Your Home Inspector finds Deficiencies, Now what?

So, you've found the perfect home—or so you thought. You've made an offer, it's been accepted, and now it's time for the home inspection. But what happens when the inspector uncovers a laundry list of issues? It's not uncommon, and it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. Let's explore how to navigate this situation.

Expectations vs. Reality

First things first, it's essential to manage your expectations. Home inspectors are thorough—that's their job. They'll document everything from major issues like a cracked foundation to minor ones like a missing light switch plate. Especially if you're eyeing an older home, expect wear and tear from years of service.

Assessing the Report

When you receive the inspection report, it might seem daunting at first glance. Pages upon pages of findings could make you question the home's condition. However, upon closer inspection, you might find that many issues are minor and typical for a home of its age and location.

Deciding on Your Next Steps

If the inspection reveals significant problems or the cumulative cost of repairs exceeds your expectations, you're faced with a decision. The obvious choice might be to walk away from the deal and search for a less problematic property. But what if this home still feels right for you?

Renegotiation Options

Before you throw in the towel, consider renegotiating with the seller. You could request that they complete the necessary repairs by a specified date. This option eliminates the hassle and expense of fixing things yourself. Alternatively, you could ask for a price reduction to offset the anticipated repair costs.

Approaching Renegotiation

When broaching the subject of renegotiation, tread carefully. Remember that the seller might be just as surprised by the inspection findings as you are. Approach the conversation with tact and diplomacy—it's often true that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Understanding the Risks

Renegotiating an accepted offer carries risks, so it's crucial to weigh your options carefully. Have a candid discussion with your real estate agent to evaluate the pros and cons of each decision. Consider how renegotiation could impact your existing offer and proceed thoughtfully.

In Conclusion

A thorough home inspection can unearth unexpected challenges, but it doesn't have to derail your home-buying journey. By managing your expectations, assessing the report, and considering your options for renegotiation, you can confidently navigate this phase of the process. Remember, with the right approach and guidance, you can still turn that house into your dream home.


Choosing the Right Realtor: Beyond the Numbers"

Picture this: you're on the hunt to find a good realtor to help you sell your largest investment.You've had a two real estate professionals provide you with a home evaluation but they have given different ideas on the value of your property.

Realtor Bob and Realtor Kathy, presented significantly different market evaluations for your property. Bob proposed a listing range of $450,000 – $465,000 with a commission structure of 6% on the first $100,000 & 3% on the balance while Kathy suggested $475,000 – $490,000 with a fixed 4% commission

If you are like the majority of sellers your immediate instinct is to chose Kathy due to her higher evaluation price but is she really the best realtor to help you sell your home?

It’s easy to be wooed when a higher price is presented. Often we get a magic number in mind of what we want as a bottom line. Then that can become fixating on the "I want ___ amount in my pocket" mantra which can often lead down a path filled with disapointment.

Consider factors beyond the numbers, such as your comfort level with the realtor, their communication style, their overall experience of the industry and area knowledge. They should ask about your wants needs, motivation, desired timing , and, and, and…

Selling your home can be a highly emotional experience so choosing someone you can easily communicate with,comfortably share your concerns with, learn from and trust will go a long way to making your overall experience a better one.

Your starting list price is crucial if you do not want the selling process to be a long drawn out affair. The first two weeks of a listing garners the most interest from potential buyers and overpriced properties are quickly passed over by other realtors that are looking for the perfect place for the genuine buyers they represent.

Unfortunately some real estate agents are willing to provide inflated evaluations just to secure listings which may not benefit you in the long run. Opting to use a realtor who inflates the listing price can cause you much frustration missed opportunities, added stress, and in the end often leads to less dollars in your pocket.

Only consider a realtor that provides the higher market evaluation if they align with your preferences and substantiate their suggested price with recent sales and current listings within the suggested range that has the features that realistically compare to your property

Keep in Mind:Market evaluations are not written in stone; they can change quickly based on the current market conditions. And market conditions too can change quickly. While obtaining a couple evaluations can help determine a suitable listing price, it should not be the primary tool you use to decide which real estate agent to hire.

If your preferred realtor suggests a lower price than others, don't be disheartened. Engage in a constructive conversation, sharing your thoughts and concerns. A capable realtor will listen, provide insights, and collaboratively decide on a price and strategy that aligns with your situation, motivation, and the current market conditions.

In the end, the goal is a win-win scenario for both you and your chosen realtor. So, look beyond the surface, ask questions, and select the professional who not only values your property but understands your unique needs in the intricate world of real estate.


Rule Changes Coming for Short Term Rentals

Changes to Rules Governing Short-Term Rentals 

Written by Seth Scott October 2023 - Copyright © 2023 Association of Interior REALTORS®, All rights reserved.

Today the provincial government announced changes to the legislation governing short-term rentals. The changes are fairly comprehensive and cover the majority of aspects governing short-term rentals. The new regulations are intended to give municipalities and the province more power to regulate short-term rentals across the province. The intended changes are as follows: 

Principal Residences Only 

  • As of May 2024, all short-term rentals in communities with populations 10,000 or over will be limited to principal residences only.  
  • Designated Resort communities, communities with populations under 10,000 will be exempt from the principal residence rule but can choose to implement if they wish to. 
  • In the interior of the province the communities included under this principal residence rule will be: 
    • Kelowna 
    • Kamloops 
    • Vernon 
    • Penticton
    • West Kelowna 
    • Fort St. John 
    • Cranbrook 
    • Salmon Arm 
    • Lake Country  
    • Dawson Creek 
    • Summerland 
    • Coldstream  
    • Nelson 

Fine Increases 

  • Fines for short-term rentals owner/operators breaking local municipal by-law rules will       increase to $3000 per infraction, per day. 
  • Like municipalities, Regional Districts will be given the power to set the maximum penalty of $50,000 for severe contraventions of by-laws. 

Data Sharing and Enforcement 

  • Short-term rental platforms will be required to share data with municipalities to improve     local enforcement. 
  • It will also be mandatory for platforms to share information with the Province, including information about short-term rental hosts. The Province will have the ability to share this data with municipalities to coordinate regulation. 
  • Short-term rental platforms will be required to include businesses license and registration numbers on listings when they are required by a municipality.  
  • Regional Districts will be granted business regulation and licensing powers parallel to those of municipalities. This means Regional Districts will be able to require businesses, including short-term rental businesses, to obtain and maintain a business license  to operate. 

Non-Conforming Exemption 

  • The current exemption for short-term rentals operating in municipalities that restrict their use because they were operating prior to the by-law, often referred to as a non-confirming     exemption, will be removed.

Provincial Registry and Enforcement Unit 

  • The province will create a short-term rental registry. Operators will be required to include a valid provincial registration number on their listings.  
  • Once established operators will have 3 months to register their companies and 6 months to register their units. 
  • A provincial enforcement unit will be established to issues orders and administer penalties.

Implementation is expected to be phased out throughout this year and 2024. The fines and bylaw powers will come into effect immediately upon royal assent of the bill. The principal residence rule, removing the non-conforming exemption and the requirement to display business licenses will come into May 2024. The provincial registry and data sharing requirements will come into effect summer to late 2024. 

You can see the full government press release here


9 Cost-Effective Improvements That Can Increase Your Asking Price

These additional improvements will increase your home's sale-ability and can increase your home value, without breaking the bank. Keep in mind that the key is to focus on upgrades that will have the broadest appeal to potential buyers while staying within your budget.

  1. Curb Appeal Enhancement: First impressions matter. Low-cost landscaping, such as trimming bushes, planting flowers, or adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door. A well-maintained exterior can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

  1. Deep Cleaning: A thorough cleaning of your home costs very little but can significantly impact how buyers perceive your property. Clean carpets, scrub floors, wipe down surfaces, and ensure the house smells fresh. A clean home appears well-maintained and more appealing.

  1. Declutter and Depersonalize: Remove excess clutter, large pieces of furniture to help rooms feel larger and remove excess personal items from your home. Buyers want to envision their own belongings in the space. Consider storing away some of the family photos and other personal items to create a more neutral environment.

  1. Fresh Paint: A fresh coat of paint in neutral colors can make your home feel brighter and more inviting. It also gives the impression of a well-maintained property. Focus on high-traffic areas, rooms that need a touch-up and overly brightly painted rooms.

  1. Minor Repairs: Fix any visible issues, such as leaky faucets, loose doorknobs, off track closet doors or squeaky floors. These small repairs can prevent potential buyers from being discouraged by the idea of additional work and can boost your asking price.

  1. Kitchen and Bathroom Updates: You don't need a full remodel; simple updates like replacing cabinet hardware, faucets, or outdated light fixtures can give these spaces a modern touch without breaking the bank. A fresh grout and caulk in the bathroom can also make a big difference.


  1. Replace Worn Flooring: If your home has outdated or damaged flooring, consider replacing it with budget-friendly options like laminate or vinyl. These materials can give your home a fresh and modern look without the high cost of hardwood or tile.

  1. Maximize Storage Space: Buyers often look for ample storage space. Consider adding or improving closet organizers, shelving units, or even creating a small walk-in closet if possible. This makes your home more appealing by emphasizing its functionality.

  1. Enhance the Outdoor Space: If you have a backyard or outdoor area, make it more inviting by adding some inexpensive outdoor furniture, potted plants, or a fresh layer of mulch in the garden beds. A well-maintained outdoor space can expand your home's living area and appeal to buyers who appreciate outdoor living.

Every home is unique, so it's essential to assess your property's specific needs and budget when considering improvements. Consulting with your real estate agent can provide valuable insights into which improvements will yield the best return on investment for your particular market.


Know Who’s Ruling the Roost

Even though you are the owner of your property, at times it can feel as if you have the least amount of say over what you can do on the property you are paying for.

There are a lot of governing bodies that could have some say in how you use any land you purchase. It’s important you know all the players and what rules apply before you buy so you know what you can or can’t do with parcel you intend to purchase, especially if you are purchasing with a specific plan in mind.

Never assume you can do what you want with a property just because it is well suited for the use you have in mind.  100 acres may not be sub-dividable.  A vacant lakeshore lot may not allow seasonal RV use and the small acreage you fall in love with may not allow you to have a hobby farm.

If you have a specific plan for what you want to do or create in the future let your real estate agent know so they can help you find the right fit. They may not be able to tell you for sure which properties will get approval for what you want to do but they will be able to help you narrow your search options and more than likely point you to who you can contact for clarification.

Every property is different and there is no rule of thumb such as size or location as to which of the following, if any, governances may apply to a particular parcel.

The following are some of the entities that place rules on properties.  If a property you are interested in is affected by any of them it is good to know in advance of purchasing .

ALR (agriculture land reserve) – created to protect the preservation of agriculture land

Zoning – approved uses, set backs, etc.     


OCP (official community plan) – long range vision for an area. Governing body uses this as a secondary guideline when considering special requests like subdivision requests or use approvals.

Subdivision – (can encompass a large area or just a few lots) May have a building scheme and or specific building guidelines to follow.

Charges on Title (Easement & right of ways) - specific area of the property designated for use /access for a specific purpose by another entity.   

Strata - bare land, town home, apartment

Parks -  manufactured home parks, RV parks

What can become very confusing is when the land of interest falls within multiple governances and some of the rules contradict each other. What then? Like all things in life, there is a hierarchy.

When in doubt ask! Do not rely on your realtor for this information. Check your-self directly with the local governing body (City, Village, Regional District) for clarification.

Be as clear as possible about “the what” and “why” of your questions. Clearly state what your future plan is for the property and be prepared to answer even more questions.

What may seem like a simple question that you just want a quick yes or no answer too is rarely as simple as that. They just about always want more details than what you are aware will be needed.   

If you are given approval for something that is not already noted as allowable in any of the documentation you have and that approval is critical to your decision to purchase - get it in writing!


5 Ways Paying Less Could Cost You More When Buying Land

WHAT?  Yes, you read that right. And no I did not bump my head recently. Pay more to spend less is a real thing.

If you are like the majority of people starting to look for land, you focus on price first to narrow down the available options. Once you narrow the options you then look more closely at the location, size and shape to see if any of them are of interest.   

And like the majority of people, one or all of the following are probably true. You want to pay as little as possible. You want feel like you got a good deal. If you pay less for the land you can put more of your wish list features into your future home build.

Beware. That lower price land could end up costing you more money and add more time and stress to your building process. There is always a reason for a lower price - How much could that reason cost you in the long run?   

1-You may be aware that many subdivisions have rules but ask if there are building guidelines to follow as well. Many developers incorporate building guide lines into a subdivision to help keep a certain amount of conformity. A similar theme has the ability to improve the esthetics of an area, increase desirability and therefore generates higher prices for homes in the subdivision.

The guidelines are not a bad thing and will not necessarily add an expense to your build or site prep but they can...

Imagine you already have blue prints that are designed for a detached garage and you find out the guidelines require an attached garage. Your builder estimated on the original design. Changing plan designs can be challenging and costly.

And what if the shape of the lot won’t accommodate the adjustment easily and your homes location on the lot has to change. Cha-ching, site prep is more expensive now too.

2- Fill material is commonly used to create more level, usable space on a property and depending where on the property the fill is located it can add extra expense to your future development.

Poorly compacted land and un-clean fill (includes material that will decompose) shifts and settles which can cause home foundations and septic fields to sink and fail over time.

Native soil is considered stable, it has undergone years of natural compaction, and much preferred when installing septic systems and building foundations.

If there is no choice other than to build where there is fill your contractor will suggest digging down to the native soil for the foundation work to give you a long term quality build.

Yikes... Is that a metre deeper than you planned or closer to 3 meters. It’s going to make a difference. More hours of digging, more concrete, more man hours, more interior finishing materials. 


3- Ditches, creeks, lakes and ponds can make a parcel of land more desirable but can cause some challenges too. They can add beauty, be a source of fun, supply you drinking water and potentially cause extra expense.   

The area along the edge of any water course is called “riparian” and that land is deemed protected, it must not be disturbed. Having a RAR assessment completed prior to starting any development is very important.

The report shows you how much of the surrounding area is protected, where and if you can or cannot disturb soil or remove trees.  You may have to modify what you had envisioned for your building location, access,design or landscaping.   

4- All areas and community requirements are not the same when it comes to building on sloped land. If you are looking at land that is heavily sloped confirm with the governing body of what their area regulations are.

My community for many years did not require an engineer report no matter the % of slope. That changed after 2018 and now if there is a 30% or more grade anywhere on the property a Geo-tech report must be completed prior to development. And yet one of the near-by communities only require a geo-tech report to be complete if your building site is on the area of 30% or more.

5- Services – When you are going to view vacant land note if the listing report says services are available.  If the listing says services are available look for the services connections to see where they are in relation to where you would like to have your building site.   

Large acreages and rural lands can be a long ways from the nearest power, need a well drilled or septic installed. And buying in a serviced subdivision does not guarantee all services are available or at the lot line. Sometimes they are across the road and there have even been cases where utility installers missed creating a service connection for a single lot in a subdivision.

We have an old subdivision in our area where 2 entire streets were never included on the original water system and no power lines were installed on the street. Those lots always draw plenty of buyer attention when they come on market because of their low price.

If you are on a strict budget and time line to build I highly recommend you increase your budget for the land.  Purchasing a more premium lot can save you thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses, weeks or months of time delays and unnecessary frustration and stress.


Is now a good time to buy?

This is a question I get asked a lot and though it seems like a simple question it’s far from easy to answer.  

Let’s start with the most obvious.  Not everyone is asking the same question even though the words are the same.  Be specific, clarity is king. 

If what you are really asking is “what is the best time of year to buy”?  The only answer is... what-ever time of year works best for you.

Real estate is not the same as retail sales. Prices are not reduced because of seasons and of course there is no such thing as clearance price to make room for new inventory. During the winter months the amount of properties available on market shrinks so you will not have as many choices as many seasonal residences come off market because seller doesn’t want the extra heating and snow removal expenses and lots of people do not want to move in the winter. They take the property off market just before snowfall and re-list in spring.

Are you really asking “Have prices dropped dramatically, has the market bottomed out” Your real estate agent can confirm if prices have dropped but it’s impossible to know where the bottom of a market is until sales and prices increase again and you can see the shift.

And finally if you’re asking “ Is now is a good time for ME to buy” Your real estate agent can help you decide if the time is right for you but they will need to learn more details that only you can provide.

You may be surprised to discover most of what makes it a good time to buy has more to do with you than the real estate market.

Your age, reason for buying, type of employment, future plan, your hobbies , are you looking for your forever home (10+ yrs) , are you a first time home buyer, do you have to sell a home before you can buy another, looking for an investment property, will be recreational now but eventually you will retire here.

The answers to these types of questions and more are what your real estate agent uses to help guide you to the clearest answer for your personal situation.

Imagine for both the following examples that we are currently in a seller’s market; lots of sales happening in short amount of time and prices are high.

Now let’s say you work for a company that regularly transfers its employees every few years or you are scheduled to complete your degree 2 years from now and future work placement could have you on the move in 3-5 yrs. Now may not be the best time for you to buy.

Other factors will come into account such as; has the market just recently shifted to a seller’s market or starting to show signs of slowing down.  3- 5 years will probably not be enough time for the market to bounce and rebound again to increase the value of your home even if you account for the other expenses you would be paying such as rent if you do not buy now   

On the other hand if you are looking for your forever home, in my opinion, what market we are in currently and level of prices should not play a large role in your decision to purchase.  What seems like a ridiculously high price today can seem inexpensive 20 years from now. And if you are like my mom, 45 yrs later, the purchase price compared to today’s market value is so different some would say it’s unbelievable.

What is most important when choosing your forever home is finding the one that feels perfect ;-)   



5 Ways To Make The Most Of Any Home Viewing Experience

When you are starting to house hunt you will be gung ho and want to see all the properties you find online that look interesting and are within your budget-ish.

There is a lot of information to digest about every property and you are going to view more than one. The experience of looking for your future home can change from being exciting to feeling overwhelmed and cause a great deal of anxiety. 

The 1st time you visit a property you are really only focusing on the basics; floor plan, cosmetic finishes and overall condition. If you like what you see, your mind naturally moves into phase two ; imagining how your life would look in this space. If that phase feels good you’ll mentally note the property as “possibility”.

As your putting on your shoes to head off to the next appointment you’re already scanning your memory bank to recall what you noticed, good or bad about this property that you want to remember at the end of the day

In 2019, Zolo (a popular real estate site) released survey results taken by over 1800 home buyers. That survey showed 69% of buyers only spent  ½ hr – 1 ½  hrs. total in a home before buying it and not necessarily all of that time was in one visit.  That is not much time to learn about what could potentially become one of your largest investments.

There are some things you can do however that will help you make the most of your viewing time, improve your focus and increase how much you are able to recall about each property at the end of the day.

1 Remove Distractions

Adult family members should only be joining you if they are going to be your partner in the purchase. And I know it’s tempting to take a friend along especially if you are a solo buyer or they have knowledge you think could be helpful, like carpentry for example, but don’t do it. Save their input for when you have narrowed down your choices to a select few properties.

I cannot stress this one enough. Leave the kids at home, with a friend or book appointments for when they are at school.  Children are, by far, the biggest distraction of all.  No matter the age, kids high-jack an enormous amount of your focus.

The baby becomes fussy. Toddlers are restless. Pre-schoolers are curious and want to touch everything. Grade schooler’s are attention seekers. Teen’s... everything is about them of course, lol. Every house you view they will tell you which room they want, what colour they want etc.

Only you and your significant other should be involved in the first visit to any property. Without distraction you can be aware of what all of your senses are telling you. What you see, hear, smell and feel when your at a property will guide you.    

2 Time Management


If you know quickly a place is not for you, do a quick walk through then pull the plug on this viewing and continue on to the next property. On average the amount of time planned for each viewing is ½ hour.

When you waste time looking at a place just to satisfy your curiosity you are robbing yourself of extra time you may want to spend investigating in detail a property that you are truly interested in and your digesting useless information that will just confuse you at the end of the day when you’re trying to recall information about each of the properties you viewed. 

  3 Sensory Overload  

Looking at a home may seem like a simple task but there is a ton of information to digest and remember about each property. Now multiply that by however many places you look at in a day and the amount you are able to recall about each property drops significantly.

Limiting the amount of viewings per day improves your memory recall for each home. So how much is too much? It’s usually on our way to the 5th property when people start asking “where did we see...” “what house had the...” type of questions. Because of that I think 4 is the magic number of viewings per day to avoid sensory overload.

If you’re from out of town sometimes it can be difficult to do that but again if you want to make the most of your time make 5 the absolute maximum for one day if you have 6 places of interest plan to stay 2 days. Your real estate agent may know of another place or two you may want to add to the list of places to view.

Finding yourself with some free time is a great thing when you are form out of town. You can drive around and familiarize yourself with the town and local amenities. And if you really liked one or two of the places you viewed you can re-visit and view them in more detail.  

4 Take your time

Request to preview property when you have lots of time. Plan for at least 1 hour between when you think you will be finished viewing property and your next personal appointment.

Our lives are busier than ever these days and we seem to be ruled by the clock. Give your- self the gift of time for this task. If you discover you like what this home has to offer you’ll want to really look at, not feel rushed to take it all in because you have to pick the kids up, get back to work or have another meeting.

When you know time is limited no matter how hard you try it’s impossible to designate 100% of your focus on the task at hand, part of you is worried about the time.

Have the right Help

Real estate agents in BC are not allowed to represent both sides, the seller and the buyer, on the sale of a property any more.   

It’s true a listing realtor knows more about the property they have listed than a realtor who is showing the property but anything you want to know just ask. Your realtor will receive all documentation the listing realtor has available and do their best to dig up answers to what-ever questions about the property you may have.  

A listing agent is still allowed to show you the property if you ask to view it with them (some will but many won’t) but it’s really not in your best interest to view a property with the listing agent. It’s actually a decision that could really bite you in the ass if you decide you want to buy this property.

The listing agent only works for the seller, everything they do is with the sellers best interest in mind and everything you say can and will be used against you.  Listing realtors are obligated to share anything they learn about you with their seller.

Humans like to talk about themselves, explain things and share past experiences. Unless you walk into a viewing with tape over your mouth you cannot help but talk. And when the listing realtor asks you questions, which will happen so they know what information is important for you to know about the property, what then?

Having a real estate agent represent you simplifies your house hunting experience immensely. You will now have their time, area knowledge and real estate experience working with your best interest in mind.  And your buying agent is obligated to keep your information confidential, share everything with them,speak freely about your wants wishes and desires. The more you share, the more helpful they can be in making your experience the best it can be.

Happy Hunting!


Welcome to Shuswap-Homes blog

Welcome to the Shuswap Buyer first blog post.

If you are finally ready, willing and able to buy your vacation property that is a big achievement and it should be a fun and exciting experience so let’s help it stay that way.

My goal is to create a one stop shop for Holiday Home buyers where you can find helpful information about buying real estate in the Shuswap.

Whether your ideal vacation property right now is a vacant parcel of land to build a small cabin, an RV park site, a lakeshore home you can retire to in the future or a seasonal get away that can double as a source of income, this will be the blog for you.   

Knowledge is power!

I plan to share information that can help you to be more organized, know what questions to ask, understand terminology, what to look for when viewing a property, ways you can save money, what to do and when, what other professionals can be helpful, extra costs that may be involved and so much more.

Together let’s make your buying experience the best it can be!  

Being my first Blog it may take me a while to get into the swing of things but I plan to create content that cover all kinds of topics for you in the future so please come back once in a while and see what’s new!

Please Note: Please remember everything I share with you on this Blog I have written with the Shuswap area in mind. If you are purchasing a vacation property in another area  be sure to confirm all information of importance with your area specific real estate agent. 

See you soon!

Bev Burk
Cell: (250) 833-6953
Office : (250) 675-2317