Quincy Vrecko & Associates Win Silver in Best of Kelowna!

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On Tuesday morning, the winners for the Best of Kelowna 2014 were announced on KelownaNow.com. We were thrilled to find that we have been awarded with a Silver Medal for Best Realtor or Real Estate team in the second annual competition!

The promotion has been going on for several weeks with a nomination period and then a couple of weeks for people to send in their votes. In total, the competition received 184,000 votes and we are so excited to be among the best that this great city has to offer.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate and vote for us. Your support is the best vote of confidence that we could receive and we will continue to work hard for our clients so that next year, we can make it all the way to the top!

Thank you, Kelowna!

 

How to Price Your Home for Sale

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Evaluating the price of your home can be done in several ways. You will want to work with your realtor to asses the other houses in the neighborhood and see what they are valued at, review the selling prices of recently sold homes, and take into account any new upgrades or upgrades that need to be done. Listed below are important things to take into consideration when pricing your home to sell:

    • Ask a realtor for advice and a home evaluation.
      • Realtors do not just sell homes, they provide an essential service for helping you on your quest of selling or buying your home. They have expert advice and a deep understanding of the current real estate market. More importantly, they have access to specific housing information that is not provided to the public, which is why working with a realtor is more successful than selling your home on your own. For an introduction to market evaluations, check out our previous post: What is a Market Evaluation?

 

    • Make sure the market timing is right.
      • You can find market reports online through the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board. These can give you an idea of whether home sales are strong or weak and whether you should consider waiting for a little while. Be sure to go over these stats with your realtor as they can explain discrepancies, such as weak home sales due to a lack of inventory.

 

    • Find out what the housing demand is in your area. If your neighbour’s home has been on the market for a while, the demand in your area may be low and you will need to price it accordingly if you want a quick sale.
      • Find out is it is a buyers market or a sellers market. If there are way more homes for sale than there are buyers you will need a good strategy – and a good price – to sell.

 

    • See what is trending.
      • Check to see if your neighborhood is up and coming or maybe has a bad image. These things can greatly affect the demand from potential buyers. Do some online research and ask a realtor for current trends in your area. If your neighbourhood is in demand, you may be able to get a better price for your property.

 

  • Make necessary upgrades before you list.
    • Today’s home buyers are savvy researchers who have been educated by the internet and endless amounts of real estate TV shows. They will pick your home apart and try to drive the cost down on things that need to be upgraded. Kitchens and bathrooms are the main selling features of every home, so if you are going to invest on upgrades do them in there.

Consider trying strategic pricing. For example, if the houses in your neighborhood are dropping in price by 2% per month, and you would like to sell your home in 2 months, then drop your price at the start 4% lower. This way you will not have to drop the price over time and have the competitive edge. Pricing your home incorrectly will cost you extra money so contact Quincy Vrecko and Associates and take advantage of our expert advice.

Kelowna to Spend $50 Million on Capital Projects in 2014

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Kelowna is starting to boom once again! The 2008 recession had halted many development projects but recently we are seeing a spectacular turnaround. This also means that we are seeing many large, noticeable capital projects taking shape, including a new bridge on Lakeshore Road – particularly great news for those in the lower and upper Mission neighbourhoods of Kelowna.

Over $50 million dollars will be spent on designing and constructing development projects throughout the city. The 2014 plans include upgrading existing infrastructure and the creation of new amenities.

Some of the major projects planned for 2014 are:

  • Strathcona Park upgrades
  • Two new downtown parkades
  • New transit upgrades for the Queensway terminal
  • Lakeshore road bridge replacement
  • Kinsmen Park upgrades
  • Okanagan College transit upgrade
  • Finishing up the Bernard Avenue revitalization
  • Lakeshore Road upgrades that will increase the walkability and bikeability
  • An extension of a left-turn lane at Gordon Drive and Highway 97

Communication of construction plans will be posted on the City of Kelowna website and on their social media pages. It is recommended to check the updates regularly because of alternative traffic routes and developments that could affect your daily life.

Full descriptions and photos of developments and upgrades can be found here on the City of Kelowna website.

Kelowna Real Estate Report – February 2014 Shows Strong Growth!

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The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board has released the numbers for February 2014, and they are great! Sales are up, including big numbers for luxury real estate, where more than 20 listings over $1 million have sold already this year!

Whether you are looking for a low-maintenance vacation condo or a luxury waterfront home, the team at Quincy Vrecko & Associates can help you find the Kelowna property of your dreams. Contact us today to learn more about this hotbed of real estate and see what we can do for you.

Choosing a Neighborhood in Kelowna

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Kelowna is a community with character and a variety of sunny lifestyles to offer. How, then, do you choose which local neighbourhood is right for you when you start the search for your perfect home?

Kelowna North, or Downtown Kelowna, is an active cultural district situated between the Okanagan Lake, Knox Mountain, Highway 97, and Gordon Drive. Downtown is a happening place replete with unique boutiques and places to eat, as well as beautiful tree-lined avenues for relaxed recreation and amenities such as pharmacies and medical centres. If you want to be in the centre of it all, with access to all of the things that make Kelowna such a neat place to live, Downtown may well be the right place for you.

The Upper Mission, Knox Mountain, Glenmore, and Dilworth all provide a similar feeling of being out-of-the-way of the busyness of life while being simultaneously only a hop, skip, and a jump from all of Kelowna’s major features. These neighbourhoods each have a unique character, as well: Upper Mission is nestled among woods and walking trails, comprising a mix of newer and older homes without a single condominium in sight; Knox Mountain is great for hiking and is near the lake, with popular swimming spots scattered among the arrowroot along its lower ridges; Glenmore is expansive and generously treed, with a sense of community that stems from its history as well as its many self-contained amenities; and Dilworth is a beautiful hillside district that boasts stunning views of Okanagan Lake. A little further out, but similar, is the region of Black Mountain.

The Lower Mission, Kelowna South, and West Kelowna all offer lakeside property, which can be a huge draw as it really is the pinnacle of Okanagan luxury living. These areas have also been seeing huge and ongoing development, meaning that they are likely to retain and perhaps increase in value. Each has its own array of local shopping, restaurants, cafes, and services to offer its residents as well, making all of them excellent places to either live as a family or on your own.

Springfield/Spall and Rutland are mostly bounded by city, but have a self-contained feeling as a result which makes them homey places to be. Each also has access to the beautiful Mission Creek Greenway, making most of the other central neighbourhoods of Kelowna only a refreshing bicycle ride away. These communities are also older, making them more established. Everything you need for living will be easily found within these districts, as well as opportunities for recreation and fun.

If you want to learn more, you can check out videos of each neighbourhood.

Whichever of these diverse locations you choose, Kelowna has everything you could need and more. It is a stunning city that well represents British Columbia’s commitment to integrating modern, convenient living into a well-respected environment, and Kelowna’s recreational lifestyle makes it a fun and healthy choice for families everywhere. We know that you’ll find settling into any of our truly stellar neighbourhoods an exciting adventure to be looked back on with warmth for years to come.

If you have any real estate questions or need advice, please contact us; we’d be happy to help!

Kelowna Relocation Guide

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Moving to a new city can be difficult. It helps to know where you can find the services, facilities, and amenities that you need to make your new city your home. With this in mind, Quincy Vrecko & Associates have teamed up with WelcometoKelowna.com to offer a free comprehensive Relocation Guide for Kelowna, British Columbia.

Featuring stunning photos of our picturesque city, the Relocation Guide includes information about Kelowna’s history, industries, cultural facilities and organizations, sports and recreation, and more. Whether you are curious about Kelowna’s cultural district, the plentiful golf courses in the area, or skiing at Big White Mountain Resort, the Relocation Guide covers it all.

Within the pages of this beautifully designed guide, you will also find information for local utility agencies, RCMP, protective services, and health care. The guide contains information for every question that you may have when relocating to Kelowna, helping to make the transition easier for you and your family.

To download your Free copy of the Relocation Guide, visit http://www.quincyvrecko.com/resources/kelowna-relocation-guide/. The download will begin automatically and you can peruse the guide no matter your current location.

What is a Market Evaluation?

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A market evaluation is a great way to learn more about the value of your property in the real estate marketplace. If you are considering selling your home, a market evaluation can help you set a realistic list price for your property. We offer a free online market evaluation tool that can help us assess your home and determine what your home may sell for in the current real estate climate.

Multiple factors are analyzed when assessing the market value of your property, including location, age, size, amenities, and comparable homes that are currently on the market or that have recently been sold. Price is arguably the most important aspect of selling a property and a well-priced home can attract a buyer quickly, without undercutting the value of the property. Having a market evaluation can help you make a more informed decision when it comes to listing a property, giving you an idea of what your property may sell for in the current real estate market and financial climate.

You can start your own free market evaluation with our convenient online form. It will help us make an initial assessment of your property’s value, and we can then work with you to get a more accurate market evaluation. In order to determine the most accurate price range for your property, we can also arrange to view it in person, at no cost and no obligation to you.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at Quincy@QuincyVrecko.com and Tracey@QuincyVrecko.com. We look forward to working with you!

Kelowna: a City for all Seasons

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When it comes to the real estate market in Kelowna, one of the city’s biggest selling points is that it is a city for all seasons, and it really is! With four distinct seasons, including scorchingly hot summers, and all sorts of activities from great skiing to award-winning wines and amazing golf courses, 12 months of the year, Kelowna is a playground!

If you haven’t checked out our Kelowna relocation guide yet, you should! It’s stacked with lots of excellent info to help you navigate Kelowna, and best of all, it’s free! The guide has details on everything from Kelowna’s vibrant cultural life through to shops, fine dining and more.

While our guide is detailed and comprehensive, we thought we’d outline some of the reasons that Kelowna is a city for all seasons, because it is something that comes up a lot!

Spring

Spring is a great time to get out on the golf course and perfect your swing! Kelowna boasts a number of magnificent golf courses.

Summer

In the summer, Kelowna’s population swells as vacationers visit the city, and it’s easy to see why. With award-winning wineries, plentiful beaches, a glistening lake and all of the activities that go along with that, such as boating and wakeboarding, Kelowna is THE place to be in the summer. The hottest recorded temperature in Kelowna’s history occurred in August 1998, with the mercury hitting 41.0c. Don’t worry though, it’s not always that hot!

Fall

The fall is a great time to visit the summit of Kelowna’s Knox Mountain, or a similar vantage point, and take in a spectacular view of the city with all those lovely fall colours on display. It’s also a great time to hike one of the many trails around Kelowna, as the temperature cools off, but remains warm in comparison to other Canadian cities.

Winter

When it comes to winter fun, the big activities are skiing and snowboarding, and Big White Ski Resort is world class destination for both. Big White is popular with both locals and tourists alike, and offers something for the whole family – even if skiing isn’t your thing.

Obviously, there’s so much more to do and see in Kelowna too, so download our free Kelowna relocation guide and see what you’re missing!

If you have any questions about the Kelowna real estate market, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Before You Move: A Basic Checklist

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No matter how many times you’ve moved, it’s always a very exciting, but stressful experience. That’s why so many hire reinforcements to help us make the big move – anything that helps make the process a little easier is gladly welcome.

If you are hiring movers, be sure to plan in advance. Ask friends and family if they’ve used movers before and search the internet for reviews. Ask movers to come and provide you with a quote. If you’re looking to be as cost-effective as possible, get a few different quotes and let movers know that you’re looking for the best deal possible. Keep in mind that weekends (including long weekends) are often busiest for movers, so availability may be more difficult to come by during these times and rates may also be more expensive.

Another thing that helps to make the moving process easier is pre-planning. Regardless of whether you’re hiring movers or not, here’s a handy basic checklist to help make your move as stress-free as possible:

  • Before starting the packing process, donate or get rid of any items you no longer need or use. There’s no point moving things you don’t need or want!
  • Even if you’re hiring movers, you’ll likely need to pack up your housewares. As soon as possible before your move (at least a month before), gather of all the packing items you’ll need: boxes, bubble wrap, tape, sharpies etc.
  • After that, start packing up the items in your home that you use the least. From there, pack things up steadily until your move date. Pack things up in order of least used to most used. Be sure to accurately label all boxes so things are easy to find in your new home.
  • Get your papers in order. Update your address with organizations, schools, medical offices, banks, insurance companies, magazine subscriptions etc, where necessary – try to do as much of this as you can online (it’s much easier). You can also arrange for Canada Post to forward mail sent to your old address to your new address, just in case you missed anything.
  • A couple of weeks or so before your move, arrange for utilities, cable, internet etc. to be shut off at your current home, and setup in your name at your new house.

If you are new to Kelowna, check out our relocation guide, which has lots of information on local services and activities.

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

How To Choose a Realtor

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Selecting the right realtor to represent you and sell your home is a very important decision. Choosing the right realtor may take some patience and it will take some research, but it can be done. Not only that, but choosing the right real estate agent can help you sell your home faster, which makes the patience and research worthwhile in the end. Here are some tips for picking the right realtor:

Look For The Personal Touch

Select a realtor who you can deal with directly. This personal touch is not an industry standard, particularly in high value real estate, and being able to deal directly with your agent can be very valuable.

Select a Realtor With a History of Success Selling Homes Like Yours

Pick a successful realtor, but not only that, pick a realtor who is skilled in selling homes similar to yours. That way they’ll understand the value of your property and the type of buyers who are suited to a home like yours. Most realtors will have their recently sold homes listed on their website, so take a look at them and see if they resemble your own.

Check Referrals and Conduct Interviews

If you know friends, family or coworkers that have recently worked with realtors, ask them for their thoughts and opinions. This can be highly useful feedback. Don’t be afraid to interview agents – real estate is a business and if you’re looking for someone to sell your home, interview them as if they are applying to work for you in a business capacity. Take your time, and don’t rush into it.

Visit Your Potential Agent(s) in a Sales Environment

Consider visiting your potential agent(s) at an open house, where you can analyze their people and sales skills. This will provide you with some insight into how your agent operates, their level of professionalism, and their ability to interact and communicate with buyers.

In the end, after all that research, referral checking and careful consideration, you’ll have to make the final decision. Be sure to select an agent who seems to understand you, your needs, your lifestyle and the people you hope to sell to.

To find out how we can work for you, contact us today.