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City of Kelowna Cracks the Top 100 Travel Destinations in the World

How in the world did Kelowna crack the top 100 most loved travel destinations in the world?

Simple. Because Kelowna is Awesome.

Recently the Tourism Sentiment Index released their list of the top 100 travel destinations in the world.

There were 4 Canadian cities that made the cut. The top Canadian destination was Fernie. Kelowna came a close second and the list was rounded out by Niagara Falls and Canmore, Alberta.

The TSI explains how the scores are generated this way:

Quote: To calculate the score, we collect all the conversations and content around a destination and, through natural language processing, filter to those that are driven by a destination’s tourism experiences or products. The remaining data is classified as positive, neutral or negative as artificial intelligence deciphers sentiment from human expression.

How Was the Score Calculated?

So basically it sounds like they scour the internet, look for posts of pictures, videos of experiences and dialogued conversation and then feed it through an AI filter which then looks for the positive, neutral and the negative.

Then they give it a score based on an algorithm.

Ok, not sure if that’s right but hey, I gave it a shot at explaining the word salad that I found in an article on KelownaNow.

To give you some context, The Maldives came in at number 1 with a score of 40.26.

You know the Maldives right? Beautiful blue ocean. Resorts built in the ocean waters. A beautiful archipelago that spans across the equator.

Fernie came in with a score of 25.25 and Kelowna scored just behind them at 24.43.

What Was Kelowna’s Top Asset(s)?

So can you guess what the top asset was? 

Well if you’ve visited Kelowna, then you should have a pretty good guess.

Wineries and vineyards were at the top of the list.

That’s certainly a great place to start, but let’s add to the list, shall we?

What Else is Kelowna Known For?

Love to golf? So do I. Kelowna is home to about 2000 hours of sunshine per year with one of the longest and driest golf seasons in the country.

Add to that, 19 golf courses in and around Kelowna and you will never get bored of playing the same course over and over.

Hiking and Mountain Biking come to mind for sure when thinking about Kelowna. I’ve mentioned Knox and Boucherie before, but there is a ton of other spots to hike around Kelowna like Lebanon Creek, Paul’s Tomb, Glen Canyon, Layer Cake and many more spots to explore.

Loving the lake life? 

Lake Okanagan isn’t the only option to bust out the paddle board or ski boat. You’ve got Kalamalka and Wood Lake within minutes of the north end of the city. If you want to just lounge on a beach somewhere, you have about 30 to choose from.

So pack a cooler, take your lunch and head out for an afternoon but get there early to grab a good spot.

What about the winter months though?

Well, if you like to ski and snowboard you have your choice of three ski hills all within 40 to 90 minutes from downtown Kelowna in Apex, Big White and Silver Star.

Ice fishing more your thing? Well there are a ton of lakes all within an hours drive from Kelowna, plus you have the lakes that I mentioned earlier to choose from if you want to stick closer to home.

Ice skating at Stuart Park. Kelowna Rockets Hockey games at Prospera Place. Or snow shoeing at the Myra Canyon Trestles round out some winter activities nicely.

Kelowna is so much more than vineyards and wineries, in my opinion, Kelowna should have fared a lot higher than Fernie BC!

That’s all I have for you today on this video! If you can think of anymore amazing things to do here in Kelowna, then leave them in the comments below.

If you are thinking about selling your current home or looking to relocate to Kelowna, then we should talk. You can give me a call or send me a text to 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email anytime to kelley@kelleyskar.com


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New property listed in Lake Country

I have listed a new property at 15065 Highland Road in Lake Country. See details here

Well appointed 2400 sqft bungalow with breathtaking views of Wood and Kalmalka lake! This 3 bed, 2 bath home is situated on a spacious quarter-acre lot with tons of storage and a finished walkout basement. The property has been lovingly updated with new paint, baseboards, and kitchen countertops. It also boasts a oversized single attached garage and RV Parking for your boat or your motorhome/trailer. Enjoy the family-friendly location, steps away from the Okanagan rail trail and the Palmewash Parkway which is a beautiful road that runs along the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, connecting Vernon and Kelowna. This scenic drive is a must-see for anyone visiting the area and is a popular destination for locals to enjoy on weekends or during the summer months. With an open concept living area, large windows, finished walkout basement with wood burning fireplace and ample natural light, this home is perfect for entertaining or relaxing with loved ones. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to own a slice of paradise in the Okanagan! (id:2493)

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Kelowna or Kamloops: Where Would you Rather Live?

If you are thinking about making a move to Kelowna or the Okanagan in general and are having a hard time deciding on where to live, then keep reading. Today’s blog is going to compare living in Kelowna to living in Kamloops.

There are 5 topics that I am going to cover where I point out the similarities as well as some of the differences.

Both Kamloops and Kelowna are located in the Okanagan Valley region, but they have their unique characteristics that set them apart from each other. 

Today we are going to explore the five distinct similarities and differences between these two cities.

  1. Geography and Climate

Kelowna and Kamloops are both situated in the Okanagan Valley region, but their geography and climate are quite different. Kelowna is located on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake and has a semi-arid climate with warm summers and mild winters.

Kamloops, on the other hand, is located in the Thompson Valley and has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and colder winters. 

If you like a more desert-like landscape, then Kamloops is definitely for you. Kelowna on the other hand certainly has some of that desert like landscape going on but I would say it has more lush greenery including orchards and vineyards.

One last major difference is that Kamloops is what I would call a river city where Kelowna is a lake city right on the eastern shore of Okanagan lake. 

Both areas certainly have their share of water-sports right there in each city during the summertime. One thing that may be overlooked is the amount of lakes and camping outside of each city, you can be at multiple camping sites and fish stocked lakes within an hour of each location.

Ok number two on the list…

  1. Population and Economy

Kelowna and Kamloops are both growing cities, but Kelowna has a larger population than Kamloops. Kelowna's population is around 142,000, while Kamloops' population is around 90,000. 

Kelowna has a diverse economy that includes tourism, agriculture, and technology. Kamloops, on the other hand, has a resource-based economy that includes mining, forestry, and manufacturing. 

That being said though, Kamloops has successfully been able to diversify its economy to include technology, bio energy, tourism and manufacturing.

In fact, Kamloops kind of reminds me of growing up in Prince George. They are definitely a river city with forestry as one of the main drivers of the economy and they have a pulp mill within the city itself. 

If you’ve lived in a town with a pulp mill, you know what kind of smells you can expect in the middle of a hot summer downwind from the mill!

Kamloops has a lot of the amenities and access to shopping that Kelowna does including all of the major big box stores that a city of almost 100 thousand people should have like a Costco, Home Depot and Canadian Tire.

Alright, number 3…

  1. Recreation and Outdoor Activities

Both Kelowna and Kamloops offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Kelowna has a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, cycling, skiing, and water sports. 

The city is also known for its beautiful parks and beaches. Kamloops,is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous hiking and mountain biking trails, fishing spots, and golf courses. 

The summers in Kelowna are amazing with multiple beaches right within the city if you’re into lounging. If you want a little more excitement you can take in some para sailing or rent a boat for the day and head out and explore the lake while at the same time, getting your surf on. 

If you’re into skiing in the winter months, you are about 45 minutes from Big White, an hour and a half to Apex out by Penticton and about an hour to Silver Star by Vernon.

In Kamloops you have the Thompson and the North Thompson Rivers which converge in the city which offers boating, fishing and paddle boarding options. The awesome part about living in Kamloops, if you are into the outdoor lifestyle, is the over 100 lakes that are within a 1 hour drive of the city.

In the winter the ski hill closest to Kamloops is Sun Peaks, which boasts 16 square kilometers of rideable terrain. This is the second largest in the entire country second only to Whistler Blackcombe. Of course we can’t forget to mention Harper Mountain, which is a great smaller ski hill that is only 30 minutes from the city!

On to number 4, one of my favorite topics, the housing market…

  1. Housing Market

I have talked at great length on this channel about the housing market here in Kelowna and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, here are some quick stats once again.

The benchmark price of a home here in Kelowna is now sitting at around $977,000. The average days on the market is 37 and we are right now sitting in a buyers market. 

Kamloops on the other hand is a lot more affordable with the single family benchmark price coming in at $605,000 for January 2023. The single family days on market is sitting at 52 days on market and the market also currently favours the buyer, albeit with about a month less of supply than Kelowna.

Of course Kamloops is a smaller in terms of population than Kelowna, but the overall size of the city is quite a bit larger at 297.3 square kilometers compared to 218 square kilometers in Kelowna giving it a little more room to expand which will ultimately keep pricing lower than the Central Okanagan area.

Lastly, number 5 on the list is…

  1. Education and Health Care

Kelowna and Kamloops are both home to several educational institutions, including universities and colleges. Kelowna is home to the University of British Columbia Okanagan, while Kamloops is home to Thompson Rivers University. 

Both of these schools offer great opportunities for students to stay here in the Okanagan, close to home and to get a great education. Both of these schools also offer a lot of employment opportunities for the residents of these two cities. 

According to the invest kelowna dot com website, the education sector accounts for approximately 8300 jobs here in the Central Okanagan.

Both cities also have well-established health care systems, with hospitals and medical centers that serve their respective populations. 

The healthcare and social assistance sectors in the Central Okanagan is the second largest employer in the region with about 13,700 employees. Kelowna of course has Kelowna General Hospital with many walk in and family clinics in the city as well as Lake Country and West Kelowna. 

I can tell you that there is a shortage of doctors in the Central Okanagan and if you are looking to make a move, be prepared to get yourself on a wait list for a family doctor.

According to Venture Kamloops, the health care sector is also the leading employer for the region with just under 8000 people employed. Kamloops has the Royal Inland Hospital which is a 254 bed acute care facility and one of only two tertiary care centres in Interior Health District.

Now, I can’t speak to the health care system there as I don’t live there, but the entire province is experiencing health care worker shortages so I have to assume that I would give you the same advice if you were looking at Kamloops as an alternative to Kelowna, get on a waitlist early!

There are a lot of similarities between these two southern interior cities, the biggest differences are in size/area, population and geography/landscape.  

Kelowna and Kamloops are two beautiful cities that have their unique characteristics. Both areas offer plenty of outdoor activities, a thriving arts and cultural scene, and excellent educational and health care systems. 

So what do you think? If you were making a move to BC and specifically to the Okanagan, which city would be right for you? 

If you are thinking of making a move to or selling your current home in, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country or Peachland, then we should talk. You can call me at 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email at info@livelovekelowna.ca

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What is Going to Happen in the Kelowna Real Estate Market: Correction?

If you look at the stats that our association here in Kelowna pushes out on a monthly basis, you will see that they always like to show the year over year values.

Things like, year over year sales or median prices or days on market.

This means they are comparing February 2022 to February 2023.

This is a completely inaccurate representation of where the market is going as it only paints a picture of what was a year ago.

I prefer to look at the whole picture. 

I track, analyze and study data on a monthly and a quarterly basis.

So for example, the market from the end of Q1 all the way through the rest of the year saw a trend line of a market correction where single family home prices continued to see a drop.

That being said, if I showed you numbers from November 2021 and compared to November 2022, you wouldn’t think things were all that bad price wise. 

And even then, that would still not paint an accurate picture.

If we look at where prices were in January of 2022 and compare them to November you’d see something completely different.

Ok, so where are we now?

Is Kelowna in a Buyer's or Seller's Market?

We are in a state of correction where it’s a buyer’s market. 

There are two different pricing metrics that I look at when I am tracking the state of the market.

The first is median pricing, this is where we look at the midpoint of sales prices where an equal number of homes sold above and below this sales price.

The second is the benchmark pricing which is an MLS estimate of the value of a typical home in a community, based on size, age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, style etcetera.

There is a difference in the actual value of the homes, for example in Q1 of 2022 the median price for a single family home in Kelowna was 1 Million 2 hundred and 60 thousand dollars.

The benchmark price came in at 1 Million 60 thousand 3 hundred dollars.

Just a little bit of a difference there. 

Pricing matters but really what I am looking for are the trends.

Like what happened each month and what happened each quarter?

Where did we wind up from where we started?




What is the Real Estate Trend for Kelowna?

Do the trends suggest that prices are increasing or decreasing? 

Well in the case of 2022 we saw some declines, the market peaked in about March of that year and we saw a quarter by quarter drop in pricing throughout the rest of the year.

Sales also declined through 2022 by about 33% compared to 2021.

But come on, who in their right mind is going to compare stats in 2022 to stats from 2021 or 2020 for that matter.

Both of those years were crazy for the market, one was slow and the other was plain nuts.

If we want to compare numbers, let’s look at 2019, which arguably, was the last somewhat sane market that Kelowna has seen over the last 4 years. 

We can’t compare pricing due to the price points being way higher now than 4 years ago but we can look at sales numbers and pricing trends.

For pricing, 2019 saw a nice balance of a 4% increase in the benchmark, in January of that year the benchmark price for a single family home was $658,000 and the year ended at $687,000.

This is what I am hoping to see in 2024, more on that in a bit.

Ok, in 2019 there were a total of 2 thousand 3 hundred and 36 single family homes sold.

In 2022 there were a total of 2 thousand 3 hundred and 65 homes sold, this includes the market peaking in March of that year.

Pretty equal right?

Other metrics might include average days on market.

In 2019 it took a total of 50 days to sell a home where in 2022 the average turned out to be 34 days.

Bit of a difference there but I expect things to fall more in line with 2019, this year. 

As mentioned before, the market was still pretty hot through Q1 of 2022.

Alright next I wanted to look at the absorption rate or months of supply on the market.

These stats really tell a story, when I look at 2019 and 2022 there are a lot of similarities especially in the last half of last year. 

Months of supply jumped up in June of last year and pretty much mirrored the months of supply going back to 2019.

This metric tells me that I am on the right track when looking back at 2019 as a comparable year to 2022.

What is Happening in the Kelowna Market in March of 2023?

We are firmly planted in a buyers market at the moment, there are fewer sales with a drop in demand and more listings on the market.

As the Spring market starts to ramp up here in the next couple of weeks I think we are going to see demand begin to pick up.

Buyers will likely get used to these higher interest rates, the market will settle in and we will see sales begin to happen again.

It won’t outpace supply but it will help to balance the market out going through the spring and into the end of the second quarter.

My prediction is that we see a consistency of around 5-7 months of supply on the market with an average number of days to sell to creep up into the mid 40s to mid 50s.

So, what about pricing? 

Well with a buyers market we typically see prices drop and see a correction in the market before the real estate market begins to balance out.

I saw a lot of this happening in Calgary’s market over the course of the last decade, there were multiple peaks and valleys in that market.

It was incredibly tough to predict.

The Okangan market is a little easier when looking at previous sales price data going back the last 15 years.

There are all of these small jumps in pricing with a small drop or correction and then a period of steady and balanced increases along the way.

I fully expect that the pricing we see today is the Okanagan’s new normal and that we will likely see further corrections moving through the spring with prices balancing out through Q2 and the rest of the year. 

Will Housing Prices Drop in Kelowna in 2023?

We could see another 3-5% drop in overall median pricing before the end of Q2.

My prediction for 2024 is that we will likely see a return to balance and small increases in pricing by 2-4% per year.

The Okanagan has seen some volatility in the real estate market over the last 3 years, from March of 2020 to March of 2022 there were mostly peaks and now some valleys that we have had to contend with. 

This is not typical for the market here. Not to worry though, balance is coming, it’s just going to take about 12 months to get there.

Here’s the advice that I would give to buyers right now in this market…there’s a good chance that you will be able to find a decent deal in the single family market and the apartment condo market. 

However, there hasn’t been much movement in the townhouse segment in terms of pricing so be realistic with the offers that you are making for that style of home.

That’s not to say you can be unrealistic when writing on the other two segments, it just means that you are going to have a little more wiggle room in negotiations than we have seen the last 3 years when negotiating on single family and apartment style condos.

For seller’s…look, pricing and marketing is what is going to sell your home. Without a great price, marketing isn’t going to mean much.

Be realistic and find an agent that knows the stats, and is going to price you ahead of the market instead of behind it.

Think about this if you are looking to sell your Kelwona Home this year…do you want to Sit or do you want to Sell?

Pricing strategy is everything.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for you today.

As always if you have questions about the market here in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country or anywhere here in the valley then we should talk.

Give me a call at 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email at kelley@kelleyskar.com

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What is the Actual Cost of Buying a Home in Kelowna?

Buying a home in Kelowna or anywhere for that matter, right now, can get expensive.

And I’m not just talking about saving up for that downpayment that you are going to need. 

I am talking closing costs.

If it’s your first time looking to buy a home in the Okanagan then you should lean into what I’m about to tell you.

Also, this could be for people that are looking to sell that first home and get into their second or third or fourth.

You get a little rusty and may not remember all of what you need for resources considering most people stay in their homes 4-5 years.

I barely remember what I had for breakfast some days, so I can empathize with you!

Alright, let’s get into it.

How Much of Downpayment do I Need to Buy a Home in Kelowna?

The first cost is the most obvious one and that will be your downpayment. The minimum required to put down is 5% up to $500,000. 

If you are spending over that threshold then you could be required to put down up to 7% in total, there is a calculation in there that I’m not going to get into, just know it could run as high as 7 points.

Ok, let’s back up a little bit and go back to the beginning of your home shopping experience.

There is no cost for getting pre-approved for financing.

There is no cost to hire me as your Realtor to help you find that home.

There is no cost to get out and look at properties.

There is no cost to write an offer on those property.

Here’s where the cost comes in.

You find the right home, let’s concentrate on a single family property for right now and you make an offer.

Your offer is accepted and you have a few conditions attached to the purchase agreement.

What are the Costs of Home Inspections in Kelowna?

One of them is going to likely be a home inspection.

This will be the first thing that you will be out of pocket for. Home inspectors are going to charge you anywhere between $400 and $700 for the inspection.

It’s not a required thing, but it is CERTAINLY recommended.

Anyone that has worked with me knows my personal home inspection story, won’t get into it here, just know that I won’t stop recommending this, ever.

If you are buying a condo, especially a bareland strata, you could be out of pocket for an inspection as well as a condo document review.

There are a lot of agents here in the Okanagan that will review the docs for you. I don’t offer that service.

The way I look at it is, you hire the right people to do the job. For example, if I’m doing renos on my house, I can knock walls out, I can rip up flooring, I can disconnect wiring.

Basically I know enough to make me dangerous. I am not however, going to rewire the house, install the carpet or do any plumbing. I hire the right pro to do the job.

This is how I look at condo document inspections, hire someone where this is the only thing they do, day in and day out. They know what to look for.

You wouldn’t hire Uncle Jimmy to do your home inspection would you?

Ok enough about that now, just know that a condo doc review is going to run you between $400 and $600 dollars.

So, that bareland strata could run you as high as $1300 for inspections.

Once the inspections come back clean and you waive your conditions, you will have some other costs once before you get to the closing table with your notary or lawyer as well as while you are sitting with them.

The deposit will typically be delivered to the buyer’s agent brokerage, the deposit amount will be what you agreed to in your contract and is different than the downpayment.

The deposit will form part of your downpayment. So if you have a $100,000 purchase and your downpayment is 20% or $20,000 and your put up a deposit of $5000, then the balance owing on your down payment is 15 thousand dollars.


What are the Closing Costs to Buying a Home in Kelowna?

Now that’s clear, let’s get to the closing table.

This is where things get pricey.

Here in BC they have a land transfer tax that is required to be paid on most real estate transactions with some exceptions.

If you are a first time buyer, you could be exempt from paying the tax if your purchase price does not go above $500,000. 

There is a partial exemption if the purchase price is less than $525,000. 

There are other thresholds that have to be met like being a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, you have to have lived in BC for at least a year prior to purchasing, filed at least 2 income tax returns as a BC resident in the last 6 taxation years as well as never having owned a home or had interest in a home anywhere in the world and you’ve never received a first time home buyers exemption in BC before.

If you aren’t a first time buyer but are buying new then you may also qualify for a full or partial exemption.

This applies to single family homes as well as condos and some other examples that I won’t get in to in the interest of time.

Just keep in mind in order to qualify for this the property value for a full exemption has to be under $700,000 and for a partial exemption it has to be under $800,000.

You won’t be finding a single family home to build in Kelowna for those price points any time soon.

A condo on the other hand might qualify in this market.

How Much is the Land Transfer Tax in Kelowna, BC?

Ok…if you ARE subject to the land transfer tax the calculation is:

1% of the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance up to $2 Million Dollars. This is where most people will fit in to this calculation. If you are looking to spend more than 3 Million, the taxes get kind of stupid.

If you are looking to buy a $700,000 condo here in Kelowna your land transfer tax calculation would wind up being $12 thousand dollars.

This amount is on top of the 7% that you would be required to put down and not including your inspections or legal fees.

Disbursements is what’s next, I usually use this as an example as it’s easy to explain.

Property taxes can be paid yearly or on a monthly basis. Most people, at least in my experience, choose monthly. 

But to keep the math simple let’s take the example of someone that pays their taxes at the beginning of the year and the amount is $4 thousand dollars.

You take possession of the home on August 1st.

The seller has lived in the home for those 7 months but has paid for 12.

At the closing table you would be required to pay back the seller for the last 5 months, a prorated amount. This would be an example of one of the disbursements.

Another would be the legal fees which are going to run you anywhere from $1500 to $2500 depending on the property and the registrations on title.

We have covered a lot on this video so let’s recap the up front costs versus the closing table costs:

Up front costs would include:

  • Your inspections which could run you upwards of $1300

  • Your deposit which could be anywhere from $5 thousand to say $30 thousand depending on the size of the purchase. And of course that would be required after the removal of your conditions.

Closing table costs would include:

  • Disbursements. Things like property tax.
  • Land Transfer Tax. 
  • Balance of your downpayment.
  • Notary or Legal fees.

Alright, that’s all I have for you today. If you are thinking of making a move to the Okanagan, looking to sell your current Kelowna, West Kelowna or Lake Country Home or are looking to purchase your very first property, then we should talk.

Give me a call at 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email kelley@kelleyskar.com

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Kelowna vs. Vernon: Which City is Better to Live in?

About two months ago I shot a video talking about the differences between living in Calgary and Kelowna.

At this point it seems like that video is pretty popular with just over 1200 views.

So I thought I would shoot a video that is a little closer to home and one that those moving to the Okanagan would actually consider to be a little more relevant.

So which is it? Vernon or Kelowna? Which city is better to invest and to live in?

Let’s get after it. Welcome to LiveLoveKelowna

The BIG difference between Vernon and Kelowna is the size.

Vernon’s population according to 2021 census data sits at 44,519. Kelowna on the other hand is quite a bit larger coming in at 144,000 and if you include West Kelowna in that you can add on another 36,000 to round it out to an even 180,000.

So what does that mean besides more people? Well it means more traffic. Bigger headaches when it comes to infrastructure. A big population jump during the summer months with all the tourists flooding the area.

But, it also means that with a larger population comes more amenities. 

What Amenities are in Vernon and Kelowna?

For example, there are two Home Depots in Kelowna and West Kelowna. Kelowna has the ONLY Costco in the southern interior. You have greater access to more variety in shopping, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters etc, etc, etc.

So let’s jump into what the similarities are.

First off, both communities are like a 24/7/365 playground for the outdoor enthusiasts regardless of the seasons. Both areas offer multiple golf courses, places to hike, fish and camp as well as the opportunities to explore wineries, cideries and craft breweries.

Of course both cities are nestled up against a couple of lakes you may have heard of like Lake Okanagan? 

Winter time brings you skiing adventures at Silver Star near Vernon and Big White which is a 45 minute drive from Kelowna. The Spring months get going right around the same time so you’ll be able to really take advantage of the playground that is the Okanagan from early in the year!

What is the Cost of Living Like in Kelowna Versus Vernon?

Really what I’m talking about is the cost of housing, as we know groceries are going to be similar, gas prices are similar, insurance rates are similar.

So what would you pay for a single family home in Vernon?

Let’s look at some of the averages for the two communities. 

Right now the benchmark price for a single family home in Vernon is sitting at $717,000. This includes the North Okanagan which would encompass areas like Armstrong, Coldstream, Enderby, Predator Ridge and everything in between.

As of the end of January 2023 there are 75 homes listed for sale under $730,000. 

How does that compare to Kelowna you ask?

Same time frame, larger market, more homes typically for sale and there are 27 single family options under $730,000 in the Greater Kelowna Area.

The benchmark price for a single family home right now in Kelowna is quite a bit higher sitting at $1M 2 thousand 4 hundred dollars. This would include areas like Peachland, West Kelowna, Kelowna and Lake Country which make up the Central Okanagan.

It certainly seems that Vernon wins out on this comparison, smaller market, but 2.5 times the homes listed for sale in the same price bracket.

If affordability in housing is what you are looking for, then you will likely find it in Vernon.




What are the Demographics Like in Vernon Versus Kelowna?

If we go back to the census data and have a look at the age demographics of between 25 and 49, Kelowna’s population comes in at 47,885 or about 33% of the total population.

Vernon on the other hand has 7,710 residents in the same age bracket of 25-49 which represents about 17% of the total population of the city. The over 65 crowd for Vernon represents about 32.9% of the population and 24.7% for Kelowna.

So when we are comparing age demographics, Kelowna wins this round hands down, the data suggests that Kelowna is overall a younger city compared to Vernon.

There are a ton of similarities between the two cities, especially when it comes to the natural beauty and the plentiful activities that you can do outdoor all year round.

If you are trying to decide which community is going to be the best fit for you, if it were me I would ask myself these questions:

  1. Do I want to be in a larger centre with greater access to different amenities or does size really matter?

  2. Is the cost of housing one of the driving factors in my decision making process?

  3. If I am in that 25-49 age bracket or the over 60 age demographic, which community makes more sense for me slash us to be a part of? 

I want the residents of Vernon to know, I am certainly not bashing here by suggesting you can’t raise kids in Vernon because of the demographics. I have friends that have done just that.

All I am saying is that the data would suggest that there is a higher rate of retirees or people of retirement age living in Vernon versus Kelowna and this could be a consideration for some people when deciding where they are going to move to the Okanagan.

Alright, that’s all I have for you now, make sure to check out my video on the right side of your screen where I compare Kelowna to Calgary. There’s likely to be a whole series of these coming in the near future!

If you have any questions about making a move to the Okanagan or if you already live in Kelowna or West Kelowna, then we should talk. Give me a call at 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email to kelley@kelleyskar.com


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What You Need to Know Before You Move to Kelowna BC

Don’t even think about making a move to Kelowna until you finish reading this blog post and watching the video!

Here are the Top 5 Steps you need to take BEFORE you make a move across the country, across provincial borders or within BC itself!

I think we can all agree that Kelowna is known for its stunning natural beauty and growing job market, it’s a popular destination for those looking to relocate, especially within the last 3 years or so.

I know from personal experience that moving to a new city regardless if it is from a different province can be overwhelming. So it's important to have a plan in place. 

In this video, I am going to break down the top 5 steps for moving here to Kelowna, so you can make your transition as smooth as possible.

Step One in Moving to Kelowna

  1. Research the area: Before making the move, it's important to research the area to get a sense of what it's like to live in Kelowna. Look into the job market, housing prices, and the cost of living. This will help you make an informed decision about whether or not Kelowna is the right place for you. I HIGHLY suggest, if you have the time and the inclination, to come out here for a week at different times of the year and really explore the neighbourhoods, get a sense of what it’s like to live here. Once you get here, it’s tough to go back if you don’t like it. Here's a good resource if you are interested in demographics and economics of Kelowna

Step Two in Moving to Kelowna:

  1. Find a place to live: Once you've decided to move to Kelowna, the next step is to find a place to live. Whether you're looking for a rental or a place to buy, research different neighbourhoods and visit them in person to get a feel for the area. Do you have kids? School districts are going to be important. Do they play sports? Communities like Lake Country or West Kelowna are something to consider when looking at commute times into the city. Do you want to be in the heart of the city? Then maybe condo living is more your style. Start with the lifestyle and work your way from there

Ok here is step #3 to Make Your Move to Kelowna

  1. Sort out your finances: Moving can be expensive, so it's important to make sure you have your finances in order. This may include saving up some money, budgeting for the move, will you hire movers or use a sea can? There’s a big difference in pricing there so know what you can afford. Also make sure to get your credit in check, the last thing you want is any hiccups when you come out to go house shopping. You should know that BC has a land transfer tax that is payable on closing. You’ll likely need a home inspection or a condo document review, maybe an appraisal, title insurance and or CMHC fees, of course your legal fees and depending on when you buy, you may owe property taxes. Get it all out on the table, of course, I can help you navigate through all of that.

Moving to Kelowna Step Number 4:

  1. Get all your paperwork in order: Make sure you have all the necessary documents for your move, including a driver's license, passport, and any other identification you may need. As for the mortgage pre-approval, make sure you have your pay stubs, an employer letter and 2-3 years of your notices of assessment depending on if you are self employed or not. 

And last but not least here is step number 5

  1. Pack and move: Once you have all your paperwork in order and your finances sorted out, it's time to pack and move. Hire a reputable moving company, and start packing your belongings.There is a big difference in price when looking to hire movers versus the sea can option of packing it yourself and having a company like Secure Rite ship it for you. This is how we made the move and saved ourselves around $16,000 in the process.

If you have any questions about making a smooth transition to Kelowna, reach out and give me a call at 778-716-7527 or send me an email to kelley@kelleyskar.com.

Watch the video below and make sure to like and subscribe to the LiveLoveKelowna YouTube Channel

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Kelowna Real Estate: For Sale #301 1883 Water Street

Kelowna Condo off Pandosy for Sale 

Have you seen all of the condo listings in Kelowna South for sale and are looking for a new opportunity to settle down and enjoy the condo life in the Okanagan?

Well you are in luck, #301 1883 Water Street has just hit the market and it is ready for its new owner.

This is an absolutely gorgeous condo with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a walk in butlers pantry, large 10 foot Quartz 'Waterfall' island a ton of cabinet space and so much more.

Located just off of Pandosy, 1883 Water Street is a very quick 5 minute walk to the downtown core, which is critical if you want to take in some of the nightlife or the many events downtown during the summer months. 

Now you don't have to worry about parking or making the drive home after a few cocktails at your favourite watering hole!

If the beach is more your jam, then 1883 Water Street has you covered there as well. You would be within a 5-10 minute walk to 8 different beach access points on Okanagan Lake.

Imagine friends and family coming for a visit and you could walk over to the beach instead of having to drive and worry about finding parking!

Here is a full list of the Upgrades and Features of #301 1883 Water Street

  1. Butler's pantry - Unbelievable storage and massive kitchen with 10 ft island with waterfall quartz top and under counter lighting
  2. Upgraded lighting fixtures, flooring
  3. Two massive decks
  4. Large welcoming entrance into condo
  5. Mountain views from all windows
  6. Upgraded heated tile in master bathroom
  7. Two side by side heated underground parking stalls and a storage locker on same floor as condo
  8. Upgraded full wall height stone wall with electric fireplace
  9. Upgraded laundry quartz countertop with cupboards
  10. Watch the fireworks from the comfort of your private balconies 

 And there's more...

  1. Quick access to/from Highway 97 and the bridge
  2. Within short (10 minute) walking distance from eight (8) beach access points (Hot Sands Beach - City Park, Lake Avenue Dog Off-Leash Beach, Vimy Ave beach access, Beach Ave beach access, Burne Ave beach access, Cadder Ave beach access, Royal Ave beach access park, Strathcona beach park)
  3. Experience the best of both worlds in Kelowna, close enough to enjoy the night life and many tourist activities, yet far enough away to avoid the noise, crowds, and parking challenges
  4. Enjoy quiet strolls through Kelowna's amazing Abbott Street Heritage Conservation Area, just across Water Street from your new home
  5. Five minute walk from downtown, where you can enjoy many unique shops and cafes, entertainment, and fine dining
  6. Secure bike storage room in parking garage
  7. Guest suite
  8. Underground visitor parking
  9. Workout facility
  10. Easy access to public transit and a large network of protected bike trails
  11. Short walk or drive to the Kelowna General Hospital and numerous health and wellness services in the area
  12. Nestled adjacent to Mill Creek and green space
  13. Reading area with stocked library in main foyer

What About the Parking at 1883 Water?

Great question, this property comes with 2 parking stalls and ample street parking for friends and family when they come for a visit.

The parking rates in downtown Kelowna have gone crazy the last couple of years especially if you are looking to park in a lot managed by one of those large companies.

So rates are crazy and if you are looking for street parking, things are going to get tough as well, summertime parking downtown around the marina is impossible.

That's why you want to be close enough to downtown to walk and leave your vehicle, without being in the downtown core. This is something that Magala place has over SOPA up the road in Pandosy, proimity and walking distance to the downtown core.

Interested in a Virtual Walkthrough for this Kelowna South Condo?

I would STRONGLY urge you to view this home in person, the virtual tour just doesn't do it justice.

That said, this is a good place to start at least, check out the virtual tour for #301 1883 Water Street below:



If you are just interested in viewing this gorgeous property in Kelowna South in person, then reach out and give me a call at 778-716-7527 or email kelley@kelleyskar.com to set up your private tour.

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Kelowna Real Estate: A Comprehensive Guide to Selling Your House in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley

How to Sell Your Home in Kelowna

If you're looking to sell your house in Kelowna, BC, there are a few things you NEED to know – the city's real estate market is has shifted, demand for homes and properties in the beautiful Okanagan Valley has dropped and it is more important now than ever to make sure you are ready and aware of what you need to do before you list your Kelowna home for sale.

Whether you're looking to sell your home to upgrade to a larger property, downsize to something more manageable, or simply move on to a new location, Kelowna has plenty to offer.

But selling a house can be a daunting process, especially if you're doing it for the first time.

From determining the right asking price to getting your home ready for showings and dealing with potential buyers, there's a lot to consider.

That's why we've put together this guide on how to sell your house in Kelowna, BC

Step 1: Determine the Right Asking Price

One of the first – and most important – steps in selling your house in Kelowna is determining the right asking price.

You want to get the best price possible for your home, but you also don't want to overprice it and turn away potential buyers. So how do you find the sweet spot?

There are a few factors to consider when setting your asking price:

  • Market conditions: The state of the local real estate market can have a big impact on your asking price. If demand for homes in Kelowna is high and supply is low, you may be able to ask for more. On the other hand, if the market is slower, you may need to be more flexible on price. You can get a sense of the current market conditions by talking to a real estate agent or looking at recent sales data for your area.

  • Comparable sales: Another way to gauge the right asking price is to look at comparable sales in your area. This means finding homes that are similar to yours in terms of size, age, condition, and location, and seeing what they sold for. This can give you a good idea of what buyers are willing to pay for a home like yours. You can find comparable sales data through a real estate agent or by searching online databases.

  • Home improvements: If you've made any updates or renovations to your home, they can also impact the asking price. For example, if you've renovated the kitchen or added a new bathroom, you may be able to ask for more. It's important to keep in mind, however, that not all home improvements will necessarily increase the value of your home. A real estate agent can help you determine which improvements are likely to have the most impact on the value of your home.

Step 2: Get Your Home Ready for Showings

Once you've determined your asking price, the next step is to get your home ready for showings.

This means making any necessary repairs or updates, and staging your home to make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

Here are a few tips for getting your Kelowna home ready for showings:

  • Make small repairs: Take care of any small repairs that need to be done, such as fixing leaky faucets or repairing holes in the walls. These little things can make a big difference in the eyes of potential buyers.

  • Declutter and depersonalize: Remove excess clutter and personal items from your home to make it feel more open and inviting. You want buyers to be able to envision themselves living in your home, so it's important to remove

  • Get Your Home Professionally Cleaned: Trust me on this, having a cleaner come in prior to photos will take a lot off of your plate and will ensure that the house or condo is going to shine when it comes time to getting the photos completed. You only get one chance to make a good first impression


Step 3: Get Yourself Ready for Showings

Of course we aren't suggesting that you go out and get a hair cut, a pedicure and a new wardrobe in order to get ready to sell your home. What we mean is to get in the right headspace, selling your home is not always easy especially with how the market has shifted here in Kelowna in 2023. Here are a few tips to help you get your mind right before your Kelowna home goes on the market: 

  • Set Your Expectations: Your Kelowna Realtor should have educated you on the state of the market, so you should know what to expect as soon as you go live on the MLS. Being that we are now in a buyer's market, don't expect the door to be knocked down the first day or the first week.
  • Make sure the House is Ready: Make sure you have a game plan to ensure the house is ready before you go to work. Clean and make sure the house is ready to go before you go to bed or prior to leaving for the day to go to work. It's up to you if you want to leave the lights on, I don't suggest all of them, but maybe the power rooms. Alternatively you can pick up remotes for your plug in lights at Home Depot for about $20, put the lights on a timer so they aren't on all day long.
  • Be Accomodating: Something that a lot of seller's don't realize is that the buyer's and the buyer's agent will typically have a schedule for their tour. If you cancel showings because it's not convenient, you might be losing out on a showing in a market that has a lot more competition than it did in 2022 or 2021. Make sure you are ready to go as soon as the request is made, if you need an hour or two to make sure the house is ready to go, then make that clear with your Kelowna Realtor prior to listing.

Step 4: Dealing with Offers, Contract & Closing

There is a saying that a lot of us live by and that is: "The first offer is typically, the best offer". Not becuase it is the best offer, but becuase you got an offer on your home. In any market it is essential that you not turn that buyer and that offer away, it is imperative that you try and work with that buyer to come to an agreement. There is a caveat of course, and that is, if the number is ridiculously low and you don't feel you can come to an agreement, then feel free to let the buyer walk.

  • Respond, Don't Ignore: When you get an offer, it is important to let the other side know that you received the offer and that you are working on a response. Keep in mind that buyer has probably looked at multiple homes and have decided that they loved yours the most so we need to show them that respect by being responsive
  • Counter Offer: Unless the offer price is at full ask or on the dot at your number that you'd let the property go for, you HAVE to counter the buyer's offer. At this point, you should have already worked out a strategy with your Kelowna Realtor so that you have an idea of what the buyer will come in at and how you will respond. The trick is to keep the buyer interested while moving them to your number, this is where a master negotiator would be good to have in your corner.
  • Acceptance & Deposits: In order to have an accepted offer you need initials and signatures by both parties to the contract. If you don't have signatures, you don't have an agreement of purchase and sale. Also, keep in mind that in BC (which is very different from Alberta) that deposits are typically delivered AFTER conditions are removed. THIS is completely negotiable and doesn't have to be this way, make sure you are informed before you accept.
  • Recission Period: This part sucks but can be beneficial for you as a seller if you and your agent understand the rule. The buyer will have a 3 day period after acceptance of the offer to decide whether they want to rescind the contract. If they decide to do this, they wind up owing you, the seller, money. For more information on this new rule for BC Real Estate, watch the video I did here.
  • Conditional Period: Typically you will find most buyers will need 7-10 days to waive their conditions. They will need a home inspection or a condo document review along with a financing condition. In the market we are in now, you might start to see a sale of the buyer's home condition as part of an offer as well.
  • Closing & Possession Days: A lot of times, these two days are different but they don't have to be. It seems lawyers like to see the day the money is transferred to be the closing day and the possession day to be the following day so that they can make sure there are no hiccups. If this is in the contract, know that the day your home has to be ready for key release is the possession day!

Selling your home in Kelowna is not always an easy thing to prepare for, especially if you are a first time seller. Interestingly enough, this is an area that I specialize in, at some point in the last 4-7 years you were a first time buyer and now you are a first time seller.

There's a first time for everything, I can help you get prepared and feel confident about moving forward, whether you are looking to upsize, downsize or rightsize, you need an experienced guide.

If you are interested in downloading our pre-listing plan, then you can do that right here.

Want to chat about selling your home in Kelowna? Let's schedule a call, you can email me kelley@kelleyskar.com or you can give me a call at 778-716-7527

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Top 4 Neighbourhoods to Buy in Kelowna in 2023

Where Should You Buy a Home in Kelowna in 2023?

So are you thinking about buying a home in Kelowna?

If so, you're in luck - Kelowna is home to some of the most desirable neighborhoods in the Okanagan, and on today’s blog and video (below) we are going to cover the top three neighbourhoods to buy in 2023.

With so many great options to choose from, it can be tough to narrow down the search. That's why we've compiled a list of the top 3 neighborhoods to buy in Kelowna in 2023 based on proximity to schools, shopping, infrastructure and lifestyle options like hiking, swimming and boating.

But before we get into the list, let me ask you a question: What do you value most in a neighborhood? 

Is it proximity to amenities and downtown? Great schools and parks? Or maybe you're looking for a more laid-back, rural vibe? No matter what you're after, Kelowna has something for everyone.

Without further ado, let's dive into the top 3 neighborhoods to buy in Kelowna in 2023.

Buying a Home in Upper Mission: Neighbourhood #1

First up, we have Upper Mission. This southeast corner of the city is a popular choice for families and professionals alike, thanks to its close proximity to shopping, recreational facilities, world class golf courses, hiking trails and great schools like Chute Lake Elementary, Canyon Falls Middle School and Okanagan Mission Secondary.

It's also surrounded by rolling hills and stunning views of Okanagan Lake, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Homes in Upper Mission range in price price from $630,000 for a vacant lot with single family homes starting at around the $900 thousand mark and go all the way to 8 million. You can find townhomes, when they are listed (they have a tendency to go quickly), starting at the mid to high $600 thousand range.

Buying a Home in Glenmore: Neighbourhood #2

Next, we have the Glenmore area. Located just a few minutes from downtown Kelowna, this neighborhood is perfect for those who value convenience and proximity to amenities.

It's also home to a number of great schools like Glenmore elementary and Dr. Knox Middle School  making it a top choice for families. If you are wondering about home prices in Glenmore, there are some fantastic options between $700 thousand and a Million and you can find your dream estate home starting at around $1.5 million dollars.

Buying a Home in Lower Mission: Neighbourhood #3

Last but not least, we have the Lower Mission. This neighborhood is known for its laid-back, beachy vibe and is a popular choice for those who love the outdoors.

It's home to a number of parks, beaches, and trails, making it a great place to enjoy the Okanagan's stunning natural setting. If you are family with school aged kids you will find Lower Mission has access to all three levels of schools with Anne McClymont elementary, KLO Middle and Okanagan Mission as the high school.

If you are in the market for a home in Lower Mission then you are in luck, you can build in Orchard Park or you can buy a pre-owned home starting in the high $800 to low $900 thousand dollar range. If you are more of a condo person, you’re in luck as Lower Mission has a mix of townhouse and apartment style strata.

With the new rule changes coming into effect you will have a little more choice with no age restrictions allowed in the province. Prices for an apartment style strata will start at the $250 thousand mark and go up from there.

Investing in Kelowna North: Neighbourhood #4

Kelowna North is a high density neighbourhood with enormous upside potential with the pending development of the old Tolko Mill Site which is currently undergoing remediation.

The development will be massive and will take advantage of the waterfront and will incorporate the landscape into the architecture, there is no doubt about that.

Right now there are multiple opportunites to buy and hold in Kelowna North, this kind of real estate investment is not short term, it will be a long term type of opportunity.

The potential upside for this area could wind up being very lucrative with the redevelopment of the old Tolko Mill site which will most likely include shopping, restuarants and of course a mix of commercial and high density residential real estate.

This development has the opportunity to completely transform Kelowna North to a very urban, trendy community in the north part of Kelowna's downtown area.


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"Discover the Charm of Upper Mission: A Guide to Kelowna's Premier Neighbourhood"

Living in Kelowna, BC: Spotlight on Upper Mission

If you're in the market for Kelowna real estate, you'll want to take a closer look at the Upper Mission neighborhood.

Located in the southeast corner of Kelowna, Upper Mission is a popular choice for families and professionals alike, thanks to its close proximity to great schools, shopping, and recreational facilities.

One of the key features of Upper Mission is its stunning natural setting. Surrounded by rolling hills and stunning views of Okanagan Lake, this neighborhood is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

The area is home to several parks and hiking trails, making it easy to get out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Another draw of Upper Mission is its close proximity to some of Kelowna's top schools. The neighborhood is home to a number of excellent elementary like Chute Lake Elementary School, middle school at Canyon Falls Middle School and secondary school at Okanagan Mission, making it a great choice for families with children.

In terms of real estate, Upper Mission offers a range of housing options to suit a variety of budgets and lifestyles. You'll find everything from cozy starter homes to luxurious estates in this neighborhood, with prices ranging from around $700,000 to over $1 million.

Where is Upper Mission Located?

One of the great things about Upper Mission is its location which is in the south east part of Kelowna, straight up Gordon Drive.

It's just a short drive from the downtown core, making it easy to access all of the amenities and attractions that Kelowna has to offer. It's also relatively close to the airport and major transportation routes, making it a convenient choice for commuters.

If you're in the market for Kelowna real estate, be sure to check out the Upper Mission neighborhood. With its stunning natural setting, great schools, and range of housing options, it's a great place to call home.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get more videos about Upper Misison and surrounding areas.
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What is the Cooling Off Period in BC?

To Rescind or Not Rescind, That is the Question!

In January of 2023 a new rule will take effect and it will affect both buyer’s a sellers of real estate here in Kelowna BC.

It’s called the Home Buyer Recission Period.

Under the new regulation, some buyers for some residential properties will have three business days to change their mind, for any reason, and walk away from an accepted Contract of Purchase and Sale.

There is a cost to enacting this, more on that in a minute.

So let’s walk through a hypothetical example…you find the home of your dreams, you write an offer, negotiate and get that offer accepted which is of course in writing.

You go home and are all excited, but there is something that is eating away at you and you just can’t place it.

In the morning you wake up to something we call buyer’s remorse and have decided that you don’t want to follow through with the purchase after all and you decide to exercise your option to rescind the contract.

You would have three days to make that decision, but that decision would come with a price to it, it would cost you .25% of the purchase price of the home.

And you would owe that money to the seller. If you had a deposit that was delivered after acceptance of the contract by the seller, then that .25% would come out of your deposit.

If there was no deposit, you would owe the seller that money, so to keep the math simple, on a $1 Million dollar purchase, you would owe $2500.

How is This Different Than Just Walking Away From Conditions?

So you might be thinking how this is different if you had conditions in the offer and wound up walking away from the house on inspection or financing?

In those instances, you would have acted in good faith and worked hard to get the purchase of your dream home to go through by paying for a home inspection and working with your bank or mortgage broker to get your financing approved.

Once you exercise this option, there is no going back, so not only do you need to be absolutely sure about the home that you are purchasing but you must be rock solid on whether you are going to kill the deal using this out because it could cost you.

Now, I think that the government is about 2 years too late with this piece of legislation. This idea was brought about when the market was hot and when there was a lot of emotion in the decision making process. 

This legislation would have provided an out for that buyer that wound up feeling remorseful.

There are some exemptions in this legislation, here's a link to the BCREA website that will give you all the detail that you will need moving into 2023. 

As always, if you are looking for a guide to help you find that perfect Okanagan home, or an experienced marketer to help you with the sale of your existing Kelowna property, then we should talk.

You can always email me at kelley@kelleyskar.com or give me a call at 778-716-7527.




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