Although the winter months are a not so popular time to sell a home, there are many benefits that will be favorable towards selling one during this season. A huge plus is reduced competition. At a time where demand is high for homes in Kelowna, you are more likely to sell yours within a short period of time. Here are a few tips for you to stage your home during the winter season and make your property a show-stopping spectacle for potential buyers.

 

Keep your abode cozy

During a showing, it’s always important to keep the house warm for the potential buyers. Raising the temperature to 70 degrees will maintain a comfortable climate inside your home. This can help the potential buyers to focus on the property’s features more comfortably. 

 

The curb appeal still matters

Winter months are hard to rely on flowering plants to have that perfect curb appeal. One option is to have cold weather plants. You can jazz up your front door by giving it a fresh coat of paint and have some outdoor furniture that look cozy and inviting on the front porch as the eyes of anyone visiting your home will naturally focus on what’s at your entrance.

 

Clear walkways and driveways

As a seller, it’s important to keep the walkways and driveways clear especially if it has snowed. It’s important to put down salt if there is excessive ice on the ground. Ensuring the safety of the potential buyers during a viewing is very important when selling your home.

 

Lots of lighting

The first impression of a home at all times is a home with natural light in abundance. This can be a challenge during a gloomy winter day. It’s essential to have the spaces well-lit where natural light is difficult to reach. 

 

Get Organised

Winter can be tough on your floors. No one wants to see muddy footprints during a viewing. Have lots of floor mats to wipe the mud off the shoes or choose to provide disposable shoe covers for viewers. It is also essential to store your winter gear in an organized manner. Having your coats hung and shoes laid on racks will go a long way. Through occasional sweep, vacuum and a mop between viewings, you can make your home look the best for every prospective buyer.

 

Winter months are a perfect time to sell your home as real estate agents are less busy and could give you additional attention and help market your property at a time when competition is less. If you are thinking of selling your home Quincy and Vrecko Associates are happy to provide you with an evaluation at no cost! To learn more about the benefits of listing with us, click here.

It’s finally December and we are already in the Christmas cheer and thinking of ways to fill the weekends in Kelowna this holiday season. We have got a selection of some of the best things to do in Kelowna; events that are offering safe Christmas experiences for families this year. Here are the top 5!

1. Mission Hill Tree Festival

In support of BC Children’s Hospital and their Healthy Minds Centre, Mission Hill Winery is currently underway with its 5th Annual Season of Trees. The event will be running until the 23rd of December. Those guests that book a Season of Trees Tasting on Sundays can also visit the evergreen pop-up market on the Loggia showcasing many local vendors and artisans.

2. Kettle Valley Santa Parade

Lace-up your boots to witness the annual “Macy’s Christmas Parade” of Kettle Valley! The Santa Clause Parade will surely impress both children and adults! The parade will set off on the 11th of December from 5 PM via Quilchena Dr and McCarren Ave, continued by a photo session with Santa and friends at the Kettle Valley Public on Main Pub. This annual event is organized in support of the Central Okanagan Food Bank and the Youth Recovery Centre. Don’t miss out on this event!

3. Stuart Park Skating Rink

The Stuart Park skating rink is the centerpiece for the downtown being the city’s most picturesque spot for an outdoor skate. Skating at the Stuart Park has been a popular winter tradition in Kelowna every Christmas season. This year, COVID – 19 safety measures are taken into consideration, and therefore residents can check the crowd conditions beforehand through a live cam. The rink will be open daily from 6 AM until 11 PM for three months before it shuts down in late February.

4. Festive Market at Quails Gate

Enjoy this holiday season at Okanagan’s, one of the festive vineyards! Make a quick visit to Quails Gate Winery this December. Stay cozy around the fire with some complimentary mulled wine while enjoying the local entertainment and local shopping experience. Head to the artisan market to check out some local cheeses and desserts that could be perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones! The festive shop is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 PM to 8 PM until the 18th of December.

5. Christmas events at O’keefe Ranch

The Victorian Christmas at O’Keefe ranch returns once again this year! A few minutes drive from the city, the ranch has a lot to offer during the holiday season. You will be welcomed by beautifully decorated heritage buildings, Santa Clause, wagon rides and live music. Head to the General store for some amazing baked goods and hot drinks. While enjoying Christmas caroling you can roasted chestnuts, Christmas contests and much more. The ranch will be open for guests on the weekends till 19th December from 10 AM to 4 PM.

 

Shop Local

This year, due to concerns about the supply chain, online shopping and lots of delayed shipping experiences, holiday shopping might be a little overwhelming and stressful. Here are some QVA recommendations to shop local. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

 

 

 

 

The 2021 Real Estate market has been like never before, and the prices of homes have experienced a huge jump overall with some of the lowest inventory we have seen. Big White is no exception: Steve Hyndman specializes in recreation properties and gives us the inside look into the Big White market, what has caused this shift and what we can expect to see as a result of this crazy market!

Big White real estate market QVA

How has the Big White Market Changed in 2021?

Before the pandemic, Big White had a very balanced market, I would even say it was a buyer’s market. Due to covid, Big White sales have started to explode and that has caused inventory to dry up.

 

 

 

What has caused this shift in the 2021 Big White Real Estate Market?

 

  • The Rental Market is Hot 

Many factors have contributed to the shift we are seeing in the 2021 Big White market. The pandemic has caused many of the people that currently own Big White properties to rethink listing in the current climate. Since Big White is a winter recreational resort, they are usually secondary properties and tend to bring in great rental income, especially now that the rent has gone up due to more people staying local and travel has become less frequent.

Big White real estate market

  • Out of Town Buyers

Another major factor in the low inventory is a high number of out-of-town buyers that are ‘safe haven’ buying. Big white is a great place to self-isolate and offers guaranteed rental income. The pandemic has caused interest rates to go down, and that has a huge effect on the movement of Big White properties as well.

  • Low-Interest Rate

Because the interest rate is so low right now, it is making recreation properties more serviceable in terms of debt load, and this is causing buyers from all over a jump on the opportunity!

  • Small Market

Big White has always been a smaller market and it is a great selling point. A lot of people buy at Big White because it provides a great feeling of community, has some of the best Ski-in & Ski-out properties, and is close to major cities. Big white being a small resort has caused it to be very reactionary to the changes we have been seeing in the 2021 Real Estate Market overall.

How do you think Big White will continue to be affected?

Big White has always been a more affordable option in the Okanagan, but recently it has exceeded the last market peak in 2008. In the past 8 to 10 years, there hasn’t been much development, and I predict this will change in the next 2 to 5 years. Prices at  Big White are back up but there have not been any new builds, meaning no new inventory has been added to the market in almost a decade! That sounds like an untapped opportunity. I think you can expect to see new developments and expansion at Big White.

 

 

The current real estate market has been anything but quiet, things are moving fast. But what does this mean for lots and new builds? We asked some questions to our lot and new build expert Chris Ward, who recently celebrated 30 years with RE/MAX. His expertise shone some light on this confusing yet exciting market.

 

Tell me about the differences you’ve noticed in this 2020-2021 real estate market when it comes to lots and new builds.

Last year, in 2020, lots were stagnant and inventory levels were not tremendously affected. With the advent of COVID-19, particularly this year, inventory levels of existing homes increased and the focus was turned towards building lots, and they started to disappear at a tremendous rate. Right now, anything that is finished is probably sold or has an offer on it.

 

If lots are going so fast, how does this affect new builds?

The challenge for the builders, because of COVID and a variety of other manufacturing issues, is that lumber is up 140%. Everything tin related such as furnaces are up 30%. Lumber and building supplies escalation clauses are being put in place in purchase agreements. This is a significant change and slows building down. Because of the increased cost, we haven’t seen homes come onto the market quite as quickly as the lot sales indicate, but they’re coming.

 

When should we be able to see the new builds from these lot sales?

I would say probably in the fall. It usually takes 6 to 8 months to build a 2500sqft house, depending on where you’re at. So, if lots have sold in March, they’ll be ready by the end of the year. We should see lots of new home products, finished products, on the market towards the end of the year and the beginning of next year.

 

In your opinion, was it a better investment to build yourself in the past compared to today?

Good question, because everything went up, houses are selling over the listing price, so what does that mean for new builds? New builds go in at a fixed cost, so probably will still be the same. There are times in the market when existing is cheaper than built, and there are times when built isn’t necessarily cheaper but there’s more of them available. I’ve been selling new products since around 1991. In 2003-2005, I was getting builders to buy lots, selling houses out of a catalog. Because at the time you could find lots.

 

What else has surprised you in the current real estate market?

In January we had a 30-lot subdivision for sale with only 3 deals on them. Now, they’re all sold, buts it’s mostly due to out-of-town builders. The market for the Okanagan became much more widespread than it was before. We used to get 6% of buyers from the coast, now the numbers from the lower mainland have surged, and along with them came the builders. Lots of different trends have happened, not since the start of COVID, but mostly since the start of this year. 2020 was not that affected, we still had good inventory levels. It all happened in 2021, I think because COVID has settled in and people don’t really see an end in sight, so they’re changing their focus.

 

What would be your advice for people looking to buy a lot and build in this market?

I still think it’s a really good idea. What you do have to understand is that you might not be able to get a definitive price, and if you’re a high ratio buyer, that’s not a safe place to be. If you have 20% down, it’s a really good place to be. But you do need patience because they’re having a hard time getting supplies, it won’t be finished for months. What used to take 8 months now can take 10 to 12. So as long as you’re not in a rush and have a place to stay, you’re good to go!

In this market, many are considering relocating to Kelowna. Relocating is an exciting and uncertain time, with so much unfamiliarity coming your way, preparation is key. We spoke to Drew Irvine, our Wilden Luxury specialist, on the most exciting neighborhoods of Kelowna and what they can bring to your dream Okanagan lifestyle.

 

Drew, tell us about the most sought-after neighborhoods and what makes them ideal for relocation to the Okanagan?

Okanagan living is like no other. With sunshine and endless activities, choosing the right neighborhood for you is of most importance. Wilden is absolutely one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Kelowna, with its modern homes, incredible lake views, and ideal location. Quite similar is the neighborhood of High Pointe in the lower Glenmore area. In South Kelowna, Kettle Valley and Lower Mission are also great options. On the other side of the bridge, the Mission Hill Winery area is beautiful and boasts amazing views. All these neighborhoods have great locations, beautiful homes and are close to all amenities.

 

 

You specialize in Wilden Luxury homes, what makes this neighborhood so special?

Wilden is known for its amazing city, valley and lake views, and luxurious homes. Most of the homes are brand new construction or built in the last 5 years, which means no renovations are required and these homes are move-in ready. Additionally, they often feature great outdoor living spaces and inground pools.  Wilden also has a really great, quiet community. The location is more than ideal, about halfway in between downtown Kelowna and the airport. With a 10-minute drive to the yacht club, Wilden is the best way to have stunning views in a quiet area and still be close to the lake and cultural center. Not to mention the amazing hiking trails and golf courses nearby. It’s an ideal neighborhood for someone looking to enjoy the Okanagan lifestyle.

 

Speaking of the Okanagan lifestyle, tell us more about it and how Wilden caters to it?

Of course, the Okanagan lifestyle is known for its amazing weather. For example, Toronto summers in comparison are extremely sticky and humid, making the heat unbearable. Kelowna summers are dry, long, and pleasant. Perfect for enjoying the lake and patios. Winters are shorter and much milder than the rest of Canada, and if you’re looking to enjoy some winter activities, Big White Ski Resort is a short way away. In the Okanagan Valley, you’re also avoiding all the Vancouver rain. Additionally, Kelowna is growing and developing some amazing areas. Downtown is becoming a great cultural center. Kelowna General Hospital is an amazing teaching hospital, which recently included a heart center. This is a great thing to have right in your city. Relocating to Kelowna brings you the perfect blend of city living and quiet nature. With its beaches, hiking trails, golf courses, wineries, patios, and tons of beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Wilden brings all of that together and adds luxury to the blend. With these turn-key modern properties, you’re ready to move in and start enjoying the lifestyle right away!

Yes, the current real estate market is red hot, but what does that mean to you as a buyer or as a seller? What are your options? How do you navigate this crazy market to make it work for you?

 

The state of Real Estate: This real estate series is an inside look and professional advice on what the heck is going on in this 2021 market! The current real estate market is certainly interesting and unpredictable. The Kelowna real estate market is changing on a daily basis and is proving to be frustrating for both buyers and sellers. Where common catchphrases of this past year include the “new normal” and “social distancing”, in the real estate world, these phrases are “multiple offers” and “seller’s market”. However, one common phrase they both have in common …unprecedented.

 

“The New Normal”

How is this “new normal” changing the face of real estate as we know it? We reach out to each team member at Quincy Vrecko and Associates to discuss their professional thoughts on every aspect of how the market is changing and their experience with the current real estate market.

 

In this series we will cover:

• Multiple offers from the perspective of the buyer and the seller
• Relocating to Kelowna
• New home construction and lot sales
• Luxury housing market
• Condominiums and townhouses

 

Over the last year, the pandemic brought some unexpected changes. What was about to happen following the lockdown was clearly unpredictable to even to the best of those in the know. In March 2020, CMHC forecasted an 18% decrease in property values and warned of a crash in the real estate market.

What a difference a year makes…

Fast forward to March 2021 and the current real estate market is registering record-breaking sales week after week. With the average price of single-family homes hitting an astonishing $900 000 sellers are in the driver’s seat and buyers are being left in the dust.

 

Sellers

As a seller, while the market is in your favor, you should not just have anyone representing your largest investment. Setting up the listing for success is the key to realizing the top dollar for your home. Photos and virtual tours are key tools to present your home not only with restrictions due to Covid but to a large number of out-of-town buyers. Currently, out-of-town buyers make up 41% of our overall homebuyers in the Okanagan.

 

Buyers

If you are a buyer in this market, it is more important than ever to have proper representation. An experienced agent on your side making sure you have the upper hand at securing a property over other bidders. An experienced agent with a strong connection will give you the upper hand in getting you in the right home at the right place.

 

 

 

 

Check-in each week as we discuss topics related to the current real estate market situation and answer questions from buyers and sellers. We look to the experience and expertise of the team members at Quincy Vrecko and Associates, one of the top teams for Re/MAX Kelowna. Every team member will offer their advice and suggestions on how to stay sane in this truly crazy real estate market.

Charlene Kelowna Realtor

Why have you stayed in Kelowna all these years?

I’ve stayed in Kelowna all these years because this is home to me. This is where my family is, this is where I grew up, where I went to school, where I raised my daughter, where I am my happiest.

Why do you love Kelowna?

I love everything about Kelowna but the thing I love most is the weather! I love that we have 4 distinct seasons each beautiful its own way!

 

Charlene top Kelowna Realtor

What do you like to do in Kelowna?

My favorite things to do in Kelowna are going to Rocket’s games, going to the Actor’s Studio, and walking along the many beaches.

This is home

My love for Kelowna is deep-rooted and I can’t imagine living anywhere else!

Move to Kelowna From Saskatchewan

Why did you move to Kelowna from Saskatchewan?

I first started thinking about the move when my partner, Landon and I were just sitting in our freezing car in the middle of January on a -45 degree morning. We sat there complaining about how awful it was and decided we couldn’t do another winter like this. That started our journey to B.C. I wasn’t set on any particular city, I just knew I loved this province and it was where I wanted to start planting roots. As we did our research on the major cities in B.C, Kelowna became an obvious choice. It had everything, endless outdoor adventures, opportunity and it wasn’t too big. Five months later we had everything we owned strapped to our car and we hit the road!

 

What do you love about Kelowna

Kelowna never ceases to amaze me. Every day I drive by Gyro beach and I still pull over to admire the view. It is such a breathtaking city. The mountains, the lake, I could stare at them all day. I thought when I left Sask (Land of the Living Skies) I would miss the sunsets but the Okanagan has not let me down if anything they are even better because you can hike any one of the amazing mountains around Kelowna and REALLY see the gorgeous sunsets from a perspective I had back home.   

What do you like to do in Kelowna?

The outdoor lifestyle is huge here in Kelowna. One of my favorite places is Cedar creek, it’s a beautiful beach but also a dog park which makes it my go-to with my two dogs. The water is so clear and it’s the best place to catch the sunset. Since I have been in Kelowna, I have been on too many hikes to count and I am always finding new ones to add to the list. My next adventure is to conquer the skill of snowboarding this upcoming season! 

What do you miss about your hometown?

The only thing I miss about Sask is my family and friends, I left everyone when I moved to Kelowna. It was a big change to go from a huge family to not knowing anyone other than Landon, don’t get me wrong it has been so much fun meeting new people and figuring out who I want to be out here but my family will always keep me tied to Saskatchewan. Well at least until I can convince them to move out here too!

Since making the move to Kelowna I have not looked back since. Not only do I live in one of the most beautiful places, but I also feel like I belong here. I have had so many great opportunities since and I know there are many more waiting for me. I am so excited about my future here in the great OK.

Moving to Kelowna

vineard with lakeview Quincy Vrecko Luxury Real Estate

The Kelowna real estate market is hot as the area is attracting new residents moving to Kelowna. The Okanagan offers a lifestyle like no other making Kelowna a very attractive place to live. This 4 seasons playground has it all:

  • Skiing
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Award-winning golf courses
  • Vineyards and wineries
  • Incredible restaurants
    Just to name a few!

 

In this blog series, we highlight every member of our team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates and why we love to call Kelowna home. These Kelowna realtors have moved to Kelowna from all over Canada including Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and other cities in BC. And can you guess which one was born and raised right here in Kelowna?

Follow our August blog series to find out where our team members are from and why they all chose to call this incredible city home.

 

 

If you are thinking of moving to Kelowna, the Quincy Vrecko and Associates website has valuable information to get to know the different

Kelowna Relocation Guide Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real Estate

areas.

  • Download our Kelowna Relocation guide. This guide highlights the Kelowna lifestyle with listings of wineries and golf courses and the best of Kelowna.
  • Explore what each great neighborhood in Kelowna, West Kelowna, and Peachland has to offer with our Neighborhoods page.
  • Questions about what to expect when buying a home in Kelowna, check out our FAQ page. Or hop onto our Live Chat where one of our agents is waiting to answer any questions.
  • Browse our listing of homes for sale. We have everything from condos and townhouses, family homes for sale, retirement communities to luxury properties, and waterfront homes for sale. Whether you are moving to Kelowna soon or just dreaming for the future, these listings are definitely worth checking out.

 

Meet the team of top real estate agents in About us. Our team of professional real estate agents have a wealth of knowledge and can make moving to Kelowna a great experience.

Find a connection with one of our team members and start your search.

Tracey and Quincy: Making the move from Calgary to Kelowna

 

Quincy and Tracey Vrecko have lived in Kelowna for over 10 years and are proud to call Kelowna home.  Originally from separate parts of Canada, they lived together in Calgary for 12 years before deciding on making the move from Calgary to Kelowna.  Together with a toddler in tow and another baby on the way, they established roots in the Okanagan and never looked back. 

We talk to Tracey and Quincy Vrecko to find out what brought them to Kelowna and why they love calling the Okanagan home with their 2 boys Gabriel and Paxton.  

Why did you make the move from Calgary to Kelowna?

Tracey- Quincy and I were expecting our second child and we were looking for a better balance in our work/home life.  Calgary is a great city but our needs for our family changed.  I had never been to Kelowna but my uncle Mike who lived here over 65 years always raved it was the best place in Canada to live.  Old uncle Mike was right!

Quincy- I was working for a car dealership at the time and an opportunity came up to transfer to either Kelowna or Victoria.  I grew up on the island and always loved it there but I was intrigued by the Okanagan lifestyle.  I was sold on making the move from Calgary to Kelowna once I saw what it had to offer our family.  

What do you love about Kelowna?

Tracey-Now this is something Quincy and I can agree on!  There are so many things we love about Kelowna.  After we made the move from Calgary to Kelowna, our focus was for more quality family time.  Kelowna offers a great lifestyle where we can be out with our boys 365 days a year.  There is a sense of community in Kelowna that you don’t have in big cities.  We have made great friends, created a home for our family and we love the life we have here. 

What are your favorite things to do in Kelowna?

Quincy-We love to be outdoors. Our family are avid skiers and snowboarders and we love to get out snowmobiling in the backcountry.  In the summer we are out on the boat or swimming in the pool.  

Tracey- I love to discover new hikes with my friends.  We love the mountains and the lake and try to get out there as much as possible. 

What do you miss about your hometown?

Tracey- That would depend if we were talking Winnipeg or Calgary.  If we are talking Winnipeg, it would be my family.  I grew up in Winnipeg and most of my family still live there.  My parents are in the same home I grew up in so when I go back to visit, it’s nostalgic.  Calgary was a fun city.  It’s where Quincy and I met and started our family.  I miss walking along the bow river and our weekends in Banff.  Great memories!

Quincy-Yes Calgary was fun.  I miss camping in the Rockies.  Tracey and I would tent every weekend in the summer and ski/snowboard in the winter.  Our 12 years in Calgary were great but when we arrived in Kelowna, I never looked back.  

 

No Regrets

Our move from Calgary to Kelowna also brought me closer to the Island where I grew up.  I missed the ocean and now I have an opportunity to visit the island more often. 

We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area of Canada.  The Okanagan has so much to offer our family and we look forward to our long future here.  Give us a call to talk about making the move!