstances in the world. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could create a completely (or almost) sustainable home? One of my favourite things is going out to the garden in the summer and picking a salad. Some of my favourite things to plant are arugula, spinach, pees, blueberries, strawberries and radishes. It’s the perfect salad!


Here are my top 5 tips to start your own vegetable garden:


1. Mix compost into your soil. We usually do ½ compost and ½ rich vegetable and herb garden soil in our garden beds. You can grow some vegetables and herbs in pots or in a raised bed. In Victoria, you can get compost and soil delivered to your home from Gravel Mart. Call now as it may take 2-3 weeks. Make sure to mix the soil well before planting.


2. Picking out seeds to plant: It can be so fun to go to the garden centre and go wild with all the vegetables and fruit you want to plant however there’s some key things to look at when picking out your seeds:


  • First thing we look at is what time of year do they need to be planted?
  • How much space does this vegetable need (ex. Corn needs a large space and a certain amount of corn to cross pollinate to have a successful crop)
  • How much sunlight does it need?
  • Can it be sown directly into the garden or do you have to start indoors first? (Ex.Tomatoes need to be started      indoors and planted in the garden mid-late June)




3. Make a garden plan! After you have an idea of what seeds you want to plant, come up with a plan. The biggest thing we learned was some vegetables can’t be planted in the same spot year after year. For example, the cabbage family must be moved after each crop, this includes lettuce mixes, cabbages, arugula and more. Having a plan in the garden has been key for us.


4. Feed your garden. Use an organic all-natural fertilizer once every 3 weeks, you’ll notice the difference with your vegetables. This helps them get the nutrients they need if they aren’t getting it from the soil. Purchase this from a garden centre and make sure to ask specific questions as there’s so many products out there.


5. Most importantly have fun with it! It’s a learning curve no matter how much research you do. It’s hard work and it takes dedication but it’s so rewarding. Seeing our carrots sprout for the first time makes me feel purposeful and proud. Whether you’re a beginner or an avid gardener, remember you’re always learning! Sometimes things work out and other times they don’t, never give up!


Follow Tasha's blog @thepurposeful on Instagram or Facebook for more gardening tips!


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These days, it seems like everyone’s looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their income further. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your household expenses without making radical changes to your standard of living. When combined, these small adjustments can add up to significant savings each month.


Here are 20 things you can start doing today to lower your bills, secure better deals, and begin working toward your financial goals.


  1. Refinance Your Mortgage - For prime borrowers, mortgage rates are at or near historic lows. Depending on your current mortgage rate and the terms you choose, refinancing could save you a sizable amount on your monthly payments. There are fees and closing costs associated with refinancing, so you’ll need to talk to your lender to find out if refinancing is a good option for you.
  1. Evaluate Your Insurance Policies - If it’s been a while since you priced home or auto insurance, it may be worthwhile to do some comparison shopping. Get quotes from at least three insurers or independent agents. Try bundling your policies to see if there’s a discount. And inquire about raising your deductible, which should lower your premium.1
  1. Bundle Cable, Phone, and Internet - You can also save money by bundling your cable, phone, and internet services together. Shop around to see who is willing to give you the best deal. If switching is too much of a hassle, ask your current provider to match or beat their competitor’s offer.
  1. Better Yet, Cut the Cord on Cable - In many cases, you can save even more if you cancel your cable subscription altogether. An antenna should give you access to the major stations, and many of your favorite shows are probably available on-demand through a less expensive streaming service subscription.
  1. Revisit Your Wireless Plan - You can often save by switching from a big brand to an independent, low-cost carrier. If that’s not feasible, ask your current provider for a better deal or consider downgrading to a cheaper plan.
  1. Adjust Your Thermostat - Turning your thermostat up or down a few degrees can have a noticeable impact on your monthly heating and cooling costs. To maximize efficiency, change your filters regularly, and make sure your windows and doors are well insulated.
  1. Use Less Hot Water - After heating and cooling, hot water accounts for the second largest energy expense in most homes.2 To cut back, repair any leaks or dripping faucets, install low-flow fixtures, only run your dishwasher when full, and wash clothes in cold water when possible.
  1. Lower Overall Water Consumption - To decrease your water usage, take shorter showers, and turn off the sink while you brush your teeth and wash your hands. If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, retrofit your current one with a toilet tank bank or fill cycle diverter.And irrigate your lawn in the morning or evening to minimize evaporation.3
  1. Conserve Electricity - Save electricity by shutting off your computer at night and installing energy-efficient LED light bulbs. You can minimize standby or “vampire” power drain by utilizing power strips and unplugging idle appliances.4
  1. Purchase a Home Warranty - While there is an upfront cost, a home warranty can provide some protection and peace of mind when it comes to unexpected home repair costs. Most plans provide coverage for major systems (like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC) and appliances (such as your dishwasher, stove, or refrigerator).
  1. Outsource Less - From lawn care to grocery shopping to minor home repairs, we pay people to do a lot of things our parents and grandparents did themselves. To save money, try cutting back on the frequency of these services or taking some of them on yourself.
  1. Prepare Your Own Meals - It costs nearly five times more to have a meal delivered than it does to cook it at home.5 And home cooking doesn’t just save money; it’s healthier, cuts down on calorie consumption, and can offer a fun activity for families to do together.
  1. Plan Your Menu in Advance - Meal planning is deciding before you shop what you and your family will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It can help you lower your overall food bill, eliminate waste, and minimize impulse purchases. When possible, buy produce that is in season, and utilize nutrient-rich but inexpensive protein sources like eggs, beans, ground turkey, and canned tuna.
  1. Plant a Garden - You can save even more on produce by growing it yourself. If you have space in your yard, start-up costs are relatively minimal. Gardening can be a rewarding and enjoyable (not to mention delicious) hobby for the whole family. And it could save you around $600 per year at the grocery store!6
  1. Review Memberships and Subscriptions - Are you paying for services and subscriptions you no longer need, want, or can utilize? Determine if there are any that you should suspend or cancel.
  1. Give Homemade Gifts - Who wouldn’t appreciate a scratch birthday cake or tin of cookies? And if you enjoy crafting, Pinterest and Instagram are full of inspiring ideas. Show your recipient how much you care with a homemade gift from the heart.
  1. Minimize Your Debt Payments - The best way to reduce a debt payment is to pay down the balance. But if that’s not an option right now, try to negotiate a better interest rate. If you have a good credit score, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer to a 0% or low-interest rate credit card. Keep in mind, the rate may expire after a certain period—so be sure to read the fine print.
  1. Get a Cash-back Credit Card - If you regularly pay your credit card balance in full, a cash-back credit card can be a good way to earn a little money back each month. However, they often come with high-interest rates and fees if you carry a balance. Commit to only using it for purchases you can afford.
  1. Ask for Deals and Discounts - It may feel awkward at first, but becoming a master haggler can save you a lot of money. Many companies are willing to negotiate under the right circumstances. Always inquire about special promotions or incentives. See if they are able to price match (or beat) their competitors. And if an item is slightly defective or nearing its expiration date, ask for a discount.
  1. Track Your Household Budget - One of the most effective ways to reduce household expenses is to set a budget—and stick to it. A budget can help you see where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back. By setting reasonable limits, you’ll be able to reach your financial goals faster.



Want more help getting a handle on your finances? Use the budget worksheet below to track income and expenses—and start working towards your financial goals today! Please reach out to me for a downloadable version.

 

HOUSEHOLD BUDGET WORKSHEET

 

Expected

Actual

Difference

HOUSING

Mortgage/taxes/insurance or Rent




Utilities (electricity, water, gas, trash)




Phone, internet, cable




Home maintenance and repairs




FOOD

Groceries




Restaurants




TRANSPORTATION

Car payment/insurance




Gas, maintenance, repairs




OTHER

Health insurance




Clothing and personal care




Childcare




Entertainment




Gifts and charitable contributions




Savings, retirement, college fund




INCOME

Salary/wages




Tips and other




MONTHLY TOTALS

Total Actual Income


Total Actual Expenses


ADDITIONAL SAVINGS




WE’RE HERE TO HELP

We would love to help you meet your financial goals. Whether you want to refinance your mortgage, save up for a down payment, or simply find lower-cost alternatives for home repairs, maintenance, or utilities, we are happy to provide our insights and referrals. And if you have plans to buy or sell a home this year, we can discuss the steps you should be taking to financially prepare. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

 

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.



Sources:


  1. Insurance Information Institute -
    https://www.iii.org/article/twelve-ways-to-lower-your-homeowners-insurance-costs
  2. Department of Energy -
    https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating/reduce-hot-water-use-energy-savings
  3. Money Crashers -
    https://www.moneycrashers.com/ways-conserve-water/
  4. Harvard University -
    https://green.harvard.edu/tools-resources/poster/top-5-steps-reduce-your-energy-consumption
  5. Forbes -
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/priceonomics/2018/07/10/heres-how-much-money-do-you-save-by-cooking-at-home/#2c53b2f35e54
  6. Money -
    https://money.com/gardening-grocery-savings/


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SOLD 706 Craigflower RD in VICTORIA.
Looking for a large character home with flexible floor plan and huge upside potential? Look no further! Welcome to this bright and spacious 4 bed + den, 2 bath home with mortgage helper in the trendy urban neighbourhood of Vic West. You'll be impressed with the high ceilings, large windows, wood floors and open concept layout of the main level. The vintage style kitchen opens to the cozy eating nook and bay windows. You'll love the layout with 3 bedrooms and main bath up, den on main level and converted attic as a bonus loft/flex room which would be great as an artist studio or office. There is a 1 bed suite at the back of the property plus a detached garage! Updates including gas furnace and 200 amp electrical. The private yard is perfect for growing your own food with herb garden in the back and planter boxes in the front. Located moments to Banfield Park, coffee shops, community centre and E&N + Galloping Goose bike trails. Ask to see pre-listing inspection report.
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SOLD 205 835 Selkirk AVE in VICTORIA.
Welcome home to your peaceful retreat just moments from the city & local amenities. Located near the Selkirk waterway and tucked away off the main streets, this bright 2 bed, 2 full bath home offers over 1000 sqft of living space with a functional flow and in suite laundry. Unwind in your living room featuring large windows & a cozy gas fireplace or host family & friends for dinner in your dedicated dining room. Enjoy BBQing, relaxing or tending to your veggie garden on one of your 2 south west facing balconies overlooking a large hedge for total privacy. The spacious master suite offers deck access and a walk-through closet to your 4pce ensuite. Twin Gables is an adult oriented, pet friendly, recently remediated building with secure underground and ample visitor parking. Walk down the tree lined streets of Old Esquimalt, take your kayak out on the waterway or cycle to work on the Galloping Goose - say goodbye to the commute & hello to your new home!
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SOLD 2098 Bishops GATE.
Privately situated at the end of a cul-de-sac, this quality built 4 bed + den, 3 bath home offers nearly 2,500 sq/ft of thoughtful design. Be welcomed through the spacious tiled entrance w/ it's soaring 18 ft ceiling & feature curved staircase. The main level offers open concept design w/ generous room dimensions, over-sized windows & natural light flooding throughout. The gourmet kitchen w/ stone counters, custom cabinetry & SS appliances includes a massive center island for casual dining & entertaining. Adjoining the dining area is a cozy sitting space & French doors opening out to the private back yard. The living room features a gas f/p & plenty of room to gather w/ family & friends. Upstairs, 4 bedrooms including a master suite w/ walk-in closet, 5-piece ensuite & gas f/p. Recent interior/exterior paint, custom closet organizers, new carpet & ductless mini-spit heat pump for efficient climate control. Private setting out back including patios, level lawn & native vegetation.
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