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Sharon Lancaster is a registered Realtor in British Columbia, strategic marketing consultant, internationally recognized public speaker and a published author.

Her passion for Real Estate extends beyond the transaction and into the realm of stewardship, as she strives to provide you with the questions and answers, required to make informed Real Estate decisions.

Writing Words

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Writing Words

Someday

I’m gonna write something brilliant,

that compels your brain to kick into high gear,

that sticks in your gut as you read it

and wraps itself slyly around your heart,

twisting your mind to think differently

about everything

you ever thought you knew.

Someday

I’m gonna write something beautiful,

breathtakingly lush and opulent

using words and images that enliven your humanness

and awaken your humanity,

opening your heart like a candy wrapper

so you’ll laugh and you’ll cry,

because it’s almost too lovely to know

Someday

I’m gonna write something inspiring,

that burns into your heart and mind with a holy fire,

that makes you jump up out of your easy chair

and easy life and easy thoughts

to commit to something grander and more astounding,

and more meaningful and more sacred

than you ever knew

was residing in your soul.

Someday

I’m gonna write something real,

and the Truth of it will change you

and,

it will change me too.

Live the Questions

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Blog, Education, Kelowna | Comments Off on Live the Questions

Refrains of Auld Lang Syne echos in my mind, an earworm incessantly playing as Day 7 of the new year passes unheralded, another calendar page ripped from the pad, 358 remaining.

Unresolved thoughts for the future, along with reminises of the past create a familiar stirring, questions arising, which direction should I choose – now that another year has arrived? Thumbing through papers, with the pretense of organization being a ‘tool’ for success, I pause over a clipping, sent to me in a wooden box, by a cherished child, many New Years ago.

The Question, once lived, slowly becomes the Answer.

(Excerpt)

Letters to a Poet, July 16, 1903
You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. 
Written by, Rainer Maria Rilke

B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit

Posted by on Mar 12, 2013 in Blog, Kelowna | Comments Off on B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit

The B.C. seniors home renovation tax credit assists individuals 65 and over with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home.

The program starts April 1, 2012 so your renovation expenses must happen on or after this date. An eligible expense is deemed to have been paid on the earlier of the date on which the expense was paid or the date it become payable.

You’re eligible to claim the credit for the year if on the last day of the tax year you’re:

  • a resident of B.C., and
  • a senior or a family member living with a senior.

The renovation must be to your principal residence, which is the home you primarily live in (including a non-seasonal mobile home).

The credit can be shared between eligible residents of the home to a maximum amount of the credit. The maximum amount of the credit is $1,000 per tax year and is calculated as 10% of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000 in expenses). The credit is a refundable tax credit, which means if the credit is higher than the taxes you owe, you’ll receive the difference as a refund.

What Qualifies

The renovation or alteration must help a senior with an impairment by:

  • improving access to the home or land,
  • improving mobility and functions within the home or land, or
  • reducing the risk of harm within the home or land.

The main purpose of the renovation can’t be to increase the value of the home or land.

Please note: Modular or removable versions of items that can be installed as permanent fixtures to the home or land qualify (e.g. modular ramps and non-fixed bath lifts).

Examples of qualifying renovations or alterations:

  • Bathtubs – walk-in
  • Counters/cupboards – lowering existing ones
  • Counters/cupboards – installing adjustable ones
  • Door locks that are easy to operate
  • Doors that are widened for passage
  • Drawers and cupboards – touch-and-release
  • Flooring – non-slip or to allow the use of walkers
  • General renovation costs – necessary to enable access for seniors to first-floor or secondary suites
  • Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower
  • Hand-held showers on adjustable rods or high-low mounting brackets
  • Hand rails in corridors
  • Lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
  • Light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
  • Light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
  • Lighting – motion-activated
  • Pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
  • Showers – wheel-in
  • Sinks – alterations to allow use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
  • Swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
  • Taps – hands-free
  • Taps – relocation to front or side for easier access
  • Toilets – raised
  • Wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators

What Doesn’t Qualify

  • Aesthetic enhancements – such as landscaping or redecorating
  • Appliances – all appliances including those with front located controls, side swing ovens, etc
  • Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors
  • Flooring (regular) installation
  • General maintenance – such as plumbing or electrical repairs
  • Heating or air conditioning systems installation
  • Electronics (home-entertainment)
  • Home medical monitoring equipment
  • Home security (anti-burglary) equipment
  • Insulation replacement
  • Roof repairs
  • Services, such as:
    • Home care services
    • Housekeeping services
    • Outdoor maintenance and gardening services
    • Security or medical monitoring services
  • Vehicles adapted for people with mobility limitations
  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs
  • Window installation

Claiming the Credit

You can claim the credit when you file your personal income tax return for 2012 and future years.

You must retain documentation to support your claim, including receipts from suppliers and contractors. If work has been performed by a family member, receipts for materials must have an HST number.

If you receive an invoice at the end of the calendar year and pay it in the following calendar year, the credit is to be claimed for the taxation year based on when you received the invoice.

Legislation

The following legislation applies to the B.C. seniors’ home renovation tax credit:

Ghosts of New Year’s Past, remain hauntingly familiar

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Blog, Kelowna, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ghosts of New Year’s Past, remain hauntingly familiar

 New Years Day, a time for quiet reflection, reconnection, and perhaps a resurrection?

Yesterday I chose to view my website, with the intent of ‘freshening’ my Bio, updating blogs, deleting old posts – wiping away the cobwebs – sprinkling pixie dust.

I found myself reading my bio scribed in 2008, recognizing the antiquity of the words, expressed 5 long years ago, yet with the realization that some things never change.

Rather than hilight and delete, I chose to cut and paste, reaffirming the desire, and need to always follow our dreams.

Welcome 2013!!

Slate – Rock Solid Real Estate 

Follow your Dream! There comes a time in life when we may pause, reflect – and for some of us, reorganize our affairs in order to pursue our passion. Sometimes referred to as “Midlife Crisis” this period of reflection and self-actualization offers an opportunity to live out a dream, if we are brave enough to take the plunge.

After many years of running a successful Marketing and Communications Agency – Slate Communications – I chose to follow my heart. Tearfully bidding my long term advertising client’s good-bye, I picked up the Manitoba Real Estate Encyclopedia and took my first step towards achieving my Real Estate License.

With over 25 years of Real Estate Residential and Commercial investing behind me, as well as thousands of hours of searching through Open Houses, visiting the Parade of Homes, booking private viewings, hours clocked on virtual tours, hundreds of missed opportunities, numerous successful ones, and after a few bungled sales and purchases, I felt I was well prepared to help others in their Real Estate purchases.

The mandatory license is now hanging on the wall – and the melded layers of clay, ash and yes, maybe even some volcanic dust have succumbed to the enormous pressure- metamorphosing Slate Communications into:

SLATE – ROCK SOLID REAL ESTATE. Call (250) 878-2980

ROCK SOLID

Layers of life and work experiences set me apart from other Realtors. With a diverse career history focused around Marketing and Technology I bring to the table a high degree of integrity, an understanding of influencers, relationship and communication skills, creative, random, and intuitive based thinking, along with logical and methodical processing. Multi layered, yet solid skills, built to last beyond my lifetime.

Whether you are selling or buying, I will build a firm foundation for your transaction, ensuring you get the best price, in the time frame best suited to your needs, with the least amount of worry or stress. I bring to you a combination of skills and ethics running parallel with your goals in order to achieve your vision.

Bring SLATE to your table – whether listing your home or searching for a new property to write an offer on.

Call 250-878-2980

FACTS ABOUT SLATE

Slate is a metamorphic rock that is created when sedimentary rocks are placed under enormous pressure, and they chemically combine. The flakiest sedimentary materials in the process slide sideways by the pressure, until they run in lines parallel to the force being acted upon them. Cracks that occur during this process also get moved to a parallel position to the pressure. This is what causes the layered nature of slate. Layers can run in any direction, since pressures exerted on them can come from anywhere.
The layers can have different colors or even textures, and digging into slate will often reveal a whole different hue beneath the surface. The general color of these rocks is grey but the chemical composition can cause it to have almost any color imaginable. Slate is often used in roofing, or in flooring. It is highly resistant to weather and is widely used in high traffic areas for its durability and lack of slippage, even when wet. It is also used in house wares, countertops, and sidings.

Sharon Lancaster

Real Estate and Marketing Professional

Verve – Get a Life

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Blog, Kelowna | Comments Off on Verve – Get a Life

Verve – Get a Life

Living life at The Verve offers a unique opportunity to be part of a community, while retaining a private residence. From relaxing on deck of the oversized outdoor pool, to joining an impromtu Volley ball game – cooking dinner at the communal BBQ picnic area, or dashing outside with Toto for a brief visit to the dog park – The Verve has amanities to fit your style.

You’ll find 3 BR Penthouses with 12 foot ceilings, ground floor homes featuring your own private fenced yard, economical studio’s, or 1 & 2 BR condo’s all set up with maintenance free landscaping, secure underground parking, and additional storage lockers.

Within 5 minutes to downtown, and quick access to Orchard Park Mall, The University, and College – The Verve offers easy access to wherever you want to go! Bus services, a bakery, Blenze Coffee and other convieniences located right outside the door, and Big White Ski Hill only 45 minutes away!!

If Lifestyle is what you are looking for in the Okanagan, look no further! The Verve offers it all!! Investors – Rentals are allowed, all ages invited, pets are OK with some restrictions and University students can car pool to the campus. 18 units are currently for sale – with 441 units located in the 8 building complex.

Prices range from $158,000 – $260,000. Call today for a complete list of properties in Kelowna, at Verve!

Sharon Lancaster 250-878-2980

Featured Listing MLS #10056584

203-539 Yates Rd. Kelowna, BC

For less than $150.00 a sf. you can be living the life at Verve!!  Two SXS stalls (a $7,000 much coveted upgrade!), located close to the parkade entrance, and steps from the elevator that whisks you up to your luxurious 2BR, 2 bath condo. Step inside to admire the open concept layout and tasteful, decor. Feel the cool ceramic tiles tickle your toes, as you drop the groceries onto the upgraded silestone counters ($4,000). Pop open a libation and meander outside onto your south facing deck to catch the last rays of sunshine, or watch your friends lob a volley over the net. This is ‘living the life’ in the Okanagan – and living YOUR life, at The Verve. Check it out today!! Call or Email Sharon.

Cooking space

Hurricane Sandy

Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in Blog, Commercial Real Estate, Kelowna, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hurricane Sandy

Sandy is wreaking havoc … even the TD Webbroker order entry tool is ducking under the weather. My Monday morning ritual sabotaged by a weather system, gaining speed somewhere on a far away coastline, reminding me, once again, how we are all connected.

No less than the miracle of the squirrel gathering nuts, or the magnificent Big Horn Rams poised on the hill above Westside Rd., you, and I are part of the miracle of creation.

Equally beautiful, unique, extra ordinary. All one of the same source material, begotten from the same energy as the neighbor to the right and the stranger to the left. Born from fate, gifted with destiny.

Choices determine our lives, when to scavenge, when to store, prepare for storms, bask in sunshine, rest in silence. The only species that uses time as a guide, vs, the signals of the universe – the fading sun, elongated moon shadows or brisk hurricane winds. The clock, ticking, reminding me it is Monday morning – referencing me to another week, and days that need to be filled with obligations, salutations and edifications. Stuff, stuffed into the cavernous opening we refer to as ‘Our Lives’.

Time to prepare for winter, blowing in from the east and the west.

Australian Shore, wanting more.

Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Blog, Kelowna | Comments Off on Australian Shore, wanting more.

A few months ago I blogged about When Opportunity Knocks …. posing a question on focus. Do you know where you are heading on this journey called life? Do you keep an eye on the map ensuring you do not veer off the well travelled highways, or targeted side roads? Or are you the type of person who zigs or zags across the continents, distracted by every corn patch with a shiny object glitterring from under the husks?

While I appreciate the tried and true personality – I must admit to taking a few uncharted courses in my life and on the way, becoming immersed in adventure, mired in muck or flying high above the horizon. It has been a life of passion, intrique and adventure. Both from the ground and the skies!!

It was on one of these adventures that Barry came into my life. While sailing across the Pacific Ocean with a boat full of lovely Australians, and one wunder lust Koala Bear named Barry, (an escapee from the Ft. MacQuarrie Koala Hospital, on an adventure to see the world) that I was gifted this naughty little Koala as my table mate, and travel companion.

Introducing Where’s Barry let the adventures begin!

Formal Dinner on the Rhapsody

When opportunity knocks

Posted by on Mar 31, 2012 in Blog, Education, Kelowna | Comments Off on When opportunity knocks

Last Friday  an ‘opportunity’ appeared out of nowhere – a request to perform as a special interest speaker on a cruise ship, sailing from Dubai to India and back to Dubai. Speaking, leading and teaching guests on topics ranging from Eastern philosophies and meditation to tantric tenants and beliefs. All topics of passion, for me.

This is my latest and greatest opportunity.  To sail on a Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas cruise debarking from Dubai on April 6th crossing to India, 5 ports of call, and returning to Dubai 11 days later on April 19th. Opportunity for spiritual growth, or distraction from focus on building my real estate business, and financial growth?
So, when opportunity knocks… do you open the door wide and shout HELLO!! Or … peer suspiciously through the peep hole and ask 20 questions while becoming smaller and smaller with intimidation and fear?
Or when a boat appears on the auction – and your intuition says ‘good buy’ do you just pull out the visa card…. and know instinctively that something good will come of this transaction , even though you cannot see it right now? Or do you do the sensible, logical thing and shut off the computer, go to bed and rise again to another day, debt free and unencumbered?

Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board

Posted by on Mar 6, 2012 in Blog, Kelowna | Comments Off on Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board

OKANAGAN MAINLINE REAL ESTATE BOARD

MLS® residential sales within the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board are forecast to rise 7.4 per cent to 5,190 units in 2012, following two consecutive years of declining sales activity. A recovery in consumer demand this year is being aided by improved affordability due to more attractive home prices and as well as historically low interest rates. Moreover, consumer demand is being given a boost by stronger employment growth in BC as well as Alberta, a key driver of the recreational market in the Okanagan. As the economy continues to improve in 2013, we anticipate that sales activity will continue to pick-up. However, interest rates are likely to begin rising towards the end of 2012 and into next year which will operate to limit overall demand. We are forecasting MLS® residential sales to rise another 4 per cent to 5,400 in 2013.

The average MLS® average price finished 2011 nearly 4 per cent lower as elevated inventories of existing homes for sale was more than enough for market demand. However, market conditions in the Okanagan Mainline board area are on a gradual path towards balanced conditions which will likely keep prices relatively flat in 2012, albeit up less than 1 per cent to $382,800. We are forecasting a further 1.1 per cent increase in 2013 to an average price of $387,000.

The Kelowna new home market continues to be constrained by elevated inventories in both the single-family and multi-family segments as well as flagging consumer demand for recreational properties. Moreover, developers are hesitant to break ground given difficult market conditions. Given rising single-family inventories, we anticipate single-family home construction will remain well below pre-recession levels, averaging around 550 to 625 units over the next two years. In the multi-family sector, where inventories have steadily fallen over the past year, we expect a slight increase of starts to 450 units in 2012 before rising 600 units in 2013.

For full article please visit BCREA Housing Forecast – and scroll down to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board June 2012 Forecast.

Take the long road home.

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in Blog, Kelowna, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Take the long road home.

I was already late as I waited for the green turn light, trying to resist the pull left towards the mountain road. Today would be a good day to drive up the mountain, I mused. Perhaps later, if I complete my tasks before sundown, I reasoned resolutely steering into traffic, following the migration towards city center.

But the mountain still called, the blue of the sky, whimsical clouds floating lazily on the horizon. It is almost spring in Kelowna, February 2, 2012. Groundhog day. A brilliant, perfect day. I feel blessed to be a Realtor. I am outdoors most days, meandering through traffic, mixing at sidewalk cafe’s, feeling the warmth of the sun as I unlock a red door. But the mountain still called, the gentle breeze almost non existent, the solidarity of the trees defining the grade.

Finally, at precisely 4:27 I passed through the iron and stone gates at the Kelowna Cemetary, and began the descent to what I perceive to be the most sacred ground in our town. Past the Kelowna Golf Course, past the historical monument marking 100 years of internment, to the turnabout, high above the city at the top of the Mountain.

I sit silently, as the final strains of Guns N’Roses November Rain echoes from my speakers, my iPhone MP3 file is being  broadcast through a bluetooth device, powered by the 12 volt cigarette lighter (a relic from days gone by) converted to an analogue signal and playing over the AM/FM radio. This is amazing. That we have the ability to convert the signal. Technology.

Do you need some time…on your own
Do you need some time…all alone
Everybody needs some time…
On their own
Don’t you know you need some time…all alone…

The settling sun casts a golden spell, the ultimate beauty seducing me to step from the car, silencing Axl Rose, as I double tap the camera, seize the moment and snap a photo. Captured. Beauty.

Moments later I hit send, transmitting the digital image to a friend, with a caption reminding him of an old Lakota saying attributed to Crazy Horse “Today is a good day to die” and the significance behind the statement. Technology. It connects. It binds. It separates and it disassociates. Or none of the above – it is the driver, who turns the key, and steers the wheel.

We all have choices. Choose wisely.

Rest In Peace

Sharon Lancaster