Author Topic: House Hunting in Victoria, BC  (Read 3287 times)

Aloysius_Poutine

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House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« on: May 27, 2015, 01:47:29 PM »
Wife and I are "pre-approved" to buy a house up to $700,000 - but that is absolute madness. There are so many choices out there -- I want to make the one that makes the most financial sense. We have seen fixers for $399k and brand new with 2-bedroom suites for $650k.

I want an income suite in the house, and at least 3 bedrooms for our family.

Anybody up for sharing their opinions on finding a darn good house for a growing mustachian family in a bustling, expensive market?


TrMama

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 03:28:34 PM »
I'm also in Victoria, although the last time we bought was 5 years ago. Our criteria were:

1. Biking distance to work
2. New enough not to be a death trap in the event the big one hits
3. Not a fixer, because DH and I would end up divorced.
4. Move in ready suite with no stairs for MIL

In retrospect I'd also add, not in a subdivision that's still growing. Our home is and the value has remained stagnant due to steady inventory of even newer homes.

So figure out what neighbourhoods you want to live in and how much you want to spend. That should narrow the pool considerably.

In this market, I'd look seriously at homes listed either directly by owner, or by one of the discount realty firms. Your realtor likely won't show you those homes because he gets stuck with a lower commission. I'd also comb through the MLS listings yourself (in addition to what your realtor picks out) because many of them don't list suites properly. Our house, for example, didn't have the "suite" checkbox ticked in the MLS database and therefore didn't come up on our lazy realtor's search. We found it on our own.

Le Poisson

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 03:45:49 PM »
If I was starting from nothing, had a down payment and a secure line on a mortgage, I would be watching Tax sales and bidding on them instead of searching for the perfect house. Buy, fixup for a year, then look for the perfect house with a bigger cash stash.

I wish I had told myself this advice 20 years ago.

Retire-Canada

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 03:53:54 PM »
Wife and I are "pre-approved" to buy a house up to $700,000 - but that is absolute madness. There are so many choices out there -- I want to make the one that makes the most financial sense. We have seen fixers for $399k and brand new with 2-bedroom suites for $650k.

I want an income suite in the house, and at least 3 bedrooms for our family.

Anybody up for sharing their opinions on finding a darn good house for a growing mustachian family in a bustling, expensive market?

I bought a house 5yrs ago in Victoria. I used the MLS system and punched in our requirements including cost and amenities. The I screen them out by areas and was left with two candidates. Looked at both and made an offer on one. I'm still living there today.

I'm a believer in agreeing to a set of specs and using a database to guide you to the potential options. That way you aren't looking at houses that catch your eye, but aren't actually meeting your needs fully.

We ended up paying ~$400K for a 2 bedroom house 1000sq ft + 300 sq ft studio office and single car garage in the Tilicum area. Definitely not cheap.

We could have gotten more house by moving further afield, but we wanted easy bike access to Victoria and the General Hospital where my GF works. And the Langford/Colwood car commute is enough to drive you insane.

-- Vik

debbie does duncan

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2015, 07:15:20 AM »
BUY this house...pls!
381 Montcalm Ave Saanich /Victoria.
Listing ID 350484
This is everything you have asked for  and I get rid of my FIL!
This house is solid 3 bed2ba up, put a door in and nice suite down.
Good neighbours, Jim and Ann!
Closer to VGH, across street from school. 45 secs off of the bike trail!
The realtor has listed it as in Sidney....not to many showings.
Good luck!

RichMoose

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2015, 10:20:24 AM »
BUY this house...pls!
381 Montcalm Ave Saanich /Victoria.
Listing ID 350484
This is everything you have asked for  and I get rid of my FIL!

Haha!! I think you FIL likes robin egg blue.

TrMama

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2015, 11:37:20 AM »

I'm a believer in agreeing to a set of specs and using a database to guide you to the potential options. That way you aren't looking at houses that catch your eye, but aren't actually meeting your needs fully.

This is a much more succinct way of saying what I was trying to say. If you're looking at a really wide range of homes, spanning wide price points, then you haven't yet figured out what you want and are wasting your time. All the homes you view should look pretty similar and be in the same area. Fixers work for some families and end up being disasters for others. Make sure you're equipped before you take that plunge.

The advice of looking at homes being sold off by the city for non-payment of property taxes is also good. The auctions typically only happen once/year and each municipality operates independently from the others.

If you share some of your more specific criteria with us, we can probably help point you in the right direction. Do you need to be close to a workplace(s)? Are your kids already in school? Do you have the time/skills/energy/patience to deal with a fixer? Does it need to be a single family home? What can you realistically afford? Etc.

curlyfry

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 10:55:47 PM »
Does look like a decent house!

Are you familiar with this site?
https://househuntvictoria.wordpress.com/
Justjack is an appraiser & knows his stuff.

Marko Juras also has a good model with Fair Realty (giving the buyer some of the commission back as really these days most buyers find their own houses via MLS)

The old HHV also has lots of data
http://househuntvictoria.blogspot.ca/
though in the end, it's such a personal decision I think one can go crazy looking at all the factors!

Definitely sellers market right now, things going over asking & pretty quickly - but depends on the area.

House in Oak Bay sold for $100k over asking yesterday!

I agree with the welp...   "Does it make you money, or does it make you happy?"


Le Poisson

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Re: House Hunting in Victoria, BC
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 02:00:23 PM »
Interesting piece on The National (CBC News) last night stating that core areas (Toronto, Vancouver, etc.) are still hot while outside areas are cooling off to become a buyer's market.  Not sure if that means anything to you, but maybe take a look at REA trending and see if you would be better to rent for another 6 months before jumping in.

Looks like the hot pockets are hot and the cold ones are cooling. A good time for level heads and keeping emotion out of a decision.