Langford homeowners Joscilyn and Brian Jupp

HomeFinder: Move fast on that home with everything

Low interest rates create appealing situations for motivated buyers

Searching for a home that would meet their needs, not just now but years down the road, wasn’t a quick experience for Joscilyn and Brian Jupp.

After spending five months looking at photos and property specs and trooping through numerous homes around the West Shore, the couple found what they wanted in Langford.

“We were living in a two-bedroom condo with one child and we were lucky enough to get pregnant again,” Brian recalls. “We wanted a house regardless, but having a second child on the way put a little urgency into the situation.”

For the Jupps – Brian, 36, manages the Caprice Theatre in Langford and Joscilyn, 26, is a nurse at Victoria General Hospital – a big part of the process was determining what features they wouldn’t budge on and where they might be willing to compromise.

“We knew we needed at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms, because as girls grow up, we know they spend lots of time in the bathroom,” says Joscilyn, who gave birth to their second daughter just six weeks ago.

The couple had been looking casually at homes through last winter to get a sense of what was out there. In spring the search became more serious, as they enlisted a realtor and searched for new listings that matched their requirements.

They found the market more competitive than expected and homes that met their needs on price and features were lost to other home buyers ready to pounce.

When their realtor contacted them about the five-bedroom home they ultimately bought, they were away on vacation. But with more of a feel for the market after their house-hunting experience, they didn’t hesitate to make a deal when they returned,  Brian says.

The property appealed to them for many reasons. With very young children, having the bedrooms on the same floor was important. So was the idea of having a large yard.

Shelley Mann, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, says today’s real estate market is far different than a few years back, when deals were written after a first showing and properties often entered a bidding war.

Prices have remained flat for months on single family detached homes in the region and there’s good choices – nearly 1,300 are currently listed.

Mann agrees with the Jupps about the need to act fast on quality homes, especially with interest rates still low. “If they’re looking for a pretty specific property and see one come up, they have to jump on it. There’s a lot of people looking for the same thing.”

The previous owner of the Jupps’ house had completed much of the work toward creating a rental suite, a fact the busy young couple is thankful for and one that will boost their home’s resale value.

Unlike some of their friends, they didn’t need that rental income to afford the mortgage payments, Joscilyn says. Converting the suite to usable family space has tripled their square footage.

“A lot of people my age … are compromising their living space to be able to afford a house,” she says.

“I’ve been starting to tell my friends to start saving for a house even if they’re six months or more out from seriously looking, so they’re ready (when they find that perfect home).”

•     •     •

BUYING TIP | Have someone else read your land survey to catch what you might miss

•     •     •

HE SAID, SHE SAID

We asked Joscilyn and Brian Jupp: What was the clincher for you on this house deal?

SHE SAID: There’s three bathrooms and they’re all nice, but there’s lots of potential to make them even nicer. Plus being heavily pregnant, I liked the fact the house was move-in ready.

HE SAID: The garage grabbed my attention. I’m into cars and have done lots of racing.

•     •     •

GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE, as of Nov. 22:

Detached homes sold or deals pending this month — 329

Detached single-family homes listed — 1,272

Total number of homes listed in all categories — 4,077

Do you have a house-hunting story you’d like to share with us? Email ddescoteau@vicnews.com

To advertise in HomeFinder, call John Graham at 250.480.3227 or email jgraham@blackpress.ca

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