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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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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.


KEEP AN UP-TO DATE MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL

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...

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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. 


CUSTOMIZATION
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.


ENERGY EFFICIENCY
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...

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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,...

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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. 


PURCHASING A RENTAL PROPERTY
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...

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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...
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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...

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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:


SAFETY FIRST

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. 


STORAGE CONSIDERATIONS...

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As you’re spending more time inside during the winter months, it’s a great time to evaluate the use of space in your home. How are you using those extra spaces like the nook under your stairs, the corners of large rooms or even your spare rooms? The first step to transforming any space into something more purposeful is to declutter the area to remove items that aren’t necessary. Once you’ve streamlined the space, think about what kind of storage solutions make the most sense to effectively organize your real estate. It really depends on what you’ll be converting the space into, here are some ideas to get you started.


The Productivity Zone – Home Office

As many of us continue to work from home, having an organized workspace is key for successful productivity. Would the corner of your living room provide a nice set up if you added a small table, a comfortable...

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As we settle into another charming Shuswap winter season, the real estate market continues to have an excess of qualified buyers looking for their dream home. If you’ve been keeping a pulse on the seller’s real estate market and are feeling ready to list your home this winter, you can maximize your listing success with these tips;


SET THE SCENE 

Day Light Savings early darkness can put a damper on even the most positive of spaces; create a light and welcoming space with efficient, bright LED bulbs or a new statement light fixture; budget permitting. Don’t forget to compliment your well-lit space with a cozy thermostat setting keeping potential buyers comfortable while viewing. Overbearing scents can also alter a buyer’s experience, be considerate of potential allergies and triggers such as strongly perfumed candles, animal scents, garbage bins or the smell of lingering...

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Some real estate investors choose to forego viewing active listings to find the perfect home and choose to locate the perfect piece of land with plans to build instead. If you’re looking to purchase land in British Columbia to build your dream home, you should know that this type of property comes with its own set of rules and lending restrictions. Whether you’ve found a lot you love here in the Shuswap, or in another gorgeous corner of the province, these are a few facts to know prior to starting out on the hunt for the picture-perfect parcel.


DOWN PAYMENT

Depending on the property use, a typical down payment on a property with a residential dwelling is between 5% and 20%. Though it may come as a surprise, when it comes to purchasing land, you should expect to pay a down payment of between 25% and 50%, dependant again on the type of land that you are purchasing. A land mortgage...

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The financial rewards of an investment property in the Shuswap real estate market can be extremely advantageous. When done correctly, an income property allows you to successfully build an asset over time, while the expenses can be covered by the tenant. But before you jump into the role of being a landlord, here are three critical questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re up for the challenge.


1. Do You Know Your Numbers?


This is by far the biggest piece of the puzzle; if you don’t know your numbers in regards to profit and loss, then you’ll need to spend time reviewing this area before you move forward. Determine your gross income, your monthly expenses, your net income, and your potential returns with the help of a professional REALTOR® and a knowledgeable mortgage broker. You’ll need to determine how much you can realistically charge for rent, and whether...

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Call me biased, but I say there’s no better place to live than here in the Shuswap! Being born and raised in Salmon Arm, I’ve seen this vibrant small-town community thrive and grow in the best of ways. If you’re looking to make a move, be sure to check out the Salmon Arm area in your list of exploring, to see if this one-of-a-kind community could be the place you’d like to call home. Get started in your research with these 5 reasons that I love calling the Shuswap my own home! 


Lake Life and The Great Outdoors

Outdoor enthusiasts, look no further for the perfect 4-season location to call home! No matter the day of the year, there is always something to do in and around the Salmon Arm area. Located within 90 minutes of Silver Star and Revelstoke Mountain Resorts as well as many local parks, golf courses, hiking and biking trails, and the incredible Shuswap Lake,...

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It’s always a great idea to save money when and where you can - especially if you’re working towards building up a solid down payment for your first Salmon Arm home. On the flip side, if you’re already a homeowner, then you know the importance of saving money to have a decent emergency fund ready to cover any unexpected home expenses, particularly for those big-ticket items like a new roof or furnace.


Maybe you already have an emergency fund and now you’re saving for an awesome RV vacation or for a boat to enjoy fishing on Shuswap Lake. Whatever your driving factor may be to squirrel away some money, here are three top tips to help you reduce your monthly home expenses, so you can add those funds to a savings account instead!


Track Your Spending


You may be thinking, “how will writing down all my expenses end up saving me money?” Well, when you actually see...

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There’s a wide range of activities you can implement when staging your Shuswap home for sale - but rather than getting overwhelmed by all the small details, here are some key areas of focus that can help transform your space in a way that makes it much more appealing to potential buyers.


Depersonalize & Declutter

As harsh as this may sound, buyers don’t want to see photos of your family all around the house; they want to be able to envision themselves living there. Packing away personal items is a great way to jump start packing for your own move and it allows potential buyers the opportunity to picture their own belongings within the home. As you’re pairing down your personal collections, don’t forget to declutter your surfaces and remove big, bulky furniture that may distract buyers from being able to appreciate the room sizes. The goal is to create a spacious,...

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When purchasing real estate, you’re faced with a variety of decisions to make; and at times the home buying process can be complex and tiring. But don’t worry - once you’ve determined that you’re ready to move forward with your goal of investing in a Shuswap property, the rewards of growing your real estate portfolio for personal or investment purposes are definitely worth putting the effort in for!


So, what are the best ways to get into the fast-paced 2021 real estate market? Consider the three tips below to help make your real estate experience go as smooth as possible.


TIP #1 - UNDERSTAND YOUR HOME BUYING GOALS

Your first step to buying a home is to ask yourself why you want to buy a home in the first place. Is it more favorable to pay a mortgage than rent? Are you looking to begin building equity? Do you want to purchase property to create an income stream? Are...

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Your home is likely your largest asset, so selling it may be the biggest financial move you’ve ever made; one that requires significant thought and strategy. However, once you’ve entered the Shuswap real estate market, the process may move very quickly - especially in this busy spring market. With that in mind, here are key areas you can expect to explore to help get you ahead of the game when it comes to listing your home for sale.


Consider Your Pricing Strategy

It’s essential you list your property at a competitive market value right from the start. With more homes coming onto the market during the spring season, the competitive nature means that over-pricing could make the difference between your home selling quickly, sitting longer on the market, or not selling at all. On the flip side, underpricing your home in an attempt to drive multiple offers could result in not...

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There are plenty of updates you can make to your home over the years that will increase value or aesthetic appeal. To achieve the best bang for your buck, the Appraisal Institute of Canada recommends the following four home renovations to provide the greatest return on your investment when it’s time to put your home on the Shuswap real estate market. 


1. Kick Your Kitchen Up a Notch

A kitchen can be the deciding factor for many potential buyers as it’s typically a high traffic area in a home. The Appraisal Institute of Canada projects you could expect upwards of 80% of your investment from a kitchen reno, so utilize your resources and plan for functionality and accessibility to ensure a positive ROI in the future. Current trends show that neutral colours, modern looks and small industrial style touches continue to appeal to a large demographic.


2. Beautify Your Bathroom

M...

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Having a qualified team of professionals is important for the big step of buying or selling a home in the Shuswap because you want to make sure you have the support and knowledge of experts who can make sure you’re protected throughout the entire real estate transaction. One of those key professionals is your Real Estate Lawyer or Notary.


The main difference between a lawyer versus a notary is that your lawyer can represent you in a court of law and, traditionally, lawyers have extended educational and hands-on training for a wider range of areas they can provide legal advice; whereas a notary simply acts as a witness to documentations and agreements, and can certify documents to be original copies.


When it comes to the role of a real estate lawyer, the tasks they complete are different depending on whether you’re buying or selling property. Here’s a list of some of the various...

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Home renovations can be an exciting time as a homeowner; you may be knocking down walls to enjoy a brighter open living space, you may finally be getting the layout for the dream kitchen you’ve always wanted, or maybe you’re finishing your basement that’s mostly been used for storage up until this point. Whatever your reno project may be, when it’s time to call in the big guns and find the right Shuswap trades professionals for the job, there’s a few questions to consider that can help you out:


How quickly do you want your home back to normal?

You’ll need to find home service pros that are available within your timeline. Make sure you give yourself a couple weeks of extra cushion for timing because with big renovations there’s often something that pops up and extends the projected completion date. Whether it’s an unexpected find behind the walls...

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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.