Real Estate Blog

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And therein lies the rub: Jumping on board every trend (or sticking with an outdated look for too long) could be the death knell for your kitchen.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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Sales in Red Deer in December were down compared to November & definitely up from the same time the year before. 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

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By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

guest-proof-your-house

'Tis the season for house guests! Whether they're coming over for a party, a holiday hiatus, or a takeover of your home while you're out of town, you've likely got a human influx to deal with over the holidays. Don't get us wrong—we don't subscribe to that "Hell is other people" stuff (existentialists like Sartre were dark, man). We think having more people around can be a merry thing! But going hand in hand with all that merrymaking is the mess that they can make of your home.

Still, though, there's hope: With the right prep work, you can stave off many disasters and essentially guest-proof your house. Here are some tactics to protect your floors, furniture, and other valuables from harm. (Bonus: Many of these

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By Holly Amaya

fake-mover

Let's get real: Moving is stressful. And when you're busy finding a new place to live, selling your current home, and then packing up your entire life, selecting the crew who will move your stuff is likely last on your to-do list. That's ironic, because you'll be entrusting them with all your life's possessions.

Even if you manage to hook up with The Most Amazing Moving Company Ever, we can't promise bad stuff won't happen. But you can prevent some unnecessary duress if you have the right team in place. The process starts by schooling yourself in what not to do. Read on for the top mistakes people make when hiring a mover.

1. Waiting too long

So you wait until the weekend before your move to make those calls to

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As many workers return to the energy sector, it is warming for Albertan’s to see signs of improvement in the province’s economy. Improvements in the housing market usually trail surges in oilfield activity & the colder months. This gives us higher expectations for spring & summer 2018.

On the other hand, the federal government has once again tightened mortgage rules for all Canadians. Home buyers who will be affected by the new mortgage rules should consider whether or not buying before the New Year is in their best interest. Home sellers may also be affected by the new rules. If planning to upgrade, downsize or simply buy more real estate, they as buyers will now qualify for lesser mortgage amounts as well. Under the new rules, even home buyers

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By Daniel Bortz

shouldnt-be-deal-breakers

Unless you’re going to build your dream home, you’ll probably have to make some compromises when it comes to the interior design. That’s why Northville, MI, real estate agent Daniel Gyomory always has his clients create a list of “must-haves” and “wants.” After all, “there’s no such thing as a perfect house,” he says.

Still, it’s easy to walk into a home and get distracted by flaws or minor repairs that need to be made. The stained shag carpet that causes you to pass on a house is relatively simple—and cheap—to fix.

"Cosmetic issues are a big problem for a lot of home buyers,” says Linda Sanderfoot, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker. Things that might look like total deal breakers at first glance but

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