When it comes to selling your home, curb appeal has a huge impact on the first impression your home gives potential buyers. While boosting your home’s curb appeal during the warmer, summer months is relatively simple, it can be more challenging once the snow flies and the cold weather sets in.
If you’re looking for a few ways to boost your home’s curb appeal in the winter, we’ve compiled a list of a few different things you can do!
Boost Curb Appeal: Let There Be Light
As the days get shorter, you’ll want to ensure that your home is properly illuminated. Not only will this help potential buyers see the home, but it will also help keep sidewalks and front porches lit up, which will help keep people safe. With showings happening in the darker evening hours, keeping your lights on will also make your home feel more welcoming and ‘lived-in’, which will help invite potential buyers in.
Spruce Up Your Front Porch
While there won’t be much yard work to be done in the winter months to help with your home’s curb appeal, one area that you can put some work into is your front porch. Consider painting your front door a bold colour to add some personality to the space, add festive winter-themed pots on the porch, or hang a seasonal wreath on the front door to help boost the curb appeal. Not only will these add to the first impression that your home will make to potential buyers, but it will also allow them to see the potential of what they could do to the space should they decide to put in an offer.
Keep Sidewalks Clear
When inviting potential buyers into your home for showings, the last thing you want is for someone to slip and fall on an icy sidewalk. This is why keeping sidewalks and driveways clear is extremely important when selling during the winter months. Shoveling and de-icing your sidewalks and driveway can also help boost your home’s curb appeal as it makes your property feel lived-in and more welcoming to those who might be considering your home during their home search.
Update House Numbers
If you’re looking for a simple, relatively inexpensive way to boost your home’s curb appeal during the winter months, then you might want to consider updating your house numbers. They are mandatory to have on your home, but depending on when your home was built and when they were last changed, they can sometimes look a bit outdated. Taking the time to update your house numbers is a great way to refresh the exterior of your home while also ensuring that potential buyers will be able to easily find it when they come for their showings.
Whether you’re planning to list your home soon or are thinking you’ll be listing later in the winter, taking these steps now is a great way to ensure that you’re putting your home’s best foot forward when it comes time to put it on the market.
With Halloween just a few weeks away and the crisp fall weather already in the Okanagan, many people are starting to look for activities to help them get into the spooky season mood. Whether you’re looking for a good scare or are looking for something fun to do with the kids, there are dozens of fantastic Halloween activities and events happening throughout the valley.
We’ve highlighted a few spooky Halloween activities happening in the Okanagan over the next few weeks that are definitely worth checking out.
Haunted Farm Adventure
Hosted by Don-O-Ray Farm, the Haunted Farm Adventure will provide fun for all ages! The ghost town of Deadwood has reawakened and the fall activities are in full swing, including a hedge maze that is full of spooky surprises, twists, turns, and dead ends. While you’re enjoying the spooky fun, you can also pick up your pumpkins straight from their pumpkin patch! With dates running throughout the month of October, make sure to drop in and enjoy their Haunted Farm Adventure!
Haunted House at the Museum
If you’re looking to visit a Haunted House this spooky season, then look no further than the Westbank Museum’s 3rd annual Haunted House at the Museum. Entry is by donation and they have several dates between now and Halloween for you to enjoy. Bring your friends and family and make your way through the haunted house – if you dare!
Halloween Movie in the Vineyard
Visit Priest Creek Family Estate Winery this October and enjoy a Halloween Movie Night in the Vineyard! On Friday, October 27th, they will be screening The Haunted Mansion for everyone to enjoy. This is a ticketed event with adult tickets at $15 and kid tickets at $10. Don’t forget to enjoy a wine tasting while you’re there!
Halloweenie at Grizzli Winery
For those who are looking for both kid-friendly and pet-friendly Halloween events around the Okanagan this fall, Grizzli Winery is the place to be. Their 4th annual Halloweenie event is a non-scary, ‘lights on’ indoor event that is perfect for young kids. Kids can join in on fun Halloween-themed activities such as a scavenger hunt, mini-pumpkin decorating station, outdoor s’mores around the fire, and more while parents can enjoy wine from the winery. Admission is $5 and covers a variety of things for both adults and children.
Family Monster Bash
Join the City of Kelowna for their Family Monster Bash at the Kelowna Capital News Centre on Sunday, October 29th! This is a free event perfect for the whole family and will include an obstacle course, bouncy house, Halloween games, face painting, and more. The concession will be open for purchasing food and drinks, and the ice rink will be open for free skating.
There is never a shortage of great events happening throughout the Okanagan, and the Halloween season is no exception! These events are sure to get you into the spooky spirit, just in time for Halloween!
As the weather begins to cool and the leaves start to change, many people start thinking about how they can prepare their homes for the change in seasons and upcoming colder months. Taking the time to properly prepare your home for seasonal changes is a great way to check if there are any repairs that need to be made or equipment that needs to be replaced before the snow settles in.
If you’re wanting to prepare your home for fall and winter but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together this blog post to help you out.
Clean Your Gutters
To avoid running into blocked gutters during the spring snow melt, taking the time to clean out your gutters in the fall is a great way to get rid of any debris that might cause issues down the road. Things such as leaves, twigs, and other debris that get blown around have the potential to clog up your gutters and downspouts, so being proactive and cleaning them routinely will help keep them clear and avoid potential water damage to your home.
Test Winter Tools & Equipment
There is nothing worse than waking up to the first snowfall of the year, only to find that your snowblower isn’t working properly or your snow shovel isn’t where you thought you left it last year. Taking the time to test your winter equipment in the fall months is a great way to ensure that when the snow falls, you can efficiently clear it from your sidewalks and driveways. It might also be a smart idea to install any Christmas lights before the snow begins to fall.
Clean & Store Outdoor Patio Furniture
While it might be tempting to just pull in the cushions from your outdoor patio sets for the winter, it’s always a good idea to give your outdoor furniture a thorough cleaning before the cold months set in. It is also recommended that you store your furniture properly to help minimize the environmental wear and tear that comes with cold Canadian winters.
Drain Outdoor Faucets
Before the cold winter months set in, it’s always a good idea to disconnect any outdoor garden hoses and drain outdoor faucets. This will help prevent any water that may be stuck in the pipes from freezing and potentially damaging the water pipes within your home. In some instances, you may want to look at installing outdoor faucet covers to help protect them from the cold winter elements.
Whether you’re a first-time homeowner looking to protect your new home from the elements or looking to establish more of a fall/winter maintenance routine, following these steps will help you better prepare your home for the upcoming cold weather.
While having a large home with lots of room for kids and pets to run around can be great, there will likely come a time once the kids have moved out and you find yourself with more square footage than you know what to do with. In this scenario, many homeowners find themselves looking to downsize their home and find something a bit more manageable for their current lifestyle. But downsizing can be a daunting and sometimes emotional task that can be overwhelming if you don’t take steps to help streamline the process.
If you’re thinking about downsizing your home, we’ve put together a few tips to help make the downsizing process as stress-free as possible.
Declutter Before You Move
One of the best ways to make downsizing a breeze is to declutter your home before you move. Not only will this help eliminate items you don’t have space for in your new home, but it will also save time so you can avoid packing items that actually don’t need to make the move. Compare your current home with the home you’re moving into and take inventory of items that aren’t necessary.
The idea of having to downsize and declutter an entire house can feel incredibly overwhelming, so it’s important that you remember to start small. Rather than looking at your home as a whole, start with just one room, such as a bedroom, and go from there. Making a list can also be helpful – jot down any items or pieces of furniture that you know you no longer need, and deal with them when you come to that room rather than trying to tackle everything at once.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Asking for help can be hard to do, but when it comes to downsizing and moving, it can be a game-changer! If you have friends and family who are willing to help with the downsizing process, take them up on it! Sometimes just having an outside opinion and an extra pair of hands can make the entire process go much faster and make it less stressful.
Utilize Space-Saving Options
When thinking about what furniture to take to your new place, it is a good idea to look at pieces that might serve more than one purpose or offer hidden storage. It’s also important to ensure that the furniture you currently have will fit in your new space, especially if you’re moving from a house to a smaller townhouse or condo. With so many great space-saving options available, you’ll be able to find something that will fit your needs while maximizing your space with additional storage or seating.
Whether you’re downsizing because you no longer need the space that you currently have or are just looking to simplify your life, these tips will help keep the downsizing and moving process simple and stress-free so you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your new space!
Now that the sunshine and hot weather are here, many people will set off on their summer vacations. Whether you’re planning to stick close to home this summer or are planning a larger getaway, it’s important to make sure you have everything in order before setting off, including making sure your home is safe and secure. The last thing you want on vacation is to receive a call that something has gone wrong, so we have highlighted some steps you can take to help ensure that your home and belongings will be safe until you return.
Whether you’re leaving town for an extended period of time or are just leaving for a day or two, following these steps before you leave will help keep your home safe while you’re on vacation.
Get a House Sitter
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your home will be safe and secure while you’re on vacation is to hire a house sitter to keep an eye on the place. Some house sitters will actually stay in your home, which will help make it look lived-in. Alternatively, some house sitters will stop by your home once a day or once every few days to make sure that everything is in order. Not only is this a great way to ensure that your home is being looked after, but it also means you can have someone stopping by to water flowers and other plants that might suffer in the hot Okanagan sun.
Lock All Windows & Doors
Before leaving on vacation, make sure to walk around your home and check that every window and door is closed and locked. This will help improve your home’s security and will help give you peace of mind that everything is locked up and secure. You might think that simply closing your windows is enough, but ensuring that they are locked as well will help keep every possible entrance to your home safe and secure.
Install Smart Locks & Security Cameras
Investing in a security system or smart locks is a great idea if you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, but it is also an investment that will benefit you and your home year-round. There are many great, easily accessible options available, such as the Ring Video Doorbells or the Google Nest security cameras, many of which are easy to install and connect to an app on your phone so you can keep track of what’s happening from wherever you are. Smart locks are also a great way to ensure your home’s security, as many of them give you the ability to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere.
Make It Look Like Someone’s Home
If you have a trusted friend or neighbour looking after your home while you’re away, there are a few things you can ask them to do to make it look like your home is being lived in, even if you’re away. If there are cars left in your driveway, arrange to move them every so often to make it look like you’ve been out and about. Having someone collect your mail is also a great way to keep it from piling up so it’s not so obvious that no one is home. If your blinds or drapes are normally open, keep them this way so that it looks like nothing is out of the ordinary. You can also leave a light or two on to make it seem like someone is home.
While it might be tempting to rush out and make the most of your summer vacation, taking the time to properly secure your home will help give you peace of mind that it’s being looked after and will allow you to enjoy your holidays without worrying about your home or your belongings.
There is no question that Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan Valley is a true four-season playground, with endless activities and amenities to enjoy year-round. These features factor into Kelowna’s liveability factors, which is a huge attraction for people looking to buy in the city. If you’re considering making the move to Kelowna, take a look at Kelowna’s liveability factors to determine if it’s the right community for you.
We’ve highlighted some of Kelowna’s top liveability factors to help you get a feel for the Okanagan Valley and everything it has to offer!
Kelowna Liveability: Get Outdoors
Tourism is very popular in the Okanagan Valley. This means that Kelowna and the surrounding area offer a diverse range of outdoor activities for locals and visitors alike. While the hot summer months are popular with people looking to spend time at the beach, go boating, or golfing at one of the many popular golf courses, the winter months also provide endless outdoor entertainment. Big White Ski Resort and Silver Star Mountain Resort are both short drives away from Kelowna and are fantastic locations for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Snowshoeing is also a popular winter activity and a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and explore everything Kelowna has to offer.
Eat and Drink
If the Okanagan Valley is known for one thing in particular, it’s wine. Kelowna is considered the birthplace of winemaking in British Columbia, which makes it a popular spot for people looking to experience some of the many incredible wineries that call the Okanagan home. Kelowna boasts five unique wine trails, with over 40 wineries to visit in just a 20-minute drive. Many wineries have restaurants attached, making them a great place to spend an evening sampling fantastic food and drinks with friends or family, whether you’re a local resident or are just visiting.
Explore The Beaches
The gorgeous Okanagan Lake is the heart of the Okanagan Valley and spans a whopping 135 kilometers from Vernon in the north to Penticton in the south. Regardless of where you’re at in the valley, you’re bound to find a beach to enjoy the refreshing water during the hot summer months. Many beaches are equipped with bathrooms, playgrounds, and other amenities such as various sports courts and concessions, making them a great place to spend the whole day with friends and family. Whether you’re looking to get out on the boat, explore the shoreline in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, or simply lounge and soak in the sun, you won’t regret checking out one of over 30 beaches in the region. If you look hard enough, you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive Ogopogo!
If you’re considering moving to Kelowna but aren’t quite sure which neighbourhoods to search in, here are a few that boast great liveability features that might be worth checking out. The Capri Landmark area is great if you’re looking to be close to work, as it is one of Kelowna’s major employment hubs and there are plenty of great apartments in the area. Lower Mission is a popular neighbourhood for those looking for easy access to trendy shops, restaurants, and the lake. There are lots of new apartments and townhomes being built in the area, making it popular with current home buyers. Finally, the heartbeat of Kelowna lies in the Downtown core, where you will find shopping, transit, and more!
Whether you’re already familiar with Kelowna or are new to the area and are looking to put down roots, these liveability factors will help you determine the best place to start looking for your perfect home in the Okanagan Valley!
Regardless of whether you are a current homeowner, an investor, or are looking to enter the housing market for the first time, understanding the value of your home or a home you’re looking to purchase is incredibly important. There are several different factors that can determine the value of your home, or the replacement value of your home, so make sure you take everything into consideration. Working with a real estate professional can help you better understand the current market and how it could impact your home’s value.
We’ve highlighted some of the key factors that are used to determine the value of your home.
Value of Your Home: Current Housing Market
One of the biggest factors in determining the value of your home is the current housing market. It is constantly changing with inventory levels constantly shifting, so working with a real estate agent is vital in getting a pulse on what is happening in your local market and where your home might fit within it. Taking a look at comparable properties in your area can help you get an idea of what your home might be worth, but don’t forget to factor in the type of home, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any updates that might set your home apart from others. An experienced real estate agent will have knowledge of the current market and your neighbourhood and will be able to help you put a number to your home’s value.
Size of Your Home
Size matters, especially when it comes to determining your home’s value. The square footage of the property itself is important to keep in mind, but it’s also a good idea to factor in the size of the lot as well. Many buyers are looking for more space, whether it’s to accommodate a home office/flex space or multiple generations living under one roof. Generally speaking, the larger a home’s footprint or the bigger the lot, the higher the resale value will be in the future.
Updates & Renovations
When determining the value of your home, it’s important to take into account any renovations or updates that have been made to the space, as these could help improve your home’s overall value. While some homeowners take on large renovations such as redoing kitchens or bathrooms to help increase their home’s value, while others keep it simple and opt to give the walls a fresh coat of paint or update flooring in certain rooms to help freshen up the space. Even small updates that might not seem like much can have a huge impact when it comes to appealing to potential buyers and boosting your home’s value.
Like the current housing market conditions, the location of your home is going to have a huge impact on its overall value. Neighbourhoods that are close to amenities such as schools (public, private, and French), shopping, and green spaces are often times going to be more appealing to potential buyers who are looking to be close to those things. Considering your home’s location and proximity to different liveability factors can be a huge help when determining its overall value. An experienced real estate agent will also be able to give you information on what other homes in your area might be selling for, which can help you better understand your home’s value.
Whether you’re looking to put your home on the market or are just wanting to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the current market, it’s always important to understand the value of your home.
The home-buying process can be a stressful one, especially if you are a first-time home buyer who is going through the process for the first time. While it’s important to have your finances in order and find a knowledgeable real estate agent, one factor of home-buying that sometimes gets overlooked is choosing the right neighbourhood. Kelowna is unique in that it is a true four-season playground, with no shortage of things to do, however, you’ll want to carefully choose your ideal neighbourhood to get the most bang for your buck.
We’ve highlighted a few things to consider when choosing the best neighbourhoods in Kelowna when purchasing a home.
Decide What Type of Property You Want
One of the first things you should consider when beginning your home search is the type of property you want to live in. This can have an impact on the neighbourhood you choose. If you’re looking for a smaller condo that boasts fantastic views and great amenities, then consider one of the many new buildings going up in Kelowna’s downtown area. If you’re looking for a single-family home with a great yard, then Rutland or Glenmore are definitely neighbourhoods to check out.
Affordability is arguably one of the most important considerations when deciding which neighbourhood to live in. If you are working with a smaller budget, then consider looking at neighbourhoods like Rutland and Black Mountain, which are further from the downtown core but offer fantastic, family-friendly amenities that are appealing to those with children. Alternatively, you might want to consider looking at areas just outside of Kelowna, such as Westbank and Lake Country, which still give you the Okanagan lifestyle everyone loves without the high price tag that can often come with homes in Kelowna.
Look at Liveability Factors
Liveability factors refer to the different elements of a neighbourhood that make it a great place to live, such as proximity to different amenities, schools and parks. If you have school-age children, make sure to familiarize yourself with the different schools in the area. If you’re looking to spend lots of time outdoors exploring the beautiful Okanagan, then consider neighbourhoods like Glenmore, Wilden, and Dilworth. They are just a short drive from the downtown area and offer fantastic hiking trails right in your backyard! For those who have a higher budget and are looking to be close to the beach, then the Upper Mission and Lower Mission might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Whether you’re new to Kelowna or are simply looking for a change of pace, these tips will help you choose the right neighborhood for you and your family!
If you’re planning to put your home on the market in the next few months, it might be worthwhile to consider some home improvements before selling. While making improvements to your home before selling might seem counterintuitive, it can actually be a great way to boost your return on investment. Making a few simple upgrades can help attract potential buyers and help you get top dollar for your home.
We’ve selected a few top home improvements to make before selling your home.
Home Improvements for Selling: Upgrade Kitchen Fixtures
Home improvements, such as replacing the roof or updating flooring throughout your home can be quite costly, but there are other improvements you can make that won’t break the bank, such as upgrading the fixtures in your kitchen. Taking the time to update the hardware on your cabinets or swap out an old faucet for a new, more modern one can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of the room, which can help catch the attention of potential buyers.
Refresh The Bathroom
Similarly to updating your kitchen, making a few, inexpensive changes to your bathroom can have a huge impact and make your home stand out on the market. Kitchens and bathrooms are high-priority rooms for many buyers, so updating the cabinet hardware or adding a fresh coat of paint is a great way to update the space and attract attention to some of your home’s special features.
Add A Fresh Coat of Paint
Potential buyers want to be able to visualize themselves living in whatever home they are viewing, and sometimes homes with bright, bold paint colours can make it difficult for buyers to do so. If you want to make a few simple upgrades before selling but don’t want to break the bank, try adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls to brighten the space and make it a blank canvas for potential buyers. Choose a light, neutral paint colour, as it will help bring light into your home and create a clean slate for whoever ends up purchasing your home.
Update Your Front Porch
The curb appeal of your home might be one of the last things you think about when it comes to making home improvements before selling, but it can actually make a huge impact. The front of your home will be the first impression, so taking the time to tidy up the front porch is a great way to make potential buyers feel welcome in the space. Make sure walkways are clear of debris and ensure that outdoor furniture is tidy and there are no tripping hazards. Adding a fresh, bright coat of paint to the front door and adding a flower pot or two will add personality to your porch and create a warm welcoming feel to your home.
While these home improvements may seem simple, they’re a great way to boost the return on investment of your home and help attract the best buyer for your space.