Home BuyersIn The Community 19 May 2023

Kelowna’s Top Liveability Factors

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!

Winter activities at Big White Ski Resort

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.

Beaches in Kelowna

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!

Landmark district

Popular Neighbourhoods

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!


Are you ready to find your Kelowna home? We can help! Contact Max Carbone today to be connected with one of our experienced real estate agents!

Consumer Tips For Real EstateHot TipsSellers Advantage 24 February 2023

Home Staging Tips To Make Your Home Stand Out

When it comes to selling your home, there are a lot of different things that you can do to help it stand out in the market. Staging your home is probably one of the easiest things you can do, and it can have a considerable impact. Taking the time to stage your home can help showcase its best features and help potential buyers visualize how they would make the space their own.

We’ve taken the time to break down some top home staging tips to help your home make a big impact and stand out in the market.

Living room staged for sale

Home Staging Tips: Focus on Key Rooms

Focusing on the key rooms in your home when staging is a great place to start, as these are the rooms that potential buyers will focus on the most. The kitchen, living room, dining room, and primary bedroom should be the spaces you focus on first, especially if you don’t have the time to stage every single room in your home. When staging a home, you’ll want to focus on maximizing space and functionality in these spaces, so potential buyers can easily visualize themselves living in the home and using those spaces regularly. If you choose to rearrange furniture, make sure you aren’t blocking any high-traffic areas, and remember that in most cases, less is more.

Declutter & Depersonalize

One of the biggest things to remember when staging your home is to focus on making your home appeal to everyone. This often means removing personal items, such as family photos or mementos, to keep the space simple and clean. You might love a particular sentimental photo, but it might be distracting to a potential buyer and keep them from being able to visualize themselves living in the space. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your personal items, but tucking them away while your home is on the market will benefit you in the long run. Decluttering is also important, as clutter can often make rooms seem much smaller than they actually are. As mentioned above, less is often more, so don’t be afraid to keep your decor to a minimum to help your home appeal to a larger variety of potential buyers.

Living room in house for sale

Freshen Up The Space

When it comes to home staging, many people tend to just think about furniture and decor placement when there are other ways to help freshen up a space. Adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls is one of the easiest ways to bring new life to a room, and keeping the colour light and bright is a great way to make your home appear bigger and more spacious. Choosing a neutral paint colour will also appeal to a larger group of potential buyers, as they will be able to visualize the different design choices they might make should they purchase your home. Again, if you don’t have the ability to paint every room in your home, focus on the important spaces such as the kitchen and living room first, as those will be the spaces that potential buyers will look at first.

Maximize Your Curb Appeal

Don’t forget to take your staging outdoors! It can be easy to focus entirely on the interior of your home, but taking the time to boost your home’s curb appeal can also have a huge impact, as it is the first impression that potential buyers get of your home. It’s easy to boost your home’s curb appeal during the summer months by adding some flower pots to your porch and ensuring that your lawn is mowed and clutter-free. The winter months can be challenging, especially if there’s snow on the ground, but taking the time to ensure your sidewalk is cleared and free of ice and debris will go a long way. Adding a coat of paint to your front door is a great way to add a pop of colour to help potential buyers easily recognize your home and add personality.

While home staging can seem like a tedious process, it can have a huge impact on how your home looks on the market. Not only does staging accentuate the fantastic features of your home, but it can allow potential buyers to visualize themselves in the space, which can help lead to more offers!


Are you thinking about selling your home and need an experienced agent to help you through the selling process? We can help! Contact Max Carbone to learn more.

Consumer Tips For Real EstateHome BuyersHot Tips 10 February 2023

What To Do Before Buying A Home

There’s a lot that goes into the process of buying a home, including determining where you want to buy, finding an agent, viewing properties, and finally, making an offer. But what many people don’t consider are all the things that need to be done before you even begin looking at properties. The home-buying process can be stressful, so taking the time to research and fully understand everything that goes into buying a home is vital to making sure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.

We’ve broken down a few things that you should do before buying a home to help you get started on the right foot and make finding your dream home a stress-free experience!

Home buyers speaking to mortgage broker to get pre-approved

Buying a Home: Know Your Budget

Before you even begin looking at potential properties, the very first thing you should do is establish your budget. Understanding exactly how much you can afford is incredibly important, as it will keep you from looking at (and potentially falling in love) a property that is outside of your budget. After deciding you’re ready to buy a home, sit down and look at your finances to determine how much you’ll be able to afford for a mortgage. Don’t forget to factor in other expenses that come with owning a home, such as insurance and utilities.

Get Pre-Approved

Another important step to take before beginning your home-hunting journey is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approval informs you of how much a mortgage lender is willing to lend you. This number is based on a number of different factors, including:

  • Income
  • Credit Rating
  • Debts

Your lender will also be able to guarantee the current interest rate for up to 120 days, which allows you to house hunt without worrying about any interest rate increases. Getting pre-approved before beginning your house hunt will not only help you stay within your budget but will also help show real estate agents that you are serious about buying a home.

Potential home buyer touring home

Choose An Agent

Once you’ve established your budget and have been pre-approved, your next step is to find a great real estate agent to work with. Buying a home is a huge investment and is likely one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime, so working with a knowledgeable agent will help take some of the stress out of the process. The right agent is going to be professional, knowledgeable, and responsive, and will do their best to find you the right home for the best price.

Determine Where You Want To Buy

You might have given a lot of thought to the kind of home you want to buy, whether that be a condo, townhouse, or single-family home, but taking location into consideration is also important. If you’re familiar with the area that you’re buying in, consider the different neighbourhoods and try to find one that is going to suit you and your needs best. Some people may want to prioritize things like green space and activities, while others might be focused on proximity to work, to avoid long commute times. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, ask your real estate agent for their thoughts. They are the area experts, and will be able to give you the ins and outs of the neighbourhoods you’re interested in so you can find the one that’s right for you.

Keys in door of new home

Start Home Hunting

After taking the necessary steps to prepare for the home-buying process, it’s time to begin searching for your perfect home! Spend some time looking through current listings in your preferred areas, and set up some showings with your real estate agent to view the properties in person. Photos and 3D tours can give you a good idea of the space and how a property is laid out, but actually walking through the space will allow you to see how you, your family, and your belongings would fit in the space. Remember that finding the perfect home can take some time, so patience is key in the home-buying process!

Whether you’re searching for your first home or are looking to move up or downsize, taking the necessary steps to prepare for the entire buying process will help ensure you are taken seriously as a buyer and can find the perfect home!



Ready to find your next home? We can help! Contact Max Carbone to learn more.

Consumer Tips For Real Estate 29 November 2022

The Art and Science of Real Estate Photography

Do great photos make a difference in real estate sales? Many argue that photos make or break the listing and sales process. And, while it’s true that poor real estate photography can turn off buyers from viewing the subject property, it’s important to note that good photography doesn’t sell real estate. Agents and sellers do that part.

Real Estate Photography: A Buyer’s Perspective

Buyers are looking for the best house at the lowest price. They search for desirable areas, size, number of bedrooms and sometimes features like garages and pools. In a quest for the best at the lowest price, amazing photos won’t help an overpriced house. However, detailed photos, exposed properly can feature the unique and important aspects of a home and property quickly and more effectively than written words.

A Seller’s Perspective

Photos attract buyers to view a property. From there, the property must stand on its own merits. If the property looks the same as the photos buyers often do not remark. If the photos are significantly better than the real-life experience at the home, buyers become untrusting.

Detailed photography can also help sellers and agents negotiate better. The average home viewing by buyers is estimated at 15 minutes and sometimes less. Buyers cannot remember what house had the green carpet let alone the high-quality appliances. Photos serve as a reminder to the buyers of what they are paying for. This is why “great” real estate photography will show sidewalks, foyers, landings, and laundry rooms. These photos can sometimes seem odd to sellers and look lousy. Yet, photos of features serve an important purpose in helping the sellers get more money, clarify value, bolster talking points, and manage buyer expectations.

Photograph of Kelowna kitchen

Getting Prepared

The goal of a good real estate shoot is to “capture” the essence of the home and property, snap a few money shots, shoot the flow of the house and property and get the best fill shots. 3D walk-thru video can accomplish a lot of this. Yet, static photos allow the agent and photographer to stage the angle and exposure to capture perspective. The end goal is to show nicely enough to entice the buyer to book a showing.

What Makes A Good Photo?

A good photo is properly exposed, in focus, representative of the lighting sees through windows to the outside, has understandable angles and perspectives, and reflects the features of the home fairly. If a room is dark it means the photo should probably show this. However, with today’s technology, nearly any space can be brightened. It might be a nice shot, but that doesn’t make it good photography. Photos of hallways, sidewalks, gas meters, and air conditioner units also make good photos in real estate. Photos showing the underside of gutters (soffits) can highlight expense trim and build considerations. The odd detail shot of hinges and faucets can also work well to show the home’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. Good real estate photos should show the good and not-so-great aspects of the home.

Good money shots are important and viewers will give creative license to make these photos look grander than perhaps they are, within the law. Yes, there are laws and rules that must be followed. We can make your grass look greener and photoshop the trash bin but your purple front door must stay.

Photo of indoor swimming pool

What Makes A Bad Photo?

Bad photos can look nice. Identifying bad ones is not always easy but here are some red flags. Frosty windows are the first clue. Out of focus and poor angles are another. Random angles and perspectives can also be an indication. Viewers will “feel” these items as much as point them out.

Bad real estate photos can also be excellent photos that simply hide items out of frame. Like the photo of the backyard showing lush green grass that is taken at such an angle to hide the house next door with three bedroom windows looking down onto the pool area. Or, the photo of the driveway zoomed in to hide the 50-foot drop from the garage to the road.

The seller may not like a photo that shows what the home accurately looks like; light, dark, cluttered – it doesn’t mean it’s a bad photo. Photos can help to manage buyer expectations. Sometimes a home is dark. Over-exposing and saturating light in areas that don’t normally have light can create mistrust among buyers. Accept that sometimes photos and the property, are what they are.

Shooting Day Prep

Interior: Turn on all lights, open curtains, clear counters, move furniture to open up spaces, toilet seats down, fold hanging towels, clean, polish, organization, and cleanliness.

Exterior: Time of year is important. Schedule your shoot to address where the sun will be located. Clear the driveway, hide everything possible, mow the lawn and declutter as much as possible.

Photographer adjusting camera settings before shooting real estate

Our Top Tips for Stellar Real Estate Pics:

  • Declutter rooms and make beds
  • Turn ON all lights and lamps in the home
  • Turn OFF ceiling fans and TVs
  • Clear all personal items from counters, dressers, shelves
  • Remove magnets and photos from the fridge
  • Move all vehicles and boats/ RVs off of the driveway and away from the house
  • Remove pet items and garbage /recycling bins from the view
  • Hang fresh towels on towel racks
  • Ensure you are NOT in the house during the Matterport scans
  • Takedown photos and personal items that you don’t want in the VR tour

Photos are important. Yet, stellar photos will not compensate for an overpriced home, an agent that communicates poorly, or a rapid change in the market. Photos are just one of the many tools agents use to help sellers get offers.

Pretty photos of real estate may look like art but agents and photographers must balance the scientific considerations to leverage the photography to impact a sale. It’s more than just pretty pictures.



Are you ready to take your career to the next level?

Contact Max Carbone or Dean Desrosiers to learn more!