What to Rent: Condo vs. Apartment

If you’re looking to rent, you may be struggling to choose between apartments and condos. At first glance, they seem more or less the same. But delve a little deeper, and you’ll find many differences. Let’s take a closer look and figure out which is the best option for you.

Both apartments and condos are individual residential units within a larger building containing several other similar units. They can be within tower blocks or smaller buildings, with or without amenities such as a swimming pool or doorman. But despite these similarities, there are several differences worth knowing.

1.     Ownership

Ownership is by far the most significant difference between condos and apartments. In an apartment complex, all units are owned by one person, whereas in a condo building, each individual unit has a different owner.

2.     Management

Apartment building owners generally work with a management company to deal with tenants, maintenance, and other tasks. A condo building is usually managed by a homeowners association (HOA), which sets the rules and takes care of shared spaces. When renting a condo, you deal with your landlord, the owner of the unit, rather than a management company.

3.     Maintenance and Repairs

While renting an apartment, if something goes wrong, you can generally contact the management company 24/7, and they will take care of the issue. In a condo, however, you’ll need to get in touch with your landlord, who might not always be available. In case of any urgent repairs that surface, you might have to pay the bill yourself and recover the money afterward. It’s best to agree on such scenarios in advance.

4.     Rules

In a condo, the HOA will set the ground rules that owners and tenants must adhere to regarding common spaces and outside decoration. Within the condo unit, the owner may impose additional restrictions, such as no pet policies, for instance. Apartments also come with rules, though these tend to be stricter with no room for negotiation. In either case, be sure to check the lease agreement thoroughly before you sign.

5.     Costs and Fees

In a condo, the unit owner is solely responsible for setting the rent. This means that tenants in the same building, in similar units, often pay different rents. In addition, the rent will typically also include the HOA fee and the utilities. You’ll basically be paying a flat fee throughout the year and won’t have to worry about seasonal fluctuations. With these fees added to the rent, condos are often considered more expensive, but it isn’t always the case.

When renting an apartment, utilities are often billed separately, while maintenance and repair costs are typically rolled into your rent, in addition to the upkeep of any shared amenities.

Condo or Apartment? Which Is the Right Choice for Me?

To answer this question, it’s worth looking at the major advantages of both options.

Condo Pros:

  • Great condition and amenities: Condos owners tend to put more personal touches into their units and may install upgrades to improve their chances of finding a tenant. Plus, there’s a chance that the owner previously lived in the unit, so it’s more likely to be in good condition. Apartment owners may be more likely to cut corners on these things.
  • More room for negotiation: Not all condo owners are looking to make a profit from their tenants. Some simply want to cover their costs and ensure the unit is lived in and looked after. As such, you may find more room to negotiate on price, pet policies and renovation requests.

Apartment Pros:

  • Experienced management: With a professional management company, many things are streamlined, such as trash collection, online rent payments, repairs, complaints and maintenance requests. They are often available round the clock to take care of issues as and when they arise.

In general, if you prefer the peace of mind of not having to worry about dealing with maintenance and repairs and don’t mind having any say in what appliances and amenities you have installed, an apartment is a good choice.

Meanwhile, a condo may be the better option if you’d prefer a more personal relationship with your landlord and the potential flexibility that might come with that. The flip side is that in case of repairs and maintenance, things don’t always run as smoothly as they might with an apartment.

Annual Penticton Discovery House golf tournament is back

 

GOLF THAT GIVES BACK

The annual Discovery House golf tournament, dinner and auction is back again this year at St. Andrew’s by the Lake.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, bust out your golf clubs in support of a community cause, and have a good time while doing so.

The tournament supports the many addiction recovery services that Discovery House in Penticton offers for men throughout the South Okanagan, under the motto “Returning fathers to children and sons to families.”

The tournament will be teams of four in a best ball format with shotgun starts at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. plus dinner, online and live auction, games, and incredible prizes, including:

  • $10,000 Parker’s Chrysler vehicle package
  • $10,000 PCS home renovation package
  • Ok Home Centre hot tub spa package
  • Prestige Resorts: Two night stay and $50 dinning credit

Ways to participate include sponsoring a hole, purchasing a promotional table at a hole, or entering a team of four golfers or a single golfer.

The event is on a first come, first serve basis and traditionally sells out, so anyone interested is encouraged to register now.

Registration is $85 per player and includes dinner and entertainment after the golfing.

All proceeds will go towards long-term, abstinence based recovery in the South Okanagan through the Discovery House Recovery Program.

Call Jerome at 250-462-1388 for registration and sponsorship details.

BEA NOMINATIONS OPENING

The Penticton Chamber of Commerce and Total Restoration Services launched the 2022 Business Excellence Awards (BEA) on Wednesday.

Members of the board announced the 35th annual BEA and the opening of nominations to members of the media, along with plans for a celebration on Oct. 22.

Jonathan McGraw, president of the Penticton Chamber of Commerce said that this is the time for everyone to get to put an arm around one another as a business community and thank each other.

Nominations opened today at 4 p.m. and close on Wednesday, Aug, 31, which can be found online here.

Total Restoration is the presenting sponsor for the third year in a row.

“We do feel like this is the event of the year in Penticton,” said Tracy Van Raes, marketing and community relations manager for Total Restoration Services.

This year there will be changes in using a fully customizable software online program for the award show process with Awardify.

The chamber is also putting a call out into the community to nominate selection judges for the committee. There will also be three new judges from the chamber board and past winners.

The awards will be held at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre (PTCC). The theme will be announced in the coming weeks.

Last year’s event was held at the PTCC, as well as virtually on Facebook Live.

McGraw added that those nominated this year should be “upholding the values of the business community.”

Prep your home against wildfires before they return with Penticton’s FireSmart program

 

BEFORE THE WILDFIRE IS BACK

Penticton FireSmart wants to see the community step up and have their homes checked by the city’s free program now that the area’s drying trend has returned.

The first wildfire in Penticton’s area sparked on Monday afternoon, just above homes on the West Bench.

“We’re really looking for people to be proactive ahead of the wildfire season, it’s a lot easier to do this mitigation before the wildfire is at your back door,” said Miyoko McKeown, FireSmart Coordinator for the City of Penticton.

“One of the benefits of the program is if you are a fire smart certified, you can actually go to the cooperators and receive up to 10 per cent off your property.”

To become FireSmart certified, the first thing to do is to have a Wildfire Mitigation Specialist complete a home assessment. Once the resident has completed any suggestions given by the team, they can become eligible for that insurance discount.

“We’ll go over your whole property, the vegetation, everything around the home up to 100 meters around the home, including the home itself. So what it’s built out of, the roofing, the siding, windows doors, there’s all these boxes you have to check to be certified,” McKeown said.

The team works to turn over those assessments back to the homeowner within five business days.

“This is definitely the time we really want to be seeing people being proactive with FireSmart. We want people cleaning up around their yards, considering some fuel conversion, and just doing the work to build resiliency into their homes and properties and their neighbourhoods,” said Brittany Seibert, the City of Penticton Emergency Program Coordinator.

“Do that mitigation work around your home if that’s cleaning out your gutters, really cleaning out that non-combustible zone around your house, getting rid of all that leafy debris that’s been left over that’s getting super dry this time of year,” McKeown added.

The effectiveness of the FireSmart program has been proven to have a drastic impact on reducing the risk of wildfire.

“We definitely want people to not be complacent, to not forget that wildfire season is still here, it’s still happening. And it can happen at a moment’s notice,” Siebert said.

Assessment takes approximately anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the property.

Its recommended for residents to also be prepared with an emergency plan and a grab-and-go bag if evacuation orders come out in their area.

For more information on the program or to set up an assessment, reach out to firesmart@penticton.ca

Residents outside of Penticton in the South Okanagan, visit the RDOS FireSmart website here.

Three Story For Sale in Penticton

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6358.3 Sq.Ft. , 7 Bath , 4 Bedroom three story – FOR SALE  CAD 6,750,000.

Click here for: Property information or Virtual Tour

Penticton opens cooling centres as heat wave settles in

 

COOLING CENTRES NOW OPEN

Extreme high temperatures are expected this week and the City of Penticton is extending hours at several facilities starting today.

“We want to ensure everyone is safe during this period and providing cooling centres is a way to help residents and visitors beat the heat,” says Anthony Haddad, the director of the City’s Emergency Operations Centre.

“We’re extending the hours at civic facilities to assist people who need a place to cool down.”

The extended hours are at the following facilities:

  • South Okanagan Events Centre (835 Eckhart Avenue) will be open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Penticton Community Centre (325 Power Street) will be open between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Penticton Public Library auditorium and lobby (785 Main Street) will be open 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Penticton Seniors’ Drop-in Centre (2965 Main Street) will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Water will be available at those locations as well, and bylaw enforcement and community safety officers will be carrying water for those in need

More community resources and tips on dealing with the heat are available here.

Residents and visitors who may have questions about available resources can call also call 250-490-2400 for assistance finding resources.

The City has activated its Emergency Operations Centre if further response is required.

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Interior British Columbia. Temperatures in Penticton are expected to reach 38 C this week.

How Much Are Closing Costs When Buying a House?

One of the top pieces of advice for anyone planning to buy a house is to make a watertight budget. However, it’s worth noting that your budget needs to account for many things beyond the down payment.

Closing costs are easy to overlook, but to do so would be a costly mistake that could cause you to fall into debt or lose out on your dream home. With that in mind, let’s examine just how much you can expect to pay in closing costs.

The amount you pay on closing costs depends on several variables. However, on average, buyers in the U.S. can expect to pay anything between 2% and 5% of the total sale price. Meanwhile, the figure is generally slightly lower in Canada, usually between 1.5% and 4% for a typical house purchase.

How Much Are Refinancing Closing Costs?

If you’re planning to refinance your home, you’ll also need to pay closing costs, typically between 2% and 6% of the total loan amount. These closing costs comprise several services, some with a flat fee and others charged as a percentage.

How Much Are Closing Costs for the Seller?

If you’re also selling your home while buying a new one, you must budget for the closing fees on both transactions. It’s usually the seller’s responsibility to pay any real estate agent commissions, which can add a hefty chunk to the closing costs, typically around 5% to 6% of the sale price. In addition, you can expect to pay an extra 1% to 3% in other closing fees, taking the total to around 6% – 8%.

Breaking Down the Typical Closing Costs for Buyers

Now that you know how much you should budget for closing costs, let’s look at each component in detail.

Legal Fees

You’ll typically need to work with a closing attorney when buying a home. It’s their job to oversee the entire process, and while they don’t represent either the buyer or the seller, their fee is generally split between the two. Depending on your location, the cost ranges from $500 to $1,500.

Appraisal Fee

Your lender will need to have the house valued before they agree to lend you the money you need to purchase it. On average, it costs $300 to have a house appraised, though it may be more for larger properties. In addition, if the seller completes repairs on the home after the appraisal, your lender may require a reinspection, which costs another $300.

Mortgage Fees

There are several fees associated with your mortgage. These include credit report fees, around $30, and application fees which generally cost between $300 and $500. But, most important is the mortgage orientation fee that all lenders charge to cover their services and admin costs. On average, this will cost around 1% of the loan value, though some lenders offer lower prices, and it’s a good idea to shop around.

Title Insurance Policy

Typically required by the lender, this insurance protects both the lender and the owner against future title claims. It can cost anywhere between $500 and $3,500 depending on the location and size of the property.

Home Inspection (optional)

While not mandatory, it’s well worth having your future home inspected by a professional before signing on the dotted line. Depending on the size of the house, it typically costs between $250 and $700. Of course, for additional inspections, such as lead paint, pest and roof, you’ll need to budget more.

Escrow Fees

An escrow account is a third-party holding account in which you’ll deposit various fees, such as the down payment. Once the sale is complete, the funds will be distributed to the appropriate individuals. Escrow fees typically cost around 1% of the sale price. This is often split between the buyer and seller, though it must be agreed upon first.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)/Mortgage Default Insurance

If your down payment is less than 20%, most lenders will require you to take out mortgage insurance. PMI costs between 0.5% and 2.5% of the mortgage and is usually rolled into your mortgage payments. However, you’ll often need to pay the first month before closing.

Recording and Documentation Fees

Several companies will be involved in processing your real estate transaction, each with a fee to be paid. Courier fees are required if you’ve had to send your documents physically and typically cost around $20. Bank processing fees are also required, generally between $25 and $100, and you’ll need a notary to make the signing of all documents official, so another $100. Finally, the lender will charge a recording fee of around $50 to pay the county to make a public record of the transaction.

Prepaid Property Taxes and Utilities

Any taxes and utilities that have been paid ahead by the seller need to be reimbursed by the buyer. The attorney will calculate the cost, which generally runs between $1000 and $2000.

House Insurance

Most lenders require you to take out homeowners insurance, typically paid annually or biannually. The cost varies by house type and location, so be sure to get a few quotes.

Oliver Fall Festival back after two-year hiatus, featuring famous activities like the Grape Stomp Competition

 

STOMP GRAPES AND BE MERRY!

Canada’s Wine Capital is extra thrilled to welcome guests back to the Oliver Fall Festival after two years on pause.

From September 30 to October 2, 2022, the event will bring together breweries, wineries, distilleries, artisans, musicians and eateries together for three days of family-friendly fun.

“Our community could not be more excited to welcome everyone back to the Fall Festival this year,” remarks Danielle Hutton, chairman of the Fall Festival Committee and vice chair of the Oliver Tourism Association.

“This event means so much to our local businesses and we truly cannot wait to celebrate the harvest with locals and visitors alike, and showcase the bounty that our mighty little town has to offer.”

This year’s lineup includes signature festival events Cask & Keg and Festival of the Grape featuring the world-renowned Grape Stomp Competition, as well as exciting new events like the Amazing Oliver Race, Beer Olympics and the Kick-Off Party at District Wine Village featuring award-winning Canadian band The Trews.

“This year marks 25 years since the first Festival of the Grape and it has been amazing to see the festivities continue to grow each year,” says Ian Lobb, executive director of the Oliver Tourism Association.

“Throughout the weekend, guests will get to experience the very best that our region has to offer and also be treated to the musical stylings of award-winning Canadian musicians The Trews and the Randy Bachman Band Cease & Desist. I can’t think of a better way to welcome harvest in the Okanagan.”

Early bird tickets are available online now until August 15 with regular price tickets available until September 29.

Guests can purchase singular event tickets, a package to attend all three days of festivities or an exclusive VIP package to make the most of their festival weekend that includes priority access and seating for all signature events.

To view the full range of events, competitions and ticket options, go to VisitOliver.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest event updates.

Get your creative juices flowing at the annual PeachFest sandcastle competition

 

NOT YOUR AVERAGE SANDCASTLE

Registration is now open for one of Peach Fest’s most fun and creative activities — the sandcastle competition.

Held at Skaha Lake, teams compete over several hours to create intricate giant sculptures on the beach to be judged by a panel at the end of the evening.

There are options for a corporate/business team, family and friends team, youth team aged 13-16 and a separate competition for kids teams age 12 and under.

The creations are judged on bet use of plot, artistic content, intricacy and some points for judge’s discretion.

All materials included in the final sculpture must be environmentally friendly materials like pebbles and pinecones.

The event is sponsored by Greyback Construction, and all money from registration will go to support the Penticton Rotary’s work in the community.

Tickets range from $10-$50 depending on the type of team.

It all gets started on the beach near the Skaha sundial on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 5:30 p.m. and spectators are welcome! For more information and to register, click here.

High Mortgage Rates Keeping Potential Buyers Sidelined

Vancouver, BC – July 12, 2022. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,136 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June 2022, a decrease of 35.7 per cent from June 2021. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $951,105, a 4.6 per cent increase from $909,657 recorded in June 2021. Total sales dollar volume was $6.8 billion, a 32.8 per cent decline from the same time last year.

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“While a still growing economy and robust population growth point to strong demand, it is increasingly difficult to satisfy that demand at current interest rates,” said BCREA Chief Economist. “As a result, sales activity across the province, but especially in more expensive markets, continues to slow.”

For the second straight month, year-over-year provincial active listings rose, with listing in June 16.4 per cent higher than this time last year. While active listings remain below what is typical for a balanced market, some markets and housing types have tipped into balanced or even buyers’ market territory as sharply higher mortgage rates push potential buyers to the sidelines.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 17 per cent to $53.5 billion compared with the same period in 2021. Residential unit sales were down 27.6 per cent to 51,202 units, while the average MLS®residential price was up 14 per cent to $1.05 million.