home under construction in nanaimo

Guide To New Home Construction In Nanaimo, BC

home under construction in nanaimo

Building or buying a brand new home is an attractive prospect for many people. If you build your own home you have the opportunity to make it your dream house. Right from the beginning, you will get to choose the size, layout, materials used, and all of the other details that will make this house your dream home.

If you are buying a newly constructed home then you can feel a bit safer in your investment as newly built homes, from licensed builders,  will come with different warranties (more on this below).

The Nanaimo real estate market looks set to grow over the coming years and it is a great place to build a new home. As a realtor in Nanaimo, focusing on land development and residential sales, I can help you with the process of new home construction in Nanaimo, BC.

There are many good reasons to buy a new home, and a lot of things to consider before making your decision. This guide will help you understand what to expect during this process of buying property in BC.

New Home Warranty

One of the main reasons that people build or buy new homes is for the peace of mind that comes with it. Older houses can often need a lot of repair and maintenance work and these costs can add up fairly quickly. 


A new build offers more assurances to buyers that there will be no major issues in the foreseeable future, and if they are, they are often covered under warranty. If a home is built by a licensed builder then the home is insured against defect with a government-mandated warranty. 


The minimum level of coverage on a new build warranty is 2 years coverage for labour and materials, 5 years for the building envelope and 10 years on the structure. Knowing that you have an insurance company to back your new home is fantastic and builders will often come and fix any issues for you to prevent claims against their warranty.


The caveat for this new build warranty is if you buy from an owner-builder, which are people who are not licensed with BC housing and they must also occupy the home for at least 1 year as it was technically built for personal use.


Owner-builders do not have to purchase a new home warranty policy, although some owner-builders will choose to buy one. If you are buying a property from an owner-builder this is a key consideration as if they haven’t purchased a warranty policy you would have to contact them directly to try and claim any damages on your new home.

Deficiency Walkthrough

When buying a newly built home you will often be viewing and buying the home before it has actually been completed. To avoid any surprises when you move into your new home you can have your realtor insert a clause that allows for a deficiency walkthrough.


Before you finally close on the property all parties involved will take a final walk through the finished home. This allows you to check for any defects or spot any finishes that you may not be happy with. These can be brought to the builder so they can be fixed before closing on the property. 

Taxes For New Homes

New homes are exempt from provincial property transfer tax, which can end up being quite expensive depending on the home you are buying. A home that isn’t new that you buy for $600,000 would result in a $10,000 property transfer tax. New homes that are under $750,000, that are your principal residence and are under 1.25 acres are exempt from this tax.


While this sounds great at first, you can’t get too excited yet as you will end up paying higher taxes due to the 5% GST you are required to pay on a newly built home. This means a property valued at $600,000 will require a GST payment of $30,000. 

Considerations When Buying Land In Nanaimo

There are several other considerations to make when buying a lot to build on which are covered in detail in our full blog post. Here is a summary of those considerations:


  1. Look Into Utilities
  2. Capitalizing On Local Opportunity
  3. Understanding The Area
  4. Consult A Builder
  5. Confirm Zoning Laws
  6. Prepare For Unforeseen Costs
  7. Consult A Land Planner
  8. Count On A Larger Down Payment
  9. Find A Nanaimo Real Estate Professional You Can Trust

How Much Does It Cost To Build A House In BC?

The final cost of a newly built home is extremely difficult to gauge as it relies on so many factors such as square footage, materials, labour costs, land price, and permits. An approximate cost for building a 3,000 square foot single-detached home in BC is between $525,000 to $975,000.


At the end of 2021, the average price for a single-family home is $992,000. This is the average price so you will find that this varies across the province based on location. 


The best way to get an estimate for a newly built home is to speak to a professional. As this is an area that I specialize in, I would be happy to talk through the approximate costs and overall process. It can be intimidating to consider new home construction but by working with experienced professionals you will find it much easier to understand.


I would be glad to help guide you through this process further and help you find the ideal lot or new home construction to purchase in Nanaimo and the surrounding area. Please contact Jeff King Real Estate to learn more. 

house in nanoose bay

Real Estate in Nanoose Bay: A Hidden Gem

house in nanoose bay

Nanoose Bay is one of the many hidden gems on Vancouver Island. It is a large area that is sparsely populated and it is situated on the edge of the spectacular Nanoose Bay. It is less than a 15-minute drive to Parksville and a 25-minute drive to Nanaimo. You can enjoy a more quiet pace of life out here while still being within easy driving distance of everything you need.

There is a really nice variety when it comes to Nanoose Bay real estate. There are many beautiful homes that sit right on the water, you can enjoy aerial views from properties set up in the hills, and there are plenty of single-family homes tucked in amongst clearings in the forest.

With such a diverse range of properties available and situated on such a pretty bay, Nanoose Bay is an excellent choice if you are looking to join the Vancouver Island real estate market. As a member of Sutton Realty Nanaimo, I can help you find the perfect home here. Check out all of the current listings in Nanoose Bay here.

Reasons To Buy In Nanoose Bay

In this post, I will share all of the reasons this is one of the hidden gems in British Columbia and why you should seriously consider buying a property here. I have lived and worked in the area for over 10 years and Nanoose Bay is a fantastic place to purchase a home.

1. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Is Thriving

Buying property on Vancouver Island is a sound investment to make. This has been a record-setting year for selling houses here and the forecast is for the market trends to remain strong in the coming year. 


With houses continuing to sell and prices looking like they will continue to climb, you can feel confident that you are buying in a secure market that is trending upwards. 

As Nanoose Bay is still a relatively well-kept secret here on the Island, house prices remain at an affordable level and are a sound investment for the future.

2. You Will Have Great Neighbours

Nanoose Bay seems to attract a wide range of people. You’ll find retirees, hobby farmers, tradespeople, and as there is an elementary school nearby, there are also lots of families. This eclectic mix of people makes for a fun and friendly neighbourhood to be a part of.


Nanoose Bay is the sort of place where you will get to know everyone fairly easily and you will have people to call on if you ever run into an issue. This isn’t usually the first thing you think of when looking to buy property, but surrounding yourself with such a good community will make your experience living here even better.

3. Nanoose Bay Is Beautiful

A large and deep bay that is overlooked by hilly terrain means that you get spectacular views from all around the bay. Whether you are walking along the edge of the water, or are further up in the hills, you’ll enjoy fantastic views out over the water.


Even if you want to buy a property that is a bit more secluded and surrounded by trees, you don’t have to walk far to take in the surrounding beauty. A quick hike up the Notch will offer you some of the best views of Nanoose Bay. 


As well as being great to look at, Nanoose Bay is also home to lots of wildlife. As it is a deep bay it is not uncommon to see whales swimming right into the bay and close to the shoreline. This is an absolutely amazing experience and it can all happen right on your doorstep if you live here.

4. The Perfect Mix Of Nature And Convenience

While it is extremely pleasant to enjoy the peace and quiet of a semi-rural area, you don’t want to be cut off from civilization. Nanoose Bay is situated perfectly as it is less than a 15-minute drive to Parksville, which has pretty much everything you need.


You’ll find shops, grocery stores, medical centres, dentists, restaurants, and almost everything you need in Parksville. And what you can’t find in Parksville, you can find in Nanaimo, which is only a 25-minute drive away. From here you can even catch a flight or take a ferry back to the mainland or the Gulf Islands. 


This mid-island location also offers relatively easy access to the rest of the amazing places on Vancouver Island. You are just under 2 hours from Victoria, 1 hour 10 minutes from Mount Washington for skiing in the winter, and 2 hours 30 minutes from the funky surf town of Tofino. With all of these great places within easy driving distance, you’ll have plenty of options for planning fun weekend getaways. 

5. There Are Lots Of Activities To Keep You Busy

During your free time, you want to make sure there are things you can enjoy right on your doorstep or fairly close by. Nanoose Bay has an abundance of activities to keep you entertained throughout the year. 


Walkers and hikers will enjoy many of the local trails, and oceanside paths can be found in Beachcomber Regional Park and Rathtrevor Provincial Park. As it is on the ocean you can partake in water-based activities like kayaking, sailing, and fishing. 


Due to the excellent, mild weather in this part of Vancouver Island, you can play golf year-round. Join the Fairwinds Golf Club and play on an award-winning course in an absolutely breathtaking setting.

Is It Time To Buy In Nanoose Bay?

Nanoose Bay really is one of the best-kept secrets on Vancouver Island but it may not stay that way for too much longer. With a moderate climate, beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife, activities to keep you busy, and a wonderful community, it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing to call this part of the world home.


I would be delighted to discuss the many opportunities for you in Nanoose Bay. There are plenty of homes for sale in Nanoose Bay and there is something for everyone here. As a long-time local I can give you the inside scoop on what life is really like here and help you find the perfect place to call home.

moving in nanaimo stressfree

How To Make Your Moving Experience Stress Free

moving in nanaimo stressfree

Moving to a new home comes with a strange mix of excitement and stress. It is a fantastic new opportunity and you get a chance to make a new place your own. Even with this exciting move there is a lot to think about which can cause it to be stressful if you don’t make a plan and do some preparation in advance.

As a realtor in Nanaimo, I have helped countless people deal with their moves and I understand there are plenty of things that you can do to make this experience much more relaxing for you and your family.

You should be able to enjoy your move and that is why I wanted to put together this guide. It will show the steps you can take towards a stress-free move (or as stress-free as possible) so you can look forward to moving day instead of dreading it.

Top Tips For A Stress-Free Move

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful! Follow these tips to make your next move a breeze.

Make A Moving Plan Early On

The single biggest thing you can do to ensure a less stressful move is to make a moving plan and to make it early. This not only helps to keep you organized but by doing it early you allow yourself some wiggle room in case you hit an unexpected snag, which is almost inevitable.


Planning a moving schedule doesn’t have to be very difficult or time-consuming but you should try and do it well. You will need to plan the time it will take for you to pack, load, clean, move and unload all of your belongings. If you are planning on hiring professional movers (more on this below), make sure you book them early to get your desired dates.


You will also need to speak to your landlords and employers to arrange the necessary time to complete all of this work. Some people often have an overlapping month between the two places, but we recommend renting a storage unit if you need the extra time as this is a much cheaper option.


Make an in-depth moving checklist as part of your moving plan so you don’t forget anything!

Pick A Reliable Moving Company In Advance

Hire an expert moving company to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Research moving companies and find one that has plenty of good reviews. The last thing you want is any damage to your possessions or your property during a move. 


Be sure to get multiple quotes as professional movers can often be more expensive than you think. You will want to make sure you know exactly what is included in your quote so you aren’t left with any surprises on the day either.


Try and do this as far in advance of your moving date as possible as movers tend to be busy on dates like weekends, holidays or at the end of the month. 


Have Each Member Of The Family Pack Their Own Survival Suitcase

Have each member of your family pack their own suitcase with the essentials they will need to get through the first few days in your new home. Unpacking can often take several days and you don’t want to have to dig through boxes to find an essential item on your first night.


Items to include in this suitcase are toiletries, phone and laptop chargers, medication, and some snacks and water to keep you going. Keep these survival suitcases separate from the rest of your boxes so that you can access them easily at any time. 

Declutter Your Home

Before you start to pack it is a great idea to thoroughly declutter your home. Get rid of any old, unnecessary, or unwanted items as this will save you time, money, and stress when it comes to packing and moving.


Donate, recycle, sell, or throw away as many items as you can. This leaves fewer things for you to pack and organize and it will make your move cheaper as you might only need a smaller van and fewer moving hours. 

Gather Your Packing Supplies

Before you start packing, you will want to get all of your supplies in advance, allowing you to pack quickly and efficiently when the time comes. You will need:

  • boxes
  • newspaper
  • packing paper
  • tape
  • old rags
  • moving blankets
  • scissors
  • markers


Having a centralized packing location can also help you feel less stressed during your move. Use a spare room to set up a station to easily pack away all of your items. This keeps the rest of your house from becoming cluttered with packing equipment in the lead-up to your move.

Start Packing Weeks In Advance 

How early you have to start packing depends on the size of your house but for larger homes, it can take 8 – 12 weeks. Packing always takes longer than expected so it is a good idea to start as early as possible. This way you aren’t running behind closer to moving day which will certainly make things feel more stressful. 


While it may go without saying, categorize everything and pack it together. It is usually a good idea to start early with the rooms that you use the least and leave areas like the kitchen and living room right to the end.


Even when packing items that are from the same room, be specific with your labelling. It may seem quick and easy to just write “kitchen” on the box but it is a good idea to list a couple of the items that are included in each box like plates, bowls, or cutlery. That way when you have 10 different boxes labelled kitchen you will still be able to find what you are looking for. Some people even use colour-coded tape, cards or markers to make the unpacking process even simpler.


Pack heavy items in small boxes and light items in larger boxes to avoid boxes breaking or ripping as you move. And while it is recommended to generally keep similar items together, you should keep fragile items separate and clearly mark them so extra caution is taken with them during the move.

Ask Your Moving Company For A List Of Items They Won’t Move

Most moving companies will have a list of items that they will not transport for you. This can include things like bleach, pesticides, fertilizers, plants with soil in them, open paint cans, and a whole host of other items. 


Check with your moving company in advance to ensure you know what they won’t be able to move. You can then make alternative arrangements for these items or donate, sell, recycle, or throw them away.

Organize Utilities

Settle all of the utilities for your current home before you leave if you can, or at least be aware of any final utility bills you will need to pay. Cancel any existing subscriptions you will not be taking to your new home, like internet and cable services.


For your new home, you can often set up accounts for yourself in advance so you are ready to go the day you move in. Set up electricity accounts, transfer your internet or cable if you are keeping it, set up accounts for water, gas, or heat wherever necessary. This will save you having to do all of this once you have actually moved as you will already have your hands full.

Take Time To Clean Your New Home Before Moving In

If you can get access to your new home a few days before moving in then you should give it a good clean and assess it before you move. It is much easier to clean an empty home and you will be glad you took the time to do so when you finally get to move in. Make sure to keep your cleaning supplies separate from the rest of your packed belongings.


Take advantage of the empty space to take deliveries for the likes of white goods or measure for blinds, carpets or rugs. 

Stress Less With Nanaimo Real Estate

Planning your move well in advance will lead to a much more enjoyable process. By following the advice above you can greatly reduce your stress levels and you can actually appreciate your new home.


Have you got any questions about moving to Nanaimo? Get in touch with me and I would be more than happy to help answer any questions or to help you look for Nanaimo real estate opportunities

waterfront homes in nanaimo bc

Buying Land for Building a Home in Nanaimo, BC


waterfront homes in nanaimo bc

Thinking about buying land for building a home in the coming years? You have probably heard that this can be a strong investment, especially as the Nanaimo real estate market continues to grow.

Buying a lot to build on can come with many different challenges, and knowing what to expect as you start to weigh your options can save you headaches down the road. If you are looking for a lot in the near future in and around Nanaimo, BC, here are some tips to consider that will keep you on the right track.

1. Look Into Utilities

Access to utilities is an important place to start, since this has the potential to be a costly part of the process. If you are buying a lot with an existing home that will be torn down, you will have an easier time organizing utilities. All you will need to do is arrange to have utilities disconnected before demolition, then reconnected when they are hooked back up.

If you are looking into vacant lots, things get more complicated. Inquire about hookups water, electricity, and gas. Don’t forget to check into internet access too, since connection in some rural areas can be a headache.

2. Capitalizing on Locational Opportunity

Growth in the suburbs is steady around Nanaimo right now, and this is reflected in the amount of land for sale in Vancouver Island. Teardowns can be tempting, but empty land in developing suburbs can have a lucrative upside. When considering lot purchases,research which developing areas have the highest potential in terms of growth. As well, pay attention to community amenities like schools, parks, and local job opportunities. 

Of course, many land sale opportunities will be billed as the next big thing. Talk with an expert in local real estate to cut through the fluff and find out what people are really interested in. 

oceanside park in nanaimo bc

3. Understanding the Area

Aside from knowing the benefits of the area where you could be buying land, it’s also a good idea to be aware of any major drawbacks. This could include offensive odours from farms or factories, busy all-terrain vehicle routes, or arterial roads that are soon to be snarled by traffic.

Some of these drawbacks vary based on season, so it can be difficult to stay aware of every possible outcome. The best way to know for sure? Talk to locals and spend time visiting the area yourself.

4. Consult a Builder

Whether you are building from scratch or tearing down, bring a builder into the picture as early as you can. An experienced builder can point out potential hazards in the construction process, as well as offer advice on the best ways to use the land based on natural features.

workers building a house

5. Confirm Zoning Laws

It seems obvious, but always make sure that you familiarize yourself with the local zoning laws so that you don’t end up with any unwelcome surprises when you are building additional features on your lot.

6. Prepare for Unforeseen Costs

In a time of prosperity in the Nanaimo real estate market, it’s easy to get overconfident about how much demolishing or building will really cost. Advertised demolition costs are usually just the tip of the iceberg, with additional fees and permits adding up quickly.

Building on vacant land requires costs for soil tests and right-of-way easements among others. Consult your financial plan with a conservative viewpoint, and prepare for potential roadblocks along the way.

7. Consult a Land Planner

In addition to talking with a builder, a land planner can give you valuable insights into the qualities of the land that can result in problems further down the road. Specific vegetation, wetlands, water tables, and access to your lot all require an expert’s eye and will influence what kind of home can be built on the property.

8. Count on a Larger Down Payment

If this is your first time purchasing a lot to build on, then there may be some sticker shock from the differences in getting financing for the project. Down payments on loans for building on a lot range from 25 to 50% and increase based on risks unique to the property.

9. Find a Nanaimo Real Estate Professional You Can Trust

Trusting a real estate professional who is familiar with land for sale on Vancouver Island and the challenges of teardowns and building on vacant lots is essential for feeling confident about your purchase.

Even with so much optimism in the industry, unforeseen costs and other factors can eat away at your investment. One of the best ways to get off on the right foot is to trust that you are getting the best possible price for the land.

Want to pay at market value or below? Find someone who knows the market. Jeff King Real Estate has over ten years of experience in the Nanaimo area, with a specialization in land development and residential sales.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with Jeff to talk about your goals. 

couple closing a home purchase deal

Timeline To Closing On A Home Purchase in British Columbia

couple closing a home purchase deal

Have you ever closed a deal on a new home before? This can be a daunting process for first time buyers.

In hot real estate markets like Nanaimo, closing on a home purchase can be even more fast-paced and stressful.

It is important to understand how this process works, and to have a plan when you are looking for homes in an area that you like.

Read on to learn about the timeline you will follow, and some practical tips on closing from a Nanaimo realtor you can trust.

  1. Negotiating An Offer

Once you have completed your home viewing and decide you want to focus on closing a home, you will need to negotiate an offer.

The term negotiate is enough to make many people nervous. Working with an experienced real estate agent makes this process much easier.

Negotiating an offer means making an offer for the purchase price of the home and determining the closing date, escrow deposit, and inspections

Once these details are negotiated and agreed upon, you are officially on the road to closing on the home.

Time Frame: 1 – 3 days

  1. Submit Earnest Money Deposit

An earnest money deposit is an amount of money the buyer submits to show the seller that they are committed to buying a home. Once this step is taken, the home is taken off the market to show that the seller considers your offer to be legitimate. 

The earnest money deposit is submitted to the listing agent, who will then deposit the money into an escrow account. This account is managed by a third party who is unrelated to the transaction.

From this account, the earnest money deposit will be applied to your down payment on the home if the rest of the process goes smoothly.

Time Frame: 4 – 12 days

  1. Order Title Search 

Your next step will be done with a real estate lawyer who specializes in buying property in BC.

Your lawyer will conduct a title search at your local property registry office. The results of this search are all records and documents related to the property. 

The purpose of the title search is to ensure there are no deficiencies or liens against the property. 

A property lien is a notice that a creditor is owed money by the owner of the property. The creditor could be a homeowners association, tradesperson, or a lender (in the case of a mortgage lien). 

We don’t need to get into the details of liens–all you need to know is a good lawyer will scrutinize title records to ensure there are no outstanding problems that could get in the way of your deal.

Time Frame: 14 – 21 days

  1. Conduct Home Inspections

A home inspection is a very important part of the closing process. 

This is your best shot to learn about any problems associated with the property. There are several different types of home inspections which are meant to uncover different problems. 

A general home inspection is standard practice in real estate. This inspection is meant to cover the basics of every important system and structural part of the home including structural integrity, appliances, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, and much more.

If an inspector raises concerns about a part of the home, you can conduct additional inspections to get more details about the problems.

You could conduct specialized inspections for pests, sewage systems, roofing, asbestos (for homes built before 1990 when asbestos was commonly used for insulation and fireproofing), and other types of inspections depending on unique features of the home.

The buyer is responsible for scheduling these inspections, and you may also attend the inspections and ask questions if you wish.

Time Frame: 7 – 14 days

  1. Finalize Purchase Agreement

Now that you are fully aware of the condition of the home, you can finalize the purchase agreement, which is signed by the home buyer and seller.

After this step, you will set an appointment with your mortgage lender to complete your application.

Time Frame: 1 – 3 days

  1. Order An Appraisal

A mortgage lender will appraise the value of the home. This step ensures the buyer and the lender are paying a fair market value for the property.

In order to move on to the next step, the appraiser will need to appraise the property at a value at or above the purchase price of the contract

If the appraisal is determined to be lower than the purchase price, you may need to renegotiate the seller to a lower purchase price. 

Time: 7 – 21 days

Receive Conditional Loan Approval

After your appraisal is completed, you will submit a loan application. This doesn’t mean  it is time to sit back, relax, and wait for your loan to be approved.

You will work with an underwriter who will review your finances before  issuing a conditional loan approval

This means you will need to meet financial conditions to be approved for the loan. These conditions could include providing income and bank statements to verify your income, or verification of mortgage insurance.

Time: 14 – 31 days

Final Walkthrough

A final walkthrough of the home is an important part of the process that should be negotiated early on. 

This walkthrough is the last chance for you to confirm that necessary repairs have been completed, and all of the seller’s possessions have been removed from the home.

This is also when the lender will provide closing disclosure, a document that outlines the final costs and terms of the loan. When you sign off on this document, you can finally move on to the closing.

Time frame: 1-2 days

Closing Your Home Deal

You’ve done it! When you meet the seller on closing day, you will sign final documents and provide a cashier’s check in the amount that was outlined in the closing disclosure statement.

Once the closing is done, the earnest money deposit is distributed by an escrow agent to the parties of the deal.This process takes approximately six weeks to complete

Want to know how to close a deal successfully in the Nanaimo real estate market? Get in touch with a professional at Jeff King Real Estate


victoria vancouver island harbour scene

Top Real Estate Markets on Vancouver Island

victoria vancouver island harbour scene

The Vancouver Island real estate market is one of the hottest in Canada right now. In our Nanaimo real estate market Q4 2021 guide, we shared some of the factors that are contributing to a historical seller’s market in the city.

Many of these factors are affecting real estate markets across the Island too.

Vancouver Island has seen a lot of interest from homebuyers and investors as a cheaper alternative to real estate in Vancouver

The mild climate and laid back atmosphere are two big selling points, as is the proximity to nature and growth of cities like Nanaimo and the Greater Victoria area. 

One of these fast-growing bedroom communities, Langford, led the province with a 5.2% annual growth rate in 2020 after building an astounding 37% of all housing in Greater Victoria.

But many areas are struggling to keep housing supply on pace with rising demand. Low inventory is the main challenge on Vancouver Island, and this has been driving up prices in many markets.

Here’s a city-by-city guide to the top real estate markets on Vancouver Island. Using data from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, we can compare markets directly based on single-family home benchmark price. 

Read on to find the best location whether you are an investor, first time home buyer, or something in between.

Parksville: Premium Home Prices With An Ocean View

Known as “The Jewel of Vancouver Island”, this quaint town of around 12,000 people is known for its incredible beaches on the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. 

It is close to other famed vacation spots like Qualicum Beach and Nanoose Bay, and is only a 30 minute drive from downtown Nanaimo. This makes it a great destination for young families and retirees who are looking for a small town feel. 

In September 2021, the Parksville-Qualicum area had a benchmark price year over year increase of 33% to $869,000. This increase puts it in the middle of the pack of Vancouver Island real estate markets in terms of growth,

Apartments (26.4%) and townhouses (42.8%) also saw significant year over year growth.

Island-Leading Growth In Langford

There are few cities in Canada that have seen the kind of transformation that Langford has in the past 20 years. What used to be a no-frills bedroom community has become the go-to destination for home buyers priced out of the Victoria market.

Today’s buyers see a rapidly densifying community on the West Shore with easy access to amenities like shopping, parks, and the Galloping Goose trail network.

Langford’s real average sale price crossed $1 million for the first time in March 2021, a figure that has continued to rise in the months since.

The caveat to these high prices in a formerly sleepy part of the Capital region is that a lot of housing supply is being built up in Langford. Developments like Belmont are increasing density in the region, and single-family homes and townhouses are sprouting up too. 

The time for scoring bargains has passed for the Langford real estate market, but the city still has high potential for real estate investing.

Deals In Duncan And The Cowichan Valley?

Duncan is a small city of 5,000 people in the Cowichan Valley that sits halfway between Victoria and Nanaimo on Highway 1. 

Like Ladysmith, Chemainus, and other small urban centres in the region, the city offers a laid-back, small town feel that is attractive both for homebuyers who are commuting to Nanaimo or Victoria for work, or anyone looking to get away from the business of these fast-growing cities.

The Cowichan Valley regional district also includes Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan, and growth in these communities has contributed to a hot market.

The Cowichan Valley single-family benchmark increased by 33% year over year this September, with an average of $755,000

However, apartments can be found at an average price of $324,100 (40.2% year over year growth), which is slightly cheaper than Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, and even Campbell River.

The proximity of Duncan to other urban centres means it is heating up fast, but there are still deals to be found for savvy homebuyers.

Vancouver Island: A Luxury Hotspot

The COVID-19 pandemic has made many desirable regions become luxury real estate hotspots. Vancouver Island, with its mild climate and relaxed lifestyle is a perfect example of this.

Waterfront properties have been especially popular, whether they be record-setting estates or swanky condos in small resort towns like Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

Much of this interest in luxury property comes from West Coast American buyers, but plenty of interest is coming from overseas as well.

The rise of the Vancouver Island luxury market comes to no surprise for buyers who have seen high prices on the Island for the past few years. It is a good sign for owners of high priced properties who could see themselves attracting bidding wars from eager buyers and investors.

Nanaimo Real Estate: A Red Hot Market

The Nanaimo real estate market stands out as one of the hottest on the Island. The strong sellers market is still in effect as single-family home prices increased 28.3% year over year to $745,400 in September 2021.

Although the market is experiencing low supply, there are still great opportunities in the city and surrounding areas. 

Want to learn more about the Nanaimo real estate market? Talk to a realtor with experience and knowledge of the area. Get in touch with Jeff King Real Estate today!

cedars in nanaimo bc

Top Neighbourhoods in Nanaimo, BC

downtown nanaimo bc

The Nanaimo real estate market is one of the hottest in Canada right now. 

The mild winters and peaceful oceanside setting have long been attractive for retirees, but more young families and working professionals are finding a new home in the Island’s largest city outside of Greater Victoria

The city’s mix of neighbourhoods has much to offer from access to nature to excellent schools. This guide will tell you where to look if you are thinking about living in Nanaimo. 

Whether you are looking for luxury condos with ocean views or character homes in friendly neighbourhoods, this guide has it covered. Once you have your ideal neighbourhood decided, check out our Nanaimo realty listings in the area.

Explore Dazzling Cedar

Cedar is the most rural neighbourhood to make this list, but it makes a case as one of the best areas to live in Nanaimo. Look for everything from prefab homes to multimillion-dollar acreages with space for hobby farming and equestrian facilities. 

Some of the unique benefits of the Cedar area are the plentiful trail systems, access to Hemer Provincial Park and Nanaimo River Regional Park, and the Duke Point Ferry Terminal for frequent travellers to the Greater Vancouver area

Look for unique waterfront property offerings and mid-century homes with character, but keep in mind that there has been little subdivision development in the area.

Dive Into Chase River

Chase river is a semi-rural community immediately south of downtown Nanaimo. Homebuyers can find affordable properties in this neighbourhood including farmhouses and postwar acreages. 

Several new developments have popped up in the area too, with easy access to local shopping. A common selling point of Chase River is the Chase River and Nanaimo River estuaries, home to trails and areas to view local wildlife.

oceanside park in nanaimo bc

Say Hello To Departure Bay

Many non-residents of Nanaimo know Departure Bay as the home of the busy ferry terminal for travellers coming and going from Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay.

But locals know it as a centrally-located neighbourhood with easy access to parks and shopping. Nestled between two large hills, Departure Bay offers luxury waterfront homes and character homes under mature tree cover

The Country Club Shopping Centre and Nanaimo Golf Club are a short drive away, as are Kinsmen Park and Departure Bay Beach–both popular places to stroll in the warmer summer months.

Step Up To Diver Lake

One of Nanaimo’s several pretty urban lakes, Diver Lake features a trail system and well maintained park for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

The surrounding neighbourhood has mature tree cover and homes from the 80’s mixed with new subdivisions being built alongside the Nanaimo Parkway. 

This is a family-friendly neighbourhood with access to schools and shopping plus large lot sizes for anyone with ambitions for backyard activities. 

cedars in nanaimo bc

Relax In Harewood / University District

The historical Harewood neighbourhood has some serious character and close proximity to Vancouver Island University

With an influx of students and young families, efforts have been taken to “rebrand” the area from Harewood to the University District, especially with the renaming of University Plaza (formerly Harewood Mall).

Some longtime Nanaimo residents might have negative feelings about this neighbourhood because of its history, but the fact is, the area is seeing a lot of revitalization. New residents love the proximity to downtown, parks, and commuting via the Nanaimo Parkway. 

Welcome To North Nanaimo

This area of town is a large area, stretching north of Rutherford Road and Hammond Bay to Dover.

This is the newest, most family-friendly part of Nanaimo. You can expect to find some of the best schools in the city, many parks and beaches, and large shopping areas with big box options.

Commuting from North Nanaimo may be longer than most other neighbourhoods, but this means 15-20 minutes in your vehicle at the most–even during rush hour.

Looking for a new single detached home or townhouse in a clean, kid friendly neighbourhood? North Nanaimo Realty could be for you.

waterfront homes in nanaimo bc

Get Acquainted With The Uplands

Uplands and the nearby Nanaimo North Town Centre can be found alongside Long Lake in the Uplands Neighbourhoods. The area has been long established as a family-friendly locale, with homes built in the 70’s and 80’s making up most of the community.

The highlight of this area is definitely the scenic Long Lake, with well kept homes rising above. The lake itself is home to the Nanaimo Rowing Club along with casual boaters and swimmers in the warmer months. 

Commuting from the Uplands is easy thanks to quick access to the Island Highway, and plenty of services can be found at two nearby shopping complexes. Check out this area for its access to good schools and the possibility of a panoramic lake (or ocean) view.

How To Find A Home In Nanaimo 

Curious about the Nanaimo neighbourhoods we have listed? Get in touch with Jeff today to learn about what makes this city so special. Jeff King Real Estate knows local communities and how to make the most of living in Nanaimo.


home living room

What to Look for When Viewing a Home

home living room

Conducting a walkthrough of a home can be a jarring experience. You have a wishlist, a set of expectations, and a list of red flags to avoid. Can you get everything you want? Unlikely. But, you can come pretty close.

If you aren’t an experienced home builder, some common red flags might slip past you. Thankfully, Jeff King Real Estate has seen it all when it comes to home walkthroughs and we’re here to help you get the most out of the process. 

Read on for our top things to look out for when viewing a home so that you can confidently shop the Nanaimo real estate market.

Cracks In Walls

Cracks in the wall of a home are one of the biggest red flags you can encounter. To be clear: cracks in drywall less than a few feet long are okay, but anything larger than that is a no go–especially if it is noticeably discoloured.

There is a low chance that a crack like this means nothing. It is often a sign of movement, indicating that there may be structural problems with the home. Inquire with the seller about the crack. If they can’t explain where it came from, it could end up being a big problem for you. 

roof of a house

Ask About The Roof

Since most home showings don’t include a visit to the rooftop, it is on you to inquire about what kind of shape it is in. Ask how long ago the roof was installed and what materials it is made out of (this could include tar and gravel, asphalt, steel, or wood). 

Jot down the average lifespans of some common roofing materials beforehand so you know when you may need to make replacements. For older homes, don’t be afraid to seek an expert’s opinion. Older homes often have more layers of roofing to replace, where it’s common to find problem areas.

Inspect Plumbing

Plumbing is an area that you should always be concerned about. Try out every faucet and showerhead in the house to make sure that they have adequate water pressure, and check toilets for backups.

Many home visitors will also check the smell, taste, and temperature of the water – which is something you will notice every day if something is wrong. While you are near the bathroom, check the flooring for unexpected sagging or dipping, which could be a sign of rot or other structural problems. 

Try Out Windows 

Low-quality windows creak and groan, and warped frames make it hard to close or lock them. This may not be a huge problem for one or two of your windows, but what if you need to replace windows for the whole house?

Window replacements are expensive but leaving those old single-pane windows in place results in a higher heating bill since they don’t keep the cold out. 

Explore Storage Options

If the owner is still living in the home, you may feel that it is inappropriate to peer into their belongings during your visit. Trust us, it isn’t.

You will need to know exactly how much storage there is in the home for your belongings when the time comes, so don’t stress about exploring closets, cabinets, and other storage spaces.

basement of a home

The Basement: Where Big Problems Begin

The basement is a great indicator of the structural integrity of the home. Moisture is a big problem whether it is dry or wet outside, so look for any wet spots (especially in dark, faraway corners). 

Chalky white substances on walls, discoloured paint, or rotting wood are also signs of water intrusion.

It’s not out of line to ask that stored belongings be moved so that you  can view every part of the basement. Even if the current owner isn’t meaning to “hide” anything, you deserve to know exactly what shape the space is in.

Examine Trees

A good home viewing isn’t just about what you find inside. The exterior is important too, especially what can damage the exterior. Look for tall, older trees near the property. These are at the highest risk of falling during a bad storm (anyone buying real estate in Nanaimo should know that these weather events do happen).

Aside from falling trees, roots growing into your basement and bug infestations are other less-known concerns with large trees on your property. Plus tree removal is an expensive process, especially if you live in a dense, hard-to-maneuver lot. 

Quick Flips

House flipping is prevalent wherever the market is hot, and Nanaimo’s real estate prices make the city attractive for many buyers.

Ask your real estate agent about how long the home was owned by its previous owners. A short turnaround time means that it will be important to “read between the lines”. Newer fixtures, flooring, and other aesthetic features could be hiding deeper structural problems

If you start to feel concerned about this, inquire about the existing warranties attached to the home, and whether they are transferable to a new owner.

Thinking About a Fixer Upper?

In our blog post on fixer upper homes, we talked about what to look out for when finding a home that you will be putting some work into.

If you notice the red flags listed above (especially if they are structural), we recommend bringing an architect or licenced home inspector around to a second home showing so that you can have a professional opinion of what you are getting into.

How to Have a Successful House Viewing

There’s no better way to feel confident about your house viewing than working with a realtor that you can trust. At Jeff King Real Estate, we understand the Nanaimo real estate market deeply and bring over a decade of experience helping buyers buy property in B.C

Want to learn more about working with us? Get in touch today. 

kitchen being renovated

Buying a Fixer-Upper: Is It Really Worth It?

kitchen being renovated

Should you buy a fully finished home or put money into a fixer-upper? This is a big question for people buying property in BC. 

The right renos can boost a home’s value significantly, but there are risks too. Renovations are expensive and unforeseen setbacks can cost you big.  That said, even if it doesn’t seem like you are saving much buying a fixer-upper (especially with recent Nanaimo real estate prices) it can still be tempting to leave your mark. 

Want to make the right choice when buying a fixer upper in BC? Here is our guide to choosing the right option, and knowing how to spot the right property in your local real estate listings

Advantages of Fixer Upper Homes

The main reason that buyers are interested in fixer uppers is lower cost. Buyers will weigh the savings they make against the approximate spend of all the renovations that need to be completed.

Buyers are also concerned with the value they can add to the home, especially when viewing it as an investment property. This can be a tough calculation to make on the spot, so it is best to be conservative when crunching the numbers. 

As well, many buyers also assume they can save money with “do-it-yourself” fixes for all but the most major renovations. 

Drawbacks of Fixer Upper Homes

Renovating a new home is exciting. It’s an opportunity to put your vision into action and learn some DIY skills along the way.

But, anyone who has purchased a fixer upper before knows that renovating can also mean ballooning budgets and blown timelines. This  can eat up time and money, and you will need to consider these costs when you decide whether to buy the home.

Recent price hikes for building materials have been a lesson for home renovators. Disruptions in the supply chain should be expected at some point during your home renovation journey. 

When prices of lumber and other building materials rise, you may be put in a tough position: wait in your unfinished home until prices eventually settle, or “bite the bullet” and get your renos done on time for a higher cost.

As well, finding reputable contractors can be hard work. The best local teams will often be booked up for months in advance, and delays can be common.

It can also be hard to live in a home that is being renovated. Think of the last time  you went without a kitchen or bathroom for a day, then imagine  you will be spending months with at least something being worked on in your home. 

If these factors aren’t enough to make you think twice, remember that renovations need to comply with your local building codes, and additional costs come in the form of building permits, disposal fees, architectural drawings, and much more. 

In conclusion: a lot can go wrong when you buy a fixer upper. The only way to know what to expect is by experiencing it firsthand.

Finding the Right Fixer Upper

If you decide on buying a fixer upper, you will need to know what to look for when checking your local real estate listings.  Here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, confirm whether the renovations you would make are cosmetic or structural. Cosmetic renovations are easier for you to do yourself, like drywall repair or floor finishing.

Structural renovations will likely require the help of a contractor. This includes anything to do with the plumbing, electrical, roof system, or foundation of the home. Many experienced renovators shy away from homes requiring any structural work due to the excessively high cost.

Next,consider the location of the home. If the neighbourhood is becoming more desirable, you could see a larger increase in the value of your home aside from the renovations you are doing.

Be realistic about your DIY skills. A willingness to be “handy” goes a long way, but you should ask the opinion of experienced friends and family so you don’t get in over your head.

Above all, take the time to complete a full home inspection before you put an offer in on a home. There’s nothing worse than starting off a renovation by finding out about some unexpected problems.

Ready to Get Renovating?

assorted tools arranged on surface

Fixing up older or underutilized homes is a passion project for some and also a way to earn a profit. Nanaimo real estate prices are strong, and many buyers are getting into the market by investing in fixer uppers. 

Have you caught the reno bug? Learn about the best fixer upper homes on the market by getting in touch with Jeff King Real Estate. We know how to find great deals on homes with potential in some of Nanaimo’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods–and we love working with people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty or cooking dinner on the back porch for a few weeks. 

nanaimo harbour

Guide to Moving to Nanaimo: What to Expect

nanaimo harbour

After all the work of finding the right property and budgeting for the costs of your new home, getting ready to make your move to Vancouver Island is a cause for celebration. 

There are many reasons why so many people are choosing to relocate to the Nanaimo area. Retirement, job prospects, and a relaxed West Coast lifestyle are common motivators. But there are also some important factors to consider when gearing up for the big move, and this article will make sure that you are on the right path.

We’re not just talking about packing a good rain jacket (although that is very important). Here is your full guide on moving to Nanaimo, from the realtor that knows the market better than anyone else!

Preparing for the Big Move

man moving into a new home

Moving may be exciting, but that doesn’t make it easy. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve moved before, a big move comes with its share of curveballs.

Here are some tips for getting your move done right.

  • Label your boxes with the rooms  they will be going into.
  • Pack an “essentials” box. This will include a few sets of cutlery and plates, kitchenware, cleaning supplies, dish towels, and anything else you will need for your first night in your new home. 
  • Use larger sized moving boxes instead of a range of different sizes. This makes them easier to stack and means fewer trips to the truck for you or your moving company.
  • Give yourself lots of time to move properly. Start at least 1-2 weeks before your moving date and try to make an inventory of what items you are packing and how many boxes are packed. This will help you track in case anything gets lost along the way.

Getting to Nanaimo

Living in Nanaimo offers unique experiences and a laid back lifestyle (not to mention some amazing seafood). But Vancouver Island does present one challenge that takes a bit of getting used to: transportation.

Moving to the Island means that you will need to transport the majority of your possessions using the BC Ferries system. Uhaul and other moving trucks qualify as an oversized fare, so you will need to budget for this additional cost. 

Also, it’s always a good idea to book a reservation and avoid travel on summer weekends and holidays year round. The Island is a popular holiday destination, and traffic surges during these times.

If you are travelling with personal luggage, you can opt to get to Nanaimo by seaplane, helicopter, or by flying into Nanaimo Airport from Vancouver or select local cities.

Worried about the cost and time of traveling to the mainland in the future? Thankfully, Nanaimo and nearby Victoria are home to all services that you could need. 

A high-speed commuter ferry is currently in the works, which will take passengers directly to Vancouver’s Waterfront Station – just in case business or personal reasons mean that you will have to travel often to the big city. 

So You Made it to Nanaimo. Now What?

There’s not much more tiring after a long day of moving. Reward yourself with a takeout meal from one of the local favourites like Smokin’ George’s BBQ, sushi from Nori Japanese, or Pizza from Mambo.

Then you can start getting settled, unpacking those neatly packed moving boxes and furnishing your new home just how you like it. 

You only get to be a “newcomer” once in Nanaimo, and thankfully there are several local organizations that are dedicated to making you feel at home

The Nanaimo Newcomers Club is an organization for women to get involved socially, and the City of Nanaimo keeps a record of hundreds of social, cultural, and sports clubs for anyone to join. The benefits of living in a city of 100,000+ people are that there are probably others who share the same interests as you, yet there is still a feeling of small town charm.

Weather in Nanaimo

Nanaimo has a reputation for having one of the mildest climates in Canada. It’s location in Vancouver Island’s rainforest means that the average winter temperature is approximately 8 degrees celsius.

Although you don’t need to prepare for the worst like Canadians in the rest of the country, there are still some things to consider. 

Although snow is rare, it does happen in Nanaimo. Keep a snow shovel and sidewalk salt stash, as these items sell out quickly in stores when snow does fall. 

Most Nanaimo residents don’t own snow tires, unless they plan on travelling to other regions in the winter (like the Mt. Washington ski resort, only a 90 minute drive from Nanaimo).

Of course, the rainy climate means that you should prepare by having decent raingear, and ensuring that the drainage around your home is adequate.

Enjoying Your New Life in Nanaimo

kayaks beside the ocean in nanaimo

“The Harbour City” offers an excellent quality of life and access to amenities without the “big city hustle” that is the fast-growing Victoria region directly to the south.

This has led to increased demand in the Nanaimo real estate market and an influx of new residents. The city is slated for growth for years to come, so come be a part of it!

Have any more questions about Nanaimo real estate or living in Nanaimo? Get in touch with Jeff today. We know the market, and we love helping people start a new life in Nanaimo.