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.

 

 

Entering the current Okanagan Real Estate Market can be a scary yet positive experience. It’s important to be informed, so we asked Charlene Volk to answer some questions you may be asking yourself.

Why is it important to use a realtor when buying or selling in this current Okanagan market?

Our current Okanagan Real Estate market can be tricky to navigate! An experienced Realtor can provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.  But it’s not just as simple as picking any Realtor.  Trust is key – get to know your Realtor, let your Realtor get to know you. Choose a Realtor that you are comfortable communicating with, one that has the knowledge, experience, and dedication required to guide you through the process. At QVA we are committed to providing you with the best service possible!

  • Accountability
  • Dedication
  • Integrity
  • Knowledge
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Understanding

 

What are the risks of unconditional offers?

There can be many risks associated with unconditional offers.  Are you ready and willing to accept those risks?  My go-to response with unconditional offers is “Just don’t do it”.  However, having said that, in some instances, it may be an option for you. It’s really dependent upon each individual unique situation.

Before making such an important decision you may want to consider:

What if something goes sideways?

What if the sale on your current home collapses and you are not financially able to carry the cost of both properties?

What is there are issues with the home that could have been discovered in a home inspection (i.e. outdated plumbing or wiring, asbestos, former grow op)

What if you are preapproved but your financial situation changes suddenly?

What if the bank requires an appraisal and the appraisal comes in lower than expected?

 

These are just a few things to consider and you should always discuss these and other risks with your Realtor prior to making an offer.

 

What are your tips for first-time homebuyers?

Your first home is usually your first big investment. It’s an exciting time but it can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the process.

First and foremost choose a Realtor to guide you along the way! Your Realtor can aid you each step of the way and make things much less stressful for you.

 

Get preapproved – Before you start looking for that new home, make sure you know exactly what you can afford.  The last thing you want to do is find the perfect dream home only to discover you cannot qualify to purchase it.

 

Create a budget – There are other costs involved than just purchasing your home. Your Realtor and mortgage professional can help you determine the other costs you will need to consider. Legal fees, Property Transfer Tax, Utilities, Taxes, maintenance, strata fees, etc.

 

Determine what your needs and wants are – create a wish list and discuss it with your Realtor. Some things to consider while making your wish list:  Are there certain neighborhoods you prefer? How many bedrooms/bathrooms are a must? Are you willing to look at a fixer-upper or does it need to be move-in ready? Your Realtor will help you narrow down your wish list and save you valuable time by looking at the appropriate properties for you.

 

 

With the hot Kelowna Real Estate market in full swing, multiple offers have become the norm as buyers compete to secure a property.  Being the winning bidder in a multiple offer situation takes strategy.  We talked to our in-house expert, Tracey Vrecko, who has been helping buyers and sellers come out on top in this crazy market.

 

Why are so many homes going into multiple offers?

This is simple supply and demand.  There is so little inventory of homes for sale in Kelowna and West Kelowna so when a home goes on the market, there are multiple buyers competing for it. There are a large number of buyers coming in from out of town pushing demand even higher.

 

What is the strategy when working with sellers looking to sell their home in Kelowna?

Exposure is key to realizing top dollar for your home in any market, especially when looking to generate multiple offers.  When the listing hits the market, typically a seller will want to pick a date to review any offers.  With so many buyers from out of our market area, you want to give enough time from when the property is listed to when you are looking at potential offers.

 

When presenting a home for sale in today’s market, marketing is so important to attract buyers and highlight features that show value.  We offer several ideas to prepare the home for sale and offer full marketing packages that include:

  • Clear photos of each room and outdoor area
  • Floorplans with room measurements
  • VR tours with hotspots detailing features
  • Digital feature sheet

Also, any additional information you can provide to the buyer will help buyers prepare for multiple offers.

 

When working for a home buyer, how do you win out against other bidders?

Some key things to consider when you are competing against other buyers on the same property is to make your offer as clean as possible while still protecting yourself.  Try to complete some of your due diligence prior to making the offer so you can limit the number of conditions such as:

  • Financing
  • Home inspection
  • Reviewing of title, property disclosure statement, city file, strata documents, etc.

 

Home buying and selling can be emotional, so it is also a good idea to write a cover letter with your offer.  It could help tip the scales when a seller knows who will be occupying their home. I have even seen pictures of potential buyers in some offer presentations.  Any little bit helps.

Find out what possession the sellers prefer.  By being flexible with dates could make your offer more appealing to the sellers.

There are other strategies with respect to deposit and price that can make or break you from being the winning bid.  Each situation is different, so, having a professional realtor with experience in working with multiple offers representing you to advise you on price and deposit.

Multiple offers can be overwhelming for both buyers and sellers and there can only be one winning bid.  The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates have helped many buyers and sellers navigate through this very active market.  Using a professional Realtor is more important than ever to advise on your largest and most important investment.

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!

2021 Real Estate Market

Sure 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.