Cell 250-833-6121

Office 250-832-7051

Email: craig@craigshantz.com

There are plenty of projects you can do ahead of time that will help prepare your home to be listed on the market. Doing a thorough check of both the inside and outside of your home will assist you in creating a checklist of chores. Make sure these 6 important pre-listing tasks are tackled to guarantee you’ve covered key areas that can help bring a higher offer to the table when you enter the Shuswap real estate market.

First Impressions Are Everything

When potential buyers walk up the driveway to view your property, wow them with a fresh and welcoming front door. A busy household may have a well-used front door that shows signs of day-to-day wear and tear. Paint the existing door or replace it if needed, mend weather stripping, replace the threshold, tighten hardware and paint the trim and frame too.

Freshen Up

When’s the last time you painted the walls of your home? A fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference to those walking through if your space is looking a little drab. Do you have a bold coloured accent wall or bedroom that’s pretty particular to your individual taste? Consider painting bright colours a more neutral tone to appeal to a wider audience of potential buyers.

Roofing, Siding and Brickwork

These are some of the big red flags that can pop up during a home inspection and may cause concern for a potential buyer. Get ahead of the inspection by checking your roof, eavestroughs, siding and brickwork for any issues well ahead of time, or you may be negotiating these fixes out of the offer price before the new buyers are willing to firm up the deal.

Utility Check-Up

Make sure all of your plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical is working well. You don’t want any drips coming from loose taps or faucets or a furnace that needs maintaining as this can put a potential buyer on high alert for other problems around the house. Save any maintenance or upgrade invoices from work completed in case potential buyers call on additional information.

For the Love of Landscaping

First impressions matter when a buyer pulls up to your house for a showing, so give a little love to your landscaping. In addition to cutting the lawn and tending to the gardens, clear away any trash or clutter outside of your home – the usual culprits are at the side of your house, your backyard, and your shed. As an added bonus, here are three more ways to kick up your Shuswap curb appeal.

Stating the Obvious

If there are any obvious eyesores in the interior or exterior of your home, invest some effort and money to repair them ahead of time. Walk around the house with a pen and paper noting areas that could use some attention. These touch-ups could go a long way to making the house look move-in ready, a great way to secure a more desirable offer when your house gets put on the Salmon Arm market.

It’s important to balance financial investment with your potential gains. If you’d like more help determining what tasks to have on your pre-listing checklist, get in touch with me today and we’ll iron out the details before listing your home together.

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Now that summer has reached the Shuswap, it’s the perfect time to tackle those projects on your “Honey Do” list. Instead of thinking about the list as a collection of exasperating chores, consider that some of the activities can actually add personal enjoyment or value to your home in the event you’d like it to sell faster. Choosing to shift your perspective on the way you think about these tasks may motivate you to finally complete them – especially when it could mean more money in your pocket!

Have you heard of the saying, “you have to spend money to make money”? Well, that’s the case when it comes to taking your home’s curb appeal to the next level. A little money up front for these three projects can bring a great return on your investment when selling your real estate in Salmon Arm. 


1. Turn Up the Pressure – in a Good Way

One of the most surprising ways to breathe life back into the exterior of your home is to invest in a pressure washer and clean everything you can. You can rent a pressure washer from a local rental store, or invest in a unit for long-term cleanliness. Start at the front of your house and work your way to the back; pay close attention to the driveway, windows, house siding, and deck, as these are some of the main attractions for interested buyers.

2. Get Creative with Colour

A fresh coat of paint can make an influential statement as potential buyers pull up to the curb. Add a pop of colour to the front door, garage door, and the trim around the windows. This bright idea can set you apart from all the other homes on the block. If you’re in need of some inspiration, head over to www.behr.com for their most recent list of 2020 paint colour trends.

3. Take a Seat and Enjoy the View

The addition of a simple seating area on the front porch brings charm to your home. It allows buyers to picture themselves enjoying the house as their own, which can help generate a quicker sale! Purchase a couple of chairs and small table to fit between them, creating the feel of a perfect morning oasis. Remember to tend to the gardens too; pruning, cutting the grass and adding mulch around shrubs for a polished garden look.

As an added bonus, consider using a credit card for purchases (with the plan to pay them off right away) that gives you the best cash back or points rewards; this way you can save up your points or cashback for a little vacation after all of the hard work is said and done.

Roll up your sleeves and get to work tackling these three tasks because upping your curb appeal game may be exactly what gets your home noticed in the Salmon Arm real estate market. If you’re ready to list your house for sale, get in touch with me today!

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The Canadian Housing Mortgage Corp. (CMHC) announced that they've changed the borrowing rules for homebuyers, as of July 1st, 2020. If you’re wanting to invest in Shuswap real estate, and especially if you’re a first time home buyer, these changes can impact you directly. Let’s take a closer look at these CMHC changes – and some tips to help you get organized for obtaining a mortgage pre-approval.

Know Your Credit Score

Order your credit report or connect with your favourite mortgage professional to determine if there are any mistakes on your credit bureau that need attention or that should be fixed. CMHC will be raising the minimum credit score from around 600 to instead be 680, which can significantly affect the ability for many first time home buyers to enter the Salmon Arm real estate market.

Understand Your Finances

The two key metrics used to qualify you for a mortgage are Gross Debt Servicing Ratio (GDS) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDS). GDS is calculated by totaling your estimated housing costs and dividing it by your gross annual income. TDS is calculated by totaling your GDS with other existing debt and dividing it by your annual income. The CMHC has lowered the maximum GDS from 39% to 35% and lowered the maximum TDS from 44% to 42%. This means if you have a salary of $80,000, you previously could have qualified for a $400,000 mortgage, but as of July 1st, you will only qualify for a $350,000 mortgage. This is a substantial difference, and it's best you discuss an updated mortgage pre-approval with your broker or lender to identify your own affordability since the changes have come into effect.

Determine Your Down Payment

You’ll need to determine what you can afford for your down payment and don't forget to anticipate closing costs, property transfer tax (unless you are exempt) and moving expenses in your calculations. If your down payment is less than 20% you’ll be subject to mortgage default insurance. Keep in mind that with the new CMHC changes, your down payment can no longer be borrowed (ie. through a loan or line of credit); it must either be from personal savings or given as a gift.

Some good news to come out of this announcement is that private sector insurers, like Genworth Financial and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Co., have confirmed they don’t plan on moving forward with the changes that the CMHC is making. However, some unique properties may not be eligible for Genworth or Canada Guaranty, leaving you at the mercy of CMHC’s new insurance criteria.

If you’re in the market to purchase a home or invest in real estate and want to lock in a mortgage pre-approval, reach out to me today by phone 250.833.6121 or email craig@craigshantz.com and I’ll connect you with my trusted mortgage partners.

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Many of us have been shifting our financial awareness; reviewing income sources, long-term savings plans and monthly expenses. Spring is also the season for many renters and homeowners alike to review their cable and utility costs, household budgets as well as insurance policy coverages. Schedule a call with your favourite Shuswap insurance broker to review your own property insurance policies to confirm the details are up-to-date and accurate. 

Depending on your geographical location and the insurance provider you’re with, you may be eligible to purchase additional coverage riders that protect you in the event of specific sudden losses. Additional riders are often optional but extend important coverage to potentially expensive losses. Confirm whether your individual policy has the following included or excluded coverage riders;

  • Sewer or drain water back-up
  • Wildfire
  • Earthquake
  • Identity Theft
  • Personal Property Rider
  • Increased Liability Coverage
  • Coverage for your condo corporation’s common spaces

scheduled personal property rider increases coverage for certain listed valuables. This type of rider also helps protect your valuables against additional risks that a standard homeowner’s policy does not cover, for example; losing or misplacing an item. Review your recent life milestones that may prompt an increase in your scheduled coverage;

  • New jewelry from gifts, engagements, weddings
  • Acquired antiques, artwork or heirlooms
  • Purchase of cameras and other technology
  • Start-up or growth of a business that’s based in the home

Document upgrades and renovations you’ve made to your property as building replacement costs need to be reviewed after any substantial change. Your insurance professional will guide you through a detailed replacement cost analysis that takes into consideration;

  • The age of your home, it’s exterior building material and it’s postal code location
  • The finished square footage of your property – advise your insurer if you’ve recently finished your basement or created rental space within your home
  • The style and use of your home; solely residential use, property includes a tenant suite, business is conducted from the home
  • Recent kitchen upgrades or bathroom space renovations
  • The age of your windows, furnace, roof, water tank, etc.
  • The number of people that reside in your home, and the value of their personal belongings

Many companies also offer discounts on your real estate insurance policies to reward long-standing customers and those without claims. Ensure you’re maximizing your savings in 2020 with these potential discounts;

  • Claims Free
  • Anti-Theft and Security Program
  • New Home
  • Good Credit
  • Mortgage Free
  • Mature/Retired Customer
  • Proximity to Fire Department 

Each property is unique and requires its own tailored coverage. When it comes to insuring your property, you want to maximize your savings while being sure to avoid cutting corners or coverages that could cost you largely in the long-run.

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The evolving global circumstances have left many without income and others navigating a significantly reduced-pay lifestyle. As we pilot this terrain as a community, I’ve compiled 6 simple, yet effective ways to reduce your expenses and increase savings in 2020:

Review Utility and Entertainment Expenses

It can be easy to forget about your automatic reoccurring monthly bills or subscriptions that are used infrequently. Some of the easiest places to alleviate a budget are in cutting back cable or unnecessary entertainment platforms, minimizing data overage charges and reducing utility consumptions by turning off the lights where possible and consciously monitoring water consumption during dish washing, teeth brushing and lawn watering.

Pre-Plan Your Grocery Run

If you’ve ever ventured to the grocery store without a list or when you’re hungry, you know it can be tempting to buy more food than you normally would. Pre-planning what you need for meals and snacks before going to the store not only ensures you don’t forget anything, but also helps you to avoid picking up extra items you don’t need. In addition to creating a list, I’ve employed a modified shopping practice that not only limits me to the essentials, but also grants me some outdoor physical activity time. For those within walking distance to your favourite grocer; strap on your backpack and running shoes to head out for a cost-effective and streamlined essential shopping experience.


Homemade Meals

It can be tough to find the energy to make a meal that is easy and enjoyable after a long day at work. Consider taking inspiration from your favourite take-out joints or peruse platforms like Pinterest for fresh and fast creations. If taking the time to cook each night doesn’t jive with your schedule, consider meal prepping twice a week for on-the-run ready meals in the fridge. This dine-in mentality benefits your wallet for coffee purchases as well. Buying a coffee every day can seem like a small expense, but it really puts a dent in your wallet in the long run. Cutting out this one small expense can add up to hundreds or potentially even thousands of dollars in savings each year.

Set Shopping Limits

Though you may not be shopping in your favourite stores for the time being, online purchase figures have increased over the last month. It’s best to set a dollar figure budget that you’re committed to sticking to, prior to getting online. Make it a habit to avoid buying things on impulse; if you find yourself wanting a pricey item you stumbled upon, wait a day or two and see if you’re still thinking about it.

Embrace DIY Projects

Google is a miracle tool for DIYers. Use it to find free, easy recipes for meals, cleaning hacks and ways to upgrade your property with your budget in mind.

Use Budgeting Tools

It’s easy to overspend when we’re not setting limits and holding ourselves accountable. Some apps like Mint and Wally can help you track daily, weekly, or monthly spending to see where you need to cut back and receive personalized advice based off of your financial needs and goals.

As you work to save more of your hard-earned dollars and cents, think about what you'll do with your savings. Will you build up your emergency fund, put it into a down payment savings fund or invest it for the future? Having clear goals in mind for your savings can help you stay motivated to continue looking for ways to trim expenses. Happy Savings!

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The real estate industry is ever changing, as are the associated fees and potential rebates that you may be eligible for when purchasing property. Though each real estate transaction comes with its own unique circumstances, there are some common costs associated with buying a home:

Offer Deposit

A deposit is a monetary “good faith” that is required by the buyer upon a successful (or firm) agreement of purchase and sale of a home. This deposit forms a part of your down payment, and thus a part of the total purchase price.

Legal Fees

In order to complete your real estate transaction, you’ll need to invest in a real estate lawyer or notary. Your fees include the legal professional’s time to prepare all closing documents, complete a title search for deficiencies, facilitation of the transfer of funds as well as transfer of the property title. These tasks if completed incorrectly can stall possession dates or worse, create costly future issues.

Property Transfer Tax

In British Columbia properties are subject to a transfer tax of 1% on the first $200,000 plus 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 (up to and including $2,000,000.) There are 2 common exemptions that may waive a portion or all of the property transfer tax fees; First Time Home Buyer Exemption and Newly Built Home Exemption. For a list of potential exemptions and a property transfer tax calculator, head over to the Government of BC’s informative portal

Home Inspection Fees

Purchasing property may be the largest financial investment you make in your lifetime. It’s recommended that you hire a professional home inspector who will examine a potential property, noting any maintenance and repair concerns. A home inspector will detail their property findings in a report to ensure you have the knowledge you need to make an educated purchase. Foregoing an inspection may result in missed property defects and in turn financial consequences.

Appraisal Fees

Your lender may require an appraisal to establish the value of a property, confirming the offer price is appropriate for the area and features of the home. Appraisal fees differ depending on the lender and property style, in some circumstances your lender may waive or rebate the fee during a promotion.

Utility Connection Charges

Many utility companies such as natural gas, water, electricity and communications services charge a service fee to connect or disconnect your services.

Professional Movers

When you’re ready to move you may choose to forego the heavy lifting on your own and instead invest in a professional moving service. Moving services vary in price, taking into account the weight of goods being moved, the distance to be travelled, the physical barriers a property may present, etc. Connect with a trusted local Shuswap moving company to capture a complimentary quote.

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            Investing in real estate can be a great way to increase your monthly cashflow or round out your robust investment portfolio for the future. Deciding which investment route is best for you weighs on some important factors;

  • How much money do you have to invest, where are the funds coming from?
  • What is your desired net return on investment? (ROI)
  • Where would you like to invest? Consider areas that respect your budget, have low rental vacancy rates and offer popular amenities for potential renters.
  • How involved would you like to be in your rental property? Will your investment require a property management company’s services and support?
  • What is your personal risk tolerance? What are your short-term and long-term goals while owning a property?

With your budget set and some top locations pin-pinpointed, it’s time to start considering your investment prospects – here are the top 3 real estate investing opportunities for 2020 that may suit your individual investing dreams;

Purchasing a Rental Property; Rental properties are a popular way to create a steady stream of income; with well-vetted tenants and a properly maintained property you could secure ongoing income as a landlord for many years. Prior to reviewing potential rental properties, ensure you’ve met with your trusted mortgage professional to establish your budget, mortgage terms and investment goals. Before making an offer on a property, work with your Realtor® to gather property tax costs, utility consumption figures and other ownership obligation details. With your mortgage pre-approval details in hand, and the property’s individual ownership obligations determined, you can use a rental income calculator to conclude whether a property will cashflow or create a monthly deficit when rented.

Renovating to Sell; With interior design platforms such as Pinterest and Houzz inspiring the internet, it’s easier than ever to plan a renovation and even obtain step-by-step tutorials to take your renovation vision to fruition. Though the prospect of polishing an outdated property for resale may be the most exciting idea you’ve had this decade, it’s imperative you consider the pros and cons of this avenue. Before you set out on a buy-and-flip investment, talk to your professionals; realtor, lawyer/notary and accountant about potential regulations or tax and gain implications you may fall subject to from selling. Remember to avoid costly future issues by hiring insured trades companies and established professionals to complete renovation work that is outside of your skill scope.

Rental Suite Within Existing Real Estate; The December 2019 OMREB Real Estate Report showed an average residential property sale price of $509,630; which may make purchasing an additional property for rental purposes out-of-reach. If investing in an independent rental property isn’t yet an option, you may consider creating rental opportunity within your existing principal residence. Investing in your current property to capture rental income is a great way to leverage what you’ve already got; it serves as an asset both while you own and generate income and serves as a feature to potential buyers if the time comes that you sell the dwelling. Set your budget and mandatory work for the renovation, allotting some time and funds in the projection for any surprises. Determine whether you’ll hire a residential contractor to complete the work and if you’ll tackle any renovation aspects on your own to reduce overall costs.

Whether you’re purchasing real estate for personal or investment use, the process will require some key steps;

-       establish your investment property criteria needs and target areas

-       build your team of real estate professionals; Mortgage Lender, Residential Lawyer or Notary and Realtor®

-       complete a pre-approval qualification with your trusted mortgage professional

For individual investment questions or to determine if 2020 is your year for investing in real estate, do not hesitate to call Craig Shantz today; 250-833-6121.

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Purchasing property is an exciting time during which you’ll want to ensure you’ve hired the best professionals to stand in your corner; among those a mortgage lender, a real estate lawyer and a trusted Shuswap Real Estate professional. By building your very own team of experts you can ensure your important questions are answered by industry specialists, setting yourself up for a smooth and informed real estate transaction. If you’ve thought of foregoing a team of professionals for your upcoming purchase, consider the roles these pros play in a speedy and successful deal;

Professional Realtor®

There’s so much more to the role of a professional Realtor® than meets the eye. The strong foundations of a great Realtor® start with knowledge and expertise of the area, up-to-date industry training and polished confidentiality and professional standards.

Any Realtor® can curate a customized listing search for you as a buyer, that my friend is basic real estate 101; you want to work with an expert, not a salesperson, who’s focus is finding THE house for you, who’s negotiation skills are unparalleled and who has your best interest and goals in focus for the entire process.

Mortgage Lender or Broker

It’s safe to say that buying property may be the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime; so, let’s not take it lightly. Weigh your mortgage options by researching local lenders and brokers to see the products, rates and terms that are available to you. 

Prior to shopping the market, meet with your chosen mortgage professional to establish your unique affordability; what will your monthly mortgage payments look like, are there any additional fees you should be ready for and what other financial obligations may come with purchasing a property? Ensure your lender locks in a rate with the pre-approval and covers any questions you may have about future changes to your mortgage, such as mortgage porting in the event you sell the property. 

To dive deeper into the mortgage pre-approval process, visit the Government of Canada’s helpful online hub.

Real Estate Lawyer or Notary

Navigating provincial and federal law is about as easy as buckling a bull into a booster seat; a job best left to the professionals. A real estate lawyer and their legal team are responsible for preparing all closing documents, completing a title search for deficiencies, handling the transfer of funds and completing ownership title transfer for the purchase and sale transaction. These tasks if completed incorrectly can stall possession dates or worse, create costly future issues.

In addition to preparing the important transaction documents, your lawyer or notary will also help you to identify and apply for tax exemptions and rebates such as Property Transfer Tax and GST where you qualify.

Home Inspector

Though it’s not mandatory to have a home inspection, this professional can be a key player in your long-term property buying success. A home inspector’s key responsibilities are to examine both the exterior and interior of a property to find things that could be deemed as unsafe or in need of repair. A home inspector will deliver to you a detailed report with photos bringing to your attention potential concerns such as foundation issues, roof wear, plumbing and electrical quality, water damage and general structural integrity. The findings of a home inspection will identify immediate needs for remediation or investments you may need to be prepared for in the ownership of the property.

Moving Company 

Budget permitting, a professional moving company can save you time and headaches for the big possession day. If you have specialty items, large pieces or a sizeable inventory of personal belongings, consider reaching out to a local moving company that offers complimentary consultations for a moving quote. These professionals will take care in wrapping, transporting and delivering your prized possessions, freeing you up to manage the working parts of move-in day. A great moving company should be insured, easy to communicate with and come with positive testimonials from past clients.

With the above professionals collaborating on your property purchase, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands. I’d love to hear about your favourite local real estate professionals, and for more information on how to establish a pro team for your upcoming real estate transaction, contact me, Craig Shantz; Shuswap Real Estate Professional.

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Welcome to Real Estate in 2019; where buyers and investors are empowered by real estate education and property search tools at their fingertips like never before. Early on, buyers are able to establish a strong idea of their home purchasing needs; from number of bedrooms and detached shop dreams, to any number of other must-have and must-not-have factors. However, once your home ownership adventure truly begins, it’s time to shelf the D-I-Y tendencies and enlist the help of a real estate professional.

For buyers, a professional and experienced Realtor® will not only be on the hunt for a property that fulfils the buying wish list, they’ll also be on the hunt for potential issues or other considerations; property zoning and uses, development potential, identifying potential problems with the building components of the home, development in the immediate area, schools, etc. Your Realtor® will recognize the tell-tale signs of potential problems and will know how best to approach them. This knowledge and experience can end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run by recognizing a concern you may not have otherwise identified on your own.

For sellers, you may have arrived at a desired listing price, but have you validated that the price is reasonable for the market and features your home offers? Identifying current comparable sales to confirm that you're in the right price range can be time consuming, especially if you don’t know where to start. As your agent, I present a comparative market analysis that encompasses multiple price-fetching factors regarding your unique neighborhood's demographics, amenities, schools, and other important factors. 

When looking to buy or sell real estate, consider these important factors in hiring a reputable real estate professional;

-       Attention to Detail – Real estate transactions require numerous legal documents and signature forms, and if you’ve ever been fooled by the terms of a basic cell phone contract; you can imagine the repercussions of making an error in the terms of an offer to purchase property. Leave the contract drafting up to me, ensuring you’re presenting an enforceable offer that both protects you and follows real estate best practices.

-       Negotiating Skills – If we encounter a potential issue with the property you view, trust that we’ll navigate negotiations together. We’ll work as a team, in your best interest to get you a reduction in price or alternative remediation for an issue. Lack of strong negotiation skills can cost you financially; safeguard your investment by hiring a negotiation specialist.

-       Privacy, Confidentiality and Fiduciary Duty – I’m proud to ensure you receive confidential and professional support whether you're a buyer or seller. Protecting your private information and keeping your transaction details confidential is my top priority; a necessity that may be mishandled when representing yourself or dealing with an unrepresented seller. As Realtors® we have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients which legally obligates us to put your best interests first while maintaining privacy and confidentiality laws. In British Columbia, fiduciary duty is held at such a high moral that an agent can no longer represent both the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. 

-       Property Marketing Power; a property doesn’t sell itself due to lawn advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales come as the result of a realtor’s contact with previous clients, friends, family and professional contacts. In addition to qualified contacts, I offer a wealth of knowledge on how to market in your area during the current real estate market. Allow your property to shine through professional photography, online marketing and targeted realtor open houses.

-       For Sale By Owner Properties. If you’re contemplating selling your home "FSBO"— for sale by owner — consider the following; naturally, you want to net as much for your home as possible, and you might think that means not parting with extra commissions. However, a 2019 Re/Max study indicated that FSBOs fetched approximately 25% lower sale prices for sellers than agent-listed properties did.

Unrepresented sellers could even have to pay a commission anyway if the buyer is represented by an agent, as the buyer's agent's commission is typically factored into the deal.

-       Knowledge of the Area, Amenities and Privately Listed Properties;

Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your Realtor® to find all available properties. In addition, your Realtor® can bring to light positive and negative aspects of the area you’re searching in.


To learn more about working with a trusted Shuswap Real Estate professional, connect with Craig Shantz today.

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The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos identify professional services rendered by REALTOR® members of CREA to effect the purchase, sale and lease of real estate as part of a cooperative selling system.
MLS®, REALTOR®, and the associated logos are trademarks of The Canadian Real Estate Association.