These days, people are more environmentally conscious. When it comes to their homes, that often starts with being more thoughtful about heating and cooling so they’re consuming less energy. With that in mind, here are some tips for making your home more eco-friendly:

1. Install a smart thermostat. Modern thermostats come with various features that help you manage heating and cooling, so you use less energy. For example, you can program a thermostat to adjust temperature during the workday and then turn on heating or cooling an hour before you get home.

2. Take advantage of non-peak times. Many utilities (electricity, water, etc.) offer price breaks at non-peak periods. For example, washing your clothes later in the evening might reduce your water bill. Ask your utility providers about available price-saving programs.

3. Buy energy-saving products. A wide range of products are available to help you lower energy consumption, from shower faucets to kitchen ranges. The next time you’re shopping for an appliance or fixture, ensure it has eco-friendly features.

4. Replace worn insulation. A one-inch crack in window insulation can cause your home’s HVAC system to work harder. That’s why experts advise that you check the insulation around doors and windows once a year and repair or replace it where necessary.

5. Manage passive heat. It’s no surprise that a window letting in the sun will make a room warmer. So, take advantage of this free energy source. Let sun into rooms on cool days, so your furnace doesn’t have to come on as often. Do the opposite on hot days.

I’m well-connected in the local home industry. If you need any advice or recommendations, call today!

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Have you ever had to go last-minute gift shopping? If so, you know what that can be like. You don’t have time to amble casually through numerous stores in hopes of coming across something suitable. The clock is ticking. You need to find the right gift, now!
A similar thing can sometimes happen when shopping for a new home. You may not have a lot of time available in your schedule. Yet, you need to view properties and find the right home, quickly.
So, how do you do that on a tight schedule?
One way is to be clear on the type of home you want to get into. The more narrow your search parameters, the more likely you are to view properties that are strong candidates.
Create a profile of your dream home, including property type, number of bedrooms, features, and other details. Also, be clear on the kind of neighbourhood you’d like to live in — including the type of street.
In addition, you should ensure that you’re shopping within the correct price range. Find out what the type of home you want is currently selling for on today’s market. Then, make sure you’re shopping within that range.
If you discover that your budget is below what ideal homes are selling for, adjust either your budget or your property expectations. If you can’t increase your budget, don’t panic. Chances are, you can still get a great home in your price range.
When scheduling viewing appointments, see as many homes as you can on each trip. That way, you’ll make the most of your viewing time. Also, when seeing a property, ensure you get all the information you need to make a decision. You’ll want to avoid having to view a property twice.
Want to find the ideal home faster? Call today
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There were 1,144 units sold across the province in October, a year-over-year decline of 12.3 per cent. While sales continue to ease relative to 2021, a record year, October sales data reflects a year-over-year increase of 1.7 per cent when compared with 10-year averages.

The pullback in sales was met with a reduction in new listings, resulting in lower-than-average inventories for this time of year. The monthly decline in sales was enough to cause further gains in the months of supply. With nearly six months of supply in the province, the market continues to return to more balanced conditions, but it is important to note that inventory levels are still over 25 per cent below the 10-year average.

“While our market continues to fare better than many others across the country, we are feeling the impact of interest rate hikes and ongoing inflationary pressures,” said Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association CEO Chris Guérette. “As higher lending rates contribute to the pullback in sales, we are also experiencing a lack of supply in homes priced below $500,000, consumer options are limited right now, and this is likely why sales are down.”

The pullback in new listings continues to be largely driven by homes prices below $500,000, which is also contributing to the decline in sales. Despite monthly adjustments, the benchmark price was $324,900, slightly lower than the month prior and three per cent higher than last October.

“While year-to-date sales have eased when compared to a record 2021, sales levels remain well above long-term trends, speaking to the positive long-term fundamentals in the province,” said Guérette. “Saskatchewan continues to benefit from strong agricultural and commodity markets. This growth should support stable demand in housing ownership as our economy continues to improve.”


Regional Highlights

The cities of Regina and Saskatoon accounted for nearly 70 per cent of all October sales in the province. While both cities have seen a shift towards a more balanced market, the decline in sales has been higher in Saskatoon at 12 per cent, versus Regina’s decline of less than two per cent. While inventory remains a concern in many regions across the province, the pullback in affordable new listings was more significant in Saskatoon.

As most regions have experienced a pullback in sales when compared to 2021, a record year, new listings are also down across all regions. When considering the sales-to-new-listings ratio, the highest ratios were experienced in Regina, Saskatoon, and Moose Jaw, at 60 per cent or higher. Meanwhile, the best supplied markets are Southeast Saskatchewan and North Battleford.

Price Trends

As the shift to more balanced conditions continues, many areas of the province experienced a decline in prices. However, despite price adjustments, prices remain well above levels seen last year in all areas except Melfort, North Battleford, and Yorkton.

City of Regina

The City of Regina reported 256 sales in October, 26 per cent higher than 10-year trends. While sales have cooled on a year-over-year basis, year-to-date sales increased by one per cent.

Given the recent level of sales compared to new listings, Regina is experiencing tighter conditions when compared to last year. As seen across the province, inventory levels remain lower than average, specifically in homes priced under $500,000.

Despite monthly adjustments, the benchmark price remains slightly higher than last year at $317,800.

City of Saskatoon

Easing sales in October contributed to a year-to-date sales decline of over 12 per cent when compared to last year’s record highs. That said, sales continue to far exceed pre-pandemic levels and speak to the strength of the Saskatoon market.

The pullback in sales held the months of supply at over three months. New listings and inventory levels continue to be a challenge, as a pullback in homes priced under $500,000 has resulted in the lowest number of new listings on a year-to-date basis since 2012.

The City of Saskatoon recorded a benchmark price of $371,600, a 4.4 per cent increase year-over-year.

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Video doorbells have become so popular that it’s not uncommon for visitors to smile as they come up to the door. They want to make a good impression on the video!

These doorbells are definitely convenient. Depending on the model you purchase, you can see who’s there and even speak to that person before opening your door. Some systems even allow for recording.

If you haven’t purchased a video doorbell yet, there are some important things to consider when shopping for one.

First, make sure the resolution is at least 1080p. If it’s less than that, the image quality will be blurry — especially at night.

Video doorbells come in wired or battery versions. Battery versions are easy to install, but you’ll need to keep the battery charged. Wired versions are more secure and reliable. However, the installation is more complex.

It’s recommended that you choose a video doorbell with cloud storage options (including date stamping.) That way, anything that’s recorded will be stored, and you’ll be able to recover it if needed.

Finally, make sure the doorbell works with your mobile phone. That way, you can receive alerts when someone approaches your front door

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 Sales activity continued to trend down in September with 1,267 units sold, a year-over-year decline of seven per cent. However, as seen in August, sales levels remain consistent with long-term trends as the market returns to more balanced conditions.

New listings were relatively stable on a year-over-year basis but continue to decrease when compared to levels seen earlier this year. Despite adjustments in both sales and new listings, inventory levels also fell in September. Inventories remain nearly 11 per cent lower than levels seen last year and well below long-term averages, which continues to prevent the market from moving into “buyers’ market” territory.

“Saskatchewan residents are not immune to the impacts of interest rate increases and ongoing inflationary pressures,” said Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association CEO Chris Guérette. “That said, our housing market continues to fare better than many other regions in the country and we expect that to continue.”

With just over five months of supply, market conditions are not as tight as experienced earlier in the year, but supply levels remain well below long-term averages. The return to more balanced conditions over the past three months has taken some pressure off prices, as well. Despite monthly adjustments, the benchmark price was $329,700 in September, slightly lower than the month prior and four per cent higher than last September.

“While national concerns over a recession are mounting, our province remains well-equipped to weather the storm,” said Guérette. “Elevated commodity prices and a rebound in agricultural production have Saskatchewan on track to post strong economic growth this year. This growth will support jobs in the province and help offset some of the impact that higher lending rates are having on the housing market.”


Regional Highlights

September sales eased on a year-to-date basis across all regions of the province except for Swift Current, which posted a modest gain. Though sales continue to ease relatively to 2021, a record year, activity in all regions was above or similar to long-term trends for their markets. New listings also increased in many regions when compared to last year. However, any shifts in supply had little impact on inventories, which remain lower than levels seen last year across every region except Prince Albert.

Despite sales adjustments in most regions, lower inventory levels are preventing markets from becoming oversupplied. All regions are reporting September inventory levels that are well below 10-year average trends. As a result, many regions across the province continue to struggle with relatively low inventories compared to sales based on what is typical for the area.

Price Trends

As the shift to more balanced conditions continues, all areas of the province experienced a decline in prices. Despite recent adjustments, prices remain well above levels seen last year in all areas except Yorkton, which saw a decline of nearly two per cent. The largest price gains experienced in the first three quarters of 2022 have occurred in Melfort, Melville, and Warman.

City of Regina

Unlike certain areas of the province, Regina continues to post stable sales activity relative to last year. Gains in the apartment condominium sector nearly offset reductions in the detached and attached sectors. With 2,999 sales year-to-date, Regina is trending nearly two per cent higher than last year and on pace for another record year. While Regina has not faced the same supply constraints as Saskatoon, new listings continue to decline which is contributing to inventory levels that are over 18 per cent lower than reported last year.

With nearly four months’ supply, levels of supply remain lower than what is traditionally seen in September. Despite relatively tight conditions, there has been an adjustment in monthly prices as higher lending rates weigh on consumers. However, prices remain higher than last year due to gains in the detached sector.

City of Saskatoon

A further reduction in sales this month contributed to a year-to-date decline of 11 per cent in Saskatoon. While sales have eased when compared to the record levels experienced last year, activity remains well above pre-pandemic levels. The pullback in sales was also met with a pullback in new listings, preventing any improvement to inventory levels. However, slower sales relative to market inventory allowed the months of supply to rise above three months for the first time since February.

Despite the recent shift to more balanced conditions, supply levels remain far lower than long-term averages for this time of year. Like other regions of the province, the shift away from strong seller’s conditions resulted in a monthly price adjustment. However, with a benchmark price of $377,800 in September, prices are six per cent higher than September 2021.

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 If you’re thinking of selling, you’re probably planning to do a few minor improvements to make your property more appealing to buyers. That’s a smart idea.

So, what are the best small improvements to make? Here are a few ideas:

• Cabinet hardware. Upgrading the hardware on kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors and drawers can have a surprising impact on the look of those rooms. The best part is, this improvement is about as DIY-friendly as it gets!

• Cover plates. If you have older light and electrical switches, replacing the cover plates with something more stylish can make a difference. It’s probably the simplest way to give a room a more modern look.

• Countertops. Replacing kitchen or bathroom countertops isn’t cheap. However, it’s substantially less expensive than a full-on kitchen or bathroom renovation. And, new countertops make those rooms look refreshed.

• Kitchen sink and faucet. If your current sink is old and stained, replacing it is a fairly simple improvement that will have a big impact. Also consider updating the faucet to further enhance the look of the space. There are hundreds of styles available.

• Carpeting. Of all the types of flooring, carpets are the easiest and most affordable to replace. New carpets also create a clean and upgraded look. If you have old carpeting on the main floor or stairs, consider replacing it when selling.

• Lights and fixtures. If you have old light fixtures in your home, especially in key areas such as the foyer and kitchen, your lighting may be dim. New fixtures will not only make those spaces more modern-looking and appealing, but the lighting will probably also be better too.

Finally, don’t forget one of the simplest and most effective improvements of them all: painting. A freshly painted room almost always looks more attractive to buyers.

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Imagine you’re shopping for a car. You find one that’s a suitable model, a recent year, and hasn’t been driven a lot. The price is right, too.

But, there’s a caveat.

The paint is worn off in several places. The driver’s seat upholstery is torn and requires repair. And, the tires needed to be replaced… a long time ago.

Would you still buy it? You might. However, unless you enjoy fixing up cars, you’d probably hesitate to make the purchase.

After all, in addition to seeing the car itself, you’re noticing the work that needs to be done to fix it.

The same holds true when selling your home. 

 The more “move-in” ready you make the property the more likely buyers are to become interested in buying it. Like when viewing a car, you want buyers to focus on all your home’s wonderful features, not on the repairs and updates that need to be done.

That being said, how important is it that your home be “move-in ready” when you sell?

That depends, in large part, on the market. If it’s currently a seller’s market in the neighbourhood — lots of buyers but comparatively few properties for sale — getting your home move-in ready is less important. There is already high demand for your property. (However, getting all repairs done and staging your property effectively will still provide a significant advantage.)

In a buyer’s market, where there are more homes for sale than buyers, you’re in a competitive situation. So, anything you can do to give your listing an advantage is worth the effort. That includes making it as “move-in” ready as possible

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If you need to sell your home in the next month or two, you might be worried. After all, aren’t spring and summer the ideal seasons to list your property? If you list in November or December, you might have difficulties attracting buyers and getting the best price for your home. Right?

Not necessarily.

While it’s true that spring and summer are traditionally busy periods in the real estate market, properties do sell every month of the year.

So, if you’re thinking of selling, you’ll need to know two things:

• What comparable homes are selling for at this time of year.

• How long homes are taking to sell, on average.

There might be a local seller’s market this month. That would mean there are more buyers looking for homes like yours than there are sellers. If that’s the case, your property will likely sell fairly quickly; perhaps you’ll even get multiple offers.

But, even if there’s a buyer’s market at this moment, that doesn’t mean your property won’t sell. It just means your home will need to be staged and marketed effectively to attract the right buyers and pique their interest in making an offer.

Regardless of the market, chances are, there are buyers out there looking for a home like yours. They just need to find out about it, become interested in viewing it, and be wowed when they see it.

So, don’t be too concerned about the month. If you’re ready to sell, there’s a way to make it happen.

Call me for more details.

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The Saskatchewan real estate market continues to be strong and outperform last year’s market. Across the province, sales were up 38.4% from last October (and up 20.4% year-to-date, going from 987 to 1,366), new listings were up 1.0% (but down 6.6% year-to-date), going from 2,002 to 2,023, and the median sale price was up 7.8% (up 3.6% year-to-date), going from $255,000 to $275,000. Inventories were also down in 16 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks.

Consumer confidence is high in Saskatchewan despite falling economic resilience across the country due to the emergence of a second wave of COVID-19. “The protocols that we put in place back in April to keep REALTORS® and their clients safe,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim, “has helped ease people’s anxiety when it comes to buying and selling real estate.”

Combined with the government’s early efforts to minimize the spread of COVID and to safely re-open the economy as quickly as possible, the SRA’s actions have been critical in helping keep consumer confidence high. “We saw that COVID didn’t stop people from participating in the real estate market,” said Yochim, “but they also need to feel safe.”

The confidence that people have shown has been great for the Saskatchewan real estate market. Median sales prices were up in 11 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks (with Prince Albert and Swift Current seeing the largest drops while Estevan and Weyburn saw the greatest gains), while the number of sales were up in 15 of 19 markets (with Weyburn and Melfort seeing the largest drop while Regina and Saskatoon had significant gains). Increases in sales and prices combined with falling inventories suggests that these markets continue to be resilient.

Overall, the real estate market in October continues the trends that we have seen since the provincial economy reopened. Although the market is slowing compared with the performance that we saw over the summer, this October was stronger than it was last year.

Although COVID numbers are beginning to increase across the country and in the province, the SRA continues to work on measures to help minimize the spread of the virus while allowing people to buy and sell real estate safely. With the province mandating masks in public spaces in Prince Albert, Regina, and Saskatoon and capping public gatherings at 10 people, the SRA is going one step further and requiring all of its members across Saskatchewan to wear masks at all times while meeting with clients as of Friday November 6th.

Sales in Saskatoon were up 40.5%, going from 306 in October 2019 to 430 in October 2020, and up 42.6% in the overall region, going from 411 to 586. In Saskatoon, sales were 32.5% above the 5-year average (and 30.5% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 29.8% above the 5-year average (and 26.6% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon rose 14.9% over last year, increasing from 3,168 to 3,641, while YTD sales in the larger region rose 20.1%, going from 4,258 to 5,114.

Sales volume was up 56.4% in the city, going from $96.7M to $151.2M in 2020 (38.9% above the 5-year average, and 33.5% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $1,260.3M, an increase of 20.1% from last year. In the region, sales volume was up 26.2%, going from $1,338.0M to $1,688.0M (38.1% above the 5-year average and 34.0% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 26.2% in the region, rising from $1,338.0M in 2019 to $1,688.0M in 2020.

In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in October 2020 rose 4.0%, going from 599 to 623 (5.1% below the 5-year average and 6.9% below the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings fell 2.5% from 857 last year to 836 this year (9.8% below the 5-year average and 11.7% below the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 3.5%, going from 6,992 to 6,744, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 6.2%, going from 10,245 to 9,610. Active listings fell 20.6% in Saskatoon (down from 1,729 to 1,372) and fell 25.6% in the region (down from 3,145 to 2,341).

Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3.2 months (which is 43.5% below the level last year and 43.5% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 69.0%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4.0 months (which is 47.8% below the level last year and 43.4% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 70.1%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers.

Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 42 days in October—down 20.8% from 53 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 51 days and below the 10-year average of 46 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 50 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 63 days last year (and 16.4% below the 5-year average).

Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $302,500 to $330,000 (an increase of 9.1%) and were approximately 2.5% above the 5-year and 0.9% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 0.3% from $322,700 to $323,600. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $331,065 which is 3.7% above the $319,300 price from the same time last year. Median home prices in the region went from $287,500 to $320,000 (an increase of 11.3%) and were approximately 4.8% above the 5-year and 3.4% above the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $314,252 which is 4.7% above the $300,110 price from the same time last year.

~Novemeber 2020 SRA 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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When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best to buyers. Unfortunately, buyers are likely to notice any cracks or stains on your floor.

Luckily, there are many do-it-yourself solutions to help make your floors look significantly better.

Let’s start with stains.

If you have carpeting, there are a number of spot cleaning products on the market. But before you try one of those, consider this simple remedy. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the stain and then add just enough drops of white vinegar to make it bubble. Wait two minutes. Then, dab carefully with a paper towel and vacuum the residual. This method often works.

For hard floors, gentle rubbing with warm water will take care of most stains. If you have hardwood floors, don’t let the area remain wet. Dry it completely.

Ceramic tile floors often have old, discoloured grout that is an eyesore. Of course, there are products available to clean grout. But try using an old toothbrush and water before investing in those products. Scrub the grout gently. Then mop the entire area.

If you have minor damage to a section of hardwood floor or floor tiles — for example, a chip or crack — the best solution is replacement. Unfortunately, this isn’t a DIY-friendly job, so unless you’ve done it successfully before, consider hiring a contractor.

If the crack is minor and you don’t want to replace the piece, there are sealing products available, which will camouflage the crack — to some extent — and prevent it from getting worse.

If you have a flooring crack or stain you’re concerned about, try these tips. Also, check out your local home improvement centre for more ideas.

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