DIY Projects To Avoid

Not every renovation or fix-up project ends in smiles and a pat on the back. If you want to know the six renovation undertakings to avoid at all costs, read on…

 1.  Removing all the trees: It might be tempting to pull out the chainsaw and sought that depressing looking willow tree out once and for all, but be cautious. Contrary to many people’s belief, removing trees can sometimes cause more damage to the value of a home than simply leaving them there. A large attractive tree can add $10,000 – $15,000 to the value of a property in some areas.

2. Expensive, but unnecessary fittings: A reno that gives you the best house on the street, won’t necessarily get you the best price. If you are an owner occupier in an area where there are a lot of rental properties that have been neglected and not well-looked after, it won’t matter how much you spend on improvements, the rest of the neighbourhood will drag the value down.

3. DIY fails: Homeowner-installed wiring and plumbing often spell instant devaluation on a property. It is illegal and dangerous and may be picked up by a pre-purchase inspection. Unless, you’re a professional yourself, leave complex projects to those who know what they’re doing.

4. Pulling out the ugly stick:  Renovations should be sympathetic to the original building. Starting an extension without considering the form or visual impact of the exterior materials being used so that the renovation appears as an add-on rather than part of the house, can potentially devalue your property by at least $28,000 on average.

5.  No playground, no barbeque: Poorly considered site planning, including extensions that can leave unusable outdoor spaces or are overwhelmed by fences and retaining walls close to important rooms will devalue the whole property.If you look at the new home designs that are current at the moment, you’ll see that there’s a really big emphasis on lifestyle or an outdoor living. Whether you’re buying a new home or an old home, people are looking for these features these days.

6. Illegal building and faulty structures: Undertaking construction work without a permit normally results in an instant fail. A prospective buyer having a pre-purchase inspection when you try to sell usually picks this up. Illegal building ultimately costs some owners $30,000 or more to make it comply with regulations. The same can be said for installing new kitchens and bathrooms without first checking that the sub-floor structures are sound. Many new kitchens are virtually destroyed in the first four years by floor subsidence.

VIREB Market Report May 2014

Balanced Market Conditions Good News for Buyers and Sellers

NANAIMO, BC – Home sales across the Vancouver Island region have remained relatively steady over the past four months, indicating stability and renewed confidence in the residential housing market.  A total of 360 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system in the VIREB coverage area in April 2014. This represents a 1.1% increase over unit sales recorded last month, and a 12% decrease in unit sales over April of last year.  According to VIREB president, Blair Herbert, although unit sales have edged down slightly from this time last year, when looking at the 12 month-to-date comparative figures, the Board is actually reporting a 15% increase. “We are coming off of four months of strong sales activity in 2014, compared to a slow market in the first quarter of 2013, so we are not concerned by the slight dip in activity this month,” said Herbert.  Total active listings on the MLS® in the VIREB coverage area currently sit at 2,654, a 4.26% decline from April 2013.  “While our inventory levels are still lagging a bit from last year, our sales to listing ratio is still fairly typical,” said Herbert. “This is helping to keep us in balanced market territory, with pricing remaining relatively stable overall.” In April 2014, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $314,500 with an MLS® HPI index value of 147.8. (This represents a 47.8 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100). The benchmark price is up 0.54 per cent from last month and increased 1.51 per cent over last year. The average price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $343,353 which is up 6% over this time last year. “Low interest rates continue to underpin demand in the spring market,” noted BCREA’s chief economist, Cameron Muir. “We anticipate a seasonal influx of listing activity, and anticipate the second half of the year will be stronger in terms of sales activity as the economy begins to pick up.” The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $268,000, up 4.78 per cent over this time last year; in the Comox Valley the benchmark price was $319,600 marking a slight increase of 0.46 per cent over last year; Duncan reports a benchmark price of $283,100 which is virtually unchanged from last year, increasing a mere .07 per cent; Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $335,700 up 2.86 per cent over last year; Parksville/Qualicum has a benchmark price of $349,500, rising 1.58 per cent from  last year; and the price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni is listed at $183,600, an increase of 3.17 per cent over last year.