Fort McMurray Real Estate Blog

How to Avoid Foreclosure?

Not a lot of homebuyers expect to go into foreclosure, but due to the recent economic downturn, it is a consideration or situation a lot of people in Fort McMurray are in. Just know that you are not alone. Hopefully you’re reading this before actually ending up in foreclosure. But even if you’re already in foreclosure, as long as you’re still in the house there may be a way for you to continue to stay in it, long-term.

First things first: What is foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the legal means in which your lender is enabled to repossess or take back your house in order to get their mortgage money back and settle any outstanding fees. Apart from wilful mortgage fraud, where someone has no intention of making payments, most homeowners face foreclosure due to a sudden event that leads to them being unable to make their mortgage payments on time. The most common reasons include:

  • Sudden unemployment

  • Loss of second income

  • Excessive debt obligations

  • Illness or injury

  • Death in the family

  • Divorce or family problems

  • Inability to pay adjusted/higher mortgage interest rate

  • Unexpected major home maintenance expense

How can you avoid foreclosure?

Being proactive is the best way to avoid foreclosure. Lenders do not want to foreclose but they will file a Notice of Default to protect themselves if it comes to that. While it might be hard to admit that you are starting to run into financial issues, if you know you are unlikely to meet your mortgage obligation, the first thing you should do is call your lender. Keep an open line of communication. Ignoring their...

Fort McMurray New Homes - Design and Color choices

new home

Whether it’s new construction homes or remodelled homes, there’s no question that choosing the right paint colors and overall feel of the home’s interior plays a big part on your home faring well with potential buyers. Here are some design and color choices that you can take inspiration from to improve the overall aesthetic of your home.

Exterior Paint

Desert Beige

desert beige house paint

Beige gives off a classic look with a strong neutral tone. This particular tone of beige can transform your home’s exterior into something sharp and exciting. When working with this trending exterior house color, the most impactful applications are those that feature bold, contrasting colors used as visual outlining. Some ways to frame this rich beige color is to frame the siding with crisp white soffit, gutters and corner strips. The roof is another great area that can be used to offset beige siding.

Soft Lemon

soft lemon house paint swatch...

Relocation Tips

Whether you’ve landed a new job in a new city or you’re simply ready for a change, relocating is surely an exciting adventure. You just have to get there first - and we’re here to help. Here are some helpful tips for successfully relocating without losing all your marbles.

moving boxes stacked

RESEARCH

Before you move, research as much as possible about your new city. From restaurant suggestions and local businesses to recreational activities and social clubs, you’ll find a wealth of information about your new home on the internet. I also suggest visiting the area and exploring the city for yourself. Speak to locals, ask questions, look at maps, and drive around neighborhoods to get a real feel for the area.

FIND A NEW HOME

At least a few months before you move, contact a local real estate agent in your new state to help you find a home. Regardless of whether you’re renting or buying, you’ll need someone who’s an expert in the area’s housing market to show you around. Realtors possess a deep knowledge of the market and can narrow down your search, so that you spend less time looking at houses and more time preparing for your move.

HIRE A REPUTABLE MOVING COMPANY

With so many moving companies available, hiring the right one can be tricky. Ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations to see if they’ve had...

How to find Foreclosure Homes in Fort McMurray

There is an increased number of homes that are under the foreclosed category around Fort McMurray. While some people shy away from checking out these types of properties, you might want to think twice and consider adding them to your list of “to-view” properties. Looking for foreclosure homes, bank owned properties, estate sales and court ordered sales is a great way to own a property. Whether you’re acquiring it as a real estate investment, flip it to be your or someone else’s dream home, or maybe you’re looking to purchase one for your personal home.

When a property becomes foreclosed or bank owned, this means that they are ones where the owner unfortunately failed to have the mortgage paid up, and in turn, the lender will repossess the property. The way to acquire these types of homes is through a judicial sale, under the supervision of the court, or by a power of sale authorizing the holder of the property to sell the home without any court supervision.

If you’re considering to buy a foreclosed property in order to save money, you need to make sure that you really do your research before making an offer. This is where my expertise come in. I will help you save valuable time that would be rather wasted in endless property searches looking for potential bargains. We offer excellent client service to exclusively send you foreclosure listings to your specifications. We will guide you...

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

woman mopping

Finally! Spring is here! Now that we are blessed with warmer days ahead. It’s time to tackle spring cleaning. While it’s a daunting task for some people, let’s look at it as a great opportunity to rid our home of unwanted clutter and regaining our shiny happy homes to pave the way for enjoyable sunny days ahead. Here are some tips to make spring cleaning effective and rewarding.

Make a list

checklist

Spring cleaning can seem overwhelming at first. There is so much to do, where do you even start? One of the easiest ways to begin is by making a checklist. Walk through your home and have a look at everything that needs cleaning and organizing and add it to the list. That way, you won’t forget anything.

Channel your inner Marie Kondo

decluttering

Declutter. Decide on which items in your home are to be donated or thrown away. Let go of clothes, shoes, kitchen items, books and other items that no longer “spark joy” to make cleaning your home easier. An added perk is that you will actually find it a lot easier to maintain the cleanliness of your home when it’s not cluttered with stuff that you don’t need.

Clean EVERYTHING

...

Finding love in Fort McMurray: The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Date

With most people moving into the new year with the mentality of frugality, I am offering you some cost-efficient and awesome ways to treat your honey and spend less money! Here are some cost-saving date ideas in YMM for that last-minute valentine date.

Breakfast in Bed

 

breakfast in bed

Treat your king or queen to a hot cooked meal and start the morning right with some laughs. If work starts at too early of a time, sneak a love note or some heart cookies in their lunch. They will surely enjoy the gesture!

Steal a scene from “Serendipity

 

hot cocoa red heart mug

Go skating at Mac Island or an outdoor rink with a cup of hot cocoa. Sometimes being able to enjoy some exercise while holding hands and a few laughs is a date well spent.

Furry Friends

 

dog with rose

...

Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

There’s barely a week left to go before Christmas! Do you still have people on your list that you need to shop presents for? Here are some of the best last-minute Christmas gift suggestions that we have for you.

Christmas Gifts for Him

 

For the Hockey Fan

NHL gift certificate

Easy, no-fuss with gift wrappers and this is surely something that will be put to good use! Price starts at $10. Get it at shop.nhl.com.

For the Outdoorsman

 

survival kit

A 16-piece survival kit that  conveniently fits in a tin can.  Get it here.

For the Homebody

holiday pajamas...

The Best Real Estate Agent in Fort McMurray

THE BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT IN FORT MCMURRAY?

Sometimes you hear people call themselves "the best" this or "the best" that. When it comes to who is "the best" Realtor in Fort McMurray, I am not as worried about whether I am "the best" Realtor. Here's why:

The best is totally subjective. Some real estate agents may claim to be the best because they sell the most. Or maybe they  think they are the " best real estate agent " because they won an award. Or maybe they made the most money. The truth is that just because a real estate agent may have some reason to claim they are #1, truly does not mean that they will be the BEST for you. 

What's My Focus?

So my focus is not about being the best. It is about being the best choice for YOU. Each day I strive to do the best job I can for my clients. My goal is to be professional, efficient, thorugh and put THEIR needs first. It is how I have beena  successful real estate agent in Fort McMurray for a decade and have scores of happy clients and friends for life. 

It's all about being the best choice for them more than it ever is about being "the BEST". Whatever your needs, if you are looking for homes to buy in FortMcMurray, or looking to sell your home, or if you are relocating to Fort McMurray, my team and I are happy to assist you!

But I DO have the BEST Clients! :-) 

While we are talking about the BEST... one of my...

Winter Wonderland! December Events Around Alberta

Christmas really is in the air! Come up to Alberta and have a holiday experience like no other!

Community Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long

caroling angels

Enjoy all the holiday cheer brought by Christmas carols at the Community Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long hosted by the First United Church. Event details here.

DATE(S): December 3, 2018

LOCATION: First United Church, Main Street & Gordon Avenue, Fort McMurray


Candy Cane Lane

candy cane lane

Check out the all-out decorations of residential homes in Edmonton from December 7 to 31 and give back by donating to the Edmonton Food Bank. Event details here.

DATE(S): December 7-31, 2018

LOCATION: 9915 148 Street, Edmonton



Heritage Village Holiday Celebration

heritage village holiday celebration

Enjoy all sort of fun...

Welcome Fall - Events All Around Alberta

When leaves have turned and the cold weather sets in, you might think about what activities you can do around Alberta. Here are some of the events that you can enjoy to bask in all the fall vibes this season brings!

Fall TRADE SHOW AND MARKET

fall trade show and event 2018

September 21-23 paves the way for the largest general consumer trade show in Fort McMurray with over 300 exhibits and over 12,000 consumers. Head to MacDonald Island Park and discover new products, innovative sellers and so much more! Event details and ticket information here.

SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY TASTING

scotch malt whisky society tasting

Whisky fan? On September 21, drop by the Shell Place Diamond Ballroom for an evening of whisky sampling with Kelly and Rob Carpenter, the founders of the Canadian branch of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Tickets and event details ...

Fall Home Improvement and Home Maintenance Projects

fall pathway

As the weather gets cooler, you might want to catch up on some home improvement and home maintenance projects before winter sets in. Here are some projects that you need to put on your list and tackle sooner rather than later.

Make any necessary roof repairs and replacements

house roof

If there are any leaks or gaps on your roof, snow and ice will find its way in, so start replacing any missing or loose shingles before the first snowfall. Should you have the needs to replace your roof, consider roofing that is durable and can withstand snow and heavy wind, such as asphalt shingles.

Repair cracks in your driveway and walkways

house driveway

Fill in any small cracks in your driveway and walkways before winter arrives. Small cracks can quickly become large cracks if not properly filled in.

Clean and seal your deck

...

How to prevent floods and water issues in your basement

Unpredictable bouts of heavy rain from time to time can be alarming especially if your home is not prepared for the damages that it might do. This is especially true if your home has a basement. Be prepared and prevent your home from any possible water damage with these tips.

Maintain grade

yard leveling

Homeowners should take poorly graded yards seriously since water traveling toward the home can cause serious problems and damage foundations and basements. Poor leveling also poses issues with landscaping, gardens and trees. Make sure that your yard is properly leveled especially if your yard have lumps and bumps from tree and bush removal, sewer installation, tree-root growth and create swales if need be away from your home. Here’s a link on how to grade your yard properly.

Clear out window wells

window well

Make sure that your window wells are free from debris. It’s also important to check for proper drainage and to get window well covers if you don’t have them yet. This will make sure that your basement is protected from possible flooding.

Check sump pump

Sump pumps guard your home against flood or accumulating ground water. That’s why it’s very important that they’re inspected periodically to ensure that it’s in good working...

Get Organized! Free up some space in your home by sorting out all that clutter.

modern kitchen

The key to a successful decluttering project is knowing what to actually do with the items that you deem to be cluttering your home. Decluttering doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to throw  all the stuff away. There are things that you can sell or donate, and others that just really needs to be organized or stored someplace else. Let us help you out with categorizing common items that you encounter in a decluttering project. Get a list of which ones should be thrown out, donated or sold, and which ones should be put away for storage.

TRASH

stack of newspapers

Expired pantry items

Check your fridge or cupboards for expired items. Condiments, spices, snack items, superfood powders that you swore you will try, grains and cereal, pet treats, and other similar items. The real goal here is to be more conscious about the expiration dates of what you buy. Make sure that you don’t let them go bad in your fridge or cupboards and to only buy what you need.

Old makeup or skincare items

Get rid of old lipstick tubes and bottles of foundation that you swore you’ll get the last bit out of 6 months ago. This goes the same for makeup and skincare samples that you set aside to try them out but never did. Now the line is discontinued, but you still have the samples. Wet makeup products, such as foundation, lipstick and primers usually go bad after a year, whereas...

Summer Real Estate Market Update

Jennifer Fahey Real Estate - Fort McMurray Homes 4 Sale

Summer is here!

As the warmer months come in, it gets easier to check out homes that are for sale. This ease makes me more eager to step up my game as a trusted Realtor. I want to make sure that I’m providing my clients - valued clients like you - the best professional service possible. Not just when I help you buy or sell a home, but also with the service that I provide in between those transactions.

You see, my business is built on repeat business and more importantly, referrals from satisfied clients. That’s one of the many reasons why I work hard to be of service to you month after month and year after year.

As a valued client, your opinions matter a lot to me. This is why I would like to ask you a big favor. It would mean a lot to me if you contact me and let me know of any steps that I can take to make sure that you enjoy your home to the fullest. Whether it be answering your questions about real estate, giving you a visit to give you an idea of what your home is currently worth in today’s market, or maybe recommending a trusted professional to help you out with your latest project.

Feel free to let me know of any way that I can help. Clients like you are the most important and the most rewarding part of my job, and I want nothing more than to make sure that you are treated that way.


All the best!

Jennifer Fahey

Fort McMurray Homes 4 Sale - Fort McMurray real estate market statistics May 2018...

New Year Real Estate Market Update

Hi Friends and Clients!
snow-covered-treesHappy New Year!  Now that January is well on its way, let’s hope that the -40 goes with it.  I finished top individual sales associate within my brokerage in 2017, and would like to thank you all for your support and loyalty over the years.  I plan on moving into 2018 with a work-hard-attitude and ensure that I continue to provide the best possible service to all of my valued clients.

To give a quick recap, the market’s year-to-date average sale price for 2017 compared to 2016 are as follows:

  • Single family homes are down -8.37% finishing at $602,654
  • Duplex homes are down -6.17% finishing at $$439,762
  • Townhomes are down -15.92% finishing at $301,957
  • Apartment Condominiums are down -13.01 finishing at $212,639
  • Mobile homes with land are down -12.60% finishing at $303,222

Last year was another year of significant decline in the market.  However, moving into 2018, our inventory is down compared to last year in most housing categories, and sales seem to be on the rise.  The last two offers I wrote ended up in multiple offers, which is a good sign that things will be turning around.  The price of oil is also an even better sign with us sitting around $70 a barrel - meaning more jobs and opportunities for our oil and gas sector in the region.  This year, in my opinion is a year where we will see things start to stabilize, and in some of the markets I am projecting a 3-5% recovery.  We will have...

How much are Home Prices Appreciating across Canada?

Home Price Appreciation / Depreciation across Canada

That is a great question. For parts of Canada where there are major cities and metropolitan areas, the monthly home price appreciation is not only calculated, it is available online here. (Hat tip to my REALTOR friends in Kelowna for the link to that page.) 

Using that online Appreciation map gives us a general idea in the biggest cities in a province how home prices are doing month to month and year to year...and that is good...BUT that does not show us the following:

  • How homes are doing in Fort McMurray?
  • How is YOUR home doing?
  • How much equity do you have in your home?

The good news is that WE can help you with that! Let us provide you with those answers. We are happy to give you at no cost or obligation. Getting started is easy. Simply fill out the information below:

...

What are the Top Reasons Why FSBO Houses Fail in Real Estate?

Why do FSBO listings fail in real estate?

Thinking about going the FSBO route?  You don't have to do it alone.  A highly-skilled and qualified Realtor is here to help you out!  Before you consider selling your house on your own, take the time to read the following reasons why For Sale by Owner listings tend to fail in the real estate market.

Prep Work

Preparing a home for sale properly plays a big role in the success of selling a home.  One of the most common reasons why people who attempt to sell their home without the help of an experienced agent is because they have little to no idea about how to properly and effectively prepare their home before it gets listed for sale.

Some of the most important pre-listing tasks that FSBOs should do before listing their home for sale include:

  • Decluttering
  • Freshly painted rooms
  • Professionally clean carpets and/or floors
  • Complete any neglected repairs
  • Replace outdated light fixtures
  • Make sure your home has good curb appeal

Screening Potential Buyers

An experienced real estate agent talks to buyers and sellers everyday of the week for a living.  This means that they have a certain mastery of how to do this, and they definitely have a keen sense when it comes to screening potential buyers.  A perfected craft is always the best option rather than taking a stab at doing it yourself.  This is another factor that plays a big part on why FSBO sales tend to fail.  The homeowner doesn’t have the same expertise in screening potential buyers like an experienced agent has.  They are unable to quickly identify unqualified buyers, because they do not know how to ensure whether or not a buyer is pre-approved,...

Fort McMurray Mortgage Rates: Where do they go in 2018?

Current Fort McMurray Mortgage Rate Environment:

Fort McMurray 2018 Mortgage RatesThe Bank of Canada announced last month that it would be remaining at current interest rates (for now), but those on adjustable mortgage rates and buyers looking for financing are wondering what’s next. Should they lock in? Which is a better option, variable or fixed? If rates climb, how high will they go? How much extra monthly budget should you allocate for mortgage payment interest increases?

The correct answer is - It depends.


The last two times before the latest meeting when the Bank of Canada met, they raised rates. This time they held the line with the overnight rate at 1.00%, due to their concerns about the increasing strength of the dollar along with the ongoing NAFTA renegotiation.
Variable rate holders after the previous two changes had already seen increases in their interest costs since those mortgages are based on prime rate, which is influenced directly by the overnight target rate.


“Competitive variable rates have risen a smidge over 30 bps since the BoC started tightening this summer,” noted Robert McLister, who dissects mortgage rates at RateSpy.com. “That’s less than two rate hikes. The reason it’s less than two hikes is because discounts from prime have noticeably improved.”

McLister's assessment is that for an average borrower, each 1/4-point rate increase is equal to approximately $1,100 in additional interest cost over five years per $100,000 borrowed.

So if you look at your loan balance, and make a guess at the rate adjustment, you can approximate the additional cost. But the big key is this:

Where Do Mortgage Rates in Fort McMurray Go From Here?

While most...

How do you sell a house on your own? For Sale By Owner Tips

how-do-you-sell-a-house-on-your-own

Selling your house?  You may be thinking about going down the “For Sale By Owner” route.  Here are a couple of things that you need to know before you decide on selling your house on your own.

how-do-you-sell-a-house-on-your-own-negotiation

There are a number of parties involved in a real estate transaction.  People with whom you would otherwise not have to deal with if you were to hire an agent to help you sell your home.  Realtors act as a buffer in negotiations with all parties throughout the entire transaction.  Should you decide on selling your house on your own, here is a list of people that you will have to negotiate with:

  • The Buyer
  • The Buyer’s Agent
  • The Buyer’s Bank
  • The Home Inspection Company
  • The Appraiser
  • The Title Company

how-do-buyers-search-for-listings

With the continuous growth of social media, internet usage, as well as everyone already being equipped with a smartphone, you’ll have to know how to keep up with the ongoing trends to have your house seen by potential buyers.

Nowadays, having an ad on the paper just won’t cut it.  With all the technological advancements available, the most popular way wherein buyers search for real estate listings in by doing an online search.  These buyers don’t just utilize search...

How to sell you house fast: Top tips on getting your home on top of every buyer's list!

how-to-sell-your-house-fast

Home sellers always aim for one thing - selling their home as fast as possible.  In neighbourhoods with lots of homes for sale, sellers must be willing to take their efforts up a notch in order to beat the competition and make sure that their home is on top of every buyer's list.  Here are some of the easiest and inexpensive tips on how to achieve your goal in selling your home in no time.

how-to-sell-your-house-fast-top-tips-declutter

De-cluttering your home gives way for space to be showcased in your home.  It gives the buyer an idea of the areas in your home that they can utilize for the items that they'll be bringing in once they move in.

De-cluttering is also a way to eliminate the potential of buyers seeing your home as messy or unorganized which might otherwise cause them to steer clear of putting your home at the top of their list.

  • Clear your kitchen counters, night stands, coffee tables, etc.
  • Organize closets, shelves and other storage spaces.
  • Consider renting a storage unit for the sale period.

how-to-sell-your-house-fast-top-tips-donate-sell-throw-away-unused-items...