All Blog Entries by Steve Harmer

Found 529 blog entries published by Steve Harmer.

Canadians and Covid19 finance tipsIf you have questions about the coronavirus and how the current situation might impact your finances, you’re not alone.

We’ve all heard the words “unprecedented times” more than ever over the last month. While we deal with so much uncertainty around us, it’s important to recognize that there are still actions we can take to help protect ourselves.

With financial markets crashing and the loss of a number of jobs, Canadians are questioning their financial future. It is yet to be determined the real economic impact of the coronavirus as data is changing quickly with limited time to analyze. There are indications that joblessness will increase in the short term, which can be scary; however, the government and lenders are stepping up to aid households in

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Canadian credit scoreYour credit scores are an important aspect of your financial profile.

They may be used to determine some of the most important financial factors in your life, such as whether you’ll be able to lease a vehicle, qualify for a mortgage or even land that cool new job.

And considering 71 percent of Canadian families carry debt in some form (think mortgages, car loans, lines of credit, personal loans or student debt), good credit health should be a part of your current and future plans.  High, low, positive, negative – there’s more to your scores than you might think. And depending on where your numbers fall, your lending and credit options will vary. So what is a good credit score? What about a great one? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

In a

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Price My Kelowna home to sellWhen selling a house, pricing it correctly is one of the most important steps.

If the house is priced too high, it can linger on the market for months without any chance of selling. Even worse, if the price is too low, it will certainly sell, but the seller could be leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table.

As the homeowner, you play a vital role in preparing your home for the market, determining your asking price, striking the deal, and handing over the role of ownership.

There are two methods that most people use to figure out the price of their home; a comparative market analysis (CMA), and an appraisal. A CMA is prepared by a real estate agent and can come either before or after the agent is hired. An appraisal is done by a licensed

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Candian SnowbirdsIf you spend most of the winter outside Canada, you may want to explore the opportunity to rent out your Canadian home while you’re away. 

Renting out your Canadian residence can have a number of benefits, including helping to cover the costs of your winters away. The extra income can be used to supplement or even offset the cost of your winter home or rental. Another benefit is that your home will be lived in and therefore you won’t have to find someone to inspect it daily or every other day, to meet your insurance requirements.  Finally, your home will be occupied, which will deter break-ins, and any damage due to non-use, such as your pipes freezing or bursting, and other risks.

However, renting out your home isn’t for everyone. You have to be

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Costs of selling your Kelowna Real EstateYour Comprehensive Cost List for Selling

If you’re thinking about selling your home, you’ve most likely thought about the cost of selling a house in BC and what that calculates to exactly. This article helps to break down the cost of selling a home so that they can estimate what your take away profit will be after everything.

Home Preparation and Staging

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and in real estate first impressions are everything. In a hot market, like we have in BC, there are many buyers that only get to see a home once at an open house before they put an offer on it. Many buyers are seeing 10-12 homes on average per showing day, which means you have to stand out from the crowd. Sprucing up the home before you take

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BC real estate newsSharp drop in B.C. home sales should be followed by steady recovery: BCREA

Ban on open houses foreshadows short- to mid-term trouble for property sales, as COVID-19 infects all aspects of the market

As COVID-19 makes its way around the globe, it is also bulldozing its way through the economy.  While airlines and event venues were the first to be infected, many are anxious about how the virus will affect other parts of the economy, including the real estate market – which made up 17.4 per cent of B.C.’s GDP in 2018.

Earlier this month, B.C. real estate brokers cancelled all open houses. When houses aren’t shown they become more difficult to sell, and when houses aren’t selling the broader market suffers. While the outlook doesn’t look good, it is

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Is it better to rent than own in Kelowna?There are certainly benefits to owning your own home. You can make payments toward a long-term investment, make any changes or upgrades you desire, and have a stable place to call home, just to name a few. What is not always so clear are the benefits of renting. Not everyone is in a position to buy a home and sometimes it just makes more sense to rent. It would be a smarter financial decision to rent temporarily before buying a home you’re not ready for. Here are some circumstances in which it makes more sense to rent.

When does it make more sense to rent? You may want to rent if…

You’re not sure which neighborhood/city/province you want to live in.

Location is a large part of purchasing a home. When you buy a home, you’re not only investing in

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The rental market is booming.

Kelowna Rental PropertyRenters are turning to extended leases as a cost-effective alternative to save for their future home purchases. Plus, with the current crazy increases in property values in Vancouver and Toronto that are creating more and more renters on the market. The high demand for rentals yields increased profits for rental property owners who can charge higher rents. As always a local real estate agent will help you with your decisions and make the search for the right property easier.

Considering entering the property management industry? Use these 10 tips to get started.

Invest Long-Term

View purchasing a rental property as a long-term investment. A short stint in the property management industry is not likely to generate

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Canada and CoronavirusCOVID-19 has hit 2020 like a wrecking ball, slowly making its way across borders.

Social distancing has us all pressing pause, letting go of priorities in favour of time spent indoors, connected only though our screens. Alas, in the real estate market, even amid a global pandemic, there are still sellers who need to sell, and buyers who need to buy. Lucky for us, in this age of technological glory, real estate agents have access to some great solutions to ensure that processes remain safe, and transactions can continue to take place. This too will pass, and in the meantime, we can all use a little creativity to ensure that our brief pauses don’t turn into a full stop.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is "strongly recommending" against its

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Downsizing in KamloopsAre you considering down-sizing?

Don’t wait to downsize

If you have been thinking about downsizing, it’s probably time to do it. There are lots of reasons that people decide to give up their large homes; their kids have moved out, they have paid off their home, they are tired of cleaning so much house, or they don’t want the upkeep of a large outdoor space. If any of these reasons have crossed your mind, don’t hesitate.

Downsizing takes a little preparation and often people wait until there is an illness or a family crisis that forces them into a rushed move. It’s better to move while you are healthy and can take a few months to plan. It’s never ideal to deal with moving and a family crisis simultaneously if you can help it.

What should you be

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