Okanagan Real Estate News from Heidi Lussi November 2017   

 
Having your home broken into is a traumatic experience that you definitely want to avoid so this month's article shares some tips on how to increase your home's security.

There are also some great feng shui ideas to help you create a harmonious home environment as well as a few tips on how to build a more close-knit community.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

The Heidi Lussi Real Estate Team

In this issue...
Okanagan Real Estate Market Report 
Okanagan residential sales typical for fall time.

Residential sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) for the Okanagan region of Peachland to Revelstoke totaled 736 in October, comparable to last month’s 740 and just 6% lower than this time last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“Not unusual for this time of year, October sales and new listing volumes were both slightly lower than previous months, with both indicators in the range of what we were seeing this time last year,” comments OMREB President Tanis Read, adding “The average number of days on market rose over previous months, also typical as we head into the winter months.”

New listings were 898 in October, compared to 1118 in September, whereas the average number of days it took to sell a home in October was 83 as compared to 78 in September and 92 this time last year.

Read notes that average price, at $526,418, was a bit of an irregularity, likely due to the mix of properties sold as compared to the previous month.  October’s average price was 6% higher than September’s and up 16% over this time last year.

“While a lack of available homes for sale continues to be a problem and a major contributor to pricing, the good news, at least for some parts of the region we serve, is the number of new, multi-family residences that are closing in on completion.  This, coupled, with a surge in housing starts, could mean good news in terms of availability and affordability,” comments Read.

More housing supply offers benefits not only for prospective buyers but those looking to rent and even those considering selling.  While a seller’s market, where there are fewer homes for sale to a larger pool of buyers, can be attractive for those considering listing, it can also pose challenges for those same sellers when they look to find a new home at a price they can afford.

“Even within a local real estate market, conditions can differ within particular sub-regions or the various types of housing product,” says Read, encouraging buyers and sellers to consult a local real estate professional to ensure they have comprehensive data to inform their decision-making.

Turning to buyers of homes in the region, results compiled from monthly OMREB buyer surveys year to date (January through September, 2017), indicate that first time buyers accounted for 20% of purchasers, with move-up buyers at 17%.

Those moving within the region were 56%, followed by those from the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island at 18% and Alberta at 11%.  The 84-month average has first time buyers accounting for 20% of buyers and move-up buyers at 22%.  Those moving within the region were 57%, followed by buyers from Alberta at 14% and Lower Mainland/Vancouver at 12%.

“It’s encouraging that first time buyers continue to be a strong force within the region as they stimulate the chain of housing ownership”, says Read, noting that move-up buyers tend to rely on first time buyers to purchase their existing homes.

Smart Home Security Made Simple 
A fully secure home will provide you with peace of mind.

Whether you’re at home sleeping or away on vacation, it’s important to know that your home is secure.  A secure home is also much more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell.

Smart lighting, remote locks and wireless cameras can all make your home safer; however, the issue of cyber criminals hacking into smart home systems is a valid concern so homeowners shouldn’t forget about the basics.

Eliminate potential hiding spots by trimming down bushes that are around your windows and doors.  Most thieves are opportunists who see an open door or window and decide to take a chance and see what they can make off with.

Next, install strike plates on your doors to help protect the deadbolt from crowbars or kick attacks.  Thieves want to get into your home as quickly as possible so if one forceful kick doesn't work, they’ll likely turn and run.

Windows are also popular break in points so install heavy sash or keyed locks.  Installing an eyebolt in window corners also prevents the window from being opened from the outside.  Glass block windows are an excellent choice as they look attractive, can't be opened and are extremely difficult to break.

Give the impression your home is lived in while you're away on vacation by installing a dusk-to-dawn porch light.  Although technology allows you to control blinds and lights right from your smartphone, you'll still need to find someone to rake your leaves as there isn’t an app for that yet!


When it comes to home security, paying attention to the little things can often make a huge difference so take time to "case the joint" and list all the security failures that burglars would appreciate.  Potential buyers will prefer a secure home as it's one less thing for them to worry about so you may as well do it sooner than later so that you can enjoy the benefits as well.

The Feng Shui Way 
Creating good feng shui around your home is easier than you think!

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that helps achieve a harmonious living environment in order to promote happiness and prosperity.  Here are a few ideas to enhance the energy flow around your home:


  1. Think Outside the Nest - Birds bring great energy so add a few feeders and a bird bath in your backyard.

  2. The Right Path - Place a few plants and wind chimes on your porch and make sure the path to your front door is unobstructed.


  3. Fire & Ice - Essential oils, crystals, candles and water features such as fountains and fish bowls will bring calm and balance into your home.

  4. Mirror, Mirror - The strategic placement of mirrors helps improve feng shui by drawing more sunlight into otherwise murky rooms and by expanding narrow areas such as hallways.

  5. De-clutter - Clearing your home of clutter will introduce a smoother flow of energy.  Clutter is a sign of trapped energy so be ruthless and get rid of everything you don’t need.

Feng shui emphasizes that our physical surroundings have an impact on our emotional well-being so it’s important to be aware of how we arrange our space.  Buyers often feel certain vibes when they enter a home so a "harmonious feel" could be the difference between a quick sale and one that drags on.

Building a Better Community 
Getting to know the people living around you offers plenty of benefits!

Research shows that there are many physical and mental health benefits to enjoying a sense of belonging.  Here are a few ideas to help you build community spirit:

  1. Rags to Riches - Organize a garage sale or clothing swap in your ‘hood.  It’s also a great way to get rid of clutter!


  2. Clean Green - Coordinate a park clean-up and then enjoy drinks and snacks that will hopefully be donated by a local business.


  3. Book Smart - Build a “Little Library” at your local park or on your front lawn and enjoy watching people gather to exchange books.


Getting to know people who live close by will really improve your quality of life and foster a sense of belonging.  Social media can also help build a safe, connected, friendly place to live by providing a platform to share events and ideas.



PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let us do the work for you!

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