Simple Repairs to Help Your Kelowna Home Show Better & Sell Faster

 

It is amazing how many details go into selling a home. Prospective buyers in Kelowna are eager to pick up a home with ultra-modern amenities and styling. While you may not be able to install new appliances and it probably isn’t a good investment to replace the kitchen countertops, there are still a few major improvements you can handle yourself.

Of course, fixing up what you already have will be the most cost-effective improvement you can make. Start by picking apart your home as if you were a critical investor – that should give you a better sense of what will stand out to potential homebuyers in Kelowna.

Here’s a list of common home repairs to get your mind on the right track:

  • Updated windows, roof & doors
  • Enhanced landscaping & curb appeal
  • Molding & trim
  • New fixtures (faucets, lights, cabinetry handles, etc.)
  • New floors
  • Fresh paint (interior & exterior)
  • Energy-efficient upgrades & appliances

Small Tasks To Help Your Home Sell Better and Faster

Taking time to ensure the details have been carefully looked after is important. New home buyers want to get as much bang for their buck as possible.

New flooring is a common upgrade; however, many DIY homeowners will have lose their zest by the time they get around to finishing the molding. Don’t skimp out on your perimeter.

Ensure that you have properly finished each room by protecting the edges of the floor and the walls securely and accurately. Staging your home is a great way to invite potential buyers to visualize living in your space.

Some of the best ways to help your home sell better and faster include:

  • Remove personal items for showings
  • Create a clutter-free vibe
  • Get an appraisal to determine a fair selling price that reflects recent upgrades
  • Create the illusion of extra storage by packing closets up
  • Use vanilla extract in the kitchen to create warm and inviting aromas
  • Remove traces of pets or any lingering odours

paint-Help-your-Kelowna-home-show-better-and-sell-faster-Kelowna-Life-Real-Estate

Landscaping and Curb Appeal

Adding some shade producing trees, organic fruit trees or evergreens can drastically change the look and feel of your home. Fall is a popular time to add trees, perennials or flower bulbs.

If you are considering low water and xeriscaping plants, the Okanagan Xeriscape Association has a list of over 400 native plants, trees, bushes, grasses and more that can increase visual interest.

It’s vital in today’s society to have native species of plants and trees for the health of birds and bees. Enhancing your curb appeal can definitely help your home show better and sell faster, but it also has practical environmental effects too!

Uniform Upgrades

It can be tempting to sink all of your funds into a new kitchen or master bathroom. Sometimes, these key rooms require a complete gut job. Do your research to find a contractor who can meet your time frame and budget. Stretching your dollar further is easier when you look for refurbished items.

Recycling wood and fixtures can save you lots of cash and help the planet too!

Family planning home repairs

Make A List To Help Your Kelowna Home Show Better and Sell Faster

It can be overwhelming to try and complete all of those finishing touches you have been meaning to implement prior to listing your house for sale. Kelowna Life recommends breaking your tasks down room by room. This makes it easier to focus and stick to a budget and time schedule.

Starting from the exterior, do a perimeter walk around with a notepad and a pen to take note of what items you see right away (both positive and negative). This can help you define areas of success and identify where you may need improvement.

Cluttered garden beds can be just as distracting as cluttered countertops.

Ask For Help

When preparing their Kelowna home for sale, many clients find it helpful to work with a friend or a family member to obtain an unbiased view.

When you live in the space you are trying to sell, it can be easy to ignore that annoying dripping faucet or not see the cracks in the foundation simply because you have gotten used to these things over time.

Once you have a list of the issues in your home, setting a budget and deciding on priorities is much simpler. Investing in home improvements to boost property value is the best way you can help your Kelowna home show better and sell faster.

Kelowna Life Can Help You Sell & Find Your Dream Home

Following simple tips and tricks can help you improve your home in a sensible way. Regardless, if you plan on completing these renovations yourself or hiring someone to help, you can enjoy a return on investment with careful planning and budgeting.

Kelowna Life Real Estate Group is here to offer buying and selling advice all the way. View our latest listings to become inspired! We’d love to meet with you and help you find your perfect Kelowna home! Contact us today for more information on listing or to schedule a viewing.

Kelowna Life Joins Macdonald Realty

Photo Credit: Macdonald Realty Kelowna

Kelowna Life Real Estate Group is excited to announce we are joining Macdonald Realty.

As Kelowna Life nears its fifth year in operation, we are thrilled about the next chapter in our journey. Our team will be joining a boutique firm located in the heart of Pandosy village: Macdonald Realty. Macdonald Realty was founded in Vancouver in 1944 and has continued to grow with 20 offices throughout British Columbia. Today, they are Western Canada’s largest independent full-service real estate company, with residential, commercial, property management and project marketing divisions.

Kelowna Life Real Estate continues to be proud of working and living in the Okanagan. Our new Kelowna office is ideally situated to serve the various communities of Kelowna, Westbank, the Okanagan Valley and beyond. You can find us at 2700 Richter Street in the Pandosy/Mission area of Kelowna, we’d be pleased to sit down with you and chat.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have joined an incredible boutique brokerage in Kelowna. We look forward to sharing our expanded marketing offerings and reach with all of our friends and clients in the near future”

Rob Nelson

Rob Nelson, Jason Abougoush and the rest of the Kelowna Life team are happy to help you with all your Real Estate needs while you ENJOY KELOWNA LIFE.

Kelowna Life Real Estate Team of Kelowna Realtors

Back to School

It’s that time of year again where days start to get shorter, the air gets cooler, and the leaves change colours. Summer is nearing its end once again, which can only mean one thing–school is just around the corner. Hopefully, you’ve had a great, relaxing summer with your friends and family. I hope you got to spend as much time as possible lying on a beach taking in the sun.

Summer or fall, those that live in The Ponds of the Upper Mission get to live a relaxing and fun life no matter the season. The residents enjoy the pleasures of the lake, mountains, and the beautiful views of the Okanagan Valley. There’s an abundance of hiking trails, parks, and natural ponds to spend your days. Add untamed access to mountain biking trails and it’s a great spot to enjoy your time off.

Another reason that makes The Ponds a great place to live is the proximity to some of the best schools Kelowna has to offer. Established in 1994, Anne McClymont Elementary is a fantastic school for kids to grow up at. Hosting students from kindergarten until grade six, it offers a great learning environment as kids go through the early stages of their education and development.

Chute Lake Elementary is another great school. Opened back in 2009 and built to high, environmentally sustainable standards, it had significant additions done in 2011. The school grounds connect to Chute Lake Park which is available for students for special field events. With a mission statement, “to develop inquiring, respectful and industrious young people who help create a better world by being critical, creative and compassionate thinkers,” Chute Lake Elementary is a great place to start your kids’ education.

Not only do The Ponds already have two top-end schools, the community is currently developing a new school to be opened in September of 2019. This will be a junior middle school that gives kids a chance to continue their education without needing a difficult commute.

When figuring out where you want to set up your family, the quality of schools has to be one of the most important things to consider. The Ponds of the Upper Mission are not just a beautiful and fun location, but also an area filled with new, quality schools for kids of all ages. You can live here too. Check Kelowna Life to learn how.

Water’s Edge North – Rebuilt.

The Okanagan Valley is renowned for its laid-back lifestyle. With access to a wide variety of activities no matter the time of year, Kelowna is a great city to raise a family. Whether you enjoy water sports in the summer or getting on the slopes in the winter, there’s never a dull moment. If you were like me when I moved here, I didn’t know where in Kelowna to set up. Where was the best place to raise my family? I might be a bit biased, but it’s hard to go wrong no matter where you move as this city is filled with great neighbourhoods. However, there are hidden gems throughout the city. One of which is a community called Water’s Edge North. A small neighbourhood close to Okanagan Lake, Water’s Edge North is a beautiful and scenic location in the Lower Mission area of Kelowna.

Located just steps from the Okanagan Lake, MKS Resources has worked tirelessly to create a unique blend of architecture, and inspiring design with a great location that has fabulous views, serene surroundings, and fantastic amenities. All that hard work has come together to create the Water’s Edge North community. Just a short distance from restaurants, destination resorts such as  Eldorado Hotel & Manteo Resorts. It is also close to water parks, orchards and Mission Creek Greenway. This neighbourhood has everything you could ever want in a community.

Not only is the Water’s Edge a beautiful community with a great location, but it’s also a community that has become stronger in the past year. In July of 2017, there was a massive fire in the neighbourhood that forced 176 homes to evacuate. It was a tragedy that devastated many families, or at least that’s what you would expect. Instead, the community used the fire as a tool to bring them closer together. They rallied together to rebuild their homes and do everything they could to help each other in a difficult time.

Tragedy is something no one ever wants to deal with. However, how one deals with tragedy shows the character of those involved. It can be easy to fall apart when something terrible happens, but when you get back up after a disaster, it shows true strength of character. That’s what the Water’s Edge did after a fire devastated their community, they got up and rebuilt. Now as the community continues to rebuild, the people are stronger than ever. For those reasons alone it is a great community to set up your family. With a strong, inclusive community, and plenty of things to do throughout the year, who wouldn’t want to live in the Water’s Edge? You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to learn how.

Kelowna Yacht Club – More Than Just Boats

In 1945 when Kelowna was still just a small town, there wasn’t much of a boating community. A surprising fact considering Kelowna is home to the beautiful Okanagan Lake. With nothing in place, a group of boat owners began to develop the Kelowna Yacht Club. It started small, with the founders initially focusing on building launching facilities and a clubhouse. However, this only provided the base for the club, and since then has blossomed into the beautiful community that it is today.

Yacht club When you think of a yacht club, you may form a quick opinion or expectations. However, the Kelowna Yacht Club is different from your average boating club. It’s a non-profit organization with a heavy focus on community. Thousands of children and young adults over the years have learned to sail through lessons that are open to the public. Accessibility to these lessons is as inclusive as possible in order to give everyone the opportunity to learn. Each year roughly 30 adults complete the learn-to-sail course where boat owners donate their boats and time to help develop the next generation of boaters.

In addition to teaching youth about the world of boating, the Kelowna Yacht Club prides itself on giving opportunities to people who might not get them elsewhere. They host the Blind Fishing Derby which offers 30 people with blindness or sight impairment the opportunity to fish with the assistance of crew members. Additionally, they host the Boat for Hope event which gives kids with physical and developmental challenges a fun day on the water.

It was the emphasis on family and community that originally drew me to the Kelowna Yacht Club. Not just the fast boats – I know hard to believe. The core values that always guide me in what I do both personally and professionally are family and community. It has served me well over the years in building my business and is the foundation upon which I view my relationships and friendships with my clients.

While I may not get out on the water as much as I would like, I joined the Kelowna Yacht Club for a reason. In addition to being part of a supporting community, I can’t think of a better way to spend time with family and friends than being on the water surrounded by the beauty and splendor that is the Okanagan. You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to learn how.

World Population Day

World Population Day is a day that takes place annually to raise awareness of global population issues. Established in 1989, it was inspired by the massive public interest in Five Billion Day, July 11th, 1987. In celebration of World Population Day, let’s take a look at Kelowna and how it has grown over the years as well as how it’s expected to grow in the future.

Father Pandosy MissionKelowna was first established in 1859 by Father Charles Pandosy. Setting up just one school and church, it was a very small community for the next half-century. In the 1901 census, Kelowna had a population of just 261. However, over the next 10 years the city began to see growth and by 1911 had grown to a respectable size of 1661. Ever since that point, Kelowna has been one of the fastest growing cities in all of Canada. By 1940 the population had grown to 5000 and then in less than 20 years, the population hit 10,000.

By 1970, Kelowna saw the biggest population spike in Kelowna’s history. The population went from 19,000 to 51,000 in 1976. This significant increase firmly planted Kelowna on the map. It was during this time it was discovered that Kelowna had uniquely fertile soil. This discovery lead to the production of amazing wines (lucky for me) and fruit which in turn contributed to the population spike in the 70s. Contributing to Kelowna being a more desirable location to live were the addition of two post-secondary institutions – Okanagan College and University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. Since then, Kelowna has steadily been increasing to the point where it now has a population of 127,000.

I am proud to say that I live in the 3rd largest city in British Columbia (22nd largest city in Canada). Growing faster on average than the rest of Canada, Kelowna is expected to continue to move up the Canadian population list. With Kelowna recently being ranked as the number one city to start and grow a business in Canada by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, this growth can only be expected to continue. Over the next 20 years the growth of Kelowna has been projected by BC Statistics to increase by roughly 50,000 residents.

To anticipate this growth, the City of Kelowna launched an initiative called Imagine Kelowna. Imagine Kelowna – a vision for the community, created by the community will help guide the community and the City on planning priorities of future projects. The main focuses of Imagine Kelowna will be to build healthy neighborhoods that support people from all walks of life, embrace a more diverse transportation options, grow more vibrant urban centres.

Kelowna is a thriving city and an incredible place to call home. I look forward to a future where we build a community that is inclusive, sustainable, welcoming of lifestyles and economic opportunities for not only my family but for all. You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to learn how.

Canada Day Weekend Fun

I don’t know about you but Canada Dayis one my favourite holidays to celebrate with friends and family.  It reminds me how blessed and lucky we are to live in a country with such great history and culture. Over the years of living in Kelowna, I’ve experienced the plethora of things that one can do to enjoy the day. This city is filled with beautiful scenery, convenient trails, not to mention the delicious food and amazing wineries.  There are activities for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re new to Kelowna or have lived here your entire life, everyone can appreciate the beauty of the Okanagan. With so much to be seen, there couldn’t be a better way to experience the nature and wildlife of Kelowna than the Okanagan Cycling Tour. Taking place on the historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail, the event starts at the famous Myra Canyon and makes its way to Penticton. Despite being an 80km event it’s a ride that the whole family can enjoy.

For those worried about the distance (aka don’t have the cardio like me), there are five rest stops along the way. Additionally, there are two shorter distances at 40km and 20km that start at Chute Lake Resort and Glenfir respectively.

For those who are looking for a more relaxing way to spend the day (now you’re talking my language) but still want to get into nature, there are still plenty of options. Kirschner Mountain is a very popular spot for geocaching. Geocaching is an outdoor activity where you use GPS to search for hidden containers or caches all over the world. It’s a fun way for a family to get out of the house and into nature for a good old fashion scavenger hunt.Elderly couple that have hiked to the top of a mountain in Kelowna

Another fantastic spot to check out if you’re interested in wildlife is the community of Wilden. From predators in the sky like the Red-tailed Hawk to critters on the ground like the Muskrat, Wilden is filled with all kinds of animals. It’s a great place to explore and the best place in Kelowna to see wildlife.

If nature isn’t your style and you just want to relax with your family with some good food and cold drinks than don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Kelowna is filled with a huge variety of restaurants and a plethora of local wineries. Lower Mission is a community with many local restaurants and authentic cuisine. With a wide variety of options including Mexica, Italian, Thai, and Local food, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s appetite.  Don’t forget about our downtown area – with multiple festivities for you to check out.

 At the end of the day,  when everyone needs some time to relax you can enjoy one of the many Vineyards in Upper Mission such as Summerhill, St Hubertus and Cedar Creek. I can’t think of a better way to finish celebrating Canada Day than with a glass of wine shared amongst friends and family. You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to learn how.

New Mortgage Rules in 2018

The Canadian government wants to provide new homeowners the ability to withstand rising interest rates. In 2017, the Canadian Government implemented changes for new applicants of high-ratio mortgages. The change was based on having applicants qualify at a higher interest rate, while still offering lower interest rates. By doing this, it ensured that if rates go up, these homeowners would still be able to afford the debt.

New Mortgage Rules in Canada

As of January 2018, additional mortgage changes have been implemented. The new 2018 mortgage changes simply take that philosophy and apply it to conventional mortgages. All Canadian buyers are required to pass a Mortgage Stress Test, which is essentially a worst case scenario. Homeowners must also qualify for the Bank Of Canada 5 year benchmark rate, currently set at 4.99%.

Borrowing Capacity on Buying a Home in Kelowna

New homeowners should expect their borrowing capacity to decrease based on the mortgage stress test. “The larger the gap between your pre-approved interest rate and the stressed rate will further impact/reduce your borrowing capacity.” However, new homeowners will not to be out of pocket any more on their monthly mortgage costs. For examples of the approximate reduced borrowing power under new stress test regulations, view the examples and payment calculator from Rampone Marsh.

Borrowing capacity is geared towards your GDS (gross debt service) and TDS (total debt service). An increase in these ratios, decreases your borrowing capacity. Placing a higher down-payment on your home, an increase in household income, or reduced debt will increase your borrowing power.

Kelowna Life’s Advice For Homebuyers

It’s important to have a good team surrounding you when it comes to your home purchase. Buying a home and signing a mortgage is a major milestone and a decision that requires qualified and trustworthy professionals.

It goes beyond just the real estate agent. A good mortgage broker can present different options and opportunities to make something work for your specific situation. We highly recommend doing some research on mortgage brokers in Kelowna or the Okanagan, or suggest using a mortgage broker recommended by Kelowna Life real estate professionals. We are happy to recommend trusted and knowledgeable mortgage brokers to our clients.

We have a great team at Kelowna Life Real Estate Group. It is imperative that you choose your representative carefully when making such an important decision. The help of our experienced team with extensive knowledge of Kelowna and surrounding area will ensure you make an informed decision. We listen to your needs, develop a custom tailored plan, and ensure every detail is taken care of so you can find the right home for you and your family.

Contact our hard-working and highly qualified real estate professionals at Kelowna Life today.