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!
Purchasing a home is likely one of the largest and most significant purchases you will make in your lifetime, so finding the right real estate agent is essential. Not only will they help walk you through the entire home-buying process from start to finish, but they will also advocate for you when it comes to negotiating and finding the perfect home. When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, taking the time to interview a few is key to finding the right one for you.
We’ve put together a list of 5 questions that you can ask when hiring a real estate agent to help you get started in your interviewing process.
Hiring a Real Estate Agent: How Long Have You Been In Real Estate?
A real estate agent that has been in the business for a long period of time will likely have more experience than a newer agent and will be able to better anticipate any problems that may arise during the home-buying process. This isn’t to say that you can’t work with a less-experienced agent, but getting a feel for how long an agent has been working in the real estate industry is a great way to start your interview. Another benefit of working with an experienced agent is that they likely have established solid relationships with other real estate services professionals, such as home inspectors, and will be able to refer you to them if needed.
What Is Your Area of Focus?
Another great question to ask your prospective agent is what their area of focus, or expertise, is. While some agents are looking to work for all sorts of clients, some have specialized focuses, such as first-time home buyers or those looking to downsize. These agents will likely have more experience with certain pain points you might experience during the home-buying process and will be able to inform and help you navigate any challenges or frustrations that you may feel.
Are You Familiar With My Desired Neighbourhood?
Finding a real estate agent that is knowledgeable about your desired area is also incredibly important, especially if you’re moving to a new city that you’re not familiar with. It’s a real estate agent’s job to know what is going on in their local market, so they will be able to help you either find a neighbourhood that will suit your needs, or give you as much information as they can on the neighbourhood you have in mind. Liveability factors play a huge role in day-to-day life, whether it be proximity to schools, transit, or other amenities, so finding an area that fulfills those requirements is key to finding your ideal home. Working with an agent who is familiar with your desired neighbourhood will also allow them to give you accurate information regarding home values in the area. This will help you get an idea of what other homes in the area have sold for and can help you determine whether or not you’re paying the right price for a property.
Can You Explain The Home-Buying Process?
You want to make sure that you end up working with a real estate agent who knows what they’re doing, which is why you should ask them to explain the entire home-buying process to you. Buying a home can be stressful and complicated at times, so working with an agent who understands the ins and outs of the process is key to making your buying experience as stress-free as possible. There are a lot of different rules and regulations when it comes to buying a home, so your real estate agent will be able to explain and help you understand everything that goes into the buying process.
Do You Have References or Reviews?
One of the most common ways that people find real estate agents is through referrals from friends and family, so you likely already have one review to rely on, but it’s always a good idea to seek out more when possible. Reviews from past clients are a great way to gauge whether or not an agent is going to be the right fit for you, so don’t be afraid to ask for more references if needed. Most agents will have reviews displayed on their website or in a Google Business profile, which makes them easy to find.
Regardless of whether or not you’re buying your first home or your fifth home, taking the time to find the right agent is essential to making sure the entire home-buying process goes smoothly and is as stress-free as possible.