Karelyn Campbell

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Questions You Should Ask When Buying New Construction

There's nothing like moving into a home that is truly new, with no smells, smudges or dust left behind by a previous owner. Even better is when you get to make your own custom selections. But buying from a builder is a different ball game and it’s important you know how to play. Consider these questions if you are considering new construction.


Should you use a real estate agent? I think so! The builder may have sales agents or an assistant that helps buyer’s through the process, but those people work for the builder. It’s always a good idea to have a professional advocating for you, and most builders will pay agents a commission for bringing the buyer. It’s important that your agent accompany you to the first visit to the model center or builders’ office so that representation is established.


Does the builder have a good reputation? We’ve all heard stories of builders who fail to deliver on their promises, using lower grade materials than quoted, or even disappearing before the work was completed. Check out your builder before signing anything. Find out if there are any complaints registered against them and ask for references from other homeowners. Find out if you can tour a model or a recently completed home, and bring someone who can judge the quality of the workmanship.


Should you use the builders’ lender? Many builders work with a preferred lender that offers attractive discounts on closing costs when you finance through them. It’s important to know if the lender is working as a referral or if the mortgage company is owned by the same company that is building your home. If your lender and builder both work for the same company, it’s a good idea to have an attorney review your contracts as an independent set of eyes.


Can the builder charge extra for unexpected cost increases? Look over the builder’s contract carefully, or have an attorney do so, and note if there is an escalation clause that would allow the builder to pass cost increases onto you in the event that materials or labor costs increase during construction.


What warranties are provided? Normally a builder offers a warranty lasting from six month to two years, possibly longer for some items. You should know what is covered under the builder’s warranty and for how long. All the major structural items and mechanical systems are usually covered. Appliances are not, but they should come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Damage from weather, shrinkage or expansion of the home or foundation, and anything resulting from the homeowner’s failure to provide maintenance or from work done on the home after construction is not covered.


What is the timeline for completion? This will depend on whether the build is a production home, meaning the builder is building select models throughout a development, or if you have hired the builder to build a custom home. Production homes can be completed in three to four months, where custom homes usually take a minimum of six months. Regardless, the builder should be able to give you a timeline outlining each phase of construction. Factors affecting the timeline include weather, delays receiving building supplies, or the number of changes you make along the way.


Can you choose different finishes or colors? Again, it depends on the type of build. Certainly, if you are building a custom home, you can make as many changes as you are willing to pay for. But if the home is part of a development and the builder has color palettes and finishes chosen, there may be a limit to how much you can change. Often the builder will allow you to change paint colors, flooring, fixtures, tile or appliances, as long as what you choose is in line with the budget he set, and those items have not already been ordered.


Are appliances included? More-often than not, appliances are not included in the purchase price but the builder but you can choose a package through the builder for an additional cost. Make sure when buying new, to budget for new appliances. 


Is landscaping included? It’s no fun to get to the end of construction and find out there is no budget for landscaping. Find out what the builder plans to put in in terms of grass, trees and shrubbery. You may want to make additions or changes to his landscape plan.

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New property listed in Z4 North Nanaimo, Zone 4 - Nanaimo

I have listed a new property at 6040 DRIFTWOOD PLACE in NANAIMO.
Looking for a home with great curb appeal in desirable North Nanaimo? This home is situated on a cul-de-sac and features 2300+ sq ft of living space including 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, plus den. Upstairs features a large living room with gas fireplace, and bay window to let in plenty of natural light. Separate formal dining room and updated kitchen with stone counter tops. Access the deck and backyard through the kitchen. 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms on the upper floor. Master bedroom has double closets, a 3 piece en-suite with a heated towel rack. Downstairs, you'll notice the spacious front entrance with tiled flooring. Large rec room with gas fireplace, 4th bedroom, den, laundry room and 3-piece bathroom. Recent updates include: newer flooring and windows throughout most of the home. Outside, you'll love the big yard with room for your toys. Two car garage with plenty of shelving is perfect for storage/work space.
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Avoid Emotional Decision Making When Falling in Love with a Home

Every home buyer hopes to find the perfect house. The one that, as soon as you walk through the front door, you know it is the one for you.


It happens, and when it does, I am really happy for my buyers. I always want my buyers to fall in love with the perfect house and live happily ever after.


Just like in relationships, however, emotions often come into play during the home buying journey…Emotions that may result in some not-so-loving feelings.


While I’m not a therapist, I can help you talk through your emotions about the homes we visit and help you identify if you are making decisions with your heart and not your head.


There are six basic emotions; let’s look at how they can affect your decision-making skills.

  1. Fear: We have all learned that fear triggers a “fight or flight” response. In terms of making decisions, fear may cause you to “flee” from making any decision at all, which could make your home buying experience exhausting. If you are afraid you will run out of time, or that if you pass on a house you won’t find another one, you may “fight” by making a rash decision too quickly.
  2. Sadness: Feeling sad can cause you to lower your expectations and settle for less than you truly want. You may decide you don’t need certain features that you previously wanted. Or you may settle for one of the first homes you see instead of persevering with the search.
  3. Disgust: Disgust can cause you to eliminate choices that otherwise might have been in the running. You might find the perfect floorplan, style, or location, but if the home has a bad odor, a filthy floor, or some other off-putting defect, you might not be able to stomach it, even if it is a completely reversible problem.
  4. Surprise: Surprise is an emotion that is fleeting– it happens quickly and then subsides. Surprises can be pleasant, like if you go to see a home you were not expecting to like and find it is much nicer than you expected. But if you are touring the home and a rat runs out of the pantry, you get a negative surprise. While surprise doesn’t last, the memory does, and it can influence how you feel about the event.
  5. Happiness: We all want to feel happy when buying a home but be careful that your excitement doesn’t cause you to make bad decisions. When you are happy or excited, you tend to underestimate risks, assuming everything will work out. People also tend to spend more money than they planned when super excited.
  6. Anger: Anger can also cause you to take bigger risks. Research shows angry people are more likely to make impulsive decisions. Anger can sometimes be helpful. If handled properly, anger can help you to identify your needs and outline action steps to get the information you need to act responsibly.
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January 2020 Market Update

In January 2020, sales of single-family-homes dropped by 16% from one year ago, and 26% from the previous month. 


174 single-family-homes sold on the MLS compared to 208 the previous year. Inventory is tightening which is one of the factors impacting sales. Despite interest from buyers, the stress-test has reduced purchasing power and pushed many buyers to the sidelines. There is an increase in demand for mid- and lower-priced properties, but the lack of inventory is limiting many buyers ability to move forward with their home purchase.

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Why Listing Photos Matter
Listing photos are SO important.⁣

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so you wanna get it right — especially when it comes to introducing your home to potential buyers. ⁣

With ninety percent of home buyers relying on the web for home searching, those listing photos matter, folks! ⁣

Make your cozy abode stand out from the rest with these quick tips:⁣

- Select a realtor who understands the importance of clean, and bright listing photos. Hop online and check out a prospective realtor’s listing photos.⁣
- While we’re sure your furry friends are always photo-ready, keep their cuteness (and all their toys) out of your listing photos.⁣
- If you’re not crazy about the photos of your house, say so! Whether it’s one image or all of them, you deserve your listing to have its best face forward.⁣
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