March 2009

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Skeena Place Juniper Heights Home For SaleSkeena Place Living Room Juniper Ridge, KamloopsAmazing home with 180 degree Thompson Valley view. This beautiful estate home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms with over 3,000 square feet of living space. This home has a bright open design with beautiful hardwood floors and tile Skeena Place Kitchen Juniper Heights Home for Salethroughout with custom design features and incredible attention to detail. Large windows, numerous decks and and extra large double garage are all great features of this home.

When you walk in the front door the large open living room with a 18 foot ceiling offers plenty of natural light. The daylight basement in this home doesn’t feel like a basement at all. There is a bedroom, three piece bathroom, games room, theater/family Skeena Place Master Bedroom, Juniper Heights Home For Saleroom and laundry room.  There is a small patio off of the games room that leads to the park-like back yard and pool.

The open design on the main floor overlooks the living room below. There is an abundance of natural light throughout the home. The large master bedroom has a three piece ensuite, Skeena Place Juniper Heights Foyer & Kitchen Nookboasting his and her sinks and a large soaker tub. There is a large private deck off of the master bedroom with a beautiful view of the valley. There are two other bedrooms on the main floor, a four piece bathroom with his and her sinks, a family room, formal dining room, kitchen and eating nook. Off of the family room there is a large, south facing tiered deck that leads to the back yard.

Skeena Place Ensuite Kamloops Real EstateThe beautifully landscaped back yard is a dream and great for entertaining  family and friends. There is enough room to put a children’s playground with room to spare. The kidney shaped pool is fully fenced for safety and there is a private gazebo in the back of the yard overlooking the property. The entire property is fenced but does need to be fully enclosed for any pets.Skeena Place Inside View, Kamloops Homes for Sale

This outstanding home is situated on a 0.48 acre lot (20,908 square feet) and is located within walking distance of the mountain bike park and playing fields. The furnace and hot water tank have just been replaced adding to the outstanding value in this home. Priced at $599,900.Skeena Place Back Yard, Juniper Ridge, Kamloops

Kamloops and area homes for sale click here.

This article was written by the Vancouver Sun to counter the article written earlier by the Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail article claimed that Canada has an evolving subprime mortgage problem due to reduced lending standards over the past few years. To read the Globe and Mail article click here. What do you think about this “subprime problem” in Canada, is it just a fear-mongering or is there some truth to these theories?

A foreclosure on a family home is a heart-wrenching human tragedy. As the recession takes its toll on household income, the number of foreclosures is increasing. Fortunately, they remain relatively rare, and pose no systemic threat to Canada’s financial system, in stark contrast to the subprime mortgage meltdown that ravaged the U.S. economy. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, Canada does not have a subprime mortgage crisis. An article in a Toronto newspaper this week carried the alarming headline, Canada’s dirty subprime secret, but it offered little evidence that loans to unqualified borrowers were a secret or dirty — or for that matter, subprime.

The article focused on extreme anecdotes of homeowners using their property as collateral to get loans, and taking new loans to pay off old loans, hoping to squeeze out a profit through repeated refinancing. That hardly supports a case that Canada is awash in subprime mortgages. In fact, its only statistical defence for the thesis was a misrepresentation of a 2006 report by CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal. The article stated that Tal estimated that subprime loans were growing at a “meteoric” pace of 50 per cent and that more than 85,000 Canadian homeowners had subprime loans. He did no such thing. What Tal said was that the market for non-standard and subprime mortgages was growing at that rate and that, in that year, the growth of the non-conforming market enabled no fewer than 85,000 Canadians who would otherwise have been shut out of the market to become homeowners.

Non-standard, or non-conforming mortgages, sometimes referred to as Alt.A, are not subprime. They are given to borrowers with good credit histories and have low loan-to-value ratios. However, they do not meet bank guidelines for conventional mortgages (good employment history, credit score above 700, 25 per cent down, gross debt service ratio below 30 per cent.) Subprime mortgages, on the other hand, are given to borrowers with bad credit and little or no income, have high loan-to-value ratios and often a low asset base. In the U.S., some of these loans were dubbed Ninja mortgages — no income, no job, no assets. Tal estimated that, in the U.S., those with bad credit account for only 30 per cent of the non-conforming market, but two-thirds of total losses.

Non-conforming and subprime loans represented between five and six per cent of all mortgages written in Canada in 2006, 2007 and 2008, compared with 22 per cent in the U.S., and analysts put the maximum potential at no more than 10 per cent. The federal government’s reversal of its ill-considered loosening of insuring criteria governing the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and the general credit tightening globally will likely keep the share of the market below that potential.

As the housing bubble inflated, U.S. subprime lenders began to aggressively market their services to Canadians, but they have captured only a tiny portion of the mortgage market, which is dominated by the chartered banks, with the vast majority of high-ratio loans insured by CMHC. The recession has curtailed the activities of non-bank lenders, although they may resume when the economy recovers. Individuals must take responsibility for their personal finances, not borrow more than they can afford, be wary of teaser rates and other sharp marketing practices, and understand the terms of their mortgages.

Last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told CNBC in New York that Canada has avoided the subprime mortgage problem that has bedevilled the U.S. He was right then and has not “grossly underestimated” the impact of subprime lenders in Canada, as the newspaper article claimed. While there has been a doubling of foreclosures last year over a year earlier, B.C. has the lowest rate of non-conforming mortgages in the country. And here’s another factoid to consider: The percentage of Canadian mortgages in arrears for three months or more was just 0.3 as of December 2008.

Like other nations, Canada is coping with the global recession. While it is better positioned than many others, it still faces job losses, falling exports, low resource prices, weak consumer spending, declining government revenue and rising debt levels. One problem it doesn’t have is a subprime mortgage crisis.

 

Open houses this weekend will be in Brocklehurst, Pineview Valley and Westsyde.

Saturday, March 28th: 1872 Lodgepole Drive, Pineview Valley: 11:30am-1:00pm

Lodgepole Home For Sale, Pineview, Kamloops

This 3+1 bedroom, one den and 3 bathroom home is a great family home. It has over 2,000 square feet of living space, a two car garage and a private, fenced back yard. $364,900

 

Saturday, March 28th: 755 Garnet Road, Westsyde: 2:00pm-3:00pm755 Garnet Road, Westsyde, Kamloops

2+2 bedroom, 2 bathroom single family home in Westsyde. Updated throughout including new kitchen. Sits on a large lot that could be subdivided. $339,900

 

Sunday, March 29th: 1725 Clifford Ave, Brocklehurst: 1:00pm-2:30pm

Clifford Ave Open House For Sale

RIVERFRONT fixer-upper mini estate with indoor pool. Over 5,000 square feet,  4 bedrooms plus den.  Bachelor suite with separate entrance.  Needs TLC but definitely worth renovating. $445,000

To view more listings in Kamloops click here.

Stagecoach Home For Sale Batchelor Heights KamloopsStagecoach Kitchen Batchelor Heights KamloopsThis two year old basement entry river view home offers quality finishings throughout. There are five bedrooms, one den and three bathrooms. The main floor has 1,500 square feet of living space. Enjoy an open floor plan with a large living room and dining room with vaulted ceilings.  Three bedrooms on the main floor plus a den and a two bedroom legal suite Stagecoach Living Room Batchelor Heights Kamloopsmake this home the perfect family home with a mortgage helper.

The large master bedroom has a spa-like ensuite featuring a two person soaker tub. The main floor is finished with crown mouldings, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, granite surround fireplace and luxury carpets. There are two separate laundry areas, separate hydro Stagecoach Home Basement Suite Kamloopsmeters, 50 gal hot water tank, two car garage and security system. This home is located on a large corner lot in Batchelor Heights. The extended back patio is comprised of interlocking brick. The yard is tiered to maximize the use of the space. This home won’t last long, it is listed $27,000 below appraised value at $449,000.

Click here to view other homes for sale in Kamloops.

Real Estate Floor Plan Pre-sale HomeI found this article on the Vancouver Sun online. I thought it was important to post because there are a number of pre-sale units in Kamloops for sale, specifically in Sun Rivers and the Dunes Golf Course in Westsyde (Westlinks). Buyers have to know what they are signing when committing to these pre-sale contracts. It’s important to get legal advice or involve your Realtor to help negotiate the pre-sale contract. Just because a developer is asking ‘X’ amount for a pre-sale home, doesn’t mean that the price and terms are not negotiable. After all, real estate purchases are negotiable. Buyers have to get educated and informed when it comes to pre-sales. It is very easy to get caught up with the beautiful, colorful displays and convincing sales people. I have included the article below written by Derrick Penner.

When British Columbia’s real estate cycle was on the upswing, many condominium buyers reaped the rewards of buying so-called pre-sale condominiums which, in many cases, were worth more on closing than the agreed purchase price. Now the cycle is on the downside and a growing number of buyers are finding themselves compelled to honour contracts they signed to complete purchases of units that have fallen in value. They have few options to get out of deals even if they don’t qualify for a higher mortgage.

Pre-sales can be “a win-win transaction” for both buyers and sellers, in the words of an advice pamphlet produced and distributed by the Urban Development Institute and the B.C. Real Estate Association. They allow buyers to pick homes they want to live in, and give developers certainty about their ability to sell and finance projects they are taking the risk to build.

If buyers try to walk away after signing a deal, they can be sued by developers, and risk losing not only the deposits they paid to secure units, but the difference between the current, lower market price, and the price they agreed to pay the developer in their contracts. “What the biggest risk [in pre-sales] is,” said Kenneth Pazder, a Vancouver real estate lawyer, “[that] what you essentially are doing is, you’re playing a futures market in real estate.” Buyers put down a deposit, usually about 15 per cent, and trust that the price they agree to pay reflects the home’s value on completion of its construction when they have to take ownership. “How sophisticated is the average [buyer] to do that?” Pazder asked.

At least six different developers are suing some 74 different buyers for not completing the purchase of homes they’d signed contracts to buy. Pazder is in discussions with a number of buyers who want to counter-sue developers. Developers are required to file disclosure statements that outline their projects’ details and pass them on to prospective buyers. Pazder’s advice for buyers considering pre-sale purchases is to seek legal advice to understand the contracts they are signing and the disclosure statements they are agreeing to accept.

The B.C. Real Estate Development and Marketing Act (REDMA) allows developers to sell real estate before it is built, and sets out the conditions developers have to meet in doing so. One of the conditions is that buyers have a seven-day right-of-recision period — the ability to cancel the contract — if they change their minds. Pazder advises clients to use that period to get a legal opinion on the contract, and to bail out if that opinion is negative. It will cost a buyer $300 or $400 for the service, Pazder said, but he reckons it is worth the fee to understand the potential risks a buyer is assuming in signing the contract.

“Sometimes people feel that they know the price, [the purchase] is going to close in two years, and that’s good enough,” Pazder said. “Then the problem is when, like now, things go sideways.” Pazder said one of the most common questions he gets these days is how buyers can get out of their contracts.

Often, Pazder said, the buyers’ problem is that they can no longer secure a mortgage to complete the purchase at the price agreed to in the contract. Their bank or lender can lend them funds based only on their unit’s current, and lower, market price.

Pazder said contracts often contain language that allow a developer to seek damages greater than the deposit, if the amount the developer has to cut the price of a unit to sell it in the current market exceeds the value of that deposit when a buyer walks away from the contract. Pazder added that in the current market, pre-sale buyers will want to try to limit that clause: “You want [the clause] to say, ‘If I don’t complete the purchase, this deposit is forfeited as liquidated damages as the sole remedy of the developer.’ ”

He added that buyers will also want to look at firmer language around the completion dates for construction of the units and clauses allowing the developer to make changes in finishings or unit layouts that also give them an out. The Urban Development Institute and B.C. Real Estate Association pamphlet includes a checklist of items that are required to be in a disclosure statement.

For the latest Tobiano, Savona and Kamloops real estate for sale click here.

Savona Acreage Properties Kamloops Real EstateSavona Kamloops ViewSavona and Tobiano are located south west of the city of Kamloops at the western end of Kamloops Lake. From Kamloops it’s approximately a 15 to 35 minute drive depending on the destination. This is rural living with few shopping areas and amenities.

Properties & Real Estate: Savona

Many of the properties that are located in Savona sit on large parcels of land often over 20 acres in size. Parts of Savona are classified as ALR land, or Agricultural Land Reserve. This means that the land is specifically defined as land designated for agriculture. This was done because of the region’s dwindling agricultural land.

Savona Property For Sale Acreage KamloopsThere are also smaller properties on much smaller lots, some of these properties can be found on Savona Access Road, Watson Drive, Buie Street and Ernest Street. There are often a few mobiles or modular homes for sale in the Savona area.

Thompson River Estates area has numerous waterfront acreages that sit on the Thompson River. There are also riverfront properties on Savona Access Road which are smaller often 1/4 acre lots.

To view homes for sale in Savona click here.

Properties & Real Estate: Tobiano

Tobiano Golf Course Clubhouse Kamloops, BCTobiano is a developing community in the Kamloops region and is home to a beautiful golf course. Previously six mile Ranch, Tobiano is set on a 1,000 acres overlooking Kamloops lake and surrounded by 17,000 acres of wilderness area. Tobiano is still a developing community and some of the amenities are in the process of being built or in the planning stages.

Tobiano Golf Course Residential Unit Kamloops

There are numerous homes in Tobiano bordering the beautiful golf course. Summers Landing is a single family home and townhouse development that sits along seven of the golf course fairways. Lake Star at Tobiano is a townhouse development perched on the bluffs above Kamloops Lake. There are 52 homes in total in this town house development. Bluff, golf and resort lots are available for building your dream home at Tobiano. They range in size from 6,000 to 20,000 square feet. Golf bay Tobiano Property for Sale Kamloops, BCand equestrian lots at Tobiano are conveniently located close to the equestrian centre. These lots are some of Tobiano’s largest single family home lots.

Tobiano is rural living at it’s best. If you need something away from the city but not too far it’s a beautiful place to call home.

To view homes for sale in Tobiano click here

Recreation

Tobiano Golf Course KamloopsSavona has a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy year round. Swimming, hiking, dirt biking, ATV riding, snowmobiling and boating. Savona is home to Steelhead Provincial Park which is located on the south west shore of Kamloops Lake. Visitors to this park can enjoy camping, picnicking, fishing, paddling, swimming and hiking.

Tobiano has an 18 hole golf course, numerous hiking and back country biking trails, cross country skiing and snow shoeing are a few of the recreational activities available in and around Tobiano.

Due to Tobiano’s close proximity to Kamloops many city amenities are within a 20 minute drive.

Schools

Savona has it’s own elementary school called Savona Elementary School.  Secondary students take a school bus to the city of Kamloops and attend school there. Visit School District 73’s website fore more information about schools.

Transportation

There is not any public transportation in these areas.

To view home and property listings in Tobiano and Savona click here.

Many home owners in the Kamloops area are thinking about  selling their home but are unsure about where to start.  There are numerous real estate companies in Kamloops with even more Realtors at each company. Here is a guide to help home owners prepare and understand the steps before, during and after selling your home.

1. De-clutter, clean up and touch up: Ensure your home is in good condition and will “show” well. This means that all unnecessary items that clutter a room should be removed and stored or donated. The tidier a room, the larger it feels. Buyers will not be distracted by clutter and untidiness when viewing your home. Touch up the paint in your home. This includes re-painting rooms with neutral light colors. Dark colors tend to make rooms feel dark and small. Remember, any strong odors need to be eliminated as well. It is important to have buyers imagine themselves in a home, strong smells, bold colors and cluttered spaces impede a buyers ability to do so. It is important to put your best foot forward from the start.

2. Interview Realtors: Every Realtor is different, the marketing techniques and level of service varies between agents. Interviewing a few Realtors for the job of selling your home is essential. Ensure you find a Realtor who will:
– Keep you informed on a regular basis about progress made towards selling your home.
– Promptly return all of your calls or emails (find out what tools are in place to ensure good communication).
– Actively market your home (ask about the marketing techniques used ie. internet advertising).
– Give you honest, accurate market information.
Developing a relationship with your Realtor is essential. You will feel comfortable asking questions or sharing concerns as they arise.

3. Signing a listing agreement: Once you have chosen a Realtor to represent you, you will then sign a listing contract. You will find the following in a listing contract:
– Contract period: You will specify the period of time that you will commit to listing your home with your Realtor. This time period can range and can be from one month to numerous months.
– Physical and legal description of the property to be sold.
– Listing Price: you and your Realtor will come up with a suitable list price to put your home on the market. You have to ensure that you are not over pricing your home. Price it at a competitively so it will sell. Your Realtor will show you comparable sales that directly compare your property to other similar properties. These comparable properties must be SOLD, not current homes on the market, because homes on the market will not necessarily sell for the asking price.
– Listing Service & Cooperation: Your Realtor commits to placing your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and will cooperate with all real estate brokerages.
– Commission rate: There is no “standard” commission rate, every Realtor is different. This is an important question to bring up during the interview stage so that you know what to expect.  The most important thing you can do is offer a strong buyer agent commission, otherwise it is much more difficult to sell your home. Commission is paid by you, the seller and covers both the selling agent’s commission and the buyer’s agent commission.
– Commitment to Confidentiality: Your Realtor is agreeing contractually that your personal and confidential information will not be shared with any outside parties, this includes your motivation to sell or current financial situation.
– Limited Dual Agency: Sometimes a situation arises in the sale of a property where the listing Realtor sells your home to their own buyer or the listing Realtor and buyer’s agent are from the same office. This is called limited dual agency and in this case the Realtors involved have to stay neutral and not advise either party.
– As the seller you would agree to: refer any inquiry about the sale of your property to your Realtor and accept an offer made during the contract that fulfills your selling requirements. As a seller you have the power to accept an offer that is acceptable to you, your Realtor should not force you to accept any offer that you are not comfortable accepting.
– By signing the complete document you as a seller have committed to working towards the sale of your property with the Realtor you have chosen.
– If you are not satisfied with your Realtors service, some agents will allow you to cancel your contract at any time. This is also something you should discuss during the interview process.

4. Yard Sign, Pictures, Lockbox & Advertising: Your Realtor will arrange to have a yard sign placed on your property to advertise your home for sale. Pictures will be taken of your home to place on MLS and other advertising media. Some agents will take video profiles of your home to use on websites for further advertising. A lockbox will be placed on your front door or other accessible location. A lockbox is important, it allows other agents to access your property (with an appointment of course). Only Realtors and licensed home inspectors have lock box keys.

5. Showings: Your Realtor will call you with any requests to show your home. You will be given a date and time when either your Realtor or another agent would like to show your home to their client. The showing agent will leave a card behind after showing your home. During these showings you should vacate the home in order to ensure that the potential buyers feel comfortable searching through cupboards and closets.

6. MLS Tour: If your home is close to the Kamloops city core it will be included in the MLS tour. This is where Realtors tour new listings in Kamloops and preview them for potential clients. MLS tours happen every Tuesday in Kamloops and alternates between the North and South shores.

7. Open Houses: Some agents will hold open houses at your home. This allows for your home to be exposed to potential buyers as well as allow your Realtor to network with potential buyers.

8. Price Adjustment: There may come a time where you will have to consider adjusting your list price. This market adjustment or price reduction will help refresh your listing and create more excitement about your property with buyers. With the current market, it is important to revisit price adjustments regularly in order to remain competitive.

9. Contract to Purchase: Once a buyer makes an offer. Your Realtor will assist you in negotiating the terms and conditions reagrding the sale of your home. For full details about how a Contract of Purchase and Sale works from initial offer to completion click here.

10. What do you do if your listing expires off of the Kamloops real estate market.

11. Accepted Offer, Subject Removal, Completion & Possession: Once an offer is accepted, the buyer starts to remove subjects such as a home inspection, financing etc. Once the subjects have been removed the offer is considered ‘firm’ and the next step is completion and possession. Completion is the date negotiated in the contract to purchase where the monies and legal documentation is completed and transferred. Possession is the date that the buyer gets the keys to their new home.

As stated earlier, Realtors use a variety of techniques to sell a home. This is why it is important to interview a couple of agents to find the right one for you. Go with your gut feeling, it is often right! If you have any questions please give me a call. I would be happy to help you.

Kamloops Home Evaluation Click here for your free home market evaluation.

Sunhill Court, Sahali, Sold

Sunhill Court Foyer Real Estate For SaleThis beautiful 3,200 square foot two storey home Sunhill Court Living Room Home For Salewith a full basement is located in a cul-de-sac in desirable upper Sahali. This home has three bedrooms on the top floor and one in the basement. There are two full bathrooms, one two piece bathroom and one three piece ensuite.The master Sunhill Court Kitchen Sahali Real Estatebedroom is huge, boasting a large walk-in closet and a private balcony. There is oak hardwood floors Sunhill Court Upper Sahali Denthroughout the main floor.

Other great features include three gas fire places, built in book cases, main floor laundry,Back Yard of Sunhill Court Property Sahali two car attached garage and five appliances. Beautifully landscaped yard with lush gardens, underground sprinklers and numerous trees provide considerable privacy.

Located on the desirable Sunhill Court nearSunhill Court View of Thompson Valley to the popular Sahali Coach Hills and Albert McGowan water park. The elementary school is within walking distance and Sahali Secondary school is a short drive away.

The lower Sahali area has numerous places to shop as well as a variety of restaurants. Click here to find out more about upper and lower Sahali.

For further information about this property or any other homes for sale in the Kamloops area click here.

The Globe and Mail recently published an article detailing what they called “Canada’s dirty subprime secret”. They looked into over 10,000 Canadian foreclosure proceedings and uncovered a subprime mortgage problem that many (including PM Stephen Harper) claimed does not exist in Canada. Here are some of the main points of the article. Some readers claim the article is fear-mongering and exaggerating the situation while other readers claim that we haven’t seen anything yet. I will let you form your own opinions.  I would love to hear what you think. You can view the entire article by clicking the link at the end of this post.

– Data from both B.C. and Alberta governments and two private companies that specialize in tracking foreclosure proceedings show that lenders are foreclosing on homes at an “alarming rate”.
– More than half of foreclosures in 2008 were initiated by a number of subprime lenders who targeted riskier borrowers with poor credit histories.
– Thousands of homeowners borrowed more than they could afford and lenders lent money too easily.
– The number of unsold homes in Canadian cities is building which has ultimately depressed the value of homes of even people who haven’t overextended themselves.
– Canada does not report court ordered sales or foreclosure numbers like the USA which uses the data to gauge it’s economic health. In Canada it is hard to get these detailed numbers.
– In B.C. and Alberta private companies collect foreclosure data from the courts. Ontario handles their foreclosures through a process known as “power-of-sale which effectively removed the issue from the courts and shielded the scope of the problem”.
– Canada’s real estate sector has not suffered as much as the USA.
– It was common in the past couple years to hear companies who had relaxed lending practices state “We say yes when the banks say no” and “No income verification”.
– We do have a subprime problem in Canada, lenders significantly reduced their lending standards over the past five years.
– Vancouver courts are overwhelmed with the flood of foreclosure applications. It now takes six weeks to process an order vs. one day six months ago.
– Subprime lenders “trashed the market”. These lenders gave loans that no sound financial institution would touch.
– Many wealthy individulas offered private high-interest-rate mortgages to homeowners who already had high debt and are now foreclosing on the properties at lower values than projected.
– Canadian government agencies don’t publish numbers on the scope of high-risk lending also banks and other mortgage lenders don’t disclose details about these loans know as “non-conforming” loans.
– Until the early 2000’s: subprime mortgage lending was often done by private investors or mortgage lenders who would take a gamble and charge high interest rates to home buyers who didn’t meet conservative lending requirements. This was a very small percentage of mortgage lending.
– Mid 2000’s: this small percentage mortgage lending changed into the fastest growing segment of the country’s mortgage market. This brought aggressive U.S. mortgage lenders to the Canadian real estate market which happened predominantly in the west.
– The mentality was as long as real estate values continued to increase the lenders were not taking on a high amount of risk because they could always foreclose homes and sell at a profit.
– Aggressive U.S. mortgage insurers that were approved by the Canadian federal government in 2006. These mortgage newcomers further minimized their risk by selling mortgages to entities that sold securities backed by mortgages to investors.
– Benjamin Tal, an economist with CIBC world markets was one of the first to sound the alarm. He published a report in late 2006 that estimated subprime loans were growing at a “meteoric” annual rate of 50 per cent by the end of 2006, becoming the fastest growing segment of Canada’s mortgage market.
– In 2006, Mr. Tal estimated more than 85,000 Canadian homeowners had subprime loans.
– Late 2007 easy money and soaring real estate prices tempted many borrowers and lenders into viewing homes as cash machines. Numerous second and third mortgages at high rates of interest were taken out to fund a lifestyle that was not financially responsible.

Link

Open houses this weekend will be in North Kamloops, South Kamloops and Juniper Heights.

Saturday, March 14th: 693 St. Paul Street, South Kamloops: 11:30-1:00

693 St. Paul Street, South Kamloops2+1 bedroom, 1 bathroom Bungalow. One of the cheapest single family homes in the area. Den and bedroom in the basement. Bring your updating ideas. $214,900

 

Saturday, March 14th: 625 Windsor Street, North Kamloops: 2:00-3:00

Windsor Street, North Kamloops Real Estate3+2 bedroom home in quiet area of North Kamloops. Close to elementary school and river’s trail. Main floor has all been extensively updated. 2 bedroom suite in basement. $289,900

 

Sunday, March 15th: #22-2050 Qu’appelle Blvd, Juniper Heigts: 12:00-1:15

Qu'appelle Blvd Juniper Ridge Home for Sale4 bedroom 2 full bathroom Juniper Heights town home. Newer kitchen, open design and private patio off of the living room. Two car garage. $289,900

 

Sunday, March 15th: 1969 Kechika Drive, Juniper Heights: 1:30-3:00

1969 Kechika Juniper Heights Home For Sale

Beautiful family home with 3 bedrooms and two dens plus 3 full bathrooms. Two car garage, large kitchen and fully fenced yard. Immaculate home. $489,900

To view more listings in Kamloops and Area click here.

Here is an article published today by Derrick Penner of the Vancouver Sun.

Sales in British Columbia’s real estate market so far in 2008 are about half of what they were a year ago, although the pace has risen from a particularly dismal low point, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

In February, B.C. recorded 3,653 sales through the Multiple Listing Service, down almost 47 per cent from February 2008. The average property price of $421,023 was down 12 per cent. Over the first two months, B.C. saw 5,768 sales, down 51 per cent from the same period in 2008. The pace of sales, however, increased 17 per cent in February, association economist Cameron Muir said in an interview, to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 47,000 sales from the low of 40,200 units in January.

Recreation-oriented markets such as the Okanagan, Kamloops, Kootenays and Vancouver Island — which boomed in recent years due to an influx of wealthy Alberta buyers — are seeing some of the steepest declines. “That’s not surprising,” Muir said. “Recreational-property and investment buying decisions are much more easily put off.” Alberta is suffering its own economic contraction with consequent job losses, and Muir said Albertans have seen their property markets and values decline, curbing their enthusiasm for discretionary purchases.

The Okanagan Mainline board, which includes Kelowna, saw 230 MLS sales in February, down 60 per cent from the same month a year ago. The region’s average price of $276,776 was down 28 per cent from February 2008.

In Kamloops, MLS sales plummeted by almost 60 per cent to 92 units compared with the same month a year ago. There, the average price was down almost 14 per cent to $277,088.

The South Okanagan board, which includes the summer hot spots of Osoyoos and Penticton, saw sales drop almost 59 per cent to 61 units in February. The average price dipped just over 10 per cent to $283,634.

Vancouver Island saw its sales dip almost 50 per cent to 328 units compared with February 2008. The average price was down just over 11 per cent to $291,085.

Muir said that given the weakness of B.C.’s economy, he would expect real-estate sales levels to be similar to those during the downturn of the late 1990s. He said that means there is room for more activity in the market from current levels, which mirror the recession of the early 1980s. He said buyers are being drawn in by declining prices, and low mortgage rates have helped reduce the carrying cost of an average home to a three-year low. However, Muir still expects 2009 sales to drop from 2008 levels and has forecast that the decline will be about nine per cent. “A rebound in home sales [in 2009] over past highs is not on the radar,” Muir added.

Dallas Waterfront Home Kamloops

Dallas Waterfront Property Kamloops, B.C.

For the latest Dallas and Kamloops real estate for sale click here.

Dallas is an area that is 15 minutes east of the Kamloops city core. Dallas is located below Barnhartvale, east of Campbell Creek and west of Valleyview.  It can be found in the Thompson valley and on the south side of the Thompson river.

Properties & Real Estate

5200 Dallas Drive Townhouse UnitDallas is mainly comprised of single family homes. Most of the homes in this area are predominantly mature homes located on large flat lots. Many homeowners have numerous fruit trees in their back yards. Since the lots in Dallas are flat, there are many in-ground pools. Dallas is a relatively quiet, calm neighbourhood. There are quite a few riverfront properties on Furrer Road, Pearce Place, Chakur Drive, McIver Place and Beverly Place.

A newer development of townhouses is located at 5200 Dallas Drive. These townhouses range in size from 900 square feet to over 1,900 square feet inside. This townhouse development was constructed in 2004. Each home has a single car garage and a small back yard. Dallas Town Centre will be located next to this townhouse development. The condos range from one bedroom, one bathroom to three bedroom, two bathroom units. The Town Centre will also house commercial space as well.

One area of Dallas has two fairly large mobile home parks. Gateway Estates is a bare land strata and is located at 7545 Dallas Drive. Residents of this park own the land that their homes sit on, many of the homes are fairly new and updated. Orchard Ridge mobile home park has a mix of old and new. It is located at 7155 Dallas Drive. This park is a month to month lease and residents pay a pad rent. For more information about these parks click here.

Schools

Dallas is a great family area and  students attend Dallas Elementary School and Valleyview Secondary School. Click here to view the School District’s website for further school information.

Shopping

Shopping is mainly located in Valleyview, five to ten minutes west of Dallas. There is however a new development in Dallas, located on Dallas Drive. There is a Market Fresh Foods grocery store, Subway and a few other retailers.

Recreation

If you like hiking, mountain or dirt biking, ATV riding, and numerous outdoors activities Dallas is a great place to live. There are also a number of playgrounds for children to enjoy. Often on weekends you will find children playing soccer at the fields in Dallas, a very popular sport in Kamloops.

Transportation

Dallas does have access to public transportation and there is a bus that travels down Dallas Drive. Click here to view more information about the transit system.

Dallas is a great place to live. It is outside the city core, but close enough to enjoy the conveniences of the city.

To view the current Dallas and Kamloops area homes for sale click here.

Kamloops Home Evaluation & AppraisalThere are many reasons for a seller to want to sell their home, but the main goals are to sell it fast and for the highest price possible. It is important that before you list your home on the real estate market that you establish a list price. To figure out your homes value, you don’t base it on what you bought your home for or how you have improved or renovated your home. The value of a home is solely based on market value or simply what a buyer would pay for the home. “Market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, will sell within 30 to 90 days.” Three things make up market value: The specific Home, the present condition of the home and what it will sell for in 30-90 days.

The best way to determine the value of a home is to either get an appraisal or a comparative market analysis (CMA). Appraisals must be conducted by a certified appraiser and a CMA is conducted by a Realtor. Each assessment is based on recent sales of comparable properties, location, construction / upgrade quality, floor plan, and distance to schools, shopping and transportation etc. A CMA is free of charge on the other hand an appraisal commonly costs between $300 and $500.

Specific Home:  Market value of a home is limited to the specific home. Often homes in different neighbourhoods in the city are not comparable because there are many factors that are different about each neighbourhood. This is why when considering the value of a home you have to compare it to similar homes in the same neighbourhood.

Present condition of the Home:  The second aspect in order to determine the market value is the condition of the home. Often the condition is referred to how the home “shows”. Things like improvements, renovations, maintenance and cleanliness are important factors to consider when assessing your home’s ability to show well. Homes that require work typically take longer to sell. Some people believe that to determine market value they subtract the amount of estimated fix up costs from the selling price. This is not the correct way to evaluate a home. If a home that is in good condition sells for $100,000 and your home needs $5,000 in updates the list price should not be $95,000. To attract buyers, the home that needs updates has to be reduced beyond the cost of the repairs.

30 to 90 days:  A competitively priced home typically sells within 30 to 90 days. If a home doesn’t sell in that time period, the simple explanation is the price is too high. Many people believe that Realtors are in charge of market value, but the only determining factor of a home sale, is that a buyer is willing to buy that home at the agreed price, plain and simple.  We are experiencing a slow market currently in Kamloops. Homes are taking longer to sell, but homes that are priced competitively do sell within this time period.

It is important to get a number of professional opinions about the current real estate market. It is essential to get educated about market conditions, recent sales in your neighbourhood, condition of the home, your urgency to sell, financing, additional items (i.e. redecorating allowance, appliances), and outstanding repairs. In a buyers market, there are many more homes for sale than the demand from buyers. Buyers take more time choosing a home and when they place an offer they have much more negotiating power.

Price is the most important factor to consider when selling your home. An overpriced home will sit on the market and may not sell. Price reductions are not a bad thing, think of a price reduction as a market adjustment. Sellers need to adjust their price to what the  market dictates. If a seller prices too high to begin with, the seller may receive less than if the home was priced competitively in the beginning.  Currently many sellers in Kamloops are chasing the market down. As they adjust their price downwards they are only pricing to the current level of the market. In order to sell your home today, you have to price it under the curve and catch the buyers as the market adjusts downwards.

Kamloops Home Evaluation Interested in finding out what your home is worth? Click here to find out. Contact me directly if you have any questions.

This article is from the Vancouver Sun written by Fiona Anderson. Many Kamloops residents are getting great rates on their mortgages; both refinance and pre-approval rates. Now many first time buyers have a chance to own a home. Read below for the full article.

Have a fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5 per cent or higher? Then you should be refinancing, says Steve Moffitt, senior mortgage consultant with Equimac Mortgage Centre in Vancouver. “There’s never been a better opportunity historically, never, for doing a refinancing, ” he adds.

If only it were that simple. In fact, determining whether you should refinance or not depends largely on the penalty you will pay to get out of your current mortgage, and the amount of money you could save with a new one.

The first part of the equation — the penalty — is not easy to calculate. Most fixed-term mortgages charge the greater of three months’ interest or what’s called the “interest differential.” This latter amount is the difference between the interest you would have paid for the remainder of your mortgage term and the amount the bank can earn lending out the money now.So if you have a five-year mortgage at 5.25 per cent with three years left to go, and the bank’s current three-year rate is 4.5 per cent, you’ll have to pay the difference.

Often the amount of the penalty is about the same as the savings to the borrower, “so it’s a wash,” says Feisal Panjwani, a senior mortgage consultant with Invis. Moffitt’s magic number of 4.5 per cent uses the penalty of three months’ interest, which he says he sees often. But which penalty will apply really depends on the particular mortgage. So both Panjwani and Moffitt encourage people to ask their mortgage professional to crunch the numbers for them.

The current best five-year fixed-rate available is 4.19 per cent for most borrowers, Panjwani says. And he believes the rate could go as low as 3.99 per cent in the near future. The best variable rate is the prime lending rate set by the banks plus 0.8 percentage points, which today translates into 3.3 per cent. With rates that low, everyone who currently is paying 4.5 per cent or higher should probably do the math because there could be thousands of dollars in savings.

One way to save may be switching from a fixed- to a variable-rate mortgage, because with the variable rate so low, the savings are more likely to outpace the penalty costs, Panjwani says. But because the rate does change, “that’s risky,” he adds.

Some people are refinancing their mortgages not for the savings but rather to lock in today’s low rates for five years, Panjwani says. For example, if someone has three years left in their mortgage term, they may not save any money in the first three years of the new mortgage because of the penalty. But they have guaranteed today’s rate for two years after that. Keep in mind, however, that there are costs associated with refinancing that have to be added to the equation, Panjwani says.

One group of borrowers who need not worry about refinancing are those who were already in variable-rate mortgages. In the past, those rates were calculated as prime less a premium, and some outstanding mortgages chop off as much as 0.9 percentage points. With prime now at 2.5 per cent, those people are paying 1.6-per-cent interest. That number can’t be beat, especially considering prime could go down even further. “Anyone on a variable floating below prime, I would say those people should probably hang onto that mortgage,” Panjwani says.

The low mortgage rates also have buyers knocking on lenders’ doors. Last month, 40 per cent of Panjwani’s business came from purchasers rather than those looking to refinance. While the split is normally 50-50 between the two, in the last few months only about 20 per cent were purchases, he says.

Carolyn Heaney, an area manager with BMO Bank of Montreal’s business development group, says her bank has seen a lot more first-time homebuyers. The combination of low mortgage rates and lower prices means people who have wanted to live in a particular area but couldn’t afford it now can, she says.

At the current variable mortgage rate, a $200,000 mortgage with a 25-year amortization, would have payments of about $980 a month, she says. At a fixed rate of 4.39 per cent, the payments would be about $1,100. “So it’s very affordable for people to get into the market,” Heaney says.

Open houses this weekend will be in Aberdeen, North Kamloops and Juniper Heights.

 Saturday, March 7th: 625 Windsor Ave, North Kamloops: 11:30-12:30

Windsor Street, North Kamloops Real Estate3+2 bedroom home in quiet area of North Kamloops. Close to elementary school and river’s trail. Main floor has all been extensively updated. 2 bedroom suite in basement. $289,900

 

Saturday, March 7th: 2410 Abbeyglen Way, Aberdeen: 1:00-2:30

2410 Abbeyglen Way AberdeenLarge, fully finished basement entry in Aberdeen home with 5 bedrooms, den & 3 full bathrooms. Living room, family room and formal dining room on the main floor. Fenced yard. 2 gas fireplaces, central air, central vac & underground sprinklers. $398,000

Saturday, March 7th: 22-2050 Qu’appelle Blvd, Juniper Ridge: 3:00-4:00

Qu'appelle Blvd Juniper Ridge Home for Sale4 bedroom 2 full bathroom Juniper Heights town home. Newer kitchen, open design and private patio off of the living room. Two car garage. $289,900

 

Sunday, March 8th: 1969 Kechika Street, Juniper Heights: 12:00-2:00

Kechika Juniper Heights Home for Sale

Beautiful family home with 3 bedrooms and two dens plus 3 full bathrooms. Two car garage, large kitchen and fully fenced yard. Immaculate home. $489,900

To view more listings in Kamloops and Area click here.

Here is an article written by Becky Rynor of the Financial Post. She summarizes a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid that details Canadians’ feelings about the current real estate market. It would be interesting to find out how Kamloops residents feel about the current real estate market here in our city.  I would love to hear your opinion. Read below for the full article.

Most Canadians believe it is a home buyers market, with more first-timers planning on purchasing their own homes, according to a study released today by Royal Bank of Canada. “The current economic environment does not appear to have dampened Canadians’ overall confidence in the housing market,” says Royal Bank spokeswoman Karen Leggett. “Canadians continue to have an overwhelming belief in the long-term value of a home and we’re seeing this in the buying intentions of many first time home buyers this year.”

In its 16th annual RBC home ownership survey, 65% of Canadians said they believe it’s a buyer’s market, with 27% saying they intend to buy a new home over the next two years. RBC says that’s up from 23% in 2008.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, shows that almost half of respondents, 48%, said it makes sense to buy a home now instead of waiting until next year.

Younger Canadians, those under 35 years old, are most likely to spark an upsurge in homes sales, with 48% saying they plan to buy a home. That’s up sharply from 36% last year. And even renters want to get in on the action: 38% of them want to buy in the next two years.

“Low mortgage rates and favourable housing prices are influencing home purchase intentions this year and may be the reason why more Canadians are poised to purchase over the next two years,” RBC says.

A large majority of Canadians, 83%, remain positive that home ownership is a good investment. That is down slightly from 85% in 2008 and from the all-time high of 90% in 2006. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they believe house prices will be lower in 2009, a substantial change from 31% in 2008.

Nationally, respondents in Alberta expressed most interest (35%) in buying. Quebec was lowest at 22%. Those in British Columbia believed most that now is a buyer’s market (78%), compared with Saskatchewan/Manitoba, where only 34% believe so.

In Ontario, home-buying intentions have increased over past year, with 30% saying they are likely to purchase a home within the next two years. That’s up from 21% in 2008.

The online survey of 2,026 adults was conducted between Jan. 6 and 9, 2009. Ipsos Reid said the results are accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Basalt Logan Lake View

Basalt Back of Home, Logan LakeThis large Logan Lake bungalow is located in a quiet area with a beautiful view. Basalt Front of Home, Logan LakeThere are three bedrooms on the main floor, one bedroom down and two full four piece bathrooms. Recent updates include new bathroom on the main floor, new flooring, fresh paint, 90% efficiency furnace and newer hot water tank. There is over 2,400 square feet of living space in this home that sits on a 8,276 square foot lot. There is a Basalt Living Room Logan Lakedaylight walk out Basalt Bathroom, Logan Lake Home for Salebasement and patios both off of the main floor and out of the basement.

The yard is terraced into two levels and is flat, usable space.  The single car shop in the back yard has a bonus storage room in the bottom of the shop.Basalt Drive Logan Lake

Adding to the privacy of this property there is a wooded area off of the back yard. Great value at $224,900

To search for other Logan Lake listings click here.

The February 2009 Kamloops and district real estate statistics are out. No surprise that home sales are down. The median price for homes in the Kamloops city area is down by $50,000 and the median home price for homes in all of the Kamloops district is down by $28,500. Keep in mind that the median home price can be affected by high price property sales.

kamloops-real-estate-comparative-analysis-by-property-type-february-2009

Kamloops Real Estate Comparative Analysis By Property Type February 2009

kamloops-real-estate-mls-activity-february-2009

Kamloops Real Estate MLS Activity February 2009

Campbell Creek is 20 minutes east of the Kamloops city centre and is home to the Kamloops Wildlife Park on Dallas Drive. Campbell creek is a beautiful, quiet area set up against the southern hills of Kamloops.

Properties & Real Estate

Campbell Creek Kamloops Home For SaleMany streets in Campbell creek are named after animals often found in the neighbouring Wilderness park: Cougar Road, Coyote Drive, Grizzly Crescent and Badger Drive. This area is comprised of single family homes, which are for the most part newer homes. The lot sizes do vary in this area, most of the lots are flat and usable.

Some residents do have homes that back on to the Wildlife park or park land offering the owners privacy.

There are not any strata units in this area (condos, apartments or townhouses), duplex homes or mobile home parks. This area is only single family detached homes.

Shopping

Residents shop in the Valleyview area where Coopers grocery store, Shoppers Drug Mart and other smaller retailers are located. There also is a  new retail space in Dallas called the Dallas Town Centre located less than a 10 minute drive from Campbell Creek. Major shopping is located 20 to 25 minutes west of Campbell Creek in the Sahali, Aberdeen and Southgate areas of Kamloops

Schools

Students in Campbell creek attend Dallas Elementary School and Valleyview Secondary School. Students gain access to these schools by way of a school bus.

Recreation

BC Wildlife Park KamloopsThe BC Wildlife Park is located seconds from Campbell Creek. This park offers many different activities for the whole family. There are also hiking trails, a public boat launch near Lafarge and many other outdoors activities to enjoy nearby. There currently are not any playgrounds in the immediate area.

Transportation

There is a bus route that services this area. The bus stop is on Dallas Drive which is within minutes from each home in this area. Click here to view the BC Transit website.

Click here for real estate listings in the Campbell Creek or Kamloops area.

Kamloops and area homes for sale click here.

Heffley Creek Kamloops Real EstateHeffley Creek is a community that is located 20 minutes north of the Kamloops city centre and five minutes from Rayleigh. There are numerous communities that comprise this area: Heffley Creek, Heffley Lake, Knouff (Sullivan) Lake and Whitecroft. Elementary students attend Heffley Creek Elementary School.

The Heffley Creek area is dominated by acreage and farms. There is a mobile home park near the Thompson River on Station road and a few single Heffley Creek, Kamloops, BCfamily homes on smaller lots. Some parts of Heffley Creek run along the Thompson river where a number of beautiful riverfront acreage and farm properties exist. There is not anything in the way of shopping in the Heffley area besides the small convenience store on the old #5 highway. Residents have to do their shopping in Kamloops.

Heffley Lake, Kamloops Real EstateHeffley lake is a beautiful lake located off Heffley-Louis Creek Road and Todd Mountain Road 44 kilometers from Kamloops. This lake is on the way to Sun Peaks resort. There are numerous waterfront properties on this lake. The homes and cabins range in size and age. There are a number of old cabins that are used in the summer months and beautiful homes overlooking the lake used year round. Heffley lake is a mid sized lake that does allow motor boats, water skiing and wake boarding. This lake is 7.2 kilometers long, 550 acres in size and ranges from 6 to 30 meters deep. Fly fishers find rainbow trout in this lake between May and late July. There are two parts of Heffley Lake – Little Heffley Lake and Big Heffley Lake. Big Heffley is predominantly the lake for motor boats and many lakefront properties. There are two resorts on Heffley Lake as well as a BC Forestry campsite. Some of the streets that surround Heffley Heffley Creek, Kamloops Homes for SaleLake are Lakeshore Road, Lower Heffley Lake Road, Shaw Road, Fisher Road, Lake Bay Road and Heffley Lake Road. For more information about Heffley Lake waterfront properties click here.

Knouff (Sullivan) Lake, Kamloops, B.C.Knouff Lake also known as Sullivan Lake is located north of Heffley Lake about 25 minutes from Heffley Creek (Yellowhead Highway #5 at Todd Mountain Road). The lake is 254.4 acres in size with a mean depth of 9.8 meters and a max depth of 24.1 meters. Knouff Lake is a small community that is still relatively undeveloped and accessed by a well maintained dirt and gravel road. There are a number of building lots and homes on Knouff lake. The area is dominated by single family homes and cabins. Gas powered motors are not permitted on this lake therefore neither is waterskiing and wakeboarding. Electric powered motors are permitted allowing small boats to troll the lake. Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing, hunting, cross country skiing, skating and camping are popular activies on Knouff lake. There is one resort on this lake as well as a BC Forestry campsite with RV access and a boat launch.  Some of the roads found in the Knouff Lake area are: Doyle Road, Knouff Lake Road, McCully Road and Finlay Road. For further information about Knouff (Sullivan) Lake properties click here.

Whitecroft is a small neighbourhood that sits at the foot of Sun Peaks. Upper Louis Creek Road, Cahilty Crescent, Cahilty Place and McGillivaray Creek Road make up the small community of Whitecroft. Many people that are interested in Sun Peaks real estate, but choose to be out of the village area often to look at real estate options in Whitecroft. The homes in this area are more affordable with more square footage in comparison to the homes in Sun Peaks. It is a five to ten minute drive from Whitecroft to the hills of Sun Peaks and 20 minutes east from Heffley Creek.

The area Heffley covers is a large region north of the Kamloops city centre. A number of communities comprise this area. Click here for real estate listings in the Heffley area.