I recently returned from the Natural Resources Canada ecoEnergy Adviser training in Saskatoon. Being an ecoEnergy Adviser means that in addition to doing home and commercial property inspections in Kamloops and the interior I will also be performing the energy evaluations that help people to access all the government grants and incentives now available.
This program is really a wonderful opportunity for people to upgrade their real estate holdings with more energy efficient furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, tank less water heaters (hot water on demand), improved insulation, new windows, low flush toilets and a whole host of other EnergyStar products. The benefit is some of the costs will be offset by the provincial and federal governments. It’s win win – you help the environment, save yourself a bunch of money in heating and cooling costs, and the government helps you pay for it.
This program is available to both home owners and renters of single family homes, townhouses, and low rise multifamily homes. You don’t even have to live in the house to qualify for the grant, it’s open to landlords as well.
For more info on the program and the combined BC and Federal grants go to the LiveSmart BC website. Also, CMHC insured homes are eligible for a 10% mortgage insurance refund when they meet certain ecoEnergy targets. See the CMHC website for further information.
Don’t forget this money is over and above the federal home renovation tax credit that can earn you up to $1350 back on your tax return. With all these programs in place, there has never been a better time to renovate your home here in Kamloops. All these energy saving renovations are beneficial to both home owners wanting to stay in their home long-term and home owners selling their home. These upgrades will really help showcase your home and make it much more attractive to potential buyers in a very competitive real estate market.
The Kamloops area has a number of recreational properties and lakefront real estate. There are many lakes surrounding the Kamloops area: Adams Lake, the Barriere Lakes, Heffley Lake, Knouff (Sullivan) Lake, Lac Le Jeune, Logan Lake, Nicola Lake (Merritt), Paul Lake, Pinantan Lake, the Shuswap Lakes and Stump Lake.
Adams Lake: This beautiful lake is located 55 minutes north east of Kamloops or 30 minutes north of Chase. Adams lake is a very large sprawling lake where many visitors enjoy cycling, windsurfing, water skiing, wake boarding, swimming, canoeing and fishing. Many fish for kokanee and rainbow trout in this lake. There are a number of properties on this popular lake often found on Agate Bay Road, Rawson Road and Holding Road. There is a large provincial park on Adams lake with basic campground facilities. To view homes for sale on Adams Lake click here.
East and North Barriere Lakes: East and North Barriere Lakes are located 50 minutes north east of Kamloops and 15 minutes from Barriere city centre. North Barriere Lake is less developed than it’s neighbour East Barriere. There are a number of lots, residential and recreational properties for sale mainly on East Barriere lake.For more info about North Barriere Lake click here and East Barriere Lake click here.
Little & Big Heffley Lakes: These lakes are very popular because of their close proximity to both Kamloops and Sun Peaks resort. There are recreational properties on both Big Heffley Lake and Little Heffley Lake. Little Heffley lake does not allow power boats for water skiing or wake boarding as it is quite small. Big Heffley Lake does allow power boats which makes it a very popular destination for the summer months. Click here for more detailed information about Heffley Lake.
Knouff (Sullivan) Lake: This lake is 40 minutes north of Kamloops and 30 minutes from the Sun Peaks Resort. Knouff or Sullivan lake is a quiet area where many recreational activites are enjoyed year round. This lake is more of a fishing lake. Water sports such as tubing and waterskiing are not commonly done on this lake due to the size. There are a number of waterfront and semi-waterfront properties on this lake.
Lac Le Jeune: Lac Le Jenue is located 25 minutes west of Kamloops, 30 minutes east of Merritt and 15 minutes south of Logan Lake. This lake is located off of the Coquihalla Highway making it easily accessible during all seasons. Lac Le Jeune is 392 acres and is stocked with rainbow trout. There are two resorts on this lake, numerous seasonal homes and also year round residences. To view properties and homes for sale on Lac Le Jeune click here.
Logan Lake: This small lake is located 30 minutes outside of Kamloops and 40 minutes from Merritt. Logan Lake is a small community that has many services and amenities for it’s residents including numerous shops, restaurants, an elementary and secondary school. There are a number of winter and summer activities to enjoy such as golf, fishing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, dirt biking, hiking and paddling to name a few. For more detailed information about Logan Lake click here.
Nicola Lake: This lake is located in Merritt (10 km from city centre), and 45 minutes south east of Kamloops. Nicola Lake is a very large lake covering 15,351 acres. There are a lot of rainbow trout and kokanee for those who enjoy freshwater sports fishing. Windsurfing, canoeing, wake boarding, water skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking are a few of the popular activities enjoyed around this lake. There are a number of lots and homes that are located on the waterfront. To view available properties on this lake click here.
Paul Lake: Paul Lake is located 15 minutes east of Kamloops. Paul lake has numerous residents that are seasonal and year round. There are a number of townhouses (Deerwood on Paul Lake) and single family homes on the lake. Many of the single family homes and private properties on Paul Lake are leasehold properties which the Kamloops Indian Band leases out for 25 year terms. There are a few properties that are not located on leasehold land, but tend to be more expensive than the leasehold homes. There are a lot of activities to enjoy such as hiking, water skiing, wake boarding, fishing, swimming and paddling. For further information about Paul Lake click here.
Pinantan Lake: Pinantan Lake is 25 minutes north east of Kamloops and 5 minutes past Paul Lake. The lake itself is two parts, Big Pinantan and Little Pinantan. The lake is 68 hectares in size. Pinantan properties are freehold properties not lease land. Only electric powered boats are allowed on the lake. Fishing and swimming are permitted in Pinantan lake. There are also hiking trails and other outdoor activities in and around the area to enjoy year round. There are often many properties for sale in Pinantan, lots, log homes, small acreages and lakefront homes. Click here to find out more about this area.
The Shuswap Lakes: Shuswap Lake is a very large lake network with numerous arms reaching a number of cities in the Interior. Shuswap Lake is named after the Shuswap Indians an Interior Salish tribe. This lake is the largest lake in the area with hundreds of kilometers of shoreline with hidden coves and beaches. Little Shuswap extends off of the north western arm of the main arm of the Shuswap lake. The cities and communitites that surround the shoreline of this lake include Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Chase, Seymour Arm, Balmoral, St. Ives, Blind Bay, Carlin, Magna Bay, Scotch Creek, Eagle Bay, Notch Hill, Skimikin, Anglemont, Celista, Lee Creek, Sorrento, Sunnybrae, Canoe, Tappen, White Lake and Wild Rose Bay.
Real estate in and around the Shuswap lake area is very popular for both year round and seasonal residents. There are a lot of beautiful building lots, apartments, townhomes, single family homes and estates that surround this large lake system. Since this area is so large there are often a lot of properties to choose from. Shuswap Lake has many summer cabins that sit on the desirable waterfront but not all areas are serviced by sewer and hydro. Click here to find out more about the Shuswap Lake area.
Stump Lake: This lake is a smaller lake situated between Kamloops and Merritt on the Old Merritt Highway #5 and is 780 hectares or 1,927 acres in size. There are rainbow trout, brook trout and kokanee in this lake. This lake is relatively quiet during the summer months. Stump Lake does have public access to the lake to launch a boat or have a summer picnic. Stump Lake has a number of homes around the shoreline and in the surrounding hills. Many of the properties here are very peaceful, set in the wilderness and have beautiful views of the lake valley. To view homes for sale click here.
To search for lakefront homes and real estate in and around the Kamloops area click here.
This article was written by Derrick Penner of the Vancouver Sun today. The Kamloops real estate market has seen downward pressure on housing prices over the last nine months. This article states that we will see continued pressure on housing prices for some time to come. Read below for the full story.
While British Columbia real estate sales have lifted from last fall’s dismal lows, market oversupply and deteriorating economic conditions will still pressure prices downwards, according to Scotia Economics.
March and April saw “pretty strong sales volumes” across the country, said Adrienne Warren, a senior economist with Scotia Economics, the Bank of Nova Scotia’s economic-research division. However, “prices are not really firming up [in B.C.] as we’ve seen in some other parts of the country,” she said Tuesday. “There is still a bit of correction going on in a lot of western markets: Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, where they are still working through some overshooting of prices and excess supply.” That, she added, will mean “a little more downward pressure on prices” than what is occurring in central and Atlantic Canada.
The area of Metro Vancouver covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver saw 2,963 sales recorded through the realtor-operated Multiple Listing Service in April, which was down eight per cent from the 3,218 sales recorded in April 2008. That number, however, represented a 31-per-cent jump over March 2009 sales, a month that typically shows more sales than April.
And while Metro Vancouver’s main real estate board reported that inventories of new, unsold listings declined for the sixth straight month, Warren said Vancouver still has an oversupply of unsold homes, both among new homes under construction and in the resale market. “It was a much more unbalanced market six months ago,” Warren said, “and we’re beginning to see a fairly sharp drop-off in new listings.”
That drop, she added, shows that Canadians, in general, aren’t being forced into selling homes or being foreclosed on like troubled buyers in the United States.
At the same time, according to Scotia Economics’ calculations, the pace of MLS home sales to April in Metro Vancouver, expressed as an annualized figure, is running almost 25 per cent below the pace of sales in 2008. Scotia Economics’ average price in Metro Vancouver of $494,485, also expressed on an annualized basis, is down 17 per cent from an annualized average price of $593,767 in 2008. “You’ll probably see prices stabilize over the next six months,” Warren said, “at least by the end of the year.”
She anticipates prices will continue that stable trend in 2010 without much of a sharp rebound, largely because of B.C.’s deteriorating economic conditions and rising unemployment. “Low interest rates, tax incentives by the federal government and more choice in the marketplace have done what they should in a cyclical pattern,” Warren said, “which is bringing buyers back into the market.” “But you’ve got to remember the gains we’re seeing are after very low levels late last year.” The report said a rise in demand and drop in new listings has resulted in the market moving closer to “balanced.”
Kamloops Homeowners are you ready for water meters? This article appeared on the front page of the Kamloops This Week on the Friday May 1st, 2009 edition, written by Jeremy Deutsch. What do you think about these proposed water meters in Kamloops? Read below for the full story.
The city is once again moving in the direction of universal mandatory water meters and will apply to the federal government to help bear the cost to make them a reality. Council has directed staff to apply for stimulus or “shovel-ready” funding after learning water-meter programs are eligible for money under the revised Building Canada Fund.
The cost to install meters in every home in Kamloops is pegged at $12 million, but the expectation is a grant would cover $8 million. The city has flirted with the idea of universal water meters before, but it was rejected by residents in a 2001 referendum. Instead, a voluntary water-metering program has been in place for the last two years, with 128 house-hold signing up in 2008.
The city hopes meters will cut water consumption and ease demand for the natural resource. According to numbers provided by the city, Kamloops is one of the thirstiest communities in Canada, consuming water on a daily basis above the average in the province. Kelowna, which is on a universal water-meter system, uses and average of 587 letres a day per person, compared to Kamloops which uses 700 letres. The provincial average is 426 litres a day per person.
Kelowna experienced a decrease in annual consumption of water by 20 per cent under water meters. “Based on results from communities across North America, there is no question that water meters are an equitable way to charge for water and save significant amounts of capital dollars,” said David Duckworth, the city’s director of public works and utilities. It is estimated two of the city’s three primary water-delivery zones need significant upgrading within 10 years, while nearly half of the booster stations will require work within the same time period.
While the majority of councillors have expressed support for water meters, Denis Walsh, Pat Wallace and Marg Spina remain opposed. Tina Lange suggested residents prefer a user-pay system for many of the services in the city, noting meters fall in line with that desire. She said the city isn’t going to profit off a metered system, adding for those on a low or fixed income, meters would be financially beneficial. But Walsh questioned whether there were other ways to get people to conserve water without going to meters. He also wants to see some type of public consultation before meters are approved.
Wallace is skeptical of talk and savings under water meters and as a councillor at the time of the 2001 water-meter referendum, feels obliged to uphold its results. “Because we asked teh taxpayers for their opinion, I feel duty-bound to respect that,” she said.
Even if the grant application is approved, council would still need to give its final nod before going ahead with a universal metering program. Under the application, the meters would need to be installed by April 2011. With clear direction from council, it’s now up to city staff to put the application together before today’s deadline – not an easy task as a typical application can take up to four months to complete.