Kelowna Real Estate Trend: Fireplaces for Every Room

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Out here, when you wake up, all you want to see is the endless sapphire waters of Okanagan Lake. When the sun sets, though, what Kelowna homeowners want is a way to experience the warmth and natural setting of the valley with a fire. Fortunately, a lot of Kelowna real estate gives homeowners both spectacular lake views and stunning fireplaces in the same room.

In fact, more and more homeowners are opting to let fireplaces stand not just in lakefront living rooms, but in every room—from bathrooms and bedrooms to kitchens and decks. And a Kelowna realtor would be quick to point out that while enjoying the warmth and crackle of those embers, you can probably see the lake too.

Here, then, is a round-up of unique and beautiful fireplaces fit for every room in your home.

The Fireplace in the Bathroom

Fireplace in the Lund Residence mediterranean bathroom in Las Vegas
Mediterranean Bathroom by Richard Luke Architects P.C.

 

What could be more relaxing than soaking in a free-standing soaker tub while a few feet away flames flicker and heat the air? Bathroom fireplaces are becoming more common in Kelowna real estate as homeowners create the ensuite spa of their dreams. The glow of embers in a space that’s otherwise filled with “cold” materials such as stone and tile also gives a bathroom a layer of warmth and movement.

 

The fireplace in the kitchen

Fireplace in the Tudor Residence kitchen
Traditional Kitchen by TEA2 Architects

 

For centuries, humans cooked meals with the heat and by the light of fire, so it seems only natural to have a fireplace in the kitchen. In addition to adding a cosy, natural ambience, it’s also incredibly practical: While we humans now cook with the fuel of gas and electricity, fireplace kitchens often offer the chance to incorporate a pizza oven to melt the tongues and hearts of your guests, and if you own Kelowna real estate, you’re going to be doing a lot of that.

 

The knock-your-Sorels-off fireplace in the living room

Sater Groups Cordillera fireplace in living room
Mediterranean Living Room by Sater Design Collection, Inc.

 

They’re conversation pieces. They’re constant reminders that you have built this home just for you with the finest materials and craftsmanship. They are ambassadors and greeters of your unique and luxurious home. Meet the stunning fireplace of your dreams.

This fireplace features a custom stone-carved mantel and over mantel all from cast stone surround.

 

 

The fireplace outside

Fireplace on a cottage patio
Traditional Patio by Culbertson Durst Interiors

 

If you at all enjoy sitting outside with your partner or a few friends and a glass of wine in the summer, the outdoor fireplace is a must in the Okanagan. Of course, it also means you can stay outside just that much later because you’ve got the heat and light of the fire on your side. Outdoor fireplaces also add an element of architecture to your outdoor space and incorporate fine masonry and local stone. This too is becoming an increasingly common feature in Kelowna real estate.

When you’re looking for the home and fireplace of your dreams in the Okanagan, be sure to have a Kelowna realtor on your side who understands your needs and knows the market. Contact our top-performing realtors at Quincy Vrecko & Associates if you’d like help finding a property with the perfect fireplace.

Kelowna Real Estate 2015: Predictions for Luxury Real Estate

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predicts 2015
Kelowna real estate agent Quincy Vrecko predicts 2015 will be a strong year to buy and sell luxury homes in Kelowna. Much demand will be in waterfront properties, taking advantage of Okanagan Lake’s recreational aspect.

 

Prices climbed, and climbed. Properties sold in days, even hours. If 2014 was an exceptional year for Kelowna real estate, with more homes selling and at prices eight per cent higher than the previous year, what does 2015 have in store for the central Okanagan market, particularly for luxury homes?

Quincy Vrecko, a Kelowna real estate agent who specializes in luxury homes, says the strong market of 2014 is already spilling over into 2015.

“Kelowna had an incredible year in 2014, and we have every indication that 2015 is going to be just as strong. January is typically a quieter month but our phones have been ringing off the hook already,” says Vrecko, who was recently featured in the Global TV news story Okanagan Real Estate Sales Soar in 2014. 

Over the next 12 months, the average residential home sale price is expected to increase by eight by per cent, but while prices are set to rise, the number of homes on the market won’t.

“It’s going to be similar for luxury homes,” says Vrecko.

 

The inventory of luxury homes for sale in Kelowna

In the Okanagan luxury homes sector, inventory is expected to remain low.

“There are very few lakefront lots available, very few building lots available, but the demand is there so we’ll see an increase in values.”

What does that mean for the Albertan or the Manitoban looking for their dream home in Kelowna in 2015?

“Buyers are still going to have some great homes to choose from, but at low levels of inventory, the average day on the market is going to go down, so buyers will need to make a decision quicker.”

In 2014, both active listings and days on market went down 16 per cent compared to 2013. That led to multiple offers and, in some cases, steep competition for beautiful properties in desirable neighbourhoods.

 

Who is buying Kelowna luxury homes in 2015?

While oil prices may rise and fall, you can always count on Prairie winters to be harsh, and the Okanagan to be beautiful.

Vrecko says he expects many of his clients in 2015 to continue to be the Calgarians or the Winnipegers who simply want to be warm, and that will likely never change.

Because of what’s happening in Kelowna real estate in terms of supply and demand, he’s noticing clients who plan to retire in Kelowna in a few years buying property now before prices continue to rise.

“They’re seeing what’s happening in the market, and they’re thinking, ‘Let’s buy now and use it as a vacation home until we’re ready to retire.’”

And as interest rates continue to drop, realtors like Vrecko are expecting the busiest time of the year for buying and selling homes, typically May to July, to kick in a little sooner.

 

What areas are in demand for Okanagan real estate?

When it comes to the average home, activity is expected to remain strong in Kelowna South and the Upper Mission area. With the development around the hospital, Kelowna North is also expected to see more interest.

“For buyers of luxury homes, the demand will continue to be for waterfront properties near central Kelowna and West Kelowna.

“That’s always at the top of the list for our Alberta buyers,” says Vrecko.

When you’re looking for a Kelowna real estate agent who specializes in luxury homes and can help you find your dream waterfront property in 2015, contract Vrecko & Associates.

Okanagan Real Estate Sales Soar in 2014

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2014 Sales

The numbers are in: Kelowna real estate had a banner year in 2014, with Central Okanagan home sales the highest they’ve been in nearly seven years. In this interview with Global TV, Kelowna real estate agent Tracey Vrecko discusses the trend and explores what’s in store for 2015.

 

Video Transcript

Tracey Vrecko shows off one of her listings. It’s in the Upper Mission of Kelowna.

“This is what outdoor living is all about in the Okanagan,” says Vrecko. “Sitting out here and capturing the breathtaking views of this beautiful landscape.”

Vrecko’s part of a husband-wife team (Quincy Vrecko & Associates). They had a very busy 2014 with a 20 per cent increase in their sales over the previous year.

“We’re usually anticipating moderate increases and staying very conservative, ever since the recession, so to see a double-digit increase—a 20 per cent increase—is significant,” says Vrecko.

Even December, which is typically a quiet month in the world of real estate was anything but.

“We did see an unusual amount of activity,” says Vrecko. “Web traffic was up and sales were up. It was a very unusual December.”

Vrecko is not alone. Across the region, residential sales for 2014 were up 24 per cent from the year before, the strongest increase across the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate board in seven years, an area that spans from Revelstoke to the Shuswap to the Central Okanagan.

“This has been a long time coming,” says Tim Evans, member of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board. “There’s been quite a built-up demand. A lot of people have been sitting on the fence waiting to decide when was the right time to buy into the market.”

 

2014 Sales ~ Okanagan Residential Real Estate Sales
Kelowna Real Estate experienced more than a 20 per cent increase in home sales from 2013 to 2014.

 

“We’re now seeing that confidence return to the market,” says Evans. “Prices have stabilized and in some places they’re going up, so the buyers are coming back into the market, especially in the last six months with much improved confidence and assuredness that they’re not going to be buying something that could potentially depreciate in value.”

With inventory going down, the board expects busy times ahead, at least for the valley’s construction industry.

“The building industry is always what then spins through the rest of the economy, from the trades to the supplier to the people who sell trades and furniture and everything else. That benefits the entire Okanagan ecomony.”

It also benefits realtors like Vrecko, who is ready for what she hopes will be another busy year ahead.

“I think in 2015 that momentum is going to continue,” says Vrecko. “I think you’re going to see the first quarter a lot busier than we normally do.”

Read the article on CHBC – Global News Okanagan.

 

Are you looking for your dream home among Kelowna real estate listings right now? Read Quincy Vrecko & Associates‘ post New Year, New Home: Kelowna Luxury Homes for Sale.

New Year, New Dream Home: Kelowna Luxury Homes

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For many, the beginning of a new year brings a bit of reflection: Am I happy? How can I enjoy life to the fullest? If you’ve been thinking about how you can spend 2015 making the most of life, this might be the time to peruse our luxury homes for sale in Kelowna, home to some of the most beautiful vineyards, beaches and golf courses in the world.

If finding the home of your dreams is your New Year’s resolution, and you’re considering moving to the Okanagan or buying a second home in Kelowna, ask yourself these questions:

Your luxury dream home:

dream homeWhere do you want to wake up?
When you are in your dream home, you suddenly realize the value of waking up smiling because you’re in a place that’s not just stunning, but perfectly suited to you.

Do you want to rise from your pillow and catch a view of pristine Okanagan Lake shoreline? Do you want to step into a light-filled ensuite bathroom with heated tiles and imported Italian handles?  Would you like to fill your first coffee cup in a kitchen of fine custom cabinetry handcrafted by a renowned local carpenter?

Kelowna luxury homes let you tick every box that’s important to you. Every moment counts, and there’s no reason not to start your day surrounded by a space that makes you happy.

dream home

Where to do you want to build memories with friends and family?
In the end, what you have is a lifetime of memories: the birthday cakes, the afternoons on the dock, the glasses of syrah at sunset.

By finding your dream home among our real estate listings, you’re able to make a conscious decision to build meaningful memories in the outdoors of the Okanagan, also known as God’s country.

Here, there’s always a fire to gather around, indoors or out. There’s a pool or a lake just footsteps away. There’s a forest or a fairway waiting to be tamed.

dream homeHow do you want to spend your time?
If you love to golf, you should be near great golf (Kelowna is home to nearly 20 golf courses, seven of which are championship tracks). If you want to be warm for the better part of the year and forget about block heaters, you should live in the Okanagan, not Saskatchewan.

We all love the places where we’re from or where we spent the better part of our lives growing a career or a business, but now it’s time to choose where you’ll live so you can enjoy every moment of every day. Life is short. Kelowna luxury homes let you to live the good life.

If 2015 is the year for you to find your dream home, contact the Kelowna real estate agents who specialize in fine homes and luxury properties. Quincy Vrecko & Associates offers some of the most impressive real estate listings in the Okanagan to help you discover what it means to wake up to magnificent architecture, views and activities.

Okanagan-Shuswap Enjoys Best September in Nearly 10 Years

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As luxury Kelowna real estate specialists, we keep an eye not just on our own listings, but also on the wider market here in the Okanagan. That is one of the reasons we pay such close attention to the monthly releases put out by the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

OMREB recently released the sales numbers for September 2014, and we’re very happy to report that September was another great month for the Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market!

In hard numbers, sales of all types of MLS® listed property were up by a massive 32% through the region when compared to September 2013. In fact, the overall numbers represent the best September the area has seen sales-wise since September 2005! In our area specifically, (the Central Okanagan) sales were up 36.3%.

In the media release sent out by the OMREB, President Darcy Griffiths shared some thoughts: “The uptake in summer sales activity in our Board area continued through into September… Reflecting the renewed consumer confidence and demand that began to unfold in the spring, the Okanagan-Shuswap housing market has maintained a strong upward year-over-year and month-over-month sales trajectory since April.”

That is very good news, indeed! Long may our healthy real estate market continue to flourish.

If you have questions about Kelowna/Okanagan real estate, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

Best September

Real Estate Advice: Am I Ready to Buy a Home?

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Home Buyer Quandry

Here at Quincy Vrecko and Associates, we help people buy and sell luxury Kelowna real estate. But while many of our listings are high-end Kelowna homes, we do work with all types of budgets and we have helped many first time home buyers get into the Kelowna real estate market as well.

If you’re wanting to get onto the property ladder, now is a great time to buy a home: the housing market is performing well, interest rates are low and Kelowna rental occupancy rates, and therefore rents, are high.

All that said, buying a home can be a daunting experience. After all, it is a big investment (most likely the biggest that you’ll ever make) and that can lead to caution and second guessing. Of course, you want to think thoroughly about your purchase, but avoid being over-cautious in the process. So, how do you know if you’re ready to buy a home?

 

home buyerYou’re in a Good Place Financially

The most important part of the puzzle. Obviously, if you’re looking to get into the market, you need to have the money set aside for a down payment. Not only that, you need to have consistent income to cover your mortgage payments and some money in your savings for unexpected emergencies, etc.

 

home buyerYou Know Where You Want to Live & Your Life is Settled

There’s little point in buying a home if you think you may be jetting off to Australia for a year right after you’ve moved in. Moreover, if your life is not settled and you’re not sure what you’re going to be up to in six months, it’s probably not the best time to buy. If you’re ready to commit and your life is settled, that’s another good indication you may be ready to buy.

 

home buyerYou’re Aware of What You’re Looking For

If you’re wanting to buy a home, you need to think about what you’re after. Are you looking for a large family home with a sizeable backyard, or are you looking for a downtown Kelowna condo? Knowing what you’re looking for is another good indication you’re ready to dive in and take the plunge. If you are looking for homes in Kelowna, you can browse Tracey’s listings of fine Kelowna homes or Quincy Vrecko’s luxury homes listings.

If you’re looking to buy or sell property in Kelowna or the surrounding area, please contact us. We can help!

A Strong Summer for the Okanagan-Shuswap Real Estate Market

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Okanagan-Shuswap

Well, September is here and fall is just around the corner. The August sales stats from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) have also arrived at Quincy Vrecko and Associates, so that means we can take a look back at how the Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market performed over the course of summer 2014.

It’s fair to say that the market has bubbled along nicely all summer long. Indeed, July 2014 was the best July that the Okanagan real estate market has seen since 1980! August was also a strong month with sales on all MLS® property types up 23% overall, compared to the figures for August 2013.

In a press release discussing the stats, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board President Darcy Griffiths stated: “Year-over-year and month-over-month, the Okanagan-Shuswap housing market continues to strengthen and has maintained a strong upward sales trend for the past six months as we make steady strides toward recovery… More buyer activity in the higher price range reflects the renewed confidence of BC consumers as our provincial economy improves and the return of Alberta buyers as they cash in on booming job opportunities and accelerated market values in their province.”

The region that saw the most significant improvement in sales activity for August 2014 over the same month for 2013 was the Shuswap, with an increase of 34%. Meanwhile, the Central Okanagan’s figures were up 23% and the North Okanagan saw an increase of 15%.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a piece of luxury Kelowna real estate or a modest family home, please contact us.

3 Key Reasons Why Kelowna’s Future is Bright

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BRIGHT FUTURE

Kelowna is a beautiful, thriving city with many things going for it. Over the past couple of decades, the city has experienced incredible growth and the future promises to be just as bright for Kelowna. Of course, nobody knows for sure what the future will hold, but all indicators suggest that the city is going to experience healthy and sustained growth and all the things that come along with it for the foreseeable future, making it a great place to invest in real estate, or to consider relocating to.

Here are just three of the many reason’s why Kelowna’s future is bright for both homeowners and real estate investors.

 

Growing University

UBC-Okanagan opened its doors in 2005 and since then the campus has experienced sustained growth with many graduates passing through its doors. In the coming years, the city will hope to keep an ever-increasing number of those graduates here in Kelowna as greater job opportunities become available. This can only be a good thing for the area as it increases the educated workforce and strengthens the city as a place for families to call home.

The growing post-secondary campuses in Kelowna also mean that there is great opportunity for rental properties, whether it’s condos, carriage houses, or basement suites for students.

 

Flourishing Tech Industry

Speaking of opportunities, Kelowna’s tech sector has been flourishing over the last number of years, becoming increasingly important to the local economy. You may have heard that Disney purchased Kelowna’s Club Penguin in August 2007 for $350.93-million. This trend of a growing and strong tech industry looks set to continue with a new Downtown Kelowna Innovation Centre on the horizon, setting up Kelowna to become Canada’s Silicon Valley.

A burgeoning tech industry brings a greater influx of jobs, many of which may be high-paying, creating an increased demand for luxury real estate in the area. Of course, there will also be plenty of tech-types looking to live among culture and nightlife downtown, and the young families will be looking for a place to call home too.

 

Heavy Investment from the City

In recent years, the City of Kelowna has invested significant sums of money improving Kelowna’s infrastructure and transport links (a good example of this being the ever expanding Kelowna International Airport), amenities and upgrading various areas of town. More recently, the City of Kelowna is continuing its downtown revitalization project on Ellis street. This has coincided with significant outside investment, and the coming years are sure to see further significant investment and development in and around Kelowna.

There are a great deal of reasons to live in this beautiful city, and not only is there much to enjoy today, there’s so much to look forward to tomorrow!

If you have any questions about the real estate market in Kelowna, or need any advice, please contact us.

Kelowna Housing Statistics May 2017

Kelowna housing market statistics

As of May 26, 2017 there are currently 114 properties for sale in Kelowna listed as active, with an average Kelowna housing asking price of $552,729. The highest-priced property is $1,895,000; the lowest priced property can be purchased for $125,000.

Kelowna neighbourhood listings have an average price of $342 per square foot, based on listings with 2.6 bedrooms, 2.6 baths, and 1,637 square feet of living space.

Contact Quincy Vrecko and Associates for more info.

Kelowna Housing

Read more

Downtown Kelowna Revitalization

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Kelowna’s luxury real estate market may be our main focus. We like to keep our fingers on the pulse of all developments in the city that we call home! That leads us to a really exciting bit of recent news… The continuing revitalization of Kelowna’s downtown core.

REVITALIZATION WRAPPING UP

Kelowna’s $14-million revitalization project Bernard Avenue completed earlier this year. Bernard Ave is known as downtown Kelowna’s “Main Street” attracting locals & tourists. The City of Kelowna has turned its attention to Ellis Street, between Bernard Avenue and the library parkade (just past Doyle Avenue).

revitalization

UPCOMING REVITALIZATION

Kelowna City Council gave its backing to the Ellis Street Corridor Plan last month. We will see this area of the street become more aesthetically pleasing, more friendly to pedestrians & cyclists. The street has new sidewalks and bike lanes included in the plans.

The Ellis Street Corridor Plan will see new trees, left-turn lanes, Urban Braille to aid the visually impaired and much more. The Ellis Street Corridor Plan will be completed in phases over a number of years, similar to the recent Bernard Ave project.

The timing of this project is excellent with several new buildings in the works. We are expecting to see the Innovation Centre, Interior Health Authority and an expansion to the library parkade with retail space. And that’s just the beginning. Several other exciting projects are in the works for the Ellis Street area. This all comes on the back of a strong period of development for downtown. The downtown core has seen everything from luxury condos to the construction of Stuart Park.

Homeowners within the Ellis Street Corridor Plan area will no doubt be very happy with the planned projects. Property values are likely to increase in what is already a very attractive area! We’re fans of the lovely Abbott Street area just a short distance from downtown. Abbott Street is home to wonderful luxury Kelowna waterfront real estate if this is what you’re looking for.

It is such an exciting time to live in Kelowna! If you’re in the market for a luxury Kelowna home, or you have any questions about the city, please contact us.