The Canadian economy grew 0.3 per cent in November, following 0.1 per cent growth in October. Production was higher in most industrial sectors with the main contributions to growth coming from manufacturing, oil and gas and mining. 

Our updated fourth quarter GDP estimate is currently reading just 1.1 per cent growth (at an annual rate), in-line with the Bank of Canada's most recent forecast. We anticipate that growth will continue to be modest through the first half of 2013 before accelerating in the second half of the year and into 2014.

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We just listed a new property located at 17 9845 Eastside RD in Vernon.
LARGEST AVAILABLE STAND ALONE VILLA IN SOUTH BAY AT THE OUTBACK. **2012 City Assessed over $1million** This well designed 3 bedroom plus loft open concept villa offers the best value on a price per square foot basis in South Bay. Comfort and quality are apparent throughout this exceptional home with features such as luxury finishing materials, large entertainment style kitchen, high vaulted ceilings, several decks, private roof top terrace, covered parking below, and extra storage. This home is ideally situated near the main pool and beach area at Outback.

Please visit our Open House at 1 1811 Ambrosi RD in Kelowna.
OPEN HOUSE: Sat Feb 2nd 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!!

Why is it so important to know how much you can afford to spend on a home?


Two reasons.


First, you don't want to buy a property and then find out, only after you’ve moved in, that you can't financially maintain it. That would mean having to resell it under stressful conditions.


Second, you don't want to settle for a property that's less than ideal, when you really could have afforded the "dream home" you've always wanted.


So how do you figure out how much you can afford to pay for your next home?


The first step is to talk to a good REALTOR®. He or she will help you gain a clearer understanding of how much your current home will likely sell for in today's market. That amount, together with other financial resources you might have (such as savings), will determine your down payment.


The next thing you’ll need to figure out is your mortgage. Your REALTOR® can help you find a lender who will take a variety of factors into account – income, credit rating, debts, expected down payment, etc. – to calculate the maximum amount of mortgage for which you qualify.


Say, through the proceeds of the sale of your home combined with your savings, your expected down payment is $90,000. If the lender authorizes a mortgage of $270,000, then you can afford a $360,000 home.


Of course, that doesn't mean you'll need to spend that much. In fact, a home that meets your needs in terms of property type, features, and neighbourhood, may in fact cost you less.


One thing is for sure. A good REALTOR® can work with whatever amount you can afford and show you homes on the market that most closely meet your needs.


Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call the Dion-Ivans Real Estate Group today!!



It may be a new year but it is the same story this morning from the Bank of Canada which once again held its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The statement released in support of the interest rate decision noted that the global economic outlook is weaker than the Bank previously projected, though risk of a severe external shock to the economy has diminished. As a result, the slowdown in the Canadian economy in the second half of 2012 was more pronounced than the Bank had anticipated. The Bank has revised its estimate for economic growth in 2012 lower, to 1.9 per cent, and now forecasts 2 per cent growth in 2013 before an acceleration to 2.7 per cent in 2014. Importantly, the Bank has also shifted its expectation that the economy will reach full capacity out to the second half of 2014. On inflation, the Bank expects growth in consumer prices to run significantly below its 2 per cent target for much of 2013 before gradually rising to target in 2014.

Following two years of overly optimistic forecasts, the Bank has struck a slightly more dour tone in its outlook. The gloomier growth forecast and positive signs that households are reigning in household debt have prompted the Bank to revise its language on the gradual withdrawal of monetary stimulus.  In its concluding statement accompanying the rate decision, a key focus of monetary policy watchers over the past year,  the Bank continued to note that a withdrawal of stimulus would likely be required over time, but that the timing of any such withdrawal is less imminent than previously anticipated. This strongly suggests that interest rates will remain constant at 1 per cent for all of 2013.

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 Here are 19 tested tips:



An inviting exterior insures inspection of the interior. Keep your lawn trimmed and edged, the flower beds cultivated and the yard clear of refuse.

Remove snow and ice from the walks and porch in winter. Exterior siding should be washed to remove algae and environmental residue. Place a framed picture of the home, at its best, inside the front door on a table.



Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce desire.

Do not tell the prospective buyer how the place can be made to look; show it by redecorating first. A quicker sale at a higher price may result.



Bright, cheery windows and unmarred walls will assist your sale.



Dripping water discolours the enamel and calls attention to faulty plumbing fixtures.



Loose doorknobs, sticking drawers, warped cabinet doors and the like become noticed. Have them fixed.



The attic and basement are important. Remove unnecessary articles, and display the full value of your storage and utility spaces. For a few dollars, have an electrician install lighting in crawl spaces and storage areas.



Prospects will have to dodge items unless all stairways are cleared of objects. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries. Remove clutter and put into rental storage.



Clothes properly hung, shoes, hats, and other articles neatly placed, will make your closets appear larger. Now is the time to get rid of old and out-of-date clothing.



Colourful curtains in harmony with the floors and countertops add appeal. The smell of a freshly baked loaf of bread appeals to prospective purchasers.



Bright and clean bathrooms help sell homes. Cultured marble basins with cracks can be cut out and conventional basins installed.



Bedrooms are always outstanding features. Arrange them neatly. Consider painting the ceilings to brighten the room.



Illumination is a welcome sign. For after-dark inspections, turn on your lights from the front porch on through the house. The prospective buyer will feel a glowing warmth.



More will lose a sale. Avoid having too many people present during inspections. The prospect will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.



Keep pets out of the way, and preferably out of the house. Any corner where pets sleep should be cleaned before any inspections.



Be courteous but do not force conversation with the prospect. They are there to inspect your house, not socialize.



Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived in. Let the trained sales representatives answer any objections that are raised. This is their job.



Please do not accompany the prospect and real-estate representative. They know the buyer's requirements and can better emphasize the features of your house when alone. You will be called if needed.



Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to the prospect before he or she has purchased the house loses the sale. Proper timing is important.



Do not discuss price, terms, possessions or other factors with the potential buyers, refer them to the realtor.


Now that your house is ready to show, you are one step up on the competition.


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The internet can be a wonderful tool to help find a new home, or it can be a frustrating time-waster. It all depends on how you use it.

Let’s first take a look at the upside of using the Web when home shopping.

A good REALTOR® can point you to websites and specific web pages where you can:

·         See pictures of homes available, including in some cases individual rooms and other property features.

·         Get property details, such as lot size, number of bedrooms, square footage, and other features.

·         Find information on the neighbourhood and surrounding area, such as the location of schools, parks and public transit.

·         Take a “virtual tour” (when available), which allows you to view a home on your computer almost as if you were walking through it in real life.

Previewing specific homes online can save you a lot of time. You can quickly get a sense for whether or not a property meets your basic criteria before traveling to see it in person.  But there is a downside to relying too much on the internet to preview homes.

Pictures and descriptions on the internet don’t always tell the whole story. It’s entirely possible for a home to look unappealing to you on a website, yet turn out to be the perfect home when you actually go to see it. (Imagine not seeing it and missing out on that potential dream home.) In addition, even these days, some homes are listed and sold so fast that they never make it to the internet. So if you rely too much on websites to find homes, you might miss out on opportunities.

The solution? Work with a REALTOR® who knows how to find homes on the market that are a good match for you, and knows how to make the entire home buying process go quickly and smoothly.

Need help finding a new home? Call the Dion-Ivans Group today!


We just SOLD a property located at 62 9845 Eastside RD in Vernon.
BEST DEAL ON A FOREST CABIN AT THE OUTBACK! This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom luxury cabin features exposed timbers, large private deck and detached casita guest room, plus new fridge, washer & dryer. Great rental potential in optional professionally managed rental pool. Like new condition! THIS CABIN IS PRICED TO SELL AND WILL NOT LAST! The Outback is a 60 acre Lakefront Resort community on Okanagan Lake. The resort is well suited to families and features two pools, four hot tubs, tennis courts, marina, beaches and neighbouring 240 acre provincial park. Numerous golf courses are also nearby. Call Outback home this summer!

We just listed a new property located at 1060 Hume AVE in Kelowna.
This home is the Ultimate Package! If you are looking for a home that offers space, privacy, beautiful finishing, a huge flat backyard, and a mortgage helper - search no more! The moment you pull up to the house you are sure to be impressed by it's Craftsman style design, stonework and beautiful stamped concrete. Nothing in this home has been overlooked! The main floor has a open concept design with the kitchen perfectly situated beside the living room with 17ft soaring ceilings! The main floor also has a den + play room for the kids or it could be another bedroom. The upper level has 4 large bedrooms, you will be absolutely astonished how generous the size each room is. The Master bedroom has it's only private deck, 5 pce ensuite and a closet fit for a Queen! The basement provides over 1500 sq ft of additional living space - there is a gym, family room, den/bedroom + a fully contained 1 or 2 bedroom nanny suite. Call the Dion-Ivans Group today for your personal tour!!

Canadian housing starts registered 197,976 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in December, down slightly from 201,376 (SAAR) in November.  Annual starts rose 11 per cent in 2012. 

New home construction in BC urban centres also posted a modest decline, falling to 20,227 (SAAR) in December from 22,043 units (SAAR) in November.  On a year-over-year basis, multiple unit starts in BC were unchanged from December 2011 while single family starts were 4 per cent lower. Overall,  total BC housing starts were
2 per cent lower than in December 2011. New home construction in BC's urban areas finished the year at 25,477 units, an increase of 5 per cent over 2011. New home construction continued to shift toward multiples in 2012. That segment of the market saw a 9 per cent increase in 2012 to 18.763 starts while single-detached starts declined 5 per cent to just 6,714 units.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, Vancouver CMA starts fell 1 per cent year-over-year in December but were 6 per cent higher for all of 2012 at 19,027 total units.  New home construction in the Abbotsford CMA was off 58 per cent compared to December 2011 and down 31 per cent for all of 2012 at just 371 total units.  Housing starts in the Kelowna CMA rose 27 per cent year- over-year in December due to a jump in single-detached starts. For all of 2012, total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were down 10% from 2011 at 836 units.  Housing starts in Victoria were down 28 per cent year-over-year in December but were up 4 per cent for all of 2012 at 1,700 total starts.

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Say you’re a homeowner wanting to sell your two-storey, detached home. You sit down and make a list of things that need to get done to make your property as attractive as possible to buyers. 


You consider the backyard. “Hmm,” you think. “Doesn’t our deck need a new finish and our flowerbed need new edging stones?”


Then you think about the basement. “The carpeting. It’s old. We really should replace it. We should install a new drop ceiling, too.”


Then the main floor. “Our kitchen cabinets are old. We should get a contractor in to quote on replacing them. How about a brand new shiny sink and faucet? That should increase the resale value of our home, shouldn’t it?”


Before you know it, you have a long list of updates, repairs and renovations that you think you should be doing, and you haven’t even started on the second floor!


It’s easy to get carried away with preparing your home to be listed, and end up spending a lot more money than you’ll ever get back from the eventual sale.


So how do you determine what improvements you should be making in order to get your property ready for the market?


That’s easy. Talk to a good REALTOR®. 


A REALTOR® who knows the local market can inspect your property and advise you on the repairs and upgrades you need to make. He or she will know what buyers are looking for, and will also have a good idea of the return on investment you can expect from a particular improvement.


He or she may also be able to recommend reputable trades people and other professionals to assist you in making those improvements.


So go ahead and make that long list. Then, review it with your REALTOR® so you can make an informed decision on how to get your property ready for sale.


Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call the Dion-Ivans Real Estate Group today!!


There is no doubt about it! Even if the weather is relatively pleasant, your home won’t show as well in the winter as it would in the summer, especially from the outside. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your home look more attractive and appealing to buyers during the winter season.


First, before showing your home to a potential buyer, clear your front walkway. Make sure fence doors and gates open freely. Also, clear off the backyard deck or patio area. You want buyers to be able to explore around your property without any obstructions.


In short, do everything you can to make the experience of walking up to your front door and around your property as pleasant as possible.


Second, clear away any boots, shoes and other outerwear from the front foyer. You want buyers to focus on your beautiful home, not a cluttered entranceway. Also, have mats on both the outside and inside of your main entranceway. This will give buyers – as well as you and your family – a chance to wipe their boots and shoes.


Next, adjust your thermostat. You want your home to feel warm, cozy and comfortable for potential buyers.


Finally, remember that in the winter, homes show much better during the day. In the evening, it may be too dark to fully appreciate your property. So work with your REALTOR® to schedule viewings during the day whenever possible. If you can, also have pictures of your property available that showcase what it looks like in the summer. That takes planning. So if you're even just casually thinking of the possibility of selling your home, take some good "summer" pictures.


Want more advice on how to sell your home in the winter? Call The Dion-Ivans Real Estate Group today.

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.