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Trending in Backyard Design

Are you ready to up your backyard game this year? Enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of home, yet feeling like you have a peaceful escape in your own little piece of paradise sounds great, doesn’t it? This can be achieved! Here is is what is trending in backyard design, maybe something will inspire you!

Sustainability - Low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant plants and less turf-grass have become the norm in landscape design. This type of yard allows for more time to enjoy it, easier on the wallet and much better for the environment.

Bringing the indoors outdoors - With the increased amount of time people are spending at home and thanks to new outdoor fabrics, which are made from acrylic fibres and are fade-resistant and waterproof, homeowners can create permanent living spaces outdoors with comfortable fabrics and furniture. Think work from home spaces, cozy meals outside, movie nights,...


Tips for Solo Home Ownership

Do you feel you’re ready to enter into homeownership on your own? There are some key considerations to make and steps you can take to make this possible for yourself and to ensure the experience is as smooth and seamless as possible. Here is how:

Save for a down payment - The larger your down payment, the less you have to pay each month in both principal and interest. You will need a minimum down payment of 5% of the purchase price

Know your financial history - This is important both for making decisions about the future and it is also information you will need to provide to be approved for the purchase of a home.

Build your credit score and maintain stable income - These factors help to determine your mortgage eligibility, as they inform lenders of your potential risk in terms of repayment.

Know what you can afford - Try tracking your income and expenses, looking at fixed (i.e. car insurance)...


DIY Patio Updates For Under $250

Does your patio need a refresh for the warmer months we are heading into? If you are looking for budget friendly DIY updates, look no further, we have you covered! 

It is no secret that our outdoor spaces go through a lot over the winter months here in the Shuswap. To start, we highly recommend giving them a really good clean, this makes a world of difference. Pressure wash surfaces to remove dirt, grime, and mildew buildup. Inspect your patio and outdoor space for any damages and make the necessary repairs. Once you have it sparkling clean like new, it is time to make it shine! Here are 5 great DIY tips that are too good not to share: 

DIY Idea #1 - Bricks and concrete pavers are the easiest patio materials to use because they have a uniform shape and create a relatively flat surface. This is helpful if you want to roll the BBQ across it, use it is as an exercise space with your...


Trending in Smart Home Technology

The fast-paced advancement of Smart Home Technology is transforming households and how they function. Everything from voice-activated appliances to automated lighting and security systems, homes are becoming more interactive and efficient with each passing day. Smart home technology is being integrated seamlessly into the design of new homes and upgrades that are being made, with people actively looking for this as a feature of the home.  

Here are some of the top trends in smart home technology that are taking storm:  

When it comes to entertainment in the home, the latest smart home theatre technology includes voice control, artificial intelligence, personalized recommendations, and seamless integration with other smart devices for an immersive entertainment experience. People are also choosing quality over quantity when it comes to their devices, i.e. smart phones, TV’s,...


Why Now Could Be The Time For You To Make a Move Into The Market

Are you thinking about entering the housing market? Now could be the time! The first Bank of Canada Interest Rate of 2024 was announced in January, holding the overnight benchmark rate at 5%. There are 7 more announcements to be made in 2024. It is predicted that the rate may go up before it goes back down towards the end of the year, only time will tell.  

The reality is, housing prices are lower than they were at the peak of the pandemic, but we can’t predict if they will go down further, stay steady or climb back up. If interest rates do go down, then housing prices will likely go up again, thus creating competition for buyers, making it a sellers market. With the current inventory of homes available across Canada, you have more options and less competition, meaning it is currently a buyers market. Understanding this will help you make moves at the right time.  ...


Maximize Your Buying Power in 2024

Is your goal this year to buy a home? One of the most important things to think about before you jump into purchasing real estate is how much money you have available. This is what's known as your "buying power”. Your buying power depends on multiple factors, such as your income, expenses, and financial obligations. If you think you may not have that strong of a buying power, there are things you can do to help you make your dream of owning a house come to light. Here is how:  

Improve your credit score - This is one of the most critical factors that affects your buying power when purchasing property. A higher credit score can increase the amount of money you're able to borrow and may help you secure better interest rates. To improve your credit score, pay your bills on time, keep your credit card balances low, and avoid applying for new credit unless necessary. 



2024 Home Trends to Watch For

The new year is quickly approaching and with the turning of the page often comes some goal planning. Are there some changes to your home you wish to make? Maybe it just needs a facelift, or perhaps it’s time for a full overhaul. Not sure where to start? Here’s what the experts are predicting for trends in the home for the upcoming year. 

Biophilic Design
There is a growing appreciation for nature and its calming influence on our lives.  Biophilic design incorporates natural elements into the interior space. Think large indoor plants, natural wood finishes, and earthy colour palettes that bring the outdoors inside. 

Minimalism has had its moment in the spotlight, and maximalism is making a comeback. Interiors that are bold, eclectic, and vibrant are becoming popular again. Maximalism encourages mixing and matching, consider rich, saturated...


Determining Your Home Needs vs. Wants

Are you contemplating a home purchase, with a list a mile long of things that your new home “must have” in order for you to invest in it? When shopping around, it is a good idea to have a clear picture and distinguish between your “must haves” vs “wants” in a property. Taking the time to think about this carefully will help you with your house hunt and finding the perfect home for you.  

Why is it important to differentiate a “must have” vs a “want” when it comes to purchasing a home? 

  • Prevents emotional buying
  • Eliminates homes from your search that are not the right fit
  • Helps you make appropriate compromises
  • You will be able to act quickly when the right property comes along
  • Clear wants versus needs help your real estate agent find quality listings for you to view

Essentially, home buying must-have’s are items you...


Create Winter Curb Appeal

Are you planning to sell your home this winter and want to keep the exterior as appealing to potential buyers as possible? This might feel like a challenging task given the unpredictability of our beloved Shuswap winters. However, it is possible! We’ve rounded up some great ideas to help you keep your home looking great throughout the colder months. 

Snow and ice - Keep it clear! Uncleared driveways, stairs and walkways make your home look unkempt. These elements are also a safety hazard to guests and those coming to tour your home. 

Clear the clutter - Make sure your yard, doorway and driveway are free of sports equipment, garbage and recycling, and other unnecessary outdoor items. 

Repairs - Fixing items that are broken, damaged or worn will not only make your property more presentable, but these fixes are likely to increase the overall...


How To Find The Right Neighbourhood For You

Location is everything! If you are in the market for a new home, whether it be in the current city you live in, or if you are looking to relocate elsewhere, there are plenty of factors to consider. Here is an excellent list of helpful questions and considerations to aide you in finding the perfect area for you. 

Amenities - Think about what you need and want to have close by your home. Close proximity to amenities like groceries, schools, beaches, banking, salons, local coffee shops and dining establishments will enhance your living experience. Consider if you are you looking for a mostly walkable neighbourhood to drive your car less. 

Commute - If you work out of the house, commuting is a very important factor! Take a test drive at the hours you would be heading to and from work. See how smooth the drive is, what traffic levels are and if the drive is something you...


Answering Your Home Selling Questions

Are you getting ready to sell your home? Whether you have been through the process before, or it’s your first time selling, I’m sure you have questions! The real estate market is constantly changing and it’s a good idea to keep on top of what is happening so you can be best informed as you embark on this endeavour. As a trusted and experienced real estate agent, I’ve got you covered and am sharing some of the most common questions that come up for sellers.
When is the best time to sell my home? 
Each selling circumstance is different, and you may not be able to choose when you want to sell your home. If you have the luxury of time and flexibility on your side, take advantage of a hot real estate market, especially when sellers are at an advantage. 

What is my home worth?
The price of your home can change from week to week, as the value is influenced...


Common Home Buyer Questions, Answered

Whether you’re setting out to purchase your first home or are making another move in the ever-changing real estate market, you likely have some questions about the process. As an experienced real estate agent, I rounded up the most commonly asked questions to get you started. 

I’m thinking about buying my first home, where do I start?
The first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will ensure you know what your budget is for a home and will lock you in at the current interest rate for up to 120 days. Connect with a trusted mortgage broker to help you with all your mortgage needs and a real estate agent who can help you find homes to view based on your criteria. 

Can I buy a home with no down payment?
While the general rule of thumb is that you need a minimum of 5% of the purchase price as a down payment on a home, your unique circumstance may differ. In Canada,...


 Questions to Ask Your Potential Tenants as a Landlord

Having an income property in the real estate market can be extremely beneficial for many reasons. Tenants assist with paying down your mortgage, and you build equity that can then be used to purchase more property for further investment benefits. 

Finding good tenants is one of the key factors of the success of your rental property, as you want to find tenants that are long-term, can pay rent and bills on time and care about the property enough to take good care of it. 

As a landlord, you should have yourself a go-to list of questions that you ask every potential tenant to ensure you are getting the right person for your property.  

Here is a list of 15 important questions you should always be asking:  

  1. Do you currently rent?
  2. How long have you lived in your current home?
  3. What factors are influencing your decision to move?
  4. How many people and pets will be living with...

Cost Effective Outdoor Space Updates

The weather we have been waiting for all winter is finally upon us! Well, most days anyway! I know I am ready to make the most of it and spend as much time outdoors as possible. Making your outdoor space a place you want to spend time in will help you achieve this, because sometimes, we just want to stay home.  

Whether you have minimal outdoor space, an apartment with a balcony, or have a larger yard and patio to work with, here are some great cost-effective ways to update your outdoor space!  

Be Creative With Your Planters
Think about what you already own or things you can get secondhand that you can repurpose. Add some colour by giving them a refresh if needed with some paint. Pick out your favourite plants or produce to plant in them and enjoy!  

Cover Your Cushions
If you have outdoor furniture, you likely already have cushions, but maybe you want to switch up the decor...


Top Things to Do in the Shuswap This Summer

I may be a little bit biased, but living in the Shuswap is the absolute best! There is so much to see and do, every season, but I particularly enjoy the warmer summer months the most. Whether you live here, are passing through or are on an extended stay, you can’t go wrong with these top ten things to do in the area!  

1.    Relax at Canoe Beach - There is a large grassy area, a shady beach great for swimming, and plenty of picnic tables to share meals with friends and family. There is also a concession stand, volleyball court, and playground.

2.    Walk to Margaret Falls in Harold’s Provincial Park - An absolutely stunning waterfall, accessible by a variety of trails in the Provincial Park.

3.    Attend the annual Roots and Blues Festival – grab your boots and lawn chair, then sit back...


"Go Green" in Your Shuswap Home This Spring

Have you been thinking about implementing greener practices in your home? This is a hot topic of focus in recent years and has many homeowners asking “what can I do to reduce my footprint and make better decisions to protect the environment?” 

Your home is a great place to start making a difference and luckily there are plenty of resources and tips available to make this a reality with ease. I’ve rounded up some great ways you can get started in your home today!  

Save Energy:

  • Leaving a room? Ensure you turn the lights off to reduce your energy consumption by utilizing only the lights that you need.
  • Invest in Energy Saving Light Bulbs - LED lightbulbs may be a slightly bigger investment upfront, but they last longer and will save you both energy and money over time.
  • Purchase energy efficient appliances - Once an appliance is irreparably broken, this is a good...

Home Upgrades That Are Most Likely to Capture a Return on Their Investment

Are you considering selling your Shuswap home in the near future? Has this got you thinking of some upgrades that can be made to increase its value so that you can capture a return on their investment? Let’s consider some of the most valuable upgrades that will attract potential buyers when your home hits the market.

Do you have a different bold colour paint in every room? Repainting in a neutral colour will create a clean blank canvas that can help potential buyers envision their belongings in the home – and a neutral colour palette applies to the widest variety of buyers. Fun fact; 2023 design trends say neutral taupe shades are in and greys are on the way out. 

This feature can be a huge selling point for a home. There will be no need for bulky window air conditioners that block views of the outdoors anymore. Get the cool air flowing to beat...


Recent Changes that Affect the British Columbia Real Estate Market
There have been some new changes to the British Columbia real estate industry over the last few months – and I want to ensure you have the information you need to always make an informed decision. Whether you’re planning to list your home for sale or make a purchase of Shuswap real estate in 2023, these 3 things may affect you.
In December, new changes to the Strata Property Act came into effect to end all strata rental restriction bylaws and to limit age-restriction bylaws. 
Stratas will no longer be able to stop condo owners from renting out all, or a portion of their homes. This will open up vacant units for rental and means there will be more homes to rent across the province. 
In addition to rental restrictions, age restrictions in most BC strata buildings are also being lifted (only 55+ buildings will remain). The only permitted age restriction...

5 Things to Ask Your Mortgage Broker About – Aside From Interest Rates

If you’re ready to begin the search for your perfect Shuswap property, the first step is to make sure you’ve obtained a mortgage pre-approval, so you have a realistic budget on hand to base your search off of and the ability to move quickly with an offer. Without diving too deep into the mortgage approval process itself, I will offer a few questions you can ask to ensure you’re doing your due diligence before signing on the dotted line.
Should I work with a mortgage broker or lender?
A mortgage broker is a licensed professional who has access to a variety of lenders. This means they’ll be able to shop the current market for you and negotiate the best mortgage for your individual needs. Alternatively, mortgage lenders work only with a specific bank or financial institution, which may benefit you if you’d like to work with a branch or location that you know...


4 Modern Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Housing Costs

It’s no secret that the cost of living has been on the rise, particularly the last few years as the cost of living and inflation increases. From income to savings strategies and the expenses you’re paying, you’ll want to have a pulse on what’s coming in and going out at all times. Managing high monthly housing costs may seem like a daunting task that you’re unable to easily fix or combat, but that’s what I’m here to help with!

Here are some tips on how you may be able to reduce your monthly housing costs.

Re-evaluate Your Homeowners Insurance
Since you initially got your policy in force, have you shopped around to see if you could get a lower monthly insurance payment? Home insurance policies vary in price and differ in types of coverage including protection on the property, your personal belongings, liability for injuries, and much more. You may now...

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