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21 Places to Buy Furniture in Edmonton

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an interior designer who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Jennifer Woch from House of J has proven herself to be one of the best interior designers I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Jennifer with her handy list of 21 places to buy furniture in Edmonton!

 

Looking for stylish furnishings? Not sure where to go? Here is a quick list of some of the hottest spots in Edmonton for furniture and home decor.

The furniture stores listed offer furnishings for every room of your home. The styles very from traditional to modern and everything in-between!

Generally all furniture must be ordered. Although a few furniture stores, such as Reside and Pier 1 Imports, do have some stock readily available. Accessories are usually cash and carry. Order times can vary from 1-2 weeks, or 4-18 weeks for custom orders. Good things come to those who wait!

Most shops will deliver, but there is usually a fee associated with delivery. You can expect custom orders to be a final sale (non-refundable) in most cases, however, some shops will return items and charge a restocking fee.

Before purchasing furniture it is a good idea to think how you function in the space you are buying for. Do you like to lie down while watching t.v. in your living room? Then a comfy couch is a must. Do you mainly entertain guests in the living room? Then perhaps a selection of accent chairs would be a good option.

Another very important consideration when purchasing furniture is size! Before ordering be sure to check dimensions of the item being purchased and the space it’s going into. Ensure it is not too large to get through the front door or around that corner on the stairs up to the bonus room! *Always measure before ordering.

Whether you are ready to start purchasing for your home or you’re simply dreaming of all the possibilities, Edmonton has some excellent options and variety when it comes to home furnishings. Happy Shopping!

 

ANTHROPOLOGIE

Eclectic, mixing traditional, mid century, modern, bohemian styles.

Address: West Edmonton Mall, 8882 170 Street #2154

Price: $$$

 

CHINTZ & COMPANY

Eclectic, chic, traditional twist. Unique details. Canadian company.

Address: 10502 – 105th Ave NW

Price: $$$

 

RESTORATION HARDWARE

Large selection. Industrial with rustic raw elements. Clean classic flavourings and muted tones. Pricing in USD.

Address: Southgate Centre 5015-111st

Price: $$$

 

POTTERY BARN

Large selection. Traditional contemporary, some rustic and nautical elements..

Address: 8882-170st

Price: $$$

 

CRATE & BARREL

Mid-Century modern with warm clean lines

Address: Southgate Centre 5015-111st

Price: $$

 

PIER 1 IMPORTS

Traditional contemporary with ethnic exotic flavour.

Address:13530-137 Ave// 17515 Stony Plain Rd// South Edmonton Common1910-99st

Price: $

 

F2 FURNISHINGS

Very modern, mid-century, clean lines. Canadian Company.

Address: 2950 Calgary Trail

Price: $$$$

 

RESIDE FURNISHINGS

Contemporary with industrial and rustic elements. Edmonton based family company.

Address: 10434 Mayfield Rd

Price: $$$

 

FINESSE FURNISHINGS

Huge selection. Modern, contemporary, traditional. Edmonton based company.

Address: 4210 Gateway Blvd.

Price: $-$$$

 

COTTSWOOD INTERIORS

Huge selection. Modern, contemporary, traditional. Edmonton based company.

Address: 4210 Gateway Blvd.

Price: $$$$

 

SCANDIA

Modern stylish, clean lines. High quality. Edmonton based family company.

Address: 4210 Gateway Blvd.

Price: $$$$

 

McELHERAN’S

Tradtional and contemporary classic style.  High quality. Edmonton based family company.

Address: 10115-124st

Price: $$$$

 

29ARMSTRONG

Modern mid-century, industrial elements.

Address: Manulife Place 10180-101st

Price: $$$

 

STRUCTUBE

Modern funky, mid-century, clean lines. Canadian company.

Address: 10179-13Ave

Price: $

 

HOME ENVY

Contemporary warm rustic. Canadian made.

Address: 3865-99st// 975 Broadmoor Blvd. Sherwood Park

Price: $$

 

COSAFINA

Old world, traditional, unique. Quality. Edmonton based company.

Address: 10508-109 Street

Price: $$$$

 

DWELL MODERN

Modern clean architectural. Edmonton based company.

Address: 10549-124 Street

Price: $$$

 

LE BELLE ARTI

Funky modern. Mid-century twist. European. Edmonton based company.

Address: 16844-111Ave

Price: $$$

 

URBAN BARN

Contemporary with flavours of traditional, modern and industrial. Canadian company.

Address: 13620-137Ave// 15427-115aAve// South Edmonton Common1918-99st

Price: $

 

KONTO

Contemporary, transitional, traditional.

Address: 13030 St.Albert Trail// 6120-99st

Price: $

 

ASHLEY FURNITURE

Contemporary, transitional, homey. Massive selection.

Address: 18715 Stony Plain Rd//  South Edmonton Common 1430-99st

Price: $-$$

 

Want more information on decorating for your home? Connect with Jennifer on:

houseofjinteriors.com

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Installing a Gas Line

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an electrician who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Darren Kingstree from Kingstree Plumbing has proven himself to be one of the best plumbers I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Darren letting us all know the amazing benefits of installing a gas line in your home, and how easy it really is.

 

Most people will put up with what they have, as far as household appliance are concerned.  If you have an electric stove, that’s what you’ll use, and that’s the end of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you watch any cooking shows you’ll notice no one cooks on an electric stove. Gas is instant and cooks food evenly, and looks cooler too. But as I’ve already pointed out, you use what you have. This is because most people think a new gas line is a great deal more work and money than it actually is.

Adding a new natural gas line is not as hard as you think, although it does have limitations which can  increase the price. Dry-walled basement ceilings with coated finishes can make the install more difficult and add to the cost with drywall repair – this means holes in your drywall.  You will have as many holes as it takes to install the gas line, to code. If you have a good plumber, they will know a good drywaller and painter that can deal with the repair. An unfinished ceiling or hanging tile makes the install much easier.

Every new gas line installed needs to be inspected by the city, so always make sure your installer is pulling a permit and ask for the permit number.  As a home owner, you will need the permit to call the city, and organize the inspectors visit. If your gas line has been installed correctly you will receive a green “passed” sticker. Do not, for any reason, decide that you can do with out a gas permit. You could run into real problems if you ever have a fire, because the first thing the fire inspector will do is look for shoddy workmanship on any appliances that could cause a fire to start. This inspection will also uncover any illegal gas lines (those without permits), if this is the case your insurance company can wash their hands of you, and pay nothing towards your rebuild.

You should always be asked by your installer what the BTU’s (British Thermal Units – this is how volumes of gas are used hourly) are of the appliance that’s being installed. Without this knowledge, there is no way the gas line can be sized correctly.

A gas line has to increase in diameter as the needed BTU’s increase.  Barbecues most commonly have 40,000 BTU’s, and the length of pipe also must be factored in.

Most original gas lines, in your home, have a large amount of extra BTU’s, these BTU’s can be tapped into.  If you have used up all your BTU’s for a tankless hot water system (which are usually 199,000 BTU’s) you will need to pipe all the way back to the Gas meter.

If you have chosen an experienced, qualified Plumber, they will explain what the scope of work will be, and how it will be carried out. A Certified Plumber will never be annoyed if asked to produce their  Journeyman’s card.  They have trained very hard and are normally very proud to be certified, so if your unsure, just ask! This will ensure your installer is up to code and up to the job at hand.

If you have ever cooked on gas, you’ll know why professionals choose gas above electric. If you upgrade your barbecue to natural gas, you’ll have the peace of mind that half way through entertaining guests you will not run out of propane and let your steaks go cold!

Patio heaters and natural gas fire pits come in a great variety of designs that can look very contemporary, these will allow you to entertain long after others have moved inside.

When you are in your outdoor kitchen “Think Gas”!

 

Want to chat with Darren more about having a gas line installed? Connect with him here!

Living Next To Transmission Lines: Will I Get Sick?

 

The internet is great. It facilitates access to essentially all of the accumulated knowledge on Earth. The open source architecture of the internet allows anyone to create content, which for the most part is in the public interest. However, as most people are aware, there is content on the web which is created either for malicious intent (ie. to sell you something), or simply out of plain old ignorance. This brief blog aims at dispelling a certain myth perpetuated by both of those latter circumstances.

 

That myth is: Transmission lines cause, among other ailments, cancer and neurological disorders.

 

Transmission lines are so commonplace that most people are simply immune to their presence within their field of vision. However, when you are purchasing a house, they stick out like a sore thumb. Other than the obvious aesthetic drawbacks to a large transmission line neighboring your backyard, there is a worry about the negative health effects which accompany them.

The debate around the harmfulness of transmission lines is fueled directly from a fundamental misunderstanding of what “radiation” is. There are two types of radiation, non-ionizing and ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation does not possess the energy required to strip electrons (or ionize) from atoms. Ionizing radiation carries enough energy to knock electrons from their orbit, thus being able to change molecular compositions, which in turn may alter cellular DNA.

Transmission lines, microwave ovens, cellular telephones, FM and AM radio, and all household electrical appliances emit non-ionizing radiation.

Ionizing radiation can come from many sources, which may include cosmic radiation, medical imaging, industrial sterilization, and smoke detectors.

At this point, the debate should be over. Transmission lines do NOT emit the type of radiation necessary to impact humans in any negative way.

 

However, as this common misconception is still alive and well, below is further discussion on the subject.

Here are some excerpts from sources asserting that electromagnetic fields (EMF) from transmission lines are a direct cause of health ailments in humans.

From safespace (www.safespaceprotection.com):

“Strong, artificial EMFs that radiate from power lines can scramble and interfere with your body’s natural EMF, affecting everything from your sleep cycles and stress levels to your immune response and DNA!”

There is no evidence to suggest that the EMF propagated from transmission lines have any causal relationship with anything stated above. A 2002 study commissioned by the WHO (World Health Organization) titled “IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans” says the following:

“There is little experimental or theoretical evidence that mutations could be directly caused by ELF [extremely low frequency] magnetic fields… There is little evidence that ELF electric or magnetic fields can cause malignant transformation of cells in culture.”

A convenient graphic is also shown, which based on your proximity to the transmission line, puts you at risk of many illnesses and disorders.

This graphic, while hilariously incorrect, does raise an important question: what exactly is the field strength based on the proximity to transmission lines?

 

Well, this is easily determined with a high amount of accuracy, and is shown by the below graphic.

Source: Atco Electric

A typical 240kV transmission line right-of-way is about 60m in width. This means that if you are standing directly adjacent to the right of way, the highest magnetic field you would be exposed to is about 8 milligauss. For reference, standing a foot away from your electric stove or a fluorescent desk lamp would expose you to over three times that amount.

From Life Energy Designs (www.lifeenergysolutions.com):

“Another, well researched, way in which EMF interacts with our bodies is through the pineal gland and melatonin reduction… Cancer and other serious conditions are possible results of interrupting this bodily repair cycle.”

Again, this statement is easily refutable. A study produced in 2013 by Elliott et al (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23337237), came up with the following conclusion:

“Our results do not support an epidemiologic association of adult cancers with residential magnetic fields in proximity to high-voltage overhead power lines.”

 

Of course, as per the scientific method, it is impossible to prove that there is anything on the planet which is correlated with no known health risks. Research can only tell us that no observable correlation to negative health effects exists in any one study. After that, it all comes down to a simple risk/reward approach.

Transmission lines do not cause cancer or any other illness as some may suggest.

They may however, block a tad bit of your view.

 

Daniel Lang, P.Eng.

 

Connect with Daniel here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy or Sell a Home the Easy Way!

Providing a smooth and stress free experience for my clients when buying or selling their homes has always been a priority for me. Over the past nine years I have come up with proven systems to help my clients buy and sell real estate. I wanted to make these systems even more convenient for my clients and thought “how great would it be to have all my systems in one place on our cell phones?”. Flash forward a year later and here we are!

I’m so excited to announce that I have created my very own mobile application to help service my clients!

The Nichola Elise Coffee to Keys Mobile App will simplify the home buying or selling experience. Be confident in your real estate decisions by accessing all the information you need in one place. A personalized, easy-to-use, one-stop mobile information depot in your pocket.

Be informed, keep yourself on track, and enjoy! Buy or sell a home the easy way with the Nichola Elise Real Estate App!

 

What can the app do?

  • Use customized task lists for your transaction –helping you keep on track and know exactly what comes next!
  • Use the calendar to track appointments, showings, and coffee dates – even my most organized clients will love having the extra details taken care of.
  • Find exactly where your showings are and how long it will take to get there with Google Maps and pins
  • Allow you to view your listing feedback –sellers listen up – all your showing feedback will be listed here along with date and time of all showings to help adjust our sales strategies if needed. Collaborative data all in one spot!
  • Rank, add photos and comment on your favorite listings, helping to manage your options
  • View and retrieve PDF copies of all signed documents in one spot for easy download and emailing
  • Easily calculate costs within the app using our Mortgage Calculator
  • Search MLS within the app 
  • And even the ability to determine your homes market value!

 

Buying or selling a home made easy. Everything you need. In one place.

Stay tuned for the launch of HomEASY – the same great app, but fully customizable for other agents – so their clients can enjoy the convenience of the application that’s personally branded for each individual agent.

Seven Qualities of a Great Realtor

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Your home is one of the most important places in your life. It can be your most valuable asset, the place where you make your fondest memories, and live your greatest dreams – home is where the heart is, after all! Buying or selling your home is an exciting process, and deciding on your realtor is one of the first steps. Like any other professional service industry, the realty industry is made up of all kinds of realtors with differing styles, and selecting a realtor should be a thoughtful decision. Below are seven qualities of a great real estate agent, exactly what you should expect from your realtor.

Your agent should be…

1) An Excellent Communicator

No two deals are the same when it comes to buying and selling, and not every deal is going happen without a hitch. Your real estate agent should be communicating with you continually, updating you with every detail of your deal. To top it off, buying and selling is quite time-sensitive, so having a realtor who is always ready to talk to you about what’s best for you, what your next steps should be, and what’s happening with the deal is definitely an important quality.

I pride myself on always getting back to my clients emails, text messages, or phone calls within only a couple hours of receiving them. Even if I am busy showing homes to someone else, I will reach out to my client saying “I have received your communication and will respond before ___ time” – buying and selling real estate is always a big deal, and I know that you don’t want to be sitting at home wondering if I got your message. I always communicate in a timely fashion.

 

2) Very Proactive

Your agent should be proactive in working with you, either as a current, past, or potential client. They should be reaching out to you regularly and always on top of ways to keep your deals going smoothly. They should be thinking about you and how to improve your current real estate situation even when they are not around you – these are the agents who have your best interest in mind, and the ones you will want to work with for every real estate deal.

Aligning myself with my clients goals is very important to making our time together fun and productive. I will ask tons of questions so that I fully understand the motivation behind all of your needs and wants. This way I can make your goals my goals, making us a seamless team!

 

3) A Great Listener

Real estate agents are generally great at talking up a storm – however, they need to be great listeners too! They must be able to listen to what you’re saying, and understand your situation, your needs, and your wants. If you’re working with an agent who is actively listening to you, you’ll be that much more confident in your relationship.

I believe in forming a strong working relationship – key word relationship. Strong relationships are built on communication and trust. Part of good communication is listening, my father always said “you have two ears and one mouth” –it just makes sense.

 

4) Adaptable! 

Your needs and wants might change from time to time, and your agent should have no trouble adapting to your situation. Your agent should be able to change their style in order to conform to yours – if you prefer face-to-face meetings instead of texting or emailing, the realtor you are dealing with should be able to work with your needs.

Being a millennial, I have tons of experience with the latest technology and trends including going paperless and electronic signatures. But that is not for everyone, and rest assured that once we meet together we can discuss the systems that suite your needs best.

 

5) Able to Give Great References!

Companies don’t hire people without first checking their references, you shouldn’t work with a realtor without checking theirs either. Your agent should be happy to share past client testimonials with you, and if they don’t, that might be your clue to look for a different agent. I keep some of my testimonials online, you can click here to check them out.

My past clients are so happy with our time together that they are willing to get in touch with new clients to give a reference. Just ask!

 

6) Knowledgeable of Your Situation 

This goes hand in hand with being a great listener – your agent should be able to understand and be knowledgeable of why you’re buying or selling, whether it’s for investment purposes, personal family situations, or something different. A good agent will be mindful about the situation, and will know the steps to take to make your real estate experience as smooth as possible.

 

7) Able to Work with Your Time-frame 

Real estate deals are time sensitive, and your realtor should be able to gain a clear understanding of your timeframe – and how to work effectively within that allotment. They should be able to think quick on their toes in order to get each and every detail worked out in the time you need.

 

I love being a Realtor, and I am passionate about my clients and their current real estate needs. I work hard to make my clients’ experience smooth and tailored to what they need.

Do you have questions about your current real estate situation? Let’s chat! Click here to get in touch.

 

Source: http://www.remonline.com/7-qualities-great-real-estate-agent/ 

Why Use a Realtor to Buy a New Home?

why-use-a-realtor

Many people think that when you are purchasing a new build, you might not need a Realtor. However, I highly recommend you have a Realtor to represent you – there are so many factors that go into buying a new home! As your agent, I can help with all aspects of your transaction, including:

  • The location, design, layout, and features of your new home – I have a unique aspect and can help you see what qualities are better for resale value in your new home
  • I can help you understand all that paperwork – what it all means, what can go wrong, and what to expect
  • I have so much experience in negotiating, and I can help you get the right price, the perfect upgrades, and the contract terms that suit you
  • I will be facilitating in the buying process from beginning to end – going through step by step and what to expect after each phase, including who to call and talk to, and when
  • I can give you objective professional advice and insight during all phases of the process, such as contract, construction, walkthrough, and closing
  • While the sale representative will always give the appearance that sales prices are non-negotiable, I am able to use recent and historical sales data to aid in the negotiation, data that is not available during new construction.
  • I have knowledge of and the ability to leverage contracts, real estate law and the real estate community when/if things go awry with the builder
  • Working with me will give you access to my contact sphere of vetted professionals who I have spent many years building relationships with, including mortgage brokers, bank managers, builders, contractors, tradesmen, lawyers, and home inspectors
  • I can help you with information on Alberta New Home Warranty

When buying a new home, it is easy to forget that the salesperson is working for the builder. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and trained to make you feel comfortable. When working with a Realtor you have someone who is legally mandated to look out for you and your best interests before, during, and even after your transaction!

Just the other day I had a client who had purchased a brand new Brookfield home. He spotted a foundation crack with water leaking in to his basement. He was obviously panicked. He sent me a text at 10:00 pm at night, and because I am a bit of a workaholic I was up and working and jumped at the chance to help. I connected him with his warranty partner, explained how the process will work, and within 24 hours he had all he needed to start the process of fixing the issue.

Buying a new home is a very emotional and exciting time, and sometimes this can cause some “blindness” in buyers. My ten years of experience selling homes (old and new) has made me immune to the emotion when buying. This allows me to be unbiased and because I always align myself with my client’s goals I am able to see things from your point of view but as a professional realtor.

Still have questions about buying a new home? Let’s chat! Click here to send me a quick email.

Moving in Together? Get Educated!


Thump…. Thump…. thump…your heart is thumping, you know it’s coming…he’s about to pop the big questions. You know it. It’s been long enough. You. Are. Ready.

He leans in and pops the question…”So…wanna live together?”

“YES!”


 

So you are moving in together, congratulations! That is such a huge step for couples of all ages, especially couples in love.

Selfishly, I enjoy working with first time home buyers the most! They are happy, excited, and eager to listen to make sure the job is done right, and always have a smile on their face.

But even with all the excitement and love (that is so strong you can smell from blocks away) there are practical issues that all couples need to discuss when buying a home together. And as your REALTOR®, a women, and an educated buyer I feel it’s important I give you my two square feet…I mean my two cents.


 

I have seen this often over my eight years in real estate:
A couple will go to purchase a home but because one party makes more Money than the other they are the ones with the down payment and they are the ones legally buying the home. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that’s fair! My concern lies when the other party is paying the same monthly costs to keep the home running and believes he/she has legal stake in the home. For example they are paying for utilities, home repairs, groceries, furniture, etc. If this sounds like you then keep reading!


It’s important to know your options and to understand what the best route is for you, to do this you must understand the fundamentals.
What is A Title?
The title is a legal document that tells us who and what type of legal ownership someone has to the land. It is provided by the Government of Alberta Registries Office and states who owns the land, if there are any caveats, liens, mortgages, etc. on the property.

How does purchasing a home work?
Once you have found that dream home with a REALTOR® you trust it is time to write an offer. Once the offer is accepted you proceed with your conditions (financing, a home inspection, and if buying a condo you must review the condo documents) if you are satisfied with your conditions you can go ahead and close the deal. About two weeks before possession day you meet with your lawyer to transfer title. Meaning that on the day you move in the title will have your name on it instead of the old owners.

It’s important to know that whoever signs the offer to purchase and the mortgage documents is who’s name will be on title.

What is common law and how does it work?
A common law relationship, aka an Adult Interdependent Relationship, is a committed personal relationships between people that are not married to each other, where they agree to share emotional and economic responsibilities. Almost all boyfriend and girlfriend relationships will fall in to this category.

To legally be considered as an interdependent relationship when it comes to real estate you have to have been living with the other person for three years or have both chosen to enter in to an agreement and put it in writing.


 

For the sake of this blog I am only speaking about the matter of adult interdependent relationships and its relation to real property aka your home!


Janet and Ben moved in together four years ago. Janet was a student and didn’t have funds for a down payment, but Ben did. So together they found a house and put it in Ben’s name. Ben paid for the down payment, mortgage and property taxes while Janet paid for all the house hold repairs, groceries, and utility bills. Now they are breaking up and Janet has to move out. How is Janet protected now that Ben has asked her to leave? She just spend $44,000 on household bills over four years and now she has moved out…she has no equity and no claim to the property she just spent four years paying towards!

Sure, Janet can sue Ben but lawyers are extremely expensive with typical retainers of $3,000 to $10,000 (not including hourly costs).
Here are two easy ways Janet could have secured some claim to the home she just spend four years building.

  • Ben and Janet could have discussed the terms of an adult interdependent relationship in regards to the house and what happens if the relationship goes sour. A lawyer will help you write one together so all parties are happy for only an hourly fee.
  • They could have added Janet to the title, giving her legal right to the property, a year after they took possession of the home. After a year of ownership you can add or take someone off title as long as both parties agree.

Here are the three common types of ownership:

  1. Sole Ownership – either a person or a registered company is the sole owner of the land
  2. Tenancy-in-Common – in this type of ownership there are two or more owners called tenants-in-common; when a tenant-in-common dies, that person’s share in the land goes to his or her estate, not automatically to the other co-owner(s)
  3. Joint Tenancy – this type of ownership also involves two or more owners but each owner has the right of survivor-ship; when one owner dies, that person’s interest automatically passes to the other owner(s)

How can you prevent yourself from getting in to a similar situation as Janet?

  1. Saving up for your own down payment and buy the home legally with your partner or purchase your home and rent it out – this gives you a backup plan.
  2. Entering in to an adult interdependent relationship agreement with your partner.
  3. Talking to your partner about what they see the living situation being? Is it a landlord tenant situation? If so outline a rental agreement so both parties know what is expected.
  4. It is always a good idea to keep receipts for money spent on the house whether its house hold repairs, utility bills, and even groceries/furniture! This is the only way to prove what you have actually spend on the home.

Talking about the nitty gritty topics like this can be tough. But when it comes to one of the biggest investment you may ever make it has to be done.
It is also important to work with an experienced and knowledgeable team that understand your situation inside and out. I often joke that I am half councilor-half REALTOR®. I ask my clients what their plan is and where they see themselves in five years. This may change the style of home we look at and what type of mortgage agreement they sign. A good lawyer will also ask these questions and recommend signing an adult independent relationship agreement if they feel it is needed. Of course, the decision is always up to you, but choice wisely.

 

Got questions, let’s chat!

First-Time Home Buyer Programs

 

Buying a home, especially for the first time, is an absolutely thrilling, frightening, and slightly overwhelming task. Your home is the biggest purchase you will ever make, and it’s imperative to your continuing financial health that you do it right!

While many of us would rather avoid the stresses of home ownership altogether and continue renting, there are some serious perks to owning a home. The biggest being that owning your own home is an investment in your future.

Rather than depleting your bank account every month to pay rent and having that money go nowhere, paying off your mortgage every month is getting you that much closer to total homeownership. Once you retire or decide to sell again, you’ll have that sweet little nest egg already set up!

If you are considering buying your very first home, there are some fantastic incentive programs that will make it just that much easier for you! Below we outline the first-time home buyer programs that apply to those purchasing in Edmonton or its surrounding areas.

CMHC

One of the biggest struggles that many first-time home buyers face is coming up with a down payment to purchase a home. CMHC-insured financing is available for first-time home buyers allowing you to purchase a home with as little as 5% down.

This is a huge deal, considering that when you buy a home you also need to cover closing costs, which can push home ownership out of the question for many who are buying for the first time.

A good example could be a purchase price of $400,000 – a common price of a single-family home in Edmonton. It can be difficult to have $40,000 to $80,000 on hand, and this doesn’t even account for closing costs. CMHC takes on 95% of the total purchase price of your home, allowing you to put down only $20,000. This truly makes buying a home far more accessible for everyone.

The slight downside to this is that CMHC has recently increased their mortgage insurance premiums by 15%. This applies to any down payment of less than 10%.

To access more information, check out this CMHC Fact Sheet.

In order to be considered, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Your home must be located in Canada and considered your principal residence.
  • You must have a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price.
  • Your home-related expenses must not exceed 32% of gross household income, which may include utilities, property taxes, and condo fees if applicable.
  • Your total monthly debt load must not exceed 40% of gross monthly household income. Debt such as personal loans, car payments, and credit cards would need to be factored into this percentage.
  • You must be able to pay closing costs equal to at least 1.5% of the purchase price. Closing costs may include lawyers’ fees, GST, land transfers, and more.

Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

It is likely that your friends or family who already own homes have told you about the CRA’s Home Buyers’ Plan or HBP. This incentive allows you to withdraw $25,000 from your RRSP’s without a tax penalty. This was recently expanded from $20,000 to $25,000.

There is one caveat – once you withdraw your $25,000, you must pay it back into your RRSP’s over a period of time. You generally have 15 years to make repayments and they begin 2 years after your original withdrawal. A quick side note – repayments do not affect your RRSP deduction limit.

In order to participate as a first-time home buyer, you must meet the CRA’s HBP eligibility and RRSP withdrawal conditions.

For more details, please visit the CRA’s HBP webpage.

First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)

Since 2009, the CRA has offered a non-refundable tax credit based on $5000 to home buyers who qualify.

“The HBTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000. For 2009, the credit will be $750,” according to an excerpt from the CRA website.

In order to qualify for the tax credit, you will need to meet the following conditions:

  • You or your spouse/common-law partner purchased a qualifying home (which includes both existing homes or new builds, single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or an apartment.)
  • You did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse/common-law partner in the year of acquisition or the previous 4 years.

For more details about how to claim your HBTC, please visit the CRA’s webpage.

Edmonton’s First Place Program

For those who are finding it tough to break into Edmonton’s housing market, which happens to be one of the most expensive in Canada, there is a new affordable housing program available called the First Place Program.

Edmontonians who have never purchased a home before now have the option to participate in the First Place Program that gives first-time home buyers a variety of options to make buying a home more affordable.

A big perk includes a 5-year land payment deferment, which according to their example could save you $33,000 right off the bat. That’s more money to put towards paying off your mortgage, saving you interest, or giving you access to extra money that you can invest. For more details, visit the First Place Program website.

In order to participate you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be able to qualify and obtain pre-approved financing.
  • You must provide a minimum of 5% down payment, and have a suggested maximum gross debt service ratio of 32% or total debt service ratio maximum of 42%.
  • You must be a first-time home buyer in Alberta.
  • You must agree to be full-time occupants and residents of the home for at least five years.
  • You must have a personal net worth less than $25,000, excluding a primary vehicle, lock-in or group RRSP, and the down payment required for the home.
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status.
  • You must be employed and have a combined household income of no more than $117,000.
  • You may use a co-signer to qualify for and obtain mortgage approval.

Need help understanding the ins and outs of purchasing a home for the first time? An experienced REALTOR®, like Nichola Elise Ryhanen, can help simplify the process for you.

Learn more about what Nichola does for First-Time Home Buyers or simply call her today to get started! 780-504-1182