To Do List for First-time Home Buyers




Pay off credit cards and only use 10% of your limit moving forward. You can sell large things, but don’t make any major purchases (like a car). Don’t cancel any lines of credit and don’t open any new lines of credit. Stay current on all of your bills and remember, no major purchases!

You’ll need money for the down payment (if you need to), inspection, and closing costs (eg:lawyer fees, taxes, etc.)

A good real estate agent will guide you through the next steps so that you don’t make any errors.  It’s also important to have an understanding of how your real estate agent is going to market your property (i.e. email, social media, MLS, etc).

If you don’t already have one in mind, your real estate agent can provide a list of preferred lenders. The lender runs your credit and gives you mortgage options and estimated rates. The lender also calculates how much you can spend on a house  based off of your debt to income ratio.

Make a list of features most important to you before you start looking. Your real estate agent will book showings for houses that match your list. Visit the homes and take notes and photos.

Make sure to test the commute, consider resale value for the home, and finally make a decision!

Offers are often contingent on many things, including, home inspections, financing, and insurance. Your real estate agent will help you decide what conditions are important in your purchase.

Make sure the house is the way that it should be, as this is your final moment to speak up if something is wrong. Bring your closing money to the lawyer, and get ready to sign paperwork!

Congrats and enjoy your new home!

Merry Christmas!

A little smile. A word of cheer.

A bit of love from someone near.

A little gift from one held dear.

Best wishes for the coming year.

These make a Merry Christmas!


Christmas Greeting from the Realtors and staff at Royal LePage South Country in Oliver

Photo Credit: Leza MacDonald (ODN)


Festival of the Trees

Royal LePage Christmas Tree for the Festival of Trees 2016, Frank Venables AuditoriumWe are full of Christmas Spirit!

Lisa and Heather are showing off their work of art as the Festival of Trees gets under way.

What’s the Festival of Trees, you ask?  It’s an event that started 29 years ago in Vancouver, and it’s purpose is to raise funds for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.  Since it’s inception it’s grown throughout several communities in BC, including Osoyoos for the last several years.

And this year the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association was pleased to announce the spread of it’s Festival to have trees sponsored and showcased throughout Oliver as well as Osoyoos.

From the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association Website:

“The Festival is open to the public who are invited to browse through the holiday displays at four locations this year and enjoy the holiday splendour. This year Festival of Trees is being shared between our two communities of Oliver and Osoyoos with trees on display at Nk’Mip Cellars Winery, Watermark Beach Resort, Frank Venables Theatre Lobby and Baldy Mountain Resort. There is no admission for this event and everyone is encouraged to come and vote for their favourite tree; a minimum donation of $2 is requested. Donations over $25 BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) will issue tax-receipts.


Trees will be on display from November 25th to January 4th as follows:

  • Nk’Mip Cellars Winery – 10am to 5pm daily
  • Spirit Ridge Resort – 8am to 10pm daily
  • Watermark Beach Resort – 8am to 11pm daily
  • Frank Venables Theatre – 5:30 to 8pm daily
  • Baldy Mountain Resort  – Outdoors Daily

This event will be to support both the BC Children’s Hospital and the BC Hospitality Foundation.”

Ours was only one of the beautifully decorated trees being prepared to be showcased at the Frank Venables Theatre between November 25th and January 4th.  So be sure to get out and see the trees, vote for your favourite, and help raise funds for this immensely worthy cause.


Concerned about the new Mortgage rules?

If you’re looking into the option of buying a house, you probably already know that the Mortgage Rules have changed recently, and you’re probably concerned.


What is this new rule anyway?

“Effective October 17th all high ratio buyers will have to qualify at the benchmark rate for all terms.”


And just what does that even mean?

It means that you’ll have to qualify for a higher interest rate than what you’ll actually end up paying, which will reduce the dollar amount for which you’ll qualify.

Dominion Lending Centres gives this example:

“… a home buyer currently qualified to purchase with 10% down for a mortgage of $527,000. After October 17th, this home buyer would qualify for a $420,000 mortgage. This equates to a 20% drop in buying power. (All things being equal in terms of property taxes, income, debts, etc).”


So what do we do?

In this situation, you have a few of options:

  1. Make up for the shortfall with more money down; or
  2. Add another person to the mortgage to help qualify; or
  3. Purchase a lower priced property

But mostly…talk with your Royal LePage REALTOR® and your mortgage professional about your options.


So what’s the purpose all this?

Well, the new mortgage rules will likely reduce the risk of a housing crash.  The government and the banks are looking out for own interests in keeping the housing market going, but in looking out for their own, they’re also looking out for yours.  Qualifying for a lower amount might just put less stress on your wallet.  That can’t be too bad.

Oliver Community Light Up & Fireworks

On Friday November 25 and Saturday November 26, Oliver’s Community Light Up & Fireworks brings families together to celebrate the start of the festive season and put some sparkle into the winter months. Bring the kids along for pictures with Santa, fun entertainment for all the family downtown and later a bonfire and fireworks, at the Oliver Community Park. Celebrate the Christmas Light Up with us in #OliverBC!

Friday, November 25:
  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm: Pictures with Santa at Royal LePage 
  • 4:00pm – 6:00pm: Discover Downtown Oliver ~ Face Painting, Food Vendors, Wine Tasting, Hot Beverages and Goodies, Unique Christmas Wreath Contest, Sage Valley Voices Caroling.
  • 5:15pm: Festival of Trees Light up at Frank Venables Theatre (Open Daily Until Jan 4th from 5:30 to 8pm)
  • 5:30pm – 6:00pm: OES Choir performing at Town Hall
  • 6:00pm: Santa arrives downtown
  • 6:15pm: Official light-up with dignitaries
  • 6:00pm 8:00pm: Community Centre activities and entertainment including Bon Fire
  • 7:30pm: Fireworks at Community Centre
Saturday, November 26:
  • 9:00am to 11:30am: Breakfast with Santa
    $7/child (Adults by donation)
    Oliver Community Centre Hall

Lest we forget.

Oliver Remembrance Day Schedule


Memorial (Interdenominational) Service

9:45 am – Oliver Community Center


Colour Parade

10:40 am – Oliver Community Center to Cenotaph


Ceremony of Remembrance

10:50 am – Cenotaph, Oliver Town Hall

  • O’Canada
  • Prayer
  • Hymn
  • Last Post
  • Silence
  • Act of Remembrance
  • Reveille
  • Honour Roll Call
  • Placing of Wreaths
  • God Save the Queen



11:30 am – Cenotaph to Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 97


Parade Participant Refreshments

11:45 am – Legion Hall (Adults) & Subway (Youth)

  • Entertainment by Mikie and ken
  • Potluck Luncheon
  • Super Duper Mega Meat Draw Extravaganza


RCL97 – Sponsored Family Movie

2:00 pm – Oliver Theatre



legion-crest-250px-iconSchedule provided by

Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 97