We were live today with David Bier from A Buyers Choice Home Inspection and he gave us some great tips! Check out the video and post any additional questions for David on our facebook post. Next month,...
The sun is out, the clouds are gone and summer is finally upon us—a much-needed reprieve after the winter!
There are lots of events and activities around the city to look forward to this month, from Canada Day celebrations to street festivals. Check out our guide for the hottest, most upbeat summertime events that you can’t miss.
And, of course, don’t forget to celebrate the fathers, grandfathers, uncles and mentors in your life on June 18 — we have advice on where to go on Father’s Day too! Also in this month’s newsletter, check out our update on recent developments in the local real estate market and the latest market reports.
As fun as the summer season is, don’t let your usual good habits melt away with the warmer weather. We talked to our city’s police department and have some tips for keeping your property safe and secure this summer.
As always, I am at your disposal to help. If you, your friends or family are looking to buy or sell real estate please keep me in mind. Your referral is the best compliment I can receive.
Holidays: Father’s Day (June 18) There are plenty of places to take your father today and ways to celebrate across the city. Take him to Fort Edmonton for the day, a meal at the Devonian Botanic Gardens or a beer at a microbrewery. Canada Day (July 1) Celebrations are happening across the city to celebrate our country’s 150th birthday. Check out the events at the Alberta Legislature, the Muttart Conservatory or Millwoods Park. Events: Park after Dark (June – September) Edmonton’s biggest patio party is the best way to start your weekend off on the right foot. Best part, it is every Friday night this summer. Sustainival (June 8 – 11) This fun carnival, powered entirely by green energy, is coming to Edmonton this year. With its free admission and friendly message, it makes for a great family day out. Edmonton Pride (June 9-18) The multi-day festival has a bit of everything – music, parades, award ceremonies, celebrations and movie nights. The main pride parade is June 10. Improvaganza (June 14 -24) Edmonton’s international improv and sketch comedy lasts a week and half; it’s sure to get a few laughs and cheers! National Aboriginal Celebration (June 21) There are events and celebrations across the city for a week to celebrate the heritage, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal Peoples in our country. The celebrations continue throughout the week.
Security is important all year round but during the summer months especially, property crimes and break-and-entries tend to spike. Warmer weather means people are more likely to leave their windows open, their patios unlocked and their houses unattended.
We talked to our city’s police department about why property crime increases and what people can do to keep their homes safe and secure during summer. This is what they told us:
Always lock up It’s easy to pop out quickly for a walk around the block or a quick trip down the road to the shop, but always lock the door, windows and patios behind you no matter how soon you’ll be back. A third of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door. Even if you are out in the back gardening, lock you front door — you’d be surprised at how quickly and quietly a thief can slip in.
Out of sight, out of mind Most property crimes are opportunistic – the thief sees a chance to steal something and takes it. If it’s hidden away, there is less temptation and opportunity. So if you buy a nice new item, wait till pick-up day to put its packaging outside in the recycling. You don’t want to advertise to thieves what valuables you have in your home. Don’t leave visible items in your car; thieves have been known to smash a car window to steal something as small as a gym bag or a pile of papers.
Report suspicious activity The police want citizens to call and report suspicious activity, even if doesn’t seem like a crime is being committed yet. If you see someone milling around and you have a bad feeling, report it. It’s not a waste of time or resources, the police officer we spoke to told us, and it might prevent a theft.
Final check Before you leave your home, do a quick walk around and final check. Put yourself in the mind-set of a thief – if you wanted to break and enter, how would you do it? That curtain fluttering in the breeze? Close the window. That ladder leaning against the wall? Put it away. Prevention is the best way to keep your property safe and thief-proof.
Log it Keep a list of details about your most valuable items if worst-case scenario should happen. If something is stolen, you will have more chances of getting it back if you can provide details and a picture of the item. The majority of stolen goods the police recover are never returned to their rightful owner because they can’t be tracked down. With bicycles, for example, you can imprint a serial number on the frame and log it with the police; that way, if your bike is stolen and someone tries to sell it, you will be notified.
Last week we went live on Facebook to talk about the Home Buying Process with our very own First Time Home Buyer Specialist, Daisy Aw! Daisy answered some of the most frequently asked questions when...
Why wait to start harvesting organic herbs and veggies? Get a head start on the season by planting seeds now, bringing your garden right to your kitchen and adding a touch of fresh greenery to your home.
Let there be light – Plants thrive in airy, light environments. Start by choosing a convenient gardening location with enough warmth and sunlight — windowsills work well if they are not too close to a draft.
The down n’ dirty on soil – Setting up the perfect soil mixture is easier indoors than outdoors because there are fewer variables. Most plant shops sell bags of seed-starting or sterile soil mix that will help lock in moisture and set you up for success.
Potty for pots – Almost anything can be used as a pot for your plants: a recycled yogurt container, colourful colanders, or store-bought terra cotta pots. It just needs to be clean, large enough, and with sufficient drainage. Keep in mind the kind of seeds you are planting — climbing plants like beans and tomatoes grow up while carrots and beets have deeper roots and grow down. Be creative with the space you have and use hanging planters or stackable stands to fit.
Feed your food – Water your plants consistently and make sure the soil is always humid. Once a week, or per packaging instructions, feed your plants a fertilizer to give them the necessary nutrients to grow. Fish emulsion or seaweed fertilizer is a good organic, water-soluble option.
Enjoy – Food always tastes best when you know you’ve grown it yourself and it comes from a clean, organic source. For the more impatient gardeners among us, start out by planting herbs because they only take a few weeks to germinate and will be ready to enjoy sooner.
2852 Calgary Trail, Edmonton, AB, Alberta T6J 6V7, Canada
Spring is coming! This is the beginning of warmer and longer days. For some this means spring cleaning, but mostly it means that much-needed spring break for families. There is a lot of festivities happening around town this time of year including St. Patrick’s Day. Make sure to browse our Upcoming Events and Festivals section to get additional information on these activities.
Looking for a home improvement project to start this season? How about trying to get your hand into building a shedquarter. Shedquarters are multi-purpose, space-efficient cubes or outdoor rooms that can convert into an office or a work area. Check out our shedquarter article to learn more about this hot trend, and our photo feature for modern and stylish shedquarter examples to give you that design inspiration for your own backyard work space.
I would love to help you with any real estate related questions or concerns you may have. Your referrals are very much appreciated!
In recent years, the number of business owners who run their businesses from home has increased for several reasons. The most important one is to be available for their kids or be near family. However, working from home brings a lot of distractions even with a temporary office set up within the house. A solution to this could be to build an office in your backyard, or a “Shedquarter”. Shedquarters, a cube room, or a garden room are becoming a rage these days. It offers the privacy and uninterrupted workflow you need, like being in an offsite office, yet provides the advantage of being a few steps away from your home. Your shedquarter does not necessarily have to be an office space, it can also be your workshop area, an art room, a getaway space, or simply just an extra room where you can hang out.
Several companies mostly in the US, Australia, Europe, and Canada offer services to set up these miniature studios that can really add value to your home. You can even build it yourself. Just check with the local building permit office about obtaining a permit before you plan your shedquarter. As a rule of thumb, permits are normally required for structures exceeding 100 square feet.
Before you decide to explore this option, make sure you first check with your planning and development department of your municipality. Zoning rules can greatly vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Type of construction and foundation will also affect the size of the shed you may be allowed to build. In some cases, you may need both development and building permit.
For the City of Edmonton, sheds or gazebos are defined as accessory buildings. You may call 311 to inquire about building permits or visit their website at www.Edmonton.ca for more information.
We would like to send a big, big, BIG thank you to Tonya Gardner, and Tania & Kelly Stewardson for their recent referrals. Our success depends on people just like you. Thank you so much for supporting the Platinum Team!
New Year is about new heights and new achievements, new experience and new acquaintance. As we start Year 2017, a year of the rooster – a very proud and confident bird that carries itself with dignity, we hope all these necessary qualities help you to emerge victorious in all your new and existing endeavors!Dear friends,
New Year is about new heights and new achievements, new experience and new acquaintance. As we start Year 2017, a year of the rooster – a very proud and confident bird that carries itself with dignity, we hope all these necessary qualities help you to emerge victorious in all your new and existing endeavors!
To start the new year right, we have provided a quick recap of the local real estate market last year to give you a sense of where we are at today.
Also, check out our Micro Condo article, an alternative and popular real estate option for millennials right now. For space saving ideas in your home, we have shared some innovative and modern multifunctional kitchen furniture designs in our photo feature.
Micro apartments or condominiums have become a popular trend in huge urban cities like Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc. The roots of this “Tiny House Movement” has started in Japan, where the residential land area is limited. Nowadays, limited land space is not the only reason why people are shifting to “living small”, other reasons such as financial concerns, environmental concerns, and the desire to live simply and experience freedom have encouraged homeowners to get into this global phenomenon.
Typically, the micro units are under 600 square feet and have a very minimalist design to create the illusion of space. Latest condo design layouts usually have incorporated ingenious ideas to provide comfortable living space as well as a lot of storage areas, yet still aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Micro Condos may not be for everyone, however, you should not disregard this idea entirely especially with the new condo designs along with multifunctional furniture ideas that are available right now. Tiny living is all about swapping the size of your home for the benefits in cost, flexibility, location, and efficiency.
2852 Calgary Trail, Edmonton, AB, Alberta T6J 6V7, Canada
We are a few days away from the holidays and closing the exciting year of 2016. We hope you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones, and take this time to reflect and be grateful for all the blessings you have received this year.
Feeling a little stressed out about decorating your home this holidays? Our article on Christmas lights will provide you with the advantages of choosing LED lights compared with the traditional incandescent lights. And if you are into high-tech stuff, then the Christmas Laser Lights Projector might interest you. We listed a few questions to guide you in choosing the best projector that suits your needs. However, if you are into DIY projects and are looking to save some money on decorations, check out our photo feature for some creative Christmas tree ornaments you can easily do on your own.
As always, we are here to support you with whatever real estate concerns or needs you have. Your referrals are always welcome and appreciated.
On behalf of our family, we extend our warmest holiday greetings to you and your family.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between traditional incandescent Christmas lights and LED lights? Its important to know which Christmas lights are durable, safe, and cost efficient as we leave them on for long hours and even overnight.
Based on these facts, LED Christmas lights are a better option than the mini incandescent lights. Not only are they cost efficient, durable, and safe to use, they also help the environment by consuming less energy.
They last 66 times longer than traditional incandescent lights.
They are rated to last for 50,000–200,000 hours.
They use 80–90% less energy.
And because you do not need to replace them for a long time, it helps decrease waste.
Making our homes festive this holiday season is a big part of getting in the Christmas spirit. Although some people enjoy the process of stringing Christmas lights around the house and in the yard, not everyone has the time or patience to do this. Decorating for the holidays using an outdoor laser projector is a perfect solution for this holiday dilemma.
Christmas laser lights are a high-tech option for your home decoration worries. It can be set up both indoors or outdoors, and depending on your budget and specifications, a lot of brands and products are available in the market today. When you shop for your own laser projection system, here are some questions to guide you in choosing the best projector that best fits your needs.
Quality of Product: How good are pictures or laser designs? How long can the product last? Is it waterproof? Can it withstand different types of weather? Usability and area of coverage: How much distance can the lights be projected? Is it easy to set up? Are there other designs available aside from Christmas? Energy efficiency: How much energy does it consume? Price/Affordability: Is the projector affordable? Does it provide value for money? How long is the warranty? Product Ratings: What are the consumers saying about the product? How does it fare compared with other laser projectors in the market?
2852 Calgary Trail, Edmonton, AB, Alberta T6J 6V7, Canada If you don’t want to receive emails from us anymore, click here to unsubscribe.
It’s amazing how the year is nearing an end and the holiday season is just a month away. These days we are kept busy with our winter and early holiday preparation. The real estate market is also experiencing a lot of movement and changes with the government’s announcement of the new mortgage rules last October 3rd. We recommend you read our article below on these recent changes in order to know what’s happening in the market today.
Also - Don’t forget Remembrance Day on Friday, November 11th.
We know how our beloved pets are part of the family so we want to integrate them into our homes. Check out our photo feature on creative pet friendly furniture ideas that both you and your pets can enjoy.
The highest compliment you can give me is to recommend me to friends and relatives who might be needing some real estate help. I appreciate your referrals!
On October 3rd, 2016, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced four major changes to Canada’s housing rules. These changes mainly address concerns of foreign buyers investing in the Canadian market and middle class families carrying high debt ratios. Both have an impact on housing affordability and economic stability. Below are the said changes:
Change #1: Effective October 17, first-time buyers with mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will now undergo a more severe "stress test’ to ensure buyers can still pay for the loan even if the interest rates go up in the future. This means many consumers may receive smaller loans.
Change #2: Starting November 30, new restrictions will be imposed by the government on providing insurance for low-ratio mortgages. The new criteria will include an amortization period of 25 years or less, a purchase price of less than $ 1-million, a minimum buyer’s credit score of 600, and the property should be owner-occupied. This measure is targeted for the Vancouver and Toronto markets.
Change #3: New reporting rules for the primary residence capital gains exemption. For this tax year, although the capital gains tax is still waived, the sale of the primary residence must be reported at tax time to the Canada Revenue Agency. This measure is to prevent foreign buyers from flipping houses and falsely claiming the tax exemption.
Change #4: The government is launching a public consultation paper on a proposal for lenders, such as banks, to take additional risks in the event the insured mortgage goes in default, which could mean higher mortgage rates for buyers.
Autumn is upon us which means winter is soon coming. Let’s enjoy these last few weeks of bountiful harvest time, crisp days and cool nights, and the beautiful color of the trees.
Not ready for Halloween? Get ideas on how to stylishly decorate your home for Halloween in our photo feature.
And as you prepare for the Thanksgiving and Halloween festivities, don’t forget to startwinter proofing your home. We have listed below a checklist of the things you can do for the various areas of your house to have a worry free winter.
It’s my goal to help as many people find the best house thatmatch their needs. Are there one or two people you know that could use my help? If so, please send them to me. I appreciate your referrals.
Moving to a new home needs a lot of careful planning to avoid pitfalls along the way. Whether it’s a local or a long distance move, use these helpful tips when hiring your moving company.
1. Get Quotes or Estimates Make a detailed list of what items you have and the condition. If possible, get your movers to check your items before booking them to ensure you get the right estimate. Quotes are based on weights and moving companies tend to quote on lower weight to make the price attractive. Once your belongings are loaded and weighed, the movers can hold you hostage without paying the actual cost.
2. Learn the Hidden Charges Most often moving companies will give you low quotes but there are always hidden charges you have to be aware of. These fees include – stairs, elevators, handling large items, packing labor and supplies, moving cancellation, extra stops, storage, long carry, etc.
3. Purchase Moving Insurance Moving companies only cover items based weight (basic coverage) but too often the final amount of coverage does not really cover that value of your belongings. Getting the full value protection guarantees reinstatement and replacement for damaged and missing items.
4. Read and Research Reviews Read all the reviews you can get your hands on about the company. Reliable reviews such as BBB, Google, Yelp, Movers, etc. can provide you a full picture of the company’s reputation and level of customer service. If possible, ask the moving company their recent client’s references or feedback.
5. Watch out for Scams Aside from hidden fees, be careful of moving companies that do the booking but hires subcontracts to perform the actual work.
Fall is the perfect time to start winter proofing your home so you can enjoy the cold weather with zero worries. Whether you choose to have a professional handle them or do it yourself, here’s a checklist of things you need to go over your house before winter.
Attic Insulation –12-15 inches’ minimum of even insulation is needed to keep heat in the house and money in your pocket. Have your R-value checked by a professional if needed.
Furnace Cleaning – A dirty furnace is less efficient so have furnace inspected and cleaned once a year – before winter. ATCO Gas offers a free furnace and appliances inspection for Edmonton. Call at 780-424-5222 (Edmonton and area).
Change Air Filter – For healthy, indoor air, change your air filter once a month in the winter months. Your furnace has to work twice as hard with an air-borne allergen clogged filter.
Vacuum Heating Vents – Take off the covers and hoses to your dryer, bathroom and stove vents and suction out lint and debris. This will increase efficiency and decrease fire hazards.
Replace Batteries in Detectors – October is Fire Awareness Month so use it as a reminder to replace batteries in smoke detectors, Carbon monoxide alarms and other safety instruments.
Drain Outside Faucets – Water pipes can freeze, swell and burst in the winter months, causing significant damage. Turn the external shut valve off and open the faucet until the drip stops.
Drain Water Heater – Drain this annually to help prevent any build up of scale inside the heater.
Inspect Roof Shingles – Shingles protects everything in the home so don’t overlook it. Also include the metal flashing at all the roof joints to look for signs of leaking, rotting or damage.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts – Use a ladder, gloves and a garbage bag to remove debris from the past year. Run water from a hose through the downspouts to ensure they are unclogged.
Install Gutter Guards – Gutter guards are a good idea to minimize the amount of debris accumulated, but you’ll still need to check for clogs once a year in the fall.
Seal Foundation – Repair and seal holes with a quality caulking material. Cracks and holes in foundation are inevitable and can lead to significant damage if not treated.
Check Sewer Service Pipe – Sewer pipes carries wastewater from your home to main sewer line. Damaged sewers can cause serious flooding problems if not dealt with properly. The city provides a free basic inspection service to diagnose drainage problems.