Thursday, 26 May 2011

Quail Ridge Open House Saturday June 4th -1 p.m. & 4 p.m.

2246 Quail Run Drive Kelowna Priced at $574,900.

We have just listed this beautiful 4 Bedroom 3 Bathroom home in Quail Ridge and would like to offer our neighbours the opportunity to view it during our open house on Saturday June 4th between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

For more information and photos please view -

Video -:

Tell your friends!!

We look forward to seeing you.

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The importance of First Time Buyers in Real Estate

First-time-Home-Buyers-Mortgage If you've ever wondered how vital first-time buyers are to the real estate market, here's the answer.

The Altus Group's "FIRM Residential Mortgage Survey" shows first-time home buyers accounted for about half of all homes sold in Canada in the last two years. That's more than a quarter million sales each year.

“First-time buyers make the home-sales world go around," states the report. They play "an important role as buyers in the newly built market and also in purchasing existing homes..." 


Friday, 20 May 2011

Where did the Home Buyers come from in April 2011 - read the latest OMREB Buyers Survey results.

The results of OMREB's April 2011 Buyers Survey are in! A total of 100 respondents participated in this survey – 28% response rate for the 440 deals completed by OMREB members representing Buyers for April, or 31% of the 328 OMREB sales representatives who closed sales on behalf of Buyers last month.

April Survey Summary

Property Type:
27.7% of purchases were by Move Up Buyers
14.9% Moving from Single Family to Home Strata unit
10.6% by First Time Buyers
6.4% buying Revenue/Investment Property
6.4% Recreation Property Buyers
6.4% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community
5.3% moving from Strata property to Single Family Home

Family Dynamic:
32.3% of Buyers were Two Parent Families with Children
24.2% Empty Nesters or Retired
17.2% Couples without Children
13.1% Single Females
10.1% Single Males
5.1% Single Parent Families with Children

54.2% financed via Conventional Mortgage (with more than 20% down)
34.4% paid by Cash
13.5% by High Ratio Mortgage (less than 20% down)
1% required Rental Income to Qualify for Financing

Moving From:
54.5% from Within OMREB Board Area
21.2% from Alberta
12.1% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island
5.1% from Other Areas in BC
5.1% from Manitoba/Maritimes
2% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba
0% from Outside Canada

Moving To:
56% of purchases were in Kelowna/West Kelowna
13% in Vernon/Coldstream
10% in Shuswap/Revelstoke (other than Salmon Arm)
10% in Central Okanagan (other than Kelowna/West Kelowna)
6% in Salmon Arm
5% in North Okanagan (other than Vernon/Coldstream)
Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

7 Factors that devalue a good home.

If you're considering selling your home, there are a number of factors that can affect the resale value of your property. Some of these issues may devalue your home or scare some potential buyers away entirely, even if your home is an otherwise outstanding property! Consider these seven factors when listing your home.


Monday, 16 May 2011

What you need to know about Buying a Condo in British Columbia.

If you are a First Time Buyer or thinking of purchasing your first Condo property in B.C. this article is designed to help you with some of the ‘jargon’ you may come across and some of the things you will need to consider.

What is a Strata or Condominium?
In British Columbia the words Strata and Condominium mean the same thing.

A Strata Development is a special way of subdividing a building or land into strata lots together with common property.
A Developer subdivides a building, or land, into strata lots and common or shared property by depositing a strata plan at the Land Title Office.

There are 2 types of strata plans; those that subdivide buildings and those that subdivide land.
Strata developments often involve buildings. Typically, the Strata Plan divides the building into 2 or more strata lots with common property, and usually the boundary between lots is midway between the structural portion of each wall, floor or ceiling.

Strata Plans that subdivide land are called Bare Land Strata (BLS) Plans. The boundaries of a BLS exist in a horizontal plane by reference to survey markers, as shown in the strata plan. The difference between a standard land lot and a BLS lot is the presence of common property in the BLS plan.

A Developer may provide common facilities like recreation rooms, BBQ sites, roads, etc. when creating a Strata or Bare Land Strata. In a BLS these common assets become the responsibility of the owners to maintain.
When it comes to strata fees the standard strata fees are usually more than the BLS, as they use the additional fees to maintain the roof, painting, windows, paying for common utilities and general maintenance of the entire property, whereas in the BLS the owner usually takes care of their own maintenance.

What should you consider before making an offer to buy a condo?

1.       The type of ownership: “freehold” or “leasehold” – In most condominium developments, people own the freehold to their strata lots. These are called freehold developments – each owner holds “fee simple title”. We are starting to see more leasehold developments in the Central Okanagan, in these cases, the Developer will lease the property as the ‘leasehold tenant’ for a term of 50 years or more from the federal, provincial or municipal government or some other public authority. The landowner is known as the ‘leasehold landlord’ and the Developer leases the land under a ‘ground lease’ (sometimes called a ‘head lease’) that sets out the terms and conditions. The buyer from the Developer then registers their interest as a ‘ leasehold tenant’

2.       The Title to the Strata lot – this may limit the use of the strata lot or affect its value. With the assistance of your Lawyer – check for Easements, Rights of Way, Covenants, Liens and any outstanding mortgages on the property. You need to ensure you will be able to receive ‘free and clear’ title on closing.

3.       The Strata Plan – You should receive a copy of the Strata Plan as part of the Strata Information Pack for your Agent. Check the location and area of your strata lot and see if any limited common property features are attached to your strata lot.- E.G. Parking and Storage Lockers. (Note -Limited Common Property means common property designated for the exclusive use of the owners of one or more strata lots).

4.       The Disclosure Statement – if you’re buying a new condominium in a development with 5 or more strata lots, the developer must supply a Disclosure Statement under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act. Read the Disclosure Statement and any amendments – they have a lot of important information about the project. If you are buying a ‘used’ condo the current owner will provide you with a copy of the Property Disclosure Statement, which they have completed with their Agent, providing details on the property, such as whether there is still Home Warranty available or whether there are any defects to the property that you should be aware of.

5.       The Form B Certificate – on making an offer on a property your Agent will ask the Strata Corporation for a Form B. This is a very important document, as it is an Information Certificate regarding the property which will include the Strata’s finances, the money the strata lot owes for strata fees, and other obligations, such as a special levy. It also shows if the strata corporation has adopted any new bylaws not yet filed at the Land Title Office, and whether the strata corporation is involved in any lawsuits or arbitration.

6.       Reading the Financial Statements and understanding the Contingency Reserve – these show the Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet of the Strata, together with any special levies to cover major expenses such as repairs. They also show how much is in the contingency reserve fund. (Strata corporations must have a contingency reserve fund to pay for common expenses that usually occur less often than once a year; or do not usually occur.

7.       Does the property have a Rental Disclosure Statement ( Form J) – if a Developer intends to rent one or more residential strata lots , under the Strata Property Act he is required to file a Form J with the Superintendent of Real Estate. It must state the number of residential strata lots in the development, number of units rented so far and when the rental period expire; the number of additional units which may be rented and if there is a by law that restricts rentals.

8.       What are the Monthly Strata fees and are they likely to rise?  – all strata lot owners must pay strata fees for their strata lot. The ‘Schedule of Unit Entitlement’ provides a number that is used in calculations to determine the strata lot's share of (a) the common property and common assets, and (b) the common expenses and liabilities of the strata corporation.  The strata fees are based on the strata corporation’s annual budget, so check the current budget. Bear in mind that your monthly strata fees will pay your share of the upkeep for things such as recreational facilities – even if you never use them.

9.       What do the Strata Fees cover? – It is important to check what is covered within your strata fees. It will typically cover management of the building, landscaping, recreational facilities, snow removal, trash removal, road repairs and insurance. It may or may not include such things as heat and water, so it is important to check.

10.   Are the Strata land and buildings in a good state of repair? – the general rule is that every owner must contribute to common expenses, such as repairs. If the development is in poor repair, you will have to pay your share of the cost to fix it, even if the repairs do not involve your strata lot.  This may be by ‘Special Levy’ or increased Strata Fees. By reviewing the minutes of the Strata Meetings (usually the last 2 years) you can see if any repairs are scheduled and if so what your share of the costs will be.

11.   Review the Strata Insurance Policy – one of the most important questions a Buyer will have when reviewing this policy, is what is the ‘excess’ on the policy. I.E. If you have to make a claim on the Strata’s insurance, what level are you liable for. As there are more and more claims against insurance policies, many Strata’s look to keep their premiums down by making the excess high. There are many cases now where an owner is not covered for the first $25,000 of a claim, and this is something that needs to be factored in to the buyer’s new insurance policy.

12.   Applicable Building Warranty  - if the building is less than 10 years old, was it built with Building Warranty. It is advisable to keep at least a copy of the warranty certificate, in case you have to make any form of claim.

13.   Municipal occupancy permits and / or final inspection permit – make sure the property you are looking to purchase has this.

14.   The bylaws and rules – Bylaws set out owners’ rights and responsibilities and control the use of strata lots and common property. They set out the duties of owners, tenants, occupants, visitors, the corporation and the strata council, as well as the procedures at council and general meetings. Bylaws also allow the strata corporation to penalize owners who violate the bylaws.

The standard bylaws (usually the original by laws) can be changed with a custom bylaw, technically called an amended bylaw. To be enforceable, an amended bylaw must first be filed with the strata plan at the Land Title Office.

A bylaw may restrict an owner’s ability to rent a residential strata lot to a tenant. This is of vital importance if you are buying a property as an investment, and should be one of the first considerations when viewing properties.

Bylaws may also restrict pets or certain age groups. Similarly, the bylaws will likely require you to get permission before making significant changes to your strata lot, such as altering walls or making plumbing or electrical changes.

A strata corporation may also have rules. Rules apply only to the use and enjoyment of common property and common assets. Your Real Estate Agent should always obtain a copy of the strata documents from the strata corporation for you to review, including a set of up-to-date, consolidated bylaws, as well as a complete copy of the rules.

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of some of the questions you need to be asking when buying a Condo, however, if you do have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards
Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Thursday, 12 May 2011

"Home Sales Slow After Strong First Quarter" says BCREA

Please find below the latest analysis on BC Real Estate issued by the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Vancouver, BC – May 12, 2011.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)

reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential unit sales in the province declined 14 per cent to 7,187 units in April compared to the same month last year.

The average MLS® residential price climbed 16 per cent to $598,308 last month compared to April 2010.

“BC home sales edged lower in April as the result of home purchases that were pulled forward during the first quarter,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The province’s housing markets continue to exhibit a two steps forward, one step back trajectory in tandem with economic and employment growth.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 14 per cent to $15.4 billion, compared to the same period last year.

Residential unit sales edged back one per cent 26,334 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 15.5 per cent to $586,466 over the same period.

For the detailed report please view

Information provided by

Cameron Muir

Chief Economist BCREA

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Canadian housing market resilient; U.S. not so lucky

Reading this report in todays Financial Post, does not make good reading for the U.S. Real Estate market, which has already been battered.

The overall forecast for Canada looks more positive, with no provinces expected to experience a decline in price in 2011.

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci.

Tel 250 864 1707

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Perfect Storm - advice for Canadians investing in US Real Estate.

I know that many potential Buyers have been tempted by a strong Canadian Dollar, lower interest rates and cheaper pricing in the U.S.

This article gives some good advice for those thinking of buying Real Estate south of the Border.

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Kelowna Real Estate Update May 2011

Central Okanagan Real Estate sales, for April, got off to an extremely slow start, and I was a little concerned about the numbers at one stage. I am pleased to say that things eventually ‘rallied’ and we saw sales much nearer to recent averages, during the last week of the month.

It is likely that some buyers may have brought forward their purchases to March to beat the changes in mortgage rules, and due to the continued threat of interest rate increases.

If we look at the results of the March OMREB Buyers Survey, we can see that 25.6% were move up buyers and 18.9% were first time buyers, with 57.8% coming from the Okanagan area.

I suspect that when the Buyers Survey comes out for April we will see that it was largely local buyers in the market, one of the indicators being that 91% of the sales were under $600,000.

Central Okanagan Statistics for April 2011

Date        Total     S/F    Strata    Lot   Manuf

Apr 11     285*   161       89        12      23

Mar 11     324    185     105        18      16

Feb 11     249    142       86          7       14

Jan 11      200    115      66           9      10

Dec 10     157      93      46         10        8

Apr 10     390    218    127         28      17

Apr 09     304    177    103           7      17

*Figures are as at close of business April 30th, 2011 and may be subject to minor change.

As you can see from the figures above, the final sales numbers were disappointing. I do think the weather played a part, as we did experience several snow showers, during the month, which is quite unusual in recent years. Our ‘growing season’ seems like it is 2 or 3 weeks late, and I still haven’t seen my first Humming Bird this year!

My forecast for the months ahead.

Economically, things are pointing to better times, and we are certainly hearing positive news from the oil and timber industries. I, therefore, have every reason to believe that sales numbers will continue on an upward trend, and I am certainly being contacted by more 'out of town buyers'

We do have to bear in mind that the real estate market remains fragile and it continues to be a 'Buyers Market'.

It will be interesting to watch over the next few weeks, to see whether we see an influx of additional inventory on the market, as I am aware that the end of April was a busy ‘move out’ time for renters – particularly as it was the end of the UBCO school year.

My view is that pricing will remain flat, therefore good presentation of a property and correct pricing will remain very important, to attract Buyers.

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty