Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski April 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


 
If your teen's heading off to college or university this fall, you’ll need to start thinking about accommodations. This month’s article explores the option of purchasing an investment property for them to live in and manage.
 
There’s also some advice on how to babyproof your home as well as a few spring home maintenance tips to help you get ready for the nice weather that’s right around the corner!

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 
March residential market a bit of a mixed story.

Residential sales across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland rose to 628 in March, 25% over the previous month, yet down 24% from this time last year, reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“While the market was busier than February, as is the norm this time of year, sales were substantially down from last March. At this point, it’s difficult to know whether or not this is significant or if it is simply an anomaly.” says OMREB President Tanis Read.

Average price was $521,192, up just 2% over February and 10% higher than this time last year. Days on market, or the time it takes to sell a home, averaged 78 fewer in March than February’s 89, but consistent with last year’s 79 days. New listings, at 1393, were 53% higher than last month, but just 3% more than last March’s tally of 1353.

“If we were to focus solely on sales volume, we might anticipate movement towards a balanced market, although current housing inventory is nowhere near what it would need to be to meet the definition of such a market. However, average price, days on market and new listings are all generally consistent with this time last year, so it’s anybody’s guess as to whether or not March’s stats are the beginning of a trend,” says Read.

Read notes a number of external factors that could impact the market, not the least of which is the recently announced BC government’s housing-related taxes, including the controversial speculation tax, which isn’t really a tax on speculators, but rather a tax on assets.

“If implemented, the BC government’s housing-related taxes, coupled with recent federal mortgage tightening rules and interest rate hikes, could be the tipping point that takes the market from a gradual downturn to a potentially steep decline,” Read cautions.

“When you tinker with the market, you can’t predict or control what will happen, nor can you put a halt to it. At the end of the day, these proposed housing-related taxes are bad for B.C and, while recently announced housing-related taxes are aimed at enhancing affordability, they may have the opposite effect, harming the very people the government is trying to protect and support.”

A recent British Columbia Real Estate Association Market Intelligence Report notes that ‘even a relatively minor 10% negative shock to home prices would extinguish $90 billion of (BC homeowners’) wealth, or $70,000 of the average homeowner’s equity.’ Falling home prices could severely impact the BC economy, with declining household wealth leading to reduced consumer spending and job loss. A drop in housing demand would curtail home construction, slowing expansion of housing supply and leading to more critical shortages in future.

“Ultimately, more housing-related taxes translates into reduced housing affordability on two fronts. First, a slower economy reaps fewer jobs which means that, even if houses are available at lower prices, fewer folks will have the means to buy them. Second, a lack of housing supply means competition for available units for the folks who can still afford to buy, which drives up prices.”

Read contends that increased housing affordability, a concept that OMREB and its members strongly support, is more likely to be achieved through other means such as addressing factors that have chronically prevented supply from keeping up with demand. Read notes that the focus over the past several years, both federally and provincially, has solely been on the demand side, with little to no attention paid to the supply side of the equation.

With so many factors impacting the market, conditions are tricky and buyers and sellers are advised to engage a local real estate professional whose job it is to stay abreast of conditions and who has the knowledge to analyze and accurately interpret market implications.

Buying a College Crib for Your Kid 
This exciting life event could be a great investment opportunity!

There's an air of excitement when your kids move out to study at college or university but it can also be a very expensive time.

Purchasing an investment property may be one way to offset those expenses. The idea is to cover the mortgage payments with the rent collected from roommates while your child manages and maintains the property.

As with any home purchase, you’ll want to carefully evaluate local market conditions so it’s important to select the right real estate agent. If you don’t already have someone you feel comfortable with, let me know and I can refer you to a professional who has a firm grasp of the local market.

Local rents, vacancy rates and zoning laws should also be examined. Finally, it's important to consider your long-term goals and determine whether you plan on renting it out once your child graduates as this will affect the rate of appreciation.

Specific purchasing details such as co-signing the mortgage or listing your child on title should be discussed with your financial planner and mortgage advisor. There are pros and cons to different ownership scenarios so you'll want to examine what makes sense for your specific individual situation.

Purchasing an investment property that's managed by your child is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly but it's certainly an option worth considering. It could end up being a great opportunity but make sure you do your homework so you can carefully weigh up the risks and rewards. When you crunch the numbers, you may just find that purchasing a campus crib makes great cents :)

The Foolproof Way to Babyproof Your Home 
Little ones love to explore so be sure to properly prep your home.

The arrival of a new baby brings many responsibilities, one of which is babyproofing your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your home for your new little bundle of joy:

  1. Slam Jam - Install door stops/holders so fingers don't get caught.


  2. Tie Up Loose Ends - Tie up blind and curtain cords so they’re out of reach.


  3. Cabinet Caution - Make sure cabinets and drawers are equipped with safety latches.

  4. Don’t Cut Corners - Cover any sharp corners such as those on coffee tables with foam.

  5. It's No Shock - Cover electrical outlets with safety plugs so that they're not able to shove keys or other objects into them.

  6. Strong Attachments - Securely tether any furniture that could tip over such as dressers and shelves so they won’t come tumbling down if your little one starts climbing.

  7. Supermax Security - Install a baby gate at the top and bottom of your staircase. Make sure they're attached directly to the wall and not just pressure mounted.

It’s best to babyproof your home before your little one arrives as it'll be the last thing on your mind when you're a tired new parent. Getting down on all fours and crawling around will help you see hazards from their perspective.

Spring Home Maintenance Tips 
It's the time of year to give your home a complete physical.

Spring has sprung so it's time to take a good look around your home, both inside and out and conduct some preventative maintenance. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • inspect your attic for rodents and roof leaks

  • inspect your roof and the flashings around your chimney

  • check seals around windows/doors and fix damaged screens

  • repair fences, posts, steps, decks, railings and outdoor furniture

  • clean out your gutters and make sure all of the downspouts drain away from your foundation

Your home is likely your biggest investment so it's important to perform regular maintenance in order to keep it in tip-top shape. If you set aside a couple of days now, you'll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your home when the summer finally arrives!



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