Home Warranty Insurance Checklist

Buying a new home? Use this checklist to ensure you are informed about the home warranty insurance coverage and take the right steps to maintain your coverage. 

  • Learn what the home warranty insurance policy covers, including expiry dates.
  • Learn the name of the warranty provider.
  • Place the sticker listing the warranty provider and coverage expiry dates on the electrical box.
  • Store a copy of the policy and any additional builder or manufacturer warranties in a safe place.
  • For new homes, complete a walk-through with the builder before taking possession. On the form, note any incomplete or deficient work in writing and set a reasonable date for repairs to be completed.
  • Receive a maintenance manual or maintenance instructions from the builder or warranty provider, learn what to do to maintain the home (to protect coverage), and perform the required maintenance.
  • For resale homes, find out the nature and extent of any existing warranty insurance, and obtain the policy and maintenance documents from the owner or warranty provider.
  • Before each expiry date, inspect the home to identify any problems in areas still covered by the warranty.
  • If you need to make a claim not otherwise taken care of by your builder, be sure to send details in writing to your warranty provider prior to the expiry of coverage.
  • Take reasonable steps to minimize further damage to the home from a potential defect.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence related to the policy.
  • For owner-built homes, obtain a copy of the Owner Builder Disclosure Notice and learn what protection is provided by the statutory warranty.

 Additional checklist items for strata properties:

  • Learn what is covered by the policies on both the unit and common property.
  • Report any problems with the unit in writing to the warranty provider, and report any problems with common property to the strata council and/or the building manager.
  • For units in a building with building envelope repairs, find out if the repairs were covered by the common property warranty insurance, and, if so, how much time is left on the policy.

To learn more about home warranty insurance, download the Guide to Home Warranty Insurance in British Columbia free from


Home Improvements


Besides doing regular maintenance and repairing your home, you might want to consider renovating or making improvements. These changes will not only make the home more pleasant for you to live in, they may also increase its value.


How Much is Just Right


If you plan to stay in the home for a long time, then it is good to do everything you can think of in terms of renovating. If you are planning on selling the home, make sure that the changes do not make your home worth a lot more than the other homes around you.  The value of your home is closely related to the value of the other homes in your area.


Over time, some renovations can pay for themselves especially if they result in lower energy bills, higher resale value or greater enjoyment in the home.


Some Things to Keep in Mind


Here are some points you want to consider when planning for renovations;


  • Ask yourself, “How appealing will this change be to someone buying the home?” Someone buying your home can make personalized changes easily and inexpensively with paint. Flooring, cabinets and counter tops have a longer life – make choices that will appeal to others.


  • Think about getting your home energy-rated. Visit Natural Resources Canada at to find information on current energy programs.


  • Updated the bathrooms and kitchen in an older home can increase its resale value. Changing the flooring, if needed, can also make a good return on your investment.


  • Landscaping is super important. The curb appeal created by the right planting can improve the appearance and value of the home. Garden centers and landscaping companies are a good start to get ideas and speak with a professional.


  • Updating the exterior paint, installing a new roof, resurfacing the sidewalks and driveway, adding an attractive mailbox, and installing a new front door can make your home more appealing.



These are just a few ideas for you to consider if you are thinking of selling your home.  Getting the most from the sale of your home is contingent on you presenting the home in the most appealing way.


If you have any questions or comments, call me to discuss at 250.884.3980




Greater Victoria home assessment values slip again



JANUARY 2, 2014 07:54 AM

The assessed value of a home in Greater Victoria has dropped as much a five per cent compared to the previous year.  Photograph by: ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist


Most owners of single-family and strata-titled homes in Greater Victoria will see their property assessments slide by two to five per cent this year.

It follows a similar drop of between two and six per cent in assessments the previous year.

The latest assessments reflect changes in the market between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, said Reuben Danakody, assessor for the capital region for B.C. Assessment. Assessments reflect the estimated market value of a home as of July 1 of the previous year. That means your 2014 assessment shows what appraisers figured it was worth in mid-2013.

Slumping assessments mean the region’s roll value has declined to $88.8 billion this year from $90.5 billion the previous year. Close to $743 million in this year’s value is due to subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

Assessment notices are going out this week to more than 145,000 properties in Greater Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands.

Notices were in the mail on Tuesday and will arrive any day. To compare property values online, go to It’s free.

Assessments residential

>> PDF: Top 100 assessments in Greater Victoria

>> PDF: Top 10 assessments by jurisdiction

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Assessed values for standard homes in every area of the captial region and for the southern Gulf Islands decreased this year over last.

The largest percentage decrease was in Metchosin, which is down by 10.8 per cent to $536,000 for a standard home from $601,000 last year.

North Saanich saw the next largest percentage decline, at 5.8 per cent. A standard home moved to $681,000 from $723,000.

The highest assessed value for a standard home in Greater Victoria is in the east part of Saanich, in the area falling within School District 63, at $683,000.

And the lowest assessed value for a standard home in the capital region is in the area called Victoria rural, at $296,000, which includes the Malahat, Otter Point, and Sherringham/Port Renfrew.

Meanwhile, commercial property values increased from two to six per cent.

“The strength of the commercial property market is being driven by longer-term investor confidence and the entry of new and major tenants into the local market,” a B.C. Assessment statement said.

Assessed values do not necessarily reflect the market value of a particular property.

In November’s statistics released by the Victoria Real Estate Board, the benchmark value for a typical single-family house in Greater Victoria was $482,300. The benchmark condominium for the region was $280,600.

B.C. Assessment appraisers take into account factors such as the age of the home, its condition, location, size and whether there is a view. It also factors in local services as well as current sales values.

When checking your assessment, bear in mind that it is generally intended to reflect its market value as of July 1, 2013.

Property owners who feel that their assessment does not reflect that or see incorrect information on their notice should contact B.C. Assessment as soon as possible in January, Danakody said.

The Capital Region Assessment office is at 102-3350 Douglas St. During January, office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Property owners can contact B.C. Assessment toll free at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) or online by clicking “connect” at

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a notice of complaint [Appeal] by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a property assessment review panel,” Danakody said.

Property assessment review panels are independent of B.C. Assessment. Panel members are appointed annually by the province, and meet between February 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

Assessment facts

  • Total number of properties on the 2014 roll is 1,954,445, an approximate 1 per cent increase from 2013.
  • Total value of real estate on the 2014 roll is $1,141,848,449,910, a 1.35 per cent increase from 2013.
  • Total amount of non-market change, such as new construction and development: approximately $17.54 billion, an increase of 5.38 per cent from the 2013 roll of $16.64 billion.
  • In B.C., approx. 87.7 per cent of all properties are classified with some residential component. This equates to more than $864 billion of the value on the total provincial roll.
  • More than 98 per cent of property owners accept their property assessment without proceeding to a formal, independent review of their assessment.
  • Assessments are the estimate of a property's market value as of July 1, 2013 and physical condition as of October 31, 2013. This common valuation date ensures there is an equitable property assessment base for property taxation.
  • Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property. When estimating a property's market value, B.C, Assessment's professional appraisers analyze current sales in the area, as well as considering other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location.
  • Real estate sales determine a property's value which is reported annually by B.C. Assessment. Local governments and other taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation and, after determining their own budget needs this spring, will calculate property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.
  • B.C. Assessment's assessment roll provides the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to raise more than $6.2 billion in property taxes each year. This revenue funds the many community services provided by local governments around the province, including the public school system.
  • B.C. Assessment's website provides a listing of property assessments and sales to help property owners understand their property's market value and provide comparable sales information. Go to and click on the e-valueBC link. Copies of neighbourhood assessments are also available at local area offices and most municipal halls and government agent's offices across the province

- See more at:


2013 Real Estate Market Activity Expected to Carry into New Year 

VICTORIA BC - Victoria's real estate market ended 2013 with some momentum after a weak first quarter.

Total MLS® sales in December 2013 were 355, a 25% increase over December 2012 when 283 units sold. Annually, total units sold increased by 4%, with 5,998 in 2013 compared to 5,747 in 2012.

The overall MLS® HPI single-family home benchmark price for Greater Victoria was $479,500 in December 2013, compared to of $495,400 in December 2012, a decrease of 3.2%.


"Bear in mind that prices vary from area to area," says Tim Ayres, 2014 President of the Victoria Real Estate Board. "I'm optimistic about the next year. Buyers who were on the sidelines are now out shopping. Savvy buyers need to know that there are some good deals in certain areas, and interest rates are not expected to increase in the near future."


At the regional level, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home in the Core municipalities was $542,800, a decrease of 1.1 per cent over the previous month and a 2.4 per cent decrease over December 2012. In Westshore, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home was $404,200, an increase of 0.1 per cent over November 2013 and 3.6 per cent decrease over December 2012. The MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home on the Peninsula was $499,900 for December, a decrease of 1.6 per cent over the previous month and a 4.1 per cent decrease year-over-year.


There were 3,554 active listings at the end of December, a 9% decrease over December 2012, which Ayres notes contributes to stronger market conditions.


There were 92 condominium sales in December 2013, compared to 99 in November 2013 and 65 in December 2012. The overall MLS® HPI benchmark price of $278,600 was down 1.2% from December 2012. There were 32 townhome sales in December 2013, compared to 49 in November 2013 and 30 in December 2012. The overall MLS® HPI benchmark price of $392,500 was down 0.5% from December 2012.


Total Waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 10, also 10 in December 2012
Total Non-waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 178, down 32 sales from December 2012
Single Family Dwellings sold over $1 million: 13 (2 over $2 million)


At the heart of the MLS® HPI is the concept of the "benchmark" home, a notional home that has the most common features of a typical home in a given area. The benchmark home is not meant to represent any actual house, condo or townhouse, but merely provides an identical example to track market changes. There are separate benchmark houses, condos and townhouses in each distinct area of the Greater Victoria region, enabling price tracking of very distinct markets.


For more information on MLS®HPI benchmark prices and index values for November, visit Those requiring specific information on property values in their area should contact a REALTOR®. The Victoria Real Estate Board has 1,227 Members.

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.