When we moved to Kelowna in 2014 from Vancouver, we didn't know whether or not we were making the right decision. The Vancouver Real Estate Market was blowing up and I had personally been there for 10 years.
However, we knew this was where we wanted to be. Where we wanted to settle down and have a family. We have now been here 2 years and I can say without any doubt that this was one of the best decisions of our lives.
I get calls from Vancouverites quite frequently thinking about making the move. They are from all walks of life, empty nesters, retirees and young families.With the current state of the Vancouver Real Estate Market, many are concerned as to whether they will ever be able to afford a home.
There are a ton of good Reasons to move to Kelowna. These are my Top 5.
1) Traffic - NO MORE TRAFFIC. Well...at least the traffic isn't like it was when I was in Vancouver. Between the Massey Tunnel and the Oak street bridge in the same commute, I was pretty sick of it. We currently live in West Kelowna and I'm driving over the bridge into Kelowna every morning. With Traffic, im getting to the office in 25 Minutes. No traffic 15minutes. This is a breeze compared to what i used to experience. However, that doesn't stop the Kelowna locals from being reluctant to cross the bridge. You will learn quickly that people rarely like to travel between Kelowna and West Kelowna unless mandatory.
2) Home Prices - A single family home on the vurge of being a tear down in Vancouver costs easily over 1 million and climbing. While Kelowna is seeing record sales numbers and our entry level homes have spiked, I can currently say that depending on the area, you can get a fixer upper for as low as $350,000(prices currently climbing). You can get into New construction single family residences for the low 500,000's. Sounds good to me!
3) We are in a Tourism area - We used to come here for a local vacation. Now we live in a Vacation Destination!
We would come up and hang out by the lake or golf. Now we can do this whenever we want. Work has been redicuously busy so these times are few and far between, but to have the option to take advantage of these things is a dream.
4) Family - Kelowna is the perfect size to start a family. We are currently almost 5 months pregnant so I haven't lived this first hand. But all the clients and friends we have met with kids adore the Okanagan. There are so many sports and activities to take part in. There are great schools and programs, and in many areas, your kids can play outside without the worry of traffic and other big city issues.
5) Community - When we lived in Vancouver, there was no sense of Community. We had our circle of friends, but outside of that, there was little reason to get involved. Since we have moved to Kelowna, we have become involved in charity work, and community events. We take part in multiple networking groups and sports activities. People are typically friendly and interested in meeting new people. We love the community out here.
So there it is, my TOP 5 REASONS TO MOVE TO KELOWNA. Some may disagree or have there own top 5, but I think it is safe to say Kelowna is a wonderful place to live. For People in Vancouver thinking about making the move out here, please call me. I would love to discuss our experience in more detail with you.
David Delorme - Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty - 778-821-3885
I'm sure you keep hearing the Buzz that the housing market in Kelowna is Booming...But Where?
We currently have a shortage of Inventory which is making things more competitive for buyers and in many cases more lucrative for sellers.
Have a look at the graph showing our inventory over the past 3 years. It shows the number of active listings every month.
Can you see the trend?
You can see a big drop year-over-year in the number of listings.
Sorry Buyers, a shortage of supply usually means an increase in price.
If you are thinking about buying or selling in this lovely place we call home you might want to know which areas have seen the biggest increase in price. You may also want to know which types of properties have seen the biggest jump.
If you look at the chart below you can review the sub areas of Kelowna and West Kelowna. You will see the Average Price per single family residence Year to Date in December of 2014 and December of 2015.
Which Areas have seen the biggest jump in Price in Kelowna?
You can see that Crawford Estates, Dilworth Mountain and Wilden have saw significant jumps in price. However, you can also see that in some sub-areas the average home price went down, like in Big White, Joe Rich and Lakeview Heights.
Now, lets have a look at the condo market.
The Chart Below has the Average sold price of Condos in Kelowna and West Kelowna by area.
You will see that there have been big increases in average price in Peachland, Kelowna North, Glenmore and Westbank Centre. You will also see declines in Lakeview heights, Westside Road and Lake Country North.
Why are we seeing these changes?
Low interest rates have been a big factor in the recent jump in sales. As they continue to remain low through 2016, we will see if the struggling oil sector will have a negative impact on the market. With huge spikes in home prices in large metropolitan areas like Vancouver and Toronto, Kelowna is being seen as an affordable means to home ownership.
Contact David Delorme of Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty with your Real Estate questions.
All Statistics Provided by the Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board
I was intrigued to see what type of role Albertan Buyers would have on the Kelowna Real Estate Market last month. Last February, we saw our first significant reduction in Sales by Albertans since Oil Prices declined at the back end of 2014. Now it is safe to say things have returned to normal and March saw 17.2% of buyers coming from Alberta.
The past 6 Months are as follows:
% of buyers from Alberta:
March 2015: 17.2% February 2015: 11.8% January 2015: 17.4% December 2015: 15.7% November 2015: 15.1% October 2015: 18.5%
However, Kelowna is much more diverse than some people think. We have buyers coming from all areas of Canada and from all walks of life. You can see below who is buying and from where they are buying:
MARCH SURVEY SUMMARY
23.0% by First Time Buyers (down from 25.4% in February) 19.7% by Buyers Downsizing (up from 17.4%) * 17.7% by Move-Up Buyers (up from 16.7%) * 8.0% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit (down from 13.0%) 7.5% buying Revenue/Investment Property (down from 13.0%) * 6.6% moving from Strata Property to Single Family Home (up from 0.7%) * 6.1% buying Recreation Property (up from 3.6%) * 1.4% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community (up from 0%) *
* During March, there were increases in purchases by buyers who were downsizing and moving up, revenue and recreation property buyers, and people moving from stratas to single family homes - compared to the previous month.
Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):
26.7% Two Parent Family/Children (up from 19.4% in February) ** 24.9% Couple without Children (up from 21.5) ** 20.2% Empty Nester/Retired (down from 22.2%) 12.7% Single Female (down from 15.3%) 9.8% Single Male (down from 16.0%) 5.6% Single Parent with Children (up from 4.2%) **
** There were more purchases by two-parent families, couples without children and single parents during March, while other buyer categories were down compared to February
60.2% from Within OMREB Board Area (down from 66.7% in February) 17.2% from Alberta (up from 11.8%) *** 9.2% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (up from 6.9%) *** 5.5% from Other Areas in BC (down from 6.2%) 2.7% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (down from 4.2%) 2.7% from Outside Canada (up from 1.4%) *** 2.3% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (down from 3.5%) 0% from NWT/Yukon (same as February)
*** More buyers moved from within the Board area, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and from overseas during March, while migration from other areas declined compared to February.
These stats are important when developing a Marketing Strategy for Selling your home. If we know what types of people are buying we can focus on marketing to certain areas, or showing your home in a particular way that will appeal to specific Buyers. Contact David Delorme to discuss how we can help you market your home most effectively.
*this is an interpretation of market statistics and an opinion only. Information should not be used as a way to predict future market trends.
Unless you are one of those lovely retirees that are in abundance out here, you need to find a way to generate an income.
How do you make your future move to Kelowna a Reality?
Growing up in Penticton, the first thing many of us did was get out of the Okanagan. Many had their hopes set on a big city life with no intention of ever coming back. However, we all hit a point in our lives where priorities change and we realize what we had once overlooked; how amazing the Okanagan is. Many are starting to consider coming back but keep telling me the same thing; "well there's no jobs out there, or a would."
HERE ARE SOME RESOURCES TO HELP YOU FIND WORK IN KELOWNA
The Okanagan Young Professionals
There is a small youth movement gaining ground in Kelowna. A great way to network and tap into it is through the Okanagan Young Professionals. They are very well connected and hear frequently about employment opportunities. This is a great resource to get you in the right direction.
Are you in the technology industry? This is where you need to go. They will provide you with the most up to date information on how to get your business started out here. The City has just started building the Okanagan Centre for Innovation which brings even more opportunity for technology companies to grow out of Kelowna. Accelerate Okanagan will be moving their facility and extending their reach when construction is complete.
Looking to start a business or bring your business into Kelowna? You should talk to the Central Okanagan Development Commission. Here is a link to a package they have put together that has a series of resources and contacts for anyone thinking about being self employed in Kelowna. Go to the link here.
If you are in Oil and Gas and are wondering what to do...
Kelowna now flies direct to Fort McMurray. It is quite possible to work in the oil and gas industry while avoiding the Fort McMurray Winters in your downtime. With the inflated home prices and rental rates, in Fort McMurray, your flight costs will nearly cancel out your savings. There are great home options near the airport that allow you to live the the Kelowna lifestyle, while still generating a healthy living in the oil and gas industry.
Whether it be corporate websites or job search engines, there are always positions coming up. We have a thriving Care sector where there are numerous high paying positions. You can apply at banks or to the city and add your resume to their stack. I have found that people struggle going the online route. With programs set to pull keywords and prescreen heavily on education and experience, it can be hard to get the interview where you know you will win them over. Use these online postings as an opportunity to see where positions are available, but don't do the norm and submit your resume and hope for a call. The best thing to do is to make some calls, drop off some resumes and follow up, follow up, follow up.
They say 90% of the jobs you get are from who you know and not from what you apply for.
Exhaust other options before focusing online with job sites like Indeed, Craigslist, and Monster. Im not saying they don't work. But in many cases corporate job postings are just put there as a standard requirement and their candidates are already picked out internally. If you want to make a serious effort of getting out here, you are going to have to get your hands dirty, call some people, and make some connections.
Obviously, one can expect a hit in gross salary when looking at wages in Kelowna vs. other major metropolitan areas. However, cost of living and quality of life can easily make up for it.
I love the fact that I don't drive 45 minutes to work anymore...unless i hit traffic where we can beef it up to over an hour. Now, I have an extra hour every day that isn't spent driving and can be allocated to other more productive things, like work or spending time with my family.
Between time saving, fuel saving, property cost reduction and reduced stress. You owe it to yourself to at least try and find a way to make it work out here.
I hope the suggestions I posted above can guide you in the right direction. If you want more immediate help, call me and I will do my best to connect you with the right people.
David Delorme - Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty - 778-821-3885
You have found a job, and you start work in a month. Your next question should be, Where are you going to Live?
Its a pretty important question.
For many coming from larger municipalities like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto you might be thinking Kelowna is a fraction of the size, how hard could it be?
You would be surprised how many sub-areas we have out here. All with their own advantages and disadvantages. There is no wrong answer on where to live in Kelowna, but you want to make sure you find an area that is best suites your lifestyle.
One of the main Questions is "Which Side of The Bridge do you want to live On?"
Bridge Traffic is nothing compared to areas like Vancouver. I remember days where i would be in traffic over an hour to get maybe 15km. However, it is still a nuisance that can be avoided.
General properties are more affordable on the west side of Kelowna. Very few of us have an open budget so don't eliminate West Kelowna from the list just because of drive time. For the right price, it may be worth the commute.
Ask yourself these questions.
1) Where is your work? Or if you are traveling a lot for work, where are you going most often? If you are working in Alberta, maybe being close to the airport is a smart decision. Parking long term at the terminal or long cab rides can get costly when using these sources consistently.
2) Where are most of your extra curricular activities going to be? Driving to hockey rinks, ball diamonds, curling clubs, fitness centres, swimming pools, churches, PTA meetings, and networking events can come up daily. Where are most of these located. Maybe you want to live nearby?
3) Where are your kids going to school? Private school, french immersion, Kelowna Christian, highschool, middleschool, elementary school. You have a quite few choices.
4) What is your budget?
This is my current situation. Coming from experience, not the most practical. The Green is where we live in West Kelowna. The red dots represent where we work and the Blue represents our extra curricular spots.
After looking at this map, you might suggest some alternative areas that would cut down on our daily drive. I could guarantee moving to the Lower Mission or Downtown Kelowna Would save us a few hundred a month in fuel and a few hours a week in drive time. How valuable is your time?
Make a grid for yourself of where all your events will take place and you might be able to come up with a few locations that suit your commuter needs. Now you just need to make sure they check the rest of the boxes like neighborhood characteristics, home style, and school choice. Maybe you want to be on the flats with a flat driveway. Maybe you want to be up high to enjoy those amazing views?
Lets Stick to Picture and Video for the Rest!
Below is an area map of the Kelowna Sub Areas. I have also included Neighborhood videos for most of the Kelowna Neighborhoods. Use these as a reference to help decide what area works best for you.
This Neighbourhood offers luxury at it's finest. City and lake view homes, close proximity to Downtown, Knox Mountain park, shopping, and restaurants, make this a desirable area.
Every kind of neighbourhood you're looking for can be found in the Glenmore Valley Community of Kelowna, BC from centrally located condos, to established neighbourhoods, luxury homes, lake or valley view homes, town home complexes, gated communities and senior living. There is walking & hiking trails, multi-use paths, golfing, Parkinson Recreation centre, a running track, and multiple sports fields. The Glenmore valley has multiple elementary schools and a middle school, shopping and restaurants. It is also a short drive to major shopping centres, downtown (beaches), the UBC Okanagan campus and the Kelowna International Airport.
The DIlworth Mountain community in Kelowna, BC is an upscale neighbourhood located in the centre of the city giving you access to nearly every area. Real estate is very sound investment here as properties have a history of maintaining their value. There are sports fields and a winter hockey rink as well as gorgeous hiking trails with the most incredible panoramic views of Okanagan lake and the city below.
Shopping malls, hotels, businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, and recreation are along this corridor that runs from the bridge across Okanagan lake to the Kelowna International airport.
Downtown Kelowna, BC has a vibrant downtown with many art, theatre, boutique shopping and year round fitness options. Come visit our downtown office on Water Street or our kiosk in the lobby of the Delta Grand Hotel.
South Pandosy is one of Kelowna BC's first & most sought-after neighbourhoods. This community is very walkable. Not only can you access the beach on nearly every city block, you can also walk to Kelowna General Hospital, trendy boutiques, restaurants, cozy coffee shops, schools and yoga studios.
The Lower Mission neighbourhood of Kelowna, BC is a very desirable area due to its proximity to schools, sports fields, shopping centres, award winning wineries, golfing and beaches. There are a variety of real estate options available... including condos, town homes, single family homes and lake shore properties.
The Upper Mission neighbourhood is one of the fastest growing community in Kelowna, BC. This area offers stunning views of Okanagan lake and the city below. Real estate varies from newer town home projects, executive view homes, large scale multi-million dollar lake shore and lake-view estates. This area is surrounded by natural areas with hiking and biking trails including the Kettle Valley Railway trestles.
Southeast Kelowna is one of the most diverse areas of Kelowna with regard to real estate and natural surroundings. There are a variety of housing options including acreages, single family housing, farms and vineyards. There is hiking, biking and golfing, and is a short drive to the lower mission area of Kelowna and the many beaches.
These are three distinct neighbourhoods in Kelowna, BC. Ellison is Northeast of Kelowna and offers a mixture of real estate opportunities. Ranch lands, orchards, farms, family neighbourhoods, senior communities and golf course living. This area has three golf courses and the Kelowna International Airport. Rutland is an established centre with a thriving core. Rutland is a mix of affordable family townhome complexes, condos, mixed single family homes, senior communities and farms and acreages. There is recreation facilities, shopping, restaurants, schools, a water park and golfing for the active person. Black Mountain is just up Highway 33 from Rutland and has a mix of older family neighbourhoods and an explosion of newer developments with mid ranged prices to luxury lake view homes. There is the popular Black Mountain Golf Course plus numerous parks and hiking trails in the area.
Welcome to SMITH CREEK and SHANNON LAKE located in the northwest portion of beautiful West Kelowna, offering housing in all budgets. What are you looking for in an area to call home? Smith Creek and Shannon Lake are tucked away from the busy streets of the city making them great for families with young children. You'll find everything from condominiums and town homes to large scale view homes here. Kids can walk to school and it's a 5 minute drive to the West Kelowna shopping centers, big box stores and the Johnson Bently Memorial Aquatic Center. Shannon Lake features a gorgeous 18 hole golf course with views of the valley and mount Boucherie . It borders Shannon Lake Regional Park which offers fantastic bass and perch fishing, plus ice skating in the winter months. You have direct access to endless hiking, biking and horse riding trails in the hills above these areas. If you like peace and quiet, friendly neighbourhoods with schools and conveniences nearby.
This area highlights the Okanagan View.... vineyards and Okanagan Lake in the same picture. Real Estate opportunities appeal to the executive and luxury purchasers. You'll find many award winning multi-million dollar masterpieces and lake shore properties whose putting greens, wine cellars, infinity pools and lavish features will amaze you. Driving by beautiful acreages and estate properties gives you that country feel. Lakeview heights with its maximum sun exposure is one the premier wine regions of Canada. Visit the award winning Mission Hill Winery and many others along the Wine Trail. People from all over the world come to experience these world class vintages and entertainment. Schools, shopping, golf and your real estate office are nearby, In recent years lakefront condominium and town home projects have been constructed and with this comes investment opportunities offering short and long term rentals. These resorts include full scale marinas, gourmet restaurants and all the luxuries you would expect of an exotic destination. The city of West Kelowna has committed to raising the bar with local lifestyle in by restoring the historic ferry dock as well as grooming waterfront pathways for all to enjoy. Relax on beaches, access the boat launch at the West Kelowna Yacht Club or picnic at the Historic Gellatly nut farm.
Due to an explosion of growth and development in West Kelowna you no longer have to cross the floating bridge to access big box stores, boutique shopping, restaurants and recreation. Downtown West Kelowna is extremely walkable allowing you to do your errands, golf and then unwind on the Patio at Two Eagles Golf Club. Enjoy Live Music and one of the best views this area has to offer. West Kelowna downtown features predominantly condos, gated communities and mobile-home parks situated on a mixture of freehold and leasehold land.
West Kelowna estates is located on the southeast facing slopes of West Kelowna. It's just a short drive from downtown Kelowna across the floating bridge or to downtown West Kelowna where you'll find all the major department stores, restaurants and much more. There are elementary and secondary schools nearby as well as endless hiking trails and parks to enjoy. Housing in the area starts in the mid range and goes up to multi-million dollar view homes which offer breathtaking views of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding mountains. Next to this area is the neighborhood of Rose Valley which is popular with families due to the great schools and natural surroundings.
For further information on the numerous Sub-Areas of Kelowna, give me a call, David Delorme 778-821-3885.
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