Hossack + Gray Real Estate – The Agency

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A Decade of Renovations by Kate Gray

Prior to becoming a residential realtor, I was a commercial leasing agent, working mostly with shopping centres. My first big job in the industry was in Grande Prairie, Alberta, leasing at the local mall. I had originally moved up there to live with my new boyfriend, Brett. Around this time, I grew an obsession with Pinterest and nesting in our new space. Not long after I moved there our rent went up. I thought, why not buy something? A bit of a commitment seeing as we hadn’t been together long, but I had done the math and based on the local market, it was a no brainer to buy. Our first home was a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 70s build with a huge deck and yard. The house was a bank repo in very rough shape. We bought it for $164,000 in 2012. The night we took possession I cried in the living room wondering what we had done. Over the next couple months we spent our spare time renovating. Brett was handy and could do most of the building tasks, I took a tiling course at home depot and was good with design ideas. We eventually turned that house into our home.


When we decided to move to Victoria, we were amazed at the return we got for our hard work, and it was all tax free at the time. We used that income to purchase our next house. The one we would start our family in. We bought a small character home in North Park and set out to do the same, spend every free moment fixing it up. We had learned a couple things from our mistakes on the last house and we had a little more experience. It was while we were living in this house that I really felt like this was my passion, and switched my license over to become a residential realtor. I love all things homes, looking at different spaces and challenges and opportunities. We bought that Cook Street house in 2014.


By 2019 our family had expanded, with the arrival of our son Harris. We needed more space and wanted a quitter street. We found a risky, yet enticing opportunity. This time we were feeling brave and confident in our renovation skills. We fell in love with a derelict 1890s brick heritage house in Fernwood. Now it was Brett’s turn to lose his cool on possession day. What had we bought? Was it more than we could handle? What we learned was that sometimes the biggest risks have the biggest rewards.


We spent two years renovating this house. In that time, our family grew with our daughter Hazel being born. We transformed a rough up/down duplex into a stunning home. We embraced the 1800’s character, refinishing the original hardwood, opening up rooms with removal of walls and matching original crown around the new openings. Fresh paint throughout livened up every room. A shiny new kitchen, new bathrooms and a ton of landscaping were the final pieces to bring the project together.


After two years of living at 1215 Pembroke and the growth of our family we decided to take on another project for two reasons. We had a school district in mind and we were missing the extra financial freedom that came with having a suite.  At this point, we have two toddlers, two dogs and two fulltime jobs. Here we go! The Minto house renovation in Fairfield was streamline. I can say it was truly a professional job, to the point where Brett has now left his job at the government and has a full time renovation company! We took possession of a run down, beat up home in August 2022. By October, we moved into a beautifully renovated home with two suites. The kids now have a playroom, their own bedrooms and a great home to grow in.


My design ideas come from my daily work looking at homes with my buyers and reviewing my seller’s homes before they hit the market. Whether it is their forever home or their next stepping stone, it’s exciting to work through it. Our projects have not been easy, they take patience and hard work. The projects have however been, the best investments in our future. We went from a $164,000 home in Alberta to a multimillion dollar home in Fairfield through these renovations, slowly upgrading at each turnover. We have no doubt had help from market conditions over the years but there is no denying if you put the work in and are able to take on the project the financial and wellbeing benefits are immense. Brett and I even talked Patrick and Natalie into buying a run-down house in the best neighbourhood they could afford. In 2021, they bought in Rockland and spent a year managing their full home renovation [with our guidance of course 😉 ].


Our team is always happy to lend our knowledge and time if you are planning a renovation and need some guidance. One major factor to be aware of is the federal government and provincial government have announced new legislation, termed the “Anti-Flipping Tax”. Before you take on a project, if you plan to sell after the project, please make sure you are well read on the information.



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Victoria Realtors - Katherine Gray and Patrick Hossack

Contact Info

The Agency Address 

101-960 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8V 3M3

Patricks Phone: (778) 535-7972

Kate’s Phone: (250) 516-4563

Office Phone: (778) 265-5552