Edmonton Real Estate Blog, Market Information & Well-Balanced Advise

When is the best time to put your Edmonton home on the Market?


The Internet has no seasons

cartoon characters Spongebob and Patrick walking over to a computer with the caption "we have technology......"

The worldwide web has changed the way we shop for homes. During the colder months, people can research and view properties with the click of a button, which means there are potential home buyers actively looking at any time, no matter the season.

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Easy Ways to Renovate Your Edmonton Kitchen

Beautiful Edmonton Kitchens

Is it time to renovate your Edmonton Kitchen? Frustrated with the fact that your toaster is not working because your coffee maker is on? This can be the result of a poor electric connection that is plaguing your kitchen. Your gas might not be working with faulty supply and you are down to your last stove top. Your countertops are stained and your cabinets are broken. You have to address all the leaking taps as well. In short you are frustrated with the condition that your kitchen is in. You need a complete renovation of your kitchen (yikes!), and you are not the only one.

If you are a DIY person, you should have your reservations about renovating your kitchen. A complete kitchen reonvation can be disasterous both with the physical appearance and the time associated with completing it. By the time you have purchased all of the materials and finishings, it will cost about the same as have a professional kitchen renovators complete this huge task for you. It is so important to have this room in your home done right for a few reasons including resale value.

However if your kitchen is functional but outdated, there are several things you can do to give it a fresh look without spending the same price as a used vehicle. With a little bit of TLC and confidence, there are plenty of renovation videos on the web which will help you complete small projects like counter-tops, backsplashes, painting, changing hood-fans and built-in dishwashers.

  • TIP 1: If you are brave enough to take on the re-finishing of your current oak cabinetry, ask an expert to recommend stripping and re-finishing products. This will save you ample hours.
  • TIP 2: Your kitchen forms an important part of your Edmonton household. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have arrangements ready as a substitute for not using your kitchen (pizza anyone?).
  • TIP 3: With our new housing codes, remember any new wiring completed on older homes must be grounded and pig-tailed to current codes. Contact an electrician.
  • TIP 4: Watch the cost: We have so many options today when it comes to kitchen upgrades from built-in wine bars, double fridges, kitchen video screens for those favorite recipes, overhead lighting, deep sinks, spray faucets, am[ple choices of granite, marble, laminate and Quartz countertops.

NOTE: If you are a new home buyer and are finding nice homes with "ugly kitchens", your bank may allow you to do a renovation upgrade prior to moving into your new home. Contact us for more details.

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Changing Your Edmonton Address

Plan ahead to make your move as smooth as possible and to avoid forgetting something in the shuffle! 

As soon as possible.... Notify family & friends, companies and institutions that your address will be changing, either by phone or by mailing the change of address cards available at Canada Post. This is also a great time to make the change from mail to online bill payments instead of waiting for the next Canada Post mail strike!

Changing your Edmonton Address - Canada Post

The following checklist will serve as a convenient reminder:

  • Accountant
  • Alumni Association
  • Lawyer (if different from your Real Estate lawyer)
  • Banks and Credit Unions
  • Lending Institutions
  • Insurance Companies
  • Revenue Canada (especially if you own a business)
  • Stockbroker
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Driver's License Including Vehicle Registration
  • Employer
  • Family Doctor and Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Frequent Flyer Program
  • Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions
  • Cataloge Merchants
  • Place of Worship

I would also submit your change of address thru Canada Post to ensure nothing was forgotten.

If you have any other contacts, please let us know thru my contact page.

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Is your Edmonton Neighborhood is Improving?

When you’re looking for a new Edmonton home, you want to find one in a great neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighbourhood that is on the upswing. How can you tell if a particular area is improving? Here are some common indicators:

Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed? Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Are the sidewalks & walkways shoveled from snow? Homeowners are more likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
Home improvements. Are people investing in their homes? Are they getting their driveways re-done? Their windows replaced? Are there signs of home improvement projects? If so, this is a clear indication that homeowners like the area enough to invest in their properties.
Real estate sales activity. Do homes tend to sell quickly in the area? Do they sell for a good price? If so, the neighbourhood is probably in demand. If people want to live there, it's a desirable area.
Business investment. Are businesses investing in the surrounding area? Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near desirable neighbourhoods?
Community involvement. Are there signs that the community plays an active role in the look and lifestyle of the neighbourhood? Are there neighbourhood picnics, yard sales and other get-togethers? Check Facebook.com to see if the neighbourhood has a community page.

City plans. Find out what plans the city of Edmonton has for the area. Will there be road improvements done in the near future? Are there any major construction projects on the schedule, such as LRT, new school or community centre. Although such projects can be disruptive in the short term, they may improve the neighbourhood – and, as a result, boost the value of any home you buy – in the long-term.

Amortization Rate. One of the best ways to tell if a neighbourhood is improving is the amortization rate which is a summary of how quickly homes are selling in one area comparable to the nearby communities and district and municipality.

Of course, the best way to find out the desirability of a neighbourhood is to talk to us, a good REALTOR® who knows the area. Contact us today.

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7 Easy Ways to Save Money On Your Home Insurance

There are a few ways to save money on home insurance policy, below are a few tips tp help you...

  • Bundle your insurances. Most insurance companies will give a discount if you use them for your vehicle, current home, vacation properties and any other rental properties you may have.
  • Raise your deductable. This is a no-brainer. The higher your deductable, the lower your insurance policies. Of course keep in mind on where you live. For example, there are a few places in Alberta that are more proned to flooding and other weather related issues.
  • Another reason to buy new. Insurace companies really like newer homes because it’s less likely something will go wrong with the electrical, heating and plumbing systems. In addition, the structure itself is in better shape. Insurers offer discounts of as much as 8% to 15% if your residence is new.
  • Even when it comes to home insurance, location is also a key factor. If you live near a fire station or your neighbor has a fire hydrant, insurance costs are less.
  • Insure your HOUSE not the land. There is no reason to insure your land unless you are sitting on a gold mine. The market value of your land doesn’t matter.  If you include the value of the land, you’re paying too much. Have your broker run a replacement cost estimate to determine what it will cost to rebuild your home
  • All those little things. Insurance costs go up with attached garages, wood burning fireplaces and yes smokers. Insurance costs decreases with alarm and sprinkler systems.  
  • Good Credit. Most insurance companies are now doing credit checks as part of their pricing structure.  People with better credit will pay less for their insurance in most cases. So, not only is improving your credit rating a good idea by itself, it may also reduce the cost of your insurance.
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Cannabis legalization could be a problem for Edmonton homeowners.

As an experienced residential Edmonton REALTOR® for more than 20 years, I can foresee growing Cannabis inside our Edmonton homes as a huge negative.

When selling a property, many buyers are sensitive to smells and find lingering cigarette smoke, pet smells, strong cooking odors very offensive. Marijuana will add to this list.

I understand the benefits and personally know seniors who really enjoy the relief of pain and the relaxing sensation it creates. However, passing a law to allow Edmontonians to grow cannabis in their own homes is completely insane.

For me personally, there are so many questions. Will we need a license to have a pot plant, like our family pets? Should we be smoking the cannabis inside our homes, the ingrained smell is no different than cigarette smells. What if we grow it outside? Who will be responsible for any losses? Let's drug our wildlife. Watching a "stoned" squirrel or bunny hopping down the back alley could be pretty funny. Will we need special insurances in our greenhouses? Are we allowed to play with, alternate this cannabis to create a more potent drug? Can we smoke it with children in the room?

If laws are implemented for growing marijuana inside our homes, will these laws also apply to certain poisonous household plants, making beer and wines, rolling cigarettes Will it stop there or will it continue until we have no freedom of our own property?

As a licensed real estate agent in Alberta, am I suppose to now report everyone who has a cannabis plant? Will my Seller's homes be considered a "Drug House"? Will it be "red flagged" by CMHC and all future mortgages will have to be conventional.
One of the key issues that CREA's federal affairs team has been working on recently is on Bill C-45 and the legalization of cannabis in Canada. This is a great article from the Canadian Real Estate Aassociation. - read more

Would love to hear your thoughts on growing cannabis in our Edmonton homes and on purchasing a home where homeowners smoke the cannabis inside.

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