Winterize your Edmonton Home
Yes, the onset of winter can be exciting with the crisp sparkling white wonderland but freezing temperatures can be hard on your home. Here are a few tips to help combat the cold.
4 Great Tips on Keeping you warm, safe and richer!
- Weather stripping will prevent air leaks by heading to Home Depot to grab some weather stripping. Be sure to use it on your doors, windows, doors, and vents If the gaps on your doors and windows are thicker than a nickel, you will need to apply an exterior caulk.
- Gutters and; check all of your downspouts and gutters to make sure they are clear of those autumn leaves and other debris. If they are blocked, it will cause problems that may result in costly repairs.
- Furnace - If you want to stay warm and cozy on Edmonton's coldest winter days, maintain the maintenance on your furnace. Change that filter and have it checked by a professional if it sounding rough. An emergency maintenance call on a cold winter day can be very costly.
- Water Pipes - If you are planning on getting away from Edmonton's cold weather, be sure and leave the heat running so your home stays warm. Also, leave a few faucets dripping so the water continues to flow. If a pipe bursts, it can cause thousands of dollars of damage (most insurance companies with not cover neglect)
These simple steps will allow you to enjoy a warm and cozy home during our Edmonton winter months and avoid timely and costly repairs.
CFB Edmonton Garrison
CFB Garrison is located in Sturgeon County, bounded by northeast border of Edmonton and covers 2550 hectares of land. The main site is named Steele Barracks after Sir Samuel Steele, an original founding member of the Northwest Mounted Police.
The 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton, called CFB Garrison is one of Canada's best Canadian Armed forces Bases and a great place to be posted and offers several facilities and services for its members including...
- Arena, Exercise Facility Combat Training to Yoga
- An arena which features an outdoor and two indoor NHL standard rinks.
- A hobby shop, home of the Edmonton Garrison Auto Club and Wood Hobby Club.
- A community center that offers several facilities including a licensed day care, library, and youth center.
- A memorial equestrian centre that includes a large indoor and outdoor riding arenas, and a 42 stall barn.
- A large fitness center with multi-functional recreation centers and offers a wide range of programs and services. This facility includes a Cardio/Weight Room, Climbing Wall, Tactical Athlete Room, 4 full size gym courts, 3 pools, squash courts, and an indoor running track.
- A memorial golf course stretched with championship tees totaling near 7000 yards.
- The famous Edmonton Garrison curling club facilities where you can bring your friends to enjoy some great food and drinks on our patio during the summer or inside during the winter.
- Three distinct messes which members and the public can book conferences, private functions, weddings, parties, events, and other activities.
Pros and Cons of Condominium Ownership
Living in a condominium in Edmonton offers the sense of community living. Whether you are taking out the trash, working out in the exercise room, relaxing in the lobby or picking up your mail, there will be ample opportunities to engage with your neighbors.
Pros of Condominium Ownership
No Maintenance. The biggest benefits of condo living are that other people do the maintenance for you. They cut the grass, maintain the common areas including elevators, amenities, windows, doors, and shingles No grass to mow or snow to shovel with the exception of detached condos and townhouse style condominiums.
Cost. Condominiums are less expensive than buying a comparable house in Edmonton. Obviously, the cost of a condo versus the cost of a house depends on the location. Property values in Edmonton vary in each neighborhood. But typically, you'll spend less on a condo, " Maintaining a single-family house can be expensive. It is your responsibility to keep your home in living standard conditions. When purchasing the first home, going brand new is a smart choice.
Security. Most apartment condos offer gated or locked entries, with special keys or electronic fobs. If you live alone, or security is a concern for you, this can be a major perk. In addition, you’re living in close proximity to other people and in an emergency, this will be helpful.
Amenities. Exercise rooms, Guest suites, swimming pools, underground parking, and courtyards. Many condo communities offer residents amenities that are out of reach for the average homeowner.
Cons of Condominium Ownership
Homeowners Association Fees.Of course, there is a few to live in a condominium. It costs money to maintain a large building. When you buy a condo, you essentially become a business partner in that community. You pay a condominium fee each month (on top of your mortgage) which goes towards the upkeep of the property, as well as future investments. This fee can vary from a few hundred dollars upwards. It will depend on the current condition of the complex, how well the monies have been managed and future expenses.
Less Privacy.You will be meeting your neighbors. Some condominium complexes in Edmonton offer in-house managers and know everyone by name. Depending on how well your complex is built, your neighbor may even know what time you get home every day. Expect to have someone looking at you when you are out on your balcony or sitting in the front yard. Socialites love this!
Less Freedom. Depending on your condominium complex, you may or may not be allowed to have pets, have Bar-be-ques on the balcony, change the flooring to a hardwood, have guests stay for long periods of time or rent out your unit. Read the by-laws before purchasing.
Levies and Special Assessments: In Edmonton, Condos have been hit hard by the recession, the oversupply and there are plenty of issues with a few Edmonton condominiums, whereas some builders missed adding building materials during construction, such as water vapors. Also as more people struggle to make ends meet, more condo owners are dropping out of paying their condo fees. This can increase the cost of what you will be paying each month.
Things to inquire on prior to purchasing a condominium
- Reserve Fund Study
- Are condo fees reasonable
- Bi-laws - are you allowed pets?
- Financials - Is the complex in the red
- Professionally or Self Managed
- AGM - Annual General Meeting
- Any upcoming special assessment
Today, several banks will request to review these documents prior to releasing your financing. Also, have your lawyer review these documents if you are not comfortable with the lingo.
I have sold a property at 1 4616 49 AVE in Gibbons Alberta
Looking to downsize?! Then look no further than this gorgeous 1055 square foot half duplex 2 bedroom condo located in the heart of Gibbons. Pet friendly, the main floor boasts of a spacious entrance with ample closet space, U-shaped kitchen with breakfast bar and corner pantry, large living room with corner gas fireplace, a 2 piece bath/ laundry room, generous sized second bedroom, and a massive master bedroom with attached 4 piece en-suite and main floor laundry. Your no maintenance deck overlooks a fenced common area to enjoy. Self managed complex, the condo fees are just $250 month. Heated and finished garage, air conditioning, and additional parking are just some of the many upgrades you will find in this no maintenance property! WELCOME HOME!
If you have a Gibbons home to sell, please go to our Free Home Evaluation Page and we'll shortly get back to you.
Are your home shopping expectations realistic?
There is no such thing as a perfect house. If you are pre-qualified and have been looking for a home for a long time, there will be one of four reasons you haven't found your dream home
You can't afford the homes you like.
Either stop looking until you save enough money to purchase your dream home or be realistic what you can afford. Your first home does not to be the forever home. Purchasing your first property is the first step to getting your dream home by building equity. However if you have found a few homes, which would only need a few touch-ups like a new kitchen, talk with your mortgage broker to see if it possible to add a renovation loan into your mortgage.
Chosen the wrong real estate agent to help you.
The majority of Real Estate Agents in Edmonton and the surrounding area have access to the same MLS Data, but if there hasn't been anything which has caught your attention, you can either fire your agent and find one who will work harder for you, which may include knocking on doors in a specific area or making community phone calls to find you a suitable property. Or maybe you are just too picky.
There are many people who prefer to rent. Every month, they pay for someone else's mortgage, helping the homeowner build equity. Or you have signed a long lease and are not in a position to buy. Or you may have a reason for not purchasing yet. If this is the case, stop looking until you are really ready. Every time you view a home, the seller must vacate the premises which means more cleaning and making arrangement to remove children and pets.
You are TOO cheap.
What the asking price of a home is, is irrelevant to the purchase price. For example:if two identical homes are listed at $400,000 and the other at $375,000 and you are still "Low Balling" the less expensive one, you will never get a good price. A good real estate agent will complete a buyers CMA for you, which will indicate a fair value market price and if it is below, you've already made money.
BEST REAL ESTATE TIP: No matter what type of market we are in, the longer you postpone your purchase, the more money you will lose. Eventually, house prices will go back up in Edmonton, but so will interest rates!
Why You Need a Property Title Search
When a real estate agent in Edmonton is working for either a buyer or a seller, a property title search needs to be pulled prior to listing a home or writing an offer to purchase to ensure the saleability of the property.
Basic information on a property title will include:
- The current owners name: In the event of an estate sale, probate may or may not have been completed and your real estate agent will ensure the person selling the property does have power of attorney. In the event, there is only one person on the title in a marriage, a dower consent will also be needed to complete the sale.
- The Legal description: The municipal or mailing address is different from the legal description and includes a block, lot and Plan number.
- The amount of the last mortgage, any second or third mortgages or the original purchase amount at the time of purchase or there may be a nominal fee.
Other things which can be revealed on a property title search may include:
- Outstanding or owing property taxes, special assessments, delinquent condominium fees which have not been paid by the seller.
- Outstanding creditors including other financial institutions and businesses for things like unpaid vehicle loans, furniture stores, construction loans, personal loans, etc
- A lis pendens, which is normally added by a lawyer during a divorce procedures and "freezes" the transfer of a property until all parties are satisfied.
- Easements and Liens from a third party, such as the municipality, utility company or Environmental liens, who may have rights to use part of your property.
- Covenants which are restrictions on the land that can limit what can be built on it, where it can be built and from what materials it may be built. Breaching a covenant can have serious consequences so it is necessary to be aware of any covenants on your property.
If you are not represented by an Edmonton Real Estate Agent, with the legal description and a small fee, the public can pull the title of a property plus details on any registered documents attached to it. Also note, between the time a condition has been removed from an offer to purchase to the time a buying signs with their lawyer, there may be a change on the land title certificate.
Make My Kitchen Pretty
With so many choices, it's hard to choose a perfect "stone" counter top. Before you rush out and buy the prettiest one, you make want to consider resale value. When choosing a new counter-top, base it on your lifestyle, not on price. If your kitchen looks dated, replacing your counter tops and back splashes will make a huge impact and it is less expensive than replacing a whole kitchen.
- Quartz counter tops are a hard natural mineral. They are resistant to scratches, stains, heat, easy to clean are becoming the trend in luxury Edmonton houses. Depending on the grade, quartz counter tops are about the same cost as granite.
- Granite counter tops are one of the most elegant materials that can be used for kitchen work surfaces. When sealed properly, it is stain and heat-resistant so it continues to look beautiful in the years to come. Granite counter tops are a popular choice in our Edmonton homes due to its wear ability and color choices.
- Corian counter tops are a mixture of binding resins and minerals and come in over a hundred colors. Corian is a flexible material when heat and can appear seamless once installed leaving a smooth, unblemished finish. It takes on a sandblasted stone look.
- Marble counter-tops are stylish, elegant and drop-dead gorgeous. A counter top made of marble is usually less durable than granite, Corian or quartz and less resistant to stains and scratches. It is also more expensive to get installed. Marble Counter-tops are all about the look.
If you are planning to sell your Edmonton home in the near future, you may want to postpone changing those kitchen counters. Ask your REALTOR for the best advise. Today, buyers also have the option of a renovation loan which can be tied into their mortgage payments.
Come in, Welcome to our Open House!
Open houses are great for the listing real estate agents because it gives us an opportunity to meet the neighbors who may be thinking about selling their home and to pick up new buyers.
When real estate agents host an open house, the ultimate goal is to sell the home. The real estate agent who is hosting the open house is representing the seller, has already spent time and money and anyone who walks through the door needs to understand, the agent will be asking you questions.
If you are only looking for decorating ideas or you are already under a Buyer's Brokerage Agreement, let the hosting real estate agent know. We have Rules, Regulations and a code of Ethics, whereof, we are not allowed to interfere with another REALTORS® Clients. However, if you are not currently working with a real estate agent, REALTORS® are always looking for new business.
If you are interested in the property and would like more information on the home, call your current agent - DO NOT tell the listing agent. Anything you tell the hosting real estate agent will be disclosed to the sellers and in the event, you write an offer on this property, information can be used against you in negotiations. It is our job to work in the best interest of our clients which would include informing the sellers of all interested parties.
Real Estate Agents are also responsible for ensuring the proper care of the home while showing. If you have children, please hold their hands and don't be offended if the REALTOR® is following you everywhere.
If you are just starting your new home search and have questions or would like a real estate buyer representative to help you through the process (for free), contact us.
Real Estate Agent Fiduciary Duties
Real Estate Agents in Edmonton and the province of Alberta who is in an agency capacity for buyer or seller clients have duties mandated by the legal system called fiduciary duties. The position of the REALTOR® is a fiduciary capacity, acting in the best interests of the client.
- Obedience: Your real estate agent must obey your instructions as long as it is legal and in accordance with your brokerage agreement.
- Loyalty: Your real estate agent must be loyal and keep your best interests ahead of those of any other party, including themselves.
- Disclosure: In the province of Alberta, the law requires real estate agents, whether in an "agency" capacity or not, to disclose material facts to their client. Material facts are those that, if known by the buyer or seller, might have caused them to change their purchase or sale actions. In a signed agency agreement, your real estate agent must disclose more than the material facts. They must disclose all known or suspected information regarding the purchase of the property.
- Confidentiality: A real estate agents fiduciary duty of confidentiality means that nothing learned about you can be disclosed including your business, financial, personal affairs or motivations. This confidentiality fiduciary duty must be maintained for eternity.
- Accounting: Your real estate agent is accountable for all documents and funds in the transaction. Accurate reporting of the whereabouts of all monies pertaining to the transaction and the ultimate disposition. All documents are to be kept for at least six years.
- Reasonable Care: The words "reasonable care" are only finally fully defined in many cases by a judge or jury when it's too late to change your actions. Most Edmonton Real Estate Agents, as a rule of thumb, go by the ethics code "What we know, you know" when acting in an agency relationship.
How to use a Comparative Market Analysis
Edmonton real estate agents can provide a comparative market analysis, also known as a CMA, for any property including properties subject to divorce, civil enforcement, foreclosures, estate sales, city tax purposes, etc. It takes time for real estate agents to complete an accurate home evaluation. Unless you have plenty of experience in buying and selling real estate, online home evaluations may be completely misleading and should never be used as a realistic asking price.
Seller Comparative Market Analysis
When working with sellers, a comparative market analysis is used to determine a realistic and accurate asking price. A Seller CMA is based on comparable properties which are currently active (homes for sale), recently sold homes (usually within the last six months), expired (homes which did not sell for various reasons) and the history of these homes. Other factors will include the current Edmonton real estate market, supply and demand, the condition of the property, the location, community absorption rate and many other factors. An experienced, professional Edmonton Realtor will take the time to go through all of this data with you, together determining a true asking price for your Edmonton Home.
Buyer Comparative Market Analysis
When working with buyers, a comparative market analysis is similar to a bank appraisal and is used to write a reasonable offer to purchase. A buyers CMA is based on both current homes for sale and recently sold home price in Edmonton taking into consideration all relevant factors including the condition, size and location. For new builds, this process is a bit different and is based more on the cost to build, economic factors, building quality, and the reputation of the builder.
Free Comparative Market Analysis
If you are thinking about selling your home or if your home did not sell due to other factors, feel free to contact us for a professional no-obligation Edmonton home evaluation. We also service Morinville, Bon Accord, Gibbons, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Beaumont and Devon. Our Homes & Gardens Real Estate Agents will take the time to help, educate and inform you on all real estate aspects of your community to determine the right value for your home, ensuring you receive the highest possible price. Simply CLICK HERE to fill in the form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
This St. Albertis now sold. Inquire about selling your St. Albert condominium home with a BGRS approved, advanced marketing Realtor.
Understanding Buyers Brokerage Agreements
Buyer Brokerage Agreements have been around for several years, and only recently has been mandated for real estate agents to have buyers under agreement when working in a "client status". This legal change created security for both consumers and real estates in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. This form states the responsibilities of both the buyer and their real estate agent including:
- The mandated Fiduciary Duties, to protect interests of the buyer
- The buyer cannot hire more than one broker or real estate agent to represent them
- The term of the agreement. Depending on the real estate market and how long the real estate agent chooses to work with a buyer, this agreement is normally 30 Days to 1 year and allows enough time for the buyer to purchase a home. If the buyer has not purchased a home during the time frame, they may extend the agreement or sign with another agent.
- The retainer fee (normally $1000 - $2500) which is held in trust by the real estate agent/broker and forms part of the buyers down payment.
- Remuneration is stated in the agreement and can not be changed without written consent from all parties. This protects the agents commissions and allows the buyer to know how much the REALTOR receives for their services. (usually paid for by the sellers real estate agent)
- While under agreement, If the buyer elects to purchase a property without the help of their real estate agent, they will owe the agency the commission set out as per their Buyers Brokerage Agreement.
- This agreement also lays out the obligations and duties of the real estate agent ensuring the agency is working in the buyers best interest. Some of these obligations may include
- Showing you all properties you may be interested in as soon as possible
- The duration of the agreement
- Advertising for properties which meet your search criteria
- Pulling titles to ensure closing capacity
- Setting you up on Auto-prospecting.
- Fiduciary Duties of the real estate agent
- Explaining and helping to prepare the offers to purchase
- Negotiate favorable terms for the buyer
- Provide a Buyers CMA to ensure you are not overpaying
- Inform you on all aspects of your offers including any counters
- Assist you with a chose of mortgage brokers, inspectors, lawyers, etc
- Any other relevant services you may require
For more information on working under a Buyers Brokerage Agreement, feel free to contact us.
What Happens if your Real Property Report does not Comply?
If you are selling a home and have been told that there is no compliance or you have a non-conforming property, don't panic if you have not yet accepted an offer to purchase. Your Edmonton real estate agent can walk you through on how to write or amend the purchase agreement to ensure you will not be penalized. However, if you have sold your home and are just finding out, you have no compliance or non-confirmation, talk to your lawyer.
Residential AREA real estate purchase agreements contain a clause which clearly outlines the factors of the real property report.
"the current use of the Land and Buildings complies with the existing municipal land use... buildings and other improvements on the Land are not placed partly or wholly on any easement ... do not encroach on neighboring lands ... directly on the real property report ...location of Buildings and other improvements on the Land complies with all relevant municipal bylaws, regulations or relaxations ... prior to the Completion Day, or the Buildings and other improvements on the Land are non-conforming buildings as that term is defined in the Municipal Government Act (Alberta) ...current use of the Land and Buildings and the location of the Buildings and other improvements on the Land comply with any restrictive covenant..."
Drawbacks of Non-Compliance or Non-Confirmation:
Knowing in advance that there may be an issue with compliance or non-confirmation on your real property report will save time, money and stress, by dealing with the issues in advance. Depending on the nature of the deficiency
A request to the municipality for a certificate may lead to a requirement for substantial alterations, relocation or destruction of certain structures.
The buyer may choose not to go ahead with the purchase until deficiencies are resolved. Under the AREA contract, the warranties provided by the seller only relate to development issues and not building code issues; and while there is some debate among lawyers on this issue, most take the view that any building code deficiencies including the lack of building code permits are the responsibility of the buyer.
Knowing in advanced provides certainty for both buyer and seller at the time of closing regarding compliance with development issues and provides the opportunity for a buyer to have the seller remedy any deficiencies in this regard prior to or in conjunction with the closing.
It can be used to address the validity of permits which may or may not have been pulled to add, replace or alter a deck, garden shed, gazebo or greenhouse.
Any concerns or questions regarding issues with your real property report, please contact your real estate lawyer. Note* The town of Morinville no longer requires compliance.
Do you really need a property inspection when purchasing a home in Edmonton?
A real estate property home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. It is for the sole benefit of the purchaser and is usually subcontracted to a certified licensed residential real estate inspector, paid for by the buyer and can take one to four hours depending on the size and condition of the property. At the end of your inspection, a standard home inspector’s report will be supplied covering the condition of the home.
A home inspection can identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights which can lead to unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties in the future. Buying a home can be the largest single investment you will make and spending a few hundred dollars for peace of mind is money well spent.
Home inspection components covered include:
- heating system including furnace and hot water tank
- central air conditioning system
- carbon monoxide and fire alarm detectors
- interior plumbing using both visual and water residue tools
- mold issues and water damage
- electrical systems
- the roof & attic
- visible insulation of walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors using a thermal ray tool
- foundation & basement
- other structural components which may need major repair or replacement.
Depending on your chosen property inspector, there may be some things that will not be inspected such as things which can not be seen visually and appliances. You may want to check that these chattels are in working order.
If a home inspection is not allowed on a bank foreclosure, it is still a good idea to have one done, prior to putting in an offer.
In Alberta, builders must supply a new home warranty at closing, however, new homes should ALWAYS have a home inspection done. Building a house takes time and there are always things that get missed. It is easier to address these concerns before you remove your inspection condition.
What if the report reveals problems? No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house. Talk it over with your real estate agent. There are a few options to address any concerns you have.