Christine Lelond Your Home Expert

(306) 230-5220

 

You don’t have to freeze in the winter or start reading by candlelight to reduce your electricity bill. There are many simple ways to use less power with little, if any, impact on your lifestyle.

 

A good place to start is with your electronics.

 

According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Any gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it's not being used (it's called 'phantom electricity' — and it's scary how much of it there is).” So keep them unplugged as much as possible. Also, unplug charger cords for phone and computers when not in use. Even when not connected to the device, they still suck power.

 

Another easy change to make involves your lights. Switching to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs can save you a lot of energy. They’re 75% more efficient.

 

Finally, the old-fashioned method of insulating doors and windows can work wonders for lowering your electricity bill. In fact, some particularly drafty homes can lose up to 40% of their heat. Check for drafts regularly and repair or replace insulation as needed.

 

None of these ideas will impact your day-to-day living. Yet, they could potentially save you a bundle.

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Imagine finding a home you love, making an offer, and then finding out there are other competing offers on the table. Ouch.

 

If you’re looking for a property in a competitive market, it is likely that there will be multiple offers. Even just one can create the risk that you’ll lose the home. So how do you make sure your offer is enticing enough to win over the seller? Here are some ideas:

 

• Don’t make a low-ball offer. If you do, it might be dismissed and you probably won’t get another chance to bid — especially if the other competing offers are near the listing price.

 

• Have a pre-arranged mortgage and include that with your offer. This reassures the seller there won’t be any money issues. (Most lenders will provide you with a pre-arranged mortgage certificate for this purpose.)

 

• Go in with a price high enough that the seller will be interested, but not so high as to be leaving money on the table. This is tricky and requires a savvy knowledge of the current market.

 

• Have a REALTOR® present the offer on your behalf. A REALTOR® will know how to do so professionally, and in a manner that gives you the best chance of getting the home.

 

In a competitive situation, working with a REALTOR® who is an expert on the local market — and a skilled negotiator — is crucial.

 

Looking for a REALTOR® like that? Call today.

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I have listed a new property at 201 3120 Louise ST in Saskatoon.
Priced to sell! Desirable South facing corner unit in sought after Brantwood Estates. Excellently maintained and available for immediate possession. Features a spacious floor plan with large room sizes, sunshine ceiling oak kitchen, master bedroom with ensuite, private rod iron balcony off living room and ample laundry & storage room. The building itself is well managed & maintained, has secured personal underground parking with storage. The recently updated lobby is quite inviting, is wheelchair accessible in addition to the elevator. Condo fees include common use of the oversized activities/ meeting/ exercise room & resident workshop with option of a Shaw cable package upgrade. Close to parks and many popular amenities such as Nutana Curling Club, Royal Canadian Legion, Eastview Bowl and Market Mall. Ideal for downsizing & retirement.
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Home sales in January were cause for optimism for the year ahead with a 6% increase year over year. Home sales of 185 units last month represented the highest January total since 2014, the five-year average for January is 195. Another positive indicator is the number of homes available for sale. At the end of January, there was a combined total of 1,592 homes for sale in the Saskatoon market, representing the second lowest monthly total in almost two years. The lowest inventory level was December of 2016 with a total of 1,443 properties on the market. "An increase in sales in a typically quiet month is very encouraging" comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® "especially in the wake of the tougher mortgage qualifications introduced last October."

 
At current inventory levels, anticipating no increase in demand and no new properties listed for sale, it would take over eight months to liquidate the current inventory of properties. The five-year average for available inventory in the Saskatoon market is just under five months. The "sales to listing ratio" is an indicator of whether we are in a buyers or sellers' market. It is determined by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings for a period of time. When this ratio is at 50%, the market is considered balance. The last couple of years has favored buyers in the marketplace with an average sales to listing ratio of 40%. January typically has an uptake of listing activity and quieter sales activity which is reflected in a sales to listing ratio at 26%; the five-year average is 30%.
 
Homes priced below $400,000 saw a much-needed increase in activity compared to last January with 143 sales between $200,000 and $400,000, a 20% increase year over year. The average sale price for January of $341,800 represented a 4% decrease compared to last year. In 2016 a steady number of sales over $750,000 helped stabilize the average price in spite of a 5% decline in sales. This emphasizes that using an average to determine the true market picture is easily misleading. The median price for last month was $318,500 which was the lowest median price in almost five years. A more reliable indicator of the market is the MLS® Home Price Index® (HPI). It is considered to be the most accurate determinant of where a real estate market is trending. The HPI composite benchmark price has also been trending downward, although very slightly for several months.
 
In January, on average it takes 54 days to sell a home in Saskatoon which is consistent with the five-year average of 51 days. This compares to 45 days which is the average of the past 5 years. "In any market, a home that is priced to current market conditions should sell in even less time, often within a week or two." comments Yochim. "Buyers are well educated on the market and are not fooled by optimistic sellers. However, they are willing to pay market price for the right home in any market. For homes that are selling, the sale prices are being realized within 97% of the asking price.  The best advice I can give a seller in any market is to get professional advice when dealing with your largest asset" adds Yochim.   -Source: January 2017 SRAR Media Release 

Looking for sound pricing, marketing and timing 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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