Buying

Why fall might be the best time to buy a house

House hunting during fall months might sound crazy to most people. Colder months often mean opting to stay at home, reading a good book, or doing whatever fall activities that you can enjoy at home - really anything at all as long as it means that you get to stay warm and toasty indoors. But this season could actually play to your advantage and here are some of the reasons why.

Motivated Sellers

By fall, sellers who were “testing the waters” with listing their home in spring are either eliminated or are now serious sellers. These motivated sellers often want to get their house sold before the end of the year so they can complete their own move before the holidays. The longer a house has been on the market, the more likely a seller is willing to negotiate on everything from price, to closing costs, to move-in dates.

Fewer Buyers

New inventory is appearing on the market, around this time of the year and there are fewer potential buyers after summer. And more often than not, sellers who put their house up for listing during the fall season need to move for a job and are eager to make a deal.

Easier Assessment

Colder months also bring about a more gloomy appearance to the surrounding area of homes. This will work to your advantage because it will give you a better idea of how the home’s interior looks like in low light. Another advantage-point is being able to see any flaws around a home’s exterior when there are no leafy trees and shrubs around that would otherwise hide anything that might need repairs.

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How to Build an Emergency Fund: Tips and tricks to get you started

One of the most important things that you need to have when planning to buy a home is an emergency fund. What is an emergency fund? It's money that you have set aside to use for unexpected events and circumstances that life throws at you so you won't take a big hit for it and you can still maintain your normal lifestyle. Here are some tips on how you can get started on building your emergency fund.

Don't Get Overwhelmed: Start low on your initial target amount

Setting too high of a goal can easily make you disheartened to continue saving up. Start on a more reasonable amount of just $500 or $1000. That’s a goal that you can reach in just a few months (or even less if you’re in a good income situation) and yet it’s an amount that can make a huge difference when you have an emergency. Having you get to that initial goal will make you feel like you can continue saving up and feel even better about the idea of setting money aside.

What you'd want to do next is to break that goal down into smaller pieces. Set aside money on a weekly basis. This is money that you are not likely to miss, or money that you have extra from cutting back on splurges like lattes and other unnecessary purchases. You'll find yourself with an emergency fund with a bigger amount without you even noticing it. Say you save $25 a week, you will then have a $250 emergency fund in just ten weeks, so you can set that as your overall goal, or increase it to $40 a week, which would bring you to the $500 goal in three months.

Bottomline is, your goal amount should challenge you just a bit, but should not be a number that’s simply unreachable.

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Start saving money by making these small changes!

Saving money for your down payment seems like a very challenging step. This is especially true if you’re not keen on saving money or planning your finances at all. But sometimes, all it takes to get started is making small changes to get things moving in your favor financially. Learn self-control, make wise decisions and start saving money today to reach your goal of owning your dream home the soonest! Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Don't give in to the power of marketing

One big way to save money is to drastically cut down on the amount of television and YouTube videos that you watch. You'll notice that when you constantly expose yourself to ads and sponsored content, you're in high risk of eventually giving in to the temptation of making more unwanted and unnecessary purchases. That's the power of marketing. Less exposure to these will result in a lower electric bill (and perhaps a lower cable or internet bill if you downgrade your subscription), a huge cut-back on unnecessary purchases, and more time to focus on other things in life — such as a side business — and so on.

2. DIY Gifts

If you want to save money while also giving generously, creating your own homemade gifts is one way to accomplish both goals. It's the thought that counts anyway. Make mason jar sewing kits for your girlfriends, knit or crochet cute hats for  their babies, mix up a mean barbecue rub for your guy friends, the list goes on!

3. Wait 30 Days

Avoiding instant gratification is one of the biggest game changers in saving money and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule. You'll find that after a month or maybe within a month, the urge to buy something have already passed. This is especially true for bigger but still...

Foreclosure Homes in Fort McMurray

When purchasing a foreclosure in Fort McMurray there are a lot of key things that you need to know. Due to the economic downturn happening in Fort McMurray, there have been a substantial amount of bank foreclosures coming on the market. But just because these properties are on the menu, it doesn’t mean that they go through the same home purchasing process that other properties do. That’s why it’s important to be well-informed about what you need to know about buying a foreclosure home.

There are different types and categories of foreclosures that you need to know about. Bank Foreclosure (through the bank), Insurer Foreclosure (through CMHC or Genworth), Court-Ordered Sale, and Estate Sale. These four categories are typically the more frequent types of foreclosure sales we see happening in our market.

When purchasing these types of properties, a lot of times, buyers feel that they can get a better deal. Sometimes this can be true but typically, the properties are appraised by one to three appraisers and listed for fair market value. The banks typically have a guideline that they follow when it comes to how much money they’re willing to negotiate or reduce each month.

There are risks associated with buying foreclosures. The first one being, the property is sold ‘As is, where is.’. This is where you do not get to know any past history of the property, nor are there any warranties or guarantees associated with the purchase of the property. It is critical to have a Realtor, such as myself help you through...

Search for Homes close to work in Fort McMurray

Learning about the neighborhood where you’re planning to move to is an important part of relocating. What kind of community should you expect? What sort of recreational activities can you enjoy with your family around your new location? Which schools are in that area and so on. Checking out homes around Fort McMurray? That’s where our neighborhood search comes in handy! Here’s a sneak peek of our lovely neighborhoods.

Dickinsfield

Dickinsfield set a real estate theme as the first community to have executive style homes. It’s now popular for it’s smaller size and community feel, as well as its easy trail access and close proximity to the two Elementary Schools. Dickinsfield is a superb choice with great access uptown or downtown.

Schools:

Thickwood

The second oil sand project was started in the  mid-70s and Thickwood was established to accommodate the increasing population. As time went on, Thickwood became a mature neighborhood with large lots and trees. It’s also known for its Birchwood trail access, parks, schools and amenities, not to mention the quick access to anywhere in town.

Schools:

Fort McMurray Relocation Guide

Fort McMurray is located in the province of Alberta, northeast of Edmonton on Highway 63. It is situated 60 kilometres (37 miles) west of the Saskatchewan border. It is part of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, located in Northern Alberta. Fort McMurray services the nearby oil sands industry, and has expanded rapidly in recent years due to increased development of the oil sands. Most of the major oil sands projects are north of the town. Suncor and Syncrude are close to Fort McMurray. Other companies, such as Canadian Natural Resources and Shell are approximately one hour north of Fort McMurray in a hamlet called Fort Mackay. All sorts of recreation and entertainment is available, including golf, hiking, camping, biking, watching junior hockey games, and so much more. Another interesting place to visit is The Oil Sands Discovery Centre, where you can learn a lot about how oil is made.

Fort McMurray’s Economy

Fort McMurray is located in the heart of the Athabasca oil sands. Canada has the second-largest proven oil reserves in the world and Fort McMurray’s economy is dominated by the industries that support the extraction and export of oil. But apart from the oil sands, the economy relies on natural gas and oil pipelines, forestry and tourism.

 

How's the weather?

Fort McMurray has a borderline humid continental climate with long, very cold winters and short,...

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 good experiences...

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 all throughout...

Buying? Here Are Questions To Ask When Interviewing Your Agent

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...