Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Karen Guy, REALTOR® ~ Holiday Viewings are Worth a Look

Holiday Viewings

The holiday season is fast approaching. It’s a time that is traditionally taken up with family gatherings, parties and general celebration, with all the flurry of activities that go with it. Real estate is often the furthest thing from the most people’s minds – but I’d like to tell you that if you’re one of the home buyers and sellers who think that way, you could be missing out!

The holiday season can have definite advantages for both buyers and sellers. If you currently have your home listed for sale, you may find yourself caught up in the time demands of shopping and entertaining. You may be feeling that you don’t need the added stress of keeping your home in “show-ready” condition at a time of year when viewings may tend to slow down. In fact, some home sellers won’t accept viewing appointments during the holiday season. While that’s your choice, you should be aware that a decision like that could result in a missed opportunity. After all, in today’s ethnically diverse society, there are still many prospective buyers who may not be celebrating the holiday season, yet they still have time off to view properties. Also, with some homes not accepting viewing appointments, your listing may have less competition during the holiday period.

Of course, if your home is decorated for the holidays, it probably looks at its most attractive. Holiday viewings have the advantage of showing off your home at its most welcoming, and prospective buyers can envision themselves in its warm and inviting atmosphere. So why not roll out the welcome mat to potential buyers too?

The holiday season offers advantages for buyers as well. Fewer buyers actively looking during the holidays means there’s less competition from other buyers. It’s still an excellent time to go house hunting. As your local Coldwell Banker real estate professional, I can help bring you a home for the holidays!

Karen Guy, REALTOR®

I am the GUY that will make a difference!

Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty C 250.878.3605 O 250.768.8001

Karen Guy, REALTOR® ~ Maintaining Your Hot Water Tank


Performing routine checks and maintenance on your hot water tank, whether it is gas, oil or electric, is vital to extending the life and efficiency of the tank and ensuring your safety. The normal life expectancy of a tank is 8 – 12 years. Older tanks have the manufacture date as part of the serial number; however newer tanks have stickers with the date of manufacture clearly stated.

Completely check the tank for any signs of leaks, corrosion, damage and deterioration. Check water lines on top of the unit for leaks and corrosion; also check that the bottom drain valve is not leaking. You should routinely drain the tank and flush out any silt and debris on the bottom of the tank. This will greatly increase the life and efficiency of your tank, especially if you are on a well system.

The area around the tank should be kept clear of debris and combustibles. Air flow is required to help with combustion and the performance of your tank. Visually check the tank’s main components. Check the burner and pilot-light burn pattern and look for signs of corrosion and deterioration and ensure that the flame shields are in place. Air flow to the burner area should not be obstructed.

Next, take a look at the temperature pressure relief valve (TPRV) located on the side of the tank. The TPRV is designed to release any build-up of pressure or temperature. There should be no signs of leakage or corrosion. The TPRV should also be equipped with a down-tube to safely direct any release of hot water and/or steam from hitting you. The TPRV should never be capped. Without the ability to release pressure, your tank will essentially become a ticking bomb.

The vent connector/exhaust pipe on top of the tank should be securely attached with no holes or corrosion. If the vent is not in good condition it could lead to the off gassing of Carbon Monoxide, which can make you ill or at high levels, lead to fatality.

You should consult a professional plumber if any of the above issues exist or if you have any questions or concerns.

Karen Guy, REALTOR® I am the GUY that will make a difference! Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty C 250.878.3605 O 250.768.8001 http://www.connectwithkaren.com/

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

West Kelowna Realtor Karen Guy ~ Tips on Planning a Home Office

Planning Your Home Office

Technology is quickly changing our everyday lives, and if you’re like me, you want to use it to your best advantage, no matter what the time of day. For some people, that may also mean making a few changes to your home environment. More and more homeowners I talk to are converting their sewing room, games room or den into a home office.

If you’re thinking of creating a home office, a good place to start is making a list of needs that you want your home office environment to fulfill. Make sure that you consider possible future uses as well as just your immediate needs. Prepare a budget and include both the cost of equipment and any installation costs. Don’t forget to consider an extra phone line, and high-speed internet installation or wireless service costs. You should also determine whether any additional power outlets or lighting will be needed to accommodate your room’s new purpose. If you need electrical work done, factor this into your budget.

Your equipment cost is one area where you probably won’t want to skimp. With today’s rapidly-advancing technology, you may find that if you only go with a minimal set-up, your equipment could quickly become inadequate to handle your future needs. If you need to cut back on your budget, you will probably be better served by ‘getting creative’ with furniture or decorating costs. I’ll be giving you some tips about this in my next newsletter.

If you’re considering a home office, remember that when the time comes to sell, prospective buyers generally find a home office a welcome and attractive feature. And if you’re looking for more ideas to make your home more saleable, or you’re wondering what’s in demand for today’s homes, just give me a call. As your local Coldwell Banker sales professional, I can advise you about what’s hot and what’s not in our market, and how various improvements may affect the resale value of your home. Let’s talk.

Karen Guy, REALTOR® I am the GUY that will make a difference! Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty C 250.878.3605 O 250.768.8001 http://www.connectwithkaren.com/

Monday, November 8, 2010

West Kelowna Real Estate - Market Update from my E-Connection Newsletter

I had a great chat with another Realtor friend in Langley the other morning.  He is quite busy right now working with clients wanting to take advantage of upgrading to a more expensive home (let’s say you want to buy a home that’s worth $100,000 more than the current home you are in) in the current down market.  If you are thinking of exactly this, there couldn’t be a better time.

A lot of buyers out there are sitting on the fence and waiting to decide if prices will go down even further.  In my opinion they may, but the other unknown factor is interest rates; what are they going to do?  If house prices fall slightly, interest rates could very well increase.  Interest rates certainly can’t come down much more; so, I personally consider this a wash.  Don’t be one of many who wake up regretting not getting into the market when they had a chance.

The only time the bottom of the market is realized is when it’s too late, as prices are already on the way up again.   Gone are the days of buying and flipping.   If you are planning on making a purchase and staying in your home (which more people are these days) it’s irrelevant if values decrease slightly.  Like I said, in my opinion you cannot go wrong making a purchasing now.

Click here to see my full E-Connection Newsletter.   If you would like to receive these every 6 weeks please send me an email and I will add you to my distribution list.

Karen Guy, REALTOR® I am the GUY that will make a difference! Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty C 250.878.3605 O 250.768.8001 http://www.connectwithkaren.com/

Kelowna Real Estate Agent West Kelowna Karen Guy Realtor