All Blog Entries by Stephen Foster Property Group

Found 20 blog entries published by Stephen Foster Property Group.

Moving to a new home is always stressful. Throw in a new neighbourhood, or even a whole new city, and everyone involved is bound to feel anxious. We’ve seen our fair share of house moves within Victoria real estate, and have noticed behaviours that lend to a smooth relocation and behaviours that lend to a not-so-smooth one. Here’s what we’ve found to be the top five savvy tips to make your next move as stress-free as possible. With a little planning and organization, this move could be a breeze (and hey, maybe even enjoyable!)

Make a list

First things first: write down what needs to get done. By getting clear on specific tasks (like “donate lamp in attic” or “clean behind fridge”), you’ll break the daunting moving process down into manageable chunks

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There are two main reasons you might need a home renovation: firstly, you think you need a reno (you’re bored of the way your space looks and feels), and secondly, physical deterioration indicates you’re in need of an upgrade. The second reason can be trickier to spot, since some deterioration (like mold or corrosion) can be hidden.

Of course renovations can be costly and very disruptive to your living arrangement in terms of noise and mess, which can add temporary stress at home. So want to make sure you’re investing in a reno when it’s actually necessary.  Take some time to go through your space and think about the following factors when deciding whether or not to reno.


Some say the kitchen is the most important room in the house. More often

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It’s that time of year again...the leaves are turning, the days are shorter, and something in the brisk air seems to whisper “pumpkin spice latte” and “let’s stay home tonight.” With the change of the season and Halloween just around the corner, you may be looking for ways to get your house prepared for Trick or Treaters, autumnal dinner parties, or simply to get in the spooky spirit while at home cooking dinner or watching scary movies. Here are some tips on how to prepare your space for the spooky season.

Choose a theme and stick to it

Before decorating your space, I suggest choosing an overall Halloween theme. With so much Halloween paraphernalia to choose from (black cats to cauldrons...goblins to the Grim Reaper), it can be overwhelming to take on

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There is a growing trend throughout the U.S. and Canada towards bigger and bigger homes. We want to discuss this trend and also ask the question is there ever such thing as too much house? As with any dispute personal taste and individual prerogatives are the driving forces.  People quite often look at upgrading their existing home for a larger one when they have outgrown their smaller one, receive a promotion or raise at work, or when they live a particular lifestyle. The idea of a “dream,” home is usually placed alongside having a large lot and home on that property but in real estate we learn everyday that everyone has a different idea of what their “dream,” home could be.


Income: How much house can you afford? The driving forces for the

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James Bay is nestled into the southwest region of downtown Victoria and is home to charming Victorian and Edwardian character homes. “It’s the oldest residential neighbourhood on the West Coast of Canada, (source),” making it rich with history and diversity. This lovely neighbourhood is surrounded by water on three sides; Victoria Harbour to the north and west, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the south. Beacon Hill Park also provides a green border to the east. These attractions lend themselves to a wide array of tourism opportunities. Everything from horse drawn carriages to the vibrant Fisherman’s Wharf can be enjoyed year round.

History: Historically, James Bay was home to the Swenghwung First Nations who belong to the Lekwungen people of the

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Victoria is home to not only some of the best restaurants to grab a glass but also provides some incredible local wineries to tour and enjoy. “A cluster of Vancouver Island wineries are just a short drive north of Victoria along the Saanich Peninsula. Idyllic farms, dramatic ocean views and arbutus trees provide the backdrop for wineries here, (source).” Victoria’s climate is temperate all year round making it ideal for a variety of different growing seasons. “The Saanich Peninsula’s mild temperatures and fertile land produces fruity whites such as Pinot Gris and medium-bodied reds such as Marechal Foch. Pair wine with cheese from Salt Spring Island, Qualicum Beach and the Comox Valley or try locally caught Vancouver Island seafood, (source).” Below are

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Brentwood Bay is a small idyllic neighbourhood in the municipality of Central Saanich, which is nestled on the Saanich Peninsula. It lies north of Victoria and south of Sidney on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. “Previously named Slugget, after pioneer John Sluggett who settled in the area in 1876, the village of Brentwood Bay was given the rather more appealing name in 1925. Brentwood Village takes its name from the English town of Brentwood in Essex, home town of R.M. Horne-Payne, president of the British Columbia Electric Company in the 1920s, (source).” The Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay ferry is also a convenient 25-minute route across the Saanich Inlet for those travelling to or from the Swartz Bay terminal and destinations north of

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Broadmead in the Past

The Broadmead area of Victoria, B.C is now home to some of the more desirable lots and amenities within Victoria. “One of the best characteristics of Broadmead, is its unique residential community full of homes within a naturalistic West Coast setting as envisioned by its original developers,(source).” Broadmead’s history wasn’t always this pretty and took some blood, sweat and tears to get it to where it is now. “Broadmead’s history comprises a varied mix of hard work, horses, rifles, religion, burial grounds, famous battles and war veterans, with an Emily Carr vision thrown in for good measure, (source).” Broadmead’s history traces back to the 1880s where it was simply forestland and a large extension of the

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Distinguishing from what you want and what you really need in your new home can be incredibly tricky since emotions run high and can cloud your judgment. When prospective buyers come to me for assistance, two of the major questions I ask before we go out shopping together for houses are:

1: What do you want?

2: What do you need?

These two areas are major and often can provide a lot of insight into what kinds of houses I’m going to pull for my clients and also provide them with what they truly need. Couples, unsurprisingly, frequently have very different ideas of what they both want and need. Laying it out plain and simple not only shows prospective clients what they’re looking for but also means there’s less surprises. This also works in my advantage

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Victoria’s craft spirit scene is booming and hosts some of British Columbia’s finest small, handcrafted batches of premium liquor. “The number of local distilleries has exploded in recent years as changes to BC liquor laws have allowed small and medium sized distillers to set-up shop and sell their products directly from the distillery in on-site lounges and tasting rooms, (source).” As the building blocks of a fantastic cocktail, spirits are the backbone that bartenders and fanatics alike rely upon to make the perfect drink. “As opposed to huge corporations like the Beam Inc. from the US (Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Canadian Club) or Diageo from the UK (Smirnoff, Ketel One, Crown Royal), craft distilleries produce small runs of artisanal spirits with their

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