Consumer Tips For Real EstateHome BuyersIn The Community 3 October 2022

What you NEED TO KNOW before moving to Kelowna

Your Relocation Guide To Kelowna

Moving to a new city is an important life choice. You’ll want to be equipped with everything there’s to know to make your move successful!

The team at C21 Kelowna has assembled the following Relocation Guide to Kelowna to make your move to the Okanagan a breeze.

By the end of this article, you’ll be aware of some of the pros and cons of living in Kelowna, the desirable areas of town for you and your family, and what type of lifestyle you can expect in Kelowna.

 

KELOWNA AT A GLANCE

Kelowna and its surrounding area has a population of 195,000 residents. In fact, Kelowna is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the country and it’s no wonder why!

The landscape throughout the Okanagan is pristine, and one of the only places where you can drive for less than an hour from the beach and end up on a ski hill!

Whether you’re interested in lakefront property, a downtown condo, or a cozy family home, Kelowna has plenty of Real Estate options for you!

Browse through our listings to find your perfect Kelowna home OR CONTACT US and we’ll put you in touch with one of our knowledgeable and skilled Realtors®. They will customize a search based on your needs to save you time and help make your moving process to Kelowna much more manageable.

 

PROS OF LIVING IN KELOWNA

  • Pristine natural landscape
  • Tons of outdoor activities at no cost
  • An international airport to make your vacation getaways much easier with direct flights to Hawaii, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, just to name a few!
  • Kelowna is home to an increasing young adult population, which also means the entrepreneurial space is expanding as companies old and new alike expand into the new technological era
  • Access to TONS of outdoor activities, like golf and skiing at world-renowned ski resorts such as BIG WHITE, SILVER STAR, and APEX which are nearby.

big white ski resort villageBig White Ski Resort

CONS OF LIVING IN KELOWNA

  • Renting requires a damage deposit, and a pet deposit if you have one, landlords can restrict the size and number of animals allowed in rental property
  • Growing traffic as roadways are not expanding at the same rate as the population
  • Homelessness, drugs, and petty crime

WHAT KELOWNA’S FUTURE HOLDS FOR YOUTH

The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, is helping expand Kelowna’s cultural district and innovation centers. For example, the University of British Columbia is projected to start building its downtown Okanagan campus in Fall 2022!

In addition to the Main campus by the airport, the University of British Columbia, Okanagan is projected to raise the student population to 18,000 by 2040! This one aspect helps attract and retain people of all ages and demographics!

In conjunction with a growing student population in Kelowna, the downtown core is also expanding with condominium towers. If the city isn’t your desired neighborhood, Kelowna’s residential areas are also growing.

University of British Columbia in Kelowna

University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

RECAP: MOVING TO KELOWNA 101

Kelowna is a booming city. Its natural landscape offers tons of summer and winter activities that families and residents will love. Not only is it a growing and evolving community but it’s also becoming increasingly multicultural.

Picking a place to live isn’t easy, but adjusting to Kelowna’s lifestyle will be a breeze if this sounds like the right place for you!

Consumer Tips For Real EstatePreparing Your Listing for SaleRealtor KnowledgeSellers AdvantageThe Gold Standard in Real Estate 31 May 2022

The Art of Selling and Living in the Okanagan

The Art of Selling And Living In The Okanagan

The Okanagan lifestyle is unmatched! The heart of Kelowna offers a blend of relaxation, adventure AND entrepreneurial zest. It's no wonder that Kelowna has numerous desirable neighbourhoods - CLICK HERE to check them out for yourself! 

Mount Baldy Drive Viewpoint Kelowna

Starting a career in Real Estate can be daunting for agents. That’s why Century 21 Assurance Realty in Kelowna has engineered their brokerage services to make it easy for entrepreneurial Realtors® to prosper personally and professionally while living their Okanagan dream lifestyle.

“We begin with a proprietary purpose-based coaching program that helps our agents determine their life purpose, values and goals, says Max Carbone of Century 21 in Kelowna.

Our Realtors® are armed with a comprehensive, turn-key marketing services program called Elevate 21 which sets them apart. Each agent can count on powerful marketing materials for their clients' listings, every time "!

Most importantly, Century 21 Assurance Realty’s services translate to more time for agents to spend with clients, family and enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle!

It’s no wonder that 60% of Century 21 in Kelowna agents are award winners.

Read more here.  If you’d like to learn more about what C21 can do for your career, visit Century21Kelowna.com

 

Consumer Tips For Real EstateHome BuyersHot TipsIn The Community 19 April 2022

How to Protect your Home Against Wildfires in Kelowna

THE RISK OF WILDFIRES IN KELOWNA

The residents of Kelowna know wildfires all too well!  Particularly, the Central Okanagan has seen devastating wildfires, including the Kelowna Mountain Park Fire in 2003, and the White Rock Lake fire in 2021. Both of these fires displaced tens of thousands of individuals (CBC 2021).

 

The fires cause poor air quality during the smoky wildfire season. What's wrose, the fires destroy landscapes and homes! In the past twenty years, the Central Okanagan alone had over 30,000 hectares burn (“Wildfire Season Summary - Province of British Columbia'' 2021). 

kelowna mountain park fire; threat of wildfires in the okanagan; protect homes against wildfires
Image source: https://www.iheartradio.ca/image/policy:1.15874941:1629204410/omp.jpg?c=1%2C47%2C599%2C336&w=1000&$p$c$w=134f321

Kelowna is exposed to low air quality on a near-annual basis due to wildfires happening throughout the western part of North America. With this in mind, every step counts as you protect your property against the wildfires!

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY FROM WILDFIRES

The most vital area that needs to be protected is around your home! The City of Kelowna advises residents to remove all hazardous vegetation within 10 meters of your home. This includes the collection of dry, dead, and fine materials. For example, you should remove all dry needles and conifer prunings (“FireSmart Community Chipping Pilot Program” 2022).

flammable organic materials; flammable organic debris; dry pine needles
Image source: https://media.istockphoto.com/photos/brown-pine-needles-and-pine-cones-and-yellow-lichen-picture-id1171520520

FIRE PREVENTION BY THE CITY OF KELOWNA

In 2022, the City of Kelowna started a new initiative called FireSmart Community Chipping Pilot Program. This FREE program helps the residents of Kelowna to mitigate the threat of wildfires. The city will collect highly flammable materials from your property. The pick=up service will be for dry and/or dead materials from cedar trees, juniper bushes, mugo pines, and conifer shrubs and branches. Please note that leafy tree materials are NOT collected for this initiative. 

All other organic materials such as dirt, grasses, rocks, gravel, and flowers must go into your green waste bin. The green bins will still be picked up throughout the entire time of this initiative because these materials are not suitable for the wood chipper. 

 

The City of Kelowna has a schedule posted on their website that outlines the streets and days that the collection services will follow. The following 8 areas will be serviced this year:

 

 

Please note: the neighborhoods are chosen due to t higher rate of flammable materials in the landscapes. (“FireSmart Community Chipping Pilot Program” 2022)

 

Consumer Tips For Real EstateRealtor Knowledge 30 March 2022

Real Estate Report: March 2022


Residential Real Estate Market Heading Into Seasonally Busy Spring Fling

Residential real estate sales for the month of March saw a slight uptick over February sales showing signs that the typically busy spring market has commenced in the region, reports the Association of Interior REALTORS®.

A total of 1,898 residential unit sales were recorded across the Association region, marking a 25% decrease compared to a record-high number of units sold in March 2021. New residential listings coming onto market in March saw a decrease of 7% within the region with 2,871 new listings recorded compared to the same period last year yet increased 55% compared to last month’s 1,850. The overall active listings clocked in marginally below last year March’s active listings with 4,018 listings that is a nearly 3% decrease in year-over-year comparisons.

“It is encouraging to see that in the month of March we saw a slight increase of sales, as well as an upswing of new listings compared to February, which is seasonally expected for the local real estate market as we head into the warmer spring months,” says the Association of Interior REALTORS® President Kim Heizmann, adding that “the spring fling seems to have been kick-started which is great news for buyers and sellers, however, new listings are still not coming on to the market at the rate needed to meet demand.”

“Without a drastic supply of housing coming onto market, the lack of inventory will continue to impact buyers and sellers in the coming months,” noted Heizmann.

The benchmark price for homes in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, South Okanagan, and Shuswap/Revelstoke regions had double-digit percentage increases in year-over-year comparisons for another consecutive month across all home categories, with the greatest increase being for single-family homes in the South Okanagan. The benchmark price for single-family homes in the South Okanagan recorded a 37.6% increase compared to March 2021 coming in at $731,400.

The average number of days to sell a home, always a good barometer to watch, dropped down to 46 days from 54 days last month. It’s important to note that the average of days on market is for the entire Okanagan region and that the indicator will vary depending on home type and sub-region.

Contact your local REALTOR® to find out more about the real estate market
and how they can help you achieve your real estate goals.

KELOWNA, B.C. – April 7th, 2022 

Consumer Tips For Real EstateRealtor Knowledge 28 February 2022

Real Estate Report: February 2022


Lack of Supply Continues to Drive the Residential Real Estate Market

Residential real estate demand across the Association region remains strong heading into the seasonally busy spring months despite a persistent lack of inventory in the region and throughout the province, reports the Association of Interior REALTORS®.

A total of 1,516 residential unit sales were recorded across the Association region, marking a 15% decrease compared to a record-high number of units sold in February 2021. New residential listings coming onto market saw a decrease of 12% within the region with 1,850 new listings recorded. The overall active listings were also far below last year’s February active listings showing a 19% decrease in year-over-year comparisons.

“The persistent lack of new listings coming onto market is far from adequate to meet the demand of buyers locally and those coming from other markets,” says the Association of Interior REALTORS® President Kim Heizmann, adding that “we are seeing the mismatch of inventory versus demand taking a toll on buyers as they show signs of fatigue in having to compete in a seller’s market where lack of supply is putting upward pressure on pricing, and further on affordability.”

In the South Peace River region, there was a total of 38 residential unit sales recorded in February, with 229 overall active listings, a decrease of 26% compared to the same time last year. The average price for single-family homes and apartments both saw increases in year-over-year comparisons, coming in at $267,712 and $41,333 respectively, while the average price for mobile homes declined 9% to rest at $37,750 in the same period.

“The lack of housing supply continues to be the key driver of real estate market performance with homebuyers and sellers having to navigate through a high demand and low supply situation,” noted Heizmann.

“Instead of looking for quick fixes to dampen housing demand, government policies should focus on measures that could bring more housing to the market, as outlined in BCREA’s recent white paper – A Better Way Home. Providing more options for buyers can help soften competitive market conditions and provide much-needed inventory after months of supply drought,” says Heizmann.

The average number of days to sell a home, always a good barometer to watch dropped down to 54 days. It’s important to note that the average of days on market is for the entire Association region and that the indicator will vary depending on home type and sub-region.

Contact your local REALTOR® to find out more about the real estate market
and how they can help you achieve your real estate goals.

KELOWNA, B.C. – March 7th, 2022 

Consumer Tips For Real EstateRealtor Knowledge 8 February 2022

Real Estate Report: January 2022


Active Listings Remain At All Time Low For Local Real Estate Market

Real estate professionals continue to support buyers and sellers in navigating the lack of inventory in residential real estate markets across the region from Revelstoke to Eastgate Manning Park and into the South Peace River region, reports the Association of Interior REALTORS®.

Residential sales for the entire Association region for January 2022 saw a 10% decrease compared to the same month last year with 701 units sold this month and 782 units sold in January 2021.

“The persistent lack of inventory on market makes for challenging times for buyers and sellers,” says the Association of Interior REALTORS® President Kim Heizmann, adding that “not only are new buyers frustrated at finding a home but sellers are frustrated at the lack of active supply hindering their ability to move on to a new property as well.”

“The value of working with a professional real estate agent really does make a difference in navigating the complicated buying and selling process, under any circumstances, but especially during these challenging conditions,” says Heizmann.

The supply of active residential listings dipped 38% across the Association region compared to the 2,787 active listings in January 2021 coming in at 1,721 this year. New listings also saw a downtick with 824 new listings for January 2022, compared to 1,094 units during the same month last year.

The benchmark price for homes in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, South Okanagan, and Shuswap/Revelstoke regions continued their upward double-digit percentage increases in year-over-year comparisons for another consecutive month across all home categories.

In the South Peace River Region, where benchmark pricing is not available, the average price for single-family homes hit double-digit increases while inventory in the same category saw a double-digit decrease of 43% in year-over-year comparisons.

Contact your local REALTOR® to find out more about the real estate market
and how they can help you achieve your real estate goals.

KELOWNA, B.C. – February 4th, 2022 

Consumer Tips For Real EstateHome BuyersHot TipsSellers Advantage 27 January 2022

How Are Property Taxes Calculated?

How are property taxes calculated?

It is January, the start of a new year, and everything is fresh, covered in pillows of white snow and you have wandered out to grab your mail and find your BC Assessment Notice. You open the letter, and your eyes scan quickly to the middle of the page to find the assessed value and the percentage increase from last year until now. WOW! You cannot believe your eyes, a 48% increase in value (this is what I saw on my property assessment this year!).

Now, if you are thinking of selling your home, this is fantastic news, you just doubled your money and equity from last year, right? Not quite. And if you were thinking about staying in your home, does this mean that your property taxes just went up by 48%? Not quite on that front either.

Here is what you need to know about what the BC Property Assessment means for a. market value if you’re thinking of selling, and b. your property tax bill if you are thinking of staying in your home. Firstly, what does your BC Assessment mean in relation to the market value of your home if you are thinking of selling? Assessment values DO NOT equal market value. The BC Assessment Authority is an independent organization that determines the assessed value of your property based on grouped data, the median price value and determines values at one point in time, July 1st of each year. Grouped data means that they pull data for homes with similar characteristics, such as location, view, size, age, beds, baths, garages, recent similar sold data in the area, etc., and lump all those homes into a similar group and then look at the median value.

Often this means that the individual homes and characteristics are not accounted for in determining the specific value of one home because there are not enough bodies to physically go and walk through every home in the province. Think of the assessed value as more of a general value of what some homes of similar specifications might be valued at in a specific area, but YOUR actual market value could be higher or lower depending on the condition of your specific property. You will often find variation between your assessment and your neighbors, and between homes that you know are the same as yours that have recently sold. Having said that, your assessment value should not be dramatically far off from the market value (plus or minus either side) and the best way to determine true value is to get in touch with your REALTOR® to have a comprehensive market analysis done for your specific home.

What if you are not selling your home and want to know how this incredible jump in property assessment is going to affect your annual property taxes? Well, good news, you can breathe a sigh of relief, a 48% increase in property values does NOT mean a 48% increase in your property taxes. Phew!

In January, you get your assessment in the mail, which tells you what the BC Assessment thinks your property WAS worth ON JULY 1st of the previous year, your property classification (ie. Residential, farm, commercial, etc), and any tax exemptions you get (ie. homeowner grants, old age exemptions, etc.).

In the early spring, your local taxing authority (regional, municipal, township, etc) sets its property tax rates for each of the nine property classes that the BC assessment categorizes all homes into and then applies the applicable tax rate, also known as the “mill rate”.

The mill rate is determined based on your taxing authorities’ annual budget and how much revenue they need to raise to cover the budget that year and it must be set before May 15th. If you want a say in your property taxes and the mill rate, you might consider getting more involved in following your local authorities’ budgets each year.

There is a different “mill rate” for each of the nine BC Assessment property classes and, since BC Assessment is a third-party organization, it has no part in setting the property tax rates. Local property tax rates are applied to each $1,000 of taxable assessed value; a higher assessment equals higher taxes.

Here’s an example of what the numbers could look like for a residential home in Kelowna, BC:

Assessed Value Property Tax Rate Property Taxes

So, while an increase in property value does not equate to the exact same percentage increase in property taxes, it does, inevitably, mean an increase in your annual costs, if we assume that your municipality has an increasing annual budget and not a decreasing one.

I hope this blog helps to clarify what your BC Assessment means in relation to the current real estate market, to your property tax bill and alleviates some of your concerns about any huge spikes in your annual property taxes. If you would like to know the details of how your local authority sets the mill rate for each property class, you can take a deeper dive into that subject on the BC Government site by clicking HERE or connecting with your local municipality’s taxation department.


Justina LeeStolz

REALTOR®, Personal Real Estate Corporation

CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.

250-808-3638

Justina.LeeStolz@c21.ca

www.JustinaLeeStolz.com


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Sellers AdvantageThe Gold Standard in Real Estate 18 January 2022

Choose The Gold Standard in Real Estate


Selling or Buying real estate is competitive! It might surprise you to learn that Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd. in Kelowna is not the largest real estate office in the Okanagan.  Yet, you see our signs everywhere!  That’s because our team of unique, highly skilled, and fun agents produce results. Agent for agent, our top producers beat out the competition in sales volume and customer satisfaction, year after year*.

Backed by the advanced technology of Elevate21, our team of Realtors are specialists in the Okanagan with hundreds of years of marketing, negotiation, and communication experience. It’s our team approach that works.

If you’re looking to join a high-performing brokerage, choose the Gold Standard in Real Estate… we have time for you!

*CENTURION Award* is given to the top 6% of agents across Canada. 29 agents or 36% of Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd. agents achieved this mark in 2021.


In The Community 2 November 2021

Another one of our “High Performing Realtors “ at Century 21 Assurance Realty. Go Emily, go Emily!


The life of an elite athlete can be comparable to that of a real estate agent: The competition is fierce, the future is uncertain and he/she has to be playing their “A” game 24/7. Due to these similarities many high-performing athletes have made the transition to the real estate industry.


STORY CONTINUES HERE

https://www.realestatemagazine.ca/emily-zurrer-kicks-off-her-real-estate-career/?fbclid=IwAR1zc4e7pYWXkqWa10lwaZg5rh-ST3JDMa_tgGqwHiyUWVPtJW54linp7qI



In The Community 28 September 2021

Easter Seals BC/Yukon: Drop Zone 2021 Video

A big THANK YOU to our brave rappellers and generous supporters of our drop zone fundraising event in support of Easter Seals Yukon/bc.  Together we raised over $10,000 for individuals with disabilities. #C21CaringForOurCommunity