Posted by stoneteam on November 28, 2013 | No Comments
Many eager home owners are warned that the holiday season is the wrong time to list their home for sale. This is a common misconception that we see among home owners, and we wanted to provide you the top 10 reasons why listing during December is a smart move. If you are committed to selling your home, it can be an excellent time. Most buyers that will be looking at your property during the holidays are often pre-approved by their lender, and tend to be more serious buyers that we see other times. The reason behind this comes down to motivation. Buyers during December often have a different motivation such as using vacation time to search for property. They’re doing that because they have to buy, rather than want to buy. Time is of the essence to these types of buyers, rather than someone who is thinking about buying but may not have a definite time frame for their purchase.
One of the most important things for a seller is to ensure that their Realtor is still working and available to deal with offers that are written during the holiday season. We enjoy time with our families during this time, but always make sure that we are able to properly represent the needs of our clients – even on Christmas Day!
10 reasons why you should consider listing your home with the Stone Sisters Group during the holidays:
1. Most December and early January buyers are particularly serious and very likely facing some sort of deadline.
2. January is the biggest transfer month of the year and job transferee’s use the holidays to house hunt.
3. Many people want to buy before the end of the year for financial and tax reasons. Investors usually want to close by year-end for tax purposes.
4. Most sellers wait until spring or summer to list their home. This means that during the winter months your property will have far less competition versus any other time of the year.
5. Homes show well when decorated for the holidays creating a sense of family and people are much more emotionally drawn to the house, emotion sells. Of course, We do not recommend that large holiday inflatables are placed in the front yard!
6. Many people take vacation around the holidays, which allows them more time to look for a home.
7. Remodeling, decorating, appliance installation and other services are more available and at less of a premium. Large box stores will often run specials during December as it is not a busy time for people interested in home renovations.
8. There are usually no significant changes to mortgage rates or lending requirements near the end of the year. Banks and government officials tend to make lending change announcements in the New Year, rather than in December.
9. Lenders aren’t as busy as other months of the year, and can process mortgage loans faster. This is due to the fact that most home owners do not renew their mortgages during the holidays. Refinancing seems to be something that most of us think about AFTER Christmas!
10. Showings will be fewer and less intrusive, but more likely to be fruitful with motivated, qualified buyers.
It does not appear that interest rates will be rising anytime in the near future, so a buyer can certainly take advantage of the competitive rates that are advertised – whether it be for a variable rate or a rate that is locked in for say, five years. As mentioned above, mortgage lenders are often able to deal with a mortgage request faster during the holidays as there are not as many transactions.
Showing your home during the holiday season should be a pleasant experience, but do decorate modestly! Ensure that your decorations do not overpower the rooms. For sellers, it is important that your decorations do not hide or detract from selling features in your home. If you have a floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplace, We would encourage you not to place the Christmas tree in front of the fireplace. Keep it simple. Decorate your tree, but if you find that the tree actually makes your home look smaller, maybe select a smaller tree this season to free up the space. Placing a small amount of decorations such as candles or centerpiece inside, or a simple wreath or swag on your front door will welcome potential buyers and create a positive first impression.Holiday decorating can really add a feeling of warmth to a home if done correctly!
If you are serious about selling your home, and want a FREE comprehensive market evaluation of your property, contact us today at 250-862-7675 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Posted by stoneteam on November 20, 2013 | No Comments
A number of the people we have helped lately have been Baby Boomers who are assisting their parents with selling the family home. It can be a difficult transition for seniors to move from a single family house into an assisted living complex. There’s the issue of finding a comfortable home for Mum and Dad with amenities and activities that will interest them – while allowing them to maintain their independence and dignity. Another issue is how to “downsize” the seniors personal belongings.
The Stone Sisters are here to help! We are familiar with the different housing options available and can help match seniors with the best next home. We have assembled a team of specialists who can help with packing & moving and then preparing the home for sale. With our extensive marketing program we will be able to sell the property quickly and for top dollar. This gives great peace of mind – especially to the children who live out of town and cannot be here in Kelowna to help with the process as much as they may like.
We have a list of satisfied clients (both the parents and their children) and we would happily give you their contact information.
If you, or someone you know, is faced with this situation – please contact the Stone Sisters and allow us to help.
Tamara & Shannon Stone
Posted by stoneteam on November 8, 2013 | No Comments
Kelowna had a light dusting snow this week – which is really early for flurries in the Okanagan.
We are also experiencing a flurry in Kelowna real estate sales right now. In the last 7 days there have been 56 properties sell in the Central Okanagan (Peachland to Oyama). It’s great to see that there is good activity this late in the year.
2013 has been a strong year for housing in Kelowna and we anticipate seeing a good number of sales in the remaining weeks of the year.
There are some incredible buys out there; lakeshore properties for almost half of their original asking price, nice condos for under $100,000, and investment properties that will cash flow.
If you would like details on any properties for sale in Kelowna, just let the Stone Sisters know.
Posted by stoneteam on October 15, 2013 | No Comments
The year 2013 is in its homestretch, and thoughts of a brand new year and new trends in home design are beginning to fill the thoughts of homeowners and interior designers everywhere. However, this 13th year of the millennial is not ready to be forgotten. With countless new found and re-found trends in home style, it has certainly been an interesting year for the field. So which designs have you brought into your own Kelowna or Okanagan property? Take a look at our list of just a few of the top trends for home design and see which ones you’ve embraced and which you may have saved for 2014.
Stripes, stripes, stripes! This design aspect, often associated with vintage finds or nautical themes, has found new life this year. We are often seeing this simple trend for carpets, wallpapers, or upholstery used in combination with simplistic furnishings and décor, so as to not compete with its surroundings, instead to complement them. In this way, the bold choice transforms from busy and distracting towards elegant and interesting, all the while infusing a room with energy and vibrancy.
Turning design into a sensory exploration. By default, we typically make our design choices based upon how something looks. However, one of the trends in 2013 for home design is introducing our other senses into the equation, primarily touch. Our home should be a place of warmth and comfort, where we go to melt away the daily stresses of the outside world. Incorporating “touchable” fabrics and decor into your design is one way to do so. Think natural fibers and materials, such as wood, suede, jute, and of course leather.
Parisian Influence. It all started with retailers like Restoration Hardware and World Market, the Louis XIV style is quite frankly “all the rage” among professional designers and homeowners everywhere. The grey and lighter-wood tones, in collaboration with precise straight lines and natural upholstery creates a timeless classic style with the capability of conveying a chic elegance in any room.
See and DIY. The trend that gained momentum in 2012 with the cultural explosion of the Pinterest and Houzz applications, has only further taken off in 2013. The ability to personalize and save lots of cash that Doing it Yourself offers is truly crucial to many home owner’s decorating ventures. Whether it is re-finishing a vintage or antique piece of furniture in a brighter color, or creating a new design use for an old or discarded object, many creative minds are having a great time with this new trend. You don’t have to be a Mr. Fix-it or Martha Stewart to tap into this style either, the internet is filled with simple step-by-step instructions for numerous projects.
Posted by stoneteam on October 7, 2013 | No Comments
This is my favourite time of year (and my son’s) when we get to visit the Kelowna Pumpkin patch at McMillan Farms. They are open from 10am to 6pm until October 31st and if you haven’t been before be sure to stop by this year and take a hayride, go through the corn maze or purchase some beautiful multi-coloured corn and gourds for Thanksgiving decorations.
Posted by stoneteam on October 7, 2013 | No Comments
Here we are, officially one pumpkin pie and a pair of leather boots deep into the season of fall. And as our Okanagan summer speedily recedes into the dark depths of winter, so do the lush lawns and blossoming blooms that portray your home in its most beautiful light and seem to make selling it a breeze.
But don’t let the browning grass and shorter days discourage you, there are plenty of ways to attract buyers to your Kelowna property no matter how dismal the weather. While the endless sun and nature’s beauty are your means to selling your home during the spring and summer, during this darker half of the year the key to a quick sale is thoughtful staging.
In this regard, staging is not only furniture layout and pillow placement, it is truly the concept of showing your home at its best. First, utilize what people love about this season. Think toasty beverages, cozy fabrics, and a warm temperature/environment. If you have a gas fireplace, turning it on before showings will allow potential buyers to imagine themselves at your home on the coldest of nights. Throwing a plush or fur throw over a bed or sofa further adds to this sense of calm and coziness.
And don’t be afraid to be festive during the holiday season; offering a plate of homemade cookies or mugs of hot cider encourages whimsy thoughts of parties and family gatherings. Secondly, remember to keep it bright. If possible, encourage showings during daylight hours to show the home in natural light. However, when this is not a possibility, keep extra lights on throughout your property and do what you can to brighten your home by other means. Choosing lighter paint colors is one way to warm an otherwise dark space. Avoid an abundance of dark furniture, and brighten existing dark pieces with lighter throws and pillows.
Additionally, be sure to keep your windows washed. This often overlooked task is vital during the winter months, when strong southern light can highlight built-up dust and grime. Lastly, keep snow and ice at bay during those true winter months. These seasonal hazards are not only a potential danger to visiting buyers, they can quite possibly prevent showings all together. Properly shoveling and de-icing ensures that agents and their clients can properly view your home from every angle.
While you may have to put in a bit more effort during these colder months to maintain your home in showing condition, the payoff is truly worth it. A warm and inviting property on a cold and gloomy day will stand out to potential buyers tenfold over other homes that haven’t been as carefully staged.
For more information or a complimentary home evaluation please contact The Stone Sisters today for all of your Kelowna home buying and selling needs.
Posted by stoneteam on September 27, 2013 | No Comments
Fall has arrived in the Okanagan Valley after a long hot summer! With the onset of cooler weather, comes a change to the Kelowna real estate market.
The summer is a busy time here in Kelowna – for tourism as well as real estate. This is a beautiful region with a lot to offer, and people come from all over to visit and explore the Okanagan. While Realtors can be very busy showing properties during the summer months, we tend to see the number of sales increase in September and October.
While most people agree that this is a beautiful place to call home, some people return to their home after a visit to Kelowna, and decide that they want to make their dream of living in the Okanagan a reality.
We have had a number of serious groups of interested buyers here this month looking at buying a home in Kelowna. Three of them were here on holidays this summer and have decided to not put off a purchase in Kelowna for any longer.
Kelowna real estate prices are still down considerably from the peak in 2008. We are seeing much more activity out there, but that has not translated into higher sales prices (just higher volume of sales). With interest rates still low (but lots of talk out there that they will rise), and vacancy rates low, many people feel that this is the time to buy in Kelowna.
It will be interesting to see where the numbers finish for this month. So far there have been 196 single family homes sell this month (compared to 126 for all of September of last year). We predict that while we are not anywhere close to the boom days of 2005-2008, the Kelowna real estate market has begun to recover.
There are still some incredible buys out there and we’d love to help find you a great home in Kelowna. Let us know if you have any questions.
Posted by stoneteam on September 16, 2013 | No Comments
Yesterday afternoon my family and I went to visit Kelowna Mountain. If you haven’t visited yet you absolutely must soon! This is an absolute marvel and will draw people from around the world!
There are several long suspension bridges that offer amazing views of the entire Okanagan Valley. My heart was pounding as I am terrified of heights, yet my daughters convinced me it was worthwhile (they were right!) We could see from Peachland to Oyama and enjoyed the view of the lake, the mountains and the soaring birds playing in the wind. Honestly it took my breath away!
There is a beautiful main building with an ampitheatre that will be a stunning place for your Kelowna wedding ( they are now taking bookings for 2014!). One of my favourite spots was the outsoor dining room set in a cave with a stunning waterfall (so romantic). You can drive right up to the top and there is lots of parking, or the more adventurous can park at the bottom and hike up.
As we were walking around, we heard several different languages as there are already people coming from many different countries –everyone was exclaiming how incredibly beautiful Kelowna Mountain is. You really must visit it yourself as we are so fortunate to have this here in the Okanagan. To get there, drive up Lakeshore Road past Summerhill Winery, then turn left at the sharp corner and thentake another left.
Posted by stoneteam on September 11, 2013 | No Comments
The City of Kelowna has just announced changes to the affordable housing program. The program was started a few years ago when the price of a house in Kelowna was considerably higher than now. There was a need for more affordable housing and the city offered incentives to developers to fill the need.
Now that the average price of a home or condo in Kelowna has come down, the city of Kelowna has decided to do away with the program.
Read here for all the details as reported by Castanet.net this morning: http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-98108-1-.htm#98108
If you have any questions or want a list of the most affordable homes for sale in Kelowna, just let the Stone Sisters know as we’d love to help!