Prepare your home for the spring thaw


Purple crocuses growing through the snow on a bright early spring day

The air is warmer, the days are getting longer, and after an exceptionally snowy winter, the grass is starting to reveal itself. Spring is upon us, which means all that snow is going to melt. Be sure to take these important steps to protect your home and prevent major water damage during the thaw.

  • Clear away any snow and ice from your home’s foundation, including window wells, to avoid leaks and possibly flooding as it melts.
  • Take a closer look. Seal and repair any cracks in your walls, foundation and around windows, to ensure moisture does not penetrate the building. If you discover a leak, even a small one, consider contacting a professional. Water damage can escalate quickly and repairs are costly. 
  • Clear out built-up ice and debris from your eavestroughs and downspouts. This is an integral part of your home’s water draining system, and if the flow is clogged, it can result in major damage. If there is a drain on the street near your property, be sure to clear any leaves and garbage away from the grate so melting snow from the road can flow freely. 
  • Beware of overhead leaks. If your roof is in need of repair, this is likely the time you will become aware of it. You may start to see water spots form on your ceiling. Do not ignore the signs! These spots are an indication of a water leak caused by damage to the roof. Don’t forget to check for leaks in the attic as well.
  • Before you turn on the air conditioning for the first time this season, inspect the unit to ensure it is functioning properly. This is also the perfect time to replace your furnace filter and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

For more on how to prepare your home for the season, check out our Spring Cleaning 101 blog post.

Banking on energy future

The District of Summerland has been saving a little money through its solar panel projects, while simultaneously encouraging local kids to learn more about energy efficiency.

Summerland council heard Monday that the “Cool It” program at Giant’s Head Elementary School was a success for its inaugural year in 2021, seeing 146 students from grades 3 to 5 engaged.

Over a four-week period, kids were challenged to participate in earth-friendly ideas and bring those home to their families, like turning down the heat in the house, having one meat-free day per week, engaging in an electricity-free Earth Hour, having a staycation rather than a vacation to reduce carbon footprints, and planting vegetable gardens.

Teachers noted positive feedback and high engagement, and the program will be back in 2022. The actions of the kids over four weeks saved an estimated 10.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to Summerland sustainability and alternative energy coordinator Odessa Cohen.

In the same vein of sustainability, Cohen also presented council with the success of various solar panel programs initiated on municipal buildings in recent years.

Panels on the arts centre and municipal hall have netted a total power savings to the district of $7,014.80 since 2018. The arts centre panels were installed first, and overall since then, it has exceeded its intended energy output.

The municipal hall panels are slightly younger, and Cohen explained they are slightly under full capacity of 6,900 kilowatt hours, but hopefully that will improve. The panels have a 20-30 year life span.

There are also 22 public electronic vehicle chargers in the town that were finalized in July 2021, in addition to five pre-existing charging stations.

Cohen said 1,175 charging sessions by 447 took place in the calendar year in 2021, with 19 identified “regular users.”

$5,496 in fees were collected from the stations near municipal hall alone.

Mortgage Rate Forecast

To view the Mortgage Rate Forecast PDF, click here.


  • Long-term interest rates head back down on Russian invasion
  • Elevated inflation set to stick around a little longer?
  • It begins – the Bank of Canada is raising rates, but where will they stop?

Mortgage Rate Outlook
The last several months have seen a high degree of volatility in global bond markets as interest rates were whipsawed by the combatting forces of the Omicron variant, escalating inflation and, most recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While the pandemic and global events are adding uncertainty to global financial markets, the driving force behind the longer-term rise in interest rates remains the elevated level of inflation across major world economies and global central banks’ reaction to that inflation. Consumer price inflation reached a 30-year high in January at 5.1 per cent (year-over-year) and Canadians’ expectations for the rate of inflation has more than doubled. The latter is particularly concerning for the Bank of Canada as expectations becoming unanchored from the 2 per cent inflation target risks a feedback loop from rising expectations to wage demands to current inflation that will be challenging to break. As a result, the Bank of Canada has adopted a more aggressive schedule of rate increases than was expected just six months ago.

Canadian fixed mortgage rates began increasing toward the end of 2021 and have now risen back to their pre-pandemic level of 3 per cent while variables rates, which move in lock-step with the Bank of Canada, are now also on the rise. Our view is that the Bank will continue to increase its overnight rate until it reaches the pre-pandemic level of 1.75 per cent, which implies a variable rate of 3.25 per cent by 2023.

We expect five-year fixed rates will rise to about 4 per cent over the next year and a half. However, uncertainty in global financial markets due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine could significantly delay Bank of Canada rate increases and may cause a reversal in the upward trend in long-term rates, a scenario we saw play out in the first week of the invasion with five-year bond yields falling 30 basis points.

Growth Outlook
The Canadian economy finished 2021 with significant momentum, growing close to 7 per cent on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter and growth appears to be stronger than expected in the first quarter of 2022, tracking at close to 4 per cent. On its current trajectory, that growth would lead to slack in the Canadian economy being completely absorbed within the first six months of 2022 and a positive output gap (more demand than supply) developing over the year. Generally, a positive output gap is somewhat inflationary, though a healing supply chain may help attenuate shortages that have placed upward pressure on prices over the past year. Tightening monetary policy by the Bank of Canada should slow demand and help to bring inflation down, though that will take time. Rising oil and commodity prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine also present a risk of high inflation persisting longer than expected.

Bank of Canada Outlook
With the Bank of Canada embarking on its first rate-tightening cycle since 2018, it is important to ask: where is the Bank’s policy rate headed?

When thinking about where interest rates will land in the long term, economists often use models of the so-called “neutral rate of interest,” usually defined as the interest rates that would prevail when the economy is in its long-run equilibrium.

Based on estimates from the standard model for the neutral rate of interest, the neutral rate is currently about 0.25 to 0.5 per cent in real terms, or 2.25 to 2.5 per cent in nominal terms given the Bank’s 2 per cent inflation target. This aligns with the Bank of Canada’s official estimate of 1.75 per cent to 2.75 per cent as a range for the neutral rate. That increase would ripple through other Canadian interest rates, which means a higher cost of borrowing for Canadian banks and lenders, and therefore higher mortgage rates. Under a scenario where the Bank of Canada returns its overnight rate to a neutral rate of 2.5 per cent, we can estimate a “neutral” five-year fixed mortgage rate by building up from the overnight rate using historical averages of interest rate spreads. Doing so implies a neutral five-year fixed mortgage rate of between 4 and 4.6 per cent, which would mean a qualifying rate of 6 to 6.6 per cent. Our baseline forecast is for the Bank to pause and re-assess its monetary stance after six rate increases, bringing its overnight.


Spring Cleaning Checklist for Each Room of the House

With spring on its way, it’s time to dust off those winter cobwebs and get your home in order! So with that in mind, here’s our spring cleaning checklist for each room of the house:

Living Room

  • Roll up the carpets, then vacuum and mop the floors. You can also move furniture such as sofas to the center of the room, then vacuum and mop behind and underneath them as well.
  • Use a vacuum or steamer to clean sofas and upholstery, and remember to clean inside crevices as well. If you have decorative pillows, take off their cases and wash them. Do the same with your decorative blankets.
  • Dust the furniture and electric appliances, such as the TV and home entertainment system.
  • Wipe the lamps and lampshades with a damp cloth. Take down the ceiling light cover and give it a gentle wipe also.
  • Tidy up any items lying around, and put old holiday decorations back in storage.


  • Rotate your mattress so that the head moves to the bottom of the bed. Also, if your mattress has a separate summer and winter side, flip it so that the summer side is facing up.
  • Let the mattress air for a few hours before putting clean sheets back on the bed.
  • Move the bed and sweep or vacuum around and underneath it. Give the floors a good mop, then push the bed back in its original spot.
  • Wash sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases at 140°F on a full cycle to remove any traces of sweat, dust or dander.
  • Tidy the wardrobe and put away any thick winter clothes you’re no longer wearing.


  • Use a liquid dish soap solution to remove tough grease stains from your cooktop.
  • Clean the inside of your oven, and wipe the glass door inside and out. Don’t forget about your microwave oven either.
  • Wipe any stains and splashes from the tiles, counters and cabinet doors.
  • Go through your cabinets and throw out any food items that have expired. Remember to check dried foods as well, such as spices, pasta, rice or beans.
  • Take out the shelves and drawers from your fridge and give them a good clean. Next, wipe the inside of the refrigerator with a cleaning solution—dry everything with a towel before putting it back.
  • Check inside your fridge freezer and throw out any old, expired food. If a lot of ice has built up inside, it’s also worth defrosting your freezer.


  • Give all tiles a good scrub. If you notice signs of black mold, spray the surfaces with a water and vinegar solution, scrub them with a sponge, then rinse them out.
  • Wipe mirrors and windows.
  • Wipe the dust off all surfaces, including vent covers.
  • Take off the shower curtain and mat and wash them in the washing machine on a cold setting. Then, you can leave them out to dry or tumble dry on a very low setting.
  • Check inside cabinets and throw out any old cleaning or sanitary products.
  • Use a water and bleach solution to clean the toilets and sinks.
  • Check the shower drain and use baking soda and vinegar to remove any clogs, including hair.

Around the Entire House

  • Open all windows wide to give the house a good airing.
  • Wipe the windows inside and out using a microfiber cloth. To avoid streaks, mix a solution of one part water and ten parts distilled vinegar in a spray bottle, then use a damp squeegee to clean your window screens.
  • Take down window treatments such as curtains and wash them on a delicate cycle. Don’t forget to wipe the windowsills as well.
  • Use a disinfectant to clean doorknobs handles and light switches, especially those that get a lot of hand traffic.
  • Tidy up any cables and tuck them behind the furniture or baseboards.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floors, then give them a thorough mopping.
  • Vacuum the carpets and upholstery, and give them a dry clean if needed.

Garage and Outdoors

  • Sort through the items you have stored in the garage and throw out what’s no longer needed, such as old paint cans and brushes, old or broken tools, broken appliances, etc.
  • If you no longer use items that are still in good condition, put them in boxes and consider donating them, or organize a good old-fashioned garage sale.
  • Wipe the shelves and make sure they’re organized. You can use a label maker to keep track of what’s inside each box or drawer.
  • Sweep any fallen leaves and branches from your patio, lawn or driveway. Remember to check the gutters as well.
  • Use a pressure washer to clean the garage door, driveway, deck and even outdoor furniture.
  • Trim shrubs, bushes and trees and make sure that your lawn and garden are ready for spring.

Sales Activity Remains Strong Heading into Spring

For the complete news release, including detailed statistics, click here.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,902 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February 2022, a decrease of 18.8 per cent from February 2021. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $1.109 million, a 24.9 per cent increase from $887,866 recorded in February 2021. Total sales dollar volume was $9.9 billion, a 1.5 per cent increase from the same time last year.


“While sales are not keeping pace with the unprecedented level of activity we saw this time last year, demand continues to be quite strong,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “There are some encouraging signs that listings are recovering from historical lows, but there is a very long way to go before markets achieve balance.”

Provincial active listings were 19 per cent lower than this time last year with the total inventory of homes for sale in the province at just 16,000 units. That level of inventory is well below the roughly 40,000 listings needed for a balanced market.



Home Maintenance: Prepping Your Home for Spring

With hints of spring in the air, now is a great time to show your home a little tender loving care. Winter weather can take its toll on everything from your gutters to your HVAC system, so it’s well worth carrying out some basic home maintenance. Here are some of the most important things to focus on.

Inspect the Roof

Let’s start with the most important part: the roof. Heavy snowfall, winds and frost can leave their mark on it, so use a ladder to get up there and inspect any potential damage. Look for damaged or missing shingles, damaged piping, cracks and signs of leaks.

Clean the Gutters

While inspecting the roof, take a moment to clean the gutters and downspouts. Remove any debris such as fallen leaves and twigs, and check that the pipes are not cracked or rusty. Keeping your gutters clear of any blockages will prevent any water damage on the inside and outside of your home, as well as protect your roof and attic.

Check the Basement

Melting snow and spring rains could put your basement at risk of flooding. Now is a good time to check for any leaks, damp spots or mold, and make sure that any gaps and cracks are sealed properly. If you have a sump pump, check whether the intake and discharge line is clogged, and fix it if needed.

Clean Your HVAC System

After a winter of intense use, your HVAC system could do with a clean. Take a look at the air filters and either clean or replace them, depending on the state they’re in. Ideally, your HVAC system should be serviced once a year, so you can also use this time to book a professional to make sure all components are working correctly.

Inspect and Repair Windows

Spring is the ideal time to replace or repair your windows. If you live in an area prone to summer storms, you can even think about installing storm windows and doors. Inspect your windows for any gaps, cracks or damaged caulking. Don’t forget about the insect screens either, and make sure that they have no tears or holes that could let bugs in as the weather warms up.

Reseal Outside Woodwork

Wood and dampness don’t mix, and there’s a good chance that your outdoor woodwork is worse for wear after being exposed to the elements all winter. Use a pressure washer to clean your deck, outside furniture, fences and rails, then give them a fresh coat of wood sealer. Also, take a moment to check and repair any woodwork that might have been damaged by the wind or snow.

Repair Paths and Driveway

It’s not uncommon for concrete and asphalt to crack in winter, especially if you live in an area with severe frosts. Once the snow and ice have melted, check your driveway and pathways for any cracks. If the damage is minimal, you can use tubed asphalt for a quick DIY fix. However, in severe cases, it might be worth replacing them altogether to prevent further damage the following winter.

Check Sprinklers and Outdoor Faucets

Before you start sowing your lawn, it’s worth making sure that your sprinklers and other irrigation systemsare still working. Give them a test run and check the hoses and pipes for tears, inspect the sprinkler heads and look for any leaks that could put a strain on your water bill. Also, check any outdoor faucets as well, especially if you’ve had previous problems with them freezing.

Paint Exterior Walls

Snow and cold temperatures can leave their mark on exterior walls, and you may notice that the colors are looking a bit muted. In some cases, extreme temperature fluctuations and dampness can also lead to paint peeling. So if your home exterior looks like it could be freshened up, spring is a great time to give it a new coat of paint. Or, if your house has vinyl siding, you can pick a warm, dry day and give it a good clean.

Trim Hedges and Trees

Early spring is a good time to trim your trees, hedges and shrubs. This will clear any old, damaged or dead twigs and branches, and make room for new growth. Ideally, you’ll want to do this before your plants start budding or flowering. Also, remember to check your trees and shrubs for birds’ nests and avoid disturbing them if you find any.

Mulch, Fertilize and Plant Your Garden

If you have an outdoor garden, spring marks the start of your growing season. Mulch your plants, add compost or manure to your vegetable garden, and once the last frost has passed, you can safely start sowing seeds and planting your garden.

84-unit condo development proposed for Peachland


Condos planned near school

Peachland’s municipal council will be taking its first look at a large condo development that could be built next to the community’s elementary school.

Porchlight Developments is seeking to build a four-storey, 84-unit building off Clements Crescent behind the Peachland Centre shopping plaza.

The developer, who is also behind the condo proposal at Todd’s Campground, is requesting the municipality subsidize the down payment for 16 first-time home buyers through a grant system.

The grants would be funded by the community amenity contributions (CACs) required of the developer related to both the Todd’s and Peachland Centre developments, totalling $246,000.

“The grant would cover approximately 75% of the down payment required for the purchase of a unit and the money for the grants would come from the CACs the district has collected from the developer,” the Porchlight proposal says.

Peachland policy collects $1,877 per residential unit from developers. While some cities, like Vancouver, spend their CACs on affordable housing, Peachland’s policy suggests they be spent on public amenities or civic offices and fire halls. But given the current housing crisis, council is being asked to consider the idea.

The tentative unit mix for the project is 17 one-bedrooms, 29 two-bedrooms and 38 three-bedrooms. Proposed sale prices range from $335,000 to $430,000, an underserved segment of the market in Peachland, says the developer.

The development requires rezoning and official community plan amendments. A single-family home parcel is planned at the south end of the property to act as a buffer to the neighbourhood there.

A new road will have to be constructed between the development and Peachland Elementary and upgrades would be made to overall pedestrian safety in the area.

A traffic assessment found no negative impacts on the existing transportation infrastructure in the area, and the traffic engineer anticipates that the increased population will help with the commercial viability of Peachland Centre and increase transit sustainability.

The development property, however, is located within the Trepanier Creek floodplain. Both the one-in-20 year and one-in-200 year flood modelling show inundation at the development site.

According to the Peachland staff report, the developer says that “flood and floodplain analysis has and will be accommodated in the future design by assuring habitable space is clear of risk in water inundation.”

A total of 137 parking stalls would be situated on site and land adjacent to the creek would be protected upon rezoning for a future trail.

Public consultation shows some resistance to the plan with concerns revolving around the size of the project and a desire for dedicated seniors housing.

Tuesday evening, Peachland council will debate sending the proposal to a public hearing.

Single Story For Sale in Wiltse / Valley View, Penticton

Photo Link
Home offers 2,300 sq. ft. surrounded by sprawling gardens and covered decks

•  2300 sqft , 3 bath , 4 bdrm single story – FOR SALE  CAD995,000 . Panoramic Views of Skaha & Okanagan Lake!  MLS® 193337

Panoramic Views of Skaha & Okanagan Lake! City of Penticton view! Modern design home! Mortgage Helper! Could you ask for more? Absolutely! This home offers 2,300 sq. ft. surrounded by sprawling gardens and covered decks. The main level offers an open concept which allows an over abundance of natural light. In this space you can enjoy gorgeous daytime views then city lights while enjoying that late night get together with family/friends. Master bedroom & den is located on the main floor with 2 additional bedrooms in the basement where you will also find the 1-bedroom non-conforming suite. This suite has its own entrance, A/C & heat, separate laundry & cozy outdoor covered nook. Newer furnace/AC Heat Pump, Rinnai Hot Water on demand, 200 AMP Electrical Panel plus Solar panels, which is a great investment for the future and our environment. It will help you save on crazy hydro energy bills. For a sprinkle of added coziness enjoy a WETT Certified wood burning insert in winter months.

Click here for: Property information

Unlimited yard waste pickup returning to Penticton


Time to clean up your yard

Unlimited yard waste collection is back this spring in Penticton.

As residents begin to prepare their yards for the upcoming warmer weather, the city will provide two weeks of extra garden waste pickup.

After filling your regular yard waste cart for curbside pickup, you can then put out unlimited paper bags or containers on your regular yard waste pickup days between March 28-April 1, and April 25-29.

Tips to correctly place yard waste are as follows:

  • Place yard waste at your usual collection point by 7:00 am on your regular garbage day.
  • Use kraft paper bags or reusable containers marked as “yard waste”.
  • Bundle branches using string or twine, and ensure the prunings are no more than 3 feet in length, 3 inches in diameter and 50 pounds in weight.
  • If your additional yard waste is not collected, please leave it at your collection point as a second truck may be required to pick it up.
  • Please leave a minimum of 3ft/1m of space between carts and additional yard waste.
  • Yard waste contained in plastic bags will not be accepted.
  • Dog waste and dog waste bags are not accepted in yard waste

Consult the city’s garbage, recycling and yard waste calendar online here for more information.

PC Urban wants to build six-storey rental building on Gordon Drive


More rental homes on way?

Vancouver developer PC Urban has plans to build a six-storey, mixed-use development at the corner of Gordon Drive and Lawrence Avenue.

The company submitted several applications to the City of Kelowna this week for the development, which would consist of a daycare, ground-level townhomes, and one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units on floors two through six. The developer says more than half of the homes would be suited for families.

There would be 192 units overall, including 91 one-bedroom, 74 two-bedroom and 27 three-bedroom homes. A courtyard is also included in the renderings that were submitted to the city as part of the proposal.

PC Urban has asked to rezone the property, whose address is 1603-1615 Gordon Dr., from commercial to high density, and it also wants to increase the floor area ratio to allow for the daycare.

The developer is also asking to add the residential rental tenure subzone to the project, which would allow for a 10% decrease in parking requirements.

There would be two levels of parking, one of which would be underground and the other on ground level.