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Drag queens take on Okanagan real estate market for first time buyers

Dora Knob will be joined by Doris Belle for the Drag Queen Real Estate workshop for first time home buyers.
Dora Knob will be joined by Doris Belle for the Drag Queen Real Estate workshop for first time home buyers.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Benoit Realty

For many people buying their first home, getting into the market can be scary as well as expensive these days, especially in Kelowna with its sky high prices.

Royal Lepage realtor Benoit Vaudry hopes to take the edge off that fear by hosting Drag Queen Real Estate – First Time Home Buyer Workshop, on April 13.

“It’s just to remove a lot of the the stress that’s associated with it and to laugh,” Vaudry, who will be performing as Dora Knob, told “I find, in my personal brand, I connect with people a lot better when I’m more real. Obviously, being in drag is not real – but it’s amusing. It’s trending. You see drag queens everywhere. There’s a lot of big companies that are using drag as a medium.”

He finds some people are hesitant about approaching professionals for advice because they’re often dressed in suits, so they may be comfortable in a more relaxed setting. He knows that the event will only appeal to a niche audience.

READ MORE: Could a tax on million dollar homes help fight B.C.'s housing affordability crunch?

But it’s more than just putting on a drag show. People can see those most nights at the Friends of Dorothy lounge in Kelowna or at events in Penticton or Vernon.

This event will have a very serious, educational aspect as well. It will even include a video showing what Doris Knob looks like in real life, complete with beard.

This is Dora Knob in her day job as Benoit Vaudry.
This is Dora Knob in her day job as Benoit Vaudry.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Benoit Realty

It will cover topics such as where to start as a prospective buyer, properties to avoid, the offer process, negotiation, inspection, subject removal, mortgages and financing.

“Being extremely aware of what’s happening in the current market right now, is a huge plus - to have your finger on the pulse in order to avoid mistakes” Vaudry said in a much more serious voice than when speaking through his Dora persona. “Shopping under your budget is probably the best advice right now. We know the market is crazy. If your budget is $500,000, start at four and maybe you’ll get in.”

While there seems to be an increasing number of new listings being posted, there are still bidding wars and people still rush into buying without doing the basics like home inspections.

“It’s very risky,” Vaudry said. “That’s something I never ever would encourage any first time homebuyer especially. That’s how you get into the market and pretty much all of your money is going to go in there.”

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He, or she as Dora, will be joined by Grace Pontes of Verico Compass Mortgage who is taking on the stage name Dora Belle.

“Having to wade through what a mortgage is, the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification, and whether to choose a fixed or variable rate can stop people in their tracks” Pontes said in a news release. “I’m hoping this event will create some clarity and direction for home buyers.”

The evening will be a blend of those kinds of heavy topics and laughter.

“It’s serious matters delivered in a humorous way,” Vaudry said. “I think people are smart enough to tell the difference between what I’m saying here is crazy and what I’m saying here is valuable. Most of it will be serious, delivered as a joke.”

Tickets are free but limited so apply online here. Sometime to take note of, there is a language warning.

It’s scheduled to run from 7 to 9 p.m. at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery in downtown Kelowna and includes one free drink, snacks and door prizes.

It will be live streamed on the Benoit Realty Facebook page, here.

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