The weather in Southern Alberta has finally improved, and with that, we are spending more time outside.  Looking for easy and inexpensive ways to improve curb appeal? Look no further!

– Search for used furniture that you can spray paint and spruce up, try a pop of color for a side table, bright and cheerful cushions, or visually interesting accent pieces.  Better Homes and Gardens has a great tutorial about revitalizing rusty metal furniture.

– Build a stacking succulent garden

– Refresh your flower beds with new mulch.  I like rubber mulch, it’s recycled, and lasts years

– Add solar lighting

– Add a unique address plaque

– Repurpose items, like this brilliant antique tea cup bird feeder  Continue reading

On March 19, the Federal Government announced the official 2019 budget. One major topic on the discussion table (and one we were all holding our breath for) was the discussion of affordable housing in Canada. So just what happened on “Budget Day?” Here are the highlights of the 2019 Federal Budget:

CMHC First Time Home Buyers Incentive Plan

  • This would give first time home buyers the ability to share the cost of buying a home with CMHC
  • For existing homes – the incentive would provide up to 5% (funding/equity sharing) of the PURCHASE PRICE
  • For newly constructed homes the incentive would provide up to 10% (funding/equity sharing) of the PURCHASE PRICE
  • Funding/Equity sharing means that CMHC would cover a percentage of the purchase price.

We are awaiting clear details of how repayment would take place. Continue reading

So you’re looking for a new home? Great news! If you need a mortgage, here are some things to keep in mind.

You must be out of the probationary period at your place of employment (typically three months) in order to qualify. If you are anything other than full-time or salaried, speak with a mortgage broker to make sure you have the appropriate documentation to provide a lender.

If you are self employed, you will need two full years worth of tax returns to qualify, if you fall into this category, it’s best to speak with a mortgage broker as well, as self-employed files can be case-by-case.

Any loans (auto, student, etc), lines of credit or credit cards which carry a balance will be used in your debt calculations. If you carry high balances or are over-limit, you may be required to pay some of this debt down prior to mortgage conditions being fulfilled.

Paid and unpaid collections may have to be dealt with prior to approval. If you need credit counselling, or you aren’t sure what your credit bureau will show, a chat with a mortgage specialist is a must.

Expect a minimum requirement of a 5% down payment, 10% of any amount over $500,000, and substantially more for any amount over $1,000,000.

If you have a pre-approval, DO NOT open new forms of credit until after your home purchase has closed. A pre-approval gives you confidence based on your current conditions. If any of those conditions change, your approval may be in jeopardy.

Lenders will trace your deposit funds for 90 days prior to underwriting of the loan, don’t deposit large sums of cash as it is untraceable and can affect your ability to be approved.

If your deposit is gifted, the funds must be deposited into your account prior to the mortgage being instructed. The sooner you can receive the gifted funds, the better.

You can shop your mortgage between brokers and banks in order to make sure you are getting the right product, which isn’t necessarily the one with the lowest rate.

Your bank won’t give you preferential treatment, no matter how long you’ve been a client.

Best bet?

Get pre-approved through a mortgage broker who you feel you can trust and has asked you all the right questions up front. The more information provided prior to your home search, the more confident you can feel moving forward with the process.

Selling in the current market conditions in Calgary

With the current market conditions in Calgary, there are some things sellers can do to make sure their listing sells in a timely manner, and stays ahead of the competition.

  1. Put some time and elbow grease into fixups: refresh the paint, make sure the yard looks well kept, take out personal items and photographs, etc. Help potential buyers fall in love with your home.
  2. Consider home staging: Staging can also help your home appeal to a wider range of buyers, staging can be done with rental items or even just consulting with a professional who can help move and place your own items.
  3. Price competitively: Everyone wants top dollar, but with so many listings currently supplying the market, small distinctions in price can make the difference between no showings at all and multiple offers. I will help you determine the value and estimate a likely sale price as part of our home marketing plan.
  4. Be open to showings, and be clear about showing limitations: If you have small children or pets at home, some showing times may be inconvenient. Let me know prior to listing what these times are and I will write them into the MLS listing, if a showing request comes through, do your best to accommodate your potential buyer.
  5. Allow me to host Open Houses: Sometimes open houses seem softer to potential home buyers than booking a showing. I’ve heard many stories where people happen to pop into an open house and end up buying!
  6. Let me help: I’m here with you every step of the way, so no matter how big or small the issue, let me know.


Crestmont Community Association – Neighbour Day Canada 150 Party Eh?

Last year we had our first Neighbour Day block party and it was a huge success.

THIS year we are going BIGGER!  In celebration of Canada’s 150 Birthday we are going to have a party that William Lyon Mackenzie King could be proud of.

Join us on June 17th, 1pm – 3pm Rain or Shine to celebrate Canada and all things neighbourly.  The location is the west end of the stormwater pond by the emergency access road at the bottom of the 500 block of Cresthaven Place.

Thanks to generous donations from the following organizations, there will be live music, food, beverages, a bouncy house, along with fun & games galore.

RSVP here!

Single Family Detached Listings Needed!

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to list your home you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised with current market conditions. With the exception of high supply in the condo sector, Calgary’s real estate market continues to show growth and listings are very much needed! I’m working with many buyers who are facing the challenges of low inventory in the detached sector where the elusive “perfect home” is proving more and more difficult to find as competition ramps up among buyers.

A great first step if you’re considering your options with your own home is to get an up-to-date market evaluation to understand your home’s value. Give me a call or send me an email and I’ll be happy to put together a no-strings-attached report that reflects current market conditions and what you could expect when you’re ready to list and sell your home.