Island Housing Sales on the Rebound

It’s not ‘business as usual’, but Vancouver Island REALTORS® have certainly learned how to work effectively in a pandemic-impacted marketplace. In its latest statistical report the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) showed that the ongoing effort has paid off in a big way, with June housing sales up sharply from May in all residential categories, while posting numbers that were actually higher than those recorded a year ago.

The VIREB stats showed that during June 479 single family homes were sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System, up sharply from the 246 sold in May, and even higher than the 406 homes that traded hands during June 2019. In addition the sale of apartments across the Island during June was up 59 percent from May, and three percent higher than from the same month last year. Townhouse sales were up a whopping 118 percent from May, while being three percent higher than June 2019’s townhouse sales.

The inventory of available properties within VIREB’s coverage area, which extends from the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island to the Malahat in the south, dropped a full 23 percent last month when compared to the same month last year. During June there were 1,224 single family homes on the market, a year ago there were 1,598.

The number of townhouses for sale on Vancouver Island also dipped, by three percent year-over-year to 183. In June 2019 a total of 189 townhouses were on the market. Apartment listings however were actually up by a full 22 percent last month. In June 2019 there were 353 apartments listed for sale while last month that number had risen to 431.

VIREB also reported that housing prices continued to rise last month in all categories. The real estate board uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its individual zones, with the board-wide benchmark price of a single family home rising four percent during June, to close the month at $534,800.

The board-wide benchmark price of apartments sold on the MLS® System last month was up three percent from a year ago, hitting $312,600, which is actually down two percent from May’s price. In the townhouse category the June benchmark price was up two percent year-over-year at $419,700 – an incremental drop from May.

Benchmark price increases were recorded in each of VIREB’s individual zones, such as in Nanaimo where the price of a single family home rose three percent from last year to reach $576,000. In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the benchmark price was up slightly to $597,800, while in the Cowichan Valley the price was up three percent from June 2019 to hit $486,400.

In the Comox Valley the benchmark price of a single family home was up six percent from last year, reaching $552,200. Further north in Campbell River the price was $449,200, a three percent year-over-year increase, while in the Alberni Valley the benchmark price was up seven percent to close the month at $337,000.

Last month’s renewed real estate activity demonstrates the resiliency and adaptability of the Island’s REALTORS®, who were able to function effectively, even during these unprecedented times. It’s crucial to have an experienced professional on your side in any real estate transaction, so contact Peter and Kathy today to begin your journey.

Time to Become a Tourist in your Own Town

While June is certainly here, it’s clearly unlike any June ever experienced before. The global pandemic has seen shrinkage of the business sector and a concern over the risks of public gatherings that have curtailed most of the activities associated with the summer season. Travel to the United States and elsewhere is for all intents and purposes non-existent, except for essential services. Even popular local venues such as city owned recreational facilities remain shuttered during these unprecedented times.

With traditional choices for summer time fun severely curtailed the only real answer is to find your fun and entertainment much closer to home. The summer of 2020 is, by necessity, going to become remembered as the summer of the Staycation.

Many of the region’s restaurants and bars are slowly reopening, aided by outdoor patios and other modified means of spacing patrons in a much more ‘social distancing’ friendly way. Of course take out menus have become more important than ever, so this is a great time to experience that eatery you were always meaning to try.

Vancouver Island is a beautiful natural treasure, with hundreds of lakes, parks, beaches and trails that can be explored without crowding. The City of Nanaimo itself has more than 880 hectares of parkland set aside with more than 170 kilometers of trails to venture on. Nearly 150 parks, playing fields and outdoor destinations can be found throughout the city – why not visit the city’s website to discover more about this exceptional resource?

But outdoor journeys don’t have to be limited solely to the City of Nanaimo. Did you know there are nearly 130 provincial parks scattered across Vancouver Island? From massive to miniscule and from easily accessible to very challenging, the Island’s catalog of outdoor destinations is certain to offer something for everyone. Again, if already cloistered in your home, this is the perfect time to do some research and develop your own personal list of ‘must see’ spots to visit.

Speaking of regional research, while the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s (VIRL) branches have been closed during the past few months, its online resources and tools have been heavily used by the Island’s self-isolating pubic. During June the library is hoping to begin offering curbside service for books, videos and other materials – making the summer the perfect time to read that book you’ve always meaning to do. The VIRL also has an extensive collection of local history and activity books – tomes that both educate and inspire you when making your personal summer plans.

Of course sometimes recreation can be found right in your own backyard. Many people are using these unusual circumstances to carry out long planned, but always delayed yard work or household renovations. Always want to put in a vegetable garden, or install a back yard barbecue pit but didn’t have the time? Well, you do now!

You could also upgrade your mind or body this summer, thanks to online educational opportunities being offered by regional educational institutions, or self-directed fitness programs found in abundance on the Internet. In reality, even though the usual events or activities that mark the summer months are missing, there’s still plenty to do if you just take a few moments and conduct some research. You might be surprised at how much there actually is to do right near your own home.

COVID Had Impact On May Housing Sales

While the ongoing COVID-19 health crises did negatively impact housing sales across Vancouver Island last month, the downturn wasn’t as severe as it might have been. According to the latest statistical information released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) a total of 246 single family homes were sold within VIREB’s coverage area (which extends from the Malahat in the south to the northern tip of Vancouver Island) during May.

Despite the fact that total was down dramatically from the 456 homes that traded hands on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System during May 2019, it was actually up from the 189 homes reported sold during April. Likewise, while apartment sales were down 56 percent and townhouse sales were down 70 percent year-over-year last month, they were both up markedly from the number of units reported sold during April.

During the month of May a total of 44 apartments were sold on the MLS® System. In the month previous only 17 apartments were reported sold. While VIREB did not release the number of townhouses sold on the MLS® last month, it did report that sales were up 65 percent from those recorded during April.

VIREB also reported that there was some fluctuation in the inventory of available properties on Vancouver Island last month. The supply of single family homes on the market during May was pegged at 1,282, a drop of 14 percent over May 2019 when 1,486 single family homes were available for purchase.

However there were 21 percent more apartments on the block than there were a year ago, 410 as compared to the 339 available in May 2019. The number of townhouses for sale in May was listed as 178, which is four percent fewer than the 185 on the market a year ago.

Housing prices on Vancouver Island continued its upward movement last month. VIREB uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its individual zones. During May the board-wide benchmark price of a single family home was listed as $528,800, which is a three percent increase from last May, and an incremental rise over April 2020.

The board-wide benchmark price of apartments sold on the MLS® System was also up three percent to $306,400, a one percent dip from April’s price. The board-wide benchmark price of townhouses sold last month was up three percent from May 2019, reaching $423,300. This was slightly higher than the benchmark price reported during April.

Price hikes were reported in each of VIREB’s zones, such as in Nanaimo where the benchmark price of a single family home was up three percent year-over-year to $575,300. In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the benchmark price was up slightly to $594,800, while in the Cowichan Valley the benchmark price was listed as $482,100, a rise of three percent from the same month last year.

In the Comox Valley the benchmark price of a single family home was up two percent from last year, being listed as $532,000. Further north in Campbell River the benchmark price was up five percent to $449,900, while in the Alberni Valley the benchmark price was up six percent year-over-year, reaching $331,200.

No one can realistically predict the course of the current pandemic – and how this ongoing health crisis will influence the state of the real estate marketplace. The only certainty is that now more than ever buyers and sellers will need the services of real estate sales professionals when making a property transaction. Call Peter and Kathy today to learn more about buying and selling on Vancouver Island.

Global Pandemic Strikes Real Estate Sector

It should come as a surprise to no one that the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has severely impacted the real estate sector – as it has virtually every other aspect of the world’s economy. In its latest statistical report the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) states that housing sales across the Island were down substantially last month when compared to a year ago.

The VIREB report shows that 189 single family homes were sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System last month, a drop of 54 percent from a year ago when 412 properties traded hands. In March, before the full influence of the virus could be felt, 333 single family homes were sold on the MLS® System. The dramatic downturn in activity was felt across all styles of housing, with townhouse sales down 69 percent from last year, and apartment sales plunging a full 82 percent year-over-year.

Market uncertainty was also felt in the Island’s inventory of available properties, with the pool of single family homes dropping by nine percent. Last month there were 1,173 properties of this type on the market, compared to the 1,293 single family homes that were available during April 2019.

An interesting statistic is that while the townhouse inventory dropped by 19 percent from last year – from 197 units to last month’s total of 160 – the number of apartments for sale on the MLS® System actually rose by a full 33 percent. During April 403 apartments were listed for sale, compared to the 303 available for purchase during April 2019.

VIREB uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its individual zones, which extends from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the start of the Malahat in the south. In all of these areas, despite the impact of the virus, year-over-year price increases were recorded last month in virtually all regions.

The board-wide benchmark price of a single family home last month was reported as $523,700 – a number that while three percent lower than the April 2019 benchmark price was slightly higher than the price recorded in March. The board-wide benchmark price of apartments sold within VIREB’s coverage area during April was $313,300, a five percent increase year-over-year, with the townhouse price climbing two percent from last April to $421,400.

Benchmark price increases were reported in all of VIREB’s zones, with Nanaimo’s benchmark price edging up two percent to close the month at $572,200. In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the April benchmark price rose two percent year-over-year to $588,800, while in Duncan the benchmark price was $482,800, a marginal increase over the April 2019 price.

In the Comox Valley the benchmark price of a single family home last month was up two percent to $521,300, while further north in Campbell River the price was up four percent to $438,500. In the Alberni Valley the benchmark price was up a full 11 percent from last year, reaching $336,200.

Obviously it is not ‘business as usual’ in any part of the Canadian economy, with real estate being no exception. The only certainty is that things will improve over time, and that real estate is still the soundest investment anyone can make.

Especially in today’s uncertain market it’s important to have professionals on your side when making the biggest purchase of your lifetime. Call Peter and Kathy today to learn more about the local real estate marketplace. We’ll all get through this, together.

Virus Had Minimal Impact on Real Estate Marketplace

While there is definitely great uncertainty over the future economic impact caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, its influence didn’t have much of an effect on Vancouver Island housing sales last month.

In its latest statistical report the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) stated that during March 333 single family homes traded hands on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System, up from the 308 properties sold during the same month last year. The March sales figures were also up from the 259 homes reported sold on the MLS® System during February.

While the full brunt of the Coronavirus crises hadn’t been felt until the end of the month, the VIREB stats did indicate that while townhouse sales were up an impressive 40 percent year-over-year from 2019, the number of apartments sold within VIREB’s coverage area (from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the start of the Malahat in the south) was actually down by 44 percent when compared to last year.

Home buyers increasingly have a larger selection of properties to choose from across the Island, as the available housing inventory continued to climb during March. Last month there were 1,181 single family homes on the block on Vancouver Island, up slightly from the 1,174 that were listed for sale a year ago.

In addition, the number of apartments available for purchase last month was up by a full 41 percent from a year ago, with 400 homes of this type listed for sale on the MLS® System. During March 2019 there were only 284 apartments on the market. Interestingly the number of townhouses available actually dropped by 18 percent (from 181 to 147) when compared to the same month last year.

VIREB uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its separate zones, with the board-wide benchmark price of a single family home hitting $521,400. This is a four percent price hike from last March, and is incrementally higher than the February 2020 price.

The year-over-year Vancouver Island benchmark price of apartments closed the month at $314,700, an increase of seven percent. This price is also slightly higher the February board-wide benchmark price. In the townhouse category the board-wide benchmark price reached $417,900, up four percent from last year and two percent higher than February`s benchmark price.

On a region-by-region basis housing price hikes were reported all across Vancouver Island last month. In Nanaimo for example the benchmark price of a single family home rose by two percent to reach $564,500 last month. In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the benchmark price was up four percent to $590,700, while in the Cowichan Valley the March benchmark price was up from last year by two percent to reach $478,700.

In the Comox Valley the benchmark price of a single family home was also up two percent year-over-year to hit $516,800, while further north in Campbell River the benchmark price was up five percent to close the month at $441,300. In the Alberni Valley the benchmark price was up an impressive 12 percent from last March, reaching $328,300.

At present, under the restrictive and uncertain climate of the ongoing health crises, it’s difficult to predict how the real estate marketplace will be impacted. What is certain is that now more than ever the services of experienced real estate sales professionals are an essential part of any real estate transaction. Call Peter and Kathy today to learn more about the state of the local housing market.

Chemainus Takes the Arts Seriously

Every community on Vancouver Island displays its own distinctive character and charm, but few population centers demonstrate the creative and artistic energy exhibited on an ongoing basis by the Town of Chemainus. Often referred to as “The Little Town that Did” Chemainus has evolved from a rustic forestry community to one of the Island’s key artistic and visitor destinations.

What began as an isolated logging town in 1858 has grown and changed over the years, switching from a resource-based community into one powered by art, entertainment and tourism. That’s not to say the community has forgotten its forest sector roots – forestry and the myriad industries that support it continue to play a major role in the economy of the town and of the entire region. But it is as an artistic venue that Chemainus has made its presence felt most keenly in recent years.

Located about 30 minutes south of Nanaimo, Chemainus, with a current population of just over 3,000, is situated within the District of North Cowichan. The name Chemainus is believed to come from the First Nation name “Tsa-meeun-is” which means broken chest.

According to native legends, a powerful prophet and shaman survived a massive battle wound to later becoming an inspirational chief and leader of his people. To honor this almost miraculous event his people took his name to identify their entire community, becoming collectively known as the Stz’uminus First Nation (formerly known as the Chemainus Indian Band).

From a simple logging camp situated on Vancouver Island’s east coast, the town of Chemainus really began to grow when the railway first arrived in the region in the 1880’s. By the 1920’s the town had grown to more than 600, with forestry (based around a large scale sawmill) and the shipping of forestry products being among its major economic strengths.

But as the 20th Century progressed, and changing markets and technologies became the norm, the expansive MacMillan Bloedel sawmill was massively overhauled. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology the mill’s staff of more than 600 shrank to less than 150, having a potentially devastating impact on the town’s economy. That’s when vision and an artistic spirit of adventure began to change the town’s face and fortunes.

Capitalizing on the town’s idyllic seaside location and its distinctive downtown core, Chemainus began to evolve from a forestry town into a tourist center in the 1980s with the staging of the first Chemainus Festival of Murals in 1982. That first year five, of what would eventually become more than 40 murals began to adorn walls and structures throughout the community.

Typically depicting scenes from the town’s pioneering days – from its original First Nation’s inhabitants, to the earliest arrivals to its forestry glory days – the murals serve as beautiful reminders of the town’s past and showcase its enthusiasm for the future.

That artistic energy was further enhanced with the opening of the Chemainus Theatre in 1993. An elegant venue for professional theatre productions, the Chemainus Theatre has hosted hundreds of productions throughout the decades, with its 2020 lineup just the latest in its long and creative history.

Today the Town of Chemainus has become the go-to place for visitors from around the Island and across the world. Check it out for yourself when you have the time, the experience is well worth the journey.

March: A Busy Month for Gardeners

Winter is finally receding and the air is starting to warm – springtime can’t be far away. For many homeowners March is the ideal month to get out into the yard, clear up the debris of past months, and to prepare for the glorious days ahead. March can be a very active month for gardeners.

While by no means an exhaustive list, what we offer here are a few tips and suggestions that will help begin the process of turning a winter-weary yard into a visual wonder, or a productive source of flowers and produce – all depending on the tastes, desires and inclination of its owners.

Clearing Away Debris – The first step in the spring time is to clear away any debris, dead leaves or other materials that have accumulated over the winter. The flower and garden beds can be prepared by raking the leaves and mulch away to permit the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs and perennials to poke through the soil. During winter, leaves can pack down, forming an impenetrable barrier to new growth. Another bonus of raking is that by turning the mulch the soil will have a chance to warm up, thanks to its renewed exposure to the sun.

Start with the Annuals – March is the time for planting the Annuals, those flowers or plants that germinate, grow, flower, set seed and die all in a single growing season. Marigolds, Geraniums, Vincas, Zinnias and Cornflowers are example of annual flowers that thrive in the cooler Canadian climate. Even though Vancouver Island has a much milder climate than other regions of the country, gardening experts suggest keeping a light blanket or grow cloth handy just in case the temperatures unexpectedly dip, and to cover plants at night if it’s expected to drop below freezing overnight.

Trees and Shrubs – March is a good month if you’re intending to plant any trees or shrubs on your property. The early spring when it’s cool and damp is a great time for adding shrubbery. The process if fairly basic, simply dig a hole that’s slightly wider than the root ball of the plants you’ve purchased. Then place the plant into the soil at the same height it was growing in its nursery pot. Always apply mulch and thoroughly water to help the tree or shrub settle into its new environment.

The Time for Berries – The early spring is also a great time if a feast of succulent berries is a part of your future diet. Strawberries and raspberries for example grow better when planted in the early spring. Both of these delights can be grown either in the soil or if you prefer as containers-based items. They both require well-drained soils and ample amounts of sunshine (at least 6 to 8 hours per day) to grow and produce at their best.

Start Vegetable from Seed – In cooler climates vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, peas or any other so-called ‘cool season crops’ can be sown from seed directly in the garden this month. In frost-free regions (which ideally means our area), warm weather vegetables such as tomatoes and squash can also be planted – but always cover your plants if an unseasonal cold snap threatens.

These are just a few suggestions to help kick start your gardening efforts. Check online for other ideas, or have a conversation with the operators of the area’s many gardening centers to help finalize your springtime gardening plans. Now get out there and have some fun – it’s your yard, why not make the most of it?

February Housing Sales on the Rise

There was a major jump in Vancouver Island housing sales last month. According to the latest statistics released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) the sale of single family homes across the Island rose by 15 percent in February when compared to a year ago, and were actually up a whopping 49 percent when compared to January of this year.

According to the VIREB report 260 single family homes were reported sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System last month, compared to the 227 that traded hands during February 2018. But that sales spike was mild when compared to January’s stats when only 174 homes were reported sold on the MLS® System.

Interestingly the energized housing marketplace was restricted solely to single family homes, as all other residential housing categories reported sales declines. For example 19 percent fewer apartments were reported sold during February than traded hands a year ago, while the townhouse segment recorded 10 percent fewer sales year-over-year.

The overall number of properties on the market across VIREB’s coverage area, which extends from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the start of the Malahat in the south, continued to rise during February. Last month there were 1,069 single family homes for sale on Vancouver Island, up eight percent from the same month last year when 992 properties of this type were on the block.

The number of apartments for sale climbed dramatically in February, jumping 37 percent from a year ago, with 358 homes of this type listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® System. During last February only 261 apartments were listed for sale. The number of townhouses on the MLS® System actually dropped 11 percent year-over-year to 144. Last year at the same time there were 162 townhouses on the market.

VIREB uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its individual zones, and the latest report shows that housing prices continued to rise across the Island last month. The February board-wide benchmark price of a single family home was listed at $516,500, a three percent increase from the same month last year. This price is an incremental rise over January’s board-wide price.

Price increases were reported in all housing categories last month. For example the board-wide benchmark price in the apartment category was up five percent to $310,800, which is up slightly from January’s benchmark price. The board-wide benchmark price of townhouses also edged up, by two percent year-over-year, to reach $411,200 last month. This is a marginal increase from January’s price.

Price increases were also reported in most of VIREB’s individual zones, such as in Nanaimo where the benchmark price rose by three percent to close the month at $564,700. In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the benchmark price actually dipped slightly to $578,300, when compared to a year ago. The benchmark price of single family homes in the Cowichan Valley rose by four percent last month to reach $479,300, while in the Comox Valley the price had edged up two percent to $517,600.

Further north in Campbell River the benchmark price was up four percent during February, ending the month at $442,000, while in the Alberni Valley the February benchmark price of a single family home was also up four percent, reaching $321,000 when compared to the same month last year.

By any standard the real estate marketplace on Vancouver Island is dynamic and ever-changing. Today more than ever you need the services of experienced sales professionals to navigate such complicated fiscal waters. Contact Peter and Kathy Koch today to begin your journey toward home ownership.

Cowichan Valley: Quite Literally the Warm Land

One of the unique things about Vancouver Island is the wide variety of terrain that exists across its expanse. From rugged mountain peaks, to towering temperate forests to lush farmland, Vancouver Island is home to a myriad of different landforms. As one of the Island’s premier agricultural regions, the Cowichan Valley is a classic example of how distinctive the different areas of the Island can be.

While located less than an hour south of Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley is starkly different from a geologic point of view. Where the Nanaimo region is primarily forest and stone, the Cowichan Valley features some of the richest and most productive farmland found anywhere on the Island.

Located within the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD), Cowichan takes its name from the First Nation word Quw’utsun’, which literally means “The Warm Land” – an attribute recognized and capitalized on by farmers for more than a century.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District covers an area of 3,473.12 km² (1,340.98 sq mi) and is located between Stuart Channel and Saanich Inlet on the east coast of Vancouver Island and the southern part of the West Coast Trail, with Cowichan Lake located in its central region. The Regional District also includes Thetis, Kuper and Valdes Islands, which are part of the Gulf Islands group.

In the most recent census of the region, held in 2016, the Cowichan Valley Regional District was found to have a population of 83,739, up from the 80,332 who called the area home during the previous census in 2011. Of that population more than 55 percent (46,383) reside in the region’s principal communities of Duncan, North Cowichan, Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan. The remainder of the population live within CVRD’s Electoral Areas, a land mass that also includes several First Nations reserves.

The Cowichan region is located in Canada’s only maritime Mediterranean climatic zone and as a result is home to some off the warmest year-round temperatures found anywhere in the country. Reporting average summer temperatures of 25ºc and lows of 13ºc, the Cowichan Valley is known for having some of the best weather on Vancouver Island, and regularly receives as many as 2,000 hours of sunshine in a year.

Thanks to its idyllic combination of rich soil and benign climate the region is known as a prime agricultural region, with local farmers producing everything from meat, poultry and dairy products, to all types of fruits, nuts, vegetables and even mushrooms. But thanks to its unique geographic location the Cowichan Valley in recent decades has also become known for the quality and variety of the wines, ciders and distilled spirits produced within its boundaries. Originally serving a regional marketplace, many of the more successful operations now routinely provide products for customers on a continental and even global scale – giving the area in some circles the nickname of Napa of the North.

Beautiful, blessed by Nature and located only a short drive away, the Cowichan Valley and the numerous communities that dot it, is an area that deserves to be toured again and again – as new surprises and discoveries will be found every time you visit.

The Function and Value of a Home Inspector

It’s unlikely you would ever buy a car without first taking it for a test drive. Hiring the services of a trained and professional home inspector is like taking your future home for a test drive – where the inspector will ideally identify any issues or deficiencies in the property before you commit to the largest purchase of your life.

A properly trained and licensed home inspector will successfully seek out existing and potential problems in a property using the various tools and systems at their disposal – locating issues that you simply won’t be able to find on your own. The training and certification of home inspectors in British Columbia is overseen by Consumer Protection BC, the regulator of a variety of industries as well as specific consumer transactions within the province.

To become a licensed home inspector (and always ensure the home inspector you hire is fully licensed and certified) an individual must successfully complete a rigorous six step process – beginning with an in-depth educational regime. The candidate must complete a full 150 hours of formal training, exploring construction issues ranging from roofing and chimneys to plumbing, electrical and all other interior and exterior systems.

Once they have satisfactorily navigated the educational portion of their program they are required to take and pass a detailed and designated exam from one of four different examination-hosting bodies. These include the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia, the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors CAHPI(BC), the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors or the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors.

Assuming the future home inspector passes their exam with a satisfactory mark they are then required to complete a minimum of 50 hours of practical on the job training, working alongside of a Consumer Protection BC approved home inspector to ensure meet the basic practical training requirement.

This step is followed by the agency receiving a formal letter of recommendation from an approved home inspector that states the candidate has demonstrated they have a sufficient level of skills, education, ability and knowledge to successfully perform a quality home inspection for a client.

The candidate then has to arrange with a Consumer Protection BC-approved evaluator to accompany them during a real-world home inspection. This allows the evaluator to gauge the candidate’s professional skillset and abilities during an actual inspection. A ‘Peer Recommendation Letter’ will then be completed by the evaluator if the candidate successfully passes this detailed assessment.

Once that rigorous step is completed the candidate is required by law to obtain Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O) and Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL) with a minimum of $1 million limit / aggregate coverage for both E&O and CGL. This is only a minimum, as many inspectors are insured above this level. Only after all of these steps have been completed and the proper forms and letters submitted will the candidate become licensed and able to open their business.

Hiring a home inspector will typically cost a few hundred dollars, but when compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars a home in the Nanaimo area might cost, for many the investment in this professional level service is well worth the price.