Friday, 31 August 2012

Buying or Selling in the Kelowna Area

Whether you are looking at Kelowna as a place for investments, a vacation spot or to make it your home, it will be a place you will want to come back to or live for the rest of your life. Not very many people who come to Kelowna or live in Kelowna ever want to go elsewhere. The people who live here say it is the "best city in the world". Everyone you talk to loves it here, they are so welcoming, friendly and helpful it is hard to believe that you can find that my friendly people in one place.

There are many great places to live in or around Kelowna. What you will have to decide is do you want prime real estate that is right on the water, or would you like a nice home nestled on a hill overlooking a vineyard, the Okanagan Lake or the city of Kelowna? Could it be a condo on one of the many golf courses here or would you like an acreage outside of Kelowna?

Whatever your decision may be, it is important that you find the best real estate suited for your needs. Hire a knowledgeable Kelowna Realtor. It will make the entire process so much smoother if you have a real estate agent that knows what they are doing and is willing to work for "you" to get "you" the best price.

Fund Raising Tournament is Back

Last year was to be the final tournament that has raised $500,000.00 for the Kelowna General Hospital over the past 10 years. But it is back this year by popular demand! The popular tennis and bocce ball tournament will be held again this year at the lakeside home of Walley and Marietta Lightbody on Abbott Street across from the hospital. 

Starting September 14th the Lightbody's home will become the headquarters for the weekend fund raising sports event. They will erect stands that will hold 200 spectators on their front lawn. Highlights include matches between local doctors and lawyers, and some of the province's best tennis players are expected to attend. The plans also call for a dinner, silent auction and raffle, with a performance by singer Anna Jacyszyn

Proceeds from this year's event will be used to purchase a cardiac and respiratory monitors for the pediatric ward at Kelowna General Hospital. The units each cost $22,000.00

Registration for the tournament's opening events, dinner and competition can be done online at kghfoundation.com or by calling 250.862.4438

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Not even in Canada

Target stores haven't even opened in Canada but they are hold a beach party! Today, from 9 am - 6 pm the beach party will be held at Kin Beach in Vernon. Target will hold the Bullseye Beach Event in keeping with it's red bullseye logo and signage.

Head down to Kin Beach for some beach volleyball, ring toss, sandcastle building competitions. There will also be an ice cream and juice lounge and a Bullseye Beach Shop. Target is holding four other similar events in Alberta and Ontario before it's big time launch into Canada.

Harvest Time in the Okanagan

Okanagan is the place to be in late summer if you like fruit. The plums, peaches nectarines, apricots and what is left of the cherries are being picked and ready to eat! The apples and pears are coming. The hot dry July and August weather is producing bigger and better apples and late season cherries. 

Apples are the Okanagan's largest tree fruit crop coming in at around 200 million pounds, cherries come in with around eight million pounds, while peaches come in at around three million pounds and nectarines are around seven hundred thousand pounds. It is no surprise that apples are the biggest cash crop, they were  first planted here 153 years ago by the first white settler Father Pandosy and have been grown ever since. With the Okanagan's hot dry summers, mild winters the weather is perfect for growing apple trees. When you are out and about stop by one of the many fruit stands you will come across and pick up some fresh picked fruit!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Medieval Fair

What are you doing on Saturday? If you have nothing planned then why not head to Camelot Vineyards as they will be hosting their third annual medieval fair this Saturday August 25th from 11 am to 4 pm. All ages are welcome. There is a charge for teens of $5, adult admission is $10 but that includes a glass of wine! And kids under 12 get in for free.

Camelot promises there will be sword fights, artisans, archery and general revelry. You will be able to purchase a lunch if you get hungry and free bottled water will be provided. Camelot Vineyards is located on East Kelowna Road.

Scammers at it Again in Central Okanagan

If you have people coming to your door looking for donations, be careful as scammers are out there claiming to be canvassers for a children's charity. I guess they feel if they use children, everyone is more likely to give. But what they are really doing is trolling for your personal information, say police. 

These people are showing up on your doorstep and claiming to be canvassing on behalf of UNICEF. They will tell you that you can only donate via debit card or credit card as they are carrying a portable card machine. Police suspect the machine is then capturing your financial information, including your personal identity number (P.I.N.). They are then using that information to make fraudulent cards and withdrawing money or buy things with the fake cards.

In some cases, the scammers will give you a realistic receipt and a Starbucks coffee after the exchange. The scammers may use other charities as well. If you are suspicious, politely decline their request for a donation close your door and report it to the police.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Hard Luck Hoax

The hard luck hoax is back in Kelowna. The Kelowna RCMP are warning the public about people who want your hard earned money. The RCMP have received at least half a dozen calls of the hard luck hoax. What it is basically is a man approaches the potential victim and asks for money as he is having car troubles and needs to have his car towed. All of which is not true, they are just trying to get money from you. In some cases the suspect has offered to exchange a $100 US bill for $40 Canadian. The exchange is never made, as the suspect snags the cash and runs.

Several descriptions have been provided to police and it seems that there are at least three people involved in the scam. The suspects have even dressed up in hard hats or high visibility vests and carried jumper cables. This is not the first time these scam has been in Kelowna this summer so please be aware.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Apple Triathlon is this Weekend

The apple triathlon is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this weekend here in Kelowna. Due to the London Olympics there will be no Simon Whitfield, Paula Findlay, Kyle Jones or Kathy Tremblay. But this event will have a new cast of hopeful Olympians. For the first time the 2012 Kelowna Apple Triathlon will host a new race specifically geared to assist the development of potential future Olympians. This is a U16 race and will be held Saturday morning. If you are looking for something to do why not head down and take in the race.


Voted Best Triathlon in Western Canada!
Over 1500 readers of Get Out There Magazine voted for their favorite events and selected the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon as the best triathlon in Western Canada. 


But before you head down you might want to check out the road closures and parking. Below is a listing of the Road Closures/Detours for the 2012 Kelowna Apple Triathlon. Alternatively, please download the Road Closure list at http://www.appletriathlon.com/2012roadclosures.pdf.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bats and more Bats

In the warm water around Peachland, you can expect to swim with the bats, not baseball bats, but real live bats. Apparently at dusk the little creatures head down to the water and fly close to the surface to gobble up the mosquitoes. It is the first thing many of them do every evening after leaving their roost in the 6,600 square foot attic they call home. The attic is located in century old Peachland school house on Beach Avenue. There is a nightly departure of an estimated 3,000 bats, the bats don't all fly out at once but it is quite a spectacle for the locals and tourists. This ritual of nature is currently taking place between 8-9 pm. 

The visitors information centre says it has definitely become a tourist attraction. Every Tuesday at 3 pm for the rest of the summer they have a Bat Chat taking people on tours of the old school house, letting them have a look at the slumbering colony via closed circuit cameras. So if you are looking for something to do with the kids or just yourself head down to Peachland at dusk to watch the bats. Or Tuesday afternoon for Bat Chat!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hardy Falls


Hardy Falls Regional Park is now open after having seven of it's eight bridge crossings completely rebuilt. The old bridges crossing Peachland/Deep Creek were originally installed in 1996. This six hectare regional park is just off Highway 97 south of Peachland. This park is great for picnics and hiking. The highlight of this park is the falls which is a relatively short walk in.
In the fall, you can watch the kokanee salmon swim up stream to spawn, but be on the lookout for bears as they are there fishing for dinner!

Need Something to do Today?

It is a beautiful day out today, are you looking for something to do? Why not pack a picnic basket and head to Vernon. Silver Star Mountain's is in full bloom with colorful wildflowers. With the two wetter than normal springs and early summer it has created a the lushest display ever. The slopes this year are full of tall white cow parsnips and blue lupines. There is also a great display of red Indian paintbrush, bi-colored columbines and mauve mountain daisies and the tall deep purple monks hood delphiniums are just starting to bloom. So head up to Silver Star Mountain and check it.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Home Maintenance

This month maintaining grout/caulking and sink drains:

Clean and Replace Grout and Caulk
Inspect the grout in tiled areas of your home, particularly in bathrooms and the kitchen. If grout is cracked or missing, remove and replace it in the affected areas. Grout should be cleaned regularly, particularly if it comes into contact with moisture, to keep it free from stains and mold. Use an old toothbrush and one of these cleaning products: TSP, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, bleach or grout cleaning solutions. Inspect the seal around sinks, showers and tubs and re-caulk any spots where caulk has cracked or separated.
Use a silicone tub and tile caulk.

Clean Sink Drains
If you’ve got a slow-draining sink, take action. First, try a homemade drain cleaner. Mix a solution of equal parts of salt, baking soda and vinegar. Pour it into the drain and chase it down with two quarts of boiling water. You can use this solution monthly. Try to avoid chemical drain cleaners; they can damage the pipes and create toxic exposure for you and your family.

Everyday Hero Dr. Moshe Oz

A Kelowna veterinarian and his staff are heroes to a young Vernon boy and his puppy Tasha. Kolby received a mastiff puppy for his birthday present after getting her home it seemed that something was right with the puppy she was lethargic, but the family thought the puppy was just missing her siblings. After four days they took to the local vet and she was diagnosed with parvoviral enteritis (parvo) a serious and often deadly disease. 

The family immediately contacted the breeder to ensure that she would receive the treatment she needed. They were in no position to take care of the bills themselves, only to find out the breeder was in no position to take care of the vet bills either. The breeder call the SPCA asking if they could take the puppy and provide the treatment she needed. The SPCA took the puppy and rushed her to the nearest vet where she received treatment. Dr Oz and his staff provide the 24 hour care that the puppy needed  to save the pup life. When he learnt the family story he offered to cover all the medical costs to save Tasha's life on July 26th the healthy puppy was reunited with her family.

Thank you Dr. Oz! Dr. Oz and his staff are located at the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Block Party Downtown Kelowna

The Downtown Kelowna Association is having a block party Downtown on Saturday August 11th. The Block Party will close down Bernard Avenue from Richter Street to the Sails and will be filled with vendors, entertainment and three musical stages. 

The main Block Party Stage will be highlighted with five live acts throughout the day, including Nuuka, Fields of Green, Ali Milner and DJ Sean Shepherd. From Water Street to Pandosy there will be the second live stage wtih four acts from 11:45 am - 4:45 pm. The Kelowna Art Gallery will set up a large crafts area and will also have different activities throughout the day.

The block from Pandosy to Ellis Street wiht highlight the visiting Cirque du Soleil. So pack yourselves and the kids up and head downtown for the day! It should be a great time.

The Block Party is free to attend. For a list of the entertainment scheduled for the three stages visit www.downtownkelowna.com

Monday, 6 August 2012

Moving Tips

Moving into a new home is a life experience that few people describe as “fun.”
But with our tips of things to do before you move in, you’ll be ready when the furniture arrives.
The move can totally consume you for a long time: planning, packing, moving, cleaning. When you arrive in
your new home, you’re faced with even more challenges. It may seem a small thing to decide where to put
the best china or everyday dishes, but after all the work moving out of the old home, the last thing you need
is another big decision or another major project. But doing some work to your new home right away will make moving in feel great.
If you’re moving into a new house, you may not need to do anything at all. Lucky you! But if you’ve bought a home with carpet you hate, you’re probably thinking that it has to go. Should you wait until you’re moved in, or tackle the job now?

You may decide that it’s too much to think about right now, that you should leave the decision about
replacement for later after you’ve settled in. You may not have the budget or time to do anything but move.
But be sure to weigh in the “cost” to you in both hassle and time if you wait to do a necessary project at a later date.
Replacing flooring is a major project, and if you have the money and you can make just this one decision at
moving time, you’ll really be doing yourself a favor. If you put it off, you’ll be faced with moving all your furniture out of the rooms. What a bother! Not just for you, but for the flooring installers as well! There will be furniture all around the place, and you’ll have to move it back into the room when they’re done. If you can do it when you move, be sure to order the flooring well in advance of your move. Make arrangements to have new flooring installed a day or two before you move in. Cover the new flooring with mats, tarps, or area rugs so the movers don’t track in dirt or scratch the wood. Then, when they set your sofa and coffee table in place - you’ll be home.

Below are some other pre-move-in projects that can save you time and trouble.
Choose the projects that are the most pressing. If your budget won’t allow re-carpeting the entire house, just
do one floor. If you can’t face paint decisions for every single room, then just do the rooms where the decisions are easy.

Painting - Whether you do the work yourself or hire someone to do it, it’s a lot easier to paint an empty room. There will be no need to move furniture, take down draperies, clear out the closets, or take every picture or mirror off the walls. Allow several days to repaint before the movers show up, especially if you’ll be doing the work yourself. This type of work always takes longer than you think. Or, hire a crew (professional painters or friends) to come in and get it over with in a day or two. Painting even part of the house before you move in can be a terrific time saver. If you can’t decide on colors, then just have everything painted a clean white, a pretty light beige, or other background color you love -- depending on what works best with your furniture and color schemes. Once the major patching, priming, trim work, and base coats are in, adding another wall color at a later date can be a snap.

Crown Molding - Does anyone not love the look of crown molding? It’s a wonderful luxury to be able to install molding around the whole house all at once, before you move into your new home. Be sure to prime and pre-paint the strips of molding before installation, just before painting the interior walls. You may need to do some touch up at the joints and nail holes, but that’s a lot easier than standing on a ladder for days trying to paint three coats of paint on the molding near the ceiling!

Here are some more great projects to do before the moving truck arrives at your new home.

Re-Key - You’ll never know how many keys are floating around for your new home unless you get new locks or re-key the existing locks. The previous owners may have given a key to neighbors, workmen, relatives, or cleaning services, and you’ll get some peace of mind if you get new ones. This is a project to do just before or soon after you move in.

Closet Systems - Having things organized, fitting into your new home, will really make you feel great. You’ll love wonderful closet systems with double hanging poles, drawers, and shelves up to the ceiling. If you wait until later, you’ll have to take everything out, pile your clothes in stacks on your bed or floor (can you visualize your clothes wrinkling in giant stacks), and live out of suitcases for a day or two until the closet fittings can be installed. No matter when you choose to do it, professional installers can be in and out in a jiffy. Do-it-yourselfers may need a bit longer to figure out the instructions, but once the process is down for the first closet, each additional closet should be faster and easier. If you do some measuring in your new home before you move in, you can plan ahead and choose and buy your closet components ahead of time.

Electrical Upgrades - If you’re moving into a new home, you may have all the electrical outlets you need. But older homes could be a challenge. You can do the upgrades anytime, but everything is easier to get to in an empty room. Remember, electricians are paid by the hour and they’ll be able to work faster if they have immediate access to outlets and room for ladders and equipment. Older homes may need GFI’s in kitchens and baths, as well as additional outlets for TV’s, phones, computers, or lamps. This would be a great time to add a ceiling fan, and an electrician can install a wall switch, brace the ceiling and install a specialized box for the fan. You might want better work light in your kitchen or reading spotlights over your bed. Lighten up a hallway with new track lighting or add lights in your new closets. Two real luxuries that are easy to do are an outlet inside a vanity for your hair dryer or an outlet on the mantle for holiday lights. How about a motion-activated ceiling light in a basement or laundry room? All of these projects can be easier to complete when your rooms are empty. The work can be completed without your having to move furniture or cover room accessories to protect them from drilling dust.

Garage Storage - Will you be able to park your car in the garage, or will it become the storage spot for everything from garden tools to holiday decorations? Yes, once you move in, it’s FULL of stuff. So, if you want to build storage shelves, finish the floor with an epoxy coating, or install a workbench, it can be much easier to do it before the garage is stacked to the ceiling. Another handy tip -- if you have sturdy garage shelving from a previous home, arrange to have it loaded on the truck last, then unloaded first, so boxes marked “Storage” can be placed easily and quickly onto waiting shelves.

Using the tips and hints here, you’ll find that moving into your house can really be a pleasant experience. You’ll feel right at home in a jiffy! Happy moving!

How's the Market for July?

Sales Continue to Outpace Last Year July continued the trend of more sales taking place than last year at this time. In fact, the local real estate board shows that sales, year to date, are up more than 10% with July actually showing gains of almost 14% ahead of July last year. This current activity is encouraging to see considering the Federal Government tightened lending practices for mortgages which appears to have had an effect on the Greater Vancouver market which is down 18% and the slowing of the red hot Toronto market. Prices continue to hold steady in Kelowna and area despite this increased level of activity and slightly lower levels of inventory. Buyers still have the upper edge in our market, but we are certainly getting closer to the desirable balanced market. Albertans have returned to the valley during this past year and most recently we are seeing more buyers coming out of the Lower Mainland.

But, our market is definitely locally driven which is always best for the community overall. Earlier this month, as mentioned above, the Federal Government made changes to the mortgage qualifying process by reducing the amortization period from 30 years to 25 years and the amount of home equity interest loans from 80 % to 65%. It was felt that our level of debt was just getting too high and that these measures were needed to reign in our spending. The reduced amortization period likely takes away about 7% of the potential buyers, primarily the first time home buyers because of the higher monthly mortgage payments. Or these buyers have to reduce their expectations as to what they can purchase in the existing marketplace.
As we move half way through summer, with a traditionally quieter August, it will be interesting to see if we can maintain the strong year we are having.
Alberta is doing well, optimism seems to be prevalent and our valley just continues to hold so much attraction to so many people that we expect to move into the fall on a positive note.

Friday, 3 August 2012

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Golf Course Living with a Lake View! Beautiful Town Home on the 5th Fairway. Large 1780 Sq. Ft. 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom with Office/Den. Huge east facing deck with Peek a Boo Lake & Golf Course Views. Entertaining size Living & Dining Rooms with Slate Fireplace. Galley Kitchen with Pot Lights & plenty of Cupboards & Counter Space. Single car Garage & Storage. Hot Water Baseboard Heating included in Strata Fees. Many updates. This is a rare opportunity in a great complex. Perfect for a relaxed lifestyle. Won`t Last Long. Click on link for virtual tour http://idx.imprev.net/03782F07/95/128095/1754810/index.ipv

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Bicycle Sale

On Saturday Aug 4th there will be a bicycle sale that will help those in Ghana to ride. Bicycles for Humanity will sell a variety of children's bikes for a minimum of a $5.00 donation. The group is collecting adult bikes to send to Ghana, some children's bikes were also donated however, they are not needed. As Bicycles for Humanity can only afford to send over bikes for the people that need them most the adult caregivers or those in need of transportation for employment.

The money raised in selling these kids bikes will go to help cover some of the costs of shipping the much needed adult bikes. In addition to selling the kids bikes the group would be happy to take any adult bikes that are in reasonable operating condition.

The sale will be held in front of St. Charles Garnier Parish on 3645 Benvoulin Rd. starting at 8 am. Come out, buy your child a bike and help a worthy cause. The kids bikes include a few scooters, some tricycles and assorted 2-wheelers for both boys and girls.

This year's second container of Kelowna bikes will be sent in October.

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