Cell 250-833-6121

Office 250-832-7051

Email: craig@craigshantz.com

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.


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 is considered more risky to a financial institution, and thus requires a larger investment or starting equity from the client.


You will receive an annual property tax bill for land as you would with a residential home. The annual cost for these property taxes will be based on the value of the land, the size of the property, the number of lots and more. For more information on how property taxes are calculated, head over to BC Assessment's Tax Rates.


In addition to knowing which costs will be associated with your purchase, it’s important to know of any restrictions the property has or may have to face in the future. Here are some questions to ask, prior to making an offer on a piece of land:

  • Are there any restrictive covenants in place on the title that would affect your ability to use the land as you wish?
  • Do any easements exist on the property that would allow your potential neighbors, utility providers and other entities to affect any part of the land?
  • Is the title clear on the property? If not, what is the plan for remediating any liens.
  • Are services already established and provided to the land, such as trash and recycling pickup, high speed internet and telephone services or mail delivery?
  • Do such issues as soil contamination cause a problem for the use of the land?
  • How is the land zoned? Does the city foresee that changing?
  • Does the land have a proven water source? Is there already a system for removing wastewater from the property? If you needed to put in a septic system, could you?

You may have additional questions about how to navigate the transaction of purchasing land; if so, please reach out any time. If you’re in the market for a great piece of land in the Shuswap and would like to have knowledgeable support in your investment, I’d love the opportunity to be your trusted REALTOR® 

Craig Shantz⠀
RE/MAX Shuswap Realty⠀

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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 that aligns with covering the expenses involved for you, with room to make a profit.

2. Do You Have Sufficient Time?

In a perfect world, you’ll find an ideal tenant that looks after every aspect of the property and treats it as if it’s their own, but that’s definitely not always the case. Self-management of a property can be time consuming when on-going maintenance is involved. For example, will you be taking care of snow removal, cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters, etc. or will some of these duties fall on the shoulders of your tenant? Depending on the type of home you’re renting, you’ll need to consider how much time will need to be invested when it comes to property maintenance and whether hiring a property management company is financially feasible. Ensure you and your potential tenant outline the responsibilities of the property very clearly in your rental agreement.

3. How Will Emergencies and Repairs Be Taken Care Of?

Similar to the question above, you’ll need to have a game plan ahead of time for issues and emergencies that are bound to pop up. You will want to have procedures in place for things like broken appliances, electrical updates, plumbing needs, and other concerns that may occur. Will you be responsible for fixing these items, or will you need to have a property manager worked into your expenses that fields these updates as needed? Prior to purchasing a property ensure you know what needs to be done on the immediate horizon of purchase, and the items you’ll be keeping a pulse on early in the ownership.

Owning a rental property can be a great asset to your portfolio; it’s just important to make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into. So when considering your options for a Shuswap income property, it’s a good idea to speak with a trusted REALTOR® - and other home professionals who can help you out along the way. Connect with me today to make sure you’re on the right track to have a rewarding and profitable experience as a landlord, so you can build wealth over time.

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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, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventure for our residents and visitors alike. 

Enjoy lake life, settling in near the gorgeous Shuswap Lake, which offers beaches, waterfront dining, a series of walking trails, waterfalls and summer watersports for the adventure aficionados.

Eclectic Downtown Vibe

Over the last year, the downtown core of Salmon Arm has seen existing businesses flourish while they welcome fresh shops and stores that bring new life to the Salmon Arm culture. From one-off shops offering floral arrangements, clothing and artisan goods to delicious dining experiences, the downtown core of Salmon Arm has something for everyone to explore.

Employment Opportunity

Salmon Arm offers employment opportunities in many industries. The main downtown core offers numerous roles in hospitality, food service, real estate, retail and more. In addition to the downtown core, and located just a short drive from downtown, the Salmon Arm Industrial Park has many trades-based businesses, fabrication shops and woodworking companies too. For a full list of the Industrial Park’s businesses, head over to https://www.saeds.ca/industrial-park-map/#ipm

Schools & Education

When it comes to settling into the perfect town for your family, know that Salmon Arm’s quaint neighbourhoods have some of the best schools around. School District 83 – North Okanagan and Shuswap offers 24 elementary and secondary schools (including French Immersion programs) that pride themselves on an inclusive environment and well-rounded education plan for all. Here you’ll find all you need to know about the school district and procedures for student enrollments; https://sd83.bc.ca

Location is Everything

One of my favourite things about Salmon Arm is that it provides the amenities of city living, while offering a small-town community feel. In addition to being within a short drive to many major city centres, Salmon Arm also serves as the midway point between Calgary and Vancouver, and also has 2 major airports within a short driving distance, one in Kamloops and one in Kelowna (YLW international airport.) 

The core of Salmon Arm offers all you’ll need for farm fresh vegetables, retail shopping and weekend excursions, but if you’re craving more adventure, Revelstoke, Kamloops, Vernon and Kelowna are also a short drive away.

Resources to Explore

Here are a few online resources to get you started in your Salmon Arm research;

For the most up-to-date Shuswap Trails Info:


For Shuswap Tourism:


For Salmon Arm’s Online Hub;


To learn more about beautiful Salmon Arm, or to discuss scheduling a tour of some neighbourhoods and properties that suit your unique buying needs, please reach out anytime!

Craig Shantz⠀
RE/MAX Shuswap Realty⠀

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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 how much money you’re spending - and what you’re spending it on - you become aware of areas in which you can cut back; thus reducing your expenses. The activity of tracking each dollar you spend helps you to see the big picture and can help you identify where small purchases are adding up to larger monthly totals. For example, if you’re spending $100 a week on groceries, but half of it goes bad and gets thrown out because you’re grabbing take out four nights of the week, you can choose to either buy less groceries or cook at home more; resulting in some savings. Shopping in small batches, and creating a weekly meal plan to know what you’ll need in advance can help too.

Put Pride Aside

Don’t be too proud to claim coupons or discounts - a few dollars here and there can add up quickly! Need a new small kitchen appliance or other household item? Chances are you can find a coupon code online with a quick Google search. While you’re at it, call your cell phone company and your internet provider; you may be able to negotiate some savings or bundle your services to reduce your monthly bill. Saving money is a badge of honour; it means you’re a smart and savvy shopper!

Eliminate Vampire Power

Slay the “vampire power” in your home. Otherwise known as standby power or leaking electricity, simply turning off lights in rooms you’re not using and unplugging appliances when they’re not in use can save you money over time. You can also adjust your thermostat, use energy-saving light bulbs, keep vents clean, and change the filters around your home to increase their effectiveness while decreasing your monthly household expenses.

If you’ve been saving for a new home and are ready to dive into the Shuswap real estate market, give me a call today at 250.832.7051 to get started.

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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, yet comfortable atmosphere for those walking through.

Walls & Ceilings

Examine all the ceilings and walls for water stains or dirt, as we don’t often look closely at the walls that surround us. There could be residual stains from leaks that have long been fixed, or an accumulation of dirt in an area you hadn’t noticed. Adding a fresh coat of paint on your walls and ceiling may also be one of your best investments when preparing your home for the Shuswap market. New paint can take years off the appearance of your home, dramatically increasing its perceived value. Remember to choose modern, neutral colours that brighten up the space and appeal to a wider audience of potential buyers.

Carpet & Flooring

If you have carpet in your home and it appears worn, old, or outdated, consider replacing it. These days, many people prefer to have no carpet in their home because it's much easier to maintain. There are plenty of flooring options to choose from - and you can even get the look of hardwood with a less expensive laminate or vinyl plank.

Plumbing & Fixtures

All sink, tub, and shower fixtures should look clean and fresh. Check to make sure all hot and cold faucets are easy to turn on and that none of the faucets have leaks. If you do find a leaking faucet, take the time to fix or replace the unit, as leaks can cause a red flag for potential buyers who may assume there’s more expensive issues lurking behind the walls too.

Remember: The goal isn’t to re-vamp your entire home, but rather simply avoid causing any negative impressions due to noticeable damage or over-clutter in your house. Once you’ve covered all these bases, your property will be in prime shape for its time on the market. 

If you’re ready to stage your home for success and make a Shuswap move, connect with me today at 250.832.7051 or craig@craigshantz.com

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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.


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 you searching for a great space to raise a family? Determining your goals will help you create a list of what kind of home you'd like and which area you want to settle yourself into. Be as specific as you can; separate the "must haves" from the "want to haves", so you have a clear picture of your real estate goals.


Once you know more about why you want to get into the Shuswap real estate market, your next step in the property purchasing process is to get pre-qualified with a mortgage loan. Working with a professional mortgage broker, this can be done over the phone or even online in a matter of minutes, depending on if you have all the necessary information on hand. When you have your pre-approval amount, you’ll be able to determine a realistic budget for your home search. As well, since it’s been a seller’s market for the last several months, having your mortgage pre-approval in-hand helps sellers know you’re serious about making an offer. 


Now that you have your pre-approval and know what price range you’ll need to stay within, the third tip is to enlist the help of a fantastic Shuswap REALTOR®. You want your real estate agent to be very familiar with the current homes on the market and to know independent neighbourhood values, so they’re able to help you determine which properties are fairly priced. After all, purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime; you want to make sure you’re in good hands with a professional who provides knowledge, communicates clearly and with someone who has experience.

I’d love to earn your trust as your chosen REALTOR®. My top priority is to make sure that your home buying experience is pleasant, cost-efficient, and successful. Connect with me today at 250.832.7051 and let’s discuss your unique real estate goals.

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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 achieving the ultimate amount you’re looking for if only one offer comes in.

Do Your Homework

Have a candid conversation with your real estate professional about the nature of the current market and exploring the details regarding similar homes on the market. Take advantage of the expertise your REALTOR® offers when it comes to reviewing comparative features such as lot size, square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, list price, sold price, etc. 

Prepare to Keep Up the Cleanliness

Make no mistake, prospective buyers will be turned off by even a minimal lack of cleanliness, or unpleasant odours hanging around. Sellers may lose thousands of dollars if they fail to thoroughly clean the house before they begin to show it because it could make the potential buyer assume the home hasn’t been well maintained, which could lead to future issues once they take ownership. Begin by clearing your house of excess junk, clutter, and furniture to create more space, then give your home a thorough deep clean as well.

Take Care of Interior & Exterior Updates

When it comes to the interior of your home, a fresh coat of paint may be one of your best investments when preparing your home for sale, dramatically increasing its perceived value. A reminder to invest in neutral colours that will appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Likewise, if your carpeting appears really worn or outdated, consider replacing it or swapping it out to be a more modern flooring option. In terms of your curb appeal, if the prospective buyer doesn’t like the outside of your house as soon as they pull up, they may choose to skip viewing the inside entirely. 

If you’re thinking about listing your home, get in touch with me today by calling 250.832.7051 or emailing craig@craigshantz.com. We’ll chat about how to get your property into top selling shape before it hits the Salmon Arm market in order to increase the chances of getting a great offer in the shortest amount of time as possible.

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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

Modernizing your bathroom makes it feel more fresh and clean to people who may be interested in purchasing your home - plus, you can expect to recover somewhere in the neighbourhood of 75% of your expenses when you renovate your bathroom. Consider adding desirable double sinks, a vanity with plenty of storage, and upgrading to a high efficiency water conserving toilet.

3. Windows that Work

Swapping out your old windows not only adds value to your home, but it also allows your space to be more energy efficient; therefore, saving you money on your energy bills as well. Newer windows are a big perk for potential buyers because they won’t have to go through the hassle and expense of upgrading them - and they won’t need to try and negotiate a lower offer price to offset the expense.

4. Replace Your Roof

This is a big area of the structural integrity of your home that will be considered in offer negotiations, so if any shingles are missing, curling, or flapping in the wind, it’s time to get your roof replaced. It’s a big expense up front, but if your roof isn’t properly protecting your home, then damage can cost you even more down the road.

If you don’t have the budget for a large renovation project, some smaller scale upgrades you can make that still offer a big impact include tasks like enhancing hardware on cupboards and cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom, adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls, and getting creative with your curb appeal.

Want to know what your home is worth if you’re considering selling? Email me today at craig@craigshantz.com or use my handy home evaluation tool.

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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 responsibilities your lawyer would manage on your behalf:

If you are the BUYER, your real estate lawyer should take care of the following:

  • Review the Agreement of Purchase and all other legal documents
  • Ensure there are no claims listed against the property
  • Arrange for Title Insurance
  • Ensure you have a valid title upon closing
  • Ensure property taxes are up to date
  • Calculate the land transfer tax due on closing
  • Draw up the mortgage documents
  • Close the transaction and ensure all legal and financial conditions are met
  • Exchange legal documents and keys with the seller’s lawyer

If you are the SELLER, your real estate lawyer should take care of the following:

  • Review the Agreement of Sale and other legal documents before you sign
  • Review the final negotiations of the terms and conditions
  • Prepare the deed to your house
  • Deal and remedy title issues as they occur
  • Close the transaction
  • Ensure all legal and financial conditions have been met
  • Exchange legal documents and keys with the buyer’s lawyer

It’s crucial to understand the importance of having a trusted real estate lawyer or notary on your side to best represent you throughout your real estate transaction. If you’re in need of other professional referrals when we work together to find you the home that’s right for you, I can connect you with a team of partners that I work with often to see if they are the right fit for you. Connect with me today to begin the adventure of buying or selling your Salmon Arm home!

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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 of your home or a delay with a permit, there’s bound to be something that takes things a little off track. Set realistic timeline expectations with your chosen professionals and ensure lines of communication will be open during the project for a more seamless experience.

How much do you have set aside for renovations?

Making sure you have a realistic budget for your project is key, and speaking with trades professionals will help give you a good idea of what your renovation will cost. There will also be other factors, like the quality of material, finishes, and fixtures that will come in to play – so depending on your flare for style, or if you’re taking a more modest approach, that will impact your reno reserve too. You’ll want to obtain a detailed quote from your potential home pros, based on your preferences, prior to any work commencing.

Where can you look for solid referrals?

Online reviews are getting more and more popular as a source for recommendations. If you search most businesses online, you’ll be able to find some kind of review about them; check their Facebook page or Google business page to see what their rating is. If you know of anyone local to you that have recently done renovations, start up a conversation with them about how their experience was and if they’d refer the companies they used. Or you could always ask the potential trades professional directly if they have past customers you could call for a reference.

Your goal is to find a home service expert that offers a fair price, while also offering quality workmanship. If you’d like some help getting in touch with skilled Salmon Arm trades professionals for your home renovation, give me a call at 250-833-6121 and I’ll connect you with my trusted partners I’ve gained from my experience in the real estate industry.

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While December is not typically a busy season for many mortgage professionals, since the market has traditionally cooled off in conjunction with the colder weather, the unpredictable circumstances through last year have us also seeing an active real estate market going strong through these winter months. As the spring market was pushed forward into the summer, we are still experiencing ongoing real estate transactions, seeing many home buyers who are eager to take advantage of the all-time low interest rates that financial institutions are offering.

We began 2020 with an overnight target rate of 1.75% and with all things considered in regards to the unprecedented circumstances last year brought on, that rate has understandably been impacted and is currently sitting at an all-time low of; 0.25%. Continuing on into 2021, there’s good news for anyone looking to purchase real estate, as the Bank of Canada’s target overnight rate is predicted to remain stable at 0.25% into 2021. 

At the Bank of Canada’s October policy meeting, they announced that they don’t expect to raise their target overnight rate until at least 2023. This aligns with the projections in their previous July report regarding economic recovery where they stated their belief is that the economy will not return to its previous highs prior to 2022. In fact, the Bank of Canada projected Consumer Index Price (CPI) inflation would remain below their target of 2.0% until beyond 2022, which means we can likely expect the Bank of Canada's target overnight rate to remain at the lower bound of 0.25% in 2021 and even into 2022.

In addition to this, on December 6th HSBC, a multinational investment bank and financial services holding company, came out with a variable mortgage rate of 0.99%, which is believed to be the first variable mortgage rate offer below 1% within Canada, ever. It should be noted, however, that this rate is only being offered to high-ratio insured mortgages; meaning that only about 10% of potential home buyers would likely qualify, as it targets buyers who are paying less than 20% as their down payment – who would then need to pay mortgage insurance on top of the 0.99% rate.

The BC mortgage industry affects the Shuswap real estate market – and staying on top of these trends and changes is so important to me as a REALTOR® to ensure I’m able to offer you the most up-to-date information. If you’d like to learn more about how these predictions impact you and your individual real estate circumstances, or if you’d like a referral to a trusted mortgage professional; connect with me today and we’ll discuss the options that are best for you.

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One of the best things about buying a home in the Shuswap through a trusted REALTOR® is that you’re able to utilize their support and knowledge for free. Many people looking to purchase a home believe that it costs them a fee to work with a real estate representative – but when you’re purchasing a home, you don’t actually pay your representative. 

The way a real estate transaction works is that each of the REALTORS® on the buying and selling side earns a percentage of the brokerage commission, which is already calculated into the price of the house. Your REALTOR® is paid by the person who is listing their home for sale – and your representative doesn’t collect commission until the deal has closed completely. 

This is great for you as a home buyer because it means you get to enjoy the support of your real estate representative at no cost to you when you’re looking to invest in real estate in the Salmon Arm and surrounding area. Here are three more ways a REALTOR® makes your home buying process easier:

1. Your REALTOR® Keeps Your Rights Protected

Your real estate representative has a legal or fiduciary obligation to uphold your best interests within every buying situation that occurs while you’re under contract with them. This helps ensure you’re properly represented, so you don’t get taken advantage of during one of the largest purchases of your life. This is the most important reason to have a real estate representative working with you.

2. Your REALTOR® is an Expert in the Shuswap Housing Market

A great real estate representative thoroughly comprehends the local housing market because they work within it every single day. They provide an excellent resource of information to help you understand current trends, comparable properties and complimentary neighbourhoods to find the home that’s right for you and your family.

3. Your REALTOR® Brings You Effective Offer Strategies

Your real estate representative should bring a wealth of experience to the table when they’re negotiating a deal on your behalf. They can help explain complicated legal documentation and clarify a strategy for how to be most efficient in purchasing your new home. 

When you choose to work with an exceptional real estate representative, they will take care of you even after the transaction has closed as well. I’d be honoured to be your trusted REALTOR® of choice, so if you’re ready to begin the search for your perfect Shuswap home, get in touch with me today! I’m here to make sure your best interests are put first – and to keep you protected during your entire home buying experience.

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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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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.