Posts

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.

How Homes have Changed Since 1973

You may be sitting in front of your TV one evening, watching your favourite show, and it occurs to you, is this what my home would have looked like if I lived in the 1970’s? Have homes changed? How much have they changed? All things you may sit and ponder with the irritating sound of background noise from the predictably annoying commercials ruining the drama of your show!

Have homes changed you asked? Well I can comfortably inform you that yes, homes have certainly changed since the 1970’s and changed in a large way I might add! Homes are bigger than ever in the last four decades, and have grown outwardly as well. Not only has our modern day family home changed in the obvious styling, fashion and decor, there are also some behind the scenes things that did a swap out too.

Did you know that in the 1970’s there was not any air conditioning in homes or even fireplaces like we know them today! Lots of things have been changed from the exterior of the home to the interior of the home. Another good example would be throwing out electric heating and opting for gas, which we are all very familiar with these days. But again, the biggest point that seems to be driven home is how the comfortable and modest homes of the 1970’s have slowly morphed into mini-mansions!

 


 

Homes on average are 56% larger than they were 40 years ago!

Homes on average are 1000 sq ft larger than they were 40 years ago!

Homes on average are $205,000 MORE than they were 20 years ago!

 


It is very interesting to think just how far the design and layout of our homes have come in the last 40 years, for both the positive and the negative of things. It is even more crazy to think about where our modern family home might go in the future too. What it may evolve into!

 

For now check out the article below! You can find a very neat time lapse video done by CNN!

How our Homes have Changed Since the 1970’s

 

 

Sources for information, time lapse video and photo found at:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/63564/how-american-homes-have-changed-1973

 

Haunted Mansion For Sale… Would You Live Here?

About an hour northeast of Syracuse New York in the small town of Camden, New York, you will find a very large, old white home for sale. Oddly this home has been on the market since 2010 with the price of the home continuing to drop. Today this home can be bought for the low low price of $105,000! Buyer beware though, buyers may have unwanted roommates in this house with many legitimate claims of it being haunted.

Dating back to the 1880’s the design of the property followed a Queen Anne style design and the home is listed as an official National Historic Place and is well known as the W.H. Dorrance House. This old style mansion is a 2.5 story home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and huge 4747 square feet! It also features an engaged circular tower with conical roof. This home has many unique features but the most prominent is the claim that this home is haunted! There have been some interesting photos taken of this place most well known is the image of white hand prints on all of the windows of the front of the house when Google took the shot. This image made this home and this story famous on social media within the last year. In fact, in June 2015 the Daily Mail in London published an article about this now famous image and the hand prints that can be seen on the upstairs windows. Very creepy image, you be the judge! Not only does this home quite literally look like every house from any horror movie ever made, it has the ghostly inhabitants to go along with that!! Scary!

Take a look through this creepy article here:

Haunted Mansion For Sale in New York

 

Sources found at:

cms.mentalfloss.com (article above)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3124453/Google-captures-ghostly-images-windows-haunted-house-owners-abandoned-trying-sell.html

 

Naming Our City!

Ever wonder how/where some of Edmonton’s Favourite communities got their names?! Ever wonder how/where your own community got its name?!

Let’s chats!

The following neighbourhoods were ranked at the top in the MLS® System sales for single family homes and condominiums in the past year in Edmonton.

 


 

Let’s dig a little deeper and explore the background of the people, the events, and the natural features of some of the specific areas and how that inspired their names!

 


 

Oliver

In 2014 not only was it Edmonton’s hottest spot to buy and sell but it the name Oliver is packed with tons of history! Frank Oliver (1853-1933) brought the first printing press to Edmonton and cofounded the Edmonton Bulletin shortly thereafter with telegraph operator Alex Taylor. Oliver went on to become Alberta’s first Member of Parliament in 1905 and sat in the House of Commons until 1917. If Frank Oliver hadn’t dropped his last name given at birth, Bowsfield, one of our most popular communities might just be called Bowsfeild!

 

Rutherford

This community came in second in the most sales for 2014 but Alexander Cameron Rutherford was second to none when he became Alberta’s first premier in 1905. In 1909 he won his second election but after a railway scandal he had to resign. Rutherford was a major part of making sure the University of Alberta was built in South Edmonton (now Strathcona) and became a member of the university’s senate in 1907. Without Mr. Rutherford our university may not lay were it does.

 

 The Hamptons

Perhaps the name is best known for the chic residential area on Long Island, New York but here in Edmonton this neighbourhood only began development in the early years of this century.

 

Summerside

Come on over and jump in to Summerside! Edmonton’s first neighbourhood with a man-made lake! Swimming with people, buying and selling all styles and homes, this nautical themed community named for a city in Prince Edward Island has a 28 foot deep lake that contains 680 million liters of water!

 

South Terwillegar

Dr. Norman Terwillegar lived in and around the Terwillegar subdivision for many years before passing away in 1948. Terwillegar was a doctor of medicine at the Royal Alexandria Hospital and was the president of the Edmonton Academy of Medicine.

 

Windermere

Developed in the 1960’s as part of Strathcona country then annexed to Edmonton in 1982 we don’t have much information about this particular name other than: “winder” is something that takes ones breath away. “Mere” has been defined as a boundary or landmark…

 

Strathcona

Named after Sir Donald Alexander Smith a Scottish man who apprenticed for the Hudson’s Bay Company for 50 years before becoming the governor of the company. The name comes from Sir Donald being the 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal. There were high hopes for this area to be a major commercial centre in competition with the hub across the river, remember this was before there was a bridge binding the two parts of our wonderful city.

 

 Westmount

Much like today this community was marketed towards young professionals, especially in 1910 when the residents could easily travel to and from downtown on the electric streetcar that ran down Jasper Avenue to 110 Avenue via 124 Street. Being one of the most popular and oldest areas in Edmonton this community is still a hot spot for young adults working in our cities core.

 

Garneau

Laurent Garneau (1840-1921) was granted River Lot 7, on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River and his property quickly became known as “The Garneau”. Garneau was of Metis descent and was believed to be born in Michigan which is over 2,800 kms away from where he built his home that was later used to name one of Edmonton’s most beautiful and mature neighbourhoods.

 

SOURCE: NAMING EDMONTON FROM ADA TO ZOIE

THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA PRESS

 

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!

Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Edmonton

Unlike buying a pair of shoes on sale at the mall, your house has to fit – fit your personality, fit your lifestyle, fit your marriage or partnership, and of course, fit your price range.

There are a lot of requirements that your dream home has to fulfill! Buying a home is truly one of the biggest transactions you will ever encounter, so it must be done with care. It would be terrible to find out a couple of years down the road or a few years deep into your mortgage that you are unhappy living there.

Whether or not you are in the market for your ‘forever home’, it is essential that you consider these 5 things when buying a home in Edmonton.

Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Edmonton

1. Are you ready to buy?

Owning a home is a big deal. If you have just been renting most of your adult life, it can be hard to adjust to the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading your very own place. It is also a much bigger commitment than just a 6-month lease.

Here are 5 good indications that you are ready to buy a home:

  • You have money tucked away for a down payment, and you’re not spending more than you make.
  • You have a rough idea of how much you can afford to spend, either by discussing your options with a REALTOR® or mortgage broker.
  • You are ready to settle down. For example, you don’t foresee moving across the continent anytime soon.
  • You don’t have a pile of outstanding debt from credit cards or student loans.
  • You and your partner are on the same page. This is sometimes a huge hurdle – one person wants this and the other that, and not being able to agree on your needs and wants can add to home buying stress.

2. Is it a good time to buy?

The real estate market conditions in Edmonton can fluctuate up and down, which can make buyers hesitant to jump in. An experienced REALTOR® can help you navigate the sometimes confusing and murky waters of an ever-changing market.

As a buyer, winter can be a great time to purchase. Sellers are typically eager to sell at this time, whether it’s to meet tax deadlines, pay off their Christmas debt, or simply move on to something new. There is also less competition from other buyers at this time.

If you are looking to make a long-term investment in a home, you should be protected from short-term market fluctuations. As long as you are happy with your home and it meets your needs as an individual, couple, or family it will continue to be the greatest investment you’ve ever had!

3. Do you know what you want to buy?

Now that you’ve figured out that you are ready to buy, it’s time to consider what you want to buy! This is a big topic to contemplate it includes the type, size, and layout of your prospective home as well as the neighbourhood and amenities that are close by.

To help with the process, realtor.ca has put together a couple of worksheets to keep track of your ideas: House Hunting Checklist and Dream Home Checklist.

Before you begin, some great questions to ask yourself should include:

  1. Do I want to live in an urban area, suburban area, or a rural area?
  2. How close do I need to be to schools, shopping malls, and recreational facilities?
  3. Do I need a brand new home or an existing home?
  4. Do I know what type of home would be best for my family and I?
  5. Do I know my needs, wants, and must-haves and do they match up with my partner/spouse or family?

What is the difference between a need, want, and a must-have feature?

To put it simply, a must-have is something you simply cannot live without. For some, this could include an ensuite bathroom. Anything that could make or break a home in your eyes would be considered a must-have.

A need is very similar to a must-have because you pretty much have to have it in order to be interested in the home. For example, if you are moving out of a cramped 2-bedroom house, you obviously won’t settle for less than a 3 or 4-bedroom home.

A want is just that – something that you want because it would be nice to have, but you could live without it if you had to. This could include a wood stove, a hot tub, a large shop, etc.

The best strategy you can follow is to work with your REALTOR® to find a home that fits all of your must-haves, needs, and as many wants as possible – all within your budget.

Other points to consider when buying a home in Edmonton:

  • Do I need an in-law suite or guest housing of some sort?
  • Do I need an office space? Will clients need to be there? This could affect the location of your office.
  • Do I need to be walking distance from transit and shopping centers, or will I be driving everywhere?
  • How important is the proximity of a park, green space, or walking trails to my family and I?
  • Am I interested in a legal basement suite for earning extra income?

4. Do you need to sell your current home?

One of the most asked questions in real estate is, “Do I sell my home before or after I buy?” The best rule of thumb is to time your purchase so that you do not have to pay for the maintenance of both homes.

You can do this by making your new offer conditional to the sale of your current home. You can also try to extend the closing period of your sale to give you more time to look.

When is a good time to sell?

For sellers, spring is usually when the market picks up. There is a larger inventory of homes for buyers, which means more competition for you!

Other perks of selling in the spring would be that your home shows better in nicer weather, buyers want to cash in their tax refunds, and school is out, which makes moving easier on parents.

If you need to sell your home fast or are concerned about market conditions, the best way to navigate this process is to work with an experienced REALTOR®. They know the markets well and can help you price your home accordingly so that it sells in a hurry!

5. Do you have a REALTOR® yet?

Buying a home is a complex process with a lot of legal documentation. A REALTOR® can simplify it for you.

If you are asking yourself whether or not to work with a REALTOR®, there are some important facts to consider. Here’s what a REALTOR® can do for you:

  • Discuss and review your list of wants, needs, and must-haves to help you determine your price range.
  • Answer any questions about the markets you’re interested in and help you compare homes and neighbourhoods.
  • Utilize the MLS® System on your behalf, which allows them to see property details that the public cannot.
  • Preview properties to ensure you’re only shown homes that meet your needs and budget.
  • Make appointments, walk you through potential homes, and answer all of your questions.
  • Negotiate with the seller, smooth out any potential conflicts, and draw up a legally binding contract (offer).

Need help buying a home in Edmonton? Nichola Elise Ryhanen is a highly motivated and knowledgeable REALTOR® who can make the process quick, easy, and fun!

Learn about her Home Buying Process or simply contact her today to get started 780.504.1182.