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Holidays in Victoria

It doesn’t matter where you go, there is no escaping that the holiday season has officially arrived! And in Victoria especially, that means tons of great activities and events to check out with family and friends! But with so many events it can be overwhelming and our schedules only allow us to do so much. – so I’ve done the leg work for you! In this post I’ve created a quick holiday guide to Victoria to help you enjoy your holiday season a little more stress free!

Christmas at the Market: This year the Victoria Public Market is putting on various events coupled with local artisans to help cross gifts off your list!

Gingerbread Showcase: A great family event every year is the Gingerbread Showcase by Habitat for Humanity. Family members of all ages will be in awe over what some bakers are able to create out of gingerbread!

Christmas in Old Town: If you have family coming from out of town, or if you haven’t been to the Royal BC Museum lately, take a trip to visit the Old Town exhibit all decked out in its Christmas glory.

Christmas Dinner Show: This time of year it’s always fun to get dressed up and have a nice couple’s night out and this year the Oak Bay Beach Hotel has you covered with a multiple course dinner and live entertainment.

Twelve Days of Christmas: Whether you’re looking for a family event, a place to take out of town guests or a place for a romantic date night, Butchart Gardens has you covered! They have lights, ice skating, live entertainment and much more.

Kid’s Christmas at the Castle: If you have little ones and are looking for a fun event for them, that Mom and Dad will enjoy just as much, check out the Kid’s Christmas at the Empress.   

Craft Fairs: Looking for gifts that no one else will be able to compete with or replicate? Check out one of the many craft shows around town!

Live Shows: Whether you’re looking for something more traditional or more original, there is lots of live shows happening at the Royal and McPherson theatres!

Pyjama Prance Fun Run/Walk: This is another great family fun event! A 5km or a 2km stroll, a pancake breakfast, live music, silent auction and more are all happening at the Pyjama Prance.

BC Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees: This year will be the 26th anniversary of the Festival of Trees! Anything that has been successful for that many years you know has to be worth seeing!

I hope this list helps you and your family and friends find some great ways to celebrate the holiday season together! And if you’ve heard of a great event I’ve missed to mention, please a comment and let us know!

At any point you find yourself in the Victoria Real Estate market or have any questions I can help you with, I be happy to connect. Feel free to reach out any time.

Best regards,

Julia

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Best Dining in Victoria

As the holiday season fast approaches it generally means we also find ourselves connecting with friends while dining out a lot more! But that’s not a bad thing in a city like Victoria – we are spoiled for great choices in and around this city. However, even with the vast variety of options around town, I know a lot of us end up dining at our top picks time and time again, and in doing so you might be missing out on a great meal! So what better way to get a new idea than to try out someone else’s top picks!? In this post I will highlight a few of my favourites and I hope they inspire you to try a few.

Ferris’: I’m starting my list out with a bit of cheat. Ferris’ isn’t exactly one restaurant… they have four! But that is exactly why they are top of my list. Each of their four locations offer different menus, different vibes and different price points – so no matter what you’re in the mood for they can deliver!

Bin 4 Burger Lounge: Sometimes you just want a great burger with ALL the fixings, and when I have that hankering, you’ll find me at Bin 4. These burgers always hit the spot and are anything but boring, even their tofu burger is amazing! As an added bonus, head here after 9pm ANY night and their whole menu suddenly becomes half price with the purchase of a drink (doesn’t need to be alcoholic)! Where else in town can you get a deal better than here?

Blue Crab Seafood House: Certainly not the cheapest option in town – but oh my it is worth it. If you’re looking for a nice spot to indulge while overlooking the beautiful inner harbor Blue Crab is a perfect spot. And if you’re looking to get out of cooking this Christmas give their Christmas menu a peak!

My Chosen Café: Certainly no secret here, but if you’ve not dined at My Chosen Café yet - you need to change that. This is a great family friendly location that never disappoints! From great home cooked meals to the always friendly staff and the really cute atmosphere you really can’t go wrong here.

Bear Mountain Resort I’m ending my list the same way I started – by cheating. Bear Mountain doesn’t offer one restaurant... it has four! Whether you’re in the mood for something more casual after work or looking to host an exclusive private dinner or anything in between, Bear Mountain has an option that can fit your need. All of which can offer stunning views, amazing food and best of all – you’ll feel like you’re on vacation even if you’re only a few kms from home.

With these great dining options only scratching the very surface of what Victoria has to offer, it’s not hard to see why a catch up with friends this time of years ends up being over a fantastic meal! Did I miss your favourite place? Let me know by leaving a comment!

If you’re in the market for a REALTOR® or have any questions about the Greater Victoria Real Estate Market, I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,

Julia

 

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Home Improvement: Fall

Home improvement projects don’t need to wait for the spring and summer, in fact there are some projects that are actually better to do in the fall! So don’t miss you chance and cause yourself more stress and end up spending more money in the new year – start these projects now!  

Lawn care

Whether you have a large lawn and garden or smaller ones, taking care of them properly in the fall will make your life in the spring a lot easier! I know the leaves can feel like a battle that you will never win, but I promise you it’s a battle worth fighting. If you ignore the leaves on your lawn and garden they will end up suffocating the vegetation and soil causing dead spots in your yard and killing your beautiful gardens. However, for the absolutely best results in the spring try to also aerate your lawn and put your garden to bed. And don’t forget about your outdoor faucets and sprinklers!

Discourage mold, moss and mildew

This is an often overlooked step this time of year and it’s such a shame! Why wait to deal with a clean-up in the spring, if you can prevent it in the first place?! Mildew, moss and mold may seem like an inevitable part of the fall and winter when living on the West Coast, but it doesn’t need to be and it’s easy! Mildew and mold in particular need a build-up of grime and bacteria in order to thrive – so remove the build-up and you take away their food and foundation. Break out the pressure washer or hire a professional and wash the exterior of your home, that camper van parked beside the house, the garden shed, the deck and patios, the driveway and walkways – all of it. Then watch how much less clean-up is required in the spring!

Keep the heat in

Now that you can feel the drafts and see the condensation on the windows, it’s the perfect time to head down to the home improvement store and invest in some weather stripping at the very least. Trust me, when you get your hydro bill after the fall and winter is over – you will thank yourself. However, to really get the best bang for your buck consider getting an Energy Evaluation with an Energy Advisor. They will give you a custom report based on your house and where you can save the most energy… and money on your next bill. Worried about how much these improvements might set you back? Many of them become a lot more reasonable thanks to the various rebates available!  

Do you have any ‘prepare for fall and winter’ tips that you think should be included in this list? Leave a comment and let me know!

If you are in the market for a REALTOR® or would like more information I’d be happy to connect with you.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Best Fall Hikes

Ah fall… there is no mistaking that is has arrived. With frost on the ground and being able to see your breath the odd day, it’s still a GREAT season to get outside and enjoy our West Coast in all its glory! Whether you’re looking for a nice walk or for something to get your blood pumping a bit more, hiking in the Westshore in particular, is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful colours of fall.

Trail safety

Before I tell you about my two favourite places I think it’s important to remember that the ground can be very slippery this time of year. If you go out for a hike or a walk be sure to wear sturdy shoes or even better real hiking boots. It’s also important to keep your feet dry and warm so you are more sturdy on them! So don’t forget that cotton gets wet and cold and stays that way but wool will not only keep you warm but it will keep you warm even if wet!

Another important thing to remember this time of year is that the sun sets earlier and earlier each day, so before you leave make sure you’ve left yourself enough day light and ALWAYS tell someone where you plan on going and for how long you expect to be out.  But whatever you do, don’t let these reasons become excuses to stay indoors!

Trails to explore

  • Bear Mountain: This is by far one of my favourite places to explore because it has something for every skill level and mood! If you feel like a gentle walk just take a gentle neighbourhood stroll and some of the smaller paths connecting around the mountain. This has the added advantage of being able to make this as difficult or easy as you feel depending on how high up the mountain you feel like climbing! However, if you are in for a good challenge, Bear Mountain is perfectly positioned beside Mount Finlayson, in fact there is a great access trail just to the left of the main resort building. This is a notorious hike for Victoria residents and is not for the faint of heart, but the views are more than worth the trek if you’re up for it! But as this hike does have some very steep rock sections, it is best advised to do this on a clear, dry day, and leave yourself plenty of daylight.
  • Goldstream Park: Just a stone’s throw away from Bear Mountain is the stunning Goldstream Park. This park is easily one of my favorites for its beauty and year round accessibility. There are many, many well-worn and marked trails that range from very easy to fairly steep – it’s your choice which ones you end up on. If you explore this area you will likely come across a waterfall or two and nothing but lush forest all around. And if you’re not too afraid of heights I strongly recommend making your way to the trestle!

Do you have a favourite place that isn’t on my list – but should be? Comment below!

As always, if you are in the market for a REALTOR® or would like more information I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Halloween in Victoria

With fall in full swing now that doesn’t just mean lots of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, it also means Halloween! And that includes haunted houses, scary movies and costume parties. Victoria is full of great events this time of year but sometimes it can be hard to find family friendly events. So in this week’s blog I’ve done the research for you, here are some of the best family friendly events this season.

Pumpkin carving

Looking for a great event to carve a pumpkin with the family at? Check out the FREE community event at Sands Victoria! They will have face painting, food and of course everything you need to carve and decorate your pumpkins!

Pumpkin art

Looking for some inspiration before you carve your own pumpkin? Check out Oak Bay Avenue and the Oak Bay Municipal Hall between Oct. 27th and Oct. 31st. There will be hundreds of pumpkins on display!

Halloween lunch and dance

Looking for an event to boogie at? Go to the all ages lunch and dance held by the Cook Street Village Activity Centre. For information about this event check out their events page.

Halloween glow bash

Find me a kid who DOESN’T love glow sticks – I dare you. Lizzy Lee & Me is hosting a great kids event on Oct. 29th, check out their page for more details here.

Pumpkin swim

This one is a little unique! On Oct 28th the Esquimalt Rec Centre is putting on a PUMPKIN SWIM! They will be hosting various games and as a bonus you can take one of the pumpkins home after.

Pumpkinfest at Galey Farms

A great annual tradition! Galey Farms will be hosting Pumpkinfest again on the weekends leading up to Halloween. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, be sure to get to it this weekend!

Trick or treating

It wouldn’t be Halloween for the little ones without a bag full of candy! There are a lot of great safe and fun Trick or Treat events happening around town, here are just a few:

  • Treat Street put on by Lambrick Park Church
  • Oak Bay Ave from 2pm – 5pm on Oct. 31st will be turned into a great family festival where the kids can collect lots of treats
  • Sidney Treat Street from 4pm – 6:30pm the businesses of downtown Sidney will be expecting little ones looking for candy
  • Truck or Treat is a great event with decorated vehicles and trunks full of candy
  • Mayfair Mall is again offering candy to all those 12 and under in costumes

Here’s wishing you and your little ones a very warm, safe and most importantly FUN Halloween!

As always, if you are in the market for a REALTOR® or would like more information I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Easy improvements for your home’s curb appeal

Think about it – what is the very first thing you notice about a home? The answer: curb appeal. This first impression has a big impact on how you will continue to see the rest of the house – will you be more critical or more forgiving? As a REALTOR® for RE/MAX Victoria, I can’t stress enough how important curb appeal is. However, good news is that it also doesn’t need to be complicated or cost you a fortune to improve! Here are 6 of some of my favourite quick and easy improvement tips.

Paint

Nothing brings life back to a house like fresh coat of paint! Pick warm colours and don’t forget to paint the trim, shutters and even the doors

Redo your house numbers

Do you have older metal house numbers that are decorated with bits of rust? Time for new ones! It’s a small and quick change but it does make a difference! Also make sure they are easy to spot from the road and not partially hidden behind bushes or trees.

Update exterior lighting

Lighting helps make any space more inviting – front porches included! Ensure your exterior lights are working, updated and there is enough of them that your exterior comes across welcoming and safe. Do you have a backyard or other outdoor seating areas? Consider putting up lights in these spaces to such as fairy lights!

Update your mailbox

If your house has a mailbox consider updating it. Chances are your current one has been there since you bought the house – and it looks like it. This is an easy and quick fix that makes a big difference!

Landscaping

This can be done simply and quickly or a lot more elaborately for a lot of money. The choice is yours, but it is a choice and BOTH ways work! You can buy pots that are already beautifully arranged, or stop at a local garden centre and create your own to decorate with. But it’s important that any landscaping you do, you keep it tidy and don’t let it become a wild jungle.  Don’t put in more than you are willing to upkeep!

Replace gutters and downspouts

If your gutters look like they’ve weathered more than a few winters, it’s time to replace them. To a potential buyer, important structures like these, when covered in rust spots or such can signal neglect. This is not the feeling you want a potential buyer to walk into your house with!

As a REALTOR® I can’t tell you how many times curb appeal has weighed into someone’s decision to purchase a property or not. Uses these tips to make it an easy decision next time you’re looking to sell your house!  

If you are in the market for a REALTOR® or would like more information I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Walking in the Westshore

As the leaves start to change colours and fall our beautiful west coast forests and parks become even more stunning and enjoyable! In this week’s blog I will point out some of the great places worth exploring on a nice crisp fall day. So the next time you’re looking for things to do in the Westshore, lace up those boots and take a walk or hike!

Guides

Before I jump into a few of my favourites it’s important to mention that not all trails are an “easy stroll” and they may not be for everyone. And some people may feel more comfortable exploring if they have a map or guide with them. All of these concerns are understandable and you wouldn’t be alone if you’re having them! Good news is – there are a few online guides for trails in the Westshore and best part is they’re FREE! Check out and download the guides here.

Trails

Living on Vancouver Island we have no shortage of trails or mountains to explore, and there is no reasonable way to touch on them all in a single post, so here are just three of my favourites in the Westshore.

Mount Finlayson: Make no mistake, this is not a quick and easy walk, it’s a true hike – but it is gorgeous and the views are nothing short of spectacular! There are two main ways of accessing this mountain and I would recommend starting at Bear Mountain. There is a path to the left of the main resort building, but if you can’t find it just ask anyone who works at the resort and they can get you going in the right direction.  

Thetis Lake Loop: Looking for something a little easier? The loop at Thetis is perfect for a walk. It’s scenic, calm, well-marked and just enough to get your heart pumping without winding you.

Havenwood Park: This park has a bit of everything for everyone. You can make this a bit harder or a bit easier on yourself depending on which trails inside you take. I personally recommend taking the trail up to Lookout Lake!

Walking Safely

Although this isn't the most exciting (or even fun) subject, it’s an important one! Remember that the further we get into fall the more slippery the ground can become. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots and wool socks will help keep your feet nice and warm even if they get wet! Another consideration is that the sun is setting earlier and earlier each day. Be sure you leave yourself plenty of day light and always let someone know where you are going! But don’t let these reasons become excuses for not getting out. Fall is one of the best seasons to explore our area!

As a REALTOR® in Victoria I am fortunate enough to get to explore the many things our city has to offer and I can promise you, you won’t regret making the trip to check out some of the places I’ve listed above! But have a missed your favourite? Leave a comment and let me know where you would recommend!

If you are in the market for a REALTOR® or would like more information I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Prepare your home for fall

 

The kids are back in classes and the sun is setting earlier and rising later – this can only mean one thing, fall is on the horizon. You may be tempted into hibernating and hanging up your maintenance hat until spring, but don’t give in.  Now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the fall to ensure you and your family enjoy the cooler months.

Rain proofing

Here on the West Coast of BC we are no strangers to rain and wind – and lots of it! Our homes are equipped to handle our weather, but we need to do our part to help ensure its defensives are ready for action. One of the most important things you can do is clean out you gutters and drainpipes. You might not think about your gutters and drainpipes often but they are critical to your homes overall health. Without well-functioning drainage you risk water damage to your roof, walls and foundation! As the leaves start to fall grab your ladder or hire some help, whatever you do just don’t ignore this job. Left unchecked the potential damage can cost you a lot more than just a repair bill. Water damage can lead to hazardous molds or even dangerous structural issues both of which can have adverse health implications for everyone in your family.

Temperature proofing

Save money, energy and your frustrations this fall by reducing the amount of heat your house loses. Skeptical if the payoff will really be worth it? Don’t guess! Book an Energy Evaluation with an Energy Advisor and get a full report with recommendations for your home. Worried about the cost of the improvements now that you’ve received your report? Don’t fret, these improvements aren’t only good for your home, they’re also environmentally responsible. Because of the greater community befit these improvements are often encouraged with incentives such as generous rebates!

Safety

After a summer like we’ve had, you probably haven’t used your heating systems in while. Before you reach for your thermostat or light the first fire it’s important to confirm it’s safe to do so. Go room to room ensuring no heating vents or baseboards are covered or blocked by anything and while you’re there, be sure to clean any filters and dust. When it comes to your chimney it is safe for you to clear out any old ash and wood from the fireplace, however leave the actual chimney to a professional. While the cleaner is there, don’t be shy to also ask them to check the effectiveness of the damper too.

As a REALTOR® in Victoria I can assure you, if you want to stay warm, dry and happy, it doesn’t matter if you live in a new build on Bear Mountain or a 100 year old house in James Bay, preparing your home for the fall and winter seasons is a must.

If you are in the market for a REALTOR® or would like more information on this blog I’d love to hear from you.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Things Buyers Can Miss When Viewing a Home

 

Buying a house is not a small investment and it’s not one that many people take lightly. However, even the most cautious of buyers can end up with buyer’s remorse if they aren’t careful. As a REALTOR® in Victoria for RE/MAX, I’ve picked up a few tricks to help ensure your dream home – remains your dream home!!

Don’t get fooled by staging

Staging is a crucial practise for sellers, but as a buyer don’t let it distract you! Are the rooms big enough for your needs? Is the house large enough for your family to have room to grow? Are the freshly painted rooms covering up things like moisture damage? Be sure to look past the exterior and give the walls, floors and roof a good hard look.

Storage

Is the storage space realistically sufficient for your family? Does the property have an attic or crawl space? How easy are they to access and what condition are they in?

Plumbing and electrical work

Especially when looking at older homes, be sure to pay close attention to visible plumbing and electrical work. Any updates or fixes needed in this department don’t come cheap! Don’t be afraid to ask how old the boiler is, where the hot water tank is located, and if the pipes are insulated. Be sure to run the taps and check the pressure in the house too. With regards to electrical work, look to see if there are sufficient electrical outlets. What shape do they seem to be in? Take a look at the fuse panel – does it look to be outdated and a mess? If these points are in poor condition, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the wiring.  

Location

Almost everything about a home can be changed – except location. A few key ways to ‘test’ the location include test driving the commute to work, visiting the house and neighbourhood at night, assessing the direction of the house (e.g. south facing?) and learning about the municipal property by-laws. Other questions you may want to ask yourself are “is there sufficient cell phone service?”, “how far away are amenities, public transportation and convenience stores?” and “how close to major roads is the house located – will it be noisy?”

Landscaping

Are the current occupants avid gardeners? If they are they may use extra water, and if the property doesn’t have adequate external drainage this may lead to serious structural problems down the road. However, even if the current owners aren’t avid gardeners, Victoria gets a lot of rain for the majority of the year. Whether you are looking at Bear Mountain real estate or Oak Bay, checking out the drainage is a good idea. If you are unsure how to tell, or find signs that concern you, be sure to get a structural survey done before you buy.

I hope you find some of these tips helpful next time you are in the Victoria real estate market for a new home. And if you would like more tips or help to ensure you don’t end up with buyer’s remorse, contact me or visit my website any time.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Little Tips to Take Your Home From Good to Great!

 

Often people associate home improvements, renovations and upgrades with a big hit to their wallet. And sometimes this can be the case, however it doesn’t need to be! Below are some of my tips on how you can transform your home from good to great – on a budget!

Washrooms

Washrooms are one of those areas in a home that, when done well, can transform a home from good to great! And it CAN be done without breaking the bank.

Fixtures: Changing and updating fixtures is a fairly inexpensive investment and yet this small update can have a big impact. Places like Costco, Home Depot, Lowes, IKEA and Walmart all have affordable options for faucets, lighting and new cabinet hardware.

Counter tops: It may surprise you, but you can find great deals on counter tops when you are open to suggestions. Granite bathroom vanity tops (depending on size) can be found for under $200 or check out the clearance sections! Often people want to buy enough material to do all of their kitchen and their bathrooms and sometimes there just isn’t enough left in stock for that. Because of this, sometimes one off stock will sit in inventory for a while and sellers become more interested in selling their product than making large margins on it. Now that is a recipe for a great deal!

Mirrors: You may not immediately think of it, but a mirror is a key component to any washroom. Consider updating yours by replacing it entirely (a bit more expensive) or updating its look by adding or changing a frame.

Kitchens

At the heart of every home is the kitchen. It’s no secret that a stunning kitchen significantly affects a home, or that their renovations can prompt you to remortgage your home! However, there are many affordable home improvements you can do to your kitchen that will make a difference and won’t cost a fortune.

Storage: When things are off of the counter tops and your cupboards all close neatly without the threat of a Tupperware avalanche, it brings your kitchen up a few notches. Consider adding organizers and pull outs into your cabinets and if that isn’t enough, add wall storage too!

Fixtures: Just like for bathrooms, changing and updating fixtures doesn’t cost much, but can completely update the look of your space. Changing or adding hardware to your cabinets, changing out the kitchen sink (or even just the faucet) and updating your lighting are all fairly inexpensive home improvement investments – but they come with a big return!

Overall

Looking to give your whole home a bit of a re-fresh? Here are a few more ideas that can be applied anywhere in the home (washrooms and kitchens included).

Paint: I cannot stress this one enough. A fresh coat of paint on anything from walls, door and cabinets really refreshes a home.

Closets/Pantries: Adding storage and organizers into these spaces don’t only help you find what you’re looking for! But also make them more visually appealing and help bring calm to the chaos.

Lighting: Lighting done well, can really change how a room feels. Change out your bulbs, add extra lights/lamps and update and change outdated fixtures. This can mean buying new items or refinishing your existing ones at a fraction of the price!

I hope you find some of these tips helpful in your home. And if you are interested in home improvements to prepare your property for the real estate Victoria market, and would like more information, contact me any time.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Living in the Westshore is Awesome

 

In the past few years an area just outside of Victoria has been steadily growing and growing! The area now known as the Westshore is quickly becoming one of the hottest markets in town and it’s for a very good reason. Here are just a few reasons why living in the Westshore would be worth the move.

Neighbourhoods

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the Westshore is just big one spread-out neighbourhood, it’s actually made up of several municipalities. Specifically the District of Metchosin, the City of Colwood, the Town of View Royal, the District of the Highlands and the City of Langford at the core.

Each of these areas come complete with their own schools, parks, community centers, shopping and more!

Recreation and Amenities

Naming all of the recreation activities and amenities would take up way more space than a single blog entry could cover, so I’m only highlighting a few of my favourites here.

Bear Mountain Resort: Offering everything from great dining, renowned golf, clay tennis courts and relaxing spa treatments! In my previous post (Bear Mountain Real Estate) I go into greater detail about all the great things Bear Mountain real estate has to offer.

All Fun Recreation Park: Here you can enjoy go-karts, mini golf, batting cages and of course Western Speedway!

Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre: This area really is an all stop shop! Here you will find a library, gym, swimming pool, skating/hockey rink, curling rink, the Q Arena, WildPlay Element Park, field hockey and all manner of other recreation activities!

Golf: In addition to Bear Mountain there is also Olympic View, Highlands Pacific, Juan de Fuca, Metchosin and the Royal Colwood golf courses.

Hatley Park Estate (Royal Roads University): In the centre of the estate/campus sits Hatley Castle. Built in 1908 it is one of the most beautiful heritage buildings on the island and has gardens and grounds to match its splendor!

City Centre Park: Yet another one stop shop! Here you can go bowling, bring the kids to the Family Fun Park, watch Rugby Canada compete and much, much more!

Thetis Lake: One of the most popular lakes is Thetis Lake. No matter what time of year you will find people hiking on the trails, canoeing on the lake, having family picnics or swimming on the hotter days.

Juan de Fuca Parks: Don’t limit yourself to just Thetis Lake though! The Capital Regional District (CRD) manages and maintains MANY parks and trails in the area!

With all these reasons and the countless more it’s not hard to imagine why the Westshore is such an attractive area for many families. Living in the Westshore offers everything Victoria does – with the bonus of free parking and a real estate market that first time buyers can comfortably buy into!

If you are considering living in the Westshore and would like more information, contact me or visit my website any time. And contact me for all of your Bear Mountain Real Estate needs!

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Bear Mountain Real Estate

 

As a REALTOR® in Victoria B.C. I get the privilege of exploring all the various neighbourhoods around and throughout the city. And if you are in the market for a new home and haven’t looked at Bear Mountain yet, you really need to give it a look!  Bear Mountain is situated in one of the fastest growing Greater Victoria areas and has tons to offer its residents.  

Recreation

  • Bear Mountain:  Living on Bear Mountain allows you the opportunity to explore many different activities.  If you like to golf you will be awed by the two Nicklaus-Design golf courses, the challenging Mountain Course and the serene Valley Course.  However, if golf isn’t your thing, how about playing tennis on one of the eight unique red clay courts.  Red clay is said to play slower, bring out spin and the use of lobs and drop shots, but it’s also idea for any level of player.  If you’re less into structured activities and more into adventuring, Bear Mountain also has you covered. You can take your mountain bike on the trail network of intermediate and advanced west coast tracks. The views won’t disappoint!  Not to mention, these trail networks were chosen by Cycling Canada as their year-round training grounds for the National Mountain Bike Team, so you know they must be good!

    However, if all the exercise and outdoor activities tire you out, don’t worry Bear Mountain has you covered for pampering too! You can relax and spoil yourself at the world class Sante Spa, then going out for a great dinner at one of the many restaurants.  And if you invest in Bear Mountain real estate, this is all in your backyard! Intrigued yet?   
  • West Shore:  Although the Mountain oasis provides you with just about everything you need, if you want to leave, you don’t have far to go to enjoy the many amenities in the West Shore.  A short 10-minute drive takes you to the splendid gardens of Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University.  Or you can go to the West Shore Parks and Recreation Centre to visit the library, go for a swim or skate, or decide to take up curling or one of their many other activities.  If you’re feeling adventuresome you could try ziplining at Wildplay or go karting at All Fun Recreation.  Feeling like something a little more low key? No problem! You can enjoying a movie at the Cineplex or relax with friends over a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants.  If shopping is more your thing, you don’t even need to head to downtown Victoria because Westshore Town Centre is close by!  On top of all this, you are also close to Goldstream Park, Thetis Lake, Esquimalt Lagoon, and much more.

Environment and culture

Bear Mountain is situated in the foothills of Mount Finlayson and offers its residents a beautiful natural setting.  The homes are all well-built and designed to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, taking full advantage of the natural terrain and offering stunning views.  It is also Canada’s only urban resort community that is situated on a world class golf resort!  

If you are ready to explore the Bear Mountain real estate market and experience a lifestyle where you have access to recreation, nature and more, contact me or visit my website any time.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Why I love RE/MAX

As a REALTOR® there are many companies I could choose to work with, but I chose RE/MAX and couldn’t be happier with my choice. In this blog I will outline just a couple of the many reasons why I love RE/MAX!

Value

When it comes to real estate in Victoria and beyond, not many companies have the brand recognition and reputation that RE/MAX has. We operate in more than 90 countries around the world – how many real estate firms can say that!? This network is invaluable for clients who chose RE/MAX. This recognition drives more potential buyers to your home and gives you access to a REALTOR® who is backed up by some of the best training, administrative and marketing support in the industry. All of this combined gives you a power house team when selling or buying your property.

REALTOR® Support

RE/MAX offers all of their real estate professionals’ ongoing training to stay abreast of shifts in both local and global markets.  As this training continues throughout the entire career of your RE/MAX REALTOR® you can always be assured that your REALTOR® is up to date and using the latest technology and innovative marketing programs.  This is a huge advantage for a REALTOR® and client alike and just one other reason I am proud to be working for RE/MAX.

Community support

Another benefit when working in a large organization is that it has the power and resources available to give back to the communities it works in. RE/MAX is no exception and regularly goes above and beyond with its charity work.  Just one example is the Western Canada initiative of the “Quest for Excellence Program”. This is a bursary program designed to recognize the success and pursuits of Western Canadian students. It’s open to Grade 12 students who can demonstrate passion, commitment, dedication, positive attitude and enthusiasm for one of the following categories: Leadership, Sports, Technology and Trades, Fine Arts, Performing Arts and Community Service. Personally, I love to see organizations give back to the communities that help build them, and these programs are great way to give back.

Buyer/Seller Support

Buying and selling is one of the most important things that you will ever do and it is vital you get the right type of advice. RE/MAX understands the weight of your decision and as such offers tips whether you are selling or buying.  For the seller RE/MAX has many tip on subjects such as freshening up your home for selling, staging, and deciding between multiple offers. For buyers they have articles on separating wants from needs, buying commercial property, and essential tips for first-time buyers, to name just a few.  All of these tips can help you, whether you’re the buyer or seller!  RE/MAX continually adds to their list of articles striving to find the next bit of advice that will help you.  

As a REALTOR® in Victoria these are just a few of the many reasons I’m proud to be working with RE/MAX.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

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Why You Should Use a REALTOR®

Today there are so many How-To’s and DIY books, YouTube videos, blogs, vlogs, podcasts etc. that someone could be forgiven for thinking that they can do just about anything themselves with a little Google search. However, real estate is different. Here are just a few of the many reasons you should forgo the DIY and use a REALTOR® instead.

Value

  • Buying: One of the largest investments you will ever make is buying a home. It can take years of diligently saving to come up with the down payment for your dream home. Gambling with this investment is likely to cost you more money, time and stress, turning your dream investment into a nightmare. As a REALTOR® in Victoria B.C., I can help you with anything from determining how large a home you can afford, to helping narrow down your search, to negotiating a fair buying price and terms of the sale. My job is to help ensure you get into the property that works best for you and your family, no hidden agenda attached.
  • Selling: When using a REALTOR® you can have peace of mind knowing that an expert in the field is working for you with your best interests at heart. We are more likely to get a higher price for your property and also more likely to sell it faster! I understand the market and can ensure I get your property the maximum exposure with the right potential buyers. The Victoria real estate market fluctuates week by week and month by month, it’s my job to stay on top of the changes so you don’t have to!

Legalities

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that that there is a lot of legal paperwork to be filed when buying/selling a home. And if you’re not careful you can leave yourself open to some pretty nasty surprises! As a licenced REALTOR® in Victoria B.C. I am specially trained to understand the legal processes of transferring title and possession within our market as well as informing you of the potential hidden costs associated with buying a home such as home insurance, mortgage registration and any other legal fees. When you use a REALTOR®, these ‘hidden’ costs become unhidden and are instead explained in detail.

Security

It’s important to understand that to be a REALTOR® in Victoria B.C., and anywhere in Canada for that matter, we are overseen by a few different governing bodies. Canada as a whole is governed by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). CREA promotes the legislation and regulations of real estate at a federal level. At the provincial level we have the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) and at the municipal level we have the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). Together all of these governing bodies offer you protection when using a REALTOR®.  They ensure the person working for you is not only knowledgeable, but also ethical and act with high professional standards in their business dealings.

These three key reasons to use a REALTOR® are only a few of the many great reasons you should consider calling me when you’re ready to buy or sell your next property.

Best regards,

Julia Abraham

 

 

Julia Abraham *PREC

RE/MAX Camosun

250-217-3742
http://www.juliaabraham.ca/

 

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