Posted by stoneteam on May 15, 2013 | No Comments
Our real estate board, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board sends out a survey to all Realtors who have sold a home in Kelowna (Peachland to Oyama) for each month. While these statistics are not exact numbers as not all agents reply to the survey, it’s interesting to see where buyers are moving to Kelowna from.
We are seeing greater numbers of Albertans purchasing in Kelowna (we have three groups coming in this weekend) and we find that they are coming to live (not just speculating on the market).
Here are the results from the survey for April sales:
56.6% from Within OMREB Board Area (down from 57.6% in March)
19.0% from Alberta (up from 17.9%)***
11.1% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (up from 8.7% )***
9.3% from Other Areas in BC (down from 10.3% )
1.3% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (down from 2.7%)
1.3% from NWT/Yukon (up from 0%)***
0.9% from Outside Canada (down from 1.1%)
0.4% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (down from 1.6%)
It’s interesting to watch where buyers are coming here from. Of course the majority of sales are to people who already live in Kelowna (or surrounding neighbourhoods) but there are still a lot of people coming from elsewhere. The Okanagan climate is a big draw but additionally people are attracted to the area not only for our incredible golf courses and lakes, but also UBC Okanagan, our expanding Kelowna General Hospital and the Kelowna International airport.
If you have any real estate questions, please call or email The Stone Sisters Group as we’d love to help!
Posted by stoneteam on May 13, 2013 | No Comments
Buying a home is an exciting time, especially when it’s a market like we are seeing now in Kelowna with the market geared favourably towards buyers. There is a lot to choose from and generally speaking, you can take your time to ensure you find the ideal home. Something to always keep in mind however, is Resale Value.
The time to make money in real estate is when you buy, not when you sell. You may be planning to purchase this home and live in it for the next 20+ years… but keep in mind how the next buyer will view your home.
People frequently ask us what the top features are in a home. When we analyze our website statistics, we find that the number one feature people are looking for is a lake view. People moving to Kelowna from outside the area usually dream of having a glimpse of our stunning Okanagan Lake. Once they start viewing homes and neighbourhoods, the importance of a lake view is often superseded by other amenities and features. Location (as we’ve all heard a million times) is a key factor when deciding which home to purchase. Some people want to be near schools, others want to be close to amenities like a coffee shop, the beach and groceries (walk scores are being talked about more all the time). A well appointed kitchen is another highly sought after feature as is a nice en-suite bathroom and ample closet space.
A home with a steeply sloped driveway can be a challenge to sell.What are the biggest deterrents in a home? I thought long and hard before writing this down as I am bound to upset someone…. but busy roads and steep driveways are the biggest challenges we see when selling a home. In a Seller’s market where there isn’t much to choose from, then all homes are easier to sell. But in our experience, if a house is on a busy street or if it has a steeply sloped driveway, it will be more challenging to sell. The price of a home with negative factors must be priced lower than homes without those factors. A steep driveway can reduce the value of a home by $15,000 to $20,000 and a busy road can cost you between $20,000 and $30,000. Everything will sell if the price is right -but depending on the market, that can make the home much more difficult to sell.
The role of your Realtor is to stay impartial and see your potential new home from an unemotional point of view. No one can predict what kind of real estate market it will be when the time comes to sell, so if you buy the home you love – and keep the resale in mind for down the road, you will do well.
The Stone Sisters Group would love to help if you have any questions or comments. Please visit our website at http://www.stoneteam.com
Posted by stoneteam on April 15, 2013 | No Comments
Planting an Okanagan Garden
Well Spring is officially here and now it’s time to think about planting a garden here in Kelowna.
You shop in the organic aisles in the produce section, always scrub your vegetables, and keep a list of pesticide’s “dirty dozen” on your refrigerator door. You are a responsible and educated consumer for both yourself and your family. But, why not take it one step further?
Planting a vegetable garden is great way to go green in a health-conscious and super economic manner.
It’s true; the idea of cultivating a vegetable plot from scratch is a daunting one. However, what you may not know is that you and I, inhabitants of the Okanagan Valley, have a fabulous advantage. The location and climate we love about this place we call home is ideally suited to creating a successful and abundant vegetable garden. Our proximity to Okanagan Lake contributes to a hardy and nutrient rich soil quality. And the combination of a long summer season and short, mild winter season provides the opportunity to grow a copious variety of fruits and vegetables. By simply following a few guidelines, you can without a doubt create your own thriving Okanagan Valley garden.
First, those gentle seasons we enjoy year after year have created a mild and sometimes dry climate that makes efficient water retention necessary. Routinely picking weeds and mixing your gardening soil with a generous amount of peat moss or soaker hoses and drip lines should do the trick.
Fertilizer is also important for optimum growth potential. Our local abundance of dairy farms offers a great supply of bovine manure, one of nature’s most resourceful fertilizers.
Next, when choosing the location for your garden, take into consideration the amount of sunlight and shade different areas of your yard receive. The Okanagan Valley has no absence of sunlight during its long summer season, and plants such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers thrive in extend periods of sunshine. By comparison, other plants, like broccoli for example, grow best in a more shaded environment. During the cooler seasons, crops such as lettuce, cabbage, beets, and onions prosper best. However, no matter what you decide to grow, stick to north to south rows for optimal sunlight exposure.
We hope to have helped you with your future gardening ventures, and we wish you a flourishing and fruitful plot. Please feel free to contact The Stone Sisters Group at http://www.stonesisters.com for all your real estate needs.
Posted by stoneteam on February 28, 2013 | No Comments
Kelowna has some incredible builders and a wide variety of lots and locations to choose from. However, sometimes people want to build their home themselves.
Anyone who chooses to build their own home (for personal use) must first obtain an Owner Builder Authorization from the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO). That authorization sets out the specific rules regarding wait times prior to selling, information that must be given to prospective buyers and statutory protection. For example, in BC, an owner-built home cannot legally be sold within the first year of construction.
The Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) has released a new video that explains the rules and steps involved in building for yourself. It’s a 4 minute video that is interesting to watch if you are considering building a home for yourself, or if you are looking to purchase something that was built by an owner-builder.
http://www.hpo.bc.ca/owner-builders to find the video and learn some interesting information.
Let us know if the Stone Sisters Group can help in your search for the perfect home (or lot) in Kelowna!
Posted by stoneteam on February 27, 2013 | No Comments
Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board has just released the statistics for January 2013 and here are some interesting points:
JANUARY SURVEY SUMMARY
24.8% by First Time Buyers (up from 17.5% in December)*
19.8% of purchases were by Move-Up Buyers (down from 29.9%)
13.2% buying Revenue/Investment Property (up from 9.3%)*
11.6% purchasing Recreation Property (similar to December)
10.7% moving from Single Family to Strata (up from 5.2%) *
3.3% moving from Strata to Single Family (down from 4.1%)
2.5% moving into Retirement/Seniors Community (down from 3.1%)
* During the month of January, there was a substantial increase in purchases by First Time Buyers, and Single Family Homeowners moving to Strata Unit, and in the sales of Revenue/Investment Properties compared to December, while sales in other categories declined.
Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):
32.2% Two Parent Family/Children (up from 29% in December) **
25.6% Couple without Children (up from 20%) **
19.8% Empty Nesters/Retired (down from 21%)
10.7% Single Female (down from 15%)
9.9% Single Male (down from 13%)
2.5% Single Parent with Children (down from 4%)
** In January, there was an increase in purchases by Two Parent Families with Children, and Couples without Children compared to December, while other categories saw decreases.
61.5% from Within OMREB Board Area (down from 68.7% in December)
14.8% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (up from 7.1%) ***
11.5% from Alberta (up from 9%) ***
4.1% from Other Areas in BC (same as December)
4.1% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (same as December)
2.5% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (up from 2%) ***
1.6% from Outside Canada (down from 3%)
0% from NWT/Yukon (down from 2% — 16th month reported)
*** Compared to December, there was more migration from the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island, Alberta and Saskatchewan/Manitoba in January, but less movement from within the Board area, from NWT/Yukon, and from overseas.
Posted by stoneteam on February 25, 2013 | No Comments
We have lived in Kelowna for almost our entire lives. It’s a great place to live/work/play and raise a family. But sometimes it’s nice to get out for an evening and do something fun (without the kids). This past Saturday evening it was date night for my husband and I and we wanted to do something different.
We first went for a great walk downtown. We grabbed a coffee from Geobean Espresso (250.868.2922) Arguably the best coffee shop in Kelowna, located beside the Grand Hotel. The staff is really friendly and the coffee is incredible. Warm “to go” cups in hand, we strolled the boardwalk and enjoyed the relatively mild evening.
Next stop was McCulloch Station Pub in South East Kelowna (http://www.mccullochstation.ca) We had a lot of fun with with some great live music, fantastic hamburgers and a casual local atmosphere all under the watchful gaze of the resident moose. This is a fantastic pub!
To finish off a great night, we went to the Eldorado (http://www.hoteleldoradokelowna.com) for a nightcap. Situated on the shores of Okanagan Lake, this is a fabulous place to go for some fun people watching. You can enjoy a great dinner in the restaurant or just have a drink in the lounge. Friday nights you must arrive early to ensure a seat in the lounge, Saturday’s aren’t nearly as busy but it’s still a fun place.
We love helping people with their Kelowna real estate needs, but we are also very proud ambassadors of our region. Whether you have lived here in the Okanagan for many years, or are new to town, there are some wonderful places to go and things to see. Explore and have fun! And let us know if we can help. http://www.stoneteam.com
Posted by stoneteam on February 6, 2013 | No Comments
We were kindly invited to join Alan Kirschner on a guided tour of Kirshner Mountain recently and I was really impressed with what I saw. There are some incredible views from many of the homesites and yet the neighbourhood has level driveways and yards which makes it very family friendly.
As Kelowna continues to grow, a lot of our new communities are getting further and further away. That’s not the case with Kirschner Mountain. They say the official centre of town is now located approximately at the intersection of the highway and Banks Road… and it can take a long time to drive there from many parts of town. I was impressed with how quickly I arrived at Kirschner Mountain (took 10 minutes from our REMAX office) and yet it feels like you are far away from the hustle and bustle of town. I loved seeing the well used toboggan hill where kids from around the neighbourhood play and there is also a steep set of stairs going from one street to the upper level and two women were getting a great workout climbing those!
There are a lot of different choices in Kelowna if you are looking to move to a new neighbourhood, or build a new home. Kirschner Mountain is definitely worth looking into. You get views of Okanagan Lake, downtown Kelowna and out to the runway at Kelowna International Airport (for all the people we have who live here and commute back and forth to Northern Alberta for work). The lot prices start at under $200,000 and you have the freedom to choose your builder and design. It’s a beautiful neighbourhood in Kelowna that you’ll be happy you explored.
Posted by stoneteam on February 2, 2013 | No Comments
Happy Spring! We enjoyed a gorgeous day of sunshine yesterday here in Kelowna and today it shines again! After what felt like a long dark January, February is here and it feels like Spring.
Reports indicate that the Groundhog didn’t see his shadow today so we can anticipate more good weather.
Kelowna real estate is certainly affected by weather. People move to the Okanagan for a variety of reasons but weather is usually at the top of the list. We are fortunate to enjoy mild temperatures during the winter, but we also tend to get a lot of grey skies.
The photo I took yesterday of a beautiful view from a home that will be coming on market in Lakeview Heights soon shows how incredible the scenery here can be.
Real estate sales have been brisker so far this year than in January’s recently, so we are cautiously optimistic that the trend will continue.
Let the Stone Sisters know if we can help find you a great piece of Kelowna real estate!
Posted by stoneteam on January 3, 2013 | No Comments
Happy New Year! We wish you a great 2013!
There is a lot of talk and speculation about what the Kelowna real estate market is going to do price-wise this year.
Some people believe that the house prices in Kelowna will continue to drop. They say the world economy is not stable and that there isn’t enough of a supply of jobs here in the Central Okanagan to attract new people to the area.
Many other people feel that our housing market has stabilized and that while we likely won’t see much of an increase in the price of homes in Kelowna this year, things are more settled.
While no one knows for certain what is going to happen in the future, we feel confident about the future of Kelowna real estate.
This is an incredible place to live, raise a family, retire and work. The quality of life here in the Okanagan Valley is great and many people in other parts of the world wish they could live here too. Our city offers a great sense of community where, generally speaking, people look out for one another. Look at how much money was raised this year in the Be An Angel Campaign: “Generous donors contributed $121,613 to the campaign this year – the most ever. The money benefits families who use the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs and local food banks.” – Kelowna Daily Courier January 3, 2012.
The citizens of Kelowna are fortunate to have some great infrastructure here in the Central Okanagan (Kelowna General Hospital, the Kelowna International Airport and UBCO are a few that come to mind) which bodes well for the future growth of our city.
Kelowna real estate prices will likely be stable for 2013, with a few fluctuations depending on location and home type, but overall we believe the market is stable and Kelowna will continue to be a desirable place to live. If you’d like a no-obligation opinion of your home’s current value or a list of homes currently for sale in Kelowna, just send us an email or call and we’ll be happy to help.