Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Green Kelowna Real Estate

I'm really pumped about a house I'm listing today. It's Kelowna's first Built Green GOLD Certified house. In the last year there has been a spike in the number of people asking me about GREEN features in their housing. The most common items are heating/cooling and windows. This house has some amazing features that are very earth friendly. Bamboo flooring... HIGHLY renewable, bamboo grows and can be harvested every 3 years, is very hard and durable. With all the chatter about water conservation in our valley the home's grey water re-cycling system is a top end winner and the kitchen counters made of re-cycled glass are gorgeous!
I'm curious about people's current and future intentions... would you pay more for a green item in your home?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New video coming for Kelowna Real Estate

I've been out of commission for the last couple days... sick from medicine that was supposed to make me feel better. NOTE to self: NEVER take apo amoxi clav!!!
Looking back it's sort of funny when you're sick and your brain is fuzzy. I soldiered on through work and am SO thankful for my assistant Kimberly who kept the playing field level when I was hallucinating! Thanks Kim...
Lots of activity in the last few days on most of my listings. The higher end ones are still a little sluggish but picking up. Hits on the internet are on the rise too. Speaking of the internet, watch for my new video that'll be coming hopefully before the end of April. A movie star I'm not, but it's fun trying out new ways to get plugged into the internet. I'll keep you posted!
Talk to you soon....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Real estate prices in Kelowna

I actually had a REALTOR tell me that there's "no doubt" the prices will continue to drop in Kelowna for the next several months. Has he not seen any stats??? Has he not noticed sale prices levelling out, or the fact that sellers are getting the message and finally reducing their prices??
Sales were up 34.4% in March (OK... who needs to be that precise) over last month, which by the way were up over the month before that one and so on...
Sale prices have been stabilizing when you compare properties that are similar and higher end home sales are picking up steam as well. Buyer confidence is returning.
Sellers are always slow to accept downward price movement, and who can blame them, when the market changes. Check out the DOM (days on the market) for listings now showing price reductions and you'll see that they're 100+ days...
What has been steadily declining is the number of sellers that think their homes are worth what they were worth 12 months ago. Price reductions to current market value is today's reality. Let's not get it confused with a falling real estate market.
Talk to you soon...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Internet Exposure

We've been busy for the last year getting plugged into the internet. It's been an amazing transformation and something we didn't expect to grow so quickly in our wildest dreams! We first started with our website...
Our website has been around for over a decade now and we've updated it from time to time over the years. Recently we spent a LOT of money (who knew that could be so expensive???) to re-vamp the entire site and are now finding that we can monitor where and often why the traffic comes to our site. The beauty of this is that we can customize and target our ads, for instance by using the most popular key words, see what people are looking at and for how long, and best of all it takes the guess work out of advertising. Bye bye newspaper! Next we moved into the marketing aspect and started linking forwards and backwards to all kinds of real estate sites. Our listings receive exposure on hundreds of sites and traffic around this is growing at a crazy rate.
I was sitting talking to our assistant Kimberly this morning and told her I was discouraged because I didn't think anyone was reading this blog. She quickly pulled out our detailed report and voila... 36 of you have read this blog in the last 2 weeks and the average time on-site was almost 6 minutes! I didn't think that was too bad for a new blog!
I'm curious... does anyone read the paper for information any more?
Have a great Easter weekend.
Talk to you soon.....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Foreclosures not such a great deal

It's the first sunny warm day I can remember in the last..... don't actually remember! Phones are ringing and the Kelowna real estate market seems to be at long last picking up.
One of the things that we get asked a lot about are foreclosures. Most think they are the best way to get a "good deal" when in fact there are so many details and things that work very definately AGAINST buyers that I thought I'd take a moment to address it. When a property goes into foreclosure and is being offered for sale on the active market the most common way a court date is set is by an actual offer being accepted with the only subject being "subject to court approval". This then opens up a whole can of worms... if you're the buyer with the accepted offer in place, you're tied to that house until the court date. In the interim anyone else can not only go to the courthouse to see what your office is, they too can make an offer. Generally these offers will be slightly higher than yours and will be presented in a sealed envelope so you, the person with original offer, doesn't know what they're up against. All due diligence (financing, home inspection, etc.) has to be done prior to going to court which means costs are incurred by a buyer.
Once the court has approved an offer, the buyer, who has already agreed to the house being in a "as is, where is" condition upon possession may find on move-in day that the old owner has taken a 9 iron to do some golf practice inside the house. The buyer has no recourse should damage, large or small, occur after offer acceptance.
The last but not least detail that can bungle all a buyers best efforts is that Canadian Banks (who rank #1 in the world by the way!) are mandated to attempt to get as close to "market value" as possible in a foreclosure situation. 3 appraisals are usually done and the court has to get as close to that as possible.
There are many other ways to get an incredible deal with a lot more safety nets for you the buyer available... foreclosures should be at the bottom of your list. Give me a shout if you're wondering what direction to go in.
Hope you're enjoying the sunshine.
Talk to you soon...