Christine Lelond Your Home Expert

(306) 230-5220

 

 

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is invisible and odourless, so you can't actually "watch out for it". However, you should monitor for it because an excessive build-up of this gas in your home can be deadly.

 

Fortunately, there are many types of Carbon Monoxide detectors you can purchase — and most are effective and affordable. Some models simply plug into an outlet. (Many also have a battery backup.)  

 

Carbon Monoxide is caused by the incomplete burning of fuel. It can be released by a faulty gas furnace, kerosene heaters, and gas fireplaces. That's why it's a good idea to install detectors in areas close to these fixtures, as well as near bedrooms.

 

Experts say you should always follow manufacturer's instructions when installing CO detectors, and test them regularly. You want to make sure you can hear the alarm from your bedroom. CO build-up in homes is rare. So your detectors may never go off. But, if the alarm does sound, get everyone (including pets) out of the home and into the fresh air. Then call 911. Typically, the fire department will do an inspection and determine the source of the carbon monoxide.

 

A final tip: Never use your BBQ or outside grill in the garage or, especially, anywhere inside your home. The risk of CO exposure is very high and definitely not worth the convenience of a grilled burger!

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When you think about looking for a new home, one of the first questions that probably comes to mind is: "What type of property can I afford?" That's an important question because your price range is a major determining factor in the types and sizes of homes you should be viewing.

 

You don't want to waste time looking at properties that are beyond your price range. At the same time, you don't want to purchase a less-than-ideal home, only to realize later on that you could have afforded more.

 

So how do you determine what type of new home you are qualified to purchase?  

 

The first step is to find out what your current property would likely sell for in today's market. I make that calculation for clients all the time. It involves reviewing what homes similar to yours have sold for recently, as well as other data — such as special features your home may have that are likely to boost the selling price.

 

Once you know the current market value of your home, subtract any outstanding mortgages and estimated selling expenses, and you’ll end up with an amount that can be applied to the purchase of your next home. (You may also have other funds you want to use.)

 

The next step is to talk to a lender or mortgage broker to see how much of a new mortgage you qualify for. (Call me if you need a recommendation.) It's important to get a Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval. That makes the offer you make on a new home more credible.

 

If you want to find out the types and sizes of homes you can get into, give me a call. I'd be happy to show you the possibilities!

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Fewer home owners seem ready to put their home on the market this year compared to last. In May, a total of 943 properties were added on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Saskatoon representing a 9% decrease from last May. Year to date there were 13% fewer homes listed year to date in Saskatoon.
 
The total number of active listings in Saskatoon at the end of May was 2,001, just slightly above the five year average of, 1,945 units. “Typically we see the highest number of active listings between May and September.” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “It’s the most active time in our market largely due to favorable weather.” He adds. Inventory levels for active MLS® listings reached an all-time high in July of last year with 2,210 homes for sale in Saskatoon. At the current rate of sales it would take five and a half months to liquidate the current stock of active listings. 

In May there were 364 home sales, a decrease of 13% from last May. Year-to-date sales for Saskatoon are down 7% with a total of 1,345 residential MLS® home sales. Home sales so far this year have declined in every price range with the exception of homes under $200,000 which saw a 30% increase for a total of 203 sales. The price range with the greatest decline in sales were homes priced between $450-500,000 with a year-to-date total of 85 sales, a 17% drop from last year. Homes selling between $750,000 and $1M are on par with last year at 19 sales. Homes in excess of $1M however are off sharply with three MLS® sales year to date. In 2017, there were three home sales in May alone over $1M and nine year to date.

The sales to listing ratio has decreased from 43% in April to 39% in May. The sales to listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for a period of time to the number of new listings. “Saskatoon remains a buyer’s market. However, homes that are priced to market and in good condition will still command great interest and in some cases competing offers.” comments Yochim. Last month, the average home in Saskatoon took 47 days to sell in Saskatoon last month, this is the lowest time to sell so far this year. 

Year-to-date, the average sale price was $334,449, a 4% decrease from the same period last year. Since averages can be misleading, a better reflection of the market is the median. The median home sale price year to date is $320,000. The five year average for median residential home sale prices in Saskatoon is $341,980. 

The Home Price Index Composite Benchmark Price (HPI) continued in an upward trend for most home types (except apartment style) again in May. The HPI is the most accurate indicator of where home prices are trending.  
-Source: June  2018 SRAR News Release 
 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
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According to law enforcement experts, a video-based home security system is significantly more effective than a simple alarm system. The reason is obvious. Burglars don’t want their crimes captured on video, which can then be used as evidence in court.

 

So it’s no wonder that many homeowners have, or are considering, video-based security.

 

These days, most video-based home security systems are wireless. The cameras either record to your DVR (just like recording your favourite TV show), or to a cloud-based server provided by the manufacturer.  

 

There are many do-it-yourself systems on the market. You simply place the cameras around your property and do some initial setup. Most of these have motion-detection that records automatically when someone comes into the frame of the camera. These are typically installed at your front door, patio door, main floor windows, and garage door.

 

Some systems will even alert you when a camera turns on, and let you see the action on your smartphone or computer. If it’s a burglary attempt, you have the opportunity to call the police.

 

Although most of these products are weatherproof, check and confirm before purchasing. The packaging will say something like, “Suitable for outdoor use” or “Suitable for all-weather conditions”.

 

Also look for night vision capability. Not all security cameras have that feature.

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Buying a new pair of shoes is relatively easy. Once you find the style you like, all you need to do is try them on and see if they fit. If they do, you go to the cash register and pay.

 

When it comes to size, buying a new home can be trickier! Whether your intention is to upsize or downsize, figuring out the right size can be especially challenging.

 

Say for example, you’re downsizing from a large two-story home to a smaller bungalow. You don’t want to underestimate the space you need and end up in a place that feels tight. If you’re going the other way and upsizing, you don’t want to end up sinking extra money into a property that’s larger than you really need.

 

So how do you avoid these scenarios? 

 

One of the best ways is to start by considering your current home. Do you use all the rooms in your home regularly? Is there a bedroom that’s rarely occupied? Has the recreation room become simply a storage area? If you’re downsizing, subtracting rooms you scarcely use can give you a better idea of what you need in a new home.

 

Upsizing is a bit more challenging because you have to anticipate what you will need in the future. For example, if you have young children, and your place is feeling cramped, then a home with a recreation room or separate family and living rooms may be a good idea. You may also need a bigger kitchen with a spacious eating area (in addition to a separate dining room.) Think about the extra room you’ll need and how you’ll use that space.

 

When I work with a client, I typically sit down with them and discuss the type of home they want in detail — and, based on needs and circumstance, I make expert recommendations. Bottom line, I help clients find the perfect fit in a new home. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.

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Residential home sales in Saskatoon were 6.7% higher than April of last year with 335 units selling last month. This represents a third of home sales in Saskatoon so far this year. Although the year to date sales for the first four months of 2018 is down 4.8% over the same period in 2017, last month’s increase in sales helped to close the gap. The increase in April sales also was a welcome reversal of a two month trend of declining sales for February and March. Unit sales for April showed increases for homes priced under $350,000. Of the 202 sales in April under $350,000, 73 were condominiums. Homes that sold between $400,000 and $450,000 showed a 30% increase in sales in April over the same month last year with 39 sales. “Homes that are properly priced in that entry level have been seeing competing offers in many cases.” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®


Also of note, year to date there have only been two residential sales over $1M in Saskatoon compared with six for the first four months in 2017. The number of active residential properties for sale in Saskatoon at the end of April was 1,834 units. This is consistent with the five year average of 1,830. This is largely due to a decrease in the number of new listings brought to the market. The number of new listings for the first third of 2018 was 2,594 compared to 3,024. This represents more than a 14% decline year over year.

The sales to listing ratio increased to 43% from 37% a year ago. The sales to listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for a period of time to the number of new listings. “Although the sales to listing ratio is moving towards balance, I emphasize we are still in a buyer’s market” cautions Yochim. The increase in this ratio in April was largely due to the 6.5% reduction in new listings and the comparative 6.7% increase in sales. Last month, the average home in Saskatoon took 53 days to sell compared with the five year average of 47 days. 


The average sale price saw its first increase this year by 1.75% to $318,729 in April. For the first quarter of 2018, the average home sale price in Saskatoon was $333,826. Since averages can be misleading, a better reflection of the market is the median. The median home sale price increased slightly from March to $320,000. The five year average for median residential home sale prices in Saskatoon is $332,650. 

The Home Price Index Composite Benchmark Price (HPI) increased slightly for the second straight month to $294,100. This appears to indicate an upward trend for home prices going forward.The HPI is the most accurate indicator of where home prices are trending. 
-Source: May 2018 SRAR News Release
 

 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
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Is your home office the dining room table? Is it anywhere you can sit down undisturbed with your laptop? If so, you might be interested in converting a room or nook into a dedicated home office. Depending on what you do for a living, there could be a tax advantage to creating this space too.

 

The first step is to pick a spot. Ideally, you want an area where you can work without too many distractions.

 

Next, make sure the spot you’ve chosen can accommodate a desk and any other furnishings you’ll need. Think about what you want within easy reach of your work area. Will you need a place for books and other papers? An extra chair for client meetings? A flipchart? A filing cabinet? Think about all of the options in advance.

 

Then, you’ll want to make sure the spot you picked has the electrical outlets you need, especially if you’re going to have a printer, special lighting, a computer and other items that need power.

 

Finally, you’ll want your home office to be a place where you can enjoy working. So decorate it with that in mind. If you like plants, get plants. If you enjoy golf, have your golf trip pictures hanging on the wall.

With a little work, you can quickly create a home office space that is comfortable, functional and enjoyable. It sure beats the dining room!

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For some homeowners, the process of listing, showing and selling their home can be stressful. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to make it much less nerve-racking—and even exciting and enjoyable. Here are some ideas:

 

1. Make a plan. Decide when you’re going to show your property, search for a new home, view listings, etc. Block out these times in an agenda book or calendar. That way, you and your family can see what’s coming up.

 

2. Be flexible. Few things go exactly as planned! So, it’s important to build in flexibility. For example, you may plan to see homes for sale on Saturdays, but if an opportunity comes up on a weeknight, give yourself room in your schedule to jump on it.  

 

3. Eat well. There are numerous studies that connect poor nutrition with increased stress. When people are selling and moving, there’s a tendency to rely on quick fixes, such as hot dogs and pizza! Try to plan more nutritious meals that will keep everyone healthy and energized.

 

4. Get stuff done early. Doing things last minute, such as finding a real estate lawyer or getting rid of clutter, can quickly lead to stress and frustration. Whenever possible, get tasks done early. That way, you won’t have to worry about them.

 

5. Hire the right professionals. By far, the surest way to a stress-free move is to get the right professionals working for you: everyone from contractors to mortgage brokers to movers.

 

By the way, a big part of what I do for clients is help make every aspect of buying, selling and moving go smoothly. Contact me to learn how I can help you.

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In the first quarter of 2018 there were 648 residential home sales in Saskatoon, this represented an 11% decline year over year from 2017. The year over year decrease in home sales for the month of March was 24% with just 234 residential transactions last month. The number of new listings introduced on the MLS® for Saskatoon is also down for the quarter with 2,183 in 2017 compared to 1,807 so far this year. 

 Active residential listings in Saskatoon at the end of March totaled 1,670 for both single and multi-family homes, consistent with the five year average of 1,695. This current level of inventory would take just over seven months to liquidate at the current rate of sales. 

The reduction in active listings is not only the result of fewer homes being listed on the market. “Some sellers may have decided not to relist their home just yet, opting to wait for the more active spring market to try their luck.” according to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) “Many sellers believe that spring is the best time to sell” he adds. The real indicator of success in selling is correct pricing based on what else is competition in the market and the current market conditions relative to supply and demand. “A REALTOR® is the best person to provide insightful and objective advice on this critical element.”

The sales to listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for a period of time to the number of new listings. The intent of this ratio is to attempt to determine if it is a buyers or seller’s market. A ratio between 40% and 60% is considered to be a balanced market. A ratio below that is considered a buyer’s market and above, a seller’s market. The sales-to-listing ratio for March was 35%, down slightly from the five year average of 40%. Last month, the average home in Saskatoon took 64 days to sell compared with 47 days in March of 2017. The five year average for the Saskatoon market is 50 days. 

The average year to date residential sale price continued its steady decline by 2%. For the first quarter of 2018, the average home sale price in Saskatoon was $333,826. Since averages can be misleading, a better reflection of the market is the median. The median home sale price continued to decline from $330,000 in January, to $317,250 in March. In March of 2017, the median price was just slightly higher at $320,000. The five year average for median residential home sale prices in Saskatoon is $330,000. 

The Home Price Index Composite Benchmark Price (HPI) increased slightly for the first time since June of 2017 to $293,200. By comparison this value was last seen in February of 2012. The highest point reached by the HPI was $319,600 in May of 2015. The recent decline in the HPI showed signs of slowing in January of 2018.The HPI is the most accurate indicator of where home prices are trending.   -Source: April 2018 SRAR News Release 
 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
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15 YEARS!!!  Time flies when given the pleasure of helping others with their real estate goals & dreams! 

 

Thank you to everyone who had a helping hand furthering & shaping my career, especially my VIP clients.  You are the reason & heart of my business and have made it so rewarding.  Heartfelt Thanks for your trust, support and loyalty. 

 

Shout out to my Broker & friend Don McIvor.  You took a chance on a young, though ambitious me - believing in my potential.  Thank you for your teachings, advice, understanding & never ending support.  

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Next to your home and car, home furnishings represent the most expensive product purchases homeowners make. A mid-quality livingroom set, with sofa and two side chairs, can cost thousands of dollars. That’s why most furniture retailers offer “interest free” and “pay much later” deals to soften the blow.

 

These are basically financing options.

 

Say, for example, you want to purchase furniture for the rec room. The cost is $7,200. The furniture retailer may offer you a deal where you “don’t pay a cent” for six months. As long as you pay the balance within that time, no interest is charged.

 

That sounds like a sweet deal. And it is. 

 

But, personal finance experts will advise you to tread carefully. If you pay off the balance within the “no interest” timeframe, you’ll benefit from the sweet deal, by having deferred the payment. However, if you fall behind on payments, you’ll be hit with a high interest charge. It’s often 20% or more. That can add hundreds of dollars to what you would have originally paid for the purchase.

 

And, even if you paid down most of the balance within the no interest period, you can still get hit hard. Some “no interest” deals charge interest on the original financed amount — not just the remaining balance.

 

The best advice, according to personal finance experts, is to read the fine print carefully and pay off the balance as promptly as you can.

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An Open House is an event. And, like many events, it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement and energy. In fact, when you visit an Open House, you might even end up rubbing elbows with other buyers who are there at the same time. It can feel like a party!

 

In an environment like that, it’s not unusual to forget to ask important questions about the property. Here are some of the most common:  

 

• How old is the roof?

• How old is the furnace, air conditioner and other HVAC equipment?

• How does the price compare to similar properties in the neighbourhood? (You don’t want to make an offer that’s too high.)

• What are the characteristics of the neighbourhood? (Amenities, safety, traffic, access to public transit, property turnover, etc.)

• What doesn’t come with the home? (Ask specifically about kitchen appliances, gas-connected BBQs, chandeliers, window coverings.)

• Are there any potential impediments to the sale? (Tenants, outstanding liens, etc.)

• Are there any outstanding maintenance issues, or repairs that need to be done? (For example, cracked ceramics on the foyer floor.)

• Are there any issues that impact the full use of the property? (Ask specifically about shared driveways or walkways, public “right of way” through the property, water drainage rights from neighbouring homes, etc.)

 

Yes, an Open House can feel like a frenzy, and if it’s a home you love, you might feel pressured to make an offer. But, it’s important to take the time to ask the right questions and consider your decision carefully. You don’t want to find out, too late, that there were questions you should have asked.

 

Want more tips on finding the home of your dreams? Call today.

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A year over year decline in home sales and new listings in February contributed to a declining availability of homes in the Saskatoon market. At the end of last month there was a total of 1,588 active residential listings in Saskatoon. This represented a 4% decline from a year ago when there were 1,659 properties available. Although the number of sale transactions in February, 211, represented a 6% decline from the same month last year, strong sales in January helped the overall sales year to date to remain 1% ahead of last year. 

Year to date, a total of 413 residential sales have been recorded on the MLS® in the city of Saskatoon. In February, REALTORS® in Saskatoon listed a total of 1,159 residential properties, this is a 14% decline compared to last February’s number of 1,332. In February of 2016, a total of 1,410 homes were listed for sale. The number of transactions that occurred in Saskatoon was 203 units which represents an 11% increase over January of 2017. 

The overall dollar volume for home sales in Saskatoon was just under $70 million which is a 6% decline from last February. The year to date total volume of transactions is unchanged from last year at $139 million. Year to date sales in the region surrounding Saskatoon, which includes the cities of Warman and Martensville, totaled 122 units representing a 14% increase. The overall dollar volume for this surrounding market was just under $39.5 million for the first two months of the year, an increase of 12% compared to last year. 

“For the past couple of years inventory levels have hovered around 2,000 available properties.” Comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) “It is definitely a positive trend to see inventory levels shrinking, this is helpful for slowing price decline.” he adds. The average sale price for a home in Saskatoon slipped 1% in February.

The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined only very slightly in the last 30 days to $292,800. Although this is its lowest point since February of 2012 the decline in the composite price appears to be slowing. With the exception of a couple of months in the spring of last year, the HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when the value was $317,600. 
-Source: March 2018 SRAR News Release 
 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
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Watch any TV cooking show, and you’ll notice that a chef’s kitchen looks quite a bit different than what you’d find in most homes. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one just like it in your home! With a little remodeling, and splurging on some new items, you too can have a kitchen worthy of Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, or Rachel Ray.

 

Chefs love counter space. So, when remodeling, plan to create as much as possible. If you have an existing island, for example, you can replace the countertop with a larger one. Just adding eight inches in both directions will make a big difference.

 

Most chefs have more than one oven. If that’s impractical for you, consider buying a double-oven stove. Also, chefs prefer gas burners for quicker heatup times and exacting control of cooking temperature.  

 

 

One thing you’ll notice about chefs is they love stainless steel. That’s because it’s easy-to-clean, hygienic and durable (assuming you take care of it).

 

Finally, because chefs spend so much time in the kitchen, they want the space to be attractive and comfortable. So, when remodeling, keep decor in mind.

 

Even if you’re just an amateur chef, creating a chef-worthy kitchen will make the foodie in you smile.

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Sometimes the reason for putting your home on the market is crystal clear. For example, you might have a job relocation and need to move. Or, you might have decided to downsize because the kids have left the nest.

 

However, there are many other motivations to list your home that are not as obvious, and yet are still good reasons to make a move. Here are just a few examples... 

 

• You’re bored with your home and are looking for a change.

 

• There’s something you’ve always wanted in a home that your current property doesn’t have, such as a wooded backyard.

 

• You want to be closer to work, or to activities you enjoy, such as golf.

 

• You want to be closer to family.

 

• The neighbourhood is changing in a way that no longer fits the lifestyle you want.

 

• There’s another neighbourhood you’ve always dreamed of living in.

 

• Your tastes have changed and you want to live in a different type of home.

 

None of these reasons makes it an absolute necessity to list your property and find a new home. Yet, they’re all worth considering, especially if moving will make you and your family happier, and provide you with a more desirable lifestyle.

 

Want to talk about the possibilities? Call today.

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January home sales in Saskatoon are off to a positive start in 2018. The number of transactions that occurred in Saskatoon was 203 units which represents an 11% increase over January of 2017. The five year average for January is 194 units. Last month’s sales activity also resulted in an increase in the overall dollar volume of 10.5% to $90,673,143 representing the highest dollar volume for January since 2014. Sales in the region surrounding Saskatoon, which includes the cities of Warman and Martensville showed a 27.5% increase with 65 transactions and an 11.7% increase in dollar volume at $18,049,600. 

“While it is still very early in the year, the past three months have shown trends of increasing sales for Saskatoon, which is certainly a positive sign after many months of lower sales.” according to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) “It is good to see inventory levels shrinking as well which will help with upward pressure on pricing in time.” he adds. 

The average and median home price in Saskatoon in January also increased. The average sale price for a home in Saskatoon was $344,771, up 1% from last January, while the median price increased by 4.1% to 330,000. Significant increases in the number of homes selling in the higher price ranges contributed to these upward pricing changes. Overall the number of sales between $400,000 and $1M increased by 45% with 64 sales. The number of homes that sold in January between $500,000 and $750,000 made up just over a third of the 64 transactions. The number of home sales between $200,000 and $300,000 remained strong and consistent with last January at 56 transactions. Many of these would be multi-family sales which helps to absorb inventory in that sector of the market.

The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined by 4.1% in January to $293,300, its lowest point since February of 2012. With the exception of a couple of months in the spring of last year, the HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when the value was $317,600. “If inventory levels continue to decline due to absorption and fewer properties being listed, home prices should expect to see some increase later in the year.” predicts Yochim. The number of active listings in Saskatoon at the end of January was 1,529, the lowest level in the past three years for January and a 4% reduction from last year. This was aided by the increase in sales and a 14% decline in the number of new listings for January.  
-Source: February 2018 SRAR News Release 
 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
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Have you ever considered renting out a room to a student or renovating your basement into a self-contained rental apartment?

 

It’s a big decision. There are many pros and cons to consider.

 

On the pro side, renting can provide you with additional income. An extra few hundred dollars a month can go a long way towards paying down your mortgage or splurging on an exotic summer vacation.

 

Creating rentable living space in your home — for example, an “in-law suite” featuring a kitchenette and bathroom — may also increase your property’s market value.  

 

On the con side, you’ll have more costs and responsibilities as a landlord. For example, you might need to purchase extra insurance because basic home insurance policies typically do not cover rental units, even if you’re just renting out a room. You’ll also be responsible for dealing with repairs sometimes in the middle of the night.

 

Also, if you’re not careful about the renter you choose, you might end up with a “problem tenant”. For example, you could have a tenant who is consistently late on rent payments or simply stops paying. That can be stressful.

 

If you’re deciding whether or not to rent, be sure to check local laws and regulations. Many jurisdictions have very strict rules regarding renting out space in a residential property, and those rules change frequently. Make sure you get the latest information.

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Your neighbourhood has a lot of features that can help sell your home faster. Unfortunately, buyers don’t usually notice those features just by driving around. So, you need to make sure they get all the information they need about your neighbourhood.

 

For example, say homes don’t go on the market often in your area. That’s an indication that the quality of life in the neighbourhood is so good that no one wants to leave! In real estate we measure the area’s “turnover rate”, and it’s handy data to have when listing your home.

 

Another bit of data that buyers can’t simply see is the local crime rate. But, most police departments keep those statistics. If your neighbourhood has a low crime rate, that’s an obvious plus to sellers.

 

Demographic data can also be helpful when selling your property. If your neighbourhood has a lot of families, for example, that’s going to be appealing to buyers with kids.

 

Even local development plans can play a role in making your home more attractive to buyers. If a new ramp to a major highway is in the works nearby, getting to work is going to be easier. That’s a big benefit to commuters. 

 

 

Other types of data that can help sell your home include:

 

• Planned local construction.

• Proposals for neighbourhood improvements. (For example, a new playground.)

• Rates at which local property values are increasing.

 

Any information that shows the advantages of living in your area is going to be useful when selling.

 

By the way, this is the kind of information I put together to provide to prospective buyers when selling your home. Contact me today.

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Home sales of 205 units in Saskatoon, was up 11% in December when compared to the same month in 2016. Sales activity in the area surrounding Saskatoon saw a 13% increase for December. This increase in activity could be partially attributed to the mortgage rule changes for conventional buyers that took effect January 1st 2018. Home buyers with 20% or more down payment now have to qualify at an interest rate that is 200 basis points higher than the posted rate, or the Bank of Canada’s five-year rate, whichever is higher. Listing activity on the other hand, declined dramatically with an 18% reduction in new listings for December year over year. 
 
“This decrease in listing activity could be the result of seller’s fatigue from having been on the market for an extended time period without securing an offer.” according to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) “The increase in December sales and decline in hew listings is a positive for decreasing high inventory levels” he adds. 

The year to date story for 2017 however is one that indicates a slower market overall when compared to 2016. The overall sales volume recorded by the SRAR was just short of $1.6 Billion for the year representing a 9% decrease from 2016. This is the third straight year of decline since the $2.1 Billion market peak realized in 2014. Home sales of 3,491 units in Saskatoon for 2017 represented a 5% decline from 2016. This is significantly lower than the five year average of 3,957 sales. In 2017 there was a total of 8,972 homes listed for sale in the Saskatoon market representing a 3% decline from the year previous. The sales-to-listing ratio for the year was 35%, which is a ratio of the number of sales for the year when compared to the number of new listings. In other words, roughly a third of the homes listed for sale ended up actually selling. The number of days on market for a home in Saskatoon in December was 61. This was a sharp increase from 51 in December of 2016 as well as the five year average of 52 days. 

Not surprisingly, with lower sales and still a large inventory of homes to choose from, home prices continued to see downward pressure. The median price for a home in Saskatoon declined by 3.3% in December to $324,000 while the average price showed a half point decline to $339,520 for the month. The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined by 3.7% in December to $295,100, its lowest point since March of 2012. The HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when the value was $317,600. 

“Successfully selling a home in this current market requires more than information” comments Yochim “Sellers need the guidance to understand how historical sales data impacts their pricing decision.”   
- Source: January2018 SRAR News Release 
 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
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Hopefully, this will never happen to you. But, there are circumstances – a fire, for example – when you and your family would need to exit through a window.

 

It pays to be prepared for that eventuality.

 

Your first step is to determine which windows are safe to use as an exit. There should be at least one on each level.

 

The windows you select will need to provide enough space for a person to climb through (at least a 20 inch opening). Make sure everyone knows which windows are “safe exit” windows, and how to open them. Keep in mind that windows may have screens, so ensure everyone knows how to remove those as well.  

 

For a second floor window, consider purchasing a portable escape ladder. These are compact and easily stowed in a closet or under a bed. When you need it, it hangs off the sill and expands into a ladder all the way to the ground. It’s not designed for everyday use, but it will get you and your family out!

 

Rehearsal is a good idea. You want everyone to know how to get to the nearest “safe exit” window – especially in the dark.

 

Finally, keep your windows in a good state of repair. According to the National Fire Safety Association, windows should open easily for everyone, and should not have anything in front of them that will prevent or delay a quick exit.

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