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December/January ❖ C1

www.kamloopsthisweek.com

New HOME BUYERS GUIDE K A M L O O P S

THIS WEEK

Monthly

DEC EMB E R / JA NU A RY VOL . 8 N O. 1 2

Let My Expertise Put You in a Better Place! The Mortgage Centre/ Dico Holdings 207-242 Victoria St. Kamloops, BC V2C 2A2

250-374-2222 Larry Brinkworth

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brinkworth.l@mortgagecentre.com

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C2 ❖ December/January

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NEW HOMES

A&T has come a long way from plumbing by headlight

J

EFF ARNOLD GOT HIS START IN THE CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS AT THE BOTTOM — WORKING IN IT TO PAY FOR HIS STUDIES AT THE FORMER CARIBOO COLLEGE.

At the time, it was just a way to pay for an education, although it came naturally to a kid whose dad was a carpenter for the school district. “But, it really was not on my radar [as a career],” Arnold says. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” While he debated, he kept building. One moment from the past that prompts a laugh is when Arnold recalls being on a job site one night with Gary Hicks of Central Valley Mechanical — one of many trades that have worked with A&T since the beginning — “plumbing by the light of the guy’s headlights,” Arnold says. Twenty years later, A&T Projects Development has just marked its 20th year and Arnold is no longer wielding a hammer — he’s more likely to be in his office with a pen in hand, working on tenders and proposals. Arnold’s wife, Melissa, says: “One of the times when he lights up the most is when he’s closing a commercial tender. The details that go into it, putting a price into it, he always feels very, very good and we go into it feeling like a team.” It’s a long way from the tiny office he started business in with a partner he bought out within the year. “It was slim pickings for about five years,” Arnold says. “But, I had the good fortune to grow up with strong ethics on how to treat people — and I think that helped.” XSee COMMERCIAL C3

A&T Projects Development has built everything from a pool room to a sporting outlet to this house on Long Lake Road (top), with its wrap-around views of the river and hills, and this reception area (above).


December/January ❖ C3

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NEW HOMES

Commercial, residential keep trades busy XFrom C2

One of A&T Projects Development’s more impressive show homes was built at Sun Peaks (top), while RiverBend Seniors Community has garnered the firm awards.

Building 42 Sport Mart outlets across Canada also helped the company grow and establish a reputation in commercial construction. There’s a healthy residential-construction side to A&T, as well, Arnold says, one that has garnered plenty of Keystone, Tommie and Georgie awards for everything from multi-family development to showhome to customer service. One of those houses, an 8,000-squarefoot home in Juniper, includes such details as 16-foot windows, a theatre room with three levels of seating and a 250-square-foot ensuite. Another in the Benchlands area of Juniper is more minimalist, with a low pro-

file, plenty of stone and dark hardwood and understated design lines. Yet another award was for what the company calls an outside room inside the house — a 300-square-foot pool room built to flow seamlessly into the look of the actual house. The multi-family award winner, RiverBend Seniors Community, is one of the projects Arnold points to with pride. The Brocklehurst facility, built on three acres along the South Thompson River, was a partnership between A&T, Quinn Developments Ltd., B.C. Housing and the River City Seniors Society. When the $30-million facility was complete, it combined private suites with social-housing units with all the age-appropriate supports and amenities. XSee AIRPORT C4

Featuring the Pebble Creek Furniture C Co.

Sam Moore

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C4 ❖ December/January

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NEW HOMES

Airport project long, detailed and satisfying XFrom C3

The Sunshine Hut project involved building a postand-beam house into alpine terrain, something that required technical challenges dealing with a 45-degree slope. Taking cues from the setting, the house includes a wall of natural rock leading to glass doors that provide a view of the ski runs nearby. Rock continues to anchor the great room, enhanced by 20-foot windows and 100-year-old reclaimed pine flooring. Building a house is a different process than a commercial building, Arnold says. “With commercial construction, it’s more detailed, more refined than residential. With residential, you can get creative.” Both sides complement the business because, he says, “it’s never full guns ahead with both of them.” A recent project that brought a lot of pride was the renovation of Kamloops Airport. “That was a great project for us and for the community,” Arnold says, “and it was so great working with [airport manager] Fred Legace.” Legace would agree, saying the 14-month building experience — including expanding the terminal by 50 per cent, adding or improving the check-in,

Expansion of Kamloops Airport ranks up among the projects A&T owner Jeff Arnold points to with pride. The multi-million-dollar job included expanding the terminal building (top) by 50 per cent, extending the runway, and improving hangars (above).

security, new arrivals and baggage claim areas, as well as improving the customs and immigration-service area and improving the runway and navigation aids — went smoother than he

expected. Throughout it all, Arnold notes, it’s been about teamwork and giving back. His team, which includes 11 in the office and a multitude of subtrades, deserves any

praise more than he does, he says. One way the team has given back, he notes, was through its volunteering with the Kamloops Food Bank, helping to put hampers of

food together. From that came more involvement to the point Arnold now chairs the board and Legace recently joined it. But, the kid who started in construction is still there.

There are times when Arnold visits a job site, he says, “just to get my hands dirty. “I get a reward doing that that’s hard to feel sitting at a desk.”


December/January ❖ C5

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C6 ❖ December/January

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December/January ❖ C7

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NEW HOMES

Maintenance Matters:

Keep the heat — and money — from flying out

T

HE WINDOWS and exterior doors that provide access and views to condos or townhouses can also be a source of water damage and energy loss. The good news is that a relatively small investment in maintenance can help prevent these potentially costly problems. Information about maintaining windows, doors and other exterior features on multi-unit buildings is readily available through the Maintenance Matters series provided by the B.C. government’s Homeowner Protection Office, a branch of BC Housing. Available online at hpo. bc.ca, the free bulletins are intended for homeowners, strata councils, maintenance managers, housing co-operatives and owners of multi-unit properties such as townhouses, low-rise and high-rise buildings. Much of the advice may also be helpful to owners of single-family homes. Selected topics are featured in a companion video series, available online. Bulletin #4 in the series focuses on residential windows and exterior doors, including: • Fixed windows, which do not open; • Operable windows, which open and include

Go online to hpo.bc.ca for free bulletins and videos on a range of helpful Maintenance Matters topics.

awning, horizontal slider and tilt-and-turn types; • Exterior doors, generally either hinged or sliding (such as sliding patio doors). Windows and doors deteriorate due to age, wear and tear, use and weather, potentially leading to heat loss, increased energy costs, condensation and leaks. Proper maintenance can help extend their life so that they continue to function — provide clear vision of the outdoors, security, access, light, ventilation

and weather protection — and look good for as long as possible. Windows and exterior doors should generally be inspected twice a year for evidence of leaks, condensation or other problems. Maintenance should take place at least once a year, but may be required more often as the windows and doors age. A reasonably well-built window or door assembly should last at least 30 years, although factors such as the size of the opening, weather exposure and

maintenance can affect their lifespan. Inspections and any required maintenance should cover all components in the window or exterior door assembly. Common maintenance items include: • Accumulated dirt and debris at the sill; • Dirty, damaged or worn-out weather-stripping; • Loose or missing seals and gaskets; • Failed sealed glazing units (condensation appears between layers of glass); • Improper hardware

operation; • Dirty, stained or deteriorating frame finishes; • Deterioration of the sealant at joints at the bottom inside corners of the window frame. • Water leaks or damage in surrounding interior finishes. Because of the technical nature of the work and potential for damage, an experienced professional should conduct the inspections and maintenance. However, residents may carry out some basic tasks on the interior side, such as

cleaning sills, frames, door surfaces and glass. Residents should also report potential problems to the building or maintenance manager, who should be responsible for coordinating the work, keeping a record of inspections and repairs and ensuring that any building maintenance guides and window/door manufacturer recommendations are followed. Inspect windows and exterior doors each spring and fall for leaks, condensation problems and other problems. Contact your maintenance manager if you have a concern with your windows or exterior doors. Have your maintenance manager or an experienced contractor perform the inspection and maintenance. Keep a record of inspections and complaints. Perform maintenance and repairs in a timely manner. Go online to hpo.bc.ca for more practical tips and checklists and to subscribe to receive the HPO’s online Maintenance Matters bulletins. You can also check out the new Maintenance Matters videos on the HPO website or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/ user/bchousing1.

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C8 â?– December/January

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December/January ❖ C9

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NEW HOMES

High-school teacher turned realtor — an A+ career move After 32 years teaching and coaching, Kevin Carswell made a creative career decision — retire, recharge and become a realtor. “When you are learning, you are living,” says Kevin. “The real-estate business is very similar to teaching in that it is a people business. “Learning to listen well, having people know that their needs are being addressed, offering knowledge, guidance and instilling confidence is vital in both a teaching position and in the real-estate business.” Born and raised in Kamloops, Kevin taught grades 8 through 12 and was the athletic director at Valleyview secondary. He was also involved in his community, coaching in the Steve Nash Basketball Program and Kamloops Youth Soccer, running tennis camps for 29 years, organizing many local tournaments and creating the city’s annual team-tennis event. Kevin was on the bid committee for the 1993 Canada Summer Games and chairman for tennis at those Games. He is also the co-founder of Team 73 Fundraising, an organization raising funds for extra-curricular student programs. There are many attributes potential homeowners seek in a realtor: Trust, perceptiveness, knowledge and the

B U Y

One of the highlights of Kevin’s career was coaching the Valleyview Vikings basketball team to the West Zone championship. Now, the retired teacher has become a realtor in Kamloops.

ability to be an intuitive listener. These same attributes are found in successful teachers, as well. Not only does Kevin bring a love of working with people to his new profession, he has several years of real-estate experience to support his new career. He has been buying and selling rental properties for years, dealing with condos, apartment blocks, duplexes and houses. Maintaining, renovating and flipping properties for himself and others has provided a background in real

Let Me Help You With Your

“HOMEWORK”

or

S MR. CARSWELL L L (KEVIN)

estate that is beneficial to those needing advice, direction and ideas with investment properties. Kevin knows homeowners are on an exciting journey searching for a new home and should enjoy the experience. A realtor’s most important role is to make this journey as stress-free as possible. Kevin looks forward to offering his services to help all first-time buyers with their homework, those thinking of selling and downsizing, looking for a bigger home or those wanting to become property investors.

B.P.E./Ed.

ROYAL LEPAGE KAMLOOPS REALTY

Cell: 778-220-5432 Off: 250-374-3022 mrcarswell@royallepage.ca 322 Seymour St. Kamloops, BC V2C 2G2 www.mrcarswellkevin.ca


C10 â?– December/January

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NEW HOMES

CMHC’s new calculator helps people deal with ďŹ nancial side of buying a house CMHC has introduced two new tools to help Canadian homebuyers make informed and responsible homebuying decisions. The debt-service calculator allows homebuyers to evaluate their financial situation and understand how much they can comfortably afford to spend on a mortgage. The easy-to-use calculator allows users to quickly estimate their gross debt-service ratio (GDS) and total debt-service ratio (TDS), both important measures in assessing their financially readiness for homeownership. The calculator can be accessed online at cmhc.ca (search “calculatorâ€?). CMHC’s new ‘Ready, Set, Home’ mobile app provides consumers, especially first-time homebuyers, with comprehensive CMHC information and

tools at their fingertips. The app helps homebuyers keep track of the details throughout the homebuying process and provides access to a variety of helpful calculators, articles and other resources. Recognizing the increasingly fast-paced, electronic and mobile environment, the new mobile app is a free application that offers quick and convenient access to CMHC’s extensive housing information. The app can be downloaded to your BlackBerry, Android or iPhone device at cmhc.ca/mobile. These new tools are the latest additions to CMHC’s comprehensive suite of resources available to support Canadian homebuyers.

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December/January ❖ C11

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NEW HOMES

Steve Bucher Mortgage Consultant Expert advice, excellent service, exceptional rates 250.682.6077 425 Tranquille Road steve.bucher@migroup.ca www.mortgagebuilder.ca

MORTGAGE INTELLIGENCE

Tips for first-time home buyers in today’s market Low-interest rates and reduced house prices have created better affordability for first-time homebuyers. For those thinking about a home purchase, here are some tips: • Start the process early. I can help you get the right documentation in place, check your credit history to avoid unpleasant surprises and prequalify you to ensure you can meet the lender’s requirements. • Determine your price range. If you are thinking about a purchase next spring, the time to start browsing the multiplelisting service is now. It’s important to know the type of home you want, the area you like and the costs. Don’t rush your decision — that can lead to mistakes when you start bidding on homes. I am happy to introduce you to professional realtors who can help you find that perfect home. • Set your budget.

Don’t be surprised by the hidden costs of homebuying. Mortgage payments are only part of the puzzle in home buying. Make sure you understand exactly what you will need to budget for in your first year. I can make sure you are clear on all of the costs and ongoing expenses associated with a new home. • Know your goals. Get options. Make sure you choose a home and mortgage that accommodate your finances and future plans. Changes to family, employment, education and lifestyle will all have an impact on your happiness in your home. Think about your family needs in the years ahead. For a free, no obligation consultation, or to join my free first-time homebuyer’s class, contact Steve Bucher at 250-682-6077.

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C12 ❖ December/January

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Live a Better Life at Talasa

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December 11, 2012  

Section P of the December 11, 2012 edition of the Kamloops This Week