Real Estate Blog

By Sara Rathner | Jun 8, 2016   hidden-expenses

When you're thinking about buying your first home, it might seem like it's all about the down payment. You save for years to have it, and you base a good portion of your home-buying budget on it.

Next comes the mortgage. How much will you owe each month in principal, interest, taxes, and insurance? How does that compare with how much you currently pay as a renter?

If you've figured out how to tackle those two huge expenses, you might think you have it made in the shade. With lemonade! But the hard truth is that those are far from the only expenses you’ll incur when you buy a house.

In fact, there are lots of hidden costs to anticipate. These fees might affect your overall budget,

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Mistake No. 1: Renting out your old home badly...

Sure, it seems smart to hold on to your old place just in case. It's also nice to collect rent! But that's the best-case scenario; you need to also consider the worst.

“Renting [out] a home can be a great investment, if you know what you're doing,” says real estate investor Mark Ferguson of “The problem is, many people have no idea how to manage renting a home—like collecting rent and checking on tenants—or [to] anticipate the expenses. Landlords have to account for maintenance and vacancies, not just their mortgage payment, so most houses won't make money as rentals.”

So make sure you have a plan to manage your home remotely, and that you can afford to keep paying the

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Red Deer Sold statistics

As activity levels seem to be warming up, so is the weather! This is about the time that many potential buyers, who have been scoping out their targets, come out to look.

Residential sales reported through the MLS® System of the Central Alberta Realtors Association numbered 224 units in January 2018. This was an increase of 21.1% from January 2017 & the highest level for the month since 2014. Sales activity in all of Alberta was up 6.8% from January 2017. There were 3032 active residential listings on the Association's MLS® System at the end of January, rising 5% from levels at the end of January 2017. This was the highest level of inventory for this time of year since 2011 & the second highest ever.

Information Based on Red Deer Real

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Professional painters are fast, efficient, and have mastered techniques that produce top-notch results while making it all look easy. Each painter has slightly different methods and preferences, but the pros all know the trade secrets, including these 13 tips.


You have to start with a perfectly smooth surface to end up with perfectly painted walls or woodwork. One pro says that sander would be a more fitting job title than painter since he spends so much time pushing sandpaper. Sanding levels outs spackle or joint-compound patches and flattens ridges around nail holes. Sanding also removes burrs and rough spots in your trim.

Sand the walls from the baseboard to the ceiling with fine grit sanding paper on a sanding

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I personally love my NEST products!

Certain energy providers provide NEST hardware simply for switching over to their company! Be sure to first negotiate a better rate than you currently have. You can even qualify for a $100 rebate from Energy Efficiency Alberta.


Getting a rebate through the Online Rebates program is easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Take a look at the qualified products list and decide on the item or items you’d like to buy.
  2. Buy the qualified items from one of these local retailers or online.
  3. Take a picture of or scan your receipt. You’ll need to upload it to our web site to receive a rebate.
  4. Go to the Online Rebates page and fill out the rebate form.
  5. Follow the prompts to upload the
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By Penelope Graham

The new year is upon us, and with it, a whole new real estate reality. Tougher federal mortgage regulations took full effect on Jan. 1, slashing affordability for new borrowers and contributing to slower selling conditions than the record-breaking activity experienced throughout 2017 in Canada’s largest markets.

Dubbed Guideline B-20, this latest parcel of policy changes is also anticipated to be the most impactful, as all new mortgage applicants must undergo a stress test regardless of their down payment size. Under the rules, a buyer paying more than 20 per cent down on their home purchase must prove they can carry their monthly payments at either their contract rate plus two per cent, or at the Bank of Canada’s benchmark

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By Jamie Wiebe | Jun 22, 2016   smart-thermostat

Energy use sneaks up on you. One day, you think you're being responsible—flipping off lights, not running the AC excessively, turning the TV off after "Game of Thrones"—and the next day, you're standing slack-jawed by the mailbox, staring at a power bill that must have been racked up by gnomes living in your closet.

Pretty much everyone has accidentally gone overboard on energy use, but there's a lot you can do to keep your expenses in check. These eight easy, expert-approved tips promise to curb your usage and prevent the power-bill blues.

1. Practice routine maintenance

Owning a home means keeping up with the routine maintenance on dozens of appliances (yep, you no longer have

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By Jennifer Geddes | Jan 8, 2018   declutter-your-kitchenLaurie Rubin/Getty Images

No area of the home is quite as hyped as the kitchen. Given that it's where people cook, eat, socialize, open mail, and more (we'd wager some would sleep there if they could), it makes sense that people obsess over their kitchens being just right. And that means stocked with the right appliances and designed to reflect the latest and greatest styles.

And therein lies the rub: Jumping on board every trend (or sticking with an outdated look for too long) could be the death knell for your kitchen. For one, you may not really need a  farmhouse sink or chef-level appliances; for another, these pricey purchases may be on their way out—and work against you once you

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Barbara Peck November 2, 2017

If you like to cook, getting a new range can be a real treat. Cooking will be even more pleasurable with all the new technology available. You may even decide to spring for a professional-style range, with high-output burners and other bells and whistles. But before you make your decision, there are a few things to consider.

In this miniseries we’re answering common questions about replacing your appliances. To get some expert tips and advice, we’ve consulted with architect Andrea Zaff of Boston-based Zaff Architecture, who specializes in helping her clients source the best devices for their needs. (See also our posts on what to know when replacing your fridge, dishwasher, and washer/dryer.)

Here are nine questions

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Similar to Red Deer, sales in December were down compared to November & definitely up from 2015. 2017 has predominantly been in a Buyer’s market & a good number of buyers have taken advantage of the depressed property values.

The Alberta economy grew at more than 4% in 2017 which means that we are moving ahead of our initial slump in 2015 and 2016. The economy is predicted to grow again in 2018, but at a reduced rate of about 2%. We may not experience a major upswing in the economy this year, but it doesn’t hurt to be optimistic for 2018 activity levels.

Yes, more & more mortgage changes are leaving consumers on the side lines & slightly confused. Interest rates have the potential to increase even further this year. It is strongly suggested that

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