Kelowna Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our Kelowna, BC blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 25, 2022

“Non-Market” Reasons Why it Might Be the Ideal Time to Sell

“Non-Market” Reasons Why it Might Be the Ideal Time to Sell

When considering whether or not to sell their home, many people think about market conditions. They consider whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. They look at trends. They try to time the sale to get the best price for

their property.

While market conditions certainly can play a role in deciding whether you should sell now rather than later, many other factors can influence that decision too.

For example, you might have outgrown your home and need more space. Perhaps you need an extra bedroom or a larger kitchen. If you wait until market conditions are perfect, you may languish for months — or even years — in a home that’s too small for you.

The same can be said for downsizing.

Another “non-market” reason you might want to sell your home sooner rather than later is the neighbourhood. Is there another community more suited to your lifestyle that you want to get into? If it’s a particularly desirable area, you don’t want to wait too long to make a move. If you do, you might lose some good opportunities.

There’s also the emotional side of the decision to consider. You might simply want to move for no other reason than you need a change. That’s as good a reason as any to put up the For Sale sign and find your next dream home.

Other non-market reasons for selling include:

• Wantingashortercommutetowork.

• Desiringadifferentstyleofneighbourhood.(Ruralratherthanurban.)

• Achangeinfamilysituation.

• Livingclosertorelativesandfriends.

• Wantingaparticularpropertyfeature,suchasabackyardwith

mature trees.

Posted in blog
Jan. 21, 2022

Finding and Buying a Great Home in a Hurry

Imagine if, for whatever reason, you suddenly needed to find and buy a new home in a hurry. What if you had just a few weeks?

If you’re like most people, your first instinct might be to panic. Well, there’s nothing wrong with having some apprehension about having to find a new home quickly. But, there are steps you can take that will make the process a lot less stressful and, ultimately, make it more likely that you’ll find a great property you’ll love.

The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. That will give you a price range you can confidently shop within. Your budget should take into account how much your current home will likely sell for, how much you qualify to receive on a new mortgage, as well as any other funds you can put into a new home.

Next, decide on areas or neighbourhoods that have listings within your budget to target in your search. Narrowing your scope will actually help you find the right home, sooner.

When viewing properties for sale, be as flexible as you can. You don’t necessarily need to compromise on what you want. However, if you need to buy in a hurry, it makes sense to consider listings that may be less than perfect, yet still check most of the boxes on your wish list.

Keep in mind that if you purchase a property that isn’t exactly what you want, a renovation or other improvement could potentially turn it into your

dream home.

Having to find a new home quickly can be challenging. But if you get the right professionals working for you, it’s going to be a lot easier — and achievable. Call today 250-317-4599

Posted in blog
Jan. 17, 2022

How to Light your Home for an Evening Viewing

How to Light your Home for an Evening Viewing

When you’re selling your home, you may find buyers who want to see it later in the evening, when it’s dark outside. In that circumstance, effective home lighting becomes more important.

The best place to start is with exterior lighting. If you have soft ground lamps on the walkway, make sure those are turned on. That will make for a more pleasant and inviting trip up the walkway.

Do you have motion detection lighting? Make sure those are set to continuous lighting. It can be jarring for a buyer to be hit with an unexpected beam of bright light when walking to your door.

Also, check the brightness of exterior lights. If they are bordering on blinding, replace the bulbs with lower wattage options.

Inside the home, keep curtains and other window coverings open. Although it may be dark outside, an unobstructed window will help make the room seem more inviting and spacious.

Turn on your full lighting system in the backyard. Make that outdoor space enticing for buyers to check out.

If you have dark areas in your home, such as a basement room or walk-in closet, explore ways to light it better.

Overall, you want the lighting to help buyers see and appreciate the best qualities of your property.

Want more advice on selling your home? Call today 250-317-4599

Posted in blog
Jan. 13, 2022

Getting the Inside scoop

Getting the “Inside Scoop” on a Listing

Throughout the history of journalism, reporters would pride themselves on getting the “inside scoop” on a story. In fact, that’s where that expression came from.

So imagine you’re shopping for a new home and click on a listing online. Up comes all the property information. But, chances are, there is more to the story of that property than is presented in that listing. For example, you might want to know more about:

• The empty field behind the home.

• The addition that was added to the house. (Was it professionally done?)

• What the neighbourhood is really like.

• The age of the roof shingles. (Will they need to be replaced soon?)

• Noise levels on weekends.

• Upcoming new development that might change the character of the area.

Most property information listed on MLS and elsewhere is incomplete. There’s almost always more to the story of a listing than you can find online.

And, even after viewing a listed property, you may still have lingering questions or concerns.

So, you’ll want to get the “inside scoop” and find out more. But how?

To get the inside scoop on a listing, call me 250-317-4599. I can get the additional information you need on a property so that you can make a more informed decision.

Posted in blog
Jan. 6, 2022

5 Tips for Preparing for an Early-in-the-Year Sale

5 Tips for Preparing for an Early-in-the-Year Sale

There are numerous reasons why you might need to sell early in the year. Perhaps you even need to sell this month! Whatever your reasons, preparation is key. Make the right moves now and your sale is likely to go smoothly

and successfully.

Follow these tips:

1. Make a list of what needs to be done around the property to prepare it for listing.

That includes decluttering, cleaning, getting needed repairs done, and so forth.

2. Schedule those tasks.On a calendar or planner,blockout ample time to do everything on your list.

Give yourself a time buffer because things can often take longer to do than expected.

3. Ge thelp.You don’t need to do everything yourself.

Consider hiring a painter, contractor, cleaning service, and other professionals. Outsourcing can reduce a lot of the stress of selling while ensuring your property is prepared in time.

4. Dispose of unwanted items that may have accumulated over the years in the garage, basement, and closets. You can have a yard sale, sell stuff online, donate items to charity, or take them to your local recycling centre.

5. Freeupyourscheduleduringtheperiodyouexpectyourpropertyto be on the market. You want your home to be accessible for showings as often as possible, giving prospective buyers a lot of flexibility when scheduling.

The idea is to get your property as “sales-ready” as possible — as early in the year as possible. That way, when it comes time to list your home, you won’t have to scramble to get it ready. The hard work will be done and you’ll be able to focus on selling your property quickly and for the best price.

Want more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today 250-317-4599

Posted in blog
Nov. 19, 2021

Getting Acquainted With Your Home Heating Systems

The winter months in Kelowna can see fluctuations in weather, with some days reaching chilling temperatures that make you want to curl up under the covers to stay as warm as possible, especially if your furnace is not working properly. To ensure you stay warm throughout the cold season, now is the time to get acquainted with your heating system.

 

Getting Acquainted With Your Home Heating Systems

 

As winter approaches, many homeowners are questioning whether or not their home heating systems are efficient enough, and if there are other options out there that work better and are less of an eyesore than plastic wrap secured over the windows. Before you begin getting acquainted with different home heating systems, inspect your home for any flaws that allow drafts to enter your home and affect the overall temperature. Check your windows, doors, and outlets for any air flow and repair any imperfections. Replacing your heating system while allowing cold air to continue entering your home will cost you a lot of money in the long run. 

 

When it comes to the different systems found in homes throughout the city, there is a lot to know and consider: Some heating systems share components with the home’s cooling system, other systems can provide both heating and cooling features to regulate temperature throughout the year; Some systems are cost saving, while others are cost intensive. Before you go tearing up your ceilings and installing what your local sales person is promoting, it’s important to educate yourself on the different types of heating systems available to you, understand how they work, and look at what is required to ensure you’re getting the most for your investment. 

 

Forced-Air Systems

 

One of the most popular heating systems used in Canadian homes is the forced-air system. Here, a furnace with a blower fan directs warmed air through ductwork and into each room inside home. This system is efficient at controlling room temperature in any season as central air conditioning systems use the same pathways. Forced-air system furnaces can be fueled by natural gas, liquid propane, fuel, oil, or electricity. Because these systems can collect and distribute allergens, making them airborne once the fan blows them through the ductwork and out the vents, it is important to maintain them with regular HVAC cleaning. 

 

Heat Pump Systems

 

Heat pump systems offer an alternative to furnaces and central air conditioners. The systems use electricity to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space. In summer, the system moves the warm air out of your house, and the cool air from outside, into your home. The winter is the opposite, where the cool air is moved from your home and replaced with the warm air from outdoors. Because they transfer heat, they are efficient in regulating temperature inside the home, keeping it at a comfortable level. Heat pump systems are also a great alternative for homes that do not have ductwork for a forced-air system, and can complement electric baseboard heating systems to reduce heating costs and energy consumption in the home. 

 

Traditional Boiler and Radiant Systems

 

Older homes and buildings can often be found with traditional boiler and radiator heating systems, typically in the form of a cast-iron, upright unit, positioned near windows. With this heating system, a central boiler circulates steam and hot water throughout piping positioned around the home. There are two types of radiant heating systems that can be found inside homes:

 

True Steam Boilers circulate gaseous steam through pipes to individual radiators. The steam is then condensed back to water, and moves back to the boiler to be reheated. 

 

Modern Radiator Systems circulate hot water to radiators through electric pumps. When the hot water reaches the radiator, it releases heat to warm up the space, and the cooled water returns to the boiler for reheating. 

 

In-Floor Radiant Heating Systems

 

Walking barefoot on cold floors first thing in the morning might be one of the most undesired ways to start your day. Fortunately, there is a heating solution for that. In-floor heating is another type of radiant heating system. It differs from forced-air in that it heats furniture and flooring rather than just air. Radiant heating systems generally distribute heat by heated water in a boiler or water heater. Plastic water tubing is installed inside concrete flooring or attached to wood floors, providing consistent heat distribution throughout the home. In-floor systems can also be created from electrical wiring installed under flooring materials, however, this is often only used in small rooms, such as bathrooms, as it can be less energy efficient and installation can be expensive. 

 

Hot Water Baseboard Radiators

A more modern form of radiant heat is the hydronic system, more commonly referred to as the hot water baseboard system. Like other radiant systems, the hydronic system also uses a boiler to heat the water, which then circulates throughout the pipework and is delivered to baseboard heating units. The baseboard heaters then heat the room through small metal fins surrounding the pipe. Hydronic systems are found to be energy efficient and effective at controlling the temperature in a room, however, baseboard heaters must remain unobstructed which can limit furniture placement in the home. 

 

electric Baseboard Heating

 

Electric baseboard heaters are often found in older homes. They are expensive to operate and may not be used for primary home heating systems as a result. These heaters are easy to install and require no distribution equipment such as ductwork or pumps, making them ideal for heating basements, home offices, or enclosed sunrooms that are more difficult to keep warm in the winter months. 

 

While these heating systems are most common, some may be costly to install or require regular and expensive maintenance. Talk to a heating and cooling specialist to find what system is best for your home, and your lifestyle. With the right equipment in place, you can relax and stay warm all winter long with peace of mind that your system is the perfect heating solution for you and your family.

Posted in blog
Oct. 26, 2021

Hopping Off The Fence: Why Listing Your Home This Fall Is A Win!

Hopping Off The Fence: Why Listing Your Home This Fall Is A Win!  

 

 

With a backdrop of changing colours on trees and mountains along the skyline creating Instagram-worthy views, fall in Kelowna is in the most modest of terms, picturesque. While it is arguably the most beautiful season we see here, it always seems to be over as quickly as it begins. Before you blink and find snow on your lawn, it might be time to pull off the pin you put on listing your home. 

Second to spring, and in the most typical of market conditions, fall is a great season to list your home or property for sale in Kelowna. However, Real Estate is anything but typical right now, and luckily this works in favour of our sellers! Home prices in the Okanagan Valley are surging and buyers are actively looking for the perfect home to purchase before winter sets in. For sellers, this unique condition backed by the beautiful fall season leaves an advantageous opportunity for those looking to list. If you’re still on the fence when it comes to hammering down the “For Sale” sign, here are a few reasons why listing your home this fall is a win! 

 

Fall Listings Show Better

 

It is no secret that the natural beauty of fall works wonders on your home’s curb appeal. The air feels crisp and yet there is still an overwhelming amount of warmth that can be appreciated. Fall brings with it an array of emotions varying from excitement for new beginnings to being thankful for our blessings, and all of this works to your advantage when selling your home. Listing your home in the fall gives you the perfect canvas to paint your house as the comfortable, welcoming home that a buyer is in search of, and potentially get more money for your property. 

 

Less Competition

 

As many label spring as the traditional season for Real Estate, those pre-summer months are generally flooded with listings for buyers to choose from. By the time fall rolls around, many homes have already been sold, or sellers have taken their homes off of the market for other reasons. Selling in the fall gives you the upper hand, as inventory is typically lower and buyers are more competitive and driven to find the home they want before old man winter sets in. 

 

Welcome Serious Buyers

 

Selling your home in the spring and summer months can often attract a lot of buyers who are still on the fence, people doing market research, or open house traffic filled with nosey neighbours who want to sneak a peek inside your home. Once the temperatures cool down and fall makes its grand entrance, less serious buyers tend to fall off by the wayside, making room for those who are ready to get down to business.

 

Speedy Transactions

 

With less Real Estate traffic in the fall, there is more capacity to process your transaction as quickly and efficiently as possible. Lenders will have fewer loans to process, attorneys have fewer closings, and inspectors or appraisers have more empty space in their agenda, making more time to work personally with you. As a result, homes sold in the fall season can close quickly, typically in time to unpack and host a big holiday dinner or housewarming party at the year’s end!

 

At the end of the day, there are many reasons to put your home up for sale in the fall. Take advantage of the seller’s market and reach out to us today! With the limited inventory headlining Kelowna’s market conditions, your home is likely to sell quickly, and for more money. Our team of motivated and knowledgeable agents and support staff are here to guide you through this process and make your experience buying and selling Real Estate one to remember. 

Posted in blog
Sept. 30, 2021

BUYING VS RENTING

Home ownership remains a top priority for many Canadians. While buying a home is seen as a milestone and can improve your quality of life, most are hoping that their purchase will also be a sound financial decision. A recent study[1] has found that, for those who are able to secure a sufficient down payment, it is more financially beneficial to buy a home in Canada than to rent over the long term, in 91 per cent of cases analyzed. The scenarios assume the owner is able to provide a 20 per cent down payment.

 

“Canadians strongly value home ownership for many reasons. Not only is it a great source of pride, it is likely the largest and most significant financial investment most people will ever make,” said Karen Yolevski, chief operating officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. “Historically, home ownership has been very profitable for Canadians, many of whom have factored their real estate investments into their retirement planning. Owning a home is widely viewed as a means to save money and build equity.”

 

The study, by economist and housing market analyst Will Dunning, and sponsored by Royal LePage, uses price data for 278 scenarios (broken out by city and housing type) across the country and approaches the commonly-asked question ‘Is it better to buy or rent?’ from various angles – using historical data, future projections, and viewing home ownership as an investment.

 

“For many people, buying a home – especially the first – is a landmark event and one of the most challenging decisions we’ll make in our lives,” said Will Dunning, president, Will Dunning Inc. “It is a decision that  is usually based on a lot of hard work. This research tests a belief that is held by a lot of Canadians, that owning is better financially than renting. And, it finds that this belief is very often correct.”

 

While the total monthly costs of owning a home may be higher than renting, there is an important factor to consider. Mortgage payments comprise principal and interest, and the principal component can be seen as a form of saving, albeit forced saving. While the homeowner has to pay the full amount each month, the principal is not a true cost. What’s more, the interest component is largest in the first month and gradually decreases over the life of the loan, effectively increasing the amount of forced saving each month.

 

In 253 out of 278 cases studied (91%), the net cost of ownership (the total ownership cost minus the saving that occurs through principal repayment) is lower than the cost of renting. In the report, this factor is referred to as the ‘ownership advantage’. As of the second quarter of this year, on average the net home ownership cost was $769 per month less than the cost of renting an equivalent dwelling. In the nine per cent of scenarios where renting was more beneficial than buying, cases were concentrated in luxury homes in expensive neighbourhood pockets. Moreover, the monthly savings were minimal for this demographic at $245.[2]

 

“While Canadians do want their homes to appreciate, potential homebuyers will find it reassuring that significant price appreciation is not necessary for ownership to be financially worthwhile,” said Yolevski. “There are other benefits to owning a home, in addition to the financial advantages. Owning a property allows more freedom and stability than renting. As a homeowner, you do not have to worry about the landlord hiking up the rent or forcing you to move. And, homeowners have the ability to make a place their own, with renovations or decor. I believe most Canadians would agree that owning a home is as much about laying down roots in a community and making memories with family, as it is about financial security.”

 

The study tested various scenarios. This includes a mortgage renewal in five years, at an increased interest rate (3.62%, which is based on the highest interest rate seen during the study period from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the present). Even in that scenario, home ownership is expected to remain more affordable than renting in most situations.

 

“Although supply has reached historic lows and home price appreciation continues to trend upward, the findings of the report show that owning a home remains financially advantageous for most people. However, all Canadians would benefit from swift and material government action to solve the country’s housing supply crisis,” added Yolevski.

 

To varying degrees, Canadians think of their homes as an investment, and not just a place to live. The study calculated how home ownership might perform as an investment, making varying assumptions about how much values might change during the coming 10 years. The calculations found that even with a 10 per cent decline in home prices, approximately half of the homeowners studied would still see a positive rate of return on investment, while the other half would break even or see a modest loss as an investment.[3] If there is no growth in values, ownership would result in a positive rate of return on investment in a majority of cases. Other scenarios in which values rise show increasingly attractive rates of return. 

 

The analysis includes assumptions about the costs of buying and selling homes (closing costs, lawyers’ and real estate agents’ fees, and land transfer taxes), and the major ongoing costs incurred by homeowners (utilities, repairs, homeowners’ insurance and condominium fees, where applicable).

 

 

Courtsey of Royal LePage

https://www.royallepage.ca/en/realestate/news/buying-vs-renting-study-homeowners-come-out-in-front-financially-in-more-than-90-of-scenarios-analyzed/

 

Posted in blog
Sept. 1, 2021

IMPORTANT PROJECTS FOR YOUR HOME

IMPORTANT PROJECTS FOR YOUR HOME

 

Take advantage of good weather to make your home better

With a summer of increased freedom and high temperatures, you may be thinking of outings and exploring instead of your home base. Yet this is an excellent time to tick some important maintenance items off your list. Of course, you need to keep an eye on the air pollution index and wildfires, but it always feels good to get some outstanding projects accomplished while the weather cooperates.

 

Wood Work

Check over the wood exteriors on your house and in the yard. Examine the deck, wood siding and fences to find any rot or damage and replace boards with fresh ones. An affordable alternative could be head to some local cabinetmakers or other woodworkers to see if they have any scraps you can buy and fit to your needs. Use a pressure washer to deep clean and consider adding a fresh coat or stain or paint where necessary.

Crack Attack

Say no to cracks… in your driveway, sidewalks, or patios. Use some crack seal to fill in the gaps before colder weather comes, as water freezing in cracks will cause them to expand and spread further. Speaking of cooler weather, you will want to seal any cracks and gaps in your windows before they turn into autumn drafts.

Clean-up Time

 

Clean out eaves troughs and soffits from the gunk and reuse that can build up throughout the year. Remove all trash and debris that settles outside basement windows in the window wells. Clean out and organize the garage by eliminating any junk and selling items that you haven’t used in the past couple of years. Make sure all hazardous items are properly stored such as paint, fertilizer, etc.

 

Posted in blog
June 9, 2021

Top 5 Home Renovations & Upgrades for the Best ROI

Now that the spring market is in full swing, and with summer right around the corner, sellers are looking to list their home in the hottest season of the year. However, with listing naturally comes thoughts of upgrades to complete to ensure your home really stands out and gets the attention it deserves. Before diving into renovation projects, check out these 5 upgrades that won’t only make your home sparkle, but will also garner the highest return on investment so that your money is put to good use.

When preparing for home renovations, whether it be to upgrade your home for yourself, or getting it ready to sell, trying to choose between projects can be daunting. Your home is an investment, and every dollar you spend should count. To ensure you are spending your money wisely, it is important to understand exactly what a return on investment is, and which home renovations offer optimum returns.

In real estate, a return on investment often referred to as ROI, is the difference between how much you gained or lost financially on your investment compared to how much you put into it. When upgrading your home, you should be looking at renovations that will provide the best return on investment. In the current climate, many homeowners are taking advantage of market conditions to capitalize on their ROI, as the demand for homes, especially those outside of the major metropolitan cities, lies in their favour.

 

Here is your guide to the Top 5 home improvements that you can make to receive a maximum Return on Investment.

 

Kitchen Upgrades

Return On Investment: 75% +

 

Cross-culturally, kitchens are typically the meeting place for families; It is where we gather, where we eat, and where we laugh. It is a room that see’s a lot of use, and when modelled or staged just right, it can be the selling point that many buyers are seeking. Fortunately, you don’t have to do a complete redesign and renovation to make an impact. A minor remodel with cabinet updates, a new countertop and updated fixtures, hardware, storage solutions, lighting, and a fresh coat of paint will give a complete facelift to any kitchen space and have buyers lining up to have their offers reviewed.

There are many aspects of the kitchen remodel that a handy man or woman can do on their own, or if you are looking for someone to complete the work for you, hardware stores and contractors have great options that will transform your kitchen, ceiling to floor.

 

 A Splash of Paint

Return on Investment: 50%+

 

Adding a fresh coat of paint may be one of the best ways to bring life back into your home, at a manageable cost. Not only does it brighten up your space (provided you are using light, neutral colours), it also makes the home appear clean and fresh, untouched, well maintained, and when done right, it can highlight some of its best features. Having a quality paint job will also reassure buyers that there is less work to do on the home when they take ownership. Having your home painted before selling is an upgrade that almost guarantees a good Return On Investment.

 

 Flooring Upgrades or Repairs

Return on Investment: 80%+

A huge feature buyers look at when pursuing homes, whether in person or online, is the type of flooring installed and the condition that it is in. If you are wall to wall with tired, worn out, or dated flooring, it can easily distract from the rest of the home’s great features. Reviving the ground you walk on with something more practical and modern is a great way to improve the overall appearance of your home, and is an expense that has great potential for a high ROI. While some homeowners are experienced in laying down flooring, getting a professional to do the job will ensure it is done properly the first time around so that it looks its absolute best and maximizes your return. If your flooring is in decent condition, it may just require a bit of TLC. See here how to refinish your existing hardwood flooring so that it looks and feels as great as it did when it was first installed.

 

 Home Repair and Maintenance

Return on Investment: 60% +

When home renovations are on your mind, you may find yourself dreaming of a kitchen project similar to the ones seen on HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. While those renovations are great to watch on television, they are time consuming, expensive, and despite how great they look, they don’t always bring back the highest returns. This is why it is so important to be smart with your home renovation projects. If there is a lot of maintenance that needs to be done on your home, having that up to date may be more useful than projects that work on the home’s aesthetic. Ensuring home repair and maintenance are caught up can offer a buyer peace of mind and reassurance knowing that they won’t need to worry about any pricey repairs in the near future. Servicing or replacing central air and furnaces, hot water heaters and duct work is a great place to start, but don’t forget to take a look at bigger items like an old roof, or outdated windows and doors. These repairs will help the bones of the home stand out, and that is something buyers don’t often ignore.

 

Bathroom and Powder Rooms

Return on Investment: 60%+

Beautiful bathrooms and powder rooms are great ways to garner some attention when selling your house. If you want to go above and beyond a typical deep clean in your bathroom and really dress to impress, look into a complete transformation by introducing modern designs, and bringing as much light and space as possible. Bathrooms can easily feel like a luxury these days, and with the right upgrades, your porcelain and your return on investment will be something to brag about.

 

 

Curtesy or Royal Lepage Kelowna 

Posted in blog