Nanaimo Real Estate Blog | Island Home Group

10 free things to do in nanaimo, bc

Activities are fun, but it's not always easy to find fun things to do that don’t cost you an arm and a leg! Whether you're on a tight budget or looking to save money without staying home all weekend, there are plenty of ways to explore Nanaimo without spending a dime! The following 10 things to do for free in Nanaimo, BC are just a sample of what this amazing harbour city has to offer!

1. Explore Bowen Park

Bowen Park is a 36-hectare park that is mainly undeveloped lush forest, which makes it the perfect setting for exploring interpretive trails. The Millstone River meanders through the wooded area adding to the mystique of this gorgeous park. Within this area is a scenic waterfall, fish ladder, duck pond, and an amazing rhododendron grove with

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Best Neighborhoods for Families in Nanaimo

Nanaimo is a great place for families. It's centrally located, offers endless programs and activities for all ages, has a strong economy, and offers a well-balanced lifestyle in a growing city with hints of rural appeal. Surrounded by views of the stunning Coast Mountains, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean makes Nanaimo a livelihood that's very hard to top. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, there's a great influx of new residents and families finding themselves in the Nanaimo real estate market, curious about where the best place is to call home. 

Here's a break down on where to find the best Nanaimo community for your family when it comes to convenience, location, and safety:

 Surrounded by views of the stunning Coast

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University District in Nanaimo, BC

university-district-nanaimoAffectionately known by locals as "Harewood," University District was once a predominantly rural area. Today, this up and coming neighbourhood is attracting a different demographics: first-time homeowners (especially VIU students) and avid investors. In the last decade, the city has made enormous strides to improve the livability of this area for students and longtime residents alike. Old shopping plazas have been refreshed with major renovations, derelict buildings removed to make way for new developments, and new homes are popping up all over the neighborhood, adding a fresh feel to the mature streets. 

Thanks to these efforts, property values in the University District have improved dramatically in the last few years. Current owners are always

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Property value explained

Now that the most recent British Columbia property assessments are in hand, there may be some lingering questions about how the B.C. Assessment Authority determines home values in your region. The Nanaimo real estate experts at Layzell, Dreger, Walton & Associates hope that we can clear up some misnomers about what your home is really worth, and to help you feel more informed about the difference between assessed value vs. market value.

As a home buyer or home seller, it's always wise to inform ourselves about the many different facets of what home ownership entails. These facets can include anything from possible rental revenue, added strata fees, to municipal home assessments that will impact our annual financial status.

The first thing we'd

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Is it time to downsize your home?

Downsizing is common for homeowners whose children have since moved out and started their own families. For many retirees, the draw of downsizing includes less maintenance, lower taxes, and living in a neighbourhood suited to their current needs. Here are a few signs that it’s time to downsize your home:

You Have Unused Rooms

A large family home was ideal for raising children, hosting sleepovers, and kid’s birthday parties. However, once your kids are grown and moved out, you may find these rooms get used less. If you find yourself living in a large house with multiple “guest rooms” or unused rooms, you should consider downsizing. Not only does downsizing make better use of space but also while we’re talking downsizing tips for your retirement,

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What you should know before renting your nanaimo home

Renting your home or a suite in your property is a great way to offset mortgage costs and make a little extra income. Plus, being a university town, Nanaimo has a constant need for rental properties. However, there are a few things you should consider before investing in Nanaimo real estate to rent. Here are some significant things to think about before becoming a landlord:

Is the Suite Legal?

As with any building, you must make sure to take the proper proceedings to legalize the dwelling. This means making sure the structure was built under the correct building code and that all safety features are compliant with the Zoning Bylaw and BC Building Code.

This may mean you must invest time in significant research since laws pertaining to

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improve the value of your home this summer

Whether you're looking to increase your property's appraisal value or just improve your living space, getting started on home improvements can be a daunting process. With housing prices increasing, there is no better time than now to invest in your Nanaimo home and capitalize in its value. Even though this is an ever-shifting market, one thing always remains true: there are certain elements in your home that can greatly increase property value with simple renovation or design changes that you can easily tackle.

You're likely asking yourself, "How do I prioritize home improvements that will increase the value of my home, without breaking the bank?" The answer is to focus on projects that will pay up to five times the original cost.

Here are five

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How to buy your first home in Nanaimo, BC

Nanaimo is one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, and for good reason. With a mild climate, breathtaking coastal scenery, and a growing number of amenities for residents of every age, our beautiful city has a lot to offer. However, it's no secret that Nanaimo's real estate market is booming, and current homeowners are consistently surprised when they find out how much their home is worth. 

Unfortunately, many eager first-time home seekers are finding that rising home costs are pushing their dream of home ownership further from reach. If you're sick of renting and are ready to own, here's what you need to know about buying your first home in Nanaimo's hot housing market: 

1) Set Realistic Expectations & Stay Positive

Many first-time

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5 ways to stage your nanaimo home for sale

If you are planning to put your house on the Nanaimo real estate market, you most likely want to sell as quick as possible, and get the highest return on your investment. Setting the stage for seller's success doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Upgrade and upstage with these 5 tips for home improvement.

1. Freshen Up Your Frontage

Grounds looking untidy? It's critical to spend time taking care of the outside of your property, as the setting is one of the first things homebuyers will notice when they arrive. Even if your house is not a million-dollar property, some people are sold on the grounds alone! Homebuyers will look everywhere, so it's a great idea to take care of all the nooks and crannies. Manicure the lawns, put down fresh soil,

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The Island Home Group is heading East next week - the team is thrilled to be exclusively representing Vancouver Island real estate at the 2016 Calgary Home and Garden show! We'll be highlighting the best of the Island to our Albertan neighbours, chatting about the current market, leisure and tourism, investment opportunities and more. Our team is truly passionate about Island living, and we can't wait to share our enthusiasm with guests of the home show. 

If you've been thinking of making a move to the Island, or just escaping the Calgary cold for a coastal getaway, we've got an exciting offer for you - the Island Home Group will be giving away a flight voucher and hotel credit to make your Island dreams a reality! Stop by and visit us at booth #47

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