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.
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
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...
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.
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...
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!
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:
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.
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:
- 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...
Current Fort McMurray Mortgage Rate Environment:
The 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?...
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
A home is one of the most important purchases you will ever make, so the need to make sure that you are getting the best value for your hard-earned money. It is vital for you to be certain that everything in your target home is checked and evaluated before you buy a home.
Enter the value of home inspection. A home inspection is an inexpensive way to become aware of the overall condition of a home. It is important to make sure that you are not making a costly mistake of buying a home that is in need of major repairs or replacements. In line with this, you also need to know the key questions that you need to ask during the home inspection process - and I'm here to sum them up for you.
The inspector should be able to tell you if the home is in a condition that's ready for move-in, or if you still need to do some work on it.
If the inspector tries to get work fixing the problems, you may want a second opinion. The inspector should be able to...
How do you stage a home? First, we must learn what home staging is. Home staging is when your home is prepared to be sold in the real estate market. The goal is to make your home appealing to the highest possible number of potential buyers. In turn, you will be able to sell your home fast and for more money.
Here are some of the easiest and most effective ways for you to get started in staging your home.
Nothing else says, "Welcome Home" more than an inviting porch! An updated, easy-to-read house number will make sure that your house is easy to locate. It also immediately gives an impression of a well-maintained home.
If you have a tiny stoop, a clean and cheery welcome mat will do the trick. Add a potted plant in bloom, and you're golden! For porches with more room, a few pieces of furniture will also make a huge difference. A nice rocking chair, a small coffee table and some chairs, or you can also add an outdoor sofa.
Many people thinking about touring your home will often do a drive-by first to see if your home is even worth their time. Make sure that your home is sure onlooker-magnet with these tips:
1. Power wash sidings and walkways.
2. Give your front windows a good wash.
End the season on a high note with these simple but super fun summer activities for the whole family!
- Go on a picnic (or host one!). Pack a picnic basket with your favorite sandwiches or salads, and go out. Eat with your family some place other than a dining table. You can also host a picnic-style luncheon with friends or your relatives. Be it in a park or your backyard. One thing for sure is this is a refreshing twist to your usual get together.
- Go camping. Plan a simple camping trip. Bust out your tents, sleeping bags, board games, and get together with your friends or the whole family for some quality time out in the woods. A low-key option for kids is taking them on a “camping trip” to your backyard - BUT with all the bells and whistles, so they’d still get to experience all the fun activities associated with spending some quality time with their friends outdoors.
- Go swimming one more time. Enjoy a fun day at the pool, Gregoire Lake, or a splash park one last time before summer ends; or don’t miss out on your chance to go swimming this summer if you haven’t had the chance to do it yet. Take lots of photos - make memories with your family, and don’t forget to hydrate and wear sunscreen!
- Frozen Treats! Spend a day with your family and friends and enjoy healthy home-made frozen treats, like fruit popsicles made with berries and coconut water,...
There are a lot of home improvement ideas available for your home. Here are a couple of easy ones, so read on!
Jazz up your house numbers. It’s one of the first things people see when they come to your house anyway. Here are some great ideas for you!
Give your windows a makeover. Update your curtains, curtain rods, and holdbacks/tiebacks. Matching them with the room’s overall color palette or theme makes it even better!
Restyle your bookcase. Decorated bookcases are a delight! Use like-colored items for your decor, and add pops of metallic finishes to create a cohesive flow without sacrificing style.
Add some greenery. An indoor plant in the living room, fresh herbs in the corner of your kitchen, or an assortment of low-maintenance succulents will give more life to your home.
Give your cabinets an Anthropologie feel. Class them up with painted knobs and pulls. They...
So, hows the Real Estate Market in Fort McMurray?
People ask me all the time about the "real estate market". It is funny that with right at a decade in the real estate business in Fort McMurray, my response over the years has always pretty much been the same.
"That depends, what are you looking to do?" -Jennifer
Real Estate, Homes and Condos are Individual
So are you and your family.
There really is not a "real estate market" in Fort McMurray. If you are looking for a condo near downtown, your market will be entirely different than someone looking to sell a home near Gregoire Lake. While the are general factors that determine economic conditions, what that means to each buyer and seller are radically different.
The Fort McMurray Fire affected real estate and property values in different areas different ways. Some areas were burned out. Some areas suffered little damage. The oil economy tends to affect more in a general way, but with two hours of driving in between different projects, even that varies widely when you get down to specifics.
Sure, you can search my website for homes in Fort McMurray, or Anzac or Saprae Creek or any of the other areas. But there is a pretty good chance that I should listen to your needs and answer your questions first.
My goal is to understand what your needs are and to help you get there
What is important is that I answer your question about the real estate market ACCURATELY. And that means that I need to take the time to understand...
Spring has sprung in Fort McMurray! Here are some tips for exterior maintenanance on your home.
Keep the blades of your lawn mower properly sharpened. A clean cut ensures that your grass will recover more quickly rather than when the grass is torn from dull mower blades.
It’s also advisable to leave the grass clippings on your lawn after mowing. It will serve as a natural fertilizer to help the grass grow healthier. Under wet spring conditions, however, you will want to remove thick grass clippings, or it will end up smothering your grass.
Before considering the use of fertilizers, remember that aeration is still the best way to promote grass growth - or any plants for that matter. It allows more air to reach the roots of your lawn and promotes new growth. While an aeration machine will do the job quickly, they are heavy and bulky. And what if you don’t have one, or there’s none around for you to borrow or rent? Any machine evolved from an old school concept, so there’s no shame in using items that will end up with the same holes. Pickaxes, garden forks, and spiked boots will do the job anyway, so a DIY wouldn’t hurt. Read up on how to aerate your lawn here.
Compost and other organic fertilizer like ground up egg shells are still the best ones to use for plant growth. These can be applied at any time of the season in a thin layer, and raked over your existing lawn.
For busy households...
Selling in Fort McMurray- Questions to Ask When Interviewing an Agent
Now more than ever, due to economic down turn and our current market conditions, it is imperative to hire a REALTOR® that offers you real, sound advice.
Here are a few questions I would ask when hiring an agent in Fort McMurray:
1. Experience- What is your experience with selling real estate in Fort McMurray? When looking for an agent you want to find someone who has the necessary skills to provide you with a ‘Sold’ sticker for your ‘For Sale’ sign. You will want to consider how many homes they have sold and how long they have been in real estate as this is good information to know- you do not want your home to be your agent’s first listing.
2. Full-Time vs. Part-Time- Are you a full time REALTOR®? Be aware of those part-timers who will list your home but then can’t deliver because they have “another” job.
3. Who- Who am I hiring? Sometimes agents take listings then shuffle off the listing to another agent and you end up feeling unimportant. Don’t you deserve to be number one? I think so! Make sure the agent signing your paperwork is the one who will actually be doing the work to sell your home or at least know who else you’ll be communicating with up front.
4. Marketing- How will you market the sale of my home? When selling a home in Fort McMurray it is now more important than ever to hire an agent who will give your home full exposure from all the social media platforms, to creating a compelling story about your home, to impactful photography and everything in...
Buying In Fort McMurray- Questions To Ask When Interviewing An Agent
When you look at Real Estate in Fort McMurray there is only one way to put it- ever changing. Our region is so very different to any other in Canada; people move here from all over the world for opportunity with most ending up loving our amazing community and taking the leap into home ownership. When the time comes to purchase your new home, which is more than likely the biggest purchase you will make, you deserve the best guidance. I’ve been active in Real Estate for over 8 years and I’ve seen how the market fluctuates. In my opinion, it is critical to have someone on your side to help you make your largest investment your smartest investment.
Here are a few questions I would ask when hiring an Agent in Fort McMurray:
1. Experience- What is your experience with Real Estate in Fort McMurray? You want to find someone who understands the market. When you look at Fort McMurray entry-level housing, I often hear people saying “I could get a house on a hill where I’m from.” However, the average cost of a house is not to be taken lightly so when you make the decision to take that leap- whether it be from renting, relocating, or moving up in the market, you really want your investment to be the right one.
It is imperative your Agent has in-depth knowledge and can anticipate and address issues before they arise. Questions like: What is a PWF? Copper wiring vs. aluminum wiring? How will we know a home has asbestos? A well versed Agent will sit down and really take the time to go over everything from a-z and address...
It is 2017 and I would like to touch base in regards to Real Estate in Fort Mcmurray. As we all know 2016 was a year of horrible loss for our community but with this loss I have seen tremendous compassion, empathy and love. I know that our community is coming together, rising above and pushing forward. Over the next few years to come as we rebuild, I want to offer my assistance to anyone who is left picking up the pieces and starting over. If you ever need help with finding out old MLS information for your property, tips on what questions to ask when you are interviewing builders/contractors, interior design suggestions, insurance struggles or just if you need someone to listen; I will be here for you.
What is going to happen to the Real Estate Market you ask? Well, during these tough economic times there is still movement. People are still Buying and Selling. Yes the average days on market are higher then we would like but with properly pricing your home and effective marketing you will still get sold stickers put on your for sale sign. I think that 2017 is going to be a year where things will slowly rev up and though I do not have the crystal ball I do believe it will be a great year for all!
I hope we all move into 2017 with positive can do attitudes, set big goals, work hard... really hard, and hold ourselves accountable as 2017 has no room for excuses!!! In closing, one of my favorite quote for successes is "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
Real Advice, Real Results