Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tips for Spring Lawn Care

If you want that lush and green summer lawn that will make you the talk of the neighbourhood, now is the perfect time to start.  Weed free lawns free of bare patches do not just happen, it takes preparation, maintenance and some work to achieve this desired look.  As the premier agent for all your Penticton real estate needs, I would like to share the following spring lawn care tips that will help you achieve the coveted summer yard.

Routine Maintenance

The most important tool for keeping an even and healthy lawn is your lawnmower.  Make sure that it is in top condition this spring by doing the following maintenance:

  • Replace or clean the sparkplug and air filter. A clean plug and filter will allow your lawnmower to run more efficiently.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer to keep your lawnmower’s engine running smoothly.
  • Change the oil.
  • Sharpen the blade. A dull blade will make ragged cuts and your lawn will be more susceptible to disease.

Give it a Rake

It is so important to thoroughly rake your yard to remove all the dead grass.  This dead grass otherwise known as thatch can build up and create problems such as drought.  It will also allow weeds to spring up in your yard.  Removing the thatch from your lawn will allow air to reach the soil and promote a healthy and vibrant yard.

Seed and Sod

Once you have removed the thatch and other debris, take the time to reseed and re-sod your lawn.  An early reseeding will fill in any bare patches and make your lawn that much fuller in the upcoming months.  Be sure to follow the directions on the package and properly water your lawn to allow your seeds to grow.

Start Early

It is never too early to start a spring routine.  The more time you spend on your yard in the early spring, the healthier your lawn will be this summer.  Some great routine habits to establish early, to ensure a happy and healthy yard, include:

  • Water your lawn regularly and try to do it early in the morning or in the evening to prevent any burning or evaporation. Always check your local watering restrictions.
  • Edge your yard to clearly define the boundaries between your lawn and landscaping.
  • Reseed a few times over the year and use an organic fertilizer to keep your lawn healthy, lush and green.
  • When mowing, choose a higher setting and mow more frequently. You can also mow in alternate directions to promote healthy grass.

By starting your lawn care this spring, you will be able to enjoy a healthy yard this summer.  If you would like other spring lawn care tips or are interested in some of the many new and exciting real estate options that are available in Penticton, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

North Okanagan Market Update for September 2019

This North Okanagan Real Estate Update covers the areas of: Vernon, Coldstream, Falkland, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby.

Updated Stats for Residential Homes in the North Okanagan:

Sell/Inventory Ratio:

16.56% (this is how much of what is currently on the market sold last month)

Days to Sell:

61 (how many days on average it is taking to sell a home. Please note this does not include additional time on the market of any listings that expired or were cancelled and then re-listed)

Avg. Sale Price:

$514,173 (averages can be skewed by a few really high, or really low $$ sales)

Median Sale Price:

$475,000 (the exact middle sale price of every residential property sold last month)

Waterfront Home Sales:

22 waterfront homes sold so far year to date.

North Okanagan overall statistics:

Total Units that were newly LISTED (and active on the market) during each of the past 3 months:

July:  346

Aug: 333

Sep: 271

Total Units SOLD (all property types including raw land and commercial) during each of the past 3 months:

July:  240

Aug: 192

Sep: 187

Wrap Up:

Sellers: As we enter into the official months of Fall, we expect to see a rather gradual decline in the market, both in new listings and sales of current homes on the market. While this year is technically following trend, in comparison to 2018’s decline in sales for the month of September, we saw a nearly 13% increase! So what does this mean for you as sellers? It means that buyers are still out there and the market is still active, so your home stands a chance to sell before the winter hits. In order to catch the attention of prospective buyers, now is an opportune time to make a slight change in your selling strategy! Talk to your agent today for your home re-evaluation, as a small adjustment in price or selling strategy can go a long way.

Buyers: This month saw a rather significant decrease in new listings, as anticipated with the arrival of Fall. However, fear not prospective buyers! There are still a number of great properties on the market and plenty of warm weather house hunting days left before the frost ensues. Further, now is an opportune time to make a courageous offer on the property of your dreams, as sellers are getting more and more anxious to sell before the season slows even more.

If you’re just beginning the home buying purchase, now is the time to find an agent who understands your needs! Reach out to the Salt Fowler Team now to get on our client list and hear about new homes as soon as they come on the market!

Please feel free to Contact Us Anytime: Lisa, Gord, Glenn, Alex, Joanne, Avrill, Christie, Bryan, Laura and Ryan of the Salt Fowler Team, RE/MAX Vernon – Top RE/MAX Team in British Columbia for 2018.

Congratulations Joanne Borowsky – Salt Fowler Team Top Salesperson for July 2019

Joanne from the Salt Fowler Team has achieved Salesperson of the Month for July 2019.

Real Estate has always been a passion for Joanne and her enthusiasm to help others with a professional attitude has provided her with continued success.  Lisa, Gord and the rest of the Salt Fowler Team congratulate Joanne on her recent accomplishments and wish her more success moving forward in her career!

To contact Joanne directly her email is joanne@saltfowler.com or 250-308-9472.  Let Joanne help make your Okanagan dreams come true!!

Just Released!!  Our Foothills Area Market Update for April! 

Just Released!!  Our Foothills Area Market Update for April!  Here is a preview of our Foothills folder featuring homes and lots for sale and sold in the fabulous Foothills area in Vernon BC.  This folder will be mailed out in the next 10 days!  If you are interested in selling your home and having it advertised in this popular marketing piece, please let us know!  We would be happy to feature your Foothills, Vernon Real Estate here!  Contact the Salt Fowler Team at 250-549-SALT (7258) or visit our website to view thousands of homes for sale online all in one place at www.Foothills.info.

November North Okanagan Real Estate Market Update

This North Okanagan Real Estate Update covers the areas of:  Vernon, Coldstream, Falkland, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby.

Updated Stats for Residential Homes in the North Okanagan:

Sell/Inventory Ratio:   

17.57%  (this is how much of what is currently on the market sold last month)

Days to Sell:  

82 (how many days on average it is taking to sell a home)

Avg. Sale Price:  

$487,022 (averages can be skewed by a few really high, or really low $$ sales)

Median Sale Price:  

$454,950 (the exact middle sale price of every residential property sold last month)

Waterfront Home Sales: 

20 waterfront home sold year to date (versus 15 last year, same time period)

North Okanagan overall statistics:

Total Units that were newly LISTED (and active on the market) during each of the past 3 months:

Sep:    302

Oct:    259

Nov:   218

Total Units SOLD (all property types including raw land and commercial) during each of the past 3 months:

Sep:    167

Oct:     186

Nov:    147

 

Wrap Up:

Sellers:  For the 8th month in a row, sales have continued to decline. This month by 6.37%, a trend that supports the idea that market is in fact changing.  The proof is in the numbers.  If your home is currently listed, and you haven’t received any offers, or your showings have declined, this could be a sign that your home is overpriced for this market. Properties that are priced above the current market value will likely sit until the next cycle, losing value and likely getting lost in the shuffle of abundant homes on the market. However, all is not lost! This is the perfect opportunity to have a discussion with your listing agent, and if necessary take recommendations on how to remedy.

Inventory of homes on the market has also now increased to 1312 versus 1178 last year.  This gap is about the same as last month, however the number of new listings has decreased by 8.02% since October. This could simply be a seasonal change, or perhaps an indication that this change in the market is causing sellers to hold off on listing until a better time of year or until the market swings back in their favor.

Buyers:  As stated above, the number of new homes on the market has decreased slightly since October, but not enough to affect you as buyers. This continues to be a market in your favor, with an abundance of inventory and many sellers desperate to sell.

However…. (and isn’t there always a “however”?) interest rates are now slowly, but surely, on the rise.  Waiting to see if the price of your dream house may reduce may not be the right play, if interest rates increase in the meantime.  By paying the increase in the interest rates could very well mean that in the long run you end up ultimately paying more for your home.  A small increase in rates equals a large increase in the amount spent over the life of your mortgage.  That is an important analysis to make before making the decision to fence sit.

Although the Government has intervened numerous times in an attempt to slow down the real estate prices skyrocketing in the major centres, we aren’t expecting any immediate drastic price drops in our local market.  We are still experiencing a lot of in-migration to our fair city, which is helping our local market while others considerably decline.

If you would like to get access to MLS listings 24/7 on your own time, click here to get brand new listings in your inbox every morning!

Please feel free to Contact Us Anytime:  Lisa, Gord, Glenn, Alex, Joanne, Greg, Avrill, Christie and Bryan of the Salt Fowler Team, RE/MAX Vernon – specializing in North Okanagan and Vernon BC Real Estate.

Speculation Tax Update

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Yes to More Affordable Housing, No to So-Called Speculation Tax

KELOWNA, B.C. – October 17, 2018. While the BC government is to be admired for attempting to tackle housing affordability, the approach taken via tabling a so-called speculation and vacancy tax neither addresses the affordability problem nor targets actual housing market speculators.

Taking aim at claims made by the NDP government about the benefits of the tax, tabled Bill 45 on Tuesday, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) President Marv Beer comments “I’ve not met anyone who disagrees that we need more affordable housing, but suggesting that this tax, as proposed, would somehow improve the situation is misleading to say the least.”

The tax, should it come into being, targets homes worth more than $400,000 so even if these homes were rented or sold to avoid the tax the housing supply created would not be what is generally considered affordable.

Cautioning again about the potential harm that could come from introducing yet another tax on homeowners on which no economic impact studies have been conducted, Beer notes that the provincial government already has a homeowner tax in place that it could use to further housing affordability. It’s called the Property Transfer Tax and while only homeowners pay it, proceeds currently go into general revenue to benefit everyone. “If the government really wanted to make homes more affordable, it could exempt buyers of lower-cost homes from having to pay the Land Transfer Tax.”

Beer contends that the proposed tax doesn’t target the speculator, defined as someone who purchases and ‘flips’ properties within a relatively short time-frame for profit.

“Speculators, because they don’t hold a property for long, would be minimally affected by this tax. Instead, it would be the long-time home owner who would pay, year over year, for choosing to spend time and money in BC,” says Beer, adding “Ironically, it’s possible that the tax would encourage speculators to set their sights on homes under $400,000, competing with legitimate buyers for lower cost homes. If the government really wanted to go after speculators, it could apply a levy to homes sold within a short time of being purchased.”

Beer notes the government’s claim that the legislation is aimed at foreigners and those from other provinces who don’t pay income taxes here. In fact, the minister responsible for this tax revealed in legislature that almost two-thirds of those who would pay the tax would be British Columbians, about 20,000 of 32,000 homes targeted.

“The good news is that the government has included a number of exemptions from the tax. The bad news is that the myriad of exemptions would create a costly administrative nightmare and still, housing affordability would not be enhanced nor speculators deterred. While measures to address both problems may be needed, this tax, as it is currently proposed, is not the answer.”

For more information, please contact OMREB at media@omreb.com.

MEDIA RELEASE

OMREB is a member-governed not-for-profit association representing almost 1300 REALTORS® and 89 real estate offices within the southern interior region of British Columbia (Peachland to Revelstoke). The Board is dedicated to providing leadership and support to its members in their pursuit of professional excellence.

Vernon Real Estate Market Update for March 2018

This North Okanagan Real Estate Update covers the areas of:  Vernon, Coldstream, Falkland, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby.

Updated Stats for Residential Homes in the North Okanagan:

Sell/Inventory Ratio:   

24.48%  (this is how much of what is currently on the market sold last month)

Days to Sell:  

53 (how many days on average it is taking to sell a home) – WAY down from last month.

Avg. Sale Price:  

$478,874 (averages can be skewed by a few really high, or really low $$ sales)

Median Sale Price:  

$442,500 (the exact middle sale price of every residential property sold last month)

Waterfront Home Sales: 

3 waterfront home sold year to date (compared to 1 last year in Jan-Mar 2017)

North Okanagan overall statistics:

Total Units that were newly LISTED (and active on the market) during each of the past 3 months:

Jan:          210

Feb:        217

Mar:       380

Total Units SOLD (all property types including raw land and commercial) during each of the past 3 months:

Jan:       111

Feb:      131

Mar:     178

Wrap Up:

Sellers:  There was a very slight increase in units for sale in March over 2017, a bit over 3%.  Not too much different year over year. Sales on the other hand were down nearly 21% year over year.  Why? Is the sky falling? We doubt it. We are still seeing many multiple offers and quick sales. Buyers however are scrambling to compete over properties in the most popular price ranges, and new product is largely being listed in the outlying price ranges where there is still a fair bit of competition. Total inventory right now is 1135 units this year, versus 1326 last year.  That extra few hundred units makes a huge difference.

In March we saw the BC Government reduce the speculation tax numbers slightly, which although a step in the right direction, is not being accepted very well. What this means now is that anyone who does not pay taxes in British Columbia (i.e. anyone from another Province, let alone another country) will pay an additional .5% of assessed value on their property taxes in 2018 and an additional 1% in 2019 and beyond.  We continue to encourage as many people to fight this speculation tax and join the movement of those who believe that more affordable housing in the Province should not come as a directly result of piling on more and more taxes.  The feedback we are currently receiving from those in our neighbouring province is extremely negative, and will ultimately affect the entire Okanagan real estate market, not only the immediately affected areas of Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Sign the Petition to Stop the BC Speculation Tax Here

Write your MLA here in just a few clicks, to fight the BC Speculation Tax

Buyers:  A few more houses entered the market in March for a total inventory of 1135 units versus a few over 1000 last month. Homes in the popular and hard to find price ranges are selling very quickly and the market is in a bit of a frenzy. The best advice we can give, once again, is if you see the perfect home – do not delay. Ensure you have all your ducks in a row in advance – your downpayment, your financing, and your ultimate buying plan.  Sitting down with one our buyer specialists will save you time and money in your buying process as we will ensure your are prepared and ready to strategically enter this market. Ensuring you are an educated buyer is your best opportunity to find the best home at the best price.   Call us today to get on our client list to be informed of those hot new listings the fastest!  Beat other buyers to those new listings before other Realtors even hear about them.  The best defence is a great offence!

We can help get you to the newest listings first, often before other Realtors or the public hear about them with our unique Buyer Profile System – sign up to View Thousands of Homes right here!

Please feel free to Contact Us Anytime:  Lisa, Gord, Glenn, Alex, Joanne, Greg, Avrill and Christie of the Salt Fowler Team, RE/MAX Vernon – specializing in North Okanagan and Vernon BC Real Estate.

Salt Fowler Team Achieve Elite RE/MAX Diamond Award Club

 RE/MAX Recognizes Local Realtors® as the Top Producing Real Estate Team in the North Okanagan

VERNON, BC, March 4, 2018 – The Salt Fowler Team with RE/MAX Vernon has qualified for the 2017 RE/MAX Diamond Team Award, which honours successful teams who have earned the highest pinnacle of success in the past year. In 2017, the Diamond Award was achieved by less than one percent of all active RE/MAX agents.

This is the second year RE/MAX has introduced this award, which was presented in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Conference Centre at the Western Canadian Awards night on February 25, 2018, which was followed by the RE/MAX International Conference from February 26 through February 29, 2017.

“Lisa Salt and Gord Fowler’s tireless dedication to serving their clients, consumers and community has allowed them to achieve this prestigious and elite honour for the second year in a row,” said Brad Marsh, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Vernon. “Receiving the Diamond Award is a huge accomplishment and we’re extremely proud that Lisa, Gord and their entire team continue to raise the bar in real estate.”

Lisa Salt has been serving her community as a real estate agent with RE/MAX Vernon for 20 years and has extensive experience in North Okanagan residential real estate since 1993. Gord Fowler joined Lisa in 2005 from Calgary, and has been an integral part of their team ever since. Among Gord and Lisa’s list of achievements, they have also earned the prestigious RE/MAX Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement awards as well as hold the designations of International Real Estate Specialist, Certified Luxury Homes Specialist, Accredited Commercial Professional and are the sole chosen local representatives for the elite RE/MAX Cross Canada Referrals Group consisting of top performing agents across the nation.   All team members are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association, BC Real Estate Association and the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

Other team member award winners for 2017 were Alex Wambold, earning RE/MAX’s 100% Club, and Glenn Beach, Joanne Pappin, Greg Barteluk and Christie King achieving RE/MAX Executive Club.

In addition, the Salt Fowler Team actively supports various causes close to their hearts by donating a portion of every commission cheque to charity. Their charities of choice include the Children’s Miracle Network, North Okanagan Hospice Society, the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, the Vernon and District Animal Care Society, the Cancer Foundation, Lion’s Club and Women to the Power of Ten – Community Foundation.

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