Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My Listing of the Week

360 Cob Lane, Upper Mission Kelowna, BC. $799,000.00

Gorgeous Home with Incredible 270 degree Lake Views. 4 beds + Den, 4 bath & huge room under 3 car garage. Quartz counter tops throughout, Hardwood, S/S Appliances. 9' Ceilings on main, 10' in huge fully finished walkout basement & unobstructed views. Room for a pool. $3,000 Landscape package for back yard upon possession. Central Air upon possession. HST not included. Vacant, but please Call Steve to view 250-864-7893 MLS#10055884

2013 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update

The British Columbia Real Estate Association released its 2013 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

BC's MLS residential sales are forecast to increase 5.6 per cent to 71,450 units this year, before increasing a further 6.1 per cent to 75,830 units in 2014. The five-year average is 74,600 unit sales, while the ten-year average is 86,800 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS residential sales were recorded in 2005.

2013 is shaping up to be a transition year in the BC housing market, said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. The groundwork has already begun for stronger housing demand as a significant number of part-time jobs in BC were converted into full-time employment last year. Residential values are expected to be on a more solid footing in 2013 as lower prices, both actual and inflation adjusted, have improved affordability. Many potential buyers that stayed on the sidelines in 2012 will likely enter the marketplace over the next year as the relatively strong financial condition of BC households precludes any deflationary spiral.

The average MLS residential price in BC is forecast to edge down nearly 1 per cent to $510,400 this year and remain relatively unchanged in 2014, albeit up 0.6 per cent to $513,500.

Wendy's DreamLift Day

Today January 30th 2013 is Wendy's 19th annual DreamLift Day. I bet you are wondering what is DreamLift day, it is a day to raise money for a special needs flight for children to attend Disneyland for a day in December. From 6 am to closing, the nine Wendy's restaurants in the Southern Interior will donate all of the net proceeds from today's sales, plus staffs, managements and owners wages to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. Last year's Wendy's DreamLift day raised $114,276. 

If you know a child that would qualify, go to their website click on Dream and you can refer a child that is challenged by severe physical disabilities or a life threatening illness.
I'll be heading to Wendy's for dinner tonight hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Vernon Winter Carnival

It's time to get rid of those winter blues at the 53rd annual Vernon Winter Carnival, being held from February 1st to February 10th 2013. The theme for this year is a Prehistoric Carnival, the Okanagan Science Centre will be hosting events with dinosaur and prehistoric themes.

This popular festival features dozens of events and activities, many of which are free to attend. There are a lot of adult events and family events going on. There is something for all ages to take part in. It provides something low-cost for everyone.

Carnival officially kicks off February 1 and the balloons are back. There may be up to 10 massive, hot-air balloons are expected, as part of the annual Balloon Fiesta.
All flights are weather pending, if Old Man Winter co-operates, the first flight should take place at around 9 a.m. February 1st. Morning and afternoon flights planned for Saturday, with the pilots taking off once on Sunday for the annual competition over Swan Lake.

On Saturday the carnival parade. There will be more than 100 floats in the event that draws more than 10,000 people. The parade starts at noon and follows the traditional route.

Silver Star Mountain Resort will once again be hosting the B.C. Snow Sculpture Championships on February 1st and 2nd, the winner will compete in the national event next year in Quebec.

There are numerous other events are also planned throughout the work week. For a full list of activities, go to, or pick up a free carnival brochure.

If you have nothing to do this weekend why not head up to Vernon and take in the festivities.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Feeling Sad Today?

If you are then you are not alone, today is Blue Monday. Blue Monday is the most depressing day of the year due to a combination of debt after the holiday, failed New Year's resolution, the cold grey weather and the shorter days. These things tend to converge in depressing ways on the third Monday of January each year. I hope this is not affecting any of you but if you are feeling blue today know that it will pass as longer sunny days are ahead!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

I will give you Intergrity, Honesty & Trust

The foundation of building my Real Estate business. It's treating others the way I would want to be treated. Returning phone calls promptly, doing what I say I am going to do, then doing it and always putting my clients' needs first.

For my buyers, my ultimate goal is to really listen to you,  then to find the home that exceeds your expectations.

For my sellers, my ultimate goal is to expose your home to the greatest number of buyers, thus resulting in the highest selling price the market will bear. To expose your home, I will list your home on multiple internet websites and blogs. I promise to provide consistent feedback from viewing agents, guaranteed communication, and top-rated service.

I also can offer staging advice if you are interested, so that we make sure your home makes it's best first impression.

Both my buyers and sellers will benefit from my strong negotiating skills

Fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis

Do you want to help a cause, have fun and do some putting then the 26th annual Kinsmen Fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis is the place for you! The Kinsmen Fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis is looking for teams and sponsors for the Pub and Putt for Cystic Fibrosis. There will be team of four that will be shuttled by designated drivers to six pubs, there you will play a mini golf course at each pub. The two team that raise the most money will be chauffeured to the pubs in limousines.

Prizes and plaques will be awarded and the pubs will be supplying food throughout the day. The Pub Putt for Cystic Fibrosis will be held on Sunday February 17th 2013. It will start at Dakoda's Pub.

Register you team of four for $300 a $100 deposit is also required with registration. Once you have pre-registered your team you then can start collecting pledges to raise the most funds for that limo ride.
For more information and to pre-register your team, go to

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Housing Market Update January 2013

Click on the link below to watch BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir discuss the December 2012 statistics:

Monday, 14 January 2013

Nominees Invited

For women's award the Central Okanagan Women's Resource and Education Foundation is looking for nominees for the Gert Beadle Award. If you know of any women over the age of 18 or groups in Kelowna and area that are committed to advancing women's equality and social justice then you can nominate them by emailing or for more information check out their facebook page, Central Okanagan Women's Resource and Education Foundation.

Nomination packages must be submitted by Feburary 25th 2013. The award with be presented at the International Women's Day celebration on March 8th 2013

BC Home Sales Decline in 2012

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 67,637 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service in BC during 2012, a decline of 11.8 per cent compared to 2011. Total sales dollar volume also declined 19.1 per cent to $34.8 billion over the same period. The annual average MLS residential price in the province was $514,836 in 2012, down 8.3 per cent from 2011.

A noticeable drop in consumer demand in Vancouver and Fraser Valley during 2012 was more than enough to offset the increases in home sales in the Okanagan, Kootenays and BC Northern regions.

At least half of the 8 per cent decline in the BC average home price was the result of fewer luxury homes selling in Vancouver and fewer overall Vancouver home sales relative to the rest of the province in 2012. However, there were more luxury homes sold in Kelowna this year.

In December, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 28.6 per cent to $1.5 billion, compared to December 2011. Residential unit sales declined 26.4 per cent to 3,011 units, while the average MLS
residential price was down 3 per cent to $498,205 over the same period.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A Kind Review from my Clients

My husband and I have recently sold and bought a home through Steve Higgins of Remax Kelowna.  We would highly recommend him to anyone interested in buying or selling their home.  We found him accessible, very flexible and highly professional at all times.  He always represented our best interest and negotiated aggressively, on our behalf.  We felt he really cared about us and spent a lot of time making sure we were comfortable with all aspects of each transaction.  We were never rushed or pushed into any decisions and found that he provided us with all the information we needed to proceed with our deals in a manner that suited us. 

We tried to sell our home through a discount broker the year before unsuccessfully, and felt that we did not receive the service or accessibility to the MLS market that we had with Remax, and Steve in particular.  He knew we were in a tougher buyers market and we would require a good deal of exposure and promotion to get our home sold and he was willing to do open houses, pamphlets and calls to get the job done.
Thanks Steve

Yours truly,
Ron and Megan Smaha
Jan 9/13

You get to Eat and help out the BC Cancer Foundation

Eat It to Beat It Seventh Annual Campaign will be held on February 6th 2013. Prospera Credit Union and Subway restaurants have teamed up for this BC Cancer Foundation's fundraiser. For a $20.00 donation you can have lunch delivered to your office. There is a minimum of five lunches per delivery, your lunch will include a six inch Subway sandwich, Subway apple, a chocolate chip cookie, Sun-Rype juice and a fruit snack, this all comes in a thermal bag which you can keep. 

The deadline for lunch orders is January 31st at 5 pm. To order go online to or call 250.712.3921 to pre-order. All proceeds go to the foundation's Southern Interior division.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

First Time Home Buyers and Anyone with a Mortgage

Here are a few tips to help you pay off your mortgage faster and save you thousands of dollars.

If you are making monthly mortgage payments switch to bi-weekly mortgage payments you are then making 26 bi-weekly payments instead of 12 monthly payments. You are accelerating your payments and paying down your mortgage faster. By doing it this way it adds up to one extra payment a year every year.

Make annual lump sum mortgage payments on the principle. Many mortgages allow you to make a lump sum payment once very 12 months or at renewal time., which is applied directly to the principal. This will shave years off your mortgage and save you thousands of dollars in interest payments.

If you come into a large sum of money through an inheritance or bonus consider making a prepayment, which can shave years off your mortgage.

If you double up on your payments once per year for 25 years, on a $250,000.00 25 year mortgage at 5% you can save over $30,000.00 and shave 3 or more years from your amortization term. So just imagine what you could save if you could double up 2 or 3 times a year!! That mortgage would be paid off in no time.

Speak to your mortgage specialist to see what will work to help you save thousands in interest and shave years of the mortgage. If you are looking for a great Mortgage Specialist let me know and I may be able to help you.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Budget Friendly Tricks for Selling your Home.

Often clients are looking for ways to create stylish lookswith limited budgets. Here are some favorite tricks to try for getting the most out of your budget.

Consider painting those cupboards instead of replacing them. Opt instead to update the cabinetry knobs with a modern nickel, porcelain, glass or pewter or splurge on a granite counter top. Small details make a big difference.

Update your existing baseboards if they are small by adding a topper to give the appearance of a larger more elaborate baseboard and repaint. Upgrade inexpensive store bought drapery panels by adding glamor such as jeweled or tasseled fringe edging finish. Dress up standard furniture by adding touches of style with luxurious throws or pillows.

Consider repositioning your furniture. You will be amazed at how a redesigned room makes a fresh statement. Repainting gives many of our clients the biggest bang for their buck…but only if the right color is applied in the correct area in a professional manner. Painting a focal wall a modern design color is a way to
instantly update your look.

Better Organization for 2013

So now that the holidays are over, I am focusing on my New Year’s resolution to be better organized at home.I am going to start with my address book, family birthdays and anniversaries. Avoid the frustration of a last minute run to the drug store to get a birthday card that will most likely arrive late.

Update your family friend birthday list now and organize by month. Purchase birthday cards in bulk so that you have them for all occasions. Don’t forget to get thank you and blank cards as well.
Sit down at the end of every month and fill out everyone’s cards and have them ready for the mail at the beginning of the month. Imagine your card arriving early and spreading warm wishes a few weeks longer than normal! Whew…I
feel better already!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Golf Course Living for $312,000.00

#18 144 Sumac Ridge Drive, Summerland BC
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. Only a short walk to Sumac Ridge Estate Winery.

Just Listed Custom Log Home $824,9000.00 Just reduced to $799,000.00


Gorgeous Log Home & Guest House on Very Private 3.88 Acres with Awesome Lake Views. Salt Water Pool, Hot Tub & Sauna. Heated 30x40 Shop. Minutes to beach & boat launch. The Seller will not accept any offers from employees of the The TD Bank or any of its subsidiaries. All offers to be accompanied with the attached Schedule A & C. Guest House Tenant requires 24 hrs All measurements are approximate, please verify if important. Previous grow op was confined to shop only. Hockey rink boards for the kids. Minutes to the beach and boat launch.
This is a dream property, priced well below assessed value of $1,155,000. Call Steve Higgins to view 250-864-7893

Real Estate Outlook for 2013

I am sure we are all wondering what the real estate market is going to look like in 2013! Here in Kelowna we expect a healthy housing demand with growth to be slow but steady for Kelowna's resale market. As positive growth is forecast both regionally and provincially particularly in the mining, forestry and tourism sectors.

The elimination of the HST in April will likely be good for housing across the board, but particularly new construction. With consumer confidence expected to increase, that should bring some buyers back into the market especially those that held off buying in 2012. There is a strong outlook for Alberta that should also help the Kelowna market as Albertans make up approximately 20 percent of the city's buyers. Also, there are indication that the mortgage rates will continue to remain low for another year, which will help with first time buyers and those wanting to move up.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2012 Real Estate Review

As 2012 has come to a close the real estate market in Kelowna has remained quite stable for the year, with sales outpacing most of last year. The Kelowna market still remains a buyers market, with the number of listings declining. The listings are down almost 4 percent from last year, which is followed by a 2 percent decline in 2011. Most buyers are either first time buyers or move up buyers thus stimulation activity across all price points. 

The sales of single family homes remains steady, with an average price of $470,000 pretty much par with last year. The condo market is is showing signs of rebounding with sales up about 11 percent, however prices are somewhat down from last year. You can buy a newer condo for around $200,000 or less. Single family starter homes are in the mid $300,000 price range. The luxury market with homes over $1,000,000 has be active with sales out pacing last year. It is expected the over all market to end the year 3 percent ahead of 2011 levels.

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