Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski April 2019   
  Real Estate News




Bo Skapski

251 Harvey Avenue
Kelowna, BC
250-808-5508 or 1-888-301-2121
www.BoKnowsHomes.com


 
When existing homeowners decide it’s time to make a move, they sometimes consider turning their old home into a rental property. This month's article offers some helpful advice if you’re facing this difficult dilemma.

There’s also a look at some of the latest gardening trends that are sprouting up as well as a few tips on how to get your bike tuned up for the beautiful spring weather that’s finally here!

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!

Cheers!
Bo Skapski

In this issue...
Okanagan Real Estate Market Report 
Mixed indicators as the market heads into spring.

Residential sales across the Revelstoke to Peachland region rose to 545 in March, up from February’s 407 yet 13% fewer than March of last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

While Mother Nature is taking her time with the outward signs of spring, the market is rising to the occasion with more activity. In line with a typical spring busier market was an average price of $510,435, just 4% above February and 2% lower than last March.

“Interestingly, average days on market, a gauge of how long it takes for homes to sell, rose to 92 days from February’s 88 days and last March’s 79 days, comments OMREB President Marv Beer. “Usually, when activity increases, we see the average days indicator shorten, yet here we’re seeing the opposite.”

Also, of note and despite a 44% increase in new listings over the previous month, the supply of homes for sale decreased 12% over February’s inventory. “Despite steady increases in new listings over the past several months, housing supply is light as we head into the spring market, which is concerning and points to a problem we’ve been stressing for a while: a generalized lack of housing supply,” says Beer.

With government solely focused on dampening housing demand through measures such as stricter mortgage rules, higher interest rates and even the speculation tax, there’s been little to no attention paid to helping assure a sustainable supply of affordable housing. “There are troubling trickle-down effects with these one-sided government policies, especially for young families trying to put a roof over their heads,” contends Beer.

If millennials, currently the largest first-time home buying group, can’t buy, they will likely stay renting longer, spelling bad news for rental markets already facing plenty of competition for few vacancies. If housing supply stays low, those who still qualify under the new stricter mortgage rules may find increased competition for scarce housing, often a catalyst that drives up pricing.

Those hoping to upgrade, which could free up an affordable home for sale, may find their own difficulties. Prospective purchasers may be chased away by stricter mortgage rules under which they no longer qualify. Even if buyers can be found, starter home owners may be challenged to find an upgrade they can now afford, as they face the same challenges (harder mortgage qualifying rules; higher interest rates; competition for scarce suitable homes) as their prospective buyers. The seller of the affordable home may opt to stay put and no starter home opens up to a first-time buyer.

“At the end of the day, the answer likely lies in governments doing things differently and it’s likely a basket of actions to fuel creation of a spectrum of affordable housing to accommodate a range of population requirements,” says Beer.

Selling vs. Renting -- What Makes Cents? 
Not ready to sell your home? You could always rent it out instead!

Opportunities usually come out of the blue. For instance, there might be a temporary work contract that forces you to relocate.

Or perhaps a strong buyer’s market means it’s a great time to buy, but you don’t want to be forced to sell your current home at a loss.

Renting your home might be an option but there are lots of things to consider. For starters, you'll want to conduct an in-depth financial analysis. Here are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about renting out your home:

  1. Step Away - Being a landlord isn't always easy. You’ll need to detach yourself emotionally from your old home.


  2. Tax Talk - There may be tax implications, so contact your tax advisor as rules can vary depending on individual circumstances.


  3. Money Matters - Make sure to have a bit of extra money on hand in case the rent doesn’t cover your mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc.


  4. Playing the Market - You may be able to increase your equity as the market gains strength, but if it tanks, you could end up on the losing end.


  5. Be Prepared - The future's uncertain so always be prepared for unexpected repairs or if your tenant suddenly falls behind on their rent.


  6. Raucous Renters - Tenants aren’t likely to treat your home with the same level of care as you once did so when it comes time to sell, your home may need some work.

As with any decision, it’s important to weight the pros and cons. If done right, renting can be one of the best financial decisions you ever make but you'll need to treat it like a business, so evaluate the rental market and research landlord/tenant laws before moving forward.

If, on the other hand, you decide to put your home on the market, make sure you have a professional real estate agent to help advise you on how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding this decision, or any other real estate related matters.

The Secret Garden Inspiration 
Create a garden space that'll bring you health and relaxation!

It’s that fresh new time of year when many of us step outside, roll up our sleeves and bring our gardens back to life! Here are a few ideas to help inspire you this spring:

  1. Grow Local - Flowers, shrubs and grasses that are native to your area are easy to maintain and also provide a natural habitat for birds, pollinators and insects.

  2. Sky High - Vertical gardening is popular, especially for those with small spaces. All you need is a wall, fence or trellis to grow edibles, annuals and perennials. The sky’s the limit!


  3. Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.


  4. Flower Power - Edible flowers such as red clover, bee balm, daylilies and borage are also surging in popularity as they look beautiful and taste even better!


  5. Child’s Play - It’s important to limit screen time and get kids back into nature so parents are encouraging their children to develop an appreciation for gardening.

The new generation of gardeners are interested in supporting the environment and growing their own food, which is slowly starting to change the way we live and eat. Gardening is also the perfect excuse to switch off your device and get in touch with mother nature!

Stay Tuned 
It’s time to haul your bike out of storage and give it a tune-up!

Riding a bike is a great way to get around as it’s environmentally friendly and a great form of exercise.

There’s no need for gas, insurance premiums, parking fees, etc. and best of all, it makes you feel like a kid again!

Whether you use your bike to get to work or you’re looking forward to hitting the trails, you’ll want to make sure your bike’s safe and reliable. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  1. Get in Gear - Make sure your gears shift smoothly.
  2. Chain Reaction - Clean your chain before applying oil.
  3. Sick and Tired - Check your tread and the tire pressure.
  4. Pump the Brakes - Inspect your brakes for excessive wear and adjust your cables.

If you don’t feel comfortable tuning up your bike, take it to a local bike shop. It’s well worth it as regular maintenance will extend the life of your bike and it’ll also make riding much more enjoyable. Once you get your bike in tip-top shape, make sure you have a strong lock, a good helmet and a bright light!



PS Instant Email Notification
Searching for Kelowna BC real estate MLS listings used to involve calling on signs or newspaper ads and stumbling onto open houses. The problem with these methods is that you only see a small percentage of what's on the market. The MLS site is far more effective; however, only limited information is revealed, such as the price and number of bedrooms. As a buyer, you want to know all of the pertinent information such as the address, taxes and so on.
An Easier Way...
Our home search technique emails you Kelowna BC Real Estate MLS listings which match your criteria! Just fill out the checklist and whenever new MLS listings hit the Kelowna BC real estate market matching your criteria, they're flagged and automatically emailed to you. There's no need to spend your spare time searching for homes which may not even match your criteria - just sit back and relax!
Free & No Obligation...
Best of all, this exclusive service is offered to you absolutely free and with no obligation. Just take a few moments to complete the following checklist and you'll instantly be on your way to mastering the Kelowna BC real estate market  https://www.boknowshomes.com/real-estate-listings/instant-email-notification/ 

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.