August Love Letter

Can there be any happier time in your life than when you’re 4 years old in the summer?

 

The 100th annual Okanagan Landing Regatta was held on a Sunday in mid-July, and we got to Paddlewheel Park at 8:30 for the Landing Volunteer Fire Department’s pancake breakfast.  My 4-year old, James insisted on ordering for all of us, requesting in a strong commanding voice, “Fwee pancakes, please!”

 

Breakfast eaten, we wandered to the sand sculpture contest grounds where a dozen or so plots of freshly delivered sand sat available on a first-come first-served basis.   With no tools, no plan and no foreseeable chance of winning, James and I staked claim to a sand plot, borrowing shovels, buckets and beach toys to build whatever it was we were building. 

 

James, our self-appointed Creative Director, had design concepts ranging from a castle and moat, to a Transformer with moat, to an alien inside a moat, to a volcano without moat and back to a castle and moat (I think you see the recurring theme here).  As official sand shoveler, I faithfully piled sand where directed, dug holes as instructed and removed said holes and piles when requested. 

Looking around us, I caught sight of  a scale model of a Mayan pyramid, lifelike sow in repose feeding piglets, an elephant with a castle on its back and an assortment of castles, temples and jungle landscapes.  Teams pored over plans, photographs and diagrams.  Tasks were meted out and performed with military precision and efficiency.  Obviously well-practiced hands wielded exotic arrays of sand shaping tools. 

 

James and I used sticks, leaves and old candy wrappers to decorate our as yet undefined project.

 

Press time as the Morning Star photographer made the rounds.  James the Creative Director became James the Team Poser, brandishing a grownup shovel for the photo-op.  Photos taken, James then took it upon himself to share his expertise with our competition.  “That’s a nice castle, but um, you could probably use some sticks and leaves to decorate it with.  Here, have some of ours…  Whoops!  Daddy, our castle just fell over.  Can you fix it please?  And the moat needs more water.”

 

Just in time for judging, Mommy came up with our theme title - “An Eco-Friendly Alien Landscape, Featuring Volcano and Several Castles, Surrounded by Moat”.  James officiously walked the judge through all the intricacies of our creation, stepping on walls and collapsing secret tunnels along the way.  Our efforts were rewarded with two Participant ribbons and tickets for burgers and pop.  Our father/son vow:  we’ll be back.  Oh yes, we will be back!

 

The rest of the day went by in a blur –model paddlewheel races where James clinched a first place win over two 4-year old opponents; a watermelon eating contest followed by 5 minutes of blowing melon out of his nose; face painted to resemble his current idol Spiderman; and the Bounce Palace whenever he was dry enough to get by the entrance guard– all interspersed with cooling dips in the lake.  

Five hours and six Participant ribbons later, Mommy and I had all the competing, swimming and bouncing we could take for one day. Surprisingly, James offered only token resistance, the day’s activities having taken their toll on him as well.  Barely able to stay awake through dinner, James headed off to bed a full hour earlier than usual.

 

“Did you have a good day today, James?”

“Yes, it was lots of fun, Daddy.  Thank you for taking me to the Wegatta.”

“What was your favourite part of the Regatta?”

“All of it.  Good night Daddy.”

                        ______________________________________________________________________

 

REAL ESTATE NEWS

 

Not surprisingly to those that follow the real estate market, July was a dismal one in terms of sales volumes, no better than June.  Ever the optimist, I say at least it wasn’t worse than June.  Typically, the summer is a slow period for home sales and the fact that July numbers didn’t dip below June tells me we’re positioned for a typically stronger fall market. 

I’m interested in the $101 - $200,000 July sales – 29% of the July total.  Hopefully, this indicates the lower income people are starting to buy rather than rent homes.  Please, oh please let this be a trend, because again, as the eternal optimist, I think this may lead to a domino effect where the sellers of the $101 - $200,000 homes will move up and buy $201 - $300,000 homes and so forth. The BC Real Estate Association has forecast a stronger fall market as the number of active listings, which peaked in May, is now beginning to decrease, turning the current Buyer’s market into a more balanced one.

June sales for homes over $500,000 were 29% of the total and July sales of over $500,000 represent 19%.  The inference I take from these numbers is that those people buying higher-priced homes are more comfortable with the strength of the economy and/or their own financial resources than those looking for homes under $500,000, where job security is still a real concern.

 

VERNON AREA MONTHLY HOME SALES*

 

 

April

April %

May

May %

June

June %

July

July %

Under $100,000

3

2%

2

2%

3

4%

1

1%

$101 - $200,000

11

8%

13

13%

8

12%

19

27%

$201 - $300,000

37

28%

27

28%

12

18%

13

19%

$301 - $400,000

42

32%

33

34%

17

25%

17

24%

$401 - $500,000

23

17%

13

13%

8

12%

7

10%

$501 - $600,000

10

8%

5

5%

9

13%

3

4%

$601 - $700,000

5

4%

3

3%

5

7%

4

6%

$701 - $800,000

1

1%

0

0%

4

6%

1

1%

$801 - $900,000

0

0%

0

0%

1

1%

2

3%

$901,000 +

1

1%

1

1%

1

1%

3

4%

Totals

133

 

97

 

68

 

70

 

 

* Statistics are gathered from Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) and subject to verification.

Details of Sales search parameters are available from Ken Dickson.

Ken Dickson

Ken Dickson

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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