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Bloom Finance Company shares how Okanagan seniors can continue living lives to fullest without financial strain

Post-retirement adventure

Retirement should be a time of exploration, excitement and enjoyment. However, without a steady income to support your interests and passions, it can be tricky continuing to pursue them.

It shouldn’t have to be this way, though—and with a reverse mortgage from Bloom Finance Company, it doesn’t have to be.

Bloom helps British Columbians aged 55 and older continue to live more financially flexible, flourishing lives by helping them unlock up to 55% of their home’s value, tax-free, all while continuing to live in the homes they love.

For semi-retired Summerland resident, Beverly, staying in her home was at the forefront of her mind back when she was considering Bloom’s reverse mortgage about a year ago now.

“I was really concerned about my home because I love my home, and for me to be able to stay in my beautiful home and no longer have to worry about the monthly mortgage payments, this reverse mortgage has lifted a huge burden off my back.”

Bloom’s reverse mortgage has also allowed her to continue pursuing her passions.

“I wanted to work less hours and I wanted to travel more – those were my goals, as well as being able to help out my family a bit more because four out of my eight grandchildren are elite hockey players, and I know that’s quite an expensive venture,” she says. “With Bloom’s reverse mortgage, I’m able to do all of that.”

Similar to Beverly, Chilliwack-based retiree Len wanted to continue making travel a priority for him and his wife’s post-retirement life, as well as being able to stay in their home.

“The Bloom reverse mortgage means you’re not nickeling and diming yourself. You’re not stuck at home because you’re basically house poor,” he says. “If we want to go down to Mexico for a couple of weeks like we did in November last year, we have the cash to do that. Or if we want to go travelling in the RV, which obviously takes a lot of fuel, we have the freedom to do that, as well.”

Both Beverly and Len can agree that getting a Bloom reverse mortgage was simple and streamlined. In fact, the whole process can take as little as a week.

The first step is getting an estimate on their website – and it only takes seconds.

From there, you’ll speak with a Bloom representative to answer any questions you may have and submit your application. Upon approval, you work with an independent legal advisor who ensures your interests are protected. Lastly, funds are deposited, and you can enjoy the freedom that comes from having that extra financial flexibility.

For more information about Bloom’s reverse mortgages, visit bloomfin.ca.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

AutoPlace on Springfield Road has been making customers happy for 45 years

Care and repair since 1978

Ryan St. Hilaire has come full circle, and he could not be happier about it.

The general manager at AutoPlace started working at the Kelowna auto centre in 1997, when he was 19 years old. He spent three years there, learning from and being trained by co-owner and mentor Erwin Egert, before leaving to continue his automotive career. He worked for Skaha Ford in Penticton, Kelowna Kia and Anthony's Suzuki Subaru. While studying business at Okanagan College, he returned to work at AutoPlace in 2007 and 2008.

St. Hilaire then returned to his hometown of Winnipeg, this time to manage luxury dealerships for the next 12 years.

Last year, AutoPlace was looking for a new GM, and owners Egert and Larry Belliveau had a specific someone in mind: their former parts manager. St. Hilaire returned to Kelowna for what will likely be the final time, as he now has visions of one day taking over as AutoPlace owner.

"Working my way from the bottom to the top has been the opportunity of a lifetime, just like many of the dealer principals I worked for who started in the wash bay," St. Hilaire says. "That’s about as good as it gets."

Egert and Belliveau opened the location at 1755 Springfield Rd. in 1978—the year St. Hilaire was born—and it is still there today, making it one of Kelowna’s longest-serving automotive centres. It has served three generations of Kelownians and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. That continuity has allowed AutoPlace to stand the test of time.

St. Hilaire leads a large team of technicians, including shop foreman Neil Korpesio with 25 years of experience, who can fix all the usual brands and everything else, from Alfa Romero to Volvo and even trailers. Need an inspection? AutoPlace is a designated inspection facility. In the last year there has not been an issue with a vehicle the team could not fix.

“I’ve worked for Ford, Chevy. I’ve worked for Kia, Suzuki, Subaru,” St. Hilaire says. “My most proud accomplishment is what I did with Harley Davidson, with Porsche, with Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo. I’ve been around the block. If it’s a domestic problem, we’ve got them covered. If it’s an import problem, we’ve got them covered.”

AutoPlace will also be on the cutting edge of electric vehicle maintenance and repair, according to St. Hilaire. Egert and Belliveau also own Kelowna Carts Plus, which specializes in electric golf carts, and the AutoPlace technicians are enrolled in EV training and expect to be certified in the near future.

AutoPlace will always maintain or repair your car in a timely and professional fashion, but it’s the customer service that comes with a 45-year-old shop that sets it apart from the rest. St. Hilaire and his team are always going the extra mile for their customers to find the perfect transportation solution, and it’s obvious that customers keep going back to them.

“We will put your mind at ease,” St. Hilaire says. “We’ve been taking care of cars for 45 years and know what we’re doing.”

Specifically, AutoPlace is where you go for anything and everything to do with your car. It cuts keys and programs remotes. It repairs and replaces tires. It can give you a boost or change your oil. It does brakes, suspension and wheel alignments, and specializes in diagnostics and turning off check engine lights. It offers preferred rates for towing—not to mention some of the best warranties in the business. AutoPlace has excellent buying power through Uni-Select and Bumper-to-Bumper for all your parts. It services fleet vehicles, buys and sells vehicles, and has several financing plans that will get your ride repaired no matter your credit situation.

AutoPlace has been all about care and repair since 1978.

“We’re an old fashioned garage that believes in customer service,” St. Hilaire says. “We provide transportation solutions. If you need it fixed, we can fix it.”

For more information about AutoPlace, visit its website here.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Kuipers Peak at South Ridge will let you live the Okanagan life to its fullest

Kuipers Peak delivers it all

Kuipers Peak at South Ridge puts the “elevated” in elevated living.

The boutique collection of semi-detached homes and upscale townhouses is located in the highly sought-after Upper Mission neighbourhood of Kelowna, and that alone makes the development one of the most coveted places in the city to live.

The homes in the southern area of Kelowna offer stunning, panoramic views of the city, nearby mountains and Okanagan Lake down below, and are tucked into the sides of the mountains that rise out of the Lower Mission. And that means its residents are right next to Kuipers Peak Mountain Park and in close proximity to Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. There is always a hiking path waiting to be explored, with easy access to the existing parks and pathways located throughout the community.

The homes are presented by Okanagan developer Emil Anderson Properties and constructed by Dilworth Homes, which has been building hillside homes in the Okanagan for more than 35 years. Dilworth Homes knows how to make the most of the space that is available, and that is certainly the case in Kuipers Park.

The homes feature walkouts and patios that offer stunning views, which means the outdoor living space is destined to be everyone’s favourite part of living at Kuipers Peak. Essentially, the walkouts and patios create an extended living space that will be a hub of activity for families for much of the year.

In other words, you better make sure you have a good barbecue, because it is going to get used.

There are just seven homes remaining from the first two phases, including two-bedroom-plus-flex, three- and three-bedroom-plus-den homes. They range in size from 1,928 square feet to 2,683 square feet, and prices start at $957,500.

The smart, stylish floor plans result in cozy living rooms and open kitchens, which is often where the homeowners and guests end up at the end of the night to take in the breathtaking lake views.

Kuipers Peak is the ideal location for those looking to downsize and live their lives to the fullest. CedarCreek Estate Winery is just down the road. DunnEnzies Pizza Co., which features an amazing patio, live music in the summer, a yard for the kids to play in and is pet friendly, is not far away, either. The Harvest Golf Club, a premier, 18-hole course, is only a 15-minute drive.

Living in Kuipers Peak at South Ridge gives you immediate access to the best of what the Okanagan has to offer—including the ability to lock and leave if it ever gets too chilly for your liking.

Learn more about Kuipers Peak at South Ridge on its website here.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

West Kelowna's Shorerise development will be a 'community for everyone'

Get lake views at Shorerise

Okanagan developer Emil Anderson Properties, in partnership with the GP2 Properties limited partnership, recently broke ground at Shorerise, a master-planned, mixed-use community that rests on the hillside of West Kelowna’s landmark Goats Peak Mountain and Gellatly areas.

Designed to complement the naturalized landscape and existing trail connections, with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, orchards, vineyards and Okanagan Lake below, Shorerise promises to be a destination for outdoor and lifestyle enthusiasts alike, where walkability to nearby downtown Westbank and future Shorerise Village combined with an elevated hillside setting come together perfectly.

“Our vision for Shorerise is to work with the existing hillside corridors, trail network and lands affected by previous wildfires,” Emil Anderson Group of companies chair and Shorerise project partner Mike Jacobs. “We were inspired by the view and the terrain, and saw an amazing opportunity to craft a vibrant, master-planned community that all generations will be proud to call ‘home.’”

While the first phase at Shorerise features a series of lakeview home sites ideal for custom-built homes and a collection of semi-detached homes, upcoming phases of the community also incorporate multi-family dwellings inspired by an active Okanagan lifestyle. Longer term, the development group also envisions the development of a walkable, neighbourhood village centre, complete with boutique storefronts, restaurants and provision for a school.

“Shorerise is a community for everyone,” Jacobs says. “With a diverse collection of home styles at a variety of price points, it’s designed to be an inclusive neighbourhood that encourages diversity and multi-generational family connections.”

For lifestyle enthusiasts, Shorerise is well situated off Gellatly Road at the Glenrosa overpass and offers convenient access to Westbank businesses, shopping and schools, with world-class wineries and the wonders of Gellatly Bay, including Willow Beach, Gellatly Off-Leash Dog Beach, West Kelowna Yacht Club and The Cove Resort and Spa only moments away.

For outdoor enthusiasts, a trailhead lookout pergola will soon connect to existing trails within the community and onward to Goats Peak Regional Park and Gellatly Regional Heritage Park, with Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park and Glen Canyon Regional Park within walking distance. From the front door, additional opportunities to hike, bike, golf, snowshoe, downhill and cross-country ski are all within a short drive.

In preparation for the Shorerise launch in fall 2023, site work and servicing are already underway in the first phase of the community with civil construction partner Emil Anderson Construction. Additional information about progress within the community, upcoming launch events and sales opportunities at Shorerise are available by registering on its website at Shorerise.ca.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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