A Helpful Guide on Selling Your Home with Ease this Spring

As soon as spring rolls around, the “Home for Sale” signs start popping up all over BC like wildflowers. The Penticton real estate market is no different, and with the recent upswing in activity here, I’m frequently asked “What can I do to get my home ready to sell?” Here are a few tips to ensure your home sells fast and gets top dollar.

  1. Quit Calling It “Your” Home

If you’ve been in your home for a long time, selling can be an emotional rollercoaster, so let’s turn to Elsa from Frozen for advice: “Just let it go.” Stop thinking about it as “your home” and let go of the sentimental attachment you have to it. I know, I know. It sounds harsh but the sooner you accept that someone else will be living there, the sooner you can move on and focus on your new home. There are a few tricks that help with this: take the time to say goodbye to every room, recall the good times you’ve had there and picture the happiness of another family doing the same, or envision yourself handing over the keys to the new owners. Trust me, it helps.

  1. Pack Away Your Personal Stuff

What I said above about having an attachment to something? It affects potential buyers too. They have a hard time seeing past personal artifacts like family pictures and heirlooms because it causes them to think “I wonder who lives here?” instead of “I could see myself living here!” By taking down your stuff, potential buyers get a blank slate to envision their own pictures on the wall, free of any bias or distraction. Plus, you get a head start on packing.



  1. Organize

People love to snoop. It’s human nature. Buyers will go through everything, so take a bit of time to organize the little things in your home. Simple stuff like having neatly stacked dishes, turning coffee cups so the handles face the same way, or lining up miscellaneous items (shoes, spices, books, etc.) sends a message to anyone viewing your home that if you’re willing to organize the little things, you’ve probably taken care of the big things too.

  1. Clean and Repair

Ever been to a garage sale where things were worn out and dirty? Did it make you want to buy anything? If you weren’t willing to drop a toonie on something in bad condition, what do  you think the odds are someone will give you hundreds of thousands of dollars for your home if it’s filthy and falling apart? People want their new home to be move-in ready and doing a few minor repairs and making your house is spotless can add thousands to your asking price. Patch holes, fix leaky faucets, paint, replace burnt out light bulbs… it all adds up to the image of a more complete, well cared for home. This is a great checklist to help make sure your home looks its best.

There you go. This quick list should put you on the right path to selling your home. But you know what would help even more? Me! If you’re planning to put your Penticton home up for sale, get in touch. I’ll work with you to make sure we get the most value possible out of your current house and find you the ideal south Okanagan property to start making new memories in.

Plans out for Rutland condo

Plans for a new Rutland condo development have landed at city hall.

New Town Architecture submitted plans for the 54-unit project earlier this week.

The development, if approved in the coming months by city council, would sit on what are now three single-family lots at the corner of Robson Road W and Rutland Road S.

In its rational for the project, the applicant states is is seeking a development permit for a single building consisting of 54 condo units in a three-storey, low-rise format.

Plans suggest the building would include 33 one-bedroom units, nine with one-bedroom and den, and 12 two-bedroom plus den units.

There would be provisions for outdoor seating, playground and community vegetable plots.

Parking would be underground and, due to its proximity to amenities, additional long-term bicycle parking is planned.

It will likely be several months before the project comes to council.

By: Wayne Moore

Property assessments continue to increase in the South Okanagan

Home owners in Summerland and Keremeos can expect some of the biggest increases in property value when their 2019 assessment notices arrive in their mailboxes over the next few days.

In Keremeos, the average assessed value for a single-family home has risen from $240,650 to $270,200, an increase of 12 per cent. In Summerland, it’s a 10 per cent increase, from $466,000 to $517,000.

At 18 and 17 per cent, respectively, Spallumcheen and Sicamous saw the biggest increases in the B.C. Assessment’s Thompson-Okanagan region.

Thompson-Okanagan assessor Katrina LeNoury said the majority of residential home owners in the Okanagan can expect a five to 15 per cent increase in their property assessment.

“It is very similar to last year,” said LeNoury, noting that the Okanagan has seen similar increases in property values over the last three years. “It would be fair to say there has been a cooling in the Vancouver market, but other regions are still seeing increases.”

Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos, and Princeton all fall in the middle of that range, with increases of seven and eight per cent.

LeNoury emphasizes that these are averages, and individual home owners may experience larger or smaller increases than the average.

“Market values are based on local market demand and conditions,” she said.

Overall, the Okanagan’s total assessments increased from about $108 billion in 2018 to $118.6 billion this year with about $2.5 billion of that due to new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.

The honor of the most expensive home in the Okanagan goes to Kelowna this year, where a waterfront property was assessed at more than $10.5 million.

According the B.C. Assesment’s annual report, most of the properties on the top 100 list fall into the West Kelowna and Kelowna area. The first smaller community to make it on the list is Coldstream, where a $6.177-million property is ranked at No. 39.

Across the province, though, the Okanagan doesn’t even make it into the top 500, which range from an $73.12-million home in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood to an $11.63-million home on the West Vancouver waterfront.

Dori Lionello, president of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board, said that January and February is traditionally a quieter time for real estate sales, but the local market has still been busy and there is still a number of cases of multiple offers being made from properties.

“Prices are stable, but we are not seeing the urgency on the part of Vancouver buyers,” said Lionello. “They are still coming, they still want to be here.”

If you are concerned about your property’s assessed value, LeNoury suggests contacting BC Assessment.

“I really would encourage property openers to look at our website. There has been quite a few changes this year to make it easier,” she said. That includes an interactive map and other user-friendly features to make it easier to find your property.

A phone call, she said, can also yield information that might help allay concerns, but if they do want to file an appeal, the deadline is Jan. 31.

“They have to file an appeal letter with us by Jan. 31,” said Le Noury. “We do encourage people to give us a call. A lot of times we can provide information on why it has changed.”

BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about 2019 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2019’s top valued residential properties across the province.


Cafes with Kids’ Corners

Coffee Shops with Kids Corner - Dan Jones

Sometimes you just want to sit down with your spouse, your friend or your business partner (or all three!) and enjoy a cup of coffee in a legit coffee shop – not your messy living room. But if you’ve got kids in tow, this can be more of a nightmare than its worth.

Luckily, the Central Okanagan has a handful of fantastic coffee shops that offer families more than just high chairs – they’ve got dedicated kids’ corners with toys and books. Thank the heavens!

So grab the kids, jump in the car (put on pants, first – I always have to remind myself that), and go get CAFFEINATED!


Triumph Coffee

Coffee shop featuring daily-baked house-made goodies, located just across from Nature’s Fare in Vernon (3401 A 30th Ave, VERNON) – map

Why we love it:

  • Airy and spacious cafe, that sells brewing gear so you can make your own coffee at home!


Marmalade Cat Cafe

Right in the heart of Pandosy Village, on Pandosy just north of K.L.O. (2903 Pandosy St #103, KELOWNA) – map , Marmalade Cafe is an eclectic brunch, lunch and coffee shop situated in a bright Victorian-style building.

Why we love it:

  • Baked goods and soups made lovingly from scratch, including lots of gluten-free options.
  • Features a kid’s table and colouring books.

Sprout Bread

Newly opened organic bread and coffee shop downtown just behind Prospera Place (125 – 1295 Cannery Lane, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Airy and spacious cafe with a main floor and more seating upstairs. Baked goods prepared in-house.
  • Offers a dedicated table for little diners.

Bean Scene on Ellis

On Ellis downtown, just off Doyle (1399 Ellis St, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Conveniently located a hop-and-a-skip away from the downtown library, which we frequent a lot.
  • Open and airy atmosphere, with a great selection of toys and books toward the back. I can read or chat with friends, and the kids are right beside me.

Bean Scene on Bernard

On Bernard downtown, just off Pandosy (371 Bernard Ave, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Nestled in a lovely heritage building right on the downtown strip, Bean Scene Bernard has cozy main floor, and airy loft-style second floor, as well as a stunning rooftop patio.
  • Kids’ corner is under the stairs on the main floor. My kids love the puppets!

Bean Scene at Landmark

In the heart of the Landmark business area, on Dickson between Burtch and Kirschner (100-1615 Dickson Ave, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Out-of-the-way and lesser-known of the Bean Scenes, the Landmark location is airy and spacious.
  • Doesn’t have a kids’ corner per se, but does have a big bin of kids’ toys (which mine like to scatter right by the main door – sorry everyone!)

Bean Scene on Pandosy

In the heart of Pandosy village, on Pandosy just north of K.L.O. (2942 Pandosy St, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Warm and comfy coffee shop in a heritage building, with ground floor and upstairs seating, as well as a patio for warmer weather.
  • Kids’ area is upstairs away from the bustle of the baristas, and near all the comfy couches and sofa chairs.

Kettle Valley Coffee and Scoops

It’s worth the drive to Kettle Valley – and not just because this awesome neighbourhood has the best kids’ playground! It’s also got Kettle Valley Coffee and Scoops just off Chute Lake Rd (203, 5315 Main St, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Great toys at the back of the cafe, including a kitchen set and a train table, as well as a TV.
  • Comfy chairs!
  • Coffee is organic, and they have vegan and lactose-free options.

Bean Scene at Capri Centre

Conveniently located in the Capri Centre strip mall, on Gordon just south of Harvey (1815 Gordon Dr, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Great location that’s rarely crowded.
  • Kids’ corner is at the back. My kids love the school bus!