The Okanagan real estate market, along with the BC market as a whole, continues to roar into 2021. The drivers consist of two things: relocation retirees and remote workers, and historically low inventory.
As Christmas draws near, the market continues to remain strong. This is largely buoyed by historically low inventory, as well as low mortgage interest rates. The stats below indicate and average price increase of 13.23%; once again I would advise caution while interpreting that figure. It is affected by many things, including the much, much higher volume of $1,000,000+ and $2,000,000+ properties that have sold this year. The luxury market is running strong, and those high priced homes do a lot to swing the "average" prices. Food for thought!
5 year fixed rates are currently available for 1.5-1.75%. If you are up for mortgage renewal, refinance, or are shopping for a new property, this is the perfect time to get a pre-qualification and lock in this incredibly cheap money.
My colleague Konstantin Seroshtan from Bluetree Mortgages West would love to help out! If you have any questions about a purchase, refinance, or equity take out, give him a call: 250-826-7626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month I have a stunning acreage in Black Mountain - a custom built home withsuite, situated on one full acre of perfectly flat and manicured land. It would be the perfect family home, with a 1 bedroom inlaw suite and limitless room for a shop, etc.
Address: 1975 Belgo Road, Kelowna, BC
That's all for now. If you are curious about a property, or your property's value, give me a call @ 250-575-4292. And I always love working with your referrals!
Merry freakin' Christmas!
Wondering how the winter market is shaping? Give me a call today and let's get to the bottom of it!
Covid-19 & Market Changes
There are a lot of questions circulating around, and just in the last few days I've had several conversations with friends and clients, asking what is happening in real estate during this challenging time.
Q) What's happening with prices?
A) Price movement has not made any major changes down, but we have seen Sellers accepting marginally lower offers than in January. As a Buyer you can most likely be more a bit more aggressive with your offers. As a Seller you are more than likely going to need to drop a bit lower than you'd prefer, but not significantly in most cases. The main takeaway here is that there may be "deals" out there, but don't plan on "stealing" anything with an offer 10% lower than list price. Further, if you are Selling and making a move to another property in Kelowna, while you may need to take a bit less for your property, you will likely pay a bit less less for your new home as well.
Q) Are Sellers still allowing showings? Can I view a property that I'm interested in?
A) Long story short, yes. We are taking as much care to protect all parties, and encourage the use of gloves and/or masks while viewing, but most properties are allowing showings just like normal. One exception is tenanted properties; in some cases, renters and tenants have indicated a solid "no" to showings, but this is few and far between.
Q) Are deals closing as normal?
A) Yes. Most banks have been directed to close on deals as usual, with no extraordinary measures taken regarding those who may be dealing with a temporary layoff or work interruption.
Q) Are there still Buyers out there for my listing, or should I wait to list?
A) Sales activity in most price ranges has remained resilient. Buyers are certainly still out there. Condos, townhomes, and "normal" family homes are still realizing consistent showing activity and sales. Some luxury properties, which tend towards out-of-town Buyers, have slowed down. At the moment you will likely get less showings than normal. However, the showings that you do get will be serious, qualified Buyers. Tire kicking is at an all time low.
Q) What's the deal with "Virtual Tours"?
A) Virtual Tours are a fantastic tool right now. For example, here is a link to the tour for one of my favourite listings, a beautiful home on Kensington Drive in Lower Mission: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=S9vDcvoYs1d. Using these you can see a lot of the layout of the home, etc, to see if it might work for you.
It has never been more important to be upfront, honest, and respectful in a real estate transaction. Emotions and stress are running high, and nerves are easily frayed. Everyone understands what is going on, and thankfully I've seen remarkable willingness to work together to get deals done. As a community we have stepped up in so many ways, and it's great to see the same happening in my industry, as trivial as it may seem right now.
As always, I'm here to help. Questions, concerns, requests for statistics, etc - anything I can do. It's not just about buying and selling, so never hesitate to reach out directly to the phone which is glued to my hip @ 250-575-4292.
Christmas is coming. Family is coming, friends are coming, and loud children are coming. Maybe some of you need a hideout – and treehouses are so passé. But how do you create that escape? Just as importantly, how are you going to maximize the envy of that nosey Bill from four doors down? Worry not, I’ve got you covered.
Shiny, Swanky Floors: Let’s assume you’re using your garage. We’re not designing a medieval palace ballroom here, but you can do better than those dusty, stained garage floors. So look to flooring epoxies. Choose any color and texture you like, even including metallic flecks or aggregate rock. Whatever you choose it will make cleaning a breeze and resist those nast oil stains, plus it will give a bit more insulation for those chilly Sunday game days.
Power Aplenty: To create a legendary space, you’re going to want power – and lots of it. You don’t want to be tripping over extension cords andpower bars, so make sure you incorporate lots of wall outlets. Most everything you want to make it into a home away from home require Edison’s Kool-Aid.
Top Tip: install a 220V outlet to charge your future electric vehicles? Think big!
Lofty Lift: It’s a dream for many of us gear heads, and it is more affordable than you think. If you’ve got the height and the space, finally add that car lift to you garage/man cave. There’s no better way to showcase, repair, or modify your chrome baby than with a modern lift. You’ll be the envy of the block, and best of all they’re not as expensive as you might think (for example: https://rem.ax/2P5dY5o)
Slammin’ Stools and Chairs with Flair: You’re going to want to be spending a lot of down in here. Bar stools are a given, and can be found with your favourite branding, from NFL teams to transmission manufacturers. Get yourself at least a couple of cool lounge chairs for the low-key days.
Top Tip: Try to track down a company that repurposes old materials into modern designs – old wood, scrap metal, etc. Or, for the gearheads in the audience, a couch crafted from a ’57 Bel-Air!
Cavernous Cabinetry: Storage is going to be imperitave. Tools, ski gear, motorcycle helmets. So many options, the best advice is just going with what works for your space. Hang them on the wall, hang them from the ceiling. Going hi tech and stainless? Simple inexpensive built-ins from the hardware store will suffice. Make sure to include lots of useable work space. For the more discerning outdoorsman, consider again repurposed materials.
Top Tip: A quick search online will find some awesome ideas with old shipping pallets!
A Bustling Bar: The best part about designing your own man cave is that it can be genuinely multi-purpose. A place to work on the car? Yes! A place to tinker on your grandfather’s black power musket? Yes! But that’s all thirsty work, so you’ll also be needing a place to serve refreshments. Themed fridges, custom lighting, unique glassware, and a nice big TV are the absolute musts – get creative! Extra credit for adding a sink and a dishwasher. Many garages are located conveniently close to the main plumbing lines in your home; it’s a breeze to add the required plumbing from there. If you can work in a small keg fridge… well welcome to your own sports bar.
Before you get started with shopping and falling in love with your perfect first Kelowna home, there is some fine print to get through. Some of it is unpleasant, but some of it will make you happier than a kid on Christmas!
- Provincial Property Transfer Tax (PPT): This can be a big one folks – the PPT can sneak up unsuspectingly and ruin your day – but not after you read this! In BC, the PPT applies to all real estate transactions with a select few exceptions. Luckily, as a first time homebuyer you can take advantage of one of these exceptions. If you are a first time home buyer purchasing a home under $450,000 there are rebates available that relieve of that particular concern. If your first home is over $450,000, you may be responsible for a part or all of the PPT. The other exception is on new-build properties. New construction is exempt from PPT for prices up to $750,000 for all buyers, first time or not. Note: The PPT must be paid up front, so you cannot usually roll it into your mortgage.
- GST – Speaking of new builds, always be aware that any new build in BC will be subject to federal sales tax. Yes, our old friend GST pops up everywhere, and property is no exception. In British Columbia, most listed new-build prices do not include GST, so it’s always safe to assume that you will need to add that 5% to the price. Luckily lenders and banks allow you to include GST in your mortgage, so you won’t have to come up with that 5% out of pocket! Once again though there is some relief if your purchase price is below $400,000 – partial rebates are available in these cases. Cha-ching!
- BC HOME Partnership – You may have heard about the BC HOME Partnership, but the program is now discotinued!
- Choosing your team! Buying a property is a big investment! Like all big investments, you’re going to want some help along the way. You need good people on your team.
- Realtor - Choosing a great realtor is important. A great realtor isn’t just one who can get you a good price. Education on the market, supporting you through the process, and post-purchase follow up is so important. Some agents even specialize in working with first time home buyers. Choose wisely! Check out http://geoffhallhomes.com/testimonials.html to find out why Geoff (e.g. me!) is the right choice.
- Mortgage Broker – Especially for first time home buyers, we always recommend getting an opinion from a broker instead of applying only at your bank branch. Mortgage brokers have access to dozens of lenders and types of financing options. Getting the lowest rate isn’t the only thing to consider – there are so many other things to consider, and a high quality mortgage broker will be worth their weight in gold.
- Lawyer – Usually real estate transactions are pretty smooth from a legal perspective, but we always recommend obtaining the services of an experienced real estate lawyer. There are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes during a purchase or sale, so get someone who can handle it all!
- Home Inspector – Home inspections are great insurance against unseen issues with a property. There is a lot of moving parts in a home, from heating systems, plumbing, irrigation, roofing – the list goes on. Hiring a quality home inspector who is familiar with the specific considerations of your neighbourhood is some of the best money you’ll ever spend.
There’s some stuff to get your started. The best option is really to call us for all the juicy information – there is lots to know and we’d love to chat.