This blog is about me, Paige Guernsey, and the things that happen around my job as a Kelowna Real Estate agent with Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty. I talk about listings, sales activity, market conditions, market trends, promotions, green real estate, and sometimes funny things that happen to me during the course of my day. There's links and videos to great information as well as access to my 2 websites, kelownahome.com and greenkelownarealestate.com
I was involved in a tournament this past weekend in Summerland, BC to raise money for the Lions Club. The day was a huge success… although a bit windy. And apparently I need to adjust my camera angle!
Golf course communities
Kelowna is home to dozens of great golf courses and practice facilities. Many of these courses have real estate attached in the form of residential communities.One of my fav’s is Gallaghers Canyon Golf and Country Club. The scenery on this 18 hole South East Kelowna course is beautiful and as well there’s an outstanding 9 hole executive course called The Pinnacle . I must also tell you about my favorite golf instructor Tara Roden . She rocks the game of golf! Ok… back to golf course real estate! Another favorite is The Quail and The Bear courses both located in the Quail Ridge community on Kelowna’s northern border.
The community at Gallaghers Canyon is very popular and prices for townhomes currently start at $379,900 for a 1,400 square foot 2 bed, 2.5 bath home. Detached homes currently for sale start at $425,000 and go right up to $1.9 million. There are also a few choice lots left that are currently available to build new homes on.
Quail Ridge located out by Kelowna’s International Airport, YLW, is another popular golf course community offering 2 full size courses. Condo’s are currently available starting at $179,900 for a 1 bed, 1 bath apartment with great amenities like secure parking and outdoor pool& hot tub. Townhomes and single family homes currently are priced between $250,000 and $1.2 million.
If you’ve ever considered a golf course home on some of Kelowna’s best real estate, give me a call direct at 250-862-6464. You’ll never say “Fore” working with me on your next real estate transaction!
We all know there are risks involved with everything – even doing nothing! The trick is to assess them correctly and manage them accordingly. With this in mind, let’s take a quick dive into 5 of the most common risks in today’s Kelowna real estate market!
RISKS WHEN BUYING A FORECLOSURE
Foreclosures are often thought of as being an “instant” equity builder. You can get a home for under market value but attached to this is the risk buying a foreclosure. You’re buying it “as is where is”. Your highest level of risk is when there is someone living in the house prior to court approval and the lowest level of risk is when the house is vacant. Check out this link for more info on the foreclosure process.
THE RISK OF OVER-EXTENDING
This is a risk that most people will overlook. Most buyers will push their “pre-approved” limit as far as possible when buying. When you’re considering what size of mortgage to take on, the first smart move is to get pre-approved by your mortgage broker. From there ask yourself these questions and add in the costs to your monthly mortgage amount. Is it manageable comfortably?
What do I need to put aside this year for savings and investments?
What are the approximate costs to maintain, upgrade, or repair my home?
Are there any one-time costs that may arise unexpectedly this year?
Do I know my monthly budget for cost of living that includes entertainment, transportation, clothing, food, and utilities?
THE RISK OF OVERPAYING or UNDERSELLING
When a buyer and seller agree on a price during negotiations, there is one thing that happens 100% of the time right afterwards. The seller wonders if they got enough and the buyer wonders if they paid too much. There are some very definite and smart strategies involved when buying or selling a home. Buyers should work with their Realtor® to determine the best price using custom strategies and recent sales in the chosen Kelowna neighborhood. Sellers prepare their homes and make it look it’s best prior to listing on MLS®. This will help immensely in minimizing the risk of losing the “right” buyer. Sellers should also price their homes aggressively in accordance with recent sale comparables.
THE RISK OF LOSING YOUR DEPOSIT
OMREB Contracts have been recently changed tightening up the wording around deposits. Most definitely when considering your deposit amount, consider the risk. If all the subjects come off, the house is “SOLD” and you as a buyer decide not to proceed with your contract, you run a very real risk of losing your deposit to the seller. Ultimately a judge will decide how much to award for damages and the deposit amount may only account for a portion of it. Work closely with your realtor around this and never think you’ll get your deposit back once subjects are removed.
THE RISK OF BUYING A LEMON
Everyone knows someone who’s bought a car that’s been a “lemon”. Likely some also know someone who has been unhappy with the home they purchased. Making sure that you know EVERYTHING you can possibly know about a house your purchasing is critical. There’s nothing worse than “I didn’t know…” after the fact. Every home has flaws, and knowing everything in advance is critical to a smooth home ownership experience. Be sure to:
Have a home inspection done by a qualified, licensed and experienced local home inspector.
Make sure your Realtor® is experienced and knows about all areas of Kelowna. For instance, in some parts of Glenmore and Lakeview Heights there’s what’s known as swelling clay which can cause problems down the road if a homeowner isn’t aware it’s there.
Have the title search checked thoroughly over. It’s a big problem if you want to put a pool in the backyard of the house you just bought only to find out there’s an easement running right through the middle.
There is case setting law established in Kelowna that says disclosure is only needed within the surveyed iron pins of any property. However, it might be disappointing to buy only to find out later that the road in front of your home is being upgraded to a 4 lane bypass. Always check with the local government authority about future plans in addition to what the seller may tell you.
Levies can also sometimes surprise. Be sure to check the tax notice and government offices for any unexpected charges that may be added onto the annual Property Tax Bill or sent to a homeowner separately.
Buying or selling a home is a massive undertaking with thousands of details, hidden and obvious, needing attention throughout the entire process. Missing any of these details can not only be costly and time consuming, but scary. The things I mention above outline a few of the excellent reasons to have a professional and experienced Kelowna Realtor® working on your behalf. Choose professionals who have referrals and if possible who your friends and/or relatives have happily worked with and be sure to double check information where you can.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling in this Okanagan Valley market, please contact Paige Guernsey direct at 250-862-6464 or firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my testimonials and see why I have so many happy clients!
We’ve all heard that first impressions are so important. 97% of buyers shopping for their homes in Kelowna will use the internet and will see pictures. These pictures came from actual listings I’ve seen. Really? A guy in bed? Not the best first impression.
Photos give the buyer an idea of what to expect when they personally view the home. It’s important to present the most accurate and attractive picture of each properties features. If something can’t be photographed properly, don’t use it.
I like to inject a bit of humor or something that catches the eye. 87% of buyers will work with a realtor when buying or selling their Kelowna real estate. So when selling a home, you’ve got to appeal to the realtors first as they’re the front line and THEN you’ve got to appeal to the buyers.
Spring market coming soon!
The phones have been ringing this January so far. When January is a busy month for real estate activity, it usually translates into a busy spring season. If you’re thinking about buying or selling real estate, call Paige Guernsey direct at 250-862-6464 and get some creative thinking working for you!
When most people think about selling their home, they usually think the spring months are the best time. This however, can be opposite to what sales stats show. Typically homes that expire don’t get re-listed and there’s less new product coming onto the market meaning LESS COMPETITION.
Let’s face it, who likes to move in the winter? Buyers who are scouting real estate during these months usually have a focused goal in mind due to things like a relocation, addition to the family, and need to buy soon. With less competition, they’ll have to FOCUS ON WHAT’S AVAILABLE meaning you may get more showings and more offers.
HIGHER SALE STATS
Often we see higher percentages of mls(r) listings sold versus listings added during the winter because BUYERS HAVE LESS TO CHOOSE FROM. Sellers can often net a higher price due to this lack of inventory in Kelowna.
SPRINGTIME BUYING FOR YOU!
By selling now, you have an opportunity to buy your perfect home when the most amount of homes are usually for sale… in the spring! MORE INVENTORY MEANS MORE CHOICES FOR YOU.
If you’re considering selling your Kelowna real estate call Paige Guernsey direct at 250-862-6464. I’m an award winning realtor with 25 years experience in keeping smiles on the faces of my clients.
Everyone wants to get as much money as possible for their home when they list on MLS (R) . Usually people want their home to sell in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of inconvenience. The trick to that, plain and simple, is working with your agent to find out all details of the Buyers Market we’re currently experiencing and pricing your home exactly at the right price.
By putting a price on your home that is reflective of the market, you will create excitement in the eyes of the buyer and they’ll bring offers. If your house falls into the rest of the pricing pack, it’ll just be another ho-hum listing. In other words, if a similar home to yours sold for $100,000, put yours on the market for $99,900 and watch the buyers come!
MLS REAL ESTATE EXAMPLES
Here is an example of a house that was overpriced to start with, followed the market down, and after 224 days on the market, sold for less than other similar homes sold for. On the other hand, here’s a perfect example of a house that was priced aggressively, and after 54 days on the market sold for 98% of the original list price. Quite a difference in results! Kelowna real estate statistics show time and time again, that pricing your home for sale with a proper price to begin with will net you more money that the old adage of “the buyer can always make an offer” because in today’s market… they don’t unless there’s a great reason to!
If you’re wondering what your Okanagan real estate is worth, call Paige Guernsey, an award winning Kelowna realtor direct at 250-862-6464.
Kelowna has a healthy inventory of strata real estate properties available. One of the biggest complaints I hear these days about strata is that there can be a heavy hand when dealing with pets and rentals.
When trolling through Kelowna’s listings you’ll almost always see some sort of rental restriction as well as a size restriction for pets. Sometimes no pets area allowed at all. This can seriously affect your ability to sell your property when the time comes. One may argue that you bought at a price that reflected these restrictions and because of this restriction it’s a wash when you go to sell. If things were different, it may not be so.
A primary issue for Strata’s is rental restrictions. Strata corporations have the ability to limit or restrict rentals in not only Kelowna, but through BC under the Strata Property Act. In parts of the US and Europe, their type of governing can be completely different allowing for individual units to be owned freehold without any governing body like the familiar Strata Council. Therefore making each and every owner responsible to city by-laws just like a regular single family dwelling.
Another concern for buyers and sellers of real estate is pet restrictions. Interestingly in Vancouver, there are very few pet restrictions due to the fact that prices are so high and affordability is a huge issue forcing many buyers to be looking at strata units. A large number of young people buying their first place, families, as well as older people with empty nests in have beloved pets that they won’t part with. I also think most people will agree that pet owners, for the most part, are responsible owners who are respectful of those living, working, playing around them.
IMAGINE CHANGING THE GUIDELINES IN KELOWNA
Imagine if you could buy a zero lot line attached home with no strata fees or strata by-laws etc. This would open up the potential buying pool for hundreds of sellers right now as well as increase affordability and inventory for those currently looking to buy with pets or rental requirements. Investors could buy without concern about rental restrictions providing affordable housing for the many who find it difficult to find suitable rentals. Pet owners could choose from a wider inventory pool without owners who have no pets losing any ground to potential pet problems next door. Sustainability is another key factor here. With less urban sprawl, we can encourage more people to be living, working, playing, and commuting in “downtown” areas with fewer restrictions. Check out this fantastic strata townhome listing at 6-1853 Edgehill, Kelowna that can be rented and allows pets with generous restrictions.
This interesting article in the Vancouver Sun illustrates how this can be down and how it can change how we look at Strata property. Check it out and see what you think!
VOTE FOR SUSTAINABILITY NOV 19TH
Also, with our civic elections around the corner, it might be interesting to put these ideas forward to our council. There are many that have sustainability on their radar, but these three are my favorites. They have great ideas on how to create sustainable and environmentally friendly growth that benefits everyone in Kelowna or the Okanagan Valley. Check their sites out and be sure to vote on Nov 19th!
There are a few homes in Kelowna that have some scary history behind them. A seller is not required anymore to disclose these stigma’s, like murder or suicide, to the buyer. Some buyers care and some don’t.
I rented a house not too long ago while we were building and there was definately some spooky things that happened there. Lights coming on in the middle of the night, apparitions moving around at night that were clearly visible, smoke alarms going for no reason. If you believe in ghosts, I’d have to say this “ghost” was friendly and had a sense of humor. My family was all aware of it being around but never had any fear. Here’s a list of 11 ways to “GhostProof” your house.
Need help selling your haunted house? Call Paige Guernsey direct at 250-862-6464 and get her 25 years experience selling real estate working for you.
The City of Kelowna has opened up applications for the NeighbourWoods tree program.
On a “first come first serve” program you can receive a discounted tree for your Kelowna real estate and help sustain our GREEN goals! Trees are similar to lungs, they remove carbon dioxide from the air and use it for growth energy. Over the lifetime of a tree, not only is several tons of carbon dioxide consumed, they provide shade, release oxygen, reduce erosion and ground water runoff, and form microhabitats for wildlife. Trees can reduce the amount of pollutants entering the air, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide and various particulates. Most urban tree species are carefully chosen for their ability to greatly improve air quality.Don’t delay Kelowna, sign up today for your tree and keep your real estate GREEN!
If you’re wondering how to make your home more attractive to a GREEN buyers, call Paige Guernsey at 250-862-6464.
If you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future, investing in a few well-conceived improvements could pay you bigdividends in terms of improving your resale value The big question is: where to spend your money? Whether you’re selling in the near future or at some later date, your first consideration should be the value you place on the improvements while you’re continuing to live in the home. After taking that into consideration, there are several guidelines that can help you achieve the best return on your investment.
Kitchen renovation tips, all for under $1,500
The kitchen is normally the focal point of any house. It’s the high point of virtually every potential buyer’s walk-through – male and female alike. As such, improvements to this area are almost always a worthwhile investment. Here’s a great video on a cost effective cabinet upgrade for as little as $1,500!
As a general rule, the more visible an improvement is, the better your chances for a good return on your investment. For example, mentioning you have a new water heater or plumbing upgrade won’t have the powerful visual impact of a new kitchen counter top or tile backsplash — even though they may cost the same. Refacing your existing kitchen cabinets is a lower cost option than replacing all your cabinetry. If you’re thinking of a major kitchen renovation, focus your energy – and your budget – on creating new work surfaces and improving function or traffic flow, rather than simply focusing on adding more floor space. Here’s a great video on updating counter space for under $1,500.
For the more budget conscious, a fresh coat of paint is one of the least expensive improvements that can create a favourable first, and lasting impression on buyers. In fact, dollar for dollar, a fresh coat of paint often delivers one of the best returns on your investment. Painting your kitchen and simply replacing your handles with updated hardware can revitalize the entire look of your kitchen and strengthen its visual appeal. Remember when choosing your colours that light colours can make a room appear larger, and neutral shades will be most appealing to the greatest number of potential buyers. Another optical effect that will help create the illusion of more space is to install new flooring or backsplash tiles on the diagonal to draw the eye up and away on the longest line possible. All for under $1,500…
Upgrade paint and wall finishings
A new tap, and possibly even a new kitchen sink are also very affordable options to give your kitchen a quick and affordable ‘facelift’.
Lighting is also a very affordable way to improve the look and the function of your kitchen space. For a very minimal investment, the new halogen light fixtures can illuminate your workspace while adding ambiance to your kitchen. Small under the cabinet halogen pot lights take up little space, and can add a modern flair.
If you’re not sure what’s worth doing or where to start, call Paige Guernsey direct at 250-862-6464. A great source of information, I can tell you what improvements will show well to prospective buyers in the future.
Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty’s managing broker, Susan Tough, has written a new blog. She’s a natural at it, and she’s called it “Across the TOUGH Desk“. In it she answers all kinds of questions buyers and sellers have before, during, and after a sales transaction. One of her blogs deals with the simple question “Can I sign for my spouse?”. A tougher question, (no pun intended!) is addressed in another blog post titled “When is it a good time to use a Fee Agreement?” This blog promises to be a winner. Watch for it in the future and learn all kinds of things about Kelowna real estate.
If you have a question about buying or selling a home in Kelowna that you’d like answered, call me, Kelowna real estate agent, Paige Guernsey direct at 250-862-6464.