Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski July 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

If you're thinking about buying a condo, there are various personal and financial factors you'll want to consider.  This month’s article examines some of the con-dos and con-don'ts.

There are also a few tips on how to keep your Facebook profile safe from hackers as well as a deliciously simple BBQ dessert that your guests will love!

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...
The Okanagan Real Estate Market Report 
Okanagan home sales were brisk for the month of June!

Residential sales stayed constant across the Okanagan region of Revelstoke to Peachland, with 1018 home sold, just 10% lower than May, but 24% fewer sales than this time last year, reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“We are generally quite busy this time of year and, with continued upward pressure on the market due to a lack of inventory, sales activity is brisk,” comments OMREB President and active Central Okanagan REALTOR® Tanis Read.

Read notes that, while sales volume is down from this time last year, average pricing is 8% higher and the average time it takes to sell a home was 73 days in June, consistent with May, but a shorter period than last June’s 81 days.

A robust economy, rising employment and construction activity, and newcomers to the region are all contributing to a strong demand for housing.  However, a general lack of homes for sale means supply is not keeping pace with demand, resulting in competition for available housing in many neighborhoods and across most property types.

“In market conditions like these, buyers can be advantaged by engaging a local REALTOR® who can stay abreast of new listings and advise on how best to approach making an offer in highly competitive situations.  There are a number of strategies that can be employed to ensure your offer gets appropriate consideration,” comments Read.

Sellers can also benefit.  “Those wanting to capitalize on a seller’s market need to price carefully so as to not miss out. Likewise, managing multiple offers can be challenging and a professional’s assistance can be invaluable to ensure the best possible outcome while mitigating associated risks,” Read adds.

Turning to buyers of homes in the region, those moving to similar type properties continue to head the list at 22% of the buying population, closely followed by first time buyers and those moving up, according to an OMREB May Buyers Survey. Revenue property investors were 13% of the total buyer group.

Two-parent families comprise the largest group of buyers at 26%, closely followed by couples without children and empty nesters/retired folk.  Those already living in the region continue to be the majority of buyers at 53%, followed by those from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island at 21% and Alberta at 10%.

“Buyer profiles, month over month, continue to remain relatively constant, with no new trends emerging at this time,” says Read.  “Our buyers are primarily families with children who already live in the region, with some influx from the Lower Mainland, likely due to our relative affordability, and from Alberta, although Alberta buyers have declined in numbers since 2014.”

Condo Conundrum -- Freedom vs. Freedom 
Consider the pros and cons carefully before purchasing a condo.

Condos appeal to everyone from young urbanites who want to be in the heart of the action to seniors who just want to relax and enjoy their golden years playing tennis and relaxing by the pool.

Families are also starting to gravitate towards condos as they’re an affordable way to escape the suburbs and move to a vibrant downtown atmosphere where various amenities are only steps away.

Aside from being affordable, condos are low maintenance as you don't have to spend your weekends cutting the grass and cleaning the gutters.  They also offer enhanced security features which are perfect for those who like to travel.

Convenience however comes at a price in the form of condo fees which can be costly depending on the amenities offered by the complex.  That said, condos are often very affordable compared to single family homes, especially for those who are downsizing.

When you buy a condo, you don't own the land beneath you but instead share a common interest with others in the complex.  This means you'll be subject to rules and regulations that can dictate anything from the type of planters you’re allowed to display to the kinds of blinds you can hang.

Joint ownership also means you'll be in close contact with your fellow condo owners.  Some people love the sense of community offered by condos but for those who value their privacy, it can be a difficult adjustment.  Pets are another key consideration as Fido may not be welcome in some buildings.

If your real estate vision includes extensive renovations, condo living may not be for you as your options could be limited.  If however you'd rather spend your time chilling by the pool instead of painting shutters, the low maintenance factor may be just what you're after.  It's really a choice of freedom vs. freedom.

Friends, Foes and Facebook Woes 
A few simple precautions can secure your page against hackers.

Imagine if someone hacked into your Facebook account, changed your password and started posting inappropriate content.  You'd be forced to sit and watch your reputation go down the drain.  Here are a few ways to avoid a hack:

  1. ix38wq%Pc - Make sure you have a strong password with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.

  2. Play Hard to Get - Visit the Privacy section under Settings to limit who's able to view your profile details.

  3. Catch a Hacker Early - Select Settings and then Security and Logins and turn on get alerts about unrecognized logins.

  4. Extra Security - Visit Two-Factor Authentication in the Security and Logins section to choose an extra layer of security.

  5. Best Friends - Designate a few friends under Your Trusted Contacts that can help you get back into your account if you get locked out.

Facebook has various security features but they usually have to be manually activated.  Once done though, it’ll be much harder for a hacker to gain access to your account and much easier for you to regain control in the event it does happen.

Delicious Grilled Skewered Fruit Recipe 
Mix things up on the grill with a healthy, tantalizing dessert!

The heat of the grill turns fruit into juicy, sweet goodness that’s a great finale to any meal.  Here’s what you’ll need to make this simple yet healthy, delicious dessert:

  • skewers
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • melted chocolate
  • an assortment of fruit (pineapple, peaches, mangos, etc)

Lightly oil the grill and preheat the BBQ to medium.  Cut up the fruit and thread onto skewers.  Grill for a couple of minutes per side.  Finally, pick your preference of the honey/cinnamon mixture or melted chocolate and drizzle over top just before serving.  Enjoy!

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