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Improve Your Landscape – Increase Your Property Value

June 27th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

 

 

It’s all about curb appeal. Making that first good impression on potential home buyers starts with how your home looks like from the street. A well-designed landscape, green lawn, beautiful trees and maintained walkways will make it more aesthetically pleasing and could boost your resale value.

In the same way that good landscaping can attract buyers to your property, bad landscaping or an unkempt yard can turn them away. Professional landscapers in Edmonton can help you improve your home’s curb appeal, help you get a better return on investment and create an outdoor space you’re going to love using in the meantime.

According to an article published on House Logic about landscaping to increase home value, good landscaping can add up to 28 per cent to overall home value. The article also advises that you shouldn’t embark on a major landscaping overhaul to merely flip a house – but to invest in good landscaping for your personal enjoyment knowing you’ll reap the rewards when it comes time to sell.

That said, you don’t have to break the bank to spruce up your curb appeal if you are planning on selling sooner than later. Here are some things you can do to spruce up your landscaping and create a more attractive curb appeal:

Clean up your yard.

Once the snow melts it is time to get your yard ready to impress! Clean up the yard, remove dead branches from your trees, pick up any mess left by your dogs, rake up leaves and debris and get rid of last year’s dead weeds. Remove or replace dead or dying plants and give your patio and walkways a good pressure wash.

Spend time on lawn maintenance.

If you plan on selling your home in the summer or fall, then spring is the best time to start a lawn maintenance regime. A brown lawn that is full of weeds does not look good on a real estate listing and an unkempt lawn might make buyers believe that the rest of the house hasn’t been properly maintained either. Dedicate some time and money in properly fertilizing, watering and mowing your lawn.

Plant a tree.

Having a tree on your property can raise your home’s value. According to an article in MoneySense, a property with healthy trees can easily sell for more than 5 per cent more than those that don’t have trees. Make sure you choose a tree that does well in urban environments and your climate zone. Slow growing trees, like elm or oak trees, usually offer the most value as they provide more shade and stay healthier longer.

Add some color.

Adding a few plant boxes or flower pots to your home’s landscape will give your property a splash of vibrant color and show buyers that you are proud of your property. Use flowers to spruce up patios and entry ways. If you want to build permanent flower beds, consider hiring experienced landscapers in Edmonton.

Add lighting.

Outdoor lights added around your deck and patio can create a more inviting atmosphere. You should also consider that potential buyers might drive by your home in the evening to check it out, so having good exterior lighting on your driveway and walk ways could help showcase your yard and all the work you’ve done to the landscaping.

Great curb appeal can attract buyers, bring up your listing price and help you sell your home faster.  Learn more about how to landscape your home on the cheap.

 

Happy First Day of Summer!!!

June 21st, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

 

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Why a “Subject to Sale” Condition is Rarely Your Best Option

June 20th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

What do you do when you find the perfect home, but you haven’t sold your current home? Most people consider putting an offer on their dream home, with a “subject to the sale of the buyer’s home” condition. However, this scenario is probably not your best option.

A “subject to sale” condition means that the buyer’s offer is conditional on them selling their own home – if they don’t sell their home by the deadline on the condition, the deal dies. If the seller is agreeable to a “subject to sale” condition, they will typically add a clause of their own, so if the sellers receive and accept another offer, the original buyers will have to remove all of their conditions within a certain period of time (typically 24-72 hours) or the new buyers get it.

So, what’s wrong with a “subject to sale” condition?

From the seller’s perspective, a pending offer – even if it is “only” a “subject to sale” offer – can deter other buyers from considering the home. While you don’t have to disclose the fact that you’re pending until a new buyer is interested, with the amount of inventory on the market right now, this can be enough to make a buyer look another way.

From the buyer’s perspective, this type of condition does not put you in a strong negotiating position. Think about it, you have to convince the sellers to accept an offer that is conditional on another home that they know very little about selling. This means your offer is going to have to be strong in every other way, especially price. They’re also going to want you to remove any other conditions (like financing and inspection) quickly, which means you could easily end up paying for an inspection, only to lose the home to another party. Now you also have to sell your existing home, and your motivation to sell just went waaaaay up. This could mean paying a premium for your new home, and selling for less than you could otherwise.

So why would anyone write or accept an offer with a “subject to sale” condition?

It all depends on market conditions, and the properties in question. Without going into every possible scenario, a seller may accept this type offer because they can negotiate hard on the other points. For one thing, an offer with a “subject to sale” condition is better than no offer at all in most cases. As long as the time clause you negotiate is relatively short, a “subject to sale” offer probably won’t scare away other buyers. With a good negotiator representing you in the right market conditions, a “subject to sale” offer can actually motivate other potential buyers to write better offers.

If you’ve truly find your dream home, and it’s unlikely you’ll find anything else you like, then a “subject to sale” condition may be your only option. You need to keep in mind that the house is really still on the market, as long as your offer is “subject to sale” and you could find yourself with 24 or 48 hours to remove your conditions – can you get financing for two homes in 48 hours? If you absolutely must have the home, and money is no object, then go ahead and put in an offer that is subject to the sale of your current home. But think about this… if it really is the perfect home, and you’d remove your condition if the seller’s get another offer anyway, why don’t you just write a strong offer in the first place, and try and get all the other things you want such as a possession date that works for you and a good price?

An even better scenario, is to get your existing home sold first and then make a strong offer without the risk of owning two homes. Keep in mind of course all this information is very general, not specific to any situation, and will change with the market.

Happy Father’s Day!!!

June 18th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!!!

Estate Sales, 101

June 13th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

When someone dies and they own real estate, the number one question we are asked is: “What about timing? When can we sell the real estate?”

Answer: It depends on several factors.

When land is owned by a deceased person, it can only be transferred after a Grant or Court Order is issued. This process can take many months.

In the meantime, significant steps can be taken to get the property ready for sale, list the property with a realtor and entertain and accept offers. The authorized legal representative of the estate (commonly referred to as the Executor(trix) and now referred to as the Personal Representative), has the authority, responsibility and the duty to care for and manage the property until it can be transferred. These duties extend to ensuring the property is secure, utilities and other expenses paid, and insurance is maintained. If the property is vacant, it is essential the Personal Representative contact the insurance company to request and obtain a vacancy endorsement or you may have no valid insurance.

Once the property is ready for sale, it can be listed with your realtor, provided all necessary consents are in place. This includes the consent of the Public Trustee where there are minor beneficiaries and the consent of all other beneficiaries in certain circumstances. Please note the Public Trustee will not consent to any actual sale until a Grant is issued by the Court.

If an offer is received and accepted before the official Court Order is obtained to allow the transfer, then special considerations apply. Special wording can be inserted in the Real Estate Purchase Contract that acknowledges this is an estate sale and that title can only be transferred once the Court Order is obtained. The parties can then either agree to delay completion and possession until the Court Order is issued, or agree to tenancy possession so the buyers can occupy the property right away and then transfer the title once the Court Order is obtained. Typically, if the tenancy is granted, the buyer will pay some form of “rent”; often by paying the amount they would pay on a new mortgage. In special cases, at an added cost, it is possible to obtain an interim Court Order allowing the actual transfer of the land to take place before the Grant is issued.

From the buyer’s perspective, when buying property from an estate, make sure you ask many questions regarding the status of the Court application. It can sometimes take several months before the actual Court Order is issued. During that time, your mortgage commitment may expire and you will be subject to the prevailing mortgage rates at the time the commitment expires. Generally speaking, if the application for a Court Order has actually been submitted to the Courts, the typical time required for a Grant is 8 weeks or less. However, even this can be prolonged if there are errors in the application.

This article is meant as a general discussion of topics in this area. It is not meant to offer specific legal advice to anyone as individual circumstances can have an impact on each and every situation.

 

Slow Spring Market in Edmonton

June 13th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

We’ve been hearing lots of good forecasts for the Alberta economy lately, but the real estate market remains relatively slow in Edmonton. The real estate market tends to lag behind other economic factors, so I’m not surprised that the market is a little slow, even though the year started off showing lots of positive signs. The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton released their report on the Greater Edmonton Area:

“We are in the middle of our busiest season for real estate,” says James Mabey, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair. “More sellers are entering the market and are motivated to move their properties before the summer months, which provides the best selection of properties for buyers who are actively looking and taking advantage of the increased number of listings typical for this time of year.”

New listings and inventory jumped up in May (to the highest levels we’ve seen in ten years), and for the first time this year we finished out the month with more listings than we had on the market last year. For the first few months of this year, we saw lower supply and higher demand than last year, but that trend has now reversed.

Greater Edmonton Area Real Estate Stats

Sales in the greater Edmonton area were in the normal range for May, but down 2.8% from last year:

The average price was down 1% to $379,018 and the median price was equal to last May at $360,000:

The inventory of listings on the market hit its highest level in years; there were 8,385 homes on the market at the end of the month:

The inventory was mostly influenced by the high number of new listings; 1,853 new listings came on the market in May:

Edmonton Real Estate Stats

Single-family home sales were down 6.4% from last May – 871 homes were reported sold in Edmonton in May:

Condo sales were on par with last May, which had the lowest sales of condos in many years – 365 condos were reported sold in Edmonton in May:

The average price of single-family homes was $435,874 in May, down 1.2% from last May, while the median price was up 0.5% to $400,000. The average price of condos was $250,596 in May, down 1.8% from last May while the median price was down 1.8% to $227,250:

The average price per square foot for single family homes was up $1 from last May to $283 while the average price per square foot for condos was down $9 (3.7%) to $233:

Cabinet Re-facing Can Help Sell Your Home

June 6th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

What your kitchen looks like will play a major role in how fast you sell your home. An experienced real estate agent will tell you that the kitchen is the first room a potential buyer will look at when they are investigating your home, either online or during a showing.

 

Kitchen renovations also have a very high return on investment compared to other home renovations. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2016, a minor kitchen remodel will recoup over 83 per cent of its initial cost. That means that if you spend $20,000 on a kitchen renovation, you can expect the resale value of your home to increase by nearly $17,000.

You don’t have to spend that kind of money to fix up the kitchen, boost your resale value and your selling power. If your cabinets are in good shape and just need some aesthetic upgrading, you can save a bundle with cabinet re-facing and still reap the resale benefits of a renovated kitchen.

What is Cabinet Re-facing?

Cabinet re-facing is when you keep your original cabinet boxes but replace your cabinet doors, drawer fronts and any exposed faces of your cabinets. Since you keep your existing cabinet boxes and don’t have to completely remodel the layout of your kitchen, you’ll save yourself the major expense of buying new cabinetry and the labor of costly installation.

There are companies that can help you with cabinet re-facing in Edmonton. They will offer expert advice and everything you would need to reface your cabinets including doors, drawer fronts, veneer or laminate panels, hardware and other accessories. You can change the style, color and even the material of your cabinet faces.

How to Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets

Whether you decide to install kitchen cabinets or reface your kitchen cabinets, an avid do-it-yourself could save themselves the cost of installation by tackling the project themselves. Here are some simple steps for DIY cabinet re-facing:

  1. Remove all existing doors, drawer fronts and hinges.
  2. Clean and prepare cabinet surfaces.
  3. Apply the laminate, vinyl or veneer panels to all visible exteriors of the cabinets.
  4. Trim the coverings.
  5. Install new hinges, doors and drawer fronts.
  6. Install new hardware, moulding or other accessories you might choose

Don’t let your outdated kitchen turn away potential buyers. A minor kitchen renovation with refaced cabinetry is a cost-effective way to improve your home’s aesthetics, make it move-in ready and boost your resale value.

Save on Renovations with Energy Efficiency Rebates

May 30th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

 

 

If you’re like most Canadian homeowners, you’ve worried about rising energy costs over the last few years, are concerned about paying high utility bills now, and are wondering how all of these expenses will impact your budget.

Keeping your home comfortable in every season can be challenging especially if you’ve got drafty windows or insufficient insulation. During the winter months, you may have been tempted to turn up the thermostat to take the chill off but instead put on another sweater to save a few dollars. Don’t forget about those dog days of summer that are just around the corner. Are you going to crank up the air conditioning as a reprieve from the heat or open the windows hoping for a natural breeze to give you a few cool hours of comfortable sleep?

Alberta Residents, help is on the way.

In an effort to encourage Alberta homeowners to increase efficiency and conservation efforts, a new government agency, Energy Efficiency Alberta, has recently launched new “Alberta energy efficiency rebates.”

On April 28th, the agency’s updated website announced details related to valuable home improvement rebates that are now available. Incentives are being offered for projects such as installing energy-efficient insulation, replacement windows and tank-less hot water heaters. In addition, savings opportunities are available for upgrades to new energy-efficient appliances, fixtures and components.

Take a look at some of the money-saving offers you may qualify for:

Home Improvement Rebates:

In order to qualify for home improvement rebates, you must work with a participating Alberta contractor. It’s recommended that you obtain quotes from three of the registered professionals before signing a contract. Pricing and final rebate totals will be based on an estimate of your home’s current energy needs, and each contractor may make different recommendations.

You will not be eligible for a rebate if you do the work yourself.

 

Insulation

 

 

As your home ages, the insulation in your home will compact and become less efficient. Today’s new products and technologies offer various types of insulation and installation methods that will reduce energy costs, improve comfort and add value to your home at resale.

Energy Efficiency Alberta’s insulation rebates include:

  • Attic
  • Main walls
  • Basement
  • Half walls

A maximum rebate total for the installation of new insulation in your home is $3,500.

You can use these types of insulation:

  • Loose fill
  • Blown-in
  • Rolls or batts
  • Spray foam
  • Rigid board

Your contractor will calculate the change in R-value (resistance to transfer heat) before and after the new product installation. The more energy savings achieved, the more rebate will be earned.

 

Windows

 

 

Even if your old windows are keeping the rain and snow from getting into your home, it’s pretty likely they aren’t keeping the wind out or the heat/cold air in—and that means you’re wasting energy.

As windows are exposed to varying temperatures and weather conditions, they start to wear. You may notice discoloration of the wood (a good indicator of water damage), or the window frames are rotting (the wood is spongy), or they don’t open and close properly.

A professional evaluation can determine if your windows can be repaired or if replacement is needed. Again, Energy Efficiency Alberta recommends three estimates to obtain the best pricing and service.

Installing new energy-efficient windows can qualify you for a maximum of $1,500 in rebates.

Not all types of replacement windows meet the incentive requirements. You’ll need to upgrade to:

  • Energy Star® rated—windows must meet Energy Star® guidelines for performance and energy efficiency as certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. These vary by climate zone.
  • Triple pane—three panes of glass are sandwiched together with high-insulating Argon or Krypton gas filling the space between the panes. They’re often built with stronger frames to hold the extra weight and more durable hardware.
  • Low-E (Low-emittance) coating—uncoated glass has a very low U-value and allows heat and cold to easily transfer through it. Treating it with a low-emittance coating allows short-wavelength sunlight through but reflects long-wavelength radiation. In winter, this means heat loss is reduced and the sun’s heat stays inside. In summer, harmful UV rays are blocked while still allowing natural light through.
  • Argon gas filled—insulates better than air, so filling the space between glass panes provides a more efficient window. Triple pane windows with an extra layer of Argon gas significantly reduces heat loss.

Rebates are determined by window size, frame style, number of window panes and energy efficiency improvement (U-value) from the existing window. Your contractor can calculate the total rebate eligibility.

 

Tank-less Water Heaters

 

Have you ever jumped into the shower on a cold, winter morning expecting to be comforted by the nice, warm water spray but realized too late that your family had already used up all the hot water?

Upgrade to a tankless hot water heater and you’ll never have to take a cold shower again. Instead of holding hot water in a storage tank, cold water is heated on demand with a gas burner or electric element. Energy Star® demand systems require less space, can be 34-percent more efficient than traditional storage tank systems for low-demand households, and save approximately $100 per year.

Lower operating costs and a life expectancy of more than 20 years (compared to 10 to 15 years) are additional benefits you can expect when upgrading to a new tankless hot water heater system. When you use a participating contractor to install your new unit, you may be eligible for up to $1,000 in Alberta energy efficiency rebates.

Appliance Rebates

Not ready to do a contractor-assisted home improvement yet? You can still take advantage of online rebates being offered to Albertans with the purchase of qualifying refrigerators, washing machines and smart thermostats.

Applying is simple:

  • Purchase a qualifying appliance or thermostat.
  • Complete the online application with pertinent details.
  • Upload your receipt.
  • Receive a rebate cheque in the mail.

 

Refrigerator

You may not realize that your old refrigerator is an “energy hog” and that no other home appliance uses more electricity. New technologies introduced in the home appliance market are now even more efficient than Energy Star® standards. Earn a $100 rebate for the purchase of a qualifying CEE Tier 3 refrigerator.

Washing Machine

Has your washing machine seen better days? Is it making a strange noise or do your clothes seem a little dingy these days? It may be time for an upgrade, and Energy Efficiency Alberta wants to help.

Receive up to $100 for the purchase of a CEE Tier 3 washing machine and save even more with the highest energy and water savings on the market today. Trusted brand names models from manufacturers such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Samsung, LG, GE and more are included, so you can be sure you’re getting quality products.

 

Smart Thermostat

Another online rebate will be making its way to your mailbox if you purchase a qualifying smart thermostat. Over the years, you may have upgraded your thermostat to a programmable style that allows you to control the temperature by the time of day. You may already try to save money by lowering the heat at night when you’re sleeping or when you’re away from the house. While this can work fairly well, it takes time and more energy to bring the home back up to a comfortable temperature if things change.

Upgrade to a smart thermostat and your home will always be at the perfect temperature. These state-of-the-art components learn from your actions, utilize web apps to control the unit remotely, self-adjust for high humidity and overly dry conditions, track energy use and allow you to see what your cost savings will be for each adjustment.

You can collect a $100 rebate with the purchase of select Honeywell, Nest or Ecobee3 smart thermostats, and watch your heating and cooling bills go down.

There’s no better time to save money on home improvements than now. Take advantage of rebate-earning, energy efficiency projects before they’re gone. Visit Energy Efficiency Alberta for instant savings on LED bulbs, light fixtures, dimmers low-flow faucets and more.

John Ryan & Dave Ryan Presents: New Listing – May 10/17

May 18th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

 

 

Wrap Around Balcony. South Facing Sunlight and Western Sunsets it is Wonderful. You can sit on your wrap around deck, coffee in hand and enjoy life in this 2 bedroom 2 bathroom 18+ Adult living Condo. The open concept Kitchen/ Dining area with plenty of cabinets is awesome for entertaining. With your master bedroom you have your walk in closet, ensuite and private door to the deck. An Electric fireplace, gas BBQ hook-up and Air Conditioning are only a few of the finer parts of owning this unit. The Complex offers an exercise room, Heated Secure Underground Parking Stall with a Storage cage, car wash bay in parkade, beautiful foyer with spiral staircase leading up to 2nd floor sitting area. A Community complex when the larger space is needed for family Gatherings. Stony Plain offers all the amenities and boasts about its Community owned Golf Course and kms of walking trails. Beautiful complex surrounded by a large park and walking trail system with golf course nearby. Why Wait?

 

You can find the link at realtor.ca below!

 

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/18154863/228-7801-Golf-Course-RD-Stony-Plain-Alberta-T7Z0C7-High-ParkSTPL

Darcy Torhjelm Presents: New Listing – May 10/17

May 18th, 2017 by remax-realestate-stonyplain

 

Great 3 Bedroom home on the main floor. Well maintained and shows well. Located on the Golf Course with wide open space off your deck. Carport for parking with 2 stalls and storage space. Lots of closet space and plenty to enjoy. Newer appliances. Garden doors facing South for plenty of sun. Master Bedroom has a 3 pc ensuite and walk-in closet.

 

You can find the link at realtor.ca below!

 

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/18148603/1102-GRAYBRIAR-GR-Stony-Plain-Alberta-T7Z0G1-Graybriar

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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