Joanne Millar

Cell: 250-202-7253 |

To sign up for free weekly market updates, click here

What to do before buying a home!

In addition to having myself as your real estate agent, you will now need to bring in a few pros to help get you to the finish line and make sure the investment you’re about to make is sound. I can help put you in touch with these people and make recommendations. Here are a couple of key people you should be talking to:

• A home inspector – an absolute must in saving you from some unpleasant surprises later on. A home inspector will check your property for any structural damage; perform a thorough examination of the heating and cooling system, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement and more; then prepare a complete written report detailing all their findings

• A legal professional – when it comes to complex legal documents, it takes a lawyer experienced in Canadian real etsate law to help make sure that you and your investment are protected. A real estate lawyer will review the agreement of purchase and sale, do a property title search, check that your home complies with current building and zoning codes, ensure utilities and property taxes are paid up, review the mortgage agreement, and get all the paperwork ready for closing

If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch with me and I would be happy to assist in your journey towards home ownership. 

Joanne Millar 


What's the Importance of a Home Inspection?

What is a home inspection and why is it important?

A home inspection is perhaps one of the most crucial stages in the process of acquiring a home. It’s the buyer’s last opportunity to discover problems with the house before purchasing. And it’s a chance for the seller to address those problems and negotiate pricing with the buyer.


What do home inspectors look for?

Here’s a full list of what the inspector will review

  1. Heating system
  2. Central air conditioning system (temperature permitting)
  3. Interior plumbing and electrical systems
  4. Roof
  5. Attic, including visible insulation
  6. Walls
  7. Ceilings
  8. Floors
  9. Windows and doors
  10. Foundation
  11. Basement
  12. Structural component


What to expect from a house inspection as the home seller

It’s in your interest as a home seller to provide quick and easy access to everything on that home inspection checklist. Here are some ways you can help:

  1. Leave keys (for instance, for your electrical panel), and label where the inspector can find them
  2. Make sure all pilot lights are on for fireplaces and furnaces, even in summer, so the inspector can check the heating and other appliances
  3. Tidy your basement. There needs to be an unobstructed path down the steps and through to your furnace/HVAC unit/water heater and anything else that needs inspecting
  4. Tidy your attic same as your basement
  5. Clean up key areas in your yard so the inspector can easily access your crawl space, drainage access points, or septic tank
  6. If the home is vacant and the utilities have been shut off, have them reconnected

Being helpful won’t necessarily buy you a better report, but even professionals appreciate thoughtfulness.




Next steps after a home inspection

If the home inspection report showed only minor and expected problems, the home buying process should continue as planned.

You may choose to give the seller, or the seller’s Realtor, a list of minor issues to fix. Getting the owner to fix a leaky faucet, replace a missing doorstop, or re-attach a downspout will shorten your to-do list after moving in.

After these repairs have been completed you may want to do your own walk-through inspection to make sure all the items on your list got fixed.

Addressing serious issues

If your home inspector uncovers safety or structural issues, you’ll have a more important decision to make: Should you still buy the home?

If you do want to move forward, you’ll need:

  • Additional inspections — Home inspectors are not necessarily specialists on any one aspect of home construction. A specialist such as a structural engineer should assess the condition of the home to determine what work and cost will be needed to fix the problems
  • Negotiating — You’ll need to request repairs as a condition of buying the home. The seller may agree to lower the price if you’ll still buy the home in its current condition. Or the seller may agree to fix the problems before closing
  • Following up — If the home needed significant repairs such as foundation lifting or water diversion, get the expert who diagnosed the problem to come back out and check the quality of the repairs

Using the home inspection as a guide

Home inspections provide valuable information before you buy a home. But they can help you make decisions after closing on the home, too. Your home inspection report could serve as a guide to scheduling and planning future repairs.  For example, if the report noted the HVAC system was 15 years old and uses an inefficient blower, you’ll know to start planning ahead for replacing the system in the next few years.


8 Simple Tips To Go Green At Home


Many homeowners think that expensive solar panels and smart home gadgets are the only ways your household can adopt more eco-friendly practices. However, we’re here to tell you that there are simple tips anyone can implement at home to be a little friendlier to the planet – and your wallet! Try out our tips below for easy ways to make your new home a little more green.

1. Switch to LED light bulbs. LED bulbs are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs, which means they have a much longer lifespan, lasting more than 20 times that of their incandescent counterparts.

2. Use cold water to wash your clothes. Hot water is actually known to set stains, and cold water will get your clothes just as clean!

3. Line-dry whenever possible. Dryers are tough on the environment, but they’re rough on your clothes too. Air-dry whenever possible and your clothes will retain their shape and last longer.

4. Invest in window treatments. Reduce your air conditioner usage by installing curtains or blinds, keeping the sun out and your home cool in the summer. Window treatments will also give your home a nice interior design upgrade.

5. Use cloth kitchen towels, not paper towels. Not only are cloth kitchen towels reusable and therefore the more eco-friendly option, but they add a luxurious element to the look of your kitchen, unlike paper towels.

6. Purchase a water filter. You will recover the cost of a water filter in no time when you stop buying cases of water bottles. A reusable water bottle is also a great way to keep plastic from our landfills while on the go.

7. Keep the oven door closed. We know – it’s tempting to keep checking on those chocolate chip cookies. But try to do so without opening the oven door. Your oven temperature can drop by 65 degrees Celsius just from opening the door for 30 seconds.

8. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. No need to keep the water running while you brush. Same goes for shaving!


Boost your home's value!

If your current home isn't your forever home or you purchased the property as an investment, you can speed up the home's increase in value over time by making smart home improvments. According to a cross-Canada survey of over 750 Royal Lepage real estate experts, a kitchen renovation is the clear upgrade of choice with the potential to boost a properties value by 12.5%. Here's how other popular home improvements stack up: 

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.