The Fenton Team Real Estate News & Advice

Vancouver Island Real Estate BlogWelcome. This section of Just Listed Vancouver Island is meant as an information centre where you will find article written by professional real estate agents with The Fenton Team. 

It is our sincere hope that you will find our articles to be in-depth and useful, and not simply another real estate blog. We will be sharing articles about: the Vancouver Island real estate market; real estate news; community information for cities and towns across Vancouver Island; and information for other real estate agents wanting to learn. 

Please let us know if you have a question about a topic not yet listed in this section, and we’ll be happy to post an in-depth article for you on the topic right away.  

Oct. 10, 2019

What I Will Experience During the Sahara Desert Challenge

On Tuesday November 19th, I'll be flying off Vancouver Island via the Comox International Airport at 10:00am in the morning, to begin my trip to the Sahara Desert, through Morocco in Northern Africa.  While in Northern Africa I will be undertaking a 100 km trek through the Sahara Desert and surrounding region in order to raise money and awareness for the cause of domestic violence prevention in Port Alberni and across Canada.  This incredible fundraiser has been organised by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.

Bahia Palace

(Photo: Bahia Palace)

Along with my colleagues, I will be beyond the Saghro region known for jagged peaks, impressive gorges and beautiful oases. This is the land of the famous Ait Atta tribe, a warrior people who migrate to the area from the High Atlas Mountains during the fall and winter. 

After leaving Comox I will arrive in Morocco the following day at about 12:30 pm local time.  That evening I will spend at a hotel in the ancient city of Marrakesh, with my colleagues Royal LePage brokerages across Canada. 

The next day will largely be spent adjusting to both the climate, which will be important for the 100 km hike, and the culture.  That day I will join a small group of Royal LePage real estate agents and we will be visiting Koutoubia Mosque, Saadien Tombs and Bahia Palace. We’ll round out the day with a visit to the Souks and the famous Djemaa El Fna square.

Koutoubia Mosque

(Photo: Koutoubia Mosque)

Saadien Tombs

(Photo: Saadien Tombs)


(Photo: Souks)

Djemaa El Fna square

(Photo: Djemaa El Fna Square)

On Day 4, we will be driving for about 5 hours to Ouarzazate where we will overnight in a hotel. 


(Photo: Ouarzazate)

Day 5 will have us leaving Ouarzazate by off road vehicle for the trip to Achbarou, known as the “Door to the Desert”, via the Tizi n’Tinifift Pass. Continuing along the Draa Valley, we’ll reach Tansikht. During the next leg of the trip we’ll enjoy viewing the volcanic massif known as Jebel Saghro. At this point we’ll begin the trek, with a 2 hour hike to our first camp.

Tizi n’Tinifift Pass

(Photo: Tizi n’Tinifift Pass)

Jebel Saghro

(Photo: Jebel Saghro)

On the morning of Day 6, we will begin our first hike past sand dunes and tamarisk trees, as we traverse the Maider El Kbir plateau. It is here that we may first see the first nomadic people in the area. These nomadic peoples move to the area, with their animals, from the High Atlas mountains during the fall when the first snows appear. After a long lunch, to avoid the hottest part of the day, we will hike across an ancient lake bed. 

Atlas Mountain Nomadic People Camp

(Photo: High Atlas Mountain Nomads Camp at Caves)

It sounds like Day 7 will be the hardest day of trekking as we traverse Jebel Lamrakeb, with beautiful views of the multi coloured rock formations, and out into the desert landscape. We will finish the day walking down the O’Hare Gorges to camp in the Palm groves. 

Day 8, will see us walking across some of the largest sand dunes in the area, passing Tizi n’Iguidou to join the dry Rhris River. On this evening we will be camping at the base of the sand dunes!

Camping at Base of Sahara Desert Sand Dunes

(Photo: Camping at the Base of Sahara Sand Dunes)

On Day 9, we will leave the sand dunes and trek across the open desert plateau, passing through a number of nomadic and Berber villages throughout the day. When we arrive at camp this evening we will have completed out 100km odyssey.

The following day we will make the 4x4 trip back to Ouarzazate along the Tafilalet Road via the Tineghir and Kasbah trail. Day 11 will have us arriving back in Marrakech. On Day 12 I will be leaving Northern Africa and arriving in Paris, where I will sleep in the airport (which should be a breeze after getting used to sleeping in the desert), before beginning my flight across the Atlantic Ocean and North America to land back on Vancouver Island. 

When it’s all said and done, I will be so happy to be back home to my wife and kids. I expect this journey to be one that I will never forget, and I’m so happy that the Royal LePage Sheter Foundation has given me the opportunity to make a small difference in our community!

The Fenton Team is paying 100% of my travel costs, and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is paying 100% of the charitable administrative costs, so if you feel that you can sponsor me in this trek you can know that 100% of your donation will go to the cause. You will also be issued a receipt or income tax purposes. To support my trek in Morocco, please visit:


Sept. 12, 2019

Why We Must Speak Up Against Domestic Violence

As I continue to get ready for the Sahara Desert Challenge for Shelter, I wanted to continue to write about the journey. In this article, I wanted to touch on why the cause is so very important. 

Stop Domestic Violence in Port Alberni

Domestic violence is such an important issue in the Alberni Valley and across Canada. Over the years I've been involved in a number of charity events to support the local Alberni Community and Woman's Services Society.  In that time I've had the opportunity to speak with some of the amazing people who run this Society, and I have learned that domestic violence is extraordinary prevalent in Port Alberni, and across every social and economic segment of our society.  Essentially every one of us knows somebody who has been deeply affected by this issue and/or is a perpetrator of domestic violence.  Unfortunately it's an issue that too often gets ignored.

I want to share with you some imporant facts:

Half the women in Canada, over the age of 16, have experienced an incident of sexual or physical violence.

Every year in Canada an estimated 362,000 children witness or experience Family Violence.

On any given day in our country 3,600 women, along with 2,200 children, are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence.

Sadly approximately 300 women seeking help at a shelter in Canada are turned down every day because the shelters are full.

According to police, Canadian men and women are equally at risk of violence victimization. However men are more likely to be assaulted by a stranger, while women are more likely to be assaulted by someone they know.

As you can see, this important issue is massive in scale, and devastating on the short and long-term lives of those victimized.  People sometimes wonder why women stay in abusive relationships.  I'm told that women often stay because the abuser has threatened to kill them, themselves, or their children if the woman leaves. 

Simply put, this is an issue that we can no longer ignore and we must speak up about as a people (and perhaps especially men). The Royal LePage shelter Foundation Sahara Desert challenge for shelter is one great Canadian companies attempt to do their part. I'm proud to be a small part of this endeavour,  and to say that collectively we have raised $724,000 year-to-date!  80% of these funds will be donated to the local communities’ women shelters, in which the money was raised.  20% of these funds will go to fund educational program for Canadian school children nationwide.

If you would like to support this important cause, and sponsor my trek through the Sahara Desert,  please follow the link below.  Thank you so very much.


Sept. 2, 2019

Why I Chose to Take on the Sahara Desert Challenge

In 79 days I'm going to be landing in the North African country of Morocco, to take on a 100 kilometre trek through the Sahara Desert, in support of victims of domestic violence in Port Alberni and nationwide.  If I'm totally honest with you, I have to admit that I'm a little bit nervous about this trek. I'm going to be away from my wife and small kids for longer than I ever have before, immersed in a culture that I’m completely unfamiliar with, and hiking in conditions that I’ve never experience before. You see, I'm a west coast boy through and through, and while I’ve hiked the West Coast Trail, the North Coast Trail, and Della Falls, making me very familiar with multi-day trips, I've never hike through the desert in my life.  I was built for cold rainy conditions, so the Sahara Desert is going to be an incredible challenge for me personally.

Sahara Desert Challenge For Shelter 2019

I've decided to begin blogging about my journey preparing for the Sahara Desert Trek, and what I go through both physically and mentally. I thought it would start by telling you why this is so important to me.  I guess there are two reasons this is important to me, one is personal and the other is professional.  On a personal level I'll simply say the domestic abuse is something that has affected my life as both a child and an adult. I'm not going to go into the stories as to what that means out of respect for those who the stories belong to. And to avoid any misunderstanding I must say that both my sister and I grew up in a great home with two amazing parents. Domestic violence and domestic abuse were not present in our home. 

Since joining Royal LePage, I've become more educated about the problem of domestic abuse in Port Alberni. What I have learned is that this is a problem that affects, waaaaay more people than most people realize, and that those affected come from every possible walk of life. While it is not talked about much in our society, it is an incredibly important issue in every community across Canada, including our own. 

On a professional level this trek is also very important to me.  When I joined Royal LePage, I began a business undertaking that had never been attempted before in the Alberni Valley - to build a true real estate Team. The core concept of this team was specialization of roles and a dedication to excellence.  To be perfectly honest with you, most, if not all, the people I talked to about my plan told me that the type of team I wanted to build could not be done in the Alberni Valley.  The market was simply too small they said. Well, we poured ourselves in to the pursuit, and quickly proved them wrong! In 2017 The Fenton Team was inducted into the Royal LePage Chairman's Club as the top 1% real estate agents in Canada. The following year we were again inducted into the Chairman's Club, this time with a ranking of 44 out of 18,300 agents across the country in units sold. What has always drawn me to business is the challenge of business itself. Having now reached the mountaintop, I felt a little bit of a letdown. After working so hard, for so many years, I wasn't really sure what to do next. It was in this exact time of uncertainty that an email hit my inbox, stating that the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation were accepting applications for a 100km trek through the Sahara Desert, in support of those rebuilding their lives due to domestic abuse. It was one of those rare moments in life when something just clicked! Immediately I knew that I could use our marketing platform to do something truly good for our community. These are the reasons this overweight businessman took on the Sahara Desert challenge.

On December 10th, 2018 I announced via social media my intention to undertake this challenge and my goal to raise $5,000 for the Royal LePage shelter Foundation. 80% of the funds raised would stay in the Alberni Valley and be donated to the Alberni Community and Women Services Society to help provde refuge for women and children escaping domestic violence here in my community. The other 20% of the fund would be donated to educate school children across Canada about domestic violence. I was to pay 100% of my travel costs to Africa, and Royal LePage would pay 100% of the charitable administrative cost, meaning every dollar I raised would make a meaningful impact in someone's life. I was so excited to get started! 

So 2019 came around and I was excited to be in business and I was excited about the trek. Our business began to grow at a rate that we had really not foreseen. I also took on the added responsibility of becoming an owner of Royal LePage Port Alberni-Pacific Rim Realty. I probably ended up working too much and put myself under too much stress. In early 2019 I became sick with pneumonia, followed shortly by a bout of shingles (which was one of the most painful experiences of my life). When I finally got better from both of these illnesses, I was hit with the flu that was going around town. Before I knew it, it was summertime and I was not in shape to hike the Sahara Desert...

With summer coming to an end and fall right around the corner, I find myself with a condensed time frame to get in shape, and raise the funds that I promised a raise. It's time to really get started! With a hundred days to go until I landed in Northern Africa, I began running three times a week and lifting weights twice a week. On the weekend I plan to do longer hikes including hills, and whenever possible sand. I'm also changing my diet to clean it up and ensure that I can lose the weight I need to be ready to take on this challenge. In the days ahead I'm going to be blogging about my preparation, about my fundraising and about this worthwhile cause.

Chris Fenton Sahara Desert Trek

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this first blog about my journey.  If you find that you're able to help financially sponsor me, I will be eternally grateful, as will the people who utilize from the local women's shelter. To learn more about this trek, and how you can support it, please click on the link below:

Sponsor Me

Thank you! ~Chris Fenton

April 20, 2019

Vancouver Island Real Estate Stats - April 2019

At The Fenton Team we believe it is important to provide both investors, and homeowners, useful information about the Vancouver Island real estate markets. This information should serve as a key pillar in any real estate decision making process, whether it be buying or selling. 

Using data provided by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board we have broken down what we believe to be key metrics for good real estate decision making on Vancouver Island. We have separated the information into the communities of Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Tofino, Parksville/Qualicum, Courtenay, Campbell River, Nanaimo, and Duncan . The statistics below are for single family homes only, excluding waterfront home sales, and compare year to date 2019 (January 1-April 15) to the same time frame last year.

We believe that Median Sale Price best represents the value of a typical house (rather than Average Sale Price). The average days on the market tells us how quickly homes are typically selling if priced correctly. The Sale : List Price ratio tells us how closely homes are selling to their asking price. Finally, comparing the number of homes listed, and the number of homes sold, gives us a picture of supply and demand, which is critical in understanding where the market is at, and where it might be going. 

The statistics are provided below. If you would like an interpretation from The Fenton Team’s CEO Chris Fenton on any given statistic, please comment below and he’ll be more than happy to help.  

Port Alberni Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 133 138
Sales 68 104
Median Sale Price $305,000 $306,000
Average Sale Price $321,776 $345,281
Sale : List Price 97.5% 97.5%
Average Days on Market  48 44

Ucluelet Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 10 14
Sales 7 10
Median Sale Price $645,000 $510,000
Average Sale Price $603,357 $471,850
Sale : List Price 93.0% 84.6%
Average Days on Market  114 36

Tofino Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 6 7
Sales 2 3
Median Sale Price $1,250,000 $940,500
Average Sale Price $1,250,000 $940,500
Sale : List Price 89.3% 98.1%
Average Days on Market  93 11

Parksville/Qualicum Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 353 342
Sales 161 214
Median Sale Price $550,000 $570,100
Average Sale Price $632,164 $636,759
Sale : List Price 98.2% 99.5%
Average Days on Market  41 29

Courtenay/Comox Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 346 338
Sales 157 264
Median Sale Price $572,000 $510,000
Average Sale Price $608,754 $538,894
Sale : List Price 98.4% 99.0%
Average Days on Market  48 37

Campbell River Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 216 176
Sales 120 144
Median Sale Price $449,000 $418,000
Average Sale Price $469,733 $435,277
Sale : List Price 98.7% 99.1%
Average Days on Market  27 40

Nanaimo Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 655 648
Sales 296 401
Median Sale Price $539,000 $530,000
Average Sale Price $565,687 $552,692
Sale : List Price 98.6% 99.8%
Average Days on Market  33 23

Duncan Stats

  2019 2018
New Listings 360 396
Sales 190 304
Median Sale Price $520,000 $505,000
Average Sale Price $537,700 $539,545
Sale : List Price 99.1% 99.8%
Average Days on Market  47 35
Jan. 9, 2019

Vancouver Island Property Tax Information

Well, it's that time of year again - the time of year when the dreaded tax assessments have arrived in the mail. This year's assessments have been a bit of shock to most of us homeowners. To say they went up a little, would be like saying the Titanic hit an ice cube! 

The silver lining is that there is no reason to panic. Just because the assessed value of your home has gone up, does not necessarily mean that your property taxes will go up. I'll explain why. 

Your Property Taxes are calculated according to the following formula:

BC Property Tax Equation


There are two ways your Property Taxes can increase:

1. If your property's Assessed Value increases MORE than the average property; or

2. The Property Tax Rate is increased by your Taxing Authority.

The average home in Port Alberni had an increase in Assessed Value of 18% according to the Mayor of Port Alberni. 

While the Assessed Value is an important part of the equation, you can see that the Tax Rate is also important. Last year, the City of Port Alberni increased the Tax Rate by 3%. At the time they indicated a plan to do the same in 2019. However, we have a new Major and City Council this year, so we'll have to wait and see.

Let's look at an example - If you live in Port Alberni property's Assessed Value increased by 18%, and the average increase for Port Alberni was 18%, than your Property Taxes won't increase (unless the City of Port Alberni increases the Tax Rate).

Now that we have looked at how taxes are calculated, and hopefully taken away some of our original knee jerk reaction, let's look at when and how to appeal. A property's Assessed Value is based on what the property was worth in July of the previous year. If you believe that the 2019 Assessed Value does not reflect the true value of your property in July 2018, you should absolutely appeal. The deadline to appeal your 2019 Assessed Value is January 31, 2019. The BC Assessment authority outlines how the appeal process works. We have helped a number of Clients win appeals over the years, by providing comparable sales data. They key is to enter the processed prepared. If you are a client of The Fenton Team, and you think you should appeal your Property Assessment, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for help with real estate information. 


Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 18, 2018

Homes for Sale with Cozy Fireplaces

Looking for a new place to call home in the Alberni Valley? With a range of nice homes available in the Alberni Area anyone house hunting will surely encounter the home they are looking for here. A fantastic addition and a welcoming home feature are cozy fireplaces in a new house.

An inviting fireplace is a truly cherished component in a home. With the upcoming holiday season there is nothing quite like gathering around the warm blaze with cookies and eggnog while reminiscing about the year that has quickly passed by.

#1 3644 Argyle St, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, $359,900

3644 Argyle, Port Alberni, BC

This updated home sits on a large 62’ X 187’ lot in a Upper South Alberni neighbourhood. In addition, this home has a ground level in-law suite, updated kitchen and adjoining dining room that has sliding door access to the wrap-around deck. This home boasts cozy vibes, which you will notice from the first moment you step inside the inviting spacious living room and with the attractive feature gas fireplace. A lovely rustic modern white brick fireplace blends right in, coming to life when the flames are burning! Another bonus in this home is that the downstairs includes a family room with classic brick gas fireplace. A great focal point in the family room a rustic brick and black metal from and matching hearth tiles in front of it.


#2 7350 McKenzie Rd, Port Alberni, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, $699,900

7350 McKenzie Road, Port Alberni, BC

This gorgeous example is in the heart of the Beaver Creek area. It is basically peace in paradise on the main floor of the home you will find a spacious oak kitchen with access to the four season sun room along with the adjoining dining room that has slider access to the sundeck and last but not least the comfy living room with a feature fireplace. This elegant crisp white mantle with polished metal doors makes for a beautiful focal point in the main living area. An additional bonus with this home is that the downstairs family living room includes a wood stove the natural flame tends to bring people together. It's a warm cozy setting perfect room for the children to play in while the adults socialize upstairs. 


#3 991 Chatsworth Rd, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, $449,900

991 Chatsworth, BC

This 1,750-square-foot rancher home sits on a half acre. With beautiful mountain views the homes main floor includes a nice oak kitchen with plenty of cupboard and counter space, the adjoining dining room with a bay window along with the spacious living room that features a brick fireplace with woodstove. This wood-burning stove is an attractive aesthetics and adds charm to the home, along with creating the perfect ambiance for cuddling up next to the warm fire during the cold winter months.


#4 2729 Anderson Ave, 5 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, $379,9002729 Anderson Ave, Port Alberni, BC

Next up home with a suite, this home was built in 1994 and sits on a 44’ X 124’ lot in a great South Alberni neighbourhood. The upper main floor enjoys an open concept dining room and a well laid out kitchen with a feature island. Along with an elegant living room with a feature natural gas fireplace. The comfy living area here has one right at its heart, forged in black and polished gold this mirrored gas fireplace is perfectly in harmony with the surrounding elements adding to the overall cozy effect.


#5 2953 5th Ave, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, $244,9002953 5th Ave, Port Alberni, BC

Lastly, this split-entry home is located in South Alberni within walking distance to shopping, parks and nature trails. The main floor enjoys an adjoining dining room with sliding door access to the covered sundeck, along with an open living room with a feature fireplace. The attractive fireplace can be found in the airy living area and is nicely in harmony with the laminate flooring and the neutral shades on the walls. Thanks to the room’s generous size, this will likely become a favorite spot for entertaining guests.


Dec. 15, 2018

Things to do in the Alberni Valley in December 2018

With the Holiday Season just around the corner, there is plenty to do in Port Alberni in December! Check out the information below provided by Port Alberni’s Community Website. And visit the link below for more information. Get out there and have fun!

Dog Photos with Sanata Naesgaards Market

Where: Naesgaard's Farm Market 5681 River Road at Mary Street

When: Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 12:30pm to 3:30pm

What is it: Photos with Santa and your dog - or not - on Sat, Dec 16. & Sunday Dec 9  -- 12:30 to 3:30.  $10 min donation per photo goes towards the SPCA & dog adoption agency. Download & print your photo. Photos by professional photographer, Courtney Naesgaard. Facebook Event

AVTTS Mtg + Film: Voices of Transition

Where: Char’s Landing, 4815 Argyle Street, Port Alberni

When: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

AVTTS dedicated to a resilient, low carbon society.  Cycle Alberni, AV Gleaning Project, AV Food Directory. Facebook Event


AV Chamber of Commerce Christmas Pary

Where: Char's Landing 4815 Argyle Street, Port Alberni

When: Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm

What is it: Looking for a Christmas Event with engaging guest speakers? Enjoy two guest speakers, live music and wine and cheese! Facebook Event


Uncle Wiggly's Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas

Where: Char's Landing 4815 Argyle Street, Port Alberni

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm

What is it: Blues, Swing and R&B classics from the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. The most unique Christmas Show you will ever see! Band Website


Wildegreen at Char's Landing

Where: Char's Landing 4815 Argyle Street, Port Alberni

When: Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm

What is it: Wildegreen is a West Coast-inspired smooth rock group formed in January 2018.


Writer's Workshop - Cynthia Sharp

Where: Char's Landing 4815 Argyle Street, Port Alberni

When: Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

What is it: Sensory writing: Polish your work for performance and publication. Facebook Page

Dec. 6, 2018

Toasty Tips for Staying Warm this Winter

Cold Much? Winter temperatures are often in the single digits. Here are some resourceful ways to help you warm up. Stay warm no matter how frightful the weather outside gets. Keep the Winter Chills Out!

Warm Yourself First

It’s easier to change your body temperature than room temperature. Instead of turning up the heat, put on another layer of clothing.

Dress in Layers

Bundle up. Wear sweaters, long underwear, and even hats indoors to keep your head warm. Wearing layers helps you from getting overheated indoors. The key is to keep your body warm and dry.

Keep Your Feet Warm

“House Slippers” having the rubber sole makes such a difference for keeping your feet warm. Warm socks are key, a soft, cozy pair keeps the feet toasty warm and keep changing your socks! Everyone forgets that your feet sweat and this can make you cold even if you are layered up. Wool socks or “smartwool” keeps your feet from sweating. For the outdoors insert foam liners in your boots or hiking shoes to give your toes an extra layer of insulation.

Heat Up Your Bed

Don’t turn up the heat in the entire house. Use an electric blanket. Or, an even cheaper and safer option is a hot water bottle with a wool or fleece cover. Fill the water bottle with hot water before going to bed and slip it into the foot of the bed between the sheet. When you’re ready for bed your feet will be all toasty! Believe it or not the water bottle stays warm all night long.


Block Drafts

Keep heat in and cold out but blocking any drafty areas in your home, you can buy a fancy roll or just use a blanket or towel. This will save you money on heating bills. Dress your windows up, replace thin curtain with heavier wool or fleece drapes in the winter. Insulated windows are helpful but awning, casement and fixed windows provide the tightest seal.

Harness the Sun

During the day, open the blinds and curtains and let the sun warm you up! At night, close the blinds and curtains to better insulate your home. Another idea is to use roller blinds every night for windows, which saves money, energy and they are easy to use.

Stay Active

Get your body moving! The cold months are great for cleaning out closets, garages, etc. Anything to keep active. If you get a chill just sitting get up and move around, the movement not only warms you up but will stir the heat in the house.


Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 29, 2018

Tips to Winterize your Home

Winter is right around the corner. Do you know how to prepare your home for the cold weather? These tips and tricks will help prevent any unfortunate wintertime mishaps and get your home winter ready!

Tips to Winterize your Home

Nov. 16, 2018

Real Estate Appraisal vs. Home Inspection: What’s the Difference?

During a real estate purchase you will come across two types of services prior to the sale of a home: Real Estate Appraisal and Home Inspection. Although similar in some ways, home appraisals and inspections do in fact serve very different purposes. It is well worth knowing the difference between the two processes and when you might need one, the other or both as a buyer.

Real Estate Appraisal vs. Home Inspection: What’s the Difference?

Real Estate Home Appraisal

A real estate appraisal is a detailed report on the monetary value of the property based on the elements of the home. It is a financial report, that is usually ordered by the Buyer’s financial institution for the purposes of obtaining a mortgage. An appraiser will carry out a home inspection checking the condition of the home, though it’s far less detailed than that carried out by a home inspector.

Generally, an appraiser will visit the home for 45 minutes or so, checking numerous elements such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, major systems and structures etc. They compare their findings to the information on the property records to ensure everything is current. Then they then evaluate comparable homes in the neighbourhood and on the market in order to make an accurate estimation of the true value of the property.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is a detailed look at the home and property condition. Areas of interest typically include a home’s:

  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Floors and ceilings
  • Built-in Appliances
  • Site Drainage
  • Chimneys
  • Deck and patios

A home inspector's role is to inform the buyer of the condition of the property and highlight any required repairs. Using the home inspectors report, the buyer can review the report and make a decision whether to continue with the transaction or request the seller makes the repairs prior to purchase or potentially lowering the offer. Home inspections allow buyers to avoid expensive surprises, they are not mandatory, but it’s in the best interest of the buyer to have one. They will be more informed as to the true condition of the property decision.

Appraisal vs. Inspection: Similarities and Differences

They both involve a professional visiting the home and conducting an examination of many of the same elements. Similarly, both occur prior to the sale of a home, and they both end in detail reports regarding the property. The potential buyer will typically pay for both a home inspection and appraisal process.

The main difference between an appraisal vs. inspection is that appraisal deals with the value of real estate, while an inspection deal with the condition of the house. The primary purpose of a real estate appraisal is to determine the market value of the home. An appraisal will allow the lender to decide whether or not, while an inspection will help the buyer assess the pros and cons of investing in a certain property. While the home inspection process ends once the inspector examines the details of the home, an appraisal takes more information into consideration than simply the condition of the home. An appraiser aims to formulate an unbiased accurate opinion of the value of a property. Using comparables on the properties to value the home, this takes into factor nearby school zones, crime rates and lot size. 

Does a Buyer need one or both of these real estate services?

As a buyer, you will notice that on most real estate checklists include both a home inspection and a real estate appraisal. Regardless of how you go about purchasing a property, no one requires you to have a home inspection. Both are processes that are important in protecting a real estate investment, however if neglecting to carry one out you may find that the home you have just bought is in need of some unforeseen major repairs which could cost far more than what the budget.

Home inspections are generally voluntary for buyers, while appraisals might be mandatory if a buyer works with a mortgage lender or home loan company. If you are in the market for a new home, pay for both an inspection and an appraisal for total peace of mind before you buy.


Posted in Real Estate News