Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski October 2017   
  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

Purchasing a rental property can be a wise investment decision but being a landlord isn’t for everyone.  This month's article outlines the various pros and cons of this real-life monopoly game.

There are also a few tips on how to take great photos with your smartphone as well as an amazing recipe for a ghoulish Halloween punch that your guests will never forget!

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 
Cooling trend continues on through September.

Residential sales in the Okanagan region of Peachland to Revelstoke continued a gradual cooling trend that started in June, with 740 sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in September, a 16% drop from August sales of 882 and 16% fewer than this time last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“While the slow-down is moderate, the signs are there: fewer sales, not as many active and new listings and a rise in the average number of days it takes to sell a home - all of which suggest a cooling off period,” comments OMREB President Read.

Average price in September, at $496,433, was up just 1.5% from August.  New listings of 1118 were slightly lower than last month’s 1297 and the average number of days it took to sell a home in September rose to 78 days from 70 in August but down from 90 days this time last year.  Active listings are currently at 5091, 3% fewer than last month and 4% fewer than September last year.

Read notes a less than 3% difference between June and September average pricing and less than 4% difference between September’s pricing and this time last year.

“Despite the market’s gradual shift towards a more balanced one, which is where the market more equally favours both buyers and sellers, average price remains relatively constant,” Read adds, noting that home prices are likely buoyed by a general lack of homes for sale in relation to demand.

“It’s a bit of a catch 22.  High prices contribute to a lack of inventory because potential sellers are concerned about whether or not they can afford to purchase a different home, yet fewer homes on offer means that there is more competition for the homes that are available to buy,” says Read.

Read speculates that while strong economic conditions and population growth will likely fuel housing demand, interest rate hikes and the potential for additional mortgage rules, over and above those implemented in 2016, may have the opposite effect.

An OMREB monthly survey offers insight into buyers of property within the region served by the Board.  Buyers of property transactions that closed in August were primarily motivated to buy for revenue or investment purposes at 20% of buyers, relocation and/or moving to a similar property type at 18% and downsizing at 16%.

The largest demographic buying groups were two-parent families with children at 29%, followed by couples without children at 22% and empty nesters or retired at 19%.  Those already residing within the Okanagan region continued to be the majority of buyers at 57%, followed by those from the Lower Mainland at 17% and Alberta at 13%, with buyers from elsewhere at significantly lower percentages of the buyer population.

“There was a notable spike in buyers purchasing for revenue or investment purposes, which may reflect interest in a number of condominium-type projects that recently opened for pre-build sales,” comments Read, adding “By all reports, sales have been brisk on several of these property types.”

The Lowdown on Being a Landlord 
Rental properties can be appealing but they’re not for everyone.

Purchasing a rental property that you yourself can also live in is a great way to get your foot in the door, so to speak.

It's much easier to afford a property if you have someone paying rent and the best part is you don't even have to put up with a roommate!

It's also easier to maintain your investment property if you're on site to cut the grass and perform other general repairs.

Finally, you’ll be able to write off a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc. come tax time.

There are however a few points you’ll want to take into consideration as being a landlord can sometimes be challenging and if you don’t treat it like a business, it won’t be a success.

For instance, having an emergency fund is essential as you’ll be responsible for immediate problems such as a broken furnace or leaky roof as well as overseeing ongoing maintenance.  It's also common to be in between tenants from time to time so you'll have to budget for lost rent.

Furthermore, even the most reliable tenants can be late with their rent which will turn you from investor to collector.  Dealing with disagreeable tenants can also be hard work.  If this is something you feel uncomfortable with, you may want to consider hiring a property manager.

As with any property purchase, it's important to seek professional advice from your real estate agent to ensure you buy the right property, at the right time, in the right location.  If you'd love to operate your own business and are able to plan for the unexpected, being a landlord might be a great fit for you!

Picture Perfect Smartphone Snaps 
Fancy filters aren’t the only way to make your photos pop!

Smartphones now have digital cameras that are capable of almost anything!  Here are a few simple tips on how to take fantastic photos:

  1. Avoid the Zoom - The quality of your photos will be much better if you crop instead of zoom.

  2. Clear View - Clean your lens as the grime that collects will cause your images to turn out dark and hazy.

  3. Rule of Thirds - Create natural looking photos by positioning the focal point a little to one side instead of in the middle.

  4. Add an App - Android and iPhone devices have various apps that are loaded with great features to help make your pictures pop!

  5. Play with Perspective - Take photos from unique angles such as kneeling or lying down.  If you’re taking a selfie or a portrait of another person, hold the phone a little higher.

These tips will help you take professional looking photos that you’ll be proud to show off!  Just be sure to keep an eye on your storage space as there’s nothing more frustrating than getting the “insufficient storage” message when you’re trying to take the perfect shot.

Worm Juice Anyone? 
Mix up a ghoulish drink that your Halloween guests won’t forget!

Send chills and thrills to your Halloween guests this year by brewing up a batch of scary punch!  All you need for this spooktacular blood red drink is:

  • 4 10-oz. pkgs. of frozen strawberries, defrosted
  • 2 6-oz. cans of lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 bottle of lemon lime beverage
  • 1 bottle of cranberry or grape juice
  • ping pong eyeballs & plastic spiders
  • gummy worms & candy corn

Freeze some candy corn in ice cube trays.  Next, blend the lemonade concentrate and strawberries and transfer to a punch bowl with the lemon lime beverage, cranberry juice, candy corn ice and ping pong eyeballs.  Finally, garnish the punch bowl with gummy worms and plastic spiders.

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