Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Adding value to Kelowna real estate

We've all heard that kitchen and bath reno's add the most to a home's value, but what about other items's that your real estate requires. There are a few good rules of thumb to follow when doing a renovation or addition with an eye to re-sale:
1) Your goal should ALWAYS be low cost with high impact. Sometimes a quick paint job, de-cluttering and re-arranging furniture can be just as good as a $30,000 kitchen makeover.
2) Never spend more than 5% of the homes original value. For instance if you're purchasing a $500,000 home, keep the budget at $25,000 for those reno's if you're planning on selling within a year or two.
3) Consult a realtor to find out the latest buyer trends. Are people wanting more rooms, smaller yards or vice versa?
4) Remember the market goes up and down regardless of your renovation so you want to keep to a solid time-line for the re-sale target.
Check out my website for the great link to a guide on how much various additions and/or alterations will run you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Are you thinking of buying rental real estate?

Some changes surrounding mortgaging property are coming April 19, 2010.
Usually when someone is looking to purchase another piece of real estate, be it a rental, investment, or recreational property, lenders will have different requirements than if your buying your principal residence.
Currently, some buyers would qualify for a 5% down payment on a rental property purchase that would have to be insured by CMHC. The government is mandating a change upwards on that down payment will have to be 20% effective April 19th.
Also rules around re-financing your property will come into effect on the same date. Instead of being able to borrow up to 95% of your equity, that will be bumped down to 90%.
Although these changes are good and designed to assist Canadians to be able to manage their debt load when interest rates go up, it may be an excellent time to really get busy if you're thinking of " buying some more Kelowna real estate!
Talk to you soon...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Whose watching who in Kelowna?

Google street view has arrived in Kelowna! Will it be a boon for Kelowna real estate or will people feel their privacy has been invaded?
Using your mouse you can cruise down most of Kelowna's streets. Check out this sample video and go for a walk through Whistler, site of the 2010 Olympic games! It's incredible how technology has advanced.
For buyers unfamiliar or brand new to Kelowna, this can be an amazing tool. Check out neighborhoods, schools, shopping areas and more! This can also be a benefit for sellers now that buyers can remotely check out the surrounding area of their home that's for sale.
I had an interesting chat with Don Plant from The Kelowna Daily Courier yesterday and he published an article with a few peoples point of view (including mine!) on this new technology from google.
All in all, I believe these tools, for good or for bad, are here to stay. I'll also say that I'm a teeny bit glad that my neighborhood is not yet on this system! Wait, is that my car being towed?
Talk to you soon...

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The TOP 10 list for Kelowna real estate

And now for something completely different... Here`s the top 10 craziest things that have happened to me over the last 24 years of being a real estate agent in Kelowna.

10. My brand new car phone getting zapped by lightening on the 2nd day I owned it.
9. Having my cell phone, stored between my car seats, accidentally dial up a seller who could hear us talking about their house... that we`d just been through.
8. Having to ask a busker to loan me a dime to make a call (before cell phones!). He did, and I paid him back later.
7. Having someone try quite persistently to kiss me during a listing presentation.
6. Sending a text full of love, hugs and kisses to a new client instead of my daughter. Very embarassing mistake.
5. Locking my lock box key INSIDE a house after I had locked it up.
4. Having my slip fall off during a tour of someone`s house.
3. Showing a house to a client who happened to be a police officer, right after the seller had smoked pot.
2. Calling a buyer with a counter-offer, explaining the whole thing, only to be told I had the wrong number.
1. Showing a home at a pre-arranged time, only to get to the master bedroom and realize the sellers forgot about that pre-arranged time, and had come home for a nooner! YIKES.

Talk to you soon...