You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
It’s heating up… the snowboards are being packed away, the flip-flops are coming out and the sun is sneaking its way into our homes a little earlier every morning. With all this extra daylight to work with, what better place to be than Kelowna, the city that feels at home in the summer!
Kelowna is spoilt with golf courses. If that gets your mind ticking over about the perfect back-nine, then the PlayGolf Kelowna value card might be for you. Offering varying tier-levels based on how much golf you expect to play, the PGK card might be your secret weapon in dropping your handicap this summer, or just getting out in the sun after work. After securing the card, you can expect to score some great deals on the following courses: Kelowna Springs, Shadow Ridge, Shannon Lake, Two Eagles, Salmon Arm and Mabel Lake. It also includes the use of practice facilities, namely: Kelowna Driving Range, Two Eagles Golf Academy, and World Beat Golf.
You might have noticed, but there’s a lake in Kelowna. A really big one, in fact. So, in true summer fashion, let’s dive in!
City Park beams with friendly faces, and joyful dogs, soaking up the atmosphere. Located in the heart of downtown, City Park ticks all your happiness-inducing boxes on sunny day. Wibit Waterpark is conveniently located in the park if you’re in need to a cooldown, and then a short walk will place you in front of Parlour ice cream shop (I recommend the salted caramel!)
Bear Creek Provincial Park is a 10km drive from Downtown Kelowna, and you’ll be treated with sparkling lake views your entire ride there. Settle beneath a canopy of trees, whip out that new book you’ve been dying to read and enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle of life. Take a time-out West Kelowna side and in a matter of time, you’ll find yourself splashing around in the log-guarded bathing area. You may even spot a Peregrine falcon showing off in the sky if you’re lucky!
You’ve woken up, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky! Throw on some hiking shoes, because we are going to the top of Knox Mountain, the best view in Kelowna. Gaze out over Lake Okanagan, and snap a photo or two after getting the blood pumping. The lookout tower at the top is the perfect spot to get further snaps. That will ensure that your friends who couldn’t join you this time, will be sure to come along on your next Okanagan adventure.
Myra Canyon, a 40 minute drive out from Kelowna is idyllic when skies are clear, and it’s friendly on the budget! Completely free if you bring your own bicycle, cruise down the Kettle Valley Trail and absorb peaceful surrounds. There is plenty to spot on the 22km trail, so keep your eyes peeled as you search the surrounds for wildlife lurking between the trees.
If you weren’t satisfied with the wildlife sightings on your trail cycle, head over to Kelowna’s very own Kangaroo Creek Farm. Although they aren’t Canadian locals, the kangaroos have adopted the local way of living - they’re super friendly to all visitors. Truly a unique experience, this is something everyone in Kelowna needs to do at least once.
Food and Drinks
Kelowna is no slouch when it comes to world class food and drinks. For the beer fanatics, there’s a high chance you may be overwhelmed with all the choices the city has to offer. But fear not; here’s a brief, personally handcrafted recommendation list:
In the downtown area, try out Red Bird for an intimate brewery and live music experience, BNA brewing for beer and bowling, and Jackknife brewing for a brew and the best pizzas in town (in my opinion)! Some other hidden gems are KBC near the UBCO campus, and Shoreline Brewing in Pandosy.
On the food side of things, there are a few notable spots hanging around the city when one is in search of respite from the heat. Momo’s Sushi, located in the heart of Bernard Street offers up a quaint restaurant with a lot of character and quality to match. Be sure to check out their budget-friendly lunch specials. Not too far from the city centre is the renowned Jammery, an unbeatable breakfast spot serving up eggs benedict and breakfast bowls that would get Gordon Ramsay’s mouth watering.
Situated in the picturesque Okanagan, there are very few locations around the world that offer the vibrant yet tranquil environment that Kelowna does. You could spend a lifetime bouncing between different settings, hobbies, and surroundings, yet still be left with more to explore in this paradise 220 000 people plus call home. If all of this has you questioning whether this is too good to be true, contact me and put me to the test. Let’s find you your ideal spot, whatever your unique requirements may be.
I started my day with a walk in nature. Until recently, mother nature has been incubating during her well-deserved annual leave – aka Winter. I don't always feel like bouncing out of bed and have been known to hide beneath the covers convincing myself that I have every good reason to remain snuggled. However, once my common sense gives itself a good stretch and nudges me into reality, I move on to phase two of the waking up process – coffee in bed! Unlike the alarm, my coffee is the recipient of much love and adoration.
Now that Mother Nature has stretched out of her slumber and light is arriving ever-earlier, taking walks amongst Cherry Blossoms and tulips is the enviable reality for those of us that live in the Okanagan and Vancouver areas. What a privilege to take in the splendid display of colour – it’s invigorating and gets me into a mindset of gratefulness and inspiration. With these positive thoughts front and centre, it means I can prepare for a productive day ahead.
I begin my week days with noting priorities and appointments, and by 9am my phone starts ringing. My days vary, but the generally they involve a balance of valuations, house showings and presenting offers. My best days, are the signed and sealed days – of which I am fortunate to have many. Why? Well, I am a realtor where everyone wants to live. I mean – just take a look outside. Spring couldn’t be more glorious!
Change of season really gives us that opportunity to get excited about new things and new adventures. Even if you are already in your dream home, you can still introduce fresh life into your home, just like Spring re-adorns bare branches.
Here are some top-tips to effortlessly bring the season of fresh beginning into your home:
1. Brighten your interior
Say goodbye to the darker colours of winter and introduce a palette of pastels – maybe even the odd pop of neon if you’re feeling particularly bold. How? Well, treat your couch to some new, bright or floral scatter cushions, or add colourful dining room chairs to the head of your dining room table. That eclectic look can be super fun to play around with, and it adds fresh interest when your friends come over.
In the bedroom, you can still keep your neutral tones but liven them up with cushions or a new, celebration-of-spring wall hanging
2. Flowers – inside and out
Can we take a moment to boast a little about the blooms of the Okanagan and Vancouver? What a delight to walk and drive past plump, multi-coloured tulips and sunflowers, and my favourite – hanging baskets! Does that not want to make your heart sing? Such beauty!
I’ve seen many conversations strike up between complete strangers as they walk past downtown gardens. Owners pottering around their gardens answering questions about ‘what flower is what’ to curious passersby.
Winter gives us a blank canvas, and from there we get to paint our flower beds with fresh pops of colour – have fun with it!
Indoors you may just want to add more green, if not flowers. They provide a tranquil, calming effect and are ideal for softening sharp edges and corners.
3. A lick of paint
There’s no need to re-paint the full interior of your house. Instead, pick an accent wall or two. It need not be over-the-top bright – even a beautiful shade of green can completely transform an area of your home. A quick, easy option is a guest washroom – a fresh lick of vibrant paint and some green plants will make a world of difference. Treat your guests to a set of plush, new towels.
4. Patio living
This is the time of year when we swap our snuggly indoor couch for comfy outdoor furniture. There’s no need to renovate or do anything hugely different, you can simply introduce a few ‘spring-ish’ features. Recover cushions, add a bright, spring-celebration table centre piece or even add a character-full outdoor rug for design interest. And, if you really want the colours of nature to uplift your patio – add a bird feeder and bird bath, or better still – a hummingbird feeder. Birds will deliver a display of varied colour and shimmery beauty to your outdoor space. Just be sure that Felix the cat is on his best behaviour!
It’s small, it’s subtle, but it can be strangely satisfying to update your doormat. There’s nothing like a tatty, overused winter doormat to bring down the cheer of your freshly created patio area. You can even look to add one that has a quirky saying that will get guests smiling before you’ve even opened your door.
6. Framed photos
Create a seasonal wall. Print pictures of your Spring adventures – past and present. It’ll provide a great reminiscing opportunity for you and your family, and it’s a conversation starter when friends come over.
Look to add fairy lights to your outside area. In the trees, on your patio walls…this simple touch always draws a magical smile.
Seeing homes transform is one of the many things I love about what I do. If you’re looking to sell, I’d love to help you with these tips – it’ll elevate the attraction of your home to potential buyers. It shows that it’s a much-loved, happy home.
We've all heard of Airbnb. We know that it is one of the top-performing companies in the world, and that’s because its model works! Airbnb presents a highly lucrative opportunity for homeowners in the in-demand Okanagan as well as the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. Kelowna and surrounds may be where you and I live (aren’t we lucky!?), but for others, it's their much-loved go-to winter and summer playground. Who wouldn't want to vacation in one of the most picturesque places in Canada and possibly the world? Vancouver, needless to say, is also a bucket list destination thanks to its lush forests and fashion-forward city vibes.
Perhaps you haven't considered Airbnb. Maybe you have, but believe that it's more hassle than it's worth, or you're unsure of the next steps. I'm here to tell you that it presents an opportunity to pay off your mortgage more speedily, build a greater nest egg for your retirement, or simply travel more frequently. Regardless of your goals, it is a key area to consider if you want to bolster the coffers.
So, we've spoken about the substantial financial benefit, but what of all the potential hiccups you may be afraid of? Airbnb is designed to be user-friendly. Communication between yourself and the potential guests is simple and even enjoyable, and you can choose to handle the rental on your own.
In addition, there’s a wealth of information out there to ensure the Airbnb process works for you (and your guests). Perhaps the idea of hosting is intimidating, but really, it’s not hard to do. This handy link on responsible hosting will help put your mind at ease and give you a better idea of what is expected from your side.
Another area to acquaint yourself with is that of area rules and regulations. Because what is life without some rules, right? Take a further read and gain some valuable insight by reading further and checking out these links for Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Vancouver:
“New bylaws to allow and regulate short-term rentals in Kelowna are now in effect, and anyone operating a short-term rental must apply for a business licence. A homeowner or primary resident can legally rent their principal residence (or a bedroom within their residence) for periods of less than 30 days in certain zones in the city, as per Section 9.17 of the Zoning Bylaw. Select tourist areas will continue to allow short-term rentals outside of an operator’s principal residence.
By licensing your short-term rental and following regulations, you're helping limit negative impacts to the long-term rental market, ensuring your accommodation is a good neighbour, and supporting equity among all short-term accommodation providers.
Annual business licences for short-term rentals cost $345 for principal residences and $750 for non-principal residences. These fees reflect the cost of implementation and compliance oversight activities. Short-term rental operators are required to renew their licence annually and ensure all documentation is accurate and up-to-date for the new year. Renewal notices will be mailed in early December, and licence fees are due by Jan. 15 each year regardless of booking start dates”.
Check out the requirements by watching this handy video: https://www.westkelownacity.ca/en/our-community/short-term-accommodations.aspx
“Many Lake Country entrepreneurs have opened their homes to welcome tourist and visitors by providing short-term vacation rentals. Short-term vacation rentals such as Bed and Breakfasts, Airbnbs and VRBOs are important to Lake Country as they provide income to local homeowners and help fill the gap of limited temporary accommodations such as motels and campgrounds.
If you are thinking of starting a short-term vacation rental or you already have one, check the definition of short-term vacation rental in the District’s Zoning Bylaw 561, 2007. Also, check to see if short-term rentals are allowed based on what your property is zoned. Earlier this year Council made it a top priority for bylaw officers to enforce short-term vacation rental bylaws. In the coming weeks operators of short-term vacation rentals will be receiving correspondence from the District explaining the bylaw and requesting that property owners confirm that the bylaw is being followed.
Unfortunately, some neighbourhoods have been negatively impacted by short-term vacation rentals due to inadequate parking, garbage not being disposed of properly and excessive noise. For easy reference, below is a summary of what is required for all short-term vacation rentals in Lake Country:
The short-term rental is in the principal residence where the owner has claimed the homeowner property tax grant.
· Accommodations are located within the primary residence and not in an accessory suite separate from the home (examples include - trailer, motorhome, camper, garage, cabana, or shop).
· There are not more than four (4) sleeping units rented out at the same time.
· There is parking for all guests on the property (guests’ vehicles are not permitted to park on the street).
· All garbage and recycling is contained to the property and properly disposed.
· A valid District of Lake Country business licence is issued for the short-term vacation rental.
· Properties that are not compliant are subject to a daily fine”.
“Our short-term rental regulations help protect long-term rental housing and allow residents to earn additional income.
All short-term rental operators in Vancouver must have a business licence and A
You must have strata approval and/or your landlord must permit the use of short-term rentals in your home before you apply for a licence”.
At the end of the day, Airbnb has pluses that are hard to beat. Most often, Airbnb offers more affordability for travellers, allowing them to see more of the world and their own country. In addition, it’s the little quirks that make the experience extra special for guests. It often feels like a home away from home, rather than the often sterile feel of a hotel. Yes, the sheets should still be crisp and the floors squeaky clean, but those ornaments you've gathered over the years can be left exactly where they are - they add to the charm of your Airbnb. There's a story to be told in most Airbnb's, a touch of family history…and the guests almost always enjoy that.
You may already have Airbnb potential in your current home, such as an in-law suite. Or perhaps you’re looking to invest in the booming Okanagan and Vancouver housing markets but are concerned with being stretched monthly. Airbnb is the answer. It is the ideal opportunity to own property but with an even greater return. Please feel free to chat over options with me.
Kelowna is my hometown. I've witnessed its growth with great wonder and pride. Kelowna is where everyone wants to live, for good reason. For MANY good reasons, in fact. Probably top of the list is the weather. The weather is reason enough to call Kelowna home with its four distinct seasons, hot summers and mild winters.
However, the list just goes on and on, and as a Kelowna Realtor, I love to share all its many perks with my clients.
Think wine tasting at world-class vineyards, cycling along the Kettle Valley Railway, balmy beach days, and diving into the crystal-clear Okanagan lake. Think nearby ski resorts, picturesque golf courses, and hikes through national parks. Think coffee shops. Aplenty.
Honestly, after a stroll downtown, you’ll discover that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to quaint, welcoming, and delicious coffee shops. Here are my top 3 that are warm of both heart and atmosphere:
1. Bliss Bakery
“LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. LOAF.” Even their tagline is delightful! And very accurate. This is one of my favourite go-to’s when I need to catch up on some realtor-related admin or get final correspondence together for one of my soon-to-be-homeowners.
My intention is always just to sip on one of their delicious Lattes; however, that fresh artisan baking aroma gets me every time! I inevitably add a melt-in-the-mouth croissant alongside my coffee. Or, if it's been an early start, I treat myself to one of their breakfast wraps filled with roast potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, and salsa. Out of this world delicious!
Bliss Bakery can be found at 109 – 1289 Ellis Street, in downtown Kelowna.
Second up is the place that looks as cute as its name sounds. Sprout is full of character and charm. It has a wonderful energy about it. Bicycles lean up against its fence as cyclists relax after an early morning ride with friends, and expect to see all sorts of tail wagging - this is a favourite hangout for dog lovers and their furry companions.
Sprout is where I often choose to tap away on my laptop while enjoying a coffee and a Ploughman sandwich off their lunchtime menu. You can find them at 125-1295 Cannery Lane, and there's generally plenty of parking just across from them.
Situated at 387 Bernard Avenue, nestled on a corner in the heart of the downtown bustle, Deville Coffee is an infectiously energetic vibe. It has a creative feel and is often bustling with business folk discussing ideas and connecting over coffee and laptops.
Their coffee menu is extensive, so I try to sip on something new whenever I visit. However, their Flat White is my go-to favourite, with the Vanilla Latte coming in at a very close second. I generally pop into Deville when I’m taking a client downtown apartment shopping and grab a Breakfast Wrap to keep me energised for a morning of happy home finding.
There's not a day that goes by that I'm not grateful to live in Kelowna. One of my greatest joys is matching clients with their home vision. Finding them a place to settle in one of Canada's most in-demand towns is immensely rewarding. Kelowna offers a lifestyle that is most certainly rivalled by little else.
Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!
You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.
We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.