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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...


How to Make the Most of Your Buying Power While Interest Rates Rise

After slashing its rate to record lows at the start of the pandemic, the Bank of Canada has since raised its rate four (likely soon to be five) times since March 2022. This move is part of an aggressive campaign to fight inflation, which has risen lately to its highest levels in 40 years. 

Lenders have followed that suit, raising their rates as well, and it may have you asking – “what does this mean for my home buying power?” Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you approach a mortgage approval under the updated rates and stress test.


Now more than ever it’s very important to keep your mortgage pre-approval up to date. By having an active pre-approval you’ll not only be able to establish what you can currently afford, but it will also allow you to lock a rate in for 120 days with most lenders. This...


Why You Should Consider Buying a New Build Home

What if you could have the perfect house? The layout of your dreams, a magazine-worthy kitchen, amenities to suit your lifestyle and all the finishing touches to round out the ideal place to call home. If this sounds like heaven to you, it may be time to consider buying or building a custom home. Read on for 5 more reasons to explore a new construction opportunity. 

With a new construction home, you get to decide exactly the vibe and features you want for your new home. Incorporate the closet of your dreams, add modern technology for security and entertainment and start fresh in a home painted and accented to your vision.

Older houses often feature the use of less efficient appliances and energy systems. As systems weaken, they can create issues such as heat escape or increased water usage which impact your monthly energy bills. New construction homes are...


Staging and Pricing Your Shuswap Home

Selling your home is not as easy as popping a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and sitting back to wait for the perfect buyer. As the Shuswap market begins to shift, it’s more important than ever to take extra steps in showcasing your home in its best light. Key factors in getting the best offer price for your home include implementing minimalist staging practices, having a professional REALTOR® who offers modern marketing services and pricing your home at the appropriate price bracket for its neighbourhood, features and amenities.

Pricing your home may be a little bit out of your control as the figure will be based on recent neighbourhood sold prices, local amenities, updates and more. Consult with your real estate professional to ensure you catch early offer activity and land in front of the right buyers. Once your listing price for your unique home is determined,...


Investing in Shuswap Real Estate

Have you been keeping a pulse on the active Shuswap real estate market wondering how you too can get involved in an investment capacity? While you’re preparing for investment victory, you’ll have to establish a few key factors, such as how much money you have to invest, how hands-on you would like to be and what your personal risk tolerance is. Have a look at these 3 popular real estate investing opportunities to see which route may be the best for you. 

Rental properties are a great way to create a steady stream of income. With the right tenants and a well-maintained property, you could reap the rewards as a landlord for many years to come. Before you set out on your rental property hunt, ensure you’ve met with your trusted mortgage professional to establish your budget, financing terms and investment goals. You’ll also want to collect...


How to Have a Smooth Move

It’s highly likely that you’ve moved at least once in your lifetime; and if you haven’t moved yet, this could be a friendly reminder that your parents do eventually want you out of their basement…

All jokes aside, moving can be an extremely stressful time, no matter what stage of life you’re in, and unless you’re living a minimalist lifestyle, the move is going to take some organization to pull off. I’ve outlined some things to keep in mind to ensure that your next move is as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

  1. Start Early and Give Yourself Time - It might seem extra keen to start packing weeks or months in advance but doing so will help reduce stress as you get closer to your moving date. With so many moving pieces it’s important to allow yourself enough time to make sure everything is done properly.
  2. Pick Up Supplies - Walk...

Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Shuswap Home

The beautiful Shuswap spring weather will be here before we know it – and with the new season comes a fresh outlook on polishing our property.  As a homeowner, you know there’s always plenty of work to be done around your house. Don’t forget to prioritize the not-so-glamourous tasks, like a spring inspection of your property to ensure you keep your home and your investment maintained.

Examine the Exterior of Your Home

When it comes to examining your home’s exterior, there are five key zones you’ll want to keep a close eye on; 

1) Chimney and Vents

2) Roof and Gutters

3) Siding and Walls

4) Foundation

5) Windows & Doors

Getting a comprehensive analysis of these items will provide you with a good picture of how well your home is holding up to the Canadian elements. Aside from the physical attributes of your home, it’s also a good idea to...


Tackling Renovations in the Winter

Winter might seem like an unusual time to undertake a renovation, but I’ll let you in on a little secret - the way to a successful winter renovation is by having a plan and communicating it clearly with your renovation specialists. Talking to your contractor in advance about potential challenges can help you save time and money in the long run. Here are a few other considerations to make in your winter renovation plan:


Expect it to be more difficult in some respects to tackle a home renovation during the winter. You’ll want to ensure your driveway, walkways and entrance porches are clear of clutter and any snow that’s fallen, and don’t forget to salt icy patches before they become a hazard. As your renovation team will be coming and going with supplies during the work, it’s important to ensure both their safety, and yours. 


The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.