Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski August 2018   
  Real Estate News




Bo Skapski
Bo Knows Homes Desrosiers Cook Team

Assurance Realty Ltd.
#100 - 1634 Harvey Avenue
Kelowna, BC
250-808-5508 or 1-888-301-2121
www.BoKnowsHomes.ca


 
Moving can be extremely stressful if you don't plan out the details ahead of time. This month's article offers a pre-move checklist that will help you prepare for the big day!

There's also some advice on how to create a fire escape plan for your home as well as a few tips on how to help get the kids back into the school sleep routine.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Bo Skapski

In this issue...
Okanagan Real Estate Market Report 
Residential market continues on a more balanced path.

Residential sales across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland moderated slightly in July, with 742 sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MSL®), down 7% from June, yet 23% lower than this time last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“I think we can officially say that we are moving towards balanced market territory, although we are still at a point where the market tends to favor sellers more than buyers, yet not as much as in previous years,” comments OMREB President Marv Beer, noting five months of consistently lower sales volumes than last year, coupled with more new listings contributing to a growing inventory of available homes that is 26% higher than this time last year.

Despite indicators suggesting the region’s market is transitioning, July’s average price held at $559,235, 2% higher than June and 11% over this time last year. Days on market, an indicator of how long it takes to sell a home, was consistent with this time last year, at 65 days versus 63.

“It takes time for those active in the market to respond to changing market conditions, so sales activity tends to fall before prices adjust. Likewise, days on market is also a factor to watch, with longer days on market associated with downward pressure on pricing,” says Beer.

While a pull back from the highs of the last few years is expected, current home buyer activity is also being dampened by government intervention. The Bank of Canada raised its interest rate July 11th for the second time this year and is expected to cautiously hike interest rates over time. More restrictive mortgage requirements are also having an impact, as is the specter of a provincial so-called speculation tax.

Turning to buyers of homes in the region, it’s worthwhile noting some commonly-held beliefs about who is actually driving buyer activity. The assumption is that foreign buyers and those from other provinces are significant, a misconception somewhat fostered by the provincial government’s ads about the speculation tax.

The reality is that for eight years running (the timeframe OMREB has been collecting buyer data) foreign buyers comprise less than 3% of the buying group at any given time and those from other provinces are less than 15%, of which Albertans are around 10%, depending on the year.

The largest buyer group, at consistently 50 – 60%, comprises folks who already live here, with those from the lower Mainland/Vancouver Island comprising the second largest buyer group at about 20%.

“The make-up of buyers of homes in this region, softening market conditions and continued federal government intervention all would suggest that further interference in the market via a speculation tax that would impact long-term BC homeowners far more than speculators, out of province, or foreign buyers is not needed and makes no sense whatsoever,” contends Beer, noting that two-thirds of the homes targeted by the tax are, in fact, owned by BC residents.

Cut the Stress with a Moving Checklist 
The key to keeping calm during a move is to plan in advance.

Moving to a new home is an exciting life change but it can also be very stressful if you're not properly prepared.

It's important to create a detailed checklist a few months ahead of time in order to ensure things go smoothly. Here are some points to help get you started:

Two Months Before

  • Itemize all of the major items you'll be moving.
  • Get estimates and book the movers or a rental truck.
  • Have a garage sale or donate items to charity to get rid of excess clutter.
  • Start sucking up to friends and family for help!

 One Month Before

  • Switch your insurance, medical and school records to your new location.
  • Arrange to disconnect and reconnect utilities and phone/internet services.
  • Notify any other important parties of your new address.
  • Start stockpiling various sizes of boxes.

 Two Weeks Before

  • Start packing up room by room.
  • Plan meals so food in your fridge and freezer gets used up.
  • Arrange for someone to look after your pets on moving day.
  • Return library materials and other rental items.

The Final Week

  • Water your plants a few days before you move.
  • Put together a small bag of clothes and toiletries for the first few days.
  • Gather valuable items such as legal documents and family photos so you can transport them yourself.
  • Pack a box with essentials such as cleaning supplies, chargers, light bulbs, soap, garbage bags, etc. for the first week in your new home.

Day of the Move

  • Make sure you have your new keys.
  • Double check the movers have your new address and cell phone number.
  • Have lots of refreshments on hand for your busy helpers!

 Moving can cause a wide range of emotions from sadness to extreme excitement. Although moving can be stressful at times, a little bit of planning will provide you with some very valuable peace of mind. With the help of this checklist, you can now breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy this exciting new phase of your life!

Planning a Family Fire Escape Plan 
It’s important to be prepared in the event of a fire.

Planning for a house fire isn't something most people want to think about but if such an event occurred, you’d need to act fast. Having a fire escape plan is critical so here are a few points to consider:

  1. Floor It - Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows at least two ways out of each room.

  2. Keep it Clear - Ensure there aren’t any obstacles in front of windows, doors and escape routes.



  3. Practice Makes Perfect - Crawl through escape routes with your family during annual practice drills.

  4. Window of Opportunity - Family members need to know how to open all windows and remove screens.

  5. Climb on Down - Make sure escape ladders are accessible and not buried in the back of closets.

  6. Rendezvous - Designate a special meeting place for all family members once you've evacuated.

  7. Get Out & Stay Out! - Remind children never to re-enter a burning home under any circumstances.

If you live in a condo or apartment building, ensure you know the evacuation plan and do a few practice drills. Knowing what to expect and how to act is key in any emergency situation so practice your escape plan at least twice a year.

Back to School Sleep Tips 
Ditching the lazy days of summer doesn’t have to be a drag.

As summer winds down, we need to start getting the kids back into the school time routine, starting with bedtime. Here are a few tips to help them adjust:

  1. Screens Out - Don’t let your kids play video games before bedtime as screens can affect their sleep.

  2. Get Moving - Exercise improves sleep considerably so try and sneak in extra activities throughout the day but avoid it two hours before bed.


  3. Gradually Adjust Bedtime - Don’t wait until the night before school. Instead, gradually take it back 10 - 15 minutes early until you reach the desired time and get up at the same time each morning.

Being sleep deprived will affect both your kids and your own ability to focus and learn. It’s therefore important to adopt good sleep habits to help increase your energy levels during the day which will in turn help you sleep better at night.



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