New home series: new home construction financing

Building a new home is exciting.  Picking a floor plan and deciding on finishings to build your dream home.  During the process, the question of new home construction financing is an important factor to make your dream home a reality.  It is a critical part of the process. 

How does new home construction financing work? 

“We get this question a lot,” says Chris Ward, and experienced real estate agent specializing in new home construction.  “The process is very different from a traditional resale home transaction”

And for answers to financing questions, we turn to Tracy Charlton.  Tracy is a professional mortgage broker and Lead Planner for The Lending Outlet. 

“Unlike conventional mortgages, funds for new home construction are advanced in multiple draws, as opposed to one single advance,”  says Charlton.

Financing for the lot:

When purchasing a lot, most developers will require a minimum 10% deposit. Depending on the lender, the purchase of the land can be 65% – 75% loan to value.  To secure a mortgage on the lot, the lender will want to see a construction contract for the home to be built.   

building a home Quincy Vrecko Real EstateConstruction Draws:

Every lender has different policies for their new home construction mortgages.  Lenders usually charge interest-only payments during construction. The rate and potential lending fees will be dependent on the lender. 

Typical draws for new home construction are as follows (*these can change based on lender policy)

  • Framing – 20%
  • Lock-up 45-50%
  • Drywall 75%
  • Completion 100%

Some lenders will not give the first draw until lock-up (which is 45-50% complete).  So it is very important that homeowners and contractors know when, and approximately how much draws will be so that there are no surprises during construction.

A builder typically requires 10% of the construction contract to get started.  An appraisal will be ordered to determine the value of the lot and the construction of the home.  The appraiser will be called to inspect each draw to determine the stage of completion. The lender will advance the draw to the lawyer or direct to the clients based on the inspection report.  A search will be done on the property to determine there are no liens for each draw. There will be inspection fees for the appraiser and fees from the lawyer/lender for each draw.  

Important considerations for new home construction financing

It is very important to ensure that there is an adequate contingency for construction, typically 10 to 15% of the construction budget.  This is to cover off any increases in budget or unexpected issues. This can be added to the contract or savings set aside, which also may be dependent upon the lender’s policy.  It is very difficult to make changes during construction that will affect value. So the less changes the better. Any changes to the contract are recommended to be put in writing and signed by both the homeowner and builder.

There also may be lien holdbacks for each draw or at completion.  This will be based on lender policy and/or what the lawyer recommends.

While this all may sound confusing, a bank or professional mortgage broker can guide you through the financial part of your transaction.  Tracy Charlton has been in the financing industry for over 24 years and has extensive experience in new home construction financing.  

In addition to financial support, seek the advice of a professional real estate agent.  A Realtor can represent you in your new home transaction. Your professional real estate agent can help you understand the new home construction contract and give you advice on builders terms.  They can also provide valuable input on floor plans and finishings to ensure your investment is secure for resale.  

Now the fun part.  Find the perfect lot, pick your plan and build your dream home. 

Call the team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates to start your search or fill out the form below and we will get back to you with answers to your questions.

Quincy Vrecko and Associates Kelowna Real Estate



Kelowna Home builders series: The BC Step Code

As a part of our Kelowna home builders series, we look into the BC Step Code.  While this code is new to Kelowna, many cities throughout BC have already implemented these changes and building more efficient homes.

What is the BC Step Code?

The BC Step code is a 5 step provincial policy that ensures new homes are designed to be healthier, more efficient, and more comfortable. Each Step up, performance targets increase as homes must become more and more efficient & airtight.  It will be required that all homes be built with Net Zero efficiency by 2032.

home builders series: bc step code-Quincy Vrecko and Associates

In May 2019, the City of Kelowna recently reviewed the BC Step Code to begin implementation and set the Step 1 implementation date to begin December 1, 2019. By December, Kelowna home builders are required to follow Step 1 for “Part 9 residential buildings” or single family homes.

Step 1 means Kelowna home builders must begin to understand energy consumption measurement and do airtightness tests. Step 5 means your new Kelowna single family home must be “Net Zero Ready” or airtight and energy efficient.  It is generally understood that renovations are more difficult for implementing the BC Step Code so it is focused on new builds, for now at least.

Are Kelowna home builders implementing the Step code?

Local Kelowna home builder, Court Phillips of RedCourt Carpentry Kelowna, has worked in the lower mainland where each home built he built was tested for airtightness.

“We measured air changes per hour using a blower door test performed by an energy advisor company”  RedCourt explains.townhouse-Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real Estate

While building homes in Vancouver starting in 2015, he was already building to these codes. Beyond what the BC Code dictated.  Most homes in Vancouver have already been regularly meeting the Step 5, which is Net Zero Standards.

While there is a lot of technical talk, it boils down to efficiency.

RedCourt explains, “It’s about sealing the envelope up more, and putting in a proper HRV unit to push stale air out and pull fresh air in”.

This sounds pretty simple. Kelowna home builders can learn from Vancouver based companies who have already been building this way.  While Kelowna seems behind in this initiative they are ahead of many areas in BC.  This is the first step in making a difference.

How will Kelowna homeowners benefit?

While initial costs may be increased for construction, Kelowna homeowners will save on heating and cooling costs in the end.

Possible costs associated with the BC Step Code in building your Kelowna single-family home:

  • testing which must be done by a certified Energy Advisor
  • additional city inspection
  • extra design and materials for the HVAC system

city of Kelowna-Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real EstateThe City of Kelowna expects all new homes built after June 1, 2021 to be able to reach at least Step 3 of the program.  This will mean the homes built in just over 2 years will be at least 50% more efficient! The city is offering building permit rebates as an incentive.   In addition, Fortis BC is offering kickbacks to Kelowna homeowners for energy-efficient homes in Kelowna.

While initial costs of construction may increase, members of the construction industry agree that over time, high-performance HVAC designs, materials, and systems will more readily available.

RedCourt has been in the construction industry since the early 2000s when he began his apprenticeship. He completed his Red Seal Certification at the top of his group and has worked hard to ensure that every project he works on meets every building standard for both regulation and aesthetics. He has experience with an eye for detail!

Experienced Realtor joins the team!

The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates is growing again!  

We are excited to have Experienced Realtor Steve Hyndman join the team at our downtown office on Ellis.  

Steve Hyndman has extensive experience in the Kelowna real estate market.  He has been involved in many facets of the real estate industry for over 28 years.  Over his career, he has worked in Madison on Ellis Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Luxury Real Estateresidential and commercial real estate sales, along with major development projects throughout the Okanagan.  Steve has played a pivotal role in real estate growth in the Okanagan.

Steve moved to the Okanagan from Toronto in 1991 with his wife Karen, and 2 young sons. He has been calling Kelowna home for over 28 years, they have established roots, raised their family and are now proud grandparents of 2 grandchildren.

Kensignton Terrace Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real EstateFurther to Steve’s career in residential and commercial real estate sales, he has a strong recreational and development background.  Steve was co-owner of a successful brokerage at Big White Ski Resort and developed Southpoint Mountain Homes, a ski in-ski out property on the mountain.  

Steve Hyndman’s development experience extends to the Kelowna area. Where he involved in notable development projects such as the Madison highrise on Ellis and Kensington terrace townhomes, both in downtown Kelowna.  

Not only has Steve excelled in residential and commercial real estate. Him as well as his wife Karen, they have also been recognized for their work in Kelowna developments. With 10 Gold Tommie awards the highest local honors in real estate development.

Steve Hyndman-Quincy Vrecko Luxury Real EstateOn his spare time, Steve spends his time enjoying the great recreation the Okanagan has to offer.  he can be found boating on Lake Okanagan or golfing on one of the areas award winning golf courses, in the warmer months.  As an avid snowboarder, over the winter months, Steve is up a Big White.


Come and visit Steve at our offices at 1391 Ellis Street.

To reach Steve directly call 250-878-3608 or email

Buying before Selling your home


Did you find that perfect home to buy but still have to sell?

When it comes to Buying and Selling Real estate we often get the question, should I be buying before selling my home?

A year ago, homeowners were buying before selling with confidence their home would sell quickly. As the Kelowna real estate market changes from a seller’s market to a more balanced market, homes are taking longer to sell.  So, there are some things to consider if you are buying before selling. New house keys-Quincy Vrecko and Associates

There are risks associated with buying before selling.  The most obvious would be owning two homes. Possibly even carrying two mortgages.  Not only could this be financially staining, but changing market conditions pose a risk.  

To lower the risk when buying before selling, Kelowna Realtor, Tracey Vrecko, suggests making an offer on a home with a subject to the sale of your existing home, with a time clause…


In simple language……Your offer to purchase would be condition upon selling your home.  


So how does this work?

A “traditional” offer is written with all the common terms and conditions.  Then, an additional condition is added to the contract that allows you time to sell your home.  Additionally, Buyer and seller will need to agree to;

A timeframe to sell the existing home (a common time frame is 30 days)

A time to remove this condition, called “time clause” in the event of another accepted offer ( the average is 48 hours)

Stopwatch -Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real EstateWhat are the risks?

When the offer is accepted, (known as a “time clause offer” or an “offer subject to the sale of”), the home remains on the market and is still available for sale to other potential buyers.

In the event an offer presented and accepted while your current offer is still active, you will receive a notice invoking the “time clause”.  You will have the agreed upon time (usually 48 hours) to remove all of your conditions or your offer will be void and the second offer will take effect.  

Sounds complicated…. Not really.

“This is a really good option for buyers looking into buying before selling.  It is the peace of mind that you are not committed to owning two properties at once.”  Says Vrecko.

Buying and Selling real estate can be complicated.  This one of many examples where hiring a professional real estate agent is important.  A real estate agent can guide you through this process and offer advice to ensure a successful purchase and sale of your home.  

Quincy Vrecko Team photo on dockCall the team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates with any questions related to real estate.  The team has extensive knowledge of the Kelowna real estate market and would be happy to help.  Read some of our success stories from our past clients. 


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Dock License requirements


There are important things to know about the dock license requirements for your waterfront property.  

Owning a home on Lake Okanagan has many perks, one of which is private moorage for your boat.  If you own a waterfront home or are thinking of buying waterfront property, there are dock license requirements that must be met.  

Dock Photo-Quincy Vrecko Waterfront Real Estate

When purchasing a waterfront home, the current dock license is not transferrable.   As a result, you must apply to have the license assigned once you take possession. Have your professional real estate agent ensure that dock meets necessary dock license requirements before buying a waterfront home.  Furthermore, each waterfront community has different requirements.

If there is no dock and you would like to build a dock, there are some of the dock license requirements you need to be aware of before building.  

Private mooring facilities are governed by the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.  There are legal dock license requirements and approval process you must follow. The dock must be in compliance with by-laws and local zoning.  

While the common term is a dock license, there are actually no licenses issued anymore.  The term used now is either General Permission or Special Permission.  (but for the sake of this article we will continue using the wording dock license)

General Permission

If your dock meets the conditions and requirements outlined in the General Permission, you may be relinquished from having to submit an application.  

Here you can Download the General Permission guidelines to see if you dock license requirements.

Specific Permission

You will need specific permission in the following situations:

  • Where general permissions are prohibited
  • Stand-alone boat lift or permanent boat way
  • Group moorage

Applying for a lease

Leases are typically a 20-year term. The annual leasing fee is $200.00 if the area is under 2 000 square meters.  A higher fee will apply if the area is larger than 2 000 square meters.

Dock license requirements stipulate that all docks:Waterfont-Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Luxury Real Estate

  • Can not obstruct public access along the foreshore
  • Only one dock is permitted for each property
  • Must be in compliance with building regulations
  • Must provide proof of insurance by the waterfront property owner

Additionally, all docks must not:

  • Include covered structures
  • Be used for non-moorage purposes
  • Include solid core structures
  • Result in harm to the natural habitat

Regional Considerations for dock license requirements

Areas along the Okanagan shoreline are categorized into color-coded zones.  These are based on environmental sensitivity, from highest to lowest. These zones will determine what your dock license requirements and what type of dock you can build.  

Habitat color zones-Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Luxury Real Estate

Black zone – Critical Habitat Value

Red Zone-High Value

Yellow-Moderate Habitat Value

No Colour-Low or Unknown Habitat Value

There is no new construction in Black Zones, only repairs to grandfathered docks.  


In addition to the color zones, your dock license application will be assessed based on the risk level of negative impact on the environment.  To find out what zone your waterfront property falls under visit the interactive government map.

If you are a waterfront property owner looking to build a dock, or to modify your existing dock, contact the local Natural Resouce front counter at .  Here you can learn how you can meet the dock license requirements before your start.

Hire a Waterfront Specialist-Quincy Vrecko

quincy vrecko waterfront real estate agentFinally, if you are looking to buy a waterfront property in the Okanagan, work with a professional real estate agent.  Above all, find a waterfront specialist that understands the complexity of a waterfront home purchase.  Quincy Vrecko specializes in Waterfront homes in the Okanagan. Quincy can ensure the waterfront property you are purchase meets all dock license requirements so you can move in and enjoy your new home.


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Options before doing a price reduction on your listing

If you have your home listed for sale in Kelowna or surrounding area, an have not sold yet, you have probably thought of a price reduction.  

A price reduction is not always the answer.  Before doing a price reduction, consider these options:

Change up Marketing

Driveway 455 Lakepointe Kelowna Homes Quincy VreckoHigh-quality photos are incredibly important when listing your home for sale in Kelowna and area. You get a split second to capture the attention of home buyers.  If they don’t like what they see, your house listing could be passed by in an instant. If your MLS listing is not attracting potential buyers it could be as simple as changing the photos.  The feature photo should be the best photo of the house. You want to stop that buyer on your listing. Invest if great photography to avoid having to do a price reduction in the future.

Offer an incentive

In a balanced market or buyer’s market, a home buyer can be more specific in their expectations.  Especially when there is more inventory of house listings to choose from. There was a time when home buyers would look past having to do small improvements themselves. They now do not want to incur more cost once they move in.  

So instead of doing a price reduction, you can do the repair yourself or offer a credit to the home buyer to cover the cost of any small work needed to be done.  This way, you keep the price the same and the incentive could overcome the home buyer’s objection.

Target marketing

Is your house listing featured in the right places to attract the right home buyer for your home?  Long gone are the days of simply putting a home on the MLS and expecting it to sell. Target marketing is more important than ever.  The more exposure your home gets, the more home buyers you will be able to attract. So to do a price reduction before being fully exposed to all potential home buyers could be jumping the gun.  

target marketing-Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real Estate

There are important factors to consider before looking at doing a price reduction.  

  • Do you have the right real estate professional working for you?
  • Did you get the right advice when pricing your house for sale?
  • Are you aware of the current market conditions?  (average days to sell)
  • Are you being kept informed about the marketing of your listing?
  • Does your house listing have a specialized marketing plan to attract the right home buyer?


The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates understand that every home is different.  A family home in Lower Mission will need different marketing than a modern townhouse in South Pandosy, or waterfront home in West Kelowna.  The team has a guarantee to set up each client for success and avoid having to do a price reduction. The team will price their homes according to market conditions, create a tailored marketing plan for the course of the listing and keep each seller informed.  Check out the 10 QVA Guarantees and call for your consultation today.


February Home Sales Stats

Residential home sales improve while the weather remains the same.

According to the Okanagan Mainline Real estate board, real estate home sales in February showed a significant increase over January sales.   With 292 transactions registering for the month of February and only 216 for January.  While overall real estate home sales are down from this time last year, the unusually colder weather and endless snow could be to blame.

Year to date, the number of residential home sales currently sit at 508 on a last year of 730.  This is a decrease of 31% from the previous year. However, economists remain optimistic despite challenges with new taxes and the mortgage stress test.  

Unlike the weather in the Okanagan, the real estate market in Kelowna and surrounding areas has remained relatively consistent for this time of the year.  The average selling price for a single-family residential home dropped slightly to $669 073 on a last year of $678 156. Furthermore, the inventory of homes for sale in Kelowna and surrounding areas are up slightly from 742 to 776 units.  

Feb 2019 monthly stats-Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real Estate

Current Home sales changing Seller’s market to a Buyer’s market

There are now lower home sales volume and an increase in inventory.  This has contributed to the shift from a seller’s market to a more balanced real estate market.  If the trend continues Additionally, the average number of days to sell a home in Kelowna has gone up to 72 days.

Spring is around the corner!   This means warmer weather and the start of the busy spring selling season.  The chief economist of the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) is optimistic and predicts a 2% increase in home sales this year.  

Year over Year real esate stats-Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real Estate

The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates keep abreast of changes happening to the Kelowna Real estate market.  They understand the impact those changes have on the home sales, and adjust marketing plans to stay competitive.  It is critical to hire a real estate agent that can adapt to these changes. The team at QVA creates a tailored marketing plan to ensure your home sells.

Call the team to discuss a tailored marketing plan for your home.  

BC Speculation Tax

The Why, Who, When and How of the BC Speculation Tax

By now you’ve likely heard of the new BC speculation tax.  Whether you’ve followed the discussions on it in detail, or only heard about it in passing, the speculation tax is now a clear and present reality.  That said, it’s important you as a homeowner are aware of what it means.  How it affects you. This quick read will provide you with a brief outline of the speculation tax.  It will give you direction that you’ll want take immediately.

Speculation Tax-Quincy Vrecko Luxury Real EstateWhy?

The BC speculation tax was designed as a provincial measure aimed at tackling the housing crisis in BC’s major urban centers. Its purpose is to target both foreign and domestic speculators.  Those who own homes in BC, but don’t pay provincial taxes.  As well, the speculation tax seeks to turn empty homes into good housing opportunities.  Thus relieving both rental shortages and discriminatively high home prices.


The speculation tax is applicable to only those homeowners living within designated taxable regions in BC.  It’s believed that over 99% of British Columbians will be exempt from the tax. In order to be exempt, there are several facts you should know about how the speculation tax works, and about what you’ll need to do to ensure you’re handling it correctly.  

First and foremost, BC residents whose BC home qualifies as their primary residence (meaning they live there 6 months or more per year) will be considered exempt from the speculation tax.  As well, if you are a BC resident and you own property that is rented for at least 6 months out of a year, you may be considered exempt.

If you are a homeowner in BC, and you’re not a BC resident, then you will likely be subject to the speculation tax.  The rate at which you are taxed will differ according to your residential status and locale. Please consult with your accountant to determine your precise rate.  


To qualify for exemption from the BC speculation tax, each person on title needs to individually file a disclosure through the accepted methods.  The disclosure must be filed no later than March 31, 2019.

Failure to disclose by March 31, 2019 will result in mandatory payment of 0.5% of assessed property value.  If there are two people on title, and only person discloses, then the person who did not disclose will be expected to pay 0.5% on their half of the assessed property value.

How?house for sale-Quincy Vrecko and Associates

Applicable BC homeowners will need to file for exemption from the speculation tax each year.  Each homeowner on title will receive a notice by mail.  Then each individual must register either online at or by calling 1-833-554-2323

If you are required to pay the speculation tax, payment will be due July 2, 2019.

Obviously, any time a new tax is announced there’s a natural amount of confusion and perhaps some fear.  Knowing the facts, however, is key to keeping confusion minimal and fear at bay. Most important right now is that you’ve read this and are a little wiser as to how to proceed.  The BC speculation tax is upon us, so be sure to prepare yourself accordingly. If you’re a BC resident, and living within the taxable regions, then please do yourself a favor and file your disclosure for exemption immediately.  You won’t be sorry you did.

Call a team member at Quincy Vrecko and Associates for current real estate market statistics.

Single family homes in Kelowna

Real Estate Technology trends

Live Chat-New and improved Real Estate Technology

In a world of smartphones and getting information on the go, it is important to keep up with real estate technology trends.

Live Chat just as it sounds.  This real estate technology allows consumers to chat in real time with a member of our team.  You can ask anything from questions about a specific property to how much your home is worth. Day or night, there is an agent, a real agent, on the other end answering your questions.

Kelowna real estate technology trendsAs real estate technology evolves, more platforms are moving to taking out the personal touch of selling real estate in Kelowna, or any other market.  The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates recognize the need to for this technology and wanted to combine it with a personal touch which can be done with Live Chat.  

“Live Chat is not a robot.  Live chat is cutting edge real estate technology that allows each team member to be logged onto our website so we can answer questions from consumers in real time as they come in”. Says Tracey Vrecko, real estate marketing specialist and Realtor.

Live chat is a benefit to both buyers and sellers:

For Buyers:

Live chat real estate technology allows buyers to ask questions at anytime of day or night.   Without obligation of giving out any information about themselves or having to register.  They can ask about a property, area or market and get on the spot information from one of our experienced real estate agents.

For Sellers:

If you are listed with us at Quincy Vrecko and Associates you have the advantage of Live Chat real estate technology.   We can track when buyers are looking at your property and invite them to chat when they are on your listing.  This real estate technology gives us valuable insight on where activity is coming from and how buyers are accessing that information.

Laptop photo-kelowna real estate technology trendsLive Chat is a win-win for both buyers and sellers when the other end of the line is an actual person.  Many real estate teams use an automated system that doesn’t connect with an actual person which can cause frustration when trying to get a simple question answered.  This real estate technology will put you in touch with us so you can get your questions answered by a licenced real estate agent.

Live Chat is not only great for the real estate consumer.  Live Chat real estate technology allows us to view how our consumers are accessing our website, how long they have been browsing and even which city they are from.  It tracks if the visitor is new or returning for another look. This helps us target our marketing and track where buyers are coming from.

When you list with the team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates, you get the advantage of this top of the line real estate technology.  This allows consumers to connect with your listing agents to get real time information about your property.  Call one of our team member for more information on all of our listing services and all other cutting edge real estate technology trends.