Innovative Solutions Required to Address Soaring Cost of Living

Innovative Solutions Required to Address Soaring Cost of Living

Good grief, if you are anything like me, Kelowna’s current real estate market may be causing you feelings of nervousness, uncertainty or simply disbelief.

 I find myself thinking thoughts like, really, $600,000 for a tear down? How are these prices possible? This market cannot be sustainable! My kids are never going to be able to own a home in Kelowna.

I’m willing to bet that many of you who have been looking to purchase real estate in Kelowna in past year have had similar thoughts. Whether you are looking for a primary home to call your own, or you are an investor looking to obtain a revenue or development property; the numbers just don’t seem to add up.

According to the Okanagan Mainline Real-estate Board’s statistics, the average price of real estate in Kelowna has increased 10 per cent since March 2016.

High demand and low interest rates are driving prices up in our beautiful city. How much longer can this go on? When a half million dollar price tag on a town home doesn’t even seem shocking any more I have to wonder, where it will end?

Since CMHC is insuring mortgages and offsetting bank risk, will our banks just keep lending more and more money to the average Canadian? When interest rates rise, and people default on their mortgages, the banks won’t be out of pocket, the consumer will be.

Is our economy on the verge of a downturn or is it as strong as it seems? We know BC exports such a lumber and coal (yes, I said coal – that is a whole other blog) are thriving and are the backbone of our stable economy here in BC. Perhaps, with this natural resource economic base, our growing post secondary institution infrastructure, a strong tourism and tech sector as well as a steady stream of people moving to the Okanagan from all over our country, we could be in for high land and home prices for the foreseeable future.

With all of these thoughts swirling in my mind I decided to ask some local experts. I spoke with my friend, Ted Rhind, a mortgage broker with Invis. I asked him what trends he was seeing in the lending industry.  He stated that he has noticed more people co-owing homes together, whether it be with siblings, friends or parents. Also, he noted, more and more clients are looking for homes with suites. Interesting stuff; people are getting creative, looking for new ways to generate more income through renters or co-ownership in order to qualify or a mortgage.

I then asked the knowledgeable Terri Ann Novello, from Century 21, about her thoughts on the future of the local real estate industry. She predicted that Kelowna's real estate market will remain strong over the next 5 years. She has clients from the East to the West Coast of Canada. She told me she believes that as a strong community, we have to keep in mind not everyone can afford the average priced single family home. As a result she has noticed that our City Council and local builders have started to become creative so that buyers will be able to purchase a home in our community. She sees this innovation as essential in keeping Kelowna one of the best and most diverse places to live.

Again, our expert has provided us with some interesting insight. Novello speaks to the need for new and innovative solutions to keep housing options diverse and more affordable. Our current City Council does seem open to new urban planning concepts. Most recently, they created a four dwelling housing zone called RU7.

Perhaps it is time for even more forward thinking zoning options.  A micro home zone that allows for smaller lot sizes to maximize land use for small, efficient, single family dwellings comes to mind. One of the biggest challenges faced by those wishing to follow the “little living” movement is with City zoning bylaws. Could our City become a model for innovative bylaws that allow people to live more affordably and with less environmental impact? I think I’ll ask them.

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Kelowna's First Micro House Going on Display - Global News - Nov 2 2016

Kelowna's First Micro House Going on Display - Global News - Nov 2 2016

Thank-you to Global News for your coverage of our first Little House build! Come downtown to 755 Stockwell Ave Saturday Nov 5 from 10 am - 2 pm to tour this beautiful micro home!

http://globalnews.ca/news/3042297/kelownas-first-micro-house-going-on-display/

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Micro Style Housing Continues to Trend in Kelowna - Kelowna Now - Nov 2 2016

Micro Style Housing Continues to Trend in Kelowna - Kelowna Now - Nov 2 2016

A big thank-you to our friends at Kelowna Now for highlighting the our first Little House - Open House this coming weekend, Saturday Nov 5 from 10 am - 2 pm.

https://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/Kelowna/16/11/02/Micro_style_housing_continues_to_trend_in_Kelowna/

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Home Billed as Kelowna's First Micro House - Daily Courier Nov 3 2016

Home Billed as Kelowna's First Micro House - Daily Courier Nov 3 2016

Thanks so much to Steve MacNaull and his daughter Grace for the great story about Little House in the Daily Courier!

http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/business_news/article_a7a4a376-a183-11e6-b241-8f763688e3bf.html?mode=story

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Tiny Living Taking Off In Kelowna

Watch our very own Allison Ramchuk on CHBC - Global Okanagan sharing information about Little House Contracting and our Kelowna microhomes:

 http://globalnews.ca/…/2…/tiny-living-taking-off-in-kelowna/

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Kelowna Micro Homes have a Starting Price of $99K

Kelowna Micro Homes have a Starting Price of $99K

Building a micro home in the Okanagan just got a little easier with the official launch of The Little House Contracting Corp.

On Friday evening the Laurel Packinghouse was full of people curious to know all about micro homes. 

Tara Tschritter, president and Founder of the company, Allison Ramchuk, director of development, and Fabio Gaudio, project manager, greeted guests to an evening full of wine, cheese, and 3D renderings of the potential little homes.

The company offers five different types of homes, ranging from 320 square feet to 625 square feet.

One of the smallest homes is The Little Pad. The 320 square foot home features a full bath, laundry, vaulted ceilings, a private patio, a gas fireplace, space for sitting, an office nook, and large windows. The pad's starting price is $99,000.

One of the larger properties is The Little Loft. This 625 square foot property features a master bedroom, an open loft, an office nook, vaulted ceilings, large windows, a private courtyard, a walk through closet, and a full bathroom. This loft has a starting price of $140,000.

Micro homes have become a popular way of living, and Little House Contracting thinks it will just continue.

"Have more time and money for hobbies, travel, community service, sporting and leisure activities. With the time and money you save in accommodation costs or the revenue your micro home generates, retirement could be sooner than you think!"

The homes could even be placed in backyards as a second dwelling for grandparents, students, or people who want to live alone, but need a little bit of care.

"Our micro homes are typically between 300 and 650 square feet, mindfully created to get maximum use out of the space with minimum impact on the environment. Our homes are luxurious, designed specifically to enhance and compliment your neighborhood and property. Our company provides full building contract and design services, and, based on established relationships, will act as a liaison with city planners and financial institutions. For homeowners, your micro home could be rented out creating a high return on investment and increasing the value of your property.

"Little House Contracting has partnered with Lee Mullins, as the Little House Designer. Sticks + Stones Design Group has also jumped on board as the Little House Interior Design & Custom Furniture Packages.

Custom Exterior Finishing will be done by Jensen Contract, and Outland Design Landscape Architecture will be in charge of creating beautiful greenery outside.

Little House Contracting has even thought about financing for people interested in the homes. Ted Rhind, mortgage broker with Invis, Candice Thompson, and Christine Dawson with TD Bank are all ready to meet with buyers to talk about financing.

With more than 250 people stopping by for the launch event, the company will be having two open houses for others to check out the designs and to talk to Tschritter and Ramcuck.

Source: Kelownanow.com

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Former shelter director to build micro homes

Former shelter director to build micro homes
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Tiny homes, big dreams

Tiny homes, big dreams

Micro living doesn't have to be cramped, says the founder of a Kelowna company that's bringing the tiny home craze to the Central Okanagan. 

Tara Tschritter founded Little House Contracting to help Okanagan residents who want to live small, but in luxurious housing.

The company's designs are just 320-625 square feet in size, compared to the more typical 2,000-plus, meaning a smaller footprint and lower operating costs. 

"Our homes can be enjoyed as a primary home, used as home office, a place for a family members to live, a guest house, or even a vacation rental. Big picture, Little House Contacting is not just about the home you live in, it is about choosing an intentional lifestyle that improves individual, community and planetary well being," says Tschritter. 

The company stems from the belief that home ownership should be attainable for all and people should have the opportunity to enjoy the life they work hard for. 

Tschritter and business partner Allison Ramchuk say the firm is here to support people in "taking the next steps in reaping the benefits of living little." 

Micro homes are skyrocketing in popularity in North America, thanks to exposure on television shows touting the lifestyle. 

A belief that everyone deserves to have a home to call their own also led to the decision to donate every 26th home built to a deserving member of the community, in the what the company is calling "the big little give."

Little House is planning two open houses for those curious about downsizing in a big way. 

The first will be held in Kelowna on April 2, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Unitarian Hall. The second open house will be held in West Kelowna at The Hatch Winery on April 5, from 4 p.m. to 7p.m.

Source:  http://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/160595/Tiny-homes-big-dreams

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Kelowna Micro Home Business Plans Two Open Houses

Kelowna Micro Home Business Plans Two Open Houses
A new micro home business is launching in Kelowna, and after the complete success of selling tickets for the launch, they've decided to hold two open houses. Little House Contracting is a micro home building company founded by Tara Tschritter. Tschritter is working with Allison Ramchuck, who is the director of business development.

The two women announced at the beginning of February that they would be launching the business in March. The launch event will be held on March 11th at Laurel Packing House and is for ticket holders only.

Tickets for the event were sold out ten minutes after KelownaNow.com published the article about the evening. On Facebook Little House Contracting announced that they released another 50 tickets, which also almost sold out immediately.

Tschritter said the success of the launch tickets have made them decide to hold two open houses about the new business as well.

The first open house will be held in Kelowna on April 2nd from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., at the Unitarian Hall.

The second open house will be held in West Kelowna at The Hatch Winery on April 5th. The open house will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

People can stop by for a cup of coffee and check out the business plans and talk to Tschritter and Ramchuck. Little House Contracting's website will be launched on March 11th, during the launch event.
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