Buying Tips

When buying a home — whether it’s your first, second, or a getaway vacation home– you’re bound to have many questions. My Web site offers a wealth of information about the home finding and buying process:

Buying a Home? Here’s How I’ll Help You.

Helping You Find The Perfect Home To Suit Your Requirements: I’ll make sure you are presented with a selection of homes that suit your needs and requirements. I’ll take the time to find out exactly what your needs are. Then I’ll use all the modern search tools available to find a selection of homes that meet your criteria. I will then pre-screen all the homes on the list to ensure that they fit your requirements, so you don’t waste your valuable time. If you’re out of town, I can take digital photos and e-mail them to you.

Personal, Attentive Service: When you’re touring the homes I have selected for you, I will ensure that I make the time available that you require. I will help point out the features of each neighbourhood that fit with your lifestyle. If you’re moving to Kelowna, I’ll help you find all the essential services you require, and I’ll make sure you receive all the information you require, in advance.

Negotiation: Once you find your perfect home, I’ll help you negotiate the best deal for you, and make sure that the whole procedure goes smoothly.

Ongoing Commitment and Service For You: Even after the deal is completed and you have moved into your new home, my commitment does not.

FREE Buyer’s Book

We have compiled a 52 page FREE Buyer’s Book to assist you in the process of buying a home in the Okanagan.  From looking for a home, to understanding taxes and other costs you will have in a transaction, to writing an offer that protects your interestes, to scheduling events leading to closings, and much more, we have put all the information you need to be properly informed throughout the transaction together for you.  Just call us and we will be happy to send you a copy.

Choosing a Real Estate Professional

Whether you are selling or buying a home, selecting a real estate sales professional is one of the most important decisions you will make during the process.

There are some very important things you should consider when choosing a real estate professional. One of the first considerations is who the agent represents during the process.

The Agency Relationship

It is important that you know the differences between a professional who represents a Seller (the “traditional” role of a sales associate), a professional who represents a Buyer and one who represents both. In British Columbia, real estate professionals are now legally obliged to disclose, in writing, information on the various types of real estate agency relationships that exist.

Canadian Agency Law

In Canada, the Agency law has recently been changed. Historically, both the listing agent and the selling agent have both been agents for the Seller, under a system known as “assumed sub-agency.” This situation is now reversed, with assumed Buyer Agency now being the norm; in most cases, the salesperson working for the Buyer is an agent for the Buyer. The code of ethics requires the salespeople to disclose to the parties, and each other, the nature of their agency relationship.

Seller’s Agent – A real estate professional becomes a Seller’s Agent by entering into a listing agreement to represent the seller’s interests. The Seller’s Agent can provide information to assist the Buyer, but they must place the interests of the seller first. A Buyer should not disclose anything to the Seller’s Agent they do not want the Seller to know.

Buyer’s Agent – In British Columbia, a real estate professional representing the Buyer is considered to be a Buyer’s Agent by unless the Buyer wishes to purchase a property that is listed by the salesperson or another salesperson in the same office. The Buyer’s Agent must place the interests of the buyer first. A Seller should not tell the Buyer’s Agent anything they would not want the buyer to know, because the Buyer’s Agent must disclose any pertinent information to the buyer.

Dual Agent – Dual agency occurs when a real estate agent is representing both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction. Since the salesperson has promised a duty of confidentiality, loyalty and full disclosure to both parties simultaneously, it is necessary to limit these duties in this situation, if both parties consent. In these cases, the agent is obligated to disclose this position and have both parties sign a Limited Dual Agency Agreement.

No Agency Agreement – You may also use the services of a REALTOR®, without having any kind of Agency relationship. This might occur, for example, when you are being shown a property by the seller’s agent. The REALTOR® you choose to work with, in this situation, has a legal and ethical duty to provide you with accurate, honest answers to your questions and can provide you some services.

A REALTOR® who is not your Agent cannot:

Helpful Information Recommend or suggest a price.
Helpful Information Negotiate on your behalf.
Helpful Information Inform you of his/her principal’s top/bottom line.
Helpful Information Disclose any confidential information about his/her principal
Helpful Information unless otherwise authorized.

You should not provide a REALTOR® who is not your agent any information that you would not provide directly to his or her principal.

If you are buying a home, the real estate professional you interview should cover the following:

Helpful Information Agency relationships
Helpful Information How much home you can afford
Helpful Information The difference between being “pre-qualified” for a mortgage and being “pre-approved” for a mortgage
Helpful Information Key features you “must have” in your new home vs. those you would like to have
Helpful Information How to evaluate and compare the homes you see
Helpful Information An overview of the local standard Contract For Purchase and
Helpful Information Sale along with typical addenda and give you a copy for review
Helpful Information The types of inspections you will want to have done on the property you select

Second Homes

It’s here today and building momentum. Why? Because demographics and technology are converging to create a historic opportunity for both buyers and sellers.

There are an estimated 90 million Baby Boomers alone in the Canada and the US today. Those born between 1946 and 1964 totalled 70% more people than were born during the preceding two decades.

The first of the baby boomers just turned 50, starting in 1996. The last of the boomers will be turning 50 in 2014. And since people are most likely to purchase a second home between the ages of 45 and 64, this affluent group of homebuyers could be buying second homes until the year 2030.

Today, thanks to technology, second homes are becoming a place to work as well as play. How you use a second home is up to you. But if it’s something you’ve been considering, now is the time to get the information you need to make an informed decision.

What about me?

You’d probably like to know what kinds of people are currently buying second homes. Well, married couples with or without children are almost twice as likely to own second homes as single persons. Most are over 35 years of age. And the fastest growing segment of buyers are age 35 to 54, without children at home.

What are the preferred locations?

The best locations are no more than two to three hours away from major metropolitan areas by car or plane. For example, Torontonians like Cottage Country. Vancouverites head for Whistler, the Gulf Islands, or the Okanagan. Albertans head for the ski/golf communities of the Rockies or the Okanagan, which offers more year-round variety.

The Okanagan’s appeal as a second home community is based on several factors. The comfortable climate contributes to this as do the number of recreational possibilities. Not many communities offer world class skiing and boarding, golf, boating and water sports, wine tasting and touring and all the other Okanagan activities, in such proximity. There are a number of golf communities, ski villages, waterfront properties, and other recreational properties, available at relatively reasonable prices.

Kelowna Airport provides easy access to several major centres, with several direct flights to Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. In addition, highway access to Vancouver is relatively easy.

What makes for “successful” second home locations?

Natural beauty is great, but don’t forget about cultural and social resources, as well as first rate golf, tennis and other popular sports facilities.

How important is personal safety?

Second homes are a discretionary purchase, and everyone wants to feel secure in his or her environment. That’s why gated and guarded residential communities will continue to increase. And locations like the Okanagan, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which are removed from most urban problems, continue to be attractive.

What will be my return on investment?

We won’t even try to predict the future. But we can tell you that you’ll get more enjoyment out of a property you can get to quickly and can use frequently. And since you know your area, chances are you’ll make a better real estate investment closer to home. And be sure to look at each property with an eye toward tomorrow, because the vacation homes likely to appreciate the most are the ones that boomers can play in today and retire in tomorrow.

Let us help you explore the best real estate option for you.

Vacation Living

Turn the vacation spot of your dreams into a vacation home for a lifetime! It’s not just the location, it’s the lifestyle. It’s the place you’d be tomorrow if you could find a way to make it happen. Well, owning a resort property and enjoying the lifestyle that comes with it may start as a dream, but for many it’s become a reality. And it could be your reality.

If you’re like the 90 million baby boomers now entering their middle years, you may be feeling a strong emotional pull to lead a more balanced life. You want a get-away place. A place to spend more time with your family. That’s why a resort property may make more sense than ever.

Thanks to technology, resort properties are now more than just a place to vacation. They’re becoming a place to live part time now, and a place to enjoy later in your retirement.

According to a survey by a prominent marketing and public opinion research firm, a vacation home has become the number one status symbol among Americans and Canadians. Almost 70% of those asked say they consider owning a second home a symbol of achievement.

The resort property segment of the real estate industry gives every indication of outpacing traditional residential sales in the years to come. Having a retreat in Key West, Mackinaw Island, Vail or Maui isn’t necessarily something people can’t live without. But it’s certainly something most people can see themselves living with and enjoying for years to come.

What are my choices?

It all depends on the lifestyle you prefer. Do you enjoy golf, tennis, snow skiing, sailing or camping? You should be looking at areas that fit your lifestyle choices. The Okanagan offers all these in one area, at surprisingly reasonable prices.

Should I buy now?

It’s never too soon to pursue your dreams. Today, the appreciation in many resort areas is better than in major metropolitan areas. So it’s a perfect time to seriously consider investing in a resort property that you can appreciate now and for years to come. The time to start making your move is now, before the Baby Boomers inflate the prices of vacation homes the way they did in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

What’s my next step?

Check with me for a complete selection of vacation homes to suit your requirements. The excellent pricing of properties in the Okanagan is sure to increase, as more and more people from around North America discover it.