Ready to Sell? My Home is Priceless


Hands taking a photo of renovated kitchen on a cell phone

After years of taking care of your home, some minor home improvements or maybe even a major renovation, you are ready to sell. But the trouble is, you think your home is worth more than what the experts are saying. 

According to valuation company RPS Real Property Solutions, 26% of homeowners overestimate the value of their home by more than 10% of the appraised value.

It is understandable whether you are watching the home prices go up in your neighbourhood, you want to get the most for your largest asset or you are simply experiencing the “Endowment Effect” (an emotional bias toward an object you own), many homeowners think their house is worth more than it is.

Why is the appraised value lower than expected?

Many of us see the sentimental value of the cherished memories in our home but the pride we feel for our homes does not translate to actual dollar value. The charm of a cozy kitchen spent sharing meals with loved ones can be seen as too small or too dark for prospective homebuyers.

What is the post-renovation value of my home?

Another reason for overestimating a home’s price point is the value homeowners attribute to renovations they have made. If you have watched the end of a home makeover show on TV, the homeowner often finds that their home is worth more than the pre-renovation value and the cost of the renovation combined. That isn’t always the case. It’s true that your investment does increase the value of your home, but it may not be as much as you think.   

Where does that leave home sellers?

RPS recommends caution and preparation as approaches to take for anyone looking to sell and buy. Often, home sellers rely on the value of the home they are selling to support the financing of the home they are looking to buy. In such cases, if the home you are selling will not sell for the amount you thought it would, you will have a financing gap. Before you are left scrambling, work closely with your real estate agent and your lender or mortgage professional to explore different scenarios and your options.

BC Government Takes Positive Step to Increase Housing Supply, But Incentives Needed to Encourage Action


“We have seen throughout the pandemic that housing for British Columbians is at a premium, both in terms of options and cost,” says BCREA Chief Executive Officer Darlene Hyde. “The most obvious and impactful measure that can be taken to address this is increasing supply. So, we are encouraged to see that the government is making this a priority.”
The changes announced by the government include the removal of requirements for local governments to hold public hearings for development proposals that already align with Official Community Plans (OCPs) and equip municipal staff to make decisions for minor development variance permits.
BCREA has long been advocating for measures to speed up development approvals and we are pleased to see them being put into practice. Our recent pre-budget submission to the government’s standing committee on finance specifically called for changes to the public hearing process. What remains, however, is the adoption of additional measures outlined in the Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) final report, which the provincial government published in September 2019, but have yet to implement.
“Increasing housing supply is not a simple solution. It requires a coordinated and aligned effort from all orders of government and adequate incentives for municipalities to take action,” adds Hyde. “What is not addressed here are the undercurrents of hesitancy around development that exist within certain municipalities.”
BCREA recommends governments at both the provincial and federal levels work collaboratively to make infrastructure investments to local governments conditional on targets in OCPs. This is a recommendation that is echoed both in the DAPR final report and by the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability in its final report. The province should also provide local governments with best practices for writing, adopting and amending OCPs, and municipalities should prioritize the creation of missing middle housing through the gentle densification of single-family residential neighbourhoods.

Central Okanagan School District has taken the next step toward construction of Wilden Elementary school


Wilden school moves on

The Central Okanagan School District has taken the next step in the process toward construction of a new elementary school in the Wilden neighbourhood.

The district has submitted a subdivision application to the city for the property it recently purchased at 2025 Begbie Road.

A school in the rapidly growing Wilden neighbourhood has been on the school district’s radar for several years.

The school started to become reality earlier this year when the district purchased the property for $7.4 million.

The province provided $1.9 million toward the purchase with the district supplying the remaining $5.5 million.

“Students and families want and deserve schools near their homes, and this new site ensures land is in place to build a school that can serve families in Wilden for generations,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education at the time of the purchase.

Development and building permits must still be applied for and approved by city council before ground can be broken on the new school.

Students plant wetlands, learn modular farming at middle school in Kelowna


Students learn to grow

It was “Green Day” don Thursday at KLO Middle School, an event that brought kids out of the classroom to teach them about sustainability.

In addition to wellness walks to start their day, students worked with the BC Wildlife Federation’s Wetlands Workforce team on the schools wetland area by maintaining existing plants, and planting new ones.

They also received a first-hand look at a new modular farm funded by the President’s Choice Children’s Charity, in an effort to teach kids about growing healthy food options and making sure no one goes hungry.

KLO Middle School teacher Karla Lockwood says the modular farm has sprouted a new elective for students to take.

“We started what we’re calling ‘Seed to Feed.’ Teachers can sign up their classes in any curriculum or any content area, and my environmental kids go in and teach them about the process of growing. They end up harvesting over 200 heads of lettuce, kale, bok choy, rosie choy and they take it home to their families.”

Lockwood says when her students see the growth of their fresh produce, it changes their attitude, and it’s even inspired Grade 9 student Tarran Bates.

“I’ve been really attached, and I really want to learn more about how this whole thing works. So on my own time, I’ve been doing a bit of research on how this all works,” said Bates. “I’m hoping that when I get older, I can have my job be something like this.”

School principal Ashley Ragoonaden says seeing his students and teachers take part in Green Day makes him hopeful for the future.

“We are proud of our students and educators who embraced a green philosophy and brought this project to life,” said Ragoonaden. “When we teach students both knowledge and practical skills around global issues, they gain confidence in their abilities, and we empower them to become engaged global citizens.”

Students also received fresh smoothies made from kale that was grown at the school, while other ingredients such as blueberries, bananas and juice were donated by Peter Boyd of Independent Grocer. The school’s environmental students planted over 800 kale seeds at the start of September.

“It was so great to see the kale being used up, and I know the students were super excited to try it,” said Lockwood.

Lockwood also said the modular farm is designed to last 30 years, so the hope is that it can be extended into the community through options like food banks or other initiatives in need in the future.

Cranes going up at job site

You can expect to see construction cranes reappearing on the Bernard Block construction site in downtown Kelowna next week.

Mission Group, which is building the multi-tower project on the former Bargain Centre site on Bernard, says it is working with Emry Formworks to develop a safety deployment plan for the careful assembly of two tower cranes for construction and completion of the Block office tower and Bertram condo tower.

The construction site was the scene of a crane collapse July 12 that killed five people. That crane was working on the nearly-completed Brooklyn tower fronting onto St. Paul Street.

In a news release Friday afternoon, Mission Group officials say the crane assembly will begin next Tuesday.

They will be assembled and serviced by Morwest Crane and Services Ltd., “a leader in the field and one of the most trusted crane services in Canada and the USA.

“The safety deployment plan includes comprehensive procedures for crane assembly and dismantling, including operator qualifications and training,” the news release stated.

“Mission Group has also planned timing for crane assembly to ensure minimal impact to the public.

“Supervisors and construction safety officers have been assigned by Mission Group, and will be onsite throughout the entire setup process.”

Commercial For Sale in Penticton Main North, Penticton

Photo Link
Penticton Iconic Building Built in 1930

•  commercial – FOR SALE  CAD1,300,000 . Restaurant not included in Sale.
MLS® 191881

Restaurant not included in Sale. Penticton Iconic Building Built in 1930 , C1 Zoning, amazing opportunity, permitted uses, accessory use, artisan crafts, bed and breakfast, boarding house, convenience store, day care, one duplex, health service, high tech service, live work unit, minor and major home occupation, office, personal service establishment, one single detached dwelling, restaurant and vacation rental. Plenty of parking, in a fully fenced lot, corner location, lots of garden space, large patio, original hardwood floors, lots of built in character. 2 Bathrooms and 2 bedrooms located upstairs, as well as laundry room.

Click here: Property information

9 Warning Signs When Selling Your Home


Anyone who has bought a home can appreciate that it’s not a simple process. Despite now having a little experience under your belt, selling your home can be just as tricky as buying it was. Signs of potential delays, scams or suspicious offers should all raise red flags. With that in mind, check out these nine warning signs to ensure everything goes well when selling your home.

1. Lots of Viewings, but No Follow-ups

If your home is getting lots of viewings, but none of the potential buyers get back to you afterward, it’s worth asking yourself why. Of course, getting no viewings is worse, but at least that’s easier to understand: perhaps you overpriced your property or posted a listing that doesn’t do it justice. But assessing why buyers would lose interest in the property after viewing it is more challenging.

If you haven’t already, try hiring a real estate agent to market your home. Also, it’s worth inviting friends over and asking for feedback. Your house likely has some flaws that you’ve gotten used to but put visitors off, such as unpleasant smells, dated decor or a noisy neighborhood. Finally, keep in mind that savvy homebuyers are wary of old listings. And the more time your home spends on the market, the more it becomes a red flag to them.

2. Lowball Offers

No seller likes a lowball offer, especially at the start of the negotiations. And while it’s perfectly normal for buyers to try and negotiate a lower price, offers that are significantly below your asking price should trigger a warning bell. It’s possible that you’ve priced your home too steep compared to the market value or that the neighborhood itself is in decline. A lowball offer could also indicate that your property is in dire need of repairs or even upgrades. And in some cases, it could also suggest that the buyer doesn’t have the financial means to purchase the home and is trying to bring the price down to something more affordable.

3. Restrictive Contingency Clauses

Real estate transactions often feature contingency clauses that allow both parties to back out of the sale under the circumstances stipulated in the contract. One common type you’ll encounter is a sale and settlement contingency. It’s used by buyers who already have a home they’re looking to sell to finance buying another one. This clause stipulates that if the buyer sells their house before a specific date, the sale of your home to them can go forward. If not, the deal falls through.

Other types of contingency clauses you may come across are:

  • Appraisal contingency: home must be appraised at a minimum amount specified by the buyer;
  • Inspection contingency: the buyer has the right to inspect the home within a certain timeframe;
  • Mortgage contingency: the buyer will obtain financing for their home within a specific timeframe;

Often, these clauses are added by buyers doing their due diligence or even trying to secure the property they’re interested in. However, they’re no guarantee that your house will sell. In fact, they allow the buyer to back out of the sale without any penalties if their conditions are not met. What’s more, the clauses will keep you in a stalemate that could prevent selling your property to other buyers in the meantime.

4. The Buyer Is Not Pre-approved for a Loan

Although buyers are not required to be pre-approved for a loan in order to buy a house, expecting them to be is perfectly reasonable. As a seller, you will save valuable time when dealing with pre-approved buyers. On the other hand, waiting for the lender’s letter could slow things down, and you even risk losing out by not prospecting a better offer. Also, be wary of buyers who are not pre-approved and bring contracts full of contingency clauses to the table. Again, this can cause serious delays in selling your property.

5. The Buyer Is Asking for Cashback

This request may seem harmless at first, but it’s a major red flag. Buyer cashback requests usually take two shapes. In one scenario, the buyer will offer to overpay for the house, then ask you to wire back the difference at closing. In other cases, the buyer will send you too much money for the deposit, realize their ‘mistake,’ and ask you to send back the extra. The main thing to keep in mind is that this practice is illegal. Essentially, this is a method used by scammers to defraud the lender and can land both you and the buyer in jail.

6. Buyer Refuses Legal Parties Involvement

As a rule of thumb, never sign a contract that you don’t fully understand. Especially when it comes to real estate. Legal terminology can be complicated, and it’s within your right to ask for professional assistance if something doesn’t make sense. But if your buyer refuses to let you have a lawyer look over the contract they’ve drawn up, that should be an instant red flag. Similarly, be cautious of buyers who refuse to work with a title company or using a notary to formalize the deed of sale and who are suspiciously pushy about getting your signature on the contract.

7. Cash Purchases

At first glance, finding a cash buyer for your property sounds like excellent news. Not having to wait on all the mortgage-related documentation alone can be a real time saver. However, home cash purchase offers are not always as good as they seem. They’re often a sign that the buyer doesn’t actually have the money to buy the house and can’t qualify for a loan. Sometimes, offers from a cash buyer can also signal a scam. You can protect yourself from potential cash buyer scams by requesting ‘Proof of Funds’ documentation and asking for a non-refundable deposit that’s at least 5% of the selling price. If the money for the deposit is paid by check, always wait until the check has cleared.

8. Interest from ‘We Buy Houses’ Companies

If you receive a call or email from a ‘We Buy Houses’ company, don’t get your hopes up too soon. Admittedly, some of these companies are legitimate, but even then, selling your house this way can take years. And in some cases, you may be dealing with a scam. The most common signs that you’re dealing with a ‘We Buy Houses’ scam are upfront application fees, offers of foreclosure relief, or contract clauses that prevent you from selling your home to someone else if you change your mind. In addition, ‘We Buy Houses’ companies usually target distressed properties, so if your home falls in that category, you need to be extra vigilant.

9. Something about the Buyer Feels… Off

So you’ve finally found a buyer interested in your property, but for some reason, your gut instinct warns you against them. Perhaps they’re not asking the type of questions a home buyer should ask and just skipping straight to signing the contract. Maybe they’re a bit too keen on buying the house sight unseen. Or perhaps it’s just suspiciously difficult to get in touch with them or their agent. Of course, there could very well be a reasonable explanation for this behavior. But, in the worst-case scenario, it could be a sign of a scam.

When in doubt, never hesitate to enlist the services of a professional, such as a real estate agent or a lawyer. Remember that your property is your biggest personal asset, and it’s in your interest to capitalize on the equity you’ve built up in a way that’s both legal and financially advantageous.


Canadians’ Top 30 Most Desired Destinations to Buy a Home in the Americas


Although the pandemic managed to keep some Canadians from going south, many others were undeterred: Snowbirds and home buyers interested in more exotic locations continued to search for the perfect home south of the border  a home that would provide some much needed respite from the pandemic’s relentless stress and frustration.

So, what are Canadians’ most popular destinations to buy a home in the Americas? Well, compared to 2015 and 2018, there are some surprising changes at the top. But, there are also certain destinations that are becoming mainstays.

Here are this year’s key takeaways:

  • Mexico and the U.S. remain the most popular destinations in which to buy a second home in the Americas.
  • Costa Rica — the third-most sought-after location in 2018  remains on the podium, solidifying its position as one of the most in-demand tropical locations.
  • Newcomers Barbados and the U.S. Virgin Islands kicked Jamaica and Ecuador out of the top 10 most-desirable locations.
  • The newest addition to Canada’s top 30 most searched vacation destinations is Saint Kitts and Nevins.

Top home buying locations-CA

#1 Mexico’s Amazing Beaches Continue to Attract Canadian Homebuyers

Mexico remains Canadians’ darling in 2021. In fact, this tropical paradise hasn’t budged from the first place since 2015, when Point2 first started analyzing the most-searched vacation destinations.

Here, the three locations that dominate Canadians’ imaginations and attract the most searches are Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Thanks to their endless beaches, exquisite cuisine and laid-back, joyful customs and way of life, these resort cities promise a much-needed change of lifestyle for those willing to make a more permanent move.

So, what housing options are available for Canadians ready to flee to Mexico? Below are some properties that go for approximately the median home price in Canada, which reached a staggering $663,503 in August, according to CREA:


#2 U.S. Retains Its Appeal for Canadian Second-Home Buyers

Canada’s neighbor to the south has always been a convenient location for second home buyers. And, with locations that have something for everyone, the U.S. is sure to attract home buyers who’d love a change of scenery.

As expected, Canadians’ preferred locations in the U.S. are well-known, popular cities like New York and Las Vegas, but also amazing, tropical-weather destinations like Hawaii and Florida. What’s more, these search patterns show that, while some Canadians are interested in the more notorious or legendary American cities, others move south for the amazing weather in Texas and Arizona, or the beaches in Florida.

Here are some lovely properties that Canadian home buyers could start to call home in the U.S.:


#3 Tropical Paradise Costa Rica Earns Spot as In-Demand Second-Home Location

Offering a wide array of outdoor adventures, Costa Rica is simply the epitome of fun, relaxation and zest for life. Whether they’re interested in historic landmarks, discovering the country’s bewildering wildlife or simply spending all their time at the beach, Canadian tourists — as well as second home buyers — will never get the chance to be bored here.

The three top destinations that Canadians prefer in this country are Tamarindo, Jaco and Nosara. Tamarindo  known for its beaches as well as great surfing and other water sports and activities  is perfect for the active and adventurous types. The same goes for Jaco, which is known for its surf beaches and nightlife, as well as a gateway to national parks.

Alternatively, those who’d like to slow things down and get more in touch with nature and themselves should head over to Nosara. Popular mostly for its varied world-class yoga retreats and studios, this place will surely help those who move there to relax and adopt the Zen state of mind.

Curious what the average home price in Canada will buy you in these locations? Check out some of the best homes that money can buy in Costa Rica’s most-wanted cities:

To see specific figures for each of the 30 destinations included in the ranking, hover over the bars in the chart below:



To discover the most-searched destinations for Canadians who are looking to buy property in the Americas, we analyzed keywords related to real estate in combination with all of the countries and territories from the Americas. We used Ahrefs to extract the average number of searches per month, for the past 12 months. We then ranked these locations based on the number of searches for them.

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Downtown Kelowna retail units, apartment building sells


Storefronts, building sells

The Western Investor is reporting a pair of significant recent real estate transactions in Kelowna.

Roughly 4,900 square feet of retail space downtown at 453-459 Bernard Avenue recently sold for $2.06 million, in a deal brokered locally by William Wright Commercial.

The two retail units are currently occupied by a florist and shoe store.

Just south, on the other side of Highway 97, the 30-unit apartment building at 543 Rowcliffe Avenue has recently sold for $6.39 million.

The off-market deal saw the 50-year-old apartment building on a 0.40 acre lot change hands for $213,167 per unit. The sale was brokered by Cushman & Wakefield in Vancouver.