When you’re shopping for a new home, it’s a good idea to create a checklist of what you want and what you need. It keeps you on track to ultimately find the property that best fits your requirements — and those of your family. 


However, there’s a big difference between want and need that is important to understand when house hunting. A ‘need’ refers to a feature that is an absolute must in a new home. A ‘want’, by contrast, is a ‘nice-to-have’. 


Some home buyers make the mistake of choosing a ‘want’ at the expense of a ‘need’.


For example, say you ‘need’ four bedrooms in your new home but ‘want’ a golf course located nearby. It can be tempting to fall in love with a property that has a beautiful golf green just a couple of blocks away, even if it has only three bedrooms. You may find yourself signing the offer while dreaming of Saturday morning tee-offs, only to awake to the realization months later that the lack of an extra bedroom has become a serious inconvenience to you and your family.


Of course it is possible to get most, if not all, of what you need and want in a new home. Especially if you work with a good REALTOR®. But if it comes down to a choice, it’s usually a good idea not to sacrifice something you really need in order to get something you want. 


So when you’re making your house hunting checklist, be clear about what is a need-to-have and what is a nice-to-have.


Don’t forget that some features you want — like a wraparound backyard deck, for example — can potentially be added to your new home later.


Want more tips for getting what you need and want in a new home? Call the Dion-Ivans Group today!!


We just listed a new property located at 301 2551 Shoreline DR in Lake Country.
Come live at Sitara on the POND! This development has it all, beautiful landscaped greens surround the pond, an amazing outdoor pool and hot tub, a lounge & a gym! This corner unit features 2 bedrooms on opposite sides, 9ft ceilings, tons of windows for natural light, and a large deck to enjoy the mountain & lake views!! There are tons of walking & biking trails all at your doorstep, and the Airport, University & several Golf Courses are only minutes away!! Call The Dion-Ivans Real Estate Group today for more information.

Canadian consumer prices rose just 1.2 per cent in the 12 months to May, a sharp deceleration from a 2 per cent increase in April. The decline in inflation is largely attributable to falling energy prices which posted their first year-over-year decline since October 2009.  Natural gas prices were off 16.6 per cent while gasoline prices were 2.3 per cent lower.  The Bank of Canada's core inflation index, which excludes the eight most volatile components of the CPI like energy and food, rose 1.8 per cent.  Inflation in BC was also lower in May, registering an increase of 1.3 per cent.

With core inflation still lingering below target and economic data coming in weaker than expected, the Bank of Canada will now be under far less pressure to raise interest rates than it was earlier in the year. Moreover, yesterday's move by the Federal Government to tighten mortgage credit will have the same impact as a close to 1 per cent rise in interest rates on monthly carrying costs.  Given its concerns about rising household debt, this targeted action removes the need for the Bank to raise rates in the near term. We therefore do not anticipate any interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada until early 2013. 

Information provided by


For the fourth time in the past four years, the Federal Government has announced further action to restrict mortgage credit. The new measures include:

  • The maximum amortization on a prime mortgage will be reduced from 30 to 25 years.
  • Mortgage insurance will not be provided for properties valued over $1 million.
  • Refinancing has been lowered from a maximum of 85% loan-to-value to a maximum of 80% loan-to-value.
  • The maximum gross debt service (GDS) and total debt service (TDS) will be limited to a maximum of 39% and 44% respectively. Currently, GDS does not apply to qualified borrowers with credit scores over 680.

These measures will take effect July 9, 2012.

Implications for the BC home market:

  • The new 25 year amortization will have a small but material impact on affordability for homebuyers. For a $300,000 mortgage, the shorter amortization period will add over $150 per month to mortgage carrying costs for homebuyers that would have instead opted for a 30 year amortization. This is equivalent to an approximately 1 per cent increase in mortgage rates.
  • Longer amortization period may also impact the rental market where investors have utilized longer amortization period to lower carrying costs.
  • Prohibiting mortgage insurance for properties over $1 million will impact Vancouver markets to a much greater extent than other Canadian jurisdictions. While this policy may have limited impact on credit access for high-ratio borrowers, it will tighten credit for the $1 million and over segment of the market through its impact on lenders risk management practices. This is particularly true in light of the CMHC already rationing portfolio insurance for low-ratio mortgages.
Information provided by



Canadian retail sales declined 0.5 per cent in April, offsetting a similar increase in March.  Weakness in the retail sector was broad-based with 8 out of 11 retail sectors recording declines. April was a particularly difficult month for new car dealers and clothing retailers which saw declines of 1.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.  The retail sector in BC also had a disappointing month in April. Provincial retail sales fell 0.2 per cent while year-over-year sales growth decelerated to a modest 2.3 per cent. 

With two full months of economic data now reported for the second quarter, we have revised our Q2 tracking estimate of Canadian GDP lower to 2.4 per cent following first quarter real GDP growth of just 1.9 per cent. 

Information provided by


Property Type:
25.5% of purchases were by Move-Up Buyers
20.9% by First Time Buyers
12.3% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit
11.4% purchasing Recreation Property  (up from 4.8% in April)*
7.7% buying Revenue/Investment Property
4.1% moving from Strata property to Single Family Home 
2.7% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community

*Recreation property sales improved significantly over April with 11.4% of purchases in compared to 4.8%.

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):
28.7% Two parent family/children
24.2% Empty Nesters/Retired  (up from 16.8% in April)**
23.7% Couple without children 
11.2% Single Female
9.4% Single Male
3.1% Single Parent with children

**Interesting to note the relative “balance” this month between two-parent families, couples without children, and empty nesters/retirees -- due to a rise in purchases by the latter group.

Moving From: 
59.5% from Within OMREB Board Area
16.2% from Alberta
10.8% from Other Areas in BC  (up from 6.8% in April)***
7.7% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island
2.7% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes
1.4% from Outside Canada
0.9% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba
0.4% from NWT/Yukon (9th month reported)

Information provided by


1.     Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines.  Pack away   

        most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets

        seem roomier. Clean out the garage.

2.     Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.

3.     Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates.  Mop and wax

        floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression

        and convinces buyers that the home has been well  cared for.

4.     Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and  

        pet smells. Open the windows.

5.     Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially

        basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.

6.     Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems such as sticky

        doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may  seem trivial, but they'll

        give buyers the impression that the house isn't well maintained.

7.     Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks.  

        Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.

8.      Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9.      Clean your gutters.

10.    Polish your front doorknob and door numbers.


Please visit our Open House at 1 1811 Ambrosi RD in Kelowna.
OPEN HOUSE: Sat June 16th from 11:00 to 1:00PM
Welcome to the Dwell!! This END UNIT is Big, Beautiful, & Bright - with plenty of windows to let in all the Okanagan Sunshine. This very unique townhome has it all!!! The living space is very carefully thought out + a funky kitchen with stainless appliances & a sit up bar to watch the cook as he chefs up dinner! The second floor has 2 large bedrooms 1 bedroom has its own ensuite and the other bedroom has its own private deck! Now its time to start living the Okanagan Lifestyle as you head upstairs to the HUGE Rooftop Patio. The patio has tons of space for all yours friends while barbecuing and sipping on your favorite drink this will definitely be the place to be! Lastly, this unit has a double attached garage that provides plenty of opportunities for storage, a spot for a gym, studio...possibilities are endless. NO HST!!!! Contact the Dion-Ivans Group for your own personal tour!!

If you're thinking of making a move within the next few months, there are two important things you need to know.


The first is the market value of your current property. That's the amount your home will likely sell for on today's market. When you know its market value, you'll have a better idea of how much money will be available to invest in a new home.


The second is an overview of what's available on the market. Which of the homes currently available for sale meet your criteria with respect to type of home, special features (such as a big kitchen or pool), neighbourhood, etc? How much are these homes selling for?


With those two pieces of information, you'll be able to make a better decision.


A good REALTOR® can get that information for you. Call the Dion-Ivans Real Estate Group today!!


You could get upgraded insulation installed in all the walls of your home, or buy a new high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner. These improvements would certainly reduce your energy costs – but they each require a significant investment.


What if you don't have the budget?


There are a lot of little things you can do to make a big difference in your heating or cooling bill. Here are just a few examples:

  • Turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees in winter. (And turn it up a few notches in summer.) Chances are, you'll hardly notice the difference in comfort, and you'll cut your heating/cooling costs by about 5%.
  • Do you need the air conditioner on all the time during the summer months? Consider turning it way up, or completely off, at night when it's cooler outside.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat. That way, you'll be able to set up a schedule that uses less heating/cooling energy while you’re out of the house.
  • Let the sunshine in through windows in the winter (and block the sun where possible in the summer.) "Passive heat gain" can contribute to up to 20% of the heat in your home. Best of all, the sun is free.
  • Use energy efficient lights throughout your home. These can cut the cost of lighting by up to 40%!
  • Be careful with outside lights, which can use a lot of energy! Turn them off before you go to bed or, better still, use programmable outside lighting that can be set to turn off automatically.
  • These are just a few ideas for reducing your energy bill. If you do some research, you can probably discover many other ways to cut your costs. It's worth the effort!

Thinking of buying or selling? Call the Dion-Ivans Real Estate Group today!!


The Canadian economy added just 7,700 jobs in May following two months of stellar job growth in March and April that saw the edition of 140,000 new jobs. The Canadian unemployment rate held steady at 7.3 per cent. Employment in British Columbia was flat on the heels of 19,700 new jobs in April. Last month's sharp drop in the BC unemployment rate to 6.2 per cent proved to be a temporary blip. The unemployment rate bounced up 1.2 per cent to 7.4 per cent in May. BC employment is up 1.9  per cent compared to May 2011.

Looking at the new home construction market, Canadian housing starts were down from May's blockbuster pace of nearly 245,000 units, but still strong at a 211,400 seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).   New home construction in BC urban centres jumped 21 per cent month over month, registering 26,600  starts (SAAR) in May.  On a year-over-year basis, BC housing starts were 9 per cent lower than May 2011.

New home construction in major metropolitan areas was generally weaker last month. Vancouver's previously robust multi-family starts trended lower in May, falling 18 per cent year-over-year while new construction of single-family homes was down one per cent. Total Vancouver starts were down 15 per cent from May 2011.  Abbotsford new home construction was up 7 per cent year-over-year in May due to a 19 per cent rise in single-family starts. Housing starts in Victoria were down by nearly half compared to May 2011, the result of a slower pace of multi-family starts last month. Finally, new home construction in Kelowna was roughly flat compared with May 2011, albeit down 4 per cent. 


Information provided by


No surprises from the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision this morning. The Bank opted to keep its overnight rate at 1 per cent, where it has been for nearly two years.  The statement released in support of the interest rate decision noted that, in the Bank’s judgement, Canadian economic growth and inflation are unfolding largely as anticipated. A wave of risk aversion due to heightened anxiety over the Euro-crisis has sent Canadian bond-yields plummeting and market expectations for Bank of Canada rate increases have sharply reversed course. However, in today’s statement the Bank once again signaled to markets its preference for higher interest rates over the medium term and its intention to modestly withdraw stimulus as slack in the Canadian economy is absorbed. 

The  Bank also stated that any such withdrawal will be weighed against domestic and global economic developments.  In its last interest rates announcement, the Bank suggested that the Euro-crisis had moved from an acute to chronic phase. While this turned out to be a misdiagnosis, it does suggest that the Euro-mess does not have to be completed resolved for the Bank to begin tightening policy, but it does need to be stable.  At this point, with policymakers and politicians in Europe still struggling to put out a number of fires, it is difficult to see a clear path to a stable Europe in the coming months. Therefore, it is increasingly unlikely that the Bank will begin raising interest rates in late 2012, though it has certainly left that door open.

Information provided by

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.