Phone: 250-212-2654 | cecile@cecileguilbault.com

 

KELOWNA

 

Why Choose Kelowna!

 

 

Kelowna is in the heart of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, regarded as one of the most scenic regions in Canada.  People are drawn to the great four-season weather, stunning landscapes and boundless opportunities for outdoor recreation – water sports, cycling, golfing, skiing, hiking and so much more.  Rich in culture, the Okanagan hosts brilliant wine festivals, extraordinary art, music and theatre events, and offers all the dining and entertainment you would expect from one of the most vibrant regions in the B.C. Interior.

 

Geographical Crossroads and Urban Planning

 

Geographically speaking, most expats moving to Kelowna have no reason to complain. It is ideally situated for lovers of any outdoor activity you can think of. Surrounded by miraculous mountains and with the beautiful Okanagan Lake separating West Kelowna and Kelowna, Kelowna has the perfect natural commodities for winter and summer activities.

 

To see some of the most popular activities that Kelowna has to offer, take a look at Things to Do in Kelowna.

 

Beyond Kelowna’s picturesque scenery, a large part of its livability also manifest from the physical beauty and public cleanliness of the city itself. To put it simply, Kelowna is exceptionally charming. Spawning gardens, spacious public squares, niche shopping, vineyards and orchards of all sort makes everyday life in Kelowna very pleasant. All orchards and vineyards thrive within minutes from downtown making life that much enjoyable.

 

Let’s move forward to establish a bit more about Kelowna’s modern context. Settle neatly in the center of the Okanagan Valley and close to the USA border, Kelowna finds itself not only in a positon of immense natural beauty, but also at the greater cultural crossroads, where Canada meets the USA. Relatively undiscovered, Kelowna has gained a spot on the top 10 busiest airports of Canada in 2015. Kelowna airport connects to major North America cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Hawaii, etc. Kelowna’s setting, thus, provides more than just a pristine natural backdrop; its location has played a deeply influential role in the city’s hybrid cultural identity as well.

 

 

 

Economic Development

 

Kelowna has shown nothing but development growth over the years. The city of Kelowna understands the important of economic development and are committed to attracting and retaining businesses, but also making decisions that benefit the community.

 

Kelowna has invested and create 1000’s of jobs by balancing investments in infrastructure for today and tomorrow. The City of Kelowna has developed a long-term infrastructure plan for improving water quality and improving infrastructure. The plan can be found at the The City of Kelowna.

 

Besides the cities investments, Kelowna has seen foreign investors taken a keen interest in real estate, mostly in commercial properties as the city offers high capitalization rates. 

 

As real estate markets, such as in Vancouver and Toronto become financially inaccessible, foreign stakeholders, such as Asian investors have been relocating their money around the Okanagan for their better yields of capitalization. Some recent purchases from Asian investors include, the former Monaco multi-family site, which sold for $6.5 million, the 125-room Lake Okanagan Resort, which ended up selling for more than $10 million, and a commercial property on Bertram Street that went for $2.4 million.

 

 

 

Regional Facts

 

Kelowna is in the core of the Okanagan Valley and is part of the Regional District of Central Okanagan which includes the areas of West Kelowna, Lake Country, and Peachland. Kelowna Is the largest community in the Central Okanagan district with a current population of 127,380 representing a percentage change of 8.6% from 2011. This compares to the national average growth of 5.9%.

 

Kelowna has a land area is 211.85 square kilometers with a population density of 601.3 persons per square kilometers. This compares to the provincial land area of 922,509.29 square kilometers with a population density of 4.8 persons per square kilometer. Kelowna has currently 57,433 private dwellings and 53,903 of the private dwellings occupied by usual residents.

 

For a more detail population and demographic census check Statistics Canada census report for 2016. 

 

Homes

 

There are various types of properties you can buy or rent in Kelowna. All types of Real estate in Kelowna has been, and continues to be, a great investment. If you bought your primary residence years ago, and have enjoyed tax-free growth since, you’ve probably made a great return on your home. Real estate is a relatively safe investment; it’s easily understood, and it’s well proven that the long-term investment of buying is preferable to renting. Below is a list of several housing types, but not limited to Kelowna.

 

    Condominiums

    Detached House

    Townhouse

    Semi-detached house

    Duplex/Triplex

 

 

Conclusion

 

Whether you want to move or visit Kelowna, remember that Kelowna offers great wine touring, restaurants, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. The city is home to outstanding golf courses, scenic trails, and plenty of beach and water-based fun.

 

Cecile Guilbault

 

cecile@cecileguilbault.com

www.cecileguilbault.com

 

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As you know, your variable rate mortgage, line of credit and/or student loans are all based on the Prime Rate and here is your personal update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime Rate.

 

At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday March 1, 2017, the Bank of Canada again maintained their overnight rate which means no change to your interest rate. This is great news to start the year off as you continue to benefit from low rates.

 

Let’s not forget that this is a great time to take advantage of historical low rates and chat to a financial advisor about a Tax Free Savings Account or some RRSP contributions to trigger a potential income tax refund; you might have missed the RSP deadline for this year but it is never too late to start saving and planning for the future. If you don’t have a financial advisor, let me know and I’d be happy to recommend one to you.

 

On another note, are you carrying a balance on any lines of credit or credit cards right now where the interest rate is over 3%?   If so, this is the perfect time to chat about a potential debt consolidation or refinance – let’s start saving you unnecessary interest and get to your mortgage burning party sooner! Maybe you are planning a renovation project soon or purchasing a second home or rental property – chat to me about your options … I'd be happy to make those plans into a reality.

 

To continue with the Bank of Canada news, here is an excerpt from the announcement and what they had to say about their decision:

 

“Overall, recent data on the global and Canadian economies have been consistent with the Bank’s projection of improving growth. In Canada, recent consumption and housing indicators suggest growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 may have been slightly stronger than expected. However, exports continue to face the ongoing competitiveness challenges described in the January Monetary Policy Report. The Canadian dollar and bond yields remain near levels observed at that time. While there have been recent gains in employment, subdued growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect persistent economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.”

 

Given the mixed messages of both positive growth versus a slow down in some sectors, it is still anticipated that prime rates won’t start increasing until well into 2017 but we are being given the heads up that they will start increasing eventually. Remember, that any increase to the prime rate since 1992 has only been by 0.25% at any ONE time, so you won’t see a large significant increase all at once.

 

Fixed rates haven’t changed at all since the last announcement, and are around 2.59% to 2.89% for a five-year fixed term. Also, remember that the prime rates and fixed term rates are impacted by two different sets of economic drivers and so increases in fixed rates doesn’t always mean the same increase in prime rates and vice versa.

 

Based on this recent announcement, and the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low for a while now, unless you feel otherwise, I’d recommend that you remain with your current variable rate product as the interest is still lower than a fixed term rate right now. However, if having a fixed payment is important to you, call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. I’ll be in touch again for the next announcement on April 12, 2017.

 

I wonder if I can ask a favour, if you hear a friend or family member talk about going thru a financially tough time – maybe I can help with some budgeting, credit counselling and debt consolidation options for them. It is also that time of year that many think about what they want to accomplish this year – if buying their first home is on the “wish list”, would you mind passing my contact information on to them – this is very much appreciated.

 

Thanks!

 

April

 

 

APRIL DUNN

Mortgage Broker/Owner

 

Office: 888-561-2679

Cell: 250-826-3543

 

The Red Door Mortgage Group - Mortgage Architects

www.reddoormortgage.com

 

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A programmable thermostat can save you money this winter


Every winter and every summer, Canadians fight tirelessly to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature. Temperature swings in both seasons mean we have to adjust our thermostats constantly, but there is a better way: smart thermostats turn down the heating and cooling of your home when you don’t need it automatically, saving you money on your utility bill. Here are the latest insights into how a programmable thermostat can help.

  • 10-15% savings on your energy bill: Installing a programmable thermostat can save you up to 15% a year on your overall power bill if you have electric heating, according to the most conservative estimates. That’s about $145 for the average Canadian.
  • There are more potential savings: Many manufacturers claim smart thermostats save their customers up to 30% of their heating and cooling costs per year. These numbers are often based on ‘factory testing,’ but using your programmable thermostat properly could yield higher-than-average savings in the long run.
  • There are rebate programs: Enbridge is just one company that has put a rebate program in place for customers who buy a smart thermostat. It’s offering a $100 rebate for homeowners who buy one before the end of the year.
  • They add to resale value: Millennials rate homes with programmable thermostats and other smart technology higher: 70% feel smart technology will make their homes more energy efficient. This could be a great selling point if you’re hoping to market your home to young families in the future.
  • ‘Vacation mode’ can save you money: Many programmable thermostats can keep your home from getting too cold while you're away on a much needed winter holiday. They adjust the indoor climate automatically depending on the temperature outdoors, avoiding unnecessarily heating your house until you return.

Four warm winter drinks your guests will love


When the weather gets cold outside, nothing will make your guests feel more at home than by serving these warm, winter cocktails. Whether you’re just having a couple friends over or throwing a full blown holiday bash, here are a few cocktails that will make you a hero of a host. All of them can be served with or without alcohol.

 

  1. Hot cider toddy Pour apple cider into a saucepan and set over medium-high. Bring to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes. Remove the cider from the heat and stir in ½ cup of lemon juice along with orange liqueur and brandy, if you’d like. Garnish the cider with cinnamon sticks and orange slices to finish.
  2. Warm chai toddy Boil water with a cinnamon stick, then remove from the heat and add chai and orange pekoe tea bags. Let it steep for five minutes, then remove both the cinnamon and the tea bags. Add the juice of two oranges and 1 tbsp of dark rum (optional) for each mug you pour. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and twists of orange rind.
  3. Mulled wine Heat wine with sugar, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and allspice until the mixture is warm (be sure to take it off the heat before it boils). Serve the mulled wine with slices of clementine for the ultimate flavour. Feel free to substitute the wine with apple juice for a non-alcoholic option.
  4. Mexican hot chocolate Bring milk to a simmer on the stove, then whisk in chocolate, cocoa, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Bring the mixture to a boil and keep whisking until it’s slightly thick and smooth. Add coffee liqueur, if you’d like, and serve with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. Yum!

Flying this winter?


Pack these essentials in case you get delayed

 

December really can be the ‘perfect storm’ for anyone travelling by air. Snow storms, combined with very high passenger numbers mean delays are a reality for anyone criss-crossing this vast country. Here are some ‘must pack’ items to help get you through. Make sure to tuck them in your carry-on and not in your checked bag:

  • A comfortable change of clothes, including socks, underwear, and a jacket
  • An iPod/MP3 player and its charger, books, and magazines to pass the time
  • A list of contacts, including phone numbers for your airline and travel agent
  • Snacks/granola bars and water (you’ll have to buy a bottle after security)
  • A travel toothbrush, travel toothpaste, wet wipes, kleenex, and a comb

These items should provide some much-needed comfort if you’re stuck in an airport for a few hours. If you’re delayed for longer, you’ll want to scout out a place to have a hot shower or even get a hotel room in the airport until things get moving again. Bon voyage!

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Be aware so you can prepare when buying your home

 

Changing the Locks: One of the first things you’ll want to do after closing is to change all exterior door locks for security. It’s the only way to ensure only you can access your new house, and not the previous tenants too. To save money, you can change the locks yourself or you can call a locksmith to do the job.

 

 

 

Cleaning Costs: You’ll have to clean your old home and your new home at moving time. Whether you hire a professional cleaner to do this or do it yourself, the cost of materials can really add up. While most sellers will do a thorough clean of their home before handing it over, there is nothing forcing them to make sure your new home is spotless.

 

 

Decorating Costs: When budgeting, consider ‘must-do’ redecorating and renovations. Repainting, replacing light fixtures, refinishing hardwood floors or redoing carpets can all affect your comfort level in your new home, but they can also be expensive projects. Prioritize what needs to be done right after closing, and what can wait.

 

 

Appliances: If your new home doesn’t come with appliances and you don’t have your own, you will have to buy them after closing. A fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave can all add up, so make sure you're aware of the costs before you move in. Some appliances, like those that need to be hooked up to a water line, may come with installation charges too.

 

 

Tools and Equipment: Many new homeowners don’t have tools and equipment, like snow shovels. When you no longer have a landlord to call for maintenance and repairs, you have to do them yourself or call a repairman. Tools can be an expensive initial purchase, but learning to maintain your home with the right equipment will save you money in the long term.

 

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A Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage, allows qualified purchasers to borrow up to 20% of the post renovation value of a home, even with as little as 5% down. Here's the five easy steps for the home of your dreams.

 

1. Obtain a mortgage pre-approval to determine your maximum approval amount. 


2. You must find a house and have a general idea of what renovations need to be done as well as the cost of the renovations. The purchase price plus the renovation cost cannot exceed your maximum approval amount.


3. Once your offer is accepted, provide the accepted offer, as well as the quotes for the work to be done to me. I will have the lender approve the mortgage with the cost of the renovations included in the mortgage.


4. Once you take possession of your home, you can begin the renovations. The Lender will instruct the Solicitor to hold the additional Renovation funds, until the lender confirms the works has been completed. Once the renovations are completed let me know so I can arrange an inspection to verify the work is completed as per the quotes that were provided. 


5. The lender will receive the inspection report from the appraiser, and validate that the work has been completed in a good manner and as per the quotes provided. They will instruct the lawyer that they are able to release the funds to you, to pay the contractor.

 

 

 

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Mortgage Industry Update


Bank of Canada Maintained Their Rate - At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday October 19th, the Bank of Canada maintained their overnight rate which in essence means no change to the interest rate on your variable rate mortgage, line of credit and/or student loans..

 

Next Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - December 7, 2016

 

New Mortgage Qualification Rules - The new Mortgage qualification benchmark rate has been implemented as of October 17th 2016. The change is for insured mortgages going forward from this date. Any insured mortgage will be qualified at the benchmark rate of 4.64% and no longer at the lower discounted rate for terms 5 years and over.

 

TD Bank Raises Mortgage Rates - As of November 1st 2016 TD Bank created a new mortgage Prime Rate of 2.85%. This change will only effect those in variable rate mortgages. So far TD Bank is the only major bank to do this, only time will tell if other banks will as follow.

 

Compliments of

April Dunn

Mortgage Broker/Owner
THE RED DOOR MORTGAGE GROUP - MORTGAGE ARCHITECTS
888-561-2679
april.dunn@mtgarc.ca
www.reddoormortgage.com

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People always ask me when is the best time to list my property for sale? The winter months can be very good as there are fewer properties on the market available to a buyer. November and December of 2015 have proven to be very busy in the Okanagan and we are looking forward to this carrying over into January with the low interest rates investors and first time home buyers are seeing opportunity.

 

In the Okanagan November of 2015 Single Family Home sales were up in volume 5% over 2014 with 13% less inventory.

 

I am here for questions and wanting to hear from you...

 

Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year ahead.

 

Cecile

 

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