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How’s the Market?

What’s Ahead for Real Estate

While no one can predict the future with certainty, there are signs that the Canadian housing market is starting to stabilize after a downturn in the first half of the year. Experts forecast that in most areas of the country housing prices will remain high, rents will rise, and mortgage rates will continue to creep up.

So what does that mean for home buyers and sellers? To answer that question, we take a closer look at some of the top indicators.

REAL ESTATE MARKET SHOWS SIGNS OF STABILIZING

After years of skyrocketing housing prices, much of Canada is now witnessing the effects of a governmental-induced slowdown. A combination of rising interest rates, stricter lending laws, and provincial policy changes was put in place to cool down an overheated market that had led to increased debt levels, decreased affordability, and historically-low inventory levels.

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Renters for a Weekend or a While: What’s the Best Use of Your Investment Property?

Renters for a Weekend or a While: What’s the Best Use of Your Investment Property?

The residential rental market is now the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. In the United States, the demand for single-family rentals, defined as either detached homes or townhouses, has risen 30 percent in the past three years.1 And in Canada, rental units now account for nearly one-third of the country’s homes, with particular demand for multi-family units, including apartments and condominiums.2

At the same time, the short-term, or vacation, rental market is also booming. The popularity of online marketplaces like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO has helped the short-term rental market become one of the fastest-growing segments in the travel industry.3

Now, more than ever, there is an abundance of opportunity for real estate investors. But which path is best: leasing your property to a long-term tenant, or renting your property to travelers on a short-term basis?

In this post, we examine the differences between the two investment strategies and the benefits and limitations of each category.

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Housing starts rally

Amid news that far fewer new homes are being built in Kelowna so far this year, the city saw housing starts bounce back last month.

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing starts in the Kelowna census metropolitan area “picked up significantly” last month, coming close to the record numbers of 2017.

The CMHC’s preliminary hosing data for last month shows construction began on a total of 382 homes in April. That’s only a five per cent drop from April 2017, when construction began on a total of 403 homes.

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HOUSE CARE CALENDAR:
 A Seasonal Guide to Maintaining Your Home

From summer vacations to winter holidays, it seems each season offers the perfect excuse to put off our to-do list. But be careful, homeowners: neglecting your home’s maintenance could put your personal safety—and one of your largest financial investments—at serious risk.

This is also the case for buildings and most of this should be looked after by your Strata council but if you keep seeing something that you think needs to be looked at ,ensure you tell the strata manager, after all you are a member of the building. Your monthly fees are paid to ensure the building and all it’s systems are maintained.

In no time at all, small problems can lead to extensive and expensive repairs. And even if you avoid a catastrophe, those minor issues can still have a big impact. Properties that are not well maintained could lose 10 percent (or more) of their appraised value.
The good news is, by dedicating a few hours each season to properly maintaining your home, you can ensure a safe living environment for you and your family … and actually increase the value of your home by one percent annually!1 You just need to know where and how to spend your time.

Use the following checklist as a guide to maintaining your home and lawn throughout the year. It’s applicable for all climates, so please share it with friends and family members who you think could benefit, no matter where their home is located.

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The Home Buyer’s Guide to Getting Mortgage Ready

Don’t wait until you’re ready to move to start preparing financially to buy a home.

If you’re like the vast majority of home buyers, you will choose to finance your purchase with a mortgage loan. By preparing in advance, you can avoid the common delays and roadblocks many buyers face when applying for a mortgage.

The requirements to secure a mortgage may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. But we’ve outlined three simple steps to get you started on your path to homeownership.

Even if you’re a current homeowner, it’s a good idea to prepare in advance so you don’t encounter any surprises along the way. Lending requirements have become more rigorous in recent years, and changes to your credit history, debt levels, job type and other factors could impact your chances of approval.

It’s never too early to start preparing to buy a home. Follow these three steps to begin laying the foundation for your future home purchase today! Continue reading

Home Design Trends to Watch in 2018

We frequently get questions from clients who are taking on decorating and remodeling projects and want to ensure their dollars are invested wisely.

Which looks will last for years to come, and which ones will feel dated quickly? What colors and styles are most popular among buyers in our area? How can I add the most value to my home?

So we’ve rounded up some of the hottest trends in home design to help guide you through the process. Whether you’ve planned a simple refresh or a full-scale renovation, making smart and informed design choices will help you maximize your return on investment … and minimize the chance of “remodeler’s remorse” down the road. Continue reading

Real Estate 2018: What to Expect

Real Estate 2018: What to Expect

As we head into a new year, the most common question we receive is, “What’s the outlook for real estate in 2018?”

It’s not just potential buyers and sellers who are curious; homeowners also want reassurance their home’s value is going up. The good news is that a strong U.S. economy, coupled with low unemployment rates, is expected to drive continued real estate growth in 2018. However, changes on the horizon could significantly impact you if you plan to buy, sell or refinance this year. Continue reading

20 Home Gadget Gift Ideas to Fit Any Budget

Looking for the perfect present for a loved one this holiday season? We’ve rounded up 20 of our favorite gift ideas. And since we work in real estate, we focused on items that add enjoyment, comfort and, in some cases, major value to your home.

From music lovers to home chefs, we’ve got something for everyone. And we’ve included a range of price points to suit any budget, from under $50 to major splurge … in case you’re feeling extra generous this year. We hope you find this list useful in identifying gifts your friends and family will love. And maybe some of these items will make your wish list this year, too! Continue reading

Welcome Home: 10 Tips to Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Hometown Haven

Communities work better (students perform better, crime rates are lower, kids are safer, people live longer) when neighbors know one another better. Knowing your neighbor on a first-name basis…is a surprisingly effective first step.”

– Robert Putnam, Harvard Public Policy Professor and author of Bowling Alone

While advancements in technology have made it possible for us to connect with people from around the world, numerous studies show that it has led to a decline in face-to-face interactions.1

Places where we used to strike up casual conversations—such as a doctor’s office waiting room, bus stop or grocery line—are now filled with people looking at their smart phones, barely acknowledging those around them.

Even many families dining together or relaxing in the evenings can be caught spending more time focused on screens than each other. Is it any surprise that we’ve experienced a steady decline in community involvement?

In his book Bowling Alone, Harvard Public Policy Professor Robert Putnam “draws on evidence including nearly 500,000 interviews over the last quarter century to show that we sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know our neighbors less, meet with friends less frequently, and even socialize with our families less often.”2

How is this shift impacting our overall well being? A study by Oregon Health & Science University researchers found that having limited face-to-face social contact nearly doubles an individual’s risk of depression.3 Continue reading