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Victoria BC Community Blog

2017 Christmas Events in Victoria

Victoria is a magical and beautiful place to spend Christmas, with plenty of lights and events throughout the city. Here are just some of the winter events taking place for Christmas and New Years on the island, including parades, carols, markets, concerts, movies, lights, tours, and brunches with Santa!

Don't forget to check out local coffee shops and restaurants as well for their Christmas specials.

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Septic Tanks 101: Maintenance & Repair

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

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

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

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2017 Halloween Events in Victoria

Ready for another year of tricks and treats in Victoria? Check out local kids activities, ghost tours, haunted houses, bonfires, festivals and other events taking place during the season of the pumpkin. Make sure to share your experiences using the hashtag #VictoriaBOO!

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Moving Day: What To Remember

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

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

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The Bones Of A House: What Makes A Good Home

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

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

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

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Renting To Your Kids

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

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

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What To Do In A Bidding War

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

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

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Co-Ownership: Home Buying With A Friend

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

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

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8 Spring Home Improvements

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

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

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